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Bug out bikes?

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posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 07:17 PM
No motors this time, pure leg power.

Yes i know this will probably raise a few laughs from those sat in their fully stocked all singing and dancing 4x4 BOV's, but i am very interested to here peoples opinions on bikes for bugging out on.

I am particularly interested in this as i have not owned a car for just over 3 years now. I was fed up paying the extortionate rates for petrol, for car maintainence and just generally being screwed over by anything to do with the i got rid of it.

Since then, i have used public transport which i love, but around the local area my main method of transport is my mountain bike. I do tend to go full out when i'm off road....and i swear i hear my bikes crying after what i put them through lol. I'm due to get another one, so i want to make this one count.

There are many reasons i like the idea of having a mountain bike as a BOV, main ones being....

1. They are cheaper than a motorised BOV, one payment and you're done more or less.

2. They are easy to maintain, and to learn to maintain.

3. Whilst not as good for carrying loads, you can still ride with a full bergan (done this many times) and you can have panniers for additional gear.

4. They are quiet. If the SHTF and you needed to travel unnoticed, a bike would be the way to go if you were looking to cover a lot of miles. No sound from the engines and all that.

5. No fuel needed to power it. I like this one because from what i've read on survival boards, a lot of people are hoping the petrol stations are going to be open for business when society starts going down. It's great having a huge 4x4 if you have tons of fuel stocked for it, but i'd bet money many don't.

6. They can be hidden easily. Definitely more easily than a large vehicle.

7. They are not limited to roads, which will most likely be monitored if the SHTF. I know that 4x4's are a great choice as they can also go off-road, but i have seen more than enough Land Rovers over the past year stuck in bogs and ditches around here. That is not good if you are loaded up with a world of gear and you suddenly can't move.

8. Lastly, and best of all, any use of this will keep you fit. Plus, even on a mountain bike you can cover some serious mileage a day if need be. When your feet are in tatters from walking with weight on your back, you'll be gratefull for a couple of wheels under you.

So then, which bike to get?

This is where i hand the suggestions over to the board. I have been looking around the net today, and saw this....

• Full-size, rugged mountain bike deployable on almost any terrain.
• A stealth/minimal signature that is second only to a walking soldier.
• Off body load bearing ≡ transport of increased loads ≡ lesser reliance on resupply.
• Up to 75 miles daily range with low/no logistic support necessary.
• Folds to 36" x 28" x 12" in under thirty seconds without the use of tools.
• Easy to transport, you can take this bike anywhere – you can even jump with it!
• Low initial cost with little to no maintenance required.
• Equipped with industry standard wheels and components serviceable at any bike shop.
• Front disk brakes give rapid and stronger braking power


Now this is just an example. I would like to point out that it would not be my immediate choice as i am wary of fold up bikes for some reason.

I'm not fussed about it being all stealth and cammo either, the bike above is used for military uses so thats how it comes.

I just think a mountain bike is far more versatile than people might give it credit for. I know i can zip around my local area very fast, and once you know the short cuts and back routes, it's great.

Plus, if you had to suddenly change your route at a split seconds notice, on a bike it's easy. In a vehicle it's noisy, it's noticeable and it may not be possible.

So any suggestions for good bike features would be most welcome. I don't want to pay thousands for a top of the range thing either, as it will take a lot of brutality that and i don't want to find it hard to replace specialist parts myself.

Even if you don't like the idea, i think it should at least be part of your gear.

Thanks in advance for any replies, and for staying awake through this.


[edit on 6/8/09 by CX]

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 07:32 PM
I'm looking at a hybrid-MTB to replace my Raleigh steel-frame clunker and am building up funds for one of these..

Dawes Discovery 101




Colour: Silver Blue
Weight: 14.8kg
Frame: Dawes Alloy Discovery hybrid frame
Forks: Hi-tensile steel
Headset: Threaded 1.1/8"
Shifters: Shimano SL-RS35 Revoshift 21 speed
Rear Derailleur: Shimano RD-TX31
Front Derailleur: Shimano FD-TZ31
Chain: KMC Z51
Freewheel: Shimano MF-TZ37 7 speed
Front Hub: Black alloy 36H
Rear Hub: Black alloy 36H
Rims: Alloy with CNC sidewall
Spokes: 14G Steel
Tyres: Kenda K-948 700c
Chainwheel: 48/38/28T x170mm alloy crank
Bottom Bracket: Cartridge type
Brakes: Alloy V-brake
Brake Levers: Alloy lever
Handlebar: Steel riser
Stem: Steel quill
Seatpost: Alloy 27.2mm x 300mm
Saddle: Dawes sports saddle
Grips: Velo comfort
Pedals: Black resin with grey tread

Notice, no suspension....a set of cheap sus-forks can weigh almost as much as the frame itself and aren't needed if you know how to to ride a bike (knees and elbows are your shocks) and if you have to, can always add a shock-absorber headset between the bars and stem for far less

I used to ride a converted racer with MTB tyres offroad and was the fastest thing on two wheels along a dirt track...easy to throw over fences or carry for a few miles on the shoulder after puncture.

Stuff full-shockers...too much mechanical complexity...remember - KISS! (Keep it simple, stupid!)

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 09:30 PM
Hey Star, and Flag.

I've got a BOB bike, and I've had it specifically for that. I don't have it set up like I'd like yet, but I've got it.

This is a wonderful thread, and I hope all the testosterone from the the weaponry will come take a look, and comment here.

In poor areas of the world bikes are a staple of life. As such, they usually have front, and rear racks. I've seen plenty of people carrying upwards of 100 to 200 extra pounds on a bicycle. People learn to make do when they have nothing else.

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 09:40 PM
Great thread!
I like that collapsible bike, looks pretty rugged....and if it's issued to
the military, it's a good bet that it's going to be sturdy and long-lasting.

I'm a big fan of mountain biking, and I definitely think that they could
be a very wise choice when trying to decide which route to go for a
bug out vehicle. As you've stated, you can cover some serious ground
on a bike....especially a mountain bike! They will take a beating and keep
on going, and replacement parts are generally small and fairly cheap.
Easy to hide, low on the noise factor, easy to maintain, and it definitely
will keep you in shape.

The only thing that I could add to the info. you posted is that you're
probably going to want to buy a better seat for your bike....unless you've
purchased a model with a great seat, your special places are going to
take a beating after awhile. I know it seems like an insignificant point
to make, but comfort would become an issue if you plan on going 40+ miles in one day.

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 09:40 PM
S&F! I've been wondering about this. Even those who have 4x4's could use one. You go as far as you can go with gas, then convert to pedal power. Thanks for the input.
I've been thinking about a bike, just for the excercise, and now I'm pretty sure I'm gonna start doing some serious shhopping.

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 09:49 PM
I'd go for something not too specialised... Think about breaking something exotic and some guy says that you can have a look in the back of his garage cos he'd got a box of old bike bits... Well you may as well build your self a bike out of the parts he has because you spent thousands on something you have no chance of getting a part for...

Although I will say you will have a much easier time 'knocking up' a piece for a mountain bike than you may have for a critical component for a motorbike of some massive SUV thing.

Side note - can anyone ID that bike the special forces guy has in Black Hawk down (near the beginning when they pick him up from the dunes by copter and they pick up something to eat!)

Side side note - I have a muddy fox monarch sport frame and a box of bits to do something with - does any one have any idea if the frame is worth much??

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 10:16 PM
I have numerous road and mountain bikes which include some spendy setups with all the names. But if I had to pick one to do everything in the most reliable fashion, it would be my old steel framed Specialized Stumpjumper.

The thing does everything fairly well and is a tank. It's never let me down and I've taken it on plenty of ugly runs in mud & snow.

I've seen them go cheap on e-bay. Cheap enough to have one as a spare or dedicated bob (esp if you're willing to work on it yourself).

[edit on 8/6/2009 by beezwaxes]


posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 04:04 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I agree with all the comments here. A good seat is a must if you are planning to do any amount of mileage, i have a kevlar racing saddle on my mountain bike, the thin ones that give you a wedgie lol.

That said, if i was doing a lot of miles, it could prove sore where you don't want it to be. Plus, add a large pack on your back grinding your bits down into the saddle....doesn't bear thinking about. Maybe try it for a while to see how it feels.

As far as getting fit, a mountain bike is just as good as a road bike. When i left the forces i was doing many, many miles a day. I used to pack up a lunch and go out from 8 in the morning to the evening, travelling at just 10 mph could get you some serious distance in that time.

I agree with the "KISS" comment earlier, to much gadgetry will be hard to replace if things go wrong. As a kid i used to be able to make my own bikes up, mend anything on them that went wrong, now it can be baffling if you don't know about the latest parts.

I've not used a jump bike yet, but some of the ones i've seen the kids on nowadays are as you say, like a tank.

I've broken a few bikes in the past, even snapped two clean in half because even as a 15 stone 37yr old, i am a total kid on a bike. If i see anything resembling a lump in the ground, it's a ramp in my eyes lol.

I have also learnt, that as an adult, and a largish adult at that, i don't fall like i used to.
Instead of the light tumble that used to happen, it's a "hit the deck like a sack of the brown stuff", and it's not a pretty sight lol.

So getting out there and getting used to your bike is a must. Learning your bikes capabilities is a must too. Your brain might want to take on that huge jump, but your bike with basic shocks might think twice.

I have been looking at the hybrid bikes, for road and off-road capabilities, i'm just not convinced the thinner wheels will take too much wear and tear.

Thanks again for the replies.

[edit on 7/8/09 by CX]

posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 04:45 AM
I remember a while back someone posted a thread about a survival bike.

Not only did they have the bike but also a small type of trailer attached to the back of it to contain all their gear. I thought it was a pretty good idea.

I'll try and find the thread now.

Edit: Okay I can't find it at first glance, it was quite a while ago now. I'm sure it can be found if your prepared to look.

[edit on 7/8/09 by Death_Kron]


posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 04:53 AM
Thanks DK.

I'll take a look.



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 05:22 AM
I think this is the has a video of the trailer setup.


posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 09:42 PM
reply to post by CX

49 years old 200 lbs here. I'm not as graceful in the air as I used to be either. I've done a few really good Napoleon Dynamite jumps with ensuing trips to the hospital. I keep the wheels pretty close to the ground these days.

Oh, the Stumpjumper isn't a jumping bike. The new ones are all tricked out and suspended but mine is a 20+ year old rigid steel frame job. It was pretty much the first mass produced mountain bike. Mine's a few years newer than this, -they're great all arounders.

[edit on 8/7/2009 by beezwaxes]

posted on Aug, 8 2009 @ 09:33 AM
reply to post by CX

My addition to this is get some airless foam filled tires.

If you get a flat your stuck there trying to do a patch on the
inner tube in the rain, snow, sleet, or whatever.

Patching a tire in good weather can be a little troublesome,
but in severe cold and wet conditions more so.

Airfree tires

I agree on the idea of getting a solid frame bike too, that
has less moving parts to break.

[edit on 8-8-2009 by Ex_MislTech]

posted on Aug, 8 2009 @ 07:28 PM
The only problems I have with mountain bikes are transmission systems.
My derailleurs are always the first bit to get bunged up in a crash.
For this reason, The family and I now ride BMX style bikes. Overall you are not as fast as an MTB, but we make up for that in reliabilty. For what a spare front and rear der. set cost for my MTB, we can have a complete spare bike. Also we still have the proverbial Box of Bits to go along with it.

The newer bikes designed for BMX dirt jumping are ideal for this. They are as strong as they come, built to take a beating. My kids ride these and rarely have problems. I keep 120" of spare chain and a complete complement of tools to service everything. The entire tool kit and the spare chain probably cost $100 FRN.

My prize is a Redline Chromoly race bike that I found in a pile of bikes beside the road for garbage collection. Ka ching!!!$$$

posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 07:39 AM

Originally posted by hotrodturbo7
The only problems I have with mountain bikes are transmission systems.
My derailleurs are always the first bit to get bunged up in a crash.

A semi-permanent fix if you have a link-extractor tool is to remove enough sections of chain to shorten and use as a fixed rear-gear instead

posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 10:56 AM

Originally posted by Taikonaut

A semi-permanent fix if you have a link-extractor tool is to remove enough sections of chain to shorten and use as a fixed rear-gear instead

That's true, I have used that method to "get back to the truck" before after crashes.

I think I need to design a cheap tensioner so you can switch gears manually, but have no need for a derailleur.

You wouldn't be able to shift on the fly, but you could set up the bike for whatever conditions that presented that day, or trip, or whatever.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:02 AM
Now this is a subject i am quite familiar with!

I am a bike messenger and have been for 16 canadian winters, i have also worked as a salesperson and bicycle mechanic for 9 yrs.

I will with no doubt leave on a bike with a trailer if T.S.H.T.F .

My choice of bike would be a single speed,fixed gear frame with rear flip flop hubs. and my reason for choosing this is simple.

- less parts to adjust and maintain because you dont have shifters, cables,cogs,derrailleurs and less spare parts to bring along.

- less weight also because of minimal amount of parts, making the bike easyer to carry trough portage areas.

- flip flop hub with easy fix gear ratio, this would come in handy when break pads are done or any circumpstance where breaks stop working.
a fixed guear allows you to stop when you stop turning cranks, kinda like direct drive. the flip-flop hub has a free wheel on one side and a fixed cog on the other allowing you to flip the wheel over when you want to use eather/or.

- all bearings are sealed cartrige bearrings allowing easy replacement if needed

- my trailer will have mini skis to replace its wheels if neccesary and has a harness so i can pull my bike and equipment when travelling on foot or snow shoes.
it will also double as a shelter if needed.

by experience i would stay away of mountain bikes and fold up bikes because of their weight and amount of specialised parts and bushings that would be hard to come across when all bike shops are closed.

mountain bikes have a smaller diameter of wheels making them stronger but it will drag more snow adding weight that is unneccerary.
besides its a myth that they are better in snow, narrower the tire the better, it might take some adjusting but motocross racers have the same attitude towards this and manuvers their bikes differently in those circumpstances (called counter steering).

if you cant bike trough it with a bike with narrow tires you wont be able to with fat ones eather, in that case better keep the weight down.

if you guys have any questions, i would love to help out!!

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 11:00 AM
something i am looking into is a gas motor assist for one of my mountain bikes at my bug out. this works on very little gas and the bike is functional even without the use of motor and can be adapted to your existing bike.

in this case weight might be an issue when not using motor .

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 11:14 AM
I have been using my Claude Butler touring bike for trips to and from work for 3 years now . Best thing i ever did . I cycle past the same old car drivers every day and think "How do you stick it". Great for de stressing and keeps the body fit and lean. as for Bug out panniers and my Bergan
give me plenty off scope for equipment and stores..
PS i can now smoke 40 a day instead of 20 .... lmao

[edit on 10-8-2009 by foxhoundone]

posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 08:32 AM
Bugout bikes, ey... hmmmm. *ponders*
Learning how to fix a pushbike is soooo easy. In fact, we should all have grown up riding pushbikes and learning how to fix our OWN bikes! I did a paper round as a kid all through primary school, and out of necessity, I had to fix my own bike, lest I have no income to buy junk food with, such an incentive! ^_^
In all seriousness, however, unless you are an experienced courier, you're going to find it REALLY BLOODY HARD to ride a pushbike with 20 kilograms worth of bugout equipment on your back.

The best way to equip your bike for a bugout scenario, is to do what all us povarsed paperboys used to do... 'acquire' a milk crate, get some thin rope, and just tie the thing to your handlebars (if you are using a BMX), or get yourself a rear-tyre rack that you can put a crate on either side. I could deliver papers to about 200 houses in one trip using this method (although I was constantly replacing tubes, brakes, etc., which is what taught me how to fix bikes!).

Even though they don't have gears, I prefer BMX bikes for carrying stuff, rather than mountain bikes. As for road/racing bikes, don't even bother unless you intend on shedding half your body weight to compensate for the fact that the tyres can't handle the weight of a full bugout bag (I learned this the hard way... got a pinch-puncture cos I decided to carry 30KG of shopping on the rear tyre rack and lean into corners). Mountain bikes may be designed to go long distances, but when it comes to rugged terrain they've got nothing on a good BMX.

For a true 'bugout scenario', if you live in the hills or the bush, a BMX is going to be perfect for you. If you live in a city or an apartment block in a busy town, I suggest you get a mountain bike, as they will be able to handle decent speeds, having a gearset and all, but unless you buy a hybrid with huge treads and an expensive derailleur and gear set, they're going to break the first fall you have once you get to the bushland.

Go by the K.I.S.S principle... the simpler the bike, the less maintenance it will need, and the less problems you will have in looking for parts.

You should also keep the following equipment in your bugout bag, specifically for your bike:
-a spare set of brakes
-a spare chain
-chain and gear lube/cleaner/degreaser
-puncture repair kit (or spare patch of rubber and cement/hot-glue)
-a lever to remove tyres from the rim when changing the tube
-bike pump (not a can of compressed air, you want one you can use multiple times)

Also, even though it may seem useless in the long run, you may want to look into getting one of the cheapo mileage readers for your bike... at least it'll tell you how far you've ridden, so you know if you're gonna be out of range of the fallout.

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