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  1. #1
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    Re-newbie - Dahon Jack on order - what else do I need?

    So I'm not a totaly newbie, I used to commute about a 6 mile trip a few years back on a cheap as chips MTB from Halfords but it got stolen a few years back and not long after work moved.

    I'm now 11 miles from Home and have put a deposit down on the Dahon Jack from Evans Cycles but am not sure what else I'm going to need on Day One.

    I've not got anything from my last foray and for the first few months I plan on taking advantage of the folding-ness and take the bike to the train (I need to get my fitness way up before I can do 11miles each way ) so what else would I want for a mile and a half journey each way other than Lid, Spare tube and Emergency tyre repair kit?

    I'm in Croydon, UK btw.

  2. #2
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    To make your life easier while using the train, I would consider a 20" wheel folder.

    Rafael

  3. #3
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    I'm hoping I don't need to carry the bike on the train that much - the folding requirement is more for storage at home - I'm 3 storeys up and need something a little compact.

    The trains I get allow full size bikes on even during peak time as I travel against the flow.

  4. #4
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    In my experience (or my girlfriends' to be more exact) having the ability to fold is a lot more important that actually having to fold on a london commuter train. She sometimes gets the WAGN train from Kings X to Haringey and never has to fold it, but if some guard got on and got sniffy she could fold it and have no more said. So the 26" size of a jack wouldn't be so much of an issue though on a busy one out of Waterloo at rush hour you may indeed be better off with something a little smaller to avoid all those london scowls as you bray everyone's shins with your pedals... (My GF used to live in Croydon so I know how packed they get - esp at clapham Junc)...

    The other thing about a bigger folder is you may not be able to bring it indoors as much as a smaller bike so you'll need to invest in a decent lock. A credo for locks a friend of mine that's not had a full size bike nicked in london in 15 years is to have a really good lock and a cheap one too. Two locks are just too much hassle for all but the very best theif so they'll go on to the next one. Mercenary I know but it seems to work...

    What else you need?
    Helmet if you agree with them; Maybe a little saddle bag might be an idea if you want to keep dirty lights/multitool/patch kit and spare tube out of your other day to day bag contents. I always carry a plastic bag to put over the saddle I'm leaving it somewhere and it looks like rain.


    Hope that's some help..
    Huw

  5. #5
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    Thanks LittlePixel - thankfully I work outside the M25 so don't have to worry about the horror that is Clapham Junction.

    Saddle bag sounds like a good idea. [check]
    Placcy bag [check]

  6. #6
    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
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    waterproof clothes, mudguards and eye-protection are good (not that I am implying that it rains a lot in the UK)
    only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

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    (well if he was alive today he would have written it)

  7. #7
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    I have to commute before dawn, so a headlight and blinkies are a must.

    My headlight has a blinking mode which is very visible in the daytime.

    The blinkie can stay on when the bike is folded, and the headlight has a quick release.
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  8. #8
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    I forgot to add...blinking headlights (called modulating headlights) are legal during daylight hours on two-wheeled vehicles in California. I'm not sure what the laws are in the UK.
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chop!'s Avatar
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    Hummm! Is it too late to change your order? I would definitely advise a smaller wheeled folder.If you leave any kind of folder outside you'll eventually attract the attention of the light-fingered brigade. As others have stated 20" is about the best compromise (no folder can claim to be perfect, all my folders have their advantages and dis-ads).
    Whatever you choose, give it a while, then get off one or two stops earlier and build your confidence and fitness, or get off halfway, cycle 1/4, stop at charming pub (take your bike in with you! You'll be chatting with the locals in two shakes), have a sherbet or two, then cycle final 1/4!
    Also if you decide to cycle home, if it seems too much, make for the nearest station and jump back on the train! Easy
    Don't get the cheapest waterproofs, make sure they are breathable ones.
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  10. #10
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    You obviously don't visit croydon that often

    The route home definately doesn't include any pubs that can be called charming.

    As for changing my order - it's not too late as I've only put down a deposit to speed up getting one into the shop to try but I would like to get a bike that can cope with some of our more rugged features around town such as the unavoidable pot holes and the tram tracks. The Jack with 26" wheels and Big Apple tyres seemed like the ideal to me.

    We have our own bike racks at work which are constantly guarded both by CCTV and being directly opposite a window so I'd probably not bother folding the bike while at work - just a hefty U lock and remove the seat

  11. #11
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    I am suprised that no one suggested that you have a nice bag for the bike (even the Jack's larger 26 inch wheel size could still be forgiven or overlooked if bagged). It makes people more tolerant of bikes that fold if they are properly covered up and protect the surrounding crowd from accidental grease, water, or dirt contamination.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chop!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_at
    You obviously don't visit croydon that often

    The route home definately doesn't include any pubs that can be called charming.

    As for changing my order - it's not too late as I've only put down a deposit to speed up getting one into the shop to try but I would like to get a bike that can cope with some of our more rugged features around town such as the unavoidable pot holes and the tram tracks. The Jack with 26" wheels and Big Apple tyres seemed like the ideal to me.

    We have our own bike racks at work which are constantly guarded both by CCTV and being directly opposite a window so I'd probably not bother folding the bike while at work - just a hefty U lock and remove the seat
    On the first count, you are wrong, I do know the Croydon area, not well, but I have found some qutie good pubs within an 11 mile radius of that (admittedly mostly souless) town.
    If you are not going to lug it upstairs to your flat then CCTV won't help keep it in your ownership

    So I think it boils down to either a run of the mill Mountain bike for the potholes or a smaller folder, with suspension, for the trains and that would allow you to lug it up three floors.

    Hope whatever you choose works out, and that the cycling bit becomes more attractive come summer, and finally, that you find those nice pubs......just off the beaten track usually!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chop!
    I have found some qutie good pubs within an 11 mile radius of that (admittedly mostly souless) town.
    They're not on my route though - I basically go straight down the A23 Croydon to Redhill.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chop!
    If you are not going to lug it upstairs to your flat then CCTV won't help keep it in your ownership
    That's exactly what I plan to do. There's nothing at all secure in our development and even if there were I wouldn't trust my bike down there. As I mentionned earlier storage at home is the main reason I've plumped for a folder.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chop!
    So I think it boils down to either a run of the mill Mountain bike for the potholes or a smaller folder, with suspension, for the trains and that would allow you to lug it up three floors.
    Why do people have such a downer on the large folders - admittedly they're not as ultra portable as a Brompton or some such but I like the idea of the large wheels.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chop!
    Hope whatever you choose works out, and that the cycling bit becomes more attractive come summer, and finally, that you find those nice pubs......just off the beaten track usually!
    It'll be late summer at the earliest before I can make those kind of diversions, either that or I get merry on the first quarter of the journey.

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