Author Topic: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers  (Read 28823 times)

Faraday

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This thread is specifically dedicated to discussion about bicycles and bicycle accessories and supplies. Mainly bike lights, tires, fenders, racks and panniers. Ebike stuff is also encouraged, especially experiences with ebike conversion kits or components.

This thread exists because we as practicing mustashians and stoic frugalists ride bicycles for transportation. Therefore accessories, and particularly lights, are important for safety and rapid transportation. The fundamental blog posting on this topic can be found here:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/07/what-do-you-mean-you-dont-have-a-bike/

I encourage all to come and post their experiences and questions regarding bikes and bike stuff. I'll start just by listing a few items with a quick blurb. Ask me questions if you want me to elaborate, talk about your own stuff if you have input.

LBS:
An acronym used in this thread is "LBS", or Local Bike Shop. It's important to get bike parts at a good price but it's equally (and maybe more) important to support your LBS. The idea isn't to pay stupid prices just to keep a bike shop going but any reasonable bike shop should carry a variety of goods at MSRP or lower and they normally will throw you a deal on accessories when you make a large purchase such as a bicycle or major bike parts like wheels.

All my bicycles have come from three LBS's I have developed trust in over time. One of those shops is Cycle-Logic in Raleigh, NC, which I have patronized for 30 years now. They are a great example of a shop that gives great prices, excellent quality products and service unmatched for the cost. http://cycle-logic.biz/

I have no financial interest in this company, I am only a customer. I list their website not as an advertisement, but as an example for you to use to measure your own LBS against. There are a large number of potential intangible benefits from a good bike shop and you should see some of those intangible benefits in your own relationship with your LBS.

Tires:
I prefer Schwalbe, Vittora and Kenda, and roughly that order for price. My ebike has Schwalbe tires on it and it netted me a significant improvement in efficiency. Amazon is my place of choice to buy bike tires, but I happened to get a great price on the Schwalbes ($35/each) from my Local Bike Shop (LBS).

Lights:
I spent BIG for the Schmidt Edulux II and matching B&M Toplight taillight:
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/schmidt-headlights.asp
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/taillights.asp#rackmounted

The Schmidt Edulux II is insanely expensive. It cost me about $230 shipped. I find it to be worth every penny, and I'm not joking.

Disclosure: I bought the light for a Schwinn World Adventure I got at a fire sale price. The bike came with a front dynamo hub but the lights were missing so that's why I got such a high quality bike very cheap. I didn't have to spend for the dynamo hub, so I could justify a little more money for the lighting itself.

The Toplight tail light actually implements a BRAKE LIGHT FUNCTION where when the bike decelerates, the light senses this and brightens just like an automobile brake light. It's an immensely useful and sophisticated function.

Dynamo powered LED lights have come a LONG way. The bike I just bought the wife unit comes with the same front dynamo powering a slightly less expensive B&M headlight and taillight. The quality of European lighting is excellent and the LED's are very efficient and very bright. The bright, efficient LED's mean hub dynamos work better and put less drag on the bike that the rider has to overcome.

Light Output:
The US convention is to measure light output in LUMENS, which is a measure of total light intensity measured at the lamp itself. Lumens are an OK way to measure lights - you should ALWAYS buy the highest Lumen output light you can afford: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumen_(unit)

But Lumens don't tell the entire story. There is a slightly more comprehensive measure of light output, the Lux:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lux

Europe takes bicycle transportation so seriously that they require manufacturers to measure, certify and list the Lux output of their bicycle lighting products. The Schmidt headlight I rave about puts out 90 Lux and may be the most efficient, functional and usable bike headlight I own.

Bike Store Battery Lights:
Despite my love for dynamo lights, most of my lights are battery powered, usually AA powered. (I avoid AAA powered lights since you just go through AAA cells too quickly.) Besides the Schmidt dynamo light, all my other lights are "cheap": under $30 for the headlight and sometimes both the headlight and a taillight.

"Cheap" bike store lights have improved greatly in recent times. You can find 200 lumen AA battery powered headlights now for less than $30. Those same lights were $79 and up as recently as a year ago.

Magicshine Clones:
There's a very expensive bike headlight called "Magicshine" that is legendary for putting out a buttload of light. It also costs a buttload of money - $100 and on up, depending on what model and accessories you get with it.

The reason I mention the Magicshine lights is that there have been a lot of low-cost clones of the Magicshine lights that are now available on Amazon or eBay. I prefer to buy from Amazon and here's one light I've recently purchased:

http://www.amazon.com/1200LM-XML-T6-Headlamp-Headlight-Bicycle/dp/B00GFLQMAK/

This light  will run on USB 5v and has a USB connector. These low-cost lights promise remarkable lighting for a fraction of the cost of the Schmit and B&M. The design and efficiency is lesser (IMHO) than the German-engineered dynamo lights. I have seen where some people complain that the lights fail, and in that case you're likely out of luck unless it just never worked out of the box.

These clone lights may not last as long as the German lighting, but I'm going to give 'em a try, see how they work out. I'll report back to this thread what I find out.

UPDATE: I've been using the cheap Amazon USB-powered light and I love it. It doesn't have a "perfect" beam shape, but it's bright as hell and runs damn near forever on a 10000mAh lithium backup battery pack. This has become my new fave el-cheapo bicycle light!

Beware: This light is easy to steal - it attaches to the bike with a little rubber donut and would be trivial to steal very quickly. I expect to use this light for commuting to work, where I don't have the problem of theft.

Rechargeable Lights:
I've only recently tried out a rechargeable taillight with a built-in Lithium battery and results are promising. You have to remove the taillight (it has a quick-release) and plug it in to recharge it, but the light is bright as hell and looks to be a good, low-cost way to put very bright lights on a bicycle or ebike:
http://www.amazon.com/BicycleStore%C2%AE-brightness-Rechargeable-Waterproof-Mountain/dp/B00S9GG1GE/

Out of the package, I like the quality and brightness of this light but the jury is still out - I've not used it yet and I need to see how it performs in real-world usage.

Rechargeable lights tend to be my least favorite option because they can be expensive and their quick-release nature makes them very easy to be stolen. I expect to have to remove the light from the bicycle if I go someplace I can't stay with the bike or see it from a few feet away. Same deal with this taillight - I plan to use it to commute to work, where I don't have to worry about theft.

UPDATE: I've been using the rechargeable taillight and it kick ass. Just need to remember to keep it charged up!

Lights I Will Not Buy:
I've had terrible, terrible luck with lights purchased at Walmart. I find them weak, dim, inefficient and cheap. As cheap as I am, I have tried, tried, tried to buy bike lights from Walmart and they are just not acceptable at all for use in any kind of adverse situation.

On the other end of the spectrum, I try to avoid buying the very expensive, very "gadgety" lights from boutique bike stores. Their prices and design seem to me to be somewhat ridiculous, you don't get a lot of value for the $$, in my humble opinion.

My sweet spot, so far, has been what I can find on sale at places like Performance Bike, Bike Nashbar or Amazon. Going with the expensive German headlight and taillight was a huge departure for me, but it seems to have paid off well. I like and recommend headlights and taillights from B&M and Schmidt, but try to find them at a good price if you can.

Fenders:
I prefer SKS but those are expensive and little harder to find than the more-common Planet Bike fenders. I don't think the Planet Bike stuff is as-well-made as SKS but it works OK.

I have Planet Bike fenders on two of my bikes and I don't plan to get rid of them, so they are "good enough". My ebike has the SKS fenders and they are great. I am an absolute HO for the silver SKS mylar fenders on a heavy touring bike.

Note: In time I'll update this initial posting with links for each of these items.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 10:30:27 AM by Faraday »
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Jeremy E.

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2015, 12:20:04 PM »
I bought an electric bike, a haibike xduro rx 29
The seller included with it, a supernova mini e light that can connect to the bosch battery on the ebike, and a supernova tail light that attaches to a rear rack(which is kind of a lame rear rack as it has to mount to the seat post(no rear rack bosses). The fenders on it are clip on as there are also no fender mount points. The bike should is en route and should arrive tomorrow.
My car is currently on craigslist so this will be my only means of transportation, although I live with my girlfriend and she has a car that I might use occasionally.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2015, 01:30:18 PM »
I ride a Jamis Commuter hybrid that I bought new 10 years ago.  Since starting bike commuting about 2.5 years ago, we've upgraded her quite a bit. 

Tires: kevlar tires bought at the local Trek store, pretty sure they were Bontrager ~$100 for the pair.  Haven't had a flat tire since, which was pretty much the goal since I regularly ride past multiple construction zones and had started getting flats from road debris.  Felt like they definitely increased road friction, though.  Wouldn't recommend them if you're trying to be a speed demon. 

Fenders: SKS P50 Chromoplastic Longboard Bicycle Fenders, bought at Amazon.  Still the best bike upgrade we made!  No splashing or anything with puddles makes a huge difference riding after a rain. 

Panniers: Avenir Panniers - I bought the smaller ones on Amazon with the Avenir brand rack to mount them.  About a year in, these still look basically brand new.  The smaller ones are big enough for me to transport commuting basics or do a small grocery run. 

Headlight: Bontrager Ion 120.  It's bright enough, though I never ride when it's truly dark, dusk is darkest, and stays where I mounted it.  Tough to argue with. 

Taillight: Having now lost two taillights to vibrations and insufficient mounting, I did some extensive research to get a good taillight this go around.  Ended up with a Cygolight Hotshot and have gotten compliments on how bright it is.  It's a LED that you charge via USB, but has a long battery life so I won't need to charge it too often.  I also purchased 2 mounts to get it to attach to my pannier rack since I'm short and there's no visible seat post now that the panniers and rack block it.  1st is the Cygolight rack mount, then a T-bracket mount (from Peter White Bicycles) to attach to my rack and force the light to face straight out instead of angled toward the ground (since the back of my rack is at an angle and would be obscured by my panniers).  So far, so good, but I've only had this set up for a couple of weeks now.

Helmet Light: I also recently bought the 4 LED Helmet light that Peter White Bicycles carries.  Verdict is still out on this.  The double sided tape that it comes with is woefully insufficient as a long-term mounting mechanism, so I'll likely try to superglue the LEDs to my helmet soon.  It's not bright enough to rely on as a primary light, but it's a nice little additional light. 
   
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msilenus

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2015, 02:13:56 PM »
In honor of daylight's savings fuck you Congress time I just got a MiNewt Pro 770 Enduro.  My commute is over an hour, and I didn't want to compromise on brightness or battery life.  This unit is supposed to deliver about 5 hours of charge at 770 lumens.  Downside is it comes with a brick of a battery.  I've both lamp and brick mounted on my helmet, which makes me look like a cyborg.  I don't bike in spandex though, so at least it's casual-cyborg.  Got a great deal on it at $125.  I think this is because the brick makes them unpopular.  I do like riding with it, despite the weight it adds to my helmet.  YMMV.  Like, a lot.

Also got a Cygolight hot shot for the back.  My comparison shopping was limited to figuring out which model in the store hurt my eyes the most when I looked at it.  I'm glad Mrs. Pop is getting complements, as I wasn't previously sure that this was a perfect heuristic. 

Those are both rechargeable, and good for multiple trips, so I can recharge them at my desk at work, and not sweat it if I forget one day.  In case one breaks or something I carry two cheapo models that take ordinary batteries, and carry those in the vest layer I wear.

Still, I'm tempted to get another rear light.  Maybe a dynamo based one.  I figure two of them flashing on different periods will probably be even more aggra --visible and safe.

I need to get some fenders.  My bike is filthy, and I'm lazy about maintaining it.  Is one fender better than another?  Seems like those should pretty much all be the same.

Jack

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2015, 03:12:23 PM »
I ride a 25-ish year old Specialized Hard Rock mountain bike, with smooth (but still wide) tires. The tires are cheap ($12.99 each) 26"x1.5" Nashbar Streetwise (non-Kevlar) City Tires, but (knock on wood) I haven't had a flat yet.

Magicshine Clones:
There's a very expensive bike headlight called "Magicshine" that is legendary for putting out a buttload of light. It also costs a buttload of money - $100 and on up, depending on what model and accessories you get with it.

The reason I mention the Magicshine lights is that there have been a lot of low-cost clones of the Magicshine lights that are now available on Amazon or eBay. I prefer to buy from Amazon and here's one light I've recently purchased:

http://www.amazon.com/1200LM-XML-T6-Headlamp-Headlight-Bicycle/dp/B00GFLQMAK/

This light  will run on USB 5v and has a USB connector. These low-cost lights promise remarkable lighting for a fraction of the cost of the Schmit and B&M. The design and efficiency is lesser (IMHO) than the German-engineered dynamo lights. I have seen where some people complain that the lights fail, and in that case you're likely out of luck unless it just never worked out of the box.

These clone lights may not last as long as the German lighting, but I'm going to give 'em a try, see how they work out. I'll report back to this thread what I find out.

One side note: I regard this light as being easy to steal - it attaches to the bike with a little rubber donut and would be trivial to steal very quickly. I expect to use this light for commuting to work, where I don't have the problem of theft.

I've managed to find a (possibly) even better Magicshine-clone deal: $9.95 including a battery (the one linked above costs $7.73, but requires a separate USB battery). The downsides are that it ships on the slow boat from China, so delivery takes about a month and there's almost certainly no effective warranty. Nevertheless, I liked the first one so much I ordered two more (one for my helmet, and one as a backup and/or my wife's use). Of course, YMMV: if you want to run multiples off the same battery, the USB version Faraday linked might be better for you.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008KUXRAW

For a rear light, I have a Zefal AA-powered one (from the ~$20 front+back combo that Wal-Mart sells) that stays attached to my pannier and works surprisingly well. I also have some of those silicone single-LED button-cell lights (the kind with the integrated strap that wraps around the bar) flashing front and rear.

I really like my Planet Bike Cascadia fenders. I don't entirely remember why I picked them over SKS Longboards, but they probably happened to be $10 cheaper at the time, or something like that.

Eric222

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2015, 03:42:10 PM »
I ride my now 10 year old Cervelo Soloist.  It is a wonderful speed demon. I just recently (last month), switched out the clip-in pedals for pedals I could use it with regular shoes.  Clip-in riding in the city scares me.

For lights:
Tail light:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00W7Y27CQ?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00
Head light:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PWSEJ1G?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00
I started with mid-level USB-rechargable lighting equipment.  The taillight will last for about 8-10 hours of use without a charge.  I charge both on the weekend.

Fenders:
SKS fenders.  First real use was today.  So much better than my last ride in the rain!  The extension on the back is really useful.  The back of my jacket was one of the driest places on my body after today's ride. 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X5ZKD4?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00

Wheels:
My wheels were getting a bit worn (and not grippy at all), so I got a pair of Fortezza Senso All Weather. 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J4XCHHS?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01
So far, so good.  But there was nowhere to go but up.  I'm curious if my road bike will be able to handle snow/slush at all.  Recommendations on this front are welcome!

To haul things:
I have an indestructible messenger bag that is waterproof and protects my work clothes, computer, etc.  It was expensive, and worth every penny.  These bags are a frequent recommendation on /r/bifl, and I now understand why.  They are a bit unwieldy until you get used to them.  The bag on my back often weighs more than my bike and I don't notice if I have it on or not.
http://www.chromeindustries.com/us/en/blckchrm-citizen
I can't decide if this bag is mustachian or not - it will last until the end of time, but doesn't come cheap.
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Faraday

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2015, 05:28:23 PM »
I'm tickled, this is turning into a super-badass thread. You all sound like awesome, well-informed mustachian badass cyclists!  Thanks for your contributions, keep 'em coming! I hope the thread stays alive and durable for a long, long time!

I'll probably continue to edit the very first posting, adding information on what I learn about the lights I've bought. There's a couple panniers in my future too that I'll add. If that first posting gets too unwieldy, I'll do a second posting.

This is every cyclist's thread on the MMM forums. I look forward to more and more postings!
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Faraday

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2015, 06:39:34 AM »
Here's the rechargeable taillight I'm testing right now. I'm planning to ride with it tomorrow (Friday 11/13).

Originally, I was kinda bummed it didn't come with it's own charger but now I'm mellow about it since it was easy to find a USB port to charge the light. Only real disadvantage I can think of is that the USB charging port on this light is MINI-USB while everything has gone to MICRO-USB for some time now. So I am careful to not lose the cable for the light.

The little amber light is a state-of-charge indicator. It slowly winks until full charge, when it stays on solid. It also comes on whenever the light is turned on and in use. It's supposed to be a little amber lightning bolt but instead it looks like a tiny yellow banana.

The rubber strap very firmly affixes to the light the way most bike lights work, with a little plastic release lever. The bracket allows some tilting of the light. The strap is rubber and quickly affixes to the seat post.

Main disadvantage: there are NO screw attach points molded into this light, so it doesn't look like it would easily attach to a rear rack. I guess that's OK, since you've always got to remove the light to charge it.

I'll edit this post to report back later how bright the light appears, how well it works and how long it runs.

(Oooo! Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. Ride careful! :-) )
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 06:42:55 AM by Faraday »
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infogoon

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2015, 06:57:43 AM »
My bike is built up from a Nashbar store brand touring frame and fork - it's been a sturdy commuter for several years now. I'm using a Blackburn rear rack and an Ibera pannier to carry my clothes/laptop/lunch to work and back. Safety gear includes a Bern Brentwood helmet (had a crash a year ago and the helmet probably saved my life -- ordered a new one from Amazon while I was waiting in the emergency room to get stitched up) and Blackburn Mars/Voyager lights.

vhalros

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 07:03:20 AM »
I've got a 2006 Trek FX 7.2. I replaced that saddle and seat post for comfort (I use a Brooks saddle). All the drive train components have been replaced at least once, but it still has the original bearings.

For lights, I've got the Cygolite 360, and a random cheap one, on the front. On the back I've got the Cygolite Hotshot, and another random cheapo red blinky. I've also put 3M reflective tape all over the thing, and have some spoke lites.

The Fenders are Planet Bike Cascadia. They have a really long mudflap on the front, which is why I like them.

The rear rack is the "Racktime Addit Rear Snapfit Rack". The key feature is that it has a second, lower set of rails, that allows panniers to attach below the top of the wheel. This lowers the center of mass, and also leaves the top of the rack clear to put stuff on.

For panieers I use the Ortlieb Backroller Classics. Maybe not sylish, and they don't have much in the way of internal organizers. They are, however, water proof and very durable.


Eric222

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2015, 07:27:53 AM »
My bike is built up from a Nashbar store brand touring frame and fork - it's been a sturdy commuter for several years now. I'm using a Blackburn rear rack and an Ibera pannier to carry my clothes/laptop/lunch to work and back. Safety gear includes a Bern Brentwood helmet (had a crash a year ago and the helmet probably saved my life -- ordered a new one from Amazon while I was waiting in the emergency room to get stitched up) and Blackburn Mars/Voyager lights.

I only read half your quote before starting to respond.  Glad you got a new helmet after the crash, and glad you are okay.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2015, 07:45:02 AM »
Bikes:
I use a nashbar TR-1 (purchased online) in the spring/summer/fall and a Giant Escape (purchased through Craigslist) as my winter commuter.  Can't use the TR-1 year round because the thick gloves you need to keep your hands warm when it's below -10 don't do well working STI shift levers (they get stuck).  This year I converted the Escape to drop bars with bar ends so both bikes are set up and ride pretty similar now.

Lights:  I like the Cyoglite Hotshot and Planet Bike Superflash turbo for rear lights.  The hotshot is a little brighter, the superflash is a more attention grabbing blinking pattern.  Both of them are very, very bright and can be had for little money if you wait out sales.  I use one of each on my winter commuter as I'm regularly cycling for 11 miles in pitch black, snowy conditions.  There's a huge difference between these and the cheaper battery powered lights I've used.

For front lights, I like the Cygolite Metro 550 . . . it's very bright if you're out in the middle of nowhere and it's dark) and very visible.  If you're looking for cheaper but still good, planet bike makes the Blaze 2W headlight which puts off decent brightness to be easily seen in town.

Fenders: Planet Bike Cascadia II - cheap, light, easy to install, and long lasting (I've been using the same set for three years now with no issues other than the little black caps falling off).  Cover them with reflective tape and you're a lot brighter at night.

Rack: Axiom Journey.  Cheap, light, and rated for a hundred and fifty lbs.  I've never had more than 80 lbs on mine, but it has held up like a champ.

Panniers:  MEC house brand panniers, purchased on sale (40$ for the pair!).  The waterproof ones were more expensive so I didn't get them.  (I just stick whatever I want to keep dry in a plastic bag before loading it up if it's raining and that works great.)

Tires:  I've been using Continental Touring Plus tires on both my bikes for a couple years now, and they've been great.  Cheaper than the more well known flat-proof tires, but very durable.  I like that they have a bit of a tread pattern on the edges of the tire, this comes in handy in the winter when you need a little bite to keep from slipping in snow.

Pedals:  Studded BMX style flat downhill pedals for winter riding!  You can use heavy boots, you get great traction and won't slip off even if you're pushing your foot forward or pulling it back, you can easily put a foot down in case of emergency.

I'm going to put clipless pedals on my TR1 next spring and give them a couple months to see if we get along.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 07:50:48 AM by GuitarStv »

fallstoclimb

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2015, 07:47:42 AM »
Bike: I ride a Surly Cross Check, bought last year, that I LOVE.  Bar end shifters are really fun for more chill riding, and the steel frame is a big upgrade over cheap aluminum for ride comfort.  Plus I just feel a lot cooler and have more fun on the cross check than I ever did on my old Trek hybrid, which has indeed resulted in me commuting more regularly!  Not very mustachian, but it is the truth. 

Lights: I love the Cygolite Hot Shot and use that on all of my bikes.  I also have a Cygolite front light (metro I believe - ~400 lumens).  For my helmet lights I use this: http://www.rei.com/product/853295/light-motion-vis-360-plus-helmet-light.  All of these lights are USB rechargeable and have held up very well through fairly heavy use for several years now.  Helmet lights are sort of annoying but when its dusk or darker I consider it a must-have.

Tires: I think my commuting tires might be Gatorskins but I'm actually not sure.  DH put those on for me and I haven't gotten a flat so I don't think about it ever.  I use 35s but the Surly can fit 41s, maybe even 43s.

Fenders: I don't use these because I'd have to decrease the tire size further to prevent toe overlap.  Also I'm a wuss and just carpool with my husband when the weather is bad (his work is several miles past mine so this costs us nothing, really).

Racks:  I use a rear rack, don't know what brand it is. It's not fancy but works fine.

Panniers: This was the big splurge -- I actually sold my old hybrid to pay for it.  However, it was worth every penny and I love it almost as much as I love my bike(s).  Very high quality, should last forever, and because I lug a heavy laptop between home and work I needed a pannier that could convert to a backpack because carrying my bag via one strap was f-ing up my shoulder/back:  http://northstbags.com/products/woodward

This bag does bounce on the bike a little more than Ortlieb-style panniers do, but it's really not a problem at all (and I have a rough commute - potholes, speedbumps, offroad section, sidewalk riding, etc).  The design is very clever and its the perfect size for laptop, lunch, change of clothes, patch kit & wallet/phone/book.  I really like the organization and could not recommend North St highly enough. 

HenryDavid

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2015, 09:15:19 AM »
Bike: A 2nd-hand Norco cyclocross bike found cheap on Kijiji. Orange! Aluminum, so it won't rust. Ready for disc brakes but so far the cantis work just fine. Allen-key bolts replaced the QR levers on hubs, so it's hard to steal the wheels. Bought as a winterbeater to preserve my nice steel road bike from the late 1980s, but it turns out this is a very comfortable and useful bike. Aluminum is supposed to be harsh-riding, but not if you run cushier tires. Did a 3 day trip in the Rockies last May on it and it was great. Aluminum cyclocross bikes are cheap, really versatile, can accommodate really low gearing and pretty fat tires, and could work as the only bike most people need. This one ain't pretty though--the welds are big and gnarly, and the bike looks like more like a wrench than a beautiful piece of bike sculpture. But then, it's a tool, and one that works very well.

Lights: USB-charged lights from MEC in Canada. Battery lasts ages. Don't even know the brand. Since I ride on bike paths in winter, 90%, these are mostly to be seen by oncoming bikes, and at the rare intersection I have to deal with.

Tires: Schwalbe CX pro, 700 x 30. These things are great. 3 winters on 'em. Let a bit of air out and you're good in snow and even on ice, up to a point. At 95 PSI they roll really well for dry days.

Fenders: Black plastic, probly Planet Bike. Wide, with a big flap at the end. Work fine.

Racks: Portland Design Works Payload. Has a bamboo deck. Used mainly for shopping trips etc or with a "rack trunk" bag on long rides.

Panniers: Just use a knapsack and keep the load small: lunch and laptop most days. Clothes are kept at work in desk drawer.

For winter riding, I'm keeping one eye open for a cheap "paparazzi jacket," or flashback jacket. A friend has one: the whole surface is highly reflective. If paparazzi try to photograph you at the nightclub, everything except the jacket itself is blacked out by contrast from the bright refection. But on a bike, you'd be a huge glowing shape rolling down the road/path.
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OmahaSteph

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2015, 10:31:43 AM »
Any recs for shoe covers - both winter and/or rain?

Do you find that you need waterproof panniers or are there some reasonable hacks?

TIA!

Eric222

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2015, 10:50:47 AM »
Any recs for shoe covers - both winter and/or rain?
Do you find that you need waterproof panniers or are there some reasonable hacks?
I have no idea what I'll do about shoe covers - sacrifice toes to frostbite perhaps?  I do have a set of neoprene shoe covers that keep my feet warmer - but the best way to keep your shoes from getting wet in the rain is a good set of fenders. 

I love my messenger bag, instead of panniers, for when it is raining.  It is out of the rain spray (from my bike), so it only has to contend with the falling rain - and it is waterproof.  I haven't actually used my panniers in the rain yet.
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gliderpilot567

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2015, 10:55:30 AM »
I have a Canondale F400 hardtail mountain bike. I got it new as a birthday present on my 15th birthday (or thereabouts), back in the late 90s. It was my first (and thus far only) full size adult bike. The few things that I would change about it, don't justify getting rid of it... it's really a great bike and I'll probably keep it forever.

What I love about it (the first two are qualities I look for in all my products):
 - Unbelievably light. My kids' bikes are heavier! it's always a pleasure to ride it up hills and over rough terrain and not have to fight much weight.
 - Indestructible. This bike has seen the rocky trails of Colorado in all seasons, ridden the dusty tracks all over Tucson, it was my commuter bike to work for 2 years in Korea (including the brutal snowy winters), and still going strong. The paint is scratched and chipped in a few places but the frame is good as new. I've had more than my share of wipeouts and crashes along the way, and no real damage.
- Insanely low gear ratio on the low end, combine this with its low weight it can go up ridiculously steep inclines

What isn't so great:
 - The headshok (unitary front shock) is a bit deflated I think. It has lost most of its springiness.
 - Deraillers need adjustment often. It's hard to get the chain onto the biggest front gear reliably. That said, I usually only need the middle 9 gears for 90% of my riding needs, so I haven't bothered to adjust in a while. (this might be a function of the derailleurs themselves and not the bike).
- disc brakes would have been better, but whatever
- it's not as fast as a road bike, but faster than a lot of mountain bikes and fast enough for commuting/errands which I have started doing

I've been thinking about taking it in to the bike shop for a tune up, but I think I'll just watch some youTube and do it myself. Since I have finally succeeded in teaching all 4 of my kids to successfully ride their bikes without training wheels, I've been using it a lot more.

davisgang90

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2015, 10:57:14 AM »
Nashbar AL1 Road Bike
Topeak explorer rack with Topeak trunk bag with panniers
Nightrider front light
cheapo headlamp for more direct-able light
noname rear light that flashes
Helmet
"Clipless" pedals and shoes

Check out my blog.  Early retirement from a military perspective.

http://chartprepping.com




GuitarStv

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2015, 11:10:49 AM »
Any recs for shoe covers - both winter and/or rain?

Do you find that you need waterproof panniers or are there some reasonable hacks?

TIA!

For staying warm in winter, I like layered wool socks and tin foil.  Thick wool sock, wrap foot (especially toes in tinfoil), second layer of wool sock, then shoe.  If it's cold and slushy you add a plastic bag around the outer wool sock to keep a little drier.  Make sure you get a size or two larger than you would regularly wear for your shoes because the layering will add bulk . . . and there's nothing that leads to cold feet faster than tight shoes/lack of circulation.  That should keep your feet reasonably warm down to around -20 or so, even with summer weight shoes . . . below that you're going to be wearing winter boots on flat pedals.  Plus you don't wreck your nice summer shoes in the slush and grit during the winter.

If you have regular panniers, just put your stuff that needs to stay dry in a plastic bag and then in your non-waterproof panniers.  Boom.  You just make waterproof panniers.

Vertical Mode

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2015, 11:20:06 AM »
Reading this thread with interest. With the sun going down so early, I've been logging many miles in the dark. I'm looking to add lights until I'm pretty much a one-man roller disco. Would be cool if they were rechargeable so I don't need to buy stock in Duracell.

Current setup:

Bike: Specialized Sirrus hybrid
Rack: Blackburn
Fenders: N/A, but I'm in the market
Panniers: N/A, but in the market

Former taillight: Blackburn w/ quick release. Do not recommend.
Current lights: Ion1 headlight, works pretty well but could be brighter. Mars and Voyager set of front/rear lights, bright little suckers but concerned about longevity.
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infogoon

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2015, 11:39:50 AM »
Any recs for shoe covers - both winter and/or rain?

Do you find that you need waterproof panniers or are there some reasonable hacks?

TIA!

My cheap Ibera pannier comes with a rain cover; it's proven sufficient for me, though I'll admit that the testing has been more "I was out and got caught in the rain" than "I intentionally rode through a monsoon on the way to work".

Vertical Mode

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2015, 11:48:47 AM »
Any recs for shoe covers - both winter and/or rain?

Do you find that you need waterproof panniers or are there some reasonable hacks?

TIA!

I have a pair of Pearl Izumi Barrier shoe covers that seem to work well and that I think are pretty stylish.

http://www.amazon.com/Pearl-Izumi-Elite-Barrier-Cover/dp/B004N62JJ2

Done a fair amount of foul-weather biking and these have held up.
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acroy

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2015, 12:14:58 PM »
Commute 3-5k mi/yr

Combination of streets and shoulders. Up and down curbs, very rough, a road bike just gets beat up, so MTB with slicks

Frame: 26” Fetish aluminium ($125 Ebay, 2008ish)
Fork: Magura Vidar ($150 closeout)
Drivetrain: SRAM X.0
Cranks: Race Face Atlas downhill cranks… broke 2 ‘normal’ cranks, which sucks the big one bigtime
Wheels: Cane Creek $200 blowout when they quite making mtb wheels. Awesome.
Tires: Schwalbe baby, wire bead, Tubeless! This is the end-all best solution for reliability, bar none I have found. Fantastic. 2” width
Head Lights: 2 Fenix flashlights 18650-battery. 5hrs runtime (one full week for me) on a charge. Bulletproof and redundancy. I tried bike-specific lights over the years, it’s not worth the hassle, expense, complexity. Bonus of using flashlights: now you have 2 kickass flashlights if you need them!
Tail light: Nashbar $15 Superflash knockoff; AAA’s last about 2mo, 2 reflectors on the seat stays
Brakes: Hayes DH 180mm disc
Fenders: SKS
Seatpost: Thompson. Broke 3 standard posts, this also sucks bigtime.
Seat: $15 ass-hatchet plastic Amazon seat, very well vented (nice), light, but uncomfortable over 30min ride.

Other: Mobius camera. Christmas lights. Jansport backpack. Crank Bros pedals. VDO speedo.
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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2015, 01:48:10 PM »
Missed this thread somehow; just read it with interest.  I may buy some of those CREE LED knockoff lights; thanks for the link above, OP.  Somebody else commented that these require a separate battery; I didn't notice that initially.  Any good suggestions for a battery?

I have a bunch of bikes, but my main commuter is a ~40 year old Schwinn that I paid $10 for on Craigslist.  OK, at this point the only thing I'm using from that original purchase is the frame and the fork, but I still like to say that.  :-)  I have a Shimano dyno hub and front and rear wired lights on it, along with fenders from Velo Orange (very nice, high quality stainless fenders for ~$50).  I brazed some rack mounts and another set of bottle bosses on it before having the frame powder coated. 



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Eric222

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2015, 02:25:54 PM »
I've been thinking about taking it in to the bike shop for a tune up, but I think I'll just watch some youTube and do it myself. Since I have finally succeeded in teaching all 4 of my kids to successfully ride their bikes without training wheels, I've been using it a lot more.
Do it at home!  Best case - you learn how to do it and can fix it whenever you feel like.  Worst case - you try and it doesn't get better, and you watch what they do at the bike shop!
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Jack

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2015, 07:19:36 PM »
Missed this thread somehow; just read it with interest.  I may buy some of those CREE LED knockoff lights; thanks for the link above, OP.  Somebody else commented that these require a separate battery; I didn't notice that initially.  Any good suggestions for a battery?

Buy the version that I listed, which includes a battery.

Conjou

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2015, 05:35:41 PM »
Cool thread! I ride a Salsa Fargo with 700 x 35 wtb and a set with ice studs for winter. I haven't the messenger bag for my commute but I also have a cheap set of nashbar waterproof panniers that have been rock stars for 6 years getting groceries. I do a lot of bikepacking and used YouTube vids that helped me sew all my own waterproof frame packs for about $30. I have a rear detachable fender ( attaches to seat post).

I thought it was hilarious to discover someone else using the tin foil trick on feet. Thought my mom was the only one that deployed such techniques :) does work though!

Russ

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2015, 10:53:50 AM »
Ooh a bike thread




ROY2007

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2015, 11:38:15 AM »
Some sweet looking bikes. I really like the drop bars on the Trek District, Russ.

I commute on mid 90's Giant Rincon MTB. It's durable and quite comfortable. I have some panniers from REI that I found on CL. I haven't tried to fit full fenders, but I do use an SKS rear fender that attaches to the seat post. I have some fancy lights: Bontrager ION 700R and the Bontrager Flare R http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/equipment/cycling-accessories/bike-lights/c/E312. I would highly recommend the Flare R to commuters.

I recently bought a 2016 Trek 520 Disc which I commute on when the weather is nice and I'm trying to show off.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2015, 07:30:39 AM »
Some really neat setups so far. Looking forward to see what others share.

Bike: 2000 Trek 7500 FX. Best, cheapest bike I could find for my budget a couple years ago. Eventually I would like to get something nicer but haven't test-ridden anything. Leading candidate just from reading would be Surly LHT, possibly as an e-bike.

Lights: Cygolite Metro 300/360 front. Bright enough for nearly everything I do though I'll admit those fancy headlights in post #1 are pretty sweet looking. On rear I have a Cygolite Hotshot (seat tube) and a PB Superflash (rack)

Fenders: A beat up SKS in the front because I couldn't get the Planet Bike to mount without modification. Replaced the destroyed SKS rear fender with a like-new Planet Bike Hardcore.

Wheels: Vuelta Corsa HD. If you're a big guy like myself and regularly carry another 50+ lbs on frame and 100+ lbs in a trailer these wheels are worth every penny. Incredibly strong wheels that I've abused for over a year now and they're still perfectly true.

Rack: Axiom Journey DLX rear. Eventually I want to get a front rack to increase cargo capacity to avoid needing the trailer.

Pannier: Ortlieb Backroller Classic. Takes time getting used to packing things but they're really well made.

Tires: Bog-standard Bontrager still in service on the front. Replaced the rear with a Gatorskin that I'm reasonably happy with, but I've got a tear in the outer cloth going all the way around the tire. Not sure if this is a bad sign. In winter I ride Schwalbe Marathon Winters. Slow on clear pavement but they've saved my ass enough on ice/snow/slush, and I'm too lazy to be switching back and forth.

Gear: Nothing cycling specific but I really recommend Marmot PreCip jackets and pants for inexpensive but quite durable rain/wind shells. I actually get the most use out of them in the winter. Keeps me quite toast with a fraction of bulky layers as I would need with wind penetration.

Things I Still Want: better saddle (probably a Selle), better helmet, ski goggles for the coldest winter days, and eventually a wholly new bike.
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Thegoblinchief

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2015, 07:44:29 AM »
For cold feet I do waterproof insulated hunting boots. Boots are way too personal to universally recommend but I like my Irish Setters after two winters. Since I need boots anyways I thought this was better than getting a bigger summer shoe to accommodate the layered socks, etc, GuitarStv mentioned above. YMMV.

Instead of "normal" flat pedals I have Nashbar pedals that have a bunch of tiny Allen threaded studs you screw into the pedal. Sometimes these are called "BMX style" pedals. Shoes/boots stay in one place even when you're in the monsoon/slushy winter, something I had issues with with standard flat pedals.

Word of warning, though, is that they hurt like hell if you catch your shin or calf on them.

Haven't yet tried a clipless system.
Rabbit: it's what's for dinner.

hyla

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2015, 02:22:33 PM »
Panniers/cargo: ortlieb backroller panniers, a splurge but awesome. waterproof, durable, and attach securely to racks. 
Wald metal baskets:  cheap, sturdy, and made in USA.  Also, having storage permanently attached to your bike (as opposed to detachable panniers) means if you unexpectedly have to transport something, you can. 
xtracycle cargo bike with built in bags: I can carry ANYTHING! skis! a 36 lb pumpkin! adult friends! another bike!
A friend has homemade kitty litter bucket panniers and they are pretty awesome too. 

Lights: Sturmey archer x-fdd dynohub with B&M lumotec Lyt headlight, B&M toplight line brake tailight.  The headlight is one of the cheaper dynamo options but it's still way better than battery lights I've used - a good beam pattern which lights up the road well so I can see potholes.  I really, really like having dynamo lights on my commuter.  The lights are bright, no need to change batteries or recharge, and because they are permanently bolted on, no worries about theft.

Faraday

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2015, 07:09:53 PM »
Lights: Sturmey archer x-fdd dynohub with B&M lumotec Lyt headlight, B&M toplight line brake tailight.  The headlight is one of the cheaper dynamo options but it's still way better than battery lights I've used - a good beam pattern which lights up the road well so I can see potholes.  I really, really like having dynamo lights on my commuter.  The lights are bright, no need to change batteries or recharge, and because they are permanently bolted on, no worries about theft.

+1 on the dynamo lights! I LOVE my Schmidt Edulux II. In the future I'm looking to get a B&M Luxos U with the USB charge port on the handlebar.

Thanks to ALL who are participating in this thread, it's AWESOME! Keep the info, thoughts and photos coming! I LOVE the pics of each other's bikes,  I'll edit my OP to include a pic and those links I promised....
FIRE in 2020.

infogoon

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2015, 06:49:45 AM »
Wheels: Vuelta Corsa HD. If you're a big guy like myself and regularly carry another 50+ lbs on frame and 100+ lbs in a trailer these wheels are worth every penny. Incredibly strong wheels that I've abused for over a year now and they're still perfectly true.

+1 to this recommendation. I'm roughly defensive end sized (6'6", 275#) and these have held up admirably for me.

GuitarStv

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2015, 07:50:30 AM »
I've been eyeing those Vuelta Corsa HDs for my winter bike.  I hit a lot of potholes in the dark on that thing, and it's a PITA replacing spokes and truing the wheel in the garage in the winter.

Eric222

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2015, 10:24:56 AM »
I've been eyeing those Vuelta Corsa HDs for my winter bike.  I hit a lot of potholes in the dark on that thing, and it's a PITA replacing spokes and truing the wheel in the garage in the winter.
At what point do you give up on riding your road bike and switch over to your winter bike?  My current winter plan is to hope that it doesn't snow...
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Paul | pdgessler

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2015, 10:59:59 AM »
First day this year I had to use my headlight while commuting, so I was thinking of this thread. My bikes are somewhat anti-mustachian, but I enjoy them a lot. Working at a LBS during high school exacerbated my "gear acquisition syndrome" in this particular hobby.

Bike(s)
My commuter is an aluminum cyclocross bike, a Primus Mootry Kluisberg-X, with a SRAM 1x10 drivetrain. I bought it on Craigslist about 5 years ago—basically I was at the right place at the right time. It's pretty much ideal for my commute and recreational riding. It's almost as fast as a road bike with slicks, but I have lots of flexibility on tire choices for winters, CX racing, etc. I also have a mountain bike (my "Franken-bike"; this thing had different parts almost by the week when I was working at the shop), but I don't use this for commuting.

Lights
  • Taillight: Planet Bike Superflash. Always set for uber-flash mode <cues Blinded by the Light> and mounted on my backpack for best visibility.
  • Headlight: Planet Bike Blaze 1/2 Watt.
  • I also wear a Petzl headlamp for additional light wherever I'm looking.

Tires
Continental GatorSkin for general purpose commuting. These are a bit pricey but nearly bulletproof. This will be my first winter commuting by bike, so I may have to experiment with studded tires, but I'll try my regular CX tires (Bontrager) first to see how it goes.

Fenders
Currently none. I have a longer ride (almost 14 miles each way) so I'm always in cycling gear and changing before/after work. Might look into this if I end up with a shorter commute after we purchase a house.

Racks/Panniers
I just use a backpack right now, but having more space/no sweaty back would be nice for sure. This is another area I'll need to explore. My backpack has just barely enough space for my laptop, a notebook, work clothes, and a lunch.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 11:01:51 AM by Paul | pdgessler »

GuitarStv

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2015, 11:25:04 AM »
I've been eyeing those Vuelta Corsa HDs for my winter bike.  I hit a lot of potholes in the dark on that thing, and it's a PITA replacing spokes and truing the wheel in the garage in the winter.
At what point do you give up on riding your road bike and switch over to your winter bike?  My current winter plan is to hope that it doesn't snow...

I have a summer bike, and when they start salting due to snow, switch over to my winter road bike.  There's no time that I want to be on drop bars more than in the winter when there's a stiff headwind blasting snow into my face.  :P

Winter road bike:  Higher spoke count wheels, aluminum frame, v-brakes, bar end shifters (can't work STI with heavy gloves or mitts on), 32 mm tires with a little grip on them.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 11:27:53 AM by GuitarStv »

monstermonster

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2015, 12:10:06 PM »
I have possibly the least mustachian bike, but I saved for it for years and I've never owned a car and use it to get everywhere...but it's beautiful. Also I work at a bike shop, as though that somehow justifies a $5,000 bicycle.

Custom hand-built Ahearne Cycles mid-tail with  B&M Luxos U lights (they charge USB too, great for bike touring), chris king headset, hammered metal fenders, custom built in racks. It's beautiful. Good geek about it til the cows come home. Schwalbe marathons.

I also have a Trek beater that I picked out the salvage dumpster at work and turned into an xtracycle that was my main commuter for 20 miles a day for years. Great cargo bike.

When I got the Ahearne, I got rid of my Panasonic 1980's touring bike which was lovely (just a bit too big) and my Cannondale R Series, which was a great light go-fast bike but maybe not the best bike to ride 800 miles fully loaded down the West Coast on.

My panniers: Waterproof convertible North St backpack/pannier. Swear by them. They are our best-selling bags in our shop.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 12:12:01 PM by monstermonster »

Faraday

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #39 on: December 10, 2015, 10:39:32 AM »
Does anyone know much about "Trelock" dynamo lights? Anyone own them and been using them, can give us a user's report on them?

This brand of lighting came on the bike I just bought for the wife. I thought they were B&M but they are not. However, they definitely look to be very close clones of the B&M if not simply the same product, rebranded. I ask, because they are a damn sight cheaper than the B&M. The headlight is only 30 lux, but I've tested it and it's pretty good, still better than el-cheapo AAA-powered LED lights.

http://www.amazon.com/Trelock-dynamo-lights-uno20-Combi-Set/dp/B006TTTM2S/

(Sorry these aren't in-stock on Amazon, but at least you can see what-the-heck I'm talking about...)

Here's Trelock products that ARE available:
http://www.amazon.com/Trelock-dynamo-lights-Front-Light/dp/B002VKSWRK/

The taillight looks VERY similar to my "Toplight" but the backing plastic on mine is black, not white like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Trelock-8002425-dynamo-bike-lights/dp/B008CEVTSI/

It does not have the brake light function like mine does, but the Trelock LS820 does....
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 10:43:30 AM by Faraday »
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jorjor

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2016, 06:16:16 PM »
Not really head lights, but I bought a couple sets of these illuminated arm bands on recommendation from another bike commuter friend:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Defiant-LED-Safety-Arm-Band-2-Pack-HD15Q433/206047885

Just $4 for a set of two. They're quite bright. I plan to use them to be a bit more illuminated on the road.

dogboyslim

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2016, 08:39:58 AM »
Bike: Surly Disc Trucker 26" wheels.  Very comfortable, allows a relaxed ride and is a very flexible platform.  It's pretty much the crossover SUV of bikes.  Only downside is that the engine kind of sucks.  ;)


Lights: I use a Cygolite metro as a helmet light, and I use a supernova E3 driven off an Alphine dyno-hub.  The tail-lite is a schmidt rack-mounted light, but I don't remember the model.

Tires: I use Velocity cliffhanger reflective rims and run 3 sets of tires.  For gravel, I use the ones pictured above.  They are 2.1" with light tread and I run them around 30 psi.  For winter I have 1.9" Nokain mount and grounds that I run at about 35 psi.  For summer road riding I have been using 1.6" sport contacts, but they are pretty worn and I need to find something new for next summer.

Fenders: I can't remember if they are planet-bike or sks, but they are plastic fenders.  For 700c bikes I much prefer sks longboard fenders as the mudflaps go very close to the ground.

Racks/bags:  I use a topeak rear rack.  I really like the slide-in clip contraption they use.  That said, it doesn't really work well for regular commuting, so I have ortlieb bike packer plus bags.  They are hi-vis yellow, waterproof and large enough to fit my clothes/shoes/lunch and computer into a single bag.  I also use an arkel handlbar bag.  I have two stems set-up on my bike and use the stubby stem to hold the handlebar bag.  This got the bag far enough away from the shift cables (9-spd shimano Sora) that I didn't have to do anything special with them.  I have a front rack on there for occasional touring.  I also have the MTX trunk bag that I use when day-riding.

The plug: I almost forgot about my charging system.  For touring and longer rides I have a supernova "the plug" USB that keeps my phone charged while riding by using the dyno-hub.  It only works if I turn off the headlight, but on a typical 30 minute ride I can add 2-3% battery charge to my phone.  It is better at keeping a charge than charging from zero, but on a multi-day ride, I kept the phone charging all day, then it would discharge overnight and by the end of the ride the next day it was charged again as long as I left the display off.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 08:45:48 AM by dogboyslim »

tacosandbeer

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2016, 04:08:41 PM »
We are in the middle of a serious downsizing of life and moving to a bike commute is part of that. I work for myself and my office is only 1.8 miles away by bike (1.5 by car but I need to route around a busy road) so I didn't need a serious road bike. Just a reliable bike that will last me years and years.

My rig is:

* Trek FX 7.3 - Stock parts. Nothing fancy but a perfect bike for my short commute to my office. I got it at a discount at my LBS because it's a 25" frame and they don't sell that many of them.
* Bontrager Ion lights (front and back) - I have both on no matter how light it is outside. The pulsating front light gets drivers' attention when I'm approaching them.
* Delta Megarack Ultra bike rack.
* Delta rack cargo netting (for strapping down a bag of groceries)
* Timbuktu Tandem Pannier - this was a bit of a splurge but I was going to use this as my main bag (holding laptop, etc.) for my work so I wanted something well-made and reliable. After riding home in pouring rain last week I shed any concern I had about dropping $90 on this. It held up beautifully and everything stayed dry. It goes from tandem pannier to shoulder bag (magnets keep both sides together) in a just a few seconds.
* Helmet (of course), repair kit bag under seat, Kryptonite lock, and handlebar holder for my phone.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 06:27:47 PM by tacosandbeer »

Vertical Mode

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2016, 08:39:08 PM »
An update: Over the holidays, I did a LOT to the bike. Pretty much had it rebuilt from the seat back - new chain, new rear cassette, new rear derailleur, new back tire/tube, new set of brake pads all around. Rear tire is now one of the Armadillo Skin ones with tons of structure to it and a gnarly pattern for all-condition grip, and I like it a lot so far. Also added a set of SKS fenders and Nite Rider USB rechargeable headlight/taillight, as well as some adhesive reflectors so I'll be visible from the sides at night (bike is black and not terribly visible otherwise). What a difference!

Also added a multitool and a seat bag to store it in.

...biking gear is an INVESTMENT, right? ;-)
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GuitarStv

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2016, 06:08:04 AM »
I replace tires by taking the old front tire and moving it to the rear, then putting the new tire on the front.  This way you can use up the old tire until it's threadbare pretty safely.  A blowout in the back is no biggie . . . but up front can cause a painful crash.  Better to have new rubber on the front.

chops

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #45 on: February 19, 2016, 03:59:08 PM »
So much goodness in this thread!!

Posting to follow


tempesttenor

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #46 on: March 03, 2016, 11:13:32 AM »
My fiance and I each bought a Banjo Brothers convertible pannier about 9 months ago. It's one of the best purchases we've ever made.

http://banjobrothers.com/products/current/panniers/convertible-waterproof-pannier-backpack/

I specifically wanted a pannier that converts into a backpack. I did a lot of research into the usual suspects (Ortlieb, Timbuktu, etc), but found that they were all too expensive for my tastes. As of this writing the Banjo Brothers bags are $80, much cheaper than other backpack/pannier convertibles.

The bag is sturdy and roomy. It doesn't have a dedicated laptop sleeve, but I transport my laptop in it all the time with no problems. The pannier <-> backpack conversion process is pretty painless. The built in elastic bands do a good job of keeping stray straps tucked away. I can neither confirm nor deny its waterproof-ness, though, because we live in San Diego where it's always sunny =)

Overall we're very very happy with our purchase.

Donovan

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2016, 06:32:58 AM »
I currently ride a 1974 Schwinn Continental that I got for free off of one of my dads friends and rebuilt this winter. It's a beautiful steel steed now that I have some of the initial issues dialed in.

Tires: 700c x 28c Continental Ultra Sport II. I will upgrade these to Gatorskins as they burn out, but they have been serving well enough for now.

Fenders: Handsome Cycles Mud Butlers. I had SKS on a previous bike, and they jittered a lot no matter how I tried to fit them and fell apart over about 2 years. I'm only 2 months in to using the Mud Butlers, but they feel much more stable on the bike and I like how they are held on much better than the SKS.

Panniers: Axiom Seymour DLX 45. This are massive, hold on to the rack beautifully, and have held up very well over 2 years of use. I also have the rain covers, which I typically ride with even on dry days because they are yellow with reflective bits (compared to the black and grey bags).

Rear Rack: Tubus Logo Evo. Big, pretty, and strong steel rack. This is probably my biggest unnecessary splurge (~$110), but the roads that I ride on are painfully full of potholes and I have eaten through 2 cheaper aluminum racks in 2 years. I got tired of that and decided to go big on the replacement. 6 months in and it still feels brand new, and hopefully a BIFL item.

Headlight: Magnus Innovation Vision I. This is a great company, but I have had a few issues with their proprietary batteries. 3 have just died on me while recharging in 1.5 years. They have a great warranty, so they have always replaced these, but it's still a bit annoying. The VI light is also only 400 lumens, but the VII is up to 800 lumens.  I want to replace this with a dynamo later this year, or maybe a Cateye 1200.

Taillight: Magnus Innovation Bold 360. This came in a bundle with the headlight. It works, and is fairly bright at night, but is useless during the day and is very small and focused.  I am thinking of replacing with a dynamo or a Cateye Rapid X2 since that can mount directly to my rack.
   
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Donovan

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2016, 06:41:44 AM »
Wheels: Vuelta Corsa HD. If you're a big guy like myself and regularly carry another 50+ lbs on frame and 100+ lbs in a trailer these wheels are worth every penny. Incredibly strong wheels that I've abused for over a year now and they're still perfectly true.

+1 to this recommendation. I'm roughly defensive end sized (6'6", 275#) and these have held up admirably for me.

+2. I have put Vuelta wheels on 2 bikes now and they have held up beautifully.
This is not us against them, it’s us for us.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #49 on: March 06, 2016, 09:36:37 AM »
Been running a set of Michelin Pro 3 Race tires on my road bike (Klein Q Pro) for the past year. Use the bike for training rides and commuting and love the tires performance! Slick bald treadless ultra narrow profile still corners really well and even grips in wet conditions reasonably well. However, I've noticed a lot of micro-tears in the tire moreso than in some of the similar Continental brand models. Micro-tears havent gotten through the casing yet, but it worries me.

Lights? I consciously made the decision about 20 years ago to never equip my road bike with lights in order to guaranteee that I would never ride on the road at night due to elevated risks. Controversial point here I'm sure, but i'm sticking with this plan for life.

Panniers? I'd love some. But for training rides and racing, it would bog down my total weight; perfect for commuting though. Easily removable panniers? Perhaps, but my road frame doesnt seem to have any mounts at all (to support panniers), not surprising given its design for racing purposes.

Thinking about buying a commuting only bike with an add on e-bike conversion kit. Still only in the thinking stage while currently using my road bike for longer commutes (10-20 miles) and the mountain bike for shorter commutes (1-10 miles) given the formers stiffness and the latters plushness.

gizmonte
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 09:38:31 AM by Laserjet3051 »