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. TimC

    TimC Guest

    On 2006-05-03, Zebee Johnstone (aka Bruce)
    was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    > Zebee
    > - expecting to buzzsaw another bike any day now.


    Another bike? Do tell about the first!

    --
    TimC
    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little
    Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
    -- Attributed to Benjamin Franklin, 1760
     


  2. Travis

    Travis Guest

    Grazza wrote:

    > I'm amazed at how many groups there are out early Saturday mornings going
    > around the river.


    Last month I was in Melbourne, staying in Hampton. I walked down on
    Saturday morning to the famous Beach Road to check out the famous
    cycling spot. "Many groups" is a relative term... :)

    Travis
     
  3. In aus.bicycle on Wed, 03 May 2006 12:41:51 GMT
    TimC <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On 2006-05-03, Zebee Johnstone (aka Bruce)
    > was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    >> Zebee
    >> - expecting to buzzsaw another bike any day now.

    >
    > Another bike? Do tell about the first!


    OTher than mine. MInd you, I haven't buzzsawed anything else yet,
    except a bit of plaster when not quite making the turning circle while
    pushing it to its parking spot in the office.

    I've had one near miss, but so far no reason to paint a little cycle
    outline on my boom :)

    Zebee
     
  4. Zebee Johnstone wrote:

    > In aus.bicycle on Wed, 03 May 2006 12:41:51 GMT
    > TimC <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> On 2006-05-03, Zebee Johnstone (aka Bruce)
    >> was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    >>> Zebee
    >>> - expecting to buzzsaw another bike any day now.

    >>
    >> Another bike? Do tell about the first!

    >
    > OTher than mine. MInd you, I haven't buzzsawed anything else yet,
    > except a bit of plaster when not quite making the turning circle while
    > pushing it to its parking spot in the office.
    >
    > I've had one near miss, but so far no reason to paint a little cycle
    > outline on my boom :)
    >
    > Zebee


    Only got got close, eh? Perhaps you need to brush up on your Immelmann
    turn. I can picture you on a red bike, wearing a menacing grin, scarf,
    leather helmet and flying goggles. :)

    Vince
     
  5. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    Zebee Johnstone wrote:
    > In aus.bicycle on Wed, 03 May 2006 12:41:51 GMT
    > TimC <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > On 2006-05-03, Zebee Johnstone (aka Bruce)
    > > was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    > >> Zebee
    > >> - expecting to buzzsaw another bike any day now.

    > >
    > > Another bike? Do tell about the first!

    >
    > OTher than mine. MInd you, I haven't buzzsawed anything else yet,
    > except a bit of plaster when not quite making the turning circle while
    > pushing it to its parking spot in the office.
    >
    > I've had one near miss, but so far no reason to paint a little cycle
    > outline on my boom :)


    One of the more interesting aspects of 'bent design is crash safety. I
    know with 'bent (HPV) racing there's stringent rules about crash
    protection, as they do go pretty fast sometimes and ones legs poke
    forward, and most 'bents have a big chainring poking out the front. I
    wonder if there's any grounds for some sort of mandatory bumperbar or
    cowling over the chainring? It's not likely to hurt the rider, but I
    know I wouldn't like to be run into by a 'bent with a chainsaw poking
    out the front!


    >
    > Zebee
     
  6. In aus.bicycle on 3 May 2006 18:22:23 -0700
    Bleve <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > protection, as they do go pretty fast sometimes and ones legs poke
    > forward, and most 'bents have a big chainring poking out the front. I
    > wonder if there's any grounds for some sort of mandatory bumperbar or
    > cowling over the chainring? It's not likely to hurt the rider, but I
    > know I wouldn't like to be run into by a 'bent with a chainsaw poking
    > out the front!


    I don't know how effective a protection, but the latest set of ozHPV
    racing rules I saw required a chainring cover of some kind. I don't
    know the precise details - it may just have been a disk that projects
    past the teeth rather than a cover over the teeth.

    Zebee
     
  7. Baka Dasai

    Baka Dasai Guest

  8. ritcho

    ritcho New Member

    Joined:
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    What makes a great utility bike? Utility is in the eye of the beholder - I couldn't think of anything worse than burdening my everyday shitter with all kinds of accessories. Fixed + one brake + lights + toeclips with the straps removed = utility.

    Ritch
     
  9. slaw

    slaw New Member

    Joined:
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  10. Travis

    Travis Guest

    slaw wrote:
    > Baka Dasai Wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > Something like this?
    > > http://www.merida.com/db_data/pdf/2005/com/City8R.pdf
    > > --
    > > What was I thinking?Interesting handlebar stem!


    I reckon its worth getting just for the reverse wank factor alone.
    Imagine the snooty remarks you could make to the guys riding their
    fancy Italian bikes when you show up at the cafe on one of those.

    Man, that'd be awesome... ;-)

    Travis
     
  11. Resound

    Resound New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
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    430
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    That's one of the reasons I don't usually use bike paths, even if they're going where I want to. Bowling along at 30kph is just dangerous on them and that's a comfy speed for me on the flats, so that's how fast I want to go.
     
  12. ghostgum wrote:

    >
    > 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
    >


    There is a lot of good stuff in there, but I don't agree with everything.

    My glance-o-meter tells me that regular long distance commuters tend to use
    good ol' road bikes with high pressure skinny tyres. There might be a
    reason.

    The author suggests that speed is not important, but for me a half hour trip
    is more acceptable than a 45 minute trip. Alternatively, getting to work
    feeling a little less tired/sweaty, or riding with more enjoyment, can make
    the difference between commuting by bicycle and giving up.

    Speed aside, road/racing bikes accelerate much better which gives an extra
    safety margin when riding with traffic. I have also heard that racing
    bikes tend to have more easily controlled brakes, which is another safety
    factor. Safety is GOOD for commuters!

    Finally, the author's description of the (heavy!) bike lock as indispensable
    for a commuter is not valid for those many commuters like me who can take
    their bike safely into their workplace.

    Cheers,

    Vince

    p.s. Are the Tour de France roads really much smoother than roads in the USA
    or Australia?
     
  13. Euan

    Euan Guest

    ghostgum wrote:
    > 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


    To me this reads like blooming obvious, common sense stuff. I commute
    on a road bike but it's got a rack and panniers. It's got low end,
    inexepensive running gear and I use egg-beaters (previously SPD) 'cause
    I want to be able to walk when I get to my destination. Recently I
    switched to compact cranks which has make climing hillls with a fully
    loaed bike much more pleasant.

    Some of the stuff I don't agree with. OK, I'm not Lance and I have to
    fix my own flats but give me a decent high pressure skinny tire with
    reasonable puncture resistance over something that's an absolute misery
    to ride but bullet proof any day. Same goes for handlebars, for me
    drops are the most comfortable handlebars out there; they're just so
    flexible with multiple positions you can put your hands.

    Everyone's got their own sweet spot between utility and performance,
    find what works for you and who am I to judge?
    --
    Cheers | ~~ [email protected]
    Euan | ~~ _-\<,
    Melbourne, Australia | ~ (*)/ (*)
     
  14. Random Data

    Random Data Guest

    On Sun, 07 May 2006 11:52:23 +0800, Vincent Patrick wrote:

    > I have also heard that racing bikes tend to have more easily controlled
    > brakes, which is another safety factor. Safety is GOOD for commuters!


    Really? You've got lower maximum braking force than an MTB, since even
    1.5" slicks are wider than road tyres, and you're positioned further back.
    It'll be pretty marginal though. I can't imagine anything having better
    control than a Magura or a disc, which is why my current long haul
    commuter has discs.

    > Finally, the author's description of the (heavy!) bike lock as
    > indispensable for a commuter is not valid for those many commuters like
    > me who can take their bike safely into their workplace.


    Or just leave the BFO heavy lock at work, like I do. I've got a cheap
    light cable lock to stop someone jumping on the bike when I'm shopping,
    but it won't stop someone who really wants the bike. The big lock will
    take some more cutting, but the best defense is a bike you can afford to
    lose.

    --
    Dave Hughes | [email protected]
    Against boredom, the Gods themselves struggle in vain.
    - Nietzche
     
  15. Random Data wrote:

    > On Sun, 07 May 2006 11:52:23 +0800, Vincent Patrick wrote:
    >
    >> I have also heard that racing bikes tend to have more easily controlled
    >> brakes, which is another safety factor. Safety is GOOD for commuters!

    >
    > Really? You've got lower maximum braking force than an MTB, since even
    > 1.5" slicks are wider than road tyres, and you're positioned further back.
    > It'll be pretty marginal though. I can't imagine anything having better
    > control than a Magura or a disc, which is why my current long haul
    > commuter has discs.


    I am curious about which sort of bike/brake combination is better from a
    safety perspective, so please bear with me.

    There seems to be little doubt about the maximum braking (breaking?!) force
    of a mountain bike, but had heard that it can be an advantage to have the
    slightly lower braking force of a racing bike, as it was less likely to
    send you over the handlebars or cause an irretrievable skid.

    On this year's Perth Freeway Bike Hike, my son broke several ribs when
    riding with centrepull mountain bike type brakes that certainly had a
    higher braking force than my bike for any given tug on the brake levers. It
    almost seemed to be part of the reason why he entered into a spectacular
    wipeout.

    In contrast, I managed to lift the rear wheel on my road bike when a four
    wheel drive pulled right across my path, but didn't lose control or fall
    off. Of course this proves nothing and I could have been just lucky, but it
    suggested to me that the racing bike brakes were OK for the road.

    Do you know if anyone has done comparative trials with mountain bike braking
    and road bike braking on bitumen?

    Cheers,

    Vince
     
  16. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    Vincent Patrick wrote:
    >
    > Random Data wrote:
    >
    > > On Sun, 07 May 2006 11:52:23 +0800, Vincent Patrick wrote:
    > >
    > >> I have also heard that racing bikes tend to have more easily controlled
    > >> brakes, which is another safety factor. Safety is GOOD for commuters!

    > >
    > > Really? You've got lower maximum braking force than an MTB, since even
    > > 1.5" slicks are wider than road tyres, and you're positioned further back.
    > > It'll be pretty marginal though. I can't imagine anything having better
    > > control than a Magura or a disc, which is why my current long haul
    > > commuter has discs.

    >
    > I am curious about which sort of bike/brake combination is better from a
    > safety perspective, so please bear with me.
    >
    > There seems to be little doubt about the maximum braking (breaking?!) force
    > of a mountain bike, but had heard that it can be an advantage to have the
    > slightly lower braking force of a racing bike, as it was less likely to
    > send you over the handlebars or cause an irretrievable skid.
    >
    > On this year's Perth Freeway Bike Hike, my son broke several ribs when
    > riding with centrepull mountain bike type brakes that certainly had a
    > higher braking force than my bike for any given tug on the brake levers. It
    > almost seemed to be part of the reason why he entered into a spectacular
    > wipeout.
    >
    > In contrast, I managed to lift the rear wheel on my road bike when a four
    > wheel drive pulled right across my path, but didn't lose control or fall
    > off. Of course this proves nothing and I could have been just lucky, but it
    > suggested to me that the racing bike brakes were OK for the road.
    >
    > Do you know if anyone has done comparative trials with mountain bike braking
    > and road bike braking on bitumen?
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Vince


    I don't know of any such trials, but like you said, the brakes are fine
    like that. I've never been in a situation where stopping was tricky
    because of the brakes - usually the problem is losing traction thereby
    rendering the brakes ineffective, and finding the balance point where
    that doesn't happen.

    I know Sheldon Brown's site has an article on braking that may point you
    in the right direction, or you could try http://scholar.google.com/

    Tam
     
  17. Parbs

    Parbs Guest

    Vincent Patrick wrote:
    >
    >
    > I am curious about which sort of bike/brake combination is better from a
    > safety perspective, so please bear with me.
    >
    > There seems to be little doubt about the maximum braking (breaking?!) force
    > of a mountain bike, but had heard that it can be an advantage to have the
    > slightly lower braking force of a racing bike, as it was less likely to
    > send you over the handlebars or cause an irretrievable skid.
    >
    > On this year's Perth Freeway Bike Hike, my son broke several ribs when
    > riding with centrepull mountain bike type brakes that certainly had a
    > higher braking force than my bike for any given tug on the brake levers. It
    > almost seemed to be part of the reason why he entered into a spectacular
    > wipeout.


    Centre-pull brakes are notoriously difficult to set up, which is
    probably why they're going/gone the way of the dinosaurs (except for
    those weirdo 'crossers). V-brakes & disc brakes offer much superior
    'modulation' and are a lot easier to control.

    > In contrast, I managed to lift the rear wheel on my road bike when a four
    > wheel drive pulled right across my path, but didn't lose control or fall
    > off. Of course this proves nothing and I could have been just lucky, but it
    > suggested to me that the racing bike brakes were OK for the road.
    >
    > Do you know if anyone has done comparative trials with mountain bike braking
    > and road bike braking on bitumen?


    Only my own - I'll chose a well set-up mtb to out brake a roadie every
    time.

    Parbs - who may desire a weirdo 'crosser
     
  18. In aus.bicycle on Tue, 09 May 2006 09:02:53 +0800
    Vincent Patrick <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > There seems to be little doubt about the maximum braking (breaking?!) force
    > of a mountain bike, but had heard that it can be an advantage to have the
    > slightly lower braking force of a racing bike, as it was less likely to
    > send you over the handlebars or cause an irretrievable skid.
    >


    Hmm... has anyone ever gone over the handlebars on a pushie?

    I suppose a really solid stop with all your weight over the back wheel
    might lock the front and so you go down, but a front end lose is going
    to land you on your side, not over the front. I doubt you are going
    to get a stoppie so good you go over the front without a hell of a lot
    of trying.

    I expect the physics are fairly close to motorcycle physics, where if
    you have front suspension you have to compress that first, but other
    than that you have 70% of the braking force handled by the front.

    So good braking is both brakes on progressively till just before the
    rear is skidding, then front brake on harder till stop, with your
    weight ar rearwards as you can through this.

    I have to practice more on the bent because I can hit the front a lot
    harder than I seem to be, and locking the back up way to quickly.

    I'd say if you can lock the back, then the brake on the back's good
    enough. So concentrate on practicing your braking until you can get
    the back to just before lock, and the front ditto :)

    Zebee
     
  19. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    Zebee Johnstone wrote:
    > In aus.bicycle on Tue, 09 May 2006 09:02:53 +0800
    > Vincent Patrick <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > There seems to be little doubt about the maximum braking (breaking?!) force
    > > of a mountain bike, but had heard that it can be an advantage to have the
    > > slightly lower braking force of a racing bike, as it was less likely to
    > > send you over the handlebars or cause an irretrievable skid.
    > >

    >
    > Hmm... has anyone ever gone over the handlebars on a pushie?


    yes


    >
    > I suppose a really solid stop with all your weight over the back wheel
    > might lock the front and so you go down, but a front end lose is going
    > to land you on your side, not over the front. I doubt you are going
    > to get a stoppie so good you go over the front without a hell of a lot
    > of trying.


    It's quite possible on a downhill with good traction. Think about the
    height of the CoG. It's not ballasted down by a 200kg motorcycle
    chassis....
     
  20. Random Data

    Random Data Guest

    On Tue, 09 May 2006 02:22:26 +0000, Zebee Johnstone wrote:

    > Hmm... has anyone ever gone over the handlebars on a pushie?


    Yep, even seated on a smooth surface. It takes a big tyre and good brakes,
    but it can be done. Throw in a rough surface and it's a piece of piss.
    Mountain bikers do it all the time (phwoar!)

    > I'd say if you can lock the back, then the brake on the back's good
    > enough. So concentrate on practicing your braking until you can get the
    > back to just before lock, and the front ditto :)


    Nah, just pull stoppies :). I found myself doing one coming back down
    from about 60km/h the other day. And I've had a few occasions on the road
    where my (MTB based) commuter's rear wheel has come up under panic
    braking, and I've survived OK. That kind of thing does get interesting.

    --
    Dave Hughes | [email protected]
    Frankly, your argument wouldn't float were the sea composed of mercury.
    -- Biff
     
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