Another request for a recommendation!

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Alex Veitch, Jun 4, 2003.

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  1. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Mads Hilberg wrote:
    >> Because they're commonly available and cheap, and robust. They're especially good in hilly towns
    >> as well.
    >
    > And why do you think they're commonly available?

    Partly (if not largely) because people like them. I do not accept that it's all marketing. At the
    very least, they're a big, big improvement on what most people went about on before in the UK.

    > Or more to the point why do you think hybrids as I describe are so widely available on the
    > continent but not in the UK?

    One reason they're more popular in certain countries is because it's flatter there. It's also a
    cultural thing!!

    > I agree that in hilly towns you need many gears, but a hybrid with 21-27 gears works just as well
    > if not better for most people who ride only short distances and rarely go off road.

    I'm not particularly knocking those sort of hybrids, I'm merely sticking up for MTB's and those
    who choose them - I borrow one sometimes and might even get one myself. I think mountain bikes
    are practical bikes for casual and short-distance general road use, and it doesn't matter if they
    have more or lower gears and wider tyres than strictly needed. Much better that way round than
    the opposite.

    >> Not that much. Bolt upright can be uncomfortable (and inefficient) for many people.
    >
    > Hybrids aren't bolt upright (except maybe a Pedersen bike, but that's quite a rare design and not
    > really a hybrid). Exaggeration to the point of inaccuracy doesn't enlighten anyone.

    No, but it illustrates the fact that more upright doesn't necessarily mean more comfortable
    for everyone.

    >> Not really - although more than hub-geared bikes - but at least the maintenance is easy to do
    >> when it is required.
    >
    > Most people don't find it easy (although you and I and most of the regulars on this newsgroup
    > probably do).

    The maintenance is *relatively* easy for anyone compared to maintaining a bike with hub gears -
    WHEN/IF it does eventually need any.

    > Clearly you've never bought a hybrid with hub gears, ridden it for over 4 years and never had to
    > do anything other than oil the chain.

    I do accept that these bikes usually need very little maintenance (and it's a plus point I
    mentioned), but even changing a rear tyre or inner tube is a bloody nightmare!!

    By the way, at one time, the sole bike I owned was a Sturmey Archer 3-speed roadster; I've also
    bought, fixed up, and sold all sorts of used ordinary bikes in my time; and I now occasionally help
    look after relatives' bikes with Nexus hub gears - so I do have relevant experience.

    >> Wide tyres are great for casual and town use as they provide a comfortable ride and soak-up the
    >> potholes.
    >
    > They're pointlessly inefficient.

    I disagree. The point is comfort and rim protection. The efficiency difference is minimal (or even
    debatable) - especially when non-very-knobbly versions are used.

    >> Not if you tuck trousers into socks!
    >
    > This is essentially an admission of the impracticality of an MTB.

    One tiny thing like that does not make an MTB impractical. I still like to tuck trousers in socks
    anyway (when not using cycling clothes) - more aero, apart from anything else! :)

    >> Chain guards are a big nuisance when they get bent or knocked out of position, and make
    >> maintenance more awkward.
    >
    > I think most people who cycle very little don't do maintenance themselves anyway.

    That's a fair point - except it's a shame when they can't even fix a puncture because the bikes are
    so (relatively) difficult to work on. Also, many MTB owners also get a shop to fix everything.

    > And they're not likely to damage their chain guard just cycling on normal roads.

    They often come loose or out of place on their own due to road bumps and poor design & assembly.
    Clank clank clank!

    ~PB
     


  2. Mads Hilberg

    Mads Hilberg Guest

    > As far a I can tell, the main difference between a "hybrid" and a similarly-priced MTB:
    >
    > MTB: wide, knobbly tyres on 559 rims, probably front suspension "Hybrid": Less wide, less knobbly
    > tyres on 622 rims, probably mudguards

    Add to this:

    MTB: external gears Hybrid: internal hub gears, chain guard

    > Riding positions are as near as make no odds the same.

    I don't really agree with that. An MTB typically has the handlebars lower than the seat and a fair
    bit forward of the stem. A hybrid's handlebars are level with the seat and not so far forward. Also
    the correct fit frame for an MTB for a given height of rider is smaller than that for a hybrid. I
    agree that the handlebars of an MTB of course can be raised to get a more similar setup.

    I think that for people taking up cycling after not having cycled for a number of years the most
    important factors are comfort and ease of maintenance. I am quite certain that the hybrid is
    stronger in these two areas than an MTB. For enthusiasts or people who know what they want I have no
    objection to their choosing MTBs if they feel that is most suitable for them.

    Mads
     
  3. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Michael MacClancy wrote:

    > As regards gearing I'm sure that your experience of the UK will have persuaded you that many parts
    > of it are considerably hillier than Denmark and other places on the continental land mass where
    > cycling is popular.

    So, since I live in one of those places I'll obviously prefer derailleurs on my urban hack bike...
    But actually I use a 3 speed hub, which is quite sufficient for my needs on the urban hack bike. And
    the choice in hubs is improving all the time.

    My MTB and tourer are dealing with different things, so I'm happy to have derailleurs on them
    (though I'd rather have a hub like the Rohloff, effectively the same as the 3x9 on the tourer in
    terms of range and spacing of effective gears but with easier changing, less maintenance, cleaner
    chain line, easier use and a bloody great red hole in my bank balance...).

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  4. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Mads Hilberg wrote: [MTB/Hybrid in UK]
    > Add to this:
    >
    > MTB: external gears Hybrid: internal hub gears, chain guard

    Not in the UK. Hybrids here are almost all supplied with derailleurs.

    [riding position]
    > I don't really agree with that.

    It really depends where you draw the lines. The difference between a "comfort bike" and a "hybrid"
    may be where Brand X Bicycles decides to draw a line in their brochure, not necessarily the same
    place as Brand Y (who may not even have such a line).

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  5. In message <[email protected]>, Mads Hilberg
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Call it what you like, I think it's quite clear that the features I'm recommending are internal hub
    >gears, thinner tyres, a chain guard, a more upright position and a pannier rack.

    I tend to agree with you. These bikes do exist here and there would probably be more of them if more
    people cycled. But for certain age groups cycling is a fashion thing and they don't want to ride
    'boring', 'sensible' bikes. All IMHO, of course. ;-)
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  6. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    >> Well exactly. I really don't understand why so many people in the UK choose mountain bikes for
    >> town/city use.
    >
    > There isn't a cycling culture, so folk tend to get what's currently seen to be the In Thing. Most
    > people, AFAICT, genuinely don't realise that an MTB as typically supplied is harder work than
    > alternatives.

    Exluding full sus and the very worst cheapo examples, even with knobbly tyres, a typical modern
    inexpensive MTB rides nicely on the roads, in my experience. It may be technically less efficient
    than certain alternatives but this makes virtually no difference over a short distance to the
    average owner, IMO.

    Racks and mudguards can be fitted to MTB's to make them practical.

    > Another product of no general utility cycling culture is that bikes are often bought as a
    > "lifestyle statement", and bikes are often bought on the grounds of the image they project. A
    > lot of people like to think of themselves as sporty outdoor types rather than not, so that
    > means chaincases, hub gears, racks and mudguards are seen as Bad Things by many who might
    > benefit from them.

    I'm sure a great many people (in towns at least) aren't concerned about looking sporty as such and
    don't buy bikes just to make themselves look better. That's not to say the *image* of certain types
    of bikes does put them off - but the general image is "bad" partly becasue it's well known that the
    bikes are genuinely inferior in some ways (as detailed in my previous post) and they don't want to
    be seen on a naff bike, rather than actively wanting to look sporty.

    ~PB
     
  7. Mads Hilberg

    Mads Hilberg Guest

    > I personally don't think there's much difference between most hybrids and many low-end mountain
    > bikes. Both make for excellent utility cycling with a slight difference in emphasis. Are you sure
    > you're not thinking about 'comfort' or 'city' bikes when you use the word 'hybrid'?

    It is entirely possible that the word hybrid has a slightly different application in the UK to
    Denmark. It's possible a "city bike" is more what I'm describing in your terminology. Mind you I
    don't mean a really traditional 'old-man' type bicycle with a mesh basket on the handlebars - here
    those are called "classic bikes". Call it what you like, I think it's quite clear that the features
    I'm recommending are internal hub gears, thinner tyres, a chain guard, a more upright position and a
    pannier rack. As for the words 'comfort bike' - it's very unclear what this is - sometimes it's a DF
    with a fat saddle: http://www.dawescycles.com/bikes/kokomo.html other times it's a semi-recumbent
    design such as:
    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.006.asp?bikesection=8828&lYear=2003

    > As regards gearing I'm sure that your experience of the UK will have persuaded you that many parts
    > of it are considerably hillier than Denmark and other places on the continental land mass where
    > cycling is popular.

    The UK is fairly hilly, but I have been discussing bicycles for use for short town/city errands or
    short commutes to work. And while there are some towns/cities in the UK which are quite hilly I
    still believe and have already pointed out that a hybrid with external gears makes sense here.

    Mads
     
  8. Mads Hilberg

    Mads Hilberg Guest

    > One reason they're more popular in certain countries is because it's flatter there. It's also a
    > cultural thing!!

    I accept that the UK is less flat than Denmark or Holland, but for someone living in London for
    example it's not exactly the most hilly place in the country and yet one sees loads of (full
    suspension) mountain bikes there.

    > I'm not particularly knocking those sort of hybrids, I'm merely sticking up for MTB's and those
    > who choose them - I borrow one sometimes and might even get one myself.

    There's nothing wrong with MTBs as such - I just believe there are better alternatives for
    city/town use.

    > No, but it illustrates the fact that more upright doesn't necessarily mean more comfortable for
    > everyone.

    Actually the Pedersen bike is very comfortable for most people. Those with back problems often go
    for them. But I get your point. Still - surely neck/shoulder/wrist pain are among the most common
    complaints from those taking up cycling? A more upright position alleviates this somewhat (at the
    cost of a little more pressure on the saddle).

    > I do accept that these bikes usually need very little maintenance (and it's a plus point I
    > mentioned), but even changing a rear tyre or inner tube is a bloody nightmare!!

    I'm not sure what sort of kit you're used to, but other than undoing a couple of bolts instead of
    having a quick release there isn't much more to
    it. The cables for roller brakes and modern hub gears come off and reattach very easily without
    needing any subsequent adjustment. Even so most people here dump their bike at the nearest bike
    shop to where they punctured and pay a whopping £3 to have it repaired - ready to be picked up
    later in the day.

    > I disagree. The point is comfort and rim protection. The efficiency difference is minimal (or even
    > debatable) - especially when non-very-knobbly versions are used.

    I can see that there is quite a bit of disagreement on the cost/benefit of fat tyres. I'm not sure
    how this can be resolved. Personally I find fat tyres very annoying.

    > That's a fair point - except it's a shame when they can't even fix a puncture because the bikes
    > are so (relatively) difficult to work on. Also, many MTB owners also get a shop to fix everything.

    It's also a shame to see so many bikes where one of the v-brakes is bust (usually cable broken) and
    the gears and chain are completely orange from rust. Lots of people also seem to find adjusting a
    derailleur quite a challenge and cycle on bikes where the chain keeps jumping - even though one
    little turn of a screw with their fingers would fix it.

    And while we're on ease of use - what about automatic gears? After all many people with 21 gear
    bikes never change gears at all!! Somewhat depressing.

    Mads
     
  9. Mads Hilberg wrote:

    > Add to this:
    >
    > MTB: external gears Hybrid: internal hub gears, chain guard

    [snip]

    Ah. There we differ. In the UK a "hybrid" is, I imagine, so-called because it's a cross between a
    "road bike" and a "mountain bike", so it has the road bike's 622 wheels and the MTB's flat bars.
    Tyres are less aggressively stout and knobbly, but maintain some off-road ability. But both have
    disraeli gears.

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  10. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    > [MTBs in the UK]
    >> Because they're commonly available and cheap, and robust. They're especially good in hilly towns
    >> as well.
    >
    > They're commonly available from the rules of supply and demand. They're cheap partly from same but
    > partly because stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap is apparently the best way to sell bikes here.

    Prices dropped low for "cheap racers" in the 70's and 80's but sales fell through the floor - partly
    because they were crap bikes. MTB's boomed because they are good bikes.

    > They're not "especially good" in hilly towns. I have an MTB and a 3 speed Brompton and I live in
    > a hilly town. The only time I use the MTB is offroad, because it's more work on them than the
    > Brompton. The low gears on MTBs are for insanely steep things on marginal surfaces and there just
    > isn't any point on an urban bike. It's just more stuff to spend money on unnecessarily and have
    > go wrong.

    I disagree and find it hard to climb hills with the gears typically provided with most
    hub-geared bikes.

    >> Wide tyres are great for casual and town use as they provide a comfortable ride and soak-up the
    >> potholes.
    >
    > Wide tyres with mud knobbles (yes, you can change them, but AFAICT most people never do so that's
    > a moot point on a typical UK cheap MTB) on are utterly, utterly shite for town use because they
    > generate noise and vibration to reduce comfort as well as considerable extra friction that reduces
    > speed and probably doesn't exactly help cornering. I speak from the experience of riding my MTB on
    > roads (I go on roads to get to the off-road) with its wide, knobbly tyres.

    I've also ridden wide knobblies on-road, and while I agree that they're less efficient than slicks,
    they're not as terrible as they're often made out to be and are still quite practical, IMO. Anyway,
    a lot of MTB's I see on the roads don't have the most hard-core knobblies anyway - many are quite
    practical deep-tread almost-touring type things.

    >> "City bikes" with hub gears may be better for some people who don't like derailleurs or doing
    >> /any/ maintenance, riding in flat areas, perhaps with long skirts. ...That's not really the
    >> majority of the population, is it?
    >
    > There seems to be a misconception about what you can get from hub gearing. The 3 speed Sachs on my
    > Brompton is quite enough gears to get me round Dundee, and if you're not familiar let me assure
    > you it doesn't do "flat" around here. And the Sachs 3 is hardly the last word in big gear ranges
    > (though we'll ignore the Rohloff here as it costs more than most bikes).

    I'm talking the gears provide with a typical hub geared "city bike" (or roadster, as I used to call
    them) - from SA 3sp to Nexus 4 & 7sp and the like. I've ridden these bikes around the suburbs of
    London and they're bloody hard work up plenty of the hills (and please don't tell me that Greater
    London is flat). Changing the sprocket would help but vitually no-one does that. A lot of owners of
    these bikes avoid whole areas just for this reason or give up cycling altogether.

    > Derailleurs are generally unnecessary for short hacks and as well as being exposed to salt and
    > grit they increase chain wear.

    I think this aspect is too often over-stated. A small amount of cleaning and lubing is all that's
    required, or alternatively, modern derailleur gears can actually survive years of use with virtually
    no maintenance (if one is prepared to wear out sprockets with chain).

    ~PB
     
  11. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > Exluding full sus and the very worst cheapo examples, even with knobbly tyres, a typical modern
    > inexpensive MTB rides nicely on the roads, in my experience.

    It depends how you define "nice". Mine's an EBC Contour 400 from '97, hardly the greatest but a
    reasonably well built and specced machine, especially now it has a B17 and bar ends. And it doesn't
    ride anywhere nearly as nicely on roads as my old tourer or the Brompton, and nor does any other MTB
    I've tried, mainly because of chunky tyres.

    > Racks and mudguards can be fitted to MTB's to make them practical.

    As with tyres, "can be" is moot when "aren't" is what happens in practice AFAICT. I'm on about what
    actually happens judging by the majority of bikes I see, not what can happen.

    > I'm sure a great many people (in towns at least) aren't concerned about looking sporty as such and
    > don't buy bikes just to make themselves look better. That's not to say the *image* of certain
    > types of bikes does put them off - but the general image is "bad" partly becasue it's well known
    > that the bikes are genuinely inferior in some ways (as detailed in my previous post) and they
    > don't want to be seen on a naff bike, rather than actively wanting to look sporty.

    The sort of bike Mads is suggesting is, as I detailed in my reply to that previous post, very far
    from being "inferior" for typical urban use. I'd say that avoiding a bad image where it's
    unjustified and buying into a good one that's irrelevant are effectively the same, and basically
    daft at that.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  12. Tenex

    Tenex Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    SNIP

    > On the one hand it's a problem because you're unlikely to get what's absolutely best for you, but
    > OTOH it's quite unlikely you'll come out with anything awful as long as you avoid something that's
    > basically a poor design for your job

    That's what I'd assumed but the choices are legion ... is the Tiburon better than the 7100FX FS, or
    the Zebrano than the 7200 FX?

    The 7200 has a pre-load adjustable FS. Much benefit? So many choices so much detail to check ...
    ahhhhh more paper arriving through the letter box ... ;-)
     
  13. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Mads Hilberg <[email protected]> wrote:

    : MTB: external gears Hybrid: internal hub gears, chain guard

    Language confusion here I think.

    What you are calling a "hybrid" would be called a "town bike" in the UK.

    For what we would call a hybrid, think MTB but with 700C wheels. May or may not have front
    suspension, may or may not have mudguards. Pretty much always standard deriuller gears.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org Power is delightful. Absolute power is absolutely delightful -
    Lord Lester
     
  14. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Mads Hilberg <[email protected]> wrote:

    : It is entirely possible that the word hybrid has a slightly different application in the UK to
    : Denmark. It's possible a "city bike" is more what I'm describing in your terminology. Mind you I
    : don't mean a really traditional 'old-man' type bicycle with a mesh basket on the handlebars - here
    : those are called "classic bikes". Call it what you like, I think it's

    See my other post, but yes, you want "city bike" or "town bike". The "old-man" type bike is called a
    "roadster"

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org Power is delightful. Absolute power is absolutely delightful -
    Lord Lester
     
  15. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Mads Hilberg wrote:
    > Actually the Pedersen bike is very comfortable for most people. Those with back problems often go
    > for them. But I get your point. Still - surely neck/shoulder/wrist pain are among the most common
    > complaints from those taking up cycling? A more upright position alleviates this somewhat (at the
    > cost of a little more pressure on the saddle).

    I think that's fair enough and poeple should have plenty of choice. Personally, though, I find a
    very upright position makes my particular back problem worse.

    >> I do accept that these bikes usually need very little maintenance (and it's a plus point I
    >> mentioned), but even changing a rear tyre or inner tube is a bloody nightmare!!
    >
    > I'm not sure what sort of kit you're used to

    Bikes with SA 3sp and Nexus 7sp hubs. (Derailleurs for my own bikes now).

    >, but other than undoing a couple of bolts instead of having a quick release there isn't much more
    >to it. The cables for roller brakes and modern hub gears come off and reattach very easily without
    >needing any subsequent adjustment.

    1. Usinng nuts instead of quick release in itself is quite a job.
    2. I wouldn't call dealing with the cables easy.
    3. Getting chain tension and wheel alignment right is tricky and unpleasant.

    Admittedly, I would find it easier if I had more practice, but the typical owners of these bikes
    won't get any - because it's too much of a dunting task in the first place.

    > . Even so most people here dump their bike at the nearest bike shop to where they punctured and
    > pay a whopping £3 to have it repaired - ready to be picked up later in the day.

    More like £6 to £10 and pick it in a few days time, if that.

    > And while we're on ease of use - what about automatic gears? After all many people with 21 gear
    > bikes never change gears at all!!

    People seem to be getting better at shifting because derailleur gears work better and easier
    nowdays, but yes, auto bicycle gears have been invented and might become popular one day!

    ~PB
     
  16. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Michael MacClancy wrote:

    > I tend to agree with you. These bikes do exist here and there would probably be more of them if
    > more people cycled. But for certain age groups cycling is a fashion thing and they don't want to
    > ride 'boring', 'sensible' bikes. All IMHO, of course. ;-)

    Where the certain age starts at 6 and goes up to about 60. No, people don't want boring bikes, but a
    lot of what constitutes "boring" is just based on misconception. For example, when in a Q&A on the
    Brompton (quite often happens when you fold in public) it often goes something like this: "but isn't
    it really slow with the small wheels?"; No: would you bet on a JCB rather than a Mini Cooper in a
    straight speed race?"; "Errrr, that's different!"; "Because of gearing?"; "Yes!"; "this has gearing
    too, and 100 psi road tyres so its faster than most MTBs on the road"; "really?" (accompanied by
    expression of utter disbelief). And so on. I still can't work out why mudguards are "boring", unless
    one derives excitement from being sprayed with a mixture of rainwater, mud and old engine oil, but
    apparently they are. As for gear hubs, when I was a sprog the more gears you had, the better your
    bike (but we all considered it the action of a total blouse riding anywhere in other than top), so
    "obviously" derailleurs are better. We were plonkers, and awareness of reality might've helped us
    with that a bit. Same goes for the way we had to have "racers" for riding around the woods on...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  17. In message <[email protected]>, Tenex <[email protected]> writes
    >Peter Clinch wrote:
    >
    >SNIP
    >
    >> On the one hand it's a problem because you're unlikely to get what's absolutely best for you, but
    >> OTOH it's quite unlikely you'll come out with anything awful as long as you avoid something
    >> that's basically a poor design for your job
    >
    >That's what I'd assumed but the choices are legion ... is the Tiburon better than the 7100FX FS, or
    >the Zebrano than the 7200 FX?
    >
    >The 7200 has a pre-load adjustable FS. Much benefit? So many choices so much detail to check ...
    >ahhhhh more paper arriving through the letter box ... ;-)
    >
    >

    Follow my wife's theory. It's the colour that's the most important aspect of any bike. ;-)
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  18. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Pete Biggs <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:

    : Exluding full sus and the very worst cheapo examples, even with knobbly tyres, a typical modern
    : inexpensive MTB rides nicely on the roads, in my experience. It may be technically less efficient
    : than certain

    I have a large choice of bikes - >£2,000 road-race bike, high practical fixie (hub-dynamo +
    mudguards + rack) and a MTB with boingy forks, wide semi-slicks and "crudcatcher" type mudguards.

    What do I use to ride to work most of the time? The MTB.

    Why? Well, it's only 2 miles so the difference in time is nothing. Even better the race bike and the
    MTB. By the time you chuck in a few traffic lights and queuing behind other cyclists (this is York)
    it's under 2 mins difference.

    On the plus side I can sit and potter in a nice comfy position, ignore potholes and go and play on
    the stray on the way home if I want.

    When it's chucking it down I take the fixie for the full length mudguards though.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org Power is delightful. Absolute power is absolutely delightful -
    Lord Lester
     
  19. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > Prices dropped low for "cheap racers" in the 70's and 80's but sales fe=
    ll
    > through the floor - partly because they were crap bikes. MTB's boomed because they are good bikes.

    The original MTBs cost Real Money and as a result were good bikes.=20 Whatever its faults a crap MTB
    is till a lot more utilitarian than a=20 crap racer. Crap MTBs, IMHO, are not good bikes, which is
    why so many=20 are bought and so few in comparison are regularly used.

    > I disagree and find it hard to climb hills with the gears typically provided with most
    > hub-geared bikes.

    I'd find it hard on a standard geared Brompton, which is why I have the=20 -18% option making 1st
    good for serious hills and 3rd good for the=20 flat with a tailwind. Nowhere to go for high speed
    down the braes, but=20 on an urban hack I just coast. All you need to rectify the problem you've
    encountered is a smaller=20 chainwheel and/or a bigger sprocket, as the gearing reductions on the=20
    Brom illustrate.

    > I've also ridden wide knobblies on-road, and while I agree that they're=

    > less efficient than slicks, they're not as terrible as they're often ma=
    de
    > out to be and are still quite practical, IMO. Anyway, a lot of MTB's I=

    > see on the roads don't have the most hard-core knobblies anyway - many =
    are
    > quite practical deep-tread almost-touring type things.

    What I generally see are what's sold on them (since they don't go out=20 that much they don't get
    through many tyres). And since I can hear them =

    coming easily 50m behind me I know they're wasting a lot of power.

    > I'm talking the gears provide with a typical hub geared "city bike" (or=

    > roadster, as I used to call them) - from SA 3sp to Nexus 4 & 7sp and th=
    e
    > like. I've ridden these bikes around the suburbs of London and they're=

    > bloody hard work up plenty of the hills (and please don't tell me that Greater London is flat).=20

    I'm from Bexley, so I know that (a) it isn't flat but OTOH it's nowhere=20 near as hilly as round
    here. I rode up gravel hill on my Raleigh=20 Olympus in top gear all the way when I was a kid, and
    that's one of the=20 relatively big hills around Bexley, and I did the hilliest paper round=20
    around the village (again, almost always in top). Last time I was home=20 Shooters Hill on the
    Brompton wasn't really a Big Problem because it has =

    the right basic gearing to the hub through chaimwheel and sprocket.=20 That the bikes you've ridden
    have the wrong basic chainwheel to sprocket =

    gearing to start with is hardly a fault of the hub!

    > Changing the sprocket would help but vitually no-one does that. =20

    This is the same argument that I used for lack of racks and sensible=20 tyres on MTBs, of course,
    but as my main point is of greater awareness=20 than the default "I want a bike, Mountain Bikes
    look pretty good, what=20 have you got for less than =A3150" then it would happen if people
    knew=20 about it.

    > I think this aspect is too often over-stated. A small amount of cleani=
    ng
    > and lubing is all that's required

    Again, we're back to what actually happens against what merely *can*.

    > or alternatively, modern derailleur gears can actually survive years of use with virtually no
    > maintenance (=
    if
    > one is prepared to wear out sprockets with chain).

    and the gears jumping because the adjuster is a bit out on the indexing. =

    Takes two minutes to fix but even reasonably frequent cycle users=20 rarely seem to know
    how to do it.

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics,
    Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  20. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Tenex wrote:

    > That's what I'd assumed but the choices are legion ... is the Tiburon better than the 7100FX FS,
    > or the Zebrano than the 7200 FX?

    You can always get the one that's the nicest colour...

    > The 7200 has a pre-load adjustable FS. Much benefit?

    For stuff where serious suspension use is an issue, quite possibly. If you're just taking the sting
    out the cobbles then probably <bof>. I've never bothered fiddling the fork settings on the
    Streetmachine, works fine, I could be riding somewhere rather nice rather than round and round the
    block kidding myself I can tell a lot of difference...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
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