Time to try this commuting lark

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Re: Time to try this commuting lark

Postby Worrying Will » 27 Apr 2016 12:14

i just use a cheap decathlon triban and its doing me well
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Re: Time to try this commuting lark

Postby Kevy427 » 27 Apr 2016 14:19

You already have the beard for fixie riding; you now need the skinny jeans and cappuccino to complete the look


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Re: Time to try this commuting lark

Postby Lead Balloon » 27 Apr 2016 19:44

kfjatek wrote:
They'll build it precisely to your spec - that's the beauty of custom-made! :-)

:ugeek:


I'm going to need a bigger shed with all these bikes I've bought in my head already :oops:

IanM cheers for the heads up, I'll have to chase that up and see what TVP's stance on it is. I seem to remember them saying they were pretty pro cycling so we'll see how that pans out.

Kevy427 wrote:You already have the beard for fixie riding; you now need the skinny jeans and cappuccino to complete the look


I can't pull off skinny jeans so I'll have to master the track stand to achieve full hipster status
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Re: Time to try this commuting lark

Postby Jack Hughes » 29 Apr 2016 08:35

It means you'll be going from a fairweather cyclist, choosing your own routes, to having to ride in all conditions, on routes you wouldn't necessarily want to ride.

- Never underestimate the stupidity and incompetence of the motorist, especially in the morning, when they are asleep and/or checking on their phones to see who the latest celebrity death is. I seldom commute as am not office based, but I have a route which is plotted to minimise the problem points, and this makes a huge difference to the number of near misses.

- worth understanding the legal requirements if you are going to be riding in darkness:

: lighting up time is 30 mins after sunset to 30 mins before dawn.
: You need to have lights, front and back
: you need to have a reflector; the best way to do this is to have proper mudguards (which make for a much nicer experience in bad weather, so are worth it for that)
: you need reflectors front and back on the pedals. I have some rubber things, that fit round the SPD pedal - you end up with a two sided pedal: SPD on side, flat the other, with a large platform.

Everything else is optional.

I have some special lights for commuting which are bright enough to take down an aeroplane - probably a bit too bright....
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Re: Time to try this commuting lark

Postby Lead Balloon » 29 Apr 2016 21:27

Jack Hughes wrote:
- Never underestimate the stupidity and incompetence of the motorist, especially in the morning, when they are asleep and/or checking on their phones to see who the latest celebrity death is. I seldom commute as am not office based, but I have a route which is plotted to minimise the problem points, and this makes a huge difference to the number of near misses.

-
: you need to have a reflector; the best way to do this is to have proper mudguards (which make for a much nicer experience in bad weather, so are worth it for that)
: you need reflectors front and back on the pedals. I have some rubber things, that fit round the SPD pedal - you end up with a two sided pedal: SPD on side, flat the other, with a large platform.

Everything else is optional.

I have some special lights for commuting which are bright enough to take down an aeroplane - probably a bit too bright....


I swear they're a special kind of stupid when it cones to driving round here, but I bet we all get that impression at times. I'll be commuting at odd times I reckon as the shift schedule is supposedly mega random, hopefully not too much of it during the morning rush.

The whole reflector thing on the pedals is bonkers to me, since it's a legal requirement why aren't they on clipless pedals as well?
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Re: Time to try this commuting lark

Postby Worrying Will » 30 Apr 2016 08:42

My last set of clip less from wiggle did have those things jack is talking about.

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Re: Time to try this commuting lark

Postby ris » 30 Apr 2016 19:54

pedal reflectors, along with rear red reflector, are legal requirements but i believe very rarely enforced. this is not to say they aren't useful, or that not having them might be a problem in the event of an incident (although, again, i've not come across any stories where lack of reflectors was identified as an issue). i don't have any reflectors on the bike. i do use set of coloured reflectors i wear on my ankles and right upper arm, mostly in winter but also regularly during the whole year. i find it easier to have it as a regular habit than something to remember only when it is getting darker.

like jack, i also have some (probably overly) bright lights, both front and rear. i use magicshine / gemini lights and they are very effective and highly visible. the fronts i use are 600-900 lumens and mean i can ride at pretty much full pelt - they are good enough to see enough road at 25-30mph. i opten use a couple of rear lights, one a battery-connected magicshine set to constant and the others usb-powered removable ones set to blink. in the winter there is no substitute for being visible. technically, i think there are rules about rear lights having reflectors in them, and not using flashing modes, but in practice being lit up light a christmas tree seems to be positively received by the authorities.

the other very useful bit of kit i have is a bright reflective bag cover. it is an all-reflective one, in grey/white. essentially it means the whole of my bag is catching headlights and making me visible, and makes up for the hassle of having to use a bag.
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Re: Time to try this commuting lark

Postby Lead Balloon » 02 May 2016 20:34

I'll probably just stick with my set of SPD pedals for the commute unless I decide to fork out for some flat sided ones that have reflectors on (I'm having to be a massive skinflint atm though). I'm thinking of grabbing some maritime reflective tape to stick on the rear of the frame and forks to offset it though, I seem to remember it being v. reflective and pretty much bombproof as well.

I've got a Lezyne (Micro I think) which kicks out about 500 lumens and an old Cateye along with fibre flares so I'll definitely be sticking with the Christmas tree option. I need to see about getting better lighting options when it comes into winter though.

ris wrote:the other very useful bit of kit i have is a bright reflective bag cover. it is an all-reflective one, in grey/white. essentially it means the whole of my bag is catching headlights and making me visible, and makes up for the hassle of having to use a bag.


My overboard bag has got reflective strips on it but there's definitely no harm in having a bigger surface area to potentially be spotted with, I'll look into it thanks Ris.

Going for the cost effective and easy maintenance option I'm going to test ride a Charge Plug 0 on Friday and see if that will do the job. It combines both the singlie and cyclocross options I was thinking of as it has nice thick 37c knobbly tyres if I remember rightly and as a singlie should require little maintenance.
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Re: Time to try this commuting lark

Postby Lead Balloon » 06 May 2016 20:44

So I test rode the Charge Plug 0 today in Milton Keynes. I took it on local redway as there are plenty of cycle tracks once you get into MK (it's just reaching it that's a death trap) and loved every minute of it. It's a heavy beast but shifts easily on the flats and I really didn't want to go back to the shop. I reckon it'll definitely improve my hill climbing as well seeing as there's no gears to hide behind on the ascents.

There were a couple of short, cheeky knolls that caught me out when I wasn't expecting them, and once my momentum was gone I was left grinding my way up wishing it hadn't been such a long time since I was last on a bike :shock: I'm going to try and get out on it over the weekend and I'll post the obligatory phots etc when I get the chance.

Next job is to recce the route properly
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Re: Time to try this commuting lark

Postby Lead Balloon » 22 May 2016 12:18

Took the new ride out for a proper spin on Thursday to see how it performed as well as check out the proposed route for my upcoming commutes. First off, there's nowhere to hide when it comes to those inclines and I'd forgotten how many little hills there were round here. Nothing major but enough for my fat cycling atrophied arse to start feeling it.

There's the bitching done. After a couple of stops to tweak the brakes and the saddle height it really started to feel like a dream to ride. I ended up doing around 36 miles out to Milton Keynes and back via a relatively quiet route. I was pleasnatly surprised by the cucling infrastructure in place when I got into the outskirts of Milton Keynes as well. There's a pretty extensive redway throughout which means I don't really have to spend any time on the roads once I get in. I just need to get to grips with that part of the toute as I got navigationally challenged briefly at that point :oops:

It was a nice sunny day so I stopped for the obligatory ice cream on the way back through Woburn (v posh so it was Mint Magnum all the way) and had a quuck rest before finishing off the ride. Quick shower and then off to pick up the little munchkin. I half expected to be in absolute pieces with DOMS the next day but apart from a couplr of aches in my back and legs I felt surprisingly good. Hopefully that means that when I'm doing it 4/5 times a week I won't be crippled inside a month :roll:
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