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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 03-25-14, 07:12 PM   #1
sportsfan266
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Miscellaneous Questions - Bike lock, lights and tubes

I've started riding my bike for a few days and have a couple of questions mostly regarding accessories.

1. What do you guys use to lock your bikes? I have a cable lock right now but with a brand new $700 bike, I'm a little worried about how easy it would be to cut a cable lock. On the other hand a U-Lock might be heavy and I don't know if I want to carry it around (might have to though - just interested what you guys do)

2. Lights - on days that I have been riding, I've been getting in to work later and leaving later because the sun still isn't up early enough. Any advice about lights that people have? Do I need a front and rear light or will a reflector on the back work? Any advice about being visible right before sunrise would be great.

3. Tubes - been looking to find some spare tubes online - I have 700 x 28c tires. I see online 700 x 20/28 tubes and 700 x 28/36 tubes......which ones do I get?

Thanks for your help!

Last edited by sportsfan266; 03-25-14 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 03-25-14, 08:14 PM   #2
Rudz
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You can buy a heavy u lock and leave it at work. I suggest you use two locks in combination though. A sturdy u lock and a thick chain or two u locks. I've had my wheel stolen before, it's not cool.

For the rear light I use a cygolite hotshot, USB rechargeable and bright. On the front I use a magicshine clone with bigger battery and diffuser lens. Both will run about 50 or less total
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Old 03-25-14, 08:27 PM   #3
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Divers say that you don't have to outswim a shark, you only have to outswim your buddy. A similar logic applies to locking bikes. It's not about absolute security, but being secure enough that there are better easier pickings nearby.

So your lock decision is a function of what's popular in your area, and how much more or less attractive your bike compared to others.

Rudz gave you some sound advice, such as leaving the U-lock at work. For about 5 years friends and I left a bunch of heavy high security locks spread around Manhattan, all keyed alike. That gave each of us 20 places to find a lock for our bikes without ever toting a heavy lock. Also, using 2 locks that are entirely different can sometimes foil a thief who's equipped to break one but not the other.

However, better than a lock is negotiating a secure parking place at work. IME you get the most help near the bottom, such as a janitor, groundskeeper, parking attendant, or security guard. They don't have to watch the bike, but simply leaving a bike where it seems to be looked after is a big security boost.

BTW- if you add where you live to your profile, locals can give you the benefit of local insight.
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Old 03-25-14, 08:34 PM   #4
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Abus Bordo Granit .. a folding link lock that is easier to carry than a rigid U lock.
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Old 03-25-14, 08:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsfan266 View Post
I've started riding my bike for a few days and have a couple of questions mostly regarding accessories.

2. Lights - on days that I have been riding, I've been getting in to work later and leaving later because the sun still isn't up early enough. Any advice about lights that people have? Do I need a front and rear light or will a reflector on the back work? Any advice about being visible right before sunrise would be great.

Thanks for your help!
Every State has laws regarding night time safety equipment for bicycles. OK requires a front light and rear reflector.

-Front light(s): You will get all kinds of answers because there is no consensus. There are those who claim that no more than 200 lumens is necessary, while others aren't comfortable without at least double that on low. Plenty of threads here in Commuting and in the Electronics forum on lights.

-Rear: Again, everyone has their opinion, though most people tend to agree that redundancy is a good thing. Also note that every light is bright when viewed at arm's length, but real world performance will vary greatly.
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Old 03-25-14, 09:18 PM   #6
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Hi Sportsfan266, great questions!
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsfan266 View Post
1. What do you guys use to lock your bikes? I have a cable lock right now but with a brand new $700 bike, I'm a little worried about how easy it would be to cut a cable lock. On the other hand a U-Lock might be heavy and I don't know if I want to carry it around (might have to though - just interested what you guys do)
There are one million answers to this question, and all of them correct. What FBinNY said is correct: Lock your bike up so that it is more difficult to steal than others, and the thieves will go to the others. I use two types of locks, a big thick Krypto U-lock and a big thick cable, because I think would-be thieves carry tools for the cable or tools for the U but not tools for both. I also have locks on bike racks all over town: my most frequent Walgreens, the convenience store, a couple other places. Not at work, though, because I bring The Black Knight inside.
Quote:
2. Lights - on days that I have been riding, I've been getting in to work later and leaving later because the sun still isn't up early enough. Any advice about lights that people have? Do I need a front and rear light or will a reflector on the back work? Any advice about being visible right before sunrise would be great.
I'm a believer in light power. However, this is a debate that has gone on and on and on here with no clear winners lol! I have two lights on the front (a NiteRider 650 Lumina and a Cygolite Trion 1300, totaling about 2000 lumens). But before the flames come, I rarely ride full power, especially in the city. Out on a desert road, late at night, just me and the bugs, I use all 2000 lumens. In the city they both are on low, maybe 400(?) lumens, but not irritating to drivers if aimed correctly. During daylight hours the Niterider is on flash. On the rear, 3 blinkies - It depends on which scientist you believe as to whether you should let them blink or run them solid. If you search through lighting threads here, you will see a lot of opinions on lighting, and all are valid.
Quote:
3. Tubes - been looking to find some spare tubes online - I have 700 x 28c tires. I see online 700 x 20/28 tubes and 700 x 28/36 tubes......which ones do I get?
I would think they would work the same, but am not certain . . .
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