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Thread: Bikes of BAFS 2017

  1. #1
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    Default Bikes of BAFS 2017

    What's the whip you're logging in the most miles for this year's Freezing Saddles? Show it off and tell us some of the details of your bike.

    This is the bike I like to ride most around town. It's a Matt Chester Mutinyman ti frame and Black Sheep ti fork. When I first got it in '08 (as a replacement for an '05 I cracked), it was my main mountain bike. I loved how light, flexy, and fast it felt, but over the years it started to feel undergunned against my newer bikes on the trails I rode, so I started to use it more for road and less for trail.

    It's gone through several iterations of parts setup, most notably the cockpit. On the first version of my Mutinyman (back in '05), I used a 120mm stem with Jones bars. A few years later, I swapped to 100mm stem, then 80mm, and the latest version I have a 65mm stem and the relatively more upright On-One Mary bars. I (and my back) cannot believe that I used to use a stem that was almost double the length that I use now. My hands also started to hurt with most grips, so I put on Ergons and am really digging them.

    Until last night, I was using balloon-y Schwalbe Big Apple 29x2.35" slicks which made the bike ultra-cush, but slow feeling. I switched them to Specialized Nimbus 700x35 and I picked up a few mph's


    Matt Chester Townie by ricky d, on Flickr


    Matt Chester Townie by ricky d, on Flickr


    Matt Chester Townie by ricky d, on Flickr

    It has had short stints as a gearie with a bolt-on derailleur hanger, but I've reverted it back to its natural state as a singlespeed with 32x13 gearing. Most of the time I have flat pedals so I don't have to click-clack on the floor of coffee shops and grocery stores, but if it'll be a longer ride (>15 miles), I'll throw on the clipless pedals.

    I work from home so I don't have to worry about locking it up all day outside, but I have taken preventative measures to minimize theft of parts.

    So, what're you riding?
    Last edited by drevil; 01-27-2017 at 11:30 AM.

  2. #2
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    Damn. I don't think I have any readily-available pics of my bike but I mainly commute on a 2016 steel Kona Rove in seafoam green with longboard fenders (#allthepuddles), custom aileron wheels with raspberry purple Hope Pro4 hubs, salsa cowbells 2 bars and updated Spyre brakes. It has last year's FS slapband around the steerer tube.

    It's monstrously heavy compared to my other two drop bar bikes but I love it.

  3. #3
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    The socks and the dog are just a bonus:

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    It's a 2012 Trek 7300. It's by no means showy or fast. However, it's sturdy enough to be reliable even after encounters with the potholes in Bethesda and the cracks in the pavement on the CCT. And it has ALL the accessories--Bar Mitts, video cameras front and back, enough lights to look like a Christmas tree, panniers capable of holding a substantial quantity of groceries even after I stuff my purse and work clothes into them, and when necessary tire chains for icy/snowy days. Some of my rides are even with a trailer full of grandchildren, a dog, and/or items too large for those panniers in them.

    Edit: Just as well I had this photo, and a few others I'd posted here. Someone came and stole my Bar Mitts, gloves, jacket, headlight, and Garmin from off my bike (parked in my office parking garage) last night. I was able to use the photos to prove to my homeowner's insurance company what was stolen.
    Last edited by cvcalhoun; 01-27-2017 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Rather fewer than all the accessories now. :-(

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    What's the whip you're logging in the most miles for this year's Freezing Saddles? Show it off and tell us some of the details of your bike.
    Very nice! You need a Ti stem to match, though you gotta get that ball bearing out first I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    So, what're you riding?
    I checked my lowly stats this year and so far it's the same bike that came in #1 last year (approximating Jan-Mar 2016 - didn't do an exact end date.)

    It's a Raleigh RXS 2016 (bought in Fall 2015). The bike came with thru-axles, hydraulic brakes and a Gates Centertrack belt drive, which hit all the right notes for me. (2015 model year didn't have thru-axles, 2017 doesn't have a belt drive although it has the cut out in the seatstay so it can still be fitted.)

    Currently the front wheel is a 2013 Stan's Iron Cross rebuilt with a 2016 Iron Cross rim after I crashed out the original rim at Winchester CX last year. The tire is a Ritchey Pro SpeedMax Cross 32mm that measures closer to 34-35mm on Iron Cross rims - probably my favourite cheap-ish do-it-all tire (don't corner too fast on pavement though!) It's a super comfortable combo and I think I've only had one flat ever in thousands of miles with lots of gravel, running tubes. I have at least four other wheels that can/do get swapped in here though. You might notice the "moto"-style brakes - I've never actually ridden a motorbike but grew up riding where the front brake is on the right.


    The Ritchey 90mm stem is stock from my old road bike that I threw on for no particular reason - the stock Raleigh 90mm stem actually matches better. The FSA spacers are my own addition, and I've been lazy since CX season as I usually have the stem close-to-slammed outside of CX season, and a bottle cage mounted on the downtube with Elite VIP clamps. The current set up is a touch too high/short reach for comfortable "road" riding.


    The frame is 6061 Al, nothing special, and the welds are ordinary too. I did change the rear brake cable routing a touch (it used to run above the left BB shell). The cranks I'm using are just an older generation SRAM Rival, with the stock 50-22 belt drive components. For CX season I swap in a 3/32" 7/8 speed chain with a cheap/light 41T BMX chainring, and a choice of two wheels both with a 19T cog + spacers. Keeping the GXP BB in place is a Bushnell EBB (the stock EBB and cranks are laying around in my bike room somewhere.) Pedals are "Light Action" SPD-SLs, but for CX season I use Crank Bros Candys or Eggbeaters.


    The rear wheel is swapped out a lot less often than the front outside of CX season as I only have one belt drive rear cog. The matching 2013 Iron Cross wheel I use during CX season is probably still laying around with a tubeless MXP tire on it. On there now is a reasonably light/aero stock wheel (Weinmann Impulse rim - apparently tubeless ready as well). I have a cheap/heavy/not-supple Forte 35mm wire bead hybrid/urban tire on it because I'd rather not have to change any flats during winter and I like to be able to ride the C&O or whatever as well as pavement. (Also: winter road grit and salt.) Unfortunately the rear triangle won't clear anything bigger. The disc rotor is an older gen Shimano I bought as a spare ages ago but it never fit my bikes with BB7 calipers. I was happy to be able to finally use it here!


    Not pictured is the saddle/seatpost combo taken from my parts bin, made by Nashbar/Performance. The stock saddle was actually really nice but a little too smooth/slippery for the low quality of my CX riding/remounts.

    If I was going to change something on this bike it would probably be the stock handlebar. It's very shallow and short - great for CX as I rarely use the drops anyway, but not ideal for most other uses and longer rides - where you need more room for different hand positions to take more weight. I'd probably try something with a flare, as I've enjoyed the Cowbells on my Salsa Warbird.

  5. #5
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    Great looking bike. I like the colorway.
    Quote Originally Posted by vvill View Post
    Very nice! You need a Ti stem to match, though you gotta get that ball bearing out first I guess.
    Ha, yeah, that 120mm stem that I mentioned was an uber nice Moots, but I'm not spending $$$$ to replace it with another. For the buck, Thomsons are great for the bang.
    Quote Originally Posted by vvill View Post
    For CX season I swap in a 3/32" 7/8 speed chain with a cheap/light 41T BMX chainring, and a choice of two wheels both with a 19T cog + spacers.
    Even though I've heard mixed opinions on the Gates belt drive, I've always admired the goal it was trying to achieve (quiet + clean). Have you had to replace any of the belt drive components yet? Do you ever get snapping/popping when layin' down the torque?
    Quote Originally Posted by vvill View Post
    If I was going to change something on this bike it would probably be the stock handlebar. It's very shallow and short - great for CX as I rarely use the drops anyway, but not ideal for most other uses and longer rides - where you need more room for different hand positions to take more weight. I'd probably try something with a flare, as I've enjoyed the Cowbells on my Salsa Warbird.
    If there was something that I could change about my bike, it might be adding a rear disc mount to the frame, but it ain't cheap, and flies in the face of how he designed it (using smaller than usual diameter seatstays to promote flexiness/comfort).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    Great looking bike. I like the colorway.

    Even though I've heard mixed opinions on the Gates belt drive, I've always admired the goal it was trying to achieve (quiet + clean). Have you had to replace any of the belt drive components yet? Do you ever get snapping/popping when layin' down the torque?

    If there was something that I could change about my bike, it might be adding a rear disc mount to the frame, but it ain't cheap, and flies in the face of how he designed it (using smaller than usual diameter seatstays to promote flexiness/comfort).
    Thanks, yeah I also like the colorway better than the 2015 + 2017 model years.

    The bike only has ~1650 miles on it, and a chunk of that has been on the chain, but I've never had issues with the belt nor had to replace anything. I've been careful with not using it in situations where I could grind the belt on a log, or drag it across a CX barrier, for example, and I also try to run it at the correct tension with as good a chainline (beltline?) as possible. I'm guessing if I was heavier and/or put out more power the tension might have to be a little higher to ensure no popping. The stiffness of the chainstay probably has something to do with it as well - I'm hopeful Raleigh did some R&D on the frame for that (I heard the rear triangle was stiffened up between 2015 and 2016, and the addition of the thru-axle probably helps too). The good thing about using an EBB design is that once you've got the tension dialed in (which is admittedly a PITA), you can swap out the wheel/tire/etc. easily without touching the tension. I have had some "issues" with the EBB - essentially just keeping it clean enough to adjust without it making noises can be difficult even if you are changing it only 2x-3x/year - I guess that's because I'm riding in dirt/gravel. I did a full dis-/re-assemble recently though and it's good again.

    While I do love it for general riding esp. winter, I don't think a belt drive really makes sense for CX because you can't change your gearing easily (and my SSCX gearing is lower than I'd ride this bike otherwise), and the belt itself is relatively vulnerable to damage. It's also likely you'll be washing your bike regardless of the cleanliness of your drivetrain so a clean belt vs a dirty chain isn't much of an advantage. I've also hesitated to use it on long rides where a snapped belt would be a long walk but my confidence has increased now to the point where that's not really an issue (if I was say, touring, I'd carry a spare belt). I've done a couple centuries and at least one event (Monster CX 2016) on the belt drive now.


    If it were a chainstay disc mount it probably wouldn't affect the seatstay flex as much I guess? The Warbird has very deliberately designed seatstays ("Class 5 VRS") but the disc mount is on the chainstay. Oh, I've always wanted to try Ergon style grips for flatbars. My hands tend to hurt on actual MTB rides. And always wanted to try balloon tires as well... guess I need a different bike for that though.

  7. #7
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    I've posted this before, but this is my Fuji Tread...basically a CX frame with a compact crankset relabeled as a gravel bike. My commute puts me on the towpath for several miles each ride, so I wanted something that could handle the task in any weather. It's got stock 11spd 105 drivetrain, with all of Fuji's Oval stuff for seatpost, stem, etc...works fine, so I have no reason to change it. I did swap out the stock wheels and tires to run a tubeless setup with Easton road tubeless wheels paired to Clement X'Plor MSO tubeless tires. Brakes are TRP Spyres, which I've been totally satisfied with. There might be smoother setups out there, but they have good feel, good stopping power, and are pretty easy to adjust. I also have a set of SKS Velo 42 Urban removable fenders that I attach when it's wet. They beat Raceblades hands down, since they utilize mounting brackets that permanently stay on the bike (you can see them in the photos), but don't detract from the aesthetics like permanent fenders (IMHO).


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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    ... detract from the aesthetics like permanent fenders (IMHO).
    Permanent fenders are an aesthetic! Aww, now I'm gonna have to post up in this biz!...

    ...prolly tomorrow.

  9. #9
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    Man these bikes are great. That Fuji Tread still looks fantastic, glad the fenders work out well for you (and don't flap around too much without the stays?). I actually put on full fenders for the winter. The SKS Urban Velo 42s were working fine, but I figured full fenders would be a bit better and I don't need the bike to keep up at HP this time of year. Handsome Cycles Mud Butler 45mm polished aluminum fenders. The aesthetics are good. I'm running 35mm G-One tires too. So it is not so nimble, but those are pretty fast tires so I can keep pace with the pathletes at least. :-)

    I'll definitely appreciate lightening it back up after winter (if that's what season this is).

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    My daily rider is a 2014 Raleigh Misceo 4.0. I straight up love this bike (mostly because I am super lazy about bike maintenance this bike requires, for all intents and purposes, none). Belt drive with 11 speed internal gear hub, disc brakes, and reflective stuff all over it.

    This bike has almost 8,000 miles on it and still has the stock tires (700x38 Kenda Kouriers). To say that I am impressed is an understatement, although the rear is getting worn to the point that I am considering replacing it.

    Oh, and Bar Mitts make the world go round when it is cold-ish and windy out!
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    Complete with BikeneticX "head badge" and last year's BAFS band.
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    Hello Kitty keeps my blingy bottom bracket company.
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    Being a PAL and showing off the frame split for the belt.
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