Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 18733 times)

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #150 on: April 26, 2018, 07:39:52 AM »
Yep, mashing a really heavy gear is tougher on your knees too.

If your knees flare out as you're pedaling that can also cause problems because you end up putting forces at strange angles into them.  You want them to track pretty much straight up and down as much as possible.

Moonwaves

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #151 on: April 26, 2018, 07:51:28 AM »
Thanks @GuitarStv and @furrychickens. I think the saddle is ok but will check it out properly. It didn't feel any different than when I was using the bike regularly last, which was nearly two years ago, just before I moved house. And it was the moving house that fecked up my knees. I was living on the fourth floor with no lift in my old town and spent the last three or four weeks traipsing up and down those bloody stairs at least six or eight times a day. And moving in to my new place (thankfully only on the 2nd-and-a-half floor in the new place) had a similar very high amount of up and down stairs during the move. I was extremely sore and stiff and not quite able to walk properly for weeks afterwards. And that was weeks when I was just starting my part-time (20 hours a week) job and had plenty of time for resting and recuperating. That was April and May. And June. And July.

In August I started to try walking a bit more again but even just a 4km walk left me very sore. Went to the doctor, who thought maybe I'd damaged my meniscus and sent me to the orthopaedic doctor. He took xrays and told me that actually, my having been so overweight for so long meant that I now had the beginnings of arthrosis (the kind he'd normally only expect to see in a woman much older than me). He was, to be perfectly honest, not very nice and didn't seem to notice that I had not really taken this news well. Told me to lose drastic amounts of weight and that cycling might help somewhat as the rotating movement is what's needed to generate more of the fluid around the joint that you need. Or I could pay Ä200 a go to get injections into my knees that might help somewhat but are not covered by insurance.

To be perfectly honest, I spent several months trying to mentally process what felt like a massive blow so that it's only now (a year and a half later) that I'm actually really trying to get going on the weight loss and cycling. I'm not entirely convinced the pain I felt was directly related to the arthosis, it was a sharper pain than the swollen, dull kind of pain I have slowly gotten used to anytime I've moved a bit more than usual but I'll give the cycling a go for a week or so to see if it gets better or worse and then decide if I need to go to the doctor (a new one!) again. It's a three-speed bike and in my old, very flat, town I just left it in 2nd gear all the time. I'll see how it goes here. I have another "movement" appointment with the physio in a couple of weeks and will ask her about it, too.

I do need new orthotics so would have to go to the doctor again soon anyway. I need the orthotics thanks to extremely high arches (thanks to short tendons in my legs) and have used them for years now.

Moonwaves

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #152 on: April 26, 2018, 07:56:22 AM »
If your knees flare out as you're pedaling that can also cause problems because you end up putting forces at strange angles into them.  You want them to track pretty much straight up and down as much as possible.
This is definitely a problem and not just cycling. Working on it with the physio but the simple truth is that I have very fat legs and straight is not entirely possible in every movement. I'm still a bit cautious and trying to find the balance between push through this and it'll get better as you lose weight or be careful you don't entirely fuck things up beyond redemption.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #153 on: April 26, 2018, 08:38:48 AM »
Good news is that cycling is a great way to build strength in your legs while being lower impact on your joints.  (Swimming is another good way to do this).  Jogging (and even walking) can be hard on your knees, so be careful not to do too much of this too often while ramping up the distance and intensity of your exercise program.  Becoming stronger is more of a marathon than a sprint . . . you need slow, but regular increases in the difficulty of what you're doing over a very long period of time.

Try putting the bike into a gear (or two) easier than you would normally use and spin the pedals much faster than you normally would.  This should help with the knee discomfort and keep you moving (essential to losing weight).

Moonwaves

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #154 on: April 28, 2018, 09:26:37 AM »
Well, I made it. According to google it's just over 9km (which is about five and a half miles) and it took me 43 minutes. I had to get off and walk twice. The first time, actually, I didn't even get off the bike. I was so close to the top of the incline I just sort of walked the bike forward/waddled while trying to actually get the gear to change down to first. The second time was because I didn't take the right turn and ended up going up the hill instead of down to the main road. I only half did this by mistake, partially I wanted to see how it would go. But again, it took too long for the gear to change and I just stalled completely. Oh well. I know now to turn off left at that point and not to up up PanoramastraŖe - you'd think I'd have copped on to the clue in the name to it being a higher up than everywhere else part of town!

I made a conscious effort to keep checking if I was keeping my legs as straight as possible and it did help. I had a bit of pain in both knees but not too much. I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the day and see how they are. Have to go to a choir thing at a hall right over the other side of my the small town I live in early tomorrow morning and am planning to cycle. It's only about 2.5km away so should be just enough to stretch out a bit. And hopefully the, er, delicate bits that are feeling particularly delicate at the moment will have recovered on time for me to contemplate sitting up on the bike again. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #155 on: April 28, 2018, 09:30:56 AM »
Change gears early.  If you see a hill in front of you, change to a gear that's a bit too easy for you so that you're prepared.  You can't shift without stopping your pedaling, so if you're grinding up a hill with lots of tension on the chain it's actually to late to try and go into your easier gear.

Moonwaves

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #156 on: April 28, 2018, 09:42:38 AM »
It was one of those downhill followed immediately by uphill. I thought the momentum from the downhill would keep me going until I got the gear changed. I definitely do need to practice changing gear more though.

ElizaStache

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #157 on: May 10, 2018, 10:18:03 AM »
Yesterday I was walking through the first floor hallway of my condo building to drop off a package for someone and came out the door to the bike rack to find my bike gone. I last rode it on Sunday, practicing my new ride to work. Sometime between then and last night someone decided to take it.

All of the bikes on that rack, and the rest of the building for that matter, are unlocked. I figured it would be okay, but I guess not. I wonder if the owner of one of the other bikes was mad at me because it's a tight squeeze on the rack and sometimes my bike gets caught on the others. I put up a note asking for it back. I asked all of the neighbors on that floor if they had seen anything, and in the process met new residents, so I guess that's a plus. The replacement bike will live in my unit, on the third floor.

I'm checking Craigslist, FB Marketplace, local FB Buy/Sell groups, Offer Up to see if it shows up. I called a pawn shop and even the bike shop I bought it from. I'm filing a police report when I go home, so they at least know the crime happened.

I'm just pissed that I've only had the damn thing since mid-February and even though I have the savings to cover it, I wasn't anticipating this kind of expense so soon. I'm mad someone stole it from our common area in the locked building. I hope they enjoy that funky little bike that wasn't actually so good for commuting and parts are a pain in the ass to find.

I re-read the blog post about MMM's misplaced bike, I hope mine comes back too. I'm lucky I've experienced no crimes in my neighborhood in the 2 years I've lived here, and I know better now. I'm thankful for my little 'stache so I can buy a replacement and NOT file a homeowner's insurance claim like many people suggested I do, because that's not what the policy is for. I don't need a Go Fund Me, and even though my avid cyclist brother offered to pitch in for a new one, I am glad I'm not relying on it.

/rant

fluffmuffin

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #158 on: May 10, 2018, 11:18:32 AM »
@ElizaStache oh no! That really sucks, I'm so sorry.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #159 on: May 10, 2018, 01:32:57 PM »
Always lock your bike.  U-lock through the rear wheel in the rear triangle, and a cable through the front wheel is a bare minimum.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #160 on: May 11, 2018, 09:46:35 AM »
I'm finally comfortable with my bike security (fairly expensive $1700 e-bike, purchased in early March).  With my $200 bike, not nearly so paranoid; never used more than a cable lock.  Of course, I haven't really left it out anywhere.

My solution for peace of mind:
Kryptonite U-lock Mini 7 - not quite the highest security level, but does have $2500 insurance and by all accounts would take an angle grinder to destroy/remove.  Rear triangle. 
https://www.amazon.com/Kryptonite-Evolution-Mini-7-Bicycle-KryptoFlex/dp/B074K6KSY5

Hexlox wheel/saddle locks.  Removed the quick-release levers and replaced them with locked hex keyed skewers.  Don't have to lock the front wheel as a result, and keeps my saddle and suspension seat post safer.  I do have a cable, but I don't bother; the Hexlox is much more secure (cable would serve as a visual deterrent only, really).
https://hexlox.com/
(If you're interested in these, I can give you a code to save/earn us both a bit of money).

Finally, for those situations where I'm less comfortable, I add a cinch ring chain lock.  The biggest benefit to this is being able to lock my bike much more easily when there aren't well-designed bike racks around.  Won't be using this to commute, as work is pretty secure.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X6E0NO0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Perhaps it's overkill; perhaps not.  This is what makes me comfortable running errands around a big city.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #161 on: May 13, 2018, 01:12:16 AM »
Anyone here using a 1x system on a road orientated bike for their commute? Standards seem to change at a relentless pace and Iím sure sometimes the bike industry changes things for changes sake. However 1x seems to be a really good concept for a commuter. Less parts to go wrong, maintain and replace, much simpler cleaning, quiet and efficient, less likelihood of slipping a chain and being stood in the cold and rain trying to put it back on.

Iím a bit worried about gear gappage but with the correct chainring choice it shouldnít be difficult to tailor something to a particular commute. Is it me or are some of the changes in recent years, disc brakes, trend to wider tyres, and 1x all seeming to be quite good for the commuter/recreational rider?

furrychickens

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #162 on: May 13, 2018, 04:54:08 AM »
My area is just hilly enough that Iíd worry about knee strain with a single speed.

If I was still commuting, I might have picked one up for the nasty winter rides though, as top speed is less important and the rear derailer is a pain to maintain in icy, snowy, salty conditions.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #163 on: May 13, 2018, 05:42:25 AM »
Sorry furrychickens I was referring to systems where there is a single chainring at the front, cassette as normal at the back. A single speed is too limiting I think certainly for my routes and I agree with the knee concerns.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #164 on: May 13, 2018, 05:52:32 AM »
Sorry furrychickens I was referring to systems where there is a single chainring at the front, cassette as normal at the back. A single speed is too limiting I think certainly for my routes and I agree with the knee concerns.

Ah, I donít know that dropping to a single chainring really saves much in maintenance/complexity terms, but I rarely switch rings on my 3 chainring bikes so Iíd say go for it if you see a bike set up that way.

fluffmuffin

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #165 on: May 14, 2018, 06:07:51 AM »
Okay crew, can we talk about bike commuting in the summer? It's been hitting 90 pretty consistently the last couple of weeks (ugh). Mornings have been okay so far, which is when I have to look presentable, but that's not gonna last. Any tips or tricks for not looking like a tomato-faced sweaty mess when I get to work?

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #166 on: May 14, 2018, 08:36:04 AM »
Okay crew, can we talk about bike commuting in the summer? It's been hitting 90 pretty consistently the last couple of weeks (ugh). Mornings have been okay so far, which is when I have to look presentable, but that's not gonna last. Any tips or tricks for not looking like a tomato-faced sweaty mess when I get to work?

Pedelec/e-bike!  Letting the bike do most of the work in the morning, then getting my exercise on the way home. 

Well, that will be my approach, though it's not (in most cases) as mustachian, I suppose.  I know that others have touted a personal wipe 'bath' of sorts if you have no shower access, though I would certainly continue to sweat for a while.  I'm sure some who have actually lived this will speak up.

dogboyslim

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #167 on: May 14, 2018, 10:08:16 AM »
Anyone here using a 1x system on a road orientated bike for their commute? Standards seem to change at a relentless pace and Iím sure sometimes the bike industry changes things for changes sake. However 1x seems to be a really good concept for a commuter. Less parts to go wrong, maintain and replace, much simpler cleaning, quiet and efficient, less likelihood of slipping a chain and being stood in the cold and rain trying to put it back on.

Iím a bit worried about gear gappage but with the correct chainring choice it shouldnít be difficult to tailor something to a particular commute. Is it me or are some of the changes in recent years, disc brakes, trend to wider tyres, and 1x all seeming to be quite good for the commuter/recreational rider?

Calculate the speed at your preferred cadence and translate it to each gear.  If your preferred riding speed isn't at one of those gears, you need a different chain ring, or if you can't adjust the chain ring teeth to what you want, don't go 1x.  Also, bigger gaps toward high end and low end are generally okay if you have small gaps around your normal riding speed.  I've stayed away from these personally and have found happiness with a 50/34 x 12x30 11-speed setup.  My curiosity is still there though, so if you try it please report back.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #168 on: May 14, 2018, 10:42:18 AM »
Okay crew, can we talk about bike commuting in the summer? It's been hitting 90 pretty consistently the last couple of weeks (ugh). Mornings have been okay so far, which is when I have to look presentable, but that's not gonna last. Any tips or tricks for not looking like a tomato-faced sweaty mess when I get to work?
  • Ride in different clothes. Shorts, shirt... I bought some Champion athletic wear on clearance from Target and I've liked it.
  • Ditch the backpack. I've been leaving a few things at work and riding with a spare set of clothes in Topeak BackLoader.
  • Leave some extra deodorant and a beach towel at work. Drink water to cool down.

dogboyslim

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #169 on: May 14, 2018, 11:13:27 AM »
Okay crew, can we talk about bike commuting in the summer? It's been hitting 90 pretty consistently the last couple of weeks (ugh). Mornings have been okay so far, which is when I have to look presentable, but that's not gonna last. Any tips or tricks for not looking like a tomato-faced sweaty mess when I get to work?
  • Ride in different clothes. Shorts, shirt... I bought some Champion athletic wear on clearance from Target and I've liked it.
  • Ditch the backpack. I've been leaving a few things at work and riding with a spare set of clothes in Topeak BackLoader.
  • Leave some extra deodorant and a beach towel at work. Drink water to cool down.
  • Use some unscented baby wipes.
I added one.  These really have helped me cool down.

plainjane

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #170 on: May 14, 2018, 12:09:02 PM »
Okay crew, can we talk about bike commuting in the summer? It's been hitting 90 pretty consistently the last couple of weeks (ugh). Mornings have been okay so far, which is when I have to look presentable, but that's not gonna last. Any tips or tricks for not looking like a tomato-faced sweaty mess when I get to work?

As others have mentioned, a full change of clothing, giving yourself 5 minutes after you arrive at work to have your body calm down. I like to wash my face quickly as that seems to help every cool down more quickly.

I.e. you will look tomato-faced when you first arrive, but expect that, and give yourself a chance. I used to try to put on makeup too quickly and not let my face calm down from all the blood really pumping. Now I take another 5 minutes and it makes a big difference.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #171 on: May 14, 2018, 02:36:30 PM »
@ bike lock conversation - apparently I don't know the best way to do this. I have a small U lock but no cable lock, and I usually lock the frame to the rack at the front. I know not to lock only my front wheel, but should I be locking at the back instead?

At night it lives in our gated parking garage, and when I ride it around it's mostly in low-traffic areas - grocery store and library, primarily.

Lock: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005YPKL5U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #172 on: May 14, 2018, 02:42:31 PM »
Anyone here using a 1x system on a road orientated bike for their commute? Standards seem to change at a relentless pace and Iím sure sometimes the bike industry changes things for changes sake. However 1x seems to be a really good concept for a commuter. Less parts to go wrong, maintain and replace, much simpler cleaning, quiet and efficient, less likelihood of slipping a chain and being stood in the cold and rain trying to put it back on.

Iím a bit worried about gear gappage but with the correct chainring choice it shouldnít be difficult to tailor something to a particular commute. Is it me or are some of the changes in recent years, disc brakes, trend to wider tyres, and 1x all seeming to be quite good for the commuter/recreational rider?

Calculate the speed at your preferred cadence and translate it to each gear.  If your preferred riding speed isn't at one of those gears, you need a different chain ring, or if you can't adjust the chain ring teeth to what you want, don't go 1x.  Also, bigger gaps toward high end and low end are generally okay if you have small gaps around your normal riding speed.  I've stayed away from these personally and have found happiness with a 50/34 x 12x30 11-speed setup.  My curiosity is still there though, so if you try it please report back.

I don't understand the benefit of a 1x system at all.  You are going to be cross chaining any time you're going really slow or fast, you've only got one ring at the front to wear, you are going to have big jumps between your gear selections, and front derailleurs are ridiculously easy to set up and require virtually no maintenance other than changing cables every few years so there's no real benefit there either.

That said, I ride a front triple (50 - 39 - 30) with an 11-25 on the back.  Which makes me a weirdo.  :P  About 40% of my time is in the big ring, and 55% is in the middle ring . . . but for that 5% that I need it (often at the bottom ), it's really nice to have the granny gear.

I also don't understand gravel bikes, which appear to be the reinvention of touring bikes - robust build, clearance for big tires, wide wheel base, more upright.  (I'll give gravel bikes a nod for having disc brakes though, so at least there's difference.)

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #173 on: May 14, 2018, 02:45:28 PM »
@ bike lock conversation - apparently I don't know the best way to do this. I have a small U lock but no cable lock, and I usually lock the frame to the rack at the front. I know not to lock only my front wheel, but should I be locking at the back instead?

At night it lives in our gated parking garage, and when I ride it around it's mostly in low-traffic areas - grocery store and library, primarily.

Lock: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005YPKL5U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



The rear wheel and frame are the most expensive parts of your bike.  Always lock them with the U-lock (unlike in the picture above left).  If you don't have a cable, take your front wheel off (release your brake, loosen the quick release skewer, lift the front of the bike and it'll fall out) and lock it in the U-lock as shown above.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #174 on: May 14, 2018, 02:46:33 PM »
@ bike lock conversation - apparently I don't know the best way to do this. I have a small U lock but no cable lock, and I usually lock the frame to the rack at the front. I know not to lock only my front wheel, but should I be locking at the back instead?
GCN did a video on how to lock a bike: https://youtu.be/IXNASUSivqg?t=2m47s

I've heard of supergluing BBs into the allen key bolts to keep people from quickly plucking parts, but I haven't done it myself. I try to keep my bike indoors at home and at work.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #175 on: May 14, 2018, 02:52:23 PM »
@ bike lock conversation - apparently I don't know the best way to do this. I have a small U lock but no cable lock, and I usually lock the frame to the rack at the front. I know not to lock only my front wheel, but should I be locking at the back instead?
GCN did a video on how to lock a bike: https://youtu.be/IXNASUSivqg?t=2m47s

I've heard of supergluing BBs into the allen key bolts to keep people from quickly plucking parts, but I haven't done it myself. I try to keep my bike indoors at home and at work.

That's what Hexlox are for.  More expensive, sure, but more secure, and with the benefit that you can actually remove the parts yourself.

dogboyslim

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #176 on: May 14, 2018, 02:58:47 PM »
That said, I ride a front triple (50 - 39 - 30) with an 11-25 on the back.  Which makes me a weirdo.  :P  About 40% of my time is in the big ring, and 55% is in the middle ring . . . but for that 5% that I need it (often at the bottom ), it's really nice to have the granny gear.

A 50/34 can be set-up with an 11-32.  34/32 is easier than 30/25.  Road triples can be quirky to set-up the front derailleur.  I liked my road triple, but when I got my current bike they were all but extinct.  I'm okay with the compact gearing now that I know how to ride with it.

I also don't understand gravel bikes, which appear to be the reinvention of touring bikes - robust build, clearance for big tires, wide wheel base, more upright.  (I'll give gravel bikes a nod for having disc brakes though, so at least there's difference.)
I think they are just an extension of the "endurance road" geometry and a reflection of the fact that normal mortals want bigger tires for crappy roads, but they still want to "go fast."  I purchased mine because it gives me the ability to commute year-round (studded 700/35s don't fit road-bike frames), while in the summer still letting me be efficient enough to still ride group rides (700/28 slicks).  Its a do-it-all bike.  Not as good as a road bike at road biking, not as good as a touring bike at touring, but can do both reasonably well.  Since I don't race, its a great compromise bike.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #177 on: May 14, 2018, 03:23:31 PM »
Thanks dogboyslim and GuitarStv for the comments. I currently ride a un-Mustachian road bike and a rigid forked mountain bike I use as a commuter/winter bike. With FIRE now the goal (found MMM last September) I was thinking of selling both and replacing with something endurance orientated with room for bigger tyres. I quite liked the thought of the simplicity of owning a single bike where a change of tyres gives a good range of use. As dogboyslim says a compromise bike but a good one.

I donít race, rarely ride longer than 4 hours and the introduction of discs and resultant capacity for wider tyres means the do-it-all bikes really arenít as much of a compromise as they used to be. My roadie is 50/34 11-32 which is a good range of gears. I felt if I did make the move to a single bike I should consider 1x for the benefits I mentioned but I appreciate there are disadvantages too. I donít know anyone that has used 1x hence no real knowledge of its real world use.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #178 on: May 14, 2018, 05:10:33 PM »
I was recently researching neutering my dedicated 26" mtb commuter bike by making it a 1x...

This video covered a few methods - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8VcULbVmyo
Park Tool went further in depth regarding gearing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_uQvusbTJM

Not sure if it's worth buying a narrow wide chain ring and crank arms. It would be kind of cool to go from 44t to 48t since my route is pretty flat.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #179 on: May 14, 2018, 05:56:12 PM »
That said, I ride a front triple (50 - 39 - 30) with an 11-25 on the back.  Which makes me a weirdo.  :P  About 40% of my time is in the big ring, and 55% is in the middle ring . . . but for that 5% that I need it (often at the bottom ), it's really nice to have the granny gear.

A 50/34 can be set-up with an 11-32.  34/32 is easier than 30/25.  Road triples can be quirky to set-up the front derailleur.  I liked my road triple, but when I got my current bike they were all but extinct.  I'm okay with the compact gearing now that I know how to ride with it.

Sure you can get the same gearing range . . . but the difference is all about the steps between cogs and the wear on the whole system.  Three rings up front mean that you get more (way more) miles between changing chain rings.  Ten or eleven gears on your cassette means that you are always able to find the perfect gear for the terrain you're running on.  The weight penalty is negligible, and the mechanical complexity is really not high (after setting the H/L screws, I've not had to touch my front derailleur other than tensioning it with a barrel adjuster after replacing the cable).


I also don't understand gravel bikes, which appear to be the reinvention of touring bikes - robust build, clearance for big tires, wide wheel base, more upright.  (I'll give gravel bikes a nod for having disc brakes though, so at least there's difference.)
I think they are just an extension of the "endurance road" geometry and a reflection of the fact that normal mortals want bigger tires for crappy roads, but they still want to "go fast."  I purchased mine because it gives me the ability to commute year-round (studded 700/35s don't fit road-bike frames), while in the summer still letting me be efficient enough to still ride group rides (700/28 slicks).  Its a do-it-all bike.  Not as good as a road bike at road biking, not as good as a touring bike at touring, but can do both reasonably well.  Since I don't race, its a great compromise bike.
[/quote]

That's what a touring bike is!  Throw some 38s or 40s on it and take it off-road, or load it down and ride comfortably.  With 28s mounted, you'll have no issues keeping up on a road ride.  When I can't . . . well, it ain't the bike that's holding me back.

I'm telling you, the mountain bike was the replacement for the touring bike because road bikes became twitchy/impractical things.  Then someone remembered that drop bars are better than flat bars.  Now they're pushing gravel/endurance bikes that are basically the same thing as old touring bikes . . . but they've got to make 'em different somehow.  So they're attacking perfectly good front derailleurs.  That's not progress in my books.  :P

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #180 on: May 14, 2018, 07:09:47 PM »
The rear wheel and frame are the most expensive parts of your bike.  Always lock them with the U-lock (unlike in the picture above left).  If you don't have a cable, take your front wheel off (release your brake, loosen the quick release skewer, lift the front of the bike and it'll fall out) and lock it in the U-lock as shown above.

I'll switch to the back. Not actually sure if the lock is big enough to go around the frame and the back wheel, but I'll check. I didn't realize the back wheel cost more than the front, but I suppose the whole gear system is back there.

I've taken the front wheel off before - to transport it in a car trunk when I first got it - and it was a huge pain. Not feeling particularly fond of the idea of repeating that every time I lock the bike.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #181 on: May 15, 2018, 07:48:58 AM »
The rear wheel and frame are the most expensive parts of your bike.  Always lock them with the U-lock (unlike in the picture above left).  If you don't have a cable, take your front wheel off (release your brake, loosen the quick release skewer, lift the front of the bike and it'll fall out) and lock it in the U-lock as shown above.

I'll switch to the back. Not actually sure if the lock is big enough to go around the frame and the back wheel, but I'll check. I didn't realize the back wheel cost more than the front, but I suppose the whole gear system is back there.

I've taken the front wheel off before - to transport it in a car trunk when I first got it - and it was a huge pain. Not feeling particularly fond of the idea of repeating that every time I lock the bike.

There are different ways to do it.  I've found that this method (locking the rear rim and lower chainstay) will usually work even with very small U-locks:



Taking the front wheel off and putting it back on gets pretty quick with practice.  I can do it in about 30 seconds, although it took me closer to 5 minutes when I was just learning how.  That's actually why locking the front wheel is a thing you should do.  You could also just replace the quick release skewer with an anti-theft one such as this: https://pinheadlocks.com/store/en/wheel-locks/7-front-wheel-lock.html#/key-without_key, which I'd figure is at least as safe as carrying around a cable lock.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #182 on: May 15, 2018, 08:14:35 AM »
The rear wheel and frame are the most expensive parts of your bike.  Always lock them with the U-lock (unlike in the picture above left).  If you don't have a cable, take your front wheel off (release your brake, loosen the quick release skewer, lift the front of the bike and it'll fall out) and lock it in the U-lock as shown above.

I'll switch to the back. Not actually sure if the lock is big enough to go around the frame and the back wheel, but I'll check. I didn't realize the back wheel cost more than the front, but I suppose the whole gear system is back there.

I've taken the front wheel off before - to transport it in a car trunk when I first got it - and it was a huge pain. Not feeling particularly fond of the idea of repeating that every time I lock the bike.

You can - and probably should, unless you're racing - replace the quick release skewers with hex bolt skewers.  You can then add locks to those if you wish, depending upon your bike.  I'd still lock the rear wheel and frame with the U-lock, but in a pinch, at least the hex bolt skewers require a thief to have a tool and take more than 2 seconds to steal your wheel.  (Granted, only perhaps 10-15 seconds with a tool).  Of course, it'd only take a few seconds for a thief with a pair of cable cutters to deal with a cable, as well.  Still, I see it as balancing the inconvenience to yourself and the inconvenience to a thief, taking into account the cost of the bike/bike components and the costs of the security measures.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #183 on: May 15, 2018, 08:26:29 AM »
The rear wheel and frame are the most expensive parts of your bike.  Always lock them with the U-lock (unlike in the picture above left).  If you don't have a cable, take your front wheel off (release your brake, loosen the quick release skewer, lift the front of the bike and it'll fall out) and lock it in the U-lock as shown above.

I'll switch to the back. Not actually sure if the lock is big enough to go around the frame and the back wheel, but I'll check. I didn't realize the back wheel cost more than the front, but I suppose the whole gear system is back there.

I've taken the front wheel off before - to transport it in a car trunk when I first got it - and it was a huge pain. Not feeling particularly fond of the idea of repeating that every time I lock the bike.

You can - and probably should, unless you're racing - replace the quick release skewers with hex bolt skewers.  You can then add locks to those if you wish, depending upon your bike.  I'd still lock the rear wheel and frame with the U-lock, but in a pinch, at least the hex bolt skewers require a thief to have a tool and take more than 2 seconds to steal your wheel.  (Granted, only perhaps 10-15 seconds with a tool).  Of course, it'd only take a few seconds for a thief with a pair of cable cutters to deal with a cable, as well.  Still, I see it as balancing the inconvenience to yourself and the inconvenience to a thief, taking into account the cost of the bike/bike components and the costs of the security measures.

Kinda leads to the old joke:

A 30 lb bike only needs a 1 lb lock to be safe.  A 15 lb bike needs a 16 lb lock to be safe.  Therefore, every bike weights the same amount.  :P

haypug16

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #184 on: June 25, 2018, 08:00:49 AM »
Finally I did it! Rode my bike to work for the first time this year. A good portion of the ride is through the woods on trails and I got a little lost so it ended up taking about 20 mins longer than it should have but I did it and I don't mind having the extra time outside in the woods anyway. The ride should be about 8.5 miles but I think I probably added a half mile to that. On the way home I'm going a different way so I can stop by the grocery store.

plainjane

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #185 on: June 25, 2018, 04:38:17 PM »
Congrats!

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #186 on: July 10, 2018, 06:25:01 AM »
Finally I did it! Rode my bike to work for the first time this year. A good portion of the ride is through the woods on trails and I got a little lost so it ended up taking about 20 mins longer than it should have but I did it and I don't mind having the extra time outside in the woods anyway. The ride should be about 8.5 miles but I think I probably added a half mile to that. On the way home I'm going a different way so I can stop by the grocery store.

Congrats!

I've been riding to work for at least 6 months now (about 2-3x a week). I love it! Yesterday I took my first trip to the grocery store, which is going to be a new thing for me now I think. It was so nice not having to deal with parking, and according to G maps it took me 11 minutes to get there, and a car would've taken 10, so.. not bad!

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #187 on: July 10, 2018, 08:28:19 AM »
I'm on my 10th day of bike commuting.  I'm loving it!  Since I started two weeks ago, I haven't driven myself alone in a car anywhere.  Aiming for biking in every day, but we'll see how much rainy, dark winter days test my resolve.  I live in SoCal, so it should be doable year-round, though driver-imposed danger on wet, dark roads possibly being the thing to give me pause.  I did buy some rain gear recently, so I won't have that excuse. 

We, like much of the country, are in the midst of a heat wave.  The temps have come down, but the humidity is crazy high for this area right now.  Still, I've been taking it extra easy on the ride in (a luxury afforded me by my electric bike) and have managed to continue wearing my work clothes for the ride in without overmuch sweating.  Since I don't bake extra time into my morning for a post-ride shower (nor do I want to - I get up early enough already), I'm in a learning process for how much exertion I can tolerate, based upon the temps and humidity outside.  It's not been bad, but I need to resist the urge to kick up the speed at times.

I'm also learning little tweaks here and there to my route, based upon learning traffic patterns and scoping out alternatives.  One intersection in particular is annoying me during the commute home in rush hour traffic; during low traffic times, I can easily veer over to the left lane from the bike lane and turn at the light.  Not doable safely during the traffic-choked ride home, though.  There don't seem to be many good alternatives to waiting through two crosswalks, but I've got an idea I'm going to try tonight. 

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #188 on: July 12, 2018, 10:14:09 AM »
I would like to join this thread for accountability. Rode my bike to work for the second time today! I was totally jelly-legged upon arrival.

My goal is to ride 2-3 times a week. The other 2-3 days I like visiting my kids at their daycare center (up hill from work) during my lunch break. Perhaps once I become more fit I do those visits by bike too.

I have not done any systematic exercise since before my 2.5 yr old twins were born. I am starting to get soft and want to be able to run around with my boys. Hopefully the bike can help me save some money and increase my fitness.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #189 on: July 13, 2018, 05:41:23 AM »
I bought myself a gel-padded saddle cover. This should help a lot!

plainjane

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #190 on: July 13, 2018, 06:16:42 AM »
Rode bike in for 3rd time this week. And the seat adjustment seems to have helped with the knee pain substantially. However, I'm having an embarrassing amount of trouble adjusting to getting on the bike with the new height and the pannier frame. Like, I had to go to a curb. It's worth the re-learning curve for less pain.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #191 on: July 13, 2018, 07:03:36 AM »
Rode bike in for 3rd time this week. And the seat adjustment seems to have helped with the knee pain substantially. However, I'm having an embarrassing amount of trouble adjusting to getting on the bike with the new height and the pannier frame. Like, I had to go to a curb. It's worth the re-learning curve for less pain.

Many people never learn the correct way to mount a bicycle.  Do the following:

- Stand over the top tube, with the saddle behind your butt and both feet on the ground.
- Put the cranks so that one crank arm is up and in front of you at about a 45 degree angle
- Stand on that crank and use it as a step to get up into the saddle.
- As you stand on that crank, the bike will start to move forward so that you can keep your balance (a stationary bike is very hard to balance on).

There's a good video of it here:

MoneyMouse

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #192 on: July 19, 2018, 04:15:15 PM »
Oooh, this is a perfect thread for me!

I just started biking to work regularly starting around 1.5 months ago.

I got a free bike (my mom's old one), but spent about $200 total on maintenance (it had never gotten maintenance before), a rack, lock, panniers, and helmet. I could probably have gotten the parts for cheaper, but I was in a hurry to get biking - and still under what I thought I would spend since I was originally eyeing a $300 bike.

I'm lucky in that there are painted or separated bike lanes almost the entire way to and from work.
On the way to, there are 2 blocks I have to bike without lanes. On the way home, depending on the route I take, it's either laned the whole way or half the way.

I bike 3-4 days a week right now, but I aim to get to 5 days.
I bike to the grocery store occasionally, but I really ought to make that a more regular occurrence. That said, I don't generally shop all that often and I am trying to go to Costco/Superstore which isn't bike-able for me where I live. But I will usually make small detours to those places when I'm out in the area for my extracurriculars which must use the car.

I'm wanting to bike year-round except for the most frigid winter months (I live in Alberta, Canada), but we'll see how that goes. I did walk to work in fairly cold weather, so the temperature isn't too bad for me - I'm more worried about handling ice and drivers in the winter.

I'm loving all the tips and resources in this thread. I'll have to read through it more after work today.

haypug16

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #193 on: July 31, 2018, 10:22:49 AM »
How have a I seriously not ridden my bike to work since June 25th! Ridiculous! I plan to ride tomorrow and Thursday to make up for that.

*Side note I purchased a used Burley Encore from Craigslist for $90 :) So I can hitch that to my bike to do my grocery shopping, I can also throw my dog in the back to take for a ride since we don't have kids.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #194 on: July 31, 2018, 11:56:34 AM »
NBD - My first road bike. It's a 2013 Trek Domane 2.0, which uses the same aluminum frame as the 2.3, but with a lower end Tiagra 4600 groupset(which is plush by my standards.) I replaced the saddle and bar tape last night. Rode it in to work this morning, despite a front wheel that needs truing and a rear tire that needs to be replaced. Should be a great bike to mess around with for a long time. It already feels quicker than my 26" mtb commuter, but the different handlebar setup is going to take a while to get used to.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #195 on: July 31, 2018, 11:59:18 AM »
Finally I did it! Rode my bike to work for the first time this year. A good portion of the ride is through the woods on trails and I got a little lost so it ended up taking about 20 mins longer than it should have but I did it and I don't mind having the extra time outside in the woods anyway. The ride should be about 8.5 miles but I think I probably added a half mile to that. On the way home I'm going a different way so I can stop by the grocery store.

haypug!
What trails/routes do you use? 
I live in Bedford and have been commuting to work (in Lexington) since November.
I don’t bike into Boston too often but use the Minuteman most of the way in to Alewife and then fan off from there.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #196 on: July 31, 2018, 12:30:10 PM »
NBD - My first road bike. It's a 2013 Trek Domane 2.0, which uses the same aluminum frame as the 2.3, but with a lower end Tiagra 4600 groupset(which is plush by my standards.) I replaced the saddle and bar tape last night. Rode it in to work this morning, despite a front wheel that needs truing and a rear tire that needs to be replaced. Should be a great bike to mess around with for a long time. It already feels quicker than my 26" mtb commuter, but the different handlebar setup is going to take a while to get used to.

That's a nice bike!

Bars look pretty high though.  Get used to how drop bars feel for a bit, and then start playing around with your position on the bike.  Typically most people will find that having the bars 5 - 10 cm below the saddle is more efficient.  You can do this by removing spacers / flipping the stem around so it's not a riser.  Just make sure that you're comfortable on the drops.  You might also try moving the saddle back a bit further away from the bars . . . this reduces weight on the hands and recruits your core more while riding.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #197 on: August 01, 2018, 02:56:57 PM »
That's a nice bike!

Bars look pretty high though.  Get used to how drop bars feel for a bit, and then start playing around with your position on the bike.  Typically most people will find that having the bars 5 - 10 cm below the saddle is more efficient.  You can do this by removing spacers / flipping the stem around so it's not a riser.  Just make sure that you're comfortable on the drops.  You might also try moving the saddle back a bit further away from the bars . . . this reduces weight on the hands and recruits your core more while riding.
Thanks! I found it on eBay from a local business(BicycleBlueBook) on the day eBay was offering a 20% off($50 max value) coupon: https://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-Trek-Domane-2-0-T-Size-54-cm-INV-33006/283061507936
Paid $476 total(including tax), which felt pretty good based on looking at prices for about a year. It's a newer bike than I expected to find. The endurance geometry frame sounded good for a beginner/commuter and the IsoSpeed gimmick felt like it would be an added bonus.

I spent some time trying to fit myself to it last night with the KOPS method - lowered the saddle a little and moved it forward a little. Watched some GCN and Bike Fit Adviser on YouTube. Wife said it looked like my back was at a 45deg angle. Replaced the 70mm 17deg stem with a 90mm 7deg and lowered the bars like you suggested. Things feel better. Core strength is something I need to work on which probably causes me to put a lot of pressure on my hands. I was trying to focus on relaxing my arms more today and utilizing the drops. You'd think just riding would make a person stronger overtime, but apparently I need to stretch and work out other muscles. Maybe I can get away with doing sit-ups in my cubicle during the day. Might raise the saddle and move it back again tonight...

Thanks for sharing the good info in this thread and your other one: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/guitarstv's-long-bike-ride-tips!/
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 04:36:55 PM by hadabeardonce »

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #198 on: August 02, 2018, 07:47:32 AM »
That's looking better!  Stretching is very important to be able to comfortably hold an aerodynamic position for a long time.  I spent many years in Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and BJJ building up flexibility, which has served me well for cycling.  I particularly like the hurdler's stretch:

(Note, back is flat and the person is reaching forward with both arms to . . . NOT with spine bent and head tipping forward.)

The quad stretch:


The split stretch:

(Again, try to reach as far forward as possible rather than lower your head to the ground to prevent bending your spine funny ways)

And the glute stretch:



Hold the stretches for 40 seconds, release for 10 seconds, repeat 3x per side going a bit lower each time.  Stretch after you workout before you cool down, not before a workout when you're cool and you'll benefit more from them.  Generally speaking, the more flexible you are the lower you'll be able to comfortably get your front end, which means the less wind resistance you'll be fighting.


I personally think that the KOPS method is garbage (at least it doesn't work at all for me).  First of all, the concept doesn't make any sense (your knee position is going to change relative to the pedal spindle when you go up or down even the slightest hill, and when you stand it's completely different too).  It also doesn't really work if you have unusually long or short thighs.  If you're average sized, it's not a terrible way to get roughly in a the right position . . . but feel free to keep tweaking if it doesn't feel perfect.  For me, I need at least 40 km on a position change before I can decide if it's better or not.

Core strength is all well and good (I'd suggest heavy deadlifts and overhead barbell squats if you want to develop an incredibly strong core), but try playing around with bike fit first.  If you're feeling too much weight on your hands, remember that sliding the saddle back will reduce this.  (Don't believe me?  Try doing a squat with your shoulders forward.  Notice that to keep your balance your ass has to move pretty far back?  Now try doing the same without moving your ass backwards . . . you start falling forward.  When your saddle is too far forward, it forces extra weight on your hands because your center of balance is moved forward.  Also remember . . . because the seat tube is at an angle, every time you raise your saddle it it will move back a little.  Every time you drop it it will move forward a little.

haypug16

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #199 on: August 02, 2018, 07:54:23 AM »
Finally I did it! Rode my bike to work for the first time this year. A good portion of the ride is through the woods on trails and I got a little lost so it ended up taking about 20 mins longer than it should have but I did it and I don't mind having the extra time outside in the woods anyway. The ride should be about 8.5 miles but I think I probably added a half mile to that. On the way home I'm going a different way so I can stop by the grocery store.

haypug!
What trails/routes do you use? 
I live in Bedford and have been commuting to work (in Lexington) since November.
I donít bike into Boston too often but use the Minuteman most of the way in to Alewife and then fan off from there.

My route to work takes me through the Fellsway reservation. I go from Malden to Woburn. About 40-50% of the ride is in the woods and the rest is on fairly low traffic areas.

Mr Pug and I ride the minuteman trail (and extension) sometimes to get out to Concord. We've even done the Minuteman to the Bedford to Billerica trail before. It was a nice ride but some parts were really close to the highway (as in the overpass!)