Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 63970 times)

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #850 on: May 30, 2019, 02:55:04 PM »
I understand not wanting a rack on a road back, but you'll be WAY less sweaty if you get those clothes off your back. I've never tried them, but I wonder if the seat mounted bike racks might work for your use case & let you throw a pannier on. It's incredible how much more comfortable I am riding without that stuff on my back.

^^^This^^^

I loathe backpacks. Just got the rack and panniers and am really enjoying them. It was 98 degrees today. Not having a sweaty, uncomfortable backpack on was really nice.

Geographer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #851 on: May 30, 2019, 06:17:56 PM »
Thanks for the awesome recommendations, guys. Sadly I work in a open workspace with several people I don't know too well, so there's no way to hang my sweaty clothes in my office. BUT seeing these suggestions gave me the idea that I could hang my clothes over my bike in the parking garage and use it as a makeshift drying rack. I think this will be way better than balling them up in my bag until I put them back on for the ride home!

Is your parking garage secured? I would hate for your gross clothes to get swiped!

Hahaha yes, fortunately it is a secured parking garage with employee only access! Honestly, if my sweaty clothes got swiped I'd probably just find it funny!

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #852 on: May 30, 2019, 09:26:23 PM »
Also, kind of an impulse kind of guy so I took it out for a 16 miles ride the day I bought it and it kicked my ass (physically and literally), I saw a mention of the padded shorts, any suggestions?

For any rides over about 10 miles, buy the padded shorts. I still laugh at myself when I put them on, but it sure beats the pain in the ass that results from riding without them.
The ďbutt shortsĒ, as my husband calls them, do look and feel ridiculous, but they help. I also find that over the course of several weeks of riding my parts sort of toughen up and get used to the abuse. I can often go without the padding now.

Anyone have any smart ideas about chafing? I donít usually get anything but the other week in the shower I noticed I had scabs where my upper thighs must contact the edge of the saddle. Maybe I did a casual ride wearing regular pants at some point and that wasnít a good combo? Iím mystified.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #853 on: May 31, 2019, 07:08:42 AM »
You can get chafing for two reasons:

1.  Mechanical chafing - this is where a seam a bit of material, or something else is rubbing against you.  Enough rubbing of anything, and eventually it'll damage the skin below.  Solutions:  Bike specific shorts go a long way towards fixing this usually, if you've got particularly hairy 'nads running a clipper set to #2 around the area (don't shave - the hairs growing back in will cause problems) will also reduce the amount of rubbing going on.  Chamois cream can also help, because it's a lubricant and will minimize the effects of rubbing.

2.  Infection related chafing - Your 'nads are naturally a somewhat unsanitary place (why God saw fit to put the pleasure center next to the waste removal area I'll never know).  Add in hot humid weather, occasional rain, a whole lot of sweat, and all the dust/crap that gets kicked up off the road and into your general ass area from your rear tire . . . and it's even worse.  There's always going to be a small amount of rubbing going on when you're sitting on a bike saddle, even if you've religiously followed all of item 1 . . . and bacteria can and will cause skin irriation.  This ranges from red itchy skin to red bumps, to pus filled blisters . . . which pop and then you'll have open wounds in this unsanitary area.  Cycling is gross.

You want to keep your undercarriage as clean as possible at all times.  I always shower and wash my 'nads before a long bike ride.  Most chamois creams are antibacterial . . . which is another reason to use them for long bike rides.  Don't wear bike shorts more than once before washing them*.  When you get off the bike, don't chill in your bike shorts - a wet body temperature chamois is a bacteria growth chamber.  Get them off as soon as possible and shower.  After your shower, make sure to carefully dry off your undercarriage completely before putting on undewar.  Wear loose fitting cotton underwear - no synthetic materials.  Synthetic materials also seem to encourage bacteria growth.




* I give shorts for commuting a pass on this . . . you can wear the same pair to work and then back home from work.  But try to put them somewhere where they'll dry out completely before you put them on to go back home.  Never wear the same pair more than one day of commuting though.

LittleWanderer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #854 on: May 31, 2019, 07:53:37 AM »
Anyone have any smart ideas about chafing? I donít usually get anything but the other week in the shower I noticed I had scabs where my upper thighs must contact the edge of the saddle. Maybe I did a casual ride wearing regular pants at some point and that wasnít a good combo? Iím mystified.

Have you had discomfort in that area while riding?  If my seat is too far back, I get rubbing on the backs of my legs like that.  You might try moving your seat forward VERY slightly.  (I'm talking like a half of a cm.) 

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #855 on: May 31, 2019, 08:08:32 AM »
Your saddle position should be set based on your leg position relative to the cranks.  It shouldn't have anything to do with chafing, and changing it is not likely to fix problems unless you've got a saddle that's not suitable for the type of riding you're doing.

LittleWanderer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #856 on: May 31, 2019, 08:12:39 AM »
My saddle feels like shit if it's too far back, but feels like heaven when it's in the right position.  And if it's too far back, I get chafing.  Dunno, just stating my experience. 

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #857 on: May 31, 2019, 08:45:29 AM »
Iíve never felt uncomfortable there while riding, which is why it was such a surprise to see chafing. It has only happened once or twice, which is why Iím thinking it might be related to jumping randomly on the bike for a short ride wearing whatever instead of leggings/bike shorts.

Triple7Stash

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #858 on: May 31, 2019, 09:00:18 AM »
You already bought the bike so it doesn't really matter what we think now. ;) Probably wouldn't have been my suggestion to get a new one, as Trek bikes are a dime a dozen on Craigslist, but what's done is done.

I was thinking this prior to purchasing the bike...

The bike you bought looks great. For $800, if you use it even semi regularly to commute,  you'll easily recoup the cash in reduced driving costs. I also think buying new is a good option for a newb. You know the bike you've got is in great shape and most shops include a basic fit and some tune up services as well. Plus, presumably they sold you the right size frame, so you don't have to worry about that.

But, also this.  I'm definitely a total newb and didn't even know where to begin and how to evaluate the condition of the bike.  Didn't want to get paralysis by analysis, so just decided to go for it.  And awesome, thanks I'll take a look on Sierra Trading Post!

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #859 on: May 31, 2019, 10:07:25 AM »
I prefer not having a backpack on if I can help it. I do live in a warm climate with mostly flat terrain, so some of GuitarStv's points as to why he prefers a backpack don't apply in my situation.

For bike commuting clothes, I change at work a put my bike clothes in my bag. They sit in the bag in my air conditioned office for about 9 hours, then I change back into them for the ride home. Most of the year my 20 minute ride isn't really enough to get them sweaty in the morning. In the warmer months they are a bit gross to put back on, but I've never had any real issues with it. Overall, I'm sure they're no worse than they would be if I wore them for a single long ride.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #860 on: May 31, 2019, 11:08:08 AM »
Iíve never felt uncomfortable there while riding, which is why it was such a surprise to see chafing. It has only happened once or twice, which is why Iím thinking it might be related to jumping randomly on the bike for a short ride wearing whatever instead of leggings/bike shorts.

If it's not really bothering you, it may not be worth addressing. I get stuff like this from time to time and simply live with it as long as it's not getting worse or causing a lot of discomfort. I also find things like this happen more frequently as the weather gets warmer and I sweat more during each ride.

I think you're also pregnant? Maybe you've gained some weight and it's causing parts to rub that didn't before?

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #861 on: May 31, 2019, 11:16:31 AM »
Question for anyone who's tried to bike, or exercise, in smoky air. Any recommendations on masks?

I live in the PNW and smoke season is starting up already. It's mild right now, but if the past 3 years are any indication it will soon be much worse. In past years, I just didn't bike when it was very smoky, but I'd like to try biking through it this year. Effective masks seem to come in 2 styles, a "sport" version and a "work" version. Do the "sport" styles actually filter well enough? Or would it be the equivalent of wearing one of those useless paper masks?

https://www.amazon.ca/Meanhoo-Cycling-Anti-dust-Filter-Neoprene/dp/B01C9OMFZW/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2RUJAJGCPEA9Y&keywords=smoke+masks+for+fire&qid=1559322681&s=gateway&sprefix=smoke+mask%2Caps%2C199&sr=8-4

https://www.amazon.ca/Facepiece-Reusable-Respirator-6200-medium/dp/B007JZ1N00/ref=sr_1_18_sspa?crid=2RUJAJGCPEA9Y&keywords=smoke+masks+for+fire&qid=1559322809&s=gateway&sprefix=smoke+mask%2Caps%2C199&sr=8-18-spons&psc=1

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #862 on: May 31, 2019, 11:23:29 AM »
I rode during the nasty wild fires here in the Bay Area last year. We happened to have some leftover N95 masks that the construction crew had left behind from some remodeling. They worked well though they arenít the most comfortable thing in the world.

I got a less ugly/more comfortable cloth one from amazon with replaceable inner filters for my work trips to China. It is more comfy but much less effective. Since your health is at stake and you will be doing exercise I vote for the commercial/construction certified N95 masks, not whatever other nonsense you can get online.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #863 on: May 31, 2019, 11:25:47 AM »
Question for anyone who's tried to bike, or exercise, in smoky air. Any recommendations on masks?

I live in the PNW and smoke season is starting up already. It's mild right now, but if the past 3 years are any indication it will soon be much worse. In past years, I just didn't bike when it was very smoky, but I'd like to try biking through it this year. Effective masks seem to come in 2 styles, a "sport" version and a "work" version. Do the "sport" styles actually filter well enough? Or would it be the equivalent of wearing one of those useless paper masks?

https://www.amazon.ca/Meanhoo-Cycling-Anti-dust-Filter-Neoprene/dp/B01C9OMFZW/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2RUJAJGCPEA9Y&keywords=smoke+masks+for+fire&qid=1559322681&s=gateway&sprefix=smoke+mask%2Caps%2C199&sr=8-4

https://www.amazon.ca/Facepiece-Reusable-Respirator-6200-medium/dp/B007JZ1N00/ref=sr_1_18_sspa?crid=2RUJAJGCPEA9Y&keywords=smoke+masks+for+fire&qid=1559322809&s=gateway&sprefix=smoke+mask%2Caps%2C199&sr=8-18-spons&psc=1
It looks like the first one is a real N95, at a quick glance at least. The second one is the kind of face mask I wore at work for personal safety and it works great, but you need to buy the cartridges and the correct cartridges. They usually come in categories like organics, particulates, etc. You could also go to a local Grainger and ask some questions to help you select the right one if you have one near by.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #864 on: June 01, 2019, 03:52:39 PM »
The most important thing is that a mask fit well (no leaks) and that it be rated to at least N95 (I believe N99 isn't recommended for sport though because it's too difficult to inhale through at high respiration rates).  The main difference I have seen between sport and work is that a sport mask can come with a valve that allows you to exhale without resistance making it easier to breathe.

We had masks for ourselves we bought last year and just bought masks for our kids, the smoke blew in so suddenly last Thursday we recognized that we could easily get caught out in some seriously terrible air.

From Alberta, currently on fire to the tune of several hundred thousand hectares burning... more to come if we don't get some rain soon. Rain would also help clean the air out too.




ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #865 on: June 04, 2019, 03:04:12 PM »
Iíve never felt uncomfortable there while riding, which is why it was such a surprise to see chafing. It has only happened once or twice, which is why Iím thinking it might be related to jumping randomly on the bike for a short ride wearing whatever instead of leggings/bike shorts.

If it's not really bothering you, it may not be worth addressing. I get stuff like this from time to time and simply live with it as long as it's not getting worse or causing a lot of discomfort. I also find things like this happen more frequently as the weather gets warmer and I sweat more during each ride.

I think you're also pregnant? Maybe you've gained some weight and it's causing parts to rub that didn't before?
Ah yes, pregnancy.

In the light of embarrassing over sharing, I got new data this last weekend to inform my opinion of what is going on. Turns out my issue stems from running, not from biking. It would appear that weight gain from pregnancy is happening everywhere, not just the location I want (belly), and is leading to chaffing. So I need to change my running shorts selection to prevent this in the future.

Damn. I realize the weight gain is for a good cause, but it is still a little disheartening to think of the work of getting it all off again down the line.

Geographer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #866 on: June 19, 2019, 03:09:54 PM »
Anybody know if it's true that biking can lead to male infertility? We've been trying to get pregnant for many months now without success, and I bike a lot. And even started bike commuting daily. I'd consider us a very healthy couple, so we're surprised it's been taking this long!

Hopefully it's just a myth!

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #867 on: June 19, 2019, 03:20:16 PM »
Have you done a semen analysis? Iíd recommend starting there and talking with your doctor if anything amiss pops up.

I canít speak to the biking thing though we are accidentally pregnant right now and my husband has been riding his bike to work every day for close to 2 years....

A friend whose husband did have a somewhat lower speed count saw improvements by having him add walnuts to his diet, oddly enough.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #868 on: June 19, 2019, 06:56:43 PM »
Anybody know if it's true that biking can lead to male infertility? We've been trying to get pregnant for many months now without success, and I bike a lot. And even started bike commuting daily. I'd consider us a very healthy couple, so we're surprised it's been taking this long!

Hopefully it's just a myth!

Cycling should not lead to infertility.  As always though, don't be stupid.  If your 'nads are going numb or you're getting penis pain, fix your saddle or position.  I was regularly cycling between 2 and 300 km a week when we decided to try for a child.  It took one try.  :P

mspym

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #869 on: June 19, 2019, 08:16:29 PM »
@ysette9 as someone who gets running-chafing, the best solution I have found is Bodyglide, which was recommended by a lot of cyclists. As a mustachian, I must say just buy the regular version, not the "ladies" version which is functionally identical but costs the same for 1/3 less in a pink casing. [yay pink tax]. For healing the chaffing, sudocream in the grey tub is amazing and will also come in handy for dealing with nappyrash in the future.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #870 on: June 19, 2019, 08:26:05 PM »
@ysette9 as someone who gets running-chafing, the best solution I have found is Bodyglide, which was recommended by a lot of cyclists. As a mustachian, I must say just buy the regular version, not the "ladies" version which is functionally identical but costs the same for 1/3 less in a pink casing. [yay pink tax]. For healing the chaffing, sudocream in the grey tub is amazing and will also come in handy for dealing with nappyrash in the future.
Thanks for the recommendation. For now Iíve switched running shorts to one that has fabric on the areas in question. My sincere hope is that this problem will go away once I am no longer pregnant.
If not, Iíll be looking up this body glide product (and probably crying about the fact that I need it!).