Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 37793 times)

Bayou Dweller

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #550 on: January 29, 2019, 09:54:35 AM »
Question about headlights...

My Cygolite Metro 400 seems to have crapped out after just 14 months of use. It says it's charged but then dies within 3 minutes of use.

Are these only supposed to last a certain number of charges? It's difficult to find this information, but I've heard 30 charges thrown around on another forum.

I guess my question is... Are they all going to die after 1-2 years of use? And should I purchase a light from a LBS instead of Amazon? I need one to safely ride into work tomorrow morning.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #551 on: January 29, 2019, 11:08:59 AM »
Question about headlights...

My Cygolite Metro 400 seems to have crapped out after just 14 months of use. It says it's charged but then dies within 3 minutes of use.

Are these only supposed to last a certain number of charges? It's difficult to find this information, but I've heard 30 charges thrown around on another forum.

I guess my question is... Are they all going to die after 1-2 years of use? And should I purchase a light from a LBS instead of Amazon? I need one to safely ride into work tomorrow morning.

It's always a good idea to support your LBS, but the one near me doesn't carry the lights I want for riding in to work.

For longevity I kinda feel like lights that use regular batteries are going to be best.  I've got a couple Planet Bike Superflash Turbo taillights that take regular AAA batteries and have been in regular usage for about five years now with no issue.  My old  Planet Bike Blaze that takes AA batteries has been around for about the same time and still works well.   I've been less successful with USB charging stuff . . . it seems like these special lithium batteries do have a limited shelf life and it's often hard to find replacements for them if they're replaceable at all.  This is a shame as it's getting a bit harder to find good bike lights that use regular batteries.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #552 on: January 29, 2019, 11:18:24 AM »
Moving from 44 miles away to 2.5 miles away this Friday. Will be biking to work on Monday!

At least that's the plan... Looks like it's supposed to be raining pretty good...

Headlight: NiteRider Lumina 1200 Boost (Ordered the cheaper 750 and was given this!)

Taillight: NiteRider Solas 100

I have been using the headlight for a few months now and love the thing. I have been told that I look like a car with a headlight out.

I just got the taillight a few days ago and am very happy with that as well. I can't believe how bright it is though.
I made the mistake of looking directly into it and blinded myself for a minute. Shocked that its < $25.

Also, get this: I was talking to a coworker about starting to bike to work and she suggested getting a bike rack under the covered area outside to our building manager.
That is now in the works!

Bayou Dweller

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #553 on: January 29, 2019, 12:21:49 PM »
Question about headlights...

My Cygolite Metro 400 seems to have crapped out after just 14 months of use. It says it's charged but then dies within 3 minutes of use.

Are these only supposed to last a certain number of charges? It's difficult to find this information, but I've heard 30 charges thrown around on another forum.

I guess my question is... Are they all going to die after 1-2 years of use? And should I purchase a light from a LBS instead of Amazon? I need one to safely ride into work tomorrow morning.

It's always a good idea to support your LBS, but the one near me doesn't carry the lights I want for riding in to work.

For longevity I kinda feel like lights that use regular batteries are going to be best.  I've got a couple Planet Bike Superflash Turbo taillights that take regular AAA batteries and have been in regular usage for about five years now with no issue.  My old  Planet Bike Blaze that takes AA batteries has been around for about the same time and still works well.   I've been less successful with USB charging stuff . . . it seems like these special lithium batteries do have a limited shelf life and it's often hard to find replacements for them if they're replaceable at all.  This is a shame as it's getting a bit harder to find good bike lights that use regular batteries.

That's very interesting. Thanks for that.

I ended up biking over to the LBS and bought a Blackburn Dayblazer 400 front and Dayblazer 65 rear (as a backup). Total was like $64 after tax (same price as amazon it seems). Best part was how friendly the interaction was!  :)

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #554 on: January 30, 2019, 11:44:01 AM »
It's always a good idea to support your LBS, but the one near me doesn't carry the lights I want for riding in to work.

For longevity I kinda feel like lights that use regular batteries are going to be best.  I've got a couple Planet Bike Superflash Turbo taillights that take regular AAA batteries and have been in regular usage for about five years now with no issue.  My old  Planet Bike Blaze that takes AA batteries has been around for about the same time and still works well.   I've been less successful with USB charging stuff . . . it seems like these special lithium batteries do have a limited shelf life and it's often hard to find replacements for them if they're replaceable at all.  This is a shame as it's getting a bit harder to find good bike lights that use regular batteries.
I like regular AA (or AAA) battery lights too. I run them on NiMH rechargeable cells. I bought a NiteRider MAKO mini and a larger MAKO (don't remember which one) at a LBS a few years back (only AA lights they had available). Currently using the mini because the larger one crapped out on me. I'm considering getting a MAKO 250 or a Planet Bike Blaze 140 SL. I'm also considering a AA (prefer AA because I have many AA NiMH cells on hand but have few spare AAA cells) rear light to mount on my rack - Planet Bike Grateful Red or Serfas Red Stop Sign Light.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #555 on: January 30, 2019, 11:56:07 AM »
It's always a good idea to support your LBS, but the one near me doesn't carry the lights I want for riding in to work.

For longevity I kinda feel like lights that use regular batteries are going to be best.  I've got a couple Planet Bike Superflash Turbo taillights that take regular AAA batteries and have been in regular usage for about five years now with no issue.  My old  Planet Bike Blaze that takes AA batteries has been around for about the same time and still works well.   I've been less successful with USB charging stuff . . . it seems like these special lithium batteries do have a limited shelf life and it's often hard to find replacements for them if they're replaceable at all.  This is a shame as it's getting a bit harder to find good bike lights that use regular batteries.
I like regular AA (or AAA) battery lights too. I run them on NiMH rechargeable cells. I bought a NiteRider MAKO mini and a larger MAKO (don't remember which one) at a LBS a few years back (only AA lights they had available). Currently using the mini because the larger one crapped out on me. I'm considering getting a MAKO 250 or a Planet Bike Blaze 140 SL. I'm also considering a AA (prefer AA because I have many AA NiMH cells on hand but have few spare AAA cells) rear light to mount on my rack - Planet Bike Grateful Red or Serfas Red Stop Sign Light.

Yep, I run all of mine on rechargeable batteries too.  No need to reinvent the wheel bike light manufacturers . . . AA and AAA are easily available and work great!

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #556 on: January 30, 2019, 12:53:31 PM »
I'm in the "USB Rechargeable" camp and haven't had any problems over the past year or two, but my commute is only ~11mi per day. Lights get charged once a week, never have ran out of juice.

Bontrager lights pop up second hand on eBay from time to time. Mine are the non-transmitter versions, so they don't automatically turn on when I start my ride(so barbaric):
Handlebar: Ion 800 R
Seatpost: Flare R
Helmet: Ion 100 R / Flare R City

Added the helmet light to the top of my helmet recently for increased visibility over parked cars. Maybe it makes me look smarter, like I have a lot of bright ideas =P

FunkyStickman

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #557 on: January 30, 2019, 01:26:50 PM »
It's a little more work to set up, but dynamo headlights are awesome. I rebuilt my front wheel with a $40 Sanyo dynohub, and built my own headlight out of a $3 LED 12V track lighting bulb (about 360 lumens). Tail light is a 12V LED marker light made for trailers. Whole setup was less than $60 and never needs batteries.

slipslop

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #558 on: January 30, 2019, 06:09:55 PM »
I've lost my front tube, three times in the past four months, to a tear near the valve of the tube. I'm keeping my tires properly inflated. Any tips on identifying the problem so that I can replace fewer tubes?

Still cheaper than gas, I suppose...

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #559 on: January 30, 2019, 06:32:06 PM »
Check with your fingers for anything sharp and pointy stuck in the tire somewhere.  Stuff can get stuck in the tire and feel perfectly fine unless you really bend it back and forth under your hands.  Also check that your rim tape is covering up the spoke holes and hasn't slipped off enough that the tube can poke in there and puncture.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #560 on: January 31, 2019, 08:52:49 AM »
I've lost my front tube, three times in the past four months, to a tear near the valve of the tube. I'm keeping my tires properly inflated. Any tips on identifying the problem so that I can replace fewer tubes?

Still cheaper than gas, I suppose...
Tear at the base of the valve stem usually happens from the valve not being straight through the hole (which is usually because the wheel was ridden on with pressure too low). GS's tips are more for finding the subtle puncture points that might cause a leak slow enough that you might not notice right away. If you've had slow leaks that you keep topping up, but don't straighten the stem if needed when you top up the tire, you could have this problem, but I'd think you'd know what was causing the tear in that situation. If using Presta valves, are you tightening the nut on the valve stem too tight (should just be snug - especially on double wall rims)? I'd also check for the hole in the rim having sharp edges. If you can't identify and problems with your wheel, try stepping up the quality of the tubes you buy - perhaps the brand you're using is not as strong at the stem as it should be.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #561 on: January 31, 2019, 10:41:05 AM »
If you can't identify and problems with your wheel, try stepping up the quality of the tubes you buy - perhaps the brand you're using is not as strong at the stem as it should be.

I run fairly high end tubes in all my tires. They're more resistant to punctures and once they're inflated they hardly ever need to be topped up. I find them worth the extra money just for the headaches they save.

Bayou Dweller

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #562 on: January 31, 2019, 12:27:26 PM »
It's always a good idea to support your LBS, but the one near me doesn't carry the lights I want for riding in to work.

For longevity I kinda feel like lights that use regular batteries are going to be best.  I've got a couple Planet Bike Superflash Turbo taillights that take regular AAA batteries and have been in regular usage for about five years now with no issue.  My old  Planet Bike Blaze that takes AA batteries has been around for about the same time and still works well.   I've been less successful with USB charging stuff . . . it seems like these special lithium batteries do have a limited shelf life and it's often hard to find replacements for them if they're replaceable at all.  This is a shame as it's getting a bit harder to find good bike lights that use regular batteries.
I like regular AA (or AAA) battery lights too. I run them on NiMH rechargeable cells. I bought a NiteRider MAKO mini and a larger MAKO (don't remember which one) at a LBS a few years back (only AA lights they had available). Currently using the mini because the larger one crapped out on me. I'm considering getting a MAKO 250 or a Planet Bike Blaze 140 SL. I'm also considering a AA (prefer AA because I have many AA NiMH cells on hand but have few spare AAA cells) rear light to mount on my rack - Planet Bike Grateful Red or Serfas Red Stop Sign Light.

Yep, I run all of mine on rechargeable batteries too.  No need to reinvent the wheel bike light manufacturers . . . AA and AAA are easily available and work great!

That's interesting to see so many people here in support of batteries. I've never had much success with rechargeable batteries, but obviously that would be the way to go with anything battery powered. I don't even own anything battery powered with traditional batteries, that is.

How long do these lights last before you have to replace the batteries? My USB charge-lights are pretty low.. Like 1.5 hours if they're on the brightest setting. 8+ hours if they're blinking.

I've lost my front tube, three times in the past four months, to a tear near the valve of the tube. I'm keeping my tires properly inflated. Any tips on identifying the problem so that I can replace fewer tubes?

Still cheaper than gas, I suppose...


That really sucks, I hope you find a solution for this. My first bike as an adult was my mom's old 1980s Schwinn. I was using it to train for a Triathlon. It kept having the same issue and I never was able to fix it. Talk about infuriating.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #563 on: January 31, 2019, 01:03:49 PM »
My baby loves to play with the button and the blindly lights on my ebike’s massive battery when I bring it in the house for a charge. She apparently played with it enough that she unplugged it soon after I had plugged it in. I realized this the next morning when I got on the bike to go to the doctors and then work and only had 40% charge.

I made it to work with 14% charge left but the battery had been throttling down the assist it gave me at the end.

Lesson learned to make sure that sucker really is charging.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #564 on: January 31, 2019, 01:26:12 PM »
It's always a good idea to support your LBS, but the one near me doesn't carry the lights I want for riding in to work.

For longevity I kinda feel like lights that use regular batteries are going to be best.  I've got a couple Planet Bike Superflash Turbo taillights that take regular AAA batteries and have been in regular usage for about five years now with no issue.  My old  Planet Bike Blaze that takes AA batteries has been around for about the same time and still works well.   I've been less successful with USB charging stuff . . . it seems like these special lithium batteries do have a limited shelf life and it's often hard to find replacements for them if they're replaceable at all.  This is a shame as it's getting a bit harder to find good bike lights that use regular batteries.
I like regular AA (or AAA) battery lights too. I run them on NiMH rechargeable cells. I bought a NiteRider MAKO mini and a larger MAKO (don't remember which one) at a LBS a few years back (only AA lights they had available). Currently using the mini because the larger one crapped out on me. I'm considering getting a MAKO 250 or a Planet Bike Blaze 140 SL. I'm also considering a AA (prefer AA because I have many AA NiMH cells on hand but have few spare AAA cells) rear light to mount on my rack - Planet Bike Grateful Red or Serfas Red Stop Sign Light.

Yep, I run all of mine on rechargeable batteries too.  No need to reinvent the wheel bike light manufacturers . . . AA and AAA are easily available and work great!

That's interesting to see so many people here in support of batteries. I've never had much success with rechargeable batteries, but obviously that would be the way to go with anything battery powered. I don't even own anything battery powered with traditional batteries, that is.

How long do these lights last before you have to replace the batteries? My USB charge-lights are pretty low.. Like 1.5 hours if they're on the brightest setting. 8+ hours if they're blinking.

My superflash turbos run 2 AAA batteries each and lasts 50-80 hrs in blinking mode (cold weather seems to drain batteries sooner).  I recharge the batteries every month or so.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #565 on: January 31, 2019, 05:19:14 PM »
How long do these lights last before you have to replace the batteries? My USB charge-lights are pretty low.. Like 1.5 hours if they're on the brightest setting. 8+ hours if they're blinking.

My superflash turbos run 2 AAA batteries each and lasts 50-80 hrs in blinking mode (cold weather seems to drain batteries sooner).  I recharge the batteries every month or so.
Yes, blinking "be seen" lights should last a long time. What about headlights for actually seeing?

NiteRider Mako 250 (brightest AA battery light I can find) has a rated run time of 7 hours on alkaline batteries on the brightest setting (probably closer to 5 hours on NiMH). Many USB charged lights are brighter but have shorter run times. One great thing about using AA rechargeable batteries is that spare batteries are cheap (~2 USD per cell) and easy to pack.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #566 on: January 31, 2019, 06:05:35 PM »
How long do these lights last before you have to replace the batteries? My USB charge-lights are pretty low.. Like 1.5 hours if they're on the brightest setting. 8+ hours if they're blinking.

My superflash turbos run 2 AAA batteries each and lasts 50-80 hrs in blinking mode (cold weather seems to drain batteries sooner).  I recharge the batteries every month or so.
Yes, blinking "be seen" lights should last a long time. What about headlights for actually seeing?

NiteRider Mako 250 (brightest AA battery light I can find) has a rated run time of 7 hours on alkaline batteries on the brightest setting (probably closer to 5 hours on NiMH). Many USB charged lights are brighter but have shorter run times. One great thing about using AA rechargeable batteries is that spare batteries are cheap (~2 USD per cell) and easy to pack.

Couldn't tell you to be honest.

My commute is almost entirely on lit roads and city streets.  Being seen is mostly what I'm concerned about.  This year I'm running five lights in the back (two on the bike, three on the backpack) and one or two on the front . . . all blinking crazily out of sync with each other.  :P

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #567 on: February 04, 2019, 09:09:47 AM »
Sadness!  My e-bike is in the shop (not quite literally, since the company I bought from doesn't work with local partners for warranty service; I shipped the rear wheel out).  I had to drive this weekend for grocery shopping, and drove to work today for the second time since June.  Unfortunately, this will be followed by many more car-based commutes over the next couple of weeks at least, since that's the predicted service time. 

I'm even going to need to put gas in the car.  Haven't done that since my (reimbursed) work trip in early November. 

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #568 on: February 04, 2019, 09:37:52 AM »
Oh, bummer, Arbitrage!  I'm renting a car this coming weekend as I'm on call and have a lot of errands to do (the arrangement has been planned for some time) and it is already making me sad that I'll see gasoline on my budget/spending again :)


For headlights to see the road - I haven't used any battery operated light that gives a good enough beam to see at full speed in the dark without also being mounted at an angle that would blind cars. Dynamo lights with a beam cutoff are my choice; spendier than battery lights for sure but for my type of riding has been a life saver. I've seen potholes and animals on country roads that I would've seen too late with my other lights.

Before I had the dynamo, in commuting traffic I ran a very very bright Light & Motion headlight on steady, mounted on the side of my fork and aimed out a bit further, then on the handlebars a Cygolite on the city mode that has a faint flash every second or so aimed a bit downward, and a Cygolite rear light on blinky. 

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #569 on: February 04, 2019, 10:22:27 AM »
This weekend, while running errands by bike I thought the constant lock/unlock cycle would be much less annoying if I had a proximity lock, like in my car. Turns out this has already been invented (so there goes my plan to become a proper millionaire). Does anyone have one of these? Review?

letsdoit

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #570 on: February 15, 2019, 10:01:46 AM »
does anyone here commute on a fixie ? 

DL21901

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #571 on: February 16, 2019, 05:16:56 PM »
Question about headlights...

My Cygolite Metro 400 seems to have crapped out after just 14 months of use. It says it's charged but then dies within 3 minutes of use.

Are these only supposed to last a certain number of charges? It's difficult to find this information, but I've heard 30 charges thrown around on another forum.

I guess my question is... Are they all going to die after 1-2 years of use? And should I purchase a light from a LBS instead of Amazon? I need one to safely ride into work tomorrow morning.

I have a Lights&Motion Urban 500 headlight, which has a USB rechargeable Li battery. Mine died after about 2 years of daily M-F use. It would say full charge, but then die after about 30s.

I took it apart and replaced the battery - seems the Mustachian thing to do!

runbikerun

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #572 on: February 17, 2019, 09:10:58 AM »
does anyone here commute on a fixie ?

No, but after the last half-hour of readjusting limit screws to properly index my gearing I can certainly see the appeal!

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #573 on: February 17, 2019, 10:14:36 AM »
does anyone here commute on a fixie ?

No, but after the last half-hour of readjusting limit screws to properly index my gearing I can certainly see the appeal!

You shouldn't really have to adjust limit screws to index your gearing.  Limit screws just control how far up/down the cassette your chain can go.  The only thing you should be touching to do indexing is your barrel adjuster.

runbikerun

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #574 on: February 17, 2019, 02:53:21 PM »
This may explain why I ended up spending half an hour on it...

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #575 on: Today at 07:23:41 AM »
H/L screw adjustment:
Grab your derailleur cable and pull it by hand until the derailleur has reached the furthest it will go.  Then adjust the L (L for light gear) screw so that the derailleur jockey wheel is lined up directly below the cog at this point.  Unbolt the derailleur cable and adjust the H (H for hard gear) screw so that the derailleur jockey wheel is lined up below the cog.  Then bolt your cable back on (pull it tight enough that there's no slack, but not so tight that the derailleur moves from the smallest to second smallest cog) and pretty much never touch the screws again.

Indexing:
Shift to the second hardest gear.  Then shift to the third hardest gear.  If it doesn't shift easily, tighten the barrel adjuster until it does.  If it shifts too easily, loosen the barrel adjuster.  Once you can go from 2nd to third hardest and back smoothly, go up and down the cassette a couple times and make a one or two notch adjustment if necessary, but it should be pretty close to perfect.

It used to take me forever, but after discovering the above method I can usually re-index after replacing a cable in less that 5 minutes.