Bikefest 2010

The Melbourne Bikefest is fast approaching, and we’ll be running a couple of the events. The Bikefest is a celebration of Melbourne cycling culture in all its forms and there are a heap of great events on. It’s one of the only times of year that hipsters, vintage bike nerds, cargo bike enthusiasts and lycra-clad racers hang out together in the same building! …

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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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Custom Hand Built Wheels

Wheel building is one of our favourite jobs. As well as being rewarding work to get the wheel true and strong, it’s satisfying to figure out the best combination of parts and best set-up for a particular customer. As well as the rims and hubs, the spokes and nipples are important things to think about, and choosing the right ones will make a real difference to the reliability of the wheel and how well suited it is to its intended use. Being able to tailor all of these choices to a particular rider is what puts custom wheels ahead in the hand-built vs factory-built debate….

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Custom Polo Bike

Commuter cycles is excited to be sponsoring Damon Rao at the Bike Polo World Championships in Berlin and the London Open Tournament. He’ll be riding a custom made polo bike,…

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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

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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Custom Surly Bikes

In the last few months we’ve done quite a few Surly custom builds. We really like the Surly bikes, and from early on have built Long Haul Truckers (LHTs) for a lot of customers, as well as Crosschecks. Recently we’ve had a Big Dummy build and a Karate Monkey. But definitely the most exciting builds are the customized ones….

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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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