Author Topic: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)  (Read 9224 times)

Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« on: October 18, 2018, 03:52:57 pm »
From my research, there are 8 spaces spread in pairs throughout the train but only one bike generally fits in a pair of spaces because crap design.  Also, nothing bigger than a racing tyre fits the hooks.

Anyone actually used them?
Never tell me the odds.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 03:56:15 pm »
Not used them. Yet, anyway. But there aren't necessarily 8 spaces. AIUI there are 4 spaces per 5-carriage unit. Some trains are only 5 carriages, most are 2x5 carriages but often one set of carriages is locked. And there's no access from one set to the other. I think, but am quite likely wrong, that within each set the bike spaces are in 2 pairs of 2 each.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 04:04:21 pm »
They're not *quite* that bad. The lack of space and poorly designed hooks makes it awkward to get each individual bike in, but I don't think the second bike is any harder than the first.

The doors for accessing bike spaces are *not* marked on the outside of the trains, and you should expect the bike spaces to be filled with luggage if joining at an intermediate station (or not first to board).

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 04:09:11 pm »
Only used the prototype, but it was marginally better than the Crosscountry Class 220s (which is surely the benchmark for crap cycle provision) on account of being able to get at the space from the side, rather than just the end.  Usual problems of hanging long bikes, heavy bikes, bikes with fat tyres and wide handlebars apply.  If they've come up with a way to stop, say, a 40mm Marathon from fitting, they deserve an extra slow clap.

The two-hanging-bikes-space unit is modular (it could be replaced by an inaccessible toilet or catering trolley dock module), so the exact number and position of spaces will be TOC specific.  I believe this is also the reason why they haven't been marked on the outside of the train.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 04:59:49 pm »
The doors for accessing bike spaces are *not* marked on the outside of the trains
Does the bike reservation ticket have the carriage on it?  This was the response I read from GWR to that complaint.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 05:07:42 pm »
As noted above, four spaces if it's a 10-carriage train but only two if it's a 5-carriage train, and the spaces are awkward and unmarked on the train exterior.  For extra excitement, you never know which length of train it will be (I've had seat and bike reservations that turned out to be in carriages that weren't on the train that actually arrived in the station, because GWR had decided to run a short train on the day).

In my experience, to stand any chance of fitting two bikes into the space you need to hang one by the front wheel and one by the back wheel.  If you've got limited strength or mobility or a nonstandard bike, tough.

On the other hand, the GWR staff I've encountered have been exasperated by the idiocies of the bike carriage system on the new trains and have bent over backwards to be accommodating.

Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 06:01:41 pm »
Once you find out where on the train the bike carriage is likely to be, I personally find it awkward to get my bike onto the hangers at the best of times, but often compounded by the space already being full of suitcases.  What is the legal position if I move other people's stuff out into the corridor so I can get my (pre-booked and ticketed) bike safely stowed?

I have yet to try and get my bike out if on the inner hanger and there's another outside, particularly if it's at a quick-stop inter-urban station.

I have also yet to take my bike with deep-rim carbon wheels (Dura-Ace C50).  No way am I hanging the bike by those!

I've also been confronted by the trolley staff using the space outside the compartment to get set up.  As I understand it they no longer have the designated space that used to exist in the old trains.

The whole process is now quite stressful - locating where to stand when the train approaches, jostling with other passengers getting on, fiddling with the bloody ridiculous dividing bar and getting the wheel on the hook (it's not just hanging vertically - it's also pressed away from the back wall, which takes a different technique from normal).

Non cycle-specific:
The seats are bloody uncomfortable! 
The lighting is way too brash. 
The interior decor looks like a tram from the mid-80's

And yes, only 4 spaces per 10-carriage train - 2 per 5-coach configuration.  That is the maximum - GWR reserves the right to re-allocate the spaces for other uses (notably surfboards!!)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 06:05:10 pm »

Recently on a German IC train, there were 3 bikes, and space for about 21. As there were only 3, I left my bike at ground level, and locked the bike to the rack. The guard however insisted it had to be put into the rack, which has left my wheels no longer straight. I am really rather pissed off at this.

It seems that bikes on trains policy everywhere is written by people who have never spoken to someone who rides a bike, let alone actually tested by someone who rides a bike. Grrrr.

The provision on those class 800's looks bloody horrible.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2018, 06:05:18 pm »
I know someone who couldn't get his tyres over the hook. He had 700x58 IIRC, reckoned 700x40 would be fine. Looks like mountain bikers are out of luck.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 06:09:26 pm »
It seems that bikes on trains policy everywhere is written by people who have never spoken to someone who rides a bike, let alone actually tested by someone who rides a bike. Grrrr.

You might think that, but as someone who was in the group of CTC cyclists who tested the prototype for the Class 800 bike space I can reassure you that they followed the usual consult-to-ignore process.

On a related note, I got round to cleaning my tourer after some comedy off-roading recently and discovered cosmetic rim damage from repeated hanging in dangly bike spaces.  I'm not too fussed about that - touring bikes get scuffed, and the rim in question is in the process of corroding from the inside anyway - but I might well be if it were some other bike.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 06:10:44 pm »
Is it these ones?  If so - it was a struggle to get my bike in the left hook with 37c tyres on.  I helped the chap on the right put his bike on the hook which had more conventional 25c tyres iirc.  Very rubbish! you can see how bad the fit was by the fact his bike is on such an angle.  The hooks do not move, so the bike needs to move to get the angle to fit the rim under the hook... quite a job! This was the train from Cardiff to Paddington iirc.

 
Regards,

Joergen

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2018, 06:11:29 pm »
It seems that bikes on trains policy everywhere is written by people who have never spoken to someone who rides a bike, let alone actually tested by someone who rides a bike. Grrrr.

You might think that, but as someone who was in the group of CTC cyclists who tested the prototype for the Class 800 bike space I can reassure you that they followed the usual consult-to-ignore process.

"But we consulted with actual cyclists!"
"Did you listen to what they said?"
"No... doesn't say anywhere we're supposed to..."

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2018, 06:17:21 pm »
It seems that bikes on trains policy everywhere is written by people who have never spoken to someone who rides a bike, let alone actually tested by someone who rides a bike. Grrrr.

You might think that, but as someone who was in the group of CTC cyclists who tested the prototype for the Class 800 bike space I can reassure you that they followed the usual consult-to-ignore process.

"But we consulted with actual cyclists!"
"Did you listen to what they said?"
"No... doesn't say anywhere we're supposed to..."

"We listened, but it was far too late to change the design by that point, as we'd designed structural bits of train around our clever hanging bike modules.  We passed on some minor recommendations about ticketing procedures.  We're very pleased with our luggage rack that's designed to fit an integer number of Bromptons; maybe you should get one of those?"
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2018, 06:30:20 pm »
@Roger – are you thinking of the Trucker? Just remembered a friend (different friend from the earlier one) found his LHT wouldn't fit the danglespace due to excessive wheelbase. I think his is a 56cm frame.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2018, 06:39:00 pm »
@Roger – are you thinking of the Trucker? Just remembered a friend (different friend from the earlier one) found his LHT wouldn't fit the danglespace due to excessive wheelbase. I think his is a 56cm frame.
Probably the Moulton.  Should be ok, only 28mm tyres and a fairly standard wheelbase.  Brompton is an option but it's tedious to ride on rough country lanes.

Are you booking a train back, or spending the rest of your days in Swindon?*

*you won't have a choice if the chuds get you
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2018, 07:45:22 pm »

Is the SOS phone just for cycle storage issues?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2018, 07:46:35 pm »
No, it's for surfboard emergencies (including sharknados) too.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2018, 07:49:55 pm »
Because of the little wheels, Moultons have a shorter overall length even when the wheelbase is longer than a big-wheeled bike.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2018, 08:16:30 pm »
I'm a regular user of the East Coast Main Line and dreading the introduction of the 800's. The current fleet of HST's and Electra's are terrific trains, especially the Electra's, so much bike space, never any problem, even with tandems. The 800's seen like a gaint leap backwards.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2018, 08:17:55 pm »
Probably should add that I'm on one right now. :)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2018, 12:37:33 am »
I saw one of these compartments today and seriously wondered why they had installed showers on the trains.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2018, 09:51:58 am »
I saw one of these compartments today and seriously wondered why they had installed showers on the trains.

In use that's exactly what it feels like - trying to take your bike into the shower with you, and there may be another bike and some suitcases in there already!

This thread has prompted me to write a strongly-worded email to GWR and asking them to respond to some of the issues raised above (as platform staff and guards have advised me to do several times!).  Will post back any meaningful reply though not expecting much.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2018, 11:43:35 am »
I saw one of these compartments today and seriously wondered why they had installed showers on the trains.
They're delousing facilities for those joining at Swindon.
Never tell me the odds.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2018, 11:44:51 am »
Is it these ones?  If so - it was a struggle to get my bike in the left hook with 37c tyres on.  I helped the chap on the right put his bike on the hook which had more conventional 25c tyres iirc.  Very rubbish! you can see how bad the fit was by the fact his bike is on such an angle.  The hooks do not move, so the bike needs to move to get the angle to fit the rim under the hook... quite a job! This was the train from Cardiff to Paddington iirc.

 
it's a rubbish design, however the white bike should have been hung pointing down for better use of available space (this is how it's encouraged in bike cafes and shops equipped with similar hooks).