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

Gallery: Eric & Laurel’s Winter Bikes

Eric & Laurel's Bikes

[Eric & Laurel sent us these photos of their winter bikes. —ed.]

It’s spring here in Edmonton Alberta, but that means a 10 degrees below freezing in the morning, and 10 above in the afternoon. Melting snow means solid ice at 6am, deep puddles at 4 pm. Also means the winter beater bike is still in use, with spike tires.

The wife has a Miele outfitted with spike tires, and one functional front chainring as the deirailleurs freeze up. She was looking to put an internal hub on it, but carbon forks ruled out that.

Eric & Laurel's Bikes

The Brodie Section 8 is both a cargo hauler and a commuter bike for the winter. I do a paper route in the early morning, then remove the trailer for a 7 mile commute to my main job after that. I need the weatherproof nexus internal hub and the drum brakes. The handle bar mitts are essential for keeping the hands warm, and protecting the brake levers and shifters.

We live in Edmonton Alberta, across the river from downtown Edmonton. The photos are taken on the bike path in front of our high-rise.


Gallery: David’s Surly Long Haul Trucker

David's Surly

[David sent us this photo of his Surly LHT. —ed.]

Surly Long Haul Trucker: Brooks B67 seat, Nitto Albatross handlebars and Tubus Cargo rack posing on the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia. This setup makes the LHT a very nice commuter bike but the drop bar that comes with the LHT would be better for touring because a drop bar has more hand positions and is more aerodynamic. The white tape on the rims is 3M Scotchlite reflective tape.

This bike was purchased at the Fairfield Bicycle Shop in Victoria, British Columbia. I wrote a blurb at CrazyGuyonaBike about the bridge where the picture was taken.


Gallery: Kanishka’s Swift Folder

Swift Folder
Swift Folder

[Kanishka sent us these photos and write-up about his Swift folder. —ed.]

This is my 2010 Swift Folder by Peter Reich/Design Mobility. Retailed, spec’d out by bfold/David Lam for Peter.

Components and Accessories:

  • Alfine 8
  • Civia Loring Bars
  • X-Seat (American distributor of Spongy Wonder)
  • Marathon Racers (used to be Marathon Pluses for a long time, probably switch to Kojak’s soon)
  • A few special quick releases
  • Ergon Grips (should probably switch to cork or just taping the whole bar)
  • Gear inches: 2nd – 38 gear-inches, 7th – 83 gear-inches
  • Klickfix extender with handlebar adapter mounted on front
  • Klickfix Freepack sport backpack
  • Carradice SQR on back
  • Carradice Super C saddlebag – amazing

I bike to school somedays (grad student), 6 miles one way. Most days I put my bike on the front of a local bus both ways, or one way and ride the other way. Year ’round. Some days I take the long distance train that runs along my route (have to fold for that), but it’s a very quick trip (8 mins train, 15 mins bus, 40 mins bike). It’s between Dover and Durham, to the University of New Hampshire. I usually carry groceries home once a week. Often I just take my bike for a short 1/2 mile ride to a local coffee shop.

I also frequently visit my parents in Hartford, CT. This usually involves the folded bike on a train then bus, or bus then bus, connecting in Boston. If I switch between train and bus, I have to bike across downtown Boston to connect to the other leg of the trip. Then I do some short biking around Hartford when I’m home.

By far the most useful is when I take the bike folded on a train into Boston and hang out there for the day/night. I use it to get around to my various favorite hangouts in Cambridge and Jamaica Plain. In the summers, I usually get together with a friend and do an overnight credit card tour in the area of 50-60 miles.

I like to call my configuration “the grad student” because you can carry books (lots of them), laptop, food, dishes (because you are poor and can’t eat out), and groceries. As well as travel easily on public transit (again because you are poor and shouldn’t own a car, also because you need the time to do school work instead of actively driving on long distance trips).

This December I might switch bikes if I can talk Bike Friday into welding a Dahon-style plate into the front of a 20″ folder. I also only really need 3 gears, so I’ll probably switch to an i-Motion 3. Maybe disc brakes in front. And if I come across a huge burst in income, a belt drive. I’m kind of looking for a cross between a Long Haul Trucker, a Civia, a Swift folder, and a Brompton.


Gallery: Brandon’s Civia Bryant Tiagra

Brandon's Civia Bryant
Brandon's Civia Bryant

[Brandon sent us these photos of his Civia Bryant. —ed.]

I’ve recently sold both of my cars, and:

  • built 150 sq/ft of raised beds for gardening;
  • bought lots of handtools for the newly opened up garage space;
  • purchased a Surly Bill to grab big loads at the hardware store or grocery store; and,
  • bought a new Civia Bryant!!

I LOVE this bike. I needed something that could do it all, in any weather, and still be used to errands and possible over-nighters before a MTB race (which the Surly Bill will also be set up to carry – my MTB race bike, tent, gear). It’s partly why I went with the Tiagra build. I couldn’t see myself trying to haul 100+ pounds of stuff on the 8-speed hub. I needed a wider range.

I told the owner of Carytown Bicycle Company in Richmond, what I was looking to do, and he suggested the Bryant. He loves his. I also went with SKS fenders, a VO porteur rack, Brooks B-17 saddle, and used my old Topeak rear rack and Princeton Tec lights from the old commuter bike. Braden of CBC went ahead and set it up with larger disc brakes, knowing the loads that I wanted to haul.

This bike is perfect for having a daily commuting, do-it-all, reliable, rig.

On another topic, I’m the captain of a newly formed cycling team called The River City Cycling Collective. We’re mainly an off-road race team, but myself and a few more members are daily commuters, and we’ve adopted a passion for more advocacy and awareness in commuting by bike. I’m in talks with the local police department about having a “Bike Rodeo”, showing kids and parents how to safely commute, ride on the streets, and overall bringing more awareness to the cause. I’m also close to purchasing more “Share The Road” signs direct, and having the county put them up for us. This coming weekend, we’ll be doing our part cleaning up part of Route 1 in Richmond, VA, as our adopted highway.

Love the site. Keep posting those beautiful photos!


Gallery: Walt’s Trek District Carbon

Trek District Carbon
Trek District Carbon
Trek District Carbon

[Walt sent us these photos of his Trek District Carbon. —ed.]

Many years ago I had a Ross single speed and I loved the looks and simplicity, but the frame was very heavy (as a matter of fact so was every component on the bike). I eventually gave it away to a good home, but I always thought if I could buy a single speed street bike that was light, it would be the ideal machine for me. Now that I’m almost 60 and had a year off triathlon competition from a torn Achilles, I spent the time researching for that light single speed. I found it; a Trek District Carbon, a single speed carbon frame with a carbon belt drive weighing 15.5 pounds stock. After modifying it for my needs it now weighs just 14 pounds. I always wanted a Brooks saddle so I added a Swallow Titanium with a D-shaped bag. I did not want drop bars so I use Mary bars with Paul’s brake levers. The seat, bag and handlebars give the bike a retro look. The most amazing thing on the bike though are the wheels. I replaced the stock wheels with White Industries hubs and HED Belgian rims. The wheels roll so freely it almost feels like I have a motor. I use the bike for workouts, cruising with my wife, and riding to a grocery store at the end of the Earth (it really is, you should see it).

Thanks for your site, the photos are beautiful, and the reviews really helped me select my bike and components.

Coral Springs, Florida

Gallery: Jeff’s Surly Long Haul Trucker

Jeff's LHT
Jeff's LHT

[Jeff sent us these photos of his Surly Long Haul Trucker. —ed.]

Here’s my 2011 Surly Long Haul Trucker. It’s my fiftieth birthday present to myself ;) Thanks for the great site!


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