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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-28-06, 09:24 AM   #1
Sammyboy
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Keeping a Bike Outside

I'm a homeworker (being a salesman), and I commute into London a couple of times a week for sales meetings. Right how, I'm commuting to my local station on an old 531 tourer, which is great, carries my pannier fine, and doesn't look very stealable. Now, I'm thinking about leaving a bike at the station in London, so that I can ride when I get there too.

Now, obviously, this not only wants to not look stealable, but be so cheap that I don't care if it gets wrecked. I'm thinking an old 10 spd, like a Dawes Lightning or the like - sub 501 level -, but fixed gear, clips and straps on touring pedals, and perhaps the bars swapped out for Nitto Moustache bars, I've got a set of fenders and a rack, which will mean I don't die in the rain, and I can carry my pannier. With one brake, one gear, etc, it would require the minimum adjustment (remember, all maintenance will need to be done out of my pannier, on the spot, with a multitool!). I could carry a can of WD40, and give the drivetrain a spray over when I left it each time, but the only place to lock it up has no cover, so it will get rained on a lot. Anyone have any experience with this? Is keeping it well lubed twice a week gonna be enough? I can probably get an appropriate bike for nothing from Freecycle, so it'll cost me only the price of the bars, and maybe the clips and straps, but am I quickly gonna regret the idea?
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Old 05-28-06, 09:31 AM   #2
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Sammyboy

Have you thought of getting a folder, and bringing it with you on the train? - I have an inexpensive folder that I can put in a normal sized bag, so it just looks like a suitcase or something.
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Old 05-28-06, 09:41 AM   #3
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My commuter sits out in the rain and snow all year long. As long as you ensure that the bearings don't get corroded from the moisture, it should run fine. However, I would not use WD-40 for the chain. It just doesn't last long enough. Try a "wet" mtn bike lube, like Finish Line XC. It should do quite well against the rain, and you'll only have to put a bit on every week or two.
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Old 05-28-06, 10:20 AM   #4
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I would look at getting a folding bike, like a Brompton, I know of a few people who regulary have meetings in London and use a Brompton to get about when in town.
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Old 05-28-06, 12:25 PM   #5
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A Brompton would be perfect, but would also cost several hundred squiddles. By comparison, my "station bike" at this end was free, and my station bike for the other end would be as near free as makes no odds. On top of the cost (I don't have the cash for a Brompton, although I might afford a second hand Bickerton or something from Ebay), there's the fact that a passable full size bike is always better than even a good 20"er, and I want to joust with the traffic and enjoy my riding. Finally, if my several hundred pounds worth of Brompton get stolen or smashed up, I'd be gutted, whereas if my ancient free conversion with £20 worth of bars on it goes, I'll only be mildly perturbed. Finally, the thought of carrying a folder on a train where sometimes I can't even get a seat fills me with fear! The MTB wet lube sounds like a plan though.
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Old 05-28-06, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkrobe
Try a "wet" mtn bike lube, like Finish Line XC.
Indeed; I've been using the same goop for years now, and works great. Specially over the winter and rain months.
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Old 05-30-06, 03:02 AM   #7
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The danger is more from vandalism than theft of the whole bike. If you can find a place that is out of the pedestrian stream then you eliminate the problem of drunken wheel-stompers and bar turners.
Lighting can be a problem. Do you have removable bike lights or do you want to fit a permanent dynamo system.
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