Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

Getting around on a hack...

RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
edited October 2009 in Commuting chat
The last month or so has been a new experience for me as, since my university days anyways, I have always had a fairly decent bike to commute on. Riding The Pig has been quite an experience. Fun, but certainly not something I want to prolong for longer than is needed. My thoughts:

Pros:
- I don't worry, or care too much for the possibility that it may bet stolen. Not as much an issue for work and back, but as The Pig is my primary means of transport it often has to be locked up out and about.
- Road surface issues no longer matter. 26"x1.4 non-sporty commuter tyres smooth out cattle grids, let alone ridges and bumps. I expect they'll be fairly PF resistant given their robust construction. The relatively cheap MTB wheels are very strong and so I've stopped slowing down for many obstructions that I used to be careful about before (like those nasty bolt down speed bumps we have at work). What drain covers?
- Given I do a lot of travel by train with my bike, it is also great not to care about some twit damaging my bike by him dumping his on mine. Happened too many times before. Less stress.

Cons:
- It is slow. It is mostly the heavy wheels and basic commuter tyres, but it takes some winding to get up to speed. Great when I'm feeling good, terrible when I'm feeling a bit off-colour.
- Bad handling. Even new it was a fairly cheap bike; the geometry isn't great, head angle is too slack, seat angle too steep. Front end is skittish. Also the basic commuter tyres don't have much grip, especially in the wet.
- Heavy! Taking trains a lot, it is a pain in the erse to carry up and down stairs!

At the moment, I'm still happy to ride it - but I am looking forward to when I can stick it somewhere to keep as a spare or a pub bike and get myself something more suitable for the daily commute. Something like a Condor Gran Fondo maybe... ;)

Not too sure when that will happen though, as I'm already contemplating a XC/marathon race bike for the 2010 season…

Oh well.

Posts

  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    Now you see why so many of us have steel FGSS hacks they make the perfect commute bikes, okay with narrow slick tyres you need to be a lot more careful but other than that everything else you said holds true, I sometimes have to remind myself that my SS is just a hack and I shouldn't worry about the hand painted frame picking up yet more scratches from some BSO riding twats BSO thrown against it, grrr still I learnt that the hard way, after taking my road bike on the train ONCE! :cry:

    Also because it's 531 steel and has no gears it's super light weight and fast 8)
    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.
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    itboffin wrote:
    Now you see why so many of us have steel FGSS hacks they make the perfect commute bikes, okay with narrow slick tyres you need to be a lot more careful but other than that everything else you said holds true, I sometimes have to remind myself that my SS is just a hack and I shouldn't worry about the hand painted frame picking up yet more scratches from some BSO riding twats BSO thrown against it, grrr still I learnt that the hard way, after taking my road bike on the train ONCE! :cry:

    Also because it's 531 steel and has no gears it's super light weight and fast 8)

    +1 to that, I just need to get me a hand painted paint job 8)
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Dunno, I like gears!
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    ps. one of my ongoing projects is a SS MTB
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    edited October 2009
    I like gears but for the commute there just not needed, even with 1350ft of ascent a day, i've upgraded a few parts since this photo was taken, now running a more manly GI with Campy cranks and Conti red tyres, where did I put that camera?

    838383911731428fbd124ea768d0b927.jpg

    Warning this may have had something to do with my mashed up knee :oops:

    4055982258_023fe547cf.jpg
    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.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I exclusively commute on ss steel bikes of varying off-road-ness. Got both an xc one and a cx one. A singlespeed cx bike is ideal for commuting, don't need to worry about obstacles, and almost as fast as the same bike with race tyres on.
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    Roastie wrote:
    ps. one of my ongoing projects is a SS MTB

    That brings bak memories of my first SS MTB, oh how I loved that bike, it did everything 8) I still have a hankering after a quality SS MTB for general off road hacking duties.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    itboffin wrote:
    Warning this may have had something to do with my mashed up knee :oops:
    ;) My reason exactly for resisting it. My knees are generally quite fragile, SS or fixed on a daily basis would be a bad idea.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    Roastie wrote:
    itboffin wrote:
    Warning this may have had something to do with my mashed up knee :oops:
    ;) My reason exactly for resisting it. My knees are generally quite fragile, SS or fixed on a daily basis would be a bad idea.

    Sigh!

    MTFU :P
    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.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Roastie wrote:
    itboffin wrote:
    Warning this may have had something to do with my mashed up knee :oops:
    ;) My reason exactly for resisting it. My knees are generally quite fragile, SS or fixed on a daily basis would be a bad idea.

    Depends on the climbing on your route and the gear. Spinning along the flat every day really wont do any damage.
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    edited October 2009
    Depends on the climbing on your route and the gear. Spinning along the flat every day really wont do any damage.
    Lots of hard acceleration from standing start to reasonably high speeds. If I have a gear suitable for the initial acceleration it would be way too spinny for the cruising, and vice versa.

    As much as I like SS, the ability to change gear was definitely progress!
  • NGaleNGale Posts: 1,866
    My dad literally has an old commuting hack for a bike

    after having my old MTB stolen, he got a £30 bike which we are gradually doing up to a presentable steed.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4056082602/
    Officers don't run, it's undignified and panics the men
  • Now the pig is speed machine compared to big green 4053069125_fbea2722f2_m.jpg

    very heavy 50lb though in no way could one say skittish even on wet metal etc if she looses traction is a steady slow plodding slide.

    on the plus side she's tough as old boots and like you say potholes speedbumps are simply not a issue.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    Roastie wrote:
    Depends on the climbing on your route and the gear. Spinning along the flat every day really wont do any damage.
    Lots of hard acceleration from standing start to reasonably high speeds. If I have a gear suitable for the initial acceleration it would be way too spinny for the cruising, and vice versa.

    As much as I like SS, the ability to change gear was definitely progress!

    Ah but you do find the perfect gear for the terrain and you learn to use it well, I love the surprised look when I take a roadie from behind :wink:
    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.
Sign In or Register to comment.