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Thread: commuter bike w/ disc brakes & EBB: solid or folly?

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    Default commuter bike w/ disc brakes & EBB: solid or folly?

    I am thinking of simplifying my bike existence rather than continuing to replace too many parts on my current bike, and have been eyeing this:
    http://www.vandesselsports.com/crb.html

    Apparently the EBB uses 4 set screws, which seems to be 2 more than what is often spec'd. For a 23-mile roundtrip commute without a lot of climbing, done year round- does this look like the ticket or are the discs and EBB answers to a question that wasn't asked? Crankset is a square taper FSA Vero with a chainguard mounted on the outer ring position.

    My SS ideal is fat tires and fenders- not overly picky about brakes but the idea of discs in the wet, on a downhill, in the dark of winter has some appeal.

    Any input appreciated.

     

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    If the reason for disk brakes is that this bike is meant to see a lot of wet weather use, then where are the fenders? And if it's meant to be a commuter, where are the luggage racks?
     

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    Default had a commuter with disc brakes

    i used to commute in boston on a disc-equipped cannondale cross bike. the disc brakes were great when i got on the river paths that had snow and ice to clog the rims.

    not sure if the van dessel has the extras you'll need for proper fenders and/or racks but i'd consider the discs as a worthwhile benefit if you commute in nasty weather.
     

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    I've got the Country Road Bob that preceded the one you're looking at (straight downtube). My CRB has horizontal DO's, but can also be fitted for a derailleur hanger. I've only used it as a SS, however.

    It's rock-solid in all conditions, takes a beating and is heavier than Oprah on a binge day. Despite the weight, however, I pull my 4 year-old in a Chariot to school on a nearly daily basis, pull him to Jamestown occasionally, and ride it sans trailer to Jamestown (some climbing) and Ward (more climbing) often.

    Other than a fine ride and SS simplicity going for it, the CRB has fender and rack mounts built in.

    Per the suggestions from many moderators here, I might look at a custom frame when looking for something like the CRB if aluminum isn't your thing (I'll go Ti next time).

    FWIW, I'm rolling on WTB Interwolf 700x38 Sport Tires, but have had many different sets, including some Kenda Kwicks. Some roll faster than others, of course, but the Interwolfs make for a great all-conditions tire in Colorado.

    Enjoy. Hit me with CRB questions if you have any.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by palincss View Post
    If the reason for disk brakes is that this bike is meant to see a lot of wet weather use, then where are the fenders? And if it's meant to be a commuter, where are the luggage racks?
    I would put fenders on it right out of the gate. No rack though, I get by with a small lumbar pack to carry lunch, etc.

    Matthew, I'm glad you like yours; no funky geometry issues? The Van Dessel folks seem to be good people, easy to deal with, etc. They are local to my hometown and I love my Hole Shot.

    I would love to spec a custom frame from someone on these boards, but this purchase would need to net out to only a few hundred bucks outlay combined with selling my commuter- a custom will have to wait a few years and would be intended to be my top-shelf bike at that time. Right now, I am in K.I.S.S. mode.

    I guess my main unanswered question is re: the EBB, who likes them, who has horror stories etc.
     

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    My next commuter will have disc brakes. My current commuter is a Gunnar Crosshairs with Avid Shorty Six squealers. I had to grab a double handful on a 35 mph descent this morning when a car swung into my lane to turn right. The noise made my fillings hurt and I really didn't slow down that much. Waterford makes a touring/commuting with disc brake mounts. I would like an IF Club Racer but I don't see disc mounts on their webpage.
    Weight Doper

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    Robin you are overthinking this and that is the most gawdawful ugly bike I've seen in yrs. you can do alot better. Seriously, if am hearing: simple bike, does not need lots of maintenence, comfortable for a 1-2 hrs. commute, common parts, fits a beefy tyre, possibility for fenders, not alot of $$...how am I doing?

    Two good options. First, look at what 9 out of 10 couriers in the area are riding. These are cobbled together single speed or fixed gear bikes using good old dumpster find frames which typically can fit Michelin Pro Race 25, have eyelets and horizontal dropouts. Hello?

    Second option, buy it! Surly is a rock solid choice in this category and I'm sure folks will chime in with not-to-expensive out of the box solutions. I recall Fuji has a great rig as well. Oh!!! neither are heinous to look at. Yeah buddy that matters even when your project is done on the cheap.

    Peace, TT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Two good options. First, look at what 9 out of 10 couriers in the area are riding. These are cobbled together single speed or fixed gear bikes using good old dumpster find frames which typically can fit Michelin Pro Race 25, have eyelets and horizontal dropouts. Hello?
    Dumpster find + horizontal dropouts + eyelets almost certainly means the frame can fit tires a lot wider than a Michelin 25mm. Back then, we thought a 1 1/8" tire was daringly narrow. I'd expect such a frame could fit a minimum of 28mm. more likely 32.

    And more to the point, why would you want to commute on Michelin Pro Race 25mm tires anyway? They're narrow and expensive. A Panaracer Pasela will be more durable, more comfortable, will last longer, and will cost 1/4 as much. "Keeping it simple" and using narrow racing tires that cost $60 each don't add up to me.

    How's this for an alternate suggestion: Kogswell P/R. The frame and fork is less than $600, comes with horizontal dropouts and a derailleur hanger so you can run them fixed, single speed, internal geared hub or derailleur, comes with durable powdercoat paint, and it's one of the easiest frames to fit fenders on: not only is there ample clearance, but also proper fender mounting fittings and distances correctly figured for a perfect fender line with no fiddling.

    You can build them randonneur/touring style, with drop bars; and you can build them city bike/porteur style, with swept back bars.

    No disk brakes, of course. Almost all have cantilever posts (mine is one of the few that doesn't). Most are built for 584/591 wheels, which give you many choices in tires that are highly appropriate for commuting, most of which don't cost all that much.

    Here's one (belong to Ken Mattina) set up with a porteur rack and a flat bar:



    and here's mine in commuting garb, basically a front-loaded touring bike:

     

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    Right on, Cogswell how could I overlook it? Tremendous value. Good call.

    Ha ha ha ha I'll over look your distain for my so called skinny tyres...diff. strokes don't yah know?

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    OK - EBB's. some people are OK with EBB's. they have been on tandems for years & years. other people will break anything, even someting as simple as an EBB. my experence {yes, my bike has one} is grease the piss out of them & go. i like set screws better. often, when the grease is gone & the unit creaks, people {instead of pulling the BB eccentric and greasing it} will just tighten pinch bolts until they snap. the 4 screws sounds good to me. i'm all for discs, too, although i would not deem them absolutely essential. lastly, i'm with TT - that rig is FUGLY. check out the surly long haul trucker, OR, Bruce Gordon's new off-shore offerings. Steve.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

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    Default Buy one and let us know

    Advantages:
    1) Keeps your tires cleaner in the rain - your sweet brown sidewalls stay clean
    2) Better wet weather braking? - but rims brakes are already pretty good
    3) Better modulation - I've never wished for more modulating when commuting


    Disadvantages:
    1) Harder to mount racks
    2) May be giving up some "ride quality" with front fork
    3) Complexity of EBB

    One of the most well thought disk brake commuters is the Trek Portland. But it's aluminum and geared.


    Dwight
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Right on, Cogswell how could I overlook it? Tremendous value. Good call.

    Ha ha ha ha I'll over look your distain for my so called skinny tyres...diff. strokes don't yah know?
    It's not just that they're narrow -- 38mm tires stay out of a lot of trouble that 25mm tires can easily get into -- but also it's the choice of tire.

    I like Michelin Pro2Race 25s. I have one on my Spectrum. But it's an awfully expensive tire for commuting service, and probably won't be all that robust or long-lived.

    I think if you must have a 25mm, you'd be much better off with the Axial Carbon (the one on the back of my Spectrum was on the front for 3,000 mi and has gone 1,000 miles on the back and still no signs of squaring off or wear) or its current replacement (Krylion?). Less expensive, very robust and talk about long wearing: all the good things you want in a commuting tire.
     

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    Default Fastlane

    As soon as I can convince myself and the wife that such a thing is necessary, I'll probably take a serious look at the new Gunnar Fastlane:

    http://www.gunnarbikes.com/fastlane.php

    I have two other Gunnars, and they're both great bikes.
    Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours. -Richard Bach

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    Bling of any kind on a commuter is silly, you don't need to be all kitted out on an expensive new bike just to ride an hour to work. Make it fit, make it comfortable, make it low maintenance, make it all-weather friendly, make it theft resistant, make it cheap. A dumpster fixed gear with fenders is all the above, nothing safer on ice than a fixed rear wheel with wide soft tires and you can lock it anywhere with minimal fear, lube the chain once a month or so and you can otherwise pretty much ignore maintenance. And you don't even need a track hub, no need with a brake or two. If it needs to be sorta pretty rattle can it or take it a local powdercoater.
     

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    An alternate view might be, you do half your annual mileage on a commuter. If you have a safe place to lock your bike at work, and I do, why not ride a nice bike rather than a piece of junk you got from a dumpster?

    Fixed works for some, not others. Single-speeds also work for some.

    I'm not sure what the big deal is regarding "less maintenance" on a single-speed; 90% of maintenance is cleaning the chain and airing up your tires, and you have to do that just as much with a single speed as with a geared bike (unless, of course, you are using a gear case -- but you don't see those very often).
     

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    Mine is a Specialized TriCross SS. Fat tires. I run 32's with fenders. V-brakes with road levers. I've never needed more than they give. Plenty of rack mounts fore and aft and the fork is one of the best CF forks out there. No chatter under heavy braking. I've ridden many 3+ hour rides on this after work. It's a well balanced bike This is one bike Specialized did right. No cobbling or juryrigging fenders or zipties.

    Commuting with a pack on gets old real fast. Once you get racks you will never ever want to commute with a backpack again.

    I don't know what you want to spend but I spent $700 couple of years ago. Zero maintenance but tires since then.
     

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