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Top Cycling Tips To Keep You Safe On The Roads
Date: 7/6/2013 10:29:39 AM
 

TOP TIPS

Plan your route:

If you’re new to cycling, plan a route with bike lanes and less-

trafficked streets, avoid construction and busy intersections.

Refresh your skills:

Biking through a busy town or city is an experience in itself. Ask

at your local bike shop to see where you can get classes on safety

and technique.

Buy the proper gear:

It goes without saying that you should never ride without a

helmet. But there is other safety gear that cyclists should consider

before hitting the streets.

Be seen:

Use lights even during the day, wear a reflective vest or other gear.

And remember, dawn and dusk are low visibility times even in the

summer.

Protect yourself:

Wear long sleeved tops and long trousers in order to protect

your skin in case of falls.

Be prepared for rain:

Let’s face it, it rains a lot here! Make sure your waterproofs are

breathable and tie a plastic shopping bag over your seat when

your bike is parked.

Stay alert:

Don’t wear headphones! You need to hear what’s going on.

Watch out for long vehicles:

Never undertake a long vehicle at as it may be turning left and it

won’t be able to see you.

Stick to the rules:

Move into the correct position early and indicate your intentions.

Stop at lights and don’t force car drivers to change their speed.

Take up space:

Don’t cycle in gutters where there are holes and broken glass

which could damage your bike. Where there’s no cycle lane, keep

out in the middle and make sure you’re in kit that can be seen

 
 
Advice on the differences between Road bikes, Mountain bike and Hybrid bikes- and choosing the right one for you
Date: 4/8/2013 1:56:25 PM
 

Your first decision comes in determining what type of bike you are after. There are basically four main styles of bikes to choose from, and your selection should really depend on what you anticipate your main type of riding to be.

Road Bikes are designed for riding on paved streets and going fast. Featuring skinny tires, a lightweight frame and a riding position that puts you bent over the handlebars, you might choose this type of bike if traveling longer distances at higher speeds is important to you.

The frames of most road bikes are not particularly beefy in construction and generally won’t stand up well for extended periods under heavy loads or on really rough surfaces. They are about as well-suited for a path in the woods as you would be when wearing high heels.

Mountain Bikes have exploded in popularity over the past twenty years. These bikes have wide tires, usually with knobby treads and a stout frame, and are designed to handle the rugged trails without disintegrating.

Mountain bikes do not go as fast as road bikes, which is a trade-off for their durability along with a more comfortable riding position. You sit higher on these bikes, more upright with the straight handlebars, which is often a happier choice for people with back problems than being hunched over as you are on a road bike.

Warning: sometimes mountain bikes are the default choice of salespeople at the bike shop because they are easy to sell and usually less expensive than road bikes. Too many times though, new mountain bikes with lots of impressive features for climbing a steep mountain trail end up like those four-wheel drive SUVs that never actually go off the pavement. If you are going to buy a mountain bike, make sure you are doing so intentionally because you know that you will in fact be riding off-road. Otherwise, you will be paying for unnecessary features, and probably missing out on a bike that would be a better choice for you.

Hybrid bikes are compromise between road and mountain bikes and offer the best features of both if most of your riding will be shorter trips on pavement. With skinnier, smooth tires, they typically can go faster than mountain bikes, yet feature the upright seat and handlebar position that many people favor.

Hybrids are a good choice for most city riding, and offer speed, durability and comfort.

Cruisers are bikes that have wide tires, wide seats, upright handlebars and sometimes even just a single gear. These are the bikes that you’ll often see at the beach. More simple mechanically, they are easy to maintain but work best with flat terrain and a rider whose main interest is more about being comfortable than with going fast.

Outside the Realm

If after you’ve checked out these styles, still none of these bikes offers you what you need, check out these other kinds of bikes. Tandems, recumbents, and tricycles are all unique types of bikes that you likely won’t see very often, either out on the trail or on the showroom floor at your local bike shop. But each offers specific features and functions that may be just what you are looking for. Read more about these alternatives to the mainstream styles of bicycles.

 

 

Suggested Reading

Related Articles

 
 
Cycle Satety Tips
Date: 4/8/2013 1:47:19 PM
 

1. Riding where cars can’t see you

Perhaps the most frequent error made by new cyclists is riding in the gutter or too near the pavement. This often feels safer as you believe you are out of the way of cars. However, it is actually far more dangerous. For a start it encourages drivers to attempt risky manoeuvres when there is clearly not enough space to overtake you. You are also less visible not only to cars but also to pedestrians who step out onto the road. If there is an obstacle ahead it also means you have less room to avoid it.

This is one of the tips I have heard before for safe cycling but I was definitely ignoring it far too often. Now, when I’m in a position where I can travel at the speed of the traffic or I believe that a car is not safe to overtake me I travel in the centre of the lane. In-fact, cycling in the centre of the lane is my default position. I only move to the side when I comfortably feel a car can overtake me.

2. Not having an awareness of the road users behind you

Frequent glancing over the shoulder every 8-10 seconds gives you a good awareness of the road users behind. This means you don’t get any nasty surprises. The huge side benefit of this is that cars will feel like they are being watched and therefore will behave with more courtesy towards you. Also, by glancing, you draw their attention towards you so they recognise your position on the road. Eye contact has a huge role to play in keeping safe on the roads therefore don’t stop glancing behind you.

3. Allowing a car to pull up next to you at a junction

If a car manages to pull up next to you at a junction then when it comes to move off you are going to be in a dangerous, narrow position. Instead, when you see a junction up ahead, you should move into the centre of the road. This prevents cars from forcing you into a horrible position and allows you to move off safely. I made this error during the training course and the instructor was less than impressed!

4. Moving off from the kerb with no clear view of where the cars are

This is an area I was far too casual with and it was putting me in a dangerous position and causing problems for drivers. What I was doing is flinging my bike onto the road where I can’t be seen and then cycling into traffic. Instead, I should position myself where I can very safely be seen from a distance and then hop on and start cycling.

5. Overtaking on the left where vehicles don’t expect a cyclist

During this part of the lesson I really started to question how appropriate cycle lanes are. It is also when I realised that rather than act like a cyclist I should be thinking more like a motorbike.

If, for example, you are approaching a set of lights and there are a few cars already there waiting for the green light. Instinctively, I would overtake on the left, often in a narrow cycle lane, to get to the front of the queue. However, if the lights turn green during this, then I have not put myself in a good position. Also, a car driver is trained to look to the right for people overtaking. This is a safer place to be. In general when overtaking traffic you should always do it on the right. You never know when a car is going to turn left into your path without looking.

6. Riding without fingers on brake levers

Hands should permanently be positioned on the brake levers so that if there is suddenly a need to brake sharply you are ready to do so. If this doesn’t feel comfortable then you should have your brake levers adjusted so they come closer to the handlebars.

7. Using hand gestures incorrectly

By the way, this doesn’t mean lifting the middle finger to bad drivers! You see a lot of cyclists on the road half heartedly using their arms to point the direction they are going in. Cars will rarely see this. Instead, your arm should be far out which shows authority on the road and is a clear indication of your intentions. If you feel scared to do this as your steering goes wobbly then you need to practise riding with one hand. A mistake I often make is to gesture my direction before I have glanced behind me. The glance always comes first.

Warning: Using these techniques will cause confidence!

Whilst it is fantastic to have me describe these techniques, as I am such a brilliant and talented writer, there is really no substitute for taking one of these courses yourself. These are often subsidised by the council so can cost as little as £7 per 2 hours of one on one tuition. Take a look on the Cycle Training UK website or the CTC website to find out more about taking a course.

If you only take two techniques away from this then the ones I have found most make the difference are the glancing and the centre of the lane position. These keep me travelling safely and quickly.

I’m glad this post is finally written as people may stop emailing me and telling me how great these courses are and how I should definitely mention them!

A special thanks goes out to David Dansky from Cycle Training UK who helped me vastly improve my cycling technique.

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/7-mistakes-you-are-making-with-your-cycling-and-how-you-can-correct-them/

 
 
Cycle Satety Tips
Date: 4/8/2013 1:45:22 PM
 

1. Riding where cars can’t see you

Perhaps the most frequent error made by new cyclists is riding in the gutter or too near the pavement. This often feels safer as you believe you are out of the way of cars. However, it is actually far more dangerous. For a start it encourages drivers to attempt risky manoeuvres when there is clearly not enough space to overtake you. You are also less visible not only to cars but also to pedestrians who step out onto the road. If there is an obstacle ahead it also means you have less room to avoid it.

This is one of the tips I have heard before for safe cycling but I was definitely ignoring it far too often. Now, when I’m in a position where I can travel at the speed of the traffic or I believe that a car is not safe to overtake me I travel in the centre of the lane. In-fact, cycling in the centre of the lane is my default position. I only move to the side when I comfortably feel a car can overtake me.

2. Not having an awareness of the road users behind you

Frequent glancing over the shoulder every 8-10 seconds gives you a good awareness of the road users behind. This means you don’t get any nasty surprises. The huge side benefit of this is that cars will feel like they are being watched and therefore will behave with more courtesy towards you. Also, by glancing, you draw their attention towards you so they recognise your position on the road. Eye contact has a huge role to play in keeping safe on the roads therefore don’t stop glancing behind you.

3. Allowing a car to pull up next to you at a junction

If a car manages to pull up next to you at a junction then when it comes to move off you are going to be in a dangerous, narrow position. Instead, when you see a junction up ahead, you should move into the centre of the road. This prevents cars from forcing you into a horrible position and allows you to move off safely. I made this error during the training course and the instructor was less than impressed!

4. Moving off from the kerb with no clear view of where the cars are

This is an area I was far too casual with and it was putting me in a dangerous position and causing problems for drivers. What I was doing is flinging my bike onto the road where I can’t be seen and then cycling into traffic. Instead, I should position myself where I can very safely be seen from a distance and then hop on and start cycling.

5. Overtaking on the left where vehicles don’t expect a cyclist

During this part of the lesson I really started to question how appropriate cycle lanes are. It is also when I realised that rather than act like a cyclist I should be thinking more like a motorbike.

If, for example, you are approaching a set of lights and there are a few cars already there waiting for the green light. Instinctively, I would overtake on the left, often in a narrow cycle lane, to get to the front of the queue. However, if the lights turn green during this, then I have not put myself in a good position. Also, a car driver is trained to look to the right for people overtaking. This is a safer place to be. In general when overtaking traffic you should always do it on the right. You never know when a car is going to turn left into your path without looking.

6. Riding without fingers on brake levers

Hands should permanently be positioned on the brake levers so that if there is suddenly a need to brake sharply you are ready to do so. If this doesn’t feel comfortable then you should have your brake levers adjusted so they come closer to the handlebars.

7. Using hand gestures incorrectly

By the way, this doesn’t mean lifting the middle finger to bad drivers! You see a lot of cyclists on the road half heartedly using their arms to point the direction they are going in. Cars will rarely see this. Instead, your arm should be far out which shows authority on the road and is a clear indication of your intentions. If you feel scared to do this as your steering goes wobbly then you need to practise riding with one hand. A mistake I often make is to gesture my direction before I have glanced behind me. The glance always comes first.

Warning: Using these techniques will cause confidence!

Whilst it is fantastic to have me describe these techniques, as I am such a brilliant and talented writer, there is really no substitute for taking one of these courses yourself. These are often subsidised by the council so can cost as little as £7 per 2 hours of one on one tuition. Take a look on the Cycle Training UK website or the CTC website to find out more about taking a course.

If you only take two techniques away from this then the ones I have found most make the difference are the glancing and the centre of the lane position. These keep me travelling safely and quickly.

I’m glad this post is finally written as people may stop emailing me and telling me how great these courses are and how I should definitely mention them!

A special thanks goes out to David Dansky from Cycle Training UK who helped me vastly improve my cycling technique.

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/7-mistakes-you-are-making-with-your-cycling-and-how-you-can-correct-them/

 
 
Worth carrying an multi tool for daily cycling commuting
Date: 3/27/2013 7:15:07 AM
 

Lightweight, bike-specific tool kit

For the sort of minor repairs you might expect with everyday bike commuting a "multi-tool" -- such as a Topeak Alien Bicycle Tool,  is more than adequate. The types of quick fixes you can anticipate could be a loose brake cable, seatpost, or handlebar, a wheel that comes out of "true" (unbalanced), or other minor adjustments. For daily commutes, it is also worth carrying a puncture kit, a spare inner tube, an air pump, and a multitool. It's always those times when you don't have these with you that your stem comes loose, seatpost loosens, or something worse.

http://www.runmuki.com/commute/commuting10.html

 
 
useful tips on how to choose the right bike for you from a Winter bike to a Classic bike.
Date: 3/18/2013 5:01:05 AM
 

Your first decision comes in determining what type of bike you are after. There are basically four main styles of bikes to choose from, and your selection should really depend on what you anticipate your main type of riding to be.

Road Bikes are designed for riding on paved streets and going fast. Featuring skinny tires, a lightweight frame and a riding position that puts you bent over the handlebars, you might choose this type of bike if traveling longer distances at higher speeds is important to you.

The frames of most road bikes are not particularly beefy in construction and generally won’t stand up well for extended periods under heavy loads or on really rough surfaces. They are about as well-suited for a path in the woods as you would be when wearing high heels.

Mountain Bikes have exploded in popularity over the past twenty years. These bikes have wide tires, usually with knobby treads and a stout frame, and are designed to handle the rugged trails without disintegrating.

Mountain bikes do not go as fast as road bikes, which is a trade-off for their durability along with a more comfortable riding position. You sit higher on these bikes, more upright with the straight handlebars, which is often a happier choice for people with back problems than being hunched over as you are on a road bike.

Warning: sometimes mountain bikes are the default choice of salespeople at the bike shop because they are easy to sell and usually less expensive than road bikes. Too many times though, new mountain bikes with lots of impressive features for climbing a steep mountain trail end up like those four-wheel drive SUVs that never actually go off the pavement. If you are going to buy a mountain bike, make sure you are doing so intentionally because you know that you will in fact be riding off-road. Otherwise, you will be paying for unnecessary features, and probably missing out on a bike that would be a better choice for you.

Hybrid bikes are compromise between road and mountain bikes and offer the best features of both if most of your riding will be shorter trips on pavement. With skinnier, smooth tires, they typically can go faster than mountain bikes, yet feature the upright seat and handlebar position that many people favor.

Hybrids are a good choice for most city riding, and offer speed, durability and comfort.

Cruisers are bikes that have wide tires, wide seats, upright handlebars and sometimes even just a single gear. These are the bikes that you’ll often see at the beach. More simple mechanically, they are easy to maintain but work best with flat terrain and a rider whose main interest is more about being comfortable than with going fast.

Outside the Realm

If after you’ve checked out these styles, still none of these bikes offers you what you need, check out these other kinds of bikes. Tandems, recumbents, and tricycles are all unique types of bikes that you likely won’t see very often, either out on the trail or on the showroom floor at your local bike shop. But each offers specific features and functions that may be just what you are looking for. Read more about these alternatives to the mainstream styles of bicycles.

 

 

Suggested Reading

Related Articles

 
 
Tips for reduce knee pain from cycling?
Date: 3/12/2013 9:44:42 AM
 

If you are experiencing pain in the front of your knee,  I suggest your saddle is to low and you are basically putting too much force on it to push your pedals. But if the pain is in the back of your knee, that means your joint is being hyper-extended. So what’s the solution? Adjust your saddle height!

Basic rule of thumb that I follow for saddle height, if I’m sitting on my bike and one foot is on the 6 o’clock position, then my leg should be slightly bent at the knee. It really comes down to your personal preference. But you could get professionally fitted for your bike at some local bike shops. Call around to see if the shops in your area offer that service.

Source http://www.bikecommuters.com/page/3/

 
 
10 Cycling Safety Tips
Date: 2/21/2013 3:43:22 AM
 

By Wade Wallace

 

Each time I find myself in a situation that could have ended in disaster, I think to myself "how the hell did I get myself into this position?" Most of the time I can think of some decision I've made that got me into the situation and realize that it could have been avoided if I were more careful. It's up to you as a cyclist to take responsibility, because if you aren't watching out for yourself, I think it's safe to assume nobody else is.

Now, I realise that many things can happen that are completely out of your control and there's absolutely nothing that you can do about it, however I know people who seem to get themselves into these situations on a weekly basis. Is it just me being lucky? I like to think that's not the case. Here are some common sense rules that I follow to keep myself out of trouble on the roads:

1. Design a cycling route that is as safe as possible using back streets, bike lanes, and low traffic areas. All too often I see people cycling on highways that simply aren't made for cyclists. Just because you have the "right" to be on any road you like, doesn't mean it's always a good idea.


2. Watch for taxis, delivery vehicles and couriers. They'll brake and turn in front of you without any warning. These guys are just doing their jobs and looking for addresses they've been called to. The only thing that's certain is that they're unpredictable. This isn't going to change, so it's up to you to watch out for them.


3. When riding beside parked cars, watch out for brake lights, reverse lights or a head in the driver's seat. These are indications that a car door might be opening unexpectedly. Also, ride about a meter away from the cars so you don't have as far to maneuver if a car door swings open. As a driver I've almost opened my door on a cyclist when I thought it was clear. We're not always easy to see and are traveling much faster that people think.


4. Don't ride on Friday afternoons at rush hour. If you need to ride, try to get to the bike paths as quickly as possible. In my experience, Friday rush hour traffic is the worst, drivers are the most careless, and everyone wants to get home. These are my own personal observations however. I've read research (in the MUARC report - download here) that states the highest number of motor vehicle / cyclist crashes happen on Wednesdays and Thursdays. It also says that crashes involving motor vehicles are highest between 2pm and 6pm.


5. The law says that it's your right to ride 2 abreast. However, just because it's your right doesn't mean that common courtesy should be thrown out the window. If you're taking up a whole lane and creating a backlog in traffic, then single-up. As a driver I've been caught behind cyclists who are not showing any courtesy and I have to admit, it's frustrating. At some point you'll probably get in an altercation with a fed-up driver. If there's this much traffic on the road, you should probably pick a different route or a different time to ride.


6. Show some presence on the road. Ride a meter out from the curb. If you ride as close to the side of the road as you can, vehicles will think they can squeeze by you without moving over in the lane. That's when close calls happen and you get side-swiped. Show some confidence, ride predictably, and you shouldn't have many problems.


7. If you don't know what to look for, dedicated bike lanes can be more dangerous than if they weren't there at all. Watch out for drivers who cross the bike lane trying to turn left. Watch for brake lights and tyres turning. These moves are often done erratically when traffic is slow and the driver is trying to take a back route.


8. Do hook turns instead of waiting in the middle of intersections to turn right. Intersections are where many accidents happen and you don't want to be sitting in the middle of one if two cars collide.


9. When approaching an intersection, watch the driver carefully and make sure he sees you. Again, it doesn't matter that you have right of way. You're the one who is going to end up in hospital if he pulls out in front of you.

10. Engage with motorists. Make eye contact, use hand gestures to let them know what you're doing, and wave to thank them if they've held up for you. This is just common courtesy and manners that many cyclists seem to forget. There's a good chance you'll be seeing the same motorists multiple times if the traffic is heavy and it's in your best interest to be liked rather than hated.

11. If the heavens open up and it's bucketing down with rain, it's wise to get off the roads. Perhaps find the bike path, a back street, or take shelter until it passes. I don't know what it is, but a little bit of water seems to cause havoc with the traffic and you don't want get caught in the middle of it.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whose is at fault when an accident happens. As a cyclist, you're in the vulnerable position and you'll lose against a vehicle every single time. Do your best to avoid getting yourself into sticky situations in the first place. Treat every motorist like he is blind and ride like you're invisible.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cycling/blogs/cycling-tips/mitigating-the-risks-of-cycling-20110201-1abln.html#ixzz2LWbl29eu

 
 
Seven cycling mistakes to avoid and How to correct them
Date: 2/20/2013 3:55:58 AM
 

Here are the commonly made cycling mistakes & how these can be corrected.

1. Riding where cars can’t see you

Perhaps the most frequent error made by new cyclists is riding in the gutter or too near the pavement. This often feels safer as you believe you are out of the way of cars. However, it is actually far more dangerous. For a start it encourages drivers to attempt risky manoeuvres when there is clearly not enough space to overtake you. You are also less visible not only to cars but also to pedestrians who step out onto the road. If there is an obstacle ahead it also means you have less room to avoid it.

This is one of the tips I have heard before for safe cycling but I was definitely ignoring it far too often. Now, when I’m in a position where I can travel at the speed of the traffic or I believe that a car is not safe to overtake me I travel in the centre of the lane. In-fact, cycling in the centre of the lane is my default position. I only move to the side when I comfortably feel a car can overtake me.

2. Not having an awareness of the road users behind you

Frequent glancing over the shoulder every 8-10 seconds gives you a good awareness of the road users behind. This means you don’t get any nasty surprises. The huge side benefit of this is that cars will feel like they are being watched and therefore will behave with more courtesy towards you. Also, by glancing, you draw their attention towards you so they recognise your position on the road. Eye contact has a huge role to play in keeping safe on the roads therefore don’t stop glancing behind you.

3. Allowing a car to pull up next to you at a junction

If a car manages to pull up next to you at a junction then when it comes to move off you are going to be in a dangerous, narrow position. Instead, when you see a junction up ahead, you should move into the centre of the road. This prevents cars from forcing you into a horrible position and allows you to move off safely. I made this error during the training course and the instructor was less than impressed!

4. Moving off from the kerb with no clear view of where the cars are

This is an area I was far too casual with and it was putting me in a dangerous position and causing problems for drivers. What I was doing is flinging my bike onto the road where I can’t be seen and then cycling into traffic. Instead, I should position myself where I can very safely be seen from a distance and then hop on and start cycling.

5. Overtaking on the left where vehicles don’t expect a cyclist

During this part of the lesson I really started to question how appropriate cycle lanes are. It is also when I realised that rather than act like a cyclist I should be thinking more like a motorbike.

If, for example, you are approaching a set of lights and there are a few cars already there waiting for the green light. Instinctively, I would overtake on the left, often in a narrow cycle lane, to get to the front of the queue. However, if the lights turn green during this, then I have not put myself in a good position. Also, a car driver is trained to look to the right for people overtaking. This is a safer place to be. In general when overtaking traffic you should always do it on the right. You never know when a car is going to turn left into your path without looking.

6. Riding without fingers on brake levers

Hands should permanently be positioned on the brake levers so that if there is suddenly a need to brake sharply you are ready to do so. If this doesn’t feel comfortable then you should have your brake levers adjusted so they come closer to the handlebars.

7. Using hand gestures incorrectly

By the way, this doesn’t mean lifting the middle finger to bad drivers! You see a lot of cyclists on the road half heartedly using their arms to point the direction they are going in. Cars will rarely see this. Instead, your arm should be far out which shows authority on the road and is a clear indication of your intentions. If you feel scared to do this as your steering goes wobbly then you need to practise riding with one hand. A mistake I often make is to gesture my direction before I have glanced behind me. The glance always comes first.

Warning: Using these techniques will cause confidence!

There is really no substitute for taking one of these courses yourself. These are often subsidised by the council so can cost as little as £7 per 2 hours of one on one tuition. Take a look on the Cycle Training UK website or the CTC website to find out more about taking a course.

If you only take two techniques away from this then the ones I have found most make the difference are the glancing and the centre of the lane position. These keep me travelling safely and quickly.

A special thanks goes out to David Dansky from Cycle Training UK who helped me vastly improve my cycling technique.

Source http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/7-mistakes-you-are-making-with-your-cycling-and-how-you-can-correct-them/

 
 
Some Tips on How To Choose A Cycling Waterproor
Date: 2/19/2013 12:35:36 PM
 

What to look for in a cycling jacket

A lot of people just think “why don’t I just pickup any old waterproof jacket?” There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it’s perfectly fine and will no doubt work out cheaper. However, if you do cycle often then you are better off with a jacket designed for cycling. The instant difference you will notice with cycling jackets is that they are cut with a longer back to accommodate for forward leaning. Also they feel more comfortable and allow a full range of movement. Here some of the things you should look for when buying a waterproof cycling jacket.

  • Light vs. heavy – In my personal experience it is better to have a lighter waterproof cycling jacket rather than a heavier one. The reason being that you soon warm up from the exercise and it is better to have the option to add layers than be stuck with a heavy jacket that makes you sweat. Also it is easier to fold away.
  • Neck – a high neck is better to protect from wind and rain
  • Waterproof zip – one of the main places water gets in, so look for a jacket that has a flap to keep it out
  • Sleeves – these should go right down to your wrists when you’re in cycling position
  • Reflective material – anything that helps you be seen by others is useful so pick a jacket that has at least some reflective material
  • Hood – when cycling in London or any city cycling a hood can create dangerous blind spots. However if out and about on a trail then it can be useful for keeping you dry.
  • Breathability and water resistant – often people buy cycling jackets expecting miracles, like no sweat what so ever. The truth is, if on naked skin there is sweat then there will also be sweat with a cycling jacket. Usually the more water resistant a jacket is the less breathable it is. It’s not a perfect world and you can’t have both!
  • Storage – some jackets are better at folding into compact spaces to save space
  • Fabrics – every cyclist you ask swears by a certain fabric. Gore-tex is an often mentioned name and this is one of the higher end materials. In all honesty I think you are better off not worrying so much about the fabric and instead looking for a jacket where the seams such as zips and vents are well protected as this is where water is likely to sneak in.

As a general rule the more you spend the less you have to trade off between the above features. Having said that if your just starting out then even the budget jackets are perfectly good.

(Note: Looking for something a little lighter? Checkout our windproof cycling jacket recommendations)

DHB Signal Cycling Jacket

 

I own this affordable £53.09 DHB jacket and love two things about it: It’s completely waterproof and it stuffs down nicely into a small enough size to store in my bag ready for the rain.

The jacket keeps me a little warmer than perhaps I would like but opening the under arm vents helps. It largely negates the need for a middle layer which sometimes isn’t such a bad thing.  The well-sized waterproof back pocket is excellent for quick access to items and there’s also a couple of side pockets.

It is available exclusively from Wiggle in both male and female versions.

Altura Night Vision Evo Jacket

 

If you are looking for something a little more reflective and much warmer then the Altura Night Vision Evo Cycling Jacket comes well reviewed. The waterproof jacket is highly reflective, great quality and keeps you very warm. This is definitely one for winter cycling. One of the favourite features is the soft material inside the collar making it extra comfortable. Additionally the jacket is well designed on all fronts. Right down to the zips, which are designed to be opened even if wearing gloves. With ample pocket space there is not much more to ask for. It is available for £84.99 from Evans Cycles.

 

 

Source http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/waterproof-cycling-jacket/

 

 
 
Health Food Eqauls Heatly Cycling
Date: 2/19/2013 3:31:27 AM
 

30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up

One of my favourite authors, Tim Ferriss, discusses the importance of eating 30 grams of protein, within 30 minutes of waking up. It’s the old classic advice of not missing your breakfast. To get that you could, for example, eat some nuts, eggs or meat.

If you miss breakfast you don’t replenish your liver’s glycogen stores, which can result in feeling tired half way through the ride in to work. You also end up eating more later in the day.

For me it really varies. Sometimes I’ll wake up and immediately feel hungry. Other times I’m happy to go on until about 4pm without eating.

However, for weight loss and healthy living, it’s better to have breakfast.

The best way to do that is to have something prepared from the night before. That’s great for when you are running late. If you don’t fancy eating something solid, then a smoothie is another great option.

Supplementing a healthy living

Some people go along the route of using products such as the Maximuscle UK supplements. As I’m simply getting from A to B and not training for any hard-core rides, I don’t tend to use any supplements. I’m keen on getting these proteins from natural foods instead. I do use Abel & Cole however, as they deliver high quality meat from UK producers.

The only supplement I use is Apple Cider Vinegar. In my personal experience, it helps with healthy skin, reducing bags under the eyes. However, I’m not a doctor and I can’t quote any scientific studies that prove that, so please do your own research.

Eating as soon as you arrive at work

The advice you’ll read in cycling magazines is that you should eat within 30 to 60 minutes of ending a workout. That’s when your body uses the nutrients from food to repair muscle and replace glycogen. With that thinking, you should grab something small when you arrive at work. However, if you only have a short commute or you prefer cycling at a leisurely pace, this becomes less important.

Healthy eating during a long ride

If you’ve got a long commute in to work, then it can be a good idea to grab some healthy food during a ride. While energy bars tend to be expensive, and I probably wouldn’t recommend their long term use, you can use some healthy alternatives. Bananas, apples, sandwiches and muesli bars are all a good source of nutrients.

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/healthy-eating-as-a-cyclist

 
 
10 Top Tips of How To Cycle Safely In The Snow
Date: 2/12/2013 1:17:39 AM
 

Snow tip 1: Staying warm

This is the most obvious one, but you’ll want a good winter cycling jacket such as the highly recommended DHB EQ 2.5, a pair of EDZ Merino Gloves and something to keep your head warm.

I generally just accept that my jeans will get wet, but I do tend to a wear a pair of meggins (men’s leggings) beneath to keep me warm (much to the laughter of my girlfriend – jealousy I’m sure!). Alternatively, you may own a pair of waterproof trousers.

Snow tip 2: More tyre tread is preferable for winter

Road bikes generally have slick tyres, which have minimum grip as they are optimised for speed. This should be fine for light snow, but as it gets heavier you’ll ideally want something with more tread.

Most hybrids and mountain bikes will be better equipped for this weather as they tend to have tyres with additional tread.

If the conditions worsen, you may choose to buy a new set of tyres from your local bike shop, that have additional tread. Otherwise, Chain Reaction Cycles have plenty of options.

Snow tip 3: Easy around the corners

When you are cycling in the snow, you’ll quickly realise you have less control than usual, due to slippery roads. You’ll want to be especially careful around corners, as this is when it’s easy to lose grip on the road. Take it slightly slower than usual and make smooth turns.

Snow tip 4: Go easy on the tyre pressure

You can get some additional grip by slightly under inflating your tyres.

Snow tip 5: Brake early

In snowy and slippery cycling conditions, it’s a good idea to brake earlier than usual and to drop your speed slightly. This is because stopping distances will be increased.

Ideally, the front brake should be used only when you are cycling in as straight line.

Snow tip 6: Relax and keep your weight back

When you are cycling in heavy snow and freezing conditions, you’ll find that your wheel will want to head off occasionally in strange directions as it drops in to various tracks laid out by cars. Allow it to do so, don’t tense too much and keep your weight back. This should help keep your central balance on the bike.

Snow tip 7: A good time to put a helmet on

If you don’t normally wear a helmet, this can be a good time of the year to use one. It’s more likely in snowy conditions that you’ll have a fall.

Snow tip 8: Mudguards!

If you don’t do it for yourself, then do it for the cyclist behind you. Add a mudguard to your bike, it takes two seconds!

We recommend the SKS Mudguard.

Snow tip 9: Be aware of drivers reduced visibility

Fogged windows mixed with ice conditions, means that if you are cycling in the snow, you should also be aware of a drivers reduced visibility. Remember to cycle in the primary position (not in the gutter) and give drivers extra space. Also, be aware cars that accelerate too fast in the snow may slide, so you shouldn’t be positioned at the side of one.

Snow tip 10: Clear glasses

When cycling in the snow, a lot of the snowflakes will end up in your eyes. Using either a cap or a pair of clear cycling glasses should solve the issue.

Source http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk

 
 
Five Affordable Ways To Upgrade Your Bike
Date: 2/6/2013 4:50:47 AM
 

5 cheap and easy bike upgrades anyone can do

If you’ve got road bike style, drop bars, then you’ve probably got some bar tape on there. This gets scruffy over time and doesn’t give you a nice feeling each time you grip it. Fi’zi:k’s Microtext is a great upgrade option. It is one of the most long lasting tapes you can buy and it feels really good to grip. You can either get the bike shop to install this for you (it shouldn’t cost too much) or you can do the upgrade at home. 

Cost: Microtext tape £12

New tyres

A new set of tyres are a great upgrade. You can get better puncture resistance and a better handling on the road. The Schwalbe Durano Plus tyres come highly recommended, as do the Hutchinson Intensive Kevlar tyres.

Cost: Schwalbe Durano Plus £26

Upgrade your cables

Bicycle cables corrode and fray over time. You can get a new set for around £15. The effect on your bike’s performance will be immediately noticeable. Your brakes suddenly respond far more quickly and your gears shift more smoothly.

Cost: £15 from your local bike shop.

New brake pads

V-brakes, common in mountain bikes and hybrids, need replacing frequently. Road bike brakes less frequently and disk brakes even less frequently. You should keep an eye on the condition of your pads and grab a new pair when they are too worn. This will provide better braking and will stop your pads wearing down your wheel rims.

Cost: £10-£15 from your local bike shop.

New pedals

If you are still using the standard set of pedals that came with your bike, a clever upgrade can be a new set of pedals. I recently covered the advantages of mountain bike style, flat pedals.

Source http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/bike-upgrades/

 
 
Reasons for Having an Helmet Cam ?
Date: 2/4/2013 3:41:40 PM
 

One of the things I’ve started doing was commuting with a helmet cam mounted on my bicycle or helmet. You’re probably asking why? Well I actually got this tip from my friend Officer Ben. Not only does he use it when he’s commuting to the station on his motorcycle, but he uses his camera each time he deals with people. He said that if anything were to happen, he has video proof.

So I started doing this myself with both my motorcycle and my bicycle. I basically will turn it on from the time I leave my home and turn it off when I get to my destination. I have a pretty big SD card that handles the recording for the duration. If it was an uneventful ride, then I delete the video I just captured so it doesn’t take up room. Then on my way home, I record again.

Officer Ben uses a product called Veho Muvi HD10 Camcorder. This camera is actually small enough to be mounted on the lapel or pocket of your outer garment.

Source http://www.bikecommuters.com/

 
 
Hire a cycle for 4 a day
Date: 2/4/2013 3:11:05 PM
 

Manchester's first fully-automated ‘smart’ cycle hire scheme BASED at Manchester Piccadilly station was introduced by BROMPTON DOCK Ltd in partnership with Virgin.

The Brompton Dock will house up to 40 bikes. To be able to rent a bike you've got to register by visiting their website http://www.bromptondock.co.uk  and following the instructions.

Bike rent varies from £4 for a day, £15 for a week and £50 for a month.

Commuters and visitors in Manchester can help themselves to ‘a product founded on the very best of British manufacturing and design expertise’

an innovative system.

Source http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/News/New-Cycle-Hire-At-Manchester-Piccadilly

 
 
How to make Snow Chains for your bike for 15
Date: 2/1/2013 5:45:44 AM
 

Making your own bicycle tire chains was not as hard as I thought it would be. I went to a local hardware store and picked up a few things I needed for this project. It turned out to be fairly inexpensive.

Things I picked up were:
15″ of braided chain £4.60 15″ of 1/16 uncoated cable (picture frame wire)
3 packs of 1/16 cable ferrule (used to bind wire together)
A whopping grand total of £8.50 tax included. Nb. Prices  may vary regionally.  

Tools needed: needle nose pliers, wire stripper, wire cutter, and zip ties.

First let some air out of your tires.

Then split the chain links into 6 links a strand.

 

Source http://www.mtnbikeriders.com/2007/02/13/diy-tire-chains/

 
 
Five Fab Reasons To Take Up Cycling?
Date: 1/31/2013 5:14:58 AM
 

 

1. Freedom.

Cycling gives a sense of freedom that sitting in a car can never give. Descending a hill on a bike is exhilarating, something you never feel in a car. Cycling also gives greater freedom about where to go. Many towns are encouraging pedestrian only areas. With a bike you can go down narrow lanes, on canal paths and often cut corners that you cannot do in a car.

2. Quicker Travelling.

In many congested towns, a bike can offer the quickest method of transport. For example, in London average speeds on roads amounts to a paltry 9mph (this is actually lower than 100 years ago!) Even a moderately fit cyclist will have no trouble in beating cars, buses and the underground. Also with a bike, you don’t have to spend time driving around looking for parking. You can park usually exactly where you want to end up.

3. Saves Money.

A good bike costs £200; a reasonable car will cost £5,000. With oil prices rising through the roof, cycling can also save significantly on petrol costs. The majority of car journeys are for distances less than 5 miles. These distances are easily cycleable. These short journeys also have the relatively highest petrol costs because cars are most inefficient at low speeds. It is estimated that leaving the car in the garage for the average commuter could save an estimate £74.14 ($150) per week (source: Cycling Weekly June 19th)

4. Lose Weight

Cycling is a low impact aerobic exercise and is an excellent way of losing weight. Cycling can also be combined with shopping and commuting therefore, enabling very busy people to find time for exercise. It is also a lot cheaper than gaining membership to the gym. With obesity becoming an endemic problem in western society, cycling can play a key role in helping to keep the population in shape.

5. Health Benefits.

Cycling is good for the heart and can help reduce incidence of heart disease, one of the biggest killers amongst developed countries. Sedentary lifestyles also contribute to other ‘silent killers’ such as diabetes and high blood pressure. see: Health benefits of Cycling at Bupa

 

 

Source http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/314/cycling/10-reasons-to-take-up-cycling/

 
 
Can Cycling Contribute To Our Well Being & Happiness?
Date: 1/31/2013 5:12:44 AM
 

 

Firstly, the act of cycling or any physical exercise can definitely help to create a ‘feel good effect’. Medical people talk about certain chemicals, such as Serotonin, which are released when cycling. These are free mood enhancing drugs, without any side-effects.

To quite a large extent, my training programme is determined by what I feel like doing. The motivating factor is not always optimal fitness in six months time, but what do I feel like doing on this particular cold, dark, December day?

Different rides and their impact on Mood

  • Commute into town. This is a gentle cycle, but,still it’s a great way to start the day. I work from home, but often find an excuse to ‘commute’ into town. The commute helps wake up my brain and get me ready for a bit of writing. The biggest challenge of commuting cycling is avoiding all the problems of interacting with other road users in a small space. Commuting is done on busy roads, and you have to be careful you don’t get annoyed with near misses and bad driving. This kind of ride is the most challenging to have a positive impact on mood. Definitely a bit of patience helps. If you’re rushing and impatient it’s much less relaxing.

There is empirical evidence to suggest that commuting by bike, can lead to higher standards of well being.

“…A wealth of literature from researchers studying stress and related effects reveals ‘persistent and significant costs associated with a long commute through heavy traffic’. By contrast, studies comparing the experiences of commuting by bicycle and car report that cyclists find their mode of transport at least as flexible and convenient as those who use cars, with lower stress and greater feelings of freedom, relaxation and excitement…”

NEF report at BBC ( I wonder if the BBC Mentioned this report on Road Wars?)

  • Slow recovery ride (1-2 hours). A slow recovery ride is generally my least favourite kind of ride. At 65-70% of heart rate, it doesn’t really get you going. During the ride, there doesn’t feel much purpose to the ride (even though recovery can be very important). Often this kind of slow recovery ride will be done on tired legs (after a race or hard interval session). Therefore, your legs are tired throughout ride – you’ve lost that kind of zip which also makes the ride feel unusually hard. A slow recovery ride can be fun, if the weather is very nice, you’re riding with a good group or you are riding in a beautiful part of the world. If you do a two hour slow recovery ride on your own in the turbo, I admire you! But, generally, this ride has the least benefit on mood. If I have to ditch one ride from my week, it would be this.
  • Long steady endurance ride. Often with a long steady endurance ride, there is the sense of trying to achieve a significant distance target. This is hard in different ways. After several hours in the saddle, you’re starting to notice aches and pains in all parts of the body. But, there is also an exhilaration from the constant exertion and effort. Long steady rides can also be opportunities to try new roads, and new parts of the world, which is also one of the great joys of cycling. There is also the sense of achievement on getting back from the ride.It is good to have a feeling of being stretched. But, if you stretch yourself too much, the natural high of tiredness becomes the natural low of suffering like anything. It’s a balance Again the weather and comfort on the bike is important. Long rides in the wet soon become very challenging.
  • Threshold ride.  80-85% of max heart rate. In a way, this is the most fun kind of ride. It seems to create the optimal release of serotonin, yet without the real pain of racing. It’s that comfortably hard level which you can maintain for 1 or 2 hours. There is also a great sense of speed and purpose in this ride. In previous winters, I’ve avoided this kind of ride totally. But, now I’ve incorporated one a week into my schedule – usually done when I find myself on my rollers. If you’re going to spend an hour on rollers, you might as well do it with great purpose. The release of Serotonin, helps combat the boredom of being on the bike.
  • Hill interval session. If you’re in good shape, this is wonderful fun. Well, the first interval is great. But, after than doing intervals on tired legs, is really tough. It requires quite a bit of concentration to keep pushing yourself. Again, there is a real sense of achievement, especially if you manage to complete the targeted number of intervals.
  • Race – 10 mile Time trial. It’s good whilst it lasts. It’s not a bad type of race. Though the effect on your mind can be influenced by the actual time you do. You may have a great race, but if your time is disappointing, you can lose some of the benefit. Then there’s also the thought that if you kind of enjoyed the experience – you didn’t try hard enough.
  • Race – hill climb – Racing so hard, you make yourself feel sick. No honestly, this kind of race is great for your mood.
  • Race 100 mile time trial. Another real challenge – four hours of hard work. I quite enjoy longer time trials though don’t get to do them too often. 30-50 mile hilly time trials are also quite good fun. But, I guess it’s an acquired taste.

What type of cycling has biggest benefit on your mood?

Is the impact on happiness, a big motivator for your cycling?

 
 
How To Maximise Your Bike Tyres USE
Date: 1/30/2013 4:07:19 AM
 

1) Rotate your bike tyres after a 1000 miles. The back tyre wears twice as much as the front.

 2) Carry two spare tubes on a rainy ride. Punctures seem to happen on wet roads. It difficult to apply patches in damp conditions.

 
 
How To Make D I Y Snow Chains For Your Bike
Date: 1/24/2013 8:03:28 AM
 

 

Making your own bicycle tire chains was not as hard as I thought it would be. I went to a local hardware store and picked up a few things I needed for this project. It turned out to be fairly inexpensive.

Things I picked up were:
15″ of braided chain £4.60 15″ of 1/16 uncoated cable (picture frame wire)
3 packs of 1/16 cable ferrule (used to bind wire together)
A whopping grand total of £8.50 tax included. Nb. Prices  may vary regionally.  

Tools needed: needle nose pliers, wire stripper, wire cutter, and zip ties.

First let some air out of your tires.

Then split the chain links into 6 links a strand.

 

Source http://www.mtnbikeriders.com/2007/02/13/diy-tire-chains/

 
 
How to reduce Knee Pain Cycling ?
Date: 1/24/2013 7:57:25 AM
 

If you have pain in the front of your knee,  I suggest your saddle is to low and you are basically putting too much force on it to push your pedals. But if the pain is in the back of your knee, that means your joint is being hyper-extended. So what’s the solution? Adjust your saddle height!

Basic rule of thumb that I follow for saddle height, if I’m sitting on my bike and one foot is on the 6 o’clock position, then my leg should be slightly bent at the knee. It really comes down to your personal preference. But you could get professionally fitted for your bike at some local bike shops. Call around to see if the shops in your area offer that service.

Source http://www.bikecommuters.com/page/3/

 
 
How to reduce Knee Pain Cycling ?
Date: 1/24/2013 7:55:29 AM
 

If you have pain in the front of your knee,  I suggest your saddle is to low and you are basically putting too much force on it to push your pedals. But if the pain is in the back of your knee, that means your joint is being hyper-extended. So what’s the solution? Adjust your saddle height!

Basic rule of thumb that I follow for saddle height, if I’m sitting on my bike and one foot is on the 6 o’clock position, then my leg should be slightly bent at the knee. It really comes down to your personal preference. But you could get professionally fitted for your bike at some local bike shops. Call around to see if the shops in your area offer that service.

Source http://www.bikecommuters.com/page/3/

 
 
Healthy Food Tips To Assist Your Cycling
Date: 1/18/2013 5:35:12 AM
 

With the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) announcing that inactivity is now as big a killer as smoking, it’s a great time to keep feeling smug as a cyclist.

To supplement that, I would love to know if you guys follow any specific healthy eating habits?

As always, please leave a comment below. I read all of them.

30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up

One of my favourite authors, Tim Ferriss, discusses the importance of eating 30 grams of protein, within 30 minutes of waking up. It’s the old classic advice of not missing your breakfast. To get that you could, for example, eat some nuts, eggs or meat.

If you miss breakfast you don’t replenish your liver’s glycogen stores, which can result in feeling tired half way through the ride in to work. You also end up eating more later in the day.

For me it really varies. Sometimes I’ll wake up and immediately feel hungry. Other times I’m happy to go on until about 4pm without eating.

However, for weight loss and healthy living, it’s better to have breakfast.

The best way to do that is to have something prepared from the night before. That’s great for when you are running late. If you don’t fancy eating something solid, then a smoothie is another great option.

Supplementing a healthy living

Some people go along the route of using products such as the Maximuscle UK supplements. As I’m simply getting from A to B and not training for any hard-core rides, I don’t tend to use any supplements. I’m keen on getting these proteins from natural foods instead. I do use Abel & Cole however, as they deliver high quality meat from UK producers.

The only supplement I use is Apple Cider Vinegar. In my personal experience, it helps with healthy skin, reducing bags under the eyes. However, I’m not a doctor and I can’t quote any scientific studies that prove that, so please do your own research.

Eating as soon as you arrive at work

The advice you’ll read in cycling magazines is that you should eat within 30 to 60 minutes of ending a workout. That’s when your body uses the nutrients from food to repair muscle and replace glycogen. With that thinking, you should grab something small when you arrive at work. However, if you only have a short commute or you prefer cycling at a leisurely pace, this becomes less important.

Healthy eating during a long ride

If you’ve got a long commute in to work, then it can be a good idea to grab some healthy food during a ride. While energy bars tend to be expensive, and I probably wouldn’t recommend their long term use, you can use some healthy alternatives. Bananas, apples, sandwiches and muesli bars are all a good source of nutrients.

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/healthy-eating-as-a-cyclist

 
 
Cyclintg Tips on How To Cycle In The Snow
Date: 1/18/2013 5:22:40 AM
 

Snow tip 1: Staying warm

This is the most obvious one, but you’ll want a good winter cycling jacket such as the highly recommended DHB EQ 2.5, a pair of EDZ Merino Gloves and something to keep your head warm.

I generally just accept that my jeans will get wet, but I do tend to a wear a pair of meggins (men’s leggings) beneath to keep me warm (much to the laughter of my girlfriend – jealousy I’m sure!). Alternatively, you may own a pair of waterproof trousers.

Snow tip 2: More tyre tread is preferable for winter

Road bikes generally have slick tyres, which have minimum grip as they are optimised for speed. This should be fine for light snow, but as it gets heavier you’ll ideally want something with more tread.

Most hybrids and mountain bikes will be better equipped for this weather as they tend to have tyres with additional tread.

If the conditions worsen, you may choose to buy a new set of tyres from your local bike shop, that have additional tread. Otherwise, Chain Reaction Cycles have plenty of options.

Snow tip 3: Easy around the corners

When you are cycling in the snow, you’ll quickly realise you have less control than usual, due to slippery roads. You’ll want to be especially careful around corners, as this is when it’s easy to lose grip on the road. Take it slightly slower than usual and make smooth turns.

Snow tip 4: Go easy on the tyre pressure

You can get some additional grip by slightly under inflating your tyres.

Snow tip 5: Brake early

In snowy and slippery cycling conditions, it’s a good idea to brake earlier than usual and to drop your speed slightly. This is because stopping distances will be increased.

Ideally, the front brake should be used only when you are cycling in as straight line.

Snow tip 6: Relax and keep your weight back

When you are cycling in heavy snow and freezing conditions, you’ll find that your wheel will want to head off occasionally in strange directions as it drops in to various tracks laid out by cars. Allow it to do so, don’t tense too much and keep your weight back. This should help keep your central balance on the bike.

Snow tip 7: A good time to put a helmet on

If you don’t normally wear a helmet, this can be a good time of the year to use one. It’s more likely in snowy conditions that you’ll have a fall.

Snow tip 8: Mudguards!

If you don’t do it for yourself, then do it for the cyclist behind you. Add a mudguard to your bike, it takes two seconds!

We recommend the SKS Mudguard.

Snow tip 9: Be aware of drivers reduced visibility

Fogged windows mixed with ice conditions, means that if you are cycling in the snow, you should also be aware of a drivers reduced visibility. Remember to cycle in the primary position (not in the gutter) and give drivers extra space. Also, be aware cars that accelerate too fast in the snow may slide, so you shouldn’t be positioned at the side of one.

Snow tip 10: Clear glasses

When cycling in the snow, a lot of the snowflakes will end up in your eyes. Using either a cap or a pair of clear cycling glasses should solve the issue.

Source http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk

 
 
Best Hybrid Bike For Under 300
Date: 1/12/2013 6:59:37 AM
 

If you are just going to own one bike – then we highly recommend a hybrid. They are the do anything machine – best for most cycle rides to work.

These versatile bicycles combine the best elements of mountain bikes and road bicycles. They are built with a similar frame geometry to a mountain bike, making them stable, but have lighter weight frame and wheels more like a road bike, making them faster across the tarmac.

What this means is you get a comfortable bike, easy to manoeuvre in town, which is light enough to get up speed quickly and not slow you down. To help you compare and find the best hybrid bike for you we have covered what you need to look for in a hybrid and linked through to reviews of our top five hybrid bikes.

>> Browse hybrid bikes now

Things to look for in a cheap hybrid bicycle…

  • Get a bike with a well-made frame. You can always upgrade the other bits as and when they wear about but the frame is the key piece of equipment
  • Look for relatively well-know brands of brakes and gears, like Tektro, Shimano and SRAM. While the components are likely to be the basic models in this price range, they’ll be functional and durable.
  • At this price – be careful with suspension. Many forks won’t work very well or last that long. You may be better off with a decent stiff fork.

Five of the best hybrid bikes for under £300

1. Raleigh Urban 1

A functional hybrid from the classic British bike brand. This bike is a good solid soldier – honest value.

2. Specialized Sirrus

At just over the £300 mark this is a real steal. Light, stiff and fast the Sirrus is real speed demon, and its curved tube design looks great too.

3. Trek 7.0 FX

Light-weight and nimble for a bike in this price range, the Trek 7.0 FX has a nice upright riding position and a solid frame. Not to me

ntion a solid set of Shimano gears and Tektro brakes.

4. Mongoose Crossway 100

If you’re making the step up from a £100 mountain bike, you will really notice the difference in acceleration and handling with a bike like the Mongoose Crossway 300.

5. Specialized Expedition Sport

This is really the sit-up-and-beg bicycle for the 21st century. Retro cool and functional.

 

Source http://www.ridein.co.uk/best-hybrid-bike-under-300

 
 
Course on How To Buld Your Own Bike Frame?
Date: 1/9/2013 1:24:53 PM
 

Frame Building Course


Source http://www.thebicycleacademy.org

Syllabus

The course has been designed to give you a great foundation of skills and understanding so that you can go on and build more bicycle frames. They will teach you how to build a frame from start to finish.

  • Oxy-Fuel Gas Safety
  • Fillet Brazing Masterclass
  • Bicycle Frame Design
  • Metal Working Basics
  • Tube Mitring
  • Jig Principles
  • Frame Assembly
  • Frame Tacking
  • Frame Brazing
  • Frame Alignment
  • Cold Setting
  • Frame Finishing
  • BikeCAD
  • Cost £750 (2:1)


 The Bicycle Academy Ltd

t: +44(0)1373 473767
e: hello@thebicycleacademy.org

The Bicycle Academy
Unit 1a
The Welsh Mill
Park Hill Drive
Frome
Somerset
BA11 2LE

 
 
How To Choose The Right Bike For YOU, From Cheap To Expensive Cycles
Date: 1/6/2013 1:34:04 PM
 

Your first decision comes in determining what type of bike you are after. There are basically four main styles of bikes to choose from, and your selection should really depend on what you anticipate your main type of riding to be.

Road Bikes are designed for riding on paved streets and going fast. Featuring skinny tires, a lightweight frame and a riding position that puts you bent over the handlebars, you might choose this type of bike if traveling longer distances at higher speeds is important to you.

The frames of most road bikes are not particularly beefy in construction and generally won’t stand up well for extended periods under heavy loads or on really rough surfaces. They are about as well-suited for a path in the woods as you would be when wearing high heels.

Mountain Bikes have exploded in popularity over the past twenty years. These bikes have wide tires, usually with knobby treads and a stout frame, and are designed to handle the rugged trails without disintegrating.

Mountain bikes do not go as fast as road bikes, which is a trade-off for their durability along with a more comfortable riding position. You sit higher on these bikes, more upright with the straight handlebars, which is often a happier choice for people with back problems than being hunched over as you are on a road bike.

Warning: sometimes mountain bikes are the default choice of salespeople at the bike shop because they are easy to sell and usually less expensive than road bikes. Too many times though, new mountain bikes with lots of impressive features for climbing a steep mountain trail end up like those four-wheel drive SUVs that never actually go off the pavement. If you are going to buy a mountain bike, make sure you are doing so intentionally because you know that you will in fact be riding off-road. Otherwise, you will be paying for unnecessary features, and probably missing out on a bike that would be a better choice for you.

Hybrid bikes are compromise between road and mountain bikes and offer the best features of both if most of your riding will be shorter trips on pavement. With skinnier, smooth tires, they typically can go faster than mountain bikes, yet feature the upright seat and handlebar position that many people favor.

Hybrids are a good choice for most city riding, and offer speed, durability and comfort.

Cruisers are bikes that have wide tires, wide seats, upright handlebars and sometimes even just a single gear. These are the bikes that you’ll often see at the beach. More simple mechanically, they are easy to maintain but work best with flat terrain and a rider whose main interest is more about being comfortable than with going fast.

Outside the Realm

If after you’ve checked out these styles, still none of these bikes offers you what you need, check out these other kinds of bikes. Tandems, recumbents, and tricycles are all unique types of bikes that you likely won’t see very often, either out on the trail or on the showroom floor at your local bike shop. But each offers specific features and functions that may be just what you are looking for. Read more about these alternatives to the mainstream styles of bicycles.

 

 

Suggested Reading

Related Articles

 
 
How To Choose The Right Bike For YOU, From Cheap To Expensive Cycles
Date: 1/6/2013 1:32:31 PM
 

Your first decision comes in determining what type of bike you are after. There are basically four main styles of bikes to choose from, and your selection should really depend on what you anticipate your main type of riding to be.

Road Bikes are designed for riding on paved streets and going fast. Featuring skinny tires, a lightweight frame and a riding position that puts you bent over the handlebars, you might choose this type of bike if traveling longer distances at higher speeds is important to you.

The frames of most road bikes are not particularly beefy in construction and generally won’t stand up well for extended periods under heavy loads or on really rough surfaces. They are about as well-suited for a path in the woods as you would be when wearing high heels.

Mountain Bikes have exploded in popularity over the past twenty years. These bikes have wide tires, usually with knobby treads and a stout frame, and are designed to handle the rugged trails without disintegrating.

Mountain bikes do not go as fast as road bikes, which is a trade-off for their durability along with a more comfortable riding position. You sit higher on these bikes, more upright with the straight handlebars, which is often a happier choice for people with back problems than being hunched over as you are on a road bike.

Warning: sometimes mountain bikes are the default choice of salespeople at the bike shop because they are easy to sell and usually less expensive than road bikes. Too many times though, new mountain bikes with lots of impressive features for climbing a steep mountain trail end up like those four-wheel drive SUVs that never actually go off the pavement. If you are going to buy a mountain bike, make sure you are doing so intentionally because you know that you will in fact be riding off-road. Otherwise, you will be paying for unnecessary features, and probably missing out on a bike that would be a better choice for you.

Hybrid bikes are compromise between road and mountain bikes and offer the best features of both if most of your riding will be shorter trips on pavement. With skinnier, smooth tires, they typically can go faster than mountain bikes, yet feature the upright seat and handlebar position that many people favor.

Hybrids are a good choice for most city riding, and offer speed, durability and comfort.

Cruisers are bikes that have wide tires, wide seats, upright handlebars and sometimes even just a single gear. These are the bikes that you’ll often see at the beach. More simple mechanically, they are easy to maintain but work best with flat terrain and a rider whose main interest is more about being comfortable than with going fast.

Outside the Realm

If after you’ve checked out these styles, still none of these bikes offers you what you need, check out these other kinds of bikes. Tandems, recumbents, and tricycles are all unique types of bikes that you likely won’t see very often, either out on the trail or on the showroom floor at your local bike shop. But each offers specific features and functions that may be just what you are looking for. Read more about these alternatives to the mainstream styles of bicycles.

 

 

Suggested Reading

Related Articles

 
 
Cycling Tips To Keep Your Bike on The Road.
Date: 1/6/2013 1:25:45 PM
 

Always take a new bike back for the free thirty day check up. Mark the day in on your calendar.

Carry some duck tape. It can be used to repair sidewall damage on tyres. Keep some wrapped around a tyre lever or your pump.

Puncture tip, align the tire label with the tube valve during installation. If you have a puncture it gives you a reference point.

Happy peddling

 
 
Five Cheap Ways To Upgrade Your Bike
Date: 1/6/2013 1:20:52 PM
 

If you’ve got road bike style, drop bars, then you’ve probably got some bar tape on there. This gets scruffy over time and doesn’t give you a nice feeling each time you grip it. Fi’zi:k’s Microtext is a great upgrade option. It is one of the most long lasting tapes you can buy and it feels really good to grip. You can either get the bike shop to install this for you (it shouldn’t cost too much) or you can do the upgrade at home. We’ve got instructions inside the Bike Doctor app. You also get to choose from a pretty wide range of colours!

Cost: Microtext tape £12

New tyres

A new set of tyres are a great upgrade. You can get better puncture resistance and a better handling on the road. The Schwalbe Durano Plus tyres come highly recommended, as do the Hutchinson Intensive Kevlar tyres.

Cost: Schwalbe Durano Plus £26

Upgrade your cables

Bicycle cables corrode and fray over time. You can get a new set for around £15. The effect on your bike’s performance will be immediately noticeable. Your brakes suddenly respond far more quickly and your gears shift more smoothly. For a guide on completing this repair, make sure you get a copy of our Bike Doctor App.

Cost: £15 from your local bike shop.

New brake pads

V-brakes, common in mountain bikes and hybrids, need replacing frequently. Road bike brakes less frequently and disk brakes even less frequently. You should keep an eye on the condition of your pads and grab a new pair when they are too worn. This will provide better braking and will stop your pads wearing down your wheel rims.

Cost: £10-£15 from your local bike shop.

New pedals

If you are still using the standard set of pedals that came with your bike, a clever upgrade can be a new set of pedals. I recently covered the advantages of mountain bike style, flat pedals.

I’ve gone down the new tyre, pedal and bar tape route and my bike feels great to ride. A pair of new cables will probably be next on the cards, as my breaking is starting to feel a little spongy.

Source http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/bike-upgrades/

 

 
 
USED CYCLE REPAIR PARTS RECYCLED TO CREATE ART
Date: 12/18/2012 12:27:14 PM
 

Israeli artist Nirit Levav has a unique take on recycling she uses old bike parts to make sculptures of man's best friend.

She uses recycled bike chains, pedals, gears and even seats to create her statues, and has already sculpted enough to fully stock a kennel.

The mother-of-four, 49, began her career as a fashion designer before deciding to explore art. She starting out using a variety of recycled metal like keys, rail and light bulbs, and visited bike shops and garages to pick up material.

 
 
How to Choose A Winter Bike Or Do Bike Repairs On A Classic Bike?
Date: 12/16/2012 9:47:16 AM
 

If buying new, fully equipped classic city bikes are worth looking into: They already offer hub gears, hub brakes, a full chaincase, a resilient powdercoated frame, stable handling, generous fenders and reasonably wide tires. ..... For those who prefer to put a bike together from scratch, frames with horizontal dropouts (suitable for hub and single speed conversion) and clearances for reasonably wide tires are now easily available from a number of manufacturers: Soma, Surly, Rawland, Rivendell, Salsa and Velo Orange are just a few that come to mind. For extreme conditions there are even all-terrain models that will fit monstrously wide tires, such as the Surly Pugsley and Moonlander, and the Salsa Mukluk. If you prefer to refurbish a used bicycle, an old mountain bike converted to a single speed and fitted with some upright handlebars could work nicely. Same with a vintage 3-speed, fitted with a modern wheelset with hub brakes.

 

It goes without saying that not everything mentioned here will be applicable to every cyclist who reads this. The kind of winter bike that is ideal for you will depend on everything from the harshness of your winters, to the character of your route, to your bike handling skills, to your bike storage situation, to the amount of time you are willing to devote to bike maintenance, and to the type of clothing you wear when cycling for transportation. Your current bike may already be a winter bike, either as is or with minor modifications. Or you may need to get an additional bike specifically for winter cycling. My own preference gravitates toward classic city bicycles, and those I've owned have made great winter bikes. But I've been increasingly curious to try a mountain bike with knobby tires and see how that compares. If you have anything to add, that would be most welcome and appreciated. What is your idea of a winter bike?

 

Source http://lovelybike.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/how-do-you-choose-winter-bike.html

 
 
Cheap BICYCLES FOR HIRE AT MANCHESTER PICADILLY
Date: 12/15/2012 7:02:43 AM
 

Manchester's first fully-automated ‘smart’ cycle hire scheme BASED at Manchester Piccadilly station was introduced by BROMPTON DOCK Ltd in partnership with Virgin.

The Brompton Dock will house up to 40 bikes. To be able to rent a bike you've got to register by visiting their website http://www.bromptondock.co.uk  and following the instructions.

Bike rent varies from £4 for a day, £15 for a week and £50 for a month.

Commuters and visitors in Manchester can help themselves to ‘a product founded on the very best of British manufacturing and design expertise’

an innovative system.

Source http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/News/New-Cycle-Hire-At-Manchester-Piccadilly

 
 
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR BIKE CHAIN ? - USEFUL TIPS
Date: 12/12/2012 8:38:17 AM
 

By Joan S. Denizot

cleaning the chains of bicycles can be very simple. You do not actually need to be a pro or have special tools and equipment to successfully accomplish such task.

Here are simple steps on how to clean the chains of bikes.

Go to the garage or an area outdoors
and spread out some newspapers on the floor. Look for something, may be a wall wherein you can lean your bike against so you will have free hands.

  • Make sure that the chain is on the biggest chain
    in front and on the smallest socket at the back. To do so, you need to shift your gears while turning the pedals.
  • Then, by slowly turning the pedals backwards,
    apply isopropyl alcohol to the chain by spraying or wiping using a rag. This is done to loosen the gummy grease and dirt accumulated on your chain. Start with your master link if your bike has one so you will know how many more links you have not wiped yet. Keep on applying the solvent until you have worked on every link of your chain. Since isopropyl alcohol quickly evaporates, you need to apply the solvent every now and then.
  • To check how clean your chain is getting,
    look at your rag. It will have less and less grease when as you make progress.
  • Since this method only cleans specific sides
    of your chain, you may need to perform other process. With a toothbrush dipped in isopropyl alcohol, brush off more grease and dirt in between the links using the same process of slowly turning your pedal backward. By angling the toothbrush, work on the areas where the rag have not reached.
  • You also need to clean the sprockets,
    chain rings, and the rear pulleys of derailleur because grease and dirt can also accumulate in these parts. To clean them, you could use another piece of rag with a little alcohol.
  • You might need to do final wiping
    on your chain to get rid of small grease and dirt residue. Also, wipe down the frame of your big bike.

Source http://www.coolbiking.com/blog/cycling/bike-mantenance/bike-chains-simple-cleaning-procedures/

 
 
Five Great Xmas Cycling GIFTS
Date: 12/7/2012 12:12:58 PM
 

1) Cycling books – I have a big list of them here but the two I can really highly recommend are Why don’t you fly? Backdoor to Beijing by bike and Moods of Future Joys by Alastair Humphreys. I thoroughly enjoyed both. Gift price less than £10

2) Cycling Computer – bit more expensive but very cool cycling gift – especially if its wireless! Gift price: £35 – £40

3) Cycle Jacket – The DHB Amberley is good for keeping the rain out and comes at a very good price.  Gift price: £60

4) Repair book – If you are buying a gift for someone that has just started cycling then a bicycle repair book will save them a lot of money in repair fees and will keep their bike running smoothly. I highly recommend The Bike Book which is easy to follow and has plenty of illustrations. Gift price: £10

5) Bicycle lightsThese bike lights by Raleigh offer great value and are come highly recommended. If you are looking to spend a little bit more on this gift then the Nightrider Ultrafazer is worth the money. Gift price: £12

 
 
FIVE AFFORDABLE WAYS TO UP GRADE YOUR BIKE
Date: 12/6/2012 9:09:26 AM
 

If you’d like to breathe some fresh life in to a well loved commuter bike, then here are 5 cheap and easy upgrades you can make.

If you’ve got road bike style, drop bars, then you’ve probably got some bar tape on there. This gets scruffy over time and doesn’t give you a nice feeling each time you grip it. Fi’zi:k’s Microtext is a great upgrade option. It is one of the most long lasting tapes you can buy and it feels really good to grip. You can either get the bike shop to install this for you (it shouldn’t cost too much) or you can do the upgrade at home. We’ve got instructions inside the Bike Doctor app. You also get to choose from a pretty wide range of colours!

Cost: Microtext tape £12

New tyres

A new set of tyres are a great upgrade. You can get better puncture resistance and a better handling on the road. The Schwalbe Durano Plus tyres come highly recommended, as do the Hutchinson Intensive Kevlar tyres.

Cost: Schwalbe Durano Plus £26

Upgrade your cables

Bicycle cables corrode and fray over time. You can get a new set for around £15. The effect on your bike’s performance will be immediately noticeable. Your brakes suddenly respond far more quickly and your gears shift more smoothly. For a guide on completing this repair, make sure you get a copy of our Bike Doctor App.

Cost: £15 from your local bike shop.

New brake pads

V-brakes, common in mountain bikes and hybrids, need replacing frequently. Road bike brakes less frequently and disk brakes even less frequently. You should keep an eye on the condition of your pads and grab a new pair when they are too worn. This will provide better braking and will stop your pads wearing down your wheel rims.

Cost: £10-£15 from your local bike shop.

New pedals

If you are still using the standard set of pedals that came with your bike, a clever upgrade can be a new set of pedals. I recently covered the advantages of mountain bike style, flat pedals.

I’ve gone down the new tyre, pedal and bar tape route and my bike feels great to ride. A pair of new cables will probably be next on the cards, as my breaking is starting to feel a little spongy.

Source http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/bike-upgrades/

 
 
Best Bike Lock Article
Date: 12/5/2012 6:51:55 AM
 

The Kryptonite New York 3000.
 

Source http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/the-best-bike-lock/

Sure it might be expensive to buy at first (around £55) and sure it’s a heavy beast to carry around, but it beats buying a new bike any day!

Let me explain my choice:

  • I reviewed the Kryptonite New York 3000 back in 2009. Since then, I’ve used it on an almost daily basis and left my bike all over London. From Hackney, to Camden, to Angel. My bike has always been kept safe (touch wood!).
  • Various cycling magazines have reviewed the bike lock and deemed it to be one of the most resistant ones to attack. You’ll need a high end tool to beat it. Sold Secure have given it their Gold Standard rating.
  • There used to be a famous video circulating around, showing that you could open these locks with a bic pen. Since 2005 Kryptonite have switched to an I-key system which ended this vulnerability.
  • Whilst the bike lock isn’t wide enough to go around a lamppost, it will get around most objects I attach my bike to in London. It is also big enough to allow me to lock it through the rear triangle of my bike and the object meaning that my rear wheel is secured.
  • I’ve never had any issues with keys getting stuck. If you are having difficulty turning your key, don’t force it, you should lubricate the lock. You can use WD-40 but there are better lubricants out there that are less likely to gunk up your lock. Look for graphite powder lubricants that cost about £3.

 

 
 
FIVE WAYS CYCLISTS CAN HELP POLICE TACKLE BIKE THEFT
Date: 11/24/2012 11:20:36 AM
 

 

What sergeant Davey wishes all cyclists would do:

• Record your bike (take a photo, log the frame number etc) and register it. If the bike's stolen, report it.

• If you're buying a secondhand bike, be vigilant and cover your back. If you buy a stolen bike, even unknowingly, you can forget about statutory rights – it'll be recovered and you're unlikely to see a penny.

• Don't be naïve: If you're buying a new racing bike for £200 and paying cash, something's not right.

• If you're buying a secondhand bike, use PayPal. The company's buyer protection scheme means that, should your bike later be found to be stolen, you'll be able to recover the money as long as less than 45 days have elapsed.

• Use two different locks (eg a cable and a D-Lock) – a thief will have to carry two tools to steal your bike.

SOURCE  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2012/nov/19/cyclists-police-bike-theft

 
 
HOW TO FIX A PUCTURE AND NOT TAKE YOUR BIKE TO CYCLE SHOP
Date: 11/20/2012 4:26:21 PM
 

fOLLOW THE INFORMATION ON PICTURE AND YOU WILL NOW HOW TO FIX YOUR PUNCTURE.

 
 
Wow Wee - Pedal Powered Sound System, Cinema and Lights.
Date: 11/16/2012 9:42:14 AM
 

Bike generators are a simple, fun and practical innovation allowing people to generate electricity through excercise. Either by powering the sound system while a band/dj performs on a stage, feeling the resistance when a 100watt light bulb flicks on, Powering a cinema, or any other of the services we offer.

 

Our system now includes 6 high powered efficient bike generators, specially manufactured super efficient and high fidelity speakers and the most efficient amplifiers available. All this ensures cyclists get the absolute most from their pedaling.


Soruce http://bike-power.co.uk/

 
 
One of the best bikes at the Cycle Show 2012 - Vanmoof 3.1 + front brake
Date: 11/12/2012 8:52:18 AM
 

Description

 
No more loose hanging cables! No more rusty dynamo’s dangling in your spokes! No more lights stolen off your bike! The secret lays in what´s NOT there.

The VANMOOF 3.1 has a striking aluminum anodized rust-free frame with a highly advanced and unique Philips LED light system built inside its tubes. These LEDS are powered by a fully integrated dynamo hub in the front wheel.

The coaster brake is great for the city: unbreakable, light and safe. The thick wide wheels make riding on and off pavements and obstacles go problem free. The broad handle bar, weatherproof SYAD saddle and durable Schwalbe tires top-off the smooth no-nonsense look of this ultimate urban commuter tool.

High quality is our number one priority. Therefore, we have chosen for the best parts only. And all this for an affordable consumer price.

frame size

28" 58cm | 26" 49 cm

bike weight

13.5 kg

frame

Anodised aluminum

drive chain

Fully enclosed anti-rust chain

wheels

28" | 26" Aluminium rims

brakes

Shimano coaster brake

 

 
 
More Bike Tips to keep you cycling
Date: 11/11/2012 6:50:27 AM
 



Puncture tip, align the tire label with the tube valve during installation. If you have a puncture it gives you a reference point.

Carry some duck tape. It can be used to repair sidewall damage on tyres. Keep some wrapped around a tyre lever or your pump. Happy peddling

Always take a new bike back for the free thirty day check up. Mark the day in on your calendar.

 
 
MonkeyLectric Rolls Out Programmable, Animated Bicycle Spoke LED Light System
Date: 10/30/2012 11:53:35 AM
 

MonkeyLectric has two new LED-strip bicycle wheel light systems.

For casual cyclists, the $75 M232 (above) is a longer version of the original. It bumps bulb count to 32 LEDs -16 per side- and comes programmed with 42 patterns. We’ve got one of these on test now and should have some thoughts up before too long. The short of it is it’s quite fun and draws a lot of smiles from folks on the sidewalks and inside shops.

For the business minded folks, there’s a new commercial version that blasts logos and more out of  256 LEDs total, half on each side. Unlike the preprogrammed consumer models, you can program your own logo in and even load 90 seconds of video on it. MSRP is $1,500 and includes software and hardware. Blink through the break for video of it in action…

(more…)

 

Source http://www.bikerumor.com/

 
 
Part 1 ROBUST WHEELS Equipment suggestions for bicycle commuting
Date: 10/30/2012 11:40:38 AM
 

In general, commuting bicyclists will want to acquire stronger, beefier wheels than those used by recreational bicyclists. We bicycle commuters are often contending with more varied and challenging pavement surfaces (potholes, debris, etc.), and we are generally more heavily loaded, with things like a laptop, work materials, books, lunch, change of clothing.

My general advice to any bicycle commuter is to get the strongest handbuilt wheelset they can afford, and for most a standard 36-spoke wheel will work very well. Many bicycles come off the showroom with machine-made spec wheels, which may not always be the most reliable over time. Likely great for light recreational riding on weekends, and over a few years, no problem. For everyday hard urban bicycle commuting, you really need great wheels.

My main commuting bike is a hybrid. After breaking many spokes on an inexpensive 32-spoke rear wheel, I recently replaced my rear wheel with a 40-spoke tandem wheel, with a Sun ME-14A rim and Shimano HF-07 hub. I purchased this wheel online from Rocky Mountain Cyclery.

 

Source http://bikecommutetips.blogspot.co.uk/Wheels

 
 
Bike Bike Where to go to hire a bike
Date: 10/28/2012 2:18:29 PM
 

Cycle Hire

Hire

 

If you can’t buy or beg a bike, why not borrow one? Both schemes below work on the premise that you pay an annual fee for using the service, plus a charge for each journey you make. The convenience of these services probably depends on your proximity to their docking stations.

Bromptondock

Brompton has partnerships with train line providers as well as councils and corporates. It aims to reach seventeen locations by the end of 2012, and more than 25 across the UK by summer 2013.

Its current locations are: Guildford, University of Greenwich, Manchester Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, London Borough of Ealing, Bristol Temple Meads, Exeter St Davids
Locations coming soon: Ashford International, Bristol, Canterbury, Exeter, Leicester, London Borough of Hounslow, London Borough of Southwark, Maidstone, Oxford, Reading, Southampton, Tonbridge.

The charging system encourages medium and long-term borrowing, however the terms and conditions read that you must not leave the bicycle unattended or locked up in a public place. Even with a folding bike this sounds slightly inconvenient. If a bicycle is stolen whilst in your care you will be charged £500 to replace the Brompton.

There are also plenty of local bicycle hire schemes across the UK which hire bikes by the day or week. Find one near you.

Source http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/traveltransport/bicycles.aspx

 
 
Bike Bike - HOW TO BUY A BICYCLE
Date: 10/28/2012 2:09:10 PM
 

How to buy a bicycle

Whether you've never bought one before or need a smart new upgrade, these quick tips should help you make the right choice

Flash the cash
Spend to the hilt of your budget. The point of buying as high as you dare is that the better the bike, the greater the pleasure it will bring you. The greater the joy, the more you'll want to use it. But remember also what safety and security accessories you need (starting with lights, helmet and a lock or two).

Do your homework
There are a huge number of books and up-to-date internet sites - such as the excellent bikeforall.net - to help you find the ideal bike, be it a hybrid, racer, mountain or folding bike. What sort of riding do you want to do? The more you know before you enter the shop, the easier it will be for the bike specialist to help you.

Whatever your size and shape, there's a bike for you
The most important thing when buying a bike is to get the correct size. People can spend thousands on a bike but the money is totally wasted if the bike doesn't fit you. The frame needs to be right, so make sure you test the bike: think about the width of the bars and the length of the handlebar stem.

Keep an inch clearance between the bike's top tube and your nether regions
Eye-watering as it sounds, this is the best way to check the reach and height of the bike is right for you. Remember the saddle position can be adjusted forwards and back as well as up and down, and the handlebars too. Your dealer should let you do a test-ride so take advantage.

A good bike mechanic will have qualifications
Most British bike shops are members of the Association of Cycle Traders and will have mechanics with CyTech qualifications. This bike industry standard will ensure they've got answers for all your queries, specialist or otherwise.

Even in today's world, bikes can be gender-specific
Traditionally, women's bikes possessed a slanted top tube to make it easier to dismount in a skirt. Now the main difference is that the top tube is shorter in length because women tend to have a shorter reach. Also, with more expensive bikes, the suspension may be specially adjusted.

Men and women have different-shaped pelvises, so get the right saddle
Ensure you choose a saddle that matches your shape, even if this means changing the one that came with the bike. Women's saddles are slightly wider and shorter. For comfort, a softer saddle is better for short trips.

Feel comfortable with the gears
Commuter cyclist Joe Halloran recalls that, "When I was looking to buy a bike, the components were an important factor. The brakes, wheels and gears all need to be of a good quality, just as much as the frame itself." As an example, work out whether you want "derailleur" gears typical of racing bikes - multiple cogs on the front and rear wheels linked by a movable chain mechanism to give the bike up to 30 "speeds" - or hub gearing common on utility (hybrid) bikes, whereby a gearbox is built into the rear wheel's hub, offering greater protection against weather and bashes but fewer gears.

Buying a bike from an auction website is rarely a good investment
Purchasing second-hand is difficult, and there's a lot to be said for shopping around and taking someone with you who knows what they are talking about. Avoid buying bikes that are unseen/untried/on the cheap (they are never bargains) or flat-packed/self-assembly/auction website bikes.

If you do buy online, know what questions to ask first
It's never easy to buy a bike without riding it first. If you are determined to buy one second-hand online, check the bike's frame number first to ensure it's not stolen. You can do this easily at www.immobilise.com

· Tips gratefully received from ... On Your Bike: The Complete Guide to Cycling by Matt Seaton; James Wilson at Condor bike shop; John Mack at Evans Cycles; bikeforall.net; The Complete Bike Book: The Illustrated Manual by Mel Allwood; Venus Bikes; British Cycling; Adam Thorpe at

 
 
Which bike is is the right bike for you?
Date: 10/28/2012 1:55:12 PM
 

While buying a bike is not on the same level of commitment as, say, getting married, it is still a decision that warrants some thought. And, especially if you are considering buying a bike for the first time, it can seem as if your options are nearly endless.

What is the Right Kind of Bike for Me?

Your first decision comes in determining what type of bike you are after. There are basically four main styles of bikes to choose from, and your selection should really depend on what you anticipate your main type of riding to be.

Road Bikes are designed for riding on paved streets and going fast. Featuring skinny tires, a lightweight frame and a riding position that puts you bent over the handlebars, you might choose this type of bike if traveling longer distances at higher speeds is important to you.

The frames of most road bikes are not particularly beefy in construction and generally won’t stand up well for extended periods under heavy loads or on really rough surfaces. They are about as well-suited for a path in the woods as you would be when wearing high heels.

Mountain Bikes have exploded in popularity over the past twenty years. These bikes have wide tires, usually with knobby treads and a stout frame, and are designed to handle the rugged trails without disintegrating.

Mountain bikes do not go as fast as road bikes, which is a trade-off for their durability along with a more comfortable riding position. You sit higher on these bikes, more upright with the straight handlebars, which is often a happier choice for people with back problems than being hunched over as you are on a road bike.

Warning: sometimes mountain bikes are the default choice of salespeople at the bike shop because they are easy to sell and usually less expensive than road bikes. Too many times though, new mountain bikes with lots of impressive features for climbing a steep mountain trail end up like those four-wheel drive SUVs that never actually go off the pavement. If you are going to buy a mountain bike, make sure you are doing so intentionally because you know that you will in fact be riding off-road. Otherwise, you will be paying for unnecessary features, and probably missing out on a bike that would be a better choice for you.

Hybrid bikes are compromise between road and mountain bikes and offer the best features of both if most of your riding will be shorter trips on pavement. With skinnier, smooth tires, they typically can go faster than mountain bikes, yet feature the upright seat and handlebar position that many people favor.

Hybrids are a good choice for most city riding, and offer speed, durability and comfort.

Cruisers are bikes that have wide tires, wide seats, upright handlebars and sometimes even just a single gear. These are the bikes that you’ll often see at the beach. More simple mechanically, they are easy to maintain but work best with flat terrain and a rider whose main interest is more about being comfortable than with going fast.

Outside the Realm

If after you’ve checked out these styles, still none of these bikes offers you what you need, check out these other kinds of bikes. Tandems, recumbents, and tricycles are all unique types of bikes that you likely won’t see very often, either out on the trail or on the showroom floor at your local bike shop. But each offers specific features and functions that may be just what you are looking for. Read more about these alternatives to the mainstream styles of bicycles.

 

 

Suggested Reading

Related Articles

 
 
More Bike Tips to keep you peddling
Date: 10/27/2012 2:07:34 PM
 

The axel of a properly adjusted hub should have a hint of looseness to allow for compression when the wheel is tightened into the frame.

'Repair your roof while the sun shines'. The same applies to to your bike and things generally.

 
 
More Bike Tips to keep you cycling
Date: 10/26/2012 1:50:41 AM
 

Bike tip, if you remove a seat post or a bolt add some grease to part when placing back on the bike.

Tyre tip, I used Schwalbe Marathon Plus for six years and never had a puncture.

When fixing a flat, carefully check the inside of the tyre and remove item before installing a new tube of repaired tube.

Happy Peddleing.

 
 
Cycle Tips to keep your bike on the road.
Date: 10/15/2012 4:24:51 PM
 

 

Hi I wanted to share some bike tips,

1) Rotate your bike tyres after a 1000 miles. The back tyre wears twice as much as the front.

 2) Carry two spare tubes on a rainy ride. Punctures seem to happen on wet roads. It difficult to apply patches in damp conditions.

Happy peddling from the Bike Mechanic from Manchester.

 
 
Pro Mechanics
Date: 10/11/2012 9:16:14 AM
 

If you’re interested in becoming a professional race bicycle mechanic, you’ll find some solid information here on entering this exciting and challenging field. For a feel of what the job’s like, read my story Wrenching At The Worlds.

 
 
Bike Shadow
Date: 10/9/2012 5:58:01 PM
 

Getting the miles in.

 
 
 
 
 
     

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