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    Thread: An amalgamation of random bike questions

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      Lighten up Francis
      01-22-2016 12:40 PM #76
      Quote Originally Posted by 976-RADD View Post
      Huh?
      oh i read it as how do they make *right* turns not tight. i think the answer is simply they don't make tight turns, however i have never even on a road bike being sloppy, managed to clip a pedal. i dont think most people are riding fixies so aggressively that they're banging out corners so hard they'd clip one.

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      01-23-2016 07:38 AM #77
      Quote Originally Posted by 976-RADD View Post
      How do people make tight turns on fixed gear bikes...without worrying about catching the inside pedal on something?
      It's a combination of not really turning that hard, and also the fact that track bikes generally have a higher bottom bracket and shorter cranks. In the racing world, track riders rarely make turns that require a lot of lean angle since they're more or less going in a lazy circle with banking.

      On conversions, pedals hit all the ****ing time. I had an old road bike in college that I used to ride to class that I converted to fixed gear because the derailleur broke and I was too broke to fix it. I used my regular 175 cranks and scraped EVERYWHERE. I learned to just take it easy around turns.

      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      i have never even on a road bike being sloppy, managed to clip a pedal.
      Seriously? Do a couple crits and you will. You get leaned over in a turn and you see the guys a couple places ahead of you start pedaling again and pull away a little and its natural to try to pedal a little early.

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      01-23-2016 09:47 AM #78
      Quote Originally Posted by mrothwell View Post
      Seriously? Do a couple crits and you will. You get leaned over in a turn and you see the guys a couple places ahead of you start pedaling again and pull away a little and its natural to try to pedal a little early.
      I did a crit once to see what its about. Not at all interesting to me. Even were I to race ever again I'd never do another one. I'm not a sprinter, I'd prefer flowing circuit courses. But that's besides the point because racing isn't happening either.

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    6. 01-25-2016 10:57 AM #79
      I started riding for exercise primarily. However, improvement in fitness or equipment to be faster is a natural desire.

      I ride an old Trek road bike. Not sure on age, but it's old enough to be an aluminum frame and have the indexed gears on the downward slant tube. I keep it lubed/clean and have sorted out my posture from looking online.

      Right now I average about 17mph when alone on a flat. Well, 17 including a few small uphill and a few small downhill by a river.

      I'm not into lycra and spandex but could swing for some under armour and shorts instead of my Gap hoodie and baggy sweatpants.

      I also don't have clip-ins or whatever with the shoes. I just ride in some tennis shoes.

      I don't really have the money for another bike, but how much difference would even a used bike made in the last 5 years make? What about getting clip ins and abandoning the baggy clothes? I could lose about 10 lbs by cutting back on the beer, I figure that would make as much difference as a different bike.

      To me 17mph seems slow given the amount of effort I put in. I'd like to get the average up to 20mph with maybe clip-ins and getting rid of baggy clothes. Is that possible? Or is a 20 y/o bike make that much of a difference?

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      01-25-2016 11:28 AM #80
      17 is pretty decent. What sort of distances are you riding with that avg?

      There have been a lot of advances in the last 20 years since that bike was made, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is going to hold you back. Would really suggest making sure the bike is in good, safe, efficient running order. Make sure all the bearings are smooth and adjusted, tires in good shape, drivetrain properly inspected and adjusted, adjust/inspect the brakes and cables, thing about new bar wrap if yours is old/worn, etc.

      Give some bicycling specific apparel a shot. I was anti spandex for the longest time. Finally made the switch years ago and haven't looked back since. The stuff is comfy, breathes very well, and it offends my wife when I wear my bibs around the house just to annoy her.

      Personally I couldn't run anything but clipless pedals. Initial learning curve can be painful at times but they are well worth the investment imo. Try getting something with adjustable tension to make it easier to get in/out when you are new.
      Last edited by A1an; 01-25-2016 at 11:30 AM.
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      01-25-2016 12:29 PM #81
      Quote Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
      I started riding for exercise primarily. However, improvement in fitness or equipment to be faster is a natural desire.

      I ride an old Trek road bike. Not sure on age, but it's old enough to be an aluminum frame and have the indexed gears on the downward slant tube. I keep it lubed/clean and have sorted out my posture from looking online.

      Right now I average about 17mph when alone on a flat. Well, 17 including a few small uphill and a few small downhill by a river.

      I'm not into lycra and spandex but could swing for some under armour and shorts instead of my Gap hoodie and baggy sweatpants.

      I also don't have clip-ins or whatever with the shoes. I just ride in some tennis shoes.

      I don't really have the money for another bike, but how much difference would even a used bike made in the last 5 years make? What about getting clip ins and abandoning the baggy clothes? I could lose about 10 lbs by cutting back on the beer, I figure that would make as much difference as a different bike.

      To me 17mph seems slow given the amount of effort I put in. I'd like to get the average up to 20mph with maybe clip-ins and getting rid of baggy clothes. Is that possible? Or is a 20 y/o bike make that much of a difference?
      average speed is really not a great indicator of anything, though your hoodie and sweat pants aren't exactly helping. thats your biggets impediment and your bike wont make a lick of difference speed wise on flats or rollers. i mean if you're going 100 miles solo at 17mph thats one thing, but if it's like a 20 mile trip it doesn't tell you a heck of a lot.

    9. 01-25-2016 01:49 PM #82
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      average speed is really not a great indicator of anything, though your hoodie and sweat pants aren't exactly helping. thats your biggets impediment and your bike wont make a lick of difference speed wise on flats or rollers. i mean if you're going 100 miles solo at 17mph thats one thing, but if it's like a 20 mile trip it doesn't tell you a heck of a lot.
      It's about 20 mile trips. I could probably hold the pace for 2 hours without an issue, but don't have that long all the time to go. So a 90 minute ride is pretty normal.

      I'll lose the hoodie and wear my weight lifting pants and see how that makes a difference. Also bought some chain lube as I don't know if it had been cleaned/lubed properly since I've had it.

      I can say for sure, personal weight loss would make a difference. Lower frontal area and less weight.

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      01-25-2016 02:03 PM #83
      Quote Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
      I started riding for exercise primarily. However, improvement in fitness or equipment to be faster is a natural desire.

      I ride an old Trek road bike. Not sure on age, but it's old enough to be an aluminum frame and have the indexed gears on the downward slant tube. I keep it lubed/clean and have sorted out my posture from looking online.

      Right now I average about 17mph when alone on a flat. Well, 17 including a few small uphill and a few small downhill by a river.

      I'm not into lycra and spandex but could swing for some under armour and shorts instead of my Gap hoodie and baggy sweatpants.

      I also don't have clip-ins or whatever with the shoes. I just ride in some tennis shoes.

      I don't really have the money for another bike, but how much difference would even a used bike made in the last 5 years make? What about getting clip ins and abandoning the baggy clothes? I could lose about 10 lbs by cutting back on the beer, I figure that would make as much difference as a different bike.

      To me 17mph seems slow given the amount of effort I put in. I'd like to get the average up to 20mph with maybe clip-ins and getting rid of baggy clothes. Is that possible? Or is a 20 y/o bike make that much of a difference?
      I started on a 1970's Bianchi with downtube shifters. Your bike won't make much of a difference, but the bike clothes and clipless pedals will make a huge difference in how comfortable you are during your rides.

      If you're short on cash, there's ways to get cheap gear--ebay, craigslist, etc. Don't go too cheap on shorts, but make sure to buy them new. Invest in not-crappy shoes too. Jerseys, jackets and non-chamois tights cost a lot new and you can totally buy them used for pennies on the dollar.

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      01-25-2016 02:28 PM #84
      Quote Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
      I started riding for exercise primarily. However, improvement in fitness or equipment to be faster is a natural desire.

      I ride an old Trek road bike. Not sure on age, but it's old enough to be an aluminum frame and have the indexed gears on the downward slant tube. I keep it lubed/clean and have sorted out my posture from looking online.

      Right now I average about 17mph when alone on a flat. Well, 17 including a few small uphill and a few small downhill by a river.

      I'm not into lycra and spandex but could swing for some under armour and shorts instead of my Gap hoodie and baggy sweatpants.

      I also don't have clip-ins or whatever with the shoes. I just ride in some tennis shoes.

      I don't really have the money for another bike, but how much difference would even a used bike made in the last 5 years make? What about getting clip ins and abandoning the baggy clothes? I could lose about 10 lbs by cutting back on the beer, I figure that would make as much difference as a different bike.

      To me 17mph seems slow given the amount of effort I put in. I'd like to get the average up to 20mph with maybe clip-ins and getting rid of baggy clothes. Is that possible? Or is a 20 y/o bike make that much of a difference?
      Get the lycra (bibs/shorts) and wear it underneath. It's more of a comfort thing on the saddle.

      Clipless pedals do give you a slight increase in efficiency, you can start with Shimano PD-A520 pedals which are single-sided, so you can use a MTB shoe and clip into it, and on the other side, platform, so you can ride with your tennis shoes. Then you can get fitted to help with additional comfort and efficiency.

      The rest is primarily the motor (and some maintenance to get things on the bike in order)
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    12. Member A1an's Avatar
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      01-25-2016 03:01 PM #85
      Quote Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
      Also bought some chain lube as I don't know if it had been cleaned/lubed properly since I've had it.
      You should really think about getting the bike tuned up. If you aren't confident in doing it yourself a bike shop should be able to get it done fairly cheap. Crappy condition chains/drivetrain or bearings can sap a ton of energy...not to mention they can be a safety hazard.
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      01-25-2016 07:51 PM #86
      Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
      You should really think about getting the bike tuned up. If you aren't confident in doing it yourself a bike shop should be able to get it done fairly cheap. Crappy condition chains/drivetrain or bearings can sap a ton of energy...not to mention they can be a safety hazard.
      Parktool.com has a lot of really good tutorials on how to do basic work on your bike. If you're okay with working on your car, you should be okay with working on your bike. There's nothing too difficult, particularly on an older road bike.

      On the topic of cleaning the chain, simple green works great for getting the grease off the chain. Spray it on the chain and cassette, scrub a bit with a brush, and rinse off with a garden hose. Don't spray the bearings directly, and go easy with the simple green on the cassette. When the drivetrain is clean and dry (compressed air is awesome for this, but not required) THEN apply the chain lube.

      I'm a big fan of wax lubes btw. You've got to apply it more often (like every other ride) but they require you to actually clean the chain less because the lube dries on the chain and doesn't attract dirt.

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      01-25-2016 11:37 PM #87
      Quote Originally Posted by BsickPassat View Post
      Get the lycra (bibs/shorts) and wear it underneath. It's more of a comfort thing on the saddle.
      Ditto.

      You can also get MTB shorts, which come with padding. Just be sure not to wear anything under them.

    15. 01-26-2016 01:47 PM #88
      Need another day for ice to melt off the path I use, then I'll head out and see if it's much better. I'll report back with what I did and how the ride felt.

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      02-26-2016 08:18 AM #89
      Trying to get a little bit more intentional with my training to help with some sort falls so I can perhaps be a bit more competitive in local mtb endurance races. My overall endurance is pretty good but what is killing me is mixing endurance with repeated short punchy climbs. My leg strength endurance just isn't where I want it to be after a few hours on repeat. The easy solution on these climbs would be to use a new technology I heard about called a "derailleur" but I'm faster overall on a single speed and I prefer less complication. My usual week looks something like this:

      Monday - strength training (pull ups, push ups, shoulder work, core work)
      Tuesday - 1.5ish hour cx ride. Can bump this up to 3hrs after time change. Can make it primarily dirt or primarily pavement. Terrain is pretty much flat aside from going up a levee
      Wednesday - strength training
      Thursday - nothing
      Friday - 12oz craft beer curls
      Saturday or Sunday - one off road ride of 3+hours


      My proposed changes are to incorporate some squats and lunges on Mon and Wed. On my Tuesday rides I am about 20 or so minutes from the levee where I can do some hill repeats. Thinking I do the warm up to the levee then do a bunch of hill repeats followed by 1.5-2 hours of active recovery. Thursday I'd like to ride but I'm absent enough from my family due to work and my other rides that I'm not sure I can swing anything longer than an hour on the bike, so I was thinking of running instead. My weekend rides can be anything from long steady somewhat hilly offroad rides to crazy technical stuff. Since my technical skills have somewhat diminished I'm looking to do at least two weekend rides a month where I hit some technical trails with short punchy climbs for the first hour then get in active recovery with a few more hours of riding. At least once a month get in a 4-6 hour single track ride.

      Any other ideas? I have a trainer with a power meter of sorts (Kurt Kinetic inRide) but I don't have a geared bike to ride on it. Eventually I do want to get a cheap road bike so I can get in some intervals on the trainer since that is very convenient and has worked wonders in the past for me.
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      02-26-2016 09:02 AM #90
      Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
      Trying to get a little bit more intentional with my training to help with some sort falls so I can perhaps be a bit more competitive in local mtb endurance races. My overall endurance is pretty good but what is killing me is mixing endurance with repeated short punchy climbs. My leg strength endurance just isn't where I want it to be after a few hours on repeat. The easy solution on these climbs would be to use a new technology I heard about called a "derailleur" but I'm faster overall on a single speed and I prefer less complication. My usual week looks something like this:

      Monday - strength training (pull ups, push ups, shoulder work, core work)
      Tuesday - 1.5ish hour cx ride. Can bump this up to 3hrs after time change. Can make it primarily dirt or primarily pavement. Terrain is pretty much flat aside from going up a levee
      Wednesday - strength training
      Thursday - nothing
      Friday - 12oz craft beer curls
      Saturday or Sunday - one off road ride of 3+hours


      My proposed changes are to incorporate some squats and lunges on Mon and Wed. On my Tuesday rides I am about 20 or so minutes from the levee where I can do some hill repeats. Thinking I do the warm up to the levee then do a bunch of hill repeats followed by 1.5-2 hours of active recovery. Thursday I'd like to ride but I'm absent enough from my family due to work and my other rides that I'm not sure I can swing anything longer than an hour on the bike, so I was thinking of running instead. My weekend rides can be anything from long steady somewhat hilly offroad rides to crazy technical stuff. Since my technical skills have somewhat diminished I'm looking to do at least two weekend rides a month where I hit some technical trails with short punchy climbs for the first hour then get in active recovery with a few more hours of riding. At least once a month get in a 4-6 hour single track ride.

      Any other ideas? I have a trainer with a power meter of sorts (Kurt Kinetic inRide) but I don't have a geared bike to ride on it. Eventually I do want to get a cheap road bike so I can get in some intervals on the trainer since that is very convenient and has worked wonders in the past for me.
      You need more threshold work. The reason you're dying when the pace bumps on endurance rides is that you're exceeding your anaerobic threshold more often and you're burning a match every time the pace lifts. If you raise the amount of power you make under threshold, you won't get as tired with each acceleration because you won't be crossing over as much.

      20 minute intervals are miserable, but they freaking work wonders to bump your threshold power up. Over/unders work too, but they're hard to do without a power meter.

      I'd do 2x20 minute intervals on flat ground or a slight climb. Basically, go as hard as you can at a consistent pace for 20 minutes, rest for 10, and do the second one. Make sure to get a good warm up and cool down in. This is the time of year to do them, try to get at least one set in per week, two per week is better.

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      02-26-2016 02:32 PM #91
      Appreciate the info and will give that a shot on my weekday ride(s). Barely over an hour including warm up and cool down so I could easily get that done on a TH as well.
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      02-27-2016 12:46 PM #92
      I'm convinced that Shimano hubs come with the cones too wound up. I adjusted the front to just the point where there's no play in the wheel when it's all clamped up by the skewer. Was a breeze.

      But... The back wheel I cannot for the life of me break open. The front took a push and then it cracked and was fine. I don't want to overdo the pressure I out on it but I feel I shouldn't need to crank so hard on it. I assume having the cassette attached is fine since the cone is non drive side. Should I not worry too much and give it a good torque to crack it open the first time?

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      03-01-2016 11:22 PM #93
      WWYD. This isn't a crack. Pressing the wheel doesn't open any crack. It rides totally fine. If it were a crack it'd follow the fibers not be so much a line. It feels like a scratch where the label is coming up. Leave it and observe? Almost seems like something scratched along it. Aside from some ******* at daycare I can't imagine what it'd be. It doesn't leave my sight


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      03-02-2016 11:16 AM #94
      If it were me I'd shoot some photos and a description over to the manufacturer for their input. I freaked out over something similar with an Easton bar years ago and they talked me off the ledge after a quick exchange of emails with photos.
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      03-02-2016 02:55 PM #95
      Well i just put over 40 miles on it this morning, its not a crack. I bet one of my kids toys or like a laundry basket scratched along it one day.

    23. 03-03-2016 10:47 AM #96
      The new pedals helped a lot up the hills. Flats it helped a little. Got stranded recently for a flat without a kit/spare. Learned that lesson. Figured I'm just out for exercise and recreation and not going far, so why need it. Walking the bike back 4 miles taught me a good lesson.

      Overall, it has highlighted that despite going to the gym to do some weights a couple times a week that I'm not in that great of shape. I've got a lot of work to do to get my endurance up.

      In the meantime I've started to alter the ratio of upper body to leg day work in the gym and started to do more stationary bike cardio more often. I didn't do much at all before.

      I'm having fun with it and at the same time trying to improve my health. My typical "engineer" mind immediately tried to get my speed up by working on the equipment instead of the person on the equipment.

      So far I plan to do a heavy leg gym day once a week, intervals on a stationary twice a week for 30 min after or before free weights, an off day in there, a recovery stationary or real bike once a week, and finally the big Saturday morning endurance ride each week.

      I've got one of those free apps to track my progress and each trip. Let's see how it goes. Get my lazy beer drinking ass into shape.

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      04-14-2016 08:04 AM #97
      Starting to tire kick my next wheel build and I'm really not sure what direction to take when it comes to spokes and rims. I want something lighter with equal or greater strength than my current build using DT Comps and Velocity Blunt 35 rims. This has been a great and tough setup for me. Many rim strikes with no dents and I haven't touched the spokes in at least a year (pretty proud of this as my first wheel build). I am primarily an XC rider who doesn't do big jumps or drops. Pretty careful rider but my wheels do reflect some scrapes from rocks and whatnot.

      RIMS....
      Been researching the Light Bicycle chinese carbon rims for quite some times. Seems they were off to a rough start but their product has excelled in the last few years with TONS of happy customers. Pricing is $190 per rim plus shipping versus about $100 per rim for the Velocity rims. I've seen tons of product testing for carbon and I know they are very tough, but what gets me is the failures from rock strikes and whatnot. I've never dented a rim despite bottoming it out countless times. I've been told that if I haven't been able to dent my alloy rim then I have nothing to worry about with a carbon rim. Any thoughts on this?

      SPOKES...
      DT now has the Comp Race spoke which has a thinner middle section. They claim approximately equal strength and durability as the regular Comp but with 70g less weight for 64 spokes (or whatever the # of spokes is). I was set on those for the next build but now I have a friend who is preaching DT AeroLites for mtb wheels. DT's usage graph isn't favorable for abusive offroad riding, but ENVE builds up their downhill carbon wheels using these same spokes. Apparently others use them for the DH wheel builds as well. I'm not going to be abusing them like these DH guys so it seems these spokes would fair very well to regular XC/trail use...but I am having a hard time wrapping my head around DT's site for the recommended usage.
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    25. 04-14-2016 10:03 AM #98
      I don't want to buy stuff I don't need, but wanted some advice.

      My back has started to be uncomfortable on longer rides. It appears I'm sized correctly, had a friend confirm. Online I see some people put on clip-on aero bars not to go "faster" but also to help the back out.

      Would those help my back out some? I could care less if it's more aero, just some back relief would be nice.

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      04-14-2016 10:22 AM #99
      Quote Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
      I don't want to buy stuff I don't need, but wanted some advice.

      My back has started to be uncomfortable on longer rides. It appears I'm sized correctly, had a friend confirm. Online I see some people put on clip-on aero bars not to go "faster" but also to help the back out.

      Would those help my back out some? I could care less if it's more aero, just some back relief would be nice.

      Not knowing your friend, I'd go to a reputable shop for a fit check and probable adjustment. Even little tweaks can make huge differences. After a DIY Competitive Cyclist fitting, my road bike was still bugging me. I went to a good fitter who stuck me and eventually my bike on a fancy trainer for an hour or so, and the little changes (seat height/position, bar rotation, cleat location, riding posture changes, etc.) added up to a very noticeable improvement.

      Also, I don't think that clip-on aero bars are ever the answer to any question.

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      04-15-2016 08:30 PM #100
      Quote Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
      I don't want to buy stuff I don't need, but wanted some advice.

      My back has started to be uncomfortable on longer rides. It appears I'm sized correctly, had a friend confirm. Online I see some people put on clip-on aero bars not to go "faster" but also to help the back out.

      Would those help my back out some? I could care less if it's more aero, just some back relief would be nice.
      I've begun to experience a lot of lower back pain in general, not just on longer rides.

      Depending on how much you ride, if you do very little cross training and core exercises (like me) you may find yourself having back problems. I'm still trying to work out my non-biking exercise program but have to do it soon because it's getting in the way of my training big time!

      Just a thought....

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