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Commuting questions from CP

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  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Ride in the gutter to avoid cars passing you REALLY close.
    RLJ to get a headstart on traffic
    Rose Xeon CW Disc
    CAAD12 Disc
    Condor Tempo
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    dhope wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Ride in the gutter to avoid cars passing you REALLY close.
    RLJ to get a headstart on traffic
    Ride on the pavement to avoid both traffic lights and cars.
    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!
  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    dhope wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Ride in the gutter to avoid cars passing you REALLY close.
    RLJ to get a headstart on traffic
    Ride on the pavement to avoid both traffic lights and cars.
    Shout at your fellow cyclist for the sightest discretions. The fewer on the roads, the clearer the ASLs will be.
    FCN 9 || FCN 5
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    jds_1981 wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    dhope wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Ride in the gutter to avoid cars passing you REALLY close.
    RLJ to get a headstart on traffic
    Ride on the pavement to avoid both traffic lights and cars.
    Shout at your fellow cyclist for the sightest discretions. The fewer on the roads, the clearer the ASLs will be.
    Wear headphones so that you can't hear other road users shouting at you.
    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!
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    jds_1981 wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    dhope wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Ride in the gutter to avoid cars passing you REALLY close.
    RLJ to get a headstart on traffic
    Ride on the pavement to avoid both traffic lights and cars.
    Shout at your fellow cyclist for the sightest discretions. The fewer on the roads, the clearer the ASLs will be.
    Wear headphones so that you can't hear other road users shouting at you.

    Wear sunglasses in all weathers, day and night....

    NEVER MAKE EYE CONTACT!!!!!
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    gtvlusso wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    jds_1981 wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    dhope wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Ride in the gutter to avoid cars passing you REALLY close.
    RLJ to get a headstart on traffic
    Ride on the pavement to avoid both traffic lights and cars.
    Shout at your fellow cyclist for the sightest discretions. The fewer on the roads, the clearer the ASLs will be.
    Wear headphones so that you can't hear other road users shouting at you.

    Wear sunglasses in all weathers, day and night....

    NEVER MAKE EYE CONTACT!!!!!
    At night, dress all in black with no reflectives or lights. Ninja is a good look (not that anyone will be able to see you).
    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!
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    gtvlusso wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    jds_1981 wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    dhope wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Ride in the gutter to avoid cars passing you REALLY close.
    RLJ to get a headstart on traffic
    Ride on the pavement to avoid both traffic lights and cars.
    Shout at your fellow cyclist for the sightest discretions. The fewer on the roads, the clearer the ASLs will be.
    Wear headphones so that you can't hear other road users shouting at you.

    Wear sunglasses in all weathers, day and night....

    NEVER MAKE EYE CONTACT!!!!!
    At night, dress all in black with no reflectives or lights. Ninja is a good look (not that anyone will be able to see you).

    A loose or ill fitting backpack is the perfect place to carry various swords, knives, fireworks and non-safety locked firearms on a bike.
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    gtvlusso wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    gtvlusso wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    jds_1981 wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    dhope wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Ride in the gutter to avoid cars passing you REALLY close.
    RLJ to get a headstart on traffic
    Ride on the pavement to avoid both traffic lights and cars.
    Shout at your fellow cyclist for the sightest discretions. The fewer on the roads, the clearer the ASLs will be.
    Wear headphones so that you can't hear other road users shouting at you.

    Wear sunglasses in all weathers, day and night....

    NEVER MAKE EYE CONTACT!!!!!
    At night, dress all in black with no reflectives or lights. Ninja is a good look (not that anyone will be able to see you).

    A loose or ill fitting backpack is the perfect place to carry various swords, knives, fireworks and non-safety locked firearms on a bike.
    To reduce the risk of punctures down to zero, remove your tyres and innertubes and ride on the rim.
    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!
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    gtvlusso wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    gtvlusso wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    jds_1981 wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    dhope wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Ride in the gutter to avoid cars passing you REALLY close.
    RLJ to get a headstart on traffic
    Ride on the pavement to avoid both traffic lights and cars.
    Shout at your fellow cyclist for the sightest discretions. The fewer on the roads, the clearer the ASLs will be.
    Wear headphones so that you can't hear other road users shouting at you.

    Wear sunglasses in all weathers, day and night....

    NEVER MAKE EYE CONTACT!!!!!
    At night, dress all in black with no reflectives or lights. Ninja is a good look (not that anyone will be able to see you).

    A loose or ill fitting backpack is the perfect place to carry various swords, knives, fireworks and non-safety locked firearms on a bike.
    To reduce the risk of punctures down to zero, remove your tyres and innertubes and ride on the rim.

    In order to 'feel safer' fit cameras everywhere on your bike. You may not catch any interesting activity but that lonely slog through the footage, every evening, looking for some tenuous violation of your right to cycle, you may just see the girl at number 32 whatever road taking her bra off in the bedroom window......
  • gtvlusso wrote:
    you may just see the girl at number 32 whatever road taking her bra off in the bedroom window......

    To be fair I did once see a girl open the door in her pyjamas. Funny place to have a door, I thought....
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • verminvermin Posts: 1,739
    gtvlusso wrote:
    you may just see the girl at number 32 whatever road taking her bra off in the bedroom window......

    To be fair I did once see a girl open the door in her pyjamas. Funny place to have a door, I thought....

    Are you Lee Mack?
  • OK, people are just being silly now! :) So trying to bring this back on topic ...

    This is my first post here. Great forum. I started cycling to work in about September last year - about 8.5 miles each way, into central London. Here's a few suggestions from my experience:

    Be seen. Get the right lights and a hi-vis jacket. I just don't get why you wouldn't do this.

    Don't overdo it. Depending on your age and fitness level, and the length of your commute, maybe start by cycling a couple of days per week then gradually increase it. If you overdo it, you'll start to hate it and give up.

    Beware of the red mist. I've found myself taking risks because of (a) adrenaline and/or (b) not wanting to surrender the momentum I've built up. I'm better at spotting that now and stopping myself. It's never worth the risk.

    Sign up to Strava, get the free app or a Garmin, compete against yourself and watch yourself get (hopefully) quicker on the various segments. Makes it a bit more interesting when you do the same route each day. But don't take risks just to be quicker;and also, recognise that some days are going to be slow days.
    Shut up, knees!

    Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    wandsworth wrote:
    Get the right lights...
    wandsworth wrote:
    Beware of the red mist.

    Sounds to me like you have a red light on the front and its a foggy day.
    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
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    wandsworth wrote:
    Get the right lights...
    wandsworth wrote:
    Beware of the red mist.

    Sounds to me like you have a red light on the front and its a foggy day.

    I've seen it done before.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,518
    Some great stuff on here. This is my first post, so anything I say will surely be roundly mocked, but here's what I've learned.

    Started commuting in and back three times a week or thereabouts six months ago (Reigate to Park Lane - about 25 miles).

    #1 - I haven't had a single 'real' puncture in the entire time I've been doing it - but have had several pinch flats. Make sure your tyre pressure is correct - and if you use CO2 inflators, remember to let your tyres down and pump them up with a real pump when you get back home - CO2 is less dense than air and will sneak out the inner tube a damn sight faster. Nothing like having to pump up from scratch in the morning :(

    #2 - Most drivers are NOT arseholes. Some are, for sure (a larger percentage of them inevitably being knuckle-dragging van drivers), but most aren't. I think it's actually about a 95%/5% split. However, most drivers definitely AREN'T bike-aware. Ride like you expect some censored to pull out on you at every junction without looking, to shift lanes without indicating and to pull right up your censored at lights.

    #3 - Bus drivers own the road. As do black cabs. They also don't subscribe to the percentages of #2 - in fact, it's almost inverse. 90-odd % of them are indeed arseholes. Don't bother arguing with them - accept it and move on.

    #4 - Silly Commuter Racing is fun. But don't let it define you. I smashed the arris out of my ride in a few weeks back, only to be beaten in a sprint up Constitution Hill by a bike messenger. I was grumbling to myself all day. If it happens, accept you got bested and move on.

    #5 - Expect Boris Bikes to piss you off as they meander around Park Lane, Hyde Park and Marble Arch seemingly deliberately attempting to pull out in front of you, other cyclists, pedestrians, cars and everything else in sight

    #6 - Learn to love the jelly baby. Most mornings I can't be arsed to eat properly beforehand, so I just chuck a handful of them in my jersey pocket and munch them all the way in.

    #7 - Cola does not make an ideal substitute for energy drink. As I found to my cost when filling my bottle with it and opening it for the first time five miles in. Physics never was my strong point...

    #8 - After work beers are a mistake if they extend to more than two. Definitely do NOT do what I did a cuple of months ago and cycle home after six pints, dressed in black, with a black bike, black helmet and no lights like a drunken cycling ninja.

    #9 - Strava. That is all.

    #10 - Almost forgot. Croydon is an abject censored .
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Norvern Munkey/Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • jacknorelljacknorell Posts: 62
    Remember the formula for the £££ cost of a cheap locking solution:

    Cost of lock + Cost of bike + Cost of public transport!
  • A topical one for today. If thunderstorms are predicted, consider taking waterproofs, even if it looks sunny. Pac-a-mac to the rescue

    At least I never bother taking the lights off the bike, so hopefully i'll just be wet rather than squished
  • Get the best bike you can afford

    But possibly make-do with whatever you've got available until you know what kind of bike you *should* be buying. Too many people jump at whatever the bike shop recommends and in a couple of months wish they'd got something else.
    I'm finding myself in a similar quandary. I bought a hybrid Cannondale Quick CX4. It's basically a rigid mountain bike frame with 700c wheels, and wideish tyres. My reasoning at the time was I did not want suspension, wanted flat handlebars, and needed something that would be light, rigid enough to deal with my weight, and suitable for use on some quite poor canal towpaths. I found the Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes were useless on hills, and probably also due to my weight of nearly 19 stone. I also live in quite a hilly area. So I ended up upgrading the brakes for Shimano XT hydraulic at a cost of almost half the bike itself. It's that kind of stuff you just can't find out spending a couple of minutes with a bike at the shop, as the real world use is quite different. The new brakes are light years ahead, but I kind of wish I'd just saved more and longer, then got a better bike to begin with.

    I'm still early on in my cycling life though, having hardly ever cycled before and not at all in the last 10 years before I bought a bike just over a month ago. But there are some positives. The gearing is low enough to help me build my fitness on hill climbs. What I have is certainly good enough for me to be getting on with, and miles ahead of the BSO I got from Tesco over 10 years ago. I'm beginning to think if I get fitter and more into cycling, I'd like a 29er, and a trekking bike - probably one with flat bars. I don't think I'd ever go for a full out road bike, but if a bargain like the Triban 3 red is around in a few years time, I might be willing to give it a try. (It was tempting to get one with the recent stock reappearance, but can't justify slapping all that on a credit card). Like my brake example above, I guess it needs extended use in the real world to get the feel for it and the benefits. To me dropped handle bars seem rather daunting.
  • anewman wrote:
    Get the best bike you can afford

    But possibly make-do with whatever you've got available until you know what kind of bike you *should* be buying. Too many people jump at whatever the bike shop recommends and in a couple of months wish they'd got something else.
    I'm finding myself in a similar quandary. I bought a hybrid Cannondale Quick CX4. It's basically a rigid mountain bike frame with 700c wheels, and wideish tyres. My reasoning at the time was I did not want suspension, wanted flat handlebars, and needed something that would be light, rigid enough to deal with my weight, and suitable for use on some quite poor canal towpaths. I found the Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes were useless on hills, and probably also due to my weight of nearly 19 stone. I also live in quite a hilly area. So I ended up upgrading the brakes for Shimano XT hydraulic at a cost of almost half the bike itself. It's that kind of stuff you just can't find out spending a couple of minutes with a bike at the shop, as the real world use is quite different. The new brakes are light years ahead, but I kind of wish I'd just saved more and longer, then got a better bike to begin with.

    I'm still early on in my cycling life though, having hardly ever cycled before and not at all in the last 10 years before I bought a bike just over a month ago. But there are some positives. The gearing is low enough to help me build my fitness on hill climbs. What I have is certainly good enough for me to be getting on with, and miles ahead of the BSO I got from Tesco over 10 years ago. I'm beginning to think if I get fitter and more into cycling, I'd like a 29er, and a trekking bike - probably one with flat bars. I don't think I'd ever go for a full out road bike, but if a bargain like the Triban 3 red is around in a few years time, I might be willing to give it a try. (It was tempting to get one with the recent stock reappearance, but can't justify slapping all that on a credit card). Like my brake example above, I guess it needs extended use in the real world to get the feel for it and the benefits. To me dropped handle bars seem rather daunting.

    Once you go road you'll love it. And drops are good too - but just because they're there doesn't mean you have to use them!
    What do you mean you think 64cm is a big frame?
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 3,976
    zebulebu wrote:
    #8 - After work beers are a mistake if they extend to more than two. Definitely do NOT do what I did a cuple of months ago and cycle home after six pints, dressed in black, with a black bike, black helmet and no lights like a drunken cycling ninja.
    This is fine. It invokes the secret code - "if they can't see you they can't get you."

    Same principle applies for when you are going fast. SCIENCE FACT.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • Now it might be a stupid question to you but with tyre pressures being as high as they are 120PSI + what do you guys do for pumping up the tyres to the required pressure if you get a puncture ? i'm looking to do 24 mile round trip commute and don't fancy having my stirrup pump in my bag. :?
  • You'll get home to your track pump quite happily with 80psi.
    Either CO2 canister or a race rocket pump will do that for you WHEN you puncture.
  • mrkev83mrkev83 Posts: 184
    Hi-vis, decent lights and Strava

    Buy the best you can afford

    I've had stuff out of Aldi that's lasting but equally I've had stuff that's lasted less than 20 miles
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/mrkev83

    Built for comfort... Not for speed
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,994
    MrKev83 wrote:
    Hi-vis,


    :roll: :roll: :wink:
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • mattvmattv Posts: 992
    Strava is bad, very bad. Been commuting for nearly 10 years now, but only discovered it a few days ago. Now starting to train fir a 100miler sportive in May, and as soon as I reach a segment the red mist descends. Got 16th out of 104 on a climb today in strong winds. But it's never enough!!
    Real advice though, 2 bikes so you have a backup. I have a road bike for most of the year, with a lightweight hardtail mtb for ice/ snow or really bad weather (discs beat rim brakes hands down in dirt and rain).
    Always carry a spare tube (make sure it's the right size and NOT YOUR LAST PUNCTURED ONE) And a pump and allen keys (4and 5mm cover almost everything on a bike). Anything more than this and most people will have a "plan b", walk home for a car, taxi, tube etc.
    Leave no petrol in the car! That way, if you are late you still are quicker by bike than driving AND searching for fuel!
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,971 Lives Here
    Dead right about discs in bad weather. With the number of cross type bikes now available with discs I would say they are definitely the way to go for a bike used in all weathers. Bloomin' marvellous.
  • Veronese68 wrote:
    Dead right about discs in bad weather. With the number of cross type bikes now available with discs I would say they are definitely the way to go for a bike used in all weathers. Bloomin' marvellous.

    bit of a catch 22 if you're cycling on snow / ice though. The extra braking force will have you sliding in random directions before you know it :wink:

    I'm in two minds to fit the ice spikers to the disc equipped felt or put them on the old tricross.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • Veronese68 wrote:
    Dead right about discs in bad weather. With the number of cross type bikes now available with discs I would say they are definitely the way to go for a bike used in all weathers. Bloomin' marvellous.

    bit of a catch 22 if you're cycling on snow / ice though. The extra braking force will have you sliding in random directions before you know it :wink:

    I'm in two minds to fit the ice spikers to the disc equipped felt or put them on the old tricross.

    I've found the modulation of disks to be good, certainly on hydro ones on MTB, always easy to just use a gentle touch, ie not snatchy breaks.
  • If they are truly Ice Spikers, they are fab with disc brakes. I've been using mine on my Cube MTB with hydraulic discs and they are fantastic. As Roger says too though - discs have much better modulation and are far more predictable. The only downside I've found is keeping salt from corroding the pistons.

    Despite the naysayers, discs are creeping in everywhere now. Give it 3-5 years and they will be the norm on new bikes.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • DJFishDJFish Posts: 49
    If a non-rider, or new rider, were to ask you for bike commuting advice what would you tell them? What do you wish you knew when you started commuting by bike.

    I don't post much so I hope this is ok with the regulars:


    ASLs or Advanced Stop Lines are designed to let cyclists to get a head start over motorised traffic thereby increasing their safety, in my opinion they work best if cyclists leave them (more or less) in the order they joined them.

    If you come to an ASL and there are other cyclists waiting, don't pull ahead of the ASL and the waiting cyclists unless you're sure you can out drag each and every one of them.

    If you make this mistake once, don't do it again at the next set of lights, and the next.

    Know your place in the food chain, and don't try to race everyone, especially in heavy traffic.
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