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Bike security and commuting by Irish Rail

  • 04-08-2023 12:31pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,635 ✭✭✭

    Hi - looking for a bit on input. Some of you may have seen my ramblings in the Brompton thread where I am considering one. However rather than clutter that thread I was thinking of an alternative and thought I'd get peoples take her given the wealth of experience. I have a decent Panet X and nice old Felt QX but no way I'd chance locking them at a station.

    I will be using Irish rail dart and commuter services. I know bikes aren't supposed to be on the services at peak time although from what I have seen the last two days it seems like zero enforcement but maybe that will change when things get busy again in September.

    So - I have a 2.5k walk to Portmarnock Dart staion, 20-25 mins or an easy sub 10 on a bike. There are decent racks there but no staff so security is an issue.

    Final desitination is on Kidare route and then 5k walk / cycle on that end. Not sure what facilities are at that station so need to have a look. This station does have some staff but not sure if that makes much difference at night.

    In between Connolly and Hueston there is the Luas which will probably be the same duration as cycling. The Brompton is being considered as it can be used at start middle and end and no problem carrying onto the Dart, Luas, Arrow or whatever. It could also be put onto the bus between Connolly and Kildare if required. Commute may be one, two or three times a week with working from home. I'd imagine an average of twice a week max if I am honest.

    So the alternative is buy two used fugly bikes with decent mechanicals and fit decent tyres and slime tubes or something. The idea being use one between home and Portmarnock and the other between the other station and office. Obvioulsy this means leaving each at the station for prolonged periods, the office one being there for multiple days. I was thinking if I got lucky maybe the saddle and seat post would fit both and I could take it with me.

    I honestly can't see the one for the office leg surviving if it was anyway decent but if it was fugly enough would it have a chance? So what say ye? Am I wasting my time having any faith in humanity?



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 20,389 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    It might not be nicked, but left long enough it will be damaged imo

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,150 ✭✭✭Dr_Colossus

    Agreed, waste of time, people are scum and despite legislation for everything none of it is enforced. Only way I'd leave any bike at any train station is in one of those covered lockers where you can't see inside (they're in Heuston St, not sure about others) but then you have to rent them adding additional cost to your commute.

    Brompton the only feasible option I think both in terms of convenience and peace of mind. Nothing worse than coming out of work to find your functional bike stolen by some low life.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,275 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    I started out with a similar dilemma a couple of years ago and have gone with the Brompton, I now realise I totally under estimated the usefulness of the Brompton. Sure I use it for my train station commute, but also going shopping, getting around town, weekend away and holidays. It folds down so small that I have never been refused entry with it and I have brought it on trains, trams, busses and ships.

    For international trains and Swiss Post busses, I use a Carradice bag, as it sort of hides the bike when I leave it on the rack in a train.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45 The Helpful Engineer

    I have had two bikes stolen on me in Dublin in the past, so I would go with the foldable bike option myself. Not sure the attraction of the Brompton bikes though, they seem very over priced. There are cheaper alternative brands available.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,942 ✭✭✭Bigus

    I'd buy a folding from decathlon €550 to try out for a season before investing in a Brompton

    btwin are very well built .

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,920 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu

    that sounds like a nightmare of a commute - have you considered a motorbike?

    if you are doing it by train, I'd try and time it so you can get one of the Phoenix Park Tunnel trains from Connolly towards the Kildare line, at least that would cut out the Luas portion of the journey.

    I also wouldn't totally rule out the "2 junk bikes" option - I leave my runaround bike at the station all the time and I've never had any damage done to it. Sh!t bike with a decent chunky lock will generally discourage toerags if there are easier and more attractive pickings nearby. It probably depends on the station though. I've just bought a junker for €30 that I plan to leave in town, so I'll be testing my theory shortly...

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,635 ✭✭✭traco

    Cheers all - it is a nightmare of a commute. I have a full bike licence but I'm not brave enough for the M50 and if the cars dodn't kill me herself would if I told her that was the plan.

    I'll have a look at the Decathlon, just a quick look at the specs and while weight is the same the folded size is bigger. I do agree that the Bromptons are silly prices hence the two fugly beater option.

    I checked donedeal yesterday and nothing really jumped at me under the 100 mark. A few crap mountain bikes mainly. What I was hoping for was an old 80's / 90's steel racer or something along those lines.

    More research needed!

  • Registered Users Posts: 45 The Helpful Engineer

    I am France on holidays at the moment, here is one I saw in the local supermarket. It's cheap but heavier than the Decathlon one

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,856 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Bromptons are weighty enough to carry around. I certainly wouldn't want anything heavier!

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,275 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    There are budget versions in all categories of bike, it depends on how much you want to spend, the weight of the bike, the quality of the parts etc...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,920 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu

    Facebook or Adverts for a cheap junk bike IMO. People often sell off or give away old bikes just because they've got a puncture or a broken brake cable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,635 ✭✭✭traco

    Thanks, just been on them. One or two of interest but a bit pricey. Then loads of front suspension mountain bike crap.

    Have asked a few guys to keep their eyes and ears open as there must be lots of nice steel frames around the place

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,849 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    I've a sh1tty spray can yellow road bike from God knows when. It is indeed a junker but it works, has brakes and gears. Happy to part ways for a nominal fee if you are the right height, drop me a PM if interested.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,635 ✭✭✭traco

    Thats sound Cram - really appreciate the offer. I used to be 6'4" but with age and the weight of life I'm probably 6'3" ish now so a large I'd guess.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,767 ✭✭✭✭tomasrojo

    Yeah, so useful. If I'm going a long way or locking in the street for hours I use the touring bike, carrying big load the bakfiets, but local trips, local shopping, car rental and multimodal, it's the Brompton most of the time. Just pull it out from under the stairs and I'm on my way. Keep a spare tube in the long part of the open top tube, big garbage bag rolled up in the shorter part for concealing the bike getting on Dublin bus (long story). Fantastically useful bike.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,435 ✭✭✭The Davestator

    I know this is the cycling forum, but an electric scooter that folds is the best solution in my opinion. I picked up a decent new one for €259 and it does 31kph on the flat. Pretty poor on inclines though but I am nearly 100kg!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,635 ✭✭✭traco

    I see a lot of people use them but they are not for me but each to their own. It has to be a bike. Asking a few locals I was advised not to leave anything at the station as nothing will survive. I also found out that there are bike lockers and these can be rented annually and they would be secure. However the more I play out scenarios the more flexibility the folding bike presents.

    On a side note the 17:14 Dart to malahide had four full size bikes, one large fold up one not folded and a kids buggy in the carriage I was in. One of the big bike owners actually locked his bike to the center pole to hold onto accross the carriage and wandered off down to sit down and relax while everyone had to dance around his bike.

    Seems like irish rail have zero interest in policing so makes me wonder what sort of dope am I trying to do it right???

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,849 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    Really depends on the train and when and where you are getting on and off, the bigger intercity trains have dedicated spaces and for H&S the CSOs will move them if obstructing anyone (recently an incident where there was no CSO on the Longford train and the train got blocked up by bikes and no one could get on and off, ended up taking 40 minutes at one stop to disembark a wheelchair user so the powers on high have told them to tightten up on these services). On the Dart, there really isn't CSOs or ticket inspectors when it is busy so it is only really if you get stopped at the station. At the bigger stations there are usually intercity trains so they don't typically check and at the smaller stations, there are regularly no one there to check, so yes, you'd probably be fine.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,438 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    Seems like irish rail have zero interest in policing so makes me wonder what sort of dope am I trying to do it right???

    You'll be fine, until you aren't! I guess it depends how comfortable with creating issues/ annoying others. Coming from the southside, the darts can still be wedged at peak times, and given I don't get them even everyday I'm in the office, I still seem to be leap card checked regularly (I don't know will they take issue with bikes or not).