What is your “Dream Bike”??

Most of us commuters are your average, everyday “Joe or Jane”. Riding our bikes out of LOVE and necessity. Necessity to get to and from work and /or school. This usually means that we are working & learning to survive. You don’t usually hear about the independently wealthy commuting to work by bike. But what if…? If money were not a limiting factor, what would YOU ride?

The choices are limited only by your imagination. What material would you go with? Wheel size? Gearing? Flat Bar? Drop Bar? Geometry? Electric assist? Internal drive train? Chain or belt drive? Rim brake or disc?

OK…Now that your wheels are spinning…. wipe that drool from the corner of your mouths…

The most important question is left to answer:

????

Let’s hear about it in the comments area below…


43 Comments

  1. livingjetlag January 4, 2011 9:18 pm 

    If money were unlimited, I don’t think I’d ride just one bike. Hot summer day with nothing to carry? Road bike. Rainy day and/or a bag of stuff? Something with a rack and a pannier or two. You get the idea. A single commuter, ideally, has a metal frame. Name your metal, I don’t care, well maybe I do – not gold or lead or uranium. Not carbon. This is a pothole bike. Similarly, the wheels need to have at least 30 mm (but not giant and unspinnable) nice slick tires (when it’s icy, I’m a chicken), high spoke count. It’s the wheels that make a bike durable or frail, fast or slow. I don’t want electric assist, but I would love a battery to power a bright light, keep the phone and mp3 player from dying etc. I would love a small, integrated, lockable container for spare tube/multitool. Geometry is hybrid-like – good clearance, semi-upright. Places to attach pump, lock, but can skip the water bottle cage. I waffle about the brakes – disc for weather, or something lower maintenance? I could go on forever…

  2. Brian January 4, 2011 9:33 pm 

    Carbon fiber, Shimano 11 speed internal hub with gates carbon drive belt drivetrain, drop bars.

    And hey, while I’m dreaming… disc brakes.

  3. scott t January 4, 2011 9:40 pm 

    11 (or more) speed internal gearing with hydroformed aluminum tubing and disc brakes.

    the more urban use the more of a step-thru design for quick boardings.

    plenty of mounting options for racks. 700c wheels with a frame that can take wider snow tires if necessary.

  4. Zyzzyx January 4, 2011 9:42 pm 

    I’ve already got my ultimate commuter, well close to it. Just need to ride it more. And it basically breaks the mold of anything else out there.

    Quest velomobile: http://bluevelo.com/quest_velomobile.html, http://www.velomobiel.nl/quest/

    About the only time its not so great is during the hottest part of the summer. Rest of the time, its great.

    For the summer, I’d like to add an e-assist kit from here: http://rainshadowvelo.com/powerassist.html

    Why? At the basic level: speed, weather protection, cargo space, comfort. The aerodynamics are more than noticeable, though the extra weight does come into play on climbs and stoplights. It has a foam cover that closes off the opening, leaving only your head out; and can get a full hood if you want. All thee wheels are fully enclosed, It will easily hold four full paper bags of groceries and more. And heck, its a recumbent trike. Cozy, laid back seating and no worrying about balancing at a stop or during bad weather.

    If I can add in the e-assist, riding speeds will increase significantly, and hills and getting up to speed will be wonderfully easy. At that point, is it still bike commuting? That… I don’t know. But its still one less car.

  5. RL January 4, 2011 10:27 pm 

    My dream bike…I kinda have 2 already. But if I could combine my Xtracycle and my Cyclocross bike…then I’d be golden.

    Oh and some sort of sun shade over my body as I ride during the summer. In the winter, some sort of enclosed capsule thing to keep me warm and dry.

  6. Andy January 4, 2011 11:16 pm 

    I wouldn’t say money is a limiting factor for me, but that doesn’t mean I spent all my money on my bikes either. I’ve seen enough bikes to know that anything with an MSRP much over $1500 gets you very little benefit. I still buy used because I also don’t see a major benefit in paying double for something new. I guess I’d rather save my money at the moment. I’ve only been cycling regularly for the past 2.5 years, so I also haven’t yet felt a big need to buy fancy bikes, though it’s probably time to upgrade a bit considering how much I do ride.

    With that said here’s my bikes in order of how much I use them:
    – 2004 K2 Enemy (cyclocross frame) – used for commuting most of the time, a few cyclocross practices and one or two races a year, getting around town and occasional shopping, a tour here and there, and a few fall centuries that include dirt road portions. With a dynohub, racks with panniers, and fenders, it gets used year round. 28mm tire in front, 28 or 35 in back depending on the season. About 2900 miles this season.
    – 1999 Raleigh R700 (racing frame) – used for commuting in good weather, weekly local races, and long weekend century rides. It’s old, but light and fast and still had me winning races so I haven’t been in a rush to replace it. About 1200 miles this season.
    – 1980s Japanese Centurion – recently sold this, but was using it for bike polo on a grass field, and for locking up in places where dings and dents might be more common. About 100 miles
    – 1990s LWB recumbent – It’s a project bike that I’m hoping to make into a velomobile/streamliner. I use it for occasional rides outside of town, and might consider using it for touring in the future. About 100 miles
    – ~2000 Trek hardtail mtb – recently fixed up hoping for some rides in 2011.

    If I really wanted to spend a load of cash on my ideal bikes, these two would be the main ones:
    1) Year-round commuter – Cyclocross style frame, drop bars, dual dynohub lights, disc brakes, continuously-variable rear hub (like NuVinci360), SpeedDrive chainring (2 gears in one enclosed unit), wide rustproof chain with wax, and racks and fenders. 32 spoke wheels with 28mm tires.
    2) Go-fast bike – Shimano DuraAce 2×10 speeds. Carbon fiber frame, or aluminum if it was built for my weight (I’m ~155lb, so most bikes are much more rugged than I would need). 24 spoke wheels (with spokes spread out, not in pairs) with 23-25mm tires. Epic Designs Alaska rear pack so I can still commute in style without a rack.

  7. Raiyn January 5, 2011 2:36 am 

    Salsa Vaya with a few tweaks.

  8. Raiyn January 5, 2011 2:38 am 

    Oh, sorry, because it just fits with the kind of riding I like (and would like) to do these days

  9. Ghost Rider January 5, 2011 4:03 am 

    I already have a couple of nearly-perfect bikes, but I’ve recently discovered the joy and wonder of a good set of dyno-powered lights and the dynohub to match on a bike I’m testing…so I’d get a setup like that for all of the commuter and utility bikes in my fleet.

  10. locus January 5, 2011 7:01 am 

    I already own a dream bike in my Surly Big Dummy which I’ve heavily customized. However, I share many of the same desires as my fellow commenters: 11-speed internal gearing, disc brakes, Gates carbon belt, etc. Accessories are another wishlist altogether (Grip King pedals, ergonomic grips, Brooks saddle, custom fenders, bike lighting systems, air horn, etc.) The new Surly Troll frame looks like an interesting candidate for such a build.

  11. harry krishna January 5, 2011 8:01 am 

    i may be off-topic, so i’ll take a neg, if need be. i can find my dream bike on the internet, but there’s no dealer where i live and the closest dealer has said he won’t be stocking that model. so my dream bike would be one i could order off the internet. yes, i know about litigation worries. and i’ve been doing my own maintenance since 1985(and that didn’t happen by choice).

  12. VinceR January 5, 2011 8:43 am 

    @Brian;@Scott T – I like your style! πŸ˜‰

    @RL – Always the Man of Leisure! πŸ˜‰
    How about a front cargo rack with a seat so a servant can sit and feed you grapes as you ride??

    @Andy – There are many previously owned bicycles that are in need of a good home. Used can have some hidden issues that can be expensive, but if you are careful ( which I know YOU are) you shouldn’t have much to worry about.

    @Ghost Rider – I wouldn’t expect anything less!

    @Locus – Nice bike! What is your commute like?

    @Harry Krishna – What brand/model are you looking at getting? Where do you live? I may be able to suggest a good retailer.

  13. Dalton January 5, 2011 9:08 am 

    I think its already on teh interwebz. In looking at some bikes that are already being built, I would have to say a Spot Brand Sprawl (http://spotbrand.com/bikes/product-page/sprawl/). It has everything that I really want in a bike:
    -Belt Drive
    -Internal hub
    -Urban Geometry
    -Rack Mounts
    -Fenders
    -Drop(ish) bars
    -Discs
    -Dynamo Hub & Alfine Light
    -700 x 32 tires

    Can’t really think of more that I would want. Only problem is the price tag. This will remain a dream bike.

  14. Dalton January 5, 2011 9:20 am 

    I think its already on teh interwebz. In looking at some bikes that are already being built, I would have to say a Spot Brand Sprawl. It has everything that I really want in a bike:
    -Belt Drive
    -Internal hub
    -Urban Geometry
    -Rack Mounts
    -Fenders
    -Drop(ish) bars
    -Discs
    -Dynamo Hub & Alfine Light
    -700 x 32 tires

    Can’t really think of more that I would want. Only problem is the price tag. This will remain a dream bike.

  15. Andy January 5, 2011 9:37 am 

    @VinceR – I have no problem buying used. I’ll ask to take it on a test ride and go at least a few miles to make sure everything moves the way it should. I also tell them before even meeting them that I’m going to check all the parts to make sure it’s in the condition I want (even if I really don’t know how to check all those things). Sometimes they don’t respond, which to me indicates they were trying to sell something with hidden broken parts to it. I write down their name and phone number, to make sure I can reach them afterwards if I do find an issue. And I type out a short agreement of the sale that says something like “Andy is purchasing a bicycle in good working order from John in the amount of $650” etc… and have us both sign it.

    I do the same when renting a car – I bring a camera, and snap about 30 pictures of everything in and out of the car with the person watching me. It’s way overkill, but that way I know they won’t even try to tack on extra damages charges later unless they are real.

  16. Ghost Rider January 5, 2011 9:45 am 

    That Sprawl is one.sexy.beast! I want one!

  17. Kagi January 5, 2011 9:52 am 

    For everyday use: a modified classic Raleigh DL-1 Roadster, with aluminum rims instead of steel and drum brakes instead of rod/rim brakes (keep the rods, though…them things is cool). I’d also want a full chaincase in plastic or vinyl instead of the original noisy steel. Where I live, the original Sturmey 3-speed is plenty; if there were hills, I’d want a hub with a bigger gear range. Vintage Dynohub and light shells, with modern LED and standlight installed inside.

    For going a little faster: something like the Spot Brand Sprawl mentioned above.

    For multi-modal commuting: Mobiky Genius, with a slightly smaller rear cog.

  18. BykMor January 5, 2011 10:23 am 

    No better cyclomuter than a Surly Big Dummy. I know, I know… some people want something ‘faster’, lighter, sportier… we can debate that over a beer.

    I’m happy with my current BD (WTB Dirt Drop bars, bar end shifters, Schmidt lighting, Berthoud fenders, Brooks, Mr Whirly cranks (50x39x22!), Thompson bits). I like it <3

    If I were king… I'd have one made from titanium; probably a Rohloff hub and belt drive; all internal wires and cables (I even daydream sometimes about the integrated Schmidt fork connector and a conductor hardwired inside the tubes for the front & rear lights… no flexible wire to wear out and break.); and while I'm daydreaming, maybe a wireless shifter for the Rohloff utilizing a little motor at the rear hub; hydraulic disc brakes that work with drop bar levers.

    … I'll stop, for now :-)
    BykMor

  19. Ben January 5, 2011 12:02 pm 

    A custom, lugged steel randonneur with S&S couplings and eccentric BB.
    Vertical dropouts, chainstay disc brake mount.
    Gates Belt drive (with additional S&S coupling on the seatstay for changing the belt)
    Rohloff Speedhub
    Schmidt SONdelux dynohub
    Velo Orange Diagonale 650b rims
    Nitto Noodle bars
    Avid BB7 brakes
    DT Swiss butted spokes
    Chris King headset and bottom bracket
    Custom lugged stem
    Grand Bois Hetre 650b x 42mm tires
    Custom convertible front rack (mini/handlebar bag rack to porteur)
    Swift Industries custom porteur bag
    VO Zeppelin 650b fenders
    Schmidt Edelux light

    The bike would be designed for reliability, enjoyability, and travel, as well as carrying a front load. I have a more economical version of this bike. I’m building a Steelwool Tweed with an Alfine 8 and the above Schmidt hub, 700c wheels, and more modest (but still high-quality) components.

  20. Noah January 5, 2011 12:20 pm 

    Money no object? Rivendell Atlantis? But truthfully, I’d be just as happy with a Long Haul Trucker. Either way, expect fenders and racks fore and aft, lighting powered by a generator hub, a scissor-style kickstand and two or three wheel/tire sets for all kinds of riding. Yes, I know it’d get expensive with dyno hubs on all the front wheels, but this is money-no-object, right? I’d likely splurge on some high-end bags to fit on those racks, too.

  21. Iron_Man January 5, 2011 1:47 pm 

    Commuting has really messed up my thinking on this. It had been something along the lines of a carbon fiber Italian beauty, but thanks to commuting I’m thinking of carrying capacity and weather resistance. So my dream bike ends up being the equivalent of a Ferrari with a roof rack and snow tires. I don’t think they make that in the bike world yet do they?

  22. Mike Myers January 5, 2011 2:45 pm 

    Mine would actually be pretty easy to achieve. I’d like to duplicate the geometry of my Bridgestone XO-2 in titanium. It would be specter with a Rohloff hub, disc brakes, a Schmidt SON generator hub, bright generator lights, hammered Honjo fenders, and Carradice bags.

  23. Iron_Man January 5, 2011 3:02 pm 

    @Ghost Rider, and as a bonus I’d surely get written up by Bike Snob NYC. :)

  24. Tinker January 5, 2011 3:16 pm 

    I rather like the Torker Cargo T and Kona Ute, but I’d want a titanium frame, 26×3 inch balloon tires, and either a Rohloff/Nu Vinci (CVP) hub system. Higher, more upright bars, a 12 volt charging system, and Titanium fenders, racks, etc. Joe Bike modifies Torker Cargo T’s to add an 8 speed/Nu Vinci hub, so you can get about 90% of this off the shelf. Not sure how big the tire can get on this thing though.

    Maybe just settle for a Surly Pugsley? Hmmmm.

  25. VinceR January 5, 2011 5:11 pm 

    You can see my current rig in my intro post from a few days ago, but here is what I was riding last year!

    http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/57910956@N02/5328743922/

    I “Portland-ized” it by adding a rear SKS Xtra Dry clip-on fender and some BMX platform pedals. I’m still running it fixed, because if it ain’t fixed, it’s broken!

  26. Draftsman of Leisure January 5, 2011 5:28 pm 

    This is a great Q. And now that it has formally been asked, I have thinking about it all day…

    I have a circa 1994 mongoose alta that have modified to commute with. I love it and ride often. I am generally always looking at other bikes and wondering what I would change on mine. I have had it so long I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I had bought another when I was so young and impressionable.

    Despite all that I don’t think I would change much- a lighter steel frame, larger diameter tires, better rims, a good light set…. Basically I imagine a better looking, lighter bike than I have now. I would love a bike with like 10 gears, that is all I seem to use if at all. I chain guard for my front deraillieur would be AWESOME. Its always the little things for me…

  27. PhilGE January 5, 2011 6:28 pm 

    Big Dumb Pug outfitted with electric assist.

  28. AdamDZ January 6, 2011 7:13 am 

    Custom built Surly Big dummy is my dream that is hopefully going to materialize in 2011. Although, as some others pointed out, if money and space weren’t issues I wouldn’t mind several bikes: a nice full-susp MTB, light road bike. Surly Pugsley for Winter riding and a recumbent trike for the heck of it. But since the question was commuter specific, then yeah, a pimped out Big Dummy :)

  29. Jack January 6, 2011 7:38 am 

    1. Can carry my stuff (clothes, laptop, etc). I use two waterproof panniers currently and would plan to continue.
    2. Handles well on trails I take with the load. Paved but some parts are twisty or hilly or both.
    3. Disc brakes – I ride year round and the canti’s on my current bike are only enough when adjusted just right.
    4. Internal gear hub – ~8 speeds (see hills above) – it is pretty gritty and I have had some wet grit freeze up the derailers.
    5. Belt drive – same reasons as internal hub plus it seems cool.
    6. Steel frame – like the ride
    7. Made in USA – just personal preference

  30. RANTWICK January 6, 2011 2:28 pm 

    My dream bike would morph all the time as I swapped out and refined things in my big well-equipped shop loaded with parts and parts and parts. Thanks alot, now I hate my porch.

  31. VinceR January 6, 2011 3:53 pm 

    Lots of good “DREAM BIKES”!

    If I had played my PowerBall numbers the other day, I would have picked up the tab on all of our submissions!

    The Surly Big Dummy is a very popular rig. It’s an option most shops can acquire for you.

    In my opinion, the best bike is the one that is YOUR size, fits you well,and most importantly is one that you RIDE!

  32. Walt D January 6, 2011 6:13 pm 

    At my age (64) time is running our for me to own my dream bike so I bought the basic cruiser from Worksman fall 2010. Since that time I’ve been busy pimping it out “my way” getting ready for spring 2011. I can hardly wait to ride this sweet cruiser!!!

  33. no1mad January 7, 2011 11:06 pm 

    Man, where to begin? I’m sure that there are a bunch of dream bikes out there, as I tend to mull over stuff that is a bit more attainable- a bike sitting on the sales floor does me no good if I can’t afford it. That being said, that Sprawl was a looker, but what is my current dream bike would be a Norco Ceres. Steel frame, belt driven 8spd Alfine IGH… add a front SON and some German optic LED lights and I’m good.

    But realistically, a mini-velo like Moe mentioned would work the best for my current multi-modal commute (bike/bus), but make it with IGH and discs.

  34. MikeC January 9, 2011 1:08 pm 

    I recently built my perfect commuter: http://velospace.org/node/33896

    And then sold it to finance frame-building class.

    Before it was a double-chainring Surly Cross Check, it was a single chainring IRO Rob Roy

    So now I’m on my “fast” commuter, a converted Fisher Cronus urban bike based on a mtn bike frame, with drop bars, bar end shifters, wide range 2×9 drivetrain, 26 x 1.25″ touring tires, and disk brakes. Need fenders, less than impressed with lighting system I have to recharge, but it’s what I got left after unloading a bunch of other bikes I use less.

    Perfect commuter is what you got that you like to ride. Could be a bike based on a $25 thrift store find or even a freebie from the side of the road, or it could be a full custom.

  35. Ben January 13, 2011 5:05 pm 

    I don’t think anybody is dreaming big enough here. A Shimano 11-speed internally geared hub is fine, but what about a Rohloff 14-speed? Sure, it’s a $1700 hub, but the sky’s the limit, right? And let’s throw a SON dynamo hub on the front wheel, to power our tail light, our rocking Edelux headlight, and our phone charger.

    And that’s just the hubs! Wait until I get to the fully-lugged custom-built titanium frame!

    I could spend enough on a commuting bike that it would make an SUV look cheap, but then it wouldn’t be the ideal commuting bike because someone would steal it, no matter what kind of lock I put on it.

    The ideal commuting bike is my old converted mountain bike. It’s a great bike, it rides well, and it looks like crap so nobody will steal it.

  36. Dacius January 14, 2011 8:35 am 

    A trek Soho DLX will be my next bike and my absolute dream!!!

    Every component on the bike is amazing. Add an dynahub and I am truley in bliss.

    But I still love my current Jamis.

  37. KCR February 6, 2011 7:21 am 

    Money is definitely not a limiting factor. Even those with the finances to back it will often seek a cheaper bike (for instance, I received an expression of interest for a $50 bike from one person who works at my company with a salary of over $200k).

    My dream bike? Something like my Surly Steamroller, but fitted with 172.5mm cranks, a slightly higher BB, wider clearance for bigger tires and fender mounts.

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