The most popular posts on this blog continue to be those of my On-One Pompetamine build. The project started out with the goal of building a cheap commuter/errand runner bike that I wouldn’t worry too much about being beaten up, or worse, stolen. Another requirement was that it should not require much maintenance.
At first though this would be a cheap single speed beater. I live in a very flat city and don’t really need gears for getting around. As I started to source parts this changed a bit. I saw a good deal on an Shimano Alfine 8 speed hub and the built quality and price went up from there. Needless to say this bike isn’t high end, but it certainly is not a beater either.
I’m happy to say that after a few months of commuting to work and lots of biking around the city, I couldn’t be happier with how this bike turned out. A bit of a surprise, its one of my favorite bikes to ride. Why that is, is not immediately apparent to me, but I think it’s partly due to the Alfine hub. I didn’t anticipate it, but the ability to shift while stopped or not peddling is huge when trying to cycle though the city. That ability is taken for granted now, and I find traditional bicycle drivetrains a bit annoying in the city compared to the Alfine. Another plus for the hub is that it’s almost silent in operation, nice.
One of the other things that has turned out to be rather pleasant are the tires. I ended up going with 28mm wide Clement Strada LLG. They are nice fast tires but they also have a bit of ‘give’. No punctures to date, knock on wood. With the Mavic A319 rims, 28mm is the smallest tires that will fit due to the rim width. This tire is about as small as I would go anyways.
Not everything about the Pompetamine frame is perfect although you might expect that for $130CAD. The paint is very thin. Lots of paint will be removed when you lock this bike to a bike rack or lean the frame up against almost any hard surface. Another downside is that the effective top tube length is on the small side. This is most likely since it was probably designed for use with drop bars.
The only other non-frame related downside to this build is the rear cog sizing that I picked. It is geared too high. Instead of an 18 tooth cog, I should have went with 20 tooth. This will be changing shortly and look forward to slightly lower gearing.
Since the original build, I’ve added a Tubus Fly rear rack. This rack is very minimal and thats why I like it. Extremely light weight but robust enough to carry a change of clothes and a laptop. Additionally to the rear rack, I’ve added an Abus Bordo
lock. Attached to the frame, its never forgotten and always easily accessible. The Bordo, combined with a locking from skewer makes locking the bike up quick and painless. Next up is a locking seat collar.
The only change I will be making to this bike is the addition of a dyno hub built up as a new wheel. The wheel will be shared with the Surly Ogre. More on that later.
That’s all I can really think to report on at the moment. If anything comes up in the future i’ll post an update. If your on the fence I would recommend trying it out. After all, if it doesn’t work out your only out a minimal amount of cash.