Author Topic: Discuss Your Bike, Bike Lights, Tires, Fenders, Racks and Panniers  (Read 28575 times)


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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 »
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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.


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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: November 17, 2017, 03:06:59 PM by narrative »
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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!