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General Chat Thread, Cycling to Work in General; Very few suspension forks have mounting bosses for 'proper' mudguards. And you'll need proper mudguards. I use SKS Chromoplastic mudguards ...
  1. #61

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Very few suspension forks have mounting bosses for 'proper' mudguards. And you'll need proper mudguards. I use SKS Chromoplastic mudguards and they're unbeatable.

    So, avoid suspension (it saps power on a normal commute run).

    Consider fitting a chaincase, your chain will last much longer and you won't rip/oil your trousers.

  2. #62

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HaleStorm View Post
    Mudguards are a definate added to the list of stuff then. Whats the minimum i should be looking for in a Helmet? and any recommended brands for jackets etc?
    Go to a shop and try a few helmets. Everyone's head is a different shape (within reason) and you need to try them to find a comfortable fit.

    As for a jacket, I use MountainLife Isodry jacket - fantastic. Make sure you get the cycling version, which is cut lower to keep
    your back/kidneys warm. Not too hot for a rainy summer day, yet windproof enough for subzero winters. I use it everyday in all weathers. It really is an excellent jacket, and very hard-wearing.
    Something like this:
    http://www.mountainwarehouse.com/run...ket-p7008.aspx


    I was going to recommend the Altus NightVision - it's a good jacket, but it ripped quite easily when I fell off. If you don't fall off, you'll be fine with this.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 28th November 2012 at 03:03 PM.

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    HaleStorm (28th November 2012)

  4. #63

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    One day, I will own one of these:
    Pashley Cycles - Guv'nor

  5. #64

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    So, whose putting me to shame and still at it then? I gave up for the winter back in half term, not likely to start up again till about March/April time. Distance too great for cycling in the rain to be practical, it's got to cold and there's just not enough daylight hours.

    As a driver I've had too many near misses over the past couple of weeks. Cyclists dressed in black with a single flashing LED peddling up a major A-road into heavy rain - suicidal!

  6. #65
    HaleStorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    Very few suspension forks have mounting bosses for 'proper' mudguards. And you'll need proper mudguards. I use SKS Chromoplastic mudguards and they're unbeatable.

    So, avoid suspension (it saps power on a normal commute run)..
    Unfortunatly the roads I will be travelling along are terrible, and I mean to the point where some of them would probably be considered farm track rather than road. So i think the suspension would probably save me some arm ache. The shop offers a free measuring service and things like that so I will ask them about mounting decent mudguards and things.
    I have a maximum of £800 in vouchers but obviously what i spend reflects in the cost out of my pay packet so im looking to spend around 3500 as it works out at about £30 a month going out pre-tax.
    I know that rear suspension is a waste of time because it takes most of the power out of your pedalling but i didn't realise front suspension had that much effect.
    Also I do like the look of that jacket from mountain warehouse.

  7. #66
    basicchannel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    As a driver I've had too many near misses over the past couple of weeks. Cyclists dressed in black with a single flashing LED peddling up a major A-road into heavy rain - suicidal!
    So this is putting you off cycling in the darker months? I've seen plenty of idiot drivers around all year round but I still manage to pluck up the courage to get in my car.

  8. #67

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HaleStorm View Post
    Unfortunatly the roads I will be travelling along are terrible, and I mean to the point where some of them would probably be considered farm track rather than road. So i think the suspension would probably save me some arm ache. The shop offers a free measuring service and things like that so I will ask them about mounting decent mudguards and things.
    I have a maximum of £800 in vouchers but obviously what i spend reflects in the cost out of my pay packet so im looking to spend around 3500 as it works out at about £30 a month going out pre-tax.
    I know that rear suspension is a waste of time because it takes most of the power out of your pedalling but i didn't realise front suspension had that much effect.
    Also I do like the look of that jacket from mountain warehouse.
    Well, I ride on canal path (not particularly rough, but by no means smooth) with rigid forks. It's OK. What you should consider is that suspension forks either add to the cost of the bike, or detract from quality components elsewhere. Cheap forks can bob, sapping power. They will also wear out or not perform as well in years to come. I've got Marzocchi 66VF forks on my big Kona freeride bike, and these are bomb-proof, but the list price for the forks alone is £300.
    Remember, you've already got some suspension from your tyres. Believe it or not, on rough ground, slightly lower tyre pressure rolls better than firm tyres. See page 16: http://www.schwalbe.co.uk/_webedit/u...cal%20Info.pdf
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 28th November 2012 at 03:31 PM.

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  10. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by basicchannel View Post
    So this is putting you off cycling in the darker months? I've seen plenty of idiot drivers around all year round but I still manage to pluck up the courage to get in my car.
    On the morning before the 'Great Storm' in 1987 I was leaving a roundabout I was knocked off my bike by a Taxi driver [who was one day from retirement] permanently injuring my back. I guess he hadn't seen me as I passed in front of him [he pulled out hit and badly buckled my rear wheel]

    About a year earlier I was also run off the road by a juggernaut overtaking and pulling in too early while the trailer was still alongside me.

    I haven't cycled since the second accident. Not out of fear just that my back isn't up to it.

    Both incidents were in broad daylight and I had all of the required gear [lights day-glow jacket and protective helmet] Still didn't help my back.

  11. #69

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basicchannel View Post
    So this is putting you off cycling in the darker months? I've seen plenty of idiot drivers around all year round but I still manage to pluck up the courage to get in my car.
    No the weather had put me off! And I know how difficult a bike is to see from a car. I've done night rides before (and probably will again), and cycled to work with full reflective gear and lights, but we've reached a point in the year were it's just not worth the additional risk to my life just to get to work. Besides the cars got a heater!

    I see loads of idiot drivers all year round as well, they're lucky enough to be protected by a big metal shell and air bags!

  12. #70
    HaleStorm's Avatar
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    @jinnantonnixx thanks for that link, very interesting reading, especially for a cycling novice like me

  13. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by HaleStorm View Post
    @jinnantonnixx thanks for that link, very interesting reading, especially for a cycling novice like me
    As for tyres, just get a set of Schwalbe Marathon Plus and don't worry. I've tried different bikes over the years. If I were you I'd choose a bike with

    1. No suspension
    2. Disk brakes (easier to adjust and maintain and won't wear out your rims, especially if you ride through dirt)
    3. 26 inch wheels (I've tried 700c wheels, but your choice of tyres is smaller and rough ground will be a problem)
    4. 26x1.9 or 26x2.1 tyres (a good choice for rough ground)

    Many may frown, but the Carerra Subway 2 is very good value and I think might be on offer now. The '2' has disk brakes.

  14. #72
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    I had a look at the newest version of the bike I linked previously and it has solid forks as an option and disk brakes, Its only £150 more so I might go for that

  15. #73

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    Lovely to hear someone considering cycling :-)

    Extra opinion I’ll chip in:

    If you’re out and about in the wilds (i.e. unlit lanes), one of the first things you’ll discover is that budget lights are OK to get you seen by cars in town (maybe!) but are stuff-all use to see by when it’s actually dark. The question “what’s a good bike light?” will get you a lot of opinions, but my 2p on that one is “a torch” – I have a high output rechargeable torch with a handlebar mount. And a nice fat Cateye rear.

    Depending on where you’re leaving it you’ll need a lock . . . D locks will often come with a mount so you can attach to the frame when it’s not in use (handy for not forgetting it). I read somewhere a while ago that the police recommend budgeting 15-20% of the value of your bike for a lock.

    Helmets – you can spend an amazing amount of cash on a helmet, but above a certain amount the extra ££ only really gets you additional comfort and lightness, not extra protection. I spent £40 on my Met, and if you’re tempted to smack your head into the side of a Fiat and then repeatedly headbutt some tarmac I can recommend that brand highly.

    +1 for Altura gear – I really like the Night Vision stuff as it is waterproof (have been out for an hour in a downpour in it), breathable and it’s plastered with reflective blobs. Waterproof overtrousers and overshoes are handy but not essential for a 20 min jaunt I’d say (unless it’s bucketing down!), though I would make sure you’ve got a decent pair of gloves in this weather.

    The bad news is that even puncture resistant tyres will puncture from time to time – I carry a spare tube and tyre levers (replace at the roadside) and a puncture kit (to repair the holed one when I get to work). Plus a small pump, of course.
    A multitool is handy too, and I seem to have developed the habit of carrying some cable ties in case any bits fall off (mudguard nuts seem to fall off my bike from time to time).

    Final cycling nerd tip – keep it clean. This time of year particularly, ‘stuff’ off the road surface will end up coating all those lovely moving parts, which will accelerate wear on the rims (if you end up with rim brakes), and particularly the chain and cassette. A chain cleaning kit isn’t an obvious thing to buy first off, but if you clean and lube the chain, the cassette and the chainrings regularly you’ll prolong their life.

    Enjoy. :-)

  16. #74

    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Just be careful. Cycling is addictive and before you know it you'll be talking like this

    Last edited by flyinghaggis; 29th November 2012 at 12:10 AM.

  17. #75
    nicholab's Avatar
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    I still cycling it about 5 miles each way last year I cycled and my cycle computer register -9. I am riding a road bike and have just completed one year using it and loving it. Still I which car drivers would think about next time they are on a bike they would not want someone driving up their backside. I would still love to know why driver in Birmingham are so bad at seeing bikes I've got reflective stipes on bag and lights!

    As drivers never see you I was considering connecting a broom stick to my old bike with a light on the end as well as the bike so it looks like a car!!



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