Bicycles

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Re: Bicycles

Postby Alan » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:40 pm

Time for an update! My last year in NYC I commuted by bike most days, when it snowed I just took the bus/subway. Maggie and I did a half century without any training and despite stopping like 5 times felt like we were going to die at the end. We also did a couple 25-30 mile rides in upstate NY and stayed in B&B's a couple times (took the train up from the city with our bikes).

Since we moved from NYC I hadn't really done much biking - SD is pretty spread out, very hilly, and bike routes for commuting frequently involve going onto streets with 55-65 mph speed limits and unprotected or shared bike lanes so I had to give up on bicycle commuting. I'd done very little cycling since we moved (maybe 5 times in 2 years), but Maggie started doing triathlons a few months ago and got a bike upgrade, a 2016 Scott Contessa Solace with Tiagra components. She loved it so much that I decided to get out my old Specialized Sirrus (with Sora shifters, rear rack and extra hardware for a child seat...it probably weighs close to 30 lbs) and was dying trying to keep up with her. But I had enough fun that I decided to look into cycling as a hobby/exercise rather than thinking of it as just transportation.

So I went on a tour of LBS's, tried out a 2016 Fuji SL with 105s, a 2015 Ridley Fenix with 105s, a 2016 Giant Defy Advanced SL with Ultegra and disc brakes, a 2016 Scott Solace with 105s, and randomly, a 2015 Salsa Colossal with SRAM Apex and disc brakes.

I ended up getting the Ridley and LOVE it. The Fuji and Scott didn't really fit me that well. The Giant was incredible (better be for $2500+) but I had gone in hoping to ride a Defy 1 (which is actually in my price range) - they didn't have any so they let me try the Defy Advanced and offered to order the Defy 1 for me. I didn't love the idea of buying a different bike than the one I actually test rode. The Salsa was actually pretty fun but noticeably heavier (ChroMoly steel frame).

Really really love how the Ridley feels on the road. I was always kind of skeptical how much faster you could ride with fancier bikes but it's a big difference, with my Sirrus my mph average would prob be around 10-11 mph for a 30 min ride and on the Ridley I did 14 mph average for a 70 min ride last weekend. It's thrilling how fast it already feels on the roads, and I haven't really started training yet.

I kind of went all out, got a Garmin Edge 520 with a speed, cadence, and HR sensor. Maggie's personal trainer is also assigning me workouts. Maggie and I are planning to do a 25 mile tour in Nov (hopefully working up to a century someday). I rode this morning and need to improve my cadence, my average is around 65 and it should be 80+. I haven't felt this excited to exercise since I've been alive. I don't think I've ever woken up early to exercise before.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby quantus » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:02 pm

I got a crappy folding bike with mountain bike tires instead of road tires and that thing is incredibly slow compared to riding our DaVinci tandem singly. I can do 8-10 mph on the folding bike, but like 12-14 on the tandem (again singly). Now you're making me interested in getting a real single road bike to try on the paved trails near our house and maybe get a couple extra mph. Strava keeps my statistics, and tells me I've done only 160 miles of riding this year... I guess I should get in more miles before springing for a new bike. I don't think I can justify ~$1000-1500 unless I at least ride that many miles.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Jonathan » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:00 pm

I have worn out my bottom bracket, which apparently is no longer manufactured. There's no replacement part which fits my crankset (!), so when I replace the bottom bracket I need to get a different crankset. I'm thinking of switching from a triple to a double. My triple is 50/39/30. Alan, how do you like the 50/34 on your new bike? I do have an 11-26 cassette (no 28 like the Ridley). I climb my normal route to RPG night on 39 usually but it's no problem on 50 (I have done a couple times). If I get the 34 I'd want to pedal that route in 11. The 39 with the 11 is a distinct no-no gear ratio, but maybe the 34 on a double is ok? How does the 34 feel on the 11 to you?

I do not use the 30 except going to my friend Erik's house which is a 14% grade. Honestly, even with the 30 it fucking sucks.

I feel like I might get more out of a 52/36 or even a 53/39 than a 50/34, but I'm not sure. That higher top-end is kind of scary because the added speed is gonna fuck me up when I crash.

To increase my cadence I deliberately undershifted and forced myself to compensate (especially on flats).

Joe, I'd look at a hybrid if you're only planning to go around on trails, even paved ones. Stability is not the top concern of road bike designers. You can definitely buy a stiff hybrid to increase your range considerably. Just skip the models geared towards "extra comfy".
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Re: Bicycles

Postby quantus » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:13 am

I'm really only ever off-road when I go to Quarry Lakes near my house, everything else is road/pretty well paved trails next to creeks. I'll certainly look at stiffer hybrids.

Here's our tandem, just about 10 years newer: http://www.davincitandems.com/tandem-mo ... t-venture/

We couldn't afford anything, but Chrome-moly steel frame at the time, but when riding on mostly flat terrain, it's fine. Hills suck, partly due to weight and partly due to my lack of practice getting down to the right gearing to avoid stalling the bike which is especially bad with two people on it. I generally unclip before the hill to allow myself the ability to catch the bike, which further reduces power and means i need to reduce the gearing even more. The decoupled pedaling is nice on Da Vinci's. We can also haul a trailer without too much trouble, but it makes an already long bike even longer.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Alan » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:51 pm

I was told not to cross the chain, so I've never done 34 with the 11. I like the 50/34, the 34:28 ratio is fine for the hills I've done so far, though I don't think I've tried anything above 8% on it and the 50:11 is fast enough for me (for now anyway). My hybrid is also a double so I've never ridden a triple crankset and don't know what those are like.

I was able to keep an 80+ cadence on a ~30 min ride yesterday, like you said mainly by undershifting. I was significantly faster (average went up to 15.4, and on flats I could do 20 mph fairly easily) but felt a bit fatigued at the end of the ride.

Road bike is definitely a very different feel from a mountain bike or hybrid (though some hybrids probably feel close). Joe - I would recommend just test riding a few to see whether you like it. I'd stick to the endurance geometry frames. After test riding a few you can gauge your enthusiasm for riding them to see whether you think buying one will be enough to get you to ride regularly.

If you can find a Salsa Colossal available at one of your LBS's I would check that out. The Colossal was discontinued as of this year but you might be able to find a 2015 or 2016. They're intended for longer rides including paved roads of worse quality than a typical road and might be a nice compromise for you.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Jonathan » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:11 pm

Alan wrote:I was told not to cross the chain, so I've never done 34 with the 11.

Awesome, this is what I needed to know. Thanks! I'm going to look for a 36.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Alan » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:42 pm

Either of you ever try Zwift? It's like an MMO for bicycle training. I could see myself trying it if I get bored of doing regular indoor interval training. I think all I would need to get is an ANT+ USB stick.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Jonathan » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:27 pm

I'm not fancy. I just try to go faster.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Alan » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:07 pm

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Re: Bicycles

Postby Alan » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:39 pm

Recreational cycling is a real rabbit hole. There always seems to be more things to buy. It's led to buying roof racks (including the base system, came to about $800). I justified this by saying that it was ON SALE! and that we can also get one of those cargo units for road trips. Which of course we still have to buy. I ended up getting clipless pedals (SPD system so I can walk around), along with the shoes that was about $150. And then random tools, chain lube and grease, etc. I now have a pedal wrench. And assorted clothing, including things I've never heard of before (arm and knee warmers, chamois shorts). Because it is essential to be able to take off the clothing keeping my arms warm mid-ride without dismounting. And 24-packs of Clif Bars from Costco.

On my short-term list for now:
1. Torque wrench (~$70). Probably within the next few weeks. I've been going by feel which apparently is a really bad idea for carbon frames.
2. Continental GP4000s II x2 (~$80). Would like to buy these before April for the Grand Fondo I'm doing.
3. Second pair of chammies. (~$60) I can get by with one but what will I do when I start riding on both Saturday and Sunday? Do the laundry???

On my longer-term list:
1. A proper bike fitting (~$200)
2. New saddle (~$200)
3. New helmet? I can't seem to find a source that convinces me one way or another how long a helmet is good for. Mine is about 4 years old or so. Seems like some people recommend replacing it after 3 years but that seems to be driven by the companies that make the helmets. And there's now MIPS helmets which are supposed to be better, except they haven't actually studied that.
4. New wheels (~$1000). The Zipp 30 wheels look pretty nice and are reasonably priced (relatively speaking, of course, compared to the $3000-4000 wheelsets out there)

In terms of what I am actually doing on my bike, I'm riding on the indoor trainer one hour twice a week on weekday mornings before work (mainly interval training) then doing a 2-3 hour ride on Saturdays (sometimes solo, but usually on a 35 mile group ride with a local cycling club). I should be adding another 2-3 hours on Sunday soon as a solo ride.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby quantus » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:29 pm

I think your solution is to have more kids so you won't have the time or money to worry about these things. You seem to seriously be looking too hard to optimize your ride. Last I checked, you're too lazy to be Vinnying up your bike like this. If you really want to go faster/longer, just get an electric bike and a trailer of batteries. Done. You're already about to spend as much as a low end electric car, so maybe that'd be a better buy?
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Alan » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:19 pm

I definitely don't need any of these things to keep enjoying it. I do spend 4-6 hours every week on my bike so at some point I will probably get a more anatomically supportive saddle to keep me from developing any problems "down there." The other stuff is mostly stuff that seem like necessities due to riding every week with other people who have all that stuff.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Jonathan » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:40 pm

Jonathan wrote:I have worn out my bottom bracket, which apparently is no longer manufactured.

My LBS found a supplier with a stash of these and cleaned them out. I got the next to last one! I put off the crank upgrade until later.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Alan » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:15 pm

Nice.

So far I've bought the torque wrench and the tires.

My bike feels pretty good to me now and haven't had any numbness-in-the-family-jewels issues so I may be able to keep my saddle and hold off on a formal bike fit. We'll see how things go with the two events I'm doing. And I'll hold off on the helmet until I have a genuine need for a new one.

There's a more reasonable set of wheels for under $400 that I'll probably get someday instead of the Zipps. In all honesty when/if I get wheels it'll probably have more to do with getting sick of swapping out the tire from my rear wheel twice every weekend. Right now I switch out the nice tire and put on the old one in preparation for the week so that the trainer doesn't wear down the nice tire, then before the weekend switch out the old tire for the new one again. I guess I could just keep buying new tires too, but eventually that expense will build up.

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/e ... -prod88636
http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/reviews/ ... 3-wheelset

Someday it'd be nice to have a power meter, but I think I'm doing fine training without one right now.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Alan » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:26 pm

Ended up buying a new set of wheels yesterday from a guy in my local bicycle club.

https://www.dtswiss.com/Wheels/Road-Wheels/R-20-DICUT

They're one year old, got them for $225. Previous owner went and got custom wheels made for God knows how much. Overall the R20s are pretty similar to the Fulcrum Racing 3's that I was planning on getting at some point for about $150 more. Ordered an extra cassette for $35 so that swapping my rear wheel on my trainer won't have to involve using any tools.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Alan » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:04 pm

Jonathan have you heard about this? A podcast I listened to mentioned it. Seems like if they really do use the funds for bicycling infrastructure it could be a good thing. But I feel like that would have to be made clear in the language of the proposal, otherwise I imagine it would just be used for other stuff.

https://bikeportland.org/2017/05/09/ore ... les-227927

A four or five percent excise tax on new bicycles will very likely be part of the upcoming legislation. We’ve been reporting on this for months now and it the idea appears to have only gained acceptance along the way. The new tax is estimated to raise $1.6 to $2.0 million per year.

Other funding for bikeway-specific projects (meaning paths not in the highway right-of-way) would include a $7 million set-aside in the Connect Oregon grant program (about what bike projects receive in the competitve process now) and $4 million in grants from a state lottery-funded program for linear parks administered by Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department.

Sen. Beyer said the funds would be used to, “Take care of off-road commuter routes… As an alternative to get out of the way of trucks.”

In addition, the proposal includes $10 million a year for Safe Routes to School projects that would come out of the state highway fund (and would require a 40 percent local match). Beyer said that amount would be enough to “Complete a safe route to school a quarter-mile around every elementary and middle school in the state.” Lawmakers are also proposing $10 million a year into the All Roads Transportation Safety Program they say would address “the 450 most dangerous transportation problems in the state”.

The safe routes funding is lower than the $32 million in House Bill 3230 that was lobbied for by The Street Trust and members of the Transportation for Oregon’s Future coalition. It’s also lower than the $15 million recommended by the Governor’s Transportation Vision Panel.

As for the bike tax, there was no mention of it in a statement released today by the Transportation for Oregon’s Future coalition. The Street Trust Policy Director Gerik Kransky said, “We are happy to see an initial transportation package that includes funding for trails and safe places to walk and bike.”

Last week the Street Trust convened a meeting of local bike shop owners to discuss the idea. Development Director Brittani Garner wrote in an email to invitees that, “This type of tax has come up before, and has never come to fruition. This year may be different… As The Street Trust begins to learn more about what will be included in the full transportation package, we want to have a conversation with you, our local bike industry partners, about the potential bicycle excise tax, and its impact in Oregon.” Also at that meeting was Alex Logemann, the state and local policy analyst with national (industry-supported) nonprofit People For Bikes and the Street Trust’s Policy Director Gerik Kransky.

We weren’t at the meeting (media was not invited) but sources say it was a robust discussion. We’ll report more about local bike shop owners reactions in the coming days.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Jonathan » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:27 pm

I'm a member of the Street Trust. They're against it, but not loudly.

Frankly, since we have no sales tax a 4% tax would will leave bikes cheaper to buy here than elsewhere, so I'm fine with it. It doesn't sound like a ton of revenue to me...
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Alan » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:20 pm

Yeah I wonder how many new bikes are sold in Oregon in a year.

For those without bikes yet:
http://adequateman.deadspin.com/the-dea ... 1793580861
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Re: Bicycles

Postby Jonathan » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:59 am

http://www.wweek.com/bikes/2017/07/06/o ... sales-tax/

Bike tax passed our legislature. Just needs to get signed into law by the governor. Final revenue estimate is lower, about $1.1 million net.
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Re: Bicycles

Postby quantus » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:51 pm

Huh, Alan's YTD elevation gain nearly has him to outer space! And it would've only taken him about 6.5 days of continuous riding to get up that 100k foot ramp :-p
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