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  #11  
Old September 4th 03, 05:07 PM
Just zis Guy, you know?
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ

"JohnB" wrote in message
...

I can imagine some threads even longer than we get now arguing merits or
otherwise of h*lm*ts and even whether such a subject has a place in an

FAQ.

On the other hand, if the questions genuinely are frequently asked, it's a
good way to ensure a consistent and accurate reply.

Instead of being helpful to a 'newbie' asking a question, we'll have curt
"Refer to the FAQ" answers instead of the more useful help that was

requested.

Advocatus diaboli and all that, would "please see the FAQ at ....." be more
or less desirable than a helmet thread?

My vote is a No.


A vote? Has democracy broken out on Usenet? Who knows where that could
end... http://www.avidorstudios.com/r137.html

--
Guy
===

WARNING: may contain traces of irony. Contents may settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.com


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  #12  
Old September 4th 03, 06:19 PM
Doesnotcompute
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
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Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

In case you're interested and/or didn't know, Simon Ward has emailed me to
say that he is no longer the official FAQ keeper for this NG, and the FAQ is
essentially in abeyance.

There are those who think FAQs are obsolete, but I'm not one of them (not
least because they act as a sort of homepage for a Usenet group).

I have it in mind to resurrect the FAQ and update it. But not if anyone
else wants to because I have plenty of other things to do with my time.

I could also host it on my free ISP webspace (not my home server which can
be subject to arbitrary outage, e.g. when I decide to break it trying to
apply an update). Unless anyone else has a robustly hosted site where they
would be prepared to host it (several possibilities spring to mind).

Your thoughts?




My thoughts:

1) massive FAQs don't get read and are worthless.
2) short welcome FAQs [1] posted regularly [2] are essential
3) I would be willing to contribute in both time, content and server
space as well as linking from my signature.
4) however, I wouldn't want to do it all on my own - group effort please

[1] a few pages at most, easy on the eye and valuable content only -
check the welcome faq of uk.people.bodyart to see the idea

[2] once a fortnight perhaps? long enough not to bore but regular enough
that most newbies will see it in their initial post downloads.


--
Dnc

  #13  
Old September 4th 03, 06:19 PM
Doesnotcompute
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ

Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

In case you're interested and/or didn't know, Simon Ward has emailed me to
say that he is no longer the official FAQ keeper for this NG, and the FAQ is
essentially in abeyance.

There are those who think FAQs are obsolete, but I'm not one of them (not
least because they act as a sort of homepage for a Usenet group).

I have it in mind to resurrect the FAQ and update it. But not if anyone
else wants to because I have plenty of other things to do with my time.

I could also host it on my free ISP webspace (not my home server which can
be subject to arbitrary outage, e.g. when I decide to break it trying to
apply an update). Unless anyone else has a robustly hosted site where they
would be prepared to host it (several possibilities spring to mind).

Your thoughts?




My thoughts:

1) massive FAQs don't get read and are worthless.
2) short welcome FAQs [1] posted regularly [2] are essential
3) I would be willing to contribute in both time, content and server
space as well as linking from my signature.
4) however, I wouldn't want to do it all on my own - group effort please

[1] a few pages at most, easy on the eye and valuable content only -
check the welcome faq of uk.people.bodyart to see the idea

[2] once a fortnight perhaps? long enough not to bore but regular enough
that most newbies will see it in their initial post downloads.


--
Dnc

  #14  
Old September 4th 03, 07:04 PM
Stevie D
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ

Simon Mason wrote:

I would say that the fully searchable nature of Google Groups means
that a faq is virtually obsolete now.


I disagree. An FAQ can be a huge document if you want to put lots of
helpful stuff in it. Having it on a website where it can be fully
indexed, and which can be referenced in one or more posters' sigs
several times a day will encourage people to look at it much more than
if they have to search through gooogle to find it, then spend 3 hours
reading it to find the one bit of information they want.

--
Stevie D
\\\\\ ///// Bringing dating agencies to the
\\\\\\\__X__/////// common hedgehog since 2001 - "HedgeHugs"
___\\\\\\\'/ \'///////_____________________________________________
  #15  
Old September 4th 03, 07:04 PM
Stevie D
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ

JohnB wrote:

Instead of being helpful to a 'newbie' asking a question, we'll have
curt "Refer to the FAQ" answers instead of the more useful help that
was requested.


I can't say I've noticed that in any of the other newsgroups I
frequent, many of which do have FAQs. What it does mean is that for
the (occasional) clued-up reader, they might visit the FAQ first and
not ask the question at all. It can also provide interesting reading
for people with too much spare time on their hands :-) There is no
reason why we would become unfriendly and just answer questions with
"RTFFAQ"; I'm sure most people would continue to give the same level
of detailed and helpful answer as they do now.

--
Stevie D
\\\\\ ///// Bringing dating agencies to the
\\\\\\\__X__/////// common hedgehog since 2001 - "HedgeHugs"
___\\\\\\\'/ \'///////_____________________________________________
  #16  
Old September 4th 03, 09:24 PM
Just zis Guy, you know?
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ

This is the most recent copy I have found.

uk.rec.cycling
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List
Last updated: June 27th 1997

This FAQ is edited and maintained by Simon Ward
)
Updates and additions should be sent to


Boring Legalese Message

Unless otherwise cited, the information presented in this FAQ was
written by
Simon Ward. His opinions are not, and should not be construed as
being,
representative of the other contributors to this document. Neither
the FAQ
maintainer nor any of the contributors will be held responsible for
any harm
or damage arising from the use or misuse of information presented in
this
document.

A text-only version of this file is also available via anonymous
FTP.

Any sections of this document appearing as red text are updates or new
additions (HTML version only)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following people have contributed useful information to this FAQ
(in
alphabetical order):

* James D. Annan )
* Bryan Attewell )
* Peter Crighton )
* Paul Crook )
* Phil Cunningham )
* Chris Hayes )
* Robert Hague )
* Andrew Henry )
* Michael Hoath )
* Gary Marland )
* Neil Marshall )
* David Nulty )
* Alan Paxton )
* Stewart Russell )
* Ian Snowdon )
* John Swindells )
* Rik Wade )
* Simon Ward )
* Matt Wenham )
* John B. Wilkinson )

If you want to see your name here, all you need to do is supply some
useful
input.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Questions ...

* 0. What is uk.rec.cycling?
* 1. A Brief Guide to UK cycling organisations
* 2. I want to buy a custom frame - who can I contact?
* 3. What UK cycling magazines are there?
* 4. I want to get my bike(s) insured - how do I go about it?
* 5. What cycle routes exist within the UK? [UPDATED]
* 6. I'm after a book on cycle maintainence - which should I buy?
[UPDATED]
* 7. What are the rules concerning bikes on trains?
* 8. What good mail order outlets are there?
* 9. What's the situation regarding LED lights?
* 9a. I'd like to buy a dynamo for my bike - which should I buy?
[UPDATED]
* 10. What is a DataTag? [UPDATED]
* 11. Where can I get information about races and other cycling
events?
* 12. I'm very small/tall and can't find a bike to fit. What do I
do?
* 13. I'd like to go on a cycling holiday - who offers such things?
* 14. Which panniers should I buy? [UPDATED]
* 15. I'm going touring for the first time - what should I take?
* 16. What is the `End-To-End'? How do I go about doing it?
* 17. How can I go about transporting my bike(s) on my car?
* 18. I want to buy a trailer/trailerbike for my child. What is
available? [UPDATED]
* 19. Is there a definitive way of determining correct saddle
height?
* 20. I'm looking to buy a new saddle for my bike, what would you
recommend?
* 21. My chain keeps skipping on my cassette/freewheel - what
should I
do?
* 22. Are there any UK cycling e-mail lists? [NEW]

* Appendix: Useful Addresses

In addition to that little lot, information is desperately required on
UK
cycle routes and good cycling books. Both these sections are somewhat
sparse
at the moment, and I'd like to rectify this in short order.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

.... and the answers

0. What is uk.rec.cycling?

uk.rec.cycling is a USENET forum for the discussion of topics relating
to
cycling in the UK and (to a lesser extent) Ireland. It does not
contain the
American bias of groups such as rec.bicycles.misc and
rec.bicycles.tech.
Discussion of all aspects of cycling and human-powered transport is
welcomed.

This FAQ will be posted to uk.rec.cycling on a quasi-monthly basis and
is
maintained by Simon Ward ). Copies are also
available
on the World Wide Web at
http://halibut.york.ac.uk/faq.html

The scope of this FAQ is purposely restricted to issues relevant to
cyclists
in the UK and Ireland. For more general information you are referred
to
rec.bicycles.misc and rec.bicycles.tech and their appropriate FAQs

although the occasional private messages which do appear are generally
well
received, provided they're posted in a sensible format. Commercial
`spam'
type messages will not be well received, neither will `Make Money
Fast'
schemes, which are illegal in the UK.

1. Contact addresses for UK cycling organisations.

There are a large number of cycling organisations in the UK, catering
for
all disciplines and abilities. A non-exhaustive list is given below,
and
further additions are always welcomed:

* Cyclists Touring Club (CTC)
69 Meadrow
Godalming
Surrey
GU5 3HS
Phone: (01483) 417217
WWW: http://www.ctc.org.uk/

The CTC is perhaps the most well known (and certainly the oldest)
cycling organisation in the UK. It was originally founded to
increase
awareness of cycle touring, but in more recent years has
broadened its
emphasis to cover all aspects of cycling and cycle campaigning.
Although it is a national organisation, the CTC is split into a
number
of District Associations (DAs) which organise rides and events on
a
more local level. Membership of the CTC confers numerous
benefits,
including relatively cheap cycle insurance.

* AUDAX UK
Peter Coulson
57 Hartwell Road
Ashton
Northampton
NN7 2JR
WWW: http://www.audax.uk.com/

AUDAX UK exists to promote non-competitive long distance cycling
(100km+) and organises events in all parts of the country. AUDAX
rides
are not meant to be races, but can be thought of as bridging the
gap
between touring and racing, with certain elements of orienteering
thrown in for good measure. Routes for events take the form of a
loop
or a point-to-point and riders must complete the course within
maximum
and minimum time limits. Numerous `controls' are placed en route,
and a
rider must have a card stamped at each of the controls. Despite
the
often long distances involved, AUDAX events are fairly informal
affairs, and most of the shorter runs are well within the
capabilities
of reasonably fit cyclists.

* British Cycling Federation (BCF)
National Cycling Centre
1 Stuart Street
Manchester
M11 4DQ
Phone: (0161) 230231

* British Cyclo-Cross Association (BCCA)
14 Deneside Road
Darlington
County Durham
DL3 9HZ

Cyclocross events have a lot in common with motocross events eg.
a
circular course involving different types of terrain, obstacles
and
large amounts of mud (usually). A typical cyclocross race lasts
for an
hour, and the aim is to complete as many laps as possible. A lot
of
cyclocrossers ride specialised 'cross bikes although mountain
bikes are
welcomed at most events (people have been known to take part in
'cross
events riding modified tourers, too). Cyclocross in the UK is
governed
by the BCCA (British Cyclo Cross Association) and in order to
avoid
paying entry levys, competitors should carry a BCCA Competition
Card.
In addition, `on the line' entry is possible at many 'cross
events.

* Trail Cyclists Association (TrailQuest)
Raycomb Lane
Coddington
Ledbury
Herefordshire
HR8 1JH
Phone/Fax: (01531) 636247
24hr Info: (01531) 632650
WWW: http://www.comtecil.demon.co.uk/

* British Mountain Biking
National Cycling Centre
Stuart Street
Manchester
M11 4DQ
Phone: (0161) 2302301
Fax: (0161) 2310591
WWW: http://www.bmb.org/indexx.html

* Road Time Trails Council (RTTC)
RTTC Assistant National Secretary
T. Bracegirdle
65 Kenmore Road
Whitefield
Manchester
M45 8ES

(John Swindells) wrote:
"There's no headquarters as such (methinks), but the handbook
says it
all. Handbooks may be ordered, (UKP4 cheque payable to RTTC) by
writing
to the above address"

* English Schools Cycling Association (ESCA)
Keith Edwards (Public Relations)
59 Jordan Road
Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands
B75 5AE

Susan Knight (ESCA General Secretary)
21 Bedhampton Road
North End
Portsmouth
PO2 7JX
(Addresses taken from '95 handbook.) -- [mh]

* Tandem Club
Peter Hallowell (Secretary)
25 Hendred Way
Abingdon
Oxfordshire
OX14 2AN

"They have area groups similar to the CTC. Have depts to deal
with:
Non-technical sales; Touring; Technical advice; Technical sales.
Magazine is bi-monthly (on tape for sight impaired). Rides
organised on
area basis. Links with international tandem club." [mh]

* British Human Power Club (BHPC)
Dennis Adcock (Treasurer and Membership)
29 Chequers Hill
Amersham
Bucks
HP7 9QD
PHONE: (01494) 721088
WWW:
http://www.ihpva.com/

Quoted from the BHPC quarterly magazine: "The British Human Power
Club
was formed to foster all aspects of human-powered vehicles - air,
land
and water - for competitive, recreational and utility activities,
to
stimulate innovation in design and development in all spheres of
HPV's,
and to promote and to advertise the use of HPV's in a wide range
of
activities. And to have a good laugh while doing it."

Neil Marshall ) writes:
" The club runs a series of races through the summer all over
Britain
which provides everyone with the opportunity to compare bikes and
if
you ask nicely try them out. If you are fit and have a sleek bike
you
even have the chance of winning a race but most people go along
for the
fun of it."

* The Rough Stuff Fellowship
12 Avondale Road
Edgeley
Stockport
SK3 9NX
PHONE: (0161) 429 7858
WWW: http://www.rsf.org.uk

The Rough Stuff Fellowship (RSF) was formed in 1955 in order to
cater
for the interests of cyclists who prefer byways, drove roads and
bridleways to roads. The RSF website has a large selection of
off-road
routes both in the UK and abroad, and current membership stands
at
around 1000.

2. I want to buy a custom frame - who can I contact?

Custom built frames are consistently in demand by discerning cyclists,
and
there is a bewildering choice available. Perhaps most well known are
the
likes of Bob Jackson and Chas Roberts. Having a frame built to-spec is
not
cheap - the materials themselves can cost several hundred pounds and
then
there's labour to consider on top of all that. Even so, a well built
custom
frame will literally last forever. Frame builders don't necessarily
restrict
themselves to touring or road frames, many will build custom MTB
frames too
(Bob Jackson certainly builds MTB, as does Chas Roberts)

The list below is far from complete, but contains a list of
framebuilders
that have been recommended by the readership of uk.rec.cycling.

* Bob Jackson
Unit 1
9 Union Mills
Dewsbury Road
Leeds
LS11 5DD
Phone: (01132) 341144

* Dave Yates/Joe Waugh
M. Steel Cycles
Old Northumberland Yard
Howden
Wallsend
NE28 6ST
Phone: (0191) 234 4275

* Mercian Cycles
7 Shardlow Road
Alvaston
Derby
DE2 0JG
Phone: (01332) 752468

* George Longstaff
Albert Street
Chesterton
Newcastle-Under-Lyme
Staffordshire
ST5 7JF
Phone: (01782) 561966

* Chas Roberts Cycles
89 Gloucester Road
Croydon
Surrey
CR0 2DN
Phone: (0181) 684 3370

* Islabikes (Isla Rowntree)
252 Halesowen Road
Cradley Heath
West Midlands
B64 6NH
(specialises in tourers, bikes for women and trailerbikes)

* Paul Donohue
12 Peel Street
Bishop Auckland
County Durham

* Graham Weigh (see entry for Deeside Cycles)
* Robin Thorn (see entry for St.John Street Cycles)

* Brian Rourke Cycles
20-24 Waterloo Road
Burslem
Stoke-on-Trent
Staffs
PHONE: (01782) 835368

* Dave Lloyd
37 Clayhill Industrial Park
Neston
Wirral
L64 3UG
PHONE: (0151) 336 8797
FAX: (0151) 353 0601

It's also worth pointing out that if your bike is in need of a
repaint, a
large number of framebuilders offer a respraying service (for a fee,
of
course)

There are a number of frame materials available, ranging from good old
steel
up to titanium and carbon-fibre composites. From time to time, cycling
magazines run articles on the pros and cons of various framebuilding
materials, though the general wisdom will be summarised here (WARNING:
anyone well versed in metallurgy will probably have a fit when they
see what
I've written, but ...)

* STEEL - Alloy steel is the `traditional' frame material, and is
still the
material of choice for many touring bikes. Steel tubing comes in two
general
flavours, plain-gauge and butted. Plain gauge is exactly that, with
the tube
wall being the same diameter along its length (usually 0.6-1.0mm - it
doesn't sound much, but it's enough!), whereas butted tubing is
slightly
thicker at either end where lugs are fitted. As anyone who owns a
steel
framed bike will tell you, it's fairly heavy, but despite that, there
are a
lot of advantages. The first of these is that steel is quite flexible,
in
other words you can dent a steel frame quite badly, it'll still be
rideable
and the chances of the damaged tube breaking are fairly small.
Secondly, it
is fairly easy for a framebuilder to replace individual tubes on a
steel
frame should one break. Steel bikes give a fairly `gentle' ride
compared to,
say, aluminium, as a result of the flexibility of the material.

Reynolds are probably the most well known manufacturer of steel
tubing, with
a bewildering variety of tubes on offer. Some of the more common ones
are
listed below. The list below is far from exhaustive, especially as
Reynolds
have withdrawn certain tubesets (notably 653) and introduced new
ones.Reynolds also have a website at http://www.reynoldsUSA.com/ which
contains technical information about the different tubesets.

* 531 - Probably the most well known of Reynolds' tubesets, 531 is
a
fairly `standard' tubeset. For most practical purposes, there are
two
types of 531 tubing, 531C and 531ST. 531C is a more lightweight
tubeset
which is commonly used for light-touring and AUDAX bikes and also
some
track bikes too. 531ST (Super Tourist) speaks for itself, a
heavier
gauged tubeset designed with loaded touring in mind (Dawes'
touring
bikes, the Galaxy and Super Galaxy are made of 531ST, for
example). A
third variety of 531, 531 Millenium, is available through
selected
framebuilders (notably Dave Yates and Paul Donohue) and is
marketed as
a more `up to date' variant of 531 (read into that what you will!
-ssw)
* 708 - 708 is a special tubeset manufactured by Reynolds for
Raleigh,
for their Royal and Randonneur touring bikes. To the best of my
knowledge, 708 isn't available generally, although
Royal/Randonneur
framesets (sold as the the Raleigh Gran Tour) are available from
Raleigh. The fact that it's used on touring bikes indicates that
it is
suited for loaded touring.
* 653/753/853 - the `state of the art' tubing for road machines.
The x53
framesets are subject to special heat treatment. As you go from
653 to
853, the weight decreases and the price increases. 853 road
frames are
extremely desireable items. It would seem, at first glance, that
653
would be a good tubeset for building a light touring bike, though
this
is NOT the case. General concensus of opinion is that the x53
frames
are eminently unsuitable for loaded touring of any sort.

PROS: Can be quite cheap, easy to repair, very durable.
CONS: Heavy, ride can sometimes be quite `lively'

Whether or not the `liveliness' of a frame is a disadvantage or not is
purely a matter of perspective. Most people would want a touring bike
to
have rock-solid handling (and many do) whereas road frames tend to be
a
little more unforgiving. The ride quality of a given frame is an
essential
consideration when it comes to buying a bike.

* ALUMINIUM AND TITANIUM - In the quest for lighter bicycles, titanium
and
aluminium have become popular. Although there are no truly mass
produced
titanium frames available (plenty of custom options though), aluminium
framed bikes are fairly common (eg. anything by Cannondale is apt to
be
Al-framed). Dealing with titanium first, it's lighter than steel, and
considerably more resilient, both in terms of strength and corrosion
resistance, although it is notoriously difficult to weld (hence the
high
cost of Ti frames) - many Ti bicycle frames are built of aerospace
grade
titanium alloys of varying compositions.

Aluminium is lighter than both titanium and steel, but has the
disadvantage
(in some peoples eyes) of giving a rather stiff and unforgiving ride.
It is
also prone to quite catastrophic failure if overstressed - when steel
would
bend, aluminium just breaks (the more knocks that an Al frame takes,
the
more likely it is to fracture) Like Ti-frames, aluminium frames are
generally made of aerospace grade alloys which are capable of taking
some
fairly serious abuse.

PROS (Al): Very light
CONS (Al): Prone to brittle fracture if over-abused, stiff ride
PROS (Ti): Lighter than steel, doesn't brittle fracture
CONS (Ti): Expensive, difficult to work with

* CARBON-FIBRE - Carbon-fibre frames aren't really frames in the true
sense
of the word, since the nature of the material lends itself more to
monocoque
design (eg. the Lotus Superbike). Carbon fibre components are really
composites, since carbon itself is fairly brittle stuff, so the fibres
themselves are bound into a matrix, generally epoxy or thermoplastic
materials in order to increase the strength - sometimes Kevlar is
bonded
into the matrix. That said, it's generally regarded as being the last
word
in terms of strength and lightness. It's also the last word in cost,
and
carbon fibre frames are generally beyond the reach of most people.
Despite
the cost, carbon fibre components are fairly common eg. in some forks
and
aero wheels (such as Spinergy's). Graeme Obree has recently
manufacturing
carbon fibre components such as tri-bars and bar-ends (for more info:
Obree
Products Ltd., PO Box 8260, Irvine, Ayrshire, KA11 2DA)

Although carbon composites are very strong, sunlight, heat and
chemicals can
degrade the matrix. Once fibres have broken or pulled out of the
matrix, the
material is permanently weakened. The working life of a carbon fibre
frame
(as opposed to components) is open to question, but certainly it won't
be as
long as, say, an equivalent steel or aluminium frame.

PROS: Very light indeed, has a certain pose value.
CONS: Carbon-fibre widgets are very expensive, and carbon-fibre
matrices are
easy to damage.

3. British Cycling Magazines.

Look on the shelves of any decent newsagent and you'll see a whole
plethora
of cycling magazines aimed at all levels and disciplines.
Unfortunately,
most UK cycling magazines have a bias towards one particular
discipline, and
there doesn't appear to be a `general' cycling magazine available,
although
`Cycling Plus' comes pretty close. Given the popularity of mountain
and
all-terrain bikes, there exist a large number of publications such as
Mountain Bike UK (MBUK) and Mountain Bike World (formerly MTB Pro).

Racing and cyclocross enthusiasts are well catered for by `Cycling
Weekly',
which contains a comprehensive results list for both road and MTB
events and
a burgeoning MTB section. Cycling Weekly also carries some excellent
product
reviews.

Touring enthusiasts aren't left out either, the most well known
publication
being the CTCs magazine `Cycling Touring and Campaigning' (CT&C) which
appears on a bi-monthly basis. As well as articles on touring, CT&C
contains
excellent articles of general and technical interest. AUDAX UK members
receive the organisation's magazine `Arrivee' on a quarterly basis.

* Cycling Weekly, Cycle Sport (weekly/monthly)
IPC Magazines
Kings Reach Tower
Stamford Street
London
Email:
WWW:
http://www.ipc.org

* Cycling Plus, Mountain Bike World, Mountain Biking UK (all
monthly)
Future Publishing Ltd.
http://www.futurenet.com/

* Cycle Touring and Campaigning (bi-monthly - free to CTC members)
CTC
Cotterell House
69 Meadrow
Godalming
Surrey
Phone: (01483) 417217
WWW: http://www.ctc.org.uk/

* Bike Culture Quarterly
Open Road Ltd.
FREEPOST
Stockport
SK2 7YG
Phone: (0161) 483 7657
EMAIL:
WWW:
http://www.bikeculture.com/home/welcome.html

4. How do I get my bike insured?

Cycle insurance is a real can of worms, and it definitely pays to shop
around to try and find a policy which suits you as well as the
insurers.
Most of the `high street' insurance companies offer cycle insurance
only as
part of a household contents policy, subject to certain restrictions
(see
below). Very few companies offer specific cycle insurance, but these
will be
covered later.

As has been mentioned, most household policies will offer cycle
insurance,
although a lot of them have upper limits on the value of the bike
being
insured. This varies from company to company, but is typically around
500
pounds. This is all very well for most people, but if you have a large
number of cycles or even a single expensive one, it can cause
problems.
Experience has shown that most insurance companies are prepared to
negotiate.

In general, cycle insurance will not be valid:

* if the cycle is damaged during a race (the BCF offer third-party
insurance anyway) or during commercial activity (eg. working as a
courier)
* if the cycle is left unlocked in the open.
* if the cycle is stolen from your home and there are no signs of
violent
entry.
* if the theft is not reported to the police (the company will
normally
ask for an incident number and the name of the officer performing
any
investigation)

Nearly all policies will deduct a certain amount from any compensation
to
cover wear and tear. Some insurers offer compensation for accidental
damage,
some do not. No company that I know of will pay out if your bike has
been
`stripped', whether locked up or not. Also, not all policies apply if
your
bike is damaged overseas, so if you plan to go abroad, it's wise to
check
that your policy will be valid. Most policies offer worldwide cover
for a
limited period (usually three months) and one (Commercial Union)
offered
cover in the UK and the EC by default.

A couple of cycling organisations, the CTC and BCF, offer third party
insurance to their members. BCF insurance normally covers riding
taking part
in BCF sanctioned events. The CTC policy is more general, and provides
yearly cover for cycles with `no-claims' reductions in premiums after
the
first year as well as accident cover within the UK. AUDAX UK offer
third-party insurance for the duration of their events.

It's also worth remembering that the cost of your premium will depend
on
where you live, with so-called `high crime areas' (usually London,
Manchester, Liverpool, Oxford and Cambridge, sometimes other places
too)
costing considerably more than so-called `low-crime' areas. A good
rule of
thumb is that you can expect to pay about 10 pounds per 100 pounds of
value
of the bike for `low crime' areas, two or three times that for other
areas.
When calculating a premium, don't forget to add insurance premium tax
(2.5%
at the moment, 4% from April) - also be aware that some policies
(notably
the CTC policy, there may be others) have a weighting for MTBs, since
they
are more likely to be stolen than touring or road bikes. In addition,
some
insurance companies will not offer policies to students, irrespective
of
where they live (the definition of `student' varies, but it appears to
mean
anyone between the ages of 18 and 24). The only insurance company that
will
definitely insure students is Endsleigh, but their is an upper limit
of 350
pounds on their cycle policy.

For contact info for insurance companies, check out your local Yellow
Pages.
Many of the big companies have Freephone (0800) numbers. Be aware that
in
order for your policy to be valid, you must send a copy of the
original
purchase receipt for your bike (or an independent valuation) to the
company,
and certain companies won't insure bikes that aren't `tagged' (eg.
with a
DataTag)

James D Annan ) writes:
"Fern Financial Services (01483 797068) provide cover for tandems and
other
bicycles, at a sensible price. Several people who we have spoken to
have
found that they can insure their house contents _plus_ tandem, through
Fern,
for less than they were paying for house contents alone (many house
contents
policies have unrealistic upper limits on the value of a tandem).
Highly
recommended. Cover for single bicycles is also competitive."

5. What cycle routes exist within the UK?

Whilst the UK doesn't have an extensive network of cycle paths like,
say,
Belgium or the Netherlands, there has been a recent increase in the
number
of dedicated cycle routes in the UK over recent years. The
environmental
charity Sustrans (http://www.sustrans.co.uk/) has been developing a
national
cycle network over the past few years with a view to having it fully
operational by the turn of the century.

Perhaps the most well known cycle route in the UK is the Sea-To-Sea
(C2C)
route from Workington in Cumbria to either Wallsend (near Newcastle)
or
Seaburn (near Sunderland). This route, also maintained by Sustrans,
takes
the rider through some of the most spectacular scenery in England.
Links
with B+B establishments and Youth Hostels en route mean that the route
is
doable at any pace you wish. There is also an unofficial C2C route
page
available.

Paul Crook ) wrote: Two obvious routes that
spring
to mind are the Camel Trail in Cornwall and The Tarka Trail in North
Devon -
both ex railway lines.

The Camel Trail runs from Padstow on the North Cornish coast, inland
to
Wadebridge along the Camel Estuary then heads along the river Camel in
the
direction of Bodmin and finally ends at a Car park at Poley's Bridge
(I'm
not sure where this is having never gone all the way to the end ).
Think
it's about 17 miles total length, very scenic - coastal views followed
by
wooded valley. Bikes can be hired at Padstow and Wadebridge.

The Tarka Trail is about 18 miles and runs from Barnstaple train
station
(catch a regional railways train from Exeter, St. Davids). It finishes
up in
Great Torrington after passing though Bideford. "Tarka the Otter"
countryside as in the book. Bike hire at Barnstaple.

Michael Hoath ) also writes: It might be worth
adding
that the Tarka trail is impassable by tandem or anything with a
trailer and
I understand that part of the Camel Trail is to be closed.

For those of a more adventurous turn of mind, there's a good deal of
cycling
to be had in many of the National Parks, with the Yorkshire Dales, the
Peak
District and Exmoor being particularly popular - information can
generally
be had from tourist information bureaux. On another level, a privately
collated list of rides in Northern England, `The Thousand Hills', is
being
made available by David Nulty - more information can be found at his
web-site, http://www.redrocks.demon.co.uk/.

For those people who do a lot of urban cycling, your local cycling
campaign
or council may provide maps of cycle route free of charge (York
certainly
do, I'm not sure about others -ssw). Dome Publishing Ltd. produce
cycle maps
of the following areas: Birmingham (City Centre and Suburbs), Bristol
and
Surrounding Area, East Kent (Canterbury and Ashford), Glasgow (City
Centre
and Suburbs) and Oxford. In addition, the London Cycling Campaign
publish
(published?) a book called `On Your Bike: Guide to Cycling in London'
- I
have no idea if this is still available (perhaps someone from LCC
could
clarify this one?)

6. What books are available on cycling?

There are numerous books on cycling in general, take a look in your
local
bookshop and you'll see. Obviously, books of routes for various parts
of the
country are available, and the Ordnance Survey have recently published
a
series of books of day rides of varying difficulty.

Questions on maintainence often crop up, and rather than address the
solutions to common problems, which will probably be found in one of
the
rec.bicycles.* FAQs anyway, I'm going to list a series of maintainence
books. Compared to books on general cycling, maintainence books are
rather
thinner on the ground, but those that exist are generally good. More
often
than not, looking something up in a book will be far more useful than
posting a query to the newsgroup and waiting for an answer. (Note, the
list
below is very incomplete, and probably won't be updated until I've
unpacked
all my books when I've moved house! - ssw)

* `The Bike Book' (Haynes)
From the publishers of the famous car manuals, this somewhat
glossy
book tells you how to fix just about any fault you're liable to
encounter when on two wheels. Lots of illustrations and easy to
follow
instructions take some of the chance out of even difficult
repairs -
definitely recommended.

* `The Bicycle Wheel' by Jobst Brandt (Avocet, ISBN 0-9607236-6-8)
Any regular on the rec.bicycles.* newsgroups will know of Mr.
Brandt,
since he's written the definitive book on bicycle wheels. If
you're
even considering building your own wheels, this is a must have.
Definitely not for the non-technical, but indispensible
nonetheless. An
equally good Web-based guide to wheelbuilding can be found on
Sheldon
Brown's WWW pages
(http://www.sheldonbrown.com/biz/hub/wheelbuild.html). It's worth
noting that this book is available in English and German. The
ISBN
number for the English version is given.

* `The Bicycle Repair Book'' by Rob van der Plas (Bicycle Books,
ISBN
0-9332015-5-9)
An inexpensive book on cycle maintainence, mainly let down by the
fact
that it's incredibly out of date when compared to, say, `The Bike
Book'
(I have the second edition - I'm not sure whether it has been
updated
-ssw). That aside, it's useful for those of us who have older
bikes or
bikes fitted with retro components. Not as lavishly illustrated
as `The
Bike Book' but useful for mechanical newbies due to the thorough
writing style. Good, but not brilliant.

By far the best source of cycling books in the UK is Bicycling Books:

* Bicycling Books
309/311 Horn Lane
London
W3 0BU

Phone: (0181) 993 3484
Fax: (0181) 993 1891

On the web, a number of the larger Internet bookshops carry books on
cycling
of all types: try The Internet Bookshop (http://www.bookshop.co.uk)
and
Blackwells in Oxford (http://www.blackwell.co.uk/)

7. What is the situation concerning bikes on trains?

Since the railways have been privatised, the entire British rail
system has
become extremely fragmented. As a result, so have the conditions
regarding
carriage of cycles. Different TOCs (Train Operating Companies) have
different rules, although a few general guidelines exist:

* Reservations must be made in advance, so you need to know what
train
you're travelling on. Usually, a `cycle fee' of three pounds must
be
paid. This does not give you the right to travel with your bike.
A fee
made must be paid for each complete trip, not each *leg* of the
journey
(eg. if you have to change trains twice, you still only pay three
pounds) - Carriage of a bicycle on a train is at the guards
discretion.
All that said, a great many operators (mostly PTEs, Strathclyde
in
particular) still carry bikes for free.
* Space on certain trains will be limited. Most provincial trains
are one
or two-car multiple-units (`Sprinters') which nominally have
space for
two cycles (or one loaded bike, in my experience -ssw). Some TOCs
(notably Anglia) have refurbished their multiple units to take up
to
six cycles. InterCity trains (run by the likes of GNER and West
Coast)
have proper guards vans, and space on these isn't really a
problem
(Great Western Trains are currently refurbishing the guards vans
in
their HST sets, whether this is good or bad news is anyone's
guess!).
It is still advisable to book in advance.
* Certain TOCs in London and the South East have restrictions on
which
trains cycles can and cannot be carried on. Cycles are not
conveyed at
all on certain parts of the Underground during peak hours
(Victoria
line?)
* Many TOCs will not convey tandems or recumbents *at all* (this
will
probably be the case with many services, where space on trains is
at a
premium. I can see no reason why a tandem or recumbent cannot be
conveyed in the guards van of an Inter City train -ssw)
* Most folding cycles are considered as standard luggage providing
they
are conveyed in a folded state. In this case, the cycle fee is
not
payable.

A lot of railway companies now have pages on the Web, and information
on
their regulations governing cycle carriage may (no promises!) be found
on
their web pages. An index of TOC homepages can be found at:

http://www.rail.co.uk/

In addition to this, RailTrack have their own website from which
travel
information can be obtained, although there is little, if any,
information
on cycle carriage:

http://www.railtrack.co.uk/

whether you'll find information specifically for cyclists is open to
question, but contacts for the TOCs are given so you can pursue your
own
enquiries. Some TOCs (specifically GNER, although others may be doing
so)
are actively seeking the opinions of cyclists as to provision of
cycling
facilities, so things may improve in the near future.

For cyclists travelling abroad via the Channel Tunnel, cycles can be
carried
on Le Shuttle by prior arrangement, and bikes are carried on Eurostar
via
the `Esprit' parcel service. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that
the
bike and its rider will be on the same train. Cost is around fifty
pounds
(from: Ian Snowdon )

A good guide to the current policies of the different TOCs (which seem
to
change with depressing regularity) is available via the Cycleway
Homepage. A
similar guide to Bikes on Ferries can be found at the same site (this
info
can also be obtained from the CTC handbook)

8. What good mail order outlets are there?

If you can't get something from your local bike shop, it's logical to
turn
to mail-order. There exist a lot of mail-order outlets in the UK,
although
opinion is divided over which are good and which aren't. Several
outlets are
regularly mentioned in uk.rec.cycling (for a variety of reasons - this
list
is not here to say which are `good' and `bad', you can draw your own
conclusions), and a list of these is given below. Most of these
companies
advertise in cycling magazines (eg. Cycling Plus, Cycling Weekly,
CT&C)

* St.John Street Cycles
91-93 St.John Street
Bridgewater
Somerset
TA6 5HX
PHONE: (01278) 441502
FAX: (01278) 431107
WWW: http://www.sjscycles.com/

* Ribble Cycles
6-8 Watery Lane
Preston
Lancashire
PR2 2NN
PHONE: (01772) 687722
FAX: (01772) 687733

* Deeside Cycles
Transport Hall
Nelson Street
Shotton
Flintshire
CH5 1DH
PHONE: (01244) 831110
FAX: (01244) 812067
EMAIL:
WWW:
http://www.business.u-net.com/~deesidecycle

* Geoffrey Butler Cycles
15 South End
Croydon
Surrey
CR0 1BE
PHONE: (0181) 688 5094
FAX: (0181) 680 2068
EMAIL:
WWW:
http://www.pavilion.co.uk/cycle/

* Parker International
Lilyhurst Industrial Estate
Abbey Road
Sherriffhales
Shropshire
TF11 8RL
PHONE: (01952) 676777
FAX: (01952) 676234
EMAIL:
WWW:
http://www.parker-international.co.uk/

* Edinburgh Bicycle
FREEPOST
8 Alvanley Terrace
Whitehouse Loan
Edinburgh
EH9 0LY
PHONE: (0131) 228 1368
FAX: (0131) 229 4447
EMAIL:
WWW:
http://www.edinburgh-bicycle.co.uk/

* Freewheel
153-154 Briggate
Leeds
LS1 6NH
PHONE: (0113) 245 6867
FAX: (0113) 244 8662
EMAIL:
WWW:
http://www.freewheel.co.uk/

* Wheelbase
Staveley Mill Yard
Staveley
Kendal
Cumbria
LA8 9LS
PHONE: (01539) 821443
FAX: (01539) 821445
WWW: http://www.wheelbas.demon.co.uk/

* Swallow Tandems
Llangedwyn Mill
Llangedwyn
Oswestry
Shropshire
SY10 9LD
PHONE: (01691) 780050
FAX: (01691) 780110
EMAIL:
WWW:
http://www.swallow-tandems.co.uk
(If you want to know anything about tandems, check out their web
site)

* Settle Cycles
The Station Yard
Settle
BD24 9BD
PHONE: (01729) 822216

* Spa Cycles
1 Wedderburn Road
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
HG2 7QH
PHONE/FAX: (01423) 887003
Good source for Stronglight and TA components, and touring kit in
general. Also (along with SJSC) one of the few sources of Suntour
components in the UK.

* CTC Shop - same address as the CTC Good source of clothing,
luggage
etc. You don't have to be a member of the CTC to take advantage
of the
shop, and they welcome personal callers.

Along slightly different lines, Francis Thurmer offers a mail-order
service
for `hard to find' items such as deep-drop brakes and other bits of
`retro'
bike equipment. His address is given below, and a 25 page catalogue is
available on request (enclose an SAE)

* Francis Thurmer CYCLES PLUS
225 Desborough Road
High Wycombe
Bucks
HP11 2QW

9. What's the situation regarding LED lights?

The Road Traffic Act states that for use at night, a bicycle must be
fitted
with front and rear lights that conform to the appropriate British
Standard
(which isn't exactly held in high esteem by many people!) or a
suitable
European equivalent. There's a general conflict of opinion as to
whether LED
lights, particularly those with only a `flashing' mode, conform to the
British Standard, being as an LED isn't a `steady' source in the same
way
that an incandescent bulb is. Despite that, many LED lights are built
to
Dutch or German standards, so should technically be legal in the UK -
more
information can be found in the February/March issue of the CTC
magazine.

All that said, LED lights are widely used because they're available
fairly
cheaply, are very visible and can go for a long time before the
batteries
need changing. There have been no reports of anybody being prosecuted
for
using LED lights on their bikes. Despite the quasi-legality of LED
lights,
having solely LED lights on your bike (especially one of those green
`headlight' jobs) is not a good idea. Indeed, a large number of people
use
LEDs as backup lights, either with a dynamo or with more conventional
lights. Although it's common sense, riding at night without lights is
not
only dangerous, it's also illegal.

There are a number of useful sources of lighting information on the
Web:
AUDAX UK have a useful lighting resource section at:

http://www.aukhawk.demon.co.uk/lite/lights.htm

which, although it is aimed at long-distance night riders, contains
some
very useful information and links. Also, Andrew Henry maintains a
bicycle
lighting FAQ at:

http://www.bath.ac.uk/~bspahh/bikelights/lights.html

9a. I'd like to buy a dynamo for my bike - which should I buy?

Although dynamos could be seen as `old technology', they are very
popular,
particularly with AUDAX riders and the like, for the obvious reason
that
they don't require batteries. There are two common types of dynamo,
the
traditional `sidewall' dynamo which fits to the forks or seatstay of
the
bike and is driven by a roller which makes contact with the sidewall
of the
tyre, and the `bottom bracket' dynamo, which fits underneath the bike
and is
powered via a roller which makes contact with the rolling surface of
the
tyre. Hub dynamos are also available, in which the dynamo is built
into the
hub itself. Fitment of such requires rebuilding of the wheel, and some
problems have been reported using dynamo hubs with quick-release
wheels.

The most commonly used bottom bracket dynamos are made by Union and
Sanyo,
and used in conjunction with an appropriate light, are pretty reliable
above
about 5mph. Some people have reported that BB dynamos are very prone
to
slippage in wet conditions, although the Union system circumvents this
by
using a roughened strip on the roller. BB dynamos aren't particularly
difficult to fit, but care must be taken to ensure that the roller
makes a
good contact with the tyre. Typical prices for BB dynamos are between
30 and
35 pounds, and are available from most good cycle shops (St.John
Street
Cycles regularly advertise BB dynamos in their magazine ads)

There are a number of sidewall dynamos on the market, the commonly
available
types are the AXA-HR, the Union Turbo and the Nordlicht. The Nordlicht
is
recommended by the CTC, but it has been reported that it can be
difficult to
obtain (although it is available from the CTC shop). From personal
experience, the AXA-HR is a common choice with local cyclists, since
it's
fairly cheap, fairly foolproof and very reliable. It also has a
built-in
voltage regulator, which is handy for those people who are developing
home-brew lighting systems but don't want to spend their time
replacing
blown halogen bulbs. The Union Turbo is similar, but (if memory
serves)
lacks the voltage regulator, although a headlamp is available with
such a
device installed. Installation of sidewall dynamos can be a little
tricky
(it's a classic `three hands' job!) and like BB dynamos, good contact
with
the tyre is essential in order to avoid slippage in wet conditions.
Also,
fitting a dynamo to a seatstay (rather than a fork blade) can be
extremely
difficult if you have a rear rack fitted. Use of a sidewall dynamo
carries
the price of increased wear on the tyre sidewall, which can sometimes
lead
to the sidewall splitting, with potentially nasty results (usually the
wheel
locking). Many tyres (in particular the Continental Top Touring/Top
Touring
2000 and some Hutchinson tyres) have a sidewall strip, and if a dynamo
is
being fitted, the roller should be made to contact this strip, where
the
sidewall is thicker. A good sidewall dynamo usually costs between 10
and 20
pounds, which generally includes appropriate bracketing and lights.
Union
products are available from most good cycle shops, although in case of
difficulty, their UK distributor is:

* Marwi UK Ltd.
Carnaby Industrial Estate
Lancaster Road
Carnaby
Bridlington
North Humberside

Phone: (01262) 671942

It's a well-known fact that standard dynamo lights go out when the
bike
stops, and LED lights are ideal backup for dynamo users (many people
mount a
pair of green LED lights on their forks). It is possible to get lights
which
remain illuminated for a short time after the bike has stopped. The
Lumotec+
is a front lamp not unlike the standard Union lamp but contains a
yellow LED
which remains illuminated for a while after the bike has stopped and
visibility is said to be good. A similar rear light, the 4D-Light is
also
available. Although both the Lumotec+ and 4D-Light are expensive,
they're
probably worthy consideration by people who do a lot of night-riding.
They
are available from the CTC Shop. AXA also manufacture a rear dynamo
light
with LED standby (the Optica 1) which is available from Spa Cycles in
Harrogate.

Finally, for those having trouble mounting dynamos, the CTC shop stock
a
gadget called the `Dynoshoe' which is designed to safely support a
dynamo.
Another version, the `Dynoshoe LT', which also supports a lamp, is
also
available. Both these devices use a cantilever boss as the main
support
(thanks to Brian Attewell for this info)

10. What is a DataTag?

A DataTag is a small transponder which is inserted into the seat tube
of a
cycle, which emits a unique signal which can be detected using the
appropriate equipment. The DataTag was originally developed by Yamaha
for
use in motorcycles, but was adapted for pedal cycles. Once a cycle has
been
`tagged, its details are entered into a national database which is
available
to the police in the event of a theft (the police also have equipment
which
can read `tags, apparently). A DataTag is a deterrent, not an
anti-theft
device. Theft of a DataTagged bike should be reported to the police
and the
DataTag division of Yamaha (the appropriate procedure is given upon
registration). DataTag is a nationally recognised cycle-coding
systems,
which is useful when it comes to getting your bike insured.

Around 6000 bike shops in the UK can fit DataTags, and the kit costs
around
25 pounds (you can either do it yourself or have it fitted at the
shop)
which includes the cost of registration of your cycle with Yamaha's
DataTag
division and several frame stickers (indicating the DataTag code
number and
a `DataTagged Bike' sticker). Reregistration of a Datatagged bike (eg.
if
it's sold) costs ten pounds.

Further details should be available from:

DataTag Electronic Identification Systems
Yamaha Motor (UK) Limited
Sopwith Drive
Brooklands
Weybridge
SURREY
KT13 0UZ

Phone: (01932) 358000
Fax: (01932) 358030

Note that the above address is for Yamaha, from whom general
information
about DataTags can be obtained. For more specifics, such as
registration
queries, changes of address and theft reports, the NPR DataTag
Division
should be contacted directly. Their address is:

NPR DataTag Division
1 Marina Court
Castle Street
Hull
HU1 1TJ

Phone: (01482) 222070

11. Where can I get information about races and other cycling events?

In general, information about events rarely gets posted to the
newsgroup
(unless the event is one of the big Tours), although a couple of CTC
DAs
post information about forthcoming rides. This is not to say that
posting
race/results info is frowned upon, it just rarely happens.For
information
about forthcoming races on a national scale, your best bet is to pick
up a
copy of `Cycling Weekly', which has a comprehensive race listing (both
TTs/roadraces and MTB events) and results service. Cycling Plus also
has a
`diary' section, but as C+ is a monthly, the listings aren't as
complete as
those in CW.

If you're after local information, you could do a lot worse than
looking in
your local cycle shop, especially if they're the sponsors of a local
club.
If you're actually wanting to join a cycling club, again, the local
bike
shop owner will generally point you in the right direction

A list of AUDAX rides is available on the AUDAX UK website
(http://www.audax.uk.com/)

12. I'm very small/tall and can't find a bike to fit. What do I do?

Most `off-the-peg' cycles come in a range of sizes, the size being
either
the length of the top tube (generally given in centimetres) or the
centre-centre distance between the bottom bracket shell and the top of
the
seat tube (generally given in inches). It's a popular misconception
that
people of a given height should ride a frame of a particular size,
although
there's an element of truth that very tall riders require large frames
eg. I
(ssw) am 6'2" and ride either a 23" or 23.5" road frame - this doesn't
mean
that every other cyclist who is 6'2" rides a 23" frame.

All that said, if you happen to be outside the `normal' height range,
you
can have extreme problems buying a bike, even moreso if you happen to
be a
woman. Generally, the largest commercially available frames are in the
25"
ballpark, which would probably suit someone who is either well over
six feet
tall or has very long legs. For road/touring frames, the smallest
sizes are
in the 18"/19" region, but even so, they're designed with the male
anatomy
in mind. MTB frames tend to be smaller, and a reasonable rule of thumb
is
that you can get away with an MTB frame 2-3" smaller than an
equivalent road
frame (I've seen MTB frames as small as 14.5" -ssw)

People who are small (ie. less than, say, 5'2") have additional
problems,
notably with things like cranks and brake levers (especially brake
levers
with STI). Dealing with cranks first, 170mm is a fairly standard size,
which
is OK if you're an average person. Getting larger cranks is fairly
easy, but
getting short cranks can be a nightmare, and modifying existing cranks
is
not a trivial task (Highpath Engineering, better known for their
transmission components, offer a crank shortening service). However,
Robin
Thorn (of St.John Street Cycles manufactures crank-shorteners which
bolt
onto the host bikes crank (without damaging it) effectively reducing
the
crank length. Using these, it is possible to alter the crank length
between
118mm and 154mm (for a 170mm crank). Similarly, brake levers are set
up for
`normal' sized hands, so if you have small hands, you're in trouble
(this is
apparently a big problem with STI/Ergo levers), although short-reach
brake
levers are available. Generally, if you're shorter than about 5'2", a
custom
frame is possibly the only way you'll get a bike that fits. Most
framebuilders can build very small frames, and Isla Rowntree
(Islabikes)
specialises in building bikes for `petite' women (eg. 700C wheels,
short
cranks, short reach brake levers etc.) . Female cyclists may be
interested
in an article which appeared in a back issue of CT&C a while back (no
date,
sorry!) which road-tested a series of `petite' bikes - all the women
who
took part in the test were 5'4" or shorter, if memory serves. In
addition,
at least one company, Bicycle Belle, deals specifically with equipment
for
female cyclists.

Much the same applies if you're extremely tall - even if an `off the
peg'
frame seems right, the top tube may be too small and the ride will be
cramped and hence uncomfortable, leaving the often expensive option of
having a frame built `to spec'. It's worth remembering that if you do
have
to go via this route, framebuilders probably have a fair amount of
experience in building frames for extremely tall/short people.

The overriding thing to remember is that a frame should feel
comfortable,
especially if you're planning long distance riding, otherwise you've
basically got something that's ill-fitting and unrideable.

13. I'd like to go on a cycling holiday - who offers such things?

The definition of `cycling holiday' varies from person to person, and
it can
be either a `proper' cycle tour or an organised holiday with a group
of
people. Holidays of the latter variety will be considered. The pace of
an
organised holiday can vary, ranging from gentle pottering around the
countryside with like-minded people to a full-on winter `training
camp'.

There aren't many companies that offer proper cycling holidays,
although
Bicycle Beano (Bicycle Beano, Erwood, Builth Wells, Powys, LD2 3PQ -
email:
) offer cycling holidays in Wales and other
parts
of the UK, and have a very good reputation. In addition to this, the
CTC
operate a series of tours in various parts of the world, and at
various
parts of the year, a listing of which is generally found in the
January
issue of CT&C magazine (as well as on the Web at
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...n/ctctou97.htm).
You
have to be a CTC member to go on such tours, but in general they're
extremely well organised, and offer a number of options for riders of
different abilities (I haven't heard anything bad said about them
-ssw)

Alternatively, there's the `training camp', a popular choice both with
roadies and MTB-ers who want to train during the winter months without
falling foul of British weather. Training camps aren't quite as bad as
they
sound, but they do allow riders the chance to go on train with some of
the
world's top pros in places like Majorca and Lanzarote. When you go to
a
`camp', there's no obligation to do all the rides, and you can do as
much or
as little as you wish. The February '97 edition of `Cycling Plus' has
an
interesting, if somewhat short article on training camps, for those
who are
interested.

14. Which panniers should I buy?

For carrying luggage on a bike, assuming that you have the appropriate
racks, panniers are hard to beat. Unfortunately, there are a number of
different makes on the market, with widely varying prices. The general
concensus of opinion is that there are three makes worth considering:
Ortlieb, Carradice and Karrimor. Some excerpts from a recent thread on
panniers follow:

Garry Lee ) wrote: "Carradice is NOT waterproof. I've a
Carradice saddlebag which is fine but need a binliner inside it. Very
tough
otherwise. I have Ortlieb bags (Rolltop rear panniers) and handlebar
bag.
These are totally waterproof, dead easy to put on and off etc. They
are
bright red. Aargh! Get dark green in preference. Disadvantage. Only
one
compartment.

Bottom line. Ortlieb, by a whisker."

Simon Ward ) wrote: "I use Carradice Super-C
panniers
for stuff like shopping, taking stuff to/from work as well as for
touring.
I've had my rear panniers for about 4 years and they're still going
strong,
as are the front panniers, although they don't get as much use. The
only
problem with them is that they're not *that* waterproof, on account of
being
made of cotton duck - showerproof yes, but definitely not
deluge-proof."

Robert Saunders ) wrote: "Another possibility
might
be the Karrimor Aquashield (I think that's what they are called).
These are
the welded seam, single compartment panniers with the roll top. They
come in
two types, one with a flap lid over the roll top closure, the other
without.
I use a pair of the former to carry sleeping bags when tandem touring.
They
appear to be totally waterproof, most recently tested May/June 1996 in
a wet
tour in Scotland. Again, not compartmented, but what panniers are?
(other
than a side pocket I mean)."

The general concensus is that if you want truly waterproof panniers,
go for
the Ortliebs, or if your wallet can't stretch that far, Karrimor
Aquashield
would seem like a cheaper alternative (there's not a lot of difference
between the price of Ortlieb and Carradice Super-C panniers).
Carradice
panniers, although very good, are only showerproof at best,
necessitating
the use of binliners if you want to keep things dry! (my opinion, YMMV
-ssw)

Ortlieb have a web site, although it is heavily frame-orientated and
dislikes Mosaic intensely. The UK distributor for Ortlieb is:

Lyon Equipment Ltd.
Rise Hill Mill
Dent
Sedbergh
Cumbria
LA10 5QL

PHONE: (01539) 625493
FAX: (01539) 625454

Carradice are reachable at:

Carradice of Nelson
Westmorland Works
Nelson
Lancs
BB9 7BA

and finally, Karrimor can be reached at:

Karrimor International Limited
Petre Road
Clayton-le-Moors
Accrington
Lancashire
BB5 5JZ

PHONE: (01254) 893134 (Factory Shop)
WEB: http://www.karrimor.co.uk/

In addition to Ortlieb, Carradice and Karrimor, the `Freedom
Bikepacking'
range of luggage is being sold by St.John Street Cycles under the name
of
`Thorn Luggage'. This represents good value for money, and although
maybe
not as waterproof as Ortlieb bags, they are better value than
Carradice -
possibly good for commuting purposes.

Smaller articles of cycle luggage such as frame packs and under-saddle
wedge
packs (very handy for keeping tools in) are available from a number of
companies, notably Trek and Cannondale, and Marin have recently
introduced a
rather smart range of cycle bags. `Traditional' saddlebags are made by
Carradice, the `Camper Longflap' being popular with both tourists and
long-distance riders (it has the capacity of a pair of front Super-C
panniers ...)

15. I'm going touring for the first time - what should I take?

Luggage for touring is a very personal thing. Somebody asked a similar
question (`What should I take?') on rec.bicycles.misc last year and
there
was a veritable deluge of replies and luggage lists. What you take on
a tour
depends on a) how long the tour is going to be and b) how paranoid you
are.
I [ssw] have a tendency to overpack, but a list of what I'd take on a
short
tour (say, a week or so) is given below:

TOOLS etc.

* Toolkit (2x10mm combination spanners for brakes, 4/5/6/8mm Allen
keys,
crank extractor, HyperCracker, spoke wrench, puncture kit, tyre
levers,
spare batteries, small adjustable spanner and spare set of brake
blocks)
* Spare spokes (taped to one of the seatstays)
* Spare inner tube (or two)
* Grease (kept in an old film container)
* Cable ties (multitudinous uses!)

For extended periods out in the sticks, I'd include a spare chain (and
cassette, if I'm feeling truly paranoid!). If you're got a Shimano
equipped
bike, the HyperCracker is an invaluable tool, and is infinitely
lighter and
less hassle than a chainwhip and spline remover. All of the above fits
nicely in an old bumbag or under-seat wedgepack. (side note: For those
people who are lucky enough to be riding non-Shimano equipped
bicycles, the
Hypercracker is a splined tool for removing cassettes on the road. The
tool
is placed in the cassette lockring, and the frame provides the
necessary
leverage to undo the lockring when the pedals are turned - it works
very
well, although isn't recommended for use with aluminium frames as
people
have reported that the tool can dent the chainstay)

An alternative is to buy one of the multitude of multi-tools that are
on the
market. The Cool-Tool[tm] is the best known (contact: Ison
Distribution,
(01223) 213800) and consists of an adjustable spanner (narrow enough
to
adjust cones at a pinch), 4,5,6 and 8mm Allen keys, a chainlink
remover and
a 14mm socket. Optional extras include a headset adaptor and a crank
extractor. Alternatively, the Topeak Survival kit contains most of the
features of a Cool-Tool[tm] within a small box which clips to the bike
frame. The `Survival Kit' also contains a puncture repair kit.

OTHER STUFF:

* Two pairs of cycling shorts
* Two or three sets of underwear (ie. undies+socks)
* Spare pair of socks (in case you get seriously soaked!)
* `Decent clothes' (ie. pair of jeans and a couple of T-shirts)
* Sandals or flip-flops
* Sunblock (!)
* Toiletries
* A space blanket

This little lot should fit nicely in one large pannier, leaving lots
space
for miscellaneous bits and pieces in the other pannier. If you're
running
with two sets of panniers (ie. front and rear), it's quite easy to fit
a
sleeping bag into one of the front panniers and keep tools etc. in the
other
front pannier (most people I know who have handlebar bags generally
use them
for keeping a camera in, plus wallets, keys etc.) For those who are
taking a
tent, it makes sense to attach it to the top of your rear rack with
bungee
cords.

As far as loading goes, try and distribute the weight 60/40 rear/front
so
that the steering isn't affected too much. Before you start off, take
the
bike for a short spin to make sure that nothing rattles too much and
the
handling of the bike is OK. If things don't feel right, don't hesitate
to
repack things. If you're using a handlebar bag, don't forget that they
can
have a pretty drastic affect on steering. Also before you set off,
make sure
that your brakes are in good working order. Stopping a laden bike
(especially with two sets of panniers) takes longer than stopping an
unladen
bike, especially in wet conditions. Be prepared to stop in good time
and
apply the brakes gently - it's not impossible to pull a laden bike out
of a
rear-wheel skid, but it's damned hard work!

16. What is the `End-To-End'? How do I go about doing it?

The `End-To-End' is possibly the ultimate UK cycle route, and it is
exactly
what it says it is, a trip from one end of Britain to the other (Lands
End-John O'Groats, or vice versa) covering, on average, about 800
miles
(1300km). Needless to say, it's a fairly popular charity ride
(recently
completed by Phil Liggett and a number of others) and it's also a
fairly
popular ride for people attempting to break records of various kinds
(the
current record is held by Andy Wilkinson, if I recall), and no doubt
riding
the length of Britain would make the good basis for a cycling holiday,
either solo or as part of a group.

The `End to End' isn't administered as a `proper' cycle route in the
strictest sense of the word, although the CTC do publish their own
`suggested' route (details from them). For members of AUDAX UK, it's
possible to do the run in a number of different formats, ranging from
8
consecutive rides of 200km to their `Tourist Award', in which the
1360km
must be ridden in less than 2 weeks (details are published in the AUK
Handbook). Most other people just get their maps out and plan their
own
route.

There are a number of `End-To-End' reports on the Web, and if you're
planning on doing the ride, reading such reports can be quite
informative,
as well as giving a few hints on how to approach such an undertaking.
The
URLs of a couple of these reports are given below:

Paul Smee's End-To-End Tour Report
End-To-End with Bicycle and Three Others

[NOTE: A Web search for `John O'Groats' will turn up quite a few
End-To-End
tour reports, but be prepared to wade through a bit of information
about
John O'Groats itself!]

17. How can I go about transporting my bike(s) on my car?

In general, there are two types of bike rack, roof-mounted and tow-bar
mounted. A recent thread on roof-mounted carriers yielded this
article.
Information of tow-bar mounted carriers is given below.

Michael Hoath ) wrote: "I would suggest Thule. They
are
better made than anything else I have ever used or seen. I load mine
with a
tandem and two solos. No problem.

Bike carrier.
I couldn't afford the Thule ones. I suggest you buy the best you can
afford
though. Forget the upside down ones. They wreck your bar tape and
saddle.
They are also difficult to use if your handlebars are cluttered with
rapid
fire shifters and computer mounts. Wheel-out ones are fine. Very
secure. But
you have to take a wheel out and carry it elsewhere. Wheel in, upright
ones
are fine, but beware of cheap ones. Go for something that looks as
though
the designer thought about the frame clamp. Also, make sure that the
wheel
mounting place offers a strap to secure the wheels.

Halfords do two upright, wheel-in racks (to the best of my knowledge).
The
more expensive one is (I'm pretty sure) about 30 ukp. This one offers
two
frame clamps for round or oval down tubes. The wheel clamps are
strapped.
The rack is also very easy to fit. My only doubt is the rivets that
fit the
hinged frame clamp to the main part of the rack. I might be inclined
to
replace these with a more substantial bolt, washers and self locking
nut.
Anyway, this is the sort I use at present and it's fine. Put a strap
around
the hinged clamp bar to hold it down against the rack when not in use.
Otherwise it jumps about. A note of caution. (Five in fact).

1. Be careful when tightening the frame clamp. Aluminium and other
lightweight frame tubes could easily be crushed.
2. I always secure the bike with two further staps at 45 degrees
between
the chainstays (rear horizontal forks) and the roof rack itself.
The
whole lot becomes more secure.
3. Check the roof loading limit for your car. Bikes on the roof car
have a
nasty effect on handling.
4. You'll be surprised how easy it is to forget the bikes are up
there and
drive under a low branch.
5. Check your car insurance.

Arno straps. Self locking straps made of something tough. These are
excellent tie-down straps. They sell them in Millets. They sometimes
break
though.

Failing the roof rack idea, a tow bar mounted rack that supports the
bike
wheels is very effective. eg HOBO. I never trusted the strap on rear
bike
carriers.

The Cyclists' Touring Club can offer good advice if you are a member.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the information given is based only on my
opinions experience, which is limited. I am NOT an expert and you must
satisfy yourself that loads are safe. Don't take my word for it, I
could be
wrong. I cannot be held responsible for any action you take as a
result of
my opinions given above, they are only offered as help."

Much of the above can also be said for tow-bar mounted racks, although
these
have some obvious advantages, notably that bikes strapped on the back
of a
car won't affect the handling as much as bikes strapped to the roof,
but
bear in mind that although you don't have extra height to worry about,
you'll have extra length instead! Also, be aware that bikes mounted on
tow-bar carriers are going to be very susceptible to road-spray, so
removing
wheels is a wise move.

Both types of cycle carrier are available through most good bike
shops.
St.John Street Cycles keep a good range, which also includes a tandem
carrier.

James D Annan ) wrote:
"Another frequently overlooked method for carrying bikes on cars is
simply
to put some roof bars on, pad them, and lie the bike down flat (tying
it on
of course). This cuts out the surprisingly common problem of driving
under
low obstacles that the standard upright method sometimes has. We
manage a
tandem on the top of a Nissan Micra this way - the roof is shorter
than the
wheelbase so other methods would be difficult."

18. I want to buy a trailer/trailerbike for my child. What is
available?

Trailers and trailer-bikes are two methods which allow a child to
cycle with
their parents. Trailers are mostly used for carrying toddlers or very
small
children, whereas trailer-bikes actually allow the child to pedal
along with
the parents. For family cycling, trailers/trailerbikes are generally
used in
conjunction with tandems, although they can just as easily be fitted
to
solos.

Regarding trailerbikes, Michael Hoath ) writes:

The most well-known trailerbike is that made by IslaBikes. There are
others
of older and newer design.

When buying a trailer bike, there are a number of considerations:

* Method of attachment to parent bike.
The ones I have seen attach either by a 4-point rack onto the
usual
braze-ons, or onto the parent's seat pillar. The rack type would
seem
to be favourite, providing strength and the opportunity to use
saddle
bags etc. It is important to follow the setting up instructions
provided by the manufacturer to get the position of the pivot
right -
otherwise handling can be affected. Islabikes can provide a
second
mounting frame so parents can use the trailerbike on more than
one
bike.

* Wheel size on trailer.
Some include a standard 700c wheel. I would favour a smaller
wheel with
a wide low pressure tyre. This is more comfortable for the child
and
facilitates the use of a smaller frame size.

* Effects on handling.
I have heard some people claim the trailer affects handling. Of
course
it does but not badly and it's not at all difficult to set it up
right.

* Child's pedals and crank length.
Much shorter cranks. Pedals with toe clips are important as the
whole
stability of your child on the bike depends on feet staying put.

* Gears.
A Sturmey-Archer 3-speed. Your child needs to be able to keep up
with
the pedals on the flat and climbing. Believe me, you will need
the
child's help when climbing at times. The Sturmey provides
reliable, low
maintenance, effective gears. There is little chance of the chain
jumping off, derailleurs slipping, or anything that might cause
the
rear wheel to jam. The child finds the gears easy to manage and
can
change gear at virtually any time.

* Ability to attach panniers to parent bike.
Some manufacturers provide pannier attachments for their
trailerbike
mounting rack. In the case of Islabikes, the pannier bit is
effective
and the whole thing looks just like an ordinary rack when the
trailer
id not attached.

* Mudguard attachment on trailer.
Make sure that it is possible to fit one.

* Mudguards on parent bike.
Fit a rear mudguard and flap. Otherwise you child gets a mouthful
of
road-dirt.

* Size range.
A small frame with a long seat post and handle bars that move up
and
forward. This configuration will be useful from an early age to 9
or
10.

* Child's comfort.
The saddles provided are often a bit nasty. Fit something wide
and
soft, preferably without a plastic cover (sweaty). Your child
will be
most comfortable in a fairly upright riding position. This allows
them
to look around, hold conversations and avoid the constant sight
of
parent's back wheel. Use soft handlebar grips and narrow-ish
bars.

* Transportation.
Because they come apart, a trailer bike can be transported just
as an
ordinary bike.

* Frame material.
Usually plain guage steel. This gives a fairly soft ride. 531 is
available.

Remember that the child's comfort and enjoyment is of prime
importance.
There will be extra work for the parent but it is surprising what the
child
can contribute. (My son managed to push me several miles when my
bottom
bracket jammed). The trailer produces a strong and enthusiastic
cyclist.

The above is based purely on my opinions and personal experience.

For more information about both child seats and trailerbikes, two of
the
biggest manufacturers, Burley and Rhode Gear, have their own web sites
at
http://www.burley.com and http://www.rhodegear.com, respectively. In
addition, the Rhode Gear site also contains information about their
range of
car racks.

19. Is there a definitive way of determining correct saddle height?

Generally, an ideal saddle height is one where your legs are almost
fully
extended at the bottom of the pedalling stroke. This way, the rider is
able
to put a more power into his/her pedalling. In order to adjust your
saddle,
it helps to either have someone hold the bike for you, or to prop it
against
a wall. The following steps are useful:

1. Adjust the saddle height so that your legs are slightly bent at
the
bottom of the pedalling stroke (an angle of about 170 degrees
between
thigh and calf is quite acceptable)

2. Take the bike for a quick spin (a mile or so) - if you're having
to
move your hips from side to side as you pedal, the saddle is
probably
too high. Adjust as appropriate. If you feel any discomfort, ride
home
and readjust the saddle (alternatively, take the appropriate
tools with
you - a 6mm Allen key is all that is generally necessary)

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the saddle is at a height you find
comfortable. You should not be able to place your feet flat on
the
floor without straddling the top tube of your bike (if you can't
even
do this, your frame is probably too large)

Naturally, you won't get the saddle height right first time, and some
fine
tuning may be necessary. If you experience any knee pain, lowering the
saddle by about half an inch may solve the problem, as such pain is
often
caused by overextension of the leg.

Saddle height isn't the only important parameter when it comes to
comfortable riding, the orientation of the saddle itself is just as
important. Both men and women have a large concentration of nerves in
the
genital area, and an improperly adjusted saddle can lead to nerve
damage
(although this is probably more of a problem for men). Most seatposts
allow
saddles to be adjusted backwards and forwards (along the saddle rails)
and
up and down (the angle of the saddle with respect to the top tube).
Whilst
riding, your body weight should be resting on the bones in your pelvis
(anyone got the proper name for them?!), which in turn should be
resting on
the rear of the saddle - if your weight is resting on any other area,
you'll
soon know about it! The saddle should be adjusted so that your pelvic
bones
rest on the rear of the saddle. As for up-down orientation, most
people will
have their saddles either dead level, or pointing nose down slightly.
This
is a matter of taste, of course - personally, I have my saddle
adjusted nose
downwards slightly, mainly to keep my not inconsiderable weight off my
genitals! Under no circumstances should the nose of the saddle be
pointing
upwards, otherwise genital nerve damage is a distinct (not to mention
painful) possibility.

For long distance riding, it is not possible to completely eliminate
discomfort whilst riding, although proper saddle setup will delay the
onset
of such discomfort. Padded cycling shorts are useful, and can be
obtained
quite cheaply from nearly all decent bike shops - these shorts are
generally
made of Lycra, and should be as tight a fit as possible (men in
particular
should wear shorts that don't allow their genitals to move downwards
too
much). For those who wear `work' clothes to cycle in, it is possible
to buy
padded briefs (in both mens and womens fits) which are designed not
only to
minimise discomfort but to be worn all day under `normal' clothes (it
is
possible to wear lycra shorts under a pair of jeans, but it gets a bit
uncomfortable in hot weather!)

20. I'm looking to buy a new saddle for my bike, what would you
recommend?

One of the most personal aspects of cycling is choice of saddle, and
determining whether or not your backside is comfortable is about the
most
subjective thing imaginable. Nowadays, saddles can be split into two
different categories: gel saddles and leather saddles.

A gel saddle usually incorporates a layer of gel between the saddle
itself
and the riders backside, with the gel conforming to the rider and thus
reducing pressure on the more sensitive parts of his/her anatomy.
Leather
saddles are what they say they are, made of leather.

Dealing with gel saddles first. In general, they are comfortable, but
it is
vitally important not to buy a saddle with a plastic cover if you plan
to
ride long distances, as sweat will remain in contact with your body,
leading
to skin irritation. Most middle or top-end gel saddles have leather or
faux-leather coverings. The San Marco Rolls and Selle Italia Turbo
saddles
are commonly cited as relatively inexpensive and comfortable saddles,
with
the Rolls generally getting the thumbs-up from AUDAX riders, who tend
to be
particular about what they sit on! If you're not wanting to spend
loads of
money on a saddle, Viscount and Vetta manufacture a wide range of
saddles
for both men and women (more on womens saddles later) which are both
inexpensive and comfortable.

When people think of leather saddles, they think of Brooks. Indeed,
the fact
that Brooks have been making leather saddles since the early days of
cycling
and are still in business is glowing testimony to their products. It
is
perhaps unfortunate that leather saddles, Brooks' in particular, have
a kind
of stigma attached to them, and are generally associated with aged
cycle
tourists. This is unfortunate, since a well looked-after leather
saddle is
possibly the most comfortable thing you can put on a bike. A lot of
people
are also put off by the myth that a leather saddle needs `breaking in'
-
this is purely a subjective thing, and as with any saddle, the more
you ride
it, the more you'll get used to it. Brooks saddles are popular with
both
long-distance riders and cycle tourists, with the Brooks B17 and B66
being
commonly cited as good buys. ATB riders are catered for with the
Brooks
Conquest, a sprung version of the B66 which although looking old
fashioned,
is incredibly comfortable. Although many Brooks saddles would probably
considered too heavy for racing purposes, a number of manufacturers
are
producing leather racing saddles, including Brooks themselves, who a
reproducing the Ti-railed Swift.

Because cycling was (is?) viewed as a male-dominated sport, many
saddles,
like the bikes they are put on, are designed to conform with the male
anatomy, and a great many women find `ordinary' saddles quite
uncomfortable.
Fortunately, a large number of manufacturers produce saddles aimed
directly
at women, up to and including full-on racing saddles. Georgina Terry
is
perhaps the best known manufacturer of womens saddles, with the
advantage
that they're designed for the female, rather than the male, anatomy
(the
nose of a great many saddles points slightly upwards, which can cause
pressure on the more tender parts of the female anatomy - properly
designed
womens saddles do not suffer from this problem). In addition to their
standard range, Brooks also manufacture a saddle aimed at women (the
B66
Champion).

21. My chain keeps skipping on my cassette/freewheel - what should I
do?

NB. In the following section, the terms cassette and freewheel can be
taken
to be synonymous.

The commonest cause of chain skip is chain wear, sprocket wear or a
combination of the two. This is a fact of life, and even the best
maintained
drivetrain will succumb to wear eventually. The symptoms of this are
generally the chain skipping over the cassette under load. In many
cases,
only the most frequently used sprockets are affected (usually the
smaller
ones).

Wear of freewheel sprockets is usually most noticable when a new chain
is
fitted to a bike, and, more often than not, a new cassette will have
to be
bought as well (in some cases, a chain has been known to `bed in' to
the old
cassette, but this increases the rate of wear of both the chain and
the
cassette).

Because of the stretching forces that a chain is subjected to, it
generally
has a shorter life than other drivetrain components - exact mileage
varies
due to the type of chain, road conditions etc. In general, a chain
should be
binned if it measures more than 12 1/8" over twelve links (a new chain
should measure 12" over twelve links, the distance measured from the
centres
of the rivets). Chainrings and sprockets should be replaced when the
teeth
have a hooked or `shark tooth' appearance. Chainring wear is easy to
spot,
cassette wear less so, and with this in mind, Rohloff produce a device
which
allows measurement of how far gone your cassette cogs may (or may not)
be.
Unfortunately, the construction of current freehub cassettes,
especially
Shimano, is not conducive to replacement of single cogs, although it
is
possible given the correct equipment)

An equally common, and slightly more tricky to track down, cause of
chain
skip is a stiff link. This is a likely cause if you experience
problems with
a new chain and new freewheel/cassette. Personal experience has shown
that
the best way to isolate the stiff link is to slowly turn the pedals by
hand,
and the stiff link will generally cause the chain to jump as it passes
through the rear derailleur. Curing this is easily done, with the aid
of a
chaintool, by ensuring that the rivet in the offending link is flush
with
the sideplates of the chain.

It is not possible to completely eliminate wear of drivetrain
components
(except by not riding the bike) but a generally accepted method of
minimising drivetrain wear, thus saving money on new cassettes etc.,
is to
run two or three chains in rotation, cleaning and changing them every
500
miles or so. Good chains, eg. the Sachs SC40 (known as the Sedis
`black'),
are cheap enough to make this a reasonable course of action,
especially if
the bike is heavily used.

22. Are there any UK cycling e-mail lists?

A number of cycling related mailing lists exist, mostly on the
www.cycling.org (http://www.cycling.org/) site. A lot of these tend to
be
American dominated (so what's new?). The only e-mail list which aims
squarely at UK cyclists is the urbancyclist-uk mailing list, dealing
with,
oddly enough, urban cycling. The list is described thus (info used
without
permission, but it's on cycling.org anyway):

urbancyclist-uk is an e-mail forum for all cyclists in Britain who
think
that transport priorities in our urban areas need to change. As
traffic
conditions in our towns and cities worsen, with all the related
threats to
safety, health and convenience, it is becoming clear that increased
cycle
use is going to be a key feature of any workable solution to this
problem.
This list provides the opportunity for discussion of the merits of
various
kinds of cycle facilities and other ways in which people can be
encouraged
back onto bikes.

To subscribe to urbancycling-uk, send mail to:
with
the following command in the body of the message:

subscribe urbancyclist-uk-digest

To unsubscribe, merely change the

subscribe

to

unsubscribe

Other e-mail lists archived on
www.cycling.org which may be of
interest to
UK cyclists a

* eurobike - General list for cyclists in Europe. When I was last
subscribed, there was a lot of discussion about racing, although
this
may have changed.
* bikecurrent - Discussion of bicycle electronics including, but
not
limited to, commercial and homebrew lighting systems. Useful for
nightriders.
* bucc - British Universities Cycling Clubs
* randon-digest - Long distance, non-competitive cycling and fast
touring. Usually contains a lot of contributions from members of
AUDAX
UK.
* touring - information on cycle touring in general. American
dominated,
but contains some useful information.

To subscribe to any of these lists, follow the procedure described
above for
urbancyclist-uk, substituting the name of the appropriate mailing
list.

Appendix A: Useful Addresses

This section contains the addresses of manufacturers/companies
mentioned in
this document. The fact that the companies are mentioned should not be
taken
as an endorsement of their products or services.

* Highpath Engineering
Cornant
Cribyn
Lampeter
SA48 7WQ
Phone: (01570) 470035

* Bicycle Belle
26 Hamilton Avenue
Edinburgh
EH3 5AU
Guy
===
** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony.
http://www.chapmancentral.com
New! Improved!! Now with added extra Demon!
  #17  
Old September 4th 03, 10:40 PM
wafflyDIRTYcatLITTERhcsBOX
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ

AOL won't download the post, Guy, as it's too large. Now I know people can moan
about AOL, but it's not exactly an ISP that's only got a few subscribers :-)

Cheers, helen s


~~~~~~~~~~
This is sent from a redundant email
Mail sent to it is dumped
My correct one can be gleaned from
h*$el***$$n*$d$ot$**s**i$$m*$m$**on**[email protected]*$$a**$*o l*$*.*$$c$om*$
by getting rid of the overdependence on money and fame
~~~~~~~~~~
  #18  
Old September 5th 03, 08:36 AM
MSeries
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ

Doesnotcompute wrote:
My thoughts:
1) massive FAQs don't get read and are worthless.
2) short welcome FAQs [1] posted regularly [2] are essential
3) I would be willing to contribute in both time, content and server
space as well as linking from my signature.
4) however, I wouldn't want to do it all on my own - group effort please
[5] a few pages at most, easy on the eye and valuable content only -
check the welcome faq of uk.people.bodyart to see the idea
[6] once a fortnight perhaps? long enough not to bore but regular enough
that most newbies will see it in their initial post downloads.
--
Dnc



FWIW I think FAQs should consist of a list of Questions which are
hyperlinks to their answers which would exist either on the same page, a
single page of their own or a number of pages. Single page allows all
answers to be downloaded and read off line but multiple pages will be
easier to update as more Qs and As are added.

I must confess to never reading the FAQs for this group until I read
Guys post in this thread. (I noticed that it lists Bob Jacksons old
address BTW).

I'd be prepared to offer some technical help with preparation of the
pages and I'd link from my sig when I post using Cycling Forums.com (if
possible). I have some spare freewebspace too but not sure how much as
I'm planning on re-launching my own bike pages.



--
--------------------------

Posted via cyclingforums.com
http://www.cyclingforums.com
  #19  
Old September 5th 03, 09:58 AM
Just zis Guy, you know?
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ

"wafflyDIRTYcatLITTERhcsBOX" wrote in message
...

AOL won't download the post, Guy, as it's too large. Now I know people can

moan
about AOL, but it's not exactly an ISP that's only got a few subscribers

:-)

No, you're right, it's not exactly an ISP ;-)

--
Guy
===

WARNING: may contain traces of irony. Contents may settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.com


  #20  
Old September 5th 03, 10:21 AM
Richard Bates
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default FAQ

On Thu, 04 Sep 2003 18:19:56 +0100, Doesnotcompute
in
wrote:

[1] a few pages at most, easy on the eye and valuable content only -
check the welcome faq of uk.people.bodyart to see the idea

[2] once a fortnight perhaps? long enough not to bore but regular enough
that most newbies will see it in their initial post downloads.


Haven't checked the faq you refer to but I think one word you used
sums up my feelings. "Welcome".

I agree that with archives such as google, the FAQ is becoming less
and less useful. But I think a regular welcome post explaining who we
are, what urc is about could be what is required. And I think that is
something that Guy has gone a long way to providing already on his
website. Perhaps also included in the welcome post could be stuff
about what we see to be courteous/discourteous, for example frequency
of For Sale ads, binaries, TdF spoilers, crossposting to uk.tosspot,
HTML

A reference to Guy's site for newbie advice on more lighthearted
things such as camper vans, bibshorts etc could be included

Much of what goes on in urc starts with somebody posting a question
rather than a statement. I think that an FAQ could quite possibly kill
off some of the threads which keep urc alive. Even posting a question
about something that has been discussed thousands of times before
(thinking of helmets, lights, insurance) can yield a response that has
never been thought of before. I think it would be a shame to
potentially cease new answers to an old question.

Love and thoughts from Rich x

--
If ingnorance is bliss then I am the erm er
luckiest thingy in the whatchamacallit.
To mail me, change the obvious bit to richard
 




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