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  1. #1
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    Commuting- what kind of bike?

    With all this talk of commuting I am getting inspired. I wondered, for those of you who commute, what kind of bike you use? I know this is not a roadie forum but figured I would ask.

  2. #2
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    I looked at a few commuter bikes that rack mounts, or flat bars, or small forks, etc. I knew though, that if I bought a bike to ride for commuting, I'd want an actual road bike because I'd use my road bike for more than just commuting. I bought a 2006 Specialized Allez Triple. It is the base model, ran me $649 and has all the things a road bike should - carbon fiber fork and seat post, decent shimano components (lower end stuff though), decent wheels and brakes. I added different tires that are a bit heavier but MUCH more flat resistant (Specialized Armadillo). Today was my first commute, but in the six weeks I've had the bike, I've ridden it 300 miles, entered in to a charity bike ride and I'm thinking of doing a century soon. It's been great so far
    :wq

  3. #3
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    I ride a Kona Major Jake CX bike. Unfortunately, it's too large and my back gets pretty sore about halfway home. I'm looking to pick up either an inexpensive road bike (that Specialized Allez doesn't sound like a bad idea at all!) or a Surly CrossCheck to satisfy my bike lust as well as fulfill my utilitarian need.

  4. #4
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    My commute is so short (8 miles r/t) that I use the hardtail. The suspension is nice for city riding, as are the knobbies for slippery spots.

    The old rigid mtb has slicks for longer rides- tours, centuries, visiting family, that sort of thing. Eventually would like one of those road bikes with the flat bars.
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  5. #5
    another bozo on the bus
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    for commuting i bought a used schwinn 564 road bike from the early '90s for $100. great condition, but the mid grade sutour 7 sp parts are dated. i ride in the rain and have to lock it up outside. i also live in nyc so didnt want some bike that was an eye catcher for a thief. i also have a nice road bike if its nice out and im sure i can bring it in at work. really, it depends on alot of factors such as crime, weather, distance, etc.

  6. #6
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    I ride a Klein Q Carbon Race roadie. In the past, before I had a roadie, I had ridden an old Raleigh MTB that I put semi-slicks on. Soon, however, my commute will change, and I will have to get on streets, sidewalks and some gravel, so I'm considering going to a 29" Single Speed MTB, which I'll also be able to use on some of the local single track. Considering the Gary Fisher Rig, but haven't really started looking yet. I have until mid October before I switch offices.

  7. #7
    Dude...
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    I ride an old Voodoo Wazoo 'cross bike. Makes for a slightly more stable ride in crappy weather. Thinking of putting a set of 'stache bars instead of drops for a little more comfort.

  8. #8
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    I just bought a Bianchi Rollo for $120 at Bicycle Villiage:

    http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_rollo.html

    Soooo ugly, its funny.
    .




    Strava: turn off your dork logger when you're not on sanctioned trails.

  9. #9
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    Old hardtail

    Quote Originally Posted by nizzer
    What kind of bike you use?
    Aluminium with a lockout fork. I ride it locked-out most of the time. Tyres are 2" semi-slicks with lightweight tubes, and I added clip-on mudguards which stay on year-round. My gear goes into a small backpack. Lights go on in the winter months. This set-up is durable, and comfortable. Its also reasonably quick on road, but lets me ride home off-road if I chose, and most days I do.

    The longer I've used it, the more the bike has been honed for commuting. This year for example I put a road cassette on as the cogset was shot. This gives me closer gears at the speeds I ride without giving up too much on the low end.

  10. #10
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    Couple of factors to consider:

    1) Climate: will you be commuting in bad weather, if so, you should make sure your bike can accomodate full fenders (most shops can do wonders even when spaces are tight, but if you lack eyelets it can be more of a challenge. Also, you may want disc brakes for bad weather. If you've got discs and fenders, you might have to bend the fender supports on the disc side to accomodate the extra space.

    2) Bag/Backpack or Rack/Panniers: I definitely prefer a rack with panniers because I have to haul 500-1000 pages of hardback books for school plus a change of clothes for class/work. Just picked up a pair of ortleib waterproofs and the things are ginormous and easy to use. If you've got to carry minimal stuff with you and can stash a store of clothes at your job during a car trip, you can get by with a messanger bag or backpack no problem.

    3) This is probably most important. Where are you going to keep your bike when your are not riding it? If you cannot bring it inside with you and keep it in a secure are (ie not open to the general public) I would not buy an expensive new bike just for commuting. If you'vve got to keep it locked on the sidewald for 8 hours a day, a new blingy bike will draw some attention to the local crack(meth)head bike theives. Buy used and maybe even de-bling it by removing stickers and wrapping some electrical tape over any brand names. If you can lock it in a store room, or better yet bring it into your workspace, go ahead and drop a little coin. A cool new bike might encourage some fellow workers to give it a shot.

    I use my old hardtail currently with rack, fender, and slicks for most trips and an entry level road bike (steel bianchi brava) for when I don't carry much. My commute is about 18-20 miles roundtrip depending on the route and I'm comfortable on either. I think if it was 5 or more miles each way, I would definitiely prefer the bigger wheels and position of the roadbike. If I was looking for a dedicated commuter, I would look at touring-geometry road bikes (meant for hauling gear at speed) or at the variety of flat bar roaddies/commuters (jamis coda, kona dew).

    Good luck. Its a blast and a nice way to get miles in.
    What the f*** is the internet?

  11. #11
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    Old Procraft

    I just fixed up this old Procraft as a commuter. Instead of the 3x5 mountain bike it used to be, it's now a 1x7 street cruiser. My commute is 11.5 miles each way.

    <img src="http://student.santarosa.edu/~joblad/pics/ForSale/DSCN1366.jpg" />

  12. #12
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    ~1/2 of my 1h commute is trail, so I use a MTB. SS or fixie, usually rigid, unless I'm planning to join a group ride on my way home.

  13. #13
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    Moots SS

    I have a relatively short ride (15mins) to work and do it on my 94 Moots YBB which I converted to SS last year. Luckily we have a secure bike room at my work place to keep it in!

    Buzz

    MCM#45

  14. #14
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    Babygorilla made some good points. Get yourself a low key bicycle which won't attract attention and fit it with fenders and a rack.

    Personally, I use an old chromoly Bianchi Lynx hardtail from the 90s. I swapped out the Fastrax fork with a rigid chromoly fork and upgraded the components over the years but I wouldn't lose any major sleep it if someone were to steal it from me.

    I even used the bike on a 700km bicycle tour of the Rockies which I did a few weeks ago. No problems at all !

  15. #15
    Medium?
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    Depends on how far

    I had great fun 'commuting' on a singlespeed when I was driving to the train station and riding 1.5 miles on the other end, but when I got a new job and I had to ride more than a couple miles that got old quick.

    I commuted on a geared hardtail with suspension, discs and semi-slicks for a while. It was stable, had great brakes and was fast enough for a 10 mile across-town trip.

    I converted an old Motobecane steel tourer to fixed gear and rode that for a year. It was way faster than the MTB, but too big and too old, the cottered cranks were not reliable enough for every-day commuting.

    Now I ride a late-90s Ibis Sonoma steel road bike converted to fixed gear with a White Ind ENO eccentric rear hub. With gears I could go a bit faster, but I'm hooked on the simplicity and pure experience of fixed. I have an essentially flat commute, 26 miles one way and I ride 53:19. I usually take the train halfway home to make it in time for dinner.

    A 90s steel roadie would be my choice. I'd want aero levers.

  16. #16
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    I personally use a Trek 1000 road bike w/ hardcase tires. Works great for my purposes. I wanted something better than the Huffy 10 spd I was using but would good for a road ride every now and again. So far no complaints. Have a Niterider Trailrat and a BUNCH of blinking lights. My two commutes are (one way) 15 miles and 3 miles. Other than the occasional tube and spoke the only thing I've replaced is the chain and tires. If you're going to be doing alot of road commuting, hard cases are the way to go. I've done some road riding on it, but not much. It did alright during the MS 150 ride I did last spring. 180 miles in two days.

    I just bought my brother a commuter. He's carless now due to lack of funds and started riding on a wally world special. It was falling apart on him so I decided to help him out and bought him a Trek 7.2 FX Hybrid. Put some lights one it, fixed him up w/ some basic tools and off he went. Told me there was a BIG difference between the two bikes.

    Just a couple notes. I use a backpack but sometimes it's a little tough to get everything I might need in it sometimes. Two, I don't use clipless for commuting. One less thing I have to pack up, but then I can wear tennis shoes to work.

    Below are the bikes. The first two are my brother and his bike. The last one is my Trek.
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  17. #17
    Hairy man
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    I just bought a Bianchi Rollo for $120 at Bicycle Villiage:

    http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_rollo.html

    Soooo ugly, its funny.
    They mention Tom Waits in their ad copy. I'm in love.
    We all get it in the end.

  18. #18
    EGGROLL!!!
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    I use a road bike, and go as hard as I can. Its a 7.5 mi trip each way, and I look at it as a chance to get some training in and I don;t feel like I could do that on a cruiser-type bike. But that makes me a little less likely to ride in poor weather.

  19. #19
    Not because I'm fast.....
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    Cross bike

    Definitely worth considering....
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  20. #20
    jrm
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    either..

    a kelly bone stock roadie. A on-one il pompino SS ,soon to be sold, and soon a planet-x kaffenback.

  21. #21
    Occidental Tourist
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    if it's informal and you don't sweat alot and yer like a hipster you could get a fixie and a messnger bag.
    if it's formal and urban you might want gears and panniers
    you can also throw semi-slicks on a mtb with fenders if its wet.
    a cross bike can offer some versitility too.
    take into consideration exposure, theft and locks depending on where you park.
    lotta commuters here
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  22. #22
    TEAM TOPEAK - ERGON
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    Surly 1x1
    Good for all year riding...even in the harsh Iowa winters.
    Bike always works regardless of temps or conditions.

  23. #23
    -bustin punks
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    my commute rig

    For the past few years -

    Aluminum Kinesis MTB frame decorated with copius amounts of reflective tape. Rigid fork, blingy gold Allsop Aluminum stem.

    Parts were extras lying around. Spring/Summer/Fall tires: Ritchey Speedmax. Winter tires: Nokian Mount and Groung WG160 carbide studded.

    cheapo blinky tail light. Kick ar$e Light-and-Motion HID headlamp (cost more than the rest of the bike, but SO worth it).

    Parts are now being transfered to a Karate Monkey frame/fork. Anyone want a bright and shiny 26" MTB frame/fork/headset?
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  24. #24
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    pugsley a commuter?

    I am going to have a 24 mile r/t commute and i am looking for a new bike. It will be on paved and offroad. Here in WI the winters get cold and we have some snow. Is a pugsley an ok bike for commuting?

  25. #25
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    I commute on my Bianchi Pista Concept. Its a fixie, low maintenance. I have a locker where I work, so I don't have to pack a lot of crap when I ride. But I wouldn't mind getting something like a Vanilla commuter/fixie/touring bike though. True works of art.
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  26. #26
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    1x7 Gears?

    Quote Originally Posted by jo_ride
    I just fixed up this old Procraft as a commuter. Instead of the 3x5 mountain bike it used to be, it's now a 1x7 street cruiser. My commute is 11.5 miles each way.

    <img src="http://student.santarosa.edu/~joblad/pics/ForSale/DSCN1366.jpg" />
    Jo_Ride, did you do anything special to get the 1x7 geared bike to keep its chain on? I tried to setup a similar thing with a 1x9 and the front ring would always slip off when the pedalin got tough. I had to use a old front deraillur to keep it in place.

  27. #27
    Silicon Slick Oblad G.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nermol
    Jo_Ride, did you do anything special to get the 1x7 geared bike to keep its chain on? I tried to setup a similar thing with a 1x9 and the front ring would always slip off when the pedalin got tough. I had to use a old front deraillur to keep it in place.
    Oh yeah, I have the same trouble. It usually only pops off when I hit something hard, and since I just commute on roads, it doesn't happen too often. It's extremely annoying when it happens though and I've been determined to find a solution. I just found a screaming deal on a chain guide at Cambria Bike Emporium. Actually I just ordered it yesterday. I'll update my thread in the Vintage/Classic/Retro forum when I get it installed.

  28. #28
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    Element 30

  29. #29
    Not a Barry supporter.
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    I'm in the process of converting my old Sugar into a nice commuter. I feel I want the stability of a MTB with all the idiot drivers around here. Right now I'm going the SS route but when we may be buying a house that would be 12 miles one way so I'll probably throw some gears on her then. I do have semi slicks too. I should haev this project completed over the three day weekend so I can actually start to ride it on Tuesday. I'm pretty stoked about bike commuting 3 days a week. (The other two I have class after work...YUK!)
    Why would I need more than one gear?
    @A_SingleSpeeder
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  30. #30
    AAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIEEEE!!!
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    I ride a Jake the Snake cross bike year round in Portland, and I love it. Braze-ons for fenders and rack if needed, but I use a backpack. The Kona Smoke is a good low-cost low-frills option that would work well too.

  31. #31
    daydream believer
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    I have to admit....

    that all my commuting is in an approx. 3 mile radius - which makes me such a lucky girl!
    for that kind all i need is my 50 somethin Shwinn Somethin - I love it!

  32. #32
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    here's mine

    This twenty year old Miyata touring bike makes a great short range commuter. I switched out the drop bars for risers and once we get into winter the big 700x37cc tires will get changed to a studded set. And in a few weeks the headlight will go one.

    Since I moved to within 2 miles of work I've been commuting year round. Many days going home for lunch!

    In addition to the bike I've included a couple of pics of the commute. enjoy
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  33. #33
    Orthodox Veloist
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    Kona Jake with fenders, lights, and a rack. This bike has been the best investment ever! 10 mile commute, and I've put on over 2k miles on her. This bike has lasted me longer than my last car and cost less too.

  34. #34
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    Picture this bike

    With a warranty replacement frame and a rigid fork. That's how I've been riding it for about 18 months now. Before the new frame, what you see is how I rode it for years. I like using the B.O.B. because A. I don't get a sweaty back from a pack and B. I can fit my lunch in a cooler in it, and C. It gives a bit better workout, especially on the way home which is all uphill.

    commuter.rig.jpg

    Here's a photo of it after I replaced the frame and fork.

    Dale.5.jpg
    "There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword, the other is by debt."
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  35. #35
    Brackish
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    Kona Smoke with flat bars, a Deore trigger/XT rear derailluer/9-speed upgrade and a ton of flashy lights and such. Great beater commuter rig, steel is real.

  36. #36
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    fixed

  37. #37
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    I commute on a Specialized Sirrus.


  38. #38
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    I picked up a new Kona Jake the Snake off eBay for $700. It has been perfect so far, I still need to mount some fenders and a rack but no complaints on my 9.5 mile (each way) commute. I like to think that the day glo orange paint helps traffic see me. I'm still trying to decide if carbon fiber fenders would be overkill...


  39. #39
    AAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIEEEE!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sourdough
    This twenty year old Miyata touring bike makes a great short range commuter. I switched out the drop bars for risers and once we get into winter the big 700x37cc tires will get changed to a studded set. And in a few weeks the headlight will go one.

    Since I moved to within 2 miles of work I've been commuting year round. Many days going home for lunch!

    In addition to the bike I've included a couple of pics of the commute. enjoy
    It's a funny thing to see a picture on MTBR of the middle school I attended 15 years ago. How random.
    Last edited by carlo; 09-04-2006 at 11:19 AM.

  40. #40
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    Here is mine. I got it a few years ago and comute once or twice a week 12miles one way. The head tube actually cracked a year ago and I got a warenty replacement. Just splurged on some dirty dog discs.
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    Live fast, Die young, Leave a good looking corpse!

  41. #41
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    Here today....Gone tomorrow...........

    Trek SU200 tricked out.............
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  42. #42
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    I just put TIOGA slicks on my DeVinci Taos (LX group, Judy 100C fork, Bontrager Ti saddle, flat bars (stocker had risers), Shimno M2?? cli[pless pedals, Nighthawk lighting system).
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    Last edited by RomSpaceKnight; 09-20-2006 at 06:47 PM.

  43. #43
    VEGAN ATHLETE Racing
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    I ride the ss roadie when the weather is good, cx when weather is bad. Sometimes a mtb if I plan to trail ride after work.
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  44. #44
    Wolf nipple chips
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    yeah

    This thing is about as simple as they come. just a converted Schwinn Super Sport fixie. so cheap, and a little softer of a ride when i've got my backpack on. so how long can a chain last, anyway? this one is WAY off the charts. The Niterider HID/tailight pretty much stay on there at all times, save for the occasional night trail ride. So little ever changes on this bike, other than tires. I changed the bar tape after about a year, too. no, those fenders don't fit, either. But man, this just the one bike i don't have to worry about it not working. ever. and how can you not find charm in that vomitous pink paint?

    I can't see riding a mtb on the road - I don't know how you guys do it! It would get so annoying - and I'm only 3 miles from work! I've ridden the 5 miles to the nearest trailhead on my mtb (both rigid ss and geared hardtail) before, and it is sooo laborious. Whatever works for you though...
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  45. #45
    Out there
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    7 or 8 miles each way, an old Trek 730 with knobblies or slicks depending on my mood. Totally stripped down, used to use a blackburn rack and pannier but recently just went to the camelback. It's fast (I overtake roadies pretty regularly) and takes the bumps. Love this bike... have ridden it thru a Toronto winter without any problems. With knobblies it will happily go offroad.

  46. #46
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    Old Cove Hummer. The pic below is old, so the build is a little different now, it now has disks, decals, different fork, saddle, etc.



    The commute is long enough now (~40km one way) that I'm thinking I should dig out the old road bike.


  47. #47
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    I do most of my commuting on a fuji track. it's got the least amount of parts to break, I'm not afraid to leave it chained up, and if someone does try to ride off with it, they're in for a surprise when they try to coast through a turn.

    I'd suggest any bike you're not worried about leaving out for at least 8 hours, is totally reliable, and is low on the theft radar. If you're really a determined commuter, then you'll also need fenders (have some collapsible rear fenders), and lights.

    My rain bike is another fixie, a schwinn gaspipe conversion, and my other ride is a Balance al-750 with kenda urban tires. It's 8spd.

    Your commuter bike needs to be 100% reliable. If you're going to be commuting by bike, then you should have a backup bike that you can just hop on if your main ride is having issues.

  48. #48
    Wheel building addict.
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    vuduvgn, is your chain always that slack? or is it just the camera angle? I need some tofu recipies.

  49. #49
    Wheel building addict.
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    are you 1x X guys running a non shifting ring on the front? I've seen stock trials guys run a 1x 5(7) but they run a really high tensioned rear derr.

  50. #50
    VEGAN ATHLETE Racing
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    Chain used to be that slack, i've got a new wheel set on it now, had trouble with the old french rear hub. Never had a problem with it falling off though.


    Easy Chocolate Tofu Pie
    "A dead ringer for a chocolate cream pie, only without the dairy."
    Original recipe yield: 8 servings.

    Prep Time:
    15 Minutes
    Cook Time:
    25 Minutes
    Ready In:
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    Servings:
    8 (change)

    INGREDIENTS:

    * 1 pound silken tofu
    * 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    * 1 cup white sugar
    * 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    * 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
    * 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust

    DIRECTIONS:

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    2. Blend tofu with an electric mixer or in a food processor until smooth. Blend in cocoa, sugar, vanilla and vinegar. Pour into prepared crust.
    3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
    4. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
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