This is what I call a perfect commuter bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    This is what I call a perfect commuter bike

    I live in The Netherlands. Here, maybe 90% of the kids go to school on their bikes and 40% of adults go to work on their bicycles.

    Also, we have a lot of rain in the winter.... so we know something about good commuter bikes. Yes, they look boring. But no, they need NO maintenance. NONE at all. No grease, no nothing. An occasional flat tire, thats all. A new chain and cog, every 5 years or so.

    The best are bicyles like this (I prefer rigid bikes, but the industry wants us to buy suspension forks.......). Anyway, you see both:






    The secrets of a perfect commuter bike are:
    * fenders
    * pannier
    * dynamo hub
    * kevlar reinforced tyres --> only very few flat tyres!
    * chain guard. I THINK THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT IF YOU HAVE RAIN, SNOW AND SALT. IT SAVES YOUR CHAIN. No maintenance!
    * geared hub. Nowadays most people have 7 or 8 gears.
    * locks. Many of 'em !

    Yes they are dull, but a hassle free bike that always works, will not put grease on your clothes and does not need maintainance at all IS A JOY !

    Do yo see this type of bike in the USA ?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Demon Cleaner
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    Yes, we do

    Specialized and Breezer both sell bikes like that here. They run around $700-$1000 depending on options (internal hub adds quite a bit).

    However, I'm not a fan of either. I'm currently building up my own version: these are two photos stolen from the Surly boards. I'm going to build a Surly Cross-check more or less like these. Though I will put on a chain guard. Nice thing about using a Cross-check is you can rail the trails on the weekends, or hit steps, RR right-of-ways, and even stairs on your way to work. I think I'll get mine in for about $1100. All new parts, and a fairly nice wheelset.

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  3. #3
    bang
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    cannondale has one.

  4. #4
    life is a barrel o'fun
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    you can rail the trails on the weekends, or hit steps, RR right-of-ways, and even stairs on your way to work.

    This is the kind of talk that gets me all hot-and-bothered along with these sexy pics
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  5. #5
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    Utility Vehicle

    My 97 Db is a do it all bike. It has to be, it's all I've got. I have the Performance seatpost rack. The panniers hold paper grocery bags, or a cold pack of Carona long necks. On top is a travel trunk that stays on most of the time. For errands and short hops, it can't be beat. I'm working on fenders of some kind. Any ideas? TIA

    Ricisan

  6. #6
    ravingbikefiend
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    The Gazelle is a beautiful bike although I would argue that the dynamohub is essential and whether or not it is the sole perfect commuter.

    Despite that, one of my perfect bikes (a Raleigh Superbe) looks like this and has a real working Dynahub... most North American Raleigh's came with a partial chain guard rather than the full guard that is popular in Europe and most of the civilized world.



    I am a big fan of enclosed gear hubs (especially Sturmey Archers) and built another all weather and nearly perfect commuter that runs an SA hub on a much lighter frame than the Superbe... the fenders go on when the weather warrants their use.



    I have just purchased a slightly older Trek 7500 Multitrack to use as an all weather and high speed commuter since it's built to handle a varying range of terrain, will be fitted with fenders, rack, and paniers, and because it runs on 700 c wheels and rubber.

    I thibk this might be the ideal commuter when I'm done changing a few things and will surely have to post a pic or two.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

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  7. #7
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    My dad still has his Gazelle from when we lived in the Netherlands. Those bikes are so comfortable. They're pretty rare in the US. Though in Madison, Wisconsin where bicycle commuting is common, you see bikes similar to that. I miss Holland

  8. #8
    TNC
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    I still like this one.

    This stupid bike with a hodge-podge of odd but very useable parts turned out to be a heck of a neat do-it-all rig. Traffic too jammed up down that block?...construction got the edge of the road you're riding on all torn up?...don't worry. It may not be bike you'd want to ride at Whistler or tackle the Tour de France, but it'll go just about anywhere in relative comfort and even get up to a reasonable speed on long stretches of pavement with that road crank. Plus, you want to get a little time trial fantasy going on the way to work?...just lean over the bars and grab the hoop.
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  9. #9
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    Giant sold these in the US

    Looks like they dropped them for 2007. The LBS has a couple on the floor. I can understand why they were poor sellers. I don't think you could put panniers on the rear rack but, otherwise, it's got all the features of the Gazelle.

    Quote Originally Posted by pieter
    I live in The Netherlands. Here, maybe 90% of the kids go to school on their bikes and 40% of adults go to work on their bicycles.

    Also, we have a lot of rain in the winter.... so we know something about good commuter bikes. Yes, they look boring. But no, they need NO maintenance. NONE at all. No grease, no nothing. An occasional flat tire, thats all. A new chain and cog, every 5 years or so.

    The best are bicyles like this (I prefer rigid bikes, but the industry wants us to buy suspension forks.......). Anyway, you see both:






    The secrets of a perfect commuter bike are:
    * fenders
    * pannier
    * dynamo hub
    * kevlar reinforced tyres --> only very few flat tyres!
    * chain guard. I THINK THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT IF YOU HAVE RAIN, SNOW AND SALT. IT SAVES YOUR CHAIN. No maintenance!
    * geared hub. Nowadays most people have 7 or 8 gears.
    * locks. Many of 'em !

    Yes they are dull, but a hassle free bike that always works, will not put grease on your clothes and does not need maintainance at all IS A JOY !

    Do yo see this type of bike in the USA ?

    Thanks.
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  10. #10
    ravingbikefiend
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    TNC - I love the Trek 930's...especially the earlier ones with those wickedly nice lugged frames.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  11. #11
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    I can understand people wanting a full chain guard or 700c wheels, but this is my ideal commuter. 48 tooth big-ring, slightly worn ultegra 11-21 casette paired with a slightly worn chain whenever it's new chain time for the MTB, butted chromolly frame, box-section 26" wheels, continental TravelContact rear tire, Kenda Kwest 100psi front, Freddy-Fenders, rack from the bone-yard at my shop, and yes, that is a 5 foot long 1 by 8 strapped to it. (I was getting wood for my wife's adarondack chair) I beat the hell out of this thing on a daily basis.
    -Chris
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  12. #12
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    My panniers hold a 12 pk of long necks

  13. #13

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    I live in Portland,OR and I see alot of bikes in that commuter category.

    Direct drive is starting to see some use over here.
    Having a generating hub is getting some momentum as well.

    IMO that chain guard is one of the most important aspects of a commuter bike.

    Most people here in portland ride beaters still though.
    Alot of bikes get stolen so alot of people don't really care for anything that stands out.

  14. #14
    TNC
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    CR, I've had some great results with Kendas also. I went with Kenda Kwicks. They're a 400g folding tire, and I thought they'd absolutely suck on anything other than pavement. Man, they actually perform quite decently. I've even gone down some trails with them, and they don't try to throw you on your butt.

    I'm curious about your use of the 11-21 road cassette. Since commuting generally seems to be more compatible with a wider gear ratio, the road cassette would seem to limit some of the flexibility of the bike. No flame, just an observation on your choice. It's interesting to hear and see different people's setups in this category, because there's definitely no traditional playbook for it. Your setup has a lot of similarities to my Trek 930. I must confess to being somewhat of a wussy as it pertains to fenders. If it looks like rain, I'm not on any bike. However, being in west Texas at least calls for fewer days of fender requirement...LOL!

  15. #15
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    CR, TNC,

    I ordered a pair of Schwalbe Big Apples to put on my GF while I build my commuter, and they have worked out great so far. They are pretty thick at about 2.35", but man they can roll, especially compared to my specialized enduros I usually have on there. One of the best commuter tires on the market in my opinion.
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  16. #16
    TNC
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    Suspension or rigid?

    Quote Originally Posted by dip n ride
    CR, TNC,

    I ordered a pair of Schwalbe Big Apples to put on my GF while I build my commuter, and they have worked out great so far. They are pretty thick at about 2.35", but man they can roll, especially compared to my specialized enduros I usually have on there. One of the best commuter tires on the market in my opinion.
    I can see why one would want higher volume tires on a rigid, but since mine had a front fork and a Thudbuster, I feel I gained a much faster bike with the 1.5 Kwicks. While one might not be racing on their commuter bike, it's kinda nice to use the least amount of effort to get from point A to point B and do it at as fast a pace as possible. Again, it is very interesting to see the varied philosophies and motivations riders have in their choices in this category.

  17. #17
    bikes are people too
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    I can see why one would want higher volume tires on a rigid, but since mine had a front fork and a Thudbuster, I feel I gained a much faster bike with the 1.5 Kwicks. While one might not be racing on their commuter bike, it's kinda nice to use the least amount of effort to get from point A to point B and do it at as fast a pace as possible. Again, it is very interesting to see the varied philosophies and motivations riders have in their choices in this category.
    I have a fork on my GF as well, but when I build my Kiluaea this winter I am going to put the 2.35 big apples on there. Right now, having these enormous tires on my hardtail is like adding an inch of travel to my fork, ha. I agree about getting from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible.. on my Kiluaea I'm going to have a Project 2 fork, the 2.35" big apples, some avid SD-7s and I'm leaning more and more towards an SS drivetrain, I just like the idea of it, especially since DC is mostly flat.

    But back to our original discussion, I agree that the higher volume tires are better for rigid bikes, which is what I will soon have for my commuter.
    2009 Santa Cruz Chameleon
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4
    1973 Schwinn World Sport (Fixed)

  18. #18
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    Your's was the model I followed. When I saw the slick tires and the TB, I knew that was the right track. The lean forward braces on the handlebars "triathelete" might come later. I want to work on standing up and getting stronger. Problem is, I've got a rib out or something else making my back lock up. I do this about 1 per year to remind myself that I have to keep up on self maintainance.

    Ricisan

  19. #19
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    *****

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRogge
    I can understand people wanting a full chain guard or 700c wheels, but this is my ideal commuter. 48 tooth big-ring, slightly worn ultegra 11-21 casette paired with a slightly worn chain whenever it's new chain time for the MTB, butted chromolly frame, box-section 26" wheels, continental TravelContact rear tire, Kenda Kwest 100psi front, Freddy-Fenders, rack from the bone-yard at my shop, and yes, that is a 5 foot long 1 by 8 strapped to it. (I was getting wood for my wife's adarondack chair) I beat the hell out of this thing on a daily basis.
    -Chris
    You're lucky a wind gust didn't hit you on the way home. That would've been ugly.

  21. #21
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    TNC, The Trek 930 makes for a great commuter platform. We do a lot of those, here in Lawrence. My reasoning for the road cassette is that I like having the close gear ratios for on-road riding. With the triple in the front, I rarely find myself needing more gear. There is this one hill up to campus though....I'll just say it makes for a nice warmup before an 8:00 AM class in the winter!
    -Chris
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  22. #22
    Still a child inside...
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    .

    Those are some really classicly shaped bikes...
    I don't know much about Nedherlands, but in Holland for example
    there are NO MOUNTAINS... That's sucks. How about there?

  23. #23
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    My turn. Fenders and rear rack. Full coverage fenders to come soon, rather than the bodged up set on there now.
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  24. #24
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    Anyone know where I can get a chain guard for my commuter bike (3 front chainrings)?

    They are not commonly available in the U.S. seemingly because they are not cool enough, although im already a dork for riding a bike to work anyway so i dont care.

  25. #25
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    I like my old hardtail

    just rebuilt last summer, full descripion in the post your commuter thred
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  26. #26

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    My personal choice is my Bianchi Milano. 7sp. internal/drum brake, fenders, chainguard, added optional rack with a wire basket and a couple of LED headlights.

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