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We're All Doing Our Commuting Wrong!

shm_ukshm_uk Posts: 736
edited July 2011 in Commuting chat
From the Guardian Bike Blog, discussion on commuting;

"I've been cycling to school/university/work for the last 50 years. It so happens that I sent Evans Cycles a comment on their ridiculous advert for the Ride To Work scheme a couple of weeks ago: the advert features a bike that does not have fixed lights, does not have reflective tyres, doesn't have mudguards or chainguard and doesn't have a pannier. The cyclist is carrying a rucksack which makes falling more likely; the main risk is back injury (even more so if the rucksack contains a laptop or other hard objects) which the helmet and fancy gear she is wearing will not protect against. (I haven't had a reply!)"

:shock:

Twit
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  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 2,309
    Haha! To be fair, my commuter has mudguards and a saddlebag. However I am seriously lacking in the chainguard / pannier / fixed lights / reflective wheels department.

    Bet Evans had a good laugh reading that comment.

    *runs off to stick reflectives to tyres
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  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,409
    I'd love to have all that on my commuter. I'd also like to have a shorter commute and live somewhere flat and have space for a specific commuting bike.

    What he says kind of makes sense, in a ideal world. But not for me.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
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  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    Rucksack makes falling more likely? Reflective tyres?!
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    My winter commuter has all the things he mentions.

    I rock.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • pitchshifterpitchshifter Posts: 1,476
    shm_uk wrote:
    The cyclist is carrying a rucksack which makes falling more likely

    This is why I use a messenger bag...
  • jzedjzed Posts: 2,926
    edited July 2011
    Did you not know, wearing a rucksack means you are more likely to stop at red lights and wear a helmet.

    As for reflective tyres they mean you're more likely to run reds.

    I have no idea what I am talking about much like the blogger
  • cloggsycloggsy Posts: 243
    Stereo-typical Guardian reading.....

    :roll:
  • jamescojamesco Posts: 687
    The writer comes across as a grumpy old bloke, but he has a point (if a silly way of making it - Evans can sell whatever they want) as everything on his list is useful for commuting. My hybrid had a chainguard until it broke, and I kinda miss it despite the dorky look...
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    The article and the comments were as to be expected

    As for the comment quoted by the OP, it's Evans. They will sell anything bike wise and people want cheap. So Evans customers will get bikes without all the stuff that make riding a bike in the UK cleaner and nicer

    My winter commute bike has fixed lights, reflective tyres and full mudguards
    My summer bike is basically a racing bike with a SQR saddlebag
  • Jason82Jason82 Posts: 142
    How can a backpack make you more likely to fall off? I am a wrongon acccording to this thread just call me satan of the commuting world.
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  • CrackFoxCrackFox Posts: 287
    ".. fixed lights...reflective tyres....mudguards...chainguard...pannier."

    A 5 step plan for bicycle uglification.
  • nationnation Posts: 609
    The commuter I'm building has a rack and will have mudguards. I'd fit a chainguard as well if I could find anywhere that sells them. I'm not sure I'd want fixed lights given that decent lights are a theft magnet, I'd rather have take them with me when I lock up.

    I had no idea that reflective tyres were even a thing.

    I'll still use the road bike and courier bag on nice days, though.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    nation wrote:
    I had no idea that reflective tyres were even a thing.

    Schwalbe marathon plus have a reflective sidewall.

    My winter commuter looks like this:

    civia-bryant-01-485.jpg

    But with brown guards, chain guard, brookes saddle, bar tape and marathon plus'.

    I don't think she's ugly.

    must get some new pictures this weekend.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • I have some Marathon Winters to pop on the Day One for the snow, they have reflective side-walls too. In the dark, I'm always amazed how invisible some cyclists are from the side, even the ones with massive lights front and back.

    On the Equilibrium I still have a few of the reflective spoke straws from last winter, they made a good difference. I suspect reflective side-walls would be a very good thing indeed.
  • shm_ukshm_uk Posts: 736
    " .. the main risk is back injury .. which the helmet .. she is wearing will not protect against"

    What? Really? Wearing a helmet won't protect against back injury?

    The guy's a loon :lol:
  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968
    CrackFox wrote:
    ".. fixed lights...reflective tyres....mudguards...chainguard...pannier."

    A 5 step plan for bicycle uglification.
    What are you doing then, commuting or posing?
  • snailracer wrote:
    CrackFox wrote:
    ".. fixed lights...reflective tyres....mudguards...chainguard...pannier."

    A 5 step plan for bicycle uglification.
    What are you doing then, commuting or posing?

    Steady now, some of us like to do a combination of both.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,147
    problem with reflective tyres is they don't stay clean, see below! 5900110013_0de44c1a9f_z.jpg

    in terms of being ugly well, that as may be, but for myself I like paniers and mudguard (front is too tight.)

    even with all that gear and Marathon pluses I can hit 30+ on a nice bit of road. and take her on spins out to the Surrey Lanes she's a nice blend of quick and robust.

    i even took her to have a look at old Ockham Airfield, coped fine with this track. 5971692902_b9d1c64ed5_z.jpg

    was a hoot!
  • king_jeffersking_jeffers Posts: 694
    shm_uk wrote:
    The cyclist is carrying a rucksack which makes falling more likely.

    Its true! If your pack has a waist strap which you never use and forget to tuck away it can catch on the seat and over you go.... :oops:

    Very embarrassing especially right at the front of a big traffic queue.
  • LimburgerLimburger Posts: 346
    My commuter has a full chain case, hub gears, moustache bars, hub brake/disk things (dunno if they are a proper disk or a hub thing), dynamo, pannier rack, pump peg, bottle cage, full 'guards, tyres with a reflective strip on 'em, flat pedals with reflectors and it might even have some wheel reflectors but I can't remember without going outside to look.

    My bike is awesome just - like - me.

    I am in Holland though, and it is a Batavus, and you have to be a real man to carry it up a flight of stairs - thing must be knocking on 20 kg, and it 'ain't what you call fast.

    I don;t wear a helmet either, or any cycling specific (or even mildly sporting) clothing when I ride for the 8 minutes it takes me to get to work.

    EDIT - Roller brakes!
    God made the Earth. The Dutch made The Netherlands

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  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    shm_uk wrote:
    From the Guardian Bike Blog, discussion on commuting;

    "I've been cycling to school/university/work for the last 50 years. It so happens that I sent Evans Cycles a comment on their ridiculous advert for the Ride To Work scheme a couple of weeks ago: the advert features a bike that does not have fixed lights, does not have reflective tyres, doesn't have mudguards or chainguard and doesn't have a pannier. The cyclist is carrying a rucksack which makes falling more likely; the main risk is back injury (even more so if the rucksack contains a laptop or other hard objects) which the helmet and fancy gear she is wearing will not protect against. (I haven't had a reply!)"

    :shock:

    Twit

    I am shocked and appalled; He does not mention smoking a woodbine or a pipe whilst commuting.
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    The article is pretty interesting though, and I agree with most of it. It really is a joy to pootle around on a town bike when you're not in a hurry. Bit disappointed that he still puts in a few digs about lycra wearers on light bikes who ride fast. He even implies that your choice of clothing and steed determines how law abiding you are.
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    cloggsy wrote:
    Stereo-typical Guardian reading.....

    :roll:

    Not really.
  • CrackFoxCrackFox Posts: 287
    snailracer wrote:
    CrackFox wrote:
    ".. fixed lights...reflective tyres....mudguards...chainguard...pannier."

    A 5 step plan for bicycle uglification.
    What are you doing then, commuting or posing?

    Steady now, some of us like to do a combination of both.

    Exactly. Com..posing.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,147
    notsoblue wrote:
    The article is pretty interesting though, and I agree with most of it. It really is a joy to pootle around on a town bike when you're not in a hurry. Bit disappointed that he still puts in a few digs about lycra wearers on light bikes who ride fast. He even implies that your choice of clothing and steed determines how law abiding you are.

    i used to have a big hybrid that was set up much like that, the problem is you can only really go slow, and going fast, becomes hot and sweaty and uncomfortable very quickly.

    With present bike (see above) i still don't don lycra but I can roll along the tow path icecream in hand on a nice day or hit the tarmac and zip along. or even some mild off roading.
  • nationnation Posts: 609
    I've noticed that the more cycle commuting has become a habit for me, the more I've tended towards riding slower and wearing less cycling gear.

    Part of it, I think, is that it is a lot more intimidating riding slowly in traffic than it is getting lycra'd up and riding fast enough to flow with it. This is mostly because drivers become a lot more agressive, especially if you ride assertively.

    I think it takes a bit of experience and confidence to really be able to deal with that.
  • nationnation Posts: 609
    I've noticed that the more cycle commuting has become a habit for me, the more I've tended towards riding slower and wearing less cycling gear.

    Part of it, I think, is that it is a lot more intimidating riding slowly in traffic than it is getting lycra'd up and riding fast enough to flow with it. This is mostly because drivers become a lot more agressive, especially if you ride assertively.

    I think it takes a bit of experience and confidence to really be able to deal with that.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    shm_uk wrote:
    The cyclist is carrying a rucksack which makes falling more likely.

    Its true! If your pack has a waist strap which you never use and forget to tuck away it can catch on the seat and over you go.... :oops:

    Very embarrassing especially right at the front of a big traffic queue.

    I find rucksacks faaaar more comfortable and stable than panniers. I tried panniers for about a week and couldn't get used to the way it completeloy alters the feel of the bike, especially going round corners, I literally felt like the panniers were going to pull me over. Rucksacks are far better...
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  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    I find rucksacks faaaar more comfortable and stable than panniers. I tried panniers for about a week and couldn't get used to the way it completeloy alters the feel of the bike, especially going round corners, I literally felt like the panniers were going to pull me over. Rucksacks are far better...

    I couldn't do my weekly shop with a rucksack on my road bike. Its easy on my slow bike with ortliebs.... Also, if you're wearing a jacket or a shirt, its pretty uncomfortable to wear a rucksack whilst on the bike. Horses for courses, ent?
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    notsoblue wrote:
    The article is pretty interesting though, and I agree with most of it. It really is a joy to pootle around on a town bike when you're not in a hurry. Bit disappointed that he still puts in a few digs about lycra wearers on light bikes who ride fast. He even implies that your choice of clothing and steed determines how law abiding you are.

    i used to have a big hybrid that was set up much like that, the problem is you can only really go slow, and going fast, becomes hot and sweaty and uncomfortable very quickly.

    This is why you need more than one bike ;) Ideally I'd have three, carbon roadie, fast tourer and town bike.
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