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Thread: Vegan biking

  1. #1
    Kevster
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    Default Vegan biking

    Yeah this is the kind of bike that you get exercise on. Thought i might start a thread because there isn't one that i can find on bikes, and i guess it's somethiing a lot of us do. (Me and Gert anyway)

    I was at the bike shop today, getting mine repaired, and i've completely trashed it over two and a half years, i cycle pretty much everyday, and now i'm looking for a new one that'll be able to hack the pace. However, it is tough, the amount of bikes that get nicked (i know someone who was pushed off his bike and then had it stolen) means it isn't worth getting something really decent, but most mountain bikes seem to have flashy front suspension....

    However, i've come across a little shop in Leeds that has a sale on a couple of bikes without front suspension, and i may well be popping in next week....

  2. #2
    Knolishing Pob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Is the problem with front suspension being that it isn't a good thing or that it is attractive to theives? I don't have a bike at the moment, but I really should get one, soon. Not really up to speed on mountain bikes - they didn't really exist the last time I bought a bike (unless Grifters count )

  3. #3
    St George's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    I am looking for a bike at the moment and there are a couple of cheap ones that I have seen.

    One is the Apollo XC.26 from Halfords for £79.99 and the other is the Tornado XM00.20 from Motor World for £69.99.

    Just making my mind up which on eto buy. Both are on their websites.

  4. #4
    hydrophilic tipsy's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Vegan biking

    i have a mt bike, a retro, & a road/racing cycle...

    i like to bike, and unfortunatly have had my fair share stolen over the years. i dont usually spend more than 300 or 400 us dollars on a bike because of this.

    the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, dunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
    -henry miller

  5. #5
    coconut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    I ride the same bike I've had since I was about 14. No one would want to steal it it's so old. I took it to the shop the other week and was amazed to discover what bad shape it was in. Now it's been restored to its former glory. I was thinking about getting one of those funky Brompton folding bikes for a while but they're for commuting really, not long distance stuff.

  6. #6
    veggiesosage
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Don't be put off by front suspension. I've always thought that the best commuiting bike is a front sus mountain bike with slick tyres, although I'm getting on well with my road bike that I've got for this purpose. Only slight disadvantage is extra servicing.

    Obviously theft is a problem but remember 99% of bike thives are just scrotes who have no idea how to recognise an expensive bike and will just nick anything before trying to flog it for 25 on a street corner somewhere. So they'll nick a cheap one just as much as an expensive one, front sus or not. If you buy a decent bike you'll enjoy it more, therefore ride it more and it will be worth while shelling out the cost for insurance.

  7. #7
    hydrophilic tipsy's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Vegan biking

    Quote veggiesosage

    Obviously theft is a problem but remember 99% of bike thives are just scrotes who have no idea how to recognise an expensive bike and will just nick anything before trying to flog it for 25 on a street corner somewhere. So they'll nick a cheap one just as much as an expensive one, front sus or not. If you buy a decent bike you'll enjoy it more, therefore ride it more and it will be worth while shelling out the cost for insurance.
    not the bike thieves around me, theyre not stupid...

    a couple of years ago, my (ex) boyfriends bike and mine were locked up together, and his was worth 700$ but he had just gotten the paint stripped and mine was worth about 200$ the lock got broken, and his was taken. mine was not.

    he was pissed.
    the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, dunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
    -henry miller

  8. #8
    snaffler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Hi Kev,

    First off do you have a budget of anykind for this bike of choice.

    First off I would say front suspension of good quality will improve your ride and remove shock and impact on the wrists and elbows, despite nothign being felt in the wrists and elbows on non-suspended bikes when off and on road the damage is being done and suspension stops this shock.

    Normal smooth roadriding is fine for hard suspening as the wheels do enough work to prevent the shock.

    I would personally recomend a front suspension bike for the average user but not full suspension, also re-suspension by a bike that has "LOCK OUT" forks this way you can switch from hard forks or soft forks depending on terrain.

    If you are a serious rider I would try and look above the average halfords branded models.

    I know this is miles for you but in Bath I always use Johns Bikes the sales and service is 2nd to none, great people helpful and they will sale you the product right for you not their profit.

    I have had 2 good bikes (GT and Claud Butler) and present one which I bought last year after saving very very hard for a while is a TREK 6500 and I will never by any other brand again they are amazing....

    TREK used to have a bit of non-trendy image once but this has turned right around the new range of bikes since late 2004 are very funky. But the quality and standard you get for the price is amazing.

    This is the exact model and spec of the one I picked up last year at Johns bikes in Bath, the price on these have dropped now as with most bikes by the following year.

    This model should be about 200 cheaper this year and the model with only single disc brakes should be around 400.00 if you shop around.

    http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/?6/AS...07gqjC9pjXQg==

    The thing I have found with TREK compared to GT and Claud Butler is the quality of build and parts is never comprimised at any stage to make the bike fit into a certain budget.

    The bike I picked up did cost 700.00 but the same spec bike in a more trendy brand such as GT / Specialized or Orange would have set me back 1150 or more !!!.

    My vote is TREK.....
    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams

  9. #9
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Red face Re: Vegan biking

    can anyone suggest a good way to learn how to ride a bike as an adult??? i never learnt when i was a kid, i've tried many times in the last few years to get the hang of it and it's so embarrassing - everyone seems to be able to except me
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  10. #10
    snaffler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Don't be Gorilla, serious we all started somewhere ask the 3 inch scar in my left leg LOL, don't let that worry I was jumping a stupid amount of pallets at the time I now take it steady at my age LOL

    Try and find a quite spot in a park and first of all get used to the feel of the bike and most of all make sure you can get your feet on the floor.

    When getting a bike make sure you get the right frame size as well measure your inside leg measurement. This is viatal some many people don't !! and it makes for bad practice as they will never be in control properly.

    Just try freeriding get your b/friend to push you along without pedling, so you can learn to balance.....then move onto the motion of the pedles....

    Trust me one you have it you will have it for life....you will soon be bunny hoping around the Pier down their
    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams

  11. #11
    Knolishing Pob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    You can get proper training but it isn't very cheap:
    http://www.londonschoolofcycling.co.uk/beginners.html

    £35 for a two hour one on one lesson, then £25 extra sessions if needed.

    Probably quite good value, really, as you get some roadskills as well as just the basics of balancing.

  12. #12
    perfect RedWellies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Quote Gorilla
    can anyone suggest a good way to learn how to ride a bike as an adult??? i never learnt when i was a kid, i've tried many times in the last few years to get the hang of it and it's so embarrassing - everyone seems to be able to except me
    I can't ride one either! I've tried from time to time but no joy. I tried to learn to ride a motor bike too but that was disastrous.
    "Do what you can with what you have where you are."
    - Theodore Roosevelt

  13. #13
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    thanks for the link Rob, quite reassuring that it says many adults haven't learnt. i'll see if there's something like that in my local area. RedWellies i'm glad to see i'm not alone!

    Snaff i've tried your suggestions and ended up with nothing but bruises to show for it
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  14. #14
    veggiesosage
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Gorilla, another one to try is Cyclists Touring Club who have a national training helpline on the go

    http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=3529

    I think patience is the key. Learning to ride a bike must be like learning to write. I wouldn't have the first idea how to explain it to an adult but as kids we just seem to get on and do it. Also, falling down is less scary as a kid which I'm afraid is something that will happen at some stage.

    Best of luck. And get a decent lock!

  15. #15
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    thanks veggiesosage.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  16. #16

    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Great to get biking whatever your age! Good on you two for wanting to learn.

    I'm a cycling fanatic (well, as much as someone who is enthusiastic about many things can be). I love the freedom of getting about on a bike, and mountain biking too. Trek is my favourite brand too, though Marin comes a close second. Would not touch Halford's with a barge pole - much better to get a cheap bike in a real bike shop.

    In terms of ethics, according to Ethical Consumer, Met helmets are much more ethically produced than Giro ones. Not seen anything yet on bike makes.

    As for places to talk about biking - I've heard VeganFitness is the place to be, so that's where I'm off to next:
    http://www.veganfitness.net/forum/

    - they welcome people who are not seriously fit so don't feel alienated if you are not superfit. I've met some of the people on this forum and they are lovely.

  17. #17
    veggiesosage
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    My favourite brand is Marin, closely followed by GT for sentimental reasons (had one a few years back, got it stolen by a generous member of the public FROM MY OFFICE!).

    Shall we get the old Trek versus Marin rivalry going then?

  18. #18
    Kevster
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Presently mulling this scheme:

    http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/

    One of my 'employers' also talked about some sort of ethical report on bike manufacture, for example, sweat shop stuff, not confined to textiles....

  19. #19
    Kiran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    DORSET CYCLES
    Cynthia & Nick Brown, 31 High Street , STALBRIDGE , Dorset , DT20 2LL
    Ph: 01963 362476 .
    Bike shop run by vegans stocking vegan saddles, shoes, brake pads, cycle mitts. Bike repairs.
    Life is like a boomerang: What goes around comes around - "Karma"rocks!

  20. #20
    catmogg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Have you considered gatting one made for you by someone in a local bike shop?? Thats what i did. You get exactly what you want. No frills.
    My turn of mind is so given to taking things in the absurd point of view that it breaks out in spite of me every now and then.

    - Byron

  21. #21
    veggiesosage
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Kevster, I looked into that cos my employer offered that scheme too.

    I think there a few tie ups though; we could only go to one shop (begins with an H, no thanks) and there was a requirement that you had ensure that a certain proportion of its use would be for commuting. Ok they can't check but they may ask why I need full sus for popping 3 miles into work each way...

    Catmogg, getting bikes made up specially for you is a lovely idea but tends to be significantly more expensive for equivalent quality components. But yes, you get exactly what you want and if thats your priority then go for it.

    A few very serious cyclists get a frame personally hand built, exactly the right dimensions etc. Doesn't seem to happen that much with mtbs but the roadie and touring crowd seem to be more into it.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Vegan biking

    My friend is a vegan cyclist, Brendan Brazier. I'm sure many of you know him, www.brendanbrazier.com check him out sometime.

    I haven't been on a bike in ages, time for me to get on two wheels again!

    -Robert Cheeke

  23. #23
    snaffler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Quote Kevster
    Presently mulling this scheme:

    http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/

    One of my 'employers' also talked about some sort of ethical report on bike manufacture, for example, sweat shop stuff, not confined to textiles....
    Your spot on Kev, you got to watch them if this is something you follow, Pahsley, Dawes and Brompton produce in the UK, Trek and Giant produce in Ireland, althought they are employing in ethical conditions when questioned in 2001 they had no audit trail to track sourcing of parts.

    I found with the TREK bike I picked up it had several parts on it from several places as it was from the custom range.

    Shimano is made in Japan and most rubber parts are all made in the far east so it's impossible to buy what would be classed as a 100% ethical bike but just try your beat if it's something you watch for.
    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams

  24. #24
    Kevster
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Cheers for posting that stuff Snaff and all, i'm off to another bike shop in Kirkstall to go and check out their range.

  25. #25
    Kevster
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Anyone have any experience with Scott bikes?

    www.scottusa.com

  26. #26
    veganja
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    For riding in the street front suspension is more or less irrelevant, riding uphill it slows you down because it bounces so some effort gets wasted. But you may find most bikes your interested in come with it anyway, but on some you can twiddly a knob to "lock out" the suspension.

    Every bike needs maintenance adjustment etc, so a proper local bike shop is the best choice, but obviously check on their rep. A good used bike can be worth it and less of a theft target.Buying from catalogue, supermarket etc not recommended.

    Cheap bikes are cheap for a reason, they are ok for occasional use but over time stuff wears out faster and so they cost more to maintain. Budget £200 or more for something decent.

    One way to learn to ride is put the saddle all the way down and remove the pedals so you can use the bike as a scooter and get used to balancing, just put your feet flat on the ground and push.

    As for ethics, steel frame is preferable to aluminium - less polluting manufacture, plus if it breaks the steel one can be welded. Plus if you buy new steel comes with much longer warranty.

  27. #27
    Kevster
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    I've got a new bike for £250, went for the front suspension after all, well there wasn't really much choice, it's great compared to the one i've got now, proper fast.

  28. #28
    veggiesosage
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    What did you get Kevster? I've not been out on any of my bikes for weeks, just too lazy in winter

  29. #29
    snaffler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Quote SophieFP
    . Trek is my favourite brand too, though Marin comes a close second. Would not touch Halford's with a barge pole - much better to get a cheap bike in a real bike shop.
    Yes to both of those SophieFP never looked back since ditching GT for TREK after finding out about GT and how bad the bikes are made as well. TREK rule.

    As for Halfords they get everything made in china that is why it's so cheap as well as nasty, appauling customer after care, very expensive for many spares.
    You can't beat and indy bike shop for customer service and product quality and they never rush you in the real bike shops.

    Thumbs up to Johns Bikes Bath for my area.
    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams

  30. #30
    Kevster
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    I got the bike from bikology in Hyde Park, Leeds. Small independent bike and repair shop. The guy that runs it reminds me of the bloke out of Sin City, the dodgy cop... Really funny.

    Anyway, it's a Scott bike:

    http://www.scottusa.com/global/bike/

    I e-mailed them about ethical stuff, and (i seem to have deleted it....) the bloke (UK distributor) generally mentioned that he thought that the company wouldn't accept sweat shop conditions, that some of the parts are made in China, directors regularly visit the factories where components are made, and how cr*p Halfords are....

    So it didn't really tell me anything specific.....

  31. #31
    Kevster
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Aha...

    'Our bikes are made in Taiwan and China along with the other niche brands. Bikes made in Bangladesh & Indonesia are to be purchased with caution (Halford’s ‘Apollo’ brand being one) due to reports of poor conditions in these countries. China has a small number of unpleasant reports of live-in work villages for intensive bicycle production, but in the main it is now up to EU standards. Taiwan is of EU standard. My HQ said :

    “…really, in TW it is same already as in EU from standards, and in China we pay more and offer better support than other factories.”

    I am sure that our Swiss head office colleagues (who make regular visits to the factories in the east) would not be comfortable with conditions any less than they are familiar with in western Europe. They are a thoroughly modern PC bunch, who take pride in such things.

    I hope this sounds OK. I am happy with it.

    Thanks for your very interesting enquiry.'

    Life is a joke

  32. #32

    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Quote Kiran View Post
    DORSET CYCLES
    Cynthia & Nick Brown, 31 High Street , STALBRIDGE , Dorset , DT20 2LL
    Ph: 01963 362476 .
    Bike shop run by vegans stocking vegan saddles, shoes, brake pads, cycle mitts. Bike repairs.
    Before I ring these folks (Cheers Kiran), can anyone recommend any vegan cycling shoes? I like to cycle to my sisters every now and then, a 40 mile round trip, and could really do with getting something more appropriate than trainers.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Great to know of a bike shop run by vegans - they are bound to have ideas on what to buy, and nice if can mail order from them.

    My biggest problem is cycling shoes (for cleats), espec being a woman and having small wide feet, as less choice anyway. The ranges change every year, so looking around is best whenever you are in any bike shop and long before you need a new pair! My current ones (I've just scraped the mud off the logo) are made by North Wave but are 2 years old. Textile and fake suede, and useless at being waterproof, but then the cleats make holes in the bottom anyway whatever the shoe.

    Our local veggie group members in the Thames Valley get a 10% discount with our favourite bike shop round here, TrailJunkies, which is on the Oxfordshire/Berkshire border, and does a great range of non-leather kit (as well as leather) and the Patagonia sports clothing range which has great fair trading and ethical standards and is mostly non-animal and delicious to wear. More details and raving about this shop at:

    See: http://www.t3v.makessense.co.uk/locations/1255.html


  34. #34
    Queen of Beans dreamqueen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    It's Spring (although it doesn't feel like it here) and I'm back riding my bike. It's been such a cold winter and so snowy that I haven't been able to ride since early Fall. I got a new seat (I bought a Bianchi after my old got stolen last May and it was the most uncomfortable seat ever) and now can handle the ice-chewed roads here in Toronto much better. I'm finding the wind in the face difficult but am hoping once I get used to cycling again it'll be better. I would like to cycle all year long but just don't know how to do it in the snow - anyone have any tips (for next year)?
    Check out the Toronto Vegetarian Podcast at veg.ca/tvp !

  35. #35
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    sorry, dreamqueen, no tips here, i'm a total amateur (and my bike came from halfords!)
    the gears have always slipped on my bike, it's bloody annoying, what can i do about it?

  36. #36
    Queen of Beans dreamqueen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Quote cobweb View Post
    sorry, dreamqueen, no tips here, i'm a total amateur (and my bike came from halfords!)
    the gears have always slipped on my bike, it's bloody annoying, what can i do about it?
    Take it to a bike shop for tune-up - that's where I'd start anyway.
    Check out the Toronto Vegetarian Podcast at veg.ca/tvp !

  37. #37
    Herbsman
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    fixed is the way forwards

  38. #38
    seitan
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Quote Herbsman View Post
    fixed is the way forwards
    not for off road riding its not!!

  39. #39
    Herbsman
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    Default Re: Vegan biking

    Quote seitan View Post
    not for off road riding its not!!
    Oh yeah?

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