Building a dedacated Commutter- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Building a dedacated Commutter

    I am over my SS (older project) and I decided to build it into my dedicated commuter! It's a older 90's 22" giant boulder 4120 steel frame that I rigged SS out of my parts bin.

    Here's a list of the "highlights"

    Xtr BB
    Xtr V's
    Avid Speed Dial Levers
    Suntour Crank
    lx hubs (circa '97)
    Mavic rims
    Easton Havoc Handlebar mid rise
    Sette Lock on grips
    Wtb Saddle
    Sefias Drifter 1.5"
    Planet Bike Fenders

    The problem is I want to keep it SS and the town I live in is rather hilly. So my main question is one of gear ratio. Currently it is 32/18 set up for trails. My current commuter is a 3x9 rockhopper with a 44,32,22 crank and a 34-11 cassette. I mostly use the 44/18-11 gears (for daily use) but there is an occasion I get into the middle ring and go up some of the rather steep hills here in Hilo. What do you think the best combo is gonna be gear wise? I was gonna start with a 42T ring up front and a 18t rear.I like speed! HELP!
    Last edited by ae111black; 01-29-2010 at 04:08 PM.
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  2. #2
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    My (700c road) SS commuter has a 42x17, which is fine for flat/rolling terrain and (just) tolerable out of the saddle for a 1K 10% climb I have on my route. I'd prefer something a little easier, especially when I'm carrying a lot of stuff, and would not mind giving up speed on the flats, but the ancient (road) crank bolt spacing won't take anything less than a 41, and even that is a specialty item. Someday maybe I'll replace the crank, or when the freewheel needs replacing I'll switch the 17 to an 18 which will help a little.

    Anyway... 42x18 on 26" slicks sounds pretty good, but I guess it depends on what "rather steep" means. Test out the hills you will encounter with your current bike while staying in your 32x13 - that's just slightly harder than the 42x18 would be (your 44x20 is, on the other hand, slightly easier than 42x18). If you can make it up everything in the 32x13 without it being annoying, then there you go.

  3. #3
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    LOL rather steep is way steep I don't know the actual degrees of the road but I'd guess 30% grade at least.....
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  4. #4
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    A couple weeks ago I started riding my 8 speed set-up as if it was a singlespeed, just to see what the ideal gear would be for my commute, if I ever wanted to consider a singlespeed. I have a few short rolling hills, and about a 1 mile, mild climb at the end of my ride home. I decided that the best gear for my ride, without taking too much time away, and making the hills just barely tolerable would be a 50x16 ratio. I know that sounds nuts, But it's the gear that I can hang out in without feeling like I'm going too slow or killing myself. I have a compact road double crankset up front with no front derailleur, so I do have the option of dropping the chain down onto the 34 tooth sprocket up front manually (which I can now do on the fly with my toe)

    I'm seriously consideirng ditching the rear derailleur and going single-speed in the rear with a chain tensioner, so that I can still have the option of the small front ring....result: manually shifted two speed, no derailleurs. So I'd have a 'flat' gear, and a 'hill' gear. That would effectively make this bike worthless for doing much else except for mostly flat rides, but it would be the ideal maintenance free set up for my commute.

    If you are truly building a bike JUST for the commute, I'd consider doing something like this. The big downside is that shifting back up into the big ring is virtually impossible on the fly. For me, I wouldn't have to shift it back until I got home...for the descent the next morning. If you have a big hill in the middle of your ride, you'd have to pause at the top and manually shift it back up...but I bet you could master it without dismounting with a little practice.
    Last edited by CommuterBoy; 01-29-2010 at 03:44 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I would do a 1x8 set up but this frame will only take a really crappy shimano Mech like this http://www.walmart.com/ip/Shimano-RD...urney/13012512 that mounts to the drop out! so thats why I made it SS anyway!!
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  6. #6
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    CB has a great set-up with the dual chainrings and no dιrailleur in the front and you can do that in the back as well with your old cassette and some spacers. It's called a dingle speed. Some people even run 3 cogs and 3 chainrings.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ae111black
    LOL rather steep is way steep I don't know the actual degrees of the road but I'd guess 30% grade at least.....


    not bloody likely at 30% grade.

    I ride 42x18 on my bad weather commuter. I have a (mostly) uphill return commute from the train station. on a good day i can get it done seated. sometimes i have to stand up and really crank on it, especially if there is opposing wind. admittedly the bike is somewhat heavy too.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ae111black
    LOL rather steep is way steep I don't know the actual degrees of the road but I'd guess 30% grade at least.....
    I hope you guess is high, for your sake... even the Mt Washington hillclimb only gets to 22%:
    Just how steep is the course? The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb and Newton's Revenge are known as the toughest hillclimbs in the world at 7.6 miles in length, has an average grade of 12% with extended sections of 18% and the last 50 yards is an amazing 22%! Sprint that to the finish!
    from http://www.mtwashingtonbicyclehillcl...bout-This-Race

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    CB has a great set-up with the dual chainrings and no dιrailleur in the front and you can do that in the back as well with your old cassette and some spacers. It's called a dingle speed. Some people even run 3 cogs and 3 chainrings.
    if I end up doing that I might as well just run all gears because the frame dosent have a regular mount for a dureilluer it uses one of those crappy drop out mounted (slider) mech! So the only hope I have for a tensioner is that I'm gonna go play around a bit with until I find somthing...... It's probably going to be 1x8 for a bit though!
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  10. #10
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    You could use one of those crappy clamp-on derailleurs AS a chain tensioner maybe... no cable, no shifter, just clamp down on the limit screws and use it to keep the chain tight.

    My little 2x1 vision might be horrible for your commute though... I've been riding it as a single speed for a few days now, and I think I'm going to do it.... 50x16 with a 32 tooth bail-out gear up front. I need to find a chain tensioner with enough 'swing' to accomodate my two rings up front. Most of the ones I have seen don't have very much travel.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  11. #11
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    I might try it just for kicks! I'll run a 42/22 front and probably a 16-18 in the rear...
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  12. #12
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    Here's the issue I'm running into... a traditional chain tensioner with only one pulley does not account for 'chain wrap' around the rear cog...so it would be perfect in the big gear, but when you dropped the chain onto the smaller ring up front, the tensioner would swing back to tighten the chain, which would decrease the amount of contact that the chain had with the rear cog. this could result in chain slip because there wouldn't be enough teeth on the rear cog contacting the chain. The only solution is a chain guide with two pullies, like a derailleur, so that the chain is forced to wrap around the whole rear cog, instead of just the back part of it.
    Paul's makes a two-pullied chain guide just for this kind of set-up, but it's $70. I'm thinking I can gut an old derailleur and make something that would work, or just use an old derailleur. Not as pretty as a chain guide, but effective. But then when I think about this, I think I might as well keep the gears, becuase you're not eliminating much or making it look much cleaner...and then I think that you ARE actually eliminating the shifter, cable, and weight of the extra cogs.... I dunno.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  13. #13
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    <a href="https://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/?action=view&current=29696eed.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/29696eed.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos" /></a>

    <a href="https://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/?action=view&current=6883288a.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/6883288a.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos" /></a>
    here's before and after pics of my progress paint wise.....
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  14. #14
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    Update 02/06/10

    Head Tube Faced, Removed seat stay cable stop bridge and top tube cable stops (running full length brake cable housing), finished sanding and prep, First coat of filler primer.

    <a href="https://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/?action=view&current=2360bdf3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/2360bdf3.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos" /></a>

    <a href="https://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/?action=view&current=d3e770d6.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/d3e770d6.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos" /></a>
    Last edited by ae111black; 02-06-2010 at 10:58 PM.
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  15. #15
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    Ok Gear wise...... I'm going to run a 4 spd set up, Two up front 42,32, two in the rear 18,12 I'm basicly gonna change it manually when I need it (no shifters) and a rear derailluer to keep it tensioned and keep things in line. I think this will work for now we'll see.....
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  16. #16
    jrm
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    What could be pretty cool

    would be turning it into a 3 spd by adding a 3 spd hub and lacing it into an existing wheel. You might need to use some tugs so that the hub stays still but it sure sounds cool.

  17. #17
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    <a href="https://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/?action=view&current=fee5742b.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/fee5742b.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos" /></a>

    color done now I let the paint cure
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ae111black
    Ok Gear wise...... I'm going to run a 4 spd set up, Two up front 42,32, two in the rear 18,12 I'm basicly gonna change it manually when I need it (no shifters) and a rear derailluer to keep it tensioned and keep things in line. I think this will work for now we'll see.....

    That should be sweet. With a derailleur as a tensioner you can use either rear gear with either front one...that should give you some good options.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    That should be sweet. With a derailleur as a tensioner you can use either rear gear with either front one...that should give you some good options.
    it was funny I went into a diffrent LBS yesterday to look for white brake cable housing and I was talking to the owner and he totally missed the concept of the 2x2 that I'm gonna do..... Roadies I tell you sheesh!
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  20. #20
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    <a href="https://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/?action=view&current=a38e903e.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/a38e903e.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos" /></a>

    fork wheels and BB on

    <a href="https://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/?action=view&current=2539593a.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/2539593a.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos" /></a>

    done!! (for now)
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  21. #21
    a lazy pedaler
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    nice!

  22. #22
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Looks nice! Must just be me, but I thought it was a 69er at first because the front wheel looks bigger for some reason.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

  23. #23
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    Nice job, it came out great. A white or black bike is timeless. Makes me miss my first "10-speed", a white Peugeot my sister got when I was maybe in 7th grade & still had a one-speed. I borrowed it & had to outrun a boy-gang with sticks (for spokes) in NYC to get it back to her. I was not too scared until one yelled "we don't want you (which had not occurred to me until then), just the bike"...I guess that gave me enough adrenaline to pedal away. Went home later as if nothing happened & eventually adopted the bike since she didn't ride it. Rode it sometimes from Chinatown to 96th st. to high school. It was stolen years later (after college) in Portland ME and I was sad!

  24. #24
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    <a href="https://s93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/?action=view&current=abedcd11.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l45/ae111black/abedcd11.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos" /></a>

    MTB it's accually green....

    This is a pic from this morning it's maden voyage so to speak!
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  25. #25
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    Oh yeah, sorry, I remember that now from the kitchen table shot, I like that color too. I must have a story about my green bike, but I'll spare you that one since I told the one about my white bike! Have fun with it.

  26. #26
    weirdo
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    Very sharp. Did you paint it with spray cans? How about some bigger pics?
    Recalculating....

  27. #27
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    Yah Rodar I need to talke some pics with a real camera those are all shot with my I phone and posted through Photobucket so they are kinda small.... Btw your shifting meathod I'm using is working great so far!!!
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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