What's Your Commuter?

#21
Unfortunately I ended up not getting the bike. On the picture it looked alright. At least good enough to fix it. But seeing it right in front of me, it was a very sad sight.
That bike was dead. It's okay when bike die from riding. Seeing bikes die through neglecting and letting them rot always breaks my heart. It's been a decent bike I think. The fame looked well built from Tange steel and it had all STX components. Too bad.
This one is gone, but I'll keep my eyes open for the next one.
Now I feel I want to get a early steel MTB just for the fun of it (and maybe for some nostalgic reasons). And well, may I even enjoy riding it. Let's see.
 
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#22
May I introduce my new commuter: Batavus Rambler AKA Red Tank (age unknown, but OLD estimated by the components - Exage LX400)

I picked her up for 10 bucks from an lady who wanted to clear out her basement today.
She's in perfect working condition and all original (only fenders, rack and lights were added - I attached a picture of how she was sold back then).
Besides a few very minor scratches and a little cable rub she's spotless (well she's dusty and the grease is getting solid).
Even that plastic ring to protect your trousers from touching the chainrings is scratch less (Since I don't need it I took it off and stored it safely first thing when I got home).
This beast hasn't seen much road yet. And I'm pretty sure she never ever went off road. Actually I doubt she was made with off road riding in mind. She's HEAVY! But don't tell her that I metioned her weight.
Anyway, my boxes of what I'm looking for in a commuter are all ticked. Now, I just need a couple of panniers and I'm set.
And all the money I've saved will be put away for the day when n+1 equals a bike actually made for hitting single tracks.
 

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bloaker

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#23
I like it for the purpose intended. My only change would most likely be the bars/stem.
For a commuter, I like the front end being up a bit more, but a fun purchase regardless.
Enjoy!
 
Likes: pedalist
#24
I like it for the purpose intended. My only change would most likely be the bars/stem.
For a commuter, I like the front end being up a bit more, but a fun purchase regardless.
Enjoy!
I totally agree. Some of the early MTBs (including this one) had some odd geometry. Actually some are unrideable. I remember my first MTB. It was so low at the front and I was so stretched out. I really had a hard time on trails. And definitely would one this one also.
Since she was a cheap and only a beauty in her very special way, I don't mind riding her even with that stem and those bars, as long as I feel comfortable.
But yes, once I decided to keep her those two points are definitly going to be considered.
 

OreoCookie

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#25
My dream commuter is still a MTB-derived (hard tail) frame, a rigid fork, 1x11 gears, appropriate gearing, disc brakes (because this is the 21st century), 40-47 mm tires and flat bars. Unfortunately, it seems nobody makes those exactly, and I'd at the very least have to heavily modify a bike.
 

stu_kawagoe

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#26
May I introduce my new commuter: Batavus Rambler AKA Red Tank (age unknown, but OLD estimated by the components - Exage LX400)

I picked her up for 10 bucks from an lady who wanted to clear out her basement today.
She's in perfect working condition and all original (only fenders, rack and lights were added - I attached a picture of how she was sold back then).
Besides a few very minor scratches and a little cable rub she's spotless (well she's dusty and the grease is getting solid).
Even that plastic ring to protect your trousers from touching the chainrings is scratch less (Since I don't need it I took it off and stored it safely first thing when I got home).
This beast hasn't seen much road yet. And I'm pretty sure she never ever went off road. Actually I doubt she was made with off road riding in mind. She's HEAVY! But don't tell her that I metioned her weight.
Anyway, my boxes of what I'm looking for in a commuter are all ticked. Now, I just need a couple of panniers and I'm set.
And all the money I've saved will be put away for the day when n+1 equals a bike actually made for hitting single tracks.
10 dollars for all that is a bargain! Can you talk me through the handlebars? Does it have bullbars or something? The fenders and tan wall tyres are cool - very on trend for gravel rambling at the moment.

Edit - how big are the wheels?
 
Likes: pedalist

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
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#27
My dream commuter is still a MTB-derived (hard tail) frame, a rigid fork, 1x11 gears, appropriate gearing, disc brakes (because this is the 21st century), 40-47 mm tires and flat bars. Unfortunately, it seems nobody makes those exactly, and I'd at the very least have to heavily modify a bike.
???

Surly Karate Monkey, Focus Raven, Marin Pine, Kona Unit, Rocky Mountain Growler...
Change the tires to 700x47 and your exact bike is done (or 29 x 1.9)
 
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OreoCookie

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#28
???

Surly Karate Monkey, Focus Raven, Marin Pine, Kona Unit, Rocky Mountain Growler...
Change the tires to 700x47 and your exact bike is done (or 29 x 1.9)
I have something quite specific in mind: the Focus Raven and the Growler seem to only come with suspension forks. The Kona Unit apparently has only a single gear. The Marin seems to tick almost all the boxes, except for being 10-speed rather than 11-speed, but I don't like the way it looks and I am not sure the trail geometry is ideal for the city.

I was rather thinking of a MTB-derived cross bike such as this one, but they usually come with a spring-based suspension fork and 3x10 or 2x11 gearing. Of course, I could buy one of those, get a rigid fork and ditch the front derailleur, but it seems like a big oversight in the market. (BTW, if you look at road bike derived cross bikes, you will find plenty with a rigid fork, but these have other compromises like ridiculously tall gears that are unusable.) I might eventually get a used older mountain bike my size and do the surgery myself.
 

bloaker

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#29
You can get a MTB 1x11 setup with brakes for Sub $500. Example - https://www.competitivecyclist.com/shimano-slx-m7000-1x-groupset-oe
Now pick an MTB frame - they are as cheap at $100 depending on what you want. (planet X and other similar brands)
A rigid for is a whopping $100
Buy the wheels you want and mostly done for sub $1K

Unless you are talking about wanting a nice rigid bike for under $100), I guess I don't see the problem.
I wanted a rigid, but wanted wider tires. I bought a Surly Krampus and love it for commuting (admittedly short distance, but I also do off road).
The Karate Monkey as I stated already seems to check the boxed - but they also make the Ogre, Troll, and ECR. All are based on Rigid MTBs.
Each one with a slightly different focus.


The Raven use to be available in rigid, but I guess that changed in the past year or so, but for $100, you now have a rigid.
Same with any Front suspension bike, just swap forks. Sell the old one and possibly profit.

As far as an oversite in the market - I don't know, but my guess is the demand is low.
Most people looking at "cross bikes" that I have noticed just want a comfy bike for cruising around and speed is more important than wide tires.
I can accept there are some people who want this - me included, but no factory every builds exactly what I want.
This is why most my bikes are bought at frame only and built up.
 
#30
10 dollars for all that is a bargain! Can you talk me through the handlebars? Does it have bullbars or something? The fenders and tan wall tyres are cool - very on trend for gravel rambling at the moment.

Edit - how big are the wheels?
The wheels are 26" and the tires are 1.9-2.0" (I didn't check - to me they're WIDE coming from 25mm).
The handlebar is a regular flat bar with bull horn bar ends. Actually I've never owned a bike with bar ends (maybe for a reason). I'll keep them for a while just for the fun of it.
 
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bloaker

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#33
What panniers is everyone using?
Here Ortlieb and Vaude are the most popular brands, I guess.
I have use Ortlieb begs for 7 years. No wear is showing at all and still waterproof.
I also use a frame bag on two bikes as well as on occasion handlebar rolls. (small is revelate, large is apidura)

I also have a cheaper Racktime brand bags. They used to be made by ortlieb.
The Racktime does the job well, but do show some wear.
 

OreoCookie

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#34
You can get a MTB 1x11 setup with brakes for Sub $500. Example - https://www.competitivecyclist.com/shimano-slx-m7000-1x-groupset-oe
Now pick an MTB frame - they are as cheap at $100 depending on what you want. (planet X and other similar brands)
A rigid for is a whopping $100
Buy the wheels you want and mostly done for sub $1K
That's sounds like a reasonable spec for what I have in mind. Probably building it myself will be the best option after all.

Unless you are talking about wanting a nice rigid bike for under $100), I guess I don't see the problem.
The only thing is that I would have liked to be able to order such a bike, that's all.

As far as an oversite in the market - I don't know, but my guess is the demand is low.
Most people looking at "cross bikes" that I have noticed just want a comfy bike for cruising around and speed is more important than wide tires.
My mom has one and she absolutely loves this thing: she went from a 18 kg bike to a 12.5 kg bike and was surprised how much of a difference weight makes (especially in the rear). If I lived in Germany, I would have converted her bike to 1x, because it is clear she didn't (and perhaps still doesn't) understand how to use her gears correctly. 1x would really be a simplification, and she doesn't need MTB climbing gears or a high top gear anyway.
 
Likes: Kangaeroo
#38
I use my LHT.
I think It is nimble enough despite its length and it is very comfortable.
I ride with Marathon 35s.
The photo was in full pannier mode after I stopped off at Costco on the way home.
Nice!
I think you've posted the photo before. But it's nice seeing it again.
Your LHT really looks like a full on cummuter.

After riding my new old bike for about a week now I can say that I'm really enjoying it.
It's surpisingly agile for it's weight and size and the wide tires make it a very smooth ride.
On one hand, I'm definitly a little bit slower than on my road bike (though the difference is just a couple of minutes at the distances I usually ride). On the other hand, I'm way more relaxed when I arrive. I think one reason for that is the position, but another and maybe more important reason is that I don't have to concentrate on the road conditions as much as before.
The only thing I'll have to put my hands on (probably on the weekend) is servicing the front hub. Everything else is in great condition.

@bloaker I actually like the handel the way it this at the moment. I think I'll keep it until I start not liking it anymore. The good thing with this bike is that I'm thinking of aesthetics only in second or maybe even thrid place.
 

Karl

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#39
What panniers is everyone using?
Here Ortlieb and Vaude are the most popular brands, I guess.
I have a set of large and medium sized panniers from Ortlieb. I don't use them much except when I have a large load of stuff to haul. For my commute, I use a backpack for clothes, books and valuables, then I use an Arkel rack trunk for shoes, tools, and whatever else I can fit. Together, the backpack and trunk are just the right size for what I carry and with no pannier, it is a bit easier to maneuver through the turnstiles on cycle paths. The Arkel rack trunk has a neat rack that can attach and detach to the seatpost so it is easy to set up on my Cannondale on the days I choose to go with my road-ish bike that doesn't have eyelets for a rack.