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Re: New to biking in the UK

CTC Forum - MTB - 24 June 2014 - 1:04pm
Thank you guys!

I will keep an eye on retrobikes then, I might find what I need

I would go with 26'' rims. I never tried a 29 (nor a 27.5'', but at this point I'm no longer taking them into consideration).
I also would imagine that if I decide to go with a "retro" MB I will find it easier to get a 26'' as 29 weren't very commons a decade or so ago.

The reason why I like hardtails is because I don't do rough off road so the rear suspension would be just one un-necessary complication.
I also don't like how it looks

Re: New to biking in the UK

CTC Forum - MTB - 24 June 2014 - 12:51pm
hamster wrote:Bicycler wrote:The problem with mountain bikes and uk commuting is the inability to fit full mudguards (fenders). Wet weather and road salt can lead to corrosion problems. The solution unfortunately involves regular cleaning of your bike and components, especially the drivetrain. If you can find one then a single speed or Alfine/nexus hub geared mountain bike might be a better idea than having an exposed derailleur drivetrain.

Most mountain bikes built before about 2000 had mudguard eyes, hence why a secondhand one is better for the task. I absolutely agree that most modern ones are so over-specialised for off-road that they are much less useful for general purpose riding.
Oh, agreed. old rigid mountain bikes were often perfect commuting machines. Ugo51 did specify a hardtail though.

Bicycler, you're right, fenders would be more than useful...I'm really tempted by mountain bikes because it's what I've always had and because I would love to get the chance to do some off-road in the weekends.

Do you reckon it would be possible to fit fenders to a MB if I fit road-tyres?
If I was to take a 27.5 wheeler the diameter would be really close to that of a road bike (700mm, am I right?) and I could fit narrower tyres and fenders. Maybe I could have spare rims with offroad tyres for the weekend, to be used without fenders, of course

Clearance for mudguards* doesn't tend to be an issue for mountain bikes (they are built with lots of clearance for mud). The issue with modern mountain bikes is that they don't tend to have the correct frame fittings for full mudguards. You can fit mountain bike clip-on guards to all mountain bikes but they are not as good for road riding. They are designed to keep the worst of the mud from flying at you on the trails (and they do tend to be muddy in the UK!) rather than keeping the bike free of water, grime and road salt.

I wouldn't be put off using a mountain bike. They may not be ideal but many, many, people in the UK use mountain bikes for commuting (sometimes long travel full suspension models still with the knobbly off-road tyres ) All it means is that you have to take care with regular washing and bike maintenance or accept that you will be paying for the replacement of bits which have gone prematurely rusty. If you give your bike an annual service, wash it regularly and oil the chain you will be doing more than 90% of British commuters. Of course the best solution is two bikes; a cheap practical one for commuting and a fun bike for the weekends.

Wheel size: It is confusing how road bikers use the old French system of tyre sizing and mountain bikers use the old British (Imperial) system. Both are used for historical reasons rather than because they give a good measurement of tyre circumference. A road (700c) rim is exactly the same diameter as a 29er mountain bike rim. Obviously you can't put a very narrow tyre on a very wide rim or a wide tyre on a very narrow rim but at similar widths the tyres are interchangeable (29 x 1.5" = 700 x 37c). Some people do as you suggest and squeeze 700c/29" tyres into 650b/27.5" frames. This is only possible if you have disc brakes rather than rim brakes. It is not an ideal compromise and the only reason to do this is that there is a much larger choice of road tyres in 700c than 650b. For this reason I strongly advise you to choose a 26" or 29" bike. There are vastly more bikes available in either of these sizes than 27.5". Every bike shop will have a choice of wheels and tyres (road and mountain bike) in both of these sizes and they tend to be significantly cheaper. 27.5"/650b is only found on specialist mountain bikes and obsolete utility bikes so your local bike shop may well not have what you need or may have a very limited selection. A commuting slick 26x1.5 tyre will happily use the same rim as your weekend knobbly 26x2.0 mountain bike tyre, or you could have a spare set of wheels if you couldn't be bothered regularly changing tyres.

*'fenders' are usually referred to as 'mudguards' in British English

Re: New to biking in the UK

CTC Forum - MTB - 24 June 2014 - 12:50pm
Have a look at Bikeradar.com, some knowledgeable guys on there in the mtb forum.
http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=20005

This site is more about touring on roads

Al

Re: Learning to ride on the road with a mountain bike?

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 June 2014 - 11:02am
Good luck with the training. Take it slow and learn how best to keep yourself safe, most of all though enjoy your time out on the roads.

Re: New to biking in the UK

CTC Forum - MTB - 24 June 2014 - 10:12am
Bicycler wrote:The problem with mountain bikes and uk commuting is the inability to fit full mudguards (fenders). Wet weather and road salt can lead to corrosion problems. The solution unfortunately involves regular cleaning of your bike and components, especially the drivetrain. If you can find one then a single speed or Alfine/nexus hub geared mountain bike might be a better idea than having an exposed derailleur drivetrain.

Most mountain bikes built before about 2000 had mudguard eyes, hence why a secondhand one is better for the task. I absolutely agree that most modern ones are so over-specialised for off-road that they are much less useful for general purpose riding.

To the OP: I have bought 4 bikes on the retrobike site - there is a very active feedback forum so plenty of supporting information to give trust. If you use PayPal (not Gift) you get your money back if the sale is bad.
For a modern do-anything bike, try a Surly Troll or Ogre.

Re: Tower to Tower

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 June 2014 - 10:05am
Another superb resource for rail travel anywhere in the world - Seat 61. If it's not on this site it's not worth knowing.

Re: New to biking in the UK

CTC Forum - MTB - 24 June 2014 - 10:03am
welllll...a hybrid bike is what I need, a mountain bike is what I want

But I see your point. At the moment I'm actually thinking that a cheap (very cheap) hybrid is what I need, just to start easy and see how I like commuting by bike. Then, if I see I like it, I will get a better bike later on...

Re: New to biking in the UK

CTC Forum - MTB - 24 June 2014 - 9:59am
Depends if you really need a mountain bike? Or would the likes of a hybrid suit you better, so you can fit proper full mudguards etc.

Most bikes have components made by Shimano and spares are readily available so I wouldn't worry about that. The main difference from Italy is likely going to be the amount of salt we use on the roads during the winter, terrible for bikes, you'd need to at least wash the salt off your bike once a day to keep it from seizing up.

Re: Nice lady,

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 June 2014 - 9:48am
Psamathe wrote:eileithyia wrote:Still wondering at all the references to driving schools / learner drivers.... as I did not...
Sort of crept in and stuck somehow.

But I was really surprised the other day; probably more by my own stereotyping than a drivers behaviour. Driving down a single track lane and a flashy black Audi coming the other way some distance off. I thought "road owner" so I pulled into a field entranceway and waited. Audi slowed and stopped beside me and driver did his Popeye impression (muscles covered with tattoos on display). I was expecting some verbal abuse so ignored it more intent on removing some insect intent on eating my leg. And driver said "Thank you". And with the insect getting the taste for blood and my own shock I just went "Uh" and the guy carried on. I felt a bit rude after that, and disappointed in my expectation (for want of a better word).

Ian
I think I can trump that. few days ago cycling down an on-road cycle lane I was approaching party heading towards probably early primary school. Father was riding shotgun on the offside, so I would have to pull out wide to go past them. Check behind, white van approaching so I start slowing. Few seconds go by and the van still hasn't gone past. I check again and this time the van flashes his lights and gestures for me to go past. I think I almost came off in shock.
Wave thanks, accelerate past, lift hand off bars as he goes past me, get a little toot in return and all was well with the world

Re: Nice lady,

CTC Forum - On the road - 24 June 2014 - 9:15am
MichVanNic wrote:I have noticed that if you show cars courtesy they do tend to acknowledge it.
Me too.
However there are a significant minority who,it seems,can't stand the mortal sight of a cyclist on 'their' road.
It's those that pose the most problems.

Re: Tower to Tower

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 24 June 2014 - 7:47am
Just google "eurostar bike" and you will find the following very helpful information: http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-in ... 6kerpR_srd

Re: New to biking in the UK

CTC Forum - MTB - 24 June 2014 - 6:41am
Thank you for the answers guys!

The retrobike.co.uk website is amazing, I do love retro bikes, although I don't see myself buying a bike online. Not a second hand at least. Anyway it's a good place for info

Bicycler, you're right, fenders would be more than useful...I'm really tempted by mountain bikes because it's what I've always had and because I would love to get the chance to do some off-road in the weekends.

Do you reckon it would be possible to fit fenders to a MB if I fit road-tyres?
If I was to take a 27.5 wheeler the diameter would be really close to that of a road bike (700mm, am I right?) and I could fit narrower tyres and fenders. Maybe I could have spare rims with offroad tyres for the weekend, to be used without fenders, of course.

Re: First EVER Tour! (and I'm going RTW)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 June 2014 - 11:44pm
I can vouch for him, he's not lying He met up with me and others in the French Alps and has carried on to Italy, best of luck James

Re: Has any one cycled in Ireland?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 June 2014 - 10:32pm
I've been in April this year. 500km along the coast of Donegal. This should give you a flavour of riding in Donegal. It's part a 10 day trip cycling. It may surprise you to see blue skies. http://www.farawayvisions.com/wild-atlantic-way-bundoran-to-killybegs/

Re: Tour de France

CTC Forum - Racing - 23 June 2014 - 9:45pm
I'd have thought Wallers/the arenberg trench would be a great spot to watch the tour this year -the Paris Roubaix is well organised there by the same er, organisation (I was thinking organisme but it ain't English) and the teams will arrive from Ypres. Some of those jockey type mountain riders will be cream crackered by the time they've spent a day dodging pave, with no shelter offered by their teams of domestiques. And Froome-the-fake-Englishman may not find it to his liking at all... whereas of course Wiggo was 9th (I believe) this year in the Paris Roubaix.

Only trouble is it's not in England

Re: Tour de France

CTC Forum - Racing - 23 June 2014 - 9:27pm
Paul A wrote:FWIW my experience of over 25 years of Tour watching on TV and one solitary visit to last year's Tour of Britain I have to question the wisdom of staking a viewpoint on hill/mountain sections at all.

Or perhaps I'm just a miserable git?



I think you make a very good point. On two occasions I have visited the TdF in France, and two in GB (inc Kent - 1994 (?)). My policy is to pick a random, non descript town or village (with apologies to Epernon and Cormeilles and somewhere I can't even remember in Kent ). Turn up and savour that little bit of atmosphere as they go past. Then explore the town or village. Personally I like to see the power of the cavalcade going past as well, sponsors vehicles, outriders, Police, media, team cars, helicopter overhead etc provide a great vibe. Afterwards, retire to the local cafe, bar, beauty spot etc. In contrast I have made substantial efforts to visit stage finishes at the Tour of Britain as well as the TdF Grand Depart in London, and although I've enjoyed myself, the jockeying for a position and proximity of the crowd in constant line of sight I found to be very wearing. Others I speak to who have visited the TdF indeed wax lyrical about the importance of viewing the mountain stages, but for me I have great memories of a relaxed approach contained in a general day out.

I don't bother taking photos of the race going past either. I've found watching things through a 5" screen is pretty pointless and the mags will in any case have pictures ever so slightly better than I can take in the circumstances

Re: Has any one cycled in Ireland?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 June 2014 - 9:10pm
I'm Irish and live in Cork and have done pretty well all the West Coast. It's all pretty good.

The roads are a bit rough in many places, i.e. not as smooth on average, as in the UK, so fatter tyres are better.

West Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway and esp Connemara, Killary Harbour, Mayo, Co.Donegal all great. Donegal v hilly.
Easiest cycling, Connemara, but some of roads pretty busy. Busy from Galway to Oughterard to Maam Cross. Better after that.
Coast great as well. Roundstone, Cashel etc. Sky Road near Clifen great.

Best ride. From Maam Cross to Leenane, round Killary Harbour through Delphi turn left at Doo Lough Pass to Sheffrey Pass to Westport. Phenomenal.

Re: Nice lady,

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 June 2014 - 8:58pm
Psamathe wrote:eileithyia wrote:Still wondering at all the references to driving schools / learner drivers.... as I did not...
Sort of crept in and stuck somehow.

But I was really surprised the other day; probably more by my own stereotyping than a drivers behaviour. Driving down a single track lane and a flashy black Audi coming the other way some distance off. I thought "road owner" so I pulled into a field entranceway and waited. Audi slowed and stopped beside me and driver did his Popeye impression (muscles covered with tattoos on display). I was expecting some verbal abuse so ignored it more intent on removing some insect intent on eating my leg. And driver said "Thank you". And with the insect getting the taste for blood and my own shock I just went "Uh" and the guy carried on. I felt a bit rude after that, and disappointed in my expectation (for want of a better word).

Ian

I have noticed that if you show cars courtesy they do tend to acknowledge it.

Re: The cost of a pothole

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 June 2014 - 6:59pm
Postboxer wrote:Economies of scale might stretch it a bit further? Don't know how councils deal with potholes usually.
Herts county council method is to leave it a few months then send round some 'erbert who chucks in a bit of hot chipping/tarmac mix and hods it in with his heel..job done.
Of course 2 weeks later it's all spilling out again

Re: CTC Insurance

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 June 2014 - 6:25pm
MKy bike is covered on my house insurance - with e-sure; It's about £20 premium to cover £1500 of bike, and no restrictions such as particular locks and the like
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