General Chat Thread, Cycling to Work in General; I'm thinking of taking up cycling to work a few days a week to add a bit of exercise to ...
10th August 2012, 09:32 AM #1
Cycling to Work
I'm thinking of taking up cycling to work a few days a week to add a bit of exercise to my week. Does anyone here cycle to work and have any tips? Particularly how long a commute you recommend (it's about 6 miles to work) and what you do about clothing etc. I'm sure no-one would like to wear a sweaty smelly shirt after a hard pedal to work!
10th August 2012, 09:52 AM #2
A couple of our staff cycle to work [One guy does 15 miles on his journey in] They prepare the day before by bringing a change of clothes in and on the day showering and changing in the staff PE changing room when they arrive [they don't cycle every day of the week]
Edugeek cycling links:
Link 1: Edugeek Cyclists: Google Maps UK Adds Safe Cycling Navigation
Link 2: For The Cyclists Here
Link 3: Top Tips For Cycling To Work - BikeRadar
10th August 2012, 09:52 AM #3
My view is you can get a way with just changing you Shirt and washing under your arms you don't need a full shower. Also using a pannier helps reduce sweat nothing on your back. I used to cycle to work in my shirt and work trousers you do tend to need a new pair every year! I have now got a road bike so you need to change for that. Also check you tyre pressure every week as it make a big difference.
10th August 2012, 10:05 AM #4
I'm contemplating the same. Did the ride in yesterday while I'm on leave and it's ~12 miles one way. I'll not do it every day and just have a clean change of clothes in work ready for when I do. We're lucky enough to have a swimming pool available so I'll be able to have a shower, otherwise I'd probably try and 'dry bath' (wipe yourself down with a damp flannel).
Originally Posted by CAM
10th August 2012, 10:15 AM #5
Yip, six miles each way, every day, rain or shine. Mostly rain.
For trousers, Ronhill Bikester trousers are ace (the original, unlined ones). Not tight like lycra, but won't flap like trousers. Extremely durable, quick to dry.
Jacket - Montane Pertex ultralightweight top rolled up to tennis ball size, always with me for the occasional shower. When it's cold or wet, Altura or Mountain Life cycle jacket. Both are great.
Most importantly - get some overshoes. There's not much worse than putting on cold and wet shoes for your ride home. With overshoes, they keep your shoes dry.
Also fit you bike with full-wheel mudguards
4 Thanks to jinnantonnixx:
Alis_Klar (9th October 2012), CAM (10th August 2012), gibbo_ap (13th August 2012), pcstru (31st August 2012)
10th August 2012, 10:23 AM #6
I cycle 15 miles each way 3-4 times a week weather depending. Takes anywhere from 1hr to 1hr30 depending on mood, weather, etc. I enjoy it, rolling along listening to the iPod, watching the world go by - never in a rush.
For clothes - Cycling shorts, tracksuit bottoms and a cycling top. I find a good breathable top that wicks the sweat away while your cycling is important. I aim to get to work about half hour before anyone else. I change in the server room where the air con does an amazingly good job of cooling me down and drying me off. A quick wipe down with a towel and a quick spray of deodorant and I'm ready to go.
I carry my work clothes on my back in a rucksack which is not nice. I need to invest in some panniers to carry the work clothes.
10th August 2012, 10:47 AM #7
I cycle about 14 miles each way 4 days a week, which takes me roughly an hour; it's quite a nice journey as most of it is off road along a cannal tow path. Clothes wise, shorts and a light weight wicking t-shirt while cycling, and take in a change of clothes. For me panniers are a must - cycling with a rucksack is really uncomfortable, and makes for a sweaty back!
10th August 2012, 11:54 PM #8
As other have suggested in terms of the bike you can use any kind really (mountain bike,hybrid or road bike) for a 6 mile commute but you should ideally get one that can take full length mudguards and a pannier rack. I bought a new bike through the cycle to work scheme a couple of months ago so it's worth asking if your employer offers this as it can save you 20-30% on the cost. If you're planning on getting a new one specically for it I'd recommend a flat-barred road bike/hybrid something like the one below :-
Revolution Courier Race
I'm sure others will have their own personal preferences though. Best plan is to go to a local shop and test ride a few.
Clothing-wise I normally wear a long sleeved t-shirt (keeps wind chill off on the morning and you can roll up the sleeves if you get too hot), Cycling shorts and baggy shorts over them. It's definitely worth getting a pair of firm soled cycling specific shoes as these will be much more comfortable than trainers and improve your speed no end (10-20% IME). Probably worth grabbing some cycling mitts (keep you hands warm and the cushioning helps stop them getting numb) and a pair of sunglasses (keeps the wind/bugs out of your eyes when going downhill!) too.
Dont forget to buy a helmet as well
Last edited by flyinghaggis; 11th August 2012 at 12:16 AM.
2 Thanks to flyinghaggis:
CAM (13th August 2012), pcstru (31st August 2012)
11th August 2012, 06:43 AM #9
Get a pair of multi lens sun glasses. I got a pair of Sun Glasses for cycling with three lens colour and a prescription insert for £42.
13th August 2012, 12:24 AM #10
This sounds like an awful lot of preparation in the morning!
13th August 2012, 12:03 PM #11
I cycle 10 miles each way 3-4 times a week and really enjoy it. I'm not fit by any means and I do the journey in around 35-40 minutes now ( been doing it around 8 months)
My tips would be:
1. Carry at least 1 spare inner tube and pump
2. Get some cycling specific clothing. This doesn't have to be expensive, my last lot of cycling jerseys were £7 from Aldi (look out for there sales)
3. Never be in a rush to filter to the front of traffic. They will only overtake your later on anyway do best to keep them infront if you where you can see them.
4. Never filter down the left side of large vehicles
5. Keep out of the door zone whilst cycling
6. Track your cycles on a app like endomondo or strava (makes it a little more fun )
7. Stay safe and enjoy it. It can actually be quite fun when it's lashing it down with rain and people are looking at you like your a nutter
Just remember though, it doesn't get any easier you just get faster!
13th August 2012, 01:19 PM #12
I do just under 10 miles a day, and my advice (echoing some others here too) is as follows:
- Don't wear Lycra unless you have the legs for it. I cycle in cargo pants/long shorts (with gore-tex waterproofs if raining)
- Do get full length mud guards if you don't already have them!
- Get some cycling gloves. Fingerless for summer and decent neoprene ones for winter. You won't regret it!
- Get some glasses with interchangeable lenses. You will still need glasses in winter when it's dark
- Keep an eye on Aldi and Lidl's web sites. They often do cycling gear and it is well regarded by cyclists
- Wear a helmet
- Don't jump the lights
- The first couple of weeks cycling to work will hurt. Persevere, it's well worth it. I can now get back from work in rush hour about 15 mins faster on my bike than I can in the car.
- If you are going to wear a backpack, get yourself one of these for winter: Sport DirectTM Hiv Vis Reflective Rucksack Backpack Cover: Amazon.co.uk: Sports & Outdoors
- Don't be afraid to wear a reflective Sam Brown type belt in low light. Once you start cycling you will really see how many car/van/lorry drivers are still using mobiles on the move. You will need all of the help you can get being seen!
- Once you start to do serious mileage you will find out just how fast your bike components wear out (chains, tyres, bottom brackets etc.). Don't be afraid of getting your local bike shop to replace bits for you. Whilst it can be cheaper to do it yourself, once you factor in the purchase cost of the sometimes specialist tools required for some jobs, plus the chance you may make your bike even worse, it is well worth it. And it's quicker!
- Get a decent cable type lock for it. They tend to be a bit more versatile for tethering your bike to things.
Thanks to Dos_Box from:
pcstru (31st August 2012)
13th August 2012, 01:38 PM #13
I've just stopped cycling everyday, but i've been doing it previously every day for 9 months, about 4 miles each way.
I have a few things you need to know.
Lycra, its a privelige not a right.
You can work harder than Right Guard
You will get punctures.
Tyre slime is a bad idea
Leave your work stuff at work, that way its less likely to get wet.
Get a dry-bag big enough for your work stuff.
Lidl/Aldi/Tesco and Sports direct are THE place to get cycling sundries
Get the tesco 'via velo' tool kit for the 4.99 it costs.
I highly recomend the ultraflate CO2 inflator - no more pumping!
Buy ibuprofen gel. lots of it.
If you are remotely competitive don't get a speedo, you will kill yourself trying to get to work faster than yesterday/last week/the guy from PE
Whatever you choose to cycle in, it is cheaper to get 4 sets of it than to leave the heating on to dry one set out.
Bookmark wiggle and chain reaction cycles. sign up for the sale brochures (2x michelin tyres for £8, instead of £23 each, yes thanks)
Buy inner tubes in bulk. you will only realise how time consuming puncture repair Vs. tube replacement is when you do 2 in one journey. Repair later if you like.
Buy cheap pedals. You won't care how often you have to replace them when they cost a fiver. I've worn out expensive pedals just as fast as cheap ones.
Learn to fix it all yourself, not to be cheap, but so you can do it at the roadside.
If you have a mountain bike or hybrid, use bar ends for hill climbing.
Prepare your wife/children/significant others in advance for all the whinging you are going to do about how much your arse/legs/neck/knees/back hurts while you get fit to ride.
You don't ride to get fit, you get fit to ride.
13th August 2012, 01:50 PM #14
Punctures are your enemy, so get good puncture resistant tyres. I've used Schwalbe Marathons and Continental City Rides and they've been fantastic, even on canal paths. I'd say the Continental tyres roll faster than the Marathons.
Unless you genuinely go off road, avoid tyres with substantial tread. Tread is to provide grip on a loose or rough surface and mud, not to dissipate water (unlike a car tyre).
Unlike a car, you cannot aquaplane a bike (under 160mph), so unless you're off-road, tread reduces the contact with the road. By and large tread is not needed.
Carry spare tubes and swap them when you puncture. Repair the tubes later at your leisure.
This is a good read and dispels myths about fat vs thin tyres and rolling resistance.
Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 13th August 2012 at 01:55 PM.
13th August 2012, 01:55 PM #15
I've not got on with schwalbe in the past, they seem a very hard compound and a bit skittish, but i'll happilly big up the Contis. Also consider Panaracer or michelin tyres, all of which come with some sort of puncture resistance.
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