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Big is relative
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My commuter drivetrain was getting a little worn. I have been using the same chainrings on three different commuter bikes since 2002. While Salsa rings are cost effective, they never shifted that well. This was never an issue until my commute here. Virginia was flatter than flat and the small ring was used very rarely on the Oahu commute. Now my round trip has just under 2400 feet of climbing so shifting matters more. I also took the opportunity to replace the pulleys with some quality OEM campy parts.

BTW, the commuter is a Gunnar Crosshairs with a shimagnolo 9 speed drivetrain. The bottom bracket is a 103mm Phil Wood Stainless Steel spindle with heavy duty sealed bearings.
 

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Big is relative
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
More wrenching

Stainless steel dropouts are a nice touch on Gunnar Frames. I love Continental Ultra Gatorskin tires. The tread damage show here did not cause a flat. This tire got around 3000 miles on the front before I put it on the back a few thousand miles ago. It will last the rest of the winter. Definately not replacing it until the roads are clean. My favorite wheelset for commuting was built by Joe Young. It has Phil Wood Touring cassette hubs, DT supercomp (triple butted) spokes X36, and velocity Deep V rims. The red nipples on either side of the valve stem hole are a Joe Young signature.
 

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Big is relative
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
more

Here are some shots of the commuter after I got everything put back together. I got the nine speed record stuff from another forumite last year. It replaced the chorus 9 that I used for many years. I rebuilt the chorus stuff for my trainer bike.

The last shot is from my driveway. It really cleared up today. The mountain range is in Olympic National Park.
 

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Thanks for the maintenance insights. It's good to know what kind of life expectancy these things have.
 

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Big is relative
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Chainrings have a very long life compared to cassettes and chains. My Salsa rings performed well but they were not designed for efficient shifting. My prior commutes in Norfolk and Oahu usually involved spinning in the small ring for 5-10 minutes before shifting to the 48T big ring and staying in it all the way to work. I usually left work in the big ring since I spent most of day on my feet so I was "loose" when I got on the bike. When I compared the new and old rings, it was obvious that the teeth on the old rings had worn considerably. My biggest indication was drivetrain noise, especially in the small ring while climbing. The new rings are designed to shift and are so much quieter. The inner ring is now a 38 compared to the old 39. I use three different cassettes on the three different wheels used for commuting. Campy is 13-26, shimaNo is 13-25, and SRAM is 12-26. Now I have a lower gear for the five hundred feet of climbing in the first 3 miles of my commute.
 

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Nice Bill. New drivetrain stuff is always good. I love a good functional bike. None of this weight weenies stuff; it's got to work.

I wish that I had a commute that was worth a damn. I roll straight down the hill and I'm at work in like 5 minutes. The way back is about 20 minutes straight up the hill. Well, I have to take the kids to school sometimes too, which would be kind of tough.
 

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Failboat Captian
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I don't know how you people manage to get so much life out of a rear tire. I don't think I've ever gotten 1500 miles before I was down to the threads. That includes a bunch of Conti Gatorskins. I have Conti City Contacts now, and I have 8 months on the rear. There is no tread left on the center section, and the flat spot down the middle is huge. No way I'll get more than a year out of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
JohnnyTooBad said:
I don't know how you people manage to get so much life out of a rear tire. I don't think I've ever gotten 1500 miles before I was down to the threads. That includes a bunch of Conti Gatorskins. I have Conti City Contacts now, and I have 8 months on the rear. There is no tread left on the center section, and the flat spot down the middle is huge. No way I'll get more than a year out of them.

When I lived and commuted in Oahu, I kept a calendar on the wall in the garage. The back tire and chain got replaced every three months (around 1800 miles) and the front tire every six months. I was using 25 or 28mm Specialized Armadillo tires and SRAM 951 chains. You would normally expect more miles out of an armadillo, but the glass on the roads really destroyed the tread before it ever had the chance to wear out.

I took the commuter on a 32 mile loop today and while riding I had an epiphany. Is the pride of getting 5K or more out of a tire overriding the importance of reliability in a commuter? I may get a new tire tomorrow.
 

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abominable slowman
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Nice bike

Love the Gunnar. Looks familiar. Got mine on Ebay and it came with the carbon fork. I might order a matching steel fork one of these days. I don't commute, really, but I use mine for all kinds of stuff--errands, meetings, mixed-surface rides, and some cross racing. Great bikes.

5000 miles for a tire, esp. a commuting tire, is a lot.
 

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Captain Obvious
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so are the gatorskins a tire of choice? i'll be turning my old road bike into a commuter over the next several months. it could use some new tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
tomk96 said:
so are the gatorskins a tire of choice? i'll be turning my old road bike into a commuter over the next several months. it could use some new tires.
Gatorskins roll nice compared to Armadillos. Armadillos are more flat resistant so if the roads are especially bad (glass, other crap), go with armadillos but don't go smaller than 25mm unless you want to pee blood. Nicer tires usually have softer and thinner treads (grip and low weight) but road debris from commuting will tear them up. IMO, gatorskins are the best compromise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Art853 said:
Looks good. What kind of bag and fenders do you have? Are the mudflaps standard or did you make them?
Avenir rack and bag. Cheap. I put a jogger belt around it for visibility. Planet Bike Freddy Fenders with a mud flap I made with a scrap piece of rubber gasket material from work. Too small to make a pump gasket, just right for a mudflap. The bike only has one set of rear eyelets so I use a longer bolt. Its been that way for two years now so it must be ok.
 

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Squeaky Wheel
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I live on the other side of the Sound from you and commute from north of Woodinville to Downtown Bellevue. About 38 miles round trip, 800 feet of ascent each way.

I put a set of Conti Gatorskins on my commuter and rode with them for the first time on friday and they felt good. The Gatorskins I installed are 700x23c's. How do you guys decide what width tire to use on your bikes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
woodway said:
I live on the other side of the Sound from you and commute from north of Woodinville to Downtown Bellevue. About 38 miles round trip, 800 feet of ascent each way.

I put a set of Conti Gatorskins on my commuter and rode with them for the first time on friday and they felt good. The Gatorskins I installed are 700x23c's. How do you guys decide what width tire to use on your bikes?
I don't ride anything smaller than a 25mm on my commuter. I like the larger volume for manhole covers, debris on the shoulders, and smoother ride. The last part of my commute to work is in heavy traffic and sometimes I have to ride over stuff I would normally go around.

FWIW, I rode a 10:15 one day STP this year on 25mm conti's.
 

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Big is relative
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Vettekid said:
BBill, what do you use for chain lube??

I make my own with motor oil and odorless mineral spirits. Winter mix is one part oil to three parts mineral spirits. Summer mix is 1:4. I use 10W-30 synthetic oil but most oils will work. The oil needs to be well mixed with the mineral spirits so it gets delivered to the rollers and pins in your chain before the mineral spirits evaporate. Since this mix is so cheap to make, you can use it more frequently and the mineral spirits act as a solvent to clean your chain as you lube it. I got everything I need at Walmart for less than 10 bucks and it has lasted two years so far.

There are lots of "homebrew" discussions on other forums, but I find that it works well for me.
 
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