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If you were buying a bike… May 8, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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…what would you get?

I’ve an eight year old Specialised Globe hybrid which has been excellent, but is now costing more to keep on the road than it would to replace it. So I’m curious what people would recommend as a replacement? My local bike shop has Focus, Marin and Giant. I can use the Cyclescheme but being conservative at say three price points, €500, €750 or €1,000 and accepting that I’m a cheapskate but wants whatever it is to last another eight years or more, any thoughts? All advice really appreciated.

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1. Michael Carley - May 8, 2016

A couple of years after my first Cyclescheme bike was paid off, I got another one on the same system. It’s a Surly Disk Trucker (the kind of thing you might ride around the world). Not cheap (1200 of HM pounds) but very good value. It’s given me no trouble I didn’t deserve and has tolerated fifty miles a week of commuting with a lot of that being a steep hill on the way into work.

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Michael Carley - May 8, 2016

As it happens I passed my previous bike, a Trek FX 7.3, onto a mate and it’s working perfectly despite now being six years old and unused for just over two.

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WorldbyStorm - May 8, 2016

Cheers, good to know.

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2. sonofstan - May 8, 2016

I’ve a bianchi road bike, light but not so specialised that it doesn’t do for ordinary commuting. Comfortable and comes in a 60cm frame size so doesn’t do in your back and I guess important since you’re as tall as me. Cost me 700 sterling via the cycle to work scheme here. To be honest though, I sort of prefer the ancient Peugeot I have in Dublin and stress less about locking it in the street since it only cost me 80e via gumtree

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Michael Carley - May 8, 2016

This is getting a bit Cedar Lounge Clarion Cycling Club …

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sonofstan - May 8, 2016

And probably confirming a whole raft of Michael O’Leary fan club prejudices

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WorldbyStorm - May 8, 2016

Heheh… yeah. Well, what of it?🙂 Thanks for that too.

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Michael Carley - May 8, 2016

Do you have trouble clipping tofu-based sandals into SPD pedals?

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WorldbyStorm - May 8, 2016

I will!

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3. LeftAtTheCross - May 8, 2016

I don’t commute by bike but I’m doing 130km a week in the evenings and weekend. I got a B’TWIN Triban 500 at Christmas up in Decathlon in Belfast, GPB299. You can get it with drop or flat bars. I can’t vouch for the longevity obviously at this stage but as lowish price bikes go they come with very good reviews.

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WorldbyStorm - May 8, 2016

Brilliant, that’s another one for the list.

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4. An Cathaoirleach - May 8, 2016

Has the tax subsidy pushed up the price of bikes, or have people opted to buy more expensive models?

I was involved with the original legislation & there was considerable opposition to it at the time on the basis of deadweight & abuse. I thought it was a good idea at the time, allied with the treatment of Public transport passes.

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WorldbyStorm - May 8, 2016

I don’t know. Those are very good questions you ask.

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LeftAtTheCross - May 8, 2016

I suspect a bit of both. Certainly very few people would have splashed out a grand on a bike years ago. As SOS says, people had Peugeots and Raleighs back in the day, so people maybe buy to fit the limit of the tax saving and get fancy bikes as a result. But there’s definitely some price gouging going on. Santa brought the eldest a bike at Christmas to save her bussing it up in the big smoke to college. The bike was sourced online and the same model was spotted after Christmas in Wheelworx out near Liffey Valley for about 50% more than Santa paid. Just one example. Having said that it is of course good to shop local for stuff. Mind you, I bought brake blocks yesterday in Navan for €16 for four. Similar are on Wiggle for GBP2.99. So the shopping local comes at a cost.

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5. sonofstan - May 8, 2016

I know a lot of people who have used the schemes here in the UK and at home -equally, a lot of them don’t use the bike to get to work but for recreation while continuing to commute by car.

The draw back of the scheme is that practically it’s only of use to those who work full time for a single employer. Someway of extending it to the under- , self- and unemployed would be great since they’re the ones who are likely to struggle to buy even a cheap bike. At the moment, it’s a bit of a middle-class subsidy.

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LeftAtTheCross - May 8, 2016

That’s an argument that Conor McCabe made a couple of years ago alright. I have to say it influenced my thinking when i was getting my bike back at Christmas. Btw apparently the scheme is available to the self employed. Oo rang revenue to ask and explained my situation, teleworking etc, and they said if I used it to collect mail from the local post office that was enough to qualify. Gotta love the Revenue 😊

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6. ar scáth a chéile - May 9, 2016

For a short Dublin city commute, which I think is what you have WBS, with all the potholes and drains and ruts involved, and occasional kerb mounting to avoid obstacles, I reckon you need to stick with the bigger tyres of the hybrid. The ideal is to have your two bikes – one for the commute and the road bike for MAMIL pleasure cycling.
Same as yourself, I have the Specialised Globe, which I got second hand, and it’s the perfect horse for my inner city course. My road bike is a Tifosi Aluminium – with upgraded wheels and gears. It’s served me well since 2009, including getting through the Wicklow 200 and the Sean Kelly a few years back. Am trying to get back into more regular MAMIL cycling – and the spin up the Hill of Howth is great for clearing the head in the evening. Am not doing enough to justify a carbon and I’m a little bit wary of the consumer fetishism which drives some to be upgrading every second year. That said, I’d kill for one of those light blue Bianchi carbons.

Pace Micheal O Leary and his calls for my execution, the bicycle has to be to one of the greatest inventions ever.

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sonofstan - May 9, 2016

Can I suggest ‘MALABL’?

‘middle aged lefties in anything but lycra’

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ar scáth a chéile - May 9, 2016

Over 20km and it has to Lycra – easily reconciled with leftism …and, fashion if you’re worried about that sort of thing – it tends not to matter struggling up the Sally Gap.

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Gewerkschaftler - May 9, 2016

For summer I’ve recently become more a fan of loose light mountainbike shorts with padded panties.

But each to her/his own cycle-fetishwear!

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ar scáth a chéile - May 9, 2016

there’s a fair few references to cycling in the literature on
1916 and the revolutionary period. I recall that some young fellow was sent by Pearse or Connolly on his bike to give a mesasge to the volunteers in Wexford – (think its in Gene Kerrigan’sbook, The Scrap ) and he had to do an overnight treak detouring westwards to avoid detection. Ernie O Malley’s memior has a few references to long distance cycling too if I recall correctly. The miles put it by those guys without our modern fancy cycling gear was heroic. Cycling ain’t not just a middle class leisure fad – it has real pedigree!

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ar scáth a chéile - May 9, 2016

double negative at the end – yez know what I mean

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Gewerkschaftler - May 9, 2016

Absolutely – and the roads were a damn sight worse then. Even in the 70s country people used to think nothing of cycling twenty miles up country roads to a dance and back again.

They were people with posteriors and knees of iron!

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WorldbyStorm - May 9, 2016

Thanks ar scáth a chéile, that’s very handy too. The old Specialised is good isn’t it? But mine is like an aircraft, so much has been replaced that I have to wonder is it the same bike I bought all those years back.

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ar scáth a chéile - May 10, 2016
7. Gewerkschaftler - May 9, 2016

Because of thieves I tend towards second-hand bikes that look not so great but function.

So with poor roads I’d get a second-hand bike and equip it with with:

A good strong lightish frame

If you’re using it for town only consider one of the cheaper 8/7-speed Shimano internal gear sets. Otherwise a decent derailleur set. For town you could consider only a wide range of back gears.

Don’t bother with disk brakes – good quality direct pull or caliper rim brakes are better.

Don’t forget at least 40 yoyos worth of u-lock – Abus or Cryptonite.

Thickish Schwalbe Marathon-Plus tyres. These are brilliant – Berlin is scattered with glass and I ride over shards and chunks of metal every day or so and I’ve had (touch wood) no punctures in the last years. They are somewhat heavier because of their puncture protection plastic but worth it in terms of time spent / sureness of getting there.

My two cents.

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Gewerkschaftler - May 9, 2016

… in the last year. They’re not that good – I’ve had three punctures during a life-time of over three years. 7,000 km+ per year.

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Gewerkschaftler - May 9, 2016

Actually on reflection I’ve described practically an entire bike. I meant get a second-hand bike with some of those components and then pimp it.

But perhaps the subsidy doesn’t recognise the concept of re-use?

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WorldbyStorm - May 9, 2016

No it doesn’t unfortunately. But I deliberately keep things much longer than is suggested in order to get the best out of them and not waste stuff. Will keep in and the tyres too.

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8. Joe - May 10, 2016

Private ownership is theft. I gave up privately owning bicycles because they kept getting robbed.

Sign up to the Dublin Bikes scheme. The Labour Party’s greatest achievement. PS: Drink Coca Cola zero.

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9. ar scáth a chéile - May 10, 2016

Joe you need to have something very modest looking for knocking around town and leaving outside the pub or the Teacher’s Club or whereever the lefty meeting is. The snazzy bike ( or commodity fetish item) for the trips up the hillls should never to be left outside alone.

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