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[personal profile] graafen
I'm becoming more and more convinced that possibly the most reliable form of transport for a post SHTF* situation is a bicycle. They can carry much more weight than a single person can by using panniers and bags, can be hooked up with a trailer for extra haulage, don't require a license, and are pretty damn easy to maintain and repair. As such I'm planning on converting this bike into a full on Bug Out Bike.

What does this entail? Well not much in fairness.

Firstly there is a little repair work that needs doing.

  • I need to shorten the chain. The chain seems to have been replaced at some point and wasn't set to the correct length as such it's way too slack.

  • I'd like to replace the front shocks with rigid forks. Much less to go wrong and easier to ride long distances.

  • I should give the bike a good thorough clean, but that can wait until I've got a week free to give the frame and forks a new paint job of Olive Drab Krylon.

  • The gear shifters definitely need replacing. Right now I have to fiddle to switch down gears.

  • The current wheels need truing, especially the rear one. I'll probably do that today before work.

Aside from maintenance there are some "accessories" that I'd like.

  • 36 spoke touring wheels or 40 spoke tandem wheels. These are much stronger than the standard wheels and will allow much more weight.
  • Racks front and back with two panniers for each. Ideally the front two panniers will be 10L each and the rear ones 20L each, giving me 60L of storage across them without having to use the top of either rack, which can have other larger bags strapped across them. My current BOB (Bug Out Bag) is 45L and comfortably carries my camping gear for three days. 60L will take that and bike spares with no problems.

  • Mudguards. I'd like to replace the current one which is attached to the downtube with one that actually fits over the front wheel. This can't be done until I put rigid forks on. A mudguard on the back would be good too, but both have to work with the racks.

  • A nice sturdy trailer. After the SHTF this bike is going to become my primary mode of transport for myself and equipment/supplies. Being able to carry more is a good thing.

So yeah, not much that I want to do but I still reckon it'll take me a while.

*SHTF may not actually happen. YMMV.

Date: 2011-04-22 08:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd recommend going for full length mud guards,the set I have come with supporting braces to hold the back section of the front guard and the middle and back sections of the rear guard, clearance was enough for my 26x2.10 chunky snow tyres with no issues :P I have a rear pannier on my bicycle too which the mudguards clear nicely so no issues there.

Another recommendation for the BOB will be dynamo powered lights :) Get a set such as these: and then for added resiliance not to mention extra brightness, convert the lights to LED with these: (front) and (rear).

I have the front one in my current bicycle light and the output is astonishing on it :) I'd say nearly 3 times brighter than the stock halogen bulb that came in my light :P LED's take much less current than a bulb so will not affect your pedalling as the dynamo won't be working so hard and will also increase the dynamos life too :) And no batteries to replace after SHTF. I split them into front and rear LED's as that TLE-1F LED bulb is way too bright for a rear light.

With the wheels, look to see if you can either get some carbon wheels or steel ones, these will be vastly stronger than any aluminium equivalent although the steel ones will add some weight to the bike.

And another note for bike tyres, I use a hybrid tyre called a 'michelin wildgripper country'. Fantastic for off road use and the directional tyre has proven great on road even in wet conditions. Try and also get kevlar tyre liners or tyres with a built in kevlar weave as they will also puncture a lot less.

Hope this helps ^^

Date: 2011-04-22 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've been warned off air-free tires. The foam construction means the bubbles are constantly compressing and relaxing, creating a lot of mechanical wear on the foam as well as a lot of heating which also reduces lifetime. There's also the issue that compression isn't spread across the whole of the tire.

I'm intending to use a hub dynamo, but with a custom charge controller so there's a battery backup and possibly a trickle charger from solar cells on the pannier rack.

I'd offer some of my wheels but I suspect you're looking for new.
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