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  1. #1
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    I Think I've Finally Completed My Specialized Commuter

    I'm still a relatively new rider and for the first time ever I can't think of anything that I need to add or do to this bike. I sold my car last year so I use my '08 HardRock Sport a ton, for getting around anywhere from a few miles a day up to twenty or so at the high end. Yesterday I took these pics while on a long journey far from home on a quick stop for a friend.

    I would appreciate some honest criticism, thoughts or opinions on how to further improve my ride experience or I'd just love to hear in general what you all think.

    Thank You,
    Ryan

    12367539767492.jpg


    12367539742261.jpg

  2. #2
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    Nice bike. Here are my opinions about what I'd change. Just from my experience...

    - Seatpost rack. I would get rid of the Bell seatpost rack and seatpost rack with side rails so that you'll have the option to put pannier bags on it for the times you need to haul things and don't necessarily want to get your back all sweaty by wearing a back pack. The Bell seatpost rack is about twice the weight of a good seatpost rack with side rails. You actually have the option of installing a pannier rack that bolts to your frame. If I weren't going to remove the rack for different reasons, I'd go with a rack bolted to the frame.

    Seat & Seatpost. Ignore this suggestion if you're comfortable with your seat/seatpost. I would get a narrower seat and change out the seatpost for a suspension seatpost. (This is totally a personal preference. As I said, you should keep your seat/seatpost setup if is comfortable to you.)

    - Pedals. I would change to some kind of campus style pedals that have a flat cage on one side and SPD clips on the other side. That would give you the best of both worlds. Once you get comfortable riding clipless, you'll really notice a difference in efficiency.

    - Air Pump. I would get an air pump that you can clamp on to the frame. This is a very cheap upgrade and can invaluable if you ever need to use it.

    - Tools & Spare Tube. I would get a saddle bag with tools and a spare tube so that you can make on the spot repairs if you need to. My saddle bag is attached under my seatpost rack (where you have your rear reflector).

    Once again, there is nothing wrong with the setup you currently have, but you asked for opinions and I've taken the liberty to give you mine.
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  3. #3
    Drinking the Slick_Juice
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    there is always the change to single speed
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  4. #4
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    If it works for you...

    go with it. I could offer suggestions but it would just be my preferences. Things like for commuting around town I much prefer a smoother cruiser type tire to a knobby, things like that. But if it works for you there isn't a thing wrong with it. I've got an old 00 Trek 7000 that I converted to a commuter and it works great. It's all in what you want or need.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  5. #5
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    I started with a mountain bike and transitioned to skinnier 1.2" tires, then to 700c wheels and now 23c's to get the efficiency of less rolling resistance. My suggestion is to use the skinniest tire possible for the terrain you ride on. I've also used that philosophy on my dirt riding and found vast improvements.

  6. #6
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    That is one sweet ride! I like the red wall tires and stubby fenders, gives it a rat rod/bobber look. The only thing I would change if it were my bike would be to swap out the sus fork for a rigid one. But if you feel it's not too heavy and/or you can lock it out then I would save some cash and leave it as is. Keep rollin'!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  7. #7
    weirdo
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    Nice looking ride, Learjet. And congratulations on making it car-free. Wish I had the nerve to go that far.

    As you can see, everybody is going to have different opinions because we all have different situations and prefferences. I do think that anybody who uses a bike more than a stone`s throw from his home ought to be toting a spare tube, tire levers and a pump or CO2 inflator at a minimum. A few allen wrenches and a couple of patches would be a nice idea, too. And for me, unless I`m riding a lot of dirt, I prefer slicks or semi-slicks.

  8. #8
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    Good job!

    I appreciate everyone here taking the time to respond with their ideas, preferences and the compliments! Every idea that has been brought up will be tossed around in my brain and considered.

    Solomon76, I had thought about the rack with side rails and wasn't sure which style I wanted to go with originally. The rack hardly ever gets used but I will swap it out with my next check, thank you.

    Gary the No-Trash Cougar, it's funny you mentioned the "rat rod" look, that's the reason I installed the fenders, more than the purpose of actually needing them.

    BTW, as far as the tires go I've tried pure slicks and I ended up liking the current setup much more. I think the pic is deceiving but they are not a standard knobby tire, I'm running the Hemisphere Armadillo (26x1.95) and they're defined as "Durable Puncture City/Trekking-partly pavement/partly off-road" and it works well with my needs.

  9. #9
    jrm
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    hey want ever works 4 U

    Only thing i would change would be a rigid kona project II fork and the narrowest, durable ,highest psi tires i could find.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  10. #10
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    Huge sofas....er i mean saddles like that are going to spell trouble for your manly parts if you ride a lot. Search the reviews for Brooks saddles and invest in one and your wife can thank me later.

  11. #11
    PCC
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    Looks good to me. I would try buying one of those water bottle caps that lights up the bottle and put that one on the water bottle mounted on the seat tube. When you swap bottles, pull over, swap caps, swap bottles in their cages, then keep going. This adds a lot more side visibility.

    Call me paranoid but I run two tail lights on my commuter. One stays constantly on and has a larger surface area while the second one is a super bright blinkie (PB SuperFlash).

  12. #12
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    Update

    I just installed a new rear rack as suggested by Solomon76.


    12368988433981.jpg

  13. #13
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    Hmmm. That looks strangely familiar. I'll try to post some pics this weekend.
    Friends Don't Let Friends Drive

    2008 Specialized Hardrock Sport
    2010 Bottecchia RS290 Cross

  14. #14
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Looks much nicer, gotta be stronger, and you lowered the COG of your gargo by about two inches. How does it feel?

  15. #15
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    08HardRock, can't wait to see those pics. It sounds like you have good taste

    rodar y rodar, I don't notice a COG difference but it's working out perfectly. I went from a 20lb weight limit to about a 40lb limit but I'll never need to use anywhere near that, hopefully.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learjet35A
    I just installed a new rear rack as suggested by Solomon76.


    12368988433981.jpg
    I'm sure that you'll like the new rack better than the Bell rack you had. I had a Bell rack, but I got rid of it for a better seatpost rack with side rails. Having the option to add pannier bags is nice for days I need to haul laundry to/from work. I would have to make some other modifications if I wanted to have a rack bolted to my bike because of my disc brakes and lack of frame eyelets (that's what get when you use a XC racing frame to build a commuter).
    Last edited by Solomon76; 03-18-2009 at 12:46 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learjet35A
    08HardRock, can't wait to see those pics. It sounds like you have good taste

    Edited: Pics were too big, need to re-size and I'll post later....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Friends Don't Let Friends Drive

    2008 Specialized Hardrock Sport
    2010 Bottecchia RS290 Cross

  18. #18
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    ... and if we just ...

    That's great, thanks for posting! I love seeing how people modify the bike for their taste or needs. That looks good and the base bike (in my opinion) the perfect one to start with to build a commuter if you include value.

  19. #19
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    Hey 08HardRock, give us the specifics on your bike (tires, rack, bags etc...)

  20. #20
    I Ride for Donuts
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    Did you ditch the fenders for summer, or are you switching? I'm wondering how those stubby little fenders actually funtioned. I can't imaging a front fender that small doing much Any experience in the wet with those fenders?

    Nice bike, by the way
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  21. #21
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    CommuterBoy, thanks for the compliment! I don't ride the bike when it's raining or if it's too wet outside, the fenders are there for minor puddles (which they do help) but mainly just looks. I keep them on there all year long and they will stay on the bike when I sell it in about three months or so.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    Did you ditch the fenders for summer...?
    I think you are looking at 2 different bikes. The bike with the fenders is Learjet35A's and the one without the fenders is 08HardRock's.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    I think you are looking at 2 different bikes. The bike with the fenders is Learjet35A's and the one without the fenders is 08HardRock's.

    They are strikingly similar.
    Friends Don't Let Friends Drive

    2008 Specialized Hardrock Sport
    2010 Bottecchia RS290 Cross

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by crank feen
    Hey 08HardRock, give us the specifics on your bike (tires, rack, bags etc...)

    Tires: Kenda Komfort
    Rack: Topeak Explorer
    Bag: Avenir Shopping Pannier (I wanted something to get my backpack off my back b/c it would get really hot; plus this also works for small grocery runs)
    Grips: BBB
    Handlebar: BBB (couldnt tell from the pic, but its a carbon fiber composite)
    Mount: Ram for Garmin Venture HC
    Pedals: Clips, but I cant remember the brand

    I think thats it

    Having written this all out, I dumped a lot more money into this bike than originally intended.
    Friends Don't Let Friends Drive

    2008 Specialized Hardrock Sport
    2010 Bottecchia RS290 Cross

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the details man.

    I like that rack

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