If you’ve ever even mentioned the word Fargo to us on the phone or in-store you’ll understand that at Commuter we love this bike. LOVE IT!
We’re pretty excited to introduce the updated Surly Disc Trucker. Here’s some details and our take on them, and why it might be a great option for your new ride!
Click to read what each of our staff members chose as their favourite thing to bring camping!
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.
Our Slide Night #6 is showcasing two amazing bikepacking trips a couple of friends of the workshop have just completed. New recruit Pepper Cook jaunted off on a one month adventure around Peru while Damo and his partner Libby journeyed their way through Slovenia for a week while en route to Scotland. Join us for a double headed night of adventure tales and inspiration!
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.
The nights are getting colder, so to keep warm we’re hosting a slide night about riding bikes in a tropical paradise. One of our Mechanics, Todd, has recently returned from a 3 week cycling tour in Sri Lanka with his partner, Linden. They have a bunch of stories and photos to share.
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 wild on any given Commuter Cycles Campout. said decorative foliage, it was an accident…really! I was one of the lucky attendees to the three day Commuter Campout 2.0 a couple of weekends ago and I’m here to tell you about the rowdy time we had. This particular campout was arranged and planned meticulously by the legendary Will Hartnett of Commuter Cycles. Will used to be a tour guide so he’s pretty knowledgeable when it comes to route planning and whiskey rationing. He also has a good grip on bike mechanics which happened to come…
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.
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.
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!
We’re running a guided overnight trip on the long weekend in March. The campout will just be for Saturday and Sunday (12th & 13th) so you’ll have Monday to get ready for the week ahead. The ride is specifically designed to give first-timers a taste of cycle touring.
We’re holding another slide night on the 2nd of March 2016. Previously we’ve focused on trips undertaken by experienced bike tourists. This time around we’re going to help first-timers plan their first foray into touring – a simple overnighter.
We have teamed up with some of our suppliers to bring you complete packages for overnight adventures. Whether you are heading out for a quick overnight-er or looking at an extended tour these goodies should have you covered.
Please join us on Wednesday 30th September for Commuter Cycles second Slide Night. This installment will feature two speakers who recently returned from independent ‘light touring’ trips to Northern Europe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.