Apr. 13th, 2011 07:41 pm
graafen: (Default)
[personal profile] graafen
Recently I've been thinking about getting a bicycle again. I'm getting more and more peeved off with public transport in this area and I can't really afford to run a car or a motorbike, so a bicycle is looking like the best option.

It will allow me to get to work on time without having to fight with public transport, plus it should make me fitter in the long run. I should end up doing 16-18 miles every 24 hours.

Though I'm hoping to get a cheap 2nd hand one in the next week I may have the option to get a brand new one and kit through the cycle2work program, if my employer takes part this year (should know in June/July).

This also kinda plugs into my survival prep mindset. In an emergency of national proportions a bicycle is going to be the most reliable and efficient means of transport and should be able to carry up to 75kg of stuff strapped to it. Add a trailer into the mix and that adds to 100kg! Sure, I'd have to walk the bike at that point, but it'd still be much easier than trying to carry 100kg of stuff myself. ;D

So my plan is as follows; get a bike and kit it out so that it can be used if the SHTF. This does require some specific bits.

Bike Type: After researching different styles of bikes I've come to the conclusion that a hybrid bike would be best overall. That style is a mid-point between a mountain bike and a road bike and can be used both off and on road without problems.

Wheels: Standard wheels with standard hybrid tires. Very abundant and hard wearing.

Shocks: HAHAHAno. Shocks aren't neccessary or useful for long distance riding over varied terrain, only for short distances over rough terrain. In a life-changing emergency distance travel is more important. Shocks also make the bike less efficient over long distances as some of the energy used to pedal is being absorbed by them. I'll be totally shockless.

Brakes: KISS. I'll be going with caliper or cantilever brakes so that they can be repaired or replaced very easily. Disc brakes are a bit more complicated than I would like.

Gears: I've not decided yet on what type of gears I want, though I would prefer a smaller amount of gears, 10/12 or 6.

Gear Shift: KISS here too. I'd prefer simple handle bar mounted lever shifters

Racks/Panniers: Yes. Front and back racks for panniers and bags, and a trailer too, to maximize my carrying capacity. Though my current Bug Out Kit would not require anywhere near the space I'd have available it's likely that the extra cargo space will be needed for haulage.

A video I saw on YouTube pointed a lot of this out to me but also highlighted that the current urban survival experts are the homeless, which makes sense.

Date: 2011-04-13 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Regarding gear shift-related KISS, the easiest/most robust solution would probably to eschew that sort of thing entirely and go single-speed/fixie. ;) (Although I'd recommend against the latter — in my opinion, they're really mostly useful for trick-biking and track-biking, mostly.)

I also recommend Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, BTW. They have a very thick protective layer — thick enough to push a thumbtack all the way in and still not have it reach the tube, and very resistant to things like broken glass and the like, too. They're a bit more expensive, but they're worth it.

But yeah, all in all — definitely get a bike! It's a lot of fun (unless it rains), and really makes you so much more independent.

Date: 2011-04-13 09:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You won't regret it if you do. :) I'm using Durano Plus tires, myself; these have a somewhat thinner protective layer (3 mm instead of 5, I think, or something along those lines) because they're for racing bikes, but they already work exceedingly well, too. When my bike was new, it took me more than 2200 km until I had my first flat.

EDIT: Ah, and it seems that there's also variants of the Marathon Plus with different treads. I'd imagine that the Marathon Plus Tour would be ideal for your purpose (as it's intended for both on-road and off-road use), and there's also the Marathon Plus MTB.
Edited Date: 2011-04-13 10:00 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-04-13 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, yes, that's pretty neat. :) Not cheap, but neat.

Date: 2011-04-13 11:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ouch. :/

Date: 2011-04-14 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm slowly building up my new bike. My current one is 15yo, is a heavy beast unsuited for road use and has never fitted me right.

I have a properly sized racing frame I grabbed off ebay a couple of years back. Ultralight steel so it'll still be very stiff. I've got some decently weighted steel front forks for it. I've recently acquired a Shimano Nexus-7 hub gear unit which I'm modifying for my needs. I'm aiming at building something between a lightweight roadster/tourer. If I can do long distances on it, it should handle short distances just fine too.
It won't be able to handle much "cargo", but I should aim to travel light.

Fun will be when it comes time to move a couple of the cable-routing braze-ons. That's going to mean stripping paint and getting a brazing torch on the frame.

Currently I'm researching what wheel rims I want and trying to replace the hub roller-brake with some form of dynamo.

Date: 2011-04-14 03:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just think the biggest bit of gear needed for such is a wardrobe full of spandex bodysuits with the padding. ;)

Date: 2011-04-14 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Those are pretty neat. :)


graafen: (Default)

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