Steel fast commuter

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  • I've been commuting on my old (but still fairly nice) road bike. I've decided though that as a commuter it's not cutting it... I want mudguards and to stop having a sweaty back so am moving to something more commuting specific.

    I picked up a BLB hitchhiker frameset which I'm pretty pleased with. I'm now debating whether to build it up with rim brakes (cheap as I have lots of stuff I can transfer from my road bike) or hydro brakes.

    I'm then planning to do 28mm ish tan walled tyres, back rack with a milk crate or similar to chuck a bag in and mudguards.

    Any top tips on parts I should go for or opinions on the disc Vs rim brake debate?

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  • Thats a frame that I've never heard of but looks nice. Bit like a lht to me. I'd go with v brakes if you have them along with a nice town bar.

  • What about a wald basket on front to put bag in ?
    +1 for v brakes if you already have the wheels for them.

  • I'll need to buy wheels either way as I've donated the ones from the roadie to my wife who had hers stolen yesterday! So the cost differential is I can keep going with my now quite old 10 speed gear or I can get new shifters that do discs. Are Vs an option with drops? I much prefer riding drops so plan to keen them going.

    Re-front rack... I really like the look, but how do they compare to a rear rack for ease of riding, carrying capacity etc?

  • I'd say basket, front platform or rear saddlebag

    Front probably has less capacity than a pannier, and size of a basket can be limited by width of bars, which might stop you carrying a laptop. I like how it handles better than rear loading - rear has most of the weight of the rider anyway

  • Not a big fan of blb stuff but the frame looks rather nice

  • Yeah I think Surly midnight specials and similar bikes are super nice and this seemed like it could be pretty similar and was pretty cheap in Fleabay

  • +1 for a front rack over a rear one. Was initially sceptical but it really is so much nicer to ride. Plus you can get one from SJS that attaches to canti/V studs that's really cheap and handy.

  • Are Vs an option with drops? I much prefer riding drops so plan to keen them going.

    Mini Vs have the right pull ratio for integrated road shifters/levers. I have some of the cheap Tektro ones if you're interested?

  • Having used v-brakes, mini v's, canti's, cable and hydro disc set up in the past in the past I would personally opt for cable discs for lonegevity and reliability. TRP spyres are perfectly capable, work well with 10-speed road shifters and pop up fairly frequently for cheap on the forum!

  • That it not a bad shout... Has the massive benefit of making this much cheaper and if I don't like them can go hydraulic in due course when my 10 speed parts give up and I go 11

    Reviews tend to say the spires don't provide much stopping power though... Have you found that?

  • Get some compressionless cable and the TRPs can work well. I've got some tidy Spyre C's and rotors if you decide you want to give them a try.

  • Tempting... Will work out a plan and PM you if I go with mechanicals (which I'm thinking I may do!)

  • I'd say cable discs as well. With compressionless outers and a decent/careful set-up they're great, and keep a commuter bike a lot cleaner than rim brakes. Which is important in my view, especially if you're commuting year-round.

  • Personally I have found BB7s to be better than the TRPs but might be down to user error

  • Ok sounds like a good plan... Any consunsus on BB7 Vs TRP? Any other contenders?

    What're people's views on dynamo hubs and lights?

  • I'm switching my TRPs out for Shimano Cx77s this weekend. Will report back in due course.

  • Also awesome to have on a commuter! Get a light with a capacitor if possible, so it doesn't go off when you stop at a junction etc. Whether you go for a linked rear light is up to you.

  • My bro uses TRPs with compressionless cables and they’re not far off hydro brakes. Minimal if any stretch and super easy to set up. No experience w BB7’s though. Cheers. T

  • Do you know which cables he's got out of interest?

  • BMX linear cables are the cheapest option for compressionless. Heavier though (does the weight of your outers really bother you?) and not always long enough for drop bar bikes.

  • I was trying to decipher whether one particular brand was significantly better then any other. I've used Jagwire in the past and found them to be a bit meh.

  • There are no such thing as bad brakes IMHO just badly set-up brakes and bad pads..I'm a bit suspicious of how the shops are all selling disc brakes on road bikes because I think that anything which is more technological like hydraulics will need more attention and cost more money to maintain. But I am admittedly a Retro Grouch: I have some look cleats and shoes which have been in my drawer for 15 years. I had a bad knee experience with them so went back to toe straps and clips. I suppose its up to personal preferance..

  • I was about to get rid of my Spyres but compressionless cables + Shimano Ice Tech Discs + Uberbike white pads have revolutionised my braking.

  • The TRP ones work really well for me.

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Steel fast commuter

Posted by Avatar for msparker @msparker