Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

New Commute

cyclepoochcyclepooch Posts: 15
edited April 2009 in Commuting chat
I am a newbie to the forums, so hello! 8)

Tomorrow I start my 21 Mile Commute and I am praying it will go well. It seems that the odds are against me though. Yesterday, my pride and Joy, a Dawes XC 2.2 converted into a Hybrid Configuration was pinched from my Garden. Not to be dettered I have resurrected my old Saracen Cheapo Mountain Bike as I can't face the train/bus combination.

Up until Friday, my commute was 10 miles a day rain or shine and I particularly enjoyed riding in snow/ice (yes I am a strange one). So now my Commute is jumping to 42 miles per day and I am quite excited by this if not a little worried.

I have done a couple of test rides and all was well, however because my newer bike was stolen, I have to ride the bike I call 'old gill'.

I will carry spare innertubes, removal levers, pump and water. The usual mobile phone will be present too. Any other suggestions?

Also, does anyone do a similar commute? How did you find it?

My main fear is something like an axle snapping or chain snapping. I am not too worried about cables breaking.

I took Old Gill to my local Cycle Shop to have him looked over and all was well. I have done a bit of riding on old gill and although he's not as nice as my Dawes, he's not so bad.

Posts

  • benno68benno68 Posts: 1,689
    cyclepooch wrote:
    My main fear is something like an axle snapping or chain snapping. I am not too worried about cables breaking.

    Hi there and welcome.

    What a gutter about your Dawes. Think on the bright side though, you're able to cycle and you have a spare bike - yippee :D

    As you've had the bike checked out by your LBS, everything should be fine, and you've got spare tubes and levers in case you meet the PF (puncture fairy), keep your tyre pressures up too as that usually prevents puctures.

    Lights?

    To alleviate your anxiety about the chain, why not get yourself a chain splitter (or a decent multi tool) and some re-usable chain links. Google "Alien 2 - Multi Tool" which should cover most bases if emergency maintenance is needed.

    Now you just need to visit the thread "Silly Commuter Racing" and join in the fun!
    _________________________________________________

    Pinarello Dogma 2 (ex Team SKY) 2012
    Cube Agree GTC Ultegra 2012
    Giant Defy 105 2009
  • tardingtontardington Posts: 1,379
    You can get those spare clip-together links for chains?

    One of the good things about mtb's is that you can fit one in the back of a regular taxi, in extremis!
  • Benno68 wrote:
    cyclepooch wrote:
    My main fear is something like an axle snapping or chain snapping. I am not too worried about cables breaking.

    Hi there and welcome.

    What a gutter about your Dawes. Think on the bright side though, you're able to cycle and you have a spare bike - yippee :D

    As you've had the bike checked out by your LBS, everything should be fine, and you've got spare tubes and levers in case you meet the PF (puncture fairy), keep your tyre pressures up too as that usually prevents puctures.

    Lights?

    To alleviate your anxiety about the chain, why not get yourself a chain splitter (or a decent multi tool) and some re-usable chain links. Google "Alien 2 - Multi Tool" which should cover most bases if emergency maintenance is needed.

    Now you just need to visit the thread "Silly Commuter Racing" and join in the fun!

    Yes indeed I can still ride plus I had insurance too so all is not lost.

    Lights, I better go get some. Part of me still thinks I have the Dawes which was fully kitted out.

    @TARDIE

    What are these clip together links you speak of? Do I require a tool to use them?

    I have thought about the Taxi thing too, also I found somewhere where you could get Bicycle breakdown cover, although it doesn't cover punctures - but a chain snap I guess would be covered.
  • tardingtontardington Posts: 1,379
    I think they are called.. powerlinks? Hold on...
    A pair of these (it says you need two...)
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/SRAM_ ... 300003847/

    I'll try and find a better link! I've actually got some rolling about the bottom of my rackpack - a nice bike mechanic gave them to me before I went up to thurso.

    Thinking about it, you'll still need a chain tool to remove the old bits. :oops:

    Hope the insurance comes through quickly. What insurer do you use?

    ADDS this sort of thing
    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/ebwPNLq ... 921c003208
  • Excellent, I will take a look at those. Thanks tardie.

    I have just bought a delinker/multi tool and wacked on some lights. I also forgot about the pump too and have got one of those now and two spare tubes.

    Yeah I hope the insurance comes through quickly too. I am with Tesco Home Insurance.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    cyclepooch wrote:
    I am a newbie to the forums, so hello! 8)

    Hola! Welcome to the forum! :)
    Tomorrow I start my 21 Mile Commute and I am praying it will go well.

    Excellent. Get thee to the SCR thread. :D

    I
    t seems that the odds are against me though. Yesterday, my pride and Joy, a Dawes XC 2.2 converted into a Hybrid Configuration was pinched from my Garden.

    Sorry to hear that. Let's hope any splinters they picked up getting over any fences become seriously infected or they just suffer from leprosy in due course.
    Not to be dettered I have resurrected my old Saracen Cheapo Mountain Bike as I can't face the train/bus combination.

    Good man. Public transport is god awful when commuting IMO.
    I will carry spare innertubes, removal levers, pump and water. The usual mobile phone will be present too. Any other suggestions?

    Chain tool, chain link, insulating tape, spoke key, allen key set, super glue (I've inserted this in really bad gashes in the tyre and used insulating tape on the inside as a temporary measure), spare batteries fo rth elights 9if there's a chance of you commuting in the dark.
    Also, does anyone do a similar commute? How did you find it?

    Only 30 miles a day compared to your 42, but am tiring by the Friday (in a good way, of course).

    Good luck! :)
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Hi cjcp,

    I had a bit of a splurge today and got most of what you have suggested bar the Super Glue and Insulating Tape.

    Re the public transport, agreed it's not ideal. I prefer to be in control of my own destiny and that's why I have chosen to continue cycling. I am looking forward to when it's really cold as that's my favourite time to ride, very strange I know.

    All going well I shall post about how it went tomorrow evening. Assuming I make it! :P
  • benno68benno68 Posts: 1,689
    When your insurance comes through, just think "road bike" and you won't look back, you can always get some advice from here when the moeny comes through ! Honestly, you won't believe the difference.

    I popped into my LBS today and ordered the Alien DX tool (27 tools in one) which includes a spoke key (good shout CJ). My LBS sell them online for £34.89 which seems great value, let me know if want their details.
    _________________________________________________

    Pinarello Dogma 2 (ex Team SKY) 2012
    Cube Agree GTC Ultegra 2012
    Giant Defy 105 2009
  • Road Bike...... I have thought about it but have always been a Mountain Bike Rider even though I don't really go off road. I guess I just like the presence and sturdiness of a MTB verses a Road Bike. I guess I am set in my ways. That being said, a friend of mine has a Road Bike and I struggled to keep up with him. I think one thing that puts me off a road bike is the thin tyres.

    I stuck a coule of Schwalbe Tyres on my MTB and that made a big difference to speed but from what I had read on here, I am actually a bit of a slow coach! :P

    At the moment I am on old gill. Not an ideal start to my new commute as I had just spent a lot of money on my Dawes bike which was pinched. I have had some little rides during the weekend and can certainly tell the difference.

    In terms of a road bike, what would you recommend around the £500 mark?
  • benno68benno68 Posts: 1,689
    cyclepooch wrote:

    In terms of a road bike, what would you recommend around the £500 mark?

    This is very much down to the individual, but Giant, Specialized and Trek are probably the main 3 manufacturers to consider.

    A visit to your LBS is your best bet, get them to measure you up for the best frame size, see if they have any 07 or 08 models on sale and take a couple for a spin.

    Also, check if your employer is on the Cycle to Work Scheme - before you buy anything.
    _________________________________________________

    Pinarello Dogma 2 (ex Team SKY) 2012
    Cube Agree GTC Ultegra 2012
    Giant Defy 105 2009
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Agree with the suggetsion of a road bike: you're doing s longer than average commute and you'll be quicker on the road bike and for less effort (e.g. I think I'm 10 mins quicker each way over 14-15 miles on the road bike).

    Here are some suggestions:

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/sco ... e-ec016351

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/pin ... e-ec018113

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/tre ... e-ec016472

    Dawes also do some under 400 quid, but I don't know what they're componentry is like in terms of durability.

    Don't be put off by thin tyres. :)
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • R_T_AR_T_A Posts: 488
    cyclepooch wrote:
    In terms of a road bike, what would you recommend around the £500 mark?

    Welcome!

    I've just done the cycle to work scheme and got the Giant Escape R1: http://www.cyclestore.co.uk/productDetails.asp?productID=15474&catID=428

    I'm only doing a 20 mile round trip, but even after a week the increase in speed and efficiency is significant. I reckon a full out roadie is definitely what you're looking for, as you'll be needing the extra energy later in the week.

    I wear a rucksack, but have you considered panniers?
    Giant Escape R1
    FCN 8
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
    - Terry Pratchett.
  • how was the 1st full day?

    hope you didnt get too wet this morning :(
    FCN 4

    thereback.jpg
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    cyclepooch wrote:
    Road Bike...... I have thought about it but have always been a Mountain Bike Rider even though I don't really go off road. I guess I just like the presence and sturdiness of a MTB verses a Road Bike. I guess I am set in my ways. That being said, a friend of mine has a Road Bike and I struggled to keep up with him. I think one thing that puts me off a road bike is the thin tyres.

    Thin tyres are brill - don't be put off. They'll have more then enough grip and certainly more than the equivalent MTB tyre, and be honest - how many roadies do you see sitting at the side of the road because they've had yet another puncture, or have slid off on a bend. Grip wise your nerve will give out before a thin tyre lets go. Just keep them pumped up.

    21 miles is about 1½ hours each way initially so 12 - 15 hours a week pedalling. For that you really do want a road bike, even if you think you don't. It'll be easier, faster if you want it to be, and you will come to wonder how you ever thought that a MTB would be ok for this ride. Get a lightwieght road machine, with ridiculously thin tyres, a narrow slotted saddle, and some carbon bling. Enjoy the ride.
  • c12345c12345 Posts: 99
    +1 road bike
    simply because you will have more positions to put your hands, and more comfort.
    I do a similar distance to you, details are in another thread somewhere so won't repeat myself, but expect about two months of feeling pretty drained before your fitness levels catch up with your mileage. After that it becomes easy.

    Anyway, hope it went well. You picked a fine day to start, its wet as down here!
  • Well I made it on the first day. The weather was awful. I was soaked through. I also got lost and my commute in was 25 miles.

    However, I was absolutely on fire when I got into the Office. I felt so awake all day it was amazing.

    My secret fuel that got me there was a pint of Lucozade and a Snicker lol.

    Hmmm, road bikes. You are starting to sell the idea to me guys but I have ridden MTB's for like ever. It's like eating with a knife and fork and then moving somewhere where it is customary to eat with chopsticks.

    You see, I reckon I had it all with my old Dawes and the Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tyres. My average speeds are around 17 miles per hour on the Dawes (when I had it) and about 14mph on old gill (my rust bucket bike).

    So you reckon I might be even faster? Or perhaps the same but for less effort?

    PS My company does not do cycle to work, I checked it when I bought the Dawes and they still don't do it now :shock:

    Thanks for all the help and suggestions, I feel bad for coming along and taking all this advice! I will take a look at the recommendations and keep you posted on my progress.

    (Sore legs tonight).
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    You'll be faster for less effort. I commuted on the mtb over the winter and the effort damn near left me exhausted at the end of the week, and my commute is shorter than yours.

    A pint of Lucozade? :shock: Did you suffer any digestive distress? :lol:
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • lol no digestive distress so to speak I have an iron stomach. I just felt wired.

    The riding position looks quite different on a Roadie. Is it still comfortable?
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    It's perfectly comfortable if you get the right sized bike. Very important this. How tall are you?
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • I am 5ft 11.

    I am wondering whether something like a Hybrid would be more suitable to me?

    As an example, this badger: -

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/sco ... e-ec016347

    I just can't let go of the Mountain Bike Addiction. Perhaps I should see if I can have a test ride on a fully fledged Road Bike as I have never ridden one.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    <Adopts snobby road voice :P > One thousand pounds on a hybrid. :shock:

    Go for test ride. However, it'll take more than a test ride around the streets near the bike shop to get used to the riding position. You need to take it out for an hour or so really, perhaps more. If you think they're not for you, and you'd prefer a hybrid, spend your money on a hybrid.

    Alternatively, if you want something you can take off road, but is still quick, have you considered a cyclo cross bike?
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Wow, My noobishness really shines through.

    I hadn't heard of a Cyclo cross until now.

    I would like something with Hydraulic Disc Brakes again, but I don't think I can get that with a Road Bike?

    Having gone back to my older bike which uses V brakes, I really miss the precision offered by the Discs on my other bike.

    I have issues.

    I reckon I should just get a Road Bike and get used to it :D
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    cyclepooch wrote:
    Wow, My noobishness really shines through.

    I hadn't heard of a Cyclo cross until now.

    I would like something with Hydraulic Disc Brakes again, but I don't think I can get that with a Road Bike?

    Having gone back to my older bike which uses V brakes, I really miss the precision offered by the Discs on my other bike.

    I have issues.

    I reckon I should just get a Road Bike and get used to it :D

    Orbea do a disc braked road bike. Pretty sure one was reviewed by C+ last year. Check out the bike reviews on BikeRadar. Might be on there. There could well be other manufacturers that offer such a bike too, but none immediately spring to mind.

    The cross bikes will have canti brakes on them.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Excellent, I guess I shall do lots of researching and then see what people think of my choices. Thanks for your help so far.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    No problem. Lots of folks on here ride Cross bikes, so can help you there.

    Btw, if you're 5'11, you need to look for 56cm road frames. I think cross bikes have a slightly different geometry, so you might need a 54cm frame, but I'm not sue about that, so the Cross perverts as they are affectionately known here :wink: , will correct me if I'm wrong.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • benno68benno68 Posts: 1,689
    £1000 should get you a very nice road bike. They are confortable provided that you get the correct fit, there are also vrious frame geometry's to choose from so you don't need to opt for the out and out road racing geometry.

    CJ knows more than me on the subject but I'm just trying to nudge you into getting a roadie, you know it makes sense!

    I quite like the look of this. Dunno if the link'll work but you can copy and paste it into your browser.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Focus_Cayo_105_2009/5360037591/
    _________________________________________________

    Pinarello Dogma 2 (ex Team SKY) 2012
    Cube Agree GTC Ultegra 2012
    Giant Defy 105 2009
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    edited April 2009
    This was the one I was thinking about:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... -08-28049/

    Good shout on the Focus though. There's a thread on here at the moment in which the pros of the Focus range are discussed. Good value for money, and much cheaper than the Orbea

    Here's a Focus disc cross bike, so my earlier comment needs correcting:

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Focus ... 360037601/
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    cjcp wrote:
    No problem. Lots of folks on here ride Cross bikes, so can help you there.

    Btw, if you're 5'11, you need to look for 56cm road frames. I think cross bikes have a slightly different geometry, so you might need a 54cm frame, but I'm not sue about that, so the Cross perverts as they are affectionately known here :wink: , will correct me if I'm wrong.

    Yep go for the 54cm cyclocross higher BB and more relaxed geometry.

    CX rules yeh! cjcp wants one big time just like he wants a TT and a SS, do it do it :roll:
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    Not sure that you'll need a smaller frame because its a cross bike. The angles might be slight more relaxed (depends which one you get) - for example mine are 72 rather than 73 degree angles - but that's not a lot. I have the equivalent frame size as my road bike.

    I just mention it because 54cm does seem quite small for someone 5'11".
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    Mmmm £1000

    http://www.boardmanbikes.com/road/road_team_carbon.html

    I've got the comp and the reviews are great and it's lovely and comfy, my commute is 20 miles and this is my first roadie after 16 years of MTBs.

    I want that one now :roll:
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
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