Hardworking. Loyal. Capable. They always start in the worst weather, and get you back home after a long day or night out. Although their owners speak of them as “This Old Thing” or “The Beater,” we all know that our commuters are more often than not the bikes we can’t live without. Here are a few of the commuter bikes we here at Q see most every day.
Trucker Deluxe, Ben Oliver
I started riding mountain bikes in the late ‘80s and back then there was a plethora of sweet and expensive ano rasta stuff. I just can’t get away from that color combo. I once rode this bike to the Minneapolis airport, packed it into an S&S backpack case outside the terminal, flew to Denver, built the bike, got to Boulder for a friend’s wedding, rode around the whole time, then made it back home without ever stepping foot inside of a car. (I did use public transit to get to Boulder from DIA though.)
1X1 Rat Ride, Kate Echols Moore
This beast is a lean mean steel machine that scoffs at the concept of gears. The coolest parents ever got me this bike when I was 12. I used to ride this bad boy on the mountain trails at Lutsen with my dad, and it was my first grown-up bike. I never really grew up after that, so I think my 1x1 has always been destined for mischief.
Independent Fabrications Ti Crown Jewel, Larry Kaatz
I bought this bike because I wanted to use a SRAM road group and didn’t want to put it on my 20-year old custom steel bike. This bike is five pounds lighter than the old CrMo bike and fits me just as well. For the first several rides, when I pulled it off the hook in my basement I marveled at that weight difference. This bike helped motivate me to start racing again and has added enjoyment to my commuting.
Nishiki Cresta “Blasphemer”, Michael Groskreutz
I took what was originally designed as a “credit card tourer,” wrestled it around a bit, and made it my own sort of beast. I love tinkering with this bike to make it low maintenance, reliable and above all, rattle-free. This unsuspecting build is a sleeper, making other mechanics shake their heads or fist pump once they take a closer look.
WM Bolster Corlyn Custom, Mike McGary
I’ve always loved this bike. I bought it from a bike shop owner in Arizona in the mid ‘90s, where it had been sitting unridden for ages in a back room. It has the date of completion etched in the bb shell (April 19th, 1979). The frame is a little too beefy to be a proper lightweight roadie, with long chainstays and swept out fork rake, but it’s a great commuter. The Phil Woods still spin like buttah’. I put the fenders and rack on it when I first moved to Minneapolis and it’s perfect for around here.