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Tempted to Commute - advice please!

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Over The Hill, 25 Mar 2008.

  1. I am looking at a job in London and live in North Hampshire 4.5 miles from the rail station. Train gets me to waterloo then office is 2 miles on near StPancras.

    Hate the thought of commuting and the tube so was looking at bike option for one or both ends of the trip.

    Nice Train people will not take a full size bike so it is a fold up or somehow leave a cheap bike at Waterloo. Seen bike racks but can I leave a bike there over the weekend or overnight??

    Fold up option are they any good for the journey planned? I am used to 20-40 mile leisure cycles on a racing bike. If so any thoughts on inexpensive fold up and what sort (wheel size etc) should I go for in this option??

    Am I OK with a fold up on a train or do they get funny with you - do you have to bung it in a bag?

    Anything else I should consider that I have not looked at above?

    Thanks - I am getting a bit put off the Idea with all the negative posts about problems but guess you keep on doing it so it cannot be all that bad.
     
  2. South West trains(?) let you take a folder without a bag OTH. Once you get fed up with the train cost, delays and racket from other people's phones and lo-fi you will be doing a 'Grand Commute' from home into town ;)
    I have once or twice ridden with a guy who owns a bike shop...he commutes on a Dahon folder and the gearing on that allows him to travel fairly rapidly!
     
  3. Lively

    Lively New Member

    People do leave bikes at Waterloo overnight and over the weekend, usually something older and scruffy to put of thieves. The bike racks get packed; I've seen people have problems getting their bikes out of the bike melee.

    You can get a folder on the train, but sometimes it's a bit of a squash - when there's problems and cancellations, but the same can be said for suitcases.

    Small wheeled bikes are quick off the mark. You'll be fine on the distances you quote - I gather people tour on Bromptons. Take a look at the Dahon range, they don't fold as neatly as a Brompton, but some are a lot cheaper and most have slightly bigger wheels. You need to test ride some to see what suits you best.
     
  4. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Location:
    Behind a desk
    For those distances and with a 4x daily fold plus a bit of carrying, I'd recommend a Brompton.

    I have a Dahon and while I love the speed and rigidity - it almost feels like a full size bike - the extra weight, clumsy fold, and awkward carry really nark me.
     
  5. biking_fox

    biking_fox Über Member

    Location:
    Manchester
    Hah.
    I think they are pretty much all either expensive or very expensive or nearly expensive and crap.

    Try a few, if you can find a bikeshop(s) with some in.

    You'll be folding 4x a day so make sure this is easy. Make sure you're happy with the weight that you'll be deadlifting 1'+ onto the train.

    I suspect the other factors will determine what wheel size you end up with.
     
  6. jmaccyd

    jmaccyd Well-Known Member

    I have a friend who does what you do. He used to leave a cheap bike at Kings Cross but got fed up with random vandalising and the actual placement of the bike rack which was a fair distance from his platform. He bought a Brompton, don't bother with anything else, you will just wish you bought a Brompton! Folds easily and is very ridable, they also sell for a good portion of their price if you change jobs and stop the commute. He also had his Brompton stolen from the 'secure' bike parking at his office, so make sure you have somewhere super safe as they are very nickable machines
     
  7. historyman

    historyman New Member

    jmaccyd is right - don't consider much else except a Brompton. Fast folding + light weight + excellent bag + small folded dimensions. None of the rivals beat any one of those factors. Plus they keep their value.
     
  8. carlpie

    carlpie New Member

    I just caught myself perving at your avatar....
     
  9. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    I go past the odd folder going along at a very tidy clip

    anyway, two miles is barely worth unfolding it and getting on surely
     
  10. Carl, It is Liz Hurley at her best (gone a bit mumsy now sadly)
    Tynan, long walk 2 miles and trying to get the trip down in time as much as I can.
    Aperitif, grand commute - did think about drive in to Kew area and cycle last bit - about 10 miles. may be an option.
    I am a fair weather leisure cyclist at the moment so it is a bit of a big step to go for this. Really not keen on the brainless tube drudge.

    Thanks to all for your feedback, it has given me a lot to go on.
     
  11. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    I know, a bit of a joke

    10 miles is a nice distance, go for it fella, hopefully on a regular bike though

    start off fair weather and you'll be year round in no time
     
  12. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    FWIW, I'd rather cycle 20 mile in the rain than go on the tube these days, or for that matter the train.