Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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gentlegreen
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby gentlegreen » 20 Apr 2013, 5:56pm

The OP's commute is about 5 miles each way .... same as mine - I have a hill too.

I'm just back from a 20 mile ride on my straight bar up-geared MTB.
I was able to ride on the rough edge of the narrow path and the tree root bumps were smoothed by my wide tyres.
No way will I ever willingly return to drop bars - my belly would get in the way for a start.
I'm a big bloke, so I have a big, strong bike.

vjosullivan
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby vjosullivan » 21 Apr 2013, 12:11pm

I'm just back from a Sunday morning ride with my daughter. Nice sunny day, dry roads (mostly), not much wind, almost warm. I can't remember the last time we had a day like that.

Wheeling the bikes back to the shed, she said: "How come I always come back covered in mud and you don't?". She's in the shower even as I write. :D
E25

rogerzilla
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby rogerzilla » 21 Apr 2013, 2:04pm

Commuting is harder on a bike than anything else. The bike has to go out whatever the weather and it will not be dried off and re-oiled every night.

Having down this for 7 years or so, I've come to the following conclusions.

1. Forget derailleur gears. You need something with a chainring and a single sprocket to minimise maintenance and expensive bits that will be destroyed by grit and salt. That means fixed, singlespeed or a hub gear. Fixed has the least to go wrong but only you will know whether this is suitable for you.

2. Get Marathon Plus tyres. They are heavy but you will never have to fix a puncture in the dark and the rain, while getting gradually later and later for work.

3. Get hub brakes or ceramic rims (I currently have a ceramic front rim and a V-brake, and a rear coaster brake). With that length of daily commute you will be going through one ordinary rear rim a year. A rear hub brake (or a fixie) is a godsend because the rear rim always gets coated in a foul mixture of mud and chain lube.

4. Get mudguards wider than 35mm, then they won't crack after six months on rough roads. The thin ones flex too much and break at the rivets.

5. Lighting is very important. A dynamo hub is "fit and forget". LED lights work well but you will need to get into a charging regime. As batteries gradually lose capacity (a set of NiMH cells only lasts me one winter then they are down to 50-60% of original capacity), you have to increase the frequency of charging which becomes annoying. However, the weight of a dynamo hub is still there in summer and it slows you down by about 0.5mph with the lights on (it steals about 5 or 6 watts from your legs).

6. Keep the biggest lock you can afford at work.

7. Use Finish Line wet chain lube. It doesn't wash off as easily as most oils. Chainsaw oil is also long-lasting, but tends to leave strings of goo all over the back wheel.

8. If you get it right, maintenance consists of a 2 or 3-monthly chain clean and relube and an annual wash (I do mine at Easter, after the worst of the road salt). At the annual wash you should regrease the seatpost and the brake bosses (if using V-brakes), change any cables and generally fix anything that is worn or out of adjustment. That really is it.

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gentlegreen
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby gentlegreen » 21 Apr 2013, 2:12pm

rogerzilla wrote:1. Forget derailleur gears. You need something with a chainring and a single sprocket to minimise maintenance and expensive bits that will be destroyed by grit and salt. That means fixed, singlespeed or a hub gear. Fixed has the least to go wrong but only you will know whether this is suitable for you.


LOL.

Odd that mountain bikes used in anger still have derailleur gears !

Hub gears that can replace a hybrid set in terms of range cost as much as most of us would be prepared to pay for a whole bike. I do thousands of miles a year and for long periods didn't maintain my bike properly and still never had a problem. (something I stopped doing once I started taking my cycling seriously)

Not only are good hub gears insanely expensive, they mean you can't just grab a standard rear wheel off the shelf.

As for SS/fixies - gawd 'elp us.

The OP is the same weight as me and has hills ...

And as for :-
8. If you get it right, maintenance consists of a 2 or 3-monthly chain clean and relube and an annual wash (I do mine at Easter, after the worst of the road salt). At the annual wash you should regrease the seatpost and the brake bosses (if using V-brakes), change any cables and generally fix anything that is worn or out of adjustment. That really is it.


Hopefully the OP cares more for his and others' safety.

Every 100 miles for me - which usually means 10am on a Saturday.

It always amazes me when people on Sunday rides talk of "getting my bike serviced" - with the implication that they don't touch it themselves between times.

andrewk
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby andrewk » 21 Apr 2013, 3:28pm

+1 for hub gears.
Contrary to the previous post hub gears do not have to cost the Earth, nor do bikes already equipped with them. Though rare in the UK the major chains all offer Nexus 8 or Alfine 11 bikes equipped with mudguards and rack, some even come with hub dynamo lights. Such bikes also normally come with 35 mm to 42 mm puncture resistant tyres. IMO a perfect commuter bike set up, also capable of handling canal paths etc.

Ant
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby Ant » 21 Apr 2013, 4:38pm

Yes I'm firmly in the hub gear camp, however I didn't want to confuse the op further as the poor guy is struggling to decide between a flat bar or drop bar which is hard enough without melting his brain with anti-dérailleur isms!

Reality is IF you make your commute a permanent fixture then hub gear, hub brakes, full mudguards and some form of chain case is far and away the most practical device, just like 90%+ of the bikes sold on the continent where people actually ride the bikes that they buy, rather than storing them in their sheds for years!

Add to that a pannier rack with spring clasp and dynamo lights and you have a bike that is fit for purpose (assuming your purpose is commuting) all year round and needs very little maintenance...

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gentlegreen
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby gentlegreen » 21 Apr 2013, 6:34pm

But why not have some fun along the way ?
I'm not sure I would altogether living in the Netherlands with their ploddy bikes and a legal requirement to use the paths...

"Fun" in the UK, sadly means having a bit of oomph available when some idiot driving a car "forgets" you exist.

I'm guessing the world's most universal bike is a 26 inch wheeled MTB with dérailleur gears.
It's very much my style of bike - I'm amazed I put up with those awful 10-speeds for so long ...

With a tiny modicum of effort dérailleur gears work as well as anything else - and no one should be riding a bike without being able to do basic maintenance -things like brakes and tyres are much too important to trust to other people at long intervals.

rogerzilla
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby rogerzilla » 21 Apr 2013, 7:32pm

gentlegreen wrote:
rogerzilla wrote:1. Forget derailleur gears. You need something with a chainring and a single sprocket to minimise maintenance and expensive bits that will be destroyed by grit and salt. That means fixed, singlespeed or a hub gear. Fixed has the least to go wrong but only you will know whether this is suitable for you.


LOL.

Odd that mountain bikes used in anger still have derailleur gears !

And they generally get cleaned after every trail session.
Hub gears that can replace a hybrid set in terms of range cost as much as most of us would be prepared to pay for a whole bike. I do thousands of miles a year and for long periods didn't maintain my bike properly and still never had a problem. (something I stopped doing once I started taking my cycling seriously)

I find a fixed gear of about 70", or a hub gear with about 15% increase and decrease from normal perfectly adequate for my commute. It is not flat. A good secondhand Sturmey-Archer AW is about £10 if you look around, and has twice that range.

8. If you get it right, maintenance consists of a 2 or 3-monthly chain clean and relube and an annual wash (I do mine at Easter, after the worst of the road salt). At the annual wash you should regrease the seatpost and the brake bosses (if using V-brakes), change any cables and generally fix anything that is worn or out of adjustment. That really is it.

Hopefully the OP cares more for his and others' safety.

Oh, purleeeaaaase. You're not getting it. If you specify the bike correctly, it will not need more than annual maintenance (excepting the chain). Ceramic rims take a decade to wear out, and the pads take years. Sealed headsets and BBs are only replaced when they wear out.
Every 100 miles for me - which usually means 10am on a Saturday.

This is funny. Would you drive a car that required a weekly service?

Ant
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby Ant » 21 Apr 2013, 9:25pm

I have had a lot of fun on practical bikes! I've also had some miserable rides on other bikes. You can spec a practical bike to be reasonably lightweight and agile. Anyway, weight is barely relevant most places anyway....

Anyway, this is all irrelevant. Op seems to be buying from halfords and is picking a Boardman hybrid or road bike. Fr me, the hybrid is the pick for a "newcomer" although I personally now ride drops most of the time after previously not enjoying them (discovered anatomical bars set higher up). Also I would not recommend drops together with hub gear, even though that is my setup and I am happy with it....

To the op, if you get the "bug" you'll be getting a second bike within a year or two anyway, so don't stress about it!

AshleyClements
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby AshleyClements » 24 Apr 2013, 8:59pm

So I think iv changed my mind altogether , I'm going to get a mountain bike ...
Only joking!!!

I'm going for this http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165710

Seems the best of both worlds to me

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Mr. Viking
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby Mr. Viking » 24 Apr 2013, 9:16pm

best of luck with it and I hope you enjoy your commute

Ant
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby Ant » 24 Apr 2013, 9:19pm

That is a pretty smart bike. Not a bad compromise, as you can do some off road on that too if you get the urge...

You might want to get some slicker tyres though, if you are only riding on the road.

Hope you enjoy it!

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RickH
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby RickH » 24 Apr 2013, 9:59pm

AshleyClements wrote:So I think iv changed my mind altogether , I'm going to get a mountain bike ...
Only joking!!!

I'm going for this http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165710

Seems the best of both worlds to me

It got a good review on Bike Radar :D

Rick.

johnwoodgate
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby johnwoodgate » 25 Apr 2013, 8:16am

Hello Ashley,

I am a retired Police Officer and when I was stationed in Haverhill Suffolk I was cycling a daily return journey of 30 miles. In the 12 years that I did that commute I found that the 'sit-up-and-beg' type of bicycle with hub gears and a full chaincase was the best compromise. As you're going to be out in all weathers you'll need a strong bike and my Pashley Roadster was more than rugged enough for the task in hand. In the early days I did try bikes with derailleur gears but I used to got through gear systems very quickly. The salt on the winter roads used to play havoc with the set-up. As for tyres I love Schwalbe Marathon with their puncture resistance. I used to get 5000 miles out of a front tyre and 3000 from a rear one. What ever weight of bike you ride you'll just get used to it riding it every day. But for sheer practicality I'd advise the heavier 'workhorse' type of bike; yes a bit slower but more able to withstand a british winter. Hope this is of some help.