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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    Sorry man, but I don't see how a 10-year old supermarket bike is helpful to the OP. I'm simply stating that in the 350-550 commuter bike pricepoint one would expect a 7-speed IGH, front wheel dynamo, fenders, racks, LED lights, bell and hydraulic disc/rim brakes. As for people currently riding a 10-year old bike, it definitely happens, but isn't useful for the non-bicycle-mechanic OP.

    Also, most German do scrap their bikes after 10 years, especially if they live in an urban area where the bike goes unprotected. In a village, sure they'd keep it.
    All, thanks for your thoroughness in thinking this through.

    My situation is very much that which is described by acidfast above - the IGH, dynamos, panniers, bell/horn etc and although I have some knowledge of bicycle maintenance, anything exceeding 10 years seems too much work for me.

    I've noticed there are a grand total of TWO VSF F.M. suppliers in the UK and I've enquired but now also considering whether I could purchase the same bike for cheaper (brand-new, or excellent-condition second hand) in Germany.

    Thanks again, Katy

  2. #27
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    (P.S. wish I could 'rep' you all in some way, you've been too good to me)

  3. #28
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMixte View Post
    All, thanks for your thoroughness in thinking this through.

    My situation is very much that which is described by acidfast above - the IGH, dynamos, panniers, bell/horn etc and although I have some knowledge of bicycle maintenance, anything exceeding 10 years seems too much work for me.
    Note: The type of bikes I recommended were purchased new, and I am sure still can be. The prices mentioned were new bicycle prices. I did not recommend buying 10 year old bikes and don't know that anybody did on this thread.

    However if you want a more expensive bike to do the same thing I am sure they can also be found, and certainly acidfest7 will be glad to point some out that have a bicycle store provenance.

  4. #29
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    i just returned from a weekend of cycling, drinking and eating in Bavaria

    you should really wait to buy the bike until you're in Germany. there are many cheaper brands than VSF, but i think over the long-term you'll save the money with the VSF unless you do all the work yourself (real bicycle mechanics have an apprenticeship and a master/meister will charge 30-40€/hr and most shops have at least one meister ... to get the cheap apprentices for labor). i think a bike from LIDL/ALDI/REAL/HIT/TOOM (supermarkets) can be had for €200-€400. However, a set of decent commuting tires, like those on the VSF, run €60-€80/pair and that alone would make up most of the cost difference. The alternative would be to burn through 3-4 sets of the cheaper supermarket-quality tires. This also assume that your time has no value.

    also, if you're in Hamburg proper, you'll be in a flat rather than a house, which causes a different set of issue with bike maintenance (you may have a room in the basement to do work on the bike, if you want)

    personally, i'd buy the VSF, a lock and a helmet (once in Germany) and move into a flat in the trendy part of Hamburg and enjoy life.

    my recommendation for checking out a VSF was just to see what they look like (I'm not sure how often you pass by the VSF dealers ... there are a few places in London that carry VSF)
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  5. #30
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    You know what part of Hamburg you'll be in? I lived very near the south end of Alster Lake, near the Crown Plaza hotel. Be sure to take a leisurely ride around the Stadtpark in the summer, it's beautiful!

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
    You know what part of Hamburg you'll be in? I lived very near the south end of Alster Lake, near the Crown Plaza hotel. Be sure to take a leisurely ride around the Stadtpark in the summer, it's beautiful!
    Hello! Providing I can financially fund myself, I'll probably opt for something central if i can but need to commute to the south of the river each day. Have stayed very central before in a hotel in town but just in the process now of looking at a few districts as I'll move at the end of this year (cold!!) I would hope it is bike friendly to get to work and back.

    Looking at BikeFix as a source for a new VSF but not sure if I should buy it in the UK or wait until I'm in Hamburg.

    K x

  7. #32
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    Thanks especially on your comments about just going with the flow and living the life. I'm a little scared but excited at the same time!

  8. #33
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    ... mandatory magnet driving flashing light required in CPH?..
    were that true , that would explain Reelight..

    now in other sectors. in the states, it is possible
    to grease the system with enough campaign funds to pull-off
    having a maker of something gerrymander a way to get it compulsory.
    just wouldnt be bike lights..

  9. #34
    imi
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    HELP! Hamburg, Germany Commuter Bike - Which One?

    There are many good Local Bike Shops in Hamburg. Look around for a couple of days and I'm sure you'll find a LBS that suits your needs and "style".
    Buying a bike from an LBS might initially be a bit more expensive, but once you're a customer you may well find the after-sales service invaluablle.

    A lot of bikes get stolen in Hamburg. Personally I wouldn't leave a new(ish) bike on the street overnight there.

    Hamburg is almost totally flat, the one exception I can think of is coming up from the Elbe (Docks/Hafenstrasse) to Altona, but even that's just a short hill.

    Oh, there are even Bike co-ops where you can use tools to do your own repairs, get advice etc...
    https://www.google.se/search?q=fahrrad+selbsthilfe+hamburg&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari
    Last edited by imi; 03-12-13 at 06:27 PM.

  10. #35
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    Another couple advices here from a Hamburg commuter.

    Streets in Hamburg may be bumpy and from the early fall and untill the end of the winter they also get quite dirty, especially with all the crap that falls from the trees and dirt mixed with salt in the winter... So good fenders and kind of widish street tires (32-42mm) with a bit of profile make a lot of sense.

    In my opinion used bikes are kind of overpriced in Hamburg. If you are there for more than just few months and not ready to invest much time in looking for a good deal then it totally makes sense to buy a new one and sell if afterwards, during the summer season people are ready to pay quite some $$ (it's plain crazy how much people are ready to pay here to save only a few bucks).

    I don't know where exactly you'll be commuting on the South side, but there is some elevation change close to the river banks on the southern side (Harburg). So 7-8 gears make sense for most people. Otherwise three would be enough.

    Personally i would go for a proper mixte frame bike as they look way cooler than a typical utilitarian step though city/trekking bikes. But new ones are rather hard to find, you'd have to look for a good deal on the aftermarket. In the area of Altona/Sternchanze (probably same for St. Pauli, etc) i see quite some shops with rather cool looking bicycles and during this winter some of them had interesting deals. But it all depends what you want from a bike.
    Last edited by mikhalit; 03-12-13 at 06:36 PM.

  11. #36
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    And then there are also bikes like Cube Hyde Pro, kind of fast and light but still pretty durable. And about 2-4 kilos lighter than a typical commuter. Normally around 600-700 euros which isn't bad for a speedy commuter. Rack, fenders and dynamo lighting will result in another 200 euros, but can be bought cheaper off ebay.

    Last year I was helping a friend to find a good and not too heavy ladys bike (she was looking for the one with derailleurs not IGH) on ebay and the prices were between 200 and 400 euros.
    Last edited by mikhalit; 03-12-13 at 06:59 PM.

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