Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 107871 times)

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #900 on: July 28, 2019, 08:46:16 PM »
I've been using an Osprey Escapist 32 for a couple years now, and it has been a truly excellent backpack for cycling.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #901 on: July 28, 2019, 08:52:59 PM »
I went with these bike shorts: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YRSBGYK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

They look a bit cheaply made, but that's fine since I'm not exactly sure what I want yet. As long as they don't ride up I'll be pleased.

Thanks for the warning, @TrMama. I've been blessed never to have had problems with yeast in the past - knock on wood - but I will keep an eye on it.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #902 on: July 29, 2019, 11:48:21 AM »
I am 31 weeks now and still biking, though Iím using the highest setting of assist on my ebike and at a level low enough that I mostly never break a sweat. My plan has always been to keep going until I donít feel comfortable doing it anymore, and so far I still feel good. Well, we good as anyone 31 weeks pregnant can be, which is often not great, but not related to biking.
When I was a kid, we biked to the park for swimming lessons daily much of the summer - even the year my youngest sister was born in early August. Mom pulled a bike trailer filled with two toddlers, a gallon or two of water, and a picnic lunch for five each day until within a week or so of my sister's birth (it was flat terrain and we didn't travel any faster than I could ride at age 6).

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #903 on: July 30, 2019, 02:42:06 PM »
Just had occasion to re-read my first post on this thread, when I hoped to bike to work 1x per week. It's been almost 2 years since I purchased my bike, and I'm thrilled to say that I've moved closer to work and am now shooting for biking 90% of the time.
*high five*

I am also buying my first pair of real bike shorts. The heat wave has made it clear that chafing is a real threat. I don't need butt padding, but I do need them to be long, as I am quite tall and the yoga shorts I have ride up. Any recs?

(Side note: rolling my eyes at the number of Amazon listings that boast "tummy control" or "sexy." I'm just trying to commute!)
Getting away from cotton makes a big difference. Target sells some Champion C9 undies that are 93% Nylon, 7% Spandex. Perfect if you don't need the butt padding.

This was part 2 of setting myself up to bike in the rain. Part 1 was a rain fly for my rack bag (I hate getting my bags wet).

I still would like to figure out the shoes... I don't mind getting my clothes or myself wet but am not a fan of soaking wet shoes (or bags).

Maybe a pair of sandals like the ones shown above, except cheaper and non SPD.
Mudguards / fenders + Cycling Overshoes

High vis overshoes are a great safety item. Color in motion is very eye catching. Mine are black, but they keep my feet and shoes pretty dry during the rainy season. Enough so that I can ride everyday without doing anything too out of the ordinary to dry them. Fenders reduce the amount of road water that's splashed up on you.

erutio

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #904 on: July 30, 2019, 06:48:31 PM »
Do you have a link of what these cycling overshoes look like or on Amazon?

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #905 on: July 31, 2019, 09:46:15 AM »
Do you have a link of what these cycling overshoes look like or on Amazon?

https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=cycling+booties&crid=8PN4S4AEAU4&sprefix=cycling+boo%2Caps%2C196&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_11

I have a black neoprene pair. They keep my feet nice and warm, but not always completely dry when it's pouring rain.

Note that most of them are designed to go over bike shoes which tend to be closer fitting than regular shoes. If you want to put them on over normal shoes, buy a larger size.

Legsofsteel

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #906 on: August 01, 2019, 12:50:34 PM »
Only got back into biking on Saturday, but I'm already encountering an issue.

It is an uncomfortable and tingling sensation in my left foot :(

I've read that due to exercise on a bike, the bloody flowing to your feet can make them expand. My footwear is comfy and spacious though. I actually have a hard time buying footwear due to my feet. I literally tried on 60 pairs of shoes before I purchased my current ones. And I bought two pairs because I was so delighted I found ones that actually fit my feet. They were on sale as well, which helped! :)

I actually did have this sensation a year and a half ago. It must have been from using the bike machine in the gym. I saw a podiatrist, and x-rays were done. I was provided with specifically designed insoles. But nothing else could be done. There seemed to be no concerns with my shoes either. But these insoles are not helping my left foot when cycling.

For the summer, as an alternative, I can use my sandals, which should give my feet more room to breathe. I will see if this helps. However, I was looking to do this year round, so sandals will not be appropriate for the winter months!

Anyone else experience these foot issues? It's an annoying, tingling sensation. Not particularly painful, but irritating nonetheless.

Any recommendations on how to handle this issue?

Thanks!

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #907 on: August 01, 2019, 02:20:49 PM »
Sometimes I encounter that if I am exercising on something like an elliptical and I am not picking up my feet frequently enough. I presume it is from having pressure on my feet in the same position for too long. Could it be something like that or do you think it is the shoes?

Legsofsteel

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #908 on: August 01, 2019, 02:28:45 PM »
Sometimes I encounter that if I am exercising on something like an elliptical and I am not picking up my feet frequently enough. I presume it is from having pressure on my feet in the same position for too long. Could it be something like that or do you think it is the shoes?

Hard to say. I'll try sandals and see if that has a positive effect.

The rides are not long either. 25 minutes each way to work. To already be having issues is a concern.

erutio

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #909 on: August 01, 2019, 02:42:14 PM »
Is your entire foot numb, foot + ankle, just the sole, or the top of the foot?

aetheldrea

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #910 on: August 01, 2019, 02:48:45 PM »
The sandals discussion on the previous page of this thread has a link to a Sheldon Brown blog article on sandals. Some people wear them year round. Thereís a photo of Sheldon in sandals on a New Yearís Day ride in Boston.

Legsofsteel

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #911 on: August 01, 2019, 03:45:23 PM »
Is your entire foot numb, foot + ankle, just the sole, or the top of the foot?

Just the toes. And the three smaller ones. Rest of the foot is fine. Very strange, but annoying sensation.

Legsofsteel

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #912 on: August 01, 2019, 03:51:47 PM »
The sandals discussion on the previous page of this thread has a link to a Sheldon Brown blog article on sandals. Some people wear them year round. Thereís a photo of Sheldon in sandals on a New Yearís Day ride in Boston.

Interesting. I will use sandals and hopefully that will resolve the issue. It thankfully doesn't get too cold where I live, so after reading that article, it should be okay in the winter time as well. As long as the sandals don't also cause an issue!

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #913 on: August 01, 2019, 04:32:54 PM »
I used to have toe clips on my pedals which were a bit restrictive and could lead to numbness for longer rides. Eventually I decided that they just weren't worth having, so now ride with regular platform pedals (with a decent amount of grip due to the short vertical studs around the edges). I haven't yet tried fancy clipless pedals and shoes yet.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #914 on: August 01, 2019, 05:21:09 PM »
A great many cycling shoes are very narrow in the toe box and will cause numbness as your feet swell during a ride.  It's also super easy to over-tighten cycling shoes . . . where they feel OK for an hour or so but then you feel almost crippled after that.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #915 on: August 01, 2019, 11:18:38 PM »
Sometimes I encounter that if I am exercising on something like an elliptical and I am not picking up my feet frequently enough. I presume it is from having pressure on my feet in the same position for too long. Could it be something like that or do you think it is the shoes?

Hard to say. I'll try sandals and see if that has a positive effect.

The rides are not long either. 25 minutes each way to work. To already be having issues is a concern.
When I experience this on the elliptical it happens well within my 30-min workout.  Not saying this is what is happening to you, but it isnít out of the question. I hope the sandals help

Legsofsteel

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #916 on: August 02, 2019, 08:30:37 AM »
Sometimes I encounter that if I am exercising on something like an elliptical and I am not picking up my feet frequently enough. I presume it is from having pressure on my feet in the same position for too long. Could it be something like that or do you think it is the shoes?

Hard to say. I'll try sandals and see if that has a positive effect.

The rides are not long either. 25 minutes each way to work. To already be having issues is a concern.
When I experience this on the elliptical it happens well within my 30-min workout. Not saying this is what is happening to you, but it isnít out of the question. I hope the sandals help

I would say it is most likely at this point. Yeah, fingers crossed with the sandals. They are good sandals which I purchased a few years ago when I visited Cuba. They have proved to be a great purchase so far, and if they help with cycling, it will be an even more valuable purchase :)

imadandylion

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #917 on: August 02, 2019, 10:23:36 AM »
I have been cycling to work for 4 solid months each weekday, except when I have every other Friday off from work. I missed 3 days of cycling due to work-related stuff. Here are some thoughts:

It's 4.5 miles each way. Now, a lot of people, especially don't who don't cycle, will say, "That's pretty good!" implying it's easy. NOPE. It was extremely hard for me to actually cycle this distance without my legs and lungs being completely worn out, even as someone who regularly strength trains, hikes, runs. Like you know, squats deadlifts, HIIT, the whole shebang. When I 'tested' the route, my legs were done for by the time I got back and I couldn't cycle continually, often needing to coast. Road crowns were always a struggle, as were micro hills. Also, it was literally very really hard on my butt/bones and left me sore for a long time.  I'd experienced that a few weeks prior with a 23-mile leisurely bike ride, but for some reason I didn't think to get bike shorts prior to that because I thought with the shorter distance that it wouldn't be an issue. Anyway, I quickly invested in some bike shorts and that solved that problem.

On the topic of bike shorts, I also want to point out, because I've heard this in real life and also read this sort of comment on this thread... Just because someone thinks you don't need padded bike shorts until a certain # of mileage, doesn't mean you should listen to them! Ultimately, you should do what works for you. So if people are throwing out comments like, "I don't feel the need to wear padded bike shorts unless I'm biking more than 10 or 20 miles," who the eff cares what they think? Ultimately, it's your own butt that's on the line. If your saddle isn't comfortable, you can change it to something that suits you so that you may not need padded bike shorts, but currently I do not have the patience to experiment with this.

Anyway, my cycling commute became easier for sure, but I think that towards the 2-month mark was I actually able to say my cycling fitness level improved significantly, and I could comfortably go the distance without it feeling completely difficult. Now it's really easy! The only thing that hasn't really gotten that much easier is carrying my bike up 3 flights of stairs every day... even though I've taken the stairs daily for like 3+ freaking years (and that hasn't even gotten easier without a bike, lol).

Also, I'm pretty excited to say the google time estimate for cycling this distance/route is 26 minutes, and when I first began, it would take me  29-30 minutes to cycle. Over a couple months, I whittled that down minute by minute to 19-20 minutes (maybe faster if I didn't obey traffic laws). I have cycled in the rain and in oppressively hot summer temperatures that seems permanently fixed between 95 and 105-degree and will continue this winter. When I wake up in the morning, it's the default routine and I don't question it. Part of that is from utter abhorrence of public transportation in this city (which I used to commute for a month before I decided to 100% commit to cycling), and another part is from simply not owning a car. Wish I could have done this earlier, but the route to my last job involved being on the highway and that just wasn't for me. I love the typical things people love about cycling, like incorporating additional exercise into your routine and feeling less stressed about sitting in traffic. I also feel like it's great for deciding when I want to leave and how fast I want to get there, because that's something you cannot control with public transportation, especially if it's not punctual or reliable.

This is getting kind of long, but I also saw a question in this thread asking what people do with clothes when they get to work.

I use and love the Timbuk2 Raider backpack, which has an inner pocket and flat board which you carefully fold your clothes with, then slip them into the pocket. This helps keep the clothes neat and sort of 'pressed' looking, so they don't get all wrinkly by the time I get to work. I'm sure people can configure a similar system if they don't have that backpack. The backpack itself is pretty solid choice and really inexpensive (I purchased mine on ebay for all of $25). For a daily commute, it's perfect. As someone who eats a lot and is concerned about space to carry food, it can carry quite a bit depending on how efficient one is at packing and if one has a system (of having extra things at work, so they don't need to be transported every day). My partner doesn't even cycle, and he ended up getting this backpack because it's a great size and weight (about 1 lb). For rain, I use put a hi-viz rain cover over it since it's not waterproof. Super inexpensive fix, and great for visibility.

I also leave at least 1 shirt, pants, bra, and underwear in the locker at work so that if I forget something in the morning (and I have!), I won't have an issue.  Instead of a full-sized bath towel, I just use a slightly larger hand towel so it fits neatly into my backpack and with the small size, it will dry faster. I'm just rinsing my body, not trying to soak up and completely restyle my hair or anything, so a big towel really is completely unnecessary since I'm trying to cut down bulk/weight for traveling. Since the locker itself isn't big enough to hang multiple garments and doesn't provide enough air circulation to actually dry the towel and the sweaty cycling attire, I choose to hang them up underneath my desk at work using damage-free adhesive Command hooks. And no, it doesn't smell, and it really shouldn't, unless you're rewearing sweaty cycling gear every day or something. I used to hang the clothes on my gear shifters, but I prefer the command hooks since they're out of sight.

Also, this hasn't seemed to be addressed here yet, but sunscreen is really important. I've gotten some weird ass tan lines from cycling, but I tan extremely easily anyway. Lately, I've been enjoying Blue Lizard mineral sunscreens for face and body. Absorbs quickly, not greasy,  minimal white cast. Sunscreen is imperative if you want to avoid that leathery skin look later in life. Or if you just burn easily.

I haven't experienced any feet/shoe issues. Since I do not have pedals that necessitate clip-in shoes, I just use a pair of lightweight running shoes with running socks, or sometimes Keds with no socks.

Editing to add: Sunglasses are also imperative. Just like you should never cycle without a helmet, you shouldn't attempt cycling without sunglasses or eye protection of some sort. Road junk and debris WILL get into your eyes, even if it's not a windy day. Ask me how I know this. If you can get sunglasses that curve and minimize exposure, that's even better. Because you will definitely get road junk flying into your eyes from the sides, too.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 10:28:00 AM by imadandylion »

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #918 on: August 02, 2019, 11:27:32 AM »
All good tips. Iíd add that I added a wide brim to my helmet for sun protection as I seem to commute at times and angles that the sun is in my eyes. I have to remember to put sunblock on the tops of my feet which I often forget.

Finally: sunblock is important for avoiding sunburn and wrinkles and looming leathery later, but most importantly for avoiding CANCER.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #919 on: August 02, 2019, 11:31:34 AM »
I am not very impressed with my bike shorts so far. The crotch padding seems to be rubbing in exactly the same place that underwear was rubbing anyway. And as mentioned above, my butt was never in need of padding. I will say they are nice and grippy and don't roll up, at least.

Also, this hasn't seemed to be addressed here yet, but sunscreen is really important. I've gotten some weird ass tan lines from cycling, but I tan extremely easily anyway. Lately, I've been enjoying Blue Lizard mineral sunscreens for face and body. Absorbs quickly, not greasy,  minimal white cast. Sunscreen is imperative if you want to avoid that leathery skin look later in life. Or if you just burn easily.

Hmm. I have never worn sunscreen on my commute and have not noticed any tanning (although until recently I was wearing long leggings). I burn moderately easily, but my commute is not at a high-UV time of day, nor is it very long. Maybe I'll start sunscreen if I notice tan lines developing? For the moment it doesn't seem to have a huge impact.

imadandylion

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #920 on: August 02, 2019, 12:02:05 PM »
@ysette9 Yes, definitely cancer is something to avoid, too! It's annoying to have to apply before riding, but it's worth it. If anyone is wondering, I do usually take care to remove makeup/prior sunscreen application before reapplication, right before riding with makeup wipes or a face wash.  These wipes are inexpensive and good: https://www.ulta.com/cleansing-oil-makeup-removing-cloths-soothing-refreshing?productId=pimprod2005058

@Tass If the time is short and the UV-index is actually low during time of riding, I would probably skip sunscreen, too, unless you are using skincare products that make your skin more sensitive/thinner (such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or retinoids). I don't use sunscreen at 6 AM for this reason. But the sun is really harsh where I live at 4 or 5 PM, so it's a must, especially since I do use skincare products that will make my face more prone to sun damage.

If you're lucky to not need padded shorts, that's great. If you're interested in it anyway or for anyone else who is curious, I use these shorts:
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/womens-sl-pro-shorts/p/152014?color=243085-152014

And I also use Lululemon bike shorts, which are pretty good except for the waistband rolling down. You're not wearing underwear with the shorts, right? Because I don't. I think that's important. These don't rub me in any way. Their chamoix is cleverly and seamlessly sewn into the short, unlike the Specialized ones, but the Specialized ones actually also don't bother me at all.

I also tried Rapha shorts, which also have the seamless chamoix integration and also did not produce any rubbing, but the construction was very low quality (falling apart at the seams) so I returned after trying two of them.

The bike shorts are expensive, but they are worth it to me. I prefer to buy fewer, better quality things and don't believe in buying cheap crap that will fall apart. Cheaper stuff is more trouble, time, and money than it's worth to deal with.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #921 on: August 02, 2019, 12:31:25 PM »
Nope, not using underwear with the shorts, but I don't actually think it's the seams causing the problem - the padding itself is wider than my "thigh gap" (as it were). Thus, rubbing. I've never had a problem with butt soreness, but now that I'm sweating I'm concerned about chafing.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #922 on: August 02, 2019, 01:02:24 PM »
I've found that really cheap brands of bike shorts have padding that's stiff and feels like cardboard. If you don't need it and it's causing discomfort, you should be able to remove it using a basic seam ripper. Then you'll have unpadded bike shorts.

Higher end bike shorts should have better quality padding. Plus different brands are known for having thicker/thinner padding, so you could shop around.

I put sunscreen on most mornings. Even days I don't bike, I try to at least put some on my face. I don't burn very often, but I do get tanned and many older members of my family have had suspicious moles removed (often from their faces). I'm trying to make sure I keep as much of my original skin as possible.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #923 on: August 08, 2019, 02:36:54 PM »
Is your entire foot numb, foot + ankle, just the sole, or the top of the foot?

Just the toes. And the three smaller ones. Rest of the foot is fine. Very strange, but annoying sensation.

This sounds a lot like a nerve issue... very possibly a nerve in your groin getting pressure where it's not supposed to. You might want to try a different saddle.

I used to have toe clips on my pedals which were a bit restrictive and could lead to numbness for longer rides. Eventually I decided that they just weren't worth having, so now ride with regular platform pedals (with a decent amount of grip due to the short vertical studs around the edges). I haven't yet tried fancy clipless pedals and shoes yet.

I rode with toe clips for 20+ years, loved them. Eventually went the fancy clipless route... and honestly, not impressed. They work, yeah, but the cost is ridiculous for what they are. When I wear out this set of cleats, seriously thinking about going back to cages with straps.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #924 on: August 08, 2019, 05:50:46 PM »
Sunglasses are also imperative. Just like you should never cycle without a helmet, you shouldn't attempt cycling without sunglasses or eye protection of some sort. Road junk and debris WILL get into your eyes, even if it's not a windy day. Ask me how I know this. If you can get sunglasses that curve and minimize exposure, that's even better. Because you will definitely get road junk flying into your eyes from the sides, too.

Completely agree. There isn't many things more important than being able to see while you're biking.
I wear safety glasses, they're so inexpensive it's ridiculous:
https://www.discountsafetygear.com/rugged-blue-diablo-safety-glasses.html?utm_source=googlepepla&utm_medium=adwords&id=470315839917&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-KfXmLv04wIVk7fsCh0MjwjFEAYYCCABEgIUe_D_BwE

imadandylion

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #925 on: August 08, 2019, 06:36:21 PM »

Completely agree. There isn't many things more important than being able to see while you're biking.
I wear safety glasses, they're so inexpensive it's ridiculous:
https://www.discountsafetygear.com/rugged-blue-diablo-safety-glasses.html?utm_source=googlepepla&utm_medium=adwords&id=470315839917&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-KfXmLv04wIVk7fsCh0MjwjFEAYYCCABEgIUe_D_BwE

@GreenToTheCore Great idea! I do wonder though if they're still safe during crashes though? For instance, I know some glasses manufacturers, like the brand Smith, make ones where they don't shatter upon impact when you crash.

You can also get polychromatic sunglasses that transition from sunglasses to clear depending on the lighting conditions.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #926 on: August 08, 2019, 07:59:41 PM »
And, wouldn't you know it, right after I posted about not really needing clipless pedals... my set of Shimanos broke. The pivot pin backed out once a while ago... I popped it back in, but the damage to the plastic had been done. Was only a matter of time before it went. Got an aluminum pair still on the Peugeot, will use those for now. Need to swap the toe clips from my son's bike.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #927 on: August 08, 2019, 08:24:11 PM »
Got a flat last week and sweet talked my husband into fixing it for me the other evening. As he pulled off my front wheel there were some tiny parts of the front through-axel that broke: a c-clip and two tiny o-rings. He managed to put things back together again but not before he complained about the poor design.

I rode it yesterday to my morning appointment. Afterwards I saw several messages from him imploring me to come home and take the car to work instead. He had thought about it more and decided it wasnít safe to ride as-is. Damn it.

I took the bike to the store this afternoon and asked about it. Initially the shop guy assured me it was totally safe, but later after more reflection admitted it was better I leave the bike so he can order replacement parts.

Naturally the manufacturer doesnít sell the tiny c-clip and o-rings separately but as part of a $50 full axel replacement part. Sigh

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #928 on: August 09, 2019, 12:04:18 PM »
Great idea! I do wonder though if they're still safe during crashes though? For instance, I know some glasses manufacturers, like the brand Smith, make ones where they don't shatter upon impact when you crash.

Honestly, I assumed that if they were good enough for shards flying through the machine shop then they were good enough to land on.
But no time like the present to learn more, turns out they're held to ANSI Z87 (the website even says "exceeds ANSI Z87").

The "drop ball" test determines the basic impact safety classification for lenses. In this test, a one-inch diameter steel ball is dropped onto the lens from a height of 50 inches. To pass, the lens must not crack, chip or break. All glass safety lenses must undergo this test. For plastic safety lenses, however, only a statistical sample of a large batch of lenses needs to be tested.

Makes me want to go borrow a 1" steel ball and see what happens :)

Legsofsteel

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #929 on: August 22, 2019, 10:37:41 AM »
Well, its been a few weeks, and my legs feel like jelly. Figured they would be feeling stronger!

My distances are not that extreme either. My commute to work each way is less than 4 miles. There are hills, but nothing too crazy.


Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #930 on: August 22, 2019, 11:45:53 AM »
It takes a little while, @Itrembac, or at least it did for me. A week not to be entirely miserable, and then several months of slowly getting better at it before I wasn't exhausted by Friday. And my trip is only about 3 miles! I biked about half the days in January; I haven't missed a day yet in August. You're making progress, even if it's invisible right now.

Legsofsteel

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #931 on: August 22, 2019, 11:54:52 AM »
It takes a little while, @Itrembac, or at least it did for me. A week not to be entirely miserable, and then several months of slowly getting better at it before I wasn't exhausted by Friday. And my trip is only about 3 miles! I biked about half the days in January; I haven't missed a day yet in August. You're making progress, even if it's invisible right now.

That is reassuring! Thanks for posting.

It got a bit cooler where I live the last few days, which definitely helps. Also had my first rain day, which went fine.

imadandylion

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #932 on: August 22, 2019, 06:49:16 PM »
Great job @Itrembac and @Tass for biking!

Are you biking really fast? Sometimes it helps if you adopt the "I'll get there when I get there" attitude. I recommend foam rolling your legs regularly.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #933 on: August 22, 2019, 07:01:36 PM »
Ha, for months the only way I could get myself onto the bike was by promising myself I could go as slow as I wanted. Now I'm disappointed on the way home if I don't feel like I got to work hard enough! It's a great end-of-the-day stress reliever. I am still not that fast, though.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #934 on: August 22, 2019, 08:11:19 PM »
Legs be damned.  I get very upset when my average commute speed drops below 30 kph.  :P

DoNorth

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #935 on: August 22, 2019, 09:19:02 PM »
Well, its been a few weeks, and my legs feel like jelly. Figured they would be feeling stronger!

My distances are not that extreme either. My commute to work each way is less than 4 miles. There are hills, but nothing too crazy.

Probably 2-3 months until you can do the ride with relative ease depending on your level of fitness.  I find myself trying to ride in more difficult gears now to get some extra resistance.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #936 on: August 23, 2019, 09:09:59 AM »
Humblebrag time: I finally got my twenty-mile (biweekly) commute under 1.5 hours (13.3 mph / 21.5 kph). Still haven't figured out how to ride without hand numbness since I purchased my first drop bar bike. Maybe I'll need to splurge on gloves?

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #937 on: August 23, 2019, 10:32:29 AM »
Humblebrag time: I finally got my twenty-mile (biweekly) commute under 1.5 hours (13.3 mph / 21.5 kph). Still haven't figured out how to ride without hand numbness since I purchased my first drop bar bike. Maybe I'll need to splurge on gloves?

Yes, gloves are a good plan. Get the ones will gel pads. Also double check your bike fit. It's also good to switch up your hand position from time to time on the bars to move the pressure points around.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #938 on: August 23, 2019, 11:25:02 AM »
Humblebrag time: I finally got my twenty-mile (biweekly) commute under 1.5 hours (13.3 mph / 21.5 kph). Still haven't figured out how to ride without hand numbness since I purchased my first drop bar bike. Maybe I'll need to splurge on gloves?

Yes, gloves are a good plan. Get the ones will gel pads. Also double check your bike fit. It's also good to switch up your hand position from time to time on the bars to move the pressure points around.

The above is good advice.  Personally, I'd start with fit.  A good fitting bike will be comfy even without gloves for a couple hours.

There are a couple things I'd try first to alleviate hand pain regarding fit.  The first is sliding your saddle back a little bit.  I know that sounds weird, but stand up and try doing a squat.  Notice how your ass has to stick way out to balanc your body?  Same thing applies on a bike.  If your butt is too far forward you end up falling forward on your hands, which puts way too much pressure there.

The next thing to try is raising your bars a bit.  If they're about level with the saddle then you can ignore this, but if there's a 10-15 cm drop most people will find that this puts too much pressure on the hands.  I've found that a longer stem without as much drop will keep your position aerodynamic while reducing pressure on the hands.

Finally an easy one . . . make sure that you're using a tire pressure calculator to figure out how much pressure you need.  (The rear should always have more than the front.)  The tires are your shock absorbers on a road bike.  If you're just pumping to the max on the sidewall, you will have a painful and jarring ride . . . but even worse, you end up going slower because the tire bounces rather than deforming as it goes over little bumps and irregularities in the pavement.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #939 on: August 23, 2019, 12:26:58 PM »
Thank you both for the advice. Resisted gloves because I never needed them with the flat bar, but realize now that gloves will perform the same function on my new bike as the padded grips did on my old bike.

I've resisted getting fitted (I bought my bike used), because I'm a cheap ass. I think I will begin to start messing with the geometric variables if the gloves don't help and see if that relieves the numbness. As for the tire pressures, I usually aim for the lower number on the sidewall (I'm about 160 lb / 73 kg). As for the different tire pressures front to rear, I've read conflicting advice in this department, with the idea that front tire pressures need to be able to accommodate safe emergency stops and fast downhill runs, both of which cause significant weight transfer to the front.

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #940 on: August 23, 2019, 12:39:53 PM »
Legs be damned.  I get very upset when my average commute speed drops below 30 kph.  :P

I don't think of you as a newbie ;)

@Itrembac it also took me a few months to get my "legs". Part of it was realizing I needed to eat more! Now I bike year-round but still find I'll feel fatigued every now and then, whether hormones or weather or something random, but I definitely have a good sense of what my "normal" is :)

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #941 on: August 23, 2019, 02:07:41 PM »
Thank you both for the advice. Resisted gloves because I never needed them with the flat bar, but realize now that gloves will perform the same function on my new bike as the padded grips did on my old bike.

I've resisted getting fitted (I bought my bike used), because I'm a cheap ass. I think I will begin to start messing with the geometric variables if the gloves don't help and see if that relieves the numbness. As for the tire pressures, I usually aim for the lower number on the sidewall (I'm about 160 lb / 73 kg). As for the different tire pressures front to rear, I've read conflicting advice in this department, with the idea that front tire pressures need to be able to accommodate safe emergency stops and fast downhill runs, both of which cause significant weight transfer to the front.

I've been bombing down hills all summer long, and regularly hit 70+ kph doing so.  Higher pressure can let a tire roll better . . . but it will actually reduce your grip.  Your front tire is all about grip.  Emergency stops are safer with lower pressure in the front than the rear tire.  That said, I wouldn't go below the pressure listed on the sidewall, there's risk of the tire coming off under hard turns.

What size tires are you running?  If your bike frame can accommodate it, moving up a size (25 to 28 or going from 28 to 32) will let you run lower pressures and act as better shock absorbers.

You can also give double wrapping your bars a shot if you don't want to buy gloves:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkb5LQ7uhok.  I double wrap my winter bike's handlebars and find it is much more cushy than regular single layers of bar tape.

As far as messing with fit - do this first.  If the issue is fit, then gloves/bar tape isn't going to be a band-aid over a gaping flesh wound.  Tinkering with an allen key for a few hours on a Saturday is the cheapest (and therefore best) place to start.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #942 on: August 23, 2019, 02:13:19 PM »
What size tires are you running?  If your bike frame can accommodate it, moving up a size (25 to 28 or going from 28 to 32) will let you run lower pressures and act as better shock absorbers.

You can also give double wrapping your bars a shot if you don't want to buy gloves:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkb5LQ7uhok.  I double wrap my winter bike's handlebars and find it is much more cushy than regular single layers of bar tape.

As far as messing with fit - do this first.  If the issue is fit, then gloves/bar tape isn't going to be a band-aid over a gaping flesh wound.  Tinkering with an allen key for a few hours on a Saturday is the cheapest (and therefore best) place to start.

The bike came with size 25 tires; my plan is to wear them out before considering moving up to 28 (because: cheap ass). I agree I need to mess with fit, but I don't want to change more than one variable at a time, so I'll tackle that challenge after I give the gloves a shot and see how things go.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #943 on: August 23, 2019, 02:53:20 PM »
There is a huge difference in comfort going from 25 - 28.  At least there was for me.  I'm currently running 28s in front and 32 in the back at 70 and 80 psi . . . but I'm a 200 lb guy.  A set of continental ultra sport IIs can usually be had for around 12$.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #944 on: August 23, 2019, 03:08:12 PM »
My flat bar bike has 28 tires and I couldn't agree more. A lot of the high frequency noise seems to be filtered out with the larger tires.

Did you change rims when you went to larger tires? My understanding is that the rim-to-tire width is a large factor in wheel aerodynamics, and that having a tire that's larger than the rim will reduce speed considerably.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #945 on: August 23, 2019, 03:34:14 PM »
I've got 31 mm deep aluminum rims  . . . more for strength than for aerodynamic benefit if they offer any over box sections.  Technically it would probably be better to run 25s on them I suppose.  But honestly, the rider's body position has a much greater impact on aerodynamics than the whole wheel system.  I can comfortably hold my body in a lower and more aerodynamic position for longer with a bigger tire on the front eating those vibrations.  That makes it no contest in my mind.

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #946 on: August 28, 2019, 07:46:23 AM »
Today was my first day riding a bike to work! Got a bike yesterday, spent some time yesterday just getting used to riding a bike again, and then rode it this morning. I just started working here and it's only a 1.3 mile ride from my house. So far, everything has been going really great - roads are pretty paved in this area and most roads have a bike lane. If they don't, drivers are used to sharing the road with bikers and I haven't encountered any jerks yet (I know, it's only been a day, but I'm excited!)

Yesterday I probably rode a total of about 3 miles, and so far today I've rode a total of 3.3 miles (commute to work + other riding beforehand). My legs are the tiniest bit jelly but the biggest thing is that my sit bones hurts. I spoke to another cyclist this morning and he told me to give it a week. I'm hoping that's true because otherwise, this whole biking thing is going to be a piece of cake!

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #947 on: August 28, 2019, 07:56:04 AM »
Today was my first day riding a bike to work! Got a bike yesterday, spent some time yesterday just getting used to riding a bike again, and then rode it this morning. I just started working here and it's only a 1.3 mile ride from my house. So far, everything has been going really great - roads are pretty paved in this area and most roads have a bike lane. If they don't, drivers are used to sharing the road with bikers and I haven't encountered any jerks yet (I know, it's only been a day, but I'm excited!)

Yesterday I probably rode a total of about 3 miles, and so far today I've rode a total of 3.3 miles (commute to work + other riding beforehand). My legs are the tiniest bit jelly but the biggest thing is that my sit bones hurts. I spoke to another cyclist this morning and he told me to give it a week. I'm hoping that's true because otherwise, this whole biking thing is going to be a piece of cake!

Good job! A three-mile roundtrip will be cake after a short adjustment period. Give it a few weeks while avoiding any additional "pleasure" riding and I imagine your sit bones should acclimate fairly quickly. If not, then there is probably something wrong with your setup (geometry and/or saddle).

Raenia

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #948 on: August 28, 2019, 08:18:59 AM »
I've been thinking of getting an e-bike recently, but I can't decide if it's worth the cost.  My commute is just 9-10 miles each way, depending on the route, and our new neighborhood is much hillier than our old neighborhood, increasing my reluctance to bike places.  I thought an e-bike would help with that, but I'm hesitant to drop too much money on something I'm not sure I will use enough.

Some considerations:
-My work doesn't have any bike racks or storage, so I won't have anywhere secure to store it
-I would be riding in the dark more, which makes me nervous
-I would have to wake up earlier and get home later, because my commute would about double in time - I don't currently bike for exercise, to this would not replace other workout time, it is just extra time coming out of chores and relaxation, which I already don't have enough time for
-The route is about half on trails and half on roads, some of them heavy traffic roads. I haven't checked for bike lanes, but I'd be surprised if they had them.  Trying to avoid the major roads would add further time and distance.
-Besides work, the library is a decent biking distance, I usually do groceries on the way home (but might not pass the good stores on the bike route), family is all too far to bike, most other things we use public transit

I currently haven't biked at all since moving here, and I feel bad about it but I'm having trouble overcoming the hills and the increased distance.  I also recently decreased my monthly personal spend to funnel more money into house repairs, so I'd be saving up for many months to have enough personal spend for even a basic bike or conversion kit, which is also a bit demoralizing.

Convince me?

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #949 on: August 28, 2019, 08:35:47 AM »
I've been thinking of getting an e-bike recently, but I can't decide if it's worth the cost.  My commute is just 9-10 miles each way, depending on the route, and our new neighborhood is much hillier than our old neighborhood, increasing my reluctance to bike places.  I thought an e-bike would help with that, but I'm hesitant to drop too much money on something I'm not sure I will use enough.

Some considerations:
-My work doesn't have any bike racks or storage, so I won't have anywhere secure to store it
-I would be riding in the dark more, which makes me nervous
-I would have to wake up earlier and get home later, because my commute would about double in time - I don't currently bike for exercise, to this would not replace other workout time, it is just extra time coming out of chores and relaxation, which I already don't have enough time for
-The route is about half on trails and half on roads, some of them heavy traffic roads. I haven't checked for bike lanes, but I'd be surprised if they had them.  Trying to avoid the major roads would add further time and distance.
-Besides work, the library is a decent biking distance, I usually do groceries on the way home (but might not pass the good stores on the bike route), family is all too far to bike, most other things we use public transit

I currently haven't biked at all since moving here, and I feel bad about it but I'm having trouble overcoming the hills and the increased distance.  I also recently decreased my monthly personal spend to funnel more money into house repairs, so I'd be saving up for many months to have enough personal spend for even a basic bike or conversion kit, which is also a bit demoralizing.

Convince me?

Biking to work is not appropriate for everyone in every situation, but I'll play devil's advocate.

-Definitely need secure storage, in my opinion. Even locking up to a fence or pole would be enough to deter potential thieves.
-Riding in the dark is not as fun, but a good set of lights can be bought for less than $100 (a minor outlay when considering overall cost). The new lithium/USB lights are great and eliminate regular battery purchases.
-Are you sure your commute would be double-time on an E-bike? You'll be traveling 20+ mph, and only needing to stop the same number of times or less than cars do.
-Being able to avoid major roads is a huge stipulation for me. I thought there was no way it could be done for my commute, until I did some research and found dedicated bike trails that avoid 90% of the roads (and all major roads) and wide bike lanes for the rest. So I agree, having to ride major roads without bike lanes would be a deal-breaker for me, but hopefully your city has a few amenities you aren't yet aware of.
-Hills are mostly irrelevant on an E-bike. I think the best way to piss off a lycra-clad biker is to zoom past them on an E-bike up a hill (speaking tongue-in-cheek as one of those lycra riders).

Here's my recommendation. Pick one day (preferably soon before it gets too dark in the morning, but it could wait til late spring if that works better), and just ride your regular bike to and/from work. Just one day. This will force you to really analyze the routes and other logistics, and will give you the general idea of what it's like to bike to work from your current neighborhood. Then see if you enjoy it enough to do again. If the answer is yes, but you need to get there faster, then consider buying an E-bike.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 08:37:35 AM by Boofinator »