Thursday, 1 April 2010

Cycling all the way to Bank

I did my second bike trip to central London this morning, this time on the Brompton. It took me 1 hour and 25 minutes to get to Bank Underground Station (about 10 miles) which is much faster than the Trek trip.

I discovered the point where I got lost the first time around Lime House was not my fault but due to an error on the Transport for London (TFL) cycle map. I am really not happy cycling through Silvertown in Newham. Some roads are very bumpy which the Trek bike can handle but the Brompton gave me the shakes through my wrists. Painful. I will plot an alternative route for this section another time.

It was a breezy but sunny morning and I really enjoyed the trip. I even managed to get and carry a new pair of shoes from Camper in Carnaby Street. I was back home (by train) before heavy rain fell in the afternoon.

Now that I am ready to face extended trips the rail strike has been called off.

Brompton crossing the Thames by ferry
Brompton waiting for the tube train


wee folding bike said...

Some people fine Ergon grips help with vibration:

But these wouldn't help with big holes in the road.

It is possible to fit a suspension hub:

I've never used one. I don't find vibration to be an issue, indeed I find the M bars a bit wooly and I much prefer S bars. Suspension hubs will also make the front brake adjustment more critical.

You need to keep tyre pressures high to reduce rolling resistance and also protect the tyres/rims from damage on pot holes. If the tyre pressure is low and you hit the edge of a hole the tube will be nipped between the edge of the tarmac and the rim. THis causes a compression flat. They are often called snake bites because you usually get two small holes in the tube, like snake fangs bit it.

Cycling in Heels said...

I will check out the link for the Ergon grip. Changing the suspension may be a bit drastic.

Thanks for the info on tyre pressure. I did pump the tyres before I did the trip. I went just beyond the recommended pressure and I was then left wondering if I should have lowered the pressure instead. But your info on protecting the rim and tyres tells me I did the right thing

wee folding bike said...

There is a wide safety margin above the stated tyre pressure. It only becomes an issue when the rims are worn. If the metal wears too far the side of the rim can blow off which is somewhat distressing. I've only done it once.

Don't panic!

You should see a groove round the side of the rim, where the brakes hit it. This is the wear indicator groove. When the metal wears down so far that the groove has gone it's time to get a new rim fitted. Rim wear is worse in the winter because grit gets trapped in the brake blocks and grinds down the aluminium. You don't need to replace the wheel, just the rim. Most bike shops will build wheels for you but I always go to Wheelcraft, north of Glasgow. I know that would be a bit of a trip for you.

Cycling in Heels said...

Thank you for the info about the lines on the wheel rim. Now I had thought they were just design details, she says with a Homer Simpson 'Doh!'

Joseph said...

I have had some issues with the Brompton handlebars (being pretty tall), the trick, for me at least, is to not grab them as I normally would but to have a light grip more with the tips of the fingers.

Failing that, I have some leather gloves which I usually carry in case of wind / cold, and they act as dampeners.

Good to hear you've got a route sorted out, and in the immortal words of my English teacher, after I had memorised Biblical verse and several poems for my A-level equivelents only to have 1 relevant question turn up, 'learning is never a wasted activity'. If anything, you'll be prepared when they actually do have a strike, and less concerned about the implications - now that is true self-reliance :)