Looking for advice re new bike for commuting (warning has ebike content too)

Rykard

Veteran
Hi,
i am nearing 50 and looking to get back into commuting into work 2-3 days a week. The trip is 3-4 miles each way, though there is 1.5 miles of hills, which is uphill on the way home. I was doing regularly till about 6 years ago when i picked up some niggling injuries to my knees, ankles and back. I was using an 80's scott (heavy on road tyres) or a merida speedster (younger but needs more brakes and tyre). I use 2 panniers as i carry clothes, food and work stuff.

I was wondering round the cycle show yesterday and it has piqued my interest again...

So the questions - should I stick with what I have or upgrade to something newer? They both have flat bars, but I am torn between flat and dropped, though flat can be safer in traffic when i get a run dropped would be better. I also saw a front hub based electric assist motor that could convert 'any' bike into an ebike - are these worth considering?

Really looking for feedback / guidance.

thanks in advance
Rich
 
OP
R

Rykard

Veteran
Hi,
i am nearing 50 and looking to get back into commuting into work 2-3 days a week. The trip is 3-4 miles each way, though there is 1.5 miles of hills, which is uphill on the way home. I was doing regularly till about 6 years ago when i picked up some niggling injuries to my knees, ankles and back. I was using an 80's scott (heavy on road tyres) or a merida speedster (younger but needs more brakes and tyre). I use 2 panniers as i carry clothes, food and work stuff.

I was wondering round the cycle show yesterday and it has piqued my interest again...

So the questions - should I stick with what I have or upgrade to something newer? They both have flat bars, but I am torn between flat and dropped, though flat can be safer in traffic when i get a run dropped would be better. I also saw a front hub based electric assist motor that could convert 'any' bike into an ebike - are these worth considering?

Really looking for feedback / guidance.

thanks in advance
Rich
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Stick with what you have. If after three months you are still commuting by bike then treat yourself. This is what I did when I restarted bike commuting back in 2003.
 
Stick with what you know. Once you’re back in ‘the groove’ then think about whether you want to buy upgrades, or stick with what you have, but ride up grades.
 

Cycleops

Guru
Location
Accra, Ghana
If you wanted to 'dip a toe' and try an electric assist bike why don't you by a cheap second hand hybrid and put an electric conversion on it? You could get out for around £500 and you can always remove it and put it on a better machine or sell it and get a dedicated e bike.
 

Sharky

Veteran
Location
Kent
What are your cycling plans outside the commute?

Forgive me, but a 3 mile commute is only going to take 15 to 20 mins? So any bike should be ok with low enough gears.
 
OP
R

Rykard

Veteran
If you wanted to 'dip a toe' and try an electric assist bike why don't you by a cheap second hand hybrid and put an electric conversion on it? You could get out for around £500 and you can always remove it and put it on a better machine or sell it and get a dedicated e bike.
i've not heard of electric conversion before , that sounds interesting
 

Sharky

Veteran
Location
Kent
we may be moving offices in the future and 3-4 will become more.
Keep with the bikes you have and get used to cycling and all the logistics of carrying cloths etc. When you move offices, you might be able to persuade them to offer the Cycle 2 Work scheme and then you can raise your sights and buy something a bit special and by that time you will have a better ideal of what you need

Good luck
 
OP
R

Rykard

Veteran
wow - I can't believe you guys - I am starting to come down on the side on going with what i've got until i get back into it, logistics and fitness etc.

I think I got a little carried away with the shiny stuff - though still think a gravel/adventure bike may materialise next year.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
wow - I can't believe you guys - I am starting to come down on the side on going with what i've got until i get back into it, logistics and fitness etc.I think I got a little carried away with the shiny stuff - though still think a gravel/adventure bike may materialise next year.
People are always coming on here thinking about shiny stuff. However, like new cars, new bikes don't stay new for very long.
If you considered your existing bikes to be decent ones back when you got them, then they must still be decent now. A 1980's or 1990's era MTB can make a perfect utility bike given a good set of tyres and mudguards.
For short distance riding in traffic, I prefer flat bars set nice and high every day of the week. Although I have no way of proving it, I reckon a cyclist mounted in a prominent upright riding position creates a bit more "road presence" which tends to discourage dangerous close overtakes. My own experience is that I seem to get given more room when I'm overtaken riding my flat bar hybrids, than I am when on a drop bar racer. I don't wear all the lycra gear only normal clothing, so the only difference in my appearance to an approaching motorist must be my perceived size on the bike.
 
Assuming all is mechanically fine with your current bikes I'd stick with them just now and maybe treat yourself further down the line you'll understand your needs better then. FWIW I actually find drops (albeit on the hoods) are better in traffic, it feels more nimble the narrower bars have never been clipped or caught at a pinch point and is easier for me to raise the torso to form a bigger shape/move that seems to get noticed but each to their own.
 

Brains

Guru
Location
Greenwich
Any chance of a locker or a cupboard at the office ?
That way you take in a weeks worth of clothing on a Monday and bring back last weeks clothing
The other 4 days of the week you can ride either pannier free. (Or only one small pannier)

With the new office; Ask for showers, lockers, secure covered bike storage etc.
You may not get it all, but it will mean someone somewhere will have to justify turning down the idea.
(Cost is not a viable reason, but space could be)
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Does the current bike fit you properly and setup for you. To relieve stress injury, its better to use a higher cadence and less force per pedal rotation. Seat height and position are very important to keep leg joints in good working order. That leads onto reach and height of handlebars once saddle correctly positioned .

3-4 miles isnt a long way unless the hills you mention are monsters.

Again with the correct gearing, any hill becomes a slope enabling the rider to climb without going into the red physically.

An ebike would flatten the bumps and make for a relaxed ride- My wife loves her ebike I built up for her and allows her to travel 20 miles without killing herself. Also it could allow you to get fitter gradually, but be a fallback position if on certain days you feel sore or tired. Go for it :okay:
 
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