Some advice on my MTB to commuter- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Some advice on my MTB to commuter

    Some advice on my MTB to commuter

    I have been commuting to work for the past year on my Trek 8500 and recently made some changes.

    Just after New Years I picked up a trigon carbon fork
    TRIGON
    I got Maxxis override elite tires 1.5

    I replaced a fox 2011 Terrologic and Hutchison Cobra 2.1 tires.

    Difference for commuting was great. I was noticeable faster but I was worried that going with the rigid fork and thin touring tires would be hard to get used coming from the 100mm fork and wide tires.

    I only really notice the very big pot holes and only if I am going too fast and donít notice it.

    I commute to work and all around town. My work commute is 45 km a day 3 days a week. 20km each way.

    One of the problems I have is that when I want to hit the trails I have to switch out the fork and the tires. Not too big of a deal.

    Also the 8500 does not support a rear rack. When I commute to work I bring my work cloths with me in a back pack. I was wondering how much of a difference throwing that stuff on a rear rack would make. The biggest grip I have with a back pack is when it starts to get warmer my back gets really really sweaty. Does throwing your gear on a rear rack make you go any faster? Or is it all personal preference.

    My other questions was building a 100% commuter and leaving my MTB as a strait MTB bike.
    I live and work in Chengdu, Sichuan China. There are some roads are great but 40% roads are ****. Traffic requires me to jump curbs quite often, accelerate from 25kph to 35 kph , and try to squeeze in-between traffic.

    If I build up a dedicated commuter I will go 1 by 10 drive train with a 38 up front and 11-34 out back. I would want to get something with a rear rack. My main goal is speed and 2nd is comfort

    Should I go with v-brakes, bb7, or slx 2012 disc brakes? Chinese traffic requires you have built up a 3rd eye skill. So there are times maybe once every 3rd ride that I need to slam on the brakes so hard that I lift of the rear wheel. But for the most part my Formula r1` brakes are over kill. Could I get by with V brakes or BB7? That way I can save some money and some weight.
    I want a decent frame with bb30 or bb90 aluminum, rear rack mount, and press fit headset. Any recommendations?
    Also I want a light rack. Some of friends have steal racks and its noticeable heavier. I donít want a seat mounted fender rack. For regular work commutes I would only be putting a change of clothes on my rack. However I would also like to take the bike on weekend touring trips so I would be putting dual panniers on the rack.
    I havenít done too much research on racks but something strong but light for my use, I still want to be able to accelerate when traffic needs me to.

    Last question. A suspension fork with thin touring tires or a rigid fork with wider touring tires. Right now I have 1.5 touring tires with a rigid fork. Which of the two would result in the bigger speed loss with all other things being equal. Ideal I would want an 80mm front fork but those are hard to come by these days. So it would be a 100 mm terrologic with 1.5 touring tires or the trigon carbon fork with 2.0 touring tiers. Which would be faster?

    To summarize: V-brakes, BB7, or 2012 SLX disc. Frame suggestions, rack suggestion, and then front end suggestions.

    Thanks a lot if you read this long post, and if you replied
    Last edited by kumarpr227; 04-03-2012 at 11:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    I've commuted in few Asian cities and know exactly where you are coming from. Singapore is the only place where the roads and driving habits are in anyway conducive to riding on roadie tires. 1.5" is the absolute minimum I would go generally, potholes gratings etc. Tires are going to make the biggest difference to speed, in Singapore I have a set of 23mm roadie tires on 14mm 700c rims pumped up to 100psi, these are significantly faster than riding the same bike with a touring wheelset running Schwalbe Marathon Mondials.
    If you want to use the MTB for trail riding as well you are probably best off getting yourself a dedicated commuter with rigid forks, V brakes are fine. Also I would definately get cromo racks, the aluminium ones break too regularly for my liking and the slightly added weight is not going to make any noticeable speed difference. Tire wise, the Schwalbe Marathon Racer, Maxxis Detonator or Panaracer T Servs are all a good choice - get yourself something that you can pump up to a reasonably high pressure with rims that can withstand the pressure, if speed is the goal
    Last edited by SimpleJon; 04-04-2012 at 12:02 AM.

  3. #3
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    >One of the problems I have is that when I want to hit the trails I have to switch out the fork and the tires. Not too big of a deal.<
    Damn! Every time? You obviously have a lot more patience than I do. I`d have been thinking N+1 after the first swap.

    > The biggest grip I have with a back pack is when it starts to get warmer my back gets really really sweaty. Does throwing your gear on a rear rack make you go any faster? Or is it all personal preference.<
    Preference, as far as comfort goes. Some people don`t mind riding with crap on their backs and dislike slowing down the bike`s handling by a tiny bit. Call me insensitive, but I don`t notice any handling difference with a few extra pounds on my already heavy bikes. A trunk bag or just tying a small load on top of your rack is probably about the same as a small backpack as far as speed goes. Panniers will give more drag than any of those other options.

    >Should I go with v-brakes, bb7, or slx 2012 disc brakes?<
    Why don`t you start with Vs and "either way" wheels and fork, then if it doesn`t cut it, you can always go disc in front? Although the disc + rack problems have been largely solved now, you still have more rack options if you stick with Vs in the rear.

    > Some of friends have steal racks and its noticeable heavier. I donít want a seat mounted fender rack. For regular work commutes I would only be putting a change of clothes on my rack. However I would also like to take the bike on weekend touring trips so I would be putting dual panniers on the rack.<
    Their bikes are heavier, or the racks? For whatever its worth, most of the schnazziest high-zoot racks are steel and the cheap, heavy ones and the cheap and flimsy ones are invariably aluminum. Personally, I have a hard time imagining that there`s so much wieght difference between an aluminum rack and a steel one that you`re going to notice on even a lightish commuter or tourer. For a nice, but not-too-expensive build, you best bang for the buck is probably going to be a plain old Blackburn or one of the modern copies of it. They`re usually aluminum, run around 30 USD, not super heavy, and have been carrying touring panniers since the dawn of time.

  4. #4
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    I had never even though that rear racks interfere with disc brakes.

    When I think about it, it makes perfect sense.

    I think I will go with BB7 up front with avid rim in the back if my rack is in the way.

    So it seems steel over aluminum, I am not too much of a weight wienie. On the bright side My legs will get stronger with the heavier rack.

    Any suggestions on Frame sets? Aluminium, with v brake joints and rack joints, bb30 or bb90 with a pressfit head set. The reason I want the press fit stuff is that I can use my old parts from my MTB on the commuter bike.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    >I had never even though that rear racks interfere with disc brakes.<
    Just so its clear, there ARE racks now that are plug and play for disc brake bikes, but almost any rack will work with rim brakes. There are also racks that mount to QR skewers in case you don`t find all the things you`re looking for in one frame.

    >So it seems steel over aluminum, I am not too much of a weight wienie. On the bright side My legs will get stronger with the heavier rack.<
    I don`t think you`ll find an inexpensive one, but it`ll be nice. Again, weight difference will be negligible.

    >Aluminium, with v brake joints and rack joints, bb30 or bb90 with a pressfit head set.<
    No idea. I still have steel frames, square taper BBs, have never had disc brakes, and am back to threaded headsets on all my bikes. Gonna go kill a wooly mammoth for dinner now

  6. #6
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    I have BB7s on 2 bikes, I would go with those over the V brakes. They stop better, require less fussing, and don't wear down your rims from grit. I think the rigid fork/bigger tires would be better on most commutes than a suspension fork/skinny tire combo, lighter, simpler, no maintenance, cushier on small bumps.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    I think the rigid fork/bigger tires would be better on most commutes than a suspension fork/skinny tire combo, lighter, simpler, no maintenance, cushier on small bumps.
    Agree'd! Plus it looks better IMO. Keep that trigon fork. Those things look awsome. I was looking at those before I got a cheap Mosso.

  8. #8
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    There are plenty of racks that can go on a disc rear wheeled bike. Try the axiom odyssey.
    Gets chain-ring tattoos on both legs!

  9. #9
    CB of the East
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    Not that it answers any of the questions you asked, but why didn't you go with a fork with a lockout. The best of both worlds and if you hit a rough road you just open it up. I'd also be looking for a used set of wheels if I were changing from road to MTB more than a few times a month.

    As for your questions - everybody else's answers were good.

  10. #10
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    No one has mentioned Big Apples, so I will:


    They're pretty heavy, but they roll a lot more smoothly than a knobby mountain bike tire, and they're big enough and cushy enough to roll over anything.

    And it's pretty easy to mount a rack on a non-rack frame using clamps. Here's what I've done on my very dirty 29er:



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