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Updated: 18 weeks 3 days ago

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 1:13pm
whoof wrote:I would recommend look a bike over quite well before unlocking it. There were a fair few with flat tyres or broken seatpin clamps etc.
Did they have broken seat posts or were the saddles merely reversed? A reversed saddle is a signal to others that the bicycle has developed a fault – usually not with the seat post itself!

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 12:57pm
Mark1978 wrote:I have no experience of those sorts of things but 30 minutes seems a little harsh to actually get anywhere, an hour would be closer to the mark?

I've used the Bike Blu scheme in Nice, that also has a 1/2 hour free limit. It was really useful 1 euro a day registration and then free for 1/2 an hour. We stayed at a hotel near the airport and 1/2 was plenty to get to the centre. We could then park up have a look around and get another bike to a different part of the city. If you want to use one longer you need to pay something which doesn't seem too unreasonable.

I would recommend look a bike over quite well before unlocking it. There were a fair few with flat tyres or broken seatpin clamps etc.

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 12:34pm
In Dublin at the moment, and the Dublin bikes front lights are really good.

Look a bit like a Lyt, maybe slightly modified, I haven't taken a close look yet. Not really noticed the rear, so I assume that's a steady red as well..

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 12:32pm
james01 wrote:... the App which gives real-time availability. Sod's law certainly applies - when I'm looking for a bike it seems all the stations are empty and when I need to park one they're all full!
And sod the government app that could be doing anything in the background. Use the auditable app from www.OpenBikeSharing.org on Android. It also means you won't need to download a new app for lots of other cities, including Bath, Belfast, Dublin and Glasgow.

It's been good for London, it's definitely got more people (including tourists) cycling, and it demonstrates that normal attire (helmetless) can be worn.
Incidentally the permanently-on dynamo lights are just about good enough to navigate dark side-streets at a pinch.
I agree with all of that, but the flashing makes the lights a bit hair-raising alongside unlit canals!

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 12:22pm
It's £2 for another 30 min, I don't bother clock watching for that, I've yet to go over an hour, sometimes under half, always better value than the alternative. Struggled to find one a couple of times and for me that’s a bigger issue than the cost.

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 11:41am
Richard Fairhurst wrote:Paris seemed to be a little better at trucking the vélibs around town to replenish supplies in the very little experience I have.
They do truck them around a fair bit, but it’s still common to have trouble finding a Vélib' at the top of a hill or docking one at the bottom of a hill. People prefer to cycle downhill than uphill, it would seem. Who knew?

Re: OVER THE HANDLEBARS

14 April 2016 - 11:38am
For reasons of safety and reassurance it would be best to find out what caused this. Obviously. The "something stuck in the brake" theory doesn't sound likely to me. But I could be wrong.

More likely is something wedged under the mudguard / fork crown. If that has happened there may be some evidence on the surface of the tyre. Worth a look, if you haven't already done it.

With mudguards I try to have the lower rear edge of the guard pretty close to the tyre, closer than the gap at the fork crown. That way, any object big enough to get stuck at the fork crown has to get past a slightly smaller gap first. The guards have quick release fixings, so an object striking that edge of the guard should not cause the wheel to stop. And the object will probably not get any further. Well, that's the theory.

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 11:36am
I've used Boris bikes a few times when visiting London. They're a great way of getting around. A good compromise would be to allow 45 minute rentals - at the moment I start getting a bit stressed after 20 minutes. It's really worth getting the paper Tfl maps which give routes and docking stations, and the App which gives real-time availability. Sod's law certainly applies - when I'm looking for a bike it seems all the stations are empty and when I need to park one they're all full!
It's been good for London, it's definitely got more people (including tourists) cycling, and it demonstrates that normal attire (helmetless) can be worn.
Incidentally the permanently-on dynamo lights are just about good enough to navigate dark side-streets at a pinch.

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 11:27am
The biggest issue I have with Boris bikes is a result of their success - it's difficult to find one in the centre of town late at night when you want to cycle back to your hotel/station/whatever, presumably because everyone else is doing so. Paris seemed to be a little better at trucking the vélibs around town to replenish supplies in the very little experience I have.

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 11:21am
I believe that is the hope, yes.

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 10:47am
The half hour limit is normally OK - I'd like to be able to nominate a more remote dock as my destination and get a little extra time though.

It's not that many people would actually use a distant dock anyway...

Actually they don't even need to have it nominated - just accommodate distant trips - if the straight line distance between them is more then 5 miles divided by root2 (I.e. 10 miles an hour, the root two allows for roads not always being in a straight line) then you get an additional 30 minutes free. But of course the system can't do that until you redock...

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 10:39am
ArMoRothair wrote:Yup, the twist-grip being the wrong direction is really annoying.

I tend to leave it in 3rd all the time. If you look along a docking station you'll see all the bikes are in 3rd; most riders seem to find 3rd the natural gear to use.
I can't remember but isn't the twist grip pull-back-to-go-faster? Seems usual to me but my current most-used bike also has a Nexus 3.

I think docked bikes are left in third mainly because most docks are on the flat and once you get the heavy lump moving, third is the gear to use on the flat. They're geared lower than most three-speeds, which is correct IMO but I'm still surprised they did it when most retailers still don't.

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 10:25am
In Paris the time limit before surcharges is also half an hour. That covers most trips by most people. If you allowed people an hour, they’d start doing round trips on the bicycles, locking them up outside the shop or whatever. This is undesirable since it reduces the time each bicycle spends on the road (i.e. it would require more bicycles).

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 10:15am
I have no experience of those sorts of things but 30 minutes seems a little harsh to actually get anywhere, an hour would be closer to the mark?

Re: OVER THE HANDLEBARS

14 April 2016 - 10:10am
If the disc brake locked up due to something being stuck in it enough to cause such a sudden and violent stop/crash,they'd surely be evidence on either the disc pads,caliper or rotor and the rotor would most likely be out of true.
Its a strange occurrence,made worse if there's no evidence.
When the new caliper arrives I'd check the old one carefully for any signs,which would be on the leading edge where something would enter IMO.


I've no experience or knowledge about disc brakes. Is it really possible that a stone can get in and lock the wheel?
If it is possible then why are they so popular on mtb surely every forestry road will be huge risk.
I agree,if it was something trapped in the caliper it's an extremely rare and freak occurrence.

Re: OVER THE HANDLEBARS

14 April 2016 - 9:17am
Thanks to everybody for their thoughts. I think that it may have been unusual wear of the caliper which allowed the brake pad to be caught up between the rotor and the body of the caliper but that should have, permanently, locked the wheel up.

Anyway --- this morning a new caliper should arrive in the post and it will be fitted. The trouble is that I shall feel nervous about riding the bike for a few days, weeks, months now.

I'm too old to be taking flyers now!!!!

Thanks again to all

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

14 April 2016 - 1:07am
I did the Boris Bike thing 2 years ago, just for the experience of riding one. Like the OP I found the gear selection back to front and it didn't help I wasn't used to twistgrip changers, another thig I founds was the saddle was too wide for me and I was riding on the nose of the saddle and therefore a little cramped on the bars. Both my rides were over 30 minutes, one only 31 minutes which irked me slightly as the distance was well within 30 minutes I'd cover on my own bike. One dock I went to said no bike were available to hire despite all the racks being full. I'd use them again though.

Re: Dogs on cycle paths - how many where you live?

13 April 2016 - 10:06pm
MikeF wrote:john4703 wrote:mercalia wrote:more than once along canal paths I have been tempted to kick them into the canal.....
I did that once, well into the river, after it bit my ankle. I have no idea if it got out again as I did not stop to find out.

My pet hate is dogs on long leads that stretch right across the cycle path.Those dog owners are very likely motorists as well. Aggression towards their dogs might encourage them to take similar action against cyclists on the road, eg close passes
I agree, it was not thought about, it was a reaction. Maybe I should have stopped and phoned the police, and possibly an ambulance, but I reacted to shock and pain. A few weeks later there was hardly any visible damage to my ankle and now I can't even see where it bit me. I had a blood soaked sock but no permanent damage.

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

13 April 2016 - 9:51pm
well worth getti ng holf of the tfl cycling maps before a trip to london - avoid the worst of the traffic

Re: First time on a Boris bike.

13 April 2016 - 9:39pm
TrevA wrote:The one thing I found about the bikes is the gears work the opposite way round to any other twist grip gear system I've used. So I was constantly changing down when I wanted to change up and vice versa. In the end I just left it in Gear 2.

Yup, the twist-grip being the wrong direction is really annoying.

I tend to leave it in 3rd all the time. If you look along a docking station you'll see all the bikes are in 3rd; most riders seem to find 3rd the natural gear to use.
 
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