Cycling 17 miles?

I am just debating if I could cycle 17 miles 1 way to work and 17 miles back:) so 34 miles all together… and how long would it take…

I simply don’t want to spend any more money on transport… this includes the motorbike since it will be wear and tear, petrol, God knows if I am involved in an accident…

So what do you say?


yep easy with the right bike

Its certainly achievable yes - work on the pricipal of approximately 12 MPH average speed, depending on the ike and how much weight you are carrying, either personally or in a rucksack ! :wink:

I used to do 14 miles to Canary wharf each way from Kent borders, managed to get my daily time down to 40 mins but was flying along on a decent road bike…until some chav nicked it !

I was looking at this one:

using the cycle to work scheme… but if you can recommend (maybe know someone that has one for sale) a better one which won’t cost me as much as a motorbike I am happy.

get a comfy bike and you can do it an hour each way. it’s not free though, they’ll be wear and tear on tyres/brake pads/gears etc. not to mention when things break completely or if you’re knocked off. hit a pothole hard enough and you’ll need to buy a new wheel for instance.

Thats not a bad bike at all - DEpending o where you ride in from…i.e. do you have any big hills you may want to go for a triple.

Thats the main crank end of the chainset, a third smaller cog to get you up the steeper hills. But yo umay find that a double works and you are fit enough to power on up the hills.

Raliegh, Trek, LEmond (which is Trek owned) or specialized are all good bikes, anything with SChimano gear sets will be just fine. Aluminium frame is good to keep the speed up too.

can get even more expensive if you’re robbed by hoodies;)

I would look at getting a tough street hybrid, the more you spend the lighter it is and the quicker it stops!! Cannondale Bad Boy and Marin Point Reyes are two excellent street bikes

Would be Romford to London Bridge so either down the A12 straight down nice and smooth on the cycle are of the pavement, no worries of getting hit or robbed I hope:) or through Ilford and the more urban road:)

hmm I am trying to understand how that cycle 2 work scheme works… maybe I am stupid, why can’t they explain it simple… so if the bike is £1000 does my work has to pay for it upfront then I pay them back? like a season ticket loan? or I simply pay it through my tax and they get a VAT discount?

i cycle 22 miles a day into Soho, takes me 55 mins each way. I tend to cycle 3 out of 5 days a week to work. Its cheaper and of course your fitness will improve over time with it… But just choose your route carefully and think about whether its safe to ride it when it gets dark;) The quickest and safest daytime route is rarely following the main roads, think parks / paths and look at TFL cycle route maps, you’ll be surprised at the shortcuts you can make compared to using the highways…

you get the bike quote from a shop.
your work go to the government on your behalf and say they’ll buy it.
you get voucher from government via work for roughly value of bike minus VAT.
you go buy bike from shop.
you pay 12 months installments of bike PRE-TAX and PRE-NI, it’ll shop up on your payslip.
the bike is owned by your company for those 12 months. you are in charge of repairs etc.
after 12 months you give your company £1 or something small, they sign the bike over to you.

NB; you lose your job, your work will take back the bike or you pay off the rest of it in 1 lump.

I ride a Cannondale BadBoy most days, it’s a superb bike for commuting.
My commute is 10 miles SW16 - N1 and it does this in 35 minutes without pushing it - I’m often cruising at the same speed at any 50cc scooter, and today kept pace with a Fazer 600 all the way from Acre Lane to Liverpool St (yes, I do stop at lights!)

On the Cycle to Work scheme you also get any accessories 1/2 price (ish), so invest £70 or so in a decent D-lock, and a cable lock. You’ll also need a lid (£30 upwards)

Cycling in the rain is **** though, so I use the Bros for rainy days :slight_smile:

You’ll have a choice between a 700c and 26" wheeled bike.
26" wheeled are stronger, heavier, more agile, generally lower geared. They’re based on mountain bikes.
700c wheeled bikes are weaker, lighter, more stable, generally higher geared. They’re based on or pure road bikes.

You get what you pay for to an extent. For a 34 mile day 5 times a week, I’d be looking at no less than £700 RRP really. You can buy a cheaper bike, sure, and it should work. But it’s a bit like buying a kymco 125 for the commute. Unless your commute involves riding in the woods, suspension is extra weight and less efficiency. You don’t want it for the road.

Suitable bikes are split into about three groups:

Road bikes, which are similar to the bikes raced, have 700c wheels. They’re the bicycle equivalent of a sportsbike. They’re comfortable when you’re used to them, but not when you’re new to them. There’s not a lot in the way of carrying capacity, and they want looking after. They start at £500, a ‘decent’ one is £1500+.
Examples are Specialized Allez, Trek 1000 series, Cannondale R series.
These can be subdivided further into flat-bar road bikes, which are essentially the same as the above, but rather than having racing-friendly drop handlebars, you have normal-person-friendly flat bars. Some manufacturers make only this change (Trek, Genesis), others create a new line of slightly tougher road bikes (Specialized Sirrus, Marin do some, too). Same prices as road bikes, same componentry.
Touring bikes kind of fit in here, too, but they’re also a bit like hybrids. They’re essentially the BMW GSs of the bicycle world (with absolutely none of the attached fashion, quite the opposite). Essentially toughened road bikes, they need to be got used to and do involve carrying some weight around. Good ones last forever, though (Dawes, Thorn, Roberts).

Hybrids, which again split into two. One lot are the flat-bar-sort-of-road-bikes mentioned above, the other group are what most people think of when they say a hybrid. They’re 700c-wheeled, with a beginner-friendly sitting position. They’re the CB500, ER-5, GS500, Gladius of the bicycle world. Generally quite heavy, almost lumbering, strong, dependable and entirely unexciting.
Examples include Specialized Globe; Marin Point Reyes, Belvedere and San Rafael; Trek F series.

The last are basically mountain bikes with slick tyres on. They’re the supermotos. Fast, nimble, agile, quite fun, able to carry stuff, but not particularly gracefully. Very durable, not ideally geared for long rides, but pretty good for knobbing about in traffic. Start at £300 as with MtBs, get good £500+.
Examples include Cannondale Bad Boy, Ridgeback Storm, Marin Point Reyes.

Assuming you’re riding it as you said above, quite regularly:
Tyres are about £40/pair and you’ll likely need at least two or three pairs a year.
You’ll also probably munch through a chain and cassette at least annually, at about £50 a pop. You’ll probably need chainrings after two or three years at ~£50+ for the set.
You can get through three or four sets of brake pads in a winter, at £5-£10 an end. Two pairs should do the rest of the year.
Servicing you’re probably looking in the region of £150-£200 for an annual service, including the abovementioned chain and cassette if you time it right.
Labour costs in London is around £40/hour.

Bicycles are nowhere near maintenance free.

Basically, your employer buys the bike and leases it to you. You pay the cost of the lease through wage deductions. Because these deductions happen before any other (tax) deductions, you don’t pay the costs of them on the bike (so you effectively get your rate of income tax off the bike).
There is a pre-agreed fixed term of a year, at the end of which you have the option of buying the bike from your employer for the fair market value. I don’t know what the current guideline on this is, but it’s not much (used to be £20-£50 normally).

The more you earn, the bigger the discount.

Very good informative post there Big Red S.

Agreed, but you can service them yourself a lot easier, and in the kitchen :slight_smile:

i would say yes, if your going to ride that distance i would build upto it. practice for a couple of weeks after work to get your fitness up to a level that can handle that distance.

i use to do streatham to hammersmith 6 days a week in 2001 on a cannondale bad boy (fully ridged) its alot of quality for its price and super light. i loved every mile of it took 30-35mins dont ride them into the ground and itll be cheap to run. invest in a good pair of padded shorts, gloves, lid, trains/shoes and lights. youll find new and quicker short cuts so the time will come down.

The bd boy is a crackig bike - i’d go for the 650mm rim ratehr than the 700…gets you away from the lights a little quicker.!

good point there too,
the smaller the wheel, the faster acceleration and lower top speed
the bigger the wheel, the slower it’ll accelerate but the higher top speed.
guess it all depends on if you plan on stopping for red lights :wink:

I used to use a beat up old mountain bike, just changed the tyres to road tyres, and the sprockets so that it had more gears.

12 miles each way up the Edgware Road, used to take about 45 minutes each way