Author Topic: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!  (Read 3525 times)

jambongris

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #50 on: July 20, 2018, 01:41:29 PM »
So, did a 100 km race (103 technically) last weekend with a touch over 4000 ft of climbing, and completed the course in three hours and forty minutes . . . which was a time that I was happy with.  It wasn't that hot, only about 28 C (83 F) but was very humid and on the verge of rain for the whole ride, so nothing evaporated off of me.  There was enough sweat rolling off of me that it was like being in a thunderstorm.  (It did start to pour in the last 20 minutes, which finally broke the heat a bit).  I was sweating a ridiculous amount, and ended up drinking five 750 mL bottles over the course of the ride.  Then chugged another two bottles when I stopped.  And another one on the drive home.  All without needing to pee.  :P

The first 50 km were pretty fun, and I think that I went much too hard following some pretty fast guys.  I was dropped when things got hilly at about 60 km, and then ended up riding on my own for a lengthy chunk.  Cramps set in pretty bad at around 80 km, but I was able to stretch them out enough on the bike to keep going.  By about 90 km I was in rough shape and was just barely able to find and hold someone's wheel to limp my way over the finish line.

Notes from this event:
- I have no problems keeping up with people on the flat sections.
- I go WAY faster than everyone else on the descents.
- I go much slower than everyone else on the climbs.

Anyone know if there's maybe some sort of technique thing that I should train for the climbs, or is it just the fact that I weigh too much?

(Point of pride - more than 100 riders, and I was the only one on a steel frame bike.  :P  )

With that total time, given 4000 ft of climbing, I thought, "wow, your descents must have been blazing fast." (4000 ft climb is a lot). With regard to long, full-day,  grueling mountain bike climbs, I usually smoke most folks on the climbs, but get left behind on the descents (not so true on road rides). Since you are probably well informed on training techniques for climbing, I'd ask how much you weigh/height. I've noticed on other folks, having to lug up 10s of pounds of adipose tissue on climbs is never an advantage. Do you have the typical biker body-type?

It's pretty flat where I live, and all the climbing in the race was quite an eye opener to me.  My touring bike has a very wide wheel base, and it's fitted with larger tires (28 front, 32 rear).  It is incredibly stable and easy to control when descending.  Years of stretching my legs to crazy angles while teaching Taekwondo means that I can comfortably hold a very low position for extended periods of time too.  I think this combo really helps for going down hills fast.

Not really typical cyclist frame.  6', 191 lbs as of last weekend (I was 10 lbs lighter than that after the race when I got home.  :P).  In my defense, I've got a 32" waist, and do lift weights each week - it's not all fat.

I'm still learning about the nuts and bolts of bikes but this really jumped out at me. I hadn't realized that you could mix and match tire sizes on a bike like that.

According to Sheldon Brown a 32 tire is typically found on unicycles and novelty bicycles. Do you have it set up this way so it always feels like you're riding downhill?

GuitarStv

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #51 on: July 20, 2018, 02:15:37 PM »
Oh, not a 32 inch tire in diameter.

No, I mean 32mm wide.  I'm talking about standard road bike sized wheels, so 32x700C and 28X700C.  I guess that the rear of the bike is around 4 mm higher than the front with this setup, but it's not really noticeable.  What's noticeable is that the wider tire can be run at lower pressure and provides a lot more cushioning, and absorbs a lot more of the road buzz.

jambongris

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2018, 02:28:39 PM »
Oh, not a 32 inch tire in diameter.

No, I mean 32mm wide.  I'm talking about standard road bike sized wheels, so 32x700C and 28X700C.  I guess that the rear of the bike is around 4 mm higher than the front with this setup, but it's not really noticeable.  What's noticeable is that the wider tire can be run at lower pressure and provides a lot more cushioning, and absorbs a lot more of the road buzz.

That’s disappointing. I was really enjoying the mental picture of a bike whose rear tire was 4” taller than its front tire.

Rubic

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2018, 02:30:42 PM »
According to Sheldon Brown a 32 tire is typically found on unicycles and novelty bicycles. Do you have it set up this way so it always feels like you're riding downhill?

As GuitarStv just pointed out, Sheldon is referring to wheel diameter.  My avatar
is a picture of me riding a 36" unicycle.

Trivia:  Years ago I was in Boston for a bike ride.  I stopped by Sheldon's bike shop
(before he passed away) and received excellent advice about configuring an S&S coupled
touring bike.

GuitarStv

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2018, 02:41:56 PM »
Oh, not a 32 inch tire in diameter.

No, I mean 32mm wide.  I'm talking about standard road bike sized wheels, so 32x700C and 28X700C.  I guess that the rear of the bike is around 4 mm higher than the front with this setup, but it's not really noticeable.  What's noticeable is that the wider tire can be run at lower pressure and provides a lot more cushioning, and absorbs a lot more of the road buzz.

That’s disappointing. I was really enjoying the mental picture of a bike whose rear tire was 4” taller than its front tire.

If it makes you feel better, pro riders did use something like that as time trial bikes ages ago:



700C rear with a 650B front wheel for extra aggressive position.  Or something.  :P

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #55 on: July 20, 2018, 02:46:01 PM »
Just looking at that picture has thrown my back out!

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #56 on: July 20, 2018, 03:00:02 PM »
Oh, not a 32 inch tire in diameter.

No, I mean 32mm wide.  I'm talking about standard road bike sized wheels, so 32x700C and 28X700C.  I guess that the rear of the bike is around 4 mm higher than the front with this setup, but it's not really noticeable.  What's noticeable is that the wider tire can be run at lower pressure and provides a lot more cushioning, and absorbs a lot more of the road buzz.

That’s disappointing. I was really enjoying the mental picture of a bike whose rear tire was 4” taller than its front tire.

Chiming in to say that I assumed it was a difference in wheel diameter as well. I thought it was a bit funny, but I just figured it was a thing that people who ride racing bikes did that us normal bike riders wouldn't (for aero or optimal leg/arm/seat geometry or other reasons).

GuitarStv

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #57 on: July 20, 2018, 03:05:26 PM »
Just looking at that picture has thrown my back out!

Look at the rear cogs.  It must go all the way from an 11 to a 13 at the back.  Y'know.  For the hills.  :P

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #58 on: July 20, 2018, 03:40:11 PM »
Ah yes. The Alps, that bike, and a low gear of 53 - 13 would probably see my demise!

jambongris

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #59 on: July 20, 2018, 03:59:50 PM »
Oh, not a 32 inch tire in diameter.

No, I mean 32mm wide.  I'm talking about standard road bike sized wheels, so 32x700C and 28X700C.  I guess that the rear of the bike is around 4 mm higher than the front with this setup, but it's not really noticeable.  What's noticeable is that the wider tire can be run at lower pressure and provides a lot more cushioning, and absorbs a lot more of the road buzz.

That’s disappointing. I was really enjoying the mental picture of a bike whose rear tire was 4” taller than its front tire.

If it makes you feel better, pro riders did use something like that as time trial bikes ages ago:



700C rear with a 650B front wheel for extra aggressive position.  Or something.  :P

Glorious.

That’s exactly what I was picturing. I have to agree that it looks spectacularly uncomfortable though.

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #60 on: July 25, 2018, 12:07:20 PM »
What are folks' thoughts on tubeless and tire sealant?

Personally I love it, but mainly because it allows me to run real low pressures on dirt.  To me, its all about max traction riding trails.


Even so, I also run ghetto tubeless with sealant on my city bike.   Just late last night, I got a wire stuck in my tire, pulled it out, let the sealant ooze out and plug the tire.  Lost a few pounds of pressure, but it fully sealed and now its as if nothing ever happened.   I do carry a spare tube and hand pump, but it was awfully nice not to have to mess with installing a tube late at night in the city.

I haven't gotten around to tubeless on my road/skinny tire bike yet though.

GuitarStv

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #61 on: July 25, 2018, 01:03:37 PM »
I've never used tubeless, so don't really have an opinion on it.  Does the sealant dry out and need to be replaced on a regular basis?  It seems like tubeless road tires are still kinda hard to find for sale.

I do have an opinion on most modern "tubeless ready" road rims though . . . they are frigging terrible.  I've tried three now, and each one is extremely difficult to mount tires on.  I don't need any tools with any regular road rim I've tried when changing a tire, just roll the tire on/off with my thumb easily.  With each "tubeless ready" road rim I need at least two tire levers . . . and even then it's miserably tight and usually a swear inducing procedure to mount.

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #62 on: July 25, 2018, 01:15:09 PM »
I always think a difficult tyre installation is punishment for something terrible I must have done in a previous life. I have no experience of using tubeless but the use of sealant just seems a load of hassle to me so I haven’t been interested. I only really ride road and don’t seem to puncture much. Hope I haven’t cursed myself there.

Slee_stack

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #63 on: July 25, 2018, 01:23:10 PM »
Yes, sealant needs replenishing and it will dry out over time.  Its YMMV.

Generally, the hotter the climate, the more frequent the change/top-off.

Fortunately, tubeless stems usually have removable valve cores.  This allows sealant to be easily injected w/o having to break the tire bead mount.  Maintenance time is about 1 minute per wheel each time.

I typically see 90F+ summer days.  I add sealant 2-3X per year.

Tubeless specific rims can have 'hooks' on the edges making mounting/un-mounting more difficult.  They also tend to have deeper center-sections.  One trick to a tubeless setup is to squeeze the beads together and push the tire to the center of the rim.  This will give the tire more slack so you can pop a portion of the tire off the rim more easily.

Admittedly, I have zero experience with road wheels (skinny rims).  However, just about any rim can be setup tubeless (ie ghetto tubeless).  It involves cheap rim tape and your sealant of choice.  Most tires also work just fine.  Tires that have super thin walls don't tend to last as long though as there is usually more flex with the typically lower pressures run.

The biggest disadvantage to tubeless is the initial dry mounting.  Trying to hand-pump and seat one can be near impossible.  The trick to good seat is FAST air...high pressure injected really quick.  A compressor is a necessity in my book.  I suppose CO2 cartridges could work, but that sounds like a potentially pricey way.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 01:25:54 PM by Slee_stack »

GuitarStv

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #64 on: July 25, 2018, 01:26:11 PM »
Yes, sealant needs replenishing and it will dry out over time.  Its YMMV.

Generally, the hotter the climate, the more frequent the change/top-off.

Fortunately, tubeless stems usually have removable valve cores.  This allows sealant to be easily injected w/o having to break the tire bead mount.  Maintenance time is about 1 minute per wheel each time.

I typically see 90F+ summer days.  I add sealant 2-3X per year.

So like . . . I assume that at some point you'll run out of empty tire if you keep adding sealant that keeps hardening.  Do you have to take the tire off every once and a while and scrape all the dried glue away?

Rubic

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #65 on: July 25, 2018, 02:33:55 PM »
I've never used tubeless, so don't really have an opinion on it.  Does the sealant dry out and need to be replaced on a regular basis?  It seems like tubeless road tires are still kinda hard to find for sale.

I'm a big fan of Jan Heine and a subscriber to his Bicycle Quarterly (also met him in
France in 2011).  Here's his advice about tubeless tires:

The Trouble with ‘Road Tubeless’
https://janheine.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/the-trouble-with-road-tubeless/

His review isn't all negative and he provides solid advice if you're going to roll
on tubeless tires.

SeaKayEl

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #66 on: July 25, 2018, 05:47:52 PM »
Love this thread and can learn a lot from you guys!!

I’ve commuted everyday since October (exceptions: under 0°F (-18°C) or a snow storm because people suck at driving).
I currently have only 1 bike, a 2009 Cannondale Bad Boy.
Since October, I’ve been introduced to longer rides (50ish miles / 80 km) and took on a goal of riding 50miles in all 50 states (5 completed so far: WA, ID, NY, VT, MA-this one was unintentional!).

I enjoy the longer rides just for the ride...I don’t care about hitting a certain time or speed...this may be why my current bike has worked out just fine for me on these rides.

That said...I’m looking for a hobby to fill some time and was thinking of building a road bike from the frame up.  Without experience on a road bike I don’t know my ideal preferences...BUT for the kind of riding I enjoy and will do this doesn’t concern me.  Is this thinking off-base?

As for hill prep: I used findhills.com to practice on.  During my hilly ride, I smoked the person I was with on the hills....she smoked me on the downhills and I kept up with her on the flats.

My go-to for my 50+ mile rides are having 1 bottle with a Nuun tab in it, fig newtons, M&M’s and sometimes I’ll bring a peanut butter & banana sandwich.

I look forward to reading some more tips and about everyone’s riding adventures!



Dave1442397

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #67 on: July 26, 2018, 07:50:57 AM »
I do have an opinion on most modern "tubeless ready" road rims though . . . they are frigging terrible.  I've tried three now, and each one is extremely difficult to mount tires on.  I don't need any tools with any regular road rim I've tried when changing a tire, just roll the tire on/off with my thumb easily.  With each "tubeless ready" road rim I need at least two tire levers . . . and even then it's miserably tight and usually a swear inducing procedure to mount.

I had that problem too, but I found out that with the tubeless ready rims, you need to push the bead of the tire towards the center of the rim, not leave it at the edge. It gives you that extra bit of stretch to get the tire on the rim. I'm using Conti GP4000s on Shimano Ultegra rims and also on a set of Reynolds carbon rims.

See video for tips:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvvXrlAUUfU

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #68 on: July 26, 2018, 08:03:47 AM »
I do have an opinion on most modern "tubeless ready" road rims though . . . they are frigging terrible.  I've tried three now, and each one is extremely difficult to mount tires on.  I don't need any tools with any regular road rim I've tried when changing a tire, just roll the tire on/off with my thumb easily.  With each "tubeless ready" road rim I need at least two tire levers . . . and even then it's miserably tight and usually a swear inducing procedure to mount.

I had that problem too, but I found out that with the tubeless ready rims, you need to push the bead of the tire towards the center of the rim, not leave it at the edge. It gives you that extra bit of stretch to get the tire on the rim. I'm using Conti GP4000s on Shimano Ultegra rims and also on a set of Reynolds carbon rims.

See video for tips:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvvXrlAUUfU


I put a set of unstretched Continental Ultra Sport IIs on Ultegra rims and it was not a pleasant experience.  Oh, I was able to mount the tires in each case eventually . . . but no amount of pushing the tire to the middle avoided the use of levers.  If you're able to do it without levers, I tip my hat to you sir (and suspect you've got some freakish thumbs of iron on you).

Dave1442397

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #69 on: July 26, 2018, 11:23:38 AM »
I do have an opinion on most modern "tubeless ready" road rims though . . . they are frigging terrible.  I've tried three now, and each one is extremely difficult to mount tires on.  I don't need any tools with any regular road rim I've tried when changing a tire, just roll the tire on/off with my thumb easily.  With each "tubeless ready" road rim I need at least two tire levers . . . and even then it's miserably tight and usually a swear inducing procedure to mount.

I had that problem too, but I found out that with the tubeless ready rims, you need to push the bead of the tire towards the center of the rim, not leave it at the edge. It gives you that extra bit of stretch to get the tire on the rim. I'm using Conti GP4000s on Shimano Ultegra rims and also on a set of Reynolds carbon rims.

See video for tips:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvvXrlAUUfU


I put a set of unstretched Continental Ultra Sport IIs on Ultegra rims and it was not a pleasant experience.  Oh, I was able to mount the tires in each case eventually . . . but no amount of pushing the tire to the middle avoided the use of levers.  If you're able to do it without levers, I tip my hat to you sir (and suspect you've got some freakish thumbs of iron on you).

I usually still need the tire levers :) I've gotten the tire on without them a few times in the summer, when it's 100F outside and things are warm and stretchy, but that's about it. Even with the levers, I was having a hard time the first time I changed a tire on the Ultegras.

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #70 on: July 26, 2018, 11:39:15 AM »
I've never used tubeless, so don't really have an opinion on it.  Does the sealant dry out and need to be replaced on a regular basis?  It seems like tubeless road tires are still kinda hard to find for sale.

I'm a big fan of Jan Heine and a subscriber to his Bicycle Quarterly (also met him in
France in 2011).  Here's his advice about tubeless tires:

The Trouble with ‘Road Tubeless’
https://janheine.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/the-trouble-with-road-tubeless/

His review isn't all negative and he provides solid advice if you're going to roll
on tubeless tires.

Yawn Heine is full of shit and mostly uses his blog to sling his brand of historical reenactment bike parts
The reason he doesn't like tubeless is because his manufacturer didn't start making tires to tubeless spec until they were a decade+ behind the rest of the industry

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #71 on: July 30, 2018, 11:29:39 AM »
Yes, sealant needs replenishing and it will dry out over time.  Its YMMV.

Generally, the hotter the climate, the more frequent the change/top-off.

Fortunately, tubeless stems usually have removable valve cores.  This allows sealant to be easily injected w/o having to break the tire bead mount.  Maintenance time is about 1 minute per wheel each time.

I typically see 90F+ summer days.  I add sealant 2-3X per year.

So like . . . I assume that at some point you'll run out of empty tire if you keep adding sealant that keeps hardening.  Do you have to take the tire off every once and a while and scrape all the dried glue away?
Dried sealant is affectionately referred to as 'boogers'.  Perhaps on a small volume road tire, one could clog up a tire with boogers.

I've removed tires (broken spokes or other more serious wheel issues) and had very little build up in the tire....maybe a couple % by volume at most.

It would be pretty hard to fill up an entire tire with them.   I wear out or simply destroy my tires well in advance of that happening.

Maybe a long lasting skinny road tire would be more susceptible.

Slee_stack

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #72 on: July 30, 2018, 11:43:26 AM »
I've never used tubeless, so don't really have an opinion on it.  Does the sealant dry out and need to be replaced on a regular basis?  It seems like tubeless road tires are still kinda hard to find for sale.

I'm a big fan of Jan Heine and a subscriber to his Bicycle Quarterly (also met him in
France in 2011).  Here's his advice about tubeless tires:

The Trouble with ‘Road Tubeless’
https://janheine.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/the-trouble-with-road-tubeless/

His review isn't all negative and he provides solid advice if you're going to roll
on tubeless tires.

Thanks for the link.  That is exactly what I might have worried about road tubeless...high pressures causing burps (or bangs at those numbers!)

I run 45mm tires on my city bike at 40-45 psi.    The articles suggestion of 60 max on thinner tires doesn't seem crazy.

I guess I'll keep my tubes in my road bike for the time being...  I pump those to 100...

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #73 on: August 11, 2018, 01:34:24 PM »
Watermelon, the drops, and an accidental 150 km ride

So, given my obvious need to do better on the hills I carefully plotted out a new 130 km route to ride today . . . that is almost completely flat.  Only 1500 ft of climbing in the whole thing.  :P. In my defence, I told myself that today was going to be about pacing (and did manage to pace myself pretty well).

All was going well for the first 50-60 km or so, until I started hitting multiple road closures on the roads I had planned to ride.  Five of the roads that I'd mapped were closed for construction.  Of like 12 in total that I was going to be on.  Initially I was like, OK, I'll just go over a street and take the next one heading the same direction . . . Which worked well for the first few times, but eventually landed me on a weird winding road that confused the hell out of my internal compass.  Experimentation eventually landed me back on a path I recognized from previous rides but when all was said and done Google maps say I added an extra 20 km and 500 ft of climbing.  I managed to complete the ride in 5 hours though, so the pacing strategy worked really well.  (Helps that it was a beautiful sunny day with no wind that wasn't too hot as well.)

As I often do, I chopped up a watermelon and ate it until my tummy ached post ride.  Watermelon is the bomb.  It helps you rehydrate and cool down, it tastes awesome.  For the longest time I've kinda felt like it makes you feel better the next day too . . . which I attributed to the rehydration help.  After doing some sciency journal reading, it turns out there's something in watermelon that's supposed to reduce muscle soreness and speed recovery.  So eat watermelon.  It's good for you (like beets), but doesn't taste like shit (unlike beets)!

I attribute my improved speed on this ride to partly the lack of climbing, but also the fact that I spent probably 60-70% of my ride in the drops.  I have ridden with a lot of people over the years, and my observation is that most folks don't use their drops enough.  Sometimes it's because of fear (it feels different when you're steering and braking from the drops - although I'd argue that it's actually way better for both), sometimes it's because of lack of flexibility (stretch motherfuckers!), sometimes it's because of weird handlebar/brake lever angles (the guys who tilt their hoods up at big angles tend to not be able to properly reach the brake levers from the drops - making stuff kinda dangerous), of because the hoods are too low (if you can't comfortably sit in the drops, why do you even have a drop handlebar bike?  Get bullhorns or cut the drops off to save weight and improve aerodynamics.). All I can say is, if you're not regularly using the drops on your rides (at a minimum for descents) you are really missing out.

Peace out.  Time for a gin and tonic while reading comic books under the patio awning for the rest of the day.  If I get ambitious, the acoustic guitar will be joining me for some songwriting.

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #74 on: August 11, 2018, 01:55:48 PM »
That sounds like a good ride and ideal conditions. Annoying about the road closures. I hate that when I ride. It almost always means I have to go on roads with a lot more traffic than I would really like to ride on.

I tend to only use my drops when descending. Your post reminds me that I do need to work on this and utilise them more.