Winter Commuter

Since the Cycle to Work Scheme debacle last week I’ve been thinking about what I can do to address the winter hack bike situation.

Although the Charge Mixer 8 was close to what I wanted and would have done really well, and the Milk Bike was even closer, nigh on perfect in fact but a tad too expensive. But worth it in all fairness, none were quite exactly right.

Just for a bit of emphasis, both bikes were/are great and would have served me very well. But me being picky, now that I can be because of the situation, I can now build exactly what I want.

I’m a MTBer at heart, even though because of circumstances it’s the type of cycling I do least a MTB is the kind of bike I love pedalling the most. The towpath commutes first on my deceased and much missed Ridgeback and now on wifey’s Rockhopper are easily my favourite way to get to work.

I like the way you sit “in” a MTB rather than “on” it like you do a road bike or a hybrid. It’s just a whole lot more involving to me than when I’m pedalling my road bike. Don’t get me wrong, I love my road bike and going for a road pedal, but no where near as much as pedalling my MTB.

So, my new commuter is going to be based around a MTB frame. But a 29″ MTB.

This one from On One.

I’ve deliberately gone for a 29″ as it’ll be a rigid bike and the bigger wheels will roll better over the bumps. I just think a 29″ will be more comfortable.

It’ll be done slowly, due to availability of funds, but it’ll be ready before the winter hits.

I’ve ordered it already. But it’ll need a bit of work to get it where I need it to be. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I think belt drive is certainly the way forward for commuting. So when the frame comes I’ll be sending it to Argus Racing Cycles to get a frame splitter bracket fitted. Actually one of these. From this company.

So, the story of my winter commuter has started. It’ll be an ongoing process over the coming months and obviously it’ll be fully documented and reported here.

This whole winter bike thing has just reminded me and reinforced something I always knew to be true.

If you want anything doing, do it your bloody self!


6 responses to “Winter Commuter

  1. Cracking idea Clive! Look forward to progress on this project.

    I don’t know much about belt drives, but have a single ring crankset going spare, if you can remove the chain ring and fit a belt drive one?

  2. I sort of guessed this post might induce a comment from you my old mukka. 🙂

    Thanks for the offer, but the belt drive system comes complete. Without getting ahead of the game it ain’t cheap! Gulp!

  3. Looking forward to watching this project unfold. Lots of detail would be good if you can tolerate the time to document everything. I’ll be taking notes.

  4. I’ll certainly be putting in as much detail as possible Mike. If for no other reason than it gives me something to write about!

  5. I enjoy reading your blog posts on a regular basis (thanks to google reader) and this post really piqued my interest, since its plucked straight from my ride to work daydreams, I’ve been fishing around the second hand forums and ebay for a 29er frame to run as a commuter workhorse, belt drive just plants the cherry on top!

    I’ll be eager for updates, but understand I’ll need to be patient as you say those belt drive systems and all that come with building a bike from scratch do not come cheap 😦

    Great blog by the way, hope the sunny weather is raising your recently dampened spirits.

    – Jon

  6. Thanks for taking the time to comment Jon, I’ll certainly be covering the build in detail here.



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