New to commuting - looking for a positive start

wassupmyhappy
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 11:44 am

New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby wassupmyhappy » Mon May 16, 2016 11:54 am

Dear all,

been lurking for a while. lots of info on here. the biking world seems pretty complex.

going to start a 20km round trip commute in the coming weeks and looking to get a bike that i will love and use often. live in inner sydney and not looking to do huge weekend rides .

went to omafiets in redfern - liked the shop - loved this bike - https://omafiets.com.au/collections/foc ... anet10belt

Is this too much? i know its a drop bar which many of you would not recommend. what other brands/stores should i be exploring?

thanks

Sparx
Posts: 232
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:57 pm

Re: New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby Sparx » Mon May 16, 2016 12:50 pm

Awesome to hear about more people commuting - I hope you love it!

I started out on a bike very similar (Avanti Inc 3). It served me well for a couple of years. There are a few pro's and cons of belt drive bikes imo.

Pros:
Low maintenance (just change the oil in the hub every 5000km for my Alfine 11)
Quiet
Extremely reliable

Cons
Heavy
Can be difficult to change a rear wheel puncture - on my bike was a bit of a nightmare getting wheel off and belt back on)
Hubs are expensive if they do eventually wear out - mine did about 22 000km before it started making funny noises and it wasn't really economical to replace.

I've gone to a derailleur bike (also a flat bar) and I think I prefer it, though I did enjoy my time with the belt and hub.

ianganderton
Posts: 286
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:33 pm
Location: Eastern Suburbs, Sydney

Re: New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby ianganderton » Mon May 16, 2016 3:50 pm

I have a chain rather than belt version of that bike. It's excellent for around town

I was in Omafiets the other day talking to them. Good shop, they know there stuff

Here is my take

All bikes are a compromise of one sort or another.

For a city utility bike I wanted something efficient but tough. Something that will cope with getting locked to street furniture, understated so it doesn't attract attention. Simple and reliable.

The focus urban bikes are all these. The ride position is very functional. I can be fast but my head is up enough I can see easily. Brakes are excellent and the IGH has enough gearing range for the city whole being very very reliable.

The only downside is the hub is heavy and because it's far back from the centre of the bike it's quite noticeable.

And that's the compromise. Excellent simplicity and reliability for a bit of weight that I sometimes notice

Belt drives apparently need tensioning just so. Too little and they slip, too much and the bearings suffer quickly

I've added Dynamo lights to our city bikes. 100% worth it. Fit and forget use ability. I notice they have those at Omafiets

I love mine. Would 100% recommend one as a workhorse bike for town. I do 30km a day on mine commuting plus other journeys
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Thoglette
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Re: New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby Thoglette » Mon May 16, 2016 3:55 pm

wassupmyhappy wrote: looking to get a bike that i will love and use often.

That's the key right there. Ride it before you buy and make sure you do love it.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

eldavo
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Re: New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby eldavo » Mon May 16, 2016 4:29 pm

You can always be a polygamist ;)
N + 1 ... 25 ...

Zippy7
Posts: 229
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 8:33 am
Location: Sydney, NSW

Re: New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby Zippy7 » Sat May 21, 2016 11:20 am

Hi there.

It's great that you want to join the world of commuting. I started commuting about 3 years ago and my intentions were very similar to yours (I'm a 12/13km commute each way).

Depending on your budget, you could consider buying a cheaper bike and ride it for a while to figure out what you like/don't like.

I'm on my 4th commuter bike, and I'm generally pretty happy with it (not looking to change now).
I bought new from a local bike shop, and then sold the bike on gumtree after about 6-12 months once I knew what I didn't like and wanted to try.

For your first bike at least, I think it's better to buy from your local bike store to get them to help you get a bike that fits you well. Fit is much more important than features/specs. You can worry about specs later...

Do you have a secure lockup at work? Ours is a secured cage where you hang the bike by the front wheel - a heavy bike just makes life difficult.

Good Luck.
Successful trades : Rheicel, Je, wgc138, 2ndeffort, celeste boy, rodneycc

ironhanglider
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Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: Middle East, Melbourne

Re: New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby ironhanglider » Sun May 22, 2016 10:06 pm

A couple of thoughts:

- don't ride flat out. If you have a typical commute with traffic lights etc. then the time taken for the commute will vary more according to traffic conditions than it will by whatever amount of effort you put in. IOW riding flat out will make you hot and sweaty, and increase the likelihood of crashes, but is unlikely to be significantly faster than having an easy ride & good luck with traffic.
- panniers are better than backpacks or other bags
- mudguards make wet roads much more viable
- avoiding punctures is much more important than a 'good feeling' tyre, or one that has 6W less drag. Stopping for a flat costs you more time than you could possibly save with even the best race tyres
- good lights are worth spending good money on
- one full pannier is less susceptible to 'pannier suck' than two virtually empty ones
- organise yourself, 5 min lost in transition from work to ride cannot be regained on the road
- check your tyres at lunchtime, It is much easier to deal with then than at the end of the day
- use Strava, not a speedo. Unless part of your route puts you in danger of breaking the speed limit, distractions like bike computers are best avoided. Stava can record your ride for you to examine later if you feel that way inclined, more to the point it has the capacity to record the distance that the various components have survived for. This can help you plan your replacement parts as you wear stuff out.
- be mechanically competent. Being self sufficient with regard to maintenance will save you time and money.
- have a quiet bike. Identify and solve all rattles, squeaks, knocks etc as soon as they occur.

Cheers,

Cameron
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amigo
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Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 6:21 am

Re: New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby amigo » Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:45 am

I would thinks about mudguards first of all. Because i prefer to keep my clothes clean. I am not sure that you can find good mudguards for Focus Planet 1.0.
Check out my cycling adventures on YouTube

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Mububban
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Re: New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby Mububban » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:59 am

Choosing to start commuting as winter approaches will test your resolve :) I base my commuting days around the weather. I can handle the cold with layers of clothing, but if it's going to rain I'll drive my car. I have to drive at least once a week anyway to bring in new clothes and lunches/snacks for the week. Every day I ride is a 20% reduction in weekday car use :)
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

wassupmyhappy
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 11:44 am

Re: New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby wassupmyhappy » Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:58 pm

Thanks all for the great tips - really appreciate the long and short posts.

Ended up going for the Focus Planet 1.0 Belt - its been a fantastic bike so far. The Shimano Alfine 8-speed has been top notch - although at times i just have to cruise down hills - doesn't bother me too much. i'm fortunate my commute is 12km round trip

Really enjoying my daily commute , even at the beginning of winter.

Luckily work told me that i could use a shower and facilities so that is a great help. Get my shirts dry cleaned up the road once a week for $15 so im ready to go!

Thanks again

Photo

https://goo.gl/FtrDfI
Last edited by wassupmyhappy on Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

amigo
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 6:21 am

Re: New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby amigo » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:29 pm

wassupmyhappy wrote:Thanks all for the great tips - really appreciate the long and short posts.

Ended up going for the Focus Planet 1.0 Belt - its been a fantastic bike so far. The Shimano Alfine 8-speed has been top notch - although at times i just have to cruise down hills - doesn't bother me too much. i'm fortunate my commute is 12km round trip

Really enjoying my daily commute , even at the beginning of winter.

Luckily work told me that i could use a shower and facilities so that is a great help. Get my shirts dry cleaned up the road once a week for $15 so im ready to go!

Thanks again

Photo

Congratulations!
Cannot see the picture.
Check out my cycling adventures on YouTube

Zippy7
Posts: 229
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 8:33 am
Location: Sydney, NSW

Re: New to commuting - looking for a positive start

Postby Zippy7 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:51 pm

Good on you for getting a bike you enjoy riding.

I had a Focus Lost Lagoon for commuting. I have a suggestion for mudguards - Toba "Frank" - they come in 45mm wide, and fit nicely.
They are made out of aluminium and very sturdy - mine were the plain silver finish.

You might like them, you might not...
Successful trades : Rheicel, Je, wgc138, 2ndeffort, celeste boy, rodneycc

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