Spend! Spend! Spend!

Posted in commuting, cycling by antisociology on May 13, 2008

Last week’s successful bike commute got me thinking about bike commuting stuff. Sure, for everyday commuting to work I can just ride my race bike. It’s not that bad, and there are ways around the annoyances. I think I might want to get a second bike — if only to save wear and tear on the race bike. You see, I love that bike. It’s a little ratty, but you can’t really get a bike made like that anymore unless you get a custom made frame. Go on. Go and see if you can find a 51cm x 51cm lugged steel frame. I bet you won’t find one. Even if you look on eBay, frames of that size are rare. I’m fond of saying, “When this one breaks, I’m going to take it to a framebuilder and say, ‘Build me one of these!'”

So, what am I looking for in a commuting bike?

  1. A light, thin tubed, steel frame
  2. Clearance and eyelets for racks and fenders
  3. Posts for cantilever brakes
  4. 130mm or 132.5mm rear spacing so that I can run my choice of road and mountain hubs
  5. A slightly long wheelbase for stable but not sleepy handling
  6. Longish chainstays to prevent heel strike when using panniers
  7. A 1″ headtube and threaded headset so that I can get the bars up higher without using a bajillion and one spacers

Does such a bike exist? Sort of. I could try and find a used touring frameset from the 80s. That would most likely have everything I want. Unfortunately, getting such a beast on the road would probably cost me a fair bit of coin. It would be expensive enough that I’d just start thinking about a new bike. Are there any new bikes like that? I think I’ve found three candidates:

  1. The Raleigh One-Way is pretty close
  2. as is the Masi Speciale Commuter
  3. and the IRO Cycles “Rob Roy” (no link, unfortunately)

The challenge is that each one has features that I like that the others don’t have. The Raleigh has cantilever brakes, but the Masi has a beautiful flat crown fork and a derailleur tab should I wish to run gears. The IRO has cantilever studs and is available as a frameset so that I could build it up however I wish (which means, of course, that the final price would be quite a bit higher than the others). The Raleigh is the more complete bike, but the Masi is more beautiful. The list goes on.

One Response

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  1. rob roy said, on May 21, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    […] not that bad, and there are ways around the annoyances. I think I might want to get a second bike focus in Cincy could mean heavy action Fox SportsThe Reds may need to get worse before they […]

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