The horns of dilemma

1GiantLeap

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jul 1, 2007
9
0
I have been lurking here for a few months and have gained lots from following the many threads - thank you all. Flecc's the Godfather though isn't he!? ;o)

So here's the thing... I am one of those people described in the most recent AtoB magazine - see the Cytronex Trek review - a thirty something with a hot hatchback that needs winkling out of the car. (Actually its just a standard fiesta but lets not split hairs here).

My commute is a 13 mile cycle ride (ie 26 miles per day). I commute from a village to the north of cambridge into the city. Sometimes by car, sometimes by bike. I arrived at my desk this morning soaking wet and with wobbly legs but thats the Fiesta for you!! (Sorry, that was truely diabolical!!) My office is relocating next week bringing the round trip down to a marginally improved 22 mile round trip. I currently use a friends cheap hybrid bike to commute - typically 1 or 2 days per week. However, I feel like I am playing at this and I need to get myself a bike and commit to this cycle lifestyle properly. My problem is I will have nowhere to store a bike in the new office. I am not convinced I could leave any half decent bike locked up safely anywhere in Cambridge. Also, I sometimes need to travel about Cambridge with my work. It is faster and more convenient to do this by bike than car, but again I am concerned about leaving an expensive bike about. I am not minted - my wife and I work for a charity - so any purchase will be a big deal for me. However, I can fully justify the outlay of £1k+ if it means me being on the bike every day.

I am wondering about getting a Brompton SL2 which means I do not need to worry about security as I can take this with me at all times (ie bung it under a desk, take it to other venues etc). However, I fear the commute may be too much on 16" wheels.

I am very tempted by the obvious names - Cytronex Trek, Pro Connect, Ezee Torq, Agattu (in that order) but I fear which ever one I opt for, its likely to attract attention and be nicked.

Metaphorically, I have opened the driver door and have one leg outside the car one the ground but I am still aware how comfy the car seat is...

I would appreciate your thoughts.

1GiantLeap
 

burncycle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 13, 2008
639
0
Sheffield
Hi there.
I worried lots about my new bike getting stolen at first but now if its gonna be, then its gonna be.
My advise is, if you are worried about a £1k bike being nicked then go for the two following options.

1. Dont buy one.
2. Spend some good money on security and get some good insurance on the bike.

I've got a good d-lock, a long cable that goes through both tyres, and another cable that goes through the seat. A 114bd bike alarm.
The bike looks like a christmas tree when its secured.
Good full cover insurance that costed over £100.

Now I sleep better at night and it was money well spent in my eyes.
Some people will say I've wasted money but I think you have to spend this sort of money on a £1400 bike.

hope this helps !
Bob.
 

1GiantLeap

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jul 1, 2007
9
0
Cheers Bob. I think my experience has been coloured by the fact that I have had a few bikes nicked since moving to Cambridge. One a half decent Ridgeback and the others have been cheap and chearful jobs. Too many people make a living from bike theft in this neck of the woods sadly. I think paying the £100 annual insurance bill could do it...Do they specify that you have to use certain locks to claim if the worst happens? Hope you are still enjoying your Kalkhoff btw.
 

burncycle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 13, 2008
639
0
Sheffield
Cheers Bob. I think my experience has been coloured by the fact that I have had a few bikes nicked since moving to Cambridge. One a half decent Ridgeback and the others have been cheap and chearful jobs. Too many people make a living from bike theft in this neck of the woods sadly. I think paying the £100 annual insurance bill could do it...Do they specify that you have to use certain locks to claim if the worst happens? Hope you are still enjoying your Kalkhoff btw.
They say insurance is for the Paranoid.
I work with a woman who has no insurance at all on nothing.
She doesnt believe in it!
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,889
18,837
A commute of that distance on a Brompton would be a bit much after a very short while, no matter how good they are it's not really it's territory.

I can see two options here.

One, follow Bob's advice and rely on multiple security and protection.

Two, assuming your journey is fairly flat which it usually is in your area, a normal light efficient bike. You could tackle this second option on two ways, either a quality bike which means high security again, or getting a light efficient but very cheap bike from one of the discounters. These don't use the best components and often start showing wear problems in two or three years, but at around £150 or so, you can then buy another one. That's not very environmental, but at least the possibility of theft won't prey on the mind so much.

That last option can have a form of security that the Dutch favour, having the bike looking filthy and thoroughly disreputable so that no-one wants it, the quicker the rust sets in, the better the security, and from this point of view a second hand bike is also an option.
.
 

1GiantLeap

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jul 1, 2007
9
0
I want the moon on a stick do I not!? Thanks for reply Flecc. You are right about the Brommie. But the idea of folding the bike up is just so damn handy. I suspect knowing I would have an 'invisible hand' pushing me along at 7:30am on a dark winter's morning is probably the 1 thing that would will ensure I stay on two wheels and do not get tempted back into the car. I need to go for an e-bike of some sort.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,889
18,837
Fair enough. Then it has to be the security route, and it is possible to make a bike thief proof with sufficient locking as Bob has indicated, plus choosing the parking locations for the best security. I say locations, because it's always good practice to rotate the location so that a thief can't plan a theft based on the knowledge that your bike is always in the same place every weekday.
.
 

fishingpaul

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 24, 2007
870
85
If you like the idea of a brompton there is the brompton nano conversion to electric bike,also there is the silverado folding electric bike,i read somewhere on here about a man with a kalkhoff,being impressed with the abilities of his wifes silverado.
 

The Maestro

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2008
296
0
I got my second bike stolen a couple of weeks ago. I bought it because I didn't feel safe leaving my electric Marin anywhere and I intended not spending too much on it, even so I bought a Dawes giro 300 with some faults for 90 quid on ebay. I spent about 60 quid fixing it up and then added a nice carradice sqr saddlebag. It only lasted 3 weeks before being stolen - brick through the back of my mates pug 406 estate window while we were getting a curry. Only left it about 1 hour.

Bringing me onto my point which was in relation to Flecc's dutch strategy. I bought a Schwinn Mesa mountain bike. Actually not a bad bike and about 300 quid when new. So I've covered it in water based emulsion paint and made a real mess of it. I know I can get it off with a bit of acetone as its only a 'weak' paint like a henna tattoo or something. But it looks like a piece of crap and is perfectly good to ride, gears and brakes, everything the same. I am considering writing 'I'm a Pedo' on the side in large letters for added security.
 

keithhazel

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 1, 2007
997
0
I am considering writing 'I'm a Pedo' on the side in large letters for added security.
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even though your painted up bike doesnt "glitter" im sure it may get thrown off a cliff with you still on it if you put that on it..:eek:
 

Danny-K

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 25, 2008
281
0
South West
I am considering writing 'I'm a Pedo' on the side in large letters for added security.
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even though your painted up bike doesnt "glitter" im sure it may get thrown off a cliff with you still on it if you put that on it..:eek:
- Only if he fell foul of a dyslexic vigilante group with specific difficulty recognising the letter 'a'.

Hee hee! Right then, Maestro, that'll mean no riding through the local council estates. :D

Mind you joking apart, do you remember that news report a year or so ago in which vigilante council tenants, fired up by the Sunday papers, looked up a local resident in the phonebook who was listed as a paediatrician and subsequently had to be rescued by the police from the baying mob of Tracy and Kevin's? You couldn't make it up.
 

Andrew harvey

Pedelecer
Jun 13, 2008
188
0
Wyre Forest
www.smiths-cycles.com
If you want a bike that rides well and folds, Airnimal produce a few interesting tools.

I've had a brand new bright yellow Cameleon in my garage for a week now, it's not mine,,,,,,,,,, so I've only snuck out for a few quick blasts.

The verdict absolutely gorgeous.
Mind you for the money it has to be.
It is the sort of bike an American would marry.

The Joeys are a fair bit cheaper, I've ordered one (cheapskate), and they fold , the only question is what sort of motor to use?
 

JohnInStockie

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 10, 2006
1,048
0
Stockport, SK7
I thought I'd read of a Dahon Speed TR electric conversion (cant find one now). I do like the look of the Dahon Speed TR. It the only folder apart from the Brompton that catches my eye for its apparent practicality (the idea being a folding tourer).

Its here

Is this bike any good?

John
 
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Danny-K

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 25, 2008
281
0
South West
I thought I'd read of a Dahon Speed TR electric conversion (cant find one now). I do like the look of the Dahon Speed TR. It the only folder apart from the Brompton that catches my eye for its apparent practicality (the idea being a folding tourer).

Its here

Is this bike any good?

John
I have a Dahon Speed TR, (2007 model). (TR = touring, ie., it's the out and out touring model ) and comfortable as hell! What other folder can you say that about?

In fact if you hang out in the Dahon forum you'll find owners there who sometimes clock up 100 miles a day on it - on a folder! My daily mileage on the TR, although much less, is on a par with my Thorn Audax - a bike specifically built for the long haul. The TR is virtually top of the range and rides like a full-sized diamond framed bike. It's superb, and I love it to bits, looking at it all folded up in the corner right now.

Never heard of the TR with a motor though - only the Ciao. In fact for the money, the motorised Ciao is a bargain when you take into account the delux kit alone from Nanomotors is almost the same in cost as the motorised Ciao bar one or two hundred £.

So, which is better, Dahon or Brompton?
In the folding world, nothing but nothing folds as small as the 16" wheeled Brompton - not even the Dahon. It's also true that no other folder handles and rides like a full-size bike as comfortably as the 20" wheeled Dahon does - not even the Brompton. Yer takes yer pick . . .
 

1GiantLeap

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jul 1, 2007
9
0
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I've not come across the Dahon Speed TR before, althought I have looked at the Birdy Speed. The Birdy is a cracking little bike - in terms of enjoyable ride, decent fold size, good spec and imho it looks the business to boot. I am sure I could handle an 11 mile communte twice a day on one!! They're mad money though and I see they're just gone up in price. Anyone on here got one?
 

halflife

Pedelecer
Jul 12, 2008
33
0
I want the moon on a stick do I not!? Thanks for reply Flecc. You are right about the Brommie. But the idea of folding the bike up is just so damn handy. I suspect knowing I would have an 'invisible hand' pushing me along at 7:30am on a dark winter's morning is probably the 1 thing that would will ensure I stay on two wheels and do not get tempted back into the car. I need to go for an e-bike of some sort.

I can recommend the folding moutain bike route I have a Paratrooper that has been converted with a Heinzmann kit but I know there are other options. A while back there was load of folding mountain bikes (Dahon 2007 models) being sold on ebay.

Halflife
 
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