Making bike into a proper commuter

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blablablacksheep
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Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby blablablacksheep » Thu Jan 03, 2013 22:10 pm

So I currently have a lovely road bike, which is great, but my MTB bike is turning into a handful as a commuting bike.

The Specilized rockhopper has had some upgrades but I'm looking to strip it back to a simple bike to maintain but be quick and light enough to commute on regularly.

I'm thinking singlespeed, or 1x, but have no idea how to go about this so need advice, mainly cost of this little project.

Currently my bike is standard V brake rockhopper with deore upgrades on everything and SLX rear mech.
Ofc fork needs to be replaced with a rigid one but as its V brake its hard finding them.
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The Northern Monkey
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby The Northern Monkey » Thu Jan 03, 2013 22:14 pm

Carbon cycles for forks.

Slick tyres and why get rid of gears?

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supersonic
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby supersonic » Thu Jan 03, 2013 22:38 pm

If you have inclines, keep the gears. Bar ends can help, as can aero clip on bars for faster sections.

bikaholic
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby bikaholic » Fri Jan 04, 2013 01:50 am

Just improvise with what you've got, OP.

If a 700c front wheel and a 700c hybrid fork are easier/cheaper to find then why not try a 69er build:

Image Image


Single speeds are dead easy to build.

If you'd like, I could do a build-along-with-bikaholic master class on how to do it.

It will turn out very cheap if you already have tools and some old, worn-out spares like cassettes and, optionally, crankset/chainrings.

The tools include Allen keys, chain tool, cassette tool, chainwhip (though, you may be able to improvise one), crank extractor, angle grinder and quality sidecutters.

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Peat
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby Peat » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:21 am

Some wrap-around mudguards make it a much more pleasant experience too. My colleague has SKS cromoplastics ones on his rockhopper commuter hack and he stays clean and dry.

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Cat With No Tail
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby Cat With No Tail » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:26 am

I recently changed an old rockhopper into a winter road bike:

viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12881680

I've been on it a couple of months now and I'm really quite impressed, especially after switching back to spds. It keeps up with proper road bikes much better than I first thought it would, and I've got the Strava results to prove it ;)

What's better is that when I take delivery of my shiny new road bike in a couple of months, I'll be able to absolutely destroy all my winter times. :D

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The Rookie
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby The Rookie » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:19 pm

My Commuter (see avatar) uses a Hybrid frame, but everything else is MTB components, my daughters is similar but uses an MTB frame.

You'll know what gears you can use, so if 1x does the job use it (I have 1x on mine, my daughter does not)...I run a 46T chainwheel and an 11-26 cassette which is spot on for my commute, I could expand it using an 11-28, 32 or even 34.

Slick tyres are a must (I've run WTB Slickasuarus and now a Panaracer Ribmo which is faster rolling, my daughter uses budget Schwalbe city jets which are good for their price) I haven't used thinner 'road type' tyres though (eg conti gatorskin). Rigid forks are the other must for road, more efficient and lighter.

Going 1x is easy, post in workshop and tech for specific advice given what you have now.

blablablacksheep
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby blablablacksheep » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:26 pm

The Beginner wrote:My Commuter (see avatar) uses a Hybrid frame, but everything else is MTB components, my daughters is similar but uses an MTB frame.

You'll know what gears you can use, so if 1x does the job use it (I have 1x on mine, my daughter does not)...I run a 46T chainwheel and an 11-26 cassette which is spot on for my commute, I could expand it using an 11-28, 32 or even 34.

Slick tyres are a must (I've run WTB Slickasuarus and now a Panaracer Ribmo which is faster rolling, my daughter uses budget Schwalbe city jets which are good for their price) I haven't used thinner 'road type' tyres though (eg conti gatorskin). Rigid forks are the other must for road, more efficient and lighter.

Going 1x is easy, post in workshop and tech for specific advice given what you have now.


Just been looking through your topic, very nice :D

I dont want to spend a fortune(i imagine your upgrade cost a bit right?) as my Canyon ultimate CF SLX is very much a pitfall for money atm lol

Just want to make major improvements. ie weight atm is a big problem, main areas i NEED to change i see are:

Forks (your Kinesis Maxlight XLT, i've seen for a good price, thinking about getting it to replace toras to keep weight down ect?)

Wheels ( cant really afford £250 superstars atm although my current wheels are Mavic X517 rims, and XT M752 they a little heavy)

keep suggestions coming, i think il scrap singlespeed as i need gears but i might go 1x ring.
London2Brighton Challange 100k!
http://www.justgiving.com/broxbourne-runners

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The Rookie
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby The Rookie » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:52 pm

Your looking at CWNT's bike.

On my hybrid my rear wheel cost £4.75 and the front £10, the whole bike weighs 9.75Kg without rack and guards, my forks are Onza and cost me £45, but just get some steels and they'll still be around 1Kg lighter than sus forks.

I would say
Schwalbe CJ's - £10 each
Rigid steel forks off ebay - £20
Go 1x9 use front mech as chain guide and you'll have a shifter to sell - minus £5 - that's assuming you can do all your commute on the big ring, then remove mid and lowers and put the large in the mid location for a decent chainline.

Later on look at what else you can lighten for low cost.

That will save you about 1.5-1.75Kg and reduce rolling resistance (get those tyres to max pressure) by about 50%.

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Cat With No Tail
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby Cat With No Tail » Fri Jan 04, 2013 21:38 pm

Maxlights are about £80 from Wiggle brand new. The main reason I went for them was the mudguard eyelets. Otherwise I'd have been happy with any other rigid forks.
Exotic are pretty good for rigid forks. www.carboncycles.cc
Bargains can be had on ebay too.

The wheels on mine are not massively light, they're around 1,750g, I bought them mostly because I'm a huge fan of the trizoid hubs (I've got some on my best bike) and wanted something that I can stick some nobblies on for for XC. Your current wheels are probably not that much heavier if at all.

Invest in some nice light road tyres instead.

Grips will save a little more weight too for not much money. Something like some ESI ones, or poshbikes nitrile grips.

blablablacksheep
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby blablablacksheep » Fri Jan 04, 2013 22:50 pm

sorry i meant cwnt .

I've got slick tyres they are marathon plus ones which are amazing given i've done 400ish miles with no punctures but they near impossible to get on and off.

Atm based on advice im thinking of Maxlights (they lighter than toras and have V brake mounts which is a must for any fork i buy)

Wheel wise im still undecided whether to change from my 26"Mavic X517 rims, XT M752 hubs to something else, would changing to 700c wheels be worthwhile?(max spend is around £150ish if i was)

Bar that it be differant tyres(lighter, easier ones to put on and off), then change to 1x gears
London2Brighton Challange 100k!
http://www.justgiving.com/broxbourne-runners

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The Rookie
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby The Rookie » Sat Jan 05, 2013 07:40 am

400 miles without a puncture is routine, I've had 2 punctures in 3000 miles.....

26inch V brake forks won't allow the use of 700c rim braked wheels.....so you need to change both or neither!

Given you have good wheels anyway, I'd stick with them.

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mrmonkfinger
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Re: Making bike into a proper commuter

Postby mrmonkfinger » Mon Jan 07, 2013 08:21 am

blablablacksheep wrote:Wheel wise im still undecided whether to change from my 26"Mavic X517 rims, XT M752 hubs to something else, would changing to 700c wheels be worthwhile?(max spend is around £150ish if i was)


I wouldn't bother. Certainly not to 700c. Other stuff is far more important for commuterification -

slick tyres
some decent mudguards
pannier rack, if you do panniers
maybe some bar-ends
rigid fork

I'd put changing the fork quite low down on the priority list, if you have a lockout. Full length guards can be added onto pretty much any forks without eyelets, even suspension forks, using a few P clips - looks messy but works.


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