Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 109499 times)

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #750 on: April 24, 2019, 10:38:07 AM »
I think I deserve MMM biking bad-ass brownie points today. I took my kid in to work with me for bring-your-short-person-to-work-day and we biked. She was in the bike trailer which is still work to pull, even with the ebike assist. On top of it was a bazillion degrees today in a freak hot spell and I just about melted. I have no issue biking in a massive windy rain storm but when the sun and warmth come out I just canít handle it.

Major brownie points for hauling the short person in with you. That's a physical and mental accomplishment.

I also melt in the heat. Every year when it gets warm I frantically research A/C systems for our house (it doesn't have A/C). Then after 3 weeks I finally acclimatize and realize we don't need A/C.

Gronnie

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #751 on: April 24, 2019, 12:11:56 PM »
Just bought a bike yesterday and rode it the 2.2 miles home from the shop (which will be the same commute for work, I work across the street from the bike shop, lucky me!)

I haven't hardly done anything physical in years, and am 6'2 350lbs. My heart rate hasn't been that high since college (over 10 years ago) and today my body still feels like jelly.

What's going to be the best way to ease into this so I don't give up?

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #752 on: April 24, 2019, 12:23:49 PM »
I think I deserve MMM biking bad-ass brownie points today. I took my kid in to work with me for bring-your-short-person-to-work-day and we biked. She was in the bike trailer which is still work to pull, even with the ebike assist. On top of it was a bazillion degrees today in a freak hot spell and I just about melted. I have no issue biking in a massive windy rain storm but when the sun and warmth come out I just canít handle it.

Major brownie points for hauling the short person in with you. That's a physical and mental accomplishment.

I also melt in the heat. Every year when it gets warm I frantically research A/C systems for our house (it doesn't have A/C). Then after 3 weeks I finally acclimatize and realize we don't need A/C.
When we did some remodeling we upgraded the electrical box to be able to support future AC, solar, electric car charging. We werenít going to get AC but then we had this series of four or more heat waves that just crushed us. As adults it sucks, and we botch and moan, but we survive. The impact on the littles is what prompted us to finally do it though. Both girls woke up screaming last night, soaked in sweat. There is no viable way to dress a baby for bed on a warm evening that will work all night long as the evening and house cools. Either she wakes up from overheating early in the night or wakes up from the cold later in the night. All the money spent on AC is well worth it to avoid those night wake ups for me.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #753 on: April 24, 2019, 01:00:17 PM »
Just bought a bike yesterday and rode it the 2.2 miles home from the shop (which will be the same commute for work, I work across the street from the bike shop, lucky me!)

I haven't hardly done anything physical in years, and am 6'2 350lbs. My heart rate hasn't been that high since college (over 10 years ago) and today my body still feels like jelly.

What's going to be the best way to ease into this so I don't give up?

A little bit of exercise daily is much better for you than a lot of exercise infrequently.

Try doing a 1-2 mile bike ride each day for a couple weeks.  Then as you get stronger, start increasing the distances a bit.  The key is to develop a habit . . . so that eventually it feels weird to have a day where you're not cycling somewhere.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #754 on: April 24, 2019, 01:14:08 PM »
Just bought a bike yesterday and rode it the 2.2 miles home from the shop (which will be the same commute for work, I work across the street from the bike shop, lucky me!)

I haven't hardly done anything physical in years, and am 6'2 350lbs. My heart rate hasn't been that high since college (over 10 years ago) and today my body still feels like jelly.

What's going to be the best way to ease into this so I don't give up?

Good for you!

To start, I'd probably only ride 2-3 days/week and never 2 days consecutively. Do that for a month and then add another day.

Most big guys I see on bikes are already incredibly strong and tend to choose too high of a gear. Mashing slowly on the pedals makes you feel like you're getting a great workout (because you are!), but it's not the most efficient way to get from A to B, 5 days a week for years at a time. It's also really hard on your knees.

Instead, choose an easy gear and think, "Spin to win". Pedaling at a higher cadence saves your knees and keeps your quads from feeling like jelly. It will make your heart and lungs work harder though, so take it slow at first.

When you go uphill, shift down sooner than you think you need to. Again, it's easier on your body and will make the hill feel less monumental.

Your seat bones are going to be sore at first. That's OK. Riding every other day will give your butt time to recover. Eventually the soreness goes away. Muscle soreness is also OK. However, if you have any kind of joint pain, take it easy. Also, make sure you have the bike fit to you. If you bought it from a shop, a basic fitting should be included.

On your non-biking days, go for a walk. The mild exercise will help your muscles recover from any soreness and the little bit of cardio will help your heart and lungs adapt faster. Since you're already so close to work, you could even consider just walking back and forth to work.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #755 on: April 24, 2019, 01:23:57 PM »
I park my bike in the lobby of my building and just lock it to itself. Most people donít lock their bikes but mine is a borrowed company ebike that cost a ridiculous sum new.

I think I deserve MMM biking bad-ass brownie points today. I took my kid in to work with me for bring-your-short-person-to-work-day and we biked. She was in the bike trailer which is still work to pull, even with the ebike assist. On top of it was a bazillion degrees today in a freak hot spell and I just about melted. I have no issue biking in a massive windy rain storm but when the sun and warmth come out I just canít handle it.
Bikepooling Achievement Unlocked! Celebrate by making some real brownies and enjoy them with shorty! That's a super cool thing ya did!

Just bought a bike yesterday and rode it the 2.2 miles home from the shop (which will be the same commute for work, I work across the street from the bike shop, lucky me!)

I haven't hardly done anything physical in years, and am 6'2 350lbs. My heart rate hasn't been that high since college (over 10 years ago) and today my body still feels like jelly.

What's going to be the best way to ease into this so I don't give up?
Listen to your bod.
Pace yourself while riding.
Don't put pressure on yourself to overstress your bod.
Setup your bike correctly so you don't injure yourself.
Gradually increase your riding frequency. 1x week for a while, then 2x, then 3x, then 4x, etc.
Commit to a minimum # rides, don't give up.
Just keep pedaling.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #756 on: April 24, 2019, 02:31:31 PM »
What's going to be the best way to ease into this so I don't give up?
You don't want to over-stress yourself, but you do want physical activity that exercises your heart and lungs regularly. You want to work hard enough that your breathing increases, but not so much that you're out of breath. Try maintain this level of activity for 15-20 minutes at a time. If you pushed yourself too hard, it is OK to take the next day off for recovery, but try to target your efforts to a level that you feel good doing almost every day. Limit pushing how much you can do in one day to about once a week at most.

Come back and tell us about your accomplishments regularly to get cheered on!

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #757 on: April 24, 2019, 02:48:10 PM »
Just bought a bike yesterday and rode it the 2.2 miles home from the shop (which will be the same commute for work, I work across the street from the bike shop, lucky me!)

I haven't hardly done anything physical in years, and am 6'2 350lbs. My heart rate hasn't been that high since college (over 10 years ago) and today my body still feels like jelly.

What's going to be the best way to ease into this so I don't give up?

Good for you!

To start, I'd probably only ride 2-3 days/week and never 2 days consecutively. Do that for a month and then add another day.

When I started my current commute, the first time ever was exhausting - red-faced, gasping, sat on a bench for several minutes at the end (and also in the middle). The second time was no better. The third time, I suddenly got the hang of it, and a few months later it's a breeze.

I don't know how universal this experience is, but I wish it on everyone (the improvement, not the initial suffering). Having fully inflated tires and a seat raised to the appropriate height helps a lot.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #758 on: April 24, 2019, 03:24:56 PM »
When I started my current commute, the first time ever was exhausting - red-faced, gasping, sat on a bench for several minutes at the end (and also in the middle). The second time was no better. The third time, I suddenly got the hang of it, and a few months later it's a breeze.

I don't know how universal this experience is, but I wish it on everyone (the improvement, not the initial suffering). Having fully inflated tires and a seat raised to the appropriate height helps a lot.
You should update the first post of this thread with "golden newbie knowledge nuggets" that you've accumulated over the past year and a half.

Gronnie

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #759 on: April 24, 2019, 03:57:35 PM »
Thanks for all the tips and encouragement!

Going to ride to work tomorrow!

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #760 on: April 24, 2019, 08:49:35 PM »
When I started my current commute, the first time ever was exhausting - red-faced, gasping, sat on a bench for several minutes at the end (and also in the middle). The second time was no better. The third time, I suddenly got the hang of it, and a few months later it's a breeze.

I don't know how universal this experience is, but I wish it on everyone (the improvement, not the initial suffering). Having fully inflated tires and a seat raised to the appropriate height helps a lot.
You should update the first post of this thread with "golden newbie knowledge nuggets" that you've accumulated over the past year and a half.

That's a great idea. Might take me a bit to collect them.

nightzephyr

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #761 on: April 24, 2019, 08:54:09 PM »
@TrMama The area is pretty rural, so traffic is still moving along at 60+ even during the busiest part of the day. No buses here except school buses. To @robartsd 's point, this is definitely a road as opposed to a stroad. The next intersection with a traffic light is another 10 miles or so down the road, once you reach the next town. The good news is that I won't be too worried about holding up traffic during those left turns - at worst, I would have one car behind me, and chances are that driver is one of my work buddies.
 
A good example of the route would be this: https://tinyurl.com/y4hbps7l You have to either take the highway bridge over the river or go a very long way around! I did find a route that reduced the highway portion by about 3 miles, but that still leaves the last 1.5. Thanks for the MapMyRides suggestion. I  had forgotten about that site. While it didn't turn up any better routes, at least now I know someone has taken that route before.

And to @Tass inflated tires make such a difference! A great golden newbie nugget. Though I like to think I'm stronger for my first few days of making that big flat mistake on my old commute.


ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #762 on: April 24, 2019, 08:56:23 PM »
I donít know about where you all are, but in my area I really like the google maps bike feature. It does a good job of piecing together trails and roads with bike lanes.

Wallet

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #763 on: April 25, 2019, 06:59:15 AM »
Thanks for all the tips and encouragement!

Going to ride to work tomorrow!

So how did it go? Wishing you lots of luck for a safe and fun commute!

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #764 on: April 25, 2019, 07:34:53 AM »
I donít know about where you all are, but in my area I really like the google maps bike feature. It does a good job of piecing together trails and roads with bike lanes.

Google maps is generally pretty awesome, but you need to be careful to walk through the route when you're cycling in unfamiliar areas.  I was in the middle of a 140 km bike ride with just printed turn instructions in my back pocket when I discovered that 20 km of my route was going to be rough country roads.  My ass cursed google maps for quite a while.

:P

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #765 on: April 25, 2019, 09:52:21 AM »
I haven't done much rural riding, but I can understand rural and rivers make for very limited options. (Even in my city it can be several miles between river crossings).

Tire pressure makes a difference. I'm a big guy, ride mostly upright, and carry clothes, lunch, and water for the day on my rear rack - easily over 200 lbs of weight on my rear tire. I inflate that tire to 100 psi.

Google maps is a great start - it has a lot of bike infrastructure mapped out and will look for ways to connect you to your destination minimizing travel on streets without bike infrastructure. Unfortunately it is pretty dumb about the quality of the bike infrastructure and other streets. Plenty of times it's routed me towards busier roads with sharrows or bike lanes that run in gutters rather than routing through quiet neighborhood streets. It also doesn't find short cuts utilizing pedestrian areas that are not designated as bike paths (please ride slowly when using these).

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #766 on: April 25, 2019, 11:43:34 AM »
I suspect that is one of those things where the experience varies by where you are located. I live in Googleís backyard so the bike routes have always been good. :)

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #767 on: April 26, 2019, 08:20:39 AM »
The google maps bike feature is a nice starting point, but I will usually take it a step further if the route looks potentially sketchy and do a digital run of areas I'm not familiar with using street view.  Definitely has saved me from some very uncomfortable/dangerous routes a few times.

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #768 on: April 26, 2019, 06:17:08 PM »
Just bought a bike yesterday and rode it the 2.2 miles home from the shop (which will be the same commute for work, I work across the street from the bike shop, lucky me!)

I haven't hardly done anything physical in years, and am 6'2 350lbs. My heart rate hasn't been that high since college (over 10 years ago) and today my body still feels like jelly.

What's going to be the best way to ease into this so I don't give up?

This is world class badassity. I ride to work regularly. But Iím also in pretty good shape so thereís really no excuse. Youíre starting from a more difficult place and doing it anyway. The advice others have above is good so I see no reason to try to add to it. Proud of you, fellow mustachian!

Gronnie

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #769 on: April 28, 2019, 02:36:11 PM »
So my daughter was sick for a couple days so I had to stay home with her (thus no bike commute the rest of the week).

I think it may have been a blessing in disguise because I was super worn out still, today is the first day I've felt normal again.

Will ride again tomorrow. Will plan on MWF or MTh this week, depending on how I feel Wednesday.

I got a lot of advice from people to slowly work my way up or I'll hurt myself and/or give up.

Villanelle

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #770 on: April 28, 2019, 02:47:26 PM »
So my daughter was sick for a couple days so I had to stay home with her (thus no bike commute the rest of the week).

I think it may have been a blessing in disguise because I was super worn out still, today is the first day I've felt normal again.

Will ride again tomorrow. Will plan on MWF or MTh this week, depending on how I feel Wednesday.

I got a lot of advice from people to slowly work my way up or I'll hurt myself and/or give up.

Assuming you have a car and there is parking, you might also only do one way for a while.  Drive in on Monday with the car in the trunk, bike home.  Bike in on Tuesday, drive home T.  Drive in W, bike home W.  Bike in Th, drive home Th.   Then on Friday you can drive both ways, or you can modify at any point during the week to skip a day, driving with the bike in the car if you need to reset.  If that feels like too much, you can even bike one way on MWF, and drive both ways on Thursday, or whatever is a better fit.  Then slowly phase in more on-ways, eventually adding a two-way day here and there, until you've scaled up to 5 days of 2 way biking.   

Gronnie

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #771 on: April 28, 2019, 03:31:12 PM »
So my daughter was sick for a couple days so I had to stay home with her (thus no bike commute the rest of the week).

I think it may have been a blessing in disguise because I was super worn out still, today is the first day I've felt normal again.

Will ride again tomorrow. Will plan on MWF or MTh this week, depending on how I feel Wednesday.

I got a lot of advice from people to slowly work my way up or I'll hurt myself and/or give up.

That's a pretty good idea. I could actually bike in and have my wife pick me up on her way home from work and then I don't even need to worry about a car being left at work.
Assuming you have a car and there is parking, you might also only do one way for a while.  Drive in on Monday with the car in the trunk, bike home.  Bike in on Tuesday, drive home T.  Drive in W, bike home W.  Bike in Th, drive home Th.   Then on Friday you can drive both ways, or you can modify at any point during the week to skip a day, driving with the bike in the car if you need to reset.  If that feels like too much, you can even bike one way on MWF, and drive both ways on Thursday, or whatever is a better fit.  Then slowly phase in more on-ways, eventually adding a two-way day here and there, until you've scaled up to 5 days of 2 way biking.

Kem

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #772 on: April 28, 2019, 07:54:51 PM »
Around 12' when I began diving into financial and personal care knowledge reserves to vastly improve my life directly, and the situation I provide to my family (7 years before discovering FI/RE).. I began biking the 7 miles to my office.  I stopped after being hit the 2nd time about a year later by teen drivers blowing off stop signs while texting .   The second time broke the handlebar nut in 2 and I had to carry the bike on my bloodied back for 4 miles.

esmith2039

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #773 on: April 29, 2019, 06:55:45 AM »
Good to see encouragement threads like this. Some posts on bike forums goes to far IMO. I'm not a newbie, been riding since 2014 and have ridden 10k at the end of last year. Normal commute is 6.5 one way around the KC bottoms.. not easy! Average 2k a year but this year had so much going on might not make it. Best ride was 240 miles on the Katy trail which I hope to repeat. No major issue's except took a while getting "good" lights.

Just a little background for perspective for the new riders... My first bike was Huffy road bike (free) that didn't fit me right, 2nd was a Specialized HardRock from RevolveKC ($150), 3rd was a Trek 720 from a thrift store ($120) .. the Specialized was my winter bike after, wrecked the Trek so got a Nisiki Manitoba from Dick's ($420). Upgraded the Specialized to a lighter Univega Via Carisma for $50 this winter. If you figure the IRS rate I'm still doing pretty good as far as what's spent.

haflander

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #774 on: April 29, 2019, 09:49:20 AM »
Hey all, I've got a problem that could use the collective thread's wisdom.

I have a really short commute to work, 1.5 miles. Originally my plan was to walk/bike. I had an ancient crappy mountain bike that I wasn't comfortable using around traffic, mainly because the brakes suck AND the gear shifting isn't reliable. There's a good amount of inclines/declines in the short distance. I've been walking some, but not as much as I want to. I'm determined to walk/bike more in May.

So, where should I look for a basic (cheap) used bike for commuting purposes? I tried a few bike shops, but they were still up around 300 or so. There is one large bike place around me that I haven't tried yet. For any around Dallas, it's Richardson Bike Mart. I'd like to buy one from a shop so I can use them as a resource. Even though looking for a cheap option makes me wonder about CL and similar options, I don't think that would be a good idea for someone who doesn't know anything about bikes.

What method would you suggest for looking for a bike? Also, what type should I be looking for? It would be mostly used for commuting but also similarly short trips around the neighborhood and possibly longer joy rides and/or trail rides in the future.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #775 on: April 29, 2019, 10:12:35 AM »
Figure out the kind of bike you want to buy (hybrid, road, touring, mountain) and roughly what size frame you need.  Come up with a list of bikes from major manufacturers of that type (Giant, Specialized, Jamis, Surly, Fuji, etc.) and comb your local used ads.  One will pop up sooner or later.

For very short distances like you're riding, pretty much any bike is fine.  Buy one that matches what you want to do with it in your spare time.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #776 on: April 29, 2019, 10:45:49 AM »
Buy the bike you love to ride. Then the trips you want to take with it will just happen.

If you have no idea, I'd go around to a few shops and test ride a bunch of different brand new bikes. That's the simplest method of figuring out which size and style suits you best.

Then you can either buy new, or shop around for an equivalent used option.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #777 on: April 29, 2019, 02:12:23 PM »
For the record, I was successful buying a used bike on craigslist as a bike newbie, though it took a few weeks. I figured out I wanted a hybrid and roughly what sizes would work, searched those terms in my price range, and then googled the promising models that popped up to find out more. Ended up with a low-end Trek model. It did cost me $200, but my impression is that less than that is either a rare deal or a cheap Wal-Mart bike.

That said, maybe a Wal-Mart bike is all you need.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #778 on: April 29, 2019, 02:37:46 PM »
On the other side of that, I'm having great difficulty selling an old bike. It's a Jamis Sputnik fixed gear. I have it listed for $150 on Facebook and Craigslist and can't even get a message. I hate the thought of just giving the bike away, but that's what I'll end up doing if I can't sell it before my next bike arrives.

If it goes unsold, bring it in to your living room and hang above the mantle.  Bikes are art.

Freedomin5

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #779 on: April 29, 2019, 10:16:13 PM »
Finally back to riding to work!

I had a flat and it took 1.5 weeks to fix it. First, the bike shop told me that the delivery truck does not make deliveries when it rains. Then the second time I checked in, the guy told me that they didn't have the right tire size and had to special order it. Oh, and then increased the quoted rate to fix the bike by 50%. The third time was the charm (possibly because I sent my husband with his foreigner face), and I got to ride it to work today, in light rain.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #780 on: April 30, 2019, 07:24:48 AM »
Just for the future, if you have a flat typically you just need a new tube.  That's about 5$ and 10 minutes of work.

If there's an actual hole in the tire then the tire needs to be replaced, but you can usually put a couple layers of duct tape inside the tire over the hole and keep riding it for a while until the replacement tire is available.

haflander

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #781 on: April 30, 2019, 09:10:48 AM »
Hey all, I've got a problem that could use the collective thread's wisdom.

I have a really short commute to work, 1.5 miles. Originally my plan was to walk/bike. I had an ancient crappy mountain bike that I wasn't comfortable using around traffic, mainly because the brakes suck AND the gear shifting isn't reliable. There's a good amount of inclines/declines in the short distance. I've been walking some, but not as much as I want to. I'm determined to walk/bike more in May.

So, where should I look for a basic (cheap) used bike for commuting purposes? I tried a few bike shops, but they were still up around 300 or so. There is one large bike place around me that I haven't tried yet. For any around Dallas, it's Richardson Bike Mart. I'd like to buy one from a shop so I can use them as a resource. Even though looking for a cheap option makes me wonder about CL and similar options, I don't think that would be a good idea for someone who doesn't know anything about bikes.

What method would you suggest for looking for a bike? Also, what type should I be looking for? It would be mostly used for commuting but also similarly short trips around the neighborhood and possibly longer joy rides and/or trail rides in the future.

Thanks all. After some research and talking to more knowledgeable people, I'll target a hybrid or maybe a mountain bike. I'm 6'0 (but probably shorter legs than most that height), so thinking 20-24" or a large will be a good fit. I'll spend some time looking online today.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #782 on: April 30, 2019, 09:27:02 AM »
Just for the future, if you have a flat typically you just need a new tube.  That's about 5$ and 10 minutes of work.

If there's an actual hole in the tire then the tire needs to be replaced, but you can usually put a couple layers of duct tape inside the tire over the hole and keep riding it for a while until the replacement tire is available.

I had DH take a look at it. Apparently someone had also taken something sharp and completely shredded the wall of the tire. Itís one of the hazards of living in China and parking your bike on the street. Someone had moved my bike and shoved it between two scooters. My guess is that something sharp on one of the scooters had punctured/scraped the tire, destroying it. Even with a 50% price increase, the total came to around $25 to replace the tire and the tube.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #783 on: April 30, 2019, 09:34:19 AM »
Ah.  Sidewall damage is a different kettle of fish.  I've had the sidewall on a front tire blow out on me while cycling quickly.  It gave me a serious appreciation for even minute amounts of sidewall damage.  :P

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #784 on: April 30, 2019, 10:58:34 AM »
Just for the future, if you have a flat typically you just need a new tube.  That's about 5$ and 10 minutes of work.

If there's an actual hole in the tire then the tire needs to be replaced, but you can usually put a couple layers of duct tape inside the tire over the hole and keep riding it for a while until the replacement tire is available.

I had DH take a look at it. Apparently someone had also taken something sharp and completely shredded the wall of the tire. Itís one of the hazards of living in China and parking your bike on the street. Someone had moved my bike and shoved it between two scooters. My guess is that something sharp on one of the scooters had punctured/scraped the tire, destroying it. Even with a 50% price increase, the total came to around $25 to replace the tire and the tube.

Ugh, what a drag. If your bike is being subject to that kind of damage, also keep an eye on your rear derailleur hanger. This is a little piece of metal that connects your rear derailleur to the frame of the bike. They're designed to fail (so neither the frame, nor the derailleur get damaged) and often get bent when bikes get tangled together in bike racks. Once it's bent, the metal is weakened and it can break while you're riding. And when it's broken, you you get to walk home. Better to replace it before it fails on the road. Luckily the repair is as easy as using a screwdriver to unscrew the old one and screw in the new one.

If you've got the storage space, it might be worthwhile stocking a spare tire and possibly a derailleur hanger so when these items need to be replaced, you can do it easily in the evening and won't have to deal with the shop.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #785 on: April 30, 2019, 11:05:35 AM »
I reached a new milestone today! I've got a personal goal of riding at least 300km/month. This month the stars aligned and I was able to blow past the goal and have ridden 455km.

Coincidentally, I foolishly also tried to stretch out the interval between massage appointments, so now I've got a sore hip :p

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #786 on: April 30, 2019, 11:09:08 AM »
Just for the future, if you have a flat typically you just need a new tube.  That's about 5$ and 10 minutes of work.

If there's an actual hole in the tire then the tire needs to be replaced, but you can usually put a couple layers of duct tape inside the tire over the hole and keep riding it for a while until the replacement tire is available.

I had DH take a look at it. Apparently someone had also taken something sharp and completely shredded the wall of the tire. Itís one of the hazards of living in China and parking your bike on the street. Someone had moved my bike and shoved it between two scooters. My guess is that something sharp on one of the scooters had punctured/scraped the tire, destroying it. Even with a 50% price increase, the total came to around $25 to replace the tire and the tube.

Ugh, what a drag. If your bike is being subject to that kind of damage, also keep an eye on your rear derailleur hanger. This is a little piece of metal that connects your rear derailleur to the frame of the bike. They're designed to fail (so neither the frame, nor the derailleur get damaged) and often get bent when bikes get tangled together in bike racks. Once it's bent, the metal is weakened and it can break while you're riding. And when it's broken, you you get to walk home. Better to replace it before it fails on the road. Luckily the repair is as easy as using a screwdriver to unscrew the old one and screw in the new one.

If you've got the storage space, it might be worthwhile stocking a spare tire and possibly a derailleur hanger so when these items need to be replaced, you can do it easily in the evening and won't have to deal with the shop.

Kevlar bead rather than wire bead bike tires are awesome for this . . . they fold up very small and can be stored quite easily.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #787 on: April 30, 2019, 01:38:53 PM »
I had an ancient crappy mountain bike that I wasn't comfortable using around traffic, mainly because the brakes suck AND the gear shifting isn't reliable.
How ancient and crappy are we talking about here?

I definitely agree that reliable brakes are important (especially around traffic) - but brakes can almost certainly be fixed. I ride a mid-90's mountain bike frame. I really liked the upgrade from the original direct pull cantilever brakes to linear pull cantilever brakes. Unless poor shifting is due to some frame damage, that could be worked out too. Of course if the frame itself is crappy, it probably isn't worth the efforts to fix.

Thanks all. After some research and talking to more knowledgeable people, I'll target a hybrid or maybe a mountain bike. I'm 6'0 (but probably shorter legs than most that height), so thinking 20-24" or a large will be a good fit. I'll spend some time looking online today.
I think a 24" seat tube is probably pushing it a bit your height.

haflander

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #788 on: May 06, 2019, 08:42:42 AM »
Succeeded in finding a decent road bike over the weekend, only took me about a week. After one failed CL experience, pulled the trigger on a Giant hybrid over the weekend. Found it on FB marketplace; the guy was a huge ebay seller of bike parts and had a great rating, so that made me feel confident. Met at the local big bike shop after he did a Saturday morning ride. He listed it for 130 and I got it for 100. I gave it a test ride and it was a great fit with everything working fine. I figure that even if something ends up wrong with it I can fix it myself or have a bike shop work on it and I'll still come out ahead on $. Even the frame is in great shape and the seat is super comfy, also has a nice suspension seatpost.

I rode it this morning to work successfully. Minor operator error issues with shifting and the lock but I'll get better with those in time. Interesting note: I sweat just as much biking as I do walking. I suspect that will improve with time also. Cloudy and off and on rain this week but I'll bike as much as I can. However, I'll still look for opportunities to walk to work in nice weather, as the distance is a super short 1.5 miles.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #789 on: May 06, 2019, 10:37:51 AM »
Fantastic! I hope you continue to enjoy the bike and the bike to work.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #790 on: May 06, 2019, 10:41:10 AM »
On my front I am at the end of the 6-month period where work will loan me a fancy ebike. I was shopping ebikes on Craigslist and ended up calling one of the local bike stores that are affiliated with work, where I can use the $300 discount I earned by participating in this program. Turns out the shop had a closeout sale on an ebike in my size that ended up in the same price range as the ones I was seeing on Craigslist used. I pulled the trigger this last weekend and rode it work work for the first time today.

Iím excited. It has suspension which is stupendous, as the trails and roads around here tend to suck. It has five different levels of power assist to choose from which I appreciate, and the motor is center mounted on the bottom of the triangle frame, do it is more balanced than the other bike I was riding, which has the motor on the back wheel.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #791 on: May 10, 2019, 08:18:42 PM »
Iíve been riding my 2017 Giant Roam 2 about 12 miles per day 5-6 days a week and am going through spikes like crazy. They always break at the bend into the hub on the non-drive side of the rear wheel.

I kept bringing the wheel to my LBS where I bought the bike and they would put another spoke in until it got to 5 or 6 spokes then they got a new wheel from Giant.

Now I just had one of the spokes on the new wheel break! I brought it back to the LBS again and Iím pretty sure theyíre just going to put another spoke in.

When does it end?? I moved away from the town that the bike shop is in so I canít keep going back to that one every time a spoke breaks. Luckily Iím visiting my parents at the moment so Iím in town.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #792 on: May 11, 2019, 12:29:24 PM »
Iíve been riding my 2017 Giant Roam 2 about 12 miles per day 5-6 days a week and am going through spikes like crazy. They always break at the bend into the hub on the non-drive side of the rear wheel.

I kept bringing the wheel to my LBS where I bought the bike and they would put another spoke in until it got to 5 or 6 spokes then they got a new wheel from Giant.

Now I just had one of the spokes on the new wheel break! I brought it back to the LBS again and Iím pretty sure theyíre just going to put another spoke in.

When does it end?? I moved away from the town that the bike shop is in so I canít keep going back to that one every time a spoke breaks. Luckily Iím visiting my parents at the moment so Iím in town.

I replaced eight or nine spokes on the rear wheel of my Giant Escape before buying a whole new set of spokes, taking the entire thing apart and rebuilding it.  No problems since.  Giant does a lot of things right on their bikes, but my experience has been that they don't tighten the spokes in their rear wheels evenly enough, or to sufficient tension when building them.

It's really important that the spoke tension in your wheels is high enough and even all the way around.  Replacing a single broken spoke on your wheel is probably a waste of time.  Sure, it can be made true and will work for a little while . . . but if tension wasn't even to begin with then some spokes will be really loose and some will be too tight.  Unfortunately f you've been riding a poorly tensioned wheel for a while every loose spoke on the wheel is in a weakened state because of the excess flexing it undergoes with each wheel rotation.  The NDS spokes are typically at lower tension than the DS spokes on a rear wheel because of the dishing that your cassette requires, so it makes sense that those are the ones breaking first.

You're going to keep regularly popping spokes if you don't have someone go through the whole process of re-tensioning the thing.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #793 on: May 11, 2019, 01:49:04 PM »
I’ve been riding my 2017 Giant Roam 2 about 12 miles per day 5-6 days a week and am going through spikes like crazy. They always break at the bend into the hub on the non-drive side of the rear wheel.

I kept bringing the wheel to my LBS where I bought the bike and they would put another spoke in until it got to 5 or 6 spokes then they got a new wheel from Giant.

Now I just had one of the spokes on the new wheel break! I brought it back to the LBS again and I’m pretty sure they’re just going to put another spoke in.

When does it end?? I moved away from the town that the bike shop is in so I can’t keep going back to that one every time a spoke breaks. Luckily I’m visiting my parents at the moment so I’m in town.

I replaced eight or nine spokes on the rear wheel of my Giant Escape before buying a whole new set of spokes, taking the entire thing apart and rebuilding it.  No problems since.  Giant does a lot of things right on their bikes, but my experience has been that they don't tighten the spokes in their rear wheels evenly enough, or to sufficient tension when building them.

It's really important that the spoke tension in your wheels is high enough and even all the way around.  Replacing a single broken spoke on your wheel is probably a waste of time.  Sure, it can be made true and will work for a little while . . . but if tension wasn't even to begin with then some spokes will be really loose and some will be too tight.  Unfortunately f you've been riding a poorly tensioned wheel for a while every loose spoke on the wheel is in a weakened state because of the excess flexing it undergoes with each wheel rotation.  The NDS spokes are typically at lower tension than the DS spokes on a rear wheel because of the dishing that your cassette requires, so it makes sense that those are the ones breaking first.

You're going to keep regularly popping spokes if you don't have someone go through the whole process of re-tensioning the thing.

Yea, that seems like the case here. I actually paid the bike shop to tension and true the spokes after number 2 or 3 of the first wheel but maybe they either didn’t tension it or the damage was already done to the other spokes.

I’m a DIYer but am hesitant to purchase the tools necessary for retensioning and truing.
Maybe I should bring it to the LBS near my new place and see if they have someone who knows how to properly work on a wheel.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #794 on: May 11, 2019, 06:08:45 PM »
Iíve been riding my 2017 Giant Roam 2 about 12 miles per day 5-6 days a week and am going through spikes like crazy. They always break at the bend into the hub on the non-drive side of the rear wheel.

I kept bringing the wheel to my LBS where I bought the bike and they would put another spoke in until it got to 5 or 6 spokes then they got a new wheel from Giant.

Now I just had one of the spokes on the new wheel break! I brought it back to the LBS again and Iím pretty sure theyíre just going to put another spoke in.

When does it end?? I moved away from the town that the bike shop is in so I canít keep going back to that one every time a spoke breaks. Luckily Iím visiting my parents at the moment so Iím in town.

I replaced eight or nine spokes on the rear wheel of my Giant Escape before buying a whole new set of spokes, taking the entire thing apart and rebuilding it.  No problems since.  Giant does a lot of things right on their bikes, but my experience has been that they don't tighten the spokes in their rear wheels evenly enough, or to sufficient tension when building them.

It's really important that the spoke tension in your wheels is high enough and even all the way around.  Replacing a single broken spoke on your wheel is probably a waste of time.  Sure, it can be made true and will work for a little while . . . but if tension wasn't even to begin with then some spokes will be really loose and some will be too tight.  Unfortunately f you've been riding a poorly tensioned wheel for a while every loose spoke on the wheel is in a weakened state because of the excess flexing it undergoes with each wheel rotation.  The NDS spokes are typically at lower tension than the DS spokes on a rear wheel because of the dishing that your cassette requires, so it makes sense that those are the ones breaking first.

You're going to keep regularly popping spokes if you don't have someone go through the whole process of re-tensioning the thing.

Yea, that seems like the case here. I actually paid the bike shop to tension and true the spokes after number 2 or 3 of the first wheel but maybe they either didnít tension it or the damage was already done to the other spokes.

Iím a DIYer but am hesitant to purchase the tools necessary for retensioning and truing.
Maybe I should bring it to the LBS near my new place and see if they have someone who knows how to properly work on a wheel.

You can do truing with just a 3-4$ spoke wrench and a couple hours practice.  It's possible to tension spokes by pitch, but is much more complicated/difficult than using a tensiometer (park tools will sell you a good one for about 100$).  Those are really all the tools necessary (you can just wrap a zip tie on the fork or rear triangle next to the rim, or use the brake pads to check for trueness).

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #795 on: May 11, 2019, 08:43:20 PM »
Yea, that seems like the case here. I actually paid the bike shop to tension and true the spokes after number 2 or 3 of the first wheel but maybe they either didnít tension it or the damage was already done to the other spokes.

Iím a DIYer but am hesitant to purchase the tools necessary for retensioning and truing.
Maybe I should bring it to the LBS near my new place and see if they have someone who knows how to properly work on a wheel.

You can do truing with just a 3-4$ spoke wrench and a couple hours practice.  It's possible to tension spokes by pitch, but is much more complicated/difficult than using a tensiometer (park tools will sell you a good one for about 100$).  Those are really all the tools necessary (you can just wrap a zip tie on the fork or rear triangle next to the rim, or use the brake pads to check for trueness).

I do have a spoke wrench. Definitely hesitant on purchasing the tension tool in the fear that Iíll pay $100 and use it once.

Thatís a good idea to use zip ties to true the wheel. I have disc brakes so couldnít use the brake pads.

Do you think tensioning them all now (after I had one break and replaced) would be sufficient or do you think Iím going to have to end up replacing them all and then tensioning them then?

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #796 on: May 12, 2019, 08:34:30 AM »
The reason that spokes get broken is typically low tension, not high tension.  If your spokes are at too low a tension right now, then raising that will make them last longer.

OK, so we've got two likely low tension scenarios here that are causing your problem:
1.  Uneven spoke tension.  If you pluck each of the rear spokes on the DS of your rear wheel and one or two sound really high pitched and one or two sound dead/low pitched, then you've got uneven spoke tension.  The low pitched spokes will be under more stress with every wheel revolution and will break much faster.  You want to fix this.  So, to even out tension:

- Go all the way around the DS and all the way around the NDS and find the deadest/lowest pitched spokes.  Get some masking tape and mark these spokes.
- Check the spoke directly in front of and behind the dead spoke on the same side.  If they're a higher pitch, then back both of them off 1/8th of a turn, and tighten the dead spoke 1/4 turn.
- Go around the wheel a couple times, working on spokes of one side and then the other until things are starting to sound more even all the way around.  At this point your wheel will have started to go out of true.
- If your rim is in OK shape, you should be able to get the wheel back into true by tightening groups of spokes in groups of three or more on a side . . . so if you find a little bump in on the NDS side, then tighten the spoke closes to the bump 1/4 turn, the spoke in front of it 1/8th, and the spoke behind it 1/8th.  You can use smaller amounts of tightening as you get closer to true, and if you're a perfectionist, this will start to take a long time.

2.  Overall spoke tension is too loose.  If your rear wheel is reasonably true, the DS spokes all sound roughly the same pitch, and the NDS spokes all sound roughly the same pitch, then try increasing tension on the whole wheel:
- Start on the DS at the valve hole (so you remember where you started).  Tighten each DS spoke 1/4 turn.
- Go to the NDS at the valve hole.  Tighten each NDS spoke 1/4 turn.
- Check for true of the wheel and if it's starting to go out of whack, fix it (as above, you want to fix this by adjusting groups of spokes, not individual ones to try to keep tension more even).
- Keep doing this until your NDS spokes feel tight.  You want to be able to grab two of them, squeeze 'em between your hands and feel some decent resistance.

You're not going to get it perfect without the proper tools, but this should hopefully put you on the right path.  After you finish truing the wheel, take the bike for a short ride around the block and then check the wheels for true again (they often go a little wonky after they're put under tension/stress following a truing) and fix any bumps you find.

If I were you, I'd buy a bunch of spokes the correct size for your DS and NDS of the wheel and keep 'em handy so you can swap them out on their own.  Spokes are usually only a dollar or so a piece, and once you get good at it replacing a spoke and bringing the new one up to tension only takes 10-15 minutes.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #797 on: May 12, 2019, 01:18:14 PM »
Awesome. Iíll give it a try. Thanks!

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #798 on: May 12, 2019, 02:21:47 PM »
If this is your first time working on bike wheels, take it very slow.  It's not particularly hard to do, but it takes a while to get the right feel.  Better to make a great many small adjustments (occasionally buggering up one or two of them) then a few huge adjustments (which can really screw your wheels up).

This is a nice thing to do over an afternoon with a couple beers while listening to some books on tape in the garage (or in the living room on a tarp while watching the Giro if the wife's away for the weekend).  :P

Kazyan

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #799 on: May 13, 2019, 07:23:31 AM »
With some nagging from Beeminder and a realization that I didn't have a reason to go on another grocery trip anytime soon, as of this morning, I've biked to work for the first time. It took 35 minutes, almost entirely downhill, though some time could be saved by A) avoiding the main road* that required me to stop repeatedly and B) being more bold with cycling on the road itself.

The bike back up, which will be almost entirely *up*hill, is going to be a real pain this afternoon--but I'm happy with getting it done.

*A turnpike, technically.