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Lets go ride bikes!
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Koodari
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2007-08-07, 09:16

So...

I have this 28" Nishiki hybrid that feels reasonably light to ride and cost about 300-350€. It's got stock everything. Straight hard rubber handlebars that tend to slide outwards and need adjusting back every few months, and "sweat" off little bits of rubber at old age. Tires are hybrid ones with a "plain" zone in the middle and grippy parts on the side that do not touch the road when you ride on a hard surface. Tire pressure is 4 bar. Brakes are "V" type and are adjusted correctly. I haven't really maintenanced the bike, just changed one tube when it went flat, re-attached a loose dirt guard with a ziptie, and put in some chain oil (one time in a few years). High gears often do not settle down correctly but start to make noise; if that happens I switch back to lower gear and try again, but sometimes they don't work for the whole ride.

In addition to the bike, I have a helmet and a low-power bike mountable LED flashlight (enough for others to see me and for me to see the ground at low speeds), no other biking gear or clothing.

I tend to ride short distances (~15km), always going to some destination and not "just" riding. I ride in a relatively flat neighborhood. The top gear has been sufficient so far, but I'm not sure it will be for long if I keep riding. I'd like go fast, plus pull a longer distance now and then. It'd be interesting to be able to track my performance and bike's speed while riding, but I'm not sure how much I am willing to pay for that at this point.

So I wonder, what kinds of maintenance and/or fixes would I need to do to have the gears/chain work reliably?

If I want a better (= faster) riding experience, does it make sense to change parts on this bike or is it an equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig?

What comes to my mind is lock pedals+shoes, biking shorts and top, and maybe narrower tires if this bike can use them. Suggestions? In what order would you guys do improvements in this position?
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2007-08-07, 10:25

Hassan, you're getting soft. Half the fun of cycling in London is listening to the unoriginal insults from the the white-van-men and racing unsuspecting lyrca-clad cyclists up Shooter's Hill.

Koodari, it sounds like your derailleurs need adjustment. Park Tools have an excellent guide for doing this yourself.

Rear derailleur
Front derailleur

The most common problem is that the cables have lost a bit of tension due to stretch (or compression of the cable housing). You can try fixing it by turning the tension adjustment screw in 1/4 turn increments. But record what you do so you can return to the original tension if the problem gets worse. Chain lubrication is essential of course, but don't put new lube on a dirty chain: clean it first.

Clipless pedals make a big difference to pedalling efficiency, and they can be transferred to a new bike if you eventually get one (most new bikes don't come with pedals). So I would start by getting a pair of pedals and shoes. Shimano SPD mountain-bike pedals are useful because the shoes have recessed cleats, which means you can walk in them pretty well. Dedicated road pedals and shoes have big cleats that protrude from the shoe's sole, making it awkward to walk into the cafe. But the pedal-shoe interface feels stiffer and more secure with road pedals, they're usually lighter, and they are designed to get your foot closer to the pedal spindle for ergonomic benefits (MTB pedals sacrifice this to make both sides of the pedal usable).

LOOK make a good pedal system that has become the standard in the cycling world, using the "Delta" cleat (with three attachment points to the shoe). Pretty much every shoe on the market is compatible with these cleats. However, in recent years LOOK has been pushing a new system called "KéO". The KéO cleats fit the same three holes in the shoes as the Delta cleats, and are therefore compatible with nearly all the shoes on the market, but the cleat itself is smaller and designed to enable lighter pedals to be made. It has become very popular too, partly because LOOK KéO pedals are very light at a given price range.

I use LOOK 247 pedals, which have an aluminium body and work with the standard Delta cleat. They look like this:



Time also make well-regarded pedals. Top sprinter Tom Boonen uses the Time Impact pedals, for example.

My shoes are Time Equipe Pro with carbon-fibre soles for extreme stiffness but light weight. They are fantastic shoes with a low stack height, but I don't think they're available anymore. Besides, you really need to try shoes on yourself, especially as cycling shoes are notoriously narrow.
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Koodari
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2007-08-07, 11:20

Thanks for the explanation Dorian!

I think I'm going to go with the recessed-cleat system. I have enough stuff (training equipment, groceries, etc.) at some point of every ride that there is no room for an extra pair of normal shoes, and sometimes need to walk around for quite a bit (in a large shopping centre for instance) before returning to the bike.

I have the good fortune of having a uni student biking club right next to where I live, complete with a tiny clubroom with a sofa and some maintenance tools. When my tire went flat, it was the folks there who taught me how to fix it. I'm gonna head there now to ask for advice + good local shops, and get rid of some reflectors on my wheel spokes. They're primarily a mountain biking bunch if I understand correctly but the clubroom is open to casual riders fixing junkers too.

How do you guys feel about chimes on bikes? I have a poor one that keeps making a small noise while riding.. I'll rip it off anyway but should I get a new, solid one? It would seem to me that in the situations I might want to use the chime, either I'm weaving the bike in tight quarters and can just as well shout, or I'm doing full speed on a bike/pedestrian path. In the latter case, I'm afraid to use the chime because I see pedestrians taking sideways steps before looking around when they hear a bike chime, whereas they'll be relatively still and I'm able to pass safely when they don't know I'm there.
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2007-08-07, 11:45

Shimano SPDs sound like they would be a good choice for you. Not sure what's available in that range now, though I'm sure you could find something pretty cheap. Shimano also make shoes I believe, though you could also look at other manufacturers. Clipless pedals really make a difference. One of the most worthwhile things to do to improve your speed (and fun).

I don't have a bell/chime on my bike because, damn, it might weigh 100 grams! Same with reflectors on the wheels, etc. I holler if an accident is about to occur, otherwise I just swerve and scare myself.

I don't know what kind of rims your bike has, but you could probably fit narrower tyres. But to be honest, the advantages of narrow tyres are often exaggerated. The main reason a road bike is faster than other bikes is because it enforces an aerodynamic riding position. At 30 km/hr on a flat road, about 85% of your pedalling effort is used to push the air out of the way. About 70% of that 85% is due to your body's drag, with the remaining 30% coming from your bicycle (these figures are for a rider in a low position on a road bike: on your bike your body will cause greater than 70% of the total drag). Narrow tyres have significantly less air resistance than fat ones, but because of these ratios of body-to-bicycle drag, you won't see a huge improvement by changing them. As for friction with the road, that forms only a very small part of your overall resistance (if the tyres are pumped up to the maximum allowed), and fatter tyres (smooth ones) actually offer marginally lower rolling resistance than the ultra-narrow ones found on road bikes. They also offer better grip and comfort.

In short, the reason road bikes have ultra-narrow tyres is to reduce air resistance (and weight, to a lesser extent). But if you're sitting up in a non-aerodynamic position due to the bike you have, you won't see much gain by adding aerodynamic tyres.
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Koodari
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2007-08-07, 15:38

Back from the biking club. We had a look at an annoying continuous mechanical noise that comes from the gears or chain while on one of the chainrings. It seems the chain is sticking to the ring and the ring is worn out. I'm going to be putting in a new crankset, chain, back hub and the lock pedals at some time in the close future. I don't understand anything about the gearing but I'll try to get a reasonably close ratio one with a slightly higher top end because I suspect the current one won't be enough after I have the lock pedals, am wearing something else than flappy cotton and especially if there comes a time I don't have any extra weight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
I don't have a bell/chime on my bike because, damn, it might weigh 100 grams! Same with reflectors on the wheels, etc. I holler if an accident is about to occur, otherwise I just swerve and scare myself.
Okay, that's pretty much what I'm thinking.
After you warn people by chime or otherwise, they become really unpredictable until they have figured out the situation. With the kinds of speeds we're talking about, you either crash or avoid them by that time.
The only reason horn works on cars is that people expect the car and know pretty much exactly what line a car will be driving on, even if they fail to see a specific car approaching, so their natural reaction to step out of the way works in the correct direction (out of the road). They don't really expect bikes like that and even after spotting one they do not know what line the bike is going to pick.
Quote:
I don't know what kind of rims your bike has, but you could probably fit narrower tyres. But to be honest, the advantages of narrow tyres are often exaggerated. The main reason a road bike is faster than other bikes is because it enforces an aerodynamic riding position. At 30 km/hr on a flat road, about 85% of your pedalling effort is used to push the air out of the way. About 70% of that 85% is due to your body's drag, with the remaining 30% coming from your bicycle (these figures are for a rider in a low position on a road bike: on your bike your body will cause greater than 70% of the total drag).
Understood. I'll get a narrower front tyre once the current one wears out. The front is the original wider hybrid tyre, the back is more rounded and slightly narrower at 38mm. I don't know how narrow tyres the rims will accept but I sure won't be changing the 38mm one for aerodynamics.

If 60% or so of my effort goes to defeating drag caused by my body, I'm definitely getting biking clothes.
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billybobsky
BANNED
I am worthless beyond hope.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Inner Swabia. If you have to ask twice, don't.
 
2007-08-07, 20:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post
I’ve just moved to Copenhagen. I've made some fascinating discoveries.

I ride, I realise, like a Londoner: that is, a weathered and seasoned hybrid of ‘motherfucker’ and ‘show-off’.

I could write an essay about the awesome joy of living in a place where cycle paths are an integral part of the infrastructure, complete with lights and crossings, where there’s a bike shop on every corner, where you can go to a restaurant and prop your machine against a tree, lock the wheels and not worry about it being stolen in minutes. (This is utterly inconceivable to me, I still haven’t got my head round that.)

But here I feel like… a cycle messenger who had to make a delivery from London and decided to stay. When I ride with my girlfriend, I ride Danish. Or Danish-ish. When I ride on my own, I am a heroic shit-head, and it’s very obvious.

Here’s the deal. I’ve been cycling in London for a long time. I have a courier’s bike (an Italian-built Sigma frame with Deda carbon post and triangle, Look forks, Ultegra gears and brakes, Campag bits and bobs) with sawn-off flat bars, the better to weave in and out of double decker busses down the Dalston Highroad.

I have a low riding position. I ignore traffic lights; they are gay. When I have to stop, I balance on the spot with chain tension. I’ll ride against traffic without a second thought. I don’t care if it’s a one way street.

Where I come from, this is perfectly normal.

Here… people don’t do that. They stop at lights even if there’s nothing coming. Even if the lights are on a cycle path. They ride upright city bikes; even the men. They don’t race each other. They don’t do bunnyhops over the kerb. They don’t shout at the idiot car driver who just pulled out without looking or made a right turn without signalling. They don’t need to; they’re not constantly scared. I’ve been here a week, and I haven’t been anywhere close to death. Here people hold hands when they ride. Even I’ve done this.

It is AWESOME. Here my usual riding practices generate stares (the Danish, for all their commendable qualities, are very skilled self-policers) and I feel like a glorious rebel cycle-psycho.

But only when my girlfriend’s at work.
:-)
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Perfecting_Zero
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
 
2007-08-08, 13:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koodari View Post
What comes to my mind is lock pedals+shoes, biking shorts and top, and maybe narrower tires if this bike can use them. Suggestions? In what order would you guys do improvements in this position?
Since DG gave solid advice on everything else, I'll just speak to the cycling-specific clothing that you mentioned. I totally endorse it! I ride, typically, 35 miles/day, and the lycra bib-shorts that I wear make a HUGE difference in my comfort. My favorite pair of bib-shorts are the "Cannondale Carbon." I like the bib-style of riding pant because they stay in place without needing to pull and tug at them throughout the ride. I ride without a top most of the time. For me, the only disadvantage of that is that I loose out on the rear sewn-in pockets that are standard on most riding jerseys. But, if I know that I'll be riding after dark, then I'll throw on a bright yellow cycling shirt -- for the added visibility.

In a lycra cycling short, just make sure that the seams of the chamois are finished and molded (as though "seamless") to the lycra. Given that these things can cost well over one-hundred dollars, you'd think that their quality would be uniformly excellent -- but this is not the case.

And on the topic of clipless pedals/shoes, I am still riding (and kicking people's ass) on platform pedals! @ DG.


Hope some of this helps!

Cheers!

"We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin
  quote
Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2007-08-08, 15:33

"Cooling holes to dissipate heat during re-entry"

I swear, you could play basketball on those things. And for $109, they'd need to be versatile! They do look very well made compared to my cheap LOOKs, I'll concede you that.

For Koodari and anyone who'd like a more detailed discussion about wheel performance, have a look at this interesting article. Also of particular interest is the table of clincher versus tub performance in Lennard Zinn's recent column at VeloNews. In short, rolling resistance is not quite as negligible as I had believed. Here's a quote from the wheel theory article that sums up the situation:
"Roughly, the average rider power requirements on a course with a zero net elevation gain is broken down into 60% rider drag, 8% wheel drag, 8% frame drag, 12% rolling resistance .5% wheel inertia forces and 8% bike/rider inertia."
(This doesn't add up to 100% because there are losses in the geartrain, etc.) Of course, much of this doesn't matter unless you really, really want to go as fast as you can. But if you do want to improve your speed, it's useful to know that aerodynamics are the best place to start, short of training more.

P.S. Maybe you could Google for the results of the Finnish laboratory test mentioned at the bottom of the Zinn column. I don't speak Finnish so I didn't even try that.
  quote
geneman
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Copenhagen
Send a message via AIM to geneman  
2007-08-08, 16:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post
I’ve just moved to Copenhagen. I've made some fascinating discoveries.

I ride, I realise, like a Londoner: that is, a weathered and seasoned hybrid of ‘motherfucker’ and ‘show-off’.

I could write an essay about the awesome joy of living in a place where cycle paths are an integral part of the infrastructure, complete with lights and crossings, where there’s a bike shop on every corner, where you can go to a restaurant and prop your machine against a tree, lock the wheels and not worry about it being stolen in minutes. (This is utterly inconceivable to me, I still haven’t got my head round that.)

But here I feel like… a cycle messenger who had to make a delivery from London and decided to stay. When I ride with my girlfriend, I ride Danish. Or Danish-ish. When I ride on my own, I am a heroic shit-head, and it’s very obvious.

Here’s the deal. I’ve been cycling in London for a long time. I have a courier’s bike (an Italian-built Sigma frame with Deda carbon post and triangle, Look forks, Ultegra gears and brakes, Campag bits and bobs) with sawn-off flat bars, the better to weave in and out of double decker busses down the Dalston Highroad.

I have a low riding position. I ignore traffic lights; they are gay. When I have to stop, I balance on the spot with chain tension. I’ll ride against traffic without a second thought. I don’t care if it’s a one way street.

Where I come from, this is perfectly normal.

Here… people don’t do that. They stop at lights even if there’s nothing coming. Even if the lights are on a cycle path. They ride upright city bikes; even the men. They don’t race each other. They don’t do bunnyhops over the kerb. They don’t shout at the idiot car driver who just pulled out without looking or made a right turn without signalling. They don’t need to; they’re not constantly scared. I’ve been here a week, and I haven’t been anywhere close to death. Here people hold hands when they ride. Even I’ve done this.

It is AWESOME. Here my usual riding practices generate stares (the Danish, for all their commendable qualities, are very skilled self-policers) and I feel like a glorious rebel cycle-psycho.

But only when my girlfriend’s at work.
Welcome, glad you like it here

Thought I should mention that recently police issued a raid because to many people are disregarding the rules - guess it all depends on your point of view

I guess the same goes for bike theft, but it is an issue here too, so do remember to lock your bike well, especially since it's expensive. oh, and never leave it at a train station...
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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2007-08-30, 02:10

My Yeti ARC is getting long in tooth and I was thinking about switching gears and going with a road bike. Looking to spend up to around $2000. Name brand, small fab, carbon or chromoly, doesn't matter to me. Actually half the fun for me would be putting it together myself if there are any decent bare frames around $700 or so...

Any suggestions on which models/frames I should look at?
  quote
Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2007-08-30, 13:31

Plenty of good road frames around $700. You can also get nice full bikes for a lot less than $2000, but no doubt you know that. Are you looking for a stylish bike with oodles of street cred, or are you more looking for the best bang for the buck in a purely technical sense? Or something in between?

Steel frames are very cool. "Steel is real." They're also pretty, because the tubes are narrow and graceful, unlike clunky aluminium frames, or worse, carbon monocoques. But a fairly light steel frame weighs around 1.5 kg whereas a decent aluminium or carbon frame may weigh 1.2 kg (you can get lighter frames from any of these materials, but these are typical weights for reasonably priced frames). Steel frames also exhibit more flex around the bottom bracket area than carbon or aluminium frames, so they're not quite as good at transferring the power to the back wheel in a flat-out sprint. On the other hand, they are comfortable to ride because steel absorbs road buzz well, and as long as you take some basic precautions to avoid rust, they last forever because steel has a clearly defined fatigue limit.

Another thing you might want to consider is the geometry. Racing bikes have steep seat tubes and head tubes, with short chainstays to reduce the wheelbase. This makes for a sharp but somewhat twitchy bike to ride, and there isn't enough rear tyre clearance to fit mudguards. They don't have mounting points for a touring rack either. Other road bikes have slightly more relaxed geometry that would be better suited for touring, but still offer an aerodynamic position.

Anyway, I'm a fan of Moser bicycles. Their current M85 is quite nice, but expensive. It's welded, but it's aimed at replacing the classic Leader AX, which was fillet-brazed. Moser also have the Forma, which is a lugged steel frame on sale for a more reasonable $395.

For gruppos, have a browse through the Campangolo and the Shimano catalogues (both big PDF files).
  quote
beardedmacuser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: eastmidlandshire
 
2007-08-30, 17:09

You can often pick up a bargain if you're prepared to buy a new frame from a year or two ago. Manufacturers have already started to sell 2008 models and so we're seeing 2007 models going cheap. A heavily-discounted frame from a year or two ago may well be better value than a current model.

Plus you should expect to get a bike shop to do some work for you. The cost of a bike shop to build wheels or install the headset or bottom bracket may well be cheaper than buying the tools to do it yourself.
  quote
Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2007-08-30, 17:19

One of the reasons why I bought my ARC was the extra long top tube...not because I was looking for a more stable bike, but because I have a long torso and arms.

I don't need the street cred. Priorities are probably frame, wheels, drivetrain components...everything else I can spec down for now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beardedmacuser View Post
You can often pick up a bargain if you're prepared to buy a new frame from a year or two ago. Manufacturers have already started to sell 2008 models and so we're seeing 2007 models going cheap. A heavily-discounted frame from a year or two ago may well be better value than a current model.

Plus you should expect to get a bike shop to do some work for you. The cost of a bike shop to build wheels or install the headset or bottom bracket may well be cheaper than buying the tools to do it yourself.
Yeah I was looking at 2005s even, but almost all the discontinued models are from the big manufacturers like Trek and subsidiaries. I wouldn't think of installing a BB or headset myself, for fear of not aligning it correctly. Though one time I visited a custom fabricator and the entire bottom bracket tube was off axis by about 1 degree...he took a wooden mallet to it.

Last edited by Eugene : 2007-08-30 at 17:31.
  quote
Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2007-08-30, 23:18

I don't think the Moser is going to be a possibility since I'd have to go out of my way to give one a test ride. I kinda want to stay away from the big brand names just for the sake of it. Out of the 3 bike shops I visited today, two were stocked almost exclusively with Trek and Lemond. The other had a mix of Specialized, Cannondale, Lemond and Rocky Mountain. I ended up riding a Lemond Buenos Aires and a 2008 Trek Madone 5.2 around the block a few times. The Lemond felt downright lazy on city streets, the Trek felt the same except it was $800 more expensive. Gotta say I'm not really impressed with the all-carbon frames.

The in-house Bontrager components are a bit suspect as well. Unfortunately the last store closed before I got to test a Rocky Mountain Solo 50ST. I've never heard of the company, but the bike was intriguing. The the frame is primarily steel, but with carbon fiber stays and seat tube. It had a full Ultegra component group, save the cranks...which I'm not going to cry about.

Going to go back this weekend to give it a try.
  quote
Perfecting_Zero
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
 
2007-08-31, 21:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
The in-house Bontrager components are a bit suspect as well.
I've got Bontrager components on my '07 LeMond Poprad. Here's the rundown: The crank set has failed and been replaced under warranty. The carbon fork is poorly designed and flexes too much. The wheel set is junk, requiring weekly truing... and even then they still suck. In general, regardless of brand, I would never buy low spoke-count wheels. In fact, I've just replaced those crap wheels with some bombproof Mavics; the difference is dramatic.

So, yeah, I think Bontrager is a bit suspect as well. But having said all that, I like the steel frame on the Poprad. I just think that Trek/LeMond need to spec their rides with better components than Bontrager.


Good luck with your purchase, Eugene.

"We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin
  quote
beardedmacuser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: eastmidlandshire
 
2007-09-01, 07:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfecting_Zero View Post
So, yeah, I think Bontrager is a bit suspect as well. But having said all that, I like the steel frame on the Poprad. I just think that Trek/LeMond need to spec their rides with better components than Bontrager.
YMMV... I raced a pair of Bontrager wheels for one season. They rode nicely and stayed true for the whole summer.
  quote
Perfecting_Zero
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
 
2007-09-01, 22:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by beardedmacuser View Post
YMMV... I raced a pair of Bontrager wheels for one season. They rode nicely and stayed true for the whole summer.
Emphasis mine.

True. I should have been more specific: I had problems with the Bontrager Select Disc wheel set. Maybe you raced a different wheel set from Bontrager...?

On the positive side, I like the saddle, seat tube and drop bars from them.

"We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin
  quote
Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2007-09-02, 08:30

Dammit! I didn't have a good day on my bike yesterday. I've had a flat for about a week, and I finally managed to fit the new tube yesterday. So I went to work on the bike.

About halfway there, I was cycling along enjoying the bike again, when I got to a part where the road narrowed. As I went through it, some damn stupid woman in a blue Punto decided that she couldn't wait the extra 2 seconds and had to go through the narrow part at the same time - and clipped me with her bleedin' wing mirror while doing about 30 miles an hour! I didn't come off, but it sent me flying and I nearly went under the car behind her. And the bitch then just drove off! Fucking hit and run! I didn't get her registration because by the time I thought of it, she was gone.

So, filled with adrenaline, I had to go the rest of the way to work. About 2 minutes later, the bike started wobbling - I assumed that I had missed some damage from the crash - but it turns out that my bleeding tyre was flat again! I must have missed the sharp that caused the first flat.

Not a good day. Time for yet another tube....
  quote
beardedmacuser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: eastmidlandshire
 
2007-09-03, 03:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfecting_Zero View Post
True. I should have been more specific: I had problems with the Bontrager Select Disc wheel set. Maybe you raced a different wheel set from Bontrager...?
Yeah, their Race-X-Lite wheels or whatever they're called. And only because they came with the bike. But they were just fine. Not as good as a proper hand-built pair of wheels built by an experienced wheel builder, but what factory-built wheels are...
  quote
beardedmacuser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: eastmidlandshire
 
2007-09-03, 03:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryson View Post
About halfway there, I was cycling along enjoying the bike again, when I got to a part where the road narrowed. As I went through it, some damn stupid woman in a blue Punto decided that she couldn't wait the extra 2 seconds and had to go through the narrow part at the same time - and clipped me with her bleedin' wing mirror while doing about 30 miles an hour! I didn't come off, but it sent me flying and I nearly went under the car behind her. And the bitch then just drove off! Fucking hit and run! I didn't get her registration because by the time I thought of it, she was gone.
Bitch. Last time a woman did that to me she lost her wing mirror. In fact, if I remember correctly I think it was a blue Punto too! (or maybe a blue Polo?) But most of the time a simple sideways slap of the offending wing mirror will cause the driver to take notice, but if they've seriously endangered your safety then a hard vertically-struck fist will take the wing mirror off surprisingly often. Just make sure you do it in traffic so there's no chance they'll catch you up and run you off the road. That happened to me once, I won't make that mistake again...
  quote
Perfecting_Zero
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
 
2007-09-03, 07:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by beardedmacuser View Post
But most of the time a simple sideways slap of the offending wing mirror will cause the driver to take notice...
I actually do this when I'm walking, too: If some dumb fuck tries to force a right turn, pinching me off in the crosswalk, then I will take my open hand and slap the side of their car. Hard, if necessary. Most people just slow down a little and look in their rear view mirror to see what crazy fucker attacked their 2000-pound car/SUV. I've had other drivers stop (in traffic), get out, and then try to quickly calculate what their options are for retribution. Zero. They're in a car, holding up a lane of traffic; I'm on foot, in a dense urban environment that I know intimately.

Don't get me wrong, my external existence is mostly peaceable... except for the times when it's not.

"We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin
  quote
Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2007-09-03, 07:58

I definitely wouldn't condone that sort of militant behaviour, but I share the frustration that cyclists everywhere have for irredeemably stupid drivers. Glad you're not in hospital, Bryson. (By the way, does anyone else find it humorous that the anti-cycling brigade refer to themselves as "motorists", conjuring up ideas of gentlemen in silk gloves taking the Rolls out for a Sunday drive? You're not a motorist, you fool: you're a fat-arsed, badly skilled, insular driver, paying thousands of pounds for the privilege of sitting in traffic jams and polluting the heck out of your environment.)

One way to get drivers to give you more room is to move away from the edge of the road. Passing drivers tend to leave as much space between you and their car as there is between you and the edge of the road. So if you squeeze yourself against the curb, bumping through the drain covers, they'll give you no respect at all. Muscle out into an assertive position a good two or three feet from the curb and they'll practically treat you like a car, i.e. no overtaking unless they can move into the overtaking lane.

Time will improve things for cyclists in the UK, perhaps to the level found in some European countries. Last year cyclists nearly doubled in London, and since this year's Tour de France start in London, I've noticed even more cyclists on the roads. At some point we can no longer be ignored.
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beardedmacuser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: eastmidlandshire
 
2007-09-03, 09:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
One way to get drivers to give you more room is to move away from the edge of the road. Passing drivers tend to leave as much space between you and their car as there is between you and the edge of the road. So if you squeeze yourself against the curb, bumping through the drain covers, they'll give you no respect at all. Muscle out into an assertive position a good two or three feet from the curb and they'll practically treat you like a car, i.e. no overtaking unless they can move into the overtaking lane.
QFT... don't ride in the gutter. Ride defensively and assertively. But always have in the back of your mind that you may need to get out of the way if a vehicle is just coming through regardless of your presence.

Just a week or two ago I had a fuckwit in a car drive into a central reservation bollard. He was trying to overtake me where there was a bollard/pedestrian-crossing-thingy in the middle of the road. He skidded to a halt on top of it! Who knows, but had I been riding in the gutter he may have just thought for a moment that there would have been room for both of us (which there wasn't).

Drivers; how about just waiting a few seconds before overtaking? It's really not going to hold you up! Are you really so desperate to get up to the back of the queue ahead?
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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2007-09-03, 09:43

I tried a Look 565, Orbea Onix and a Bianchi...something yesterday. One major problem that continues to screw me over...anatomically I have a long torso and shorter inseam, so I'm barely clearing the top tube on 55-56cm frames, even though my reach is more suited to a 57-58cm frame. I'm most likely going to need a 54cm frame or a 55-56 with a pretty advanced slope on the top tube.
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beardedmacuser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: eastmidlandshire
 
2007-09-03, 11:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
I tried a Look 565, Orbea Onix and a Bianchi...something yesterday. One major problem that continues to screw me over...anatomically I have a long torso and shorter inseam, so I'm barely clearing the top tube on 55-56cm frames, even though my reach is more suited to a 57-58cm frame. I'm most likely going to need a 54cm frame or a 55-56 with a pretty advanced slope on the top tube.
You could always swap the handlebar stem for something longer, which would give you a longer reach. Typical stems are approx 80 to 100 mm long, and you can commonly find them in lengths of up to 140 mm if you look around.

A good bike shop shouldn't really sell you a bike which doesn't fit you. That should include fitting a stem and a seat post of appropriate length. Alternatively (like me), if you know what you're doing you can buy a bike from somewhere crap but which sells them cheap. Then spend your own time and money to get the bike to fit...
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2007-09-03, 11:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene
...Look 565...
LOL, now you're really looking at top quality stuff. But you did say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene
Priorities are probably frame, wheels, drivetrain components...everything else I can spec down for now.
So that leaves the possibility of skimping on the bottle cage and bar tape for now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene
One major problem that continues to screw me over...anatomically I have a long torso and shorter inseam, so I'm barely clearing the top tube on 55-56cm frames, even though my reach is more suited to a 57-58cm frame. I'm most likely going to need a 54cm frame or a 55-56 with a pretty advanced slope on the top tube.
Chris Boardman had the same problem, so you're in good company. I'm the opposite: long legs and short torso. So I like my frames small with the saddle jacked up. Be aware that bike sizing is a clusterfuck with lax industry-wide standards. 54 cm on one bike is often different from 54 cm on another, so you really do need to get a reliable person to actually measure the important dimensions, or test ride the actual bike you're planning on riding.

If you buy a new 2005 bike on sale, you might want to check that it's compatible with modern 10-speed gruppos. The new SRAM Force and Rival stuff is 10-speed, but Campagnolo only moved to 10-speed across the board in 2007, and Shimano still do 8-speed (Sora) and 9-speed (Tiagra) gruppos. I think 105 was 9-speed up to 2006, and Ultegra up to 2004(?). If you swap a 9-speed cassette for a 10-speed cassette you'll need new shifters as well (and possibly derailleurs?). 8-speed systems are completely incompatible with 9/10-speed, so upgrading from 8-speed would need a new freehub body, (i.e. rear wheel), etc. Very expensive.
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beardedmacuser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: eastmidlandshire
 
2007-09-03, 11:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
Chris Boardman had the same problem, so you're in good company. I'm the opposite: long legs and short torso. So I like my frames small with the saddle jacked up.
I'm lucky! My Trek OCLV fits like a glove off the shelf and all I had to do was lower the stem by one spacer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
Be aware that bike sizing is a clusterfuck with lax industry-wide standards. 54 cm on one bike is often different from 54 cm on another, so you really do need to get a reliable person to actually measure the important dimensions,
Sizes vary even within the same manufacturer. My 58 cm Trek OCLV fits beautifully, whereas a 58 cm aluminium Trek frame was much too big!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
or test ride the actual bike you're planning on riding.
Absolutely!
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Majost
monkey with a tiny cymbal
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Lost
 
2007-09-03, 13:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by beardedmacuser View Post
...most of the time a simple sideways slap of the offending wing mirror will cause the driver to take notice, but if they've seriously endangered your safety then a hard vertically-struck fist will take the wing mirror off surprisingly often.
I've always dreamed of doing that... but whenever I'm in such a situation, I always worry that the driver's immediate reaction to the fist slapping will be stupider than the original offense. Now, I know they'll will become angry... and that's all gravy... but which way will they jerk the car without thinking?

Just be grateful you don't have any dental work, Bryson.

Oh, and, I've always found that I get flats in threes. Even when I find the sharp. It's weird. I'll go many months without a flat, and then once I get one, I'll invariably get two more before the month is out. I think a lot of it has to do with the tubes settling down... or the cheap tubes I use...
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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2007-09-03, 20:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by beardedmacuser View Post
You could always swap the handlebar stem for something longer, which would give you a longer reach. Typical stems are approx 80 to 100 mm long, and you can commonly find them in lengths of up to 140 mm if you look around.
I did that with my mountain bike. I got a 17" frame and bought a long stem with a shallow rise in addition to a layback seatpost. It gave me a decent riding position, but completely jacked up the handling of the bike on technical stuff. Steering got lazy and on steep climbs if I wasn't standing, my butt felt like it was falling off the saddle.

Quote:
A good bike shop shouldn't really sell you a bike which doesn't fit you. That should include fitting a stem and a seat post of appropriate length. Alternatively (like me), if you know what you're doing you can buy a bike from somewhere crap but which sells them cheap. Then spend your own time and money to get the bike to fit...
All the bike shops here will put you on a Serotta size-cycle initially, then deal with stems, crank length, etc. The thing is they usually save that for after you've chosen the bike already.
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Souflay123
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
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2007-09-04, 00:33

That sounds like a good idea, but right now in cali it is too fucking hot. this last week it ranged from 109 to 113(in the valley, of course) i prefer the ac of my car
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