You never forget how to ride a bike.
Listen for rattles, rubbing noises and other changes, work out what they are and fix them on your bike.
Look over your bike before moving off.
Thank you, Nicholas Bates (Facebook) for allowing me to use your photo
- Avoid dérailleur gears (or ask someone to select a gear for you then don't change gear) they are very distracting,
- Chose either no gears bike but a hub gear bike is good (select 1st or 2nd gear if it is a three-speed or four-speed hub whilst moving the pedal a little, the bike can be stationary) it is very easy.
- A short wheelbase bike is easier to balance at low speed, such as mountain and folding bikes. Long wheelbase bikes need more space to turn in and you need to be moving faster.
- The Video; Put the pedal and pedal arms back on the bike (if you removed them) and carry on scooting then transfer your feet and pedal. Finally set the saddle higher when you feel secure otherwise the bike will be hard to pedal. Your front brake should be applied just before you apply the rear brake, you should ensure most of your braking is at the front.
over the bike to get going. You
can just sit on the bike and give yourself a good push off. Old long-
wheelbase adult bikes need a little more speed in order to balance.
Riding a bike again after a long time;
- You should make up your mind in advance and start to manoeuvre early so that if you don't see what is behind you or don't manage to signal others on the road will see what you are doing in plenty of time. Don't take your hands off the handlebars if to do so would make you unstable, such as the road has a bad surface ahead. It is always better to push the bike on the pavement across a road junction or around a parked vehicle on a busy road with limited width.
- Cycling on the pavement is fine if you take care and don't get caught. The point is to put your foot down and stop or dismount if doing it worries pedestrians. Cycle slowly on pavement even if you don't see anyone. Modern policing mostly does not apply rules unless you are do harm.
- Cyclists need to take their position on the road just the same as a motorbike user would be taught to or they/we will be driven into the kerb, broken glass or knocked off their bike.
- Differences between types of the bicycle;
- Short wheelbase bicycle - mountain bikes very noticeably go in and out of all the bumps and take pedalling effort doing that. You can turn sharply and move and manoeuvre at very low speeds. A fun bike but more work to peddle and have a range of low to very low-speed gearing. Some variants have higher speeds as well and others are much better bikes than the one pictured. (Cheap Mountain bike pictured has [3 x 6] 18 gear dérailleur which provides 8 speeds, the bike is lightweight and sprung will protect the frame). This bike is not suitable for a heavy person.
- Small wheel unisex, shopper and commuter bicycles - these are also short wheelbase and heavier to pedal if you try to travel at the speeds you would comfortably with a long wheelbase bike. I guess you can balance easily at a lower speed than a long wheelbase bike so if you have one of those bikes and my guess is that you should not need to or expect to go anywhere quickly. You can carry lots of shopping and move faster than walking. [This paragraph needs observation to be checked]
- The step-thru bicycle pictured (Astra made and imported in about 1985) is a good all-around bicycle. Particularly because you can mount and dismount easily. Step-thru bikes are heavier than bikes with a cross-bar. These bicycles have a longer wheelbase which makes them a lot lighter to pedal. This Soviet-era high tensile steel frame bike is lighter weight than a conventional steel frame bike at 15.5Kg.
- Modern town bicycles - these also have greased bearings like the other modern bicycles. The hub gears make gear changing very easy when stationary or moving so they are not a distraction when cycling on roads. (The Astra pictured has a thin oil lubricated, 3-speed Sturmey-Archer AW hub made in England which is known for its robustness)
- Bikes made before the late 1970s (I am advised) have a longer wheelbase makes the bike seem to fly over the bumps rather than go in out of them. The increased length of the bike is small but the benefit is amazing (it is said). You see a bump, feel the bump in your arms and have a moment to transfer your weight from the saddle to the pedals. The flexibility in the Reynolds 531 steel frame in the Lenton pictured also contributes the lightness, smoothness of the ride and as well as giving the bike a very liked "alive" feel and light to pedal. The wheel hubs are also thin-oil lubricated making these bikes transmission very efficient. --
Longer Wheelbase mountain bikes are starting to come back again, I am advised. Others also say bikes made before 1970 are better.
- Pre-1961 bicycles are the lowest or comparable friction to any modern superbike the crank is also thin-oil lubricated but can be greased. In addition, they have a long wheelbase which makes these bikes feel wow this bike seems to be helping me go along but hills are hills and spokes also break occasionally; 1946 Raleigh Lenton sports pictured cleaned with linseed oil, patched such as the bottle top for a pedal cap that I had crossed the thread on as a boy. The low left-hand side lamp that shines into the gutter allows you to see hazards in the kerb when cycling in the dark.
- Modern superbikes - many people have the old lightweight high tensile steel frame bike and a modern lightweight such as a carbon fibre frame bicycle. These superbikes and old bikes also have low friction ceramic comparable to the old thin-oil lubricated bearings. Many people like both many others say the much older bike is lighter to pedal and is better others say the newer bike will be 3-5Km/Hr. faster. I believe this is true of some bikes made after 1890 and all hub geared bikes 1920 to 1961, these sports bikes are low, long and Raleigh's engineering was excellent during this period. [Comparison a competitive sports cyclist may start the day with a hearty fried breakfast, smoke before competing in the past but that is unlikely now]
- Pedals - metal types are better because they don't slip so easily as rubber pedals. I have not ridden a bike with toe clips they scare me and I am advised that people do fall over with them. My father used toe clips and a cycling cape with the Lenton sports pictured.
- All bicycles are helped a lot by having gears either hub gears or the cheaper dérailleur gears. Wide spacing gears for general use but medium or closer spacing gears are liked for sporting use so the cyclist can maintain his cadence. Hub gears cater to both requirements but also allow gears to be changed when the bicycle is stationary. Both British made elliptical gears and dérailleur gears have comparable efficiency but the hub gear is much more robust. (Pictured; Bike stand so that dérailleur gears can be adjusted made from a second-hand car bike rack)
- Some modern mountain bicycles have the gears in the crank (bottom bracket) with helical cut cogs for quietness and efficiency otherwise these are not new and here is a link to a 1937 Helvetica bicycle. All the power is transferred by cogs to a lay-shaft then back the main shaft using cogs. By comparison, only a fraction of the power is carried through the cogs in bicycle elliptical gears achieving good efficiency. There have been a number of bottom bracket elliptical gears such as Dana USA but I don't know of a modern equivalent? These are mostly heavier, less robust or less efficient than a British made Sturmey-Archer type hub gears.
- Generally, derailleur gears are close or medium spaced but wide spacing achieved by having many gears (Up to about 15% spacing compared to an AW 3-speed hub which has 33% spacing). But it is possible to have widely-spaced derailleur gears but with poorer shifting. Note derailleur gears are also called Disraeli gears.
- Where the modern aluminium alloy or carbon fibre bicycles score is that they are lighter to carry and take on a train for example. But only steel or high tensile steel and brazed lapped joint frame bikes have a reputation for not cracking or corroding.
- Where most modern bikes score is they require less maintenance but the cost is that they don't last long. They cost more to purchase or are so cheap and poorly made that they disappoint the cyclist. Many new bicycles get very little use in any case.
I don't have the personal experience of many bicycle types but I have reference such as the video shows you how to set up a bikes Rod and Stirrup brakes.
I recommend the amateur videos made by Velocipedium on YouTube. They take care to show you how to maintain and enjoy a bicycle. Even if you are not a starter do watch the videos anyway. I had a bike with Rod and Stirrup brakes when I was a boy and I have replaced the brake blocks on the bike in the 1960s, I don't think you could still buy just the rubber part? I have also bent calliper slightly as shown on my Lenton Sports cable and calliper type brakes to align the brake block that had always been slightly out of alignment tending to ware one block one end more than the other.
It looks like Government thought the NHS was fine despite a decade of austerity then people in government got ill themselves and got scared. The less important ill were kept out of hospitals sent home in case the more important people got ill. Now people can visit a hospital but many have been scared or are staying away.
The cartoon expresses the sort of concerns people have on the lifting of locked-down. The government is managing the lifting of lock-down by manipulation and retraction thereby creating annoyance but as required slower return to normal or a new normal. Fortunately "Social distancing" is not occurring but people are talking to each other and enjoying there families at a safe distance.
Momentum Labour at the last General Election, in December 2019, offered a path of social responsibility. The government offered to promote peace in the world, the environment and toward each other. Different from both New Labour and Old Labour, in not promoting self-interest. I was very surprised that Momentum Labour captured so much support. Momentum Labour's modernised 1945 Manifesto was very inspiring and I expect that Coronavirus would have been handled differently.
be used freely and is made up of the semaphore for "N" and "D" (Nuclear, Disarm).
The Victorians built sanitation system in order to protect the rich from catching a disease from the poor. Cricket and sport encouraged for the health of all. But I doubt that the vastly rich will impose health, better food, air, cycling on us, this time but in order to save the planet from the adverse consequences of human activity.
I have had enough of being playing by the media (called politics), people set against each other - I'm going to ride a bike;
Time will tell but I hope people do not become reliant on big pharma and disinfectant for a sort of living instead I wish we all learn to like good health and much less waste as a way of life. There be less reliance on factory-farmed meat and more plant-based food. A high correlation between poor air quality (such as in cities) and Covid-19 fatalities but vehicle emissions and crashes is the major cost to the National Health Service. I hope people change their minds about cars.
During this Covid-19 pandemic, people have been cycling more and enjoying better health due to the better air quality whilst road traffic has been greatly reduced. Poor air quality in cities has been strongly linked too poor respiratory health long before the clean air act of 1956 and poorer survival to Covid-19.
The Costs of transport such as poor air quality
This Astra bike (pictured above), which I purchased locally cheaply, now has lights and reflectors. It also has new tyres, all re-greased and running nicely. The bike is easy to maintain and fully service and the bikes cost so far have been about £90. The Astra imported from Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia badged England and sold in the 1985 (the date on the Sturmey-Archer, England, 3-speed hub) The rims are German and the frame is a nice lightweight Soviet high tensile strength steel. [this paragraph to be replaced by other bikes]
This building is one of the most beautiful architecture anywhere. I can not be captured on film and I have not seen a picture
that captures the impression that the building has now or had before its renovation.
The pictures above were taken on a Canon AE1, using Fuji Slide film. The best amateur camera of its time, 1976.
Many people run an old bicycle those bikes were made to work hard for a very long time and must be maintained regularly. This bike is has been nicely kept and has a secret conversion to E-bike. A lot of bikes run and look lovely just as they are but for being maintained and the frame cleaned with an oily rag or linseed oil. Other bikes are brought back to almost new with detail restored and artisan finishes as well.
Raleigh bicycle maker of Britain was once the biggest manufactured of bicycles in the world, representing the best in engineering. British engineering, textiles and film industry were for a long time second to none. Statutes to war leaders and heroes, slaver traders, bankers and the city of London are good representations of the country. Perhaps the most prominently placed statue should be a heron to mark 125 years (1887-2012) that Raleigh existed in Britain and looking forward to cycling, walking, cleaner air, better health and kindness towards each other and harmony with nature.
Like so many things The Mallard, Pacific A4 class locomotive distinctively beautiful design by the British engineer Sir Nigel Gresley. Along with the Flying Scotsman, A3 class were the fastest surface public transport in the world. Although by the 1920s and '30s trains could now be made to be very reliable, but they were not efficient or clean. At this time bicycles were as good as they were ever going to get.
Electric trains started to be introduced on a substantial scale in the 1920s in South East England. This region has the highest density rail network in the UK. After World War two faster cleaner diesel and electric trains started to introduced all over the country. Electrification of the rail network is still ongoing.
Old lessons have to be relearned by a subsequent generation of engineers; There are many subtle design features in machines that are not apparent until the designers have left. A change to a design makes it apparent that there was an important design feature. Each telephone made until about 1985 had a low pitch bell and each bell had a different pitch. The low pitch telephone bell in an office made it easy to tell where the phone is and the different pitch if it was your phone. The same mistake was made when the two-tone ambulance klaxon was replaced in the 1980s. I suppose it is possible that the shortening of bicycles wheelbase that occurred in the 1970s, making bikes more work to pedal happened by accident?
Newer hub gear designs;
The Rohloff hub weighs 1.7Kg, British made Sturmey-Archer Hub gears weigh 1 to 1.4Kg but most hub gears weigh 1 to 2Kg. But despite the long power train higher efficiency has been measured but other studies don't rate this hub's efficency highly. It has 14 speeds but as with bicycle elliptical gears, only a percentage of the power is carried through the meshing cogs, which is why bicycle elliptical gears are efficient. The spacing between speeds (13.6%) is similar to a medium ratio Sturmey-Archer hub. None of the speeds are high efficiency but also the high ratios are surprisingly good - on paper. By comparison, the vintage Sturmey-Archer FW is highly efficient in Normal (3 of 4), when its most apreciated and Bottom the least efficient highest ratio is not heavy when hill climbing when the efficenty is least noticed.
Very typically German engineering design. The design is an assembly of simpler functions blocks built up. The first part of the video shows a Sturmey-Archer hub its design much more like a complex single function block where parts slide and move changing many things as they move. The Sturmey-Archer design is typical of British design being elegant robust and cost-effective. The design is simpler also because of the limitations of the time 1902 but in 1973 the s7, 7-speed hub used a rotating operating rod in which cams operate a different section of the hub was introduced.
The Wilson gearbox is very heavy to operate due to the effort operating the clutches but more modern power assited preselector gearboxes are lighter to operate.
Willson preselector gearbox gear change can be operated stationary, moving or powered. I have seen a video of bicycle gearing that does that based on elliptical gears Constantly variable planetary but the power direction is reversed and it is unlikely to be efficient. Daff/Volvo varomatic and moblette moped V-belt drive automatic gearing are fairly efficient and this variation called Inception Drive probably is efficient. With an additional no-slip between speeds feature added using freewheel mechanism on the lowest speed, perhaps another bicycle crank gear could be developed based on a Wilson pre-selector with friction bands. This solution is likely to be big and heavy to operate. The variable speed elliptical gear hub patented 118 years is very good and the variants developed by 1960 covered most things required.
During the Coronavirus lock-down 2020 there was a big reduction in vehicle movements I first noticed that my breathing improved between mid-March to the end of May when the traffic came back on the roads. Also that my Tinnitus diminished greatly and quickly when I stopped drinking coffee; https://www.tinnitus.org.uk
I hope for more kindness in the world. UN Secretary-General's Appeal for Global Ceasefire during this pandemic;
Cycling is a good exercise in that you can work hard then rest on the flat, particularly so on a 4-speed hub gear bike made before 1961. You are not pounding sore feet and ankles on the ground. In this respect, a bike that is at least 45 years old or is one of the newer long wheelbase bikes, with ceramic bearings coming is probably better. You can still get off and push and also lift the bike onto a train. Also, you tend to have higher peaks of effort than walking or e-biking which is good for reducing high blood pressure, the Doctor tells me.
Envisioning a post-Covid-19 transport landscape: surface travel
Prof John Whitelegg, Liverpool John Moores University, looks at how The UK can transition to a sustainable transport system by building on some of the changes pursued during the Covid-19 ‘lockdown’. In the first of two blogs, he focuses on surface travel.
The carbon footprint of British military spending is a level is similar to the emissions produced by over six million average UK cars;
The military-industrial complex becomes a useless liability in the pandemic;
If we don't look after the natural environment we will get unwell
Sweden, light touch Coronavirus measures - May 2020
Kent County Council - Learn to ride, Cycle training for children or adult;
Cyclecraft by John Franklin (ISBN: 978-0-11-708243-4) - has been recommended.
Active Travel - package of funding announced by Government during the Covid-19 pandemic;
The Highway Code;
The bicycling museums all over the world here are a few;
Facebook - Disraeli Gears
Facebook - Vintage bicycles UK
Facebook - Raleigh Lenton and all the derivatives
Facebook - Vintage Raleigh Bikes
Facebook - The Raleigh Roadster Club. (Incorporating the Raleigh Superbe Owners Club)
There are very many other cycling groups on Facebook but many bicycle brands were owned by Raleigh which in turn merged with Tube Investments.
now closed to the public by the present landowner.
1x systems. E.g. sram 10-50 12 speed cassette. This has a range of 500% with a spacing of about 15% between speeds.
Sometimes it is necessary to buy a specialist tool in that case here is a US company with some useful tools (I have not used this company);
Video right; A press tool like the one shown is also the best way to remove and put back the cotter pin. It is not just needed for a bike in poor condition. I've used a vice and a socket or ring spanner successfully. Don't hammer a cotter pin or tighten the nut too much but use the press because the metal is soft.
More Bike Advice;
Story of my Lenton sports bicycle + General maintenance advice, technical and history;
Dynamo maintenance and operation in theory (untested)