The Low Down on Dirt Dropbar Bikes

Of all the styles of bike we are lucky enough to have on the floor at Commuter the dropbar, dirt capable bike is probably our favourite, and certainly the most versatile. As a result we’ve tried to stock a LOT of options in this style of bike.

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Shimano GRX is here.

To say we’ve been excited for the arrival of Shimano GRX is a massive understatement. For those that have not come across it yet, GRX is Shimano’s new groupset designed for adventure road and gravel bikes.

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The Many Guises of the Soma Wolverine

At Commuter we’re very lucky to have been able to forge relationships with some great brands and offer some of the industry’s leading commuting, touring and adventure bikes. Within this range though, there are a few that really shine, like the Tumbleweed Prospector we featured recently. To be fair though there is a solid standout for us when it comes to versatility of setup and mixed terrain capability. The Wolverine from Soma Fabrications.

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Will’s gear review from a recent trip to Bolivia

I’m back in the shop after a month in Bolivia. My partner and I fitted about 12 days of riding bikes into our holiday. Here’s a bit of a list of the gear we took and how we set our bikes up for some high plains drifting.

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MKS pedals

MKS are best known for their high quality track pedals popular with Keirin racers of Japan, more recently they have brought back some old favorites as well as introducing some new casual platform pedal offerings. I recently tested out the new MKS Allways EZY pedals on a bikepacking trip to the Flinders ranges. The large […]

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A Primer on Dynamo Lighting

Dynamo lighting is one of our three favourite upgrades to a commuter bike. Along with mudguards (fenders) and racks, dynamo lighting is one of those upgrades that will make your commute easier, and the only one that will make it safer. Modern dynamo lights are bright – in some cases as bright as car headlights – and so efficient you barely notice that you’re powering them.

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Hunt bikes 29er bikepacking rig

A new addition to the adventure bike market, Hunt bikes from Canberra have put a new spin on the MTB tourer. This bike comes very capable, designed for long days in the saddle on rough terrain, it is essentially a bikepacking specific mountain bike!

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Alberts ECR

Apidura long term test

We have been stocking Apidura bikepacking products for quite a while now. So we thought it was time for a run down of whats on offer in their ever increasing range. The Apidura kit has been getting a good work out from all the staff here. It has held up to quite a bit of abuse and we have been very impressed with the quality.

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Dynamo Lights Demo

Dynamo curious? Like the idea of having light to see by, not just be made visible? Never want to bother with buying or charging batteries, and taking your lights off your bike every time you park it? Together with Abbotsford Cycles and our key suppliers we are holding a demo night to show off the efficiency of modern hub dynamos, and the amazing light output and charging capability of the current crop of lights and accessories.

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Ortlieb Panniers and bags – staff favourites

Panniers are a ‘must-have’ commuting and touring accessory. They keep your gear off your back, low on the bike, and attach securely and easily to your rack. Ortlieb Panniers are the benchmark for cycle tourers and commuters the world over. Made in Germany, they are 100% waterproof, super tough, and easy to set up and use. All the staff at Commuter Cycles use them, and swear by them.

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All of the lights

Last night we got together with Abbotsford Cycles and held a Dynamo Demo night to showcase and compare our favourite dynamo lights. It was a great opportunity to analyse the lights in action side my side in a controlled environment (unlit, closed road with no car traffic).
Read on for the results.

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Rack-less bikepacking bags by Revelate

We’re big fans of Revelate bikepacking bags and a number of us have been using them for some time now. We’re pretty excited to now have a decent stock of them for sale in the workshop. For those who haven’t stumbled upon it yet, “Bikepacking” is the recently-coined term given to off-road touring of the type that requires a fully-fledged mountain bike. Revelate Designs is an Alaskan company who make bags for this purpose.

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Velo Orange Two Years On

Bars The VO range of bars is huge and really cool. They’ve brought back a lot of the vintage city bike bars that came on old bikes that are way more comfortable than the flat bars that come on hybrids and fat bar road bikes. VO’s city bike bars mostly sweep back towards the rider, […]

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White Industries hubs

White Industries Hubs

We’ve built quite a few White Industries hubs into wheels recently and it has us all fantasising about wheel sets for ourselves based around these hubs.

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Winter is here.

Winter is here again and with it shorter, colder, darker, wetter days. If you want to ride comfortably through the winter that will mean jackets, good lights, mud guards and warm gloves. We’re gearing up to deal with winter, and we’re taking embarrassing photos of Huw and Luke. Read on for some details, and more embarrassing photos.

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H Plus Son Archetype Rims

We’ve got a few of the new Archetype rims from H Plus Son. They look like they might be a new go-to rim for road and randonneur bikes.

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DiPell Leather Bar Tape

We’re very glad to be stocking some new bar tape made in Melbourne by DiPell. DiPell have been making leathergoods for a long time, including pieces for RM Williams shoes, but have only just entered the handlebar tape market. We’re really glad they did. We love Australian made but don’t just stock something for that reason alone – it has to be as good or better than the other options in some significant respect. Fortunately when it comes to DiPell tape, not only is made locally, but it’s better in most crucial respects than the competition.

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Gilles Berthoud

Gilles Berthoud makes some of the nicest parts and accessories for Randonneur and touring bikes. His saddles are the best-made leather saddles we’ve seen, his bags are terrific and his fenders are tough and beautiful. We’re putting in our first order directly from Berthoud and we’re looking for pre-orders.

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Dynamos and Dynamo lights

Hub dynamos and LED lights are two things in the bike world which have seen the greatest technological improvement in the last few years. Recent generations of dynamo hubs are far more efficient than any previous dynamo system, and the lights that go with them are far brighter and far less power-hungry. It has reached the point where the whole system is so efficient that any bike short of a race bike could be fitted with a dynamo wheel and lights and the only real down-side would be the expense.

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Velo Orange

We’ve been stocking Velo Orange stuff for a while now, and we’re really impressed by their gear, as well as their philosophy in general. They do a wide range of parts that are typically inspired by old French touring gear. Everything is well-thought out, well constructed, and a nice mix of old-style looks and modern construction and sizing.

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Gilles Berthoud

We’ve gotten a few Gilles Berthoud products in. Among them is a saddle that I’m very excited about. The saddle is a Gilles Berthoud. It looks at first a little like a Brooks, and it’s this similarity that excites me. The Berthoud is made from very thick high quality leather, which is screwed down to the saddle body. Where the Brooks saddle body is all metal, the Berthoud has metal rails and a plastic back (called a cantle). The plastic cantle is reputed to be amazingly strong and is designed to have a tiny bit of flex for extra comfort. The looks of the plastic might put some people off though.

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Velo Orange Porteur Racks.

VO Porteur racks are back in stock. They’re a great rack for commuting bikes since they can hold a lot and can easily take additional load if you have to grab something on the way home. They’re also very beautiful.

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Bicycle Quarterly

Bicycle Quarterly

We’ve been quietly stocking Bicycle Quarterly for a while. Bicycle Quarterly (BQ) is our favourite bicycle magazine. It started out life at Vintage Bicycle Quarterly and dealt mostly with old French Randonneur bikes, as well as the people who rode and still ride them.

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Grand Bois Tyres

We now stock Grand Bois tyres. These are some of the nicest tyres we know of. Grand Bois is a small Japanese company catering to Cyclotourists with a fetish for nice old French bikes.

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