The Ultimate Commuter Bike

Road Bike Action Magazine built their “Ultimate Commuter Bike”. Here are the main specs on their bike:
Sycip Java Boy Frame, SRAM force Grouppo, Conti Tires and FSA wheels. I’m guesstimating a couple of G’s for that bike. So I started thinking, what would be my ultimate commuter bike? Let’s see, my bike has to be comfortable, reliable, fast, nimble, a little stylish and not too expensive.

So here it is:

My KHS F20-R

What is your “Ultimate Commuter Bike”???


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  2. Jeff

    My ultimate commuter would be a beach cruiser with a bamboo rack over the rear fender, and one of those slick attachments that holds the rear end of your surfboard so I can easily hold a board with one hand and ride my bike to the beach for a day of work – all because I was a pro surfer.

    Now THAT would be sweet!

  3. RL

    Mine would be a 700c Xtracycle set up with Mary bars, kick stand, cup holders, a 1×9 set up and some Dowlow Glow…alot of them!

  4. Mike Myers

    I subscribe to RBA, and when I saw they were going to do a story on the “ultimate commuter bike” I had high hopes. But I read the article and what they built was a road bike with cantilever brakes. Huh? They didn’t put fenders on it. They didn’t put a rack on it. No, they put a model in $150 Chrome knickers and a Chrome bag and turned him loose. A commuter bike needs to be functional and useful, and means cargo carrying capacity, to me. That means a rack and panniers. Even more misleading, RBA ran a pic of the roll-up Brooks panniers in the table of contents , which led me to believe they would review them. But no. What’s the ultimate commuter bike? Depends on your commute. Someone who rides his bike from home to office on good roads has different needs than someone who has to lock up outside. My commuter is a Gunnar Sport with a Brooks, fenders, and Carradice Kendal panniers. BUT–my bike is never out of my sight.

  5. Ghost Rider

    To me, the ultimate commuter bike is the one under my ass! Ha ha!

    Seriously, a commuter bike MUST have more functionality — meaning rack(s) and fenders. Anything less (like the example in RBA) is merely an expensive barhopper.

  6. Moe (Post author)

    I love fenders…. but, in SoCal, they are pretty much dead weight. We haven’t had rain in a long ass time. In case you are wondering, you can install a rack AND fenders to the F20-R, oh yeah, it also folds and it fits under my desk…

  7. Fritz

    I tried the Friday Tikit and like it a *lot*.

    I’ll give you a pass on the fenders since you’re in San Diego, but the Tikit comes with a handy pannier hanger on the front, too.

    I like the Lightman strobe light for supplemental lighting (especially in rain and fog), but the slow blink rate a really bad idea for cyclists if it’s the only light you use. The Xenon flash is very very bright, but for conspicuity in the real world most of your standard LED blinkies are just as good or better.

    Is your commute multimodal, Moe?

  8. Moe (Post author)

    Actually, I’m in Whittier, CA. (Still sunny). I also use a blinkie on my helmet and one on my backpack. My commute involves driving to my mom’s or my brother’s house after I’ve dropped off my kids at school. Due to time constraints, I can’t ride from home. (still 20 miles round trip) So in a way, you can say my commute is multi-modal…

  9. Greg Raisman

    When on a sick day in Portland, I daydream about this bike:

    Holds cargo. Handles smoothly with leaning trike design. Dutch geometry. Same footprint as a regular bike. FOLDS INTO A SHOPPING CART!

    Here’s a couple of photos I took of one while in Utrecht this summer (with the optional kid carrying basket on the front):

  10. Mike Myers


    WOW! That’s brilliant, especially the “becoming a shopping cart” part. I don’t think it would get all my groceries home but surely would hold enough. I know there’s no way that’s available in the US, and shipping from The Netherlands would be prohibitively expensive. Still, WOW!

  11. Ghost Rider

    There are alternatives available in America…they don’t fold into a shopping cart, and they can be expensive, but here’s a really cool alternative: The Bakfiets:

  12. Greg Raisman

    Mike, did you see the recent post on how cyclists are better customers than drivers? A big reason why is that we visit stores more often.

    My wife and I use a trailer for groceries with similar cargo capacity to one of the Feetz and I remain as aerodynamic/plump as ever!

    I’m friends with the owners and staff at Clever Cycles. I almost posted one of the Azor Oma’s as my commuter of choice (even though I ride a Trek L300s — a more modern version of a Dutch bike).

    The Bakfiets are great and are selling faster than Clever Cycles can get them in. There’s lots of reasons for that – super practical, able to withstand lots of weather, high coolness factor. But, they are not for everyone. They are very large and not everyone likes the way they handle.

    I know the Clever Cycles crew would love to get some of the Feetz in stock. In the meantime, I’ve found a couple of shops (1 in England, 1 in Utrecht) that would be willing to ship the Feetz. It looks like it would cost about $2500 delivered – about the same as a Bakfiets.

    Who’s going to be the first one in America with one of these amazing bikes? I’d like to be, but I think it’s going to take me longer than that to convince Beth that we need a 10th bike.

    Maybe I should just write to the people at Feetz and see if they’d be willing to just ship some over to Portland to sell at Clever or anywhere else that would stock them. Hmmm… here I go.


  13. Nick

    I already own it, its my mostly stock Giant Bowery (2007 flat green one). Its single speed, so its low maintenance. Its fixed or free, depending on what I feel like that day, or what the weather is like. I put a nicer Specialized BG seat and a set of specialized bullhorns, and I run both breaks. I also put on some planet bike fenders for the winter and a set of minewt 2x niterider headlights and a planet bike super bliky tail light. That combined with my favorite timbuk2 large messenger bag and I am good to go. Its only about 10 miles to work though, I wish it were further. I have a lot of storage at work too, so no need for a lock, just park the bike inside 😉

  14. doug

    on sunny days a fast road bike is best. i carry my stuff in my bag on my back so i don’t need or even particularly want a rack. riding twenty miles a day on a sedate, slack-tubed “commuter bike” is unbearable for me. in the winter time, a fendered road-ized rigid mountain bike is the best. i hope to get drop bars and even skinnier tires on mine soon.

  15. Val

    Bigger, heavier bikes…everyone needs bigger, heavier bikes.

  16. Greg Raisman

    Heavier? How about the Stites Design Chameleon? My good friend Bill makes these. He wanted recumbent geometry, sitting high up, with a narrow wheelbase.

    It’s a leaning recumbent trike. In order to sit high, he had to make it lean into turns so it wouldn’t tip over. So, it’s actually two frames that pivot. Sits like a recumbent, rides like a bike, has lots of storage.

    Heavy and slow (unless you put electric assist on it), but pretty sweet for urban commuting and practical uses.

  17. Val

    Exactly! What you have with the Chameleon is functional weight. Not everyone wants the functions that it provides, but those functions are valuable, practical, and unique. The bicycle industry has been far too obsessed with weight for far too long, and has convinced many riders that they need race equipment to do any sort of worthwhile riding. I always laugh when someone considers an XtraCycle as a means of eliminating car trips, and starts the conversation by asking “How much does it weigh?” Anytime you add function to a bike, it will weigh more, and any time you lighten a bike, you can’t help but remove any function other than a bit of speed up hills. Sorry, that’s probably more than enough ranting. Ride ’em if you’ve got ’em.

  18. lucia calcagno

    Good morning, I m writing from Italy,sorry for my english .
    Ineed information about trycicle i saw in website
    Pleasa help me because i don’t know how to go in bike and i need whit three wheel.
    Thank u.Bye from Italy.

  19. Ghost Rider

    Buona mattina, Lucia (I hope I spelled it right),

    the tricycles look fantastic! Unfortunately, we don’t see a lot of that type of bike here in America — the Dutch refer to such bikes as “bakfietsen”, and they’ve just recently become available in the U.S.

    There are several brands, including this one:

    I don’t see any sellers in Italia, though. Good luck in your search for a tricycle…

  20. Peter

    My ultimate four seasons (incl: snow and salt) commuter:
    Custom Ti mountain frame
    Iglehart CroMo fork
    Rohloff 14 speed hub
    Chris King headset
    Phil Wood front hub
    Phil Wood BB with White industries SS crank
    Selle Anatomica waterproof saddle
    Thompson stem and seat post
    Avid BB7 mechanical discs
    Tubus rack
    Ortlieb panniers

    Yes, it comes in the office with me. And yes it is a really sweet ride. I love it.

  21. Paul

    Can anyone tell me about the trek L300S. How heavy? What size would fit a tall person? I want a tough winter bike, and there is one for sale here. Thanks.

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