How has your commute shaped your bike?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
poetd
Posts: 92
Joined: 16 Jul 2019, 6:12pm

How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby poetd » 5 Aug 2019, 8:54am

Share ways in which your commute has shaped your bike - either in terms of bike choices or bits changed/added/upgraded etc:

My commute is basically 1 big hill, all the way down to work, and all the way back up getting home.
Cannondale Quick disc4 is the weapon of choice, and it serves really well except the seat.

Seat has a banana profile, so downhill I was always bashing up my front areas, and going home the rear area took a beating. :roll:
Soreness every day. :(


Decided enough was enough and invested in a nice totally flat profile seat.
Now I can slide forward and back without injury to man-parts.

Perfection. :mrgreen:

softlips
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Joined: 12 Dec 2016, 8:51pm

Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby softlips » 5 Aug 2019, 9:30am

Brompton M6L - perfect for my commute when I don’t need to drive or fly.

poetd
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Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby poetd » 5 Aug 2019, 9:44am

Nice, how long is your commute? What kind of terrain?
I've only once seen someone on a Brompton going up the hill to where I live and my heart almost broke for the poor chap, was definitely struggling. :shock:

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feefee8
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Location: Fort William

Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby feefee8 » 5 Aug 2019, 12:02pm

My commute is a flat 6 miles each way but with a passenger ferry 4 miles in. I have a trek hybrid with a rack that I usually take a pannier on, which houses clothing change, lunch and can fit laptop and any grocery shopping required. It's not a very heavy bike but sometimes on nicer days, or when I'm not carrying much, I'll take the lighter road bike to give the guys on the boat a break lifting on and off :D :D

PH
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Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby PH » 5 Aug 2019, 1:03pm

In 2003 my longest, dirtiest commute - 4 nights a week, 27 mile round trip, 11 miles of it on a gravely ex rail line - was eating components, though happily coincided with Thorn starting their heavy promotion of Rohloff hubs. It not only shaped the bike I bought for it, but also my cycling and many of my bike decisions since. It convinced me of the benefits of IGH's and dynamo hubs, neither of which I was very aware of before.

whoof
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Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby whoof » 5 Aug 2019, 1:16pm

22 years ago I swopped the double 39/53 chainset for a triple 28/39/50 as I was working at the top of a hill, 1.6 km long with 9 % max gradient. Have changed job a couple of times since and I'm now working at the top of a 2.3 km hill with a max gradient of 13 %, glad I kept the triple. Also 22 years ago the max size of my 6 speed freewheel was 24 tooth, it's now an 8 speed cassette with a 30 T, all in all a drop from 42" to 25". I'm also 22 years older, weigh a bit more and no longer race so my fitness is not what it was.

mig
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Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby mig » 5 Aug 2019, 4:14pm

mostly flat 12 mile plod on a mixture of main roads and rural lanes. did away with the gears many years ago and settled on 48 x 17 fixed. saddlebag for minimal kit required. hard wearing rear tyre coupled with about anything on the front. that's the bike used in the 'light nights.' got a similar second set up but with more clearance on the frame for winter tyres and a front generator hub for the 'dark nights.'

the only thing i need to watch is the very short, steep climb on the homeward leg. i either rip up it if fit or grovel if not. such is life.

poetd
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Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby poetd » 5 Aug 2019, 4:23pm

I would love a fixie, but 5 miles, 4.4% average, 8.1% maximum - my knees would pop long before I got home.

Am seriously contemplating a winter beater though, just so I can keep my main commuter nice and shiny.

I'm a bit of an obsessive when it comes to clean bikes, I've been known to bus it (more often than I'm comfortable admitting) if it's raining - not because I can't handle the wet, but because I worry about my paint job and components. :roll:

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The utility cyclist
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Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby The utility cyclist » 5 Aug 2019, 4:42pm

Personally it never did.

My Raleigh Record Sprint I bought for touring and fast blasts at the weekend, initially I never used it for commuting (I lived in house) but did so when I moved out of the staff accomm. I only ever fitted a rack and no mudguards, I liked the black stripe up my back :lol: Sold that in summer 2002 (after 12 good years) and bought a Ridgeback Genesis Day 02, though I lusted over the Day 03 that had Dura Ace fitted! It promised road bike handling/geometry and also had the rack/guard mounts I'd had on the Raleigh yet it was a flat bar.

it wasn't the commute that made me buy it I was just trying to replicate what the Raleigh offered me for touring/fast rides, commuting needs were very much fulfilled due to the other requirements, touring pretty much covers what you need for commuting plus more IMO. I wasn't particularly looking for a flat bar bike but going from 52/42 + 6 speed 13-24 (maybe 26T big??) the Ridgeback just seemed like a very good all round bike that looked great, was a decent price (circa 35% of new for a mint condition year old bike) and of course having 27 gears, more was better right? 8)

It was one of the best balanced bikes I've ever had, run it with 23mm Vittoria rubino pros (so not commuter tyres as such) was comfortable despite the alu frame and forks and with a rack/guards was ace all year round. 50mph down the local dual carriageway was a cinch yet it could easily carry a heavy load (I was well over a 100kg myself).
After 7 years of absolutely caning the bike in all weathers I decided I'd get something else in same mould and I found a Specialized Globe Pro for sale locally that again was going for peanuts despite having 50 miles on the clock. Not quite as tight as the 02 in handling terms but almost as light and had slightly lower gears, something I noticed when giving it the beans which meant I sacrificed the top end - I can spin out on my local short 7% on the way to the shops.

Aside from adding guards to the Ridgeback and Spesh the commutes in themselves haven't shaped the bikes at all really, they just were picked on the basis that they worked well at what a bike should do anyway, handle well, have a good selection of gears that are easily operated, reasonably light, robust and can carry stuff.
'Commuter' and 'touring' bikes are just concocted phrases for what are in actuality what a normal ordinary everyday bike should be, a bike that can do everything. All other types should have a label as they are more specialised and have a somewhat perceived narrower use though indeed they in turn can be used for a multitude of uses they just may need to be modified more.

softlips
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Joined: 12 Dec 2016, 8:51pm

Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby softlips » 5 Aug 2019, 5:06pm

poetd wrote:Nice, how long is your commute? What kind of terrain?
I've only once seen someone on a Brompton going up the hill to where I live and my heart almost broke for the poor chap, was definitely struggling. :shock:


12 miles home to Doncaster station with a couple of decent hills. Then 4-8 miles in London depending where I’m working.

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TrevA
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Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby TrevA » 5 Aug 2019, 7:43pm

When I was commuting I had a choice of bikes. I used to live 5 miles from work and had a substantial hill to climb on the homeward leg. My commuter of choice for this was my touring bike - a Ridgeback Panorama in fairly standard spec.

Then I moved house and my commute was much flatter but further. I tried commuting on the tourer but found my winter/audax bike significantly faster, whilst still having load carrying capacity. The new commute was 9 miles and would take 35 mins on the winter bike, but 40 on the tourer. With a tailwind I could do it 28 minutes on the winter bike, which is nearly racing speed for me. The tourer was still the more comfortable ride but I found myself valuing speed over comfort.
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drossall
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Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby drossall » 5 Aug 2019, 10:46pm

I spent decades commuting 5.5 miles each way on fixed. Suited me fine. Got through several bikes in that time, one way and another.

Then got made redundant, and the next job was in the Big Smoke, so a folding bike was the only option. Started with a 7-speed Dahon, but that snapped near the hinge, so now I'm another Brompton user (P6R modified with different bars).

I've occasionally used both those folders to ride all the way home - 37 miles - so no, a Brompton isn't a problem on a longer ride or on some decent, though not massive, hills. I virtually never use the bottom gear (P6R means 6-speed), so there's something in reserve for some future day when I take it up bigger ones :D

mig
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Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby mig » 6 Aug 2019, 10:54am

poetd wrote:I would love a fixie, but 5 miles, 4.4% average, 8.1% maximum - my knees would pop long before I got home.

Am seriously contemplating a winter beater though, just so I can keep my main commuter nice and shiny.

I'm a bit of an obsessive when it comes to clean bikes, I've been known to bus it (more often than I'm comfortable admitting) if it's raining - not because I can't handle the wet, but because I worry about my paint job and components. :roll:


you see...i don't think that they would. choose a sensible gear and you'll develop the strength and technique to manage most hills.

poetd
Posts: 92
Joined: 16 Jul 2019, 6:12pm

Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby poetd » 6 Aug 2019, 4:39pm

mig wrote:you see...i don't think that they would. choose a sensible gear and you'll develop the strength and technique to manage most hills.


Heh. :)
They probably wouldn't pop, you're right.
However, mid 40s, not in the shape I was (nor weight :( ). Maybe when I'm fitter. :)

mattsccm
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Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: How has your commute shaped your bike?

Postby mattsccm » 6 Aug 2019, 8:10pm

10 miles each way, 7 being FC gravel. The bikes concession to this is disc brakes to avoid rim eating as in the past. Otherwise its the oldest frame with all the junk that's too good to throw away but to tatty/worn to be seen with by people who know!