Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through London

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Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

Postby Vorpal » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:11 am

Can you carry a change of clothes? preferably in something that won't let them get wet?
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Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

Postby aspiringcyclist » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:57 pm

Vorpal wrote:Can you carry a change of clothes? preferably in something that won't let them get wet?


Well I was intending to get a (waterproof) pannier but I would have to carry the wet clothes inside of it or in the locker at the university. The shoes I was wearing weren't very waterproof but I don't think waterproof shoes would fare much better either. Muddy water splattered as high as the handlebar and saddle if that is significant. I reiterate that it rained for an exceptionally long time so the puddles were probably much larger than would be from ordinary rain.
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Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

Postby Vorpal » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:32 pm

Well... sometimes it's just impossible to stay dry. The only real solution is carrying a change of clothes. Stick them in a couple of layers of carrier bag, or better a bag that seals. You can strap that to a rack or put it in another bag.

This time of year, you can wear shoes that dry quickly, like sandals. They can be worn later into the the autumn by adding something like Sealskinz socks. Otherwise, maybe you can keep a pare pair of shoes (even crocs, or something?) in your locker.
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Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

Postby aspiringcyclist » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:24 pm

Vorpal wrote:Well... sometimes it's just impossible to stay dry. The only real solution is carrying a change of clothes. Stick them in a couple of layers of carrier bag, or better a bag that seals. You can strap that to a rack or put it in another bag.

This time of year, you can wear shoes that dry quickly, like sandals. They can be worn later into the the autumn by adding something like Sealskinz socks. Otherwise, maybe you can keep a pare pair of shoes (even crocs, or something?) in your locker.


To be honest I would probably do that anyway as I wouldn't want to wear the same clothes I cycled in due to sweat and comfort. Cycling shoes as well. I wonder though, if you cycled and your clothes got wet, do you wear the same clothes you changed into on the way back? What if you used cycling clothes? Would you need two sets in rain or do you have somewhere to dry them?

By the way, I have a u lock and would like to get a second lock. Since I can leave the locks there, is there any advantage to a chain over another u lock? I've heard people say you need two separate tools to break different kinds of locks but that doesn't really make any sense. Heavy duty bolt croppers should be able to cut most locks and angle grinders pretty much all of them. Perhaps chains would be more susceptible to bolt croppers and u locks could be attacked with a car jack - but with a good enough lock and locking technique the argument doesn't hold.

Anyway thanks again.

Edit: looking back through this thread I noticed that you also gave this advice. I have the fahgettaboudit mini and use the Sheldon Brown technique. I need something larger for the front wheel and will leave the saddle and post in the locker.
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Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

Postby mjr » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:02 pm

aspiringcyclist wrote:By the way, I have a u lock and would like to get a second lock. Since I can leave the locks there, is there any advantage to a chain over another u lock? I've heard people say you need two separate tools to break different kinds of locks but that doesn't really make any sense. Heavy duty bolt croppers should be able to cut most locks and angle grinders pretty much all of them. Perhaps chains would be more susceptible to bolt croppers and u locks could be attacked with a car jack - but with a good enough lock and locking technique the argument doesn't hold.

As I understand it, if you lock the U low enough on the seat post (and back wheel and stand) then bolt croppers large enough to cut a thick enough bar struggle to get leverage, while the crank hinders smashing the lock mechanism on the floor. That's why ITV Sport's The Cycle Show cheated slightly by cropping U-locks that were dangling loosely around a parking stand and top tube.

That show was using a portable angle grinder and I think they struggled to hold some chains down to cut them. So yes, I think there's an advantage and I'd go for a more versatile chain or even a thickish cable over a second D-lock. If using a chain, remember to lock as few links as needed and not always the whole thing - that's why rubbery-coated links are better than a sheathed cable. It also gives you the option of some (less but some) protection in safe-ish places with no good parking stand that a D can fit on.
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Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

Postby mjr » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:09 pm

mjr wrote:If using a chain, remember to lock as few links as needed and not always the whole thing - that's why rubbery-coated links are better than a sheathed cable.

OK, have I missed something or is no-one selling these any more?
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Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

Postby aspiringcyclist » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:21 pm

mjr wrote:
aspiringcyclist wrote:By the way, I have a u lock and would like to get a second lock. Since I can leave the locks there, is there any advantage to a chain over another u lock? I've heard people say you need two separate tools to break different kinds of locks but that doesn't really make any sense. Heavy duty bolt croppers should be able to cut most locks and angle grinders pretty much all of them. Perhaps chains would be more susceptible to bolt croppers and u locks could be attacked with a car jack - but with a good enough lock and locking technique the argument doesn't hold.

As I understand it, if you lock the U low enough on the seat post (and back wheel and stand) then bolt croppers large enough to cut a thick enough bar struggle to get leverage, while the crank hinders smashing the lock mechanism on the floor. That's why ITV Sport's The Cycle Show cheated slightly by cropping U-locks that were dangling loosely around a parking stand and top tube.

That show was using a portable angle grinder and I think they struggled to hold some chains down to cut them. So yes, I think there's an advantage and I'd go for a more versatile chain or even a thickish cable over a second D-lock. If using a chain, remember to lock as few links as needed and not always the whole thing - that's why rubbery-coated links are better than a sheathed cable. It also gives you the option of some (less but some) protection in safe-ish places with no good parking stand that a D can fit on.


If you watch this video (around 6:40) it looks like low locks still allowed them to have leverage. With the angle grinder, are you saying your links should be loose so that they move and make it difficult to cut?

I don't know the type of chain you are referring to. Generally, with the larger chains, you can only use the end links.
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Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

Postby mjr » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:43 pm

aspiringcyclist wrote: If you watch this video (around 6:40) it looks like low locks still allowed them to have leverage. With the angle grinder, are you saying your links should be loose so that they move and make it difficult to cut?

If you mean about 7 minutes in, it looks like they're using small bolt croppers to get in that low and attacking the weaker chain links rather than the thicker D locks like the Kryptonite New York Fahgeddaboutit. I see what you mean about only being about to use the end links and soft-coated chains being unavailable now. It looks to me like things have gone backwards there.

Yes, I'd want links that can move. Put the thief's fingers at risk holding the link still! :twisted: From the looks of it, if I was buying today, I'd lock just enough of a chain around front wheel, down tube and stand, probably with a motion-alarmed padlock that I put around something like a mudguard stay too. Make it harder for them to ride away without attracting attention! :twisted:

But this is mostly guesswork. I've attacked a few locks after I replaced them to see how they fail, but I don't steal bikes. I've not yet had one nicked to be left with an example of a real-world dead lock.
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Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

Postby aspiringcyclist » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:50 pm

mjr wrote:If you mean about 7 minutes in, it looks like they're using small bolt croppers to get in that low and attacking the weaker chain links rather than the thicker D locks like the Kryptonite New York Fahgeddaboutit. I see what you mean about only being about to use the end links and soft-coated chains being unavailable now. It looks to me like things have gone backwards there.

Yes, I'd want links that can move. Put the thief's fingers at risk holding the link still! :twisted: From the looks of it, if I was buying today, I'd lock just enough of a chain around front wheel, down tube and stand, probably with a motion-alarmed padlock that I put around something like a mudguard stay too. Make it harder for them to ride away without attracting attention! :twisted:

But this is mostly guesswork. I've attacked a few locks after I replaced them to see how they fail, but I don't steal bikes. I've not yet had one nicked to be left with an example of a real-world dead lock.


Those are weaker chains but still pretty expensive.

I'm a bit confused. You say you want the link to move but you also want to lock 'just enough chain'. Doesn't that mean the chain won't move as it is tight fitting?

The thing is the chains of comparable strength are more expensive than the u locks.
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