Author Topic: Mustachian Bike Talk  (Read 17810 times)

onehappypanda

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Mustachian Bike Talk
« on: February 17, 2012, 10:49:42 AM »
Mustachian bikers, I'm curious to hear about your bike habits. What type of bike do you have and where did your purchase it? How do you take care of it? Any tips for maxmizing its utility?

I got into biking last year, when I bought a 1970 Raleigh women's bike (named Sallie) off of Craigslist for $40. She wasn't in the best shape but I didn't want to shell out much money until I was sure that biking would work for me. I buddied up with some folks at a local bike co-op who taught me basic care and repair- how to fix the brakes, replace shifter cables, fix the chain which I managed to bust within a week of buying it. Due to a rust problem and some other issues I'm in the process of deciding whether I should give Sallie an overhaul or find a bike that's in better shape (/doesn't weigh a thousand pounds). But for right now she's my trusty steed, at least in terms of getting to class, the store, and back.

What about you all? Tell me about yo' bike.

velocistar237

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 12:43:32 PM »
I have a Chinese-made, direct-order, single-speed, non-fixie, steel-frame, cyclocross bike for urban commuting that cost $400. I would have bought used, but I had pretty specific wants and no time to work on customizing a used bike. I like the drop handlebars because they're narrower, reducing the likelihood of catching on an opening car door. I added lights, full fenders, and a rack. The single-speed is for ease of maintenance, especially for winter commuting in the salty slush. I don't take great care of it, and I've had to replace the chain and sprocket after only a year of use. I'd like to add a pannier for more stability when shopping, and Mr Tuffy to the tires. My commute isn't long, so I don't carry spare tire gear. I got a flat this morning on the way to work, so I'll be walking the bike home, and then ordering the Mr. Tuffy.

alex

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 12:55:11 PM »
I have a Trek 6000.  Dad bought it for me when I was 16 (ten years ago now) for an around the Great State of Florida bike trip, which was a lot of fun (Ft. Lauderdale to Cocoa Beach, to Orlando, to Tampa, to Naples).  The point of the trip was to figure out where we wanted to live.

I let the bike fall into disrepair once in college, and a friend helped me fix it back up/taught me how.  I let it fall into disrepair again recently, and just got finished fixing it up again.  I've now been commuting to work for the past 2 weeks.  (No more public transit! Woohoo!!!)

It is a mountain bike, so it is pretty heavy compared to a lot of road bikes, but it's still aluminum, so it's not too bad.  Plus, the extra weight on the bike helps keep the extra weight off of me.

I like the idea of eventually having a few bikes since they are so cheap compared to cars, but I'm not in any hurry to get a new one.   


vwDavid

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 12:59:23 PM »
I just bought a near brand new Rocky Mountain Element on craigslist. Street price is around $1400 + tax. But was ridden once for a total of ~38 km. Nary a speck of dust or scratch on the thing. Paid $950. I know, I could spend less on a bike but this one should last for 15 years or more and allow me some butt comfort on the bumpies...

Matt K

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012, 01:45:00 PM »
Two wheels, whether pedaled or propelled by dead dinosaur juice are one my great vices. Mountain biking is my sin of choice, to the point where started my own side business teaching and guiding (shameless plug: http://www.ratedmbiking.com - website is overdue to an update).

vwDavid, my main steed is also a Rocky Mountain Element. I rode pretty much every other XC bike on the market and decided it was not the fastest, the lightest, nor the most robust, but for me, it was definitely the most fun. So far it has been supremely reliable as well (not bad considering what I do to it). $950 is a great deal for one, good choice :)

I own two other mountain bikes for more heavy duty purposes. My main commuter is an old Giant Pegasus aluminum performance hybrid (which is a fancy way of saying a low level road race bike with a mountain bike style handle bar). Because of the roads I commute on I've moved from 25mm tires to 28mm (Michelin City tires are really solid value so far - no flats yet), but I'm still getting beaten up so I'm looking to move to a steel framed touring bike with some heavy duty wheels. Too bad nobody seems to want to sell one cheap around here.

alex, what type of tires are you running? I'm guessing after 16 years you're no longer running knobby tires on it, but just in case (or for anyone else looking to commute on a mountain bike); there are some really good narrow road tires that will fit onto your bike (26" wheels) for $20/each that will drastically increase efficiency compared to knobbies (Michelin City 26x1.4, but plenty of others as well).

TLV

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2012, 02:07:27 PM »
I'm currently using a cheapest-thing-at-walmart mountain bike that I got from Freecycle. It's great for learning maintenance, not so great for long rides...

Currently I've replaced both tubes, one tire, one brake cable+housing+noodle (and the other one needs it), and added fenders and lights for night riding (it's dark by the time I go home in winter here). The front derailler still doesn't work right after many attempts to fix it, so biking uphill is a challenge.

I'm tempted to get a new bike, but for now I'm keeping this one as motivation to move closer to work when my lease is up.

onehappypanda

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012, 02:23:26 PM »
@ TLV- I've gone through a similar thing with Sallie and the bike I rode before it (crappy old Huffy with shifter cables that were never quite adjusted correctly). Great for learning maintenance and doing basic short rides. Not so fabulous for longer rides and reliability.

Part of me dreams of having two bikes- the "sports car" edition sexy fast bike that could handle long trips and wouldn't be a b*tch to carry up stairs, and use Sallie as the old beater bike that hauls things around and has less chance of being stolen when I'm in less-than-reputable locales. But the practical/cheap part of me says I should just fix up Sallie or aim for something between the two.

tannybrown

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2012, 03:14:29 PM »
Old Murray 10 speed bought for just $10 on Craigslist. 

Dave

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2012, 03:20:05 PM »
Bikes are kind of my thing. My main one is built up around an On-One Pompetamix frame (you won't get these in the US, I suppose. It's steel). Hub dynamo / drum brake at the front, Sturmey Archer 5 speed at the rear.



Not including the consumables (chain, tyres, etc) it cost me £780 (about $1250). Since I got to master wheel building and things like fitting the headset and bottom bracket though, I'll offset some of that to Moustachian training...

I prefer to measure it in one of two alternative currencies though - either weekly bus tickets or weekly car costs (by an odd coincidence, this is very similar for my commute - the bike cost ~65 weeks). I'm 14 weeks in :)

slugsworth

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2012, 05:28:46 PM »
Surly crosscheck - craigslist purchase (the previous owner made a few changes I would have made on my own) and I don't regret it. Most previous two steeds were 1980's steel road bikes, and before that I used mountain bikes as commuters.

As far as tips on making the bike fit your needs, I think it dpeends on where you live - I live in a very hilly city, so a granny gear was one of the things I wanted. On previous bikes I've ran a giant front rack that can handle two grocery bags - I currently use panniers - and am thinking of building bucket panniers which are very mustachian if you aren't familiar.  Besides that there are obvious things like fenders if you live in a rainy area. I've never been a fan of the trailers myself, but then again I never shop for more than 2 people and don't live more than a mile from a grocery store.

Maintenance - buy some triflow, a good pump, and if if you live in an area with a bicycle swamp meet try to stock up on the consumables annually, e.g. tires, tubes, etc.

Mike Key

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2012, 08:48:37 PM »
I recently learned that Mountain Bikes and their tires are lousy on the road. I can't believe how long I peddled one before getting a road bike with actual road tires.


Anyways, my bike, Craigslist purchase for $150 with a few upgrades.

lastwaysleft

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2012, 10:07:29 PM »
I live in Minneapolis and bike a lot.  I bike to commute (4 miles each way, 4 days a week), for fun, for outings, and for exercise.  I've had the same bike since I was 15 (I'm 23 now) and my current bike used to be a hybrid before some road-friendly updates a few years ago.  It is a lot slower than road bikes, so I don't usually bike more than 7 miles one-way.  Last summer I biked to work 12 miles away fairly regularly and once biked 23 miles to my parents' house, it was pretty painful considering how slow my bike is and how poorly it does on hills.

I'm thinking about finally getting a new bike.  I went to the local cooperative bike shop today and tried out a few road bikes which were amazing, since they were so much lighter and faster than my current bike.  However, most of my friends who know things about bikes and dudes at the bike shop said that I should expect to spend around $800 for a new bike, although one I liked was on sale for $600.  It seems like a lot, but I do bike all of the time, including in the winter (when it's not too icy or snowy), and I don't know enough about bikes to feel comfortable buying one online or from Craigslist.  I have been checking out the used section at bike shops I trust and will keep looking into this option.

Does $600-$800 sound unreasonable for a new bike, mustachians?

biliruben

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2012, 10:31:33 PM »
I generally shop around on craigslist or a couple other local boards for what was a medium-high-end road bike 10-20 years ago, and has been sitting in someone's garage for about that long.  I try not to pay more than $400 for a bike, because any more than that and I get too cautious about it being stolen, and ride it less.  Technology hasn't really advance so much that these bikes aren't still wicked fast and fun to ride.

Currently have a steal Bianchi that does my heavy lifting that I have outfitted with road tires with a bit of traction for the rainy season, fenders and attachments for a trailer and my boy's trail-a-bike.  I also have a 90's vintage carbon framed trek, which I ride when I'm going a bit more distance than my standard 11 mile commute.  Which, with a 5 year old, is rarely.  But it's always nice to have a backup!  It sucks when it's a sunny day and you have two flats and a broken spoke, and waste your ride-time fixing it rather than hopping on your other stead.  Or worse, getting in the truck.

Rich M

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 07:22:51 PM »
I ride year round....and use the bus with the bike as well.

My bike for commuting is a cheap mountain bike frame with a singlespeed setup using old parts from other bikes.  I put a disc brake on front because the fork had disc mounts and I got old disc brake parts (avid mechanical disc brakes)that are nice when it's really wet.  The fat tires are slow on normal pavement but work really well in the snow.

I use a magicshine led light on front and a simple flashing led on back.


« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 07:28:03 PM by Rich M »

masont

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 08:43:39 PM »
I have a Chinese-made, direct-order, single-speed, non-fixie, steel-frame, cyclocross bike for urban commuting that cost $400. I would have bought used, but I had pretty specific wants and no time to work on customizing a used bike. I like the drop handlebars because they're narrower, reducing the likelihood of catching on an opening car door. I added lights, full fenders, and a rack. The single-speed is for ease of maintenance, especially for winter commuting in the salty slush. I don't take great care of it, and I've had to replace the chain and sprocket after only a year of use. I'd like to add a pannier for more stability when shopping, and Mr Tuffy to the tires. My commute isn't long, so I don't carry spare tire gear. I got a flat this morning on the way to work, so I'll be walking the bike home, and then ordering the Mr. Tuffy.
My two cents: The initial outlay is pretty high, but I've got a pair of these tires that I commute on through the winter in Seattle - my commute is half gravel and half dirt, and I have yet to get a flat.  My wife had about 5000 miles on the lower end version of these tires before they finally gave up the ghost - I'm planning on commuting on these in the wintertime for years to come.  They'd work fine in the summer too, but I work at a bike shop and get a couple pair of road tires free per year.  Mr. Tuffy's are a bandaid, the problem is that your tires are probably shot/bad. 

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=42103

masont

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 09:24:15 PM »
Surly crosscheck - craigslist purchase (the previous owner made a few changes I would have made on my own) and I don't regret it. Most previous two steeds were 1980's steel road bikes, and before that I used mountain bikes as commuters.

As far as tips on making the bike fit your needs, I think it dpeends on where you live - I live in a very hilly city, so a granny gear was one of the things I wanted. On previous bikes I've ran a giant front rack that can handle two grocery bags - I currently use panniers - and am thinking of building bucket panniers which are very mustachian if you aren't familiar.  Besides that there are obvious things like fenders if you live in a rainy area. I've never been a fan of the trailers myself, but then again I never shop for more than 2 people and don't live more than a mile from a grocery store.

Maintenance - buy some triflow, a good pump, and if if you live in an area with a bicycle swamp meet try to stock up on the consumables annually, e.g. tires, tubes, etc.
Bike shop dork clarification: Buy chain lube, not tri-flow.  Tri-flow is a very poor chain lube, and will decrease the life of your chain and costs about the same as tri-flow.  It's also really thin in consistency, and gets really nasty if you ever accidentally brush the chain up against anything.

redeyedtreefr0g

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2012, 12:57:01 PM »
I started into biking when I wanted a form of exercise that didn't suck. I traded a dress alteration job for the mountain bike she had, and I started riding around at night in the parking lot of the apartment complex we were in at the time for an hour listening to music. I had dreams of owning an Xtracycle Radish one day, I remember.

Instead, we moved a few more times, and my mountain bike got rusty enough that I didn't like it anymore. The other car broke so my husband was leaving me at work at day, and I rode the mountain bike between school bus am and pm routes. I asked for an insanely-priced (to me) bike from Target. It was everything my mountain bike was not- skinny-tired, upright, with fenders and a chain guard. Gears on only the rear wheel to worry about. I love it so much. My bike is named Zoomie and I ride it now back and forth 3 miles each way to work twice a day.

On slick snowy ice I've fallen several times, so I now also have a green mountain bike which was given to me for free. I've named it Chainless (like Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon) because I broke the chain the first day I rode it to work when I was coming home that morning. I just bought a replacement earlier today because the snow has returned and Zoomie made me nervous going to work. I'm hoping the knobs of a mountain bike are drastically more stable compared to Zoomie's beloved slick hybrid tires.


Zoomie
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 08:02:49 PM by redeyedtreefr0g »

zoltani

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2012, 04:37:26 PM »
LOL... which bike?

Hi, my name is zoltani and I have a bike problem. 

Well, not really, but I do like bikes.

Bike 1
- Commuter around town bike, with some weekend recreational rides
- Surly cross check set up fixed gear currently
- cost me around a grand cause I built it up from the frame, learned a lot, don't really regret it
- super versatile as i can run it single speed, fixed, with a IGH, or a derailer

Bike 2
- Touring bike and major grocery/beer supplies/whatever getter
- Bruce Gordon rock n road
- Bought used for $1600, about half the cost of it new, worth every penny IMO
- I like to camp and I like to bike, so I combined the two into one activity....fun stuff

Bike 3
- Fun bike, racing style
- Hand built by some guy in france in 1980
- Bought used for 120 euros, worth so much more

A little nutty right?  Maybe not as nutty as some other bike nerds, but I don't have a car so I justify it to myself.  I won't be buying any bikes in the near future.....


zoltani

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2012, 04:42:15 PM »
Cross Check:


Bruce Gordon:


Frenchie:

zinnie

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2012, 08:11:50 PM »
I have a trek hybrid that I use for exploring town. My dad got it for me as a gift about a uear ago and introduced me to the wonderful world of biking. I'm tempted to get a cheapie off Craigslist too so I can use it for running errands or meeting people without worrying about it getting stolen (or, at least, not caring so much if it does). My husband lost a bike this year in our neighborhood because he had a coil lock (a good one at that, but apparently no match for a bolt cutter).

Anyone have tips on bike theft? That's a big issue here, I have a good u-lock but that only gets half of it, and I don't want to take off a tire every where I go. Sometimes I find myself driving because where I'm going I can't bring my bike inside and I'm afraid of theft. (Which is dumb, I know)

sol

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #20 on: February 29, 2012, 08:22:06 PM »
Sometimes I find myself driving because where I'm going I can't bring my bike inside and I'm afraid of theft. (Which is dumb, I know)

I've always figured that any bike that's so nice I'm afraid to lock it up somewhere is too nice to leave anywhere.

It's like car guys with beautiful 40 year old restored muscle cars.  They don't drive that kind of thing to work every day.  You're daily driver should be a reasonably cheap and dependable bike that nobody will want to steal, and that you can replace outright if someone does.

onehappypanda

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #21 on: February 29, 2012, 08:33:34 PM »
I have a trek hybrid that I use for exploring town. My dad got it for me as a gift about a uear ago and introduced me to the wonderful world of biking. I'm tempted to get a cheapie off Craigslist too so I can use it for running errands or meeting people without worrying about it getting stolen (or, at least, not caring so much if it does). My husband lost a bike this year in our neighborhood because he had a coil lock (a good one at that, but apparently no match for a bolt cutter).

Anyone have tips on bike theft? That's a big issue here, I have a good u-lock but that only gets half of it, and I don't want to take off a tire every where I go. Sometimes I find myself driving because where I'm going I can't bring my bike inside and I'm afraid of theft. (Which is dumb, I know)

I live in a high bike-theft area, and the video was a lifesaver for me: http://lifehacker.com/5847276/properly-lock-your-bicycle-by-knowing-which-parts-are-easy-to-remove

You can't fully 100% make your bike theft proof, but you can make it enough of a PITA that no one will bother. But for some areas of town I do like having my beat up old bike that no one would want to steal anyway.

masont

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #22 on: February 29, 2012, 09:43:10 PM »
Since we're doing pictures, this is my cross bike on my commute last month - Specialized Crux, outfitted with studded tires on this day.


Matt K

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2012, 08:16:08 AM »
Since we're doing pictures, this is my cross bike on my commute last month - Specialized Crux, outfitted with studded tires on this day.



Where is the thumbs up / like button? That is a pretty awesome "This is my commute" picture.

Patryn

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2012, 10:50:44 AM »
I own a Trek 7000 which I have been using for about a year.  The bike has worked great but I have been having a problem with a very slight rubbing of the brakes on the front wheel.  Every rotation I will hear a slight rub for a split second.  If I stop and tightly press down on the brakes it seems to go away for awhile.

I have brought the bike to the shop a few times and they have adjusted the brakes and put the wheels on a truing stand but it is still an ongoing problem.  I've probably put about 150 miles on the bike so far.

I bought my girlfriend a Trek Neko less than a month ago from the same bike shop and she is having the same problem...  it is very frustrating and before I bring both bikes back to the bike shop and raise hell I wanted to ask the community if this is a common problem on new bikes and if there is an easy way to fix it myself so I can be done with the bike mechanics.  Thanks a lot!

masont

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2012, 11:41:56 AM »
I own a Trek 7000 which I have been using for about a year.  The bike has worked great but I have been having a problem with a very slight rubbing of the brakes on the front wheel.  Every rotation I will hear a slight rub for a split second.  If I stop and tightly press down on the brakes it seems to go away for awhile.

I have brought the bike to the shop a few times and they have adjusted the brakes and put the wheels on a truing stand but it is still an ongoing problem.  I've probably put about 150 miles on the bike so far.

I bought my girlfriend a Trek Neko less than a month ago from the same bike shop and she is having the same problem...  it is very frustrating and before I bring both bikes back to the bike shop and raise hell I wanted to ask the community if this is a common problem on new bikes and if there is an easy way to fix it myself so I can be done with the bike mechanics.  Thanks a lot!
As someone who works at a bike shop, I would implore you to not come in and raise hell because your entry level bike isn't working perfectly.  As Mustachians, part of our badassity is realizing that we're not always going to have stuff that's really awesome, because it just isn't worth the extra cost.  Plus, you catch more flies with honey, it's generally a good idea to be nice to people, and all that.  If the bike shop's worth their salt, you won't have to be a jerk for them to set you straight. 

Three things:

1.  Your wheel isn't true.  Either your rim is bent, or (more likely) some of the spokes have detensioned, making it so there's a wobble in your wheel.  Detensioned spokes are pretty common in cheap wheels that are built by a machine rather than by an experienced wheelbuilder.  It needs to be pulled back into tension.  This isn't a problem with Trek or your bike shop.  This is a problem with a cheap wheel. 

2.  Your brake may not be centered - there's probably either an allen wrench or a phillips screwdriver on the brake somewhere - possibly on both sides - that adjusts the centering of your brakes.  When you squeeze the lever, you want both pads to hit the rim at the same time.

3.  Your wheel may not be centered in your dropouts - if your wheel is canted one way or the other, you'll get pad rub. 

If you want to learn to work on your bike yourself, go to the library and get "Zinn and the art of road bike maintenance" - it will tell you, in depth, everything you need to know.  Also, you can go to Park Tool's website and they've got a bunch of step by step guides.  You will need some tools - and you may be able to find them more cheaply online, but if you came to my shop and asked me how to use them (preferably not at 2pm on a Saturday) I'd be more than happy to take you through how to use them, and do my best to add more value than the $2 you would have saved by buying from Amazon.   You may have to ask at a lot of shops, but I find most people are pretty helpful. 

Patryn

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2012, 11:52:49 AM »
Yeah I definitely understand not raising hell...  it just gets frustrating after bringing the bike in 3 times and it still not working correctly and then buying another bike and it having the same problem.  I just wanted to make sure it was a problem and not just a new bike thing.

I know $500 isn't a ton of money and is at the low end of the bike spectrum for a bike shop but I was hoping buying new from a bike shop would give me reliable equipment to start my biking lifestyle on.

I'll pick up that book and see what I can learn.  Bikes don't seem that complicated and I'd like to take the time to learn how to fix it correctly.

masont

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2012, 11:55:06 AM »
Yeah I definitely understand not raising hell...  it just gets frustrating after bringing the bike in 3 times and it still not working correctly and then buying another bike and it having the same problem.  I just wanted to make sure it was a problem and not just a new bike thing.

I know $500 isn't a ton of money and is at the low end of the bike spectrum for a bike shop but I was hoping buying new from a bike shop would give me reliable equipment to start my biking lifestyle on.

I'll pick up that book and see what I can learn.  Bikes don't seem that complicated and I'd like to take the time to learn how to fix it correctly.
Totally understand.  And I'm not trying to get all high-end-bike snobby on you, and all of these are issues that your shop should be able to get working correctly for you with a little bit of time and expertise.  I'm just also trying to be realistic about what happens with the less expensive stuff. 

Matt K

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2012, 12:15:38 PM »
+1 to everything masont said, plus one more: See if your town has a bike co-op or other non-profit bike recycing / repair center. Small towns probably won't have one, but they are becoming more common in the cores of bigger cities.

If you have a bike co-op, you can bring in your bike, use their tools, and have an experienced mechanic help you out and show you what needs to be done. The mechanic won't do the work for you, but they will teach you what you need to know. I have friends who brought their own bikes in, then just started showing up to lend a hand to others so they could learn new things. Now they volunteer and teach others.

zinnie

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2012, 10:55:00 AM »
Sometimes I find myself driving because where I'm going I can't bring my bike inside and I'm afraid of theft. (Which is dumb, I know)

I've always figured that any bike that's so nice I'm afraid to lock it up somewhere is too nice to leave anywhere.

It's like car guys with beautiful 40 year old restored muscle cars.  They don't drive that kind of thing to work every day.  You're daily driver should be a reasonably cheap and dependable bike that nobody will want to steal, and that you can replace outright if someone does.

Thanks. Yeah, my husbandís bike was one he bought off craigslist for $50 (it was maybe a $200 bike new), and it was 5 years old. So apparently they will take anything. My bike is nothing special either, itís not like Iím riding around on a $3500 road bike or anythingóweíre talking about $600 brand new (which was a gift, as I mentioned). Iíve just had such bad luck with bike theft. I had a bike in college that first got the tire that was not locked up stolen, then the rack over the back tire, then eventually the whole thing one day. And that was a very cheap bike. It was sort of a joke around town that whatever part of a bike was locked up was the only thing left--you'd see one tire locked up, just a frame, etc. But I digress.

I have a trek hybrid that I use for exploring town. My dad got it for me as a gift about a uear ago and introduced me to the wonderful world of biking. I'm tempted to get a cheapie off Craigslist too so I can use it for running errands or meeting people without worrying about it getting stolen (or, at least, not caring so much if it does). My husband lost a bike this year in our neighborhood because he had a coil lock (a good one at that, but apparently no match for a bolt cutter).

Anyone have tips on bike theft? That's a big issue here, I have a good u-lock but that only gets half of it, and I don't want to take off a tire every where I go. Sometimes I find myself driving because where I'm going I can't bring my bike inside and I'm afraid of theft. (Which is dumb, I know)

I live in a high bike-theft area, and the video was a lifesaver for me: http://lifehacker.com/5847276/properly-lock-your-bicycle-by-knowing-which-parts-are-easy-to-remove

You can't fully 100% make your bike theft proof, but you can make it enough of a PITA that no one will bother. But for some areas of town I do like having my beat up old bike that no one would want to steal anyway.

Thank you for that video! Great tips.

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2012, 09:19:22 AM »
http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/street/commuter/12_commuter1_bl.html

This is what I recently purchased for my daily commute (around ~7 miles one way). Have used it just once to commute to office, hoping to put more mileage as the weather improves :-)

I have question regarding seat adjustment. Some websites say your knees should bent slightly while riding, while some websites (including Jamis) claim the leg should be straight while riding.

I would guess this is a personal preference but given the distance I plan to commute on, I think it is important that I set this properly to avoid any injury.

What would a pro biker recommend?

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2012, 09:59:01 AM »
As I just wrote in Panda's other bike thread http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/fix-my-bike-vs-replace-my-bike/

Quote
Seat Height
90% of the people you see on the road have their seats too low. Your seat should be set so that when you have the ball of your foot on the pedal, and your foot level, when you reach the bottom of the stroke you should just have a slight (15 degree) bend in your knee, and when the pedal is at the top of the stroke your thigh should still be pointing down a bit. If your seat is set properly you should not be able to stand flat footed with both feet on the ground (with a few exceptions, beach cruisers being one). If your seat is too low you'll hurt your knees and over use your thighs and butt. If the seat is too high you risk over extending your knee and hurting your hips. When set properly the motion of your legs will actually help pump blood and reduce the load on your heart (by a good 15% or more!). So getting your seat right is important. If you ever find your knees or hips hurting while biking, stop and adjust your seat height a bit, even a few mm can make a huge difference on your knees and hips.

Now if we look at what Jamis says, it isn't that different http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/contact/faq.html#fitting
Quote
How do I setup my saddle height to achieve proper leg extension?
While much is up to personal preference here are some general rules to get you started.
1. Put on the type of shoes that you are riding with your bike.
2. Place your bike next to a wall to steady yourself, and get on board.
3. Adjust the saddle height so the heel of your foot touches the center of the pedal when your foot is fully extended.
Again, these are general guidelines, but should provide a good start. Always make adjustments in very small increments (no more than about an eighth of an inch), and try to only make one adjustment at a time.

The key is that they are using your heel with your foot extended. When you slide your leg back up to having the ball of your foot on the pedal and foot pointing down slightly (as is typical of the bottom of your pedal stroke), you will have a small bend in your leg.

You really don't want to have the seat so high that you are fully extending your leg every time you pedal. But don't take it from me, try for yourself. Set the seat so you get a fully straight leg and go for a quick ride around the block (with tools needed to change seat height on you). Find a nice straight stretch and try to build up some solid speed and hold that pace (not a full sprint, just a good solid freight train feeling). I'm betting you notice the back of your knee feeling stretched before you're out of breath. After less than twenty minutes of even moderate cruising your hip will probably feel a bit weird.

If when you lower your seat you ever find the front of your knee (knee cap area) hurting, it's too low.

I'm neither a doctor nor a professional bike fitter, but if your knees or hips hurt after riding for less than an hour, you have room to improve your seat position (not just height, but also position fore/aft).

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2012, 05:11:18 AM »
Whatever this man: http://sheldonbrown.com/home.html has to say about bikes is generally consider LAW by the interwebs. :)

Mr Crore

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2012, 09:57:17 AM »
Thanks Matt for the detailed response. Will try out your advice and see how it goes.

Mike, thanks for sharing that website. It sure is a treasure trove for all things bicycling.

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2012, 02:42:09 PM »
I got into biking as a direct result of MMM. I had the mountain bike I'd had since I was in 6th grade in my shed, but both tires are flat and it was a mountain bike. I never ride in the mountains so I figured I should find something a bit more ideal for riding around town.

I found myself a 2008 Raleigh Retro Glide beach cruiser for $150 on Craigslist. I bought myself a basket and also a kiddie trailer.

I've found that I'm biking more now that I have a "cute" "fun" bike than I ever thought I would.  I even ride my bike to saturday morning yard sales and have managed to fit more than I ever thought possible into it.

My local bike shop was very helpful in helping me get the seat and everything adjusted correctly.  My main concern is how to avoid getting things stolen. If the guy at the bike shop had it his way, you'd take everything off of your bike before leaving it anywhere, including the seat.  Who had time or room for that?

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2012, 02:49:45 PM »
My main concern is how to avoid getting things stolen. If the guy at the bike shop had it his way, you'd take everything off of your bike before leaving it anywhere, including the seat.  Who had time or room for that?

Watch and be educated: http://lifehacker.com/5847276/properly-lock-your-bicycle-by-knowing-which-parts-are-easy-to-remove

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2012, 01:22:03 AM »
I have a Raleigh 300 that I absolutely love to ride.

masont, thanks for the book recommendation. It's time for a spring tune up and I've been thinking it's not very mustachian to bring it to the shop if I can learn to do it myself.

I do enjoy going to the shop though, it's a mom&pop place owned by a really nice family.

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2012, 09:58:44 AM »
As I just wrote in Panda's other bike thread http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/fix-my-bike-vs-replace-my-bike/

Quote
Seat Height
90% of the people you see on the road have their seats too low. Your seat should be set so that when you have the ball of your foot on the pedal, and your foot level, when you reach the bottom of the stroke you should just have a slight (15 degree) bend in your knee, and when the pedal is at the top of the stroke your thigh should still be pointing down a bit. If your seat is set properly you should not be able to stand flat footed with both feet on the ground (with a few exceptions, beach cruisers being one). If your seat is too low you'll hurt your knees and over use your thighs and butt. If the seat is too high you risk over extending your knee and hurting your hips. When set properly the motion of your legs will actually help pump blood and reduce the load on your heart (by a good 15% or more!). So getting your seat right is important. If you ever find your knees or hips hurting while biking, stop and adjust your seat height a bit, even a few mm can make a huge difference on your knees and hips.

Now if we look at what Jamis says, it isn't that different http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/contact/faq.html#fitting
Quote
How do I setup my saddle height to achieve proper leg extension?
While much is up to personal preference here are some general rules to get you started.
1. Put on the type of shoes that you are riding with your bike.
2. Place your bike next to a wall to steady yourself, and get on board.
3. Adjust the saddle height so the heel of your foot touches the center of the pedal when your foot is fully extended.
Again, these are general guidelines, but should provide a good start. Always make adjustments in very small increments (no more than about an eighth of an inch), and try to only make one adjustment at a time.

The key is that they are using your heel with your foot extended. When you slide your leg back up to having the ball of your foot on the pedal and foot pointing down slightly (as is typical of the bottom of your pedal stroke), you will have a small bend in your leg.

You really don't want to have the seat so high that you are fully extending your leg every time you pedal. But don't take it from me, try for yourself. Set the seat so you get a fully straight leg and go for a quick ride around the block (with tools needed to change seat height on you). Find a nice straight stretch and try to build up some solid speed and hold that pace (not a full sprint, just a good solid freight train feeling). I'm betting you notice the back of your knee feeling stretched before you're out of breath. After less than twenty minutes of even moderate cruising your hip will probably feel a bit weird.

If when you lower your seat you ever find the front of your knee (knee cap area) hurting, it's too low.

I'm neither a doctor nor a professional bike fitter, but if your knees or hips hurt after riding for less than an hour, you have room to improve your seat position (not just height, but also position fore/aft).

I am not a doctor, but I am a professional bike fitter, and the Jamis method is fine for a very haphazard measurement, but I will take umbrage with one number - 15 degrees.  You want your leg to describe a 30 degree (or 150 depending on how anal you are) angle at the point of terminal extension on your pedal stroke.  At least according to Andy Pruitt, and most everybody else involved in the bike fit industry at the moment. 

If you have pain in the front of your knee, the saddle is generally too low.  If you have pain in the back of your knee, the saddle is generally too high.  If you have any pain on your bike ride, slow down.  Pushing hard will only make everything worse, and you need to be able to get to work tomorrow too - so slow way down, deal with being a few minutes late and having old ladies with baskets on their bikes passing you, and don't mess your knee up. 

Bakari

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2012, 10:34:03 AM »
My main concern is how to avoid getting things stolen. If the guy at the bike shop had it his way, you'd take everything off of your bike before leaving it anywhere, including the seat.  Who had time or room for that?

Really depends on 1) where you live - some areas have much more bike theft than others.  Do you need to stop professional bike thieves, or just opportunists? 2) how nice the bike is and what sort of accessories it has.  I used to ride an old pile of absolute crap when I visited my girlfriend at her school on the weekends.  Never locked it.  No one wanted it!

The trick in the video that Mike Key posted for securing the seat with a small length of bike chain is excellent, I also recommend it.  That covers the seat.

I don't trust cables, not even for a wheel.  I much prefer this method to secure the wheels:
http://www.missinglink.org/page/how-lock-bike
Locking both wheels also makes the U-lock more secure (no room to get tools inside it) and it means you don't have to buy an extra cable or locking skewers (which are expensive).  And it is almost as quick and easy (once you get a little practice) as it is to thread a cable through the wheel.

Use a U-lock, and if it is a high-theft area or the bike is very important to you, use a GOOD u-lock.  For the most part, that means one of the more expensive Kryptonite or OnGuard locks (Evolution or NY lock / Pitbull or Brute) - most other brands, as well as the cheaper of those brands are fairly easy to break.  I've done it myself!  All cables are easy to break. 

You should really take lights off the bike when you park, but they almost always have a quick release method, and they are pretty small, so that shouldn't be too big a deal. 
Other accessories and parts that you need tools to remove usually only get stolen if a bike is left in the same place for 24hr or more, I never worry about any of them (I have been a bike  messenger in both SF and NYC, the two biggest bike theft areas in the country)

Mike Key

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2012, 12:33:24 PM »
Great advice Mr. Bakari, you real Stasch in your avatar always inspires me. (seriously)

Hey I have a question for the commuters who wear normal clothes. How do you stay non-gross? Just take your time?

I've got my first local client since selling my car who wants to meet me on Monday. Luckily I noticed their office is right on the Pinellas Trail, which means I can ride this great bike path 12 miles from my house, straight to their office.

But I'm meeting them at 2pm, so it's going to be the full sun and heat. Any tips on how to stay presentable?

Or should I just take towel, some deodorant and wet naps and take my time by leaving earlier to stay fresh?

Staying fresh meeting people around the block under 2 miles seems easier than 12 miles. I hadn't thought about that yet.

I want to avoid borrowing the other car, this is like my first test of using my bike for business inside of a car. :)

Bakari

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2012, 03:08:53 PM »
Personally, when I need to bike in the hot and show up presentable, I usually take my shirt off for the ride.

I use hand sanitizer (the gelled alcohol kind) for deodorant which I've found to be much more effective than deodorant or antiperspirant.
Then, if possible, I may also rinse off in a restroom sink when I get where I am going.

I ride full speed, but factor in a couple minutes to rest once you arrive, because it takes a little while to stop sweating after you stop exercising.

(p.s. thanks!  I had 2 months off between drills for the first time since joining the Coast Guard Reserve in Aug 2010, so it was my only chance to actually grow one!  When MMM mentioned long-time readers creating a mustache avatar, I knew I had to take a picture.  My pic here was taken minutes before I shaved it all off)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 03:11:36 PM by Bakari »

onehappypanda

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2012, 03:46:45 PM »

Hey I have a question for the commuters who wear normal clothes. How do you stay non-gross? Just take your time?


Yup, taking my time seems to help in the summer, though I'm perpetually late so that doesn't always happen. When it's hot, I'll also wear a different shirt so I don't end up with pit stains (whaaat? they happen to girls too). If I'm in a hurry, I'll just wear a tank top or tee and just toss a button-down or sweater over it when I get there. A sweat-wicking top is also a decent choice for the trip if you have one, helps keep sweat from getting on your nice clean shirt. I plan on packing wet wipes and deodorant everywhere I go in the summer, and leaving freshen-up time.

Oh, and find some way to keep your pants out of the chain, if you wear regular pants. That might be obvious though.

Matt K

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2012, 04:45:25 PM »
Oh, and find some way to keep your pants out of the chain, if you wear regular pants. That might be obvious though.

Lots of people use fancy reflective leg straps that hold your pant leg close against the leg to prevent it touching the chain. Others make the same thing out of a used inner tube. I'm lame, I just tuck my pant leg into my sock. Sure I look like a dork, but I always look like a dork.

While I've never biked a long distance to a business meeting, I do tend to bike a fair bit in 'normal' clothing. I've found that wearing a simple wicking shirt as my undershirt helps a lot. For longer rides I'll use mt mtb-undershorts which I can wear under normal pants without looking silly, but they provide the padding of lycra shorts, and are wicking, so help some with the sweat. I keep an eye on MEC for when they have sales on wicking clothing. Usually when they phase out a color they sell off the last of it for $10/shirt (down from $25ish). A couple of years ago they temporarily discontinued black. I now have a lot of black wicking shirts.

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2012, 01:30:48 PM »
My main problem is convincing my legs to take it easy on my 8 mile commute. My functional bikes are sporty and I end up riding so hard that I'm super sweaty when I get to work and only earned myself 5 minutes in the process. I'm thinking a single speed would slow me down... but I might just like my fast gears too much.

In reliable working condition:
  • Specialized Stumpjumper perfect for sport mountain biking, general commuting, and snow/ice
  • Fuji Roubaix Pro road bike for good long rides (way too nice for commuting)

A few others projects:
  • 1970's Schwinn (Giant) 10-speed stripped of old/busted parts so now it's a single speed too scary to ride
  • My mom's recreational MTB frame to be built up as a single speed cruiser/grocery getter with cargo racks and coaster brakes!

witmuster

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2012, 06:18:37 PM »
Hello! My new bicycle from Nashbar just arrived (an extra-small Mongoose Crossway 225), as did a couple of accessories I ordered for it: fenders and rear rack. I am bordering on completely ignorant when it comes to bike mechanics and am wondering if anyone here can tell me: Is there a correct/obvious order in which I should install the rear fender and the rack? Which goes on first?

And yes, I did trying googling this, but all the threads I found didn't quite match my question and/or seemed geared toward people who know a lot more about bikes than I do ;).

Thank you in advance for any pointers!

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #45 on: March 13, 2012, 07:30:15 PM »
Hello! My new bicycle from Nashbar just arrived (an extra-small Mongoose Crossway 225), as did a couple of accessories I ordered for it: fenders and rear rack. I am bordering on completely ignorant when it comes to bike mechanics and am wondering if anyone here can tell me: Is there a correct/obvious order in which I should install the rear fender and the rack? Which goes on first?

And yes, I did trying googling this, but all the threads I found didn't quite match my question and/or seemed geared toward people who know a lot more about bikes than I do ;).

Thank you in advance for any pointers!

Attach the fenders first.
Attach the rack on top of the fender.

There are too many different variables to say much beyond that.
If you need more detailed advice, you'll need to tell us about the specific rack and fender attachment points and the number and placement of eyelets on the frame. 

witmuster

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2012, 07:36:30 PM »
Thanks so much, Bakari! That makes sense to me. Can't wait to get my bike set up and on the road.

sol

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2012, 08:29:06 PM »
I concur, fenders first.

I went through this process a few years back when I was setting up my daily commuter.  The fenders are always a little tricky, because they sit so close to the wheel and may interfere with the brake.  The rack is just a big metal thing that bolts onto the back of the bike, so it's pretty hard to screw that up.

I also recommend you make a point of rechecking your rack attachment points periodically. Last year I had the bike fully loaded and one of my rack screws must have come loose, because the whole thing levered sideways into the wheel and catastrophe ensued.  Not pretty, and very avoidable had I done even a cursory visual check.

Bakari

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2012, 09:14:02 PM »
Good point.

I recommend using thread lock (available at any hardware store) on all bolts, and most especially rack bolts.
Its a liquid you put on the bolt just before assembly which then hardens and keeps the bolt from coming out due to road vibrations.

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Re: Mustachian Bike Talk
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2012, 05:05:09 AM »
Bike shop dork clarification: Buy chain lube, not tri-flow.

Mustachian bike dork correction: buy a tub of pariffin wax and a crappy saucepan. Take your chain off (we're all using joining links here, right?), soak it in kero or solvent of your choice, scrub, rinse, repeat, drop it in the saucepan of melted pariffin. Any water still on the chain will boil off (look for the bubbles) and the pariffin will push out any remaining dirt. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool slightly before removing the chain (if the wax is too runny, too much will come off the chain when you remove it).

First use after waxing will be a bit stiff, but only for a few pedal turns.

I recently picked up 5 200gm tubs of pariffin wax for 20c each - AUD, so in USD about 5c ;) - and this will probably last me and my stable of bikes for eternity.