Thinking of commuting, need advice.

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SE43
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 14:57 pm

Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby SE43 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 20:51 pm

So in the attempt to make my commute shorter, I will try to vaguely give details.

Right now I walk about 2 miles, then catch public transport. The public transport doesn't really take any time at all. The walking, however, is a good 40 minutes or so.

Right near the stop is 2 bike racks, as well as lots of those like traffic light fences, as well as 2 more bike racks just a minute walk away if first 2 are full.

Going to be using a sort of unused mountain bike that isn't worth all that much, but of course, I don't want it stolen.

What lock? Saw the Kryptonite on Amazon with the flex cable for £21.28, would that be suffice.

It would be outside all day, do I need to do anything special for the bike not to rust?

It is a relatively busy area I suppose, but not a town centre.

It would be left for a number of hours (Monday-Friday) but on some days, it might only be for hour and half - 2 hours.

Just general recommendations would be great if you are in similar situation. Thanks

Lock recommendations that don't overly break the bank would be great too.
B'TWIN Triban 5a

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craker
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 21:34 pm

Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby craker » Mon Sep 23, 2013 22:15 pm

What's the total distance of your commute BTW? You might be encouraged to cycle the whole thing if you're not careful. 2 miles is a doddle on pretty well all bikes. However a broken down bike is worse than no bike so whatever you can lay your hands on, get some non-awful tyres and do basic maintenance.

As for locks, nothing's impregnable. Get a really beaten up bike, stick a d lock on it, you may get the bike vandalised but if anything gets stolen off it then it's too upmarket for the job. Don't worry about the weather, the kind of bikes I'm thinking of have probably spend their lives outside already. More rust = less thieving.

SE43
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 14:57 pm

Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby SE43 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 22:27 pm

craker wrote:What's the total distance of your commute BTW? You might be encouraged to cycle the whole thing if you're not careful. 2 miles is a doddle on pretty well all bikes. However a broken down bike is worse than no bike so whatever you can lay your hands on, get some non-awful tyres and do basic maintenance.

As for locks, nothing's impregnable. Get a really beaten up bike, stick a d lock on it, you may get the bike vandalised but if anything gets stolen off it then it's too upmarket for the job. Don't worry about the weather, the kind of bikes I'm thinking of have probably spend their lives outside already. More rust = less thieving.


I did think about doing the whole journey, but the 2 miles would be better for me.

I also though about buying a used one from eBay or Gumtree that is pretty beaten up for the use, but will see. Thank you for the insight anyway.
B'TWIN Triban 5a

JayKosta
Posts: 634
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 15:32 pm

Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby JayKosta » Mon Sep 23, 2013 23:00 pm

For a bike with quick-release wheels, I recommend a chain or cable that can secure both wheels and the frame. Also consider the saddle if it is especially nice....
For such a short ride, use a bike that is not worth stealing.

For cover, I only used a waterproof plastic bag over the saddle - secured with a small bungee. Also have lights so you can be seen in dark / rain conditions.

I carried my daily 'work clothes' in a lightweight waterproof backpack. Belts and shoes, remained at work, as did comb, deodorant, etc.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA

antonyfromoz
Posts: 306
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 15:01 pm

Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby antonyfromoz » Mon Sep 23, 2013 23:12 pm

One other thing you could do is to buy a folding bike and take it on the train with you. Folders with 20" wheels, like the Dahon or Tern bikes, should easily cope with that bike commute and you have the bike to finish off the journey at the other end too. They tend to fold easily enough and some riders I have spoken to have used them to ride for quite long distances so the option would still be there to take the bike the whole way if there is an issue with the trains or you are feeling especially energetic. Folding bikes also seem to hold their value quite well if you want to sell it later to fund another bike...

MichaelW
Posts: 2155
Joined: Thu May 15, 2003 11:09 am

Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby MichaelW » Mon Sep 23, 2013 23:34 pm

You need a hack bike or a folder.
The hack should look very down at heel but should ride OK.
You need some really good protective tyres like Marathon Plus.
Stick to bolt-on wheels if you can. Hub gears are good, they seem to be less nickable.

You can protect a bike from weather with a coat of car wax on the frame and exposed metal (except rims).
Put a bag over the saddle, long enough to funnel water over the seat-tube.

Use a shackle and a chain and lock both wheels.
Put the bike in a place where passing vandals need to go out of their way, ie the midpoint in a toastrack rather than the end.

Slowbike
Posts: 5049
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 09:26 am

Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby Slowbike » Tue Sep 24, 2013 08:53 am

re the lights - remove them when leaving the bike ...

the bike - a cheap one off ebay for £15-20 - sort the tyres and away you go ...
or a folder and take it with you. I've ridden around Guernsey on a cheap folder - just needed the brakes sorting really.

markhewitt1978
Posts: 6709
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 15:48 pm

Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby markhewitt1978 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:50 am

SE43 wrote:So in the attempt to make my commute shorter, I will try to vaguely give details.

Right now I walk about 2 miles, then catch public transport. The public transport doesn't really take any time at all. The walking, however, is a good 40 minutes or so.

Right near the stop is 2 bike racks, as well as lots of those like traffic light fences, as well as 2 more bike racks just a minute walk away if first 2 are full.

Going to be using a sort of unused mountain bike that isn't worth all that much, but of course, I don't want it stolen.

What lock? Saw the Kryptonite on Amazon with the flex cable for £21.28, would that be suffice.

It would be outside all day, do I need to do anything special for the bike not to rust?

It is a relatively busy area I suppose, but not a town centre.

It would be left for a number of hours (Monday-Friday) but on some days, it might only be for hour and half - 2 hours.

Just general recommendations would be great if you are in similar situation. Thanks

Lock recommendations that don't overly break the bank would be great too.


How far is your journey in total? You might find that cycling directly to work would be no slower than cycling and parking up and then waiting for public transport.

SE43
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 14:57 pm

Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby SE43 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 18:16 pm

Slowbike wrote:re the lights - remove them when leaving the bike ...

the bike - a cheap one off ebay for £15-20 - sort the tyres and away you go ...
or a folder and take it with you. I've ridden around Guernsey on a cheap folder - just needed the brakes sorting really.


Yes, that is what I was thinking, the £15-20 one from eBay, a foldable would be nice, but relatively expensive.
B'TWIN Triban 5a

Mr.Duck
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 20:08 pm

Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby Mr.Duck » Wed Sep 25, 2013 20:23 pm

Abus granit 54 for the primary lock.

Daniel B
Posts: 4300
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:43 pm

Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby Daniel B » Wed Sep 25, 2013 20:32 pm

markhewitt1978 wrote:
SE43 wrote:So in the attempt to make my commute shorter, I will try to vaguely give details.

Right now I walk about 2 miles, then catch public transport. The public transport doesn't really take any time at all. The walking, however, is a good 40 minutes or so.

Right near the stop is 2 bike racks, as well as lots of those like traffic light fences, as well as 2 more bike racks just a minute walk away if first 2 are full.

Going to be using a sort of unused mountain bike that isn't worth all that much, but of course, I don't want it stolen.

What lock? Saw the Kryptonite on Amazon with the flex cable for £21.28, would that be suffice.

It would be outside all day, do I need to do anything special for the bike not to rust?

It is a relatively busy area I suppose, but not a town centre.

It would be left for a number of hours (Monday-Friday) but on some days, it might only be for hour and half - 2 hours.

Just general recommendations would be great if you are in similar situation. Thanks

Lock recommendations that don't overly break the bank would be great too.


How far is your journey in total? You might find that cycling directly to work would be no slower than cycling and parking up and then waiting for public transport.

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The Rookie
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Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby The Rookie » Sat Sep 28, 2013 06:19 am

If the wheels are quick release then use at least some basic bolt through skewers, they are lighter than QR's and only cost a few quid, while anyone with an allen key can remove them, that's better than anyone with a hand being able to remove them.

A used bike off gumtree/ebay would be ideal, basic maintnenace will keep it going, my son used an old Townsend mountain bike we got off ebay for £5.50 for the same purpose and ran it for one year with no maintenance other than chain lube.

Simon E
Posts: 1553
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 20:24 pm

Re: Thinking of commuting, need advice.

Postby Simon E » Sat Sep 28, 2013 20:58 pm

If you're leaving it outside a station or whatever then the cheap 'hack' bike is best. Even then I'd replace Q/Rs with allen skewers and fit some Schwalbe City Jet tyres.

Is the Amazon lock this one? (Kryptonite Series 2 & cable). I have that model, it's excellent. There are also versions with long or wide shackle, Parker stock them all: http://www.parker-international.co.uk/b ... plh&page=2

Otherwise Aldi have an armoured cable lock for £5 in their current offers, better than plain twisted wires, some of which can be cut with garden secateurs. You could get two, one around the frame & each wheel.
Aspire not to have more, but to be more.


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