My commuter built for low maintenance- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My commuter built for low maintenance

    Hi,

    I would like to share my experience regarding the commuter I built.

    I would like to use it all year long in Montreal even in the winter.
    I sometime have a heavy backpack, I ride on moderate hilly streets and the winds are quite strong so I need gears. The bike will be outside most of the time and I don't want to maintain it very often.

    Here is the specs:

    price in CAD including taxes poids
    used steel frame (21") 57 2900 Shields Canada
    used steel fork 838
    Used rear wheel 150 2800 Nexus SG-8C20 36 holes
    Front wheel 284 1775 Mavic A119
    SA X-FD drum brake
    Hardware included
    used alu Handlebars 20 268 Devinci
    Nexus grip shifter 168
    Chaincase 55 670 Hesling classic
    used steel Headset 5 478
    used steel Seatpost 5 288
    used bottom bracket 5 282 BB-UN50
    used new chain 5 368 Taya 1/8" singlespeed
    Used alu crankset 50 620 Shimano 600 + 42T chainring
    tires x2 23 1220 Vee Rubber T 700x32
    tubes x2 12 300 damco 700x35/43
    saddle 20 320 Italia
    used brake lever x1 8 100
    pedals x2 14 500 Victor VP-565
    fenders 51 608
    handles 6 106 M.E.C

    Total weight : ~14,6 kgs
    Total cost : ~770 CAD

    And pictures of it:My commuter built for low maintenance-dscn3518.jpgMy commuter built for low maintenance-img_20150329_184335.jpg

    What I've realized during or after the build (this is my firt build):

    - Buying an used IGH can be risky if you can't check the inside of the hub. Mine was rusted and it took me quite some time to clean it up and rebuild.

    - Asking a LBS to build you a custom wheel is expensive (front wheel) if you really care about the cost. If you take some time to gather information about wheelbuilding and find cheap parts, I guess this would be better. I recently built a wheel and it was not so hard (but this is subjective for sure).

    - The overall cost of the parts is more than buying a complete used bike but when you want specific parts, there is no other ways.

    - Chaincase is tricky to adjust to your bike. I had to cut the plastic to make it fit the oversized rear hub. But at the end it's the best way to keep your chain clean and it don't make much noise (chain slapping when you go over holes on the road).

    - IGH paired with revoshifter (or grip shifter) are really useful in cities where you make a lot of start and stop.

    - It will be difficult to use these narrow tires in the deep winter snow. I'm building another bike for that purpose

    Hope it helps other and fell free to post questions about it.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    I'm also testing this clever trick I saw on some internet forums:

    Automobile electric wire conduit for the chain:
    My commuter built for low maintenance-img_20150613_161130%5B1%5D.jpg

    Cost me 7 bucks at Canadian Tire.

    It's easier to fit than a chaincase but also don't protect as much.
    It makes a funny noise, same as plastic bubble wrap exploding :-)

  3. #3
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Very nice, Gorman. I had a Nexus hub for a few years- it was fun. I don`t understand what did with the conduit. You mean that sort of corrugated plastic tubing? Whatever it is, did you wrap the whole chain, even around the rear sprocket and the chainring? That sounds impossible to me, but the chain sure looks thick in your picture, so maybe you found a way????
    Recalculating....

  4. #4
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    It came out nice, congrats! I'm curious to see the chaincase closer up if you have a chance.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys !

    Yes the conduit is the corrugated plastic. The whole chain is wrapped with it.
    In fact, it move with the chain, hence the low noise.
    You can find one or two brands on the web that sell it for bikes but I don't remember the name. I will check wich size I used since the first I bought was too small.

    Some pics of the chaincase:

    My commuter built for low maintenance-dscn3519.jpgMy commuter built for low maintenance-dscn3523.jpgMy commuter built for low maintenance-dscn3531.jpgMy commuter built for low maintenance-dscn3532.jpg

    I had to enlarge the crank exit and the rear hub mating zone.
    The plastic is strong but also easy to cut with a swiss army knife at least that's what I used.
    My first ratio was 18T rear 42T front.
    I recently purchased a 22T rear and wasn't sure if the metal part that connect on the axle will clear it.

    I was able to get a better result later, the crank seem of centered and rear not closed but I cut some more plastics and it came out better.
    I think if you really need good sealing, you should buy a special crankset like Sturmey-Archer or Shimano that goes well with chaincase.
    The Nexus casette arm was also getting in the way

  6. #6
    29er and 26er
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    *** Deleted ***

    Note to self.... Read the entire thread before I post....

  7. #7
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    I'm curious to see the chaincase closer up if you have a chance.
    Quote Originally Posted by gorman2040 View Post
    Some pics of the chaincase:
    Cool chaincase, Gorman. And now that you`ve satisfied Xplorer`s curiosity, how `bout some pics of the corrugated tube thing that rotates with the chain- that`s the part that has me curious
    Recalculating....

  8. #8
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    DIY projects are so inspiring. Great job dude. As a year round commuter a omplete build is my next thing I want to do.

  9. #9
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    Lights?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Cool chaincase, Gorman. And now that you`ve satisfied Xplorer`s curiosity, how `bout some pics of the corrugated tube thing that rotates with the chain- that`s the part that has me curious
    It's a 3/8" corrugated pipe, used for cars.

    Here is some pics:

    My commuter built for low maintenance-img_20150613_155024%5B1%5D.jpg
    My commuter built for low maintenance-img_20150629_104010.jpg

    You can see I've made some holes to help water out of the tube.

    For the lights, well I have some things to put on the wheels that reflect light (I don't know the word in english). I also use some small blinking lights front and rear when needed.

  11. #11
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Well, it`s interesting to say the least !!! I`m not sure I`d want it on my chain, but thanks for showing it off.

    EDIT: We just call those "reflectors". Once in a great while English finds an excuse to make sense
    Recalculating....

  12. #12
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    From my short experience with this:

    + Cleaner when you need to take off your wheel, just take the pipe containing the (greasy) chain.
    + Keep the chain from dust although this is not easy to quantify.

    - Maybe you hear less noise from the chain so you need to check when lube is needed. I was used to hearing the chain more than usual when it needed lubing.
    - If you need to disconnect your chain, make sure the quick link is located at the tube junction. Otherwise you will need to remove all the tube.

    +- Not sure about rain. It can still enter the tube but overall chain is less exposed. I need to check if water is not stuck inside.

    @ Rodar: At least it is not expensive if you want to give it a try.
    I always find english more "make sense" and simple than french :-)

  13. #13
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    After quite some time of use, I can say the wire conduit to protect the chain is not working for me.

    I guess it could work if you don't let your bike outside when it rain and if you clean it periodically but that's not my case.

    When it was raining, the water would enter form the bottom and would not exit through the holes. I could make bigger holes but that would make it less protective.

    I will get back to the chain case and also post picture of the reflective varnish I put on the frame.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorman2040 View Post
    After quite some time of use, I can say the wire conduit to protect the chain is not working for me.

    I guess it could work if you don't let your bike outside when it rain and if you clean it periodically but that's not my case.

    When it was raining, the water would enter form the bottom and would not exit through the holes. I could make bigger holes but that would make it less protective.

    I will get back to the chain case and also post picture of the reflective varnish I put on the frame.
    Certainly not a winter bike?

  15. #15
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    What do you mean ?

    It was originally built as a 4 seasons, low maintenance bike.
    But I really need more footprint when the snow is falling.
    I tested 4" fatbike last year and next I will try 3" 29+.
    When the road is clean I will use this one.

  16. #16
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    So here's the pics:

    On this one you see the difference between standard varnish and the added coat (3 layers) of reflective paint.
    My commuter built for low maintenance-dscn3650.jpg

    This one is the whole frameset (picture taken with flash if you didn't notice)
    My commuter built for low maintenance-dscn3647.jpg

    I also tried the boiled linseed oil treatment inside the frame to make it more resistant to rust. No pics on that but it was quite messy. I guess the best way is to plug all holes and then get some oil inside and then turn the frame in any directions. Also check wich tubes are connected together. Oil won't get everywhere.
    At first I thought it smelled good but after some hours it changed to something less pleasant like fish :-$ but once you let it out for some days, it will disapear.

    And last some closeups of the chaincase running 22x42.
    If you compare with a new one you'll see I needed to cut it a lot 9more than I wanted actually).
    My commuter built for low maintenance-dscn3655.jpg
    My commuter built for low maintenance-dscn3656.jpg
    My commuter built for low maintenance-dscn3657.jpg
    My commuter built for low maintenance-dscn3658.jpg

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorman2040 View Post
    What do you mean ?

    It was originally built as a 4 seasons, low maintenance bike.
    But I really need more footprint when the snow is falling.
    I tested 4" fatbike last year and next I will try 3" 29+.
    When the road is clean I will use this one.
    I ride year round on 700c tires. They do a good job of finding pavement and the 42nrth xerxes do a good job of mixing stud with rubber.

    I wish chain cases were easier to find, I can barely find them at the bike shops or online.

  18. #18
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    Like a lot of people already said it's a personnal thing. I prefer having large tires and I invite everyone to try different combos and find what work best for them.

    For chaincases I completely agree, I had to import it from Netherlands and it cost me more for shipping than the product. I find it wierd that Shimano has no full chaincase.

  19. #19
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    I use one these so-called "chaingliders":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_xOiku_rUQ

    Are they not available in the US? The youtube movie seems to be from down under - should make it from Europe in the other direction too.

  20. #20
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    I can't access Youtube from work but if you are talking about Hebie Chainglider I didn't tried them but it looks to me like the corugated pipe, no protection enough.

    They are available in Canada although more expensive than in Europe.

  21. #21
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    Nope the chainglider has four parts, the front and rear parts both have a left and rear half. First you clip the front pieces together, then you put on the rear piece. It is adjustable in length. The chainglider forms a kind of case around the chain, the main difference to your chaincase is, that yours is attached to the frame, right? The chainglider just rests on the chain. I like mine, no noise and very little drag. For that, my chain holds up twice as long as before and I put only some oil on every second week or so. A collegue of mine put already 12,000m on his and he is still satisfied.

  22. #22
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    After looking at the video, it seems like a good product to try out. I feared that the chainglider might be open at the top on the down part. Not sure if I make myself clear but it's like the corugated pipe.
    The only problem I see for my application if the tiniest model is 38 teeth. Mine is 33 teeth.

    I need to check the different diameter between both :-)

    Thanks for sharing the video.

  23. #23
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    So it's been a year since I got this bike and I learned a few things:

    - Mud flap are really effective protecting you and your drivetrain from sprays (more pics later).
    - Chaincase are tricky to work with. I guess it would be better to have them fixing on the frame rather than axle.
    - I tried the chainglider on another bike and it is really easier to work with (also lighter).
    It's good at first but when water get inside you won't know it until you remove it.
    I think I'll stay with mud flap and cleaning the chain from time to time.
    The chainglider could be okay if your bike is not used so much in the rain I guess.
    My main problem was water getting in around the chainring (I had no mudflap at this time)

    Linseed oil seems to do it's job protecting the frame inside.
    Also 3 layers of varnish isn't too much on the frame :-)

    Regarding snow, normal 700c tire are okay for fresh and not too deep powder but when it's hardening and getting deeper I really feel safer with large 3" tire.
    Plus it keeps you from falling into other frozen tracks like a wagon on a rail.

    More pics later.

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