Search found 157 matches

by StephenW
17 May 2018, 10:52pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: How did we delude ourselves about 23mm?
Replies: 145
Views: 7072

Re: How did we delude ourselves about 23mm?

MickF, I do I recall you saying somewhere else that you prefer quite a slow cadence? Perhaps this is why you have no problem with narrow tyres. Slow cadence = more force on pedals = less weight on saddle and hands perhaps? I guess the legs are quite good at responding efficiently to vibration, rather than shaking the whole body through the saddle.
by StephenW
17 May 2018, 10:46pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Why don't more people use recumbents?
Replies: 305
Views: 11237

Re: Why don't more people use recumbents?

I've just ploughed my way through this rather lengthy discussion!

There is one new point I'd like to add. What about "would-be" keen cyclists?

My suspicion is that there could be quite a number of people out there who would be keen long-distance cyclists, but they just find it too uncomfortable. Instead they either don't cycle, or they only ride short distances. Now, you may be thinking: "Well, I think it's fine. I don't have a problem with comfort on my bike." But who is this forum for? It is (was) the cycle touring club forum, for people who already like cycling long distances! I.e. people who are able to get fairly comfortable on their bike, or for whom the enjoyment of cycling outweighs the discomforts.

There could be a number of factors that affect whether a person can be comfortable on an upright bike for longer journeys:
-Having the right body
-An extended period of accustoming the body to the riding position
-Time spent trying different saddles, adjusting things etc.
-Willingness to tolerate discomfort
-luck

I think that a much wider range of people can get comfortable (for long distances) on a recumbent, without such a need for a lengthy period of acclimatisation. The problem is, how do you market something expensive and odd to people who aren't currently that into cycling? If an upright bike works for you, why would you change? If it doesn't work for you, you might conclude that cycling isn't really the thing for you, and not bother investigating strange and expensive contraptions.
by StephenW
24 Apr 2018, 10:47pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Supercommuter?
Replies: 121
Views: 22131

Re: Supercommuter?

I like how every aspect of this bicycle has been carefully thought through for its intended use.

Chain tubes are sometimes used on recumbents to separate rider and chain. Do you think that using some chain tube to protect the chain as it goes past the rear tyre could be a good idea on a bike like this?
by StephenW
24 Apr 2018, 10:32pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Lower gears on tandem - asymmetric q-factor?
Replies: 1
Views: 353

Lower gears on tandem - asymmetric q-factor?

I would like to find a way to get some lower gears on a Pashley tandem. Currently it has 38-52 chainrings, and a 14-28 5-speed freewheel, which can be a bit of a struggle in hilly Herefordshire!

It has friction shifters and crossover drive. We use plain pedals.

If possible I'd like to do this without spending too much money - the bike is not used enough to justify something too expensive I think.

I was thinking that it might be possible to replace the double chainset with a triple, whilst leaving the left stoker crank and pilot cranks as they are. I expect that the q-factor would then be asymmetric. How much of this is acceptable?

I guess a new front or rear deraillieur might or might not be needed to cope with the wider gear range.

Would this be the recommended option? I suppose switching to a 7-speed megarange freewheel would be another possibility, if it fits. It might be hard to get the old one off though!
by StephenW
19 Apr 2018, 9:36pm
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: Disallow bans of only cyclists from (previously) all-purpose roads:only allow ban of same list of vehicles as for M-ways
Replies: 46
Views: 4158

Re: Disallow bans of only cyclists from (previously) all-purpose roads:only allow ban of same list of vehicles as for M-

I agree with everything Bmblbzz said.

Tractors and bicycles are two very different vehicles, with different requirements. Does it make sense for them to be required to be always bundled together? Perhaps in some cases it is appropriate to combine them, but in other cases not.

On a slight tangent, I think that particularly busy single carriageways could be greatly improved by having a small parallel road for the use of bicycles, mopeds, slower tractors, horses etc. This is surely much cheaper than converting to dual carriageway, and would surely make a big improvement to safety by reducing the amount of overtaking. (Especially if speed limit is reduced to 50 mph so there is no difference between HGVs and cars. If average speed cameras are used, even better). This would also make more efficient use of the road by not mixing vehicles with very different speeds. I would find riding on such a road more enjoyable too (provided there are good sight lines).
by StephenW
18 Apr 2018, 3:57pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Dynamo Lighting - fit and forget?
Replies: 132
Views: 7872

Re: Dynamo Lighting - fit and forget?

Unless it's changed in the last few years - In Germany dynamos are required on all cycles other than racing ones weighing less than 11kg and these can use battery lights which have to be carried if not fitted


The law has changed! I remember hearing it on the local radio station when I was visiting the island of Sylt. I think that was in 2013.

Battery lights are now OK.

It's interesting that this change in the law was considered newsworthy on a local radio station!
by StephenW
17 Apr 2018, 9:45pm
Forum: Non-standard, Human Powered Vehicles
Topic: Bent Seat Options?
Replies: 12
Views: 1448

Re: Bent Seat Options?

Here is the price list:

http://www.novosport.de/files/9/sitze-polster.pdf

I got the "Liegeradsitz, glasfaser". (Recumbent seat, fibreglass). The first one on the list. I think it was reduced to €100 because of the cosmetic defects (which can hardly be seen).
by StephenW
17 Apr 2018, 9:36pm
Forum: Non-standard, Human Powered Vehicles
Topic: Bent Seat Options?
Replies: 12
Views: 1448

Re: Bent Seat Options?

I bought one directly from Novosport. They had one with slight cosmetic defects, so it was a reduced price.

On a related note, I have been wondering how many different hard shell seats are out there. I think it may be less than might be supposed, because Novosport supply seats to lots of bike manufacturers. For example Nazca "sport" and "comfort" seats, and Raptobike seats, and Metabike seats are all made by Novosport I think.
by StephenW
17 Apr 2018, 9:28pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: front panniers suspension forks
Replies: 18
Views: 4159

Re: front panniers suspension forks

Here is a frame-mounted rack:

https://www.dutchbikebits.com/steco-hea ... nting-rack

I guess on most MTBs the handlebars are fairly low so you won't have space to put loads of stuff on it. It is quite heavy, but nice and strong (weight limit is 15 kg, not 10 kg).

Probably not what you are looking for, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
by StephenW
12 Mar 2018, 9:14pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: 25mm tyres
Replies: 86
Views: 6112

Re: 25mm tyres

Brucey's post sparked off a few thoughts in my head:

1. Jan Heine and Bicycle Quarterly think that roll-down tests are much more realistic than tests on drums, and base a lot of their ideas on these tests. But... they're not pedaling, so if Brucey is right, these are still not very realistic tests.

2. Why not ride with a really fat tire at the back and a thin one at the front, and then switch them over and see what happens? I know that the front and rear tyres carry different amounts of weight, and the aerodynamics at the front and rear may be different, but surely if we are talking about a big difference then this would be noticeable?

3. Regardless of the losses from hysteresis, having a "spongy" feel in the drivetrain may not be conducive to efficient pedaling. Imagine having a springy, stretchy chain. A big soft tyre could create a spongy drivetrain, as it is wound up and unwound with each pedal stroke.
by StephenW
27 Feb 2018, 10:32pm
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: A63 - Victory for common sense -?
Replies: 167
Views: 14513

Re: Is time trialling to be banned on dual carriageways (A63)

Just to clarify any confusion, I am quite opposed to any ban on cycling where there is not a good alternative route. By "good", I mean a route which is direct, pleasant to use, and conducive to fast and efficient cycling. Where such routes exist, the fact that one may be banned from cycling on the same road as cars has relatively little practical relevance. This is one of David Hembrow's points.

One of the principles of the (very successful) Dutch Sustainable Safety policy is homogeneity of mass, speed and direction. This reduces the chances of accidents occurring, and reduces the severity of the consequences when mistakes are made. Mixing 80 kg cyclists travelling at 15 mph with large numbers of 1500+ kg cars travelling at 70 mph is a very inhomogeneous situation, which is bad. It's bad for cyclists and it's bad for drivers.

I believe that in order to work on a solution, there first has to be a recognition of the existence of a problem. The proposal to ban cycling on this busy road represents some kind of an acknowledgement that there is a problem with combining cycle and motor traffic in these situations. It may not be the kind of acknowledgement we would like, but I believe that it is something which could be capitalised upon.

Some have suggested that reducing the speed limit would make things OK. I'm sure it would make things less bad than at present, but if the aim is to make cycling accessible to all, it is not enough. According to the new IAN-195 standard, which applies to the strategic road network, cycle tracks are required on all roads 40 mph or faster, and on roads with daily car flows of more than 5000.

Vorpal: Would you feel happy if the following conditions were met?
1. Clear national standards on when it is and is not acceptable to combine cycle and motor traffic.
2. Clear national standards of what constitutes an acceptable alternative route.
3. The agency responsible for the maintenance of the road where cycling is being banned is responsible for the cost of building/improving the alternative cycle route.

Pete Owens: I think that your point with Niemoeller was that I ought to be concerned about the rights of cyclists to ride on dual carriageways, even though I don't want to do this myself. Correct? I'd argue that rather than defending the right of the very small number of people currently using these kinds of road to continue to do so, I'm defending the right of anyone (including those who currently ride on dual carriageways) to make pleasant, safe and convenient journeys by bicycle, free from the threat of fast and busy motor traffic.

I'd also say that I don't think separate cycle infrastructure is only beneficial for novices - if it is constructed to a good standard, it can be very useful for experienced cyclists too.
by StephenW
22 Feb 2018, 5:37pm
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: A63 - Victory for common sense -?
Replies: 167
Views: 14513

Re: Is time trialling to be banned on dual carriageways (A63)

I see that there is quite a strong "thin end of the wedge" argument in this discussion and also in the C-UK response. I would be interested to know:

1. How big a wedge people have in mind. (I.e. cycling being banned from entire strategic road network, or on all A roads etc.)
2. What it is that leads them to this conclusion.

I don't suggest that a ban on cycling on all 70 mph dual carriageways could be a good thing because it wouldn't negatively affect me (although that is true), but rather I suggest it for several reasons:

1. It represents an official recognition that combining cycles and large numbers of motor vehicles travelling at 70 mph or more in the same space is not an acceptable solution.
2. It puts more pressure on the relevant highway authority to provide alternatives of a decent standard. If cycling is still permitted on the parallel dual carriageway, authorities are free to say that if you don't like this twisty, narrow, bumpy path then just cycle on the road. If cycling is forbidden on the road, that argument is taken away.
3. In countries where cycling is much safer and much more popular than the UK, cyclists are banned from numerous roads. As long as the alternative is of a good standard, this is not a problem.


We are talking here about fighting for the right to cycle in totally horrid conditions, something that hardly anyone actually wants to do!

I have never been to this area, and I don't know the local situation. I do agree with this aspect of the C-UK response:

Neither have they provided an impact assessment for how the ban will affect people whose journeys will be made more difficult or prevented altogether


Surely what is needed is an assessment of what journeys people currently make by bike, what potential exists for more cycle journeys, and what effect the ban may have on this. Providing a good alternative doesn't necessarily mean building a parallel cycle path, it all depends on the local context.

Vorpal, I agree that building new roads represents a really good opportunity to make existing roads cycle-friendly. This is exactly what we should be campaigning for, rather than being distracted by a theoretical right to cycle on any kind of road except motorways.

Utility Cyclist: if there is a problem with motor vehicle crashes, perhaps a lower speed limit is sensible. However, this is to some extent a separate issue. Even with a 50 mph limit, a dual carriageway is hardly a cycle route which is "suitable and safe for everyone". What makes you say that the traffic counts are made up?

I largely agree with this blog post:
http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/20 ... -from.html
by StephenW
21 Feb 2018, 11:29am
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Dynamo system choices
Replies: 138
Views: 7045

Re: Dynamo system choices

I was thinking of something costing about £15, not £150!!
by StephenW
20 Feb 2018, 10:12pm
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: A63 - Victory for common sense -?
Replies: 167
Views: 14513

Re: Is time trialling to be banned on dual carriageways (A63)

Personally, I would not at all be negatively affected if cycling were banned on all 70 mph dual carriageways, since I would never cycle on this kind of road. Such a ban could possibly even be a good thing.

Some years ago, cycling was banned on the A90 just outside Edinburgh. The alternative path was narrow and bumpy, and for a section was separated from the road by only a narrow grass verge. More recently the path has been upgraded, and is now wider and smooth, with a crash barrier between the road and path and light barrier to prevent dazzling. I don't know whether this would have happened anyway, but I do think that if cycling is banned on the main carriageway there is a stronger case to be made for improving parallel cycle routes.

The new standards for cycle facilities on the strategic road network are quite good (https://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.c ... e-traffic/). So new cycle facilities should be much better than what has been built in the past. (e.g. desirable minimum width of 3 metres for 2-way path, absolute minimum 2.5m).

I find the C-UK response a bit muddled. If their concern is that the due process has not been followed, that is fair. However, asking for speed reduction seems a bit contrary to the whole purpose of roads like this, which are for moving large numbers of motor vehicles quickly from one place to another. Also, talking about a cycle network which is "suitable and safe for everyone" seems confused. Even if the speed limit on this kind of road were reduced to 40 mph, it still would be quite unsuitable for most potential cyclists.

To my mind, a better response would be to acknowledge that cycling on this kind of road is very unpleasant, and to say that Highways England may ban cycling on it if they wish, so long as they provide an alternative which is direct, pleasant to use, and conducive to fast and efficient cycling.
by StephenW
20 Feb 2018, 9:25pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Dynamo system choices
Replies: 138
Views: 7045

Re: Dynamo system choices

What about a 1.5W bottle dynamo? If 3W gives an adequate amount of light for town riding using incandescent bulbs, surely 1.5W ought to be more than enough for town riding with LEDs. I know that 1.5W hub dynamos exist, but I haven't heard of a 1.5W bottle dynamo.

I agree that the noise of a bottle dynamo can be a bit annoying, but I think for shorter trips around town it is OK. A low-powered bottle dynamo would give zero lights-off drag, without requiring an especially high-quality and expensive design, and acceptable lights-on drag. If either the dynamo or the wheel develops a problem, one can be replaced without affecting the other (on a cheaper bike perhaps it is not worth the labour cost of rebuilding the front wheel?). There are surely lots of bikes out there which would benefit from dynamo lighting, but have perfectly serviceable front wheels which it would be a shame to throw away.

Another thing which I would like to investigate is running a bottle dynamo on the rim, having first slightly roughened the rim surface (this bike doesn't have rim brakes).