Bike / semi commuting help for a newbie.

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Bike / semi commuting help for a newbie.

Postby Greg_H » Fri Feb 08, 2013 21:26 pm

(Sorry admin/mods if it isnt in the right place could i please ask you to move it for me?)

Hi there,

I'll explain the situation before requesting the advice.

I live in Suffolk, UK (not sure if this is a world wide forum or what) but work in London. From door to door it takes me 2 hours to commute each way. Not only with time, I spend nearly £400pm for the two trains, £40 car park parking, £80tube (actually gone up in new year and not sure what it is ATM). So as you can see, quite costly. Before my girlfriend fell pregnant, we bought two cheapish double suspension bikes from halfords to go riding along the dirt bike paths in/around this village. I'm not too fond of these bikes, the suspension is way too soft and I'm more wanting to ride on roads which these bikes don't seem to help much.

I've recently been given an old used Carrera Subway 1 bike. I know it needs new tyres, possibly a new wheel (a spoke is missing I believe) and a new seat. Before I get a shop to service it i will need to get those bits.

Now for my advice, I would like to use it for both travelling to and from. The train station, reducing petrol and parking fees, but I would also like to use it for a ride every weekend, say to start with a 5 mile ride (I am very unfit).

Would this bike be:

A - worth using for the morning and evening journey to the station (it's only about 2 miles away max)
B - worth paying for the new parts needed for it?

Thanks for your time, once again if this is in the wrong place I'm sorry.


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Re: Bike / semi commuting help for a newbie.

Postby elderone » Fri Feb 08, 2013 21:48 pm

Hi and welcome.If you think it will save you money then its got to be worth it.If as you say your unfit then its a start to getting fitter,which cant be a bad thing at all.Price the parts up and see if its worth repairing.If everything else is ok shouldnt cost that much.
good luck
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Re: Bike / semi commuting help for a newbie.

Postby Pross » Fri Feb 08, 2013 22:06 pm

If it is just a spoke missing from the wheel then it should be easily fixed by any bike shop. Yes, it will be fine for riding to the station (assuming it fits you properly). It is probably ideal as less likely to be a target for thieves but get a good quality lock anyway and make sure you lock both wheels. Why leave it at the station though? You could take it on the train and save on your tube journey at the other end as well.

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Re: Bike / semi commuting help for a newbie.

Postby Greg_H » Fri Feb 08, 2013 22:19 pm

Thanks for the replies. It isn't just the money saving aspect, is mainly the fitness, as I know it will costs money to et the bike serviced and in a position to be ridden at its best. Mind me asking what sort of seat I should look for?

I would eventually want to take it on the train to save my tube ride, but one step at a time for me with fitness I think, riding from Liverpool street to Tottenham court road, although is just one road, the traffic on it is a bit manic and would want to be able to ride quick, react quicker on the road first.

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Re: Bike / semi commuting help for a newbie.

Postby MichaelW » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:45 pm

Subway is an excellent "station" bike.
As above, a spoke repair easy for any good bike shop.
Make sure you set the bike up so you can easily strip the bike of accessories, eg lights.
Remove any quick-releases and fit security skewers. Use 2 decent locks, one shackle and one strong cable.
Fit some puncture-resistant tyres, I would suggest Schwalbe Marathon Plus, they are not the quickest tyres but will almost eliminate pesky flats. If they are too expensive, go for the std Marathon.

In London, you can often find quieter back roads. It takes some work to finesse a route, exploring all the options with a A-Z.

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