Tagged: cyclocross

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, I’ve been wanting a new bike for the new year. I figured something new would get me more excited about riding bicycles. So I started looking around for a CycloCross Bike, or some may call it CX bike.

I’ve always loved 700c wheeled bicycles for commuting. To me they just ride smoother and faster than 26″ wheels. So that meant a CX bike would be a great addition to my stable. I’ve had my share of CX bikes in the past and I love them. This time around I want to focus in on a bike that is going to be budget minded. I really don’t want to, nor have the funds to get a fancy bike.

So a few choices came to mind. The first one is the Liberty CX available only through BikesDirect for about $399.99.

cyclocross bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next choice was to go single speed with the State Warhawk which retails for about $579.
state warhawk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyhow, if things go as planned with selling off my body parts and services, I may be able to get this new bike soon. We’ll keep you updated on the progress.

I received the Bontrager NCS-1 Fender Set to test out on BikeCommuters.com. As some of our readers know, fenders are items that are highly coveted on a commuter bike. In some commutes, they are a must.

I installed the NCS-1 Fenders on my Soma Double Cross. This bike serves 2 purposes for me, my commuter bike and my cyclocross bike.
Bontrager Fenders

Below is the description of the fender set via Bontrager:

* Fully assembled fenders that install in minutes, only 2 tools needed for assembly
* No-cut-struts allow for quick strut adjustment for proper tire clearance
* Made of lightweight yet super durable polycarbonate
* Double back strut on rear fender adds support and stability
* Front and rear fenders include removable mud flaps
* Stainless steel hardware
* All parts can be disassembled for recycling

Price: $48.99

Installation took about 15 minutes. All you need are 2 tools, 4mm allen and a crescent wrench or a pair of pliers. The fender set can fit 32c road tires as well as 35c Kenda Small Block 8 cross tires.
Bontrager Fenders

Adjustable struts on both sides of the fender. This allows easy adjustment for tire clearance. I personally like the fender close to the tire, to me it just looks better.
Bontrager Fenders

Removable mudflap and stainless steel hardware.
Bontrager Fenders

When I started testing the fenders, Southern California experienced a wet, rainy week. This gave me a prime opportunity to get some mileage in and see how well they worked. On the road the fender set were impeccable. In fact, I would purposely look for puddles just to see if my tire would spray me after riding through it. Needless to say they worked as designed.
Bontrager
Then I got an idea…”why not take it on the local trail system (mountain bike) to see how well they work?” So I did, I found myself riding in some light drizzle the following morning. Certain parts of the trail was moist enough to where I was riding through some mud.

After my ride, I took a few photos of the bike. This is the front fender, check out the mud. Check out the downtube, notice its cleaner than the bottom bracket area? That’s because the downtube is directly behind the fender’s protective path (make sense?).
Bontrager

Rear fender is all muddy from the inside.
Bontrager

But this is what sold me on the Bontrager NCS-1 Fender Set, look how clean my rear stays, seat tube and post as well as my saddle. Not one spec of mud! Well, there’s a few spots, but nothing that I’d cry about.
Bontrager

Here’s the Pièce de résistance, my clean butt! The photo quality isn’t all that great, but LOOK! NO MUD! Now I’m really impressed.
Bontrager
Now check out my hydration pack, CLEAN!
Bontrager

In conclusion, the Bontrager NCS-1 Fender Set works pretty darn good if you ask me. The photos provide enough proof that they prevent spray back from your tires and the fact that they are durable enough to be used on a mountain bike trail, then I can easily recommend them. Another feature that I enjoyed about these fenders, I can go from my 32c tires and onto my 35c cross tires without having to adjust the the struts or mounting bolts.
Bontrager

Review Disclaimer

Duh!

Today was one of those days… you know, one of those days that you forget something for your bike commute. Except that I didn’t realize what I’ve forgotten until I got on my bike and started to pedal. My Ibex X-ray is equipped with Crank Brothers eggbeater pedals, the ones with no platforms:

As I began to pedal, I tried to clip in… SLIP! WTF? I tried again… SLIP!!! Nothing engaged, no ‘click’ noise… I tried to clip in with my other foot… SLIP!!! WTF!!!!

DUH!!!!! I forgot that I removed the cleats from this pair of shoes and installed them on my new pair of MTB shoes!!!!! I couldn’t go back and switch shoes since I was already running late. Needless to say, my commute was a little slow today, I kept slipping and I really couldn’t stand up to pedal.

Just another mistake bike commuters make…

A lot of us like to ‘simplify’ our drivetrains by either converting a multi-speed bike to a single speed/fixie or by building them from a bare frame. I built this Ibex X-ray Single Speed back in October of ’05 for commuting purposes.

I’ve been wanting to convert this bike into a 1X9 for a while — this set up is more versatile and allows for my friends to borrow this bike and go ride with me.

Here are the details of my conversion:

First, I began by removing the single speed kit using my trusty Ice Toolz Cassette remover, then I installed the 9 speed cassette on the freehub.

Next was removing the chain by using a chain breaker:

then I installed the rear derailleur, yep, a Dura-ace derailleur that I scored for cheap on Ebay.

I then installed a Soulchain 9 speed chain using a method to size the chain described here.

Although I have a pair of STI Dura-ace shifters, I didn’t want to change my current setup, so I opted to go ‘old school’ by installing a Suntour Friction bar end shifter given to me by our good friend Ghost Rider.

I then had to go to my LBS to purchase the shifter cable, housing, the BB guide and a new bar tape.

Here’s how I guided the cabling:



After removing the old bar tape, I installed the new bar tape so I can conceal the shifter cable. I chose yellow bar tape so it can match the color scheme of the bike and to be more visible to motorists.

I rode the bike around the block, after a few adjustments the bike shifts very smooth and it is ready to ride to work!