With over 44,000 members, Adventure Cycling Association is the largest bicycle travel advocacy organization in North America. Though their focus is predominately on touring and travel (as opposed to commuting), we’re all for reducing automobile use whenever and wherever possible. From Adventure Cycling :
The mission of Adventure Cycling Association is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle. We help cyclists explore the landscapes and history of America for fitness, fun, and self-discovery. As a nonprofit organization, all proceeds from tours, sales, and membership go directly back into supporting our mission and programs.
Adventure Cyclist is the monthly magazine of the Adventure Cycling Association. Chock full of beautiful photos and interesting stories of bike-related adventures, it’s a great read for anyone interested in using bicycles for transportation. An Adventure Cyclist subscription is included as part of any Adventure Cycling membership, and back issues are available online in PDF format. Follow the link below (or click the banner in the sidebar) if you’d like a sample copy sent to you at no charge.
Adventure Cyclist →
While I prefer the aesthetics of a delicate, high profile cantilever or a classic, dual-pivot caliper, I have to admit that nothing quite beats the overall performance of a high-quality, cable-actuated disc brake (also known as “mechanical” disc brakes) for year-round commuting. Drum/roller brakes are heavy and generally provide only mediocre braking performance, and most every other type of performance brake uses the rim wall for a braking surface, a fact that guarantees your rims will be toast long before your hubs go. Rim brakes can sometimes be poor performers in wet conditions, they make a mess in the rain, and the caliper variety rarely provide sufficient clearance for robust tires and fenders. Hydraulic discs are typically more powerful than mechanical discs, but arguably, the difficulties associated with cutting fluid lines and bleeding brake systems are not a fair trade for their slightly better performance over their easier to set-up and maintain cousins. A high-quality mechanical disc brake such as the Avid BB7 combines the simplicity and user-friendliness of cable actuation, with excellent all-weather performance and long-term, wheel-friendly reliability. Setting aside aesthetic considerations and tradition, cable-actuated discs are hard to beat from the standpoint of pure functionality.
Avid Cable-Actuated Disc Brakes →
One of our regular readers, Cecily Walker, was featured as a “Supercommuter” in Planet Bike’s latest Dispatch quarterly newsletter.
Planet Bike →
Cecily’s website →
Cecily’s Commuter Profile →
Just another awesome commute, not stuck behind the wheel of a car in a traffic jam. I hope you had a nice one too!
I built this bike based on the idea of the Sturmey Archer drum brake hubs and the plump tires. The moment I found the Super Course frame for sale, the project was launched. I used cable ties to experiment with cable routing, and when I had it all worked out, I took it to Mark Nobilette to remove the derailleur braze-ons and make custom braze-ons for the drum brakes and 5-speed IGH. He did a superb job, much better than what I asked for. I had it powder-coated, and it went together very smoothly in one day.
I use this to commute daily to work, and for recreation on paved and dirt roads. In a month or so, I plan to put Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106 700 x 35c tires on it for ice. It’s geared pretty low, with a 36t chainwheel and a 22t sprocket. The gears are as follows (numbered as Sturmey Archer numbers them, from high to low):
At the moment I can ride comfortably up an 8% grade, and (painfully) up a 12% grade. The gears work well, now that I’ve learned to adjust them properly. The brakes are superb, the best I’ve ever used – quiet, powerful, and precise. I bought the sprung saddle at a garage sale, and it has been very comfortable. The bike weighs 29 lbs.
In the pictures, it looks as though the saddle is much higher than the handlebars. In fact, it is. Many of us who began riding when this Super Course was new, now prefer a more upright posture. But I am comfortable in the forward posture, and I like the fact that it reduces air resistance. They tell me that air resistance is proportional to the fourth power of your speed.
- Frame: 1972 Raleigh Super Course, 23 1/2″
- Cranks: Sugino XD-700
- Bottom Bracket: Phil Wood steel spindle
- Pedals: Shimano M520 SPD
- Front Wheel:
- Sturmey Archer XL-FD hub with 90mm drum brake,
- Velocity Synergy symmetrical 700cx 23mm rim,
- 36 holes, spoked cross 3
- Rear Wheel:
- Sturmey Archer XL-RD5(w) 5-speed hub with 90mm drum brake,
- Velocity Synergy O/C 700c x 23mm rim,
- 36 holes, spoked cross 3
- Tires: Schwalbe Delta Cruiser 700 x 35c
- Fenders: Velo Orange fluted 49mm
- Headset: Tange Levin
- Stem: Pivo 90mm
- Handlebar: No-name alloy flat riser bars, WTB grips
- Brake Levers: Tektro FL-750
- Seatpost: Origin-8
- Saddle: Brooks Conquest
- Rack: 1988 Blackburn
Thanks for putting this on display!
[Visit our Bicycle Gallery page to add your bike to the collection. —ed.]
Photos and info on the new “Disc Trucker” (the disc brake version of the Long Haul Trucker) are now posted on the Surly website.
Disc Trucker →
[via Cycle Jerk]