Posted by: audaxing | October 29, 2010

Commuting Bike

I got my commuting bike in late 2009. It’s slightly unusual. It has a Cotic Roadrat frame with horizontal track style dropouts, drop bars, handmade 36h wheels and Alfine hubs. The rear hub is an 8 speed hub gear and the front is a generator.

Like my new Specialized bike, the Cotic Roadrat is very black

It has large mudguards and usually has Marathon Plus 28mm tyres fitted. For lighting there is a B&M IQ Fly at the front and a Cateye LD1100 at the back. For carrying luggage there is a Carradice SQR block and a rack. Usual luggage is a 23 litre Carradice Super C saddle bag. It will take disk brakes, all the wheels, frame and fork have the necessary attachments but I haven’t got around to it. The V brakes are quite fierce anyhow.

What people usually comment on when they see a photograph of it is the spoke reflectors.

The current rash of Alfine hubbed, drop bar bikes do not tend to have a generator at the front. They also use integrated Versa shifters. Mine has Tektro brake levers and a MTB style “pod” shifter

I ride to work and back, approx 30 miles each day. During the winter the Roadrat is used pretty much exclusively. In the summer or when the weather is good, I do also have an Orbea racing bike

Another reason I got this bike is for occasional late season events. It’s good to have a full winter bike for riding in wintery weather. I’ll be using this bike in the up and coming Dartmoor Devil 100km event, which always has terrible conditions.

I’m not using this bike for my summer events like PBP for two reasons. Firstly, it is a slowish workhorse bike with luggage carrying and heavy tyres. Summer events are supposed to be fun. I’d rather breeze round on a fast bike. Secondly the geometry, is a bit odd. It works for me but it has a very long seat post and hands on the drops feel very low. It’s quite good on the hoods however and most commuting is in this position

In the winter though, the giant mudguards, superior weatherproofing and excellent brakes win out.

For the Dartmoor Devil I have fitted lighter tyres ( Rubino Pro Tech ) The rack is coming off before the event. Also I have new Koolstop brake pads


  1. I’m very tempted to give those spoke reflector a go. I’m just slightly put off by memories of the the ones I used to have as a kid on my BMX. The kelloggs frosty ones!

  2. What lacing pattern is that on your wheels? I thought it was a Crow’s foot until I opened up the image.

    • It’s just normal 3 cross. The Alfine hubs have large flanges and 2 cross would be better. 3 cross gives some nasty angles at the nipples


    Took a pic of the Kestor Inn at the end of the Dartmoor Devil, just spotted your bike under the window.

  4. It looks as if your saddle is about 12″ higher than the bars!


    • Yes, it is quite high! Strangely it isn’t uncomfortable. I might have to get a stem with more rise

  5. […] different thing I’ve done this year is getting a new commuter bike with gears. It also takes ice tyres. In theory this was supposed to help me ride the commute more […]

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