NavyVet_77

Bug-out BIKE

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Im approaching this topic from my own situation and prep assessment; Leaving a dense Urban area as fast as possible.

 

ALL major roadways will be a traffic jam, no one can drive here on a GOOD day, and add mass chaos on top of that.... forget about it!

 

Bikes can use all the same roads, but are not really subjected to a trafic jam. I'd still avoid roads due to despirate people and road rage. Bikes can go off-road, they don't use gas, and are relatively quiet.

 

A bike is obviously slower than a motorcycle or Scooter. But a bike doesn't have electronics to fail. No battery etc to worry about. A bike can easily do 15-20MPH for an extended period of time, so it's alot better than on foot. It's not a horse, you don't have to feed it. A bike is dependable transportation in all conditions but heavy snow.

 

However, If I were to buy a vehicle with BUG-OUT in mind, I'd go with something like a 4x4 Ranger. Smaller size usually means less Fuel consumption, can go some places a huge Dodge Diesel 2500 cant go. its gotta be 4x4. You may have other preferences, but I'd stay with a smaller footprint, diesel if possible. Diesel engines are pretty flexible for what goes through the injectors.

Edited by NavyVet_77

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I actually try to ride a bike as often as I can. This usually means 0-3 times a week. I can tell you it gets terribly uncomfortable very quickly. If you get a Bug Out Bike, your first concern above all else should be a seat that doesn't make you want to shoot yourself because all your fun parts fell asleep.

 

Furthermore, I am only capable of maybe riding 20 miles without wearing myself out, and that's without my BOB. I don't know your physical condition but if you do invest in a Bug Out Bike, test your limits regularly to make sure you meet your own standards.

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I found out a couple days ago that riding over "non-roads" uses a whole different set of muscles than I am used to using, and I consider myself to be in shape. I was sore as hell for 3 days afterward. My advice is if this is your choice for a BOV, don't just buy one and put it in the garage 'til you need it.

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A bicycle is a lot like a good pair of boots. You need to buy one that fits, and you need to use it for a while to get used to it (the break in period). You also need to match your bicycle choice to the terrain and style of riding you plan to do, just like you would match a pair of boots to the kind of walking/hiking you plan to do.

 

If you get terribly uncomfortable quickly, your bicycle is not a good fit for you. The height and angle of the seat, the height and angle of the stem, the handlebar style and grip placement, type of pedal and foot gear you use - all of these things matter. Take your bike to a reputable cycling shop and ask to be fitted. It costs anywhere from 30-200 dollars to get a professional fitting, and there are several different methods used to determine fit. These can range from a series of static measurements of your leg and arm lengths (combined with the angle of your limbs when pedaling) up to computer enhanced video using motion capture equipment that films you while you pedal. If you cycle regularly, getting properly fitted is the most important thing you can spend your money on, after the bike itself.

 

The type of bicycle matters, too. If you buy one of the 'big box store' brand mountain bikes, you will get exactly what you pay for - a heavy, low quality bicycle that is often assembled improperly at the store by people who are paid to put them together as fast as possible. Depending on your situation, you probably want to look at a commuter/city bike, a cyclocross bike, or a mountain bike. Road bikes and cruisers (also called 'beach bikes') are not really a good choice. Road bikes have narrow tires with poor off road performance, while cruisers have oversized, soft tires and limited gearing for slow comfortable rides.

 

As an example, I own a Specialized Hardrock Sport 29. It's an ATB (all terrain bicycle) which just means its a cross between a mountain bike and a commuter. It has 29 inch rims, a set of puncture resistant tires with a tread pattern that's well suited for pavement or dirt, adjustable suspension for the front forks, a flat style handlebar, and disc brakes. I've added a rear rack and pack, lights and a cycling computer. Put it next to my wife's bicycle (a Cypress hybrid, made by Giant), and it looks like a 1-ton 4x4 pickup with a lift kit parked next to a little Ford Ranger with street tires. Both bikes perform well in a mix of urban/off route biking, but my bike is better suited to carrying heavier loads (like me and my gear). Since I weigh twice as much as my wife, that's to be expected. What isn't obvious is that my bike weighs only 2.5 pounds more than hers - it's a higher quality frame with more expensive (and lighter) components. Both bikes weigh nearly 11 pounds less than the old NEXT brand mountain bikes we bought from Walmart five years ago, and the difference in performance cannot be adequately expressed in words.

 

Using a bike like mine, someone of average fitness (you don't go to the gym, but you don't get out of breath taking the trash out to the curb) can expect to average 10 mph comfortably on level terrain with a paved or hard surface. That's over long distances, with platform pedals and street shoes. With a fitted bike, cycling shoes and matching pedals, you could expect to average 12-14 mph comfortably on the same terrain. That's hauling 25-50 pounds of gear on the rack and in the pack. Walking with a 50 pound pack, you will average 1 to 2 mph over the same terrain.

 

If we have to bug out, we will be using our little pickup truck as our primary vehicle, but we will have both our bikes along as the backup for the truck.

Edited by survivalcyclist

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Very good post survivalcyclist. I just got a pair of matching cruisers from the local bike shop as I found them most comfortable. (The local bike shop doesn't carry mountain bikes, it's more of a 'trendy' place)

 

I'll definitely have to rethink my purchase, totally dig your rig.

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The cruiser style bikes have a more upright sitting position while you pedal, which is very comfortable but leaves you more affected by wind. They are well suited for slow, casual riding. You can cover plenty of ground on one, if it's paved or packed dirt, but you won't go fast and they are generally not set up for rack/panniers etc. The big fat tires are made to cushion out bumps and provide a smooth ride, but they have lots of rolling resistance, which means you work harder if you want to go faster.

 

Most 'hybrid' bikes (very popular these days) also have an upright sitting position, but they are closer to a road bike, with narrower 700cc tires.

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Yes I purchased the matching set for me and the ole lady entirely based on comfort. I'm praying if I do find myself in a bug-out scenario and for some reason my truck won't start that speed won't be a big issue. If it is I'm without a truck anyway, so I went almost entirely for comfort.

 

With that being said, what do you recommend to maintain comfort without sacrificing speed?

 

Also please tell me what you suggest for a seat. I bought the biggest, widest, squishiest seat they had and it doesn't hurt to sit on, but it cuts off the circulation to all my favorite body parts.

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Believe it or not, the biggest/squishiest is not usually the best for long term comfort. Pressure, even over a fairly wide area, restricts blood flow and aggravates the nerves in the pelvic region. This is why the pro racing bikes (used on day long races) have long narrow shaped seats. They allow the rider to rest without cutting off blood flow to the groin/legs.

 

I'd take a trip to the LBS (local bike shop) in your city, and see if they have one of the seat fitting systems. Typically, the high end shops that carry TREK, Specialized, Cannon, etc will have a little tool that shows what size/shape of seat best fits you. You sit down on it (kind of like a wide flat pillow, but not very thick) and it shows where the 'sit bones' of your pelvic area push against the seat. With that measurement, they can suggest a couple of different seats to choose from. The stock seat on my old hybrid was comfortable as a cushioned kitchen chair to me...but only for about a half hour, then I was suffering. I tried a gel-seat without much improvement, and finally went in to talk to my bike guru about it. The seat I got after that was thinner and harder to the touch, but I could (and did) ride it for 25+ miles at a time without any pain. When I bought my ATB, I made sure I got the same type of seat and paid for the professional bike fitting (I was also upgrading to clipless pedals and cycling shoes, from platform pedals and street shoes - a big, big change).

 

What model bike do you have? The biggest trade off for speed gain is likely the tires, depending on your rims and the gearing of the bike. If you have a single speed beach bike, there's probably not a lot you can do to improve speed beyond the tire change.

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A bicycle is a lot like a good pair of boots. You need to buy one that fits, and you need to use it for a while to get used to it (the break in period). You also need to match your bicycle choice to the terrain and style of riding you plan to do, just like you would match a pair of boots to the kind of walking/hiking you plan to do.

 

If you get terribly uncomfortable quickly, your bicycle is not a good fit for you.

 

 

exactly. good reply right here. read it twice folks.

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Guest survival101

That's good info. Thanks survivalcyclist. We just bought a pair of bikes last month, I guess. Used. Had them tuned up at the local bike shop. I have a lot to learn. Don't forget to buy an air pump for your tires you can fit on the bike. They make a very small one now. Here are some tips on minor repairs, on the top menu of this page, a drop down menu with various tutorials. http://indiancyclefitness.com/

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SC,

 

Thanks for all that great info on how to buy a bike. I did some research and apparently my local bike shop does a free fitting with the purchase of a bike. I think I'm going to buy a bike some time in the summer. I've also spoken to a trainer that I know and he said its a good idea to build a relationship with a local bike shop because you will eventually have to make repairs to a bike. Generally, I think people will treat you better and help you out more if they know you or see you frequently. Just thought I'd share in case anyone else plans to buy a bike soon.

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Exit, that's absolutely correct. Support your LBS (local bike shop) because you get better service, better advice, and almost always you get better deals than internet stuff because you get a chance to try-before-you-buy and so forth.

 

There are two bike shops I work with here in Tampa, named Flying Fish Bikes and Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium. They have distinctly different 'flavors', but both are top notch places. Flying Fish used to be Dud Thames' place when I was a kid, and my father bought my very first bike there, when I was very young. There is a new owner now, but he's the same kind of guy. The first time we went to the new store to look for a bike, one of the sales people listened to what my wife 'wanted' for her bike, and said 'Hey it's your money, we'll sell you anything you want, lady." (She is very opinionated, but not always right, my wife is...lol) The owner walked over and said "No, I'm sorry, we won't. We can show you the right size equipment, and we can recommend what would go well with it, but we won't sell you something we know doesn't fit you and won't work well for you." After that visit, we never saw that first sales guy ever again, so I assume he's selling stuff somewhere else. We've bought 3 bikes from that shop now, over the years, and brought our bikes in for tune ups, repairs and advice. That's something I could never get through an internet deal, or a 'big box' store like Walmart.

 

Really good bike shops offer classes on bicycle maintenance, ranging from free 'how to change a flat' seminars to 'one night a week for for 8 weeks' bicycle mechanic certification courses. If they offer classes on how to change the tires and adjust the derailleur, by all means take the class. I also recommend that anyone who buys a bike spend an hour or two practicing how to change a tire. Do it at home, on a weekend or weeknight, where you are dry, comfortable and not stressed out. Once you can change a tire without any stress, you are going to be a LOT happier as a cyclist, because you will eventually get a flat.

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Exit, that's absolutely correct. Support your LBS (local bike shop) because you get better service, better advice, and almost always you get better deals than internet stuff because you get a chance to try-before-you-buy and so forth.

 

There are two bike shops I work with here in Tampa, named Flying Fish Bikes and Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium. They have distinctly different 'flavors', but both are top notch places. Flying Fish used to be Dud Thames' place when I was a kid, and my father bought my very first bike there, when I was very young. There is a new owner now, but he's the same kind of guy. The first time we went to the new store to look for a bike, one of the sales people listened to what my wife 'wanted' for her bike, and said 'Hey it's your money, we'll sell you anything you want, lady." (She is very opinionated, but not always right, my wife is...lol) The owner walked over and said "No, I'm sorry, we won't. We can show you the right size equipment, and we can recommend what would go well with it, but we won't sell you something we know doesn't fit you and won't work well for you." After that visit, we never saw that first sales guy ever again, so I assume he's selling stuff somewhere else. We've bought 3 bikes from that shop now, over the years, and brought our bikes in for tune ups, repairs and advice. That's something I could never get through an internet deal, or a 'big box' store like Walmart.

 

Really good bike shops offer classes on bicycle maintenance, ranging from free 'how to change a flat' seminars to 'one night a week for for 8 weeks' bicycle mechanic certification courses. If they offer classes on how to change the tires and adjust the derailleur, by all means take the class. I also recommend that anyone who buys a bike spend an hour or two practicing how to change a tire. Do it at home, on a weekend or weeknight, where you are dry, comfortable and not stressed out. Once you can change a tire without any stress, you are going to be a LOT happier as a cyclist, because you will eventually get a flat.

 

More good info and a funny story! lol Thanks!

 

What can I expect to pay for a decent mountain bike?

 

Btw, my local shop is http://cycleworldmiami.com/

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More good info and a funny story! lol Thanks!

 

What can I expect to pay for a decent mountain bike?

 

Btw, my local shop is http://cycleworldmiami.com/

 

Are you looking for an actual mountain bike, or a hybrid/commuter type bike for paved+off road? A bike similar to mine (that is to say, a "29er") will start around 600 bucks probably. A commuter type bike will start around 500 bucks. You can get a good hybrid style bike (using standard 700C tires, not 29ers) for around 400 bucks. Giant makes good bikes, and they cost less than the 'top' brands like Trek. My wife rides a "Cypress" by Giant, and loves it. The Cypress is a hybrid type bike, with flat handlebars, a more upright riding position than a road/racing bike, and narrower street friendly tires. Her bike rolls easier than mine on pavement, but bogs down more if we go off road into soft surfaces like sand.

 

Most bike shops are like car dealerships, they will carry one or two main brands for most of the bikes they sell, and tons of accessories/clothing. As an example, here in Tampa, Flying Fish stocks Specialized and Giant, while Carrollwood carries Trek. I would go to your shop and ask for test rides on some different models and see what feels best to you. Then check out any other bike shops in the area and see if they have something similar in a different brand, and try that. Don't be afraid to ask about last year's models, or used bikes they have taken in trade (or left unclaimed in their repair shop - a friend of mine got a very nice Trek for $330 that way). If you are really budget minded, check Craigslist for local deals and see if there is a Bicycle Co-op in your area (we have one in Tampa, and its great). The key thing is to make sure the bike fits you properly, starting with frame size. If you test ride a few first at the LBS, you will know what frame size you need to be looking for in a used bike.

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If you *really* want to haul a lot of gear on a bike, there are bicycles made for that. They are like the "pickup trucks" of the bicycle world. I went car free for over a year, and we used a trailer for hauling groceries, but these were the ideal thing that I wanted to buy (I just couldn't afford them at the time).

 

Xtracycle makes an awesome kit for converting your bike into a 'longtail' cargo bike, and they pretty much introduced the concept of cargo bike to the USA. Yuba makes a version of a longtail cargo bike, and Surly makes a longtail called a "Big Dummy" which I've actually ridden myself (unbelievable how much you can haul, and how well it handles).

 

http://surlybikes.com/bikes/big_dummy

 

Not saying these are necessarily the best idea for bugging out, but there might be forum readers who are interested in bicycles that can carry a kayak plus 150 lbs of gear!

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So lets talk more about Bike's...

 

Im going to be getting in shape this winter and getting ready for spring..(cutting back on the cig's also)..and want to re build a bike this winter...I have a 10 speed..old and needs a lot of tender care..but I own it and Im going to stay ahead of the curve because I beleve that gas and transporting is going to change soon..

 

I was inspired by this u tube..

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckvF5I_BWWc

 

living off the grid because he had NOTHING...ok so we learn from others..

 

anyone else considering this?

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ok i cant agree with a lot of what this guy says. for example he talks about not having front shocks

on the bike but at the same time talks about absorbing energy. thats exactly why those shocks

are designed and used, to absorb energy when needed. todays better built bikes offer shocks that

the rider can turn on or off. i dont suggest buying a low end bike. the mid/high grade is where ya want

to be in my opinion. the quality is better. sealed bearings, better crank assembly, the list goes on.

grage sales is a great place to find a bike worthy and save a few bucks at the same time. another thing

i dont agree with is his light source. nope i want a light on the bike itself. one that uses the power of the

wheel to charge up the light. there have been folks to uses these same lights systems to charge up

other batteries like for cellphone and other uses. do a google search. sure a head lamp is nice to have

but there are many reasons a bike of this nature should have its own light and some sort of rear deflector

of sorts at least. i think hes on the right track but over thinking here and under thinking there. JMHO

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ok i cant agree with a lot of what this guy says. for example he talks about not having front shocks

on the bike but at the same time talks about absorbing energy. thats exactly why those shocks

are designed and used, to absorb energy when needed. todays better built bikes offer shocks that

the rider can turn on or off. i dont suggest buying a low end bike. the mid/high grade is where ya want

to be in my opinion. the quality is better. sealed bearings, better crank assembly, the list goes on.

grage sales is a great place to find a bike worthy and save a few bucks at the same time. another thing

i dont agree with is his light source. nope i want a light on the bike itself. one that uses the power of the

wheel to charge up the light. there have been folks to uses these same lights systems to charge up

other batteries like for cellphone and other uses. do a google search. sure a head lamp is nice to have

but there are many reasons a bike of this nature should have its own light and some sort of rear deflector

of sorts at least. i think hes on the right track but over thinking here and under thinking there. JMHO

 

I agree with you on the lites..and that he did do some underthinking.. I like the idea of shocks..Im getting older.lol

I will take your advice and search around for a mt bike..Im trying to glean as much as possible to fit my needs and pocket book.

thanks Brother Rick.

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well matt the shocks will help a great deal. i mean its worth every penny if you have to carry a shock rebuild kit to feel comfortable.

with all that weight on the front end, if he hits a bump of any kind his body will be doing a lot of impact absorbing. i would much rather

have a set of quality shocks to help take the bulk of that load. as for his trailer, i would much rather have one of those big tire garden

wagons. i dont want my stuff so low that its getting muddy or wet as we travel. sure he has fenders but the trailer sets lower.

so his intent is to use this as a BOV and i respect that. i think more people should be thinking about a bike as well as their regular bov.

way more pros than cons for a bike. this is, just because its a bike doesnt mean it deserve's any less attention to quality that the regular bov's.

you by the best you can afford, and you take care of the damn thing. i didnt see his tool kit for the bikes either.

ya got tools for the bov cars and trucks, ya need them for the bikes too. one thing missing, a rifle/shotgun sling. parking at a base camp and

biking deeper into the woods to hunt isnt altogether unlikely guys. as a matter of fact it might be the smartest move by far. think about it.

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