The essential guide for new commuters

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by jonny jeez, 3 Jun 2010.

  1. RoubaixCube

    RoubaixCube ~Tribanese~

    London, UK
    dont know if this has been mentioned yet but perform a tyre inspection after or before every ride. A few nights ago i did my first ever one on my Duranos and i have literally picked out small but sharp stones and bits of glass that have become embedded in the tyres with a small screw driver. I have also noticed the odd small deep hole that has gone right into the blue puncture protection layer.

    Needless to say, the tyres are still good but I cant help worrying about having to stop at the side of the road with a puncture - I always roll with one spare inner tube at least so if the inevitable happens then i wont be completely stranded.

    Im a careful cyclist. If i see glass on the tarmac then i'll try to avoid cycling right over it. Puncture protection doesnt make tyres invincible.
    classic33 and jonny jeez like this.
  2. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    It's a good idea to do it sometimes, plus whenever you see or feel something in the tyre, but what commuter makes time to do it every ride?
    summerdays likes this.
  3. RoubaixCube

    RoubaixCube ~Tribanese~

    London, UK
    a tyre inspection is hardly going to take you more than an hour. come home, have a shower, put the kettle on and go get a bright torch and slowly rotate each wheel around once or twice under the light of the torch to make sure there are no small sharp foreign objects embedded in it. If there is then dig them out or super glue up small cracks. you'll be done before your water has even come to the boil.

    Im getting into a habit of checking at least after ride home or every other day. Hardly a time consuming process as you make it out to be.
    classic33 likes this.
  4. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    I did, and I was doing it eight times a day. Working split shifts at the time.
    Quick check can save time later.
  5. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    Not an hour, but a good five minutes to look properly, what with the gymnastics of holding the bike up and looking behind/below the rear mudguard (the front wheel is easy, granted), plus time to hoick out anything found. When commuting, either I'm going to work, so I want to get on and don't want to start riding or working with messy hands, or I'm going home and want to get on/in.

    But I stand corrected: some commuters clearly do this dance every time :eek:

    Oh please no, not the super glue - a fine way to ruin a tyre with hard lumps. Use rubber.

    It might, but it probably only wastes time now, unless you're running tyres that stick rubbish to them like softer Spesh ones.
  6. RoubaixCube

    RoubaixCube ~Tribanese~

    London, UK
    I apologise. I didnt know that some people found it so hard to lift one side of their bike up a few mm of the floor and slowly rotating the wheel. I also apologise for wasting 5mins of your precious time to save you 10mins or maybe more of fumbling with punctured tyres and inner tubes at the side of the road as some tyres are exceptionally hard to remove and put back on the wheels.
    classic33 likes this.
  7. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Barmy in Barming

    I do, before or after every commute and I have full mudguards.
    It's doesn't take more then a couple of minutes.
    classic33 likes this.
  8. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    Are you always so sarcastic? It's not the lifting, it's the lifting while looking under the bottom of the rear mudguard that is the slow/difficult action. Easy if on a workstand but tedious in a cycle park.

    None of mine are harder than 10 minutes, at least not with my levers :shrug: - and if I need it fixed quicker, there's always the sealant canister. 5 minutes a day to save 10 minutes every couple of months doesn't seem like a great trade.
  9. 2clepto

    2clepto Guest

    "if I was on a duel carriageway I would always hold primary in the inside lane to encourage motorists to overtake in the outside lane, and to stop people squeezing past in the inside lane (while undertaking someone in the outside lane)." i ride in a city everyday and i would never do this. i rarely ride on dual carriageways but if i do its outside of rush hours and its a meter from the kerb or so.

    listening is they key for me. and looking back. for instance, if there is a lot of traffic sound coming from the rear and it sounds say up to 200 meters off ill look back quick and if both lanes are being used by vehicles ill move in closer to the kerb. if the sounds are very close behind because i haven't paid attention for ten or 20 secs ill just move into the kerb. drivers come by close, there is space for everyone (slim but safe imo) and as well as my own safety i dont want to cause vehicles to crash through dodging me in primary if they haven't see me you know. avoiding shocking inexperienced or inattentive drivers is my aim.

    on a bike, its quite easy, if your a driver to understand what a vehicle is doing behind, with respect to them slowing, descending the gears, braking sounds sometimes, engine changes in tone, to know if a vehicle is slowing behind me readying to move into the outside lane once the faster car has passed themselves and me.

    I just dont trust some drivers enough to be ready to move into the outside lane once they've seen me, if im riding primary. their previous collective driving doesn't warrant trust, they've got music blaring, chatting to friends, texting, kids in back, rushing to work and on and on.

    sorry for criticizing im just reading through some threads.

    edit spelling.
    Last edited: 1 Feb 2016
    jonny jeez likes this.
  10. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    While I disagree with various bits of advice from other posters to this thread, I agree with that quote from @thomas about dual carriageways. I'm pretty slow compared to most but I hold primary in the left lane in such situations UNLESS the lane is so wide (>5.3m) that my dynamic envelope (1m width) plus a safe passing gap (1.5m) plus a typical car's width (3m) fits in before the centre line - that's 5.5m but I'd be OK with 20cm overhang of the shoulder line. Riding a metre from the kerb makes too many nobber motorists think they can squeeze past and I suspect that people riding that far left in dodgy-width lanes is part of why sideswipes are a top ten cycling collision type.

    But you can also get to recognise the sound of an approaching motorist who is going to have a go at squeezing past in-lane regardless and swerve to the kerb before they make contact, but that's the time to move left IMO, not anything that can be mistaken as signalling encouragement to pass.
  11. darrentaytay

    darrentaytay Active Member

    Brilliant and very helpful document, great effort.

    Thanks for this
    jonny jeez and Ganymede like this.
  12. CrackPuffin

    CrackPuffin Member

    I really liked this read - though now I am panicing about crashing into someone or being crashed into when I am on my bike - any advice of insurance and what I really need. I commute about 24.2 miles a day, 5 days a week for work and the odd weekend ride for fun. Got a Hybrid Trek FX 7.3 2013 model.
    jonny jeez likes this.
  13. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    Ganymede likes this.
  14. CrackPuffin

    CrackPuffin Member

    Thanks for this response and the one of my own post! Helped a lot!
  15. jade1981

    jade1981 Member

    South London
    I'm not a new cycling commuter (6 months since my electric bike purchase) but I will say i'm always learning something new on my trips to and from work and I think safety is so so important when it comes to cycling particularly at rush hour times like I do, however it hasn't put me off I just think the best thing to do is raise awareness of safety when cycling really liked this! :bicycle::bravo:
    jonny jeez likes this.
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