Gallery: Matt’s Jamis Commuter 3

Matt's Jamis Commuter 3
Matt's Jamis Commuter 3

[Matt sent us these photos of his Jamis Commuter 3. —ed.]

My name is Matt DeBlass; I’m a musician, journalist and all-around jobler from South Bound Brook, NJ. The bike is my 2009 Jamis Commuter 3. Although it’s a 2009, I got it this year from Garden State Bicycle in Whitehouse Station, NJ, where I occasionally work as mechanic. Jamis happened to have one in my size on closeout (it’s rare, but sometimes being the big guy works in my favor).

About the Bike

  • Year/Make/Model: 2009 Jamis Commuter 3.0
  • Size: 22″
  • Color: Bone/Black
  • Stock Component Highlights: Shimano Nexus 8-Speed hub, Tektro long-reach caliper brakes, Weinmann double-wall rims, Vittoria Adventure Touring 700x32c Tires
  • Par Swaps: I replaced the spongy cruiser saddle and suspension seatpost with a straight Kalloy post and my beloved Terry Liberator saddle. The spongy stock grips were replaced by Specialized lock-on grips.
  • Add-Ons: Trek rear rack, Wald basket up front, Blackburn head and taillights and a Carradice College saddlebag. Electra brass bell. Saddleback Leather messenger bag. Elite Cuissi bottle cage.
  • Mods/Fabrications/MacGuyverisms: Homemade quick-release bag bracket, Homemade headlight mount.
  • In my saddlebag: Spare tube, Topeak minipump, Crank Brothers Multitool. “Bone” style wrench, Park tire level, extra bungee cords and toeclip straps for tie-downs, a high-vis vest for getting caught in rain/fog/dark, Kryptonite U-lock, Kryptonite cable lock, gloves and a windbreaker.

This bike came set up for short hops around town, but once I got it dialed in and swapped the squishy saddle for something a little more suited to actual riding, it’s been perfect for the 20-40 miles of running around I do on the average weekday.

Because I have to leave it locked up out of sight while I’m at one of my jobs, I built a quick-release bracket for the Carradice bag using some aluminum flat stock, long bolts and an old MTB QR skewer. It’s not a super-strong bracket, but since the bag actually rests mostly on the rear rack, it seems to be working OK. I made a light mount out of some more bits of metal and a PVC pipe fitting, because when the basket is full it tends to obstruct the headlight. The Saddleback bag I use as my briefcase is pretty heavy for a basket bag, so for short hops it’s usually on my shoulder, but it’s nice to have the option on hot days. As some of the pictures show, I sometimes use it to haul my mandolin to practices and gigs (although for non-photo purposes it travels in a padded gig bag) although I haven’t figured out a good way to transport all of my instruments on the bike (the drum set is giving me particular trouble).

I’m not living totally car-free yet, but I got this bike about a month ago, and a week after that the transmission in my truck started to act up, so I may have the decision to give up driving made for me very soon.

South Bound Brook, NJ

7 Responses to “Gallery: Matt’s Jamis Commuter 3”

  • Pamela says:

    Matt: What is that bike stand you’re using, and how is the bike secured to it?

  • Michael says:

    For those drums, sounds like you need a trailer like the Surly Bill ( Cheaper than a transmission, and would turn your bike into a pickup truck.

  • Andrew Summitt says:

    That’s a saddleback Satchel isn’t it? I love their bags.

  • Jennie says:

    I love hearing about real world commuter bikes. Matt, your bike and post inspires me – thanks! :)

  • GTPowers says:

    Heck yes! at the Saddleback bag!
    I’ve got a dedicated Civia market rack just for my SBL briefcase!

  • Jimbo says:

    I nearly pulled the trigger on a Terry Liberator a month ago (big call for me as I’m in Australia and even with a cracking exchange rate the freight adds up). Went for their padded saddle cover for a quarter of the price, which is working very well (swaddles a tough as teak stock that came with the flat bar road bike I’ve since turned into a station wagon, with north road bars at saddle height).

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the Liberator. Might be the trick for the Surly Big Dummy I’m targetting.

  • Matt DeBlass says:

    Jimbo, at the shop where I work, I ride the Liberator, the boss rides the Liberator, the boss’s wife rides the women’s Liberator… we’ve found it to be one of the most comfortable saddles for the non-racer type (Brooks are lovely too, but they cost more and are more sensitive to weather). The shape seems to fit a pretty broad range of posteriors, and they’ve got just enough padding to give a bit of cushion without causing problems. Obviously everyone’s a bit different in their saddle choice, but I think they’re fantastic.

    Yup, the Saddleback messenger bag is awesome. As I said, it’s heavy, but the style and durability are hard to beat.

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