The cycling thread

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  • caligari 6 Nov 2007 22:31:58 16,986 posts
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    Buses are really getting on my nerves. So much so that I'm going to start cycling to work. Four miles isn't THAT far, is it? :s

    Anyway, I know we've had a few 'bike purchasing' threads in the past, so I thought it was about time for a fresh one.

    Any tips on where I can pick up a bike for a decent price (pref. online)?

    I'm thinking of going for a hybrid bike (half MTB, half road bike) - any idea if they're any good?
  • Furbs 6 Nov 2007 22:33:43 45,699 posts
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    Its something I'd really like to do, but I wonder how people feel fresh after it?
  • caligari 6 Nov 2007 22:40:09 16,986 posts
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    Furbs wrote:
    Its something I'd really like to do, but I wonder how people feel fresh after it?

    Have you been on public transport lately? I come off covered in other people's sweat. ;_;
  • itamae 6 Nov 2007 22:55:12 9,858 posts
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    Post deleted
  • PepsiMax 6 Nov 2007 22:56:46 604 posts
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    I cycle to work most days, its great!

    BUT - yeah, you get a bit sweaty but not too bad. I have a quick wash, bit of deodarant, get changed etc.

    In some ways its a faff, but i feel much better for it.

    I live in Cumria, so traffics not much of an issue.

    If you don;t cycle a lot or longer distances then a hybrid would probably be best, and Evans would be a good place to start.

    Do you know abut the Cycle to Work scheme as well?
  • Red-Moose 6 Nov 2007 22:59:20 5,346 posts
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    caligari wrote:
    Buses are really getting on my nerves. So much so that I'm going to start cycling to work. Four miles isn't THAT far, is it? :s

    Anyway, I know we've had a few 'bike purchasing' threads in the past, so I thought it was about time for a fresh one.

    Any tips on where I can pick up a bike for a decent price (pref. online)?

    I'm thinking of going for a hybrid bike (half MTB, half road bike) - any idea if they're any good?

    It's not far at all and after a short while (maybe a week or two) you'll be wondering why you never did it before - get exercise, fresh air, arrive awake, not being a useless lump of meat being carted around on an old sardine diesel can.

    That's my personal rant.

    RE: the bike, i use a hybrid for commuting. The suspension at the front is handy for rough urban streets and if you are going up or off footpaths.

    Don't get an MTB, and make sure to get some road-ish tyres put on. Some hybrids come stock with pseudo-MTB tyres, and are unnecessary.

  • espy 6 Nov 2007 23:19:57 840 posts
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    I heartily reccommend biking to work. My trip is only 3.5km (12-15 minutes) and I'm going to try to bike through winter as well. Fresh air, excercise, wakes me up, noone sneezing at me in the stuffy subway.

    General tips:

    - don't hurry. Cruise. Getting there 30 seconds sooner is not worth sweating and getting a cold

    - get decent clothing. You need a hat, no arguments. Ears must stay warm. A wind-proof, waterproof jacket is also a must. Also, keep your neck warm, gloves are also good, especially in rain. This all promotes sweating, so refer to rule one. (only applies in winter, of course).

    - mtb tyres are made for grip, if you're not on dirt you're wasting energy. On paved surfaces: thin tyres. Less resistance, less energy consumption.

    - get a bike with all the unsexy stuff: fixed lights, mudguards (or whatever the things that protect you from the water coming from the wheels are called). This is a bit like having proper boots in winter: you don't have to care about puddles and snow gunk, and you stay dry. Also: fixed lights. Less trouble than carrying clip-ons, and you'll never forget or lose them, and the batteries can't run out. Makes you slower, but not by a lot

    - have the bike dealer adjust the frame for you. A comfortable sitting position may be more beneficial than a sporty one. Make sure your saddle is high enough that your legs can extend all the way while treading (everything else is a waste of energy).

    All I can think of right now. Have fun!
  • Hunam 6 Nov 2007 23:27:28 20,674 posts
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    What ever you do, don't buy a bmx. They knacker the crap outta me and i ride probs around a mile!
  • cubbymoore 6 Nov 2007 23:30:13 36,468 posts
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    I didn't know you were 15 Hunam?
  • nick303 7 Nov 2007 00:06:52 1,526 posts
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    I cycle to work everyday but then i live in York so now where is too far away. There are people i work with who live outside the city and cycle 15 miles each way!

    Have you looked into those cycle to work schemes to get a tax free bike? Or something like that anyway.
  • caligari 8 Nov 2007 20:08:39 16,986 posts
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    Ohhh, I'd forgotten to check this thread (spent the whole day yesterday with a lovely 'puking' bug).

    Thanks for all the tips, chaps.

    Is this bike any good?
  • spazmo 8 Nov 2007 20:20:18 2,756 posts
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    I wouldn't bother with front suspension unless you're going off road. I'd also get some Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres and forget about getting punctures. I have a Specialized Sirrus Sport and would easily recommend it or one of it's kind. More of a racing bike but with flat bars. I cycle around 200 miles a week.

  • Razz 8 Nov 2007 20:21:42 60,737 posts
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    Far too expensive

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  • Angel_Treats 8 Nov 2007 20:30:24 11,072 posts
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    I cycle to work. It's about five miles each way. I also cycle roughly ten miles each way to my Portuguese class every Saturday morning, to and from uni twice a week and everywhere else I need to go, really. Probably about 60 or 70 miles a week. And I love it. It helps that I'm not a sweaty person though so I don't even break a sweat and by the time I get to work I still smell nice :-)

    I have a Ridgeback Comet which is about 250 worth of hybrid and I'm very happy with it.

    Tip: Get some panniers. Rucksacks will make your back very sweaty and will make you hunch if it's heavy and make your back hurt.
  • Neu-Razz 8 Nov 2007 20:32:29 563 posts
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    Hmmm... I'm getting dejavu from A_T's post. ;)
  • caligari 8 Nov 2007 23:02:45 16,986 posts
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    Razz wrote:
    Far too expensive

    Shyah - but you don't want to buy something that'll fall apart after a few months.

    I'll have to sell half of my DC collection to afford it though ;_;
  • jonsaan 9 Nov 2007 12:03:12 25,326 posts
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    If you are cycling through traffic then you'll need a mask. Also, although your gay rating raises considerably I recommend some of those padded cycling gloves as I started to get tingly hands after about a year from all the bumps in the roads.

    FCUTA!

  • jonsaan 9 Nov 2007 12:04:13 25,326 posts
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    DaveE wrote:
    get a moped you bender

    Buy mine. After being knocked off twice I decided to quit before waiting for number 3.

    FCUTA!

  • caligari 20 Jan 2008 23:56:06 16,986 posts
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    Heh - I can't believe that I started this thread in November of last year, and I STILL haven't cycled in to work.

    I ended up picking up one of these funky hybrids from Wiggle. Free cycle tools, topeak mudguards and Mastiff (ahem) cycle lock too, so it was a pretty good deal.

    It turned up last week, and I've just been getting it ready for the big day.

    I keep making excuses every morning (too wet...too frosty...too wet and frosty) but I think I'm REALLY going to go for it tomorrow.

    /checks bus money

    Really!

  • caligari 4 Feb 2008 20:41:47 16,986 posts
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    Hurrah - first puncture today.

    I managed to get it repaired, but I'm now looking into picking up something a bit more 'sturdy' in the tyre/innertube department.

    Have any of you guys used these Slime Innertubes?

    Should I bother upgrading to better tyres, too?

  • FairgroundTown 4 Feb 2008 20:47:04 2,522 posts
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    caligari wrote:
    Hurrah - first puncture today.

    I managed to get it repaired, but I'm now looking into picking up something a bit more 'sturdy' in the tyre/innertube department.

    Have any of you guys used these Slime Innertubes?

    Should I bother upgrading to better tyres, too?

    I used slime kevlar (sp???) liners to cycle down Oxford Road in Reading every day for years, and although I was frequently picking bits of glass out of the tires, I never got a puncture. So, +1 from me.
  • caligari 4 Feb 2008 21:45:30 16,986 posts
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    FairgroundTown wrote:
    caligari wrote:
    Hurrah - first puncture today.

    I managed to get it repaired, but I'm now looking into picking up something a bit more 'sturdy' in the tyre/innertube department.

    Have any of you guys used these Slime Innertubes?

    Should I bother upgrading to better tyres, too?

    I used slime kevlar (sp???) liners to cycle down Oxford Road in Reading every day for years, and although I was frequently picking bits of glass out of the tires, I never got a puncture. So, +1 from me.

    Thanks Fairground. Are they easy to fit?

    I was looking for thornproof innertubes (as I'd used a pair on on my old BMX for yeeears without any hassles) but I don't seem to be able to find any for road/mountain bikes.
  • Angel_Treats 4 Feb 2008 22:13:19 11,072 posts
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    Bloody hell that was unlucky. I still haven't had one since I started cycling to work last September. But now that I've said that, I'll definitely get one tomorrow morning.

    I leave a spare inner tube and a puncture repair kit and stuff in my pannier, but I haven't a bloody clue what to do with any of it. If I did get a puncture I'd wheel it to the nearest train station so I could take it home for Rutty to fix/to Liverpool Street for Evans to fix.
  • Salaman 4 Feb 2008 22:25:45 18,832 posts
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    Aah I miss cycling to work. :-(
    I liv real close as well but on a dodgy no cycle path road.
    I used to have a lovely 20-25 minute cycle through a wooded area through fields and over a small motorway bridge. It was good fun. I cycled all year round. It's probably nto the best time of hyear to start in january but once you cycled spring, summer, autumn you sort of take the winter in your stride. Just don't ever forget bloody rainproof stuff. Nothing worse than catching a fucking downpour and ending up with wet trousers (upper body is usually covered well enough with jackets et al.). You get into the warmth and you're still freezing 3 hours later because of the cold clammy trousers on your freezing legs. :-(
  • Megapocalypse 4 Feb 2008 22:31:59 5,306 posts
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    Salaman wrote:
    Nothing worse than catching a fucking downpour and ending up with wet trousers (upper body is usually covered well enough with jackets et al.). You get into the warmth and you're still freezing 3 hours later because of the cold clammy trousers on your freezing legs. :-(
    I'd go with shorts all year round tbh. Within seconds of starting you won't notice the cold on your legs and theres less material to get wet/heavy when it rains.
  • DaisyD 18 Apr 2008 14:01:28 11,818 posts
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    We're trialing a Cylce2Work government initiative at work that I'm thinking of joining. The way it works is you select how much you want to spend on a bike and safety eqipment and get a Letter of Collection (LoC) for that ammount to then use in Halfords. It has to be a round hundred number from 100 to 1000. You then pay off a monthly amount taken directly from your salary before tax for 12 months, do if you pay 35 a month it basically works out that you paid 27 a month after your salary is taxed. Essentially the same as paying for nursery vouchers a lot of companies now do.

    Anyway, I fancy getting a decent bike to cycle to work on (on the days I don't need my car for appointments etc), and to use at weekends off road. However, I know nothing about bikes. Would anyone be able to recommend me a decent bike within that price range to meet my needs? TBH I don't think I'd spend more than 600 - 700 on a bike as my office is not at a police station and we regularly have offenders visiting us onsite and I don't want to risk it getting nicked! :)
  • tincanrocket 18 Apr 2008 14:12:36 2,897 posts
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    DaisyD wrote:
    Would anyone be able to recommend me a decent bike within that price range to meet my needs?

    I have a Ridgeback Genesis hybrid and can highly recommend them. I think it cost me just over 350, but it's a great bike and worth every penny. The thing I'd recommend it for is the thin road tyres (they are like a racing bike, which is great for cycling in cities), and the fact that it is incredibly light, so I can pick it up and carry it into work, up the stairs, and leave it in my office all day to avoid having it nicked.
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