Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Duffzilla
Posts: 6
Joined: 3 Jul 2018, 10:04pm

Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby Duffzilla » 3 Jul 2018, 11:52pm

Hello forum, here's the deal/

I'm looking for a light, tough, fairly fast, super reliable bike for my daily 30 min commute across Manchester.

I have two bikes at the moment, for a while I've had a specialized crosstrail hybrid that does the job ok, but it's bulky. I don't need the front sus, wide handlebars and gazillion gears as I hardly take it off road.

My newer bike is the opposite, I picked up a second hand, dead simple Charge Plug single speed, which does the job also, but I'm finding I do need a lower gear for Manchester slopes, and a higher gear for the flats to keep the speed up.

I know in theory, I could get something built from scratch but I don't have stacks of cash, probably about £700 budget.

Key points:

I love the bullhorn bars on the Charge and want to keep them, especially having the brake levers on the flat section (rather than on the horns).
Traditional road bike probably a no due to the drop bars - I don't find them comfortable and I don't need that many gears.
I'm after simple gearing i.e. less maintenance.
Brakes - not too fussed but discs useful in the winter rain.

I've looked at the 2018 Kona Paddy Wagon 3 speed (switching to bullhorn bars) but not sure about the internal hub? Am I looking for a bike that doesn't exist or being too picky?

Any thoughts and recommendations welcome!

Thanks

Greystoke
Posts: 182
Joined: 8 May 2018, 7:41am
Location: Lincolnshire

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby Greystoke » 4 Jul 2018, 6:52am

Change the single speed for a Sturmey Archer AW3 hub
...sorted

Tiberius
Posts: 473
Joined: 31 Dec 2014, 8:45am
Location: North East England

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby Tiberius » 4 Jul 2018, 7:27am

Greystoke wrote:Change the single speed for a Sturmey Archer AW3 hub
...sorted


You beat me to it......

I must get up earlier...... :wink:

pwa
Posts: 9616
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby pwa » 4 Jul 2018, 7:54am

Yep, if you like the Plug, adapt it. You are nearly there.

Brucey
Posts: 34312
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby Brucey » 4 Jul 2018, 8:25am

I agree wholeheartedly.

There is also another way (if the interval between gears doesn't suit you or something) and that is to use a derailleur system. Amazingly you can still buy three-speed freewheels (eg see ebay) that use 1/8" chain and these will often fit onto a singlespeed wheel/bike, with minimal modifications. If you can adapt a gear hanger then you have another route to getting something more like what you want.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Duffzilla
Posts: 6
Joined: 3 Jul 2018, 10:04pm

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby Duffzilla » 4 Jul 2018, 9:10am

Thanks for the advice guys! Maybe the 3 speed hub is the right way to go.

Is it easy to fit the shifting mechanism? Not sure the Plug has the right fittings to hold the gear cable in place?

pwa
Posts: 9616
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby pwa » 4 Jul 2018, 9:13am

https://www.bricklanebikes.co.uk/blb-cl ... rizon-blue

Just to illustrate that something very like what you want does exist, wrong bars I know.

Brucey
Posts: 34312
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby Brucey » 4 Jul 2018, 9:36am

Duffzilla wrote:Thanks for the advice guys! Maybe the 3 speed hub is the right way to go.

Is it easy to fit the shifting mechanism? Not sure the Plug has the right fittings to hold the gear cable in place?


SA do various shifters (including a shifter that mounts to the seat post if you want a clean look), and there is a choice of methods at the hub end including

a) a thing called a 'fulcrum clip' that mounts the cable housing to the chainstay or the seat stay (available in different sizes)
Image
or

b) (simpler but less elegant perhaps) a bracket that mounts to the axle
Image

it is none of it difficult to do. Note also that you need no-turn washers (NTWs) (aka anti rotation washers) that have a tab width that matches your dropout slot width, so that the reaction torque does not spin the axle in the frame.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zanda
Posts: 438
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 1:07pm
Contact:

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby Zanda » 4 Jul 2018, 9:52am

Your least expensive option would be to fit a freewheel with a couple more teeth and to add a link to the chain to accommodate. This would allow you to climb hills more easily in the single gear and to coast when you reach higher speeds.

This is a job that's possible at home with simple in expensive tools, and it would be simple to achieve on a bike with rear facing dropouts. You'd need a rear brake if the Charge isn't currently fitted with one.

You'd end up with a single speed (SS), with the benefits of a relatively lightweight, low-drag drive train, requiring no maintenance except occasional chain oil. I rode SS for a 10 mile from Lancashire to South Manchester for about a year and it was my favourite set up, more satisfying than derailleur, more enjoyable on the descents than the SA 3 speed I briefly tried.

Tiberius
Posts: 473
Joined: 31 Dec 2014, 8:45am
Location: North East England

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby Tiberius » 4 Jul 2018, 10:39am

Duffzilla wrote:Thanks for the advice guys! Maybe the 3 speed hub is the right way to go.

Is it easy to fit the shifting mechanism? Not sure the Plug has the right fittings to hold the gear cable in place?


Everything that you need to get you started......https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/700c-28-STUR ... SwFyhaAmF9

I don't like the actual shifter much but that's easily replaced.

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cycleruk
Posts: 5132
Joined: 17 Jan 2009, 9:30pm
Location: Lancashire

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby cycleruk » 4 Jul 2018, 12:22pm

pwa wrote:https://www.bricklanebikes.co.uk/blb-classic-commuter-3spd-bike-horizon-blue
Just to illustrate that something very like what you want does exist, wrong bars I know.

Also trouble fitting mudguards. :roll:
There's no such thing as a tailwind.
It's either a headwind, or you're going well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81gfs4sd76E

pashda
Posts: 1
Joined: 4 Jul 2018, 12:54pm

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby pashda » 4 Jul 2018, 1:01pm

I have the bike you are describing I think
Charge plug 3 speed using the Sturmey archer hub gears I got it from Wiggle who had it made as a special just for them.
I used to commute a hilly 15 miles on it and the 3 speed meant I could get up the hill but still spin at 20mph on the flat.
they dont sell them now. I could sell you mine as it doesnt get used anymore. :)

pwa
Posts: 9616
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby pwa » 4 Jul 2018, 2:35pm

cycleruk wrote:
pwa wrote:https://www.bricklanebikes.co.uk/blb-classic-commuter-3spd-bike-horizon-blue
Just to illustrate that something very like what you want does exist, wrong bars I know.

Also trouble fitting mudguards. :roll:

Yes, I noticed that too. But I was thinking more of sourcing the rear wheel / gears etc and putting them on the OP's existing frame.

Duffzilla
Posts: 6
Joined: 3 Jul 2018, 10:04pm

Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby Duffzilla » 4 Jul 2018, 9:03pm

Some great options here, will check out those hubs.

Contemplating selling both bikes and just putting the cash towards a new single speed with a flip flop hub (Plug is pretty tired to be fair), budget around £600.

Any suggestions? I don't need any hipster silly colours, just quality build.

Zanda
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Re: Do I want a bike that doesn't exist?

Postby Zanda » 4 Jul 2018, 10:18pm

I considered flip flop but decided I would only use one of the sides. The idea of flip flop is nice, but I can't see myself actually taking the wheel off mid ride and getting my hands mucky for the sake of a couple of sprocket teeth. If it had a freewheel that could get me up the steepest hill on my commute, that would be the side I'd use, and I'd keep the wheel that way round all the time.

And so the wheel you have should be good enough, if you just want to run a SS freewheel. You already know you enjoy riding the Plug, which probably means the frame is a good fit for you. That's an argument for sticking with it.