New London cycle commuter

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
TonyR
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby TonyR » 22 Apr 2013, 8:05pm

LondonBikeCommuter wrote:For my price point I'd be looking at a weight penalty of about 1kg for the cyclocross over the racer but for that I'd get a much more solid durable bike. Seems the best compromise to me. Also to my mind disc brakes are for city commuting essential.


That would be my choice and I would recommend a Genesis Day-One Alfine 8 for London. Its flat so you don't need a lot of gears but eight hub gears and disc brakes make for a good robust commuter that rides well for about half your budget.

I was being a bit flippant about the near death experiences but was trying to get a feel for what commuting is like in London at rush hour. I've got Google Maps to show me its cycle route and it seems OK but do those that commute in London feel that its fairly stress free?


I find it stress free generally and it can be good fun traffic jamming. Relax, enjoy and keep an eye out for tipper trucks

LuckyLuke
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby LuckyLuke » 22 Apr 2013, 8:12pm

JamesE wrote:
Regarding safety... I commute 7-15 miles every day, and near-death experiences, definitely not. Stressful experiences, yes - there's usually one or two idiot drivers every day, overtaking too close or failing to indicate or honking and shouting or jumping red lights, but rarely a genuine danger.



My experience has been similar to be above.
No accidents to date.
Near death experiences very rare, 1-2 in eight years.
But I see low-level driver stupidity / callousness / petulance on a daily basis.
This can be a tad grinding and stressful, but most of the time riding a bike in London is great fun, and beats public transport in rush hour hands down!

dbascent1986
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby dbascent1986 » 22 Apr 2013, 8:34pm

That is a nice commute, am wondering whether a folder makes sense if you can keep it in the office? They come commuter ready and have reasonable gear ratios for London. £2k sounds like overkill for a commuter - a good quality, hub gear, disk or v-brake bike, commuter ready (various brands) are around +/- £1k

Pugwash
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby Pugwash » 23 Apr 2013, 12:11pm

With that budget i'd be tempted to look at a milk bike www.milkbikes.com

They specialise in ultra low maintainance bikes.

LondonBikeCommuter
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 23 Apr 2013, 6:46pm

Big T wrote:Tourers are faster than you think. I had a race with a guy on a Cube Agree road bike on the way home tonight. He ramped it up to 26mph, but I was still there, sat on his wheel. The only time the weight comes in to play is if it's hilly and London is mostly flat.

My son rides in London and is currently commuting on a Focus Izalco Pro, but he keeps his clothes at work and gets them laundered. He rides an alu audax bike in winter, as he doesn't like to get a wet behind.


I've got nothing personal about tourers and if my needs included summer holidays cycle touring then quite possibly I'd look more favourably on one. Speed in itself isn't really an issue but carrying around an extra 4/5kg's (can't find too many tourers listing their weight) seems pretty pointless if you don't have to. Another issue is the frame geometry fine for long days in the saddle but feels far too relaxed for me. Now the absolute nail in the coffin the only tourer I've seen with disc brakes (pretty much mandatory really) is a Dawes Ultra Galaxy which costs £1800. O.K in budget but I just can't get excited about it .

I've seen many bikes labelled as Hybrid commuter, Cyclocross/fast commuter but never tourer/commuter. Reading through other replies there does seems to be a definite lean towards a tourer solution. I'm wondering if that has to do with this forum being the Cycle TOURING Club and as such the inherent wisdom just leans in that direction?

Pugwash - I'm not quite sure what to make of the Milk bike RDA but flat handlebars and gimmicky 'belt drive' work against it but Alfine is worth investigating.

Dbascent1986 - I think that a folder sits in the same category as the tourer i.e. it solves a problem I don't have.

LuckyLuke - you've touched on a few things regarding bike theft that have I've heard to an almost religious zeal. Some people are of the church that thieves aren't interested in bikes that look like old or cheap so best get one of those. Others have said that the pool of thieves willing/able to take a decent bike is so small you'd be better off getting a more expensive bike. 2 views and never the twain shall meet.

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horizon
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby horizon » 23 Apr 2013, 6:54pm

LondonBikeCommuter wrote: but I just can't get excited about it .



As you can see, there's more to this buying-the-right-bike mularcky than meets the eye. Marketing men aren't paid for nothing. A cross bike is definitely a better option for you (even if it isn't the best bike for the job and that's arguable).
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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Si
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby Si » 23 Apr 2013, 7:48pm

Thing about a tourer is this: in a function to weight ratio it'll weigh less than many other bikes on the commute. Think about your ride to work - what are the challenges? You need something that'll stand up to the abuse, that will give a confident controlled ride, you need something that will be comfortable, that will keep you clean, that will allow you to carry all your stuff with you, that will not have all the thieves getting their bolt croppers out as soon as they see it, etc. A tourer does this right off the shelf...with some of the other bikes you've mentioned you'll need to add kit to them thus you are upping both the price and weight, and quite possibly trying to make a bike do something that it wasn't designed to do in the first place. That's why some have suggested tourers, not because this is the "Cycle TOURING Club" forum (which, actually, it isn't), it's because they are experienced commuters and can see the sense in using one.

That is not to say that the tourer is the only bike to be considered - each will have their strong and weak points and you need to weigh up each of criteria to decide which bike best suits. For me a tourer was better because my road bike shook itself to pieces on the cobbles, the MTB didn't have ideal geometry and mounts for racks and guards, and the folder was too easily nickable. Speedwise, the fact that I'm warm, clean and well equipped on it means that although the road bike might climb and accelerate faster, over a whole week the tourer can get me there faster (indeed, it'll get me there when the road bike would have stayed in the shed).

LuckyLuke
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby LuckyLuke » 23 Apr 2013, 10:00pm

Hi NewLondonCommuter,

Re speed in traffic, tourer vs road bike, have you read this? Bit anecdotal but still a valid point:

http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c6801

Also, just to add a "+1" to Si's last post.

If a tourer seems too staid, have you considered an audax style bike?
You could even have a separate set of posh lightweight wheels and tyres for the weekend.

LondonBikeCommuter wrote:LuckyLuke - you've touched on a few things regarding bike theft that have I've heard to an almost religious zeal. Some people are of the church that thieves aren't interested in bikes that look like old or cheap so best get one of those. Others have said that the pool of thieves willing/able to take a decent bike is so small you'd be better off getting a more expensive bike. 2 views and never the twain shall meet.


Yes, there are differences of opinion.
I think that unfortunately data is lacking as lots of thefts go unreported.
Anyone know of any solid evidence / stats re bike theft and risk of theft, new bikes v's old?

<inappropriate phrase removed>
-If you were a tea leaf, given the choice between a cheaper / cheap-looking bike, or an expensive looking, new-ish bike, which would you prioritise?
-If you do suffer a theft, losing a £300-400 bike is less of a blow than a £1,000-2,000 bike.

Hope you find the right bike for you, and enjoy your cycling in London.

Cheers,

Luke.

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jan19
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby jan19 » 24 Apr 2013, 9:05am

If you don't want a tourer, then don't buy one - why would you want to spend 2k on something you don't really want? You haven't said where your commute is, except its in zones 1-3 so I guess that's pretty flat. (I'm in zone 6, which has a few lumpy bits).

But I'd agree - albeit anecdotally - about a tourer and I can certainly understand why regular commuters might recommend them. I use a hybrid, but my commute is only 12 miles but OH uses a tourer for his commute, which is 22 miles. Until last year his commute was 10 miles, and he used a road bike and had done so for years. An enforced change of work location resulted very quickly in a change of bike being used. The road bike was fine for the shorter distance but the regular repeated extra mileage soon proved that comfort was more important than speed, and the tourer (its a Ridgeback Panorama) has that in spades. I don't know if this is possible, but could you ask a LBS to lend you (with a view to buy) a bike that appears good to you and try it out for a week or so to see if it is what you want? Nothing will put you off cycling quicker than an uncomfortable bike.

As for the commute itself - well I've been commuting for years and can luckily count "near-death" experiences on the fingers of one hand although I see plenty of inconsiderate road users as we all do. I commute in Greater London, as I've said, but I've ridden in the centre a good few times, and IMHO the Central London drivers are far more alert to the presence of cyclists than their compatriots where I live (not that they're all that bad here - they're just better in Central London) and I would put that down to the sheer number of cyclists they encounter on a daily basis. I've never had an qualms about cycling there.

Jan

karlt
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby karlt » 26 Apr 2013, 2:00pm

Two grand? "Not a lot of money to spend on a bike"?

What planet are some of you on?

My commuting bike for when I do the full 30 mile round trip on the bike (once or twice a week usually) is a three year old Decathlon Sport 3, costing £270

For other days (I'm not athletic enough to do that distance every day) I use a Giant Rock which I picked up off eBay for£70 to ride to an from the local rail station (1.8 miles each way), and an ancient £100 steel framed BSO to do the run from the station to work (3.3 miles each way).

Two grand for a bike that's in significant danger of being bent irreparably by a dozy van driver or nicked seems bonkers to me. Your money, of course. But it is a hell of a lot of money to spend on a commuting bike.

Mrs Karlt thinks I spend too much on bikes as it is.

Can I put in an unrelated plea - when we say "10 mile commute" can we decide once and for all whether that means 10 miles each way or 10 miles total? There's a big difference!

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby [XAP]Bob » 26 Apr 2013, 4:20pm

karlt wrote:Can I put in an unrelated plea - when we say "10 mile commute" can we decide once and for all whether that means 10 miles each way or 10 miles total? There's a big difference!

My vote goes for "Each way"
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Big T
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby Big T » 26 Apr 2013, 10:11pm

karlt wrote:Two grand? "Not a lot of money to spend on a bike"?

What planet are some of you on?



Sounds like a lot of money until you consider that a London zone 1-3 annual travel pass costs £1500. The bike will pay for itself in just over a year.
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Mr. Viking
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby Mr. Viking » 27 Apr 2013, 1:04am

[XAP]Bob wrote:
karlt wrote:Can I put in an unrelated plea - when we say "10 mile commute" can we decide once and for all whether that means 10 miles each way or 10 miles total? There's a big difference!

My vote goes for "Each way"

seconded

Mark1978
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby Mark1978 » 27 Apr 2013, 5:58am

I think it usually means each way as each part is separated by enough time to make them separate trips?

Usually if someone wants to say both ways it would be 'round-trip'.

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horizon
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Re: New London cycle commuter

Postby horizon » 28 Apr 2013, 1:21pm

karlt wrote:Two grand? "Not a lot of money to spend on a bike"?

What planet are some of you on?



A bike lasts ten years. That's £200 per year or £4.00 a week or 90p per day.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher