Author Topic: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers  (Read 14583 times)

Brokenreign

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #100 on: May 20, 2016, 04:55:58 PM »
carrying by bb >> carrying by top tube
literally anything is better than panniers. they make every bike handle like garbage and you can't reach your snacks

Do you have an image of someone carrying a bike by the bottom bracket (I assume that's what you mean by bb)? I'm having a tough time imagining that.

Also, I'm surprised you find panniers to be the worst method.  I currently have a cantilevered seatpost rack that has a matching bag it interacts with to quick secure & quick release it.  It's convenient, but it makes the bike very tippy when getting set up to do things like open doors, pump tires, lock bike, etc.  The dismount can be difficult/embarrassing if you fail to achieve leg clearance.  Forces you to have Jean Claude Van Damme level flexibility.

I've got a regular old steel road bike now, but I found a Yuba Mundo cargo bike on CL that I'm scooping up and hooking a Falco motor to.  I have been lusting after quality ebikes for a while now, but the sticker shock held me back.  I should be able to get this built for just over a thousand, which isn't bad considering electric Mundos go for 3,500 new.

I don't think that panniers are practical for bikepacking. Few of them can handle the constant vibrations and impacts associated with mountain biking (especially with loads) and you're just asking to lose hardware. MEC (Canuck REI) sells a pannier made for mountain biking but I've never seen one being used:

http://www.mec.ca/product/5043-071/thule-packn-pedal-tour-rack/?h=10+50156&f=10+50159

Porcelain Rocket (owned by a fellow Calgarian!) makes good bikepacking equipment. I read that Ortleib is now in the game as well. As usual, I'm guessing that their bags will be the best. The seat mounted bags make the bike a little tippier for sure but are still the most elegant and reliable way I could think of. I only go out a few times a year and just use a backpack, small seat bag for tools and snacks, a dry bag full of food strapped to the bar and a large water bottle in a cage on the frame. Once you get the water and food off the backpack it becomes pretty manageable.

As per bikes, I commute on a 80's Olmo road bike converted to a single speed. Hipster dished rims on sale at Amazon, Planet Bike Speed-Eze fenders (only ones that will work with no brake clearance) and narrow little hipster bars that provide no leverage or benefits of any sort. It seems that riding a single speed means that all the reasonably priced gear is oriented towards hipsters. My mountain bike is a 2013 Giant Reign X, with a hodgepodge of parts. I'm on my third iteration of the frame as they keep cracking. Giant is great with warranty though. On one occasion, they had already shipped out a new frame before I had even returned home from dropping off the cracked frame at the shop!

I like this thread. Bikes are fun. I sometimes with I was into a cheaper hobby, as bikes and the associated trips are definitely delaying FIRE.

131071

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #101 on: May 23, 2016, 08:57:28 AM »
This thread is awesome.  As a few others have said, bikes also represent a mustachian conflict for me.  They save my family tons of money vs owning an automobile, but I'm far more inclined to purchase accessories to make the ride even more enjoyable, and I have a far nicer/more expensive bike than I need.  The amount of time spent researching and reading about new bikes and technologies makes me feel very consumerist. 

Bike: Soma Double Cross.  Steel frame and fork, easily accommodates wide tires, racks, and fenders.  My frame has mounts for both disc and cantilever brakes, although I believe the current model is disc-only.  Makes an excellent commuter, in my opinion!

Lights: I have a Shimano Alfine dynamo on the front wheel.  They power a Busch & Muller Eyc T Senso Plus (front light) and a Toplight Line Plus BrakeTec (rear).  I frequently hear comments from drivers telling me how bright/visible they are, so that is a plus.  The rear brake light automatically detects a drop in current when the wheel spins slower, and pulses the light (effectively a brake light) to alert drivers who may not be fully engaged behind me. I use a Blackburn Super Flea strobe light on my helmet.  I like the combination of a steady light powered by the dynamo, and a strobe light that points anywhere I turn my head.  I find it very effective when I notice a driver who is not paying attention to the road. 

Tires: Schwalbe Marathons, 700x32.  These are the widest tires I've run on a commuter to date.  They make for a very smooth ride, and are virtually puncture-proof.  I've logged thousands of miles without issues on these tires. 

Wheels: The front wheel is a Velocity Blunt that my friend (manager/part owner of a local bike shop) hand built around the Shimano dynamo.  The rear wheel is an American Classic touring/commuting wheel that was included when I purchased my Soma off craigslist. 

Fenders: None at the moment.  I recently purchased this bike to replace another commuter bike I'm selling.  I'm still weighing whether or not I want to reinstall the fenders, as I'm usually decked out in rain jacket and pants when the weather is poor anyhow, and mud on those clothes doesn't bother me. 

Racks:  Portland Design Works, "The Payload."  Free from my bike shop buddy.  A customer purchased at his shop, then purchased another one due to aesthetic taste.  They didn't want to keep the PDW rack, so left it at the shop.

Panniers: Ortlieb back rollers classic. 

Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/b6Qs7ZdPi4pTQGHj7

« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 09:01:36 AM by notnebtp »

infogoon

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #102 on: May 23, 2016, 09:16:46 AM »
Those Velocity Blunt rims are awesome. I wish they still made them in the brighter colors, though; I cracked an orange one and couldn't get a replacement.

Faraday

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #103 on: May 29, 2016, 11:11:55 PM »
...
Bike: Soma Double Cross.  Steel frame and fork, easily accommodates wide tires, racks, and fenders.  My frame has mounts for both disc and cantilever brakes, although I believe the current model is disc-only.  Makes an excellent commuter, in my opinion!
...

Great posting notnebtp in our awesome thread! I see you have ridden Walnut Cove, which tells me you are near Asheville, correct? We've got several mustachians there!
FIRE in 2020.

heywheresgina

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #104 on: June 14, 2016, 11:33:18 AM »
Bike: 2013 Trek 7.2 FX WSD in gunmetal with all standard components, except I replaced the quick releases with Pinhead solid axle wheel locks. I bought this bike new in 2013 in my pre-Mustachian days, and I love it. It's a reliable, comfortable, and attractive commuter bike. Trek's women-specific design is great for us short gals.

Lights: Knog Blinder 4 front and rear. They're rechargeable with built-in fold-out USB plugs. I recently replaced my unreliable battery-powered Planet Bike lights with these, and so far, they're meeting my needs perfectly.

Tires: Bontrager H2 Hard-Case Lite w/puncture resistant belt, 700x35c. No complaints here.

Fenders: None yet, but I'm moving to Portland in a few weeks and will probably install some soon.

Rack: Planet Bike Eco rear rack.

Panniers: Novara Gotham, but for most trips I just wear a backpack.

131071

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #105 on: June 23, 2016, 06:17:11 AM »
Faraday,

I'm in Charlotte.  Recently made it over to Asheville for a weekend away with my wife.  We don't own a car, so we don't get to the mountains as frequently as we like.  If there were public transportation between the two cities, we'd likely ride the parkway every weekend.  Are you in the area as well?

SoccerLounge

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #106 on: June 26, 2016, 07:52:28 PM »
The following responses may demonstrate my determination not to allow my bike to delay reaching FI ;) ...

Bike: A wonderfully dated-looking Haro Alpha hybrid. Green and purple logos on black frame! 1992 IS REAL!! :D
Lights: Just a couple of 'good enough' cheapies. I use rechargeable AAAs, which I already own.
Tires: The old answer was 'whatever is cheapest at the LBS without being total garbage'. The answer after I spent much of my college career bike commuting is 'whatever Kevlar is cheapest at the LBS without being total garbage.' ;)
Fenders: I don't use fenders. If I'm going to be riding in wet conditions I use a raincoat with a hood to keep back and head dry. Or I just suck it up. ;)
Rack: Just a cheapie, modded to have the smallest sized Action Packer toughbox attached. This is good for large-volume but low-weight stuff, like many grocery runs. For low-volume but high-weight, I use a hiking pack.
Panniers: I don't use panniers.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 07:56:19 PM by SoccerLounge »

Katsplaying

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #107 on: June 29, 2016, 01:46:18 PM »
TANNUS TIRES FTW!

After flatting twice in one day I flipped out and started researching better tires. I got lots of advice here about using Slime and thorn-resistant tubes, etc., but all of that just meant less likely flats.

Tannus makes slicks, semi-slicks, the Razor (which is what I got), and some other styles of tires in a wide variety of sizes. And colors! I emailed the vendor in AZ, Cycle To Go, and ended up shipping my rear wheel and getting a new front from them. (My bike is a Frankenstein blend from the local bike co-op non-profit). After viewing some installations of these tires, I knew I'd be much happier having them professionally installed and they provide that service for an extra $15/tire. 

Shipping turn around was under 2 weeks. Expensive as hell but for me, totally worth it as I cannot risk missing work or being late due to a flat. Also, the idea of a pleasant Sunday morning ride that ends in a hike home is not fun.

The ride is definitely rougher but I commute on city streets in bike lanes that are littered with gravel and utility vault covers, so not all that noticeable. I chose the blue tires so they're crazy bright against streets & sidewalks and I am all about visibility when riding. I don't ride in the rain so cannot speak to traction on the wet. I've put about 60-70 miles on them so far and I do think they're a slighter tougher ride but again, that's not my primary worry. My commute is only 4.5 miles each way and working a little harder will only make me a little fitter.

The Razors are $70 each. The local Kona shop showed me "armored" tires that were $50 each, plus thorn-resistant tubes, plus Slime. And that still might go flat. My Tannus tires never will. For me the math works. As always, YMMV.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #108 on: June 29, 2016, 04:12:05 PM »
TANNUS TIRES FTW!
To be fair, STV pointed out that a gun in the home increases the chance of a family member being shot. You are arguing it can deter other sorts of violent incidents. You are using the general term 'safety'  in regards to "protecting' your family and STV is ONLY pointing out one very specific type of concern.  So, quite clearly, you could both very easily be correct, since neither of you is arguing the same point....
After flatting twice in one day I flipped out and started researching better tires. I got lots of advice here about using Slime and thorn-resistant tubes, etc., but all of that just meant less likely flaTo be fair, STV pointed out that a gun in the home increases the chance of a family member being shot. You are arguing it can deter other sorts of violent incidents. You are using the general term 'safety'  in regards to "protecting' your family and STV is ONLY pointing out one very specific type of concern.  So, quite clearly, you could both very easily be correct, since neither of you is arguing the same point....ts.

Tannus makes slicks, semi-slicks, the Razor (which is what I got), and some other styles of tires in a wide variety of sizes. And colors! I emailed the vendor in AZ, Cycle To Go, and ended up shipping my rear wheel and getting a new front from them. (My bike is a Frankenstein blend from the local bike co-op non-profit). After viewing some installations of these tires, I knew I'd be much happier having them professionally installed and they provide that service for an extra $15/tire. 

Shipping turn around was under 2 weeks. Expensive as hell but for me, totally worth it as I cannot risk missing work or being late due to a flat. Also, the idea of a pleasant Sunday morning ride that ends in a hike home is not fun.

The ride is definitely rougher but I commute on city streets in bike lanes that are littered with gravel and utility vault covers, so not all that noticeable. I chose the blue tires so they're crazy bright against streets & sidewalks and I am all about visibility when riding. I don't ride in the rain so cannot speak to traction on the wet. I've put about 60-70 miles on them so far and I do think they're a slighter tougher ride but again, that's not my primary worry. My commute is only 4.5 miles each way and working a little harder will only make me a little fitter.

The Razors are $70 each. The local Kona shop showed me "armored" tires that were $50 each, plus thorn-resistant tubes, plus Slime. And that still might go flat. My Tannus tires never will. For me the math works. As always, YMMV.

How did you park it on the ceiling and wall like that?

Katsplaying

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #109 on: June 29, 2016, 09:07:28 PM »
My job is so high security that if I told you, you'd know.

Seriously, I just fail computers.
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Faraday

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #110 on: October 24, 2016, 12:18:35 AM »
Hi All, Faraday Here;

I winked out of the forums for awhile, but I'm back and ready to gab bikes 'n stuff.

I landed a pair of panniers - the "Transit" brand sold by Performance Bike. They are similar to the Ortlieb Backrollers (not clones, but you get the idea) and do a fine job so far.

katsplaying, you are a hoot. And I seriously lust for your tires.
FIRE in 2020.

Faraday

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #111 on: October 24, 2016, 12:21:45 AM »
Faraday,

I'm in Charlotte.  Recently made it over to Asheville for a weekend away with my wife.  We don't own a car, so we don't get to the mountains as frequently as we like.  If there were public transportation between the two cities, we'd likely ride the parkway every weekend.  Are you in the area as well?

hi notnebtp! Sorry for the slow response. I live in Raleigh but I get to Asheville whenever possible. All my family is there so if I don't go, I don't get to see them as they are loathe to leave the mountains. I hear you about public transport. Yes, it's sucky in NC but that's why taxes are relatively low, I guess.
FIRE in 2020.

beege

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #112 on: December 02, 2016, 11:35:22 PM »
This is a great thread. I started reading it and was inspired to post my own experiences. Seeing some common themes in choices of gear. Hope this helps someone.

Background: My SO and I have been commuting or running errands by bicycle for the last three years in Maryland. We actually moved every year, so commuting distance has varied from 3-10 miles one way. We would bike basically every day regardless of weather. However, we just moved across the country and got work from home jobs. We no longer commute to the office but we do live in a small town in Alaska and don't own a car. A bike is critical for our day-to-day errands (and we quickly have accumulated 4 now between the two of us since our move!).

Bike: We usually buy whatever is cheap on craiglist/bike co-op/ebay that fits. Usually this ends up being a decade old or more mountain bike for around $100. I usually try to pick good frames with clearance for fenders, wide tires, plenty of eyelets for racks/fenders, as well as standard brakes (avoid frames with u-brakes or convert them over to standard road-style calipers - I ruined schwalbe marathon due a u-brake once on a frame I had due to the pad wear creeping up the rim instead of down). I've especially liked the number of eyelets on my old steel Giant Sedona ATX but have noticed a modern Kona aluminum frame with plenty of good stuff as well. And my recently purchased, used from the local bike shop, Specialized 29er has all kinds of good eyelets as well. Glad they are including these kinds of things on newer bikes. I also like disc brakes for all-weather riding but these tend to not be found in our typical price range (my 29er has them though and they are great).

Lights: We probably go overkill on our lights. But after almost getting run over in a dark neighboorhood shortly after we started biking everywhere we decided it was worth it. We use "Light&Motion vis360 plus" lights on our helmets which provide both front in rear lights (and a bit of side lighting). We use cygolite hotshot (2 each) on the rear. About once every year or so one of us end up losing a hotshot light as it invariably falls off somehow. Still we keep buying them because they are so bright and otherwise great. Just wish the mount was a bit more secure. They are so bright I put them on solid-only (no flashing) at night otherwise people have told me they thought I was a police car in the distance. On the front I use a Nightrider 700 and my SO has a cygolite explilion 850. Both are great and have a daytime flash mode as well. All lights continue to work 3 years later. We also tried "revolights" once but they felt too gimmicky and required constant adjustment and only fit on 700c wheels. In the end we didn't think they were worth it and returned them. Between the two front lights and the 3 rear lights of our system we haven't had a problem being seen at night (or during the day) since.

Tires: I love our Nokian Hakkapeliitta W240 Studded Tires for winter commuting. They are slow and noisy but the grip is amazing. Plus with the tread pattern they aren't bad in powder either. I've tried schwalbe marathon winters in comparison and wasn't impressed. For summer tires I had good luck with the Sheldon Brown approach of running a larger tire up front (Schwalbe big ben 26x2.15) for comfort and a narrower tire in the rear (schwalbe marathon 26x1.75). Using that system we were very comfortable on week-long mini-bike tour on the mostly unpaved C&O canal and GAP trails (DC to Pittsburgh). Not sure yet what tires I'll get for the summer in Alaska here (currently running winter tires and the summer tires from our co-op bikes were rotten).

Fenders: Our Maryland bikes ran either Planet Bike cascadia or SKS longboards. They cascadia's were OK. They were one of the few fenders I could find when I first started biking that had clearance for 2.0"+ mtb tires (there are more options I realize now), but I feel that the longboards were much more rigid (didn't flex when deflecting water) and had better coverage of the bottom bracket area. Both the SKS longboards and the cascadias were very easy to mount to the bikes in my opinion. Since moving to Alaska (and a temperate rainforest) I sprang for some gilles berthoud metal fenders for our new (used) bikes. These were much trickier to mount and took several trips to the hardware store to make right, but they have awesome coverage though and are rock solid (and look good to boot). If you add mudflaps (don't come standard) they have more coverage than the longboards even. The one drawback is you shouldn't just ride off a curb with these fenders (it will scrape).
 
Racks: I had a planet bike eco rack on my Maryland bike which was very light and pretty (white) but it was also tiny. My SO had a bontrager back rack 2. Since her rack had a solid top I was able to mount some bolts and wing nuts for a home-made quick disconnect system of her rear milk crate. I had always thought the topeak explorer rack looked really weak since you have to bend the connections to the seat stays but after reading the sweethome article on them http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-bike-rack-basket-panniers/ I bought them for our bikes in Alaska. No regrets so far; they are solid and should be easier to migrate from bike to bike if necessary.

Panniers: We've never used panniers. Almost. I bought a set when we first started biking but I found them to be too impractical. I was constantly worried about them falling off the bike, and was confused about what to do when you went into a store (do you leave them on the bike? Are you supposed to awkwardly carry them around?). To us baskets and milk crates seemed to make more sense. Just toss your backpack or bags in and go. We even used our baskets and crates on our mini bike tour. Also I had a hard time paying over $100 for panniers (I guess I'm cheap about some things). Milk crates were free from friends or cheap from good will ($3 maybe). I was able to make a wingnut release system to quickly detach my so's and used hose clamps so I could detach mine - albeit a bit more slowly which was handy if we wanted to put our bikes on our car rack. I really liked my wald detachable front basket as well but it is not a universal fit for bikes. Since moving to alaska I decided to spring for wald foldable rear baskets but the verdict's still out on those. They do fold flat but they're heavier and noisier (they rattle) than a milk crate. Also they sit lower like a pannier which helps your center of gravity but means spray from the wheel (even with fenders) tends to land on items in the baskets. We also went with the adjustable fit front baskets for our Alaska bikes from the sweethome article. That front basket works well though sometimes I wish it was larger and I miss the quick release feature though the support to the eyelet makes it much sturdier. We have found that we can stuff plenty of things in our baskets but for really big loads as MMM recommends you can't beat a "child" (grocery) trailer. We picked up a used one for $30 in Maryland on craigslist (and sold it for $40 three years later!) but so far they're a bit harder to come by in Alaska at that price point. Maybe next year.
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cincystache

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #113 on: December 10, 2016, 03:11:53 AM »
but we do live in a small town in Alaska and don't own a car. A bike is critical for our day-to-day errands.



That's awesome! Inspiring to hear people using their bikes and avoiding cars in AK of all places. Well done. Truly badass

cincystache

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #114 on: December 10, 2016, 03:48:51 AM »
I have 2 bikes, one is currently set up for ice/snow/rain and the other for dry conditions. My office is only 3 miles away but I usually stretch it out to 6 or 7 via bike path detours to get a little exercise.

Bike 1: Specialized crosstrail sport, 8 years old. (Bad weather bike). Kenda Klondike studded tires 700x35. SKS Commuter 2 fenders. Milk crate attached to a rear rack for cargo.

Bike 2: Kona Mahuna 29er, 3 years old. Originally bought to be my mountain bike but have since stripped it down to an awesome lightweight singlespeed fair weather commuting tool. I put 700c tires (side note: 700c tires fit onto 29er wheels as long as the tires are wide enough). My tires are 700x40 Schwalbe Marathon Plus Touring tires I found on Jenson during black friday last year for $20 each. Given these tires are built to withstand heavy touring under load, I think these were a good investment and will hopefully last many years. Highly recommended, no flats yet (knock on wood).

Side note:I'm a fan of singlespeed bikes (not "fixie") after riding them for awhile, particularly if you live in a relatively flat area. They are less maintenance and easier to clean and lube with fewer parts to break or cables to adjust etc. you can ditch all your shifter and derailing mechanisms.

Lights/visibility: I have a helmet mounted niterider 650 and a chear usb click rear light I use on both bikes. I do a fair amount of night commuting so I'm looking to make myself a little more visible to cars. Any suggestions are welcome. I might get one of those bright reflector vests. Cars never fail to do stupid things, but I want to make it as obvious as possible and help drivers see me better.'

Keep riding folks!


Faraday

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #115 on: March 08, 2017, 09:19:00 PM »
Recently bought a pair of these:
http://www.performancebike.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10052_10551_1185783_-1___
(I hope that link works...yell if not...)
I love 'em. Tons 'o room and I don't fear rain or water any more.

Same Road, Same Rules! :-) :-) :-)
I love this thread so much.....
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 09:23:11 PM by Faraday »
FIRE in 2020.