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cheapo road bike for the commute

philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
edited February 2019 in Commuting general
Looking at going up into London, and commuting to a shared workspace, which has secure-ish parking, but don't really want to take either of my nice bikes along.

Anyone got any ideas, was looking at a btwin 520/540, as they seem decent bikes regardless.

Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd be looking secondhand anyway. How long is your commute ?
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    +1 ^

    I'd be looking cheap and tatty second hand if the storage is only semi-secure. Even a Btwin 520 will attract the attention of the criminally minded if it's new and shiny.
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Secure ish parking? You could just buy a couple of big locks and they'll probably be fine.

    I'd recommend building up something yourself, it's a good chance to learn a bit about bike maintenance, people often sell old groupsets etc for peanuts, and best of all unique bikes are less tempting to thieves - the most stolen bikes are bog standard ones like the btwin, because they are easy to sell on without getting caught (as dozens are on sale at any one time).
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    Was thinking that in any case. have some old ultegra bits that'd function ok and would probably just need a set of brakes and a frame and seatpost and some bombproof wheels. The route is effectively Richmond park to Hatton gardens. i'll see the secure parking bit after the final interview. early days yet.
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Love it, still at the interview stage, already planning new bike purchase! :-)
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    It's not as if anything ever got nicked from Hatton Garden is it?

    Oh, wait...
  • Another +1 for second hand.

    If you already have good bikes, and if it's solely for commuting, then I'd get a tatty retro bike like Peugeot and hack it to a single speed with 75+ gear inches and maybe clipless pedals to deter theives.

    Retro bikes are dead cheap. Have a look at your local tip / recycling centre.
    There's no hill between your destinations.
    Tatty bikes aren't interesting to opportunists.
    Opportunities won't be able to cycle away "heavy" gearing and clipless bike... might be fun to watch.
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,194
    Another +1 for second hand.

    If you already have good bikes, and if it's solely for commuting, then I'd get a tatty retro bike like Peugeot and hack it to a single speed with 75+ gear inches and maybe clipless pedals to deter theives.

    Retro bikes are dead cheap. Have a look at your local tip / recycling centre.
    There's no hill between your destinations.
    Tatty bikes aren't interesting to opportunists.
    Opportunities won't be able to cycle away "heavy" gearing and clipless bike... might be fun to watch.

    I had a friend who rides fixed who saw a thief try to steal his bike but soon fell over in a heap on the road after trying to ride away. My friend was then able to retrieve his bike and call the Police.

    I second the above about second hand, you should be able to grab a second hand frame and some wheels for not too much and if you already have most of a groupset, well you're nearly there!
  • Jimny14Jimny14 Posts: 54
    Yep +1 for second hand, im sorting out a second hand 80s frame for similar purposes at the moment, keeping mine geared with 2x9 (from 2x6 originally) mixture of original chain rings, and swapped from 27 1/4 wheels to 700c, and am swapping DT shifters for dura ace bar ends and an old dura ace rear derailleur in decent working order. My theory is keeping bike looking random looking, fetching brown frame, old mtb saddle I had about and some contrasting bar tape on modified drops that someone seems to have tried to make in to bullhorns (bike came with em) it should be easy to identify and not likely to get nicked.
  • Depends on definition of "secure ish".
    Locks only protect the frame and wheels.
    I've had a few pals with components removed from their bikes. Typically it's the allen key bolts off the stem/headset- cut (or unhook) the cables and you can take the bars, shifters, forks out straight away. It's a 10 second theft.

    I have two solutions to the problem:
    1. Brompton. It comes with me into the office, under the desk. Or into client offices - they have never complained.
    2. Single speed 2nd hand. I have 3 old Specialized (1 Langster, 2 Tricross singlecross) that are great because they have no fancy components to nick (see allen key note above) and minimal maintenance for winter riding.
    Commute: Langster -Singlecross - Brompton S2-LX

    Road: 95 Trek 5500 -Look 695 Aerolight eTap - Boardman TTe eTap

    Offroad: Pace RC200 - Dawes Kickback 2 tandem - Tricross - Boardman CXR9.8 - Ridley x-fire
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    While that is certainly true, your typical bike thief might baulk at the idea of carrying around a set of handlebars with brifters attached and visibly cut cables - it looks rather more like they've been nicked, as compared to nicking a complete bike, where you just look like someone with a bike.

    I mean, if the choice is between nicking someone else's bike (and being able to make good their escape on it) versus nicking your, admittedly shiny, bars and brifters, well, I dunno, I don't think it's that common that they'd take the second option.

    But as you say, secure-ish can mean a lot of things. I consider my bike parking secure-ish - it's in a bike shed with a combination padlock on the door (which could be chopped through with croppers in zero seconds), but it isn't visible from the street, we do have a security guard on the gate who in theory doesn't let in anyone who shouldn't be here, and I can see the sheds from my office window (although realistically it's unlikely I would notice someone breaking in, or be able to do anything beyond shout 'Oi' as they rode off with my bike...)

    So obviously I do my best to make sure that my bike is the best locked one within the shed, and consider theft just one of the many risks associated with riding it to work (like some chopper taking me out and writing it off, leaving me with the bill).
  • Planet X EC130 ultegra.
    or a supersix.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    Planet X EC130 ultegra.
    or a supersix.
    hehe. nah. not a fan of cracknfails.
  • philbar72 wrote:
    Planet X EC130 ultegra.
    or a supersix.
    hehe. nah. not a fan of cracknfails.

    Crack'n'fail was the name for Cannondales when they were made in the USA and were a little bit too optimistically light weight. Nowadays the frames for the mid to low level bikes are all coming out of the same Chinese factories as a huge number of other brands. The importer Dorel uses fuji-ta for a large number of their bike brands except Schwinn which tend to get the worst possible factories and sell mostly to places like Walmart nowadays. Some of the cheaper brands like Raleigh have sinced moved to lower end factories in Bangladesh but I believe Dorel hasn't lowered the manufacturing quality of Cannondales yet and are still made by fuji-ta which I guess is seen as mid-tier quality, not as good as Taiwan but not as bad as Bangladesh or Cambodia. Note: Some bikes have mainland China manufactured frames but get final assembly in Taiwan as Taiwan is seen as best quality, these are basic assembly plants with low wages. A bit like bikes that come over from the far east get boxed or minor assembly in Germany and get a 'made in Germany' stamp on them it's all about marketing to people's preconceptions about quality which can mean they can put a considerable margin on the product purely by having the right origin label.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yn5kIpIrv0&t=55s
  • Get a Brompton, Phil... a lot of fun
  • TyresomeTyresome Posts: 113
    https://www.boardmanbikes.com/gb_en/pro ... b-8.9.html

    This looks interesting. Single chain ring and hub gears, and disc brakes, should make it a good commuter bike.
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