Friday, September 17, 2010


The Giant SCR2.0 As Fast Commuter

Running an old chain too long on the Surly LHT has buggered the middle chainring on its triple (to the extent that is slips alarmingly when standing to climb, or sprint - suddenly finding you have no power and a load of impatient Audi drivers behind you is not my idea of fun). Whilst I wait for a replacement 39t chainring, the Giant is doing commuting duty.

The saddlebag is my Carradice Lowsadde Longflap, held on with ViVa bag loops on the rails of the Fizik Aliante saddle. There's always been a bracket on the seat stay for a Smart Superflash, so that's just switched over from the LHT - the other rear light (Blackburn Mars 4.0) is in the light loop on the Carradice. My M520 SPDs were put on (it's a very stop/start commute, and the usual SPD-SL would get annoying). My Knog Bullfrog goes up front as a flashing light, and a Dealextreme "flood to throw" torch goes on as the front steady light. This bike has always had a set of wheels with 23mm tyres (Aksiums and GP4000, currently) and one with 25mm tyres (handbuilts, DRC ST17 Elegant II rims on Tiagra hubs[1], with Pro Race 2 tyres) so the latter went on for the commute.

Since buying the LHT, I made some changes to the SCR2.0 - a 130mm stem as opposed to 110mm, FSA Wing Alloy bars, a 31.8mm seat post - all of which makes this a less practical, more leisure oriented bike, in theory. The sort of bike the Yehuda tendency would scoff at. (To be honest, even the solid, steel framed LHT is on thin ice with the Yehudas, on account of its 30/39/50 and 14-25 gearing - as any fule kno, you can't haul load with that sort of setup).

I shouldn't really be surprised, as I commuted on this bike for a couple of years, but I enjoyed today's commute a lot - the Giant is a lot more responsive than the LHT (although it needs watching far more around potholes & other imperfections in the road). Dry days, maybe I should treat myself to a fast commute more often.

[1] A really nice set of wheels, built by Paul Green of Rick Green Cycles. Highly recommended.


Red Bike said...

I'm looking at starting commuting again next week. 'Thankfully' to begin with I'm only going to be riding every odd day so I can just take everything into/from work in the car the day before/after.

Red Bike said...

btw. I think the LHT should be upgraded to the best bike. Its far too nice to be a commuter!

John the Monkey said...

Good luck with the commuting - glad to see you're taking the recovery easy (and that it's going well so far).

As for the LHT - yep, it's a great bike. I think of the SCR as the best bike because it tends to get the new bits - an awful lot of the LHT kit is handmedowns from the Giant. But as a go (pretty much) anywhere bike that'll eat up miles, the LHT is really nice. If it was just that touch lighter... ;-)

colinr said...

Commuting on my 'good' bike is too exciting and encourages racing traffic even more than usual. Taking the MTB on the other hand unleashes a whole world of 'I can traverse anything' bad habits. It's therefore best for everyone that my commuter bike is well maintained ;)

Karl McCracken (twitter: @karlonsea) said...

But it has those newfangled "gears". I tell ya, they'll never catch on.

Oh - btw - nice ride!