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Old 17.02.2012, 16:51
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Poll: bike in Lausanne

Hello nice people!

I've been in Lausanne for a couple of months, and now that the temperature reached reasonable levels I decided it's time to take the brave decision (it is Lausanne, after all) and buy a bike.

The big question is, should I get a mountain bike or a city bike?? I really prefer the body position of city bikes but I'm not sure how efficient they are for such a hilly city. Plus, from previous experience I think it's very important to have a light bike.

So, I wanted to make a small poll and ask you (the ones that live in Lausanne at least) what kind of bike you have or you think it's better to have.

Thank you all veeeery much for any feedback!

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Old 17.02.2012, 17:10
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

You're very brave to try biking in Lausanne if you don't live/work by the lake!

Would you consider an electric one? It would certainly help you a lot to climb one of our 7 hills!

I have a city bike, but then I don't use it all that much. I'm not a specialist, but I can't really see what a mountain bike would bring you, except extra weight.

Please also bear in mind that there's a huge lot of bike thefts in Lausanne, so don't buy anything to fancy/expensive!
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Old 17.02.2012, 17:50
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

To help you along if you're close enough to the M2 subway line, you're allowed, space permitting, to bring your bike on board at the back of the carriage, so if you're worn out there's a way to get back home. You are very brave wanting to cycle in Lausanne, it's very hard work!
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Old 17.02.2012, 17:51
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

If you're not planning to ride off-road, don't get a mountain bike. They are, in general, designed to soak up bumps, not necessarily to ride upwards. They're also more expensive and nicer to steal. (They're also much more fun though!)
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Old 17.02.2012, 19:50
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

I have been biking in Lausanne for quite a while now and it has been great, even when the weather wasn't that good.. It all depends of course on where you live. I live in Av. de la Gare and work at the EPFL and the way back home isn't as horrible as one would imagine. If you live up north maybe near Sallaz, I can imagine it being more difficult but still. My bike is a city bike and my recommendation is that your future bike must be at least 24-speed.

P.S. I know a good shop for used/new bikes that I can recommend if you are interested.

EDIT: I realize that my post was kind of off-topic (except for the end) but in general, I wanted to encourage you to go for it, since many people will try to talk you out of biking in Lausanne :-).
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Old 17.02.2012, 20:26
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

Since this is your first post, let me you to EF!

A short post in the Introductions section would let us know more about you
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Old 17.02.2012, 20:45
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

Motor-bike, of course!

Tom
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Old 18.02.2012, 01:53
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

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I have been biking in Lausanne for quite a while now and it has been great, even when the weather wasn't that good.. It all depends of course on where you live. I live in Av. de la Gare and work at the EPFL and the way back home isn't as horrible as one would imagine. If you live up north maybe near Sallaz, I can imagine it being more difficult but still. My bike is a city bike and my recommendation is that your future bike must be at least 24-speed.

P.S. I know a good shop for used/new bikes that I can recommend if you are interested.

EDIT: I realize that my post was kind of off-topic (except for the end) but in general, I wanted to encourage you to go for it, since many people will try to talk you out of biking in Lausanne :-).
Recommendations for bike shops are more than welcome!! I'd like to get a quite good bike but if I can manage to find sth with respectable price it would be perfect!
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Old 18.02.2012, 09:02
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

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Recommendations for bike shops are more than welcome!! I'd like to get a quite good bike but if I can manage to find sth with respectable price it would be perfect!
go and try the bike rental in lausanne flon... its free for short time...
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Old 18.02.2012, 10:45
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

THe important thing is the gear ratio. That does not actually mean the number of gears, but the ratio between the front cog wheel and thethe back cluster. A lot of cheaper bikes ( both city and MTB - have the largest back ring still being smaller than the smallest front one. This is to give you the lowest gears to make it easier for climbing hills.

MTB's ( good ones) ARE built for going up hills. They also have the flexibility of being able to be used both in town and out on rough trails as well.

Ideally, you want a 1 to 1 ratio, or even a back one that is bigger than the front smallest one. If you are technically minded, you will be able to do a google to see a ratio chart - try a search that includes Sheldon Brown's name. That will give you enough information to not be overpowered by slick sales talk at any bike shop.

IN fact, everytime I buy a bike, the first question I ask is about gear ratios. If the salesperson appears flustered or tells me that I need anything less than a 32 ( I prefer 34 ) tooth large back ring, then I don't listen to anything else they are trying to say in the sales pitch. If they don't have a clue about what you are asking, then run away fast. Look for a bike shop that has its own mechanics and check that those mechanics are actually keen cyclists. They are then most likely to be able to really help you get set up.

Along with gear ratio, comfort is obviously important.

Personally, I have excellent MTB's and excellent city/touring bikes. Gear ratio and comfort have not necessarily related to price. One of my best bikes cost under 250 euro.

Incidently, I was very pleasantly surprised once, when I ended up hiring a bike from the SBB, to cycle the Jura route from Basel to Geneva - excellent touring bike. :-)
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  #11  
Old 19.02.2012, 15:49
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

Thank you all for your answers! I'll definitely keep in mind the gear ratio. I'll start using a rent city bike next week to first optimize my flat-to-work route and then see how difficult it is.
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Old 19.02.2012, 16:07
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

the non-fat Americans and the hardcore bikers might groan at me, but when I biked in Lausanne I always tried to do zig-zag routes to avoid going up or down really steep slopes (I'm more scared to go down at Bergieres-Blecherette than to huff and puff going up, for example, so I would go up that way but take plaines du loup going back into town). So when you do start biking, keep in mind that the most direct route isn't always the best as far as slopes go. Also, if money isn't an issue, I think an electric bike is an awesome idea.
I look forward to hearing how it turns out and feel free to talk about routes with us when your schedule is settled !
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Old 19.02.2012, 17:03
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Re: Poll: bike in Lausanne

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THe important thing is the gear ratio.
Indeed, on all my chain-drive bikes I've gone up 4-7 T on the rear!

Tom
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