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Old 04-02-2011, 11:13 AM
javelin_sst javelin_sst is offline
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Default How important do you rate a bicycle as a survival tool?



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I've been seriously kicking around the idea of getting a bicycle, and Ive read many posts on the pro's and con's of them, but I'm wanting some opinions from you experts out there on would it be a good idea for me.
I live about 7 miles from the closest thing resembling a town, on a 2 lane highway. My area is hilly, rocky in places, but does have alot of animal trails. We do have horses and atv's - so other means of transportation is available.
Also, if I do get one, what kind? Full suspention or not? Extra parts? I don't have much funding to put to a bike, so I know my options in quality are pretty limited.
Thanks in advance
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:27 AM
arleigh arleigh is offline
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I prefir mountain bikes full suspension personally , but I'm old and lazy , what can I say .
My son worked for a bicycle shop in the mountains , they built custom bikes for all types of turain. the more you get into it the more attuned to what you are comfortable with .
Your body and expirence is very different than mine and so with every one else on the planet .
One thing I would advise though what ever bike you choose , get extra parts ,tires chains, ect,,because getting anything after the shtf is history.
Disk brake systems are best worth the extra $
I'll ask my son for more info
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:28 AM
Alligatorgars Alligatorgars is offline
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Very important
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:13 PM
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I think a bicycle is very important as backup transportation for emergency scenrios. They can go places cars/trucks can't. They're really quiet. They don't require gas or deisel.

Here's the first video in a series that a guy recently did on "the apocolypse specific bicycle":
He was apparently very dependent on bicycles at several points in his life.
He explains his reasons really well. Including his thoughts on disk brakes, tires, shocks, bike racks, fenders, trailers, handlebars, water bottles, bicycle loading,.....
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:09 PM
Grandpa Pipes Grandpa Pipes is offline
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It's very important to have a stout steel framed Cruiser or Mountain Bike for each member of your family as last resort transportation.

While there are many features that can be on any bike the one you have for bug out should be simple and easy to fix. That means internal hub gears, drum front brakes, rigid front forks with 26" fat tires.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:31 PM
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If you are able to ride one (not everyone is physically able) and it fits your situation (if you have to take an elderly parent along it probably won't), then I think a bicycle of some kind is very important.

I recommend a fully suspended bicycle over one that is partially suspended, or not suspended at all. Although, you may want to look at a "Pugsley".

First, determine your budget, and bear in mind that you will probably want to also get some decent pannier racks, panniers themselves and a carrying rack for both front and rear. Then go looking for a robust bike that will fit in your budget and leave some money left over for the panniers/racks. If that means you can get a bike with suspension then great, if not then okay.

But don't get a bike that is cheaply made. If you go to K-Mart/Walmart and look at some of their imported crap bikes, you can see some of the differences. I haven't looked lately, but some things I used to see are where the stamped lugs are pressed on to the frame. I would bet the quality has improved over the years, but still, have someone who knows how a quality bike is made show you the differences.

You don't need the lightest highest quality components, and often those are what drives the price up. Get a decent quality robust "mountain" bike.

Also, have someone who knows what they are doing, fit you to the frame. Bicycles come in different sizes, and so do humans. The frame has to match your body, especially the downtube and the top tube, or you won't be comfortable on it.

The advantage of a bicycle is that they are generally a very good backup mode of transportation that can get you farther along than walking. The distance that someone can walk in a day a bicyclist can ride in an hour.

That said, you have to be physically able to ride a bicycle. If you get injured or sick a bicycle may not be an option for transportation, whereas a car/truck or even a motorcycle can be used if you are injured or sick (but not too badly).

For most people, I recommend a decent quality MTB as a backup transportation for motorized transport. Even if you don't have a car, you can often take a bicycle on a boat, bus, a train, or even an airplane.
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:14 PM
Eugene Eugene is offline
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You don't need full suspension unless your downhill racing. You have to have enough speed to deflect it otherwise it would be so soft that you would be bouncing around as you pedal.
Even my front suspension bike I cranked the suspension all the way rigid and it still annoys me, it absorbs your pedaling power.
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:08 PM
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I really like riding a bike and it helps keep me in shape. Once I have been riding several weeks in early spring, I can ride 20-30 miles and even carry loads without hurting.

I recommend hybrid bikes equipped with kevlar tires for people plan both on road and trail riding. A full suspension bike is better on nasty trails but not very efficient when riding on pavement.

How important, I bought a new road bike this spring for $800. I'd say that's an important price tag.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:35 PM
Grandpa Pipes Grandpa Pipes is offline
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For a bulletproof bike consider the "Worksman" line of cruisers. They all are built with clincher rims , 11 ga. spokes (used on light motorcycles), steel lugged frames, drum brakes, kevlar 26x2.35 tires and internal geared hubs of 1,3 or 7 speeds.

Worksman is not called the Humvee of bikes for nothin'

All in all this line if bicycles in one of the toughest on the market since they were originally designed to take the abuse of industrial factory use. In civilized forum these bicycles will last as long as any bike on the market no matter the terrain you want to ride over.

www.worksman.com
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:46 PM
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Very important, and that is based in reality not speculation. During the Bosnian war bicycles became the beasts of burden, not for riding but for carrying needed stuff, wood to food. Most folks think of bikes for riding but in the prolonged war the bikes were walked and used as the means to carry necessities.

Last edited by Straight Razor; 04-04-2011 at 09:00 PM..
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:55 PM
KCChimneyman KCChimneyman is offline
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Not only for riding but also look what Ed Begley did with his he uses it as a way to make power hooked up to a generator and battery system a little power is better than none
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:39 PM
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I think I posted out bike tractor trailer before


I have a plastic box of bike gear now in the garage with spare tubes, wheel bearings, bolts, tools, cleaner, etc. If we had to bug out I could load that up too. I need to get spare chain and chain tools and breaks and cables and tools for that but then I'm pretty much set.
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:23 PM
Grandpa Pipes Grandpa Pipes is offline
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An ideal BOB! Built to carry your stuff!!

http://www.larryvsharry.com/english/
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Old 04-03-2011, 02:37 PM
Eugene Eugene is offline
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Too small of a front wheel on that one, wouldn't be good anywhere but on real smooth ground.
when my kids get older and off the trail-a-bike and on to their own I'll buy or build a bob trailer
http://www.bobgear.com/trailers/
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javelin_sst View Post
We do have horses and atv's - so other means of transportation is available.
There's nothing a bike can do that a horse can't. (And plenty of things a horse can do that a bike can't)
So, given that you already have horses, I wouldn't rate bicycles very highly... supposing that you have enough pasture to keep the horses fed.
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
Too small of a front wheel on that one, wouldn't be good anywhere but on real smooth ground.
when my kids get older and off the trail-a-bike and on to their own I'll buy or build a bob trailer
http://www.bobgear.com/trailers/
Cargo bicycles made by Christiania Bikes are pretty robust. I saw someone carrying about 800 LP records today in his cargo bike.

http://www.christianiabikes.com/dansk/dk_main.htm

Maybe not a BOV but surely great for cargo.



Nifty trailer too
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:52 PM
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My bikes are an extension of me, but I've been riding for a long time.

My preferred BOBike has a Ti XC frame, hardtail, 110mm front fork w/ lockout (no bobbing), mechanical disc brakes (no fluids to bleed), nothing fancy like internal hubs, etc, that few people can really service in a clean environment let alone on a trail and carry extra cables, bolts, duct tape, tools and the know how to rebuild that bad boy short of having to tig weld the a cracked frame.

I don't do road bikes since they don't take me where I want to go but do run 26"x2.1 tires with a solid center strip (not hybrid tires) for reduced rolling friction on paved areas and treads that works really well in hardpack with loose rocks and roots, a large park of my evacuation routes.

Though I have a few full suspension bikes, I like the Ti hardtail because it "gives" just enough but there is minimal energy loss transferred from legs to road. If you have back problems... look into the full suspension. I would highly recommend NOT getting an Aluminum hardtail, they are stiff as hell and will tear you apart after long hours and days on the road/trail. Steel and Ti rule!

Mine weighs in at 23lbs and i can sling it on back over my BOB if I have to hoof it.... thats w/o panniers or the trailer of course.

In regard to the Pugsley, it a fun little bike, for about a mile. It felt as if i was dragging a 150lb chunk of concrete behind me.

It cracks me up when people look at the beefy dual crowned downhill bikes and buy one to ride around town. I have 2, and I can barely ride a block on them because they are designed... TO GO DOWNHILL, and use them as such! The geometry is all wrong for cross country/roads and the 3" tires and 50lb frame will sap you of energy before you hit the end of the driveway.

Fit is most important, that and using it to be conditioned. A big issue is people hop on a bike and their undercarriage gets sore because the of a cheap saddle and the bike doesn't fit them, and their muscles are not conditioned. Then they don't ride it and the bikes just sits.

Anyone having undercarriage problems, I highly recommend the perforated saddles like the ones by Terry.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:29 PM
Eugene Eugene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escapefromNY View Post
Cargo bicycles made by Christiania Bikes are pretty robust. I saw someone carrying about 800 LP records today in his cargo bike.

http://www.christianiabikes.com/dansk/dk_main.htm

Maybe not a BOV but surely great for cargo.



Nifty trailer too
I didn't say they weren't robust, I said the one posted first would not work well on non smooth toads because of the small front wheel. Weight behind rather than in front will help too, you want the front to be able to lift over bumps easily, more weight in the front means more energy spent overcoming gravity when going over any bumps. Look at my trail a bike setup, I can ride up over curbs with ease.

Whats an LP Record?
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:37 PM
Freeman501 Freeman501 is offline
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bike is more a post teotwawki tool than a survival tool
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:48 PM
Grandpa Pipes Grandpa Pipes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocalhoun View Post
There's nothing a bike can do that a horse can't. (And plenty of things a horse can do that a bike can't)
So, given that you already have horses, I wouldn't rate bicycles very highly... supposing that you have enough pasture to keep the horses fed.
Then you are one of the lucky people. Man on Horse is the most sustainable way to travel.
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