Snork-Packing : The Official Guide

Folks, here it is! The post that you didn’t know you needed: it’s the Commuter Cycles official guide to snorkpacking. What’s snorkpacking, you ask? It’s bikepacking, but where you pack a snorkel and make a beeline for your favourite underwater wonderland. Recently our very own Kias (@pollen_pal and @kia_is_asian) took a weekend trip down to […]

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Commuter Summer Campout 2018

We’re running the next installment of the Commuter Campout overnighter series on the 3rd February at Longridge Park. Click through for all the details and registration form.

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Women/Trans/Non-Binary Ride – January 15th

Do you own a bicycle? Are you a woman/trans/non-binary rider who would enjoy a community ride for cyclists of all speeds in a safe, fun, mellow-paced environment? Come along this Monday night! Check out the Facebook event page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/324280971410797/  

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Commuter Campout Rides Comin’ Right Up!

Super Fun Overnighter Time! Here at Commuter Cycles we love to spread the love of adventuring by bicycle! There is no easier way than to organise a magical overnight camp ride out to the woods or beach. An overnighter is a mellow self-supported cruise to a campsite for one night. We will primarily be organising […]

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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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Swift Campout Melbourne Edition

Save the date, we’ve planned the Melbourne edition of the international Swift Campout. If you’re interested in trying camping by bike this is the perfect opportunity to give it a shot. You can expect a 30km ride, mostly on bike paths, to a Parks Vic campsite with a campfire. All you need is a bike, a tent, camping gear and warm clothes.

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Bikepacking the Blackwood Forest: Commuter Campout 2.0

Our friend and talented wordsmith Pepper Cook has dropped a few musings about our latest installment of Commuter campout: Single Track. Whiskey. Leaping Frogs. Prairie Breakers. Large bearded men and one lady in flannos riding bikes adorned with front baskets, complete with decorative foliage. These are just a few items to be found in the […]

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Salsa Vaya GX now available!

Vaya is a road adventure and light touring bike, designed to handle any road surface, from pavement to gravel to dirt. The tubing selection and stable geometry across the line makes for a bike that feels great unloaded or loaded for a fast tour, soaking up unpredictable surfaces mile after mile, from one town to the next. Vaya is an extremely versatile machine, always ready and able if the path turns less than ideal.

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The Hunt 1000 bikepacking event

The inaugural Hunt 1000 bikepacking event kicks off this Sunday, 27th November. Participants will be taking on a 1000km personal challenge through the Snowy mountains from Canberra to Melbourne. The challenge takes on the best fire trails and backroads the Snowy’s have to offer. Everybody will be self–sufficient, bringing all their own sleeping gear, food and emergency equipment. A suggested itinerary of 7-10 days has been put forward by the organisers however, some have set themselves a challenge to finish it faster. We have many friends and customers giving it a go and would like to share a bit about their bikes and set up.

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Surly Disc Trucker custom build

Soma and Surly house builds

We’ve been building tried and tested commuting, touring and adventure bikes for a while now so we have a great understanding of what people want in a bike. This had led us to creating some off the shelf custom builds. Thus allowing us to hand pick parts and QC the entire build process. Some of the bikes we love such as the Soma Wolverine, Soma Juice and Saga disc are only available as frame-sets so we wanted to give customers a feel for how great these bikes really are. We’ll be adding more bikes to the website in the coming weeks so stay tuned and in the mean time call in for a test ride!

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Tour Divide 2016 with our man Gareth

I first went riding with Gareth a few years ago, it was a three day ride out to Woods Point and back with a group of friends. Gareth had been into road bikes for a few years but this was his first ‘off road’ ride, I’ll never forget the guy in the Bont carbon road shoes sliding down a very steep fire trail to camp one evening with a look of terror on his face, I think he was hooked! Fast forward to 2016 and Gareth is a serious contender in the world’s hardest MTB race, the Tour Divide.

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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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Surly ECR test ride

It is not every day someone goes out into the desert for a 2000km test ride but the Surly ECR demands that kind of attention. This ride was about testing both man and machine and seeing how new products are redefining touring as we know it.

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Belinda’s Surly Light Haul Trucker

Belinda’s bike was a bit of an enigma. She came to us with a brief that didn’t at first make a lot of sense. She wanted a lightweight build on an old favourite of ours, the Surly Long Haul Trucker. During the build we affectionately nick-named it the Light Haul Trucker. Needless to say, by the end we were all convinced and pleasantly surprised with the result.

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Rohloff custom build Surly Long Haul Trucker

Rohloff LHTs

We recently built a pair of custom Long Haul Truckers around Rohloffs. Rolhoffs are great for touring and commuting bikes because they offer a wide range of gears in even increments, they can shift gears while the pedals are not being turned, and because all the shifting takes place in the rear hub there are no gear combinations and so no combinations to avoid. They are unbelievably robust and reliable too, needing an infrequent oil change and not much else by way of maintenance.

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LHT with Butterfly Bars

We don’t do a lot of Butterfly bars, but for some people they are just what the doctor ordered. This is a Long Haul Trucker build we did using butterfly bars to shorten the cockpit to make a second-hand slightly-too-big frame work for one of customers who doesn’t like drop bars. She’s going to use it as a commuter and do some touring on it.

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Paul's LHT with BOB trailer

Sustainability Festival – Bike Touring Workshop

As part of the Sustainable Living Festival we’ll be doing a workshop on bike touring as an environmentally friendly alternative to a driving holiday. We’ll be talking about the suitability of your current bike for touring, what to look for in a touring bike if your current one isn’t going to work out, what sort of gear to bring, and I’ll be going on and on about how nice it is to bike tour in Tasmania. It’ll be very informal with lots of Q&A and show and tell.

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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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The Many Faces of the Long Haul Trucker

Surly’s Long Haul Trucker (LHT) is our reference point for touring bikes and they make excellent commuters as well. As a general rule the requirements of commuters and tourists are similar – the bike should be comfortable, should be able to carry a reasonable load, should be robust and reliable, should fit moderately wide tyres and mudguards and should be fast and efficient enough to cover large distances at a decent clip. The LHT does all of these things and is versatile enough to be set up to match the needs of a lot of cyclists. We build, and sell, more of them than any other bike. We’ve mentioned them a number of times in this blog, but we thought it was time to write more comprehensively about our thoughts on them, and where they sit in our line-up.

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Velo Orange Polyvalent

We’ve just finished an exciting build. We used a 650B randonneur/porteur frame made by Velo Orange, called the Polyvalent. Ours might be the first in Australia. We’ve built it up as a showcase for some of the VO gear we stock (and as a great bike in its own right). It has a big VO Porteur front rack, VO cantilever brakes, headset, saddle, rims, etc. It has a dynamo hub, is shod with Grand Bois Hetres and stays upright while stationary thanks to a Pletscher bipod kickstand. It will soon have a VO chain guard. We installed a B+M Lumotec IQ Cyo just under the floor of the rack, and a B+M tail light on the rear mud guard.

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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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