While visiting Nuremburg, Germany a couple of years ago, I couldn’t help but notice all of the cool commuter bikes lining the streets. Upon returning home, I did some research and contacted Peter White of Peter White Cycles. I had checked out Peter’s web site and noticed a really cool Tout Terrain commuter, the “Metropolitan.” What struck me about the Metro was its integrated rear rack (an integral part of the frame), the Gates carbon belt drive system, the routing of the tail light wiring inside the rear rack rails and several other unique frame features.
So, I took the plunge and was determined to build a full-Euro-dork commuter. I think I succeeded…..stainless fenders, mud flaps and all!
At the time of this initial post, I have over 800 commuting miles on the Metro, and it’s been a rock solid workhorse. People have asked me whether I would have done anything differently in the setup, and I honestly can’t think of hardly a thing (thanks to Peter White for his experience and guidance). The bike handles well, and the Gates belt / Rohloff drivetrain combination is smooth and stealthy. Relative to lighting, I opted for the Supernova E3 headlight and the companion E3 tail light (the three LEDs are deceptively bright, although they do not blink or pulse). The lighting system is powered by a Schmidt hub dynamo mated to a Schmidt fork that eliminates exposed wiring from the hub to the light (and makes wheel removal an uncomplicated matter). The Supernova E3 puts out good light, although I must admit that it’s not quite a bright as I had expected. Nevertheless, the light is a brilliant white, and at 15 miles per hour,it generates more than enough light for late-night beverage replenishment runs. Always remember….Safety Third!
As far as “luggage,” I chose Ortleib panniers and an under-saddle bag. I also just acquired a size medium Revelate Tangle frame bag, and it fits like a glove to my size medium Tout Terrain frame. Before wrapping up, I would be remiss if I didn’t give special mention to the Berthoud saddle and matching mud flaps! I chose Berthoud’s special “cork” finish, and it is unique and beautiful (and each one is a bit different, adding to its uniqueness). By the way, the stainless fenders are also by Berthoud – they are sturdy and very “old world” in appearance (and, a royal pain to drill and install!). Of course, no fenders and mud flaps would be complete without proper redneck ornamentation:
To sum things up, I am very happy with the Tout Terrain Metropolitan. It is a smooth, well thought out, maintenance-free commuter that should give years of dutiful service.
Here’s some detailed pics of the components and setup. Click on the image to see a larger photo, then use your browser’s “back” button to return back to the main page.