What bike?
  • sarahsarah July 2011
    Posts: 4

    Hi everyone, I am moving over to Berlin in September + 1 bike. Can't decide which bike to bring with me-

    can anyone tell me what they ride in Berlin and if its generally safe to leave bikes locked up without them getting stolen? Got a nice new track bike which I love riding but might I be better off just bringing my old fixed conversion?

    If anyone has got any other cycling tips it'd be of great help!

    Thanks, Sarah

  • sarahsarah July 2011
    Posts: 4
    Oh yeah, also what is it like riding in winter, I know it can get pretty icy, are the lanes de-iced?
  • benedictbenedict July 2011
    Posts: 505
    Hi Sarah,

    That's a difficult one, I ended up biting the bullet and bringing all three of mine!

    Bike theft happens here as much as any city I guess, but I don't think it is as bad as London. 

    This winter was difficult with all the snow in December but I gather that was pretty much the same across Europe.

    Maybe you could consider bringing your nice bike for when you want to enjoy riding and buying a cheap 2nd hand bike for general cycling to bars / shitty weather etc.

  • winstonwinston July 2011
    Posts: 690
    Are you coming from London Sarah? Like Ben says, the risk of theft is probably about the same, depends on how much storage you have and how you're initially coming over and what kind of funds you have....there are loads of good and cheap bikes to be had over here either new or second hand, plus bikes that you can't get in the UK.

    The weather last winter was horrendous, I spoke to the guys at Keirin about this and a lot of people just gave up cycling for a large chunk of the winter....so an exceptional winter but be prepared for ice and cold any year, though in Germany in general roads and paths get cleared remarkably quickly.... studded tyres are quite popular amongst year round cyclists over here and easy to get hold of for bikes with fatter tyres.
  • dan July 2011
    Posts: 12
    Both the last two winters were somehow extreme. They both were way too cold, and there was very much snow. Meteorologists said that both winters were the coldest ones at least within the last 30 years. Of course nobody knows if this is the begin of a trend.

    Generally, in a "typical" German winter you may expect the main roads to be rideable. Smaller roads may be a bit difficult, a lot of them are not serviced. Especially in Berlin. So people who like to ride on smaller roads, usually avoiding the main traffic flows, will experience trouble during winter time.

    Besides the snow problem, which NORMALLY only occurs for 1-2 weeks per year, the main danger in winter is unexpected ice in the afternoon. Especially when the temperatures are around 0 degrees, the roads that have been cleared and salted in the morning sometimes freeze over in the later afternoon.

    Another problem on the main roads appears when changing the lane to turn left. Very often, the lanes for vehicles that want to turn left at the next crossing are less frequented. So they are often much more slippery than the main lanes. Sometime it's safer to "indirectly" turn left than to use those lanes.

    Another issue: tramway tracks. I think you don't have them in London. Be careful with them. And expect remainders of old tramway routes in some smaller roads in Mitte and the eastern districts, they may be hidden under snow.
    Post edited by dan at 2011-07-29 14:14:06
  • winstonwinston July 2011
    Posts: 690
    good advice