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Commuting questions from CP

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  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    rjsterry wrote:
    Buy a bike you like. Ride it around. Job done!

    So, how's the mixte? Did I miss anything?

    Still wondering what's on the frame stickers... I am a sorry state of affairs...

    Cheers,
    W.

    You're not the only one.

    18-23... I think that was the bad stuff, right?

    Also: excellent! Shame the same cannot be said for my back.
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    18-23... I think that was the bad stuff, right?...
    I'm afraid it's not top quality: See this thread for a bit more info.

    I rode an 18-23 Raleigh as a winter hack for a while. It wasn't in the same class as a 531 frame but it went well enough. Don't invest in any fancy parts for it, though, unless you plan to re-use them on something more exotic in the future :-) .

    Cheers,
    W.
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    18-23... I think that was the bad stuff, right?...
    I'm afraid it's not top quality: See this thread for a bit more info.

    I rode an 18-23 Raleigh as a winter hack for a while. It wasn't in the same class as a 531 frame but it went well enough. Don't invest in any fancy parts for it, though, unless you plan to re-use them on something more exotic in the future :-) .

    Cheers,
    W.

    Nah, fancy is not what it's for! I've been pretty successful in getting it done on the cheap, thanks in part to a few very generous individuals! I do really like riding it, though, and I've had far, far heavier bikes... actually I still do!

    The only planned upgrade now is perhaps some brakes - the current ones are a bit so-so, and I'm not sure whether it's because of the fact that they're old calipers!
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    Newer calipers are certainly more effective. That said, the first thing to try is replacing the pads. Newer ones are definitely much stoppier* than the ones from the early nineties.


    * TM
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    My 18-23 framed fixie is ~1kg lighter than my (aluminium framed) Giant OCR roadbike.
    I was surprised that, even with the 'heavy' frame, the fixie was lighter. Goes to show how much the cassette, deurailleurs and two chainrings weigh.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • Drfabulous0Drfabulous0 Posts: 1,539
    1. Assume everyone else is in idiot, you will be right a lot of the time. (Not just when cycling).

    2. Don't pay any attention to forums on the interweb.

    3. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for another cyclist to be on the road ahead of you.
  • snookssnooks Posts: 1,521
    1. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for another cyclist to be on the road ahead of you.
    2. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for another cyclist to be on the road ahead of you.
    3. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for another cyclist to be on the road ahead of you.

    FTFY :twisted:
    FCN:5, 8 & 9
    If I'm not riding I'm shooting http://grahamsnook.com
    THE Game
    Watch out for HGVs
  • kieranbkieranb Posts: 1,674
    try and have at leats one bit of your commute through a quite stretch of park etc, good for the soul, and practising no hands riding/track stands!

    Know roughly where the nearest bike shops are on your route, ditto tube/train stations just in case.

    Don't get a cheap lock.
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,922
    kieranb wrote:
    try and have at leats one bit of your commute through a quite stretch of park etc, good for the soul, and practising no hands riding/track stands!

    Also handy for a quick breather when having a sly pootle before you venture back out onto the roads. There was on side street I used for such and any mid ride tweaks if needed.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • georgeegeorgee Posts: 537
    Buy two essential pieces of kit

    1. Toe covers
    2. A cap

    The best £22 you'll spend on bike kit.
  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    georgee wrote:
    Buy two essential pieces of kit

    1. Toe covers
    2. A cap

    The best £22 you'll spend on bike kit.

    I'd also add mudguards to that list, my Road Racers (discrete!) are probably one of my favourite upgrades, shortly followed by the Planet X overshoes and a waterproof jacket - you can't really put a price on being dry(ish) and warm in bad weather :-D
    Who's the daddy?
    Twitter, Videos & Blog
    Player of THE GAME
    Giant SCR 3.0 - FCN 5
  • Do tell your readers about the benefits of hub gears for city commuters - they need almost no maintenance and most importantly you can change gear while stationary, which is a boon in town for beginners who frequently have to make sudden stops until they learn to anticipate pedestrians better.

    The criticisms of hub gears that are often trotted out seem mostly to be aimed at Sturmey-Archer 3-speeds of the 70s, i.e. that they are flimsy and have narrow ranges. That's not true of modern hub gears for adult bikes.

    Mudguard Nazi, FCN 10
  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    Do tell your readers about the benefits of hub gears for city commuters - they need almost no maintenance and most importantly you can change gear while stationary, which is a boon in town for beginners who frequently have to make sudden stops until they learn to anticipate pedestrians better.

    The criticisms of hub gears that are often trotted out seem mostly to be aimed at Sturmey-Archer 3-speeds of the 70s, i.e. that they are flimsy and have narrow ranges. That's not true of modern hub gears for adult bikes.

    Have a look at this hub geared beauty - WARNING: OFF SITE LINK :-) I quite like the fact that there's no gear change and the gear range is fairly decent. It also does a damn good job of hiding that nice cruise gear behind some rather pathetic (by size) looking drivetrain - one of the tell tale signs of a fast SS rider is usually massive ring (oh er!) and small sprocket :-)
    Who's the daddy?
    Twitter, Videos & Blog
    Player of THE GAME
    Giant SCR 3.0 - FCN 5
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    When you install an inner tube line up the valve with the logo on the tyres. It makes locating a the cause of a puncture a million times easier
  • Don't get drunk.

    If you do get drunk, don't post on forums.

    If you do get drunk and post on forums, don't divulge intimate information.

    If you do get drunk, post on forums and divulge intimate information hope other parties don't find out.

    If you do get drunk, post on forums, divulge intimate information and other parties find out, don't expect sympathy here.

    The exception that proves the rule
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • ketsbaiaketsbaia Posts: 1,718
    Do tell your readers about the benefits of hub gears for city commuters - they need almost no maintenance and most importantly you can change gear while stationary, which is a boon in town for beginners who frequently have to make sudden stops until they learn to anticipate pedestrians better.

    The criticisms of hub gears that are often trotted out seem mostly to be aimed at Sturmey-Archer 3-speeds of the 70s, i.e. that they are flimsy and have narrow ranges. That's not true of modern hub gears for adult bikes.

    +1

    And I've got a nice 8-speed hub geared commuter for sale, as it happens, at a highly reasonable price. :D
  • navtnavt Posts: 374
    Don't think you can simply pick up and ride your bike day-in-day-out. At some point, something will break. Spend some time giving it a bit of TLC. Saves the hassle of being broken down by the side of the road.

    Learn to maintain your bike. It's great fun and satisfying.
  • Buy one step above the bottom-end.

    Shimano Tourney is properly nasty, but Altus is perfectly good stuff. A frame of "high-tensile" steel is almost certainly godawful, but there are few genuinely bad cro-mo frames. Unbranded parts are invariably grim, but minor-brand parts from the likes of Tektro or Formula are usually fine.

    Diminishing returns kick in quickly and a £2000 bike with Dura-Ace is only marginally better than a £400 machine with Sora, but that £400 bike is immeasurably better than a £200 cheapo.

    There's a tipping point at about £400 - enough that the manufacturer doesn't have to cut corners, not so much that they're looking for places to spend money. Once you go beyond that point, you're getting very little extra for your money.
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,506
    Diminishing returns kick in quickly and a £2000 bike with Dura-Ace is only marginally better than a £400 machine with Sora

    Bobbins.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • JSTJST Posts: 158
    Get your morning/afterwork routine sorted so you don't have to spend time running about sorting kit out before you leave and to ensure you have what you need at work without having to think about it...
  • samohtsamoht Posts: 7
    Getting started:
    - take a test ride to work on a weekend/day off, so you can try it out and find the route without any time pressure. This will give you confidence that it's do-able, and a rough idea of how much time to allow. Find somewhere safe at/near work to lock up your bike.
    - any bike will do, as long as it's a reasonably comfortable fit and in working order. Start with what you've got (or can beg/borrow). Once you make commuting a habit, you will be able to justify spending more, and make a better decision about what will make it easier
    - think about how much you spend on train tickets / petrol a week - this will give a good initial motivation to 'break into' commuting by bike
    - in traffic, don't worry too much about what's behind you, just keep going in a predictable (straight) line at a steady pace. Don't feel forced into riding too close to the kerb - you limit your options and will just pick up punctures. Try to anticipate when you will need to pull out / turn, signal and position yourself in advance.
    - don't charge up the first big hill you encounter. Pick a low gear and focus on maintaining a steady, sustainable pace. Blowing your energy early on will slow you down overall.

    take it steady and enjoy the fresh air and fitness!
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Probably already been said, but regardless of how hard or difficult it seems at first it will only get easier once you get used to it, so don't abandon after the first couple of attempts just because it was a bit harder than you expected.
  • woodnutwoodnut Posts: 562
    Don't even think about dieting, especially if your commute is more than 7 miles and/or hilly. You will lose weight quickly at first and you need to think quite carefully about fueling yourself.

    Look for alternate routes that suit your mood, the weather, time of year. I have three main routes (between 10 and 15 miles), two for my road bike and one that can only be done on my MTB style hybrid (some on here will cry "heresy" :lol: )..This means I have more alternatives to the car.

    Finally, most importantly, if you are tired, dog tired, then take a rest. Most of us are NOT athletes and push yourself too far, it won't have a good outcome.
  • mancmannmancmann Posts: 16
    I have to agree with some comments on here with regards to hybrids I purchased one last year hoping to be able to use it as a off road ish bike and a road bike. Never knew too much about biking as you may have guessed. I paid around £600 for it which I know is not a vast amount of money for a bike but it was a lot for me,
    I should have gone for a commuting bike and a off road and been a 2 bike owner.
    I hopefully am going to start commuting to work , its about a 11m one way ride (is that classed a a good distance?) I tried it the other month and i found the traffic busy for most of the route so i m trying to ride a more friendly route.
    I would love to do the Christies 100 this year but it may be a bit too soon for me right now.
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,506
    mancmann wrote:
    I have to agree with some comments on here with regards to hybrids I purchased one last year hoping to be able to use it as a off road ish bike and a road bike. Never knew too much about biking as you may have guessed. I paid around £600 for it which I know is not a vast amount of money for a bike but it was a lot for me,
    I should have gone for a commuting bike and a off road and been a 2 bike owner.
    I hopefully am going to start commuting to work , its about a 11m one way ride (is that classed a a good distance?) I tried it the other month and i found the traffic busy for most of the route so i m trying to ride a more friendly route.
    I would love to do the Christies 100 this year but it may be a bit too soon for me right now.

    Yup, it's a fine distance. One morning, just ride your bike to work. Continue to do so. Soon, it'll be how you get to work.

    11 miles is decent: it's enough to get you (very) fit, but not so much as to destroy you.

    Ride your bike in a work-wards direction: you'll get there.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • mancmannmancmann Posts: 16
    thanks for the advice
  • mancmannmancmann Posts: 16
    just completed my 1st two rides to work, first day got a bit lost put on an extra mile managed to complete 10.48 miles in 49 minutes. On the return trip never got lost 9.38 miles completed it in 39 minutes. Going for a lie down now.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    mrushton wrote:
    A fixed or poss. single-speed is the ideal commuter.

    Use the bike to carry the kit not eg a rucsac so a rackpack is good as are mudguards.

    MTBs (no suspension) are good commuters esp. if used with 26 x 1 tyres

    expect everyone in a car to be mad and to do exactly what you fear they will do.

    Get reliable tyres fitted and carry disposable gloves and spare tubes with a spare tube at work. The tyres may be heavy but you need the puncture resistance more than fast cornering.

    Carry a chain-tool and spare link.

    A fixed is only much use in fairly flat and windless areas. Elsewhere, they offer little gains that can't be equally achieved using a simple geared bike.

    A rucksack is potentially better than bike mounted luggage depending on length of commute and weight of luggage. Keeping the luggage on your back avoids spoiling the handling of your bike. Hence I use a carbon bike plus rucksack for commuting up to about 55 miles round trip.

    MTBs with front suspension are adequate for commuting and rather good in extreme conditions - I use mine mostly from December through January - often on studded tyres.

    As for tyres - heavy commuter tyres like Schwalbe Marathon are great in winter but for other seasons, far lighter puncture protected tyres will also keep your spare tube unused!

    I carry two spare tubes and even then, a repair kit is still worth carrying.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    mancmann wrote:
    just completed my 1st two rides to work, first day got a bit lost put on an extra mile managed to complete 10.48 miles in 49 minutes. On the return trip never got lost 9.38 miles completed it in 39 minutes. Going for a lie down now.

    Good man! You will be down to 30 mins for 10 miles before you know it!

    :-)
  • I'm quite new to this site and I must say that there is some fantastic advise on commuting in this thread.

    The only advice that I would add is:

    When you've decided you going to cummute by bike, give yourself a date to start and stick to it. Otherwise you'll just keep planning forever.

    Once you're into the routine, it just gets easier and easier.

    Best bit of advice on this thread for me, is beg steal or borrow something to get you started.

    Actually, DON'T steal!
    Epic FSR for the real stuff
    Hardrock Sport utility bike
    Boardman CX Team
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