New to cycling on road and to a hybrid bike

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by pathfinder, 11 Apr 2010.

  1. pathfinder

    pathfinder New Member

    Hi all,

    My name is Mike. I'm an international student studying in central London and I have recently decided to pick up cycling as my main mode of transportation.

    I have bought a second Subway Carrera 2 last week and haven't really gotten down to using it yet. I'm confused about the gears and how do I use them? There's the front and the back shifters.

    Secondly, I have been trying to find the most updated highway code for London and would be grateful if anyone can point me in the right direction. I have not cycled on roads before and am not a proficient cyclist. Hence, I would welcome any advice from anyone with regards to negotiating traffic situations and how to stay safe :biggrin:

    Lastly, there has been a perpetual problem of bike theft in central London. How should I lock my bike to prevent a bike theft? I will try to keep it indoor when I'm back at home but I will need to park it in the public during the day.

    P.S.: I think the 18" frame size is too big for me but I think I can still manage. =S

    Thanks for reading.

    Mike
     
  2. Norm

    Norm Guest

    Hey, Mike, greetings and welcome to CC and the UK. ;) Where are you from to be an "international student" and congrats on taking the step to using a bike for transport.

    I think that the Subway Carrera 2 has 24 speeds, with 3 gears on the front and 8 on the rear. Until you get used to it, leave the front (left hand shifter) in 2 and start off with the rear (right hand shifter) in 4 or 5. If you are going downhill, put the back up towards 6 or 7, if you are going uphill, move the rear gears down to 3 or 2.

    There is no Highway Code specific for London. The Highway Code is available online, the cycling pages are here and the general index is here.

    Some might direct you towards a book called Cyclecraft but I'd be very wary about using that if you aren't extremely confident on the road.

    A decent lock, obviously, to a good set of bike stands. Loop it through the frame, the front wheel (very easily nicked) and a solid object. D-Locks are probably the most secure but cable locks are available which are as secure and easier to attach through the bits that need securing. Look for a Sold Secure rating for the best locks.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    pathfinder

    pathfinder New Member

    Hi

    Thanks for the informative reply ;) I come from Singapore where the traffic is less threatening than in London. Having seen how london cyclists do it their usual routines on the road effortlessly everyday, I really take my hat off to them.

    I just bought a halfords d lock without knowing anything abt the sold secure rating and worst still, i realised the d lock is only big enough to secure my rear wheel and frame.

    On another note, how do I maintain my bike? The derailleur gears (i think that's what they're called) and the chain set looks complicated enough. In addition, I realise that the brakes r not the conventional v brakes n i can't see the condition of the brake pads.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  4. Bandini

    Bandini Guest

    I am new to maintaining my bike too, and I bought the Haynes manual - but, to be honest asking people on this forum for tips and googling is probably more useful!
     
  5. Norm

    Norm Guest

    Singapore, huh (cue crappy "I went to the East to see a concert" jokes. ;) ) At least they drive / ride on the same side as us, so you won't have to get your head around that as well as everything else.

    D Locks will only ever secure one wheel and the frame, I think most do it on the front rather than rear wheel because it is easier to get away with the front, faster and less oily.

    Maintenance is a toughie. Have you any experience? You can either entrust it to a decent LBS (local bike shop) or try to do it yourself with the aid of a book. I quite like the Fred Milson / Haynes manual as it covers the basics pretty well. You'll also find a whole load of videos on YouTube, although they are of varying quality. A good basic site is Bicycle Tutor, although not everything is covered in great detail, it has most things. Between that and a book, you should be able to do most of it.
     
  6. chrisb1357

    chrisb1357 Über Member

    Welcome to the Forum.

    I have only been cycyling 4 weeks myself and have so far managed to fit new tyres and tubes, Strip down the V brake sysytem and re align the breakes and setup and all this with the help from people on here and youtube videos

    chris
     
  7. Mark_Robson

    Mark_Robson Senior Member

    Don't forget that Google is your friend. There is a video for just about anything you may need help with on Youtube and there are sites like Sheldon Brown and Bicycle Tutor. Also I've no doubt that you will find someone in this forum who will be able to answer any questions that you might have.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    pathfinder

    pathfinder New Member

    yep, i'll check out those videos/resources once i'm done with my school exams season which lasts from now till end of may. For now, I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed and pray that I'll never have to do much maintenance/repair myself. As for fiddling with the gears, I'll head Norm's advice until I'm more experienced and have more time to figure out the workings of the gears.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    pathfinder

    pathfinder New Member

    thanks for the reply btw :tongue:
     
  10. Norm

    Norm Guest

    NP, enjoy! :tongue:
     
  11. wanda2010

    wanda2010 Veteran

    Location:
    London
    Hi Mike, re road experience in London, you might find it useful to contact the company below and discuss any concerns/requirements you have.

    http://www.cycletraining.co.uk/training/

    There may be a charged involved or it may be free depending on what your borough offers.

    I can't offer any maintenance tips as I'm just getting into that area myself ;)
     
  12. OP
    OP
    pathfinder

    pathfinder New Member

    thanks wanda ;)
     
  13. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Location:
    Bristol
    I was told that it was more expensive to replace the back wheel so I lock that and the frame. I've also fitted those skewers that need a special allen key to unlock to make it harder.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    pathfinder

    pathfinder New Member

    Hmmm which skewers are you referring to? Sorry, I'm not familiar with all the bike parts at the moment.
     
  15. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Location:
    Bristol
    The ones that go through the wheel - I'm having a day when I can't remember the names of things ... sort of like a quick release lever that goes through a wheel but without the quick release. It doesn't add tons of security - they would just need the 5 sided allen key to undo it but it prevents the opportunist passer by walking off with my wheel. Means you have to carry it in case you have a puncture.
     
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