Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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The utility cyclist
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Re: Best bike

Postby The utility cyclist » 2 Feb 2019, 4:56pm

Yes it is very much open for debate, your OPINION is just that, people have been riding derailleur bikes with next to zero maintenance for decades, not all Dutch people ride non derailleur bikes. The derailleur on my commute bike is an 18 year old Tiagra long cage that was std fit to my 2001 Ridegback Genesis Day 02, it's done a ridiculous amount of miles and still shifts just fine, aside from cleaning dirt off the jockey wheels it's had nothing done to it.
But you also presume that non derailleur bikes need no maintenance or maintenance that most people can do, that assumption is incorrect and is not up for debate. chain snapped, for most people that's the bike shop, toggle for a hub gear broken ... bike shop.
Getting a heavier bike means more hard work, a hybrid and indeed a sportier racing style frame can be as upright as you want.

Many lightweight cycles can carry shopping, can pick the kids up, will take you to work, they aren't rubbish.
Last edited by Graham on 2 Feb 2019, 5:09pm, edited 1 time in total.
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thelawnet
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Re: Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby thelawnet » 2 Feb 2019, 5:18pm

Well certainly you can make a lightweight bike do lots of things, but it will end up less lightweight - you are compromising that part of things. I have plenty of bicycles, heavy, light and points in between, however for short distances the extra weight doesnt make a blind bit of difference, nor does it make a difference on flat roads, and even on steep roads it only makes you slower - it doesn't prevent ascent.

If you are going out for a 100 mile sportive then a lighter bike is going to be nicer, but on a commute it's much less of a factor.

The point about Dutch bikes is that the whole system requires less maintenance, not the derailleurs specifically. A typical derailleur system needs new chains, cables (gear and brake), cassettes on a regular basis. A lower maintenance system will require less regular maintenance. It is not no maintenance, just less of it, and yes a broken chain on a Dutch bike will result in a trip to a bike shop for the average person just as it would on a derailleur bike.

Brucey
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Re: Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby Brucey » 2 Feb 2019, 5:47pm

a friend has just worn out the transmission on his commuting style bike with derailleur gears. The quote in the LBS for making it all good again is ~£200. At that mileage the comparable cost for a typical bike with an IGH would be a small fraction of that.

Most LBS scrap bins comprise largely of knackered derailleur parts; on a proper utility bike given typical treatment, such parts are unlikely to outlive decent tyres.

cheers
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velorog
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Re: Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby velorog » 3 Feb 2019, 9:25am

gazza_d wrote:My choice is Moulton spaceframes - an APB with Alfine 11 and an TSR2 with a SRAM 5 speed and coaster.

+1 for the Moultons. I commuted for 20 years on a APB S5 fitted with M+'s. The low center of gravity made riding on snow and ice much safer. What's more I never had a puncture with the M+'s in spite of riding through glass strewn council estates. My ideal commuter.

reohn2
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Re: Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby reohn2 » 3 Feb 2019, 10:40am

velorog wrote:
gazza_d wrote:My choice is Moulton spaceframes - an APB with Alfine 11 and an TSR2 with a SRAM 5 speed and coaster.

+1 for the Moultons. I commuted for 20 years on a APB S5 fitted with M+'s. The low center of gravity made riding on snow and ice much safer. What's more I never had a puncture with the M+'s in spite of riding through glass strewn council estates. My ideal commuter.

How do you get a low centre of gravity when the centre of gravity of any bike is what's sat on it?
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velorog
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Re: Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby velorog » 3 Feb 2019, 3:25pm

reohn2 wrote:How do you get a low centre of gravity when the centre of gravity of any bike is what's sat on it?

Without wishing to enter into a detailed discussion regarding the location of the CoG, perhaps I should rephrase my comment and say that IMO the bike felt more stable in icy conditions than a big wheeler.

landsurfer
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Re: Best bike

Postby landsurfer » 3 Feb 2019, 5:21pm

Cunobelin wrote:
Ryan1967 wrote:Is there a perfect bike for commuting? folding/road or just your average normal bike?


Yep - the New Kettwiesel does all of that, and also tours

Image


All the disadvantages of an open topped car with non of the advantages of a bicycle ....
But if that works "for you" .. then its perfect ....

Personally I switched from 4 wheels to 2 wheels in late November for my daily 40 mile commute ...... 410cc of silky power ..... :lol:

fullsizeoutput_181.jpeg
Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.

The road goes on forever.

Brucey
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Re: Best bike

Postby Brucey » 3 Feb 2019, 5:32pm

landsurfer wrote:Personally I switched from 4 wheels to 2 wheels in late November for my daily 40 mile commute ...... 410cc of silky power ..... :lol:

fullsizeoutput_181.jpeg


two front mudguards, no rear mudguard... :shock: ??

Royal enfield and 'smooth' are not words that normally go together either... is this one different?

cheers
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landsurfer
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Re: Best bike

Postby landsurfer » 3 Feb 2019, 6:20pm

Brucey wrote:
landsurfer wrote:Personally I switched from 4 wheels to 2 wheels in late November for my daily 40 mile commute ...... 410cc of silky power ..... :lol:

fullsizeoutput_181.jpeg


two front mudguards, no rear mudguard... :shock: ??

Royal enfield and 'smooth' are not words that normally go together either... is this one different?

cheers


Very different ... they have moved into the real world with EFI engines for low emissions, superb engineering and massive sales in the 1st world ... India .... we are lucky to have them..

Rear mudguard .... things have moved on a bit .... it has a very effective rear mudguard .. the double front is a fashion thing at the moment... most of us remove the top one ...

https://www.royalenfield.com/in/en/home ... himalayan/
Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.

The road goes on forever.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby The utility cyclist » 3 Feb 2019, 9:04pm

thelawnet wrote:Well certainly you can make a lightweight bike do lots of things, but it will end up less lightweight - you are compromising that part of things. I have plenty of bicycles, heavy, light and points in between, however for short distances the extra weight doesnt make a blind bit of difference, nor does it make a difference on flat roads, and even on steep roads it only makes you slower - it doesn't prevent ascent.

If you are going out for a 100 mile sportive then a lighter bike is going to be nicer, but on a commute it's much less of a factor.

The point about Dutch bikes is that the whole system requires less maintenance, not the derailleurs specifically. A typical derailleur system needs new chains, cables (gear and brake), cassettes on a regular basis. A lower maintenance system will require less regular maintenance. It is not no maintenance, just less of it, and yes a broken chain on a Dutch bike will result in a trip to a bike shop for the average person just as it would on a derailleur bike.

How/what is one compromising, in what respect? You add guards, rack, (often) fixed lock and heavyweight components to an already comparatively heavy frame and you end up carrying around more mass than is necessary without any gain, would you put 4 house bricks in your panniers just because you could?
Stating the extra weight doesn't make any difference is your opinion, it makes a difference, it makes a difference when cycling, when lifting, ordinary folk that don't cycle much DO notice the difference between a heavy Dutch bike and one that isn't, it's noticeable especially when you add in the draggy dynamo wheel and heavy duty tyres which pinch even more of your effort.
15 Watts of differential in energy absorbed by heavy duty tyres alone is a significant factor when your average joe/people that only ride short distances are maybe producing 100Watts.
Offer people the chance to ride a lighter bike that rolls better with less effort and you're more likely to get them to ride further before giving up to use the car because the 'heavy' bike is too much effort, this has been a thing since time immemorial, humans go with what's easiest, not what is more difficult. Some might say that e-bikes are the solution to that, yeah, if you have the money, most people won't justify that kind of money for their commute when they can buy a car for less.

We want people to take up cycling in big numbers, Dutch style roadsters are not the answer for people wanting to commute, do utility rides and maybe do other cycling too, they will work of course but they won't persuade the masses to cycle more than with bikes that are lighter, faster/easier with regards to effort required and more versatile in their use.

My 'lightweight commuter has taken over 180kg human load with ease

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mjr
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Re: Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby mjr » 3 Feb 2019, 9:09pm

Always with the "heavy" qualifier. I'd agree with that. But many Dutch bikes are no heavier than most English hybrids and much easier to use.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Brucey
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Re: Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby Brucey » 3 Feb 2019, 10:59pm

maintenance and practicality is the killer. Folk don't tend to drive certain cars every day if those cars can't be parked safely, used in the rain, and can't carry luggage because their wheels are too flimsy and there is no space inside. Bikes are just the same, but people's requirements and tolerance for things differs.

Upthread someone said they would spend ten minutes changing tyres to ride their bike in a different place. Well that is about two year's worth of maintenance time on some bikes. If you have a flimsy bike it will likely get trashed when it is parked. If you have a heavy bike that will take a few knocks and a bit of weather all that happens is you go a little bit slower.

And it is just a little bit slower; for example 10% slower on a group ride is a complete disaster but on a typical commute it is an extra two or three minutes. Big whup.

cheers
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reohn2
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Re: Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby reohn2 » 4 Feb 2019, 11:11am

I posted this up thread:-
reohn2 wrote:Q:- Is there a perfect bike for commuting
A:- Yes,but the commute dictates what that perfect bike is.


It applies to everything to do with commuting by bike,the weight issue is only an issue if you have hills or wish to ride a very fast commute, practicality rules or at least it should


Regarding electric assist,broadly speaking most folk would baulk at spending £1,500+ on a bike even with electric assist but it's mainly because most people know the cost of everything but not the value of it.
To say they could get a car for the same price can be true but the added running costs soon rocket that outlay along with the inconvenience of parking at both ends if the own doesn't have a driveway.FWIW I'm currently paying £500 pa for insurance and £270 VED on a ten year old car,that's without any fuel or servicing costs,not so practical if it's only to be used for commuting.

EDIT:- IMO a good quality pedelec is the perfect tool for a commute of upto 10 miles for any casual cyclist ,after the initial say £2K outlay running costs should be around £100pa if the right machine is chosen.
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The utility cyclist
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Re: Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby The utility cyclist » 4 Feb 2019, 7:24pm

mjr wrote:Always with the "heavy" qualifier. I'd agree with that. But many Dutch bikes are no heavier than most English hybrids and much easier to use.

show me some examples of where the traditional Dutch/roadster bikes are lighter than similar priced hybrids? You say many, sorry but I don't agree with that, even my initial link to a hybrid bike is lighter than a Dutch bike and at less than £300 is more versatile than most Dutch bikes too.
Explain how a Dutch bike is 'easier' to use when it is heavier overall weight wise, heavy duty and/or cheap tyres which drain your effort more than others, more gears to use for varying terrain? There's no logic or factual basis in your statement.

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Re: Is there a perfect bike for commuting?

Postby mjr » 4 Feb 2019, 8:12pm

The utility cyclist wrote:
mjr wrote:Always with the "heavy" qualifier. I'd agree with that. But many Dutch bikes are no heavier than most English hybrids and much easier to use.

show me some examples of where the traditional Dutch/roadster bikes are lighter than similar priced hybrids? You say many, sorry but I don't agree with that, even my initial link to a hybrid bike is lighter than a Dutch bike and at less than £300 is more versatile than most Dutch bikes too.

The Ortler Lindau is "15.33kg approx" and I expect they've used the usual tricks like weighing a small one and so on. My Dutch bike when I got it was 16kg in a medium frame IIRC and the current model is RRP £396, which I claim is similar to the Lindau's £352 RRP. The "similar priced" part of the demand that makes that question difficult to answer? Most Dutch bikes are slightly more expensive new than the junk most Brits buy but use more robust parts and include more as standard - which pushes up the weight listed by British sellers, ironically. Why are people in this country such weight-weenies? Can people really tell the difference between propelling 81kg of bike+rider compared to 80kg? Isn't this just another artefact of our sport-obsessed bike market?

But for amusement, I looked at Ortler's attempts at a Dutch-style bike on that site and this is not very Dutch IMO https://www.bikester.co.uk/ortler-monet ... 85960.html but it's only 1kg heavier, much of which is probably explained by the front hub dynamo and rear coaster brake (both of which add weight compared to the tyre dynamo and "Pro-Max" V-brakes on the Lindau). https://www.bikester.co.uk/ortler-van-d ... 80012.html is more Dutch but unspecified (probably thick/cheap?) steel and metal mudguards, making it another 1kg heavier again. :roll: But see, even a cheap Austrian brand gets within a kilo or two. The real Dutch are often lighter.
[
The utility cyclist wrote:Explain how a Dutch bike is 'easier' to use when it is heavier overall weight wise, heavy duty and/or cheap tyres which drain your effort more than others, there's no logic or factual basis in your statement.

There's no logic in accusing other bikes of using cheap tyres when expounding the virtues of a bike that comes with Kenda K935s which retail at £18/pair in that size! :lol: At least my Dutch bike came with Vredestein Dynamic Tour which are £25 each... and even Ortler send you Road Cruisers on the Monet, which are better than Kendas.

Anyway, as well as being no heavier overall and coming with better tyres, a typical Dutch bike is easier to use because you've one gear lever with a standing shift, permanent lights and fully-guarded wheels and chain - instead of the typical hybrid with two pairs of triggers that only shift while the pedals are spinning (just listen to how many new commuters crunch their gears), brittle clip-on battery lights and usually mud and oil being flung around while the spokes shreds the bottom of your coat!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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