Ultimate Commuter

straas

Über Member
Obviously no one bike will fit every journey in the UK.........BUT

I'm currently using a Ribble 7005 audax as my commuter, 25mm tyres (just!) full length mudguards and a rack.

It's a good solid commuter, but:

It struggles to take 25mm and I often get rubbing
Rim brakes don't seem like the best solution for year round commuting
Replacing Shimano 105 11 speed components seems to add up


So, I was considering what I'd like out of an "ultimate commuter"

I'm thinking:

1 - Possible hub gears? I'm in S. Manchester, so very flat, probably use 4-5 gears maximum - would have to be sealed hub as I've heard bad things about maintenance of unsealed hubs

2 - Full Mudguards

3 - Clearance to take 28mm + tyres

4 - Pannier rack

5 - Disc brakes

What am I missing, and does any bike fit the bill?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Other than the hub gears, the Planet X London road is a popular choice with 1x10 Apex gearing although I’d get rid of the BB5 and replace with TRP Spyre asap
https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/EBPXLDNRDA1M/planet-x-london-road-apex1
Assume you want drop bars?
 

simongt

Über Member
Location
Norwich
For an all weather bike, my choice is definitely hub gear. They're almost 'fit & forget'; change the chain every one or two years, depending on mileage and maybe the rear sprocket and that's about it - ! Gears are safely tucked away from muck, salt, water etc. and the chain always runs in line. The SA-5 I have on my commuter needs a full service every 10k miles, but you do have to ensure that your LBS knows his / her hub gears, as not all do.
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
I have been using Alfine 8 with disk brakes for about 10 years. It is a clean running, reliable unit but needs an annual oil dip service. The 11 spd had more convenient oil service.
Pay attention to the chain tension method.
Spring loaded tensioner: only for retrofitting.
Horizontal dropouts. Simple, OK. Not good with disk brakes or trailer mounts.
Eccentric bottom bracket. Good but pick the best adjust method. Set screw is terrible, wedge must be self releasing, external bolts are good.
Sliding vertical dropouts, probably the best.

I would be strongly tempted by a belt drive.

For best rack compatibility, the rear disk should be mounted on the chainstay
 
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vickster

Legendary Member
The difficulty is overstated.
Shimano have a fairly simple anchor bolt in slot connector for the gear cable. Other systems just pull out the side.
I am pretty inept though! I can’t even refit a wheel on a single speed. Just about manage derailleur gears
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
I am pretty inept though! I can’t even refit a wheel on a single speed. Just about manage derailleur gears
That is why I prefer vertical to horizontal dropouts, easier to install and no chain retentioning required.
 
OP
S

straas

Über Member
I saw a review on the alfine hub that claimed it allowed water ingress and needed routine maintenance.

I feel like the ultimate commuter should allow minimal maintenance, as for a good portion of the winter months we're leaving and arriving in the dark / cold / wet, and it's very difficult to get motivation to clean the drivechain or do other little needed tasks.
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
My commuter is fitted with Shimano Sora, cable disc brakes (TRP Hy/Rd front and Spyre rear) which make maintenance costs really low - a new chain is around a tenner and a new cassette can be found for under twenty usually.
 
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