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Updated: 2 hours 6 min ago

Re: Changing riding style mid ride

19 January 2016 - 3:09pm
LollyKat wrote:I find that riding with a calculated random wobble works well.
With me that means a headset that needs attention or in the case of my ancient road bike the quill steerer that's dodgy. Either way I learn to use the wobble well.

Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

19 January 2016 - 3:07pm
Fifty year ago driving onto a grass verge was frowned upon. Now it's an everyday event.
Fifty year ago there were no 4x4 tractors in exceptionally wet times as of recent you couldn't have got onto the fields and off again. You had to wait for drier conditions.
There were also no phones distracting drivers, I'm sure a lot of the deep ruts seen just on the side of the Tarmac are caused by running off the road while looking at a text.

Re: Changing riding style mid ride

19 January 2016 - 2:52pm
Not so much on my shorter rides as I follow a single route that is one way all offroad/cycle track and the other way is road marked cycle lanes but, on longer rides where the magic white lines disappear and after a number of closer than I'd like passes I do get into the mindset that I'm taking all the room I want and to hell with what the drivers think about me holding them up. By this time unfortunately I have stopped enjoying the ride as much and spend alot of it thinking about what my response will be to the next selfish arrogant sod that dares treat me like a cyclist. My Grand Theft Auto response is to pull out the bazooka and turn his/her car/van/truck into a smoking pile of molten steel but the real me just gets on with it, after either silently swearing at them or shouting blue murder at them. Depending on my mood of course

Re: Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 1:34pm
I seem to have started this thread of replies in a direction you really didn't want to go - sorry about that.

For the rear, rack-mounted light, this http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/busch-and-mu ... prod31930/ is the best you can get in my opinion. It may not seem that bright, but it is really effective and is designed to bolt to a bracket (5cm or 8cm). It doesn't flash, which is a good feature in my view, but ymv. This is the fixed one - I have the senso, which is supposed to turn on and off depending on the light level, but unfortunately it has to be properly dark for it to turn on, which makes it actually dangerous on a darkish day when you want it on. The fixed one is also cheaper.

B&M also do a front light that has lots of light and a really good beam pattern: eg http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/busch-and-mu ... prod34355/ or (cheaper) http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/busch-and-mu ... prod31924/ but I really can't recommend in terms of build quality, despite their being German.

This kind of light, where attention is paid more to beam pattern than absolute maximum brightness have the advantage that they may offer less wiggle room to scumbag lawyers if you get hit, since they adhere to German lighting regulations and are thus (I believe - i am not a lawyer, scumbag or otherwise) legal here too. I also think they work better.

Re: Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 1:25pm
I have a similar length commute to you. Recently replaced the bike I use for winter commuting and thought hard about a hub dynamo. I've got a rather expensive exposure strada front light which also runs a very bright rear off a cable. I find this very convenient - only one light to recharge and as I can use the front light on other bikes too I decided to stick.

I use rechargeable batteries in normal lights for my backups which are a (now pretty old) cateye at the front, similar to this http://www.wiggle.co.uk/cateye-hl-el135 ... ont-light/ and one of these at the back, like you with a rack attachment. http://www.wiggle.co.uk/cateye-tl-rapid ... ear-light/

I run them flashing and recharge them weekly, never had any issue with longevity.

I'm amazed your main lights last a week at a decent level of lighting. I recharge mine nightly, but I'm on unlit back roads at full beam, perhaps yours are "be seen".

Re: Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 1:16pm
Tangled Metal wrote: .... I'm not looking for a touring/trekking setup...

eh? By far the most hub generators are used for commuting purposes....

....IMHO hub dynamo systems may suit some but not me....

well with all due respect you don't know that because you have not yet tried one....? And I would suppose that after a fairly short period of time commuting you have yet to experience all the 'joys of battery lights'.

Quite a lot of people have to find out for themselves... give it time enough and you might well change your mind....

BTW if battery lights were perfectly reliable no-one would feel the need to carry backup lights, would they...?


Re: Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 1:03pm
I've spent a less than £85 I think. £5 at most per ALDI special, £30 or less for the Cateye lights. Charging up at work is free. I've not got the issue of hub dynamo wheel builds or cables to the lights. I can swap between bikes for a few quid for extra mounts. The Cateye lights indicate when low then when a bit lower they switch to low power. Even with the front light that's enough to last one journey home. My issue is the ALDI lights supposedly have battery indication but it doesn't work and there's no way to know if it has fully charged. Basically not sure how long out will last. Unpredictable lights annoy me so I need a new second pair. Backups as it were but ones capable of lighting my way home enough for the short sections of unlit road.

IMHO hub dynamo systems may suit some but not me. I'm not looking for a touring/trekking setup just backup lights. Any suggestions? P.S. I'm happy with my 32 hole wheel setup with disc brakes. I have a dislike of messy wires on a bike and don't really like the look of dynamo lights I've seen. Personal preference.

Re: Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 12:34pm
It's the wheel build issue that stops me going the hub route, too: I have no skill in wheel building and anyway it makes swapping out a wheel complicated.

They may not be ideal but I'm quite happy with my Cree front set: I get at least two hours at maximum brightness per charge, and there's a LED indicator on the lamp which turns from green to red when the batteries are about 30% charge left. I believe it changes to flashing red when the battery's nearly out, but I haven't let it go that far.

It doesn't deliver quite the 2000 lumens claimed in the advert, but it's quite adequate for narrow unlit country lanes at speeds up to about 20mph. In traffic you can use the low setting.

Re: Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 12:16pm
Tangled Metal wrote:....Were talking cost effective now....

the problems you have encountered with your battery lights are to some extent shared with most of them.

As to 'cost effective' how do you value your time and your safety?

I'd suggest that you have already spent the thick end (or more) of the price of a hub generator based system on crappy battery lights and you now propose to spend even more...? That is just throwing good money after bad IMHO.

I am pretty sure that I have spent between £500 and £1000 on battery lights over the years and nearly all of them were junk. In the meantime I've run a couple of bikes with hub generators and they have cost pennies to keep going, been far less faff and much more reliable.

I still use battery lights occasionally for some purposes on some bikes but for a 35min commute I'd choose a hub generator system every time.


Re: Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 11:41am
You might be surprised by the low budget required for a hub dynamo setup.

http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/shim ... aid:716136
http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/shim ... aid:716132

And lights are about a fiver for the rear (and that is sufficiently bright that a friend identified me by it from ~1/4 mile)

and a tenner for the front (Lyt) - although if you ride alot of completely unlit roads etc you might want to upgrade to a cyo at £30

That's under £85 including postage, and you get a spare wheel...
You could also use a bottle dynamo initially - £10 to £20 for a bottle means a total of £30-£35

Re: Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 11:28am
Can't afford a wheel build to get one. Were talking cost effective now even if a hub dynamo works out better in the long term. If I need a wheel replacement i might consider it then, but right now it's light suggestions - AA/AAA/button or rechargeable.

Re: Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 11:17am
yup, hub dynamo for me. Most battery lights are 'needy creatures' by comparison.


Re: Changing riding style mid ride

19 January 2016 - 11:12am
Last night I had about 8 cars overtake then pull in again b with me next to them. It's like they didn't know that I can move forward too. If they'd done that to another metal box they'd have had a side swipe with resulting insurance claims. With a nice endoskeleton based carriage like a cyclist they do not care.

Anyway I rarely get this with at most one case a week. So any day I get multiples of this behaviour I go militant and take up the road space so they can't squeeze past. If that doesn't stop it I have even ridden in the middle of the lane (well my side of it, don't ride between each direction or someone will undertake and I'll be in the middle).

So, double white lines in the centre, narrow road with bends and undulations means some motorists aren't going to get past any time soon. All because other idiots didn't have any road sense around cyclists. No problems with that!

Re: Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 10:43am
Hub dynamo. You will not regret it.

Re: Changing riding style mid ride

19 January 2016 - 10:42am
All the time.

Often when I am crawling up a hill, obligingly tucked out of the way to the left I will get a couple of people squeeze between me and the white line. So I swear and mutter "no more being Mr Nice on this road" and move out so they have to overtake me using enough of the otherside of the road that they cant do it with oncomming traffic (or at least without making that traffic slow, halt or swerve off the road, all of which do happen sometimes).

Then towards the end of a ride when I am exhausted I keep more to the left as I havent the energy to be more assertive further out.

Changing riding style mid ride

19 January 2016 - 10:16am
Last night I had a bad time with close passes. So I started to ride further out into the lane.

Do you ever change your position after getting too many close passes? Is this wise?

Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 10:13am
This is my first full winter commuting season and I've realised I'm not happy with my lighting system. I have Cateye volt 300 front, Cateye x-lite x2 rear and a set of cheap ALDI lights that look like the highly rated moon ones.

The two Cateye lights are reliable and last a decent time. Plus you get a sign when they're getting low sufficient for my 35 minute ride home.

The aldi ones are backups to get me home but I tend to use them flashing. They last at most 3 days commute but the Cateye lights last over a week (4 days I commute).

I need to replace these but what is worth getting? I used to have battery lights for this role and I'm not sure whether it's better to have a set each of battery and rechargeable ones, what do you think?

Currently my ALDI lights just stop without any indication. The battery warning lights are on even after a full b charge. Not impressed with this but they are about the brightness I need.

P.S. I'd like my rear one to be attached to my rack. I have a Cateye attachment for this but I'm not fixed on the brand if there's a better option that can also fit to the rack light plate I'm open to that.

Re: Leisure rides on icy days

19 January 2016 - 10:05am
I opted to go with the Schwalbe Snow Styd tyres over the Marathons simply because they were cheaper. But I also figured the more nobbly nature of the tyres would mean better handling in deeper snow. Does anyone find that the Marathons tend to spin/slip more on snow than ice?

Yup, and they are horrendous in patches of grey slush that fall off the bottoms of cars - they've lulled you into a false sense of security then you hit the slush and the world spins. In snow a good mud tyre is better...my preference being the old panaracer Spike. But i'd rather than the Winters for road riding were one might meet ice as I'm content to slip a bit in snow and I keep a weary eye out for the slush ponds.

Re: Leisure rides on icy days

19 January 2016 - 9:59am
Vantage wrote:I opted to go with the Schwalbe Snow Styd tyres over the Marathons simply because they were cheaper. But I also figured the more nobbly nature of the tyres would mean better handling in deeper snow. Does anyone find that the Marathons tend to spin/slip more on snow than ice?
I've also found that whilst these things have so far kept me upright when other tyres would have me faceplanting, they tend to slip a bit then grab before it all goes pear shaped. As if the tyre is loosing grip on the bits between the studs. Does anyone else find that?

A few points...
1) Keep the inflation at the lowest possible for your weight. With studs, the more tyre is on the ground, the better grip you have. I run mine at 35 - 40 psi.
2) snow on top of ice can still be a problem, if it's deeper than your tread, but shallow enough to slip on the ice. Avoid riding on stuff like that, if possible.
3) studs are less effective at higher speeds. I find that around 12 mph (it may be at lower speeds with higher inflation pressures) the studs become much less effective. So, I'm super cautious going down hills; I came very close to an off several times before I learned that one.
4) on *just* snow, fat knobbly tyres are better than studded tyres, the Snow Stud in better than a Marathon Winter, & in deep snow, nothing works very well, unless you can get a fat tyre to sit on top.
5) If you are riding a lot on ice, more studs are better; the Schwalbe snow stud tyres have half as many studs as a Marathon Winter, or Ice Spike tyre. Of course that makes them lighter, and ride better, as well, so it's a trade-off.

Re: Lightset on ebay, thought I'd share

18 January 2016 - 10:55pm
Ta ever so - just ordered one, at that price it's worth a try




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