BIke choice (getting back on the bike)

Discussion in 'Cycling Archive' started by Dan Sheppard, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Dan Sheppard

    Mark Guest

    --snip--

    There's lots of good advice here already. My recommendations would
    probably be a hybrid or a tourer. I also have lower back problems and
    find that drops or straight bars make no difference to me. YMMV, of
    course.

    I would recommend getting a new bike simply because it may be hard to
    find a good quality secondhand bike that is the right size. I
    couldn't anyway ;-)

    A good bike shop will make sure that the bike is the right size for
    you. Make sure you take the bike for a good long test ride before
    buying to make sure it is comfortable. I believe it is false economy
    to buy a cheap bike because many of the components will be
    substandard. Avoid shops like Halfords and try to find a LBS[1]

    [1] Local Bike Shop
     
    Mark, Oct 28, 2013
    #21
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  2. Dan Sheppard

    Dan Sheppard Guest

    I have, and I do live in Suffolk, within 100 yards of Cambridgeshire, so
    will take a look. Someone at work also recommended them. If someone had
    bought me a recumbent trike for Christmas, I'd be off! My worry about
    the two-wheelers is that people have mentioned balance issues with them and
    turning circles and I'm not the most dexterous of the species. Maybe I'd be
    ok, but it would be good to try one out to give it a go. Certainly, as I plan
    mainly to cycle along long, straight rural roads, it's not like I'll be
    weaving in traffic, so it may not be much of an issue.

    Dan.
     
    Dan Sheppard, Oct 28, 2013
    #22
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  3. Dan Sheppard

    Dan Sheppard Guest

    I used to do an 18 mile commute in a little under an hour and a 21 mile one
    in a little over (Eynesbury and Eaton Socon to central Cambridge). On the
    other hand, I used to dance from 11pm to 7am at a weekend. It was a different
    millennium, then.

    Fortunately, new work has good showers and changing facilities in the gym.
    I suspect I'd be a bit slower these days, but I don't want to be much slower
    as I'd like a rest-of-life. I always enjoyed the commute on the bike, so it
    wouldn't really matter, but my wife and babbie would probably want to see me
    at some point, but I should check that, :).

    Thank you for your comments everyone. I think I'll go for a cheap road-ish
    tourer to see if the whole idea works at all, and look carefully into tyre
    size and pressure and get it properly set up at the start, to give it a
    good chance. I'll do this in the full expectation that I may not be able to
    get to work in a practical time any more, or may start my back off again,
    so won't spend much money on the bike, in case I need to abandon things. If
    it works it sounds like I need to get more proficient with the maintenence,
    or at least give it to the guy at work on a regular basis to "service" it.

    The problem is that there's a sharp cliff in utility and I don't know which
    side of it my fitness is, so I need to just give it an inexpensive go, I
    think.

    I like the sound of the Dutch bikes, and suspect if I needed one to potter
    around (eg if I lived in a city) I would buy one. I read a little about them,
    and they look like a very sensible approach to the whole city transport thing.
    But I'm fortunate enough to be able to walk across the town, and probably have
    to drive my bike somewhere in the car to find appreciable traffic or these
    silly "facilities" these days.

    Longer term, I'll also look into recumbency again, to see if my dexterity
    fears are unfounded, (and start a dotcom company and take it to IPO and then
    use the dividends to buy a recumbent trike, ;-)).

    Dan.
     
    Dan Sheppard, Oct 28, 2013
    #23
  4. Short wheelbase recumbents are tricky to balance and, at best, need
    a lot of getting used to to be safe in traffic. But your route
    doesn't sound too bad.

    If you are over 6' and want to try my bicycle, send me Email. I
    live just south of Cambridge.


    Regards,
    Nick Maclaren.
     
    Nick Maclaren, Oct 28, 2013
    #24
  5. Dan Sheppard

    soup Guest


    Was not implying that it was a distance that was unobtainable to you.
    I was more alluding to the fact that if (as you said) you want to do
    it in a sensible time (say an hour) then you would need to average 20 MPH.

    Averaging 20 MPH would leave you all sweaty and at the start of a full
    on work day that would not be a good idea. Then after a full work day
    and a twenty mile cycle you would have another twenty mile cycle, not
    undoable but too much for me every day.
     
    soup, Oct 28, 2013
    #25
  6. Dan Sheppard

    Clive George Guest

    It may be worth noting that road-ish bikes come in many flavours. At one
    end there's the heavyweight tourer, and at the other there's the full on
    carbon pro race machine.

    There's a couple of extra categories, which have some crossover - the
    cross country machine, the audax bike and the winter trainer. They can
    be up to light touring, but are generally lighter than eg a Galaxy and
    ride more like a fastish road bike. They can have space for mudguards
    and mounts for a rear rack - the XC machines because the knobblies are
    big so it's easy to do that, the others because mudguards are a good
    idea in winter.

    They're not insanely expensive (typically not carbon-framed, and
    intended to be beaten up), though still not cheap. But I reckon they're
    the best bikes for long distance commuting.
     
    Clive George, Oct 28, 2013
    #26
  7. Dan Sheppard

    Ace Guest

    You may be extrapolating from your own experience, but it ain't
    necessarily so. I did a ~20m commute for a year or so from Milton
    Keynes to Bedford, via Cranfield (so some _big_ hills) and found that
    as long as I put on a clean shirt each morning, left trousers and
    shoes in the office, and made sure to use plenty of anti-perspirant, I
    was perfectly fine for the day. Of course I'd have a shower/bath every
    evening, or sometimes before leaving in the morning, but for many
    people it's perfectly possible to sweat a bit without getting smelly.

    Oh, and yes, I used to do it in round about an hour, although I'd
    often take a train for part of that if it was running and I'd timed it
    right in the morning.

    I'll never be that fit again :-(
     
    Ace, Oct 28, 2013
    #27
  8. Dan Sheppard

    soup Guest


    Hence the "FOR ME".
    However a twenty mile cycle then a days work then another twenty mile
    cycle would do me in after a month or so, (mind you I am 51, diabetic
    and a stone and a half overweight. May well be used to it/fit for it
    after a month but I don't know.

    Fresh sweat doesn't smell offensive [1] it is the bacteria that feed
    on it that produce the 'bad' odour.

    [1] There was a chap at my work who STUNK of days old sweat,quite a few
    times he was pulled aside and told to clean up his act this led to a
    week of collar and tie wearing but no real change in personal hygiene.
     
    soup, Oct 28, 2013
    #28
  9. Dan Sheppard

    Tosspot Guest

    I'm not convinced either, because I'm of the thinner faster school.
    However, I can only relate the things I saw. I'll likely give it a go
    in the spring. My 622x32 Supremes will be time expired, and I'm of a
    mind to get 622x37 or 40 Supremes and see how it goes.
     
    Tosspot, Oct 28, 2013
    #29
  10. I have observed the same effect, but it's hard to allow for the
    weight factor - i.e. heavier riders will freewheel faster, all
    other things being more-or-less equal - and my bicycle and I come
    in at 110 Kg :)

    More relevantly, I have found that I can ride faster on wider tyres
    on any surface that isn't extremely smooth.


    Regards,
    Nick Maclaren.
     
    Nick Maclaren, Oct 28, 2013
    #30
  11. "Sportive" seems to be the keyword for "lightweight fast road bike but more
    comfortable and less flat backed than an outright race bike", but things are
    relative - if you need a really upright position, that's not going to be
    enough.
    http://grimpeurheureux.com/sportive-bike-vs-road-bike-what-is-the-difference/
    http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/best-sportive-bikes-33527/


    There are flat-bar bikes with (relatively) lightweight frames and skinny tyres:
    http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/community/round-ups/round-up-flat-bar-road-bikes
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_bar_road_bike
    But they won't be _much_ more upright a back position than drop bar bikes.
    (More upright than race bikes, or other drop bar bikes set up to look like
    race bikes, but not so much compared with a tourer with your hands on the
    hoods. A couple of articles on handlebar height:
    http://www.rivbike.com/kb_results.asp?ID=38
    http://sheldonbrown.com/handsup.html )

    Which sadly rules out most recumbents....
     
    Alan Braggins, Oct 28, 2013
    #31
  12. Dan Sheppard

    Rob Morley Guest

    Loose or rough surface? Headwind?
    I like Big Apples.
     
    Rob Morley, Oct 28, 2013
    #32
  13. Dan Sheppard

    Tosspot Guest

    Tarmac, no perceptible breeze, although of course there might have been
    one. Good point though, they were obviously a lot lower then me.
    Anyhow, the Schwalbe document was interesting.
     
    Tosspot, Oct 29, 2013
    #33
  14. In uk.rec.cycling.moderated on Mon, 28 Oct 2013 13:57:21 +0000
    The people who complain most about bents being hard are people who
    have been riding diamond frames for years.

    The bent is different and they find it hard to cope.

    I hadn't thrown a leg over a bicycle for years when I bought mine
    and while I did hve to concentrate on starting and stopping for the
    first couple of weeks, and the first few times I dd tight S and U
    bends I was paddling rather than riding I had no other issues. I
    do think that the fact my bike had a 20" front and a 26" rear was
    important in this as it's not so far to get the feet up.

    They can't bunny hop and they aren't great at suicidal moves in
    traffic, so if either of those are must haves then don't get a bent.

    I can prove by actual test that a 26/24 Bacchetta Giro can be ridden
    by someone who hadn't cycled in 12 years, who was so unfit she had to
    walk it over speed humps, and still can't catch a ball.

    Zebee
     
    Zebee Johnstone, Oct 29, 2013
    #34
  15. In uk.rec.cycling.moderated on Mon, 28 Oct 2013 13:57:29 +0000
    If you are driving to work now, consider putting the bike in the car
    (or on top of...) and parking the car somewhere close by and riding
    the rest of the way in. As your fitness increases then drive the car
    less and cycle more.

    Zebee
     
    Zebee Johnstone, Oct 29, 2013
    #35
  16. Dan Sheppard

    Phil W Lee Guest

    No, me neither :-(

    I used to do Burnham-on-Crouch to Chelmsford and back daily (21 miles
    each way) in an hour each way (after a few weeks getting fit).
    Reasonably physical job, too.
    But that was about 30 years ago.
     
    Phil W Lee, Oct 29, 2013
    #36
  17. Dan Sheppard

    Phil W Lee Guest

    (Nick Maclaren) considered Mon, 28 Oct 2013
    14:11:57 +0000 the perfect time to write:
    And if you are under 6' and want to try either of mine (a tourer and a
    recumbent), I'm also just south of Cambridge, so drop me an Email.
    Both set up for 5'7" and a bit, but some adjustment available.
     
    Phil W Lee, Oct 29, 2013
    #37
  18. This. It's a little like going from skiing to snowboarding (or vv) -
    they're somewhat similar and in the same environment, but the needed
    reactions/habits are different enough to trip you up even more badly
    due to the perceived familiarity.

    For what it's worth I had more falls adapting to cleats on upright
    than going recumbent, but recumbent felt considerably stranger for
    longer - a week or two, as you say.

    Cheers - Jaimie
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Oct 29, 2013
    #38
  19. It's not just fitness. You have to be moderately athletic to do that,
    irrespective of age and fitness - while most people are capable of
    training up to that, quite a lot could never achieve that; and a very
    large number would not be able to do it up to retirement age, even
    if they did it daily as long as they could. Of course, a few others
    would be able to do it well past retirement ....

    The old rule was that almost everybody fit for work could maintain
    12 MPH, and that most people could keep that up indefinitely. That's
    roughly equivalent to 3 MPH walking, for which the same is true.
    My GUESS is that most people could do 15 MPH (or 3.75 MPH walking)
    for long periods, if they kept fit, but beyond that fundamental
    abilities would start to become more important.

    And, of course, there are a lot of people who have slight disabilities
    preventing such things, especially as they get older.


    Regards,
    Nick Maclaren.
     
    Nick Maclaren, Oct 29, 2013
    #39
  20. Dan Sheppard

    Tom Gardner Guest

    Same is true for Sinclair C5s, but my prejudices are showing. I'll
    claim they are rational prejudices...
     
    Tom Gardner, Oct 29, 2013
    #40
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