Commuter Bike Considerations: Riding to Work is Not the Tour de France

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by ghostgum, May 2, 2006.

  1. ghostgum

    ghostgum New Member

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    Just read an interesting article at
    http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/

    Thursday, April 20, 2006
    Commuter Bike Considerations

    I've been giving a series of talks about bike commuting. This is pretty much what I said t today's talk at the Seattle Bikestation.

    Commuter Bike Considerations: Riding to Work is Not the Tour de France

    By Kent Peterson, Bicycle Alliance of Washington
     
    Tags:


  2. Donga

    Donga Guest

    ghostgum wrote:
    > Just read an interesting article at
    > http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/
    >Riding to Work is Not the Tour de France
    >
    > By Kent Peterson, Bicycle Alliance of Washington
    >


    Maybe not for him. I've never experienced social golf, either.

    Donga
     
  3. ghostgum wrote:

    > Just read an interesting article at
    > http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/
    > Commuter Bike Considerations


    A great post. Also good is wikipedia's article on the utility bicycle.

    What makes a great Utility bicycle? (trips less than 30 minutes)

    Good frame fit for height and reach
    Step-through / low-mount frame, to allow for a rear basket on the rack
    Strong rear rack
    Front and/or rear basket for groceries
    Sit-up position for high road visibility and vision
    Comfortable handlebars for bike control in the above position
    Drum brakes for weather proofness and ease of maintenance
    Hub dynamo and front light for "never forget" lighting
    Hub gears / single speed for ease of maintenance
    Chain guard, skirt guard, mud guards and flat pedals for street/office
    clothes cycling
    Front and rear quick release LED lights for visibility
    Reflective tape on mudguard rears for visibility
    Sash-type reflective belt of vest for visibility in street clothes
    Dutch style rear wheel lock + extension cable for integrated security
    (must be mounted within the rear triangle, see Sheldon on locking)
    Stong bolt-on (preferably double) kickstand to allow for easy loading
    of groceries without needing to lean the bike against anything.

    I'm sure other people can think of some more useful stuff for this kind
    of riding. Personally I love seeing this kind of bike on the road with
    a happy cyclist who has kicked the car-reliance habit. You don't need
    "all of the above". You don't need hub-based drive, brake or lighting
    systems. But it makes it easier to leave out in the rain all the time!

    This was what I was looking for in a bike 8 years ago when I started
    riding to commute. I almost imported a Heavy Duty dutch bike fitting
    most of the above when I needed to get a general purpose load bike.
    Its a kind of bike use which is applicable to many people immediately,
    particularly in the inner city, and easy to approximate with slicked
    recycled mtbs or hybrids. Its also a kind of bike use which encourages
    confident riding, learning to ride correctly, and living with a bike as
    your major transport. It also engenders love of bicycling, which can
    lead to touring, club riding, off-roading or sports racing.

    I wish more manufacturers out of Japan and Holland pushed these bikes
    as general-purpose bikes for the public, as it would greatly expand the
    number of satisfied every day bicyclists and increase our density.
    Unfortunately, they are inexpensive to manufacture and maintain, and
    last almost forever, so they're not high on the manufacturers output
    list, and are currently out of fashion.

    yours for happy cyclists of all types,
    Sam R.
     
  4. gplama

    gplama Well-Known Member

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    its a one day classic... EVERYDAY....
     
  5. eddiec

    eddiec New Member

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    There's a lot of common sense there I'll admit, and my current bike reflects a lot of (but not all of) that...

    But does it really matter if someone wants to commute on a Superbike, or a 8inch travel downhill beast, as long as they enjoy it and keep doing it? I mean, as long as they keep riding, who cares? If they find it works for them, great - and in time they may change their bike or setup or approach as they learn what works better, or they may not! Either way, doesn't matter...

    Creating 'requirements' about what you should be commuting on just discourages people. Of course, riding a completely inappropriate *can* be discouraging as well, but is not necessarily so - All about just helping people find their groove...
     
  6. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    eddiec wrote:
    >
    > There's a lot of common sense there I'll admit, and my current bike
    > reflects a lot of (but not all of) that...
    >
    > But does it really matter if someone wants to commute on a Superbike,
    > or a 8inch travel downhill beast, as long as they enjoy it and keep
    > doing it? I mean, as long as they keep riding, who cares? If they find
    > it works for them, great - and in time they may change their bike or
    > setup or approach as they learn what works better, or they may not!
    > Either way, doesn't matter...
    >
    > Creating 'requirements' about what you should be commuting on just
    > discourages people. Of course, riding a completely inappropriate *can*
    > be discouraging as well, but is not necessarily so - All about just
    > helping people find their groove...


    I like your thinking - so maybe it should be thought of/labelled as a
    list of things that may make your commute easier, should you be finding
    it frustrating.

    Tam
     
  7. Travis

    Travis Guest

    gplama wrote:
    > ghostgum Wrote:
    > >
    > > Commuter Bike Considerations: Riding to Work is Not the Tour de France
    > >

    >
    > its a one day classic... EVERYDAY....


    I'm with you Lama,

    Nobody likes spending time commuting. Best to get it over with as
    quickly as possible. I've trimmed five minutes off my average time over
    the last few months, still got another 40 to go... :)

    Travis
     
  8. Dear ed and Tam,

    my list was more a "nice things" list, much like most bikes are suited
    to most purposes.

    I'm happy to see anyone enjoying any bike. "The only bad bike is the
    bike which hurts you when you ride it, or which you don't enjoy
    riding." feels like my current motto.

    Australian Cyclists' letters section has recently had a spate of
    letters writing in on the theme that every bike is a good bike, and
    against cliquism and "must ride this type"ism. I'm really glad to see
    that riding culture in the magazine is friendly towards all kinds of
    riding and uses.

    But, after saying the above, I cringe when I see someone who wants or
    needs a utility-type cycle riding a fully suspended mtb, or a
    race-geared road bike. MTBs can make great utility cycles when set-up
    right. Roadbikes can make great utility cycles when set-up right. But
    I get concerned when K-mart or cultural pressure steer people to ride a
    bike that's bad for their real interest: good bikes which are right for
    your riding for everybody.

    variety is the spice of cycling life,
    Sam R.
     
  9. DeF

    DeF Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > ghostgum wrote:
    >
    >> Just read an interesting article at
    >> http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/
    >> Commuter Bike Considerations

    >
    > A great post. Also good is wikipedia's article on the utility bicycle.
    >
    > What makes a great Utility bicycle? (trips less than 30 minutes)
    >
    > Good frame fit for height and reach
    > Step-through / low-mount frame, to allow for a rear basket on the rack
    > Strong rear rack
    > Front and/or rear basket for groceries
    > Sit-up position for high road visibility and vision
    > Comfortable handlebars for bike control in the above position
    > Drum brakes for weather proofness and ease of maintenance
    > Hub dynamo and front light for "never forget" lighting
    > Hub gears / single speed for ease of maintenance
    > Chain guard, skirt guard, mud guards and flat pedals for street/office
    > clothes cycling
    > Front and rear quick release LED lights for visibility
    > Reflective tape on mudguard rears for visibility
    > Sash-type reflective belt of vest for visibility in street clothes
    > Dutch style rear wheel lock + extension cable for integrated security
    > (must be mounted within the rear triangle, see Sheldon on locking)
    > Stong bolt-on (preferably double) kickstand to allow for easy loading
    > of groceries without needing to lean the bike against anything.
    >
    > I'm sure other people can think of some more useful stuff for this kind
    > of riding. Personally I love seeing this kind of bike on the road with
    > a happy cyclist who has kicked the car-reliance habit. You don't need
    > "all of the above". You don't need hub-based drive, brake or lighting
    > systems. But it makes it easier to leave out in the rain all the time!
    >
    > This was what I was looking for in a bike 8 years ago when I started
    > riding to commute. I almost imported a Heavy Duty dutch bike fitting
    > most of the above when I needed to get a general purpose load bike.
    > Its a kind of bike use which is applicable to many people immediately,
    > particularly in the inner city, and easy to approximate with slicked
    > recycled mtbs or hybrids. Its also a kind of bike use which encourages
    > confident riding, learning to ride correctly, and living with a bike as
    > your major transport. It also engenders love of bicycling, which can
    > lead to touring, club riding, off-roading or sports racing.
    >
    > I wish more manufacturers out of Japan and Holland pushed these bikes
    > as general-purpose bikes for the public, as it would greatly expand the
    > number of satisfied every day bicyclists and increase our density.
    > Unfortunately, they are inexpensive to manufacture and maintain, and
    > last almost forever, so they're not high on the manufacturers output
    > list, and are currently out of fashion.
    >
    > yours for happy cyclists of all types,
    > Sam R.
    >


    May I second these sentiments. About 5 years ago I wanted a
    bike for commuting/general stuff. Being a bit of a bike snob,
    I wanted something of reasonable quality. I didn't want cheap
    unreliable hubs/gears/brakes/pedals. I really wanted a Dutch
    bike but there where none around in Perth. In the end, I got
    a hard tail MTB (27 gears!) and I got the shop to swap out the
    suspension forks and put slicks on. I've since swapped the
    rear cassette for a closer ratio road cassette. Still many more
    gears than I need and needs more maintaining than I want to do.

    It's good to see a more recent trend for "flat bar roadies"
    which start to fill the gap, especially bikes like the Avanti
    Blade 8 which uses a Nexus 8 speed hub. Should be more of
    them. We'd see less miserable riders on full suspension MTBs
    loudly humming along the bikes paths at 15kph, about to expire
    from the effort. It would put me off riding, especially with
    other riders on more appropriate bikes effortlessly sailing
    past.

    That's my rant for the day....

    DeF.

    --
    e-mail: [email protected] finger.murdoch.edu.au
    To reply, you'll have to remove your finger.
     
  10. Bean Long

    Bean Long Guest

    Travis wrote:
    > gplama wrote:
    >> ghostgum Wrote:
    >>> Commuter Bike Considerations: Riding to Work is Not the Tour de France
    >>>

    >> its a one day classic... EVERYDAY....

    >
    > I'm with you Lama,
    >
    > Nobody likes spending time commuting. Best to get it over with as
    > quickly as possible. I've trimmed five minutes off my average time over
    > the last few months, still got another 40 to go... :)
    >
    > Travis
    >

    Likewise... If you have the chance to burn off a few calories then do it
    I say!

    --
    Bean

    Remove "yourfinger" before replying
     
  11. gpw

    gpw Guest

    I've slowly morphed my trusty '89 Repco Sierra MTB into a city bike
    here in Zurich. Would have to say the must haves are self generated
    lighting, full mudguards and a strong rack. One great thing they have
    here is the fold out/collapsable shopping bag cage, which allows you to
    carry one tall formed paper shopping bag or 2x beer 10 packs :)

    Also changed down to a 6speed for simplicity and added a Brooks saddle
    for fun.
    http://homepage.hispeed.ch/gwalton/bicycles/Sierra.jpg

    Cheers,
    Greg
     
  12. BrettS

    BrettS Guest

    Donga wrote:
    > ghostgum wrote:
    >
    >>Just read an interesting article at
    >>http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/
    >>Riding to Work is Not the Tour de France
    >>
    >>By Kent Peterson, Bicycle Alliance of Washington
    >>

    >
    >
    > Maybe not for him. I've never experienced social golf, either.
    >
    > Donga
    >

    Hehehe, my thoughts exactly...

    --
    BrettS
     
  13. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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    From a local perspective, fast commuters are causing more than a few problems on off-road bikepaths. The subject was raised at the last Yarra Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, ie: anecdotal stuff like cyclists colliding, generally shite behaviour, small margin of error on tight corners and resulting injuries and broken limbs. Ok get fit, have fun riding to work, but for fcuks sakes can some peloton wannabees out there please take a reality check?
     
  14. In aus.bicycle on Wed, 3 May 2006 19:17:59 +1000
    cfsmtb <[email protected]> wrote:
    > cyclists colliding, generally shite behaviour, small margin of error on
    > tight corners and resulting injuries and broken limbs. Ok get fit, have
    > fun riding to work, but for fcuks sakes can some peloton wannabees out
    > there please take a reality check?


    Luckily they don't seem to be around my part of the world.

    Which is good, I have enough trouble with the ones who seem to be
    riding along with their eyes everywhere but where they are going.

    It is disturbing that such a high percentage of the human race seems
    not to have enough processing power to look where they are going and
    manage a straight line.

    Zebee
    - expecting to buzzsaw another bike any day now.
     
  15. PiledHigher

    PiledHigher Guest

    That said driving to work is not the race track, but you are still
    allowed to drive a high performance porsche, V8 ute with 300kW's etc..

    Its nice that there are options that are 'more practical' for some
    situations/people it is still nice to ride a nice light fast and
    relatively expensive bike. I say relatively expensive because it might
    cost something like 1/10th of the total cost of driving a car that
    distance.
     
  16. Travis

    Travis Guest

    cfsmtb wrote:
    > Travis Wrote:
    > >
    > > Nobody likes spending time commuting. Best to get it over with as
    > > quickly as possible. I've trimmed five minutes off my average time
    > > over
    > > the last few months, still got another 40 to go... :)

    >
    > From a local perspective, fast commuters are causing more than a few
    > problems on off-road bikepaths. The subject was raised at the last
    > Yarra Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, ie: anecdotal stuff like
    > cyclists colliding, generally shite behaviour, small margin of error on
    > tight corners and resulting injuries and broken limbs. Ok get fit, have
    > fun riding to work, but for fcuks sakes can some peloton wannabees out
    > there please take a reality check?


    Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your point of view, I come
    across very few cyclists on my daily commute, even though I mostly
    travel along what would be major arterial bike paths. Just not that
    many bike commuters in my area.

    Perth has some nice bike paths, but bikes are nowhere near as popular
    as they are in Melbourne where on a Saturday you can get huge peletons
    forming spontaneously. In Perth if you want to ride in a bunch its
    usually by prior appointment...

    Travis
     
  17. monsterman

    monsterman New Member

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    PHP:
    PHP:
    amen llama!
     
  18. Grazza

    Grazza Guest

    "DeF" <""d.farrow\"@your finger.murdoch.edu.au"> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > [email protected] wrote:


    >> SNIP

    >
    > May I second these sentiments. About 5 years ago I wanted a
    > bike for commuting/general stuff. Being a bit of a bike snob,
    > I wanted something of reasonable quality. I didn't want cheap
    > unreliable hubs/gears/brakes/pedals. I really wanted a Dutch
    > bike but there where none around in Perth. In the end, I got
    > a hard tail MTB (27 gears!) and I got the shop to swap out the
    > suspension forks and put slicks on. I've since swapped the
    > rear cassette for a closer ratio road cassette. Still many more
    > gears than I need and needs more maintaining than I want to do.
    >
    > It's good to see a more recent trend for "flat bar roadies"
    > which start to fill the gap, especially bikes like the Avanti
    > Blade 8 which uses a Nexus 8 speed hub. Should be more of
    > them. We'd see less miserable riders on full suspension MTBs
    > loudly humming along the bikes paths at 15kph, about to expire
    > from the effort. It would put me off riding, especially with
    > other riders on more appropriate bikes effortlessly sailing
    > past.
    >
    > That's my rant for the day....
    >
    > DeF.
    >

    Overtook a few of those 'dodgy' MTB riders this morning on my (now) regular
    small group ride through Perth CBD (before climbing the col de Mount
    Street). I agree they don't exactly give the motorists stuck in
    nose-to-bumper traffic on the Kwinana Carpark much inspiration to buy a bike
    and cycle commute instead!

    Graeme
     
  19. Grazza

    Grazza Guest

    "Travis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    >
    > I'm with you Lama,
    >
    > Nobody likes spending time commuting. Best to get it over with as
    > quickly as possible. I've trimmed five minutes off my average time over
    > the last few months, still got another 40 to go... :)
    >
    > Travis
    >


    40 minutes or kgs? ;o)

    Graeme
     
  20. Grazza

    Grazza Guest

    "Travis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    >
    > Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your point of view, I come
    > across very few cyclists on my daily commute, even though I mostly
    > travel along what would be major arterial bike paths. Just not that
    > many bike commuters in my area.
    >
    > Perth has some nice bike paths, but bikes are nowhere near as popular
    > as they are in Melbourne where on a Saturday you can get huge peletons
    > forming spontaneously. In Perth if you want to ride in a bunch its
    > usually by prior appointment...
    >
    > Travis
    >

    In my experience you can join any group that seems to be going along at a
    pace you can handle. Riders in the groups seem quite welcoming, especially
    when you are willing to take a turn at the front.
    I'm amazed at how many groups there are out early Saturday mornings going
    around the river.

    Graeme
     
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