Bicycling?

Discussions about the devices that supply a means for movement of people and goods.

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Bicycling?

Post by Leif3141 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:49 am

Anyone on here have this in mind for SHTF as opposed to motorized vehicle? If so which do you think would be more appropriate - road vs mountain bike? Just curious what other zombie preppers think.

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Achso_42 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:54 am

A bike is my #2 vehicle, I can easily make 10-15 miles per hour without much noise.

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by emBARK » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:09 am

Being someone who is into road cycling, yea I'm that guy in spandex, I'd stay away from a road bike in a shtf situation. Road bikes are suitable only for, the road. They are typically a bit more temperamental and not as sturdy, my road bike weighs just over 15 pounds, I wouldn't trust that if I needed to bug out. Go with a mountain bike, too many benefits to list (for shtf) in my opinion. Have a pair of slick tires to change if you expect the be doing a lot of road riding.

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Caenus » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:10 am

I have a mountain bike and a hybrid, I ride both for exercise. The ruggedness of a good mountain bike makes it much better for less improved surfaces. In loose rock or dirt the road tires don't grip, they are designed for low friction on smooth, solid surfaces (like asphalt). Definitely the mountain bike. You'll be able to cruise at about half the speed (15mph vs 30mph), but it will go places that a road bike is not capable of.
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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Mikeyboy » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:35 am

The only real difference in a Mountain Bike vs a Road bike is the mtn pike is going to have slightly a smaller wheel diameter, fatter knobby tires, and a heavier, sturdier frame. I think the only disadvantage to a mtn bike, is like mentioned you are going to have a slower top speed on an open road, and the shorter stocker frame will make it harder to lash stuff to it and fit touring road gear like panniers.

Other than that a mountain bike has a lot of positives in a SHTF event

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:40 am

Mikeyboy wrote:The only real difference in a Mountain Bike vs a Road bike is the mtn pike is going to have slightly a smaller wheel diameter, fatter knobby tires, and a heavier, sturdier frame. I think the only disadvantage to a mtn bike, is like mentioned you are going to have a slower top speed on an open road, and the shorter stocker frame will make it harder to lash stuff to it and fit touring road gear like panniers.

Other than that a mountain bike has a lot of positives in a SHTF event
Offroad bikes have different geometry both of frame an in the drivetrain, as well as (usually) at least a front suspension. A hardtail trails bike is probably the best all-around in terms of weight and speed vs capability, and a 29" will help on that front. In general roadbikes are like race cars, totally impractical for anything other than going fast on pavement.
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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Fugglesby » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:16 am

Big fan of the bicycle here. The main issue with a bicycle over a motorized vehicle in my opinion is that it is only as good as the person riding it. If you need to carry a lot of weight, travel a long distance then you need to be physically up to the task. While you may be able to be prep yourself into a state of such fitness, you may have the elderly, young or just plain unfit if travelling in a group who will be just plain unable to keep up or ride a distance over 10km. Other obvious disadvantages include a lack of physical protection and a lower ability to store supplies.
IMO, the positives far outweigh the negatives though, as a silent efficient vehicle which runs on your own body energy has a lot of advantages in a SHTF scenario.
On the topic of mountain bikes vs road bikes, it's a complicated issue. To say that road bikes are like formula one cars and are inherently impractical is incorrect. The practicality of a road bike is based on efficiency. Not necessarily speed, but efficiency which allows you to travel longer distances much easier. If you're riding any real distance in a single day then a road bike will make a huge difference. At the end of the day you will be less tired, will need less food to replenish energy and repair muscle and will have higher morale.
As for durability, it depends on the road bike's method of manufacture. I personally have a steel cyclocross bike as my SHTF bike of choice. It is efficient enough (though sluggish compared to race bikes) and weighs just under 10 kg, kitted out with fenders and panniers. Durability is not an issue with it, it has been crashed countless times, has fallen out the back of a car and has been thrown over fences, with no damage. Frame material is what makes for durability.
Any bike is only as versatile as its tyres will allow it to be. If you're running 19mm racing tyres then you are useless off smooth roads. I run 35mm cyclocross tyres which are fast rolling, but also have enough grip for gravel, loose dirt, grass and anything you'd likely be travelling on for any extended period of time.
A hardtail is a great option if you can lock out the front suspension. If you can't lock out, then you should ask yourself if you actually need the suspension. Are you really going to be dropping off ledges or up rocky faces? If not, are you really willing to sacrifice a large portion of your pedalling energy to have this capability which you will likely never use?
As far as dual suspension bikes go, they're truly impractical as transport. As something fun to allow you to go sailing down rocky cliffsides, then sure, but not as something to actually take you from one place to another unless you plan to travel along some truly insane routes.

An image of a cyclocross bike like mine for anybody unfamiliar with the breed:
Image
Basically just a road bike that's built a bit sturdier with more relaxed geometry and bigger tyres.

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Fugglesby » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:22 am

Haha just saw that part which said "Road bikes are like race cars".
Pretty close, but my interpretation is slightly different.
Race bikes are like race cars.
Mountain bikes are like Jeeps (except you have to pedal to move them).
Dual suspension bikes are like Hummers (Unless you're Arnold Schwarzenegger you're going to have issues).
Touring/Cyclocross bikes are a lot more like station wagons haha!

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:33 am

I'd disagree on touring bikes, as you still have narrow wheels for a tiny contact patch. Cyclocross seems, although I'm not terribly familiar, like a watered down form of CCX.
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Re: Bicycling?

Post by TacAir » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:08 pm

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by fred.greek » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:33 pm

Our bikes are semi-recumbent road bikes, with trailers if warranted.

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Robin Masters » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:33 pm

So as much as I hate being "That guy", I'm going to be.

I have been reading the threads on Bikes as a means of bug out transportation for the past hour or so and have come to the conclusion that this would be the best plan for some one like me. First off let me just put the elephant outside and tell you that I stand at 6 feet 9 inches (205 cm) and weigh 295 lbs (133 kg). I am split up evenly with half my height in my legs and the other half in my torso.

Now living in the suburbs of Florida, there is no real rugged terrains due to being on flat land. however there is a good amount of wooded bike trails not to far from where I live but the issue is, no bike. I need something that is going to be able to haul my large ass plus maybe a Rickshaw later on down the line if I make one for getting things from the store or for when SHTF.

So for round numbers sake, I need something that can support me (300lbs) plus additional supplies, say 25lbs (high balling it).
Now during this process if I can find a bike, I am sure that I will drop a good portion of weight while riding my bike to and from the places I go. (Expecting to drop 50lbs) So this allows less weight on the frame and tires by the time SHTF. I am on a college student budget so I am TRYING to stay UNDER 300$ (By all the research ive done, this is going to be something very hard to do and I might just end up making my own bike.)

Big man in need of a little help.
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Re: Bicycling?

Post by TacAir » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:28 pm

Korlon Brood wrote:So as much as I hate being "That guy", I'm going to be.

I have been reading the threads on Bikes as a means of bug out transportation for the past hour or so and have come to the conclusion that this would be the best plan for some one like me. First off let me just put the elephant outside and tell you that I stand at 6 feet 9 inches (205 cm) and weigh 295 lbs (133 kg). I am split up evenly with half my height in my legs and the other half in my torso.

Now living in the suburbs of Florida, there is no real rugged terrains due to being on flat land. however there is a good amount of wooded bike trails not to far from where I live but the issue is, no bike. I need something that is going to be able to haul my large ass plus maybe a Rickshaw later on down the line if I make one for getting things from the store or for when SHTF.

So for round numbers sake, I need something that can support me (300lbs) plus additional supplies, say 25lbs (high balling it).
Now during this process if I can find a bike, I am sure that I will drop a good portion of weight while riding my bike to and from the places I go. (Expecting to drop 50lbs) So this allows less weight on the frame and tires by the time SHTF. I am on a college student budget so I am TRYING to stay UNDER 300$ (By all the research ive done, this is going to be something very hard to do and I might just end up making my own bike.)

Big man in need of a little help.
Thanks,
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Re: Bicycling?

Post by eugene » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:00 pm

Go on Craigslist and buy a used one before you go buy a $300 bike. For $500 or under your going to be buying big box store (aka *mart) bikes so your better off buying a real used bike.

Street bikes do have wimpy tires and light frames, sure you take less energy to go faster and further but also run higher risk of breakage.

I have a 29" hybrid and a 26" mountain bike. My hybrid is actually heavier than the mountain bike so in a real SHTF situation I'd take it as its going to be easier to pick up and carry over an obstacle if needed.

I bought my mountain bike used via Craigslist for $160 and it was 10 years old when I got it. I cleaned off the mud and its been better than the store bought $300 bike I bought new that was stolen before we moved. Plus I felt if I scratch up a 10 year old bike or mess it up learning maintenance its no big deal. I've cleaned and repacked the bearings and lost some of the bearings in the process so I ordered a 50 pack from a bike parts web site and have plenty of spares in my toolbox. It became my practice bike for me to learn maintenance. Made my mistakes there replacing what I messed up then I know what I'm doing before I start on either mine or my wife's $500 hybrid bike or the kids bikes.
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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Coal-Cracker » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:45 pm

I agree with Eugene. Your best bet is to find a deal on Craigslist or Ebay on a lightly used "real" bike. To keep it simple, you generally can't go wrong with any of the "Big 3" - Trek, Specialized, or Giant. The past couple years have seen a push in the industry from 26" bikes to 27.5" (650b) and 29". Marketing has convinced a lot of riders to get rid of their "old" 26" bike in favor of one of the new sizes. (I admit to drinking he 29er kool-aid. :D )

Learn how to work on your bike - especially if you buy used.

Stay away from department store bikes. Not worth the aggravation.

If you should buy new, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Mountainbiking isn't an inexpensive sport. For a new entry level mountain bike (26" hardtail), expect to pay $600 at a minimum. And unfortunately, even at this pricepoint, you may find you want to upgrade to a better bike in a season or two*. Stop in at your local bike shop and see what they have to say. The 2015 models will be out in a couple months and they may have some 2014 leftovers at a discount.

I have a full suspension 29er and I gotta agree that for a bug-out bike, I'd probably opt for a hardtail instead. Granted, the advancements are rapid in the bike industry, but it's hard to beat the uphill pedaling efficiency of hardtail offroad.


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Re: Bicycling?

Post by eugene » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:39 pm

This is mine
Image

I looked on Criagslist for a bit and this was being sold because he was moving. There is a state park with mountain bike trails just a few minutes north of me. Turns out the guy worked for the same company as me so we just met in the parking lot after work. Its a 1992 and looks just as good as most new mart bikes.

This was my early BOV/PAW setup
Image

Then we got my wife a bike too and moved the seat to it and got a trailer bike for my son.
Image

I had to make my own mounting brackets for the rack to lower it down for the smaller wheel. You can see my tools in the pic. The real little tool roll stays in the handlebar bag, the big tool roll goes in the tub with the other supplies/parts.

Then I picked up a used tandem trail-a-bike brand.
Image

I found an adjustable rack and modified it a little but it fits pretty good.
Image

The seat post clamp is a $1.29 hanger for electrical conduit from Lowes.
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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Tater Raider » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:46 pm

I use a hybrid bicycle as one of my secondary BOV's. Oversimplified, it's a mountain bike with road gearing and tires. Mine are a bit too skinny to do well on gravel roads and underperform on crushed limestone/dirt bike trails as well, but it's outstanding for riding on paved roads in areas sheltered from the wind.

Folding bikes (example: Bike Friday) are underappreciated as BOV's IMHO.

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Ordinary » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:35 am

My secondary BOV is an adult trike. It is stable (which I need) and can carry a decent amount of stuff. I replaced the tires to something more sturdy, and am in the process of putting an electrical drive on the front wheels to help get me further faster. Once that is figured out, I am going to get a solar charger for the battery.

Eventually, I want to make it so my husband and I can bug out on bike if needed. That includes attaching a kid trailer to his bike to haul supplies and our dog.

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:34 am

Way way back in 1988 I was part of a 2000 rider bike ride from Melbourne to Sydney Australia. 17 days, the shortest day was 40 miles, the longest was 88.

If you have a wife, GF or SO get a Santana tandem, enduro style.

If you are by yourself, I strongly suggest a used touring bike like a Cannondale T1000.

Second choice would be a hard tail mountain bike with slick urban tires.

Touring bikes have much thicker tires than road racers, you don't need knobby tires for unpaved roads. Single track yes, but Not gravel or dirt roads.
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Re: Bicycling?

Post by itzybitzyspyder » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:15 am

I plan on taking my cruiser. Big-ass tires and a single speed. Simplicity of parts and I can lean on it and get it to 25 mph. I can ride off road if I need to and I have a cargo trailer ready to go.
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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Dabster » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:26 pm

I have been wondering about bicycles when things are bad. Of course things are real bad when there's fighting. Don't the Swiss have bicycle infantry (Or do they consider themselves cavalry? Maybe dragoons?)? Does anyone know any of their practices? I suspect they do what the old US cavalry would do -ride to a warm spot and fight dismounted. However I can also (sort of humorously) see them riding from trench to trench, then charging(awkwardly) with sabers.

Does anyone know what the Swiss bicycle troops do or how they do it? FYI Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_infantry) wasn't very helpful.

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:53 pm

Dabster wrote:I have been wondering about bicycles when things are bad. Of course things are real bad when there's fighting. Don't the Swiss have bicycle infantry (Or do they consider themselves cavalry? Maybe dragoons?)? Does anyone know any of their practices? I suspect they do what the old US cavalry would do -ride to a warm spot and fight dismounted. However I can also (sort of humorously) see them riding from trench to trench, then charging(awkwardly) with sabers.

Does anyone know what the Swiss bicycle troops do or how they do it? FYI Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_infantry) wasn't very helpful.

Thanks,
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Re: Bicycling?

Post by Myana » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:55 am

Ambush, a Finnish movie about WW2, showed Finnish scouts using bicycles for recon in Russia (Karelia). Good war movie, and the 'low tech' aspects of the war were very unusual and interesting.

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Re: Bicycling?

Post by manowar1313 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:52 pm

I don't think anyone can truly say they are prepared to bug out without a bicycle. They're cheap, fuel free and can be attached to the back of almost any vehicle. It cost me $20 to get a rack for my BOV that I have literally traveled across the country with.
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