The Kitchen Sink

I’m a total advocate for re-purposing an old mountain bike or whatever you have laying around in your shed and making that your commuter if your trying to start riding to work, but every once and awhile a bicycle comes around that literally has had ample coin dropped on it and every accessory and latest cycling technology on it to be a serious car replacement. Such is the case with this Civia Bryant spotted at Crossroads South a couple days ago when I stopped (on my scooter, for shame) to get a coffee. A couple things I’d like to point out really have this bicycle set up in the contemporary mindset of the perfect commuter according to “experts” who study the matter.

First, this thing is rocking a belt drive. For the uninitiated, the belt drive train runs smoothly (supposedly), requires no lube (to the belt, chamois cream still essential), and offers a very long maintenance interval. Although not visible in the picture this bike also had a dyno front hub and a lighting system. Obviously, your gonna need a rack and a pannier to carry your stuff on the way to work. On top of all of that, the Civia Bryant frameset has been gaining traction as a very capable commuter bike. While I still prefer to keep my money in my pocket for other things (beer, cyclocross entry fees) and ride my mountain bike conversion, it’s nice to see such a special bicycle around town looking so good!

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5 thoughts on “The Kitchen Sink

  1. Glad you like the bike. I got it set up specifically for quick commuting and have found myself extending the ride from the as-the-crow-drives-an-SUV 5 to 15-20 miles each morning since it’s a lot of fun to ride. The key features I wanted were (i) an internal hub (Rohloff), given the stop-and-go commute and given the belt drive’s lack of love for a derailleur, (ii) bullet-proof tires (Schwalbe Marathon Plus, which has a thick internal Kevlar strip) since taking off the wheels is a PITA, (iii) Crank Brothers pedals, since I use them on all my bikes (platform, so I can ride with or without cycling shoes), (iv) generator hub since I want to be able to ride in the dark without thinking about it, (v) kickstand, (vi) fenders (useful this morning in particular) and (vii) a steel frame. I could have gone either way on the belt drive, to be honest, but I have enjoyed the quiet ride (other than when the bike is in 7th gear, where the Rohloff will be a bit noisy until it wears in). The bike was a bit more than my road bike, but to my thinking it should be since I ride it far more often.

    1. Tony,

      Thanks for writing in and giving us an rundown of your setup. I didn’t realize you had a Rohloff on there! Nice indeed! Ok, I’m jealous. Also, I like your thinking….why drop the cash on a weekend warrior when your daily driver is suffering? Gotta stay comfortable on the ride to work.

  2. I guess I fall into this catagory, too.
    Tony-
    I bought the Bryant Tiagra. I love it.
    I sold my cars and told Braden at CBC what I wanted: a good commuter bike with the capability of possible camping trips, able to haul lots of gear, and pull a Surly Bill trailer (that I also bought with the car money). I had my eye on a Surly LHT, but Braden suggested the Bryant because of the price point and the disc brakes (which the LHT now has). I didn’t go with the internal hub due to the need to haul a loaded trailer (she holds 300lbs no problemo) and Braden also hooked me up with BB7s for more stopping power. I got the VO porteur rack which I recently decked out with nice wooden slats for a classic look, which I never understood the importance of having until I got it. No utility bike should be without a porteur rack.
    I am car-free and havent regretted it since.
    But to your point Willy, yeah it costs quite a bit of cash to get a mid to top of the line commuter built up, but I’ve already paid for this setup many times over with the gas and insurance and other money that a car has attached to it. It’s a no-brainer.
    Like I tell my wife when I’m buying tools and camping gear when she asks, why go with the expensive one and not the cheapo one? “You only want to cry once.” A cheap tool is cheap for a reason. Just like an expensive bike setup is expensive for a reason. It’s well worth the commitment. Some parts and components are for the birds, for sure. There’s no sense in putting XTR components on my commuter when the stock LX moves the chain just as well and probably will for just as long.
    You get me.

  3. The only thing that I wish I had spec’d when I bought this bike was a dyno hub. Charging my light is a minor annoyance.
    Suggestion if you ever decide to get a porteur rack: buy a wheel stabilizer too! It holds the front wheel (relatively) straight when loading the front and rear racks. This is especially frustrating when the kickstand is trying to teeter the bike and the front wheel wants to lift off. I just put my VO wheel stabilizer on, and I can’t be more pleased.

  4. As to the dyno hub, I’ll give you a heads-up. You can’t see it in the photo, but the dyno on the bike now is the Shimano Alfine. Hopefully after this weekend it will be the Schmidt SON. (There was a mix-up on the order and we decided it was better for me to ride than to wait, so they let me ride the existing hub while we waited for the one I wanted.) Point being that there may be a slightly used (roughly 375 miles) dyno hub on the market at Conte’s in the near future.

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