Friday, November 02, 2007

Commuter bike

I've got 3 bikes. Given my current situation it is probably the most bikes that the garage can handle. It's not just me. My wife has 3 and my kids have one each, plus skateboards/scooters.

My bikes right now are a Full suspension mountian bike, rigid mountain bike and a road bike. Both mountain bikes have Stans and run real low tire pressure and full knobbies. I don't really like to ride them around town too much cause they just feeel so slow on the pavement. Fire roads no prob, but riding home at the end of the day is a drag.

I've ridden my road bike sometimes, it faster and feels more fun, but I would't ever want to leave it locked up outside. And riding road shoes/pedals in the town with constant stops/starts is a pain. I could swap out pedals to flats but it would become such a pain I wouldn't do it.

my goal is to ride in once or twice a week. I have not been anywhere near that goal. Once aweek when I have my class might be reasonable if it is not icy or raining.

Regardless, I've been contemplating another bike. dedicated strictly for commuting, but I'd like the side option of running in cyclocross cause you never know.

The choices are
-a rigid mtn bike
-a road bike
--cyclocross bike
-hybrid/performance hybrid

I'm really into these new performance hybrid bikes. Like this one
Or this:

Except I'd like cantilever brakes on the slight chance that they could be used for a cross race.

I just have a thing for these exotic frames built around flat bars. I think it's just cool that there is enough of a market now for something like this that companies are building these kinds of bikes. My issue with the design transition between roadbike bars and flat bars is that I dont think you can just take off the old bar and put a flat bar on and be done with it. The road bar offers the most bang for variety of hand positions. Take away the hoods and the drops and you are left wit just the tops. Which = a flat bar. I ride hills on top of the bar top all day long. But most regular riding is done on the hoods or drops.

I tried one time taking a cross bike and putting a flat bar on it. It felt awkward. Really scrunched up. It felt great on long climbs but elsewhere just didnt worked. I even attemted a 150mm long stem from the vintage pile. It helped with reach but the bike steered like crap.

So I think I want some sort of flat bar road bike. 700c wheels. I'm strugglig with how long a top tube to go. My road bike was custom built with a shorter than normal top tube. So it's actually easy to look for bikes with a longer top tube that I coud use with a flat bar. And I'm looking at frames that are about 3cm longer in the topube. Which would put me bar position between the bar top and bar hoods while using the same length stem on the road bike. I'm not sure if 3cm longer is too long and if I should stick with 10-20cm longer. Or if I go 3cm if a shorter stem would be needed.

One thing I've found with road bikes is that stem length doesn't work the same as with mtn bikes. With mountain bikes I'm a fan of long top tubes and short stems. Short as in 70mm. But with a road bike I found that shorter than 90 was bad as it didn't weight the front enough. 110 seems right for me on a road bike. Not quite sure what a flat bar road bike should be. Split the differenc I guess. I'ts just a commuter anyway.

Here is a drawing of the road bike:
Here is the mtb (some #s are off but itsclose)


Here is the Kona Dew hybrid bike

I'm liking the dew.

I dunno. It's always a thrill to bring a new family member into the fold, then the same issue of space an always working on bikes crop up. It's sad that it takes a new set of wheels to ge me more motivated to commute, but whatver helps can't be all bad.


At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice commuter! I wish I was able to commute, too far and bad traffic.
I love the way we (cyclist) can always justify buying another new bike.
I think this one will pay for itself in a few years, gas is pricey.

Now I need to get a job closer to home, then I'll have an excuse for a commuter. I've been eyeing an Electa Amsterdam, but it looks too nice to lock up in town.

Later on.


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