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Your ultimate no nosense low maintenance bike....

Dirty KarlosDirty Karlos Posts: 59
edited August 2007 in Commuting chat
...for commuting daily, maybe the odd spot of light touring maybe even off road.

What would you choose and why?


EDIT: censored the typo in the title, sorry! :x


  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    something fixed/SS, for sure.

    which is what i have.

    maybe even ideally, a condor tempo or something like that, nice frame, mudguards, bottle bosses, fixed wheel. joy.
  • smiorgansmiorgan Posts: 195
    ...for commuting daily, maybe the odd spot of light touring maybe even off road.

    ...and the moon on a stick.

    Umm, a pompino or similar might stretch to all of those things, with a compromise or two (limited offroad, few hills). Once derailleurs are added it's no longer low maintainence IMHO (or if it is it's no fun to ride). One chap built up a pomp wih a hub gear though.
  • AndyGatesAndyGates Posts: 8,467
    For commuting I'd give the Carrera Subway with the hub gear a serious look. That's a grand little machine in the style of the Chinese Delivery Bike: do anything, ugly. If you want to ride t owork, haul a trailer to the tip, go on day pootles... that's pretty good.

    Pomp for a fun ride, but you might not have the terrain or legs for a oner.

    Of course if you say "low maintenance" meaning "I'm lazy" you'll be riding on flat tyres and a dry chain anyway.
    Wanted: Penny farthing. Please PM me!
    Advice for kilted riders: top-tubes are cold.
  • I was hoping someone would suggest a Rohloff, just for me to justify the expense :wink:
  • JustRidecpJustRidecp Posts: 302
    edited July 2007
    Ed Bike Coop do their courier city bike with a nexus hub.

    Sorry for stuffing the page up with the URL guys! :oops:
    Real Ultimate Power

    "If I weren't a professional cyclist, I'd be a porn star" - Super Mario
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Get a Rohloff :D
  • buddhabuddha Posts: 1,088
    smiorgan wrote:
    One chap built up a pomp wih a hub gear though.
    That's what I've done with my pomp.
    A cheap Sturmey Archer 5 speed hub (brand new, only £40 on ebay)
    Ditched the canti brakes for V's. And initially fitted riser bars (for off road control) but now use On-One's Mary bars, as they're more comfy. But that's just personal preference.

    As far as the SA hub gear goes. No trouble in the 6 months I've had it. Pretty good going, as I ride it off-road a lot, and ride it quite aggressively.

    What has surprised me most of all is that I'm still on the original chain (single-speed connex for £10ish). Whereas my MTB sees at least 3/year.

    One downside with the stock, fully-built pomp is the BB is pants (truvativ GXP). Well, the bearings anyway. Especially for off road. But you can change the bearings for tougher, better sealed ones. Nicklouse knows the company who sell these.
    <center><font size="1"><font color="navy">Lardy</font id="navy"><font color="blue"> | </font id="blue"><font color="navy">Madame de Pompadour</font id="navy"></font id="size1"></center>
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    JustRidecp wrote:
    Ed Bike Coop do their courier city bike with a nexus hub.

    Courier City

    Sorry for stuffing the page up with the URL guys! :oops:

    I've fixed this quote for you, if you quote my message, you'll see how to fix yours innit.
  • bryanmbryanm Posts: 218
    I'd probably get a cyclo-cross bike. Good for road commuting if you put slicks on, bit more robust to take off road with nobbly tyres. Custom frame builder would put rack mounts on for panniers.
  • DPVDPV Posts: 108
    For truly no nonsense low maintenance, your only choice is a wooden-wheeled pennyfarthing. Drivetrain, shmivetrain.
  • GreenbankGreenbank Posts: 731
    peejay78 wrote:
    a condor tempo

    Depends on what he means by off-road. My Tempo coped perfectly well with a bit of bike path next to a canal in Hythe at the weekend, but any tricky off-road would be interesting on fixed.
    If I had a baby elephant signature, I\'d use that.
  • avdaveavdave Posts: 42
    I've gone for a Thorn Catalyst with Rohloff Hub. It's just due it's first oil change which is just about the only maintenance it's had. I have it set up for commuting with 1.5 tyres mudguards and a SON dynamo hub. A lot of money but I have secure parking at work and I expect to be still riding it in 20 years. It's a good commuter and can be turned into a tourer or mountain bike easily. The Rohloff is expensive but if money were no object I'd have a stable full of Rohloff bikes.
  • dirty karlos...i'll be that man to recommend a rohloff hub, i've got a thorn exp all in black no decals, looks the cats whiskers and best of all nobody knows what its is, people often quite surprised at the xtr/phil wood spec! love using it for my 8 mile commute.
    dangerous jules.
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    problem with anything that good is that you trade maintenance hassle for "where the hell can I park this safely" hassle
  • jibijibi Posts: 2,463
    I have to go with a Thorn too

    My Raven Catalyst has proven itself to require the least maintenance, in the most terrible conditions.

    Rohloff,..... change the oil every 5000km and forget about it.

  • graham_ggraham_g Posts: 652
    The guys who are saying 'go custom' are the ones like me for whom it has taken several bikes to realise what they like, how they like it and how they'll use it - there's rarely anything on the market that caters for these individual specific requirements! However, I have to admit that Thorn does look like the nearest production alternative to those requirements!
  • GreenbankGreenbank Posts: 731
    My only problem with Thorn is that with all that engineering and design expertise they can't come up with an ergo/STI type lever to operate a Rohloff.
    If I had a baby elephant signature, I\'d use that.
  • graham_ggraham_g Posts: 652
    They just charge you £99 for drop bars that you can fit the shifter on! I imagine it would be prohibitively expensive to produce.
  • PositronPositron Posts: 191
    Why has no-one suggested that with a single/fixed/hub for really low maintenance why not go for a totally enclosed chain. Won't look "courier chic" but that what I'll be going for.

    Never order anti-pasta to arrive at the same time as pasta.
  • graham_ggraham_g Posts: 652
    Good idea! (As long as the cover is dead easy to remove.)
  • Philip DavisPhilip Davis Posts: 965
    Rohloff hub is the business if your commuting is hilly (I have an Inbred with Rohloff and hope brakes, very little maintenance. Add Marathon XR's, and you should never have to do a p*****e repair either.

    The new Swobo Otis looks like the business too. 3 speed hub, coaster rear brake, hydraulic disc brake to the front.

    I hate to advocate drugs, violence or insanity to anyone, but they\'ve always worked for me.\' Hunter S. Thompson
  • Hairy JockHairy Jock Posts: 558
    edited July 2007
    In reality most bikes are fairly low maintenance, even if you use them every day as I have done of the last 13 years. Get it serviced twice a year and lube as needed, that is reality.

    Best advice I ever got was "better get a bike then"
    Cycle commuting since 1994. Blog with cycle bits.
    Also with the old C+ crowd at Cycle Chat.
  • palinuruspalinurus Posts: 836
    My approach is not to worry about keeping it shiny. I use this trick on my commuting bike, a steel, derailleur-equipped road bike.

    Maintenance is: run the chain through a rag and put some more lube on, once a week in the winter, wipe the rims, and a quick once-over to check for obvious problems, worn blocks etc.

    One good service a year and new tyres/rims every now and then (part-used wheels in my case- they get "handed down" from my other bike)

    I find that derailleur gears rarely need that much maintenance to keep working, the indexing sometimes goes out, although I use downtube friction shifters on the commuter. It gets a shot of spray grease if it starts complaining.
  • TariqTariq Posts: 55
    Jedstar makes a good point about where to safely park an expensive bike.

    D. Karlos, do as I did; I bought a cheap mouintain bike for £40 in 2001 and I still use it, I have never oiled the chain, I use only six gears (plenty for most people) and if you keep the tyres pumped up really hard you will get very few punctures.

    This bike still works fine, I have a very cheap lock and at home I leave it unlocked in the garden with a plastic sheet over it. , ready when I need it. I expect this bike to be working for another decade atleast.

    get onto Ebay and bid on a cheap and cheerful bike.
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    I agree - get something old. Lots of fluoro and infrequent washing makes it no-nonsense, as it's less likely to get stolen! Just a little bit of chain lube and a cleaning of the rims when the brakes start not working...
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • bad boybad boy Posts: 1
    my commutes probably about mid distance compared to what i've seen elsewhere (16 miles each way) however my choice of ride and forget chariot...

    cannondale bad boy 8

    disc brakes - no maint for 2 years
    8sp alfine internal gear hub - maint free.

    i just get on and ride and it is very quick indeed...

    it's a matt black colour and looks very understated and hence less desirable to thieves. i love it.
  • Had a ride on one of these today:

    Was quite nice really, felt heavy to lift but the ride was quite light. The nexus gears went down very low, too low for me I think but a different cassette would sort that out. Could not mount a rack though. IMO thats a flaw for a bike that is so well suited to city commuting.
  • PHcpPHcp Posts: 2,748
    I’d defiantly go hub gear. I have a Thorn Raven which is used most of the time and a SRAM 5 speed in a hybrid frame for the times where I might have to leave it somewhere dodgy. The Rohloff is great, I’ve used it for all sorts from camping to Audax. If it was just for my commute the 5 speed SRAM (half the range of the Rohloff) is plenty. If it was in a better bike I’d use it more.
    I’ve been very happy with my Raven in the three years I’ve had it, it’s not the most exciting ride, but it’s done everything expected of it. Rohloff were pretty much unknown in the UK until Thorn started promoting them, the Raven was the first Rohloff bike I could afford. Since then the choice has widened, if I was looking now my shortlist would include the Tout Terrain Silkroad
    And the Van Nicholas Rohloff Amozon
    I’m not saying I wouldn’t still choose the Thorn, but it now has some stiff compotition.
  • PHcpPHcp Posts: 2,748
    Greenbank wrote:
    My only problem with Thorn is that with all that engineering and design expertise they can't come up with an ergo/STI type lever to operate a Rohloff.
    Would you buy one if they did?
    Rohloff say they looked into it and concluded the demand was too small. In much the same way that Shimano and Campag don’t do brifters that operate V brakes. In most of the world drop bars are only used on road bikes. For the few people who do want drops, there are options at least as convenient as the tourers favourite bar end shifters.
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