Search found 844 matches

by rbrian
14 Jun 2020, 7:42pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: How to judge wheel rim wear
Replies: 4
Views: 300

Re: How to judge wheel rim wear

The rear rim looked brand new, because it has a coaster brake, so I was able to compare. It has several grooves in addition to the wear indicator, presumably to add more friction, so panic over, the front rim is fine. I changed the brake blocks, and all is good. Thanks for all your help anyway. He's set on buying a new bike (a £500 Halfords ebike isn't brilliant) with discs, so I might not have to deal with this again ever!
by rbrian
9 Jun 2020, 10:25pm
Forum: Electric bikes
Topic: Cycle to Work Scheme
Replies: 8
Views: 471

Re: Cycle to Work Scheme

My employer hasn't yet raised it from £1000, which isn't enough for the bike I wanted. I did the sums anyway, assuming I could get a bike shop to accept part cash (which was explicitly forbidden in the terms and conditions). For the £1600 bike I bought, it would have saved me a total of £60. I got interest free finance from the bike shop instead, so for an extra £5 per month, I own the bike outright, with no rules about using it mostly for commuting. The next bike I bought was £2700, I paid for that with a 0% credit card, I still have 13 months left to pay it off.

Perhaps you could look at rolling your own salary sacrifice scheme, which should have much the same tax benefits.
by rbrian
9 Jun 2020, 10:07pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: How to judge wheel rim wear
Replies: 4
Views: 300

How to judge wheel rim wear

A friend of mine who is not very mechanical minded asked if his brake lever should touch the bar. I know enough to replace brake blocks and adjust cable pull, so I'm pretty sure I can fix it. He sent a picture so I could see what type of block I need, but look at the rim - is that badly worn, or just patterns in the dirt? I'll see it myself in a couple of days, but I don't want to let him ride it if it's in danger of catastrophic rim collapse. Nor do I want to deprive him of his bike if I'm overreacting.

https://s.amsu.ng/KNFC5tTXIIKN

Image
by rbrian
16 May 2020, 9:06pm
Forum: Electric bikes
Topic: What milage do you get with a Bosch Drive?
Replies: 35
Views: 1929

Re: What milage do you get with a Bosch Drive?

The furthest I've ever gone on my Tern Vektron S10 is 65 miles, with lots of hills and a strong headwind (there and back!) which meant I used higher assistance levels than usual. 20 miles from home, I gave up and took the train home - it was past dark, I was down to 1 bar, the steepest uphills were still to come, I was exhausted, and sunburnt, and NCN1 between Stonehaven and Aberdeen takes a ludicrously convoluted route (still better than the A90, but frustrating).

On a typical day, I only go between 8 and 30 miles, with minimal use of the motor. On the flat I go around 18mph, which doesn't use the motor, much faster downhill, and I do try the uphills on the lower assistance settings, only using the 2nd and occasionally 3rd setting on the final hill after a long day. Sometimes two weeks can go by between charges.

I use my bike to replace my work van, so I don't feel guilty about using an ebike for such short journeys. I use the van for longer journeys, more because of the time it takes than anything else. I carry around 20kgs of luggage every day (such a small amount makes even a Corsavan look like overkill), and I get plenty of exercise dragging it up the stairs at work.
by rbrian
21 Apr 2020, 4:58pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Embarrassing confessions
Replies: 58
Views: 3221

Re: Embarrassing confessions

Most of mine were when I was a teenager, which I think excuses them.

- There was the time when my mountain biking mates and I came across a pond, and I decided to see if I could ride through it - a stick proved it was only about 30cm deep, at least as far as we could reach. It was easy enough to begin with, but then it suddenly got deeper, causing me to loose balance. Shortly afterwards, I taught myself how to strip and regrease wheel hubs, bottom bracket, even headset, so it wasn't all bad.

- The same group were riding in winter. 4x4s had torn up our usual woods, and the ruts were frozen solid, making it impossible to ride, so we decided to go on the road for a bit. James, at the front, suddenly fell off for no clear reason - the rest of us grabbed our brakes, and discovered that James had fell off due to black ice. We fell like dominoes, one after the other, it must have looked hilarious, but it wasn't funny at the time.

- I was staying with my French penfriend, he had a moped, seemingly legal to ride at 14 in France. He insisted I had a go, so I rode up and down the quiet residential street... On the left. In France. Where they drive on the right. He didn't let me ride it again.

- More recently, I bought a new Brompton S6LX, and was enthusing about it with anyone who would listen (sorry). A friend test rode a Brompton M3L, which you may know has a higher bar, so less weight on the front wheel. We swapped bikes for a bit, to compare gearing and the riding position. I did a wheelie, and ended up on my buttock.
by rbrian
18 Apr 2020, 2:44pm
Forum: Electric bikes
Topic: Tern GSD S10
Replies: 2
Views: 425

Re: Tern GSD S10

I have a Tern Vektron S10, which I'm very happy with. The GSD looks like a slightly longer non-folding version of the same thing. It rides very well, feeling both big and small - I can cut through small gaps and turn on a sixpence (maybe not with the GSD's extra length), yet it feels solid and substantial, almost like a motorbike, which boosts confidence riding in traffic. The kickstand copes well with the very heavy bike, and 20kgs of luggage. The Big Apple tyres are brilliant - they roll over anything, are comfortable, and have low rolling resistance, so it's easy to pedal even without the motor. I can pedal faster uphill on my Tern than my titanium Brompton, which is less than half the weight.

There's plenty of adjustment, so it should fit just about anyone, but the downside of that is there's more things to rattle and creak - I had to over-torque the handlebar for some peace and quiet.

The brakes are excellent, if a little noisy, but that's OK - it supplements the bell. 10 gears is plenty, and the electric assist is subtle. On the two lowest settings, I can't tell when it cuts off at 15.5mph, and even on the highest settings, it still isn't jarring.
by rbrian
27 Feb 2020, 10:59pm
Forum: Electric bikes
Topic: Alternatives to Tern Vektron?
Replies: 7
Views: 872

Re: Alternatives to Tern Vektron?

Wanlock Dod wrote:I’m after something that can be taken on a train without booking, including intercity type ones. Is likely to be OK to ride for distances of up to about 40 km. Capable of distances of about 60 to 80 km on a single charge in ordinarily hilly terrain (~10 m climb per km).
Additional benefits that the Vektron seems to have are suitability for a range of different riders, and decent luggage carrying capacity.

So far I haven’t seen anything else that might be able to do all of these, but I would like to be sure before I commit to an expensive purchase.


Going on trains without booking depends on the train company's policy, how their staff enforce it, and how busy it is. Really only a Brompton in a bag is a safe bet - the Vektron folds to about twice the volume, and is much more awkward, the same as most 20" wheel folders. I have taken mine on a train once, but it had a free bike space, so I didn't even try to fold it.

The adjustability is mostly about the Andros stem, which isn't exclusive to Tern, and can be bought separately and fitted to many bikes. The luggage capacity is excellent, and as far as I can tell unique amongst folders - they use their own rack design.

It's tricky to find one perfect bike for all uses - that's why I have two. And if I had a garage, or a shed, or a larger living room, I'd probably have more.
by rbrian
22 Feb 2020, 11:38am
Forum: Electric bikes
Topic: Alternatives to Tern Vektron?
Replies: 7
Views: 872

Re: Alternatives to Tern Vektron?

Before I bought my Tern Vektron, I looked (online) at the Riese and Muller Tinker, and a couple more I don't remember which aren't available any more, and I can't find with a web search, so they're probably not being made. There are thousands of big wheel electric bikes, but far fewer small wheel ones - and they're mostly too cheap, like Halfords specials, or have minimal luggage capacity, like the Gocycle.

Tern split off from Dahon, who specialise in small wheel folders, and the influence is clear. Riese and Muller make it quite hard to find the Tinker on their website, and I've never seen one in person. I'd have liked to try the vario gearing, but the only shop in Aberdeen that sells them couldn't get one in for me to try.

I'm very happy with my Vektron S10. I love the way it rides, the chunky Big Apple tyres roll easily over anything, it easily fits in my living room, can carry everything I need, and at a push can just about fit in a car boot (I have a Brompton for when I need a small fold). Why exactly are you looking for an alternative?
by rbrian
17 Jan 2020, 8:21pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Beware Ye Who Ride On Pathes in Lambeth
Replies: 40
Views: 2743

Re: Beware Ye Who Ride On Pathes in Lambeth

mjr wrote:
rbrian wrote:
tatanab wrote:4. Pavement driving. Not just for the purposes of parking but for other reasons such as "I don't want to slow down for speed bumps".


Wait, what?! Are you seriously saying that some drivers bump up the curbs to get on the pavement at a speed they can't deal with speed bumps?!

I recognise the insanity of taking a couple of tonnes of steel and plastic with you everywhere you go, but I can at least understand it; I was 17 once - but this - I just don't understand.

Some kerbs are smaller than speed bumps. Some speed bumps have handy drop kerbs either side.

I more often see pavement driving being done as a way to get to the next left turning without waiting in a queue.


I've only ever seen the stuff you're talking about in Grand Theft Auto, in which I take the straightest path I can, running down fences, sign posts, pedestrians, etc, before getting stuck, damaging my car so much it catches fire, then stealing another....

I thought the drivers in Aberdeen were bad, but the recent telly adverts I've been told about (I record stuff and skip the ads, so I've never seen them) telling them to give cyclists space have certainly helped, but half of them don't know what indicators are for. This must sound like heaven to you!
by rbrian
17 Jan 2020, 5:08pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Beware Ye Who Ride On Pathes in Lambeth
Replies: 40
Views: 2743

Re: Beware Ye Who Ride On Pathes in Lambeth

tatanab wrote:4. Pavement driving. Not just for the purposes of parking but for other reasons such as "I don't want to slow down for speed bumps".


Wait, what?! Are you seriously saying that some drivers bump up the curbs to get on the pavement at a speed they can't deal with speed bumps?!

I recognise the insanity of taking a couple of tonnes of steel and plastic with you everywhere you go, but I can at least understand it; I was 17 once - but this - I just don't understand.
by rbrian
16 Jan 2020, 4:46pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Beware Ye Who Ride On Pathes in Lambeth
Replies: 40
Views: 2743

Re: Beware Ye Who Ride On Pathes in Lambeth

mattheus wrote:I may get some similar signs made up (with the Driving bit), and nail them to the cars parked on pavements round our way.


It's easiest to hammer the nails into the tyres - the glass is too brittle, and the metal bounces too much. Use screws to attach them to the bodywork.
by rbrian
31 Dec 2019, 5:41pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Cycling (and other) plans 2021
Replies: 37
Views: 2485

Re: Cycling (and other) plans 2020

Cycle to work more often. I have a good excuse - as an Openreach engineer (I only work in exchanges, not customer premises, so I'm issued a wee Corsavan and only need a handful of tools, which can easily be carried on a bike) I don't work in a fixed location, and my daily mileage can vary from 7 to 200 miles, but usually at the lower end. I don't think I've ever done more than 60 miles in a day, and that didn't leave time to work too! I've done about 1000 miles since May, which isn't bad, but I want to double it next year.

I also need to do something about my career - I only work on copper, and with the move to fibre, I'll be redundant in a few years.
by rbrian
27 Nov 2019, 10:09pm
Forum: Electric bikes
Topic: Which foldable ebike, please?
Replies: 14
Views: 808

Re: Which foldable ebike, please?

A friend of mine bought a £600 Halfords folding ebike. It is objectively rubbish, and yet it has a certain charm which means I can't help but like it. The battery is only good for about 20 miles, the riding position is relaxed, the seat doesn't go high enough, the steering is vague and boat like (though tightening the loose headset improved it), the power delivery is delayed by a good half second... But it's brilliant fun!

My £2700 (after a 20% discount!) Tern Vektron S10 is better, but not £2100 better. The power delivery is much smoother, hydraulic disc brakes are excellent, the rack is superb, and it feels much more solid and reliable - like a vehicle, not a toy. It's a very good bike, but it doesn't make me laugh like the cheapo one does. They both have 20" wheels, weigh approximately half a tonne, and fold to a large unwieldy size. Of course, this may be coloured by my experience with a Brompton.
by rbrian
8 Nov 2019, 7:36pm
Forum: Electric bikes
Topic: Taking ebike on aircraft
Replies: 5
Views: 497

Re: Taking ebike on aircraft

The Samsung Note 7 debacle (not to mention the Airbus A380) has made airlines very nervous about lithium batteries. The batteries on ebikes are far larger than those in mobile phones, making potential fires harder to deal with. You might be better off trying something like UPS, or maybe plan an epic cycling holiday and ride it home?
by rbrian
29 Oct 2019, 8:41pm
Forum: Electric bikes
Topic: It's very wet! - submerging the electric motor in floodwater
Replies: 17
Views: 1149

Re: It's very wet!

axel_knutt wrote:
rbrian wrote:
rotavator wrote:Stuff newspapers into your shoes to help them dry out, that is the good old fashioned way

I haven't had an actual newspaper for years. I did try stuffing my iPad in, but it didn't fit, so they're sat on top of the radiator!

I think the conventional wisdom is that forced drying cracks the leather. The wettest my boots ever got was from walking through bracken laden with water from a storm during the night, it ran down my legs and completely filled my boots. I stuffed them with newspaper when I took them off each night, but they were still wet when I went home four days later.


My boots are entirely synthetic, and they survived the radiator just fine, fully dry by morning, and no observable ill effects. Much as I hate the idea of plastic pollution, the fact is technical fabrics perform better.

It's been a week, and the motor is working fine. Thanks all for your responses.