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    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2016
     
    Questions, suggestions and resources for utilizing bicycles in conjuction with other transit options.

    Can We Cycle the "Last Mile"
    http://humantransit.org/2010/04/can-we-all-cycle-the-last-mile.html
    Human Transit
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2016 edited
     
    Mission San Diego Station to Tierrasanta 92124
    https://goo.gl/maps/SHTaahX8sX82

    Looking for input on a good commuter bicycle for cycling from Mission San Diego Station in Mission Valley to Tierrasanta 92124. Selected route would utilize the Murphy Canyon Bike Path and includes 450 feet climbing over a distance of just under 6 miles. Although not a major climb by San Diego standards, the grade is sufficient to push travel time on my current bicycle over my self imposed limit of 30 minutes. As I transfer from trolley to AMTRAK in Old Town for points North, need to keep the bicycle leg of the journey under 30 minutes each way. To be useful, bike would probably need fenders and lights and would definitely need to be transportable on MTS bus and trolley (~44" wheelbase max) and subscribe to AMTRAK Pacific Surfliner Bicycle Carry-On/Trainside rules (with advance reservation of course). Not looking for anything too recherche' but definitely not interested in high-tensile or multi-suspension marvel for this ride either.

    Are there any commuter bicycles that can be purchased new that would subscribe to these parameters and help me get my commute time under 30 minutes?
  1.  
    I have three different 29er frames, all size medium, and they're all under 44" wheelbase. Probably any road, hybrid, or MTB would work for you, depends on your preferences. But just for fun, and to fit into tight spaces, I'd consider something like this:

    http://www.trekbicyclesuperstore.com/product/cannondale-hooligan-1-211920-1.htm

    The lefty fork is a gimmick, and I wish Cannondale would just dump the idea. You would probably be able to mount a splash guard on the downtube instead of an actual fender for the front wheel.

    • CommentAuthorfjl307
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2016
     
    Ever considered a foldable?
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2016
     
    Mini velos, lefties, foldables? Of course! However, I’ve been suspicious of those cute little buggers ever since a Dahon tried to dispatch me on a blazing descent back to the harbor one time. Some people would claim that over consumption of non-performance enhancing beverages was to blame, but I know it’s the folding bike's fault.
    What else ya got?
  2.  
    My brief experience with a foldable (not a Brompton) was not too satisfying. I like to go up and down curbs and I felt that it was only a matter of time before I would suffer catastrophic failure of the ultra-long stem. The mini velos are compact, and look totally fun and bitchin' ,but I have yet to ride one. But I've spent a fair amount of time on 20" wheels and I would have no trouble with that aspect of mini velo life.
    • CommentAuthorerik
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2016
     
    I love my Dahon for multi-modal commuting. It fits on the front of the bus if there is space, but I don't miss the chance to get on the bus if there is no rack space. I do ride it a little more conservatively, but I find the convenience worth the trade-off of not jumping on curbs and staying under 20 mph...

    What bike do you currently have that does not work for you?
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2016 edited
     
    erik: What bike do you currently have that does not work for you?

    My current commuter is a Surly Big Dummy. I love riding my Surly Big Dummy and it makes an excellent commuter; however, it is now considered over size by AMTRAK and does not fit the 44" wheelbase requirement for the bus. It fits very well on the trolley and while both descending speed and stability are excellent, climbing requires some patience.
     photo 4A44DA3B-CC73-4C4F-9406-EF26FF20A15B-382-0000000D809CC82B.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorbatmick
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2016
     
    I swear by my belt drive, internally geared commuter bike. After riding it for almost one and a half years now I can say the speed penalty vs. my road bike is minimal but the gain in comfort, reliability and convenience is priceless. It is standard size (well, XL for me) but I have never had an issue fitting in on the Coaster when I needed a lift.

    My bike is a Spot Brand ACME but there are a number of comparable bikes available. A great place to brows is Joe-Bike in Portland.

    http://www.joe-bike.com/product/soma-wolverine-daily-grinder-complete-city-build-2017-2041.htm

    http://www.joe-bike.com/product/marin-fairfax-sc6-dlx-1853.htm

    http://www.joe-bike.com/product/spot-acme-917.htm
    •  
      CommentAuthorbikingbill
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2016
     
    Shady John:My brief experience with a foldable (not a Brompton) was not too satisfying. I like to go up and down curbs and I felt that it was only a matter of time before I would suffer catastrophic failure of the ultra-long stem. The mini velos are compact, and look totally fun and bitchin' ,but I have yet to ride one. But I've spent a fair amount of time on 20" wheels and I would have no trouble with that aspect of mini velo life.


    The later Brompton model's stem is a pretty stout affair. I've done some rail-trails with no big issues (running Marathon tires). I did have to tighten the hand locking stuff every now and then.

    For me, the Brompton wins because of this:

    Brompton On Plane

    I've taken the bike, on airlines, as carry-on on three different airlines: Virgin America, British Air and Southwest.

    It also have a generous weight capacity and a really good bag system (bag mounts to the frame in front, not the steering).

    Brompton on BART with Bag
    •  
      CommentAuthormarkphilips
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2016 edited
     
    Hmmm... This forum does have a Folding Bike and MiniVelo Thread. Even though I've had many other brand folders in the last decade, I would choose a Bike Friday Pocket Llama or a Brompton for your multimodal route. The Bike Friday Pocket Llama can accomodate FAT high PSI BMX tires for trail riding and rough riding or just getting through San Diego potholed streets; It is foldable and packable in a carry bag or suitcase. My 2008 Brompton M6R folds much smaller than the Llama and fits perfectly behind the Prius driver/passenger seat. It conceals well with the rain cover when boarding packed bus or train; or walking in a restuarant, cafe, or store. It goes where you go: inside your destination and stash it under a table or closet. The Brompton has become my mini-cargobike, rough riding and multi-modal commuter (train, car, boat, airplane).

    Bunny hop over curbs or potholes?


    Trials and Tricks?


    Hills? Options?


    You can even race 'em! Roberto Heras, David Millar raced on Brompton World Championships


    Not satisfied with stock parts? Pimp it out: Titanium, carbon fiber parts, clipless or platform pedals, bullhorn bars, shifters. It is all online for you to investigate.


    Fully Loaded or Light or Credit Card touring? It is a trusty travel companion
    •  
      CommentAuthormarkphilips
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2016 edited
     
    A Cycle Trucks SUB minivelocargobike could work (without the folding capability) but it can certainly haul a lot. It is much more versatile in crowded places than my Surly Big Dummy. It fits on the MTS bike rack and it is much easier to get in the Trolley.

    Another owner just fit 2.8 wide Specialized BMX knobby tires on his.


    Custom PHAT TIRES and FORKS


    LUNA CYCLES in LA have a handful of Cycle Trucks SUB with BBS02 mid-drive electric assist kit
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2016
     
    All very nice bikes, most of which were previously unknown to me.

    Very impressed by the SOMA Wolverine with Joe Bike's Portlandistan build:
    SOMA Wolverine - Portlandistan Build

    And the equally impressive (and possibly more stylish) Spot Acme available with a Joe Bike Portlandistan build:
    Spot Acme - Portlandistan Build

    Was surprised to learn that a production bike available in the US, the Marin Fairfax, is setup with all of the commuter goodies, ie, fenders, rack, dynamo hub, lights:
    Marin Fairfax SC6 DLX
    I see these Marin Bikes are available from several local bike shops including MJ's in North Park, Terra Rhythm in OB, Norte del Border in Sorrento Valley and Performance Bicycle everywhere. Also, looks like Marin defines the category of bike I am looking for as Speed Commute. Seems appropriate on the decent; however, getting under 30 minutes on the climb is still a critical parameter that I don't believe has been met.

    Any other new bicycles out there that would fit into this classification of Speed Commute? Anything that would help me reduce my climb listed on Google Maps as 39 minutes to under 30 minutes with commuter load AND keep my blazing fast pot hole riddled suburban descent safe and enjoyable?
    •  
      CommentAuthormarkphilips
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2016 edited
     
    Add a Hill Topper E-assist to any bike you may choose! ZOOM ZOOM! Of course, you will only use it (while still pedalling) to flatten the hill climb within 30 minutes or less.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2016 edited
     


    markphilips:Add a Hill Topper E-assist to any bike you may choose! ZOOM ZOOM! Of course, you will only use it (while still pedalling) to flatten the hill climb within 30 minutes or less.

    If I do go E-assist I will have to name the bike "Mazda" for ZOOM ZOOM!

    Test rode a Clean Republic Hilltopper conversion and it seemed like it might be a viable solution, especially if I already had a good commuter bike ready for this quick and simple upgrade. I am not very well versed in eBikes and although I thought this system adequate, it just does provide the complete turn-key solution I am looking for. Previously I had been very interested in Superpedestrian's Copenhagen Wheel Flatten City mode; however, I really am in a position that I must n+1 and would like to complete this by 8/2017.

    Are there any other speed commute bicycles that can be purchased new that come already prepared to commute?
    • CommentAuthorfjl307
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2016
     
    bikingbill:
    Shady John:My brief experience with a foldable (not a Brompton) was not too satisfying. I like to go up and down curbs and I felt that it was only a matter of time before I would suffer catastrophic failure of the ultra-long stem. The mini velos are compact, and look totally fun and bitchin' ,but I have yet to ride one. But I've spent a fair amount of time on 20" wheels and I would have no trouble with that aspect of mini velo life.


    The later Brompton model's stem is a pretty stout affair. I've done some rail-trails with no big issues (running Marathon tires). I did have to tighten the hand locking stuff every now and then.

    For me, the Brompton wins because of this:

    Brompton On Plane

    I've taken the bike, on airlines, as carry-on on three different airlines: Virgin America, British Air and Southwest.

    It also have a generous weight capacity and a really good bag system (bag mounts to the frame in front, not the steering).

    Brompton on BART with Bag


    This is why I want a Brompton. To be able to easily fly with a bicycle completes my desire to be able to use one nearly anywhere...
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2016 edited
     
    Would a Randonneur make a good multi-purpose speed commute bike?

    Masi SPECIALE RANDONNEUR 2017


    This bike has steel frame with 650B wheels and the Masi website lists Zumwalts, Cal Coast, Bicycle Discovery, Terra Rhythm and South Bay Bicycles as authorized retailers. Seems with the addition of a 6V3W Shutter Precision PD-8X dynamo hub (thanks to batmick), an Axa Luxx70 Plus Steady light for dynamo hub with USB (also thanks to batmick), a Busch & Muller TopLight Line Plus tailight from Rivendell and some racks I would be pretty well set up for fast commutes to/from transit station and beyond!
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2016
     
    gottobike,

    That bike looks great. I think most of the options shown on this thread are great. As long as you're comfortable on the bike, it will be great. I don't commute by bike every day, but I have been doing most of my riding on a dual suspension 29er, fat knobbies, 25 psi in the tires. I have a backpack, no fenders. It works. I've taken 29ers on the trolley no problem. Definitely handles potholes better than most other bikes. Not the fastest bike on the road, but the speed is pretty much up to me and how much I want to push.

    My point is, don't get too caught up with the machine. Get something that you like and fits in your budget, then ride it.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSigurd
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2016
     
    Are there any belt driven bicycles that are available with drop bars?
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2016
     
    Looks like at least one in this compilation--the Co-Motion Divide:

    http://www.cyclingabout.com/complete-list-offroad-expedition-adventure-touring-bikes/
    • CommentAuthorRohler
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2016
     
    To answer Sigurd's question, these bikes come to mind.
    [[_linker_]]
    •  
      CommentAuthorbatmick
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2016
     
    Shady John:Looks like at least one in this compilation--the Co-Motion Divide:

    http://www.cyclingabout.com/complete-list-offroad-expedition-adventure-touring-bikes/


    The Divide Pinion is what I am saving for now. Absolute masterpiece with belt drive and internally geared bottom bracket so you can run super strong single speed wheels and yet have a gear range that covers everything.

    Problem is, by the time I have the necessary spare change together it will probably be out of production
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2017 edited
     
    The Case for a 1x Drive Train for Bike Commuting.
    (To match example bike's drive train, corrected 1x cogs from 11, 34 to 11, 40. This brings the 5 mph low speed cadence for 1x drive up to 62.)

    Ran a few numbers on 1x drive trains using an on-line calculator that displays cadence/speed values and was pretty impressed with the results. For me, I consider a cadence between 60 and 110 as normal; however, many people seem to be able to spin a little broader range so I have used a cadence between 50 and 120 for this exercise. Of course, your cadence may vary.

    Cadence at Speed
    http://www.bikecalc.com/cadence_at_speed

    Example: 2017 Raleigh Redux
    1x drive train 40x11-40
    650B/27.5(584mm)x2.0
    2017 Raleigh Redux 3

    For high speed, a 1x drive train 40x11 can reach 35mph with a cadence of 120. A 2x drive train 50x11 road compact can attain 44mph with the same cadence of 120. This is a significant difference in top speed; however, when would most commuter cyclists be able to hit speeds of 44mph? Maybe while descending a long 6% plus grade? In our typical urban/sub-urban environments, a long uninterrupted 6% grade is very uncommon.

    For low speed, a bike equipped with a 1x drive train 40x40 travels at 5mph with a cadence of 62 and a bike with 2x drive train 34x28 road compact travels at the same 5mph with a cadence of 51. Numbers for other 2x and 3x road and MTB drive trains produced similarly proportional results.

    Therefore, for simplicity and cost savings I believe a 1x drive train would be very useful (and in many cases preferred) for our typical urban/sub-urban commutes. With 2” wide tires I cannot tell the difference between steel and aluminum bike frames and with the additional tire girth, forays onto dirt paths, over curbs and broken pavement suddenly become much more appealing.

    What do you think? Are you using a 1x drive train or have you considered or tried a 1x drive train for bike commuting? Would a 1x drive train be sufficient for your bike commute, cafe/market rides or transit hopping?
    •  
      CommentAuthorbikingbill
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2017
     
    the chart isn't using this cog set?
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2017 edited
     
    bikingbill:the chart isn't using this cog set?

    Thanks for catching the error! The 1x cogs should have been 11, 40.

    Cadence at Speed
    http://www.bikecalc.com/cadence_at_speed

    For corrected 1x calcs I entered:
    Rim Size: 650b/27.5 (584mm)
    Tire Size: 2.00
    Speed: 5.0 to 45.0 by 1.0
    Chainrings: 40
    Cogs: 11, 40

    For 2x road compact calcs I entered:
    Chainrings: 50, 34
    Cogs: 11, 28

    As I was only interested in comparing cadences for high speed and low speed, I did not bother entering the complete range of cogs.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2017
     
    In the MTB world, 1x has taken over. It works fine for most people, but the strongest arguments for 1x are 1) it allows you to dedicate your left thumb to working a dropper seatpost lever, and 2) doing away with the front derailleur allows more freedom for optimization of the rear suspension design of a full suspension bike. Neither of these arguments applies for a commuter bike. The downside of 1x is, obviously, a compromised gear range. SRAM has committed to a truly ugly 10-46 11 speed cassette to get a wide range, while Shimano has stuck with 11-4x cassettes. Shimano wide-range cassettes are more economical and practical.

    Most MTB riders go with something like a 32t chainring, and with this they get a decent 32/42 or 32/46 low gear (with 27.5 or 29 inch fat tires). They give up a lot on the top end, which is a reasonable tradeoff with an MTB. I am a dinosaur and ride a 2x10 setup, 36/22 front and 11-36 rear, 29er (yes, with a dropper post. I can handle it). If I wanted to keep this low ratio with a 1x system, I'd need a 28t chainwheel and a 11-46 cassette. Maybe OK, but not worth the sacrifice. Also, I actually like the option of dropping from the 36 to the 22 in the front in one shift, instead of having to crank the rear shifter through 4 cogs. For what it's worth, I spin out on road descents at between 25 and 30 mph with my 36/11 on 29er tires.

    For a commuter, I think you could do fine with a 1x system. I understand the appeal of simplicity. Definitely go with Shimano's 11-4x cassettes so that you don't have to spend a fortune on drivetrain maintenance. You'll probably want to commit to 11 speed for this (although Sunrace sells an 11-42 10 speed cassette for about $65). My current "road bike" is a rigid 29er running 35-622 touring tires, 39/26 double in front, 11/36 10 speed in the rear. I do spin out the 39/11 but it's not a big issue for me. I don't have any issue with having to work a front derailleur. I absolutely love having a 26/36 low gear on a road bike for climbing, and I use it all the time.

    That Raleigh Redux looks cool, but I would go with a 29er (700c) version of that idea, vs the 584/27.5. That way you could have your choice of tires/widths, and you would have a 7%ish increase in your top end (which I imagine is more of an issue for you than the 7%ish loss on the low end). There's not a huge selection of 584mm tires that aren't knobbies, though this will probably change over time. You also have to check your rims for width compatibility. For example, my touring 29er is running cross country MTB rims. I forget the actual internal width dimension, but I recall that the minimum tire width is 32 mm. If you want to have the option of running 25mm or even 23mm tires, you would need narrower road-ish rims than what I have.

    FWIW, here's what my bike looks like (I built it up from the frame)--not as pretty as the Redux, I agree, but it works for me:
    • CommentAuthorneohippy
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2017
     
    I have two questions that are similar:
    1. If I put a Wald basket on the front of my bike, can I still put it on the front of an MTS bus?
    2. If I have full fenders on my bike, can I still put it on the front of an MTS bus?

    Basically, does the securing arm on the MTS bus rack have to be close to the bike's head tube? Does it even have to be directly over the front axle of the bike?

    Thanks!
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2017
     
    neohippy

    Looks like you may be in luck. Found this on the San Diego Bikeist. Seems San Diego MTS bike racks may accommodate fenders, baskets and the occasional violin or two. (that red 'dale looks very familiar...)
    San Diego MTS bus with bike rack
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2017
     
    gottobike:The Case for a 1x Drive Train for Bike Commuting.
    (To match example bike's drive train, corrected 1x cogs from 11, 34 to 11, 40. This brings the 5 mph low speed cadence for 1x drive up to 62.)

    Ran a few numbers on 1x drive trains using an on-line calculator that displays cadence/speed values and was pretty impressed with the results. For me, I consider a cadence between 60 and 110 as normal; however, many people seem to be able to spin a little broader range so I have used a cadence between 50 and 120 for this exercise. Of course, your cadence may vary.

    Cadence at Speed
    http://www.bikecalc.com/cadence_at_speed

    Example: 2017 Raleigh Redux
    1x drive train 40x11-40
    650B/27.5(584mm)x2.0
    2017 Raleigh Redux 3

    For high speed, a 1x drive train 40x11 can reach 35mph with a cadence of 120. A 2x drive train 50x11 road compact can attain 44mph with the same cadence of 120. This is a significant difference in top speed; however, when would most commuter cyclists be able to hit speeds of 44mph? Maybe while descending a long 6% plus grade? In our typical urban/sub-urban environments, a long uninterrupted 6% grade is very uncommon.

    For low speed, a bike equipped with a 1x drive train 40x40 travels at 5mph with a cadence of 62 and a bike with 2x drive train 34x28 road compact travels at the same 5mph with a cadence of 51. Numbers for other 2x and 3x road and MTB drive trains produced similarly proportional results.

    Therefore, for simplicity and cost savings I believe a 1x drive train would be very useful (and in many cases preferred) for our typical urban/sub-urban commutes. With 2” wide tires I cannot tell the difference between steel and aluminum bike frames and with the additional tire girth, forays onto dirt paths, over curbs and broken pavement suddenly become much more appealing.

    What do you think? Are you using a 1x drive train or have you considered or tried a 1x drive train for bike commuting? Would a 1x drive train be sufficient for your bike commute, cafe/market rides or transit hopping?


    A bit long-winded, but this guy lays out some of the issues with 1x drivetrains:



    (dropped chains on backpedaling or with dirty chains; power loss when cross-chaining; topping out)
    •  
      CommentAuthorSigurd
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2017
     
    I grew up riding bikes with 3-sp internal gears and internal brakes (front and rear): They were a royal pain to fix flats on, as getting the wheels off was very cumbersome. Has this issue been remedied with modern internal gearing setups?

    neohippy>(that red 'dale looks very familiar...)
    It looks like a much smaller version of my '89 ST600 (although mine doesn't have time trial bars...).
    •  
      CommentAuthorbatmick
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2017 edited
     
    Sigurd:I grew up riding bikes with 3-sp internal gears and internal brakes (front and rear): They were a royal pain to fix flats on, as getting the wheels off was very cumbersome. Has this issue been remedied with modern internal gearing setups?

    neohippy>(that red 'dale looks very familiar...)
    It looks like a much smaller version of my '89 ST600 (although mine doesn't have time trial bars...).


    My Alfine 11 has a quick release. Still a tad more complicated than a cassette/derailleur setup because of the belt drive and you need to disconnect the shifter cable but overall worth the gain in convenience and reduction in maintenance. Nothing compared to those old three speed bikes that I also rode most of my earlier life.

    Plus, with the right tires (Schwalbe Marathon Supreme) flats don't happen very often (though I probably just jinxed it). I've had one flat in the last year with about 5000 miles ridden.
    • CommentAuthorerik
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2017
     
    gottobike:
    What do you think? Are you using a 1x drive train or have you considered or tried a 1x drive train for bike commuting? Would a 1x drive train be sufficient for your bike commute, cafe/market rides or transit hopping?

    I commuted on an old Cannondale that I had set up as a 1x8 for a while. Had a 36 up front and an 11-32 in the back. Was running 26" wheels with not-so-knobby tires. Sure, it was not a performance beast, but I enjoyed it. 36x12 is not "fast", but I was never racing anyone while commuting. I later put flat bars, knobby tires and a 32t chainring on and did some actual mountain biking on it.



    The modern wide range 1xN systems all interest me, but I am cheap. Eventually I might be interested in one, but I honestly don't know that I need that much gear width for just commuting and I like have two chainrings for most serious cycling.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSigurd
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2017 edited
     
    I predict - you read it here first - that triple chainrings (3x6) and 26" wheels on a fully rigid frame will be the next big thing.

    Wait - make that triple chainring; 26" wheels and rigid already is de rigueur.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbikingbill
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2017
     
    Sigurd:I grew up riding bikes with 3-sp internal gears and internal brakes (front and rear): They were a royal pain to fix flats on, as getting the wheels off was very cumbersome. Has this issue been remedied with modern internal gearing setups?


    The later Rohloff 14 speed hubs have a simply disconnect on the cable shifting.



    However REPLACING the shifting cables (yes, there are two ... a push/pull arrangement) is a bit complex. :-)
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2017 edited
     
    The Safari has long been my favorite multi-function bicycle. Fun to ride just about anywhere, this has been my Swiss Army knife of bicycles that has excelled at commuting, transit hopping, touring and just enjoying a bike ride. One of the unique features of this bike is the trekking handlebars that I have found very comfortable for both long rides and short commutes across town.

    Looks like the latest rendition of this bike has just been released as the Co-op Cycles ADV 2.1 Bike - 2017:
    Co-op Cycles ADV 2.1 Bike - 2017

    Does anyone have any experience using trekking handle bars on a commuter/touring bike?

    Are there any other bikes available in the USA that come equipped with trekking handlebars?
    • CommentAuthorerik
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017
     
    gottobike:The Safari has long been my favorite multi-function bicycle. Fun to ride just about anywhere, this has been my Swiss Army knife of bicycles that has excelled at commuting, transit hopping, touring and just enjoying a bike ride. One of the unique features of this bike is the trekking handlebars that I have found very comfortable for both long rides and short commutes across town.

    Does anyone have any experience using trekking handle bars on a commuter/touring bike?

    Are there any other bikes available in the USA that come equipped with trekking handlebars?

    I was in REI last night and they had an unused 2014 Safari in the XL size on the floor. It was, of course, dramatically marked down. I have wanted one of these for a long time, so I grabbed it. I have never ridden long distances on those bars before, but I do have a history of trying all manner of handlebar layout, so I am pretty confident of what I like. I can report back after some commuting time next week. The initial feeling is good: Down where the levers are, it feels like an aggressive mountain biking posture, the sides are kind of like bar end extensions, and the top stretches you a bit. I see myself spending most of my time in the lower flats or the upper sides. On the bike I just bought, the bars are tilted a little steeply up in the front; I might consider rotating them a bit to bring the controls up and the front flats down.

    The 2014 model is mostly Deore equipped. It has V-brakes, but disk mounts on the frame and comes with disk hubs, so it is an easy upgrade if I want to later (but I like V-brakes, so no hurry). I like the paint job, a classy brown, white and green deal with the writing in script. It has grip shifters, which I know they swapped for thumb shifters on the newer models. I might consider that change eventually. The grip shift feels a hair awkward on the bottom of the bars, but I might just need to get used to it.

    I think this might be the only bike from a major manufacturer with trekking bars in the US. I certainly haven't seen any.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2017 edited
     
    erik:
    The 2014 model is mostly Deore equipped. It has V-brakes, but disk mounts on the frame and comes with disk hubs, so it is an easy upgrade if I want to later (but I like V-brakes, so no hurry). I like the paint job, a classy brown, white and green deal with the writing in script. It has grip shifters, which I know they swapped for thumb shifters on the newer models. I might consider that change eventually. The grip shift feels a hair awkward on the bottom of the bars, but I might just need to get used to it.

    That's sounds like a very nice bike, erik, and look forward to your commuting report. Being a fiscal conservative, I find the only thing better than a new bicycle is a great deal on a new bicycle and I really like the grip shifts. I think of them as manumatic (tiptronic) for bikes. The butterfly wing shape of the handle bars affords multiple hand postions and it feels so good to be able to stretch the fingers across the front and back portions of the bars. Another great feature of trekking bars is they can be flipped (requires shifter and brake levers to be swapped left/right) to gain a significant rise on the handlebars or easily rotated a few degrees to slightly raise or lower your profile. -GTB
    • CommentAuthorerik
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2017 edited
     
    gottobike:
    erik:
    The 2014 model is mostly Deore equipped. It has V-brakes, but disk mounts on the frame and comes with disk hubs, so it is an easy upgrade if I want to later (but I like V-brakes, so no hurry). I like the paint job, a classy brown, white and green deal with the writing in script. It has grip shifters, which I know they swapped for thumb shifters on the newer models. I might consider that change eventually. The grip shift feels a hair awkward on the bottom of the bars, but I might just need to get used to it.

    That's sounds like a very nice bike, erik, and look forward to your commuting report. Being a fiscal conservative, I find the only thing better than a new bicycle is a great deal on a new bicycle and I really like the grip shifts. I think of them as manumatic (tiptronic) for bikes. The butterfly wing shape of the handle bars affords multiple hand postions and it feels so good to be able to stretch the fingers across the front and back portions of the bars. Another great feature of trekking bars is they can be flipped (requires shifter and brake levers to be swapped left/right) to gain a significant rise on the handlebars or easily rotated a few degrees to slightly raise or lower your profile. -GTB

    So far, so good. I like the bars quite a bit, although I might need to find some fix for a particular issue: the grip shifters cause me to twist around the bars in both directions, which seems like it will always have the potential to loosen my bar tape. I have seen this sort of bar set up with mountain bike grips in the flats and then bar tape for the rest. The other option is thumb or trigger shifters to get rid of the twisting motion. I will have to think it through.

    The long wheelbase is nice, but might be poor for multimodal options. Harder to cram it inside other vehicles.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2017
     
    Thanks for the report on the trekking bars, erik. The Novara Safari I rode for several years was an older model. The grip shift had a transition piece, sort of a short tapered mountain bike grip, covering the first 1 1/2" or so of the the flats. This was sufficient to prevent unwrapping of bar tape. Although many newer models have good quality thumb/trigger shifters I still prefer the ergonomics of the grip shifters.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2017 edited
     

    For fast commuter/transit hopper, ordered the 2017 Giant Escape City from Cal Coast Bicycles for my wife. Comes with 3x8 drive train, 700x32mm tires, fenders, rack, kickstand, bell in a nice platinum champagne color. Might try to fit a small front rando style rack like the Surly 8-Pack, a COBI and maybe devise something to carry yoga mat.
  3.  
    Looks like a pretty solid choice, Gottobike. My only criticisms would be that the Al fork might ride a little harsh (but maybe not, depending on tires and fork design), and something like 42/32/24 would make more sense for most people, when paired with that 11-32 cassette. The only people who really need a 48-11 are the type who contend for the yellow jersey in the Tour prologue. 48-11 at 100 rpm is 35 mph.