Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 120342 times)

Buffalo Chip

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

^^^This^^^

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

Geographer

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

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

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

ysette9

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

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

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

GuitarStv

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

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

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

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




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

LittleWanderer

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

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

GuitarStv

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

LittleWanderer

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

ysette9

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

Triple7Stash

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

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

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

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

robartsd

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

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

TrMama

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

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

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

TrMama

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

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

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

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

ysette9

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

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

ysette9

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

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

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

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

Kmp2

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

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

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




ysette9

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

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

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

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

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

Geographer

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

Hopefully it's just a myth!

ysette9

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

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

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

GuitarStv

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

Hopefully it's just a myth!

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

mspym

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

ysette9

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

turketron

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #871 on: June 29, 2019, 11:19:55 AM »
Does anyone bike in sandals? I work in a super casual office and normally wear shorts and flip flops in the summer, but flip flops aren't great for biking in so I've been wearing socks & sneakers for my commute. My ride isn't too long, only about 4 miles, and thus far I've avoided the need to bring in a full change of clothes. The past few days have been really hot while biking in and it's taken me longer to cool down after my ride and even with bringing new shirt to change into I'm sweaty and hot for the first part of my day.

I've thought about bringing my flip flops and then changing into them but don't want to have stanky, sweaty shoes & socks sitting in my bag all day, so I'm wondering if a pair of (non-flip flop) sandals would help my feet stay cool on the ride in, something like these Keens but ideally less expensive:



I don't clip in to my pedals so most of the results when I googled "biking sandals" weren't very helpful. Any experience or recommendations from you guys would be great!

aetheldrea

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #872 on: June 29, 2019, 03:28:55 PM »
My first thought was, well,why not clip in? Get some pedals that have a platform on one side and spd on the other. The guy who runs the CyclingAbout web site wears clip in sandals as his only shoes for long distance bicycle touring, I think.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #873 on: June 29, 2019, 05:58:15 PM »
As usual, Sheldon Brown has the answers you're looking for.  :P

http://sheldonbrown.com/blog/tag/sandals/

mlipps

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #874 on: June 29, 2019, 09:40:50 PM »
I bike in Tevas all the time & find it much more comfortable when it's warm out. If it's a warm day and it rains, I'd rather be in sandals. And I hate sweaty feet.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #875 on: June 29, 2019, 10:23:20 PM »
Not sandals, but I wear flats every day and bike in them as well. That leaves the top of my feet uncovered (donít forget sunblock there!) and the mesh of the shoe fabric allows for some breathing.

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #876 on: June 29, 2019, 10:53:56 PM »
Anybody know if it's true that biking can lead to male infertility? We've been trying to get pregnant for many months now without success, and I bike a lot. And even started bike commuting daily. I'd consider us a very healthy couple, so we're surprised it's been taking this long!

Hopefully it's just a myth!

Never heard of a study that indicates biking to be a problem. Your SO and yourself need to get the testing.

mspym

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #877 on: June 30, 2019, 03:04:07 AM »
As usual, Sheldon Brown has the answers you're looking for.  :P

http://sheldonbrown.com/blog/tag/sandals/
Sheldon Brown, the man who likes fixies because freewheeling makes your legs lazy?

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #878 on: June 30, 2019, 06:57:40 AM »
As usual, Sheldon Brown has the answers you're looking for.  :P

http://sheldonbrown.com/blog/tag/sandals/
Sheldon Brown, the man who likes fixies because freewheeling makes your legs lazy?

Didn't say all the answers were right.  :P

LittleWanderer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #879 on: June 30, 2019, 07:12:49 AM »
My Keens are actually my favorite footwear for biking!  So you have my stamp of approval.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #880 on: July 02, 2019, 10:59:51 AM »
Go for it! I bike in sandals when it's really hot. Never been a problem.

mspym

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #881 on: July 02, 2019, 02:53:48 PM »
I am strongly in favour of sandals for cycling and actual shoes for the office rather than the other way round. I cycle in Sydney so a lot of the time I wear birkenstocks or my duckfeet sandals for riding. It has never been a problem.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #882 on: July 03, 2019, 11:07:23 AM »
My dear husband added a basket on the back of my bike so I donít have to wear a backpack. Excellent. However there isnít quite enough room and he had to love my saddle forward. Iím sitting more upright now, which is good for my growing belly, but Iím putting more weight on my hands. My palms are fingers are going numb when I ride. What am I doing wrong.

I think I need to go find some sort of alternate fitting to allow the basket to be further back. The metal rod thingies that came with it are too short.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #883 on: July 03, 2019, 11:29:37 AM »
My dear husband added a basket on the back of my bike so I donít have to wear a backpack. Excellent. However there isnít quite enough room and he had to love my saddle forward. Iím sitting more upright now, which is good for my growing belly, but Iím putting more weight on my hands. My palms are fingers are going numb when I ride. What am I doing wrong.

I think I need to go find some sort of alternate fitting to allow the basket to be further back. The metal rod thingies that came with it are too short.

Saddle position on a bicycle should not be modified to accommodate accouterments.

There are a variety of ways to jerry rig a solution to your problem, but honestly I'd just take the basket back and get a rack that fits your bike properly.  Once you have that you can attach just about anything to the rack (including baskets).

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #884 on: July 03, 2019, 08:07:45 PM »
My dear husband added a basket on the back of my bike so I donít have to wear a backpack. Excellent. However there isnít quite enough room and he had to love my saddle forward. Iím sitting more upright now, which is good for my growing belly, but Iím putting more weight on my hands. My palms are fingers are going numb when I ride. What am I doing wrong.

I think I need to go find some sort of alternate fitting to allow the basket to be further back. The metal rod thingies that came with it are too short.

Saddle position on a bicycle should not be modified to accommodate accouterments.

There are a variety of ways to jerry rig a solution to your problem, but honestly I'd just take the basket back and get a rack that fits your bike properly.  Once you have that you can attach just about anything to the rack (including baskets).

Yes. This.

erutio

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #885 on: July 07, 2019, 02:11:40 PM »
Yesterday, rode in Chicago weather, 16F, equal to about -9C, which would be a new low for me. 

It was clear, but just cold. 

Today was only my 3rd day biking in 2019, mainly due to snow rather than cold.  Also had a few airports trips around work I had to make. 

There are 251 working days for me in 2019, not counting vacation days.  My goal is 200/251 days biked for 2019.  I will remove 1 day from both numerator and denominator for each vacation day I take. 

So far I'm only 3/8 after two weeks.

I love the idea of keeping track of the fractional days choosing a Mustachian travel option. I'll see if I can keep track this year as well. So far I'm 4/5 using the bike and public transportation. 80% seems like a reasonable goal, in that there are typically some days I more-or-less have to drive.

I had a better month in June, but it was still only 16/20 bike to work days.  I had been meaning to record here, to keep myself accountable, but rather than hijack the thread, I started a journal to track myself.  I put the link in my sig.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #886 on: July 07, 2019, 03:53:23 PM »
You're welcome to join us in this thread! It's all about tracking frequency of Mustachian transportation - @Boofinator started it after the exchange you just quoted. https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/mustachian-transportation-2019/msg2405653/

erutio

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #887 on: July 07, 2019, 06:43:41 PM »
You're welcome to join us in this thread! It's all about tracking frequency of Mustachian transportation - @Boofinator started it after the exchange you just quoted. https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/mustachian-transportation-2019/msg2405653/

Hmm...not sure how I missed that.  Jumping in!

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #888 on: July 08, 2019, 11:21:11 AM »
Yesterday, rode in Chicago weather, 16F, equal to about -9C, which would be a new low for me. 

It was clear, but just cold. 

Today was only my 3rd day biking in 2019, mainly due to snow rather than cold.  Also had a few airports trips around work I had to make. 

There are 251 working days for me in 2019, not counting vacation days.  My goal is 200/251 days biked for 2019.  I will remove 1 day from both numerator and denominator for each vacation day I take. 

So far I'm only 3/8 after two weeks.

I love the idea of keeping track of the fractional days choosing a Mustachian travel option. I'll see if I can keep track this year as well. So far I'm 4/5 using the bike and public transportation. 80% seems like a reasonable goal, in that there are typically some days I more-or-less have to drive.

I had a better month in June, but it was still only 16/20 bike to work days.  I had been meaning to record here, to keep myself accountable, but rather than hijack the thread, I started a journal to track myself.  I put the link in my sig.

I have a whole spreadsheet dedicated to figuring out how to ride more and drive less. Inspired by the spreadsheet a former user set up as a monthly biking thread here. He doesn't run it anymore, so I just started tracking on my own.

Anyway, the spreadsheet's worked well for me. I basically only drive now when I have to bring the kids somewhere. They're too big to haul around in a trailer, but not quite mature enough that I trust them on the roads all the time.

Traffic's also awful here. That's actually my biggest motivator. Biking is faster and less aggravating.

turketron

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #889 on: July 08, 2019, 11:43:04 AM »
What kinds of handlebar setups do people like for commuting? My route is pretty flat, mostly on bike paths with some riding on residential streets, none of it is through too crazy of urban traffic. My current bike (https://www.straycatbicycles.com/Bicycles.html) has flat handlebars and while they're not uncomfortable (i.e. no pain/numbness etc) I find myself wanting more hand positions for even short rides of a few miles. I know someone with the same bike who swapped the flats out for bullhorns who seems to like that well enough, but I was thinking of starting with some bar ends as a cheaper alternative. Any recommendations? Thanks!

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #890 on: July 08, 2019, 12:11:43 PM »
Drop bars are ideal but are a pain in the ass to convert a flat bar bike to because you typically need different brake levers and shifters.

If you already have flat bars and the associated shifters/brakes, bar ends work well to give an alternate position (a combination of cutting the flat bars narrower and bar ends gives you exactly the same position you would get with bullhorns.  You could also go crazy and look into butterfly/trekking bars.

turketron

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #891 on: July 08, 2019, 06:02:23 PM »
yeah it's a single speed so shifters wouldn't be a problem, and I had considered bullhorns because from some googling it sounds like I could get away with using the same brake levers as well. Seems like bar ends might make the most sense though.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #892 on: July 08, 2019, 06:37:57 PM »
If you're going that route, Ergon makes integrated grip/bar ends that are the most comfortable I've ever tried.  They're kinda pricey, but if you can find some on sale they're what I'd recommend.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #893 on: July 26, 2019, 03:53:17 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.

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!)

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #894 on: July 26, 2019, 04:57:18 PM »
You will likely not find many good bike shorts without padding.  The padding lets you avoid wearing underwear beneath the shorts.  Quality bike shorts also typically have some sort of silicone gripper on the inside of the cuffs to prevent them from riding up.  I'd consider both pretty essential to avoiding chafing.

Most things called 'bike shorts' sold in clothing stores and marketed to women are weird 'fashion' statements, not bike shorts.  They are often not made of a durable sweat wicking fabric and (as mentioned) require that you wear underwear beneath them (which will cause the very chafing you're hoping to avoid).  Look for stuff on sale from actual bike shops, measure yourself and use the sizing charts from online bike shops.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #895 on: July 26, 2019, 08:38:11 PM »
It has been a while since Iíve checked in here. I got my lovely father to piece together how to extend the metal arm thingies that attach my basket to the bike so that the basket can sit further back away from my saddle. Plenty of room for my bum now and it is so wonderful! Way more comfortable.

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.

Bateaux

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #896 on: July 26, 2019, 08:49:15 PM »
Does anyone bike in sandals? I work in a super casual office and normally wear shorts and flip flops in the summer, but flip flops aren't great for biking in so I've been wearing socks & sneakers for my commute. My ride isn't too long, only about 4 miles, and thus far I've avoided the need to bring in a full change of clothes. The past few days have been really hot while biking in and it's taken me longer to cool down after my ride and even with bringing new shirt to change into I'm sweaty and hot for the first part of my day.

I've thought about bringing my flip flops and then changing into them but don't want to have stanky, sweaty shoes & socks sitting in my bag all day, so I'm wondering if a pair of (non-flip flop) sandals would help my feet stay cool on the ride in, something like these Keens but ideally less expensive:



I don't clip in to my pedals so most of the results when I googled "biking sandals" weren't very helpful. Any experience or recommendations from you guys would be great!

Since I bike mostly in the south, I wear Keens sandals on flat pedals 90 percent of the time.  I do have SPD shoes and clipless pedals on my road bike.  It's flat on the other side.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #897 on: July 26, 2019, 09:13:14 PM »
I had to put some gas in the car today.  Just six gallons; my last $20 'fill-up' lasted me 3.5 months, so that's where the bar is set. 

Disclaimer - I drive the family car plenty when we're taking the whole family somewhere.  My car is used to occasionally cart the kids around, or go to my dentist's office, which lies outside the area I've found to be bikeable. 

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #898 on: July 28, 2019, 03:40:26 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.

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!)

If you don't need the butt padding and the weather is very hot, I'd try to find a pair of unpadded shorts. I have issues with yeast when I wear padded bike shorts in hot weather, but of course YMMV. My latest trick for getting "longer" shorts is to simply cut off a pair of leggings or capris and hem them. It's frankly less work than trying to find a pair of shorts that has more than a 4" inseam.

In biking news, I seem to have reached a new level of insanity. After years of intermittent hip/lower back pain on my right side I finally figured out I've been pedalling using mostly my right leg. Turns out if you pedal with both legs, you end up equally sore on both sides, which is an improvement. However, in order to fix the imbalance I'm now biking to the gym so I can do imbalance fixing exercises so I can bike more. Feels kind of like a snake eating it's tail . . .

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #899 on: July 28, 2019, 04:28:48 PM »
Just splurged on what looks to be a quality cycling backpack!

My current one (that I've had for 10+ years) still works but isn't water resistant and not optimal for biking so I've FINALLY decided to replace it.
I got tired of having to put everything in grocery bags and getting the pack fabric soaked when it rains.

I got the $180 Osprey Radial 34 on sale for $79
https://www.osprey.com/us/en/product/radial-34-RADIAL34.html

The features and "tech" look promising.

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.