Favorite Commuter Ever- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Favorite Commuter Ever

    I'm sure most of us have gone through several bikes as primary modes of transportation. What have you used, which was your favorite, and why?

    I've had
    an old Motebecane 10-speed, converted to flat bars (kinda blew)
    a Novara hybrid (not great, not terrible)
    a Schwinn Mesa mountain bike (kept it in off-road trim, lived on a campus with trails, pretty awesome)
    a Trek 12-speed Sport/Touring bike
    a steel LeMond with 105 (a little awkward in practice, since I don't feel comfortable leaving it locked outside and it's got tiny clipless pedals compatible only with road shoes with a huge, awkward cleat)
    an old Panasonic road bike (much more fun when I threw out the rack, kick stand, and most of the drivetrain)
    a Royal 10-speed with a disc front end (liked it in between giving it the disc fork and messing up the cottered crank and finding out that the bb shell threading isn't the current standard)
    my current, a Raleigh Technium 12-speed (mostly like it, slowly replacing parts I wear out)

    My favorite was the Trek 1000, mainly because my Raleigh's a size or two big for me. The Trek had a rack and I had a set of panniers, but it was also a fun, fast bike if I kept the load in a messenger bag. It even saw a little 'cross racing for two seasons and an 80-mile ride on one occasion. The Raleigh is probably its equal, but size matters.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  2. #2
    Ovaries on the Outside
    Reputation: umarth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    -Peugeot something. It held together long enough for me to get another bike. Converted it to a SS commuter for my friend.
    -Performance R200 (maybe). Steel frame with Sora components. I've had 4-5 friends get started on cycling with that bike.
    -Scattante with 105. It was light and fast and allowed me to tour and commute without much trouble. Sold it.
    -Schwinn Madison. Did a ton of commuting on the bike and some basic touring. Sold it.
    -'89 Rockhopper. Best bang for buck. I tour on it, commute, can rip up singletrack. I have it set up as a fixed commuter, but with light nobs, so will do singletrack fixed in the dryer months.
    -Karate Monkey. Fine as a commuter and mountain bike. Did a 135 mile SS ride on it once. Sold it.
    -Soma Rush. Not as nimble as the Madison, but the bike is really smooth and beautiful.

    My favorite bike is the '89 Rockhopper, but mainly because it has done everything and done everything well.

  3. #3
    a lazy pedaler
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    I can't post here based on my experience...(I have ridden only 2 bikes, if I can consider the second a second bike, which is actually a convert of the first one) but...I'll say it:

    This will be a great thread with pics on it! (at least one of your favorite!, I mean, if it was you favorite you should have tons of it!)...my vote for sticky if it has pics!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    My first real bike (not coaster) was a brand new 1972 Raleigh Super Course (531 straight gauge) because I couldn't afford the International (double butted and Campy). Rode it in the the Niagara Peninsula area (Canadian side) the summers of 1972 and 1973. I commuted from the University of Waterloo dorms to Campus, married students to campus, and downtown. It got tubs and used Mavic/Campy Record wheels (buttted chromoly spokes), and a Sugino 144 BCD crank to replace the cottered Stronglight. It was raced once in the fall of 1972 in the anchorman/bike spot on the team. We started thje final lap just ahead of last tand got o within a few bike lengths of first and well ahead of third for a team second, in an intramural 4 x 2 mile relay on the ring road. I was 5' 11" and 175lbs at the time.

    It commuted to jobs from Nepean to downtown Ottawa, Canada in the summer of 1975 and was converted to clincher rims. Then on the University of Guelph Campus in 1977 to 1980. It was totalled on a ride home from the University of Illinois, September, 1981. The Brooks B15 Narrow Tie saddle, handlebars, and Campy hubs were used in the build of a handbuilt Mercian Frame to replace it. The frame fit me like it was made just for me. Champaign Cycles did the work and I used it to commute at U of I and later, in Wooster Ohio, to the OSU campus there in the summer of 1984. Used for recreational purposes, after that as 35-60 mile commutes were impracticable. It is currently serving to keep my weight off, heart healthy, and ready to commute again in my 1.5-2 hour a day non-commute (unemployed and looking). The frame celebrates 30 years this month:

    Cellphone pic from Minnesota Habitat for Humanity Ride 2009:


    Pic from light thread.

    Last edited by BrianMc; 03-13-2010 at 01:06 PM.

  5. #5
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    My favorite for now is my currrent commuter and my favorite while I had it was the previous one. But my first commuter will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. It was a Schwinn 3 speed- no idea what model, but it would have been a `75 since I got it brand new for my 8th birthday. I rode it daily to school (about 2 miles each way) all the way through 8th grade, delivered newspapers on it for a few years, rode it to my buddies` houses, BMX jumpped it from time to time, and don`t remember ever having a bigger problem than flat tires. When I started high school, my commute got to be too long for the 3-speed, so I went to a series of garage sale 10 speeds, then a Univega 12 speed which was stolen almost immediately. Then I "upgraded" to a Yamaha 175 and didn`t pedal again for almost 20 years

  6. #6
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    I would have to go back to my first 10 speed, circa 1974 (well, really my older sister's that I adopted), as it was such an upgrade from the 1 speed Schwinn I rode forever. Instead of just circling the block over and over, I rode this Peugeot U08 all over NYC. I remember going to Battery Park to figure out how to use the mysterious downtube shifters. It looked a lot like these, no fenders or racks, though, and never did the upside down handlebars. Rode it to H.S. sometimes instead of taking the subway, took it to summer job in VT, rode it most days off, took it to college in ME & job near Acadia National Park. Moved to Portland ME, where it was stolen right after the ''73 Dodge Dart my grandfather gave me when he stopped driving was totalled by a hit and run driver. I felt very bad because I had locked the bike outside my apartment when I was in a hurry, then forgot to bring it in, and a few days later noticed it was missing. Replaced it with a Puch AustroDaimler & a cheap KMart bmx for cruising intown.
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  7. #7
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    Favs so far

    On One ill pompino SS. Ugly as heII but man it was so light, with quick handling. What a riot to ride. Sold for something more versatile

    Curtlo-custom road. Great bike all round and wit the fuglyest bass boat green paint job to boot. That was till some kid with a learning permit hit me bending the frame.

    Now im on a SOMA DC Disc. After a couple of revisions its now the new fav. Now that springs here its time to slap some 28c rubber on there.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    spinergy wheel'd, ss'd, gardin ex-race bike!
    (it's a 62cm with "1984 Los Angeles" stamped on it!)
    it was SOOOO inappropriate, downright twitchy until I got used to it.
    but wow... it made me happy.
    I (and some of my co-workers!!) would actually sit at the window by the watercooler and gaze adoringly at it. I sit and smile, gazing at the brake bridge, the manipulated seatstays, fork blades... beautiful.
    On it... I was curt harnett from light to light!

    I started beating on it pretty badly, and was getting out of shape on bad pavement.
    Not wanting to toss it down the road I decided to pull it off and ride something beefier and less valuable. (max. tire size of 25mm meant no snow clearance, that's another factor)
    BUT, it's being rebuilt as an easy breezy day ride.
    Still ss'd, aksiums instead of the spox, major taylors, probably the honey brooks and seriously old gardin branded brake levers with matching honey hoods! anti-pimping!
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

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