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    Thread: Experts chime in, what should I do to convert my road bike for daily communting duty?

    1. Member
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      03-13-2012 04:33 PM #1
      I have a 2002 Cannondale R700 Double CAAD5 that doesn't see much use any more. I would like to start commuting with it; but would like to make the bike a little more commuter friendly. Bike has worn tires, and a dead saddle, as well as shimano clipless.

      Bike:


      Factory specs:
      • Frame CAAD5 Road
      • Fork Slice Prodigy Si, alloy steerer
      • Rear Shock n/a
      • Rims Mavic CXP 21, 32 hole
      • Hubs Cannondale Expert
      • Spokes DT Champion
      • Tires Continental Ultra 3000, 700 x 23c
      • Pedals Not Included
      • Crank Cannondale Expert double, 39/53
      • Chain 9-speed
      • Rear Cogs Shimano Tiagra 9-speed, 12-25
      • Bottom Bracket Shimano 105
      • Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra
      • Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
      • Shifters Shimano 105
      • Handlebars Deda 310
      • Stem Cannondale 3-D forged aluminum
      • Headset Campagnolo Record Hiddenset
      • Brakeset Cannondale Expert
      • Brakelevers Shimano 105
      • Saddle Cannondale Expert
      • Seat Post Kalloy SP-248
      • Sizes 48,50,52,54,56,58,60,63
      • Weight 8.6 kg/19 lb (56 cm, 700c)




      Here's what I was thinking:
      - 28mm tires for more cushion, less tramlining
      - Brooks saddle for comfyness
      - Rear fender
      - Platform pedals

      Don't know what else?
      Last edited by Preppy; 03-13-2012 at 04:55 PM.

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      03-13-2012 04:54 PM #2
      Also, I have a 1999 Trek 7000 Alpha ZX Mountain Bike, all original except for fresh MAXXIS lightweight semi-off road tires. In great shape. Comes equipped with Deore XT group, Rock Shox Judy SL fork, and the usual stuff for a $1500 bike of it's era. Any idea what it's worth? I would like to sell.

      Looks like this:


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      03-13-2012 05:28 PM #3
      you have the right idea. comfy saddle, appropriate pedals, and wider tires are important.

      instead of just a rear fender you might go with something like SKS race blades

      http://www.competitivecyclist.com/pr...882.714.1.html
      you can find them cheaper, that was just the first google hit

    4. Member impact's Avatar
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      03-13-2012 05:30 PM #4
      I'm no expert, I just happended to use my mtb to commute occasionaly and liked it so much I built a dedicated commuter. Here are my findings:

      Expecting to ride in the rain? Rear fender is a good start, but full fenders with a front mudflap are better. The front mudflap has to be sufficiently long and wide to prevent any overspray landing on your feet or front chainrings. Even if your bike doesn't have fender mounts, you can get fenders that strap on the fork legs.

      Blinkenlights or some reflective tape is useful if you get caught in the dark.

      Large saddle pack or a rear rack (again, not sure you can mount that on your bike - perhaps a seat post rack might work for you) for carrying stuff like extra clothes, pump, patches, spares etc... .

      Everything also depends on the length of your commute. If it's shorter, you might not need that much stuff.

    5. Member
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      03-13-2012 05:33 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
      you have the right idea. comfy saddle, appropriate pedals, and wider tires are important.

      instead of just a rear fender you might go with something like SKS race blades

      http://www.competitivecyclist.com/pr...882.714.1.html
      you can find them cheaper, that was just the first google hit
      Cool thx.

      Something like this?
      http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...eedez-road.jsp

      The store is close to my condo.

    6. Member merckx56's Avatar
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      03-13-2012 10:04 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Preppy View Post
      Cool thx.

      Something like this?
      http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...eedez-road.jsp

      The store is close to my condo.
      Those fenders work great and are easy to install. I use them on one of my CX bikes through the winter for rain rides.

      I'd pick up some fatter tires too. 700x28 Continental GP 4 Season or the like...

      A good rear blinky light is your friend too! May as well pick up a front blinky while you're there!
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    7. Senior Member J-Tim's Avatar
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      03-13-2012 10:41 PM #7
      As already said, it really depends on the length of your commute. I commute 2-3 times a week to work and back, which is 50km return trip.
      All is done on a regular roadie with 23mm tires and carry my stuff in my backpack, which comes with a hood that I use during the rain.
      Speaking of which, I think a clip-on plastic rear and front fenders would be nice, though when it rains there isn't much you can do really and you're still going to get drenched.

      My biggest issue during the rain are the brakes... or the lack thereof, so a lot of caution is required. Again, something I can still get away with.
      The gloves are off, the wisdom teeth are out
      What you on about ?

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      03-14-2012 11:43 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Preppy View Post
      Also, I have a 1999 Trek 7000 Alpha ZX Mountain Bike, all original except for fresh MAXXIS lightweight semi-off road tires. In great shape. Comes equipped with Deore XT group, Rock Shox Judy SL fork, and the usual stuff for a $1500 bike of it's era. Any idea what it's worth? I would like to sell.

      Looks like this:

      Depending on the length of your commute, you could also choose to use this one as your commuter. Slap some slick high pressure city tires on there, put a rear rack on it (that way you can carry panniers or a trunk instead of a backpack, plus it acts as a rear fender), and you can enjoy the more upright seating position it provides.

    9. 03-14-2012 04:05 PM #9

    10. Senior Member J-Tim's Avatar
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      03-14-2012 08:46 PM #10
      What's wrong with carrying a backpack ?
      The gloves are off, the wisdom teeth are out
      What you on about ?

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      03-14-2012 10:01 PM #11
      Why do you want a rack? If you aren't going to use panniers I don't really see a need for it.

      Fenders are a must, and decent "safety" lights, because we all hate those cyclists that ride at night without lights...

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      03-21-2012 12:49 AM #12
      - Fenders (get full-coverage fenders...I like my Planet Bike Cascades)
      - Lights (Don't cheap out and buy two knog frogs...get the brightest most obnoxious blinkers you can find)
      - Pedals of your choice (I run platforms w/ toe clips in the summer, and Eggbeaters in the winter)
      - A good lock

      Thats it. I'd ride those tires until they fail, then upgrade to the largest you can stuff under your fenders. I commute daily in NYC, and honestly the best thing you can get is fenders and lights. Everything else is personal preference/comfort.

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      03-21-2012 08:46 AM #13
      The mountain bike isn't worth much, maybe 200-300 dollars. Its got an older fork that probably needs some lovin' and it doesn't have discs mounts on it or the frame.

      For the commuter, you can't really mount a good rack on it, so a backpack might be your best option. How long is your commute? What type of roads/paths will you be travelling on? When I've commuted, I just used my regular road bike. What is good for training is good for commuting when the roads are just rural backroads.

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      03-21-2012 09:19 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by msrothwell View Post
      The mountain bike isn't worth much, maybe 200-300 dollars. Its got an older fork that probably needs some lovin' and it doesn't have discs mounts on it or the frame.
      How do I know if the fork needs lovin?
      It does have dropouts for disc brakes on both the frame and fork.

    15. 03-22-2012 10:04 AM #15
      so how far is your commute?
      do you plan on riding every day (ie rain, snow, etc)?
      can you leave clothes/lunch/etc at work for the next day/s?
      what is the terrain like? all road?


      if you plan on driving if its going to rain you dont need fenders. If you drive in some days and can store things at work you wont need to worry about panniers/bag.

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      03-22-2012 10:13 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by audi666 View Post
      so how far is your commute?
      do you plan on riding every day (ie rain, snow, etc)?
      can you leave clothes/lunch/etc at work for the next day/s?
      what is the terrain like? all road?


      if you plan on driving if its going to rain you dont need fenders. If you drive in some days and can store things at work you wont need to worry about panniers/bag.
      This will be my commute:

      http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=95...&z=14&lci=bike

      Approx 3.1mi ~ 21min mixed road and paved path.
      I'll try to keep the riding to fair weather (though have to be prepared right?).
      I will take transit when the weather is crappy.
      I can leave clothes, etc in my office.
      However, I typically take my laptop with me when i go.

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      03-22-2012 11:24 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Preppy View Post
      I have a 2002 Cannondale R700 Double CAAD5 that doesn't see much use any more. I would like to start commuting with it; but would like to make the bike a little more commuter friendly. Bike has worn tires, and a dead saddle, as well as shimano clipless.

      Here's what I was thinking:
      - 28mm tires for more cushion, less tramlining
      - Brooks saddle for comfyness
      - Rear fender
      - Platform pedals

      Don't know what else?
      -28mm with good puncture protection --- IF it clears the brakes. If not, 25mm should suffice. But.. puncture protection is good. Maybe consider Continental Gatorskins

      - Rear fender/rack would be a good idea... should strap the laptop to something other than slinging it around your shoulders

      - Maybe consider Shimano SPD pedals (and get SPD compatible shoes). The A-520 has a platform on one side and the clipless side on the other. With SPD's, you can still walk in them.


      Other Stuff to consider
      - A blinky rear light and a flashing headlight....
      http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3047.html

      -Either reflectors in the spokes or maybe use a presta-shrader adapter and mount this valve mounted tireflys (LEDs) to...
      2008 Passat wagon, 2.0T 6MT with mods
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    18. Moderator the brit's Avatar
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      03-22-2012 12:10 PM #18
      I have a seatpost clamp rack, which works very well and is super easy to remove if needed. I bought some cheap panniers which I permanently mounted on them by sewing and cable tieing.

      Race Blades are nice for being easily removable but longer fenders are better at really stopping the water. You seriously have to get a front fender, not just a rear. Just trust me me on that.

      I have a brand new set of SKS Race Blades that I ordered by accident, if you'd like to try them I was planning to put them up for sale just in time for the nice summer weather
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    19. Member impact's Avatar
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      03-22-2012 02:01 PM #19
      Only 3.1 Miles?

      In that case I wouldn't worry about it too much...


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      03-22-2012 02:12 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by impact View Post
      Only 3.1 Miles?

      In that case I wouldn't worry about it too much...

      ... except I'm not as sexay.

      Thx for the help all...
      Looks like I'll stick with the roadie, do the planned upgrades, and hit the streets.

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      03-22-2012 02:17 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by BsickPassat View Post
      -

      - Maybe consider Shimano SPD pedals (and get SPD compatible shoes). The A-520 has a platform on one side and the clipless side on the other. With SPD's, you can still walk in them.




      Bike currently has these (I swapped em over from my mtn bike).
      They're not very comfortable with regular shoes though, the SPD clip digs into the sole of my shoes (they're also for offroad stuff).

      Suppose I'll change em out. My SPD shoes aren't that comfy to walk around in and I'm not sure I want to use them on our congested streets.

    22. Senior Member F1_Fan's Avatar
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      03-22-2012 07:38 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Preppy View Post
      However, I typically take my laptop with me when i go.
      I prefer a backpack for the laptop (I've got one with a nice padded pocket for it) but a guy I work with swears by those hipster courier bag things.
      There's always money in the banana stand.

    23. Moderator the brit's Avatar
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      03-22-2012 08:07 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by F1_Fan View Post
      I prefer a backpack for the laptop (I've got one with a nice padded pocket for it) but a guy I work with swears by those hipster courier bag things.
      Bontrager has a reasonably priced hipster courier bag thing with a build in laptop section and a ton of padding. I just got one and it seems pretty decent.
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    24. 03-23-2012 08:05 AM #24
      hipster courier bags are designed to easily swing around and let you retrieve your packages for delivery. the most important features of any bag on your back are going to be weather resistance and air flow (to reduce back sweat).

      camelbacks without the bladder are good if your laptop will fit. you can get off brand ones at walmart for super cheap.

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      03-23-2012 09:16 AM #25
      For three miles only on nice days, you've got very few things you need to do:

      -- get your road bike back into shape,
      --get some platform pedals with or without toeclips (no need for clipless pedals or bike-specific shoes for such a short ride, just wear your regular shoes),
      --get a comfortable backpack or messenger bag,
      --get a reflective velcro strip to keep your pants leg out of your chain,
      --ride to work.

      I used to ride to work all the time when I was about 2 miles away from work, and that's all I did. The only extras I had were rain pants and jacket (on rainy days I would wear waterproof shoes, like Timberlands -- but I would do that if I were walking to work on a rainy day).

    26. 03-23-2012 03:44 PM #26
      yah you really dont have to think about much for a 3mi commute. i would just give it a go for a while and try not to buy much other than fenders which are needed to keep you and your bike happy. youll eventually figure out what you like and can upgrade from there.

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      03-23-2012 03:55 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by audi666 View Post
      yah you really dont have to think about much for a 3mi commute. i would just give it a go for a while and try not to buy much other than fenders which are needed to keep you and your bike happy. youll eventually figure out what you like and can upgrade from there.
      Cool.

      Thanks for the input.

      Fenders, tires, saddle for now (existing tires and saddle are shot).
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      04-04-2012 05:09 PM #28
      Thanks for the input all.

      Picked up this stuff for the bike:

      Conti 4 season 700x28


      Brooks B17 Special


      Shimano flip flop touring/atb pedals


      And a tune / cleaning.

      Also sold the Trek for good money!
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      04-05-2012 09:59 AM #29
      nice, good luck breaking in that B17, the Brooks break in period is long and can be painful, but is totally worth it!

      Quote Originally Posted by impact View Post
      Only 3.1 Miles?

      In that case I wouldn't worry about it too much...


      her tires are pretty much flat!

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