BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: commuter bike

Deal Days: Helmets, Fenders and Stuff

Here’s your deals for this week!

From Pricepoint.com
Nathan Cycle/Helmet Reflective Stick-ons $5.98

Bell Furio Helmet $44.98 normally $65.00

Sette Slik Fender Set $14.98, MSRP $50.00

From Nashbar
Bell Solar Helmet $19.95

Halt Dog Repellent $5.49


Planet Bike Freddy Fenders
$29.95, normally $34.99

From Performance
Bell Alchera Euro Road Helmet $34.99, normally $84.99

Transit Grocery Bag Pannier $24.99 normally $49.99

Day6 Bicycles Dream First Impressions

We recently took delivery of the Day6 Bicycle 21speed Dream to review.
day6 bicycles

I was able to ride the Day6 in between my mountain biking adventures
this past weekend.

Here are some specs:

Frame Aluminum 6061
Fork Cr-Mo
Stem Alloy
Head Set Neco/Alloy
Crank Pro Wheel/Alloy
Tire Front/Rear Kenda Komfort 26 x 1.95
Rim Double wall, CNC sidewall, Alloy
Casette Shimano
Derailleur Front/Rear Shimano Altus 21 speed
Shifter Sram MRX Comp+
Freewheel Shimano
V-Brake Front/Rear ProMax/Alloy
Seat Velo 11″
Seat Day 6 Custom Injection Molded – 17″
Back Day 6 Custom Injection Molded – with lumbar and integrated travel pack
Weight Approximate 35 34
Wheel Base 51″
Weight Limit 250 pounds
Rider Size 5’4″ – 6’3″ Approximate
Rider Size 4’8″ – 5’7″ Approximate
Colors Cobalt Blue, Metallic Burgundy
MSRP $729

The Dream demo bike we have came with a very comfy SL seat/backrest combo.

The dream was able to accommodate a wee little lad like me, standing at a towering 5’7″ and all the way down to my 10 year old daughter who is right at my shoulders. The back rest is set up on a fully adjustable boom, which allows the rider to cater it to their needs and comfort level.

One of the neat things about the Dream was this built in storage compartment in the backrest. It’s big enough to fit your lock, bag, purse, some food and of course a patch kit. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure my Chihuahua could fit in there!

A great upgradeable option for this bike is the ability to take on disc brakes. The frame has reinforced gussets to help improve with strength and long term durability.

Through out the weekend I rode the Dream around and its very comfy. I thought that the longer wheel base and angled fork would have make it weird to ride, but to my surprise it rode much like a regular bike. I really enjoyed the plush seat and back rest. I have to admit, its not everyday that I get to ride a recumbent so starting off the first few times can be a bit tricky. But I’m a smart cookie, so I quickly learned that I have to do more steering with my hips than the bars. In mountain biking there’s a simple rule you have to follow, anything below 8mph, you use the handle bars to steer. Anything over 8mph, you use your weight, same applies to the Day6.

What’s great about the Day6 is that you’re in this relaxed riding position, so there is no pressure on your hands or shoulders. When climbing a hill, I found that it to be easy, all I had to do was drop to an easy gear, push back against the seat/back rest and let the bike do its thing.

The last recumbent I rode was a Sun EZ. That bike was pretty scary going down hills and hitting speeds over 30mph. But the the Dream was stable all through out the ride, even over 30mph.

We’ll be testing the Day6 Dream in the next few weeks and stick around, we’re going to do something super exciting with this bike…Our friend Torger Sikveland, Sales Director of Day6 Bicycles has given us the OK to raffle this bike away. That’s right, after we’ve done our formal review, you can own this very bike! Sweet eh? Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to take good care of it so when the day comes that we have to ship it out to you, the bike will be in great shape. So make sure you come back for the review, but for more information about the Day6 Dream, just visit their website!

Redline 925, going back to the basics.

When I first got my Redline 925, I immediately stripped off all the accessories like mustache bars, fenders and chain guide. Then I went with the whole fixie trend and installed a pair of home made bull horns and eventually I swapped those for a riser bar and one brake.

But as of late, I’m not so keen on that fixie look any more and reinstalled the fenders and rear brake. I did swap out the riser bar for a flat Ritchey bar and a 100m Ritchey stem.

I don’t know what it is, but something about fenders really give a bike a very handsome look.

You see that orange thing between the brake and the fender. Thats a Bontrager Buzzkill rubber grommet. Originally these fenders came with a mounting bracket that would hold the fender and bolt on to the back of the brakes. But since I was missing that piece, I needed something to dampen the vibration and prevent it from rubbing. It’s in there pretty good so it’s not going anywhere.

I’m using some Avid brake levers with some Specialized Silk Braided Housing…not steel braided, but Silk….Oh and I added a bell!

Kona Smoke 2-9 Review


Kona Smoke 2-9 out of the box

Has the venerable Kona Smoke improved by sporting 29″ tires? Let’s find out:


Riding the San Gabriel River Trail

About me:I’m 37 yrs old, 5’7″ 165 lbs. My commute is 21 miles round trip and it is mostly flat. I usually ride with panniers and about 15lbs worth of cargo.


Kona Smoke with accessories.

About the Bike:

Frame sizes: 14″, 16″, 18″, 20″, 22″. 16″ Tested
Frame tubing: Kona Cromoly Butted
Fork: Kona P2 29er Disc
Headset: TH
Crankarms: Suntour CW-XCC-T208
Chainrings: 48/38/28
B/B: CH-46
Pedals: Kona Jackshit
Chain: KMC Z-72
Freewheel: SHIMANO HG-30 (11-32, 8spd)
F/D: Shimano Altus
R/D: Shimano Altus
Shifters: SRAM MRX
Handlebar: Kona Riser
Stem: Kona Control
Grips: Kona Mooseknuckle
Front Brake: Tektro 855AC
Brake Levers: Tektro RS-384A
Front hub: Formula
Rear hub: Formula
Spokes: Stainless 14g
Tires: Continental City Contact 700 x 47c
Rims: Rigida Cyber 10
Saddle: Velo Comfort
Seatpost: Kona Thumb
Seat clamp: Kona Clamp
Color: Smoke Grey
MSRP: $369

Weight with rear rack, top tube bag, mirror and light: 34lbs

Highlights: Obviously, the price of this bike is a huge selling point. For the price of about 6 gasoline fill ups you get a bicycle that is very well-equipped and ready to take you to work right out of the box. The combination of the steel frame, 700X47c tires and the Velo Comfort saddle made this bicycle very comfortable and a pleasure to ride on a 21 mile commute.


Velo PLUSH saddle, plush indeed.

I’m a stickler when it comes to saddles, but just like the saddle from my old Kona (I still have it), it is very plush and what I would call ‘beginner commuter’ friendly.


Kona Jackshit pedals.

Most entry-level bikes feature cheap pedals. Not the Smoke 2-9; you will be riding on Kona Jackshit pedals that are very sturdy and those little studs really grip the soles of your shoes.


Sram Gripshift Max 8 speed shifters

SR Suntour Triple Crank/Altus front derailleur

Altus rear Derailleur

Since most of my commute was flat, I found myself riding the big ring most of the time with occasional downshifts . The Gripshift/Altus combination worked rather well; the shifting is not the smoothest or fastest, but it was definitely reliable. If your commute is rather hilly, I have no doubt that the gearing of this bike will conquer most of the ugliest hills.


Loaded Smoke

Lowlights:I don’t really have anything bad to say about the Smoke 2-9 — the only thing that annoyed me was the occasional noise and vibration that came from the fenders. If you buy this bike from a shop, make sure that your mechanic really tightens up the screws and adjusts the fenders so they won’t rub against the tires. I wished that a rear rack would come standard with the bike; there are a few other bikes that come with one as a standard feature.

Final thoughts: I still believe that the Kona Smoke 2-9 is an awesome commuter bike for the money. It is comfortable, reliable and well spec’d. Did the 29″ inch wheels improve the bike? Oh yeah, the bike is faster and the geometry was not radically affected. So if you are looking for a bike that will not break your bank or your back, the Kona Smoke 2-9 is it.

For more information, go to www.konaworld.com