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Cheap commuter options.

mangetout_rodneymangetout_rodney Posts: 121
edited August 2014 in Commuting general
What do people who already have a decent bike or two do when they want to commute?
I am really hesitant to commute on my nearly new SL4 Tarmac- I'd be leaving it around Shoreditch and it would last about 5 mins even with a decent lock on it.
I'm not even sure I'd want to do it on my Whyte 29er either.

Do people tend to buy an old beater and ride on that, or buy one of the cheaper commuter bikes (under £500 or so)?


  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    I suppose the usual questions apply ... how far is the commute, what are the roads like? Of course a beater may look a bit shanky but still go like a train if it's got all the right bits. My hack bike has been upgraded to the point where I wont leave it anywhere...
  • Sorry, I should have known I wasn't providing enough info.

    West London (Chiswick/Acton area) to Spitalfields area- about 10 miles each way.
    London roads so patchy in places but not too bad.
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    If where I'm working has a reasonably secure bike parking facility I take a decent bike, otherwise I take an old bike that looks a bit tatty and worn to the untrained eye.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • I think if I had to leave it on the street I'd buy something second hand, would not care how battered it looked (more battered the better) but would make sure the components are all good so it rides as good as possible, as in I'd replace them myself. The way I see bikes in London parked together I'd hate to leave nice paintwork on the street like that...

    eBay or classifieds may help?
  • For my commute (which includes secure indoor bike parking), I use my 2013 Cobia.

    For all other duties (which involve leaving my bike locked up outside) a very scabby-looking 2005 Hardrock which functions perfectly but looks like a dog.

    I'd say buy something s/h, make sure it looks scruffy but make sure the oily bits are in good order.
  • notnotnotnot Posts: 284
    Having a bike that looks like a dog but rides well can be useful. Things like mismatched mudguards and an ugly bell don't stop it from working nicely but make it look less attractive.

    Also, think about where you leave it. Obviously leaving in a public/CCTV covered place is good, but the other bikes locked nearby can also make yours more secure - I often leave my hack locked in a rack where people leave some pretty nice road bikes with pretty cheap locks. If someone's nicking bikes there, I think mine will be pretty low down the list!
  • notnot wrote:
    Having a bike that looks like a dog but rides well can be useful.

    I've finally got my Hardrock working perfectly and it's a revelation to have something I can leave lying around just about anywhere without worrying about it getting nicked/scratched.

    Went on numerous errands at the weekend which I wouldn't have done on the Cobia. I was actually tempted to commute in on it this morning then saw sense and jumped on the 29er.

    But it's great having two. I might be going out in Shoreditch after work this week and if so (and if I cycle in) I'll take the Hardrock.

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