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Building commuter bike, want input on my ideas(8 posts)

Building commuter bike, want input on my ideasDT
Mar 21, 2001 8:38 PM
I have a 98 Klein Stage Comp R frame I was hit by a car on last summer that I want to build up as a commuter bike. I want to make this unique as well as functional. I have about a 1.5 mile commute, flat, so gearing is not particularly a concern. The frame has the square downtube brazeons. I used to have STI on this frame, but can I use those for downtube shifters? I want to put a single ring in the front, and maybe an 8spd in the back, so I would only need the right shifter brazeon. Also, I want to put cowhorn handlebars on it with the bar-end brake levers. Where would I look to find a single ring crankset? Would a double set work, just without attaching the inner ring? What do you all think about this setup for a commuter? Thanks for your input! Also, thanks to all for the inuputs on my wife riding while she's pregnant post I had earlier!
re: Building commuter bike, want input on my ideasHank
Mar 21, 2001 10:20 PM
Excel Sports has the shorty track c-ring bolts--you'll need those to run one c-ring (well, you can use spacers but it's ugly). Downtube shifters should work fine. I'd keep drop bars but that's me. Have fun.
re: Building commuter bike, want input on my ideast montee
Mar 22, 2001 4:47 AM
don't forget the fenders! they make all the difference on a commuter bike. do not worry about threaded fittings or lack therof on your frame , use zip ties. go to the rivendell site for lots of great, practical ideas. i started out like you years ago (even the cowhorn part) and it has been a lot of fun evolving the bike over the years.
What's the Rivendell site? (nm)DT
Mar 22, 2001 5:13 AM
Ideas for commuter bikeMass Biker
Mar 22, 2001 6:20 AM
Think about the following:
* single speed (or fixed) since the commute is flat - less stuff to break, less stuff to keep clean
* flat bars for a more upright/heads up riding position, or perhaps the moustache bars that you can find at some online sources. Drop bars give you a bit more variety too. I have found that the cowhorn bars get me nice and aero, but that isn't how I like to ride while commuting...
* full coverage fenders
* rack and those "in town" collapsible panniers (made out of cordura?) that come in handy for groceries/other loads
* platform pedals for total versatility, or perhaps those SPD/platform hybrids

Have fun with it
Mar 22, 2001 7:02 AM
Of course you can use DT braze-ons for DT shifters- that was their original use before STI/Ergo! Single-ring cranks are the norm for track (expensive and typically shorter) or BMX (if you can find the right length). The cheap way is to just get single bolts- any bike shop that has BMX stuff will to have these. Fixed will be tough as the Klein doesn't have horizontal dropouts; you can do single-speed, but you will need a chain tensioner (old derailleur, Singleator and the like).; w/about a singlespeed?Cory
Mar 22, 2001 7:21 AM
Rivendell's got some of the stuff you need, and Surly (, I'm pretty sure) has parts and also information about conversions. Sheldon Brown/Harris Cyclery has pages of stuff that should help, too.
For the brake levers, you can use your existing levers. Just slip them on the cowhorns backward (so the open end of the lever points away from you), clamp 'em where you want 'em and route the cables. I did that with a commuter years ago, and it works fine.
What about going single-speed, for a commute that short? Surly and Harris have a lot of stuff about that, too.
I think eliminating excuses is the most important ...Humma Hah
Mar 22, 2001 2:11 PM
... consideration in designing a commuter. Anything you are comfortable riding will do well enough (although you might want to stay close to the fit and feel of your sport bike).

I would consider fenders on your commuter if you live in an area of frequent rain or muddy roads. This eliminates the excuse: it might rain!

Wear a pack or have a rack, panniers, etc on the bike so it is possible to stop at the store on the way home. There goes another excuse!

Have a lock, even if you can bring it inside at work. This is also so you can drop by the store.

Lights -- must have lights. I don't wanna hear the excuse that you couldn't ride because there's a chance you might have to work late.

Reliable. Maybe even to the point of something heavy and inefficient like thorn-resistant tubes or some no-flat system. No excuses like "well, there was a broken bottle on Main Street last week, and I'm running a little late and don't wanna risk a flat."

Singlespeeders eliminate rings from front ders all the time. One approach is to tweak the limit screws so the der won't shift, and unbolt the unused ring (won't work on Shimano Acera or other cheapies that are welded together).

As short and flat as your run is, you might consider going "only" -- singlespeed or fixed.

Comfortable. Fun. Not so valuable you're scared to turn your back on it.