Author Topic: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers  (Read 43604 times)

Prospector

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #150 on: November 02, 2017, 05:54:34 AM »
PTF - I just landed a gig as "Active transportation Supervisor" in my town, and while I have been cycle commuting a few times a week for years, I haven't really given much thought to a lot of the gear and whatnot listed in this thread. In my new role I will need to develop the town's cycling infrastructure and develop (groom?) a cycling mindset to justify the cost. So my "Bike Gear" will include some stuff you folks might use, but not take ownership of (trails, bike lanes, signs, pavement markings, etc.)

For my ride, I have a 15 year old Devinci Desperado equipped with a set of Red Arkel Rear Panniers mounted to an Axiom Rear rack. Up front I have a handlebar bag from MEC. I've put on a front fender, and need a rear. In the summer I ride a set of slicks, in winter knobbies. They are 15 years old (bought with the bike). We have a bike trailer which I can hook up to pull kids around or make runs to the store. For a headlight I have a Serfas e-lume600. The taillight is a cheap planet blinky, but I have a promise to appear from a Bontrager Flare-R.

The great challenge for me is that I reject the n+1 mentality of most cyclists around here and have taken on a "Work with what you have" mentality when it comes to my ride. I bought this bike back in my spendy days and it spent about 10 years hanging in various garages, rusting. It was (at time of purchase) an expensive bike, built for raacing (XT Groupo, light frame, good stuff) but I had gotten out of racing when I bought it. So now it is a tourist (rode from Toronto to Ottawa this summer) a commuter, a mountain bike, and a grocery-getter. The various bags/rack/and other gear are all constantly changing for the current task.

This year a few items will be changing on the bike. Likely the tires should top the list. Although the bike is set up to run tubeless, I don't much trust them, so I've been running tubeless tires with rimtape and tubes. The tires are dry and old and no longer stretch properly to go on the rims. Even my bike mechanic neighbour had a hard time getting them to seat properly. I should be looking at new slicks in the spring and some studded tires next fall. I also need to upgrade my taillight as noted above. I'd also like to get some flashers on my forks and chainstays for side visibility.

The last piece of the puzzle (for me) is clothing. I have some (old) waterproof cycling pants with rear retroreflectivity on them. They are great for cool mornings or rain, and are put to work year-round depending on weather. I have an equally old windbreaker that is good for wearing with a sweater but it is not waterproof and the seams have let go in a number of places. It is bright yellow though, and easy to see.  I also have X-country ski gloves which are good in rain or fall/spring. In the winter I wear normal (hot Paws from Wal-Mart) gloves. I also have a silk beanie that fits nicely beneath my helmet and does a surprisingly effective job of keeping my head warm.

My only issue with cycle-commuting is that in the very cold weather (January) the oil in my hydraulic shifters gets too cold to change gears. Apparently the system I have (Combined thumb-forefinger integrated into brake levers) has been abandoned by ice-racers in favour of more traditional wired shifters. Riding in winter can be quite a workout depending on what gear the bike decides it wants to get stuck in that day. Last winter I had the oil changed in the shifters in the hope that it would help the problem. I am not sure it made a difference.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 05:57:19 AM by Prospector »

Bayou Dweller

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #151 on: November 07, 2017, 09:04:08 PM »
I just picked up my first bike last night. It's a Retrospec Mantra 7 V2. 7-speed road bike with flat bars. To be completely honest, I am not entirely sure much else about it. But to be even more honest, I'm OK with that because I just want to commute with it and not really get into "cycling" as a hobby.

In the mail I've got a trailer to haul my kid around in (Nashbar), a headlight/taillight set up (Cygolite Metro 400), and a lock (Cocoweb). I think that's good for now, and in a few weeks I plan to add a bell, a small mirror, a pump and tools (I guess?), pepper spray, and potentially a rear rack, reflective tape, and fenders (but we'll see).

My goal is just to reduce my car usage down from 300 miles a week to 100 miles a week for now. Then eventually under 100. I have to commute to 2 separate suburbs each weekend, one due to shared custody of a kiddo and the other to assist my grandparents, so those are the only 2 trips I want to use my car for (ideally). That'd put me right at 80 miles a week, and I'm OK with that.

I live roughly 5 miles from work, so I think that's extremely doable. In fact, I plan to try it out this coming Friday when my light arrives. I've applied at 2 positions that are 1.5 miles away from home, so that'd be even better. Waiting to hear back on those.

The only other places I go are to the grocery store 1x a week (2 miles, will put that trailer to use I guess?), Muay Thai class (2 miles away), and occasionally a brewery or a friend's house (but not often).

If I use MMM's $1 per mile, this would really save me some money over the long term (Roughly over $225k over 10 years, using the weekly factor of 752). I recently read "Just Ride" by Grant Petersen. It's a very Mustachian book and I highly recommend it to all bike riders out there, especially new ones.

narrative

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #152 on: November 17, 2017, 02:51:27 PM »
We purchased our first bikes as adults in September after we moved to Colorado. I did a lot of digging and researching to find bikes in our price point that had what we wanted.

We ended up going with mountain bikes from Nashbar and have been really happy with them. I don't commute but have ridden 200+ miles since September and wouldn't hesitate to recommend these. They are also on sale now for slightly less than we paid. If you do buy from Nashbar watch the price for a month after you buy and if it drops call them. They didn't hesitate to refund us the $65 difference when the prices dropped a week after we bought ours.

We got a Nashbar 29" Disc Mountain Bike for my husband and a Nashbar Women's 27.5" Disc Mountain Bike for me. At a little over $300 each they have disc brakes and a few other things we were looking for and cost significantly less than bikes at the LBS (but still more than craigslist). I put them together with no trouble with a few basic tools and got to learn a lot about bike mechanicals, etc in the process.

I added a Topeak rack to mine (again Nashbar had the best price) and the Topeak Trolley basket which is essentially an overpriced milk crate that goes into the store with me and slides and locks onto the rack.

   

I am waiting on two Nashbar Townie Baskets that have been backordered for weeks so I impulse bought a backpack pannier from Ikea to help haul more groceries than the trolley can hold and have been surprisingly impressed with it. I am now the designated carrier of the water and the kids hats/coats/gloves on family bike rides (since the temps seem to drop quickly in the late afternoon this time of year). The way the Super Tourist rack is setup I can attach the Ikea pannier (and hopefully the Townie Baskets if they ever get here) on the lower mount rail and still slide the basket on top so it can carry quite a bit. We looked at kid and dog trailers (dog trailers have a flat bottom, so more versatile than a kid carrier for cargo I thought) but we don't have much storage space at the moment so the basket that folds and bags that fold made more sense for now.

I don't have lights yet, but I have been looking at these on Amazon. $13 for two headlights and two taillights seemed like a fair entry-level price point. I'm not expecting something magical for that but I figure something is better than nothing.

I have been using my old pebble watch running JayPS connected to my phone as a bike computer to show my speed and distance on longer rides and then upload them to Strava once I finish. I am certainly not that fast and am pretty badly out of shape, but we all have to start somewhere. Seeing my progress has been really motivating. It is amazing how the second ride around a trail or path always seems easier than the first. :)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 03:25:44 PM by narrative »

dlesh

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #153 on: December 01, 2017, 12:04:29 AM »
How do you like the Topeak basket? I've been seriously considering it, but I'm usually doing decent-sized shopping trips (usually at least two large packs of diapers, wine, etc) that might require something bigger. Any sense of how much load the Topeak can carry? TIA!

narrative

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #154 on: December 12, 2017, 09:58:04 AM »
Sorry I missed this for a few days. The basket is decently sized and depending on the size of the diaper packs could easily carry those and some wine. I would make sure the wine is wedged in or use a small bungee to strap it to the side of the crate so it doesn't bounce around. I don't have a bungee net to go over mine yet but it hasn't really been much of an issue so far. You could definitely fill it more if you had a net to go over the top with some stretch.

I'll take some pictures today and upload them to give you a better idea of what it can hold. :)

** Update **

Sorry it took me awhile. Sick kids. But here are some pics of the Topeak trolley loaded and unloaded.


« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 11:37:15 AM by narrative »

crocheted_stache

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #155 on: December 17, 2017, 05:37:47 PM »
For commuting and errands, about 3000 miles per year, I currently use these accessories.

Lights: Serfas front and rear lights, LED, USB rechargeable, from LBS maybe 2 years ago, going strong and pretty happy with them. DH also has a set. I kept my older Ion light from Bontrager. It survived plenty of use, but seems to have a loose connection somewhere.

Cargo Trailer: Croozer. About six months old. Shipping turned out to be...involved (problems on UPS end), but we've been happy with it since then. We each got a hitch, so we don't have to swap. We went to LBS in search of longer skewers and were surprised when they handed us each one for free. They get them with some racks or something, but lots of people don't need or use them, so they end up with extras in a drawer before throwing them out.

Usual pannier: Bontrager shopping bag thing, a couple years old and very well-loved. Safety yellow faded, plastic stiffener cracked. It's ugly but still usable. About 2 years old. (I should come here and read recommendations before choosing its replacement.) I also have a pair of the IKEA insulated ones ($10 on special, iirc, maybe discontinued) which I use for grocery shopping if I don't buy enough to need the trailer. I haven't used the latter very much yet, but I haven't had them long, either.

Latest replacement tire is a Michelin puncture-proof thing with a reflective sidewall. I appreciate the reflective sidewall. "Puncture-proof" seems to mean high Kevlar content or something, which means it's very, very hard to get the bead over the rim when new. Even with levers, I can scarcely get it off. I took it to LBS and they resorted to a "tire jack," so I ordered one. It's a $12 tool which lifts the bead over the rim without mutilating the tube. I might not be able to repair a flat on my own. I guess that's why I carry bus fare and a phone, and hope the puncture-proof claim mostly keeps me out of trouble.

runbikerun

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #156 on: December 18, 2017, 02:43:43 AM »
Latest replacement tire is a Michelin puncture-proof thing with a reflective sidewall. I appreciate the reflective sidewall. "Puncture-proof" seems to mean high Kevlar content or something, which means it's very, very hard to get the bead over the rim when new. Even with levers, I can scarcely get it off. I took it to LBS and they resorted to a "tire jack," so I ordered one. It's a $12 tool which lifts the bead over the rim without mutilating the tube. I might not be able to repair a flat on my own. I guess that's why I carry bus fare and a phone, and hope the puncture-proof claim mostly keeps me out of trouble.

I had Continental Gatorskins rather than Michelins on my old bike, but they were very similar - high Kevlar content, extremely hard to get on and off the wheel. Across four adventure races traversing surfaces I had no business using a road bike on, they were indestructible; I suffered one puncture in three years. If the Michelins are anything similar, you'll get a LOT of mileage out of them before a puncture happens.

If you're not used to them, though, their grip in the rain isn't brilliant. Not problematic or anything, but enough that putting the hammer down in bad weather isn't a fantastic idea.

GuitarStv

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #157 on: December 18, 2017, 07:49:15 AM »
It doesn't have to do with Kevlar content.  Different types of tires and different rims all have slightly unique diameter measurements.  Making a tire really hard to put on is safer for a bike tire manufacturer, because there's less chance of the tire rolling off if it's underinflated and the cyclist goes around a corner fast.  Tubless ready rims seem to be more of a bastard to put tires on as well for some reason.

FWIW - YMMV but for my rims, some of the hardest to put on tires I've used have been 700x28 Continental Ultra Sport IIs without puncture protection (can barely get them on with heavy use of tire levels), and some of the easiest I've ever put on were 700x35 Schwalbe Marathon Supremes with puncture protection (slip right on barely needing to use thumb pressure) .  :P

mustachemountain

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #158 on: December 27, 2017, 10:51:20 AM »
sorry, i'm lazy and didn't read thru this whole thread. just sharing what works for me.
i'm just going to say, if you commute by bike there is zero reason to not go the dyno hub/bolted on light route unless you park overnight on the street.
the lights work better than battery lights and its just one less hassle to have to deal with. get on the bike, lights are blazing, done.
dont let the high initial cost put you off. the sanyo hub built into a wheel delivered to your door is ~$100 on ebay, and you dont have to get the insanely expensive german lights, even though they are still very good value for the money.

also, i ride soft supple wide tyres with absolutely no kevlar or flat protective belts. (not all wide tyres are soft and supple. this is what i ride: https://www.compasscycle.com/shop/components/tires/700c/compass-700cx38-barlow-pass/ i have no connection with this company other than buying their tyres exclusively) they are extrodinarily fast and supremely comfortable, as in, i dont really slow down on cobblestones kind of comfortable.
i use the "tubeless with tubes" system. google it for a better description.
briefly, i buy presta valve inner tubes with threadable valve core (presta valved tubes can be used with schraeder valve rims with a little adaptor). i unthread the valve, pour in a bit of stan's notubes fluid, rethread the core, and then install the tube like normal. i rarely get flats.

its a little more work but worth it atmo for the speed and comfort.

happy and safe riding!

GuitarStv

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #159 on: December 28, 2017, 09:26:09 AM »
They sound great, but I've read too many reviews of people having problems with flats on the Compass tires.  I guess always running goop in them helps quite a bit on that front?

Just Joe

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #160 on: March 29, 2018, 11:18:29 AM »
Lots of great pointers in this thread.

The ride: ~7 miles each way to work. 350 ft gain going to work. Fair amount of traffic, heavy traffic in a couple of sections. Irregular roads - some without a shoulder, incomplete sidewalks that nobody walks on and the local police encourages bikers to use. Can't go fast on bumpy sidewalks. I just use them in one very busy part of my ride. Have never encountered bikes or pedestrians there.

Bike: ten+ year old entry level Trek aluminum frame mtb. V-brakes. Basic RST fork.

Lights: Blitzu Cyborg 168T USB Rechargeable. Great viability for the drivers but as a light on pitch black roads or paths the headlight could be better. Just slow down so you don't outrun the light. Not as good as a spotlight of some sort. I rarely ride to town in the dark.

Tires: Schwalbe Marathon touring tires with the reflector strip in the sidewalls. No flats.

Rims: Bontrager Camino 26" rims

Saddle: Bontrager spongy comfort seat. Will upgrade when it wears out - Brooks?

Fenders: Planet Bike Cascadia bike fenders (26")

Rack: Cheap and aluminum. No problems.

Panniers: Tourbon waterproof canvas panniers. Arrive today. A backpack was not comfortable. Tool bag on the rear rack moved around too much.

Ebike conversion: Lunacycle (BAFANG) BBSHD motor with 48V 14Ah battery. This has been a game changer. Hilly country and hot summers here.

Edit: I added a Leikke 42T front sprocket to correct a less than optimum chainline. It is a real improvement. Less chain/sprocket noise. Great chainline. More power than the original 46T front sprocket. My bike lives climbing steep hills. A 36T might be even better but I don't want to spend the money to see. Motor is more efficient running with a lighter load due to the smaller sprocket. Might last longer (age) and last longer (range). 
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 09:53:07 AM by Just Joe »

sanderh

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #161 on: July 01, 2018, 03:03:10 AM »
Front light: the cheap Chinese-made rechargeable LED from eBay, because my lights have been stolen about once a year. The cheap lights can be bought separately from the battery, so if only the light or only the battery gets stolen, I replace one, not both.
Rear mudguard installed on the front wheel, as well as a rear mudguard on the rear wheel (from a different set of mudguards). Now the mudguard on the front wheel is actually long enough (<2 inches from the ground) to protect the chainrings and shoes from spray.
Bad experiences with Vittoria inner tubes (seams on the inner tube spontaneously develop holes, valves break). Bad experiences with Shimano wh500 and wh550 wheels (hub bearings loosened, rims went out of true, spoke nuts at the hub very difficult to access to tighten).

Prospector

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #162 on: July 01, 2018, 05:36:03 AM »
Anyone have a lock recommend? My kid and I are going to be riding from Toronto to NYC this summer (see signature) and I want to get something that can handle big city security without the extra weight on the long ride. I keep getting ideas but not executing. If anyone has something brilliant, let me know. I like the looks of the hiplock, but not sure if its beefy enough.

Bayou Dweller

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #163 on: July 17, 2018, 05:42:04 AM »
Does anyone else have issues with their tires not staying inflated properly? I'm running generic tires that came on the bicycle and I don't really want to change them out. The tubes in them have presta valves. Perhaps it's just the tube that leaks and not caused by the tire? Do I need a better quality tube or tire? Or perhaps it's just because I ride on bumpy roads and with a trailer often?

Sorry for the noob question. Just getting tired of airing it up every.single.day.

Prospector

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #164 on: July 17, 2018, 06:44:36 AM »
Does anyone else have issues with their tires not staying inflated properly? I'm running generic tires that came on the bicycle and I don't really want to change them out. The tubes in them have presta valves. Perhaps it's just the tube that leaks and not caused by the tire? Do I need a better quality tube or tire? Or perhaps it's just because I ride on bumpy roads and with a trailer often?

Sorry for the noob question. Just getting tired of airing it up every.single.day.

Not an issue here - been riding with prestas for years. Just make sure the little knob is screwed down tight to get a good seal.

I'm not a fan of presta valves, but just can't bring myself to drill out the rims to take schraeders.

GuitarStv

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #165 on: July 17, 2018, 06:54:42 AM »
Does anyone else have issues with their tires not staying inflated properly? I'm running generic tires that came on the bicycle and I don't really want to change them out. The tubes in them have presta valves. Perhaps it's just the tube that leaks and not caused by the tire? Do I need a better quality tube or tire? Or perhaps it's just because I ride on bumpy roads and with a trailer often?

Sorry for the noob question. Just getting tired of airing it up every.single.day.

So, first of all it's the tube that holds air.  The tire just exists to protect the tube and keep it in position.  There are a couple things that could be causing the tube to lose air though.

First of all, bike tubes leak.  They don't leak a huge amount, but they do leak a little bit every day.  Air molecules are just small enough to escape from the rubber used in tubes . . . but they do so slowly.  If you're pumping tires up to 80 psi, you'll probably notice a little under 1 psi drop each day.  If you're pumping to a higher pressure this goes up, if you're pumping to a lower pressure this goes down.

If you have a tube that's a bit too small for the tire it's in (say a 25mm tube in a 32 mm tire) it'll hold air and be safe to ride . . . but it will leak faster.  If you use light weight racing tubes, they leak faster.  My experience has been that generally the heavier the tube, the less air loss you'll end up getting.

You'll also notice that as weather changes, so does the pressure in your tires.  If it's 20 C (68 F) in the morning, and you pump your tires up to 80 psi and then it heats up to 30 C (86 F), you'll notice that the pressure in your tires increases quite a bit (probably at least 5 psi).  The reverse is also true.

It's possible that you have a small puncture in your tube.  This usually means that you can pump up the tire enough to ride for an hour or so, but overnight it will be completely flat.  In that case, take the tire off, take the tube out, fill up your bath tub with water, put some air in the tube until it's a little inflated, and hold the tube under the water until you find where the bubbles are coming out.  Then apply a patch.  Or just replace the tube.


I generally like Presta valves much better than Schraeder for bicycles.  They're easier to pump up with a hand pump, they're lighter, and they require a smaller hole in the rim (means that your rim is stronger).  About the only problem with Presta is that they aren't used on automobiles, and therefore it's a tad harder to find pump heads that fit them.  They both hold air perfectly well though.

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #166 on: July 17, 2018, 10:06:16 AM »
Does anyone else have issues with their tires not staying inflated properly? I'm running generic tires that came on the bicycle and I don't really want to change them out. The tubes in them have presta valves. Perhaps it's just the tube that leaks and not caused by the tire? Do I need a better quality tube or tire? Or perhaps it's just because I ride on bumpy roads and with a trailer often?

Sorry for the noob question. Just getting tired of airing it up every.single.day.

So, first of all it's the tube that holds air.  The tire just exists to protect the tube and keep it in position.  There are a couple things that could be causing the tube to lose air though.

First of all, bike tubes leak.  They don't leak a huge amount, but they do leak a little bit every day.  Air molecules are just small enough to escape from the rubber used in tubes . . . but they do so slowly.  If you're pumping tires up to 80 psi, you'll probably notice a little under 1 psi drop each day.  If you're pumping to a higher pressure this goes up, if you're pumping to a lower pressure this goes down.

If you have a tube that's a bit too small for the tire it's in (say a 25mm tube in a 32 mm tire) it'll hold air and be safe to ride . . . but it will leak faster.  If you use light weight racing tubes, they leak faster.  My experience has been that generally the heavier the tube, the less air loss you'll end up getting.

You'll also notice that as weather changes, so does the pressure in your tires.  If it's 20 C (68 F) in the morning, and you pump your tires up to 80 psi and then it heats up to 30 C (86 F), you'll notice that the pressure in your tires increases quite a bit (probably at least 5 psi).  The reverse is also true.

It's possible that you have a small puncture in your tube.  This usually means that you can pump up the tire enough to ride for an hour or so, but overnight it will be completely flat.  In that case, take the tire off, take the tube out, fill up your bath tub with water, put some air in the tube until it's a little inflated, and hold the tube under the water until you find where the bubbles are coming out.  Then apply a patch.  Or just replace the tube.


I generally like Presta valves much better than Schraeder for bicycles.  They're easier to pump up with a hand pump, they're lighter, and they require a smaller hole in the rim (means that your rim is stronger).  About the only problem with Presta is that they aren't used on automobiles, and therefore it's a tad harder to find pump heads that fit them.  They both hold air perfectly well though.

Thanks for that awesome reply. I appreciate the new knowledge learned!

narrative

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #167 on: July 24, 2018, 10:35:50 AM »
take the tire off, take the tube out, fill up your bath tub with water, put some air in the tube until it's a little inflated, and hold the tube under the water until you find where the bubbles are coming out.

Great info, especially about the pressure changes with temp changes. This thread has been amazingly helpful. You guys rock. :)

I wanted to add that if you don't have a bathtub you can also use a small bowl of water with a bit of dish soap. Use your fingers to spread the soapy water across the surface of the tube slowly and watch for bubbles. When I find a hole I find it helps to dry the tube off and circle it with a permanent marker so I can find it to put the patch on.

robartsd

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #168 on: July 26, 2018, 05:15:15 PM »
Anyone have a lock recommend? My kid and I are going to be riding from Toronto to NYC this summer (see signature) and I want to get something that can handle big city security without the extra weight on the long ride. I keep getting ideas but not executing. If anyone has something brilliant, let me know. I like the looks of the hiplock, but not sure if its beefy enough.
I assume you already have some sort of U-lock that meets your requirements outside of NYC. Might be best to figure out a solution that doesn't involve carrying a NYC quality lock from Toronto. First choice is always secure bikes inside overnight in the city. If you absolutely need to lock up outside in NYC, perhaps having extra security hardware (a second, beefier U-lock for each bike) shipped to your hosts a day or two out would be a better solution than hauling by bike all the way from Toronto.

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #169 on: July 31, 2018, 08:56:01 AM »
Currently I haul my son and groceries around in a trailer. But for my day to day commute I'm looking for the most effective way to get my backpack off of my back. I don't necessarily want pannier bags. I just want to strap my backpack to a rack or put it into a basket.

Does anyone else currently do this? Anyone have any value-options for a smart daily commuter set up?

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #170 on: July 31, 2018, 09:22:49 AM »
Currently I haul my son and groceries around in a trailer. But for my day to day commute I'm looking for the most effective way to get my backpack off of my back. I don't necessarily want pannier bags. I just want to strap my backpack to a rack or put it into a basket.

Does anyone else currently do this? Anyone have any value-options for a smart daily commuter set up?

There are plenty of ways to do this.

Panniers are made to attach quickly and easily to your bike rack of course (and some come with straps so they can be used as a backpack too).If you don't like them, there are a variety of ways to attach a front or rear basket to your bike for easy open storage.  You can go with fold-able metal baskets (like the Wald 582s).  A milk crate or any other type of plastic bucket can be lashed securely to your rear rack.  You can just grab some bungee cords and strap your backpack directly to the top of your rear rack.

Or you could just wear the backpack (protip: pack less stuff in it and it's much less uncomfortable).

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #171 on: July 31, 2018, 10:34:15 AM »
Currently I haul my son and groceries around in a trailer. But for my day to day commute I'm looking for the most effective way to get my backpack off of my back. I don't necessarily want pannier bags. I just want to strap my backpack to a rack or put it into a basket.

Does anyone else currently do this? Anyone have any value-options for a smart daily commuter set up?

There are plenty of ways to do this.

Panniers are made to attach quickly and easily to your bike rack of course (and some come with straps so they can be used as a backpack too).If you don't like them, there are a variety of ways to attach a front or rear basket to your bike for easy open storage.  You can go with fold-able metal baskets (like the Wald 582s).  A milk crate or any other type of plastic bucket can be lashed securely to your rear rack.  You can just grab some bungee cords and strap your backpack directly to the top of your rear rack.

Or you could just wear the backpack (protip: pack less stuff in it and it's much less uncomfortable).

I've been wearing the backpack. It's not terrible, but it's always 80-100F here, so I always have a sweat mark on my back for a bit, which I'd like to try and avoid if possible.

Cool! I'll look into some of those options. I knew about the milk crate and stuff, but I wasn't sure how good it was. Or how sturdy just strapping a backpack in was with cords. Thanks!

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #172 on: July 31, 2018, 10:37:43 AM »
Strapping the backpack on with bungees works fine, it's just a PITA because it takes a few minutes to get it on/off the bike.  Milk crates with a bit of rope or velcro will work really well (although when you load them too heavily you'll notice that the bike becomes really tippy at slow speeds because the weight is so high).

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #173 on: July 31, 2018, 12:52:44 PM »
Strapping the backpack on with bungees works fine, it's just a PITA because it takes a few minutes to get it on/off the bike.  Milk crates with a bit of rope or velcro will work really well (although when you load them too heavily you'll notice that the bike becomes really tippy at slow speeds because the weight is so high).

Interesting. You've got a lot of experience with this!

Luckily my backpack isn't super heavy or anything. I may start with a rear rack and some bungees and if that sucks I'll get a crate. Oh yes, and I need fenders. I rode for the first time today in the rain. Wah!

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #174 on: July 31, 2018, 01:46:43 PM »
Rather than a crate, I use a set of Arkel Panniers (Disclosure - Arkel sponsors my kid on his big ride this summer, but I bought my own before approaching them for support) - as far as I'm concerned, these things are the bomb dot com, and I love them. A pair is $275 CDN, but so far worth every penny (https://www.arkel-od.com/en/t-42-lite-touring-panniers.html ).

Each side carries as much as a backpack alone would, and we have fit ridiculous weights into them - for instance, I have loaded a case of bottled water into each side, and then stuffed the pockets to bursting with granola bars and run a rest stop for a community bike ride out of my paniers. I absolutely love these bags. A crate will be loads cheaper, but the load sits higher up, which contributes to the wobble that GuitarStv has pointed out.

You may also find that a cargo net stolen from the back of a minivan at the wreckers does the trick to hold the backpack on. I like that I can unclip my panniers and walk into a meeting with it like a briefcase. I also use them for cycle-touring.

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #175 on: July 31, 2018, 01:54:39 PM »
If you have a cat (or access to a dump) you can always make some kitty litter panniers.  Google it, they're pretty sweet (albeit not typically very easily removable from your bike).

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #176 on: July 31, 2018, 03:21:30 PM »
I'll look into both of those. Maybe I shouldn't be so close-minded about pannier bags. I'm not totally opposed to spending money, either. Especially since I've been trying to bike a lot more and drive a lot less.

Thank you both again for your inputs.

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #177 on: July 31, 2018, 04:09:16 PM »
I'll look into both of those. Maybe I shouldn't be so close-minded about pannier bags. I'm not totally opposed to spending money, either. Especially since I've been trying to bike a lot more and drive a lot less.

Thank you both again for your inputs.

I bought this convertible backpack/pannier last fall and I absolutely love it! I've carried it every day since, even all winter when there was no chance of me getting on my bike. I like being able to keep my work stuff in it at all times so I don't have to juggle bags when I decide to bike.

https://www.twowheelgear.com/collections/pannier-backpacks?_ke=eyJrbF9lbWFpbCI6ICJtbGlwcHMwOEBnbWFpbC5jb20iLCAia2xfY29tcGFueV9pZCI6ICJnZjRWYnkifQ%3D%3D

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Re: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers
« Reply #178 on: August 01, 2018, 05:26:52 AM »
I'll look into both of those. Maybe I shouldn't be so close-minded about pannier bags. I'm not totally opposed to spending money, either. Especially since I've been trying to bike a lot more and drive a lot less.

Thank you both again for your inputs.

I bought this convertible backpack/pannier last fall and I absolutely love it! I've carried it every day since, even all winter when there was no chance of me getting on my bike. I like being able to keep my work stuff in it at all times so I don't have to juggle bags when I decide to bike.

https://www.twowheelgear.com/collections/pannier-backpacks?_ke=eyJrbF9lbWFpbCI6ICJtbGlwcHMwOEBnbWFpbC5jb20iLCAia2xfY29tcGFueV9pZCI6ICJnZjRWYnkifQ%3D%3D

Very cool, thank you for sharing that. Makes me wonder if I could just rig my current backpack to do this same function, hah.