Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 109151 times)

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1000 on: September 13, 2019, 11:34:05 AM »
It's also a bit chilly for me at around mid to low 60 degrees F, but when I tried wearing a jacket I got sweaty. Maybe because it was a rain jacket, but it was advertised to be 'breathable.' Not really sure what I'm supposed to do here to be kind of comfortable, but not too warm.

My experience (and I understand everyone is different) is that the low 60's feel cold when I start riding, but I'm plenty warm after the first fifteen minutes with my summer gear on. This was the case earlier this week when I was drenched on the way to work. (Not really sure if this is a suggestion, other than to maybe try riding without a jacket at those temps if you haven't before and see if the discomfort is temporary.)

Good to note though that you should always take an extra piece of clothing . . . just in case you've misjudged the temperatures.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1001 on: September 13, 2019, 06:47:17 PM »
That happened to me on my way to work this morning. It was 59F (15C) and I wore a light windbreaker/track warmup.

I was comfortable for the first 15 minutes or so then started sweating.

turketron

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1002 on: September 16, 2019, 07:10:23 AM »
so we took the ebike for a spin from the local bike sharing service yesterday, and while she was initially pretty skeptical (but was still a good sport about trying it out) my wife is now 100% sold on getting an ebike.

We have a few good friends that live in our neighborhood and as a group we've been biking a lot all summer, and I keep talking about the two of us biking to work together. She admitted that she gets mad whenever we decide to bike somewhere because it's miserable for her, but none of us realized it was this bad because she puts on a good face about it. Anyways, she's now super excited about an ebike and even said "if this is what biking normally feels like for the rest of you guys I can see why you're so excited to bike everywhere all the time!"

We did some research over the weekend and unfortunately there aren't many bike shops that either specialize in ebikes or have a particularly good selection of them. She's super short (5 foot or maybe slightly under) so she doesn't want to buy anything without taking a test ride first, which eliminates most online sellers. So, we landed on one from Costco, of all places. It's nothing special, but i's a good price ($1500) and has most of what she's looking for (pedal assist, reasonable range) and we confirmed that it comes with Costco's full "no questions asked" return policy, so if it doesn't work out we can return it and find something else that's suitable. She's now super impatient for it to arrive as it takes a couple weeks to ship.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1003 on: September 16, 2019, 07:26:43 AM »
So I thought I was too good to use my checklist this morning, got all the way to work, then realized that I left my laptop at home.

So I changed back into my gym clothes, took the shorter (and sketchy) way home, got the laptop, then took the short way back, took shower #2, changed again...

I could have just worked from home today but wanted to be in the office to help a coworker with her math homework.

...which I later found out she left at home.

Happy Monday everyone lol

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1004 on: September 21, 2019, 01:15:54 PM »
I did my first bike ride since giving birth last week and also picked up my kid at school with the bike trailer yesterday. It felt great, like getting back a part of me that had been missing for a while. Too bad the kid had complaints about the mode of transportation, but sheíll get used to it in time. :)

darkadams00

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1005 on: September 24, 2019, 07:18:30 PM »
Popped that one out already spouting ABCís, I see. And with a side of complainypants to boot. Best of luck with a prodigy.  ;)

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1006 on: September 25, 2019, 01:19:06 AM »
We had better luck yesterday. She said she didnít tent me to pick her up by bike but somehow dropping her off in the morning is perfectly fine and even something she decided she wants. So I dropped her off in the morning by bike. That works even better for me because it is still cool in the morning and we are suffering through a hot spell at the moment.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1007 on: September 25, 2019, 10:23:49 AM »
I did my first bike ride since giving birth last week and also picked up my kid at school with the bike trailer yesterday. It felt great, like getting back a part of me that had been missing for a while. Too bad the kid had complaints about the mode of transportation, but sheíll get used to it in time. :)

Just ask her if she'd rather walk all the way home ;-)

My own Spawn are now semi-regularly riding their bikes to school. They also need panniers to carry their various laptops and musical instruments. I need to find some kind of bulk rate on panniers and lights.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1008 on: September 25, 2019, 01:04:03 PM »
Can I jump in here and get some advice about biking to work in the winter? (Sorry, I did not read all 20 past pages :-). )

I have been biking through the nice seasons and want to know what I can do to get ready for winter biking. Some parameters:

-I have a car, so I don't need to spend a bunch of money on things that would only be necessary in dreadful weather. I can drive in dreadful weather.
-My bike is a hybrid.
-My commute is about 3 miles with some hills which takes me about 20 minutes because I'm a slow-ass biker. (I can squat my body weight! Repeatedly! So I don't think it's my leg strength. But people just blow right by me.)
-My route is some street biking (on streets designated as bike routes but with no bike lanes), some bike lanes on the road, and a stretch of poorly maintained paved trail.
-I live in Denver so I can expect icy conditions not infrequently.

I'm concerned about getting home safely in the dark, staying upright over patches of snow and ice (again, if it's really bad I'll drive, but Denver has a lot of beautiful days where yesterday's snow is still melting) and also about what to wear if it's too cold for leggings or chinos.

Help!

darkadams00

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1009 on: September 25, 2019, 07:40:21 PM »
Dark - Rechargeable LED lights. Not the cheapest. Not the most expensive.
Cold - Use layers and take temp/clothing notes. After a few weeks of notes, youíll know what to wear at any temp and avoid sweating or freezingósignificant clothing difference between 10 and 30 degrees, but both can produce winter precip. I wear cycling tights down to 0 degrees and just start to feel a bit cool in my legs after 30 mins. It doesnít get colder here, and layers work fine for upper body.
Tires - Winter snow/slush, go wider w/ some grip. Potential ice, drive the car or use studded tires.I drive for ice because we donít get enough to warrant studded tires.
Speed - Your enemy if streets arenít clear. You donít need a 20 min ride to be quicker.

20 mins is not much time. You wonít sweat or freeze too badly if you didnít quite get the layers right the first time. Work on riding with lights and dealing with the cold before you tackle snow in the dark at 0 degrees. No sense in piling on.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1010 on: September 26, 2019, 06:48:27 AM »
I don't have too much winter riding advice though I've ridden in the cold and snow up to a couple miles. I would suggest avoiding riding in the snow altogether unless you are into action and adventure (to include freezing your face off during winter slush events, not being able to demarcate where you should be riding if streets haven't been plowed, slipping and sliding all over the place, etc.), but otherwise for shorter trips (such as your 3-mile commute) I was more than fine just using regular winter clothes (in a climate similar to Denver's). Lights in the dark are always important (and the law), of course.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1011 on: September 26, 2019, 09:05:24 AM »
I regularly commute in the winter, about 11 or 12 miles each way.

For the winter it's safest to run at least two taillights (planet bike superflash turbos are great for this), one in blinking mode and one steady.  I've had taillights fail, and you don't want to be riding in the dark while invisible to cars.  You can use AAA rechargable batteries in them, and they last a long time.  I used to run a rechargable AA battery headlight, but they just don't make any that I think are bright enough for when it's really pitch black.  My preference is for a high lumen USB chargable headlight.  The Cygolite Metro 750 is a great choice.  You'll need to remember to charge it regularly though.

Clothing-wise - layers.  Get a very bright neon coloured windshell with some reflective accents.  Then you just add various layers beneath it depending on how cold it is.  I'm a fan of synthetic fleeces for sweat wicking and warmth.  Make sure there are zips for venting . . . because you'll get your clothing wrong from time to time and it'll help keep you from cooking.  Beneath that I like to have something sweat wicking and skin tight (underarmour type shirts).  I've got a couple pairs of heavy weight winter tights that I think were designed for skiing which work well on my legs.  Below freezing, you should cover your face with some kind of mask to avoid frostbite.  A thick pair of overgloves with a thin pair of gloves beneath that will keep your hands warm, and (taking off the big gloves) will allow you some dexterity for doing things in the cold like locking up.  Get footwear that is a size or two too big for you to make room for thick/heavy socks.  Thick wool socks (two pairs if you can swing it) will keep your feet warm through a lot of cold weather.  Tight shoes (no matter how warm) will reduce circulation and your toes will get frostbite, so make sure you try on your shoes/boots with the heavy socks you're going to be wearing.  A thin toque or headband is usually good on your head.  When it's really cold, taping over the vents in your bike helmet will keep your head much warmer.  ALWAYS wear glasses/goggles over your eyes in the cold . . . otherwise you'll be tearing up non-stop when you get going.

Tires-wise, it's very dependent upon where you're cycling.  I ride on the road, and they're very aggressive about salting here.  I'll often be riding through snow/slush but there's rarely any ice.  I like 28 mm tires with some grip for snow/slush.  They punch through to the ground beneath, and roll much better than wise mountain bike type tires.  You need some grip though, because loose snow is too slippery otherwise.  If you live somewhere that there's lots of ice, it's probably worth getting studded bike tires - just be aware that they are extremely slow whenever you're not cycling on ice.

Most important is to be flexible in the winter.  There have been times when I got out on the roads before the plows on certain streets and I've had to shoulder my bike because it was too slippery to ride.  Know your route (some areas will reliably be slippery or are places that ice builds up - it's good to know where these are).  Reduce your speed when going down hills.  Stop early for stop signs and lights.  Change lanes early.  Take the lane when you need to.  Be very careful using your front brake or turning your handlebars if you're on loose/slippery stuff - it is easy to wipe out (I'd recommend that you spend a couple snowy weekends playing in a parking lot to get a feel for how your bike handles in snow and on ice - you don't want to learn this in the middle of the road).  If the weather is really bad (like freezing rain) leave the bike at home . . . that type of weather doesn't happen often enough to be worth risking your life.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1012 on: September 26, 2019, 09:42:07 AM »
My nighttime riding has been limited to paved city streets. Street lighting is generally good enough for way finding (if you know the streets - not easy to read street name signs), so my lighting is more about being seen than seeing my path. I prefer lights with AA/AAA replaceable batteries over rechargeable lights. The rechargeable headlights do have the advantage of being available in brighter lights (2 AA batteries driving LED lights top out near 150 lumens, but lithium rechargeable batteries can output more power). Rather than stocking disposable alkaline batteries, I use NiMH rechargeable. I've had issues with various cheap rear blinking lights (lights would cut out with bumps). I recently picked up a Planet Bike Blaze 140 SL/Superflash Turbo combo set from REI's outlet for about $40 and so far I'm pretty happy with them. I like the Planet Bike Blaze mounting clip better than the Nightrider Mako mounting clip I previously used.

If you do want brighter lights than AA batteries can provide, consider a light that uses standard 18650 size replaceable lithium ion batteries such as the Fenix BC21R.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1013 on: September 26, 2019, 10:53:18 AM »

I'm concerned about getting home safely in the dark, staying upright over patches of snow and ice (again, if it's really bad I'll drive, but Denver has a lot of beautiful days where yesterday's snow is still melting) and also about what to wear if it's too cold for leggings or chinos.

Welcome!

Lights - I like to use 2 white LED's with USB recharging ports on the front. One is super bright and allows me to see on dark roads/trails. The other is less bright (and was much cheaper) and is the backup for when the other one dies. I started using two lights because the LEDS die all of a sudden and I never want to be that person biking in the dark. It's often also raining here in the winter so drivers have terrible vision from their cars. I also use 2 red blinking lights on the back and wear a bright yellow cycling jacket. One of those yellow construction vests is also a good option and can be layered over jackets you already own.

Ice - The most important thing is to slow down. If you come across a really icy patch you can always get off and walk. Otherwise it's similar to driving, where you need to remember that rolling wheels have better control than wheels that have locked up. Biking is slightly trickier because when you slide your back wheel tends to slide sideways out from under you. Just go slow and do your best to stay upright. Don't run your tires at the highest pressure if you want better grip. Let a little air out.

Speed - If you've been weight training your quads are probably really strong. This tends to encourage new riders to ride at too high of a gear at a low cadence (aka grinding). Try riding in an easier gear at a higher cadence (aka spin to win). Doing this should give you more speed and endurance without requiring any fitness changes. Also, when you're approaching an uphill section, gear down before you really need to. Try to keep your cadence high for as long as possible going up the hill.

Clothes - Some of my ski gear doubles as biking gear. If it's actively snowing I put my ski goggles on. When it drops below freezing (or close to) I wear a light Buff face mask. I also looove my fleece lined tights. Costco often carries them in the fall and the newer high rise tight styles are fantastic for biking. You'll also want gloves. I sometimes layer lighter gloves underneath heavier windproof ones. You're also going to want fenders.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1014 on: September 26, 2019, 04:59:58 PM »
Okay, I could use some help. I need to fix the problem of the limiter on my ebike. I thought it didnít have one when I bought it and apparently the sales person at the store was misinformed and/or lied.

In any case, Iíve been researching and it looks like an BadAss Box 4 will work for my Giant Explore E. The only issue is that they ship all over the world except the US.

I canít find it anywhere that will ship to me, even eBay. Does anyone have any idea how I can get around this?

Geographer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1015 on: September 26, 2019, 05:55:34 PM »
I'm about to transition from a job where my typical bike commute is 8.5 miles one way, to only ~2.5 miles one way MAX. I'm used to having to change into my work clothes at work which can be very time consuming and annoying. But for those of you who have shorter commutes, how do you successfully bike in work clothes? I'm mainly worried about sweat and getting chain grease on my pants.

mspym

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1016 on: September 26, 2019, 06:10:58 PM »
I'm about to transition from a job where my typical bike commute is 8.5 miles one way, to only ~2.5 miles one way MAX. I'm used to having to change into my work clothes at work which can be very time consuming and annoying. But for those of you who have shorter commutes, how do you successfully bike in work clothes? I'm mainly worried about sweat and getting chain grease on my pants.

Hi there, I cycle 7km each way in Sydney heat and humidity.
- Tightroll your pant leg on the chain side.
- Regularly clean your chain.
- Ride in a tee-shirt and change into your workshirt at work (very common here)
- Wear natural fibers that breathe more.
- Ride a little slower than you used to. It doesn't have to be a race so just enjoy the ride and be less sweaty.
Good luck!

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1017 on: September 27, 2019, 05:24:43 AM »
Okay, I could use some help. I need to fix the problem of the limiter on my ebike. I thought it didnít have one when I bought it and apparently the sales person at the store was misinformed and/or lied.

In any case, Iíve been researching and it looks like an BadAss Box 4 will work for my Giant Explore E. The only issue is that they ship all over the world except the US.

I canít find it anywhere that will ship to me, even eBay. Does anyone have any idea how I can get around this?

An ebike is not a motorcycle.  It's allowed to be used on bike and multi-use paths and therefore designed to move at much slower speeds.  As far as I'm aware, all ebikes in North America are sold with limiters for this reason, and it's usually illegal to modify them to remove the limiters.  If you want to go faster on an ebike than the electric motor allows, you can do this by using the pedals and your legs.  If you want to go faster than that, it's probably best to get your license and a motorcycle - because that's what you're really using the ebike as.

Mrsweisass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1018 on: September 27, 2019, 08:25:35 AM »
Okay, I could use some help. I need to fix the problem of the limiter on my ebike. I thought it didnít have one when I bought it and apparently the sales person at the store was misinformed and/or lied.

In any case, Iíve been researching and it looks like an BadAss Box 4 will work for my Giant Explore E. The only issue is that they ship all over the world except the US.

I canít find it anywhere that will ship to me, even eBay. Does anyone have any idea how I can get around this?

An ebike is not a motorcycle.  It's allowed to be used on bike and multi-use paths and therefore designed to move at much slower speeds.  As far as I'm aware, all ebikes in North America are sold with limiters for this reason, and it's usually illegal to modify them to remove the limiters.  If you want to go faster on an ebike than the electric motor allows, you can do this by using the pedals and your legs.  If you want to go faster than that, it's probably best to get your license and a motorcycle - because that's what you're really using the ebike as.

+1. My ebike can hit 30 mph while pedaling on the highest setting *as long as I am working too.* over reliance on a thumb throttle will burn out your motor, and there is no good reason I can think of to go faster on my bike. Ride safe!

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1019 on: September 27, 2019, 08:26:15 AM »
So I've bumped up my biweekly one-way 20-mile commute to weekly, and today I plan to do a roundtrip for the first time (40 miles total). Progress!

Question for the non-newbies: So I've gotten a lot of road bike gear recently, but have been holding off on a road bike helmet and shoes (have been using my mountain bike apparel). I would like to buy such items, but have been holding off for what I assume will be some type of winter sale. Do such sales exist and around when can I expect them? Do you have a preferred store from which you purchase bike-related items?

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1020 on: September 27, 2019, 11:35:36 AM »
Okay, I could use some help. I need to fix the problem of the limiter on my ebike. I thought it didnít have one when I bought it and apparently the sales person at the store was misinformed and/or lied.

In any case, Iíve been researching and it looks like an BadAss Box 4 will work for my Giant Explore E. The only issue is that they ship all over the world except the US.

I canít find it anywhere that will ship to me, even eBay. Does anyone have any idea how I can get around this?

An ebike is not a motorcycle.  It's allowed to be used on bike and multi-use paths and therefore designed to move at much slower speeds.  As far as I'm aware, all ebikes in North America are sold with limiters for this reason, and it's usually illegal to modify them to remove the limiters.  If you want to go faster on an ebike than the electric motor allows, you can do this by using the pedals and your legs.  If you want to go faster than that, it's probably best to get your license and a motorcycle - because that's what you're really using the ebike as.

+1. My ebike can hit 30 mph while pedaling on the highest setting *as long as I am working too.* over reliance on a thumb throttle will burn out your motor, and there is no good reason I can think of to go faster on my bike. Ride safe!
I should specify that I want to bypass the limiter so that I can get up to speeds approaching but not even attaining the max speed permissible by law in my state. I want to be able to achieve the same speeds that the road bikers decked out in spandex regularly ride at. I am not looking to turn my bike into a motorcycle.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1021 on: September 27, 2019, 11:40:16 AM »
Okay, I could use some help. I need to fix the problem of the limiter on my ebike. I thought it didnít have one when I bought it and apparently the sales person at the store was misinformed and/or lied.

In any case, Iíve been researching and it looks like an BadAss Box 4 will work for my Giant Explore E. The only issue is that they ship all over the world except the US.

I canít find it anywhere that will ship to me, even eBay. Does anyone have any idea how I can get around this?

An ebike is not a motorcycle.  It's allowed to be used on bike and multi-use paths and therefore designed to move at much slower speeds.  As far as I'm aware, all ebikes in North America are sold with limiters for this reason, and it's usually illegal to modify them to remove the limiters.  If you want to go faster on an ebike than the electric motor allows, you can do this by using the pedals and your legs.  If you want to go faster than that, it's probably best to get your license and a motorcycle - because that's what you're really using the ebike as.
In the US we have different classes of e-bikes. Class I and Class II are both limited to 20 mph (the difference is that Class II allows a throttle). Both Class I and II can be operated under the same rules as unassisted bicycles. Class III e-bikes are limited to 28 mph (20 mph under throttle only). California restricts use of Class III e-bikes on bike paths, requires riders be 16 years old or older, and requires riders to wear a helmet (generally adults 18 and older are not required to wear helmets in California). The Giant Explore E bike does not appear to be sold as a Class III bike, so it should be legal to modify it to Class III provided that it is relabeled and operated under Class III rules.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1022 on: September 27, 2019, 03:19:42 PM »
I'm about to transition from a job where my typical bike commute is 8.5 miles one way, to only ~2.5 miles one way MAX. I'm used to having to change into my work clothes at work which can be very time consuming and annoying. But for those of you who have shorter commutes, how do you successfully bike in work clothes? I'm mainly worried about sweat and getting chain grease on my pants.

Hi there, I cycle 7km each way in Sydney heat and humidity.
- Tightroll your pant leg on the chain side.
- Regularly clean your chain.
- Ride in a tee-shirt and change into your workshirt at work (very common here)
- Wear natural fibers that breathe more.
- Ride a little slower than you used to. It doesn't have to be a race so just enjoy the ride and be less sweaty.
Good luck!

I have never had trouble with chain grease on my pant legs. I wear Old Navy Pixie pants, which fit close to the leg. Or I wear bike shorts under an a-line skirt. I occasionally change into long pants when I get to work, if it is too hot to bike in long pants and I need to be wearing them. (My job involves sitting on the floor sometimes.) I often change my shoes at work, too. I occasionally change my shirt as well, but honestly that is more for aesthetics, because a work top with bike shorts looks weird.

Thanks for all the advice about winter riding! I might do a construction vest because then it would also be good for biking at night in warm weather (I work past 8 once a week).

If I wanted to get wider tires for winter, how do I go about that?

I will keep an eye out for cycling tights BUT I am only 4'11" tall, so I have trouble finding specialized clothing in my size. Maybe eBay can help.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1023 on: September 27, 2019, 04:11:00 PM »
If I wanted to get wider tires for winter, how do I go about that?
You start with figuring out the size of your current rims (usually by reading the size of your current tires). You will also want to know if your current set is tubeless or not.

If your tire is marked with ISO standard sizes with a (usually 2 digit) number indicating the width of the tire in millimeters, then a dash, then a (usually 3 digit) number indicating the rim bead diameter in millimeters. Only tires with the same rim bead diameter will fit on your rims; but a variety of widths will work just fine.

The last tires I purchased for my bike are 47-559 (26x1.75 in traditional mountain bike tire sizing). Most old mountain bikes have 559 mm rim bead diameter like mine. Most road bikes have had tires with 622 mm rim bead diameter for quite a while (traditionally called 700 C). Bikes with the same 622 mm rim bead diameter (but wider rims) are marketed as 29" mountain bikes. Some mountain bikes have also been marketed with 27.5" wheels; these have 584 mm rim bead diameter (same rim bead diameter as 650 B wheels - though again the rims tend to be wider). If your tires aren't marked with the ISO size and you're not sure they are one of these common sizes, visit Sheldon Brown's tire size page to figure it out. Note 26 x fractional number (less common) is not the same size as 26 x decimal number (more common).

When changing tire width, you want to be aware of your rim width - extremely wide tires on a narrow rim won't work safely; similarly narrow tires on a wide rim will also be prone to fail. Also be aware of how much clearance your current tire has so you don't go so much wider that your tire and other parts of your bike interfere with each other.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 04:14:37 PM by robartsd »

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1024 on: September 27, 2019, 05:19:15 PM »
So I've bumped up my biweekly one-way 20-mile commute to weekly, and today I plan to do a roundtrip for the first time (40 miles total). Progress!

Question for the non-newbies: So I've gotten a lot of road bike gear recently, but have been holding off on a road bike helmet and shoes (have been using my mountain bike apparel). I would like to buy such items, but have been holding off for what I assume will be some type of winter sale. Do such sales exist and around when can I expect them? Do you have a preferred store from which you purchase bike-related items?

Probably. However, there's actually no need to buy road specific pedals and shoes. I've done all kinds of road biking, including a half iron triathlon, using spd pedals and "mountain bike" shoes. As for the helmet, I just use a basic all purpose bike helmet. Unless you're riding in a full face helmet, whatever you've already got is probably fine.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1025 on: September 27, 2019, 07:59:03 PM »
I will keep an eye out for cycling tights BUT I am only 4'11" tall, so I have trouble finding specialized clothing in my size. Maybe eBay can help.

If there's some baggy bit at the bottom, often you can just tuck it under your socks - Belgian style:


mspym

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1026 on: September 28, 2019, 05:50:19 AM »
I will keep an eye out for cycling tights BUT I am only 4'11" tall, so I have trouble finding specialized clothing in my size. Maybe eBay can help.

If there's some baggy bit at the bottom, often you can just tuck it under your socks - Belgian style:


Or do what I do and buy 7/8 length leggings which are just the right length on my short legs

Blackymeowmeow

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1027 on: October 07, 2019, 05:40:43 PM »
Hi, new here. Got an E-bike this spring for $2000. Parked my car. Put on 1600 km so far, and lost 17 lbs. Just ordered some studded winter tires to see if it is possible to ride it all year, here in Canada. With any luck I'll be able to sell the car!

Zamboni

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1028 on: October 07, 2019, 06:40:47 PM »
Posting to follow because I just bought a new house that has a much more bikable commute for me. I've already learned a ton just reading this last page!

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1029 on: October 07, 2019, 06:48:21 PM »
Hi, new here. Got an E-bike this spring for $2000. Parked my car. Put on 1600 km so far, and lost 17 lbs. Just ordered some studded winter tires to see if it is possible to ride it all year, here in Canada. With any luck I'll be able to sell the car!

Epic. And yet some people insist that e-bikes are cheating. All I see is "enabling".

@GuitarStv or anyone else -- suggestion for cycling glasses that go over normal glasses?

I won't be able to ride in the deep winter (sidewalks/bike paths aren't cleared (worse, actually, have snow piles because of plows) and I'm not taking the 9yo on his bike on snowy roads to school), but getting the tearing-and-chapped-eyelids fixed would extend my bike season some at least...

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1030 on: October 08, 2019, 07:16:03 AM »
I haven't found any glasses that fit over my reading glasses that really work for cycling.  Cycling with ski goggles doesn't work at all for me because the goggles get way too foggy at stop lights.  I get a pair of large clear glasses (overcast and pitch black riding) and a pair of prescription sunglasses (sunny) from zenni online . . . and choose frames that will give me good coverage on my face.  My prescription is very high, but it still comes to only about 70 - 80$ each and they're way more comfortable that futzing around with two pairs of glasses on your face.  Put some Croakies on the prescription sunglasses to keep 'em on your face properly and you'll be golden.

The side benefit of doing this is that you radically reduce the wear and tear on your regular glasses so they seem to last much longer without falling apart.

ysette9

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Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1031 on: October 08, 2019, 10:21:36 AM »
I thought ski goggles shouldnít fog up if they are decent quality and in good condition. Can you try a better pair?
« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 11:53:46 AM by ysette9 »

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1032 on: October 08, 2019, 10:37:12 AM »
Yes. This. Something's not right with your goggles. I wear goggles all day long when I ski and they don't fog, even when I'm sitting on the lift. I suspect your fit may not be quite right.

I have the sun sensitive lens on my normal glasses. So when it's sunny they become sunglasses. I don't like them for other reasons, but presumably my eyes are always protected. I wear these glasses in the rain and just wipe them off with my gloves periodically when it's really raining. When it's raining really hard, water runs right into my eyes and it's like trying to see while underwater. Thankfully this doesn't happen often so I just ride slower rather than trying to find a gizmo to solve the problem.

When it's cold I wear my ski goggles. I'm on the southwest coast of BC, so it's rarely below freezing. Ski goggles have been fine, but are suboptimal when it's dark since my goggle lenses are tinted. If you need to ride in the dark, get goggles with untinted lenses.

Note that if you want to wear glasses underneath goggles you need to buy the goggles with the little cutouts on the side of the frame for the glasses arm. They're sold as "glasses compatible" goggles.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1033 on: October 08, 2019, 11:35:09 AM »
I have no problems at all with fogging while wearing ski goggles skiing.  Cycling is a different story though.  YMMV.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1034 on: October 08, 2019, 12:25:45 PM »
Hi, new here. Got an E-bike this spring for $2000. Parked my car. Put on 1600 km so far, and lost 17 lbs. Just ordered some studded winter tires to see if it is possible to ride it all year, here in Canada. With any luck I'll be able to sell the car!

Hurray!

And Yes you can.... it was blizzardy out this morning. Luckily it was still warm enough to keep from icing up because haven't put my studded tires on yet. It's still forecasted to have a few more clear warmish weeks, at least after this snow  :)

4 weeks back at work, and I've only missed one day of bike commuting so far because the snow accumulation was >10cm... but by afternoon I definitely could've biked home. I find 10cm or more of wet snow on the roads/sidewalks to be slog... faster to walk or take the bus. Luckily it so rarely happens here, but when it does it's usually the spring or the fall.


wbarnett

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1035 on: October 09, 2019, 10:48:13 AM »
Can I jump in here and get some advice about biking to work in the winter? (Sorry, I did not read all 20 past pages :-). )

I have been biking through the nice seasons and want to know what I can do to get ready for winter biking. Some parameters:

-I have a car, so I don't need to spend a bunch of money on things that would only be necessary in dreadful weather. I can drive in dreadful weather.
-My bike is a hybrid.
-My commute is about 3 miles with some hills which takes me about 20 minutes because I'm a slow-ass biker. (I can squat my body weight! Repeatedly! So I don't think it's my leg strength. But people just blow right by me.)
-My route is some street biking (on streets designated as bike routes but with no bike lanes), some bike lanes on the road, and a stretch of poorly maintained paved trail.
-I live in Denver so I can expect icy conditions not infrequently.

I'm concerned about getting home safely in the dark, staying upright over patches of snow and ice (again, if it's really bad I'll drive, but Denver has a lot of beautiful days where yesterday's snow is still melting) and also about what to wear if it's too cold for leggings or chinos.

Help!

Welcome. I bike commute in Denver/Arvada year-round. A few suggestions:

- Get fenders if your hybrid doesn't have them. I also use knobby cyclocross type tires for the period November - April.
- The ice is actually better than the slush. I've almost crashed several times riding through the slush, but riding over medium sizes patches of ice isn't bad if you're upright. Just take it slow.
- Bike lanes are often more treacherous than traffic lanes in winter, because the plows push all the snow and de-icing crap into the bike lane. I ride in the right lane of downtown streets more often than the bike lanes during winter.
- Get fleece cycling tights. There are great cheap ones on Amazon. Mine are comfortable down to ~10 degrees, and are actually too hot when it's above 30.
- Invest in a good USB-rechargeable bike light. Maybe three. Again, Amazon is a good resource.
- Don't over-dress. If you start out a little cold, that's better than starting out perfectly comfortable. You'll warm up.
- Enjoy it! Biking in the winter is beautiful around here, and often faster than rush hour traffic. View it as an adventure!


35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1036 on: October 09, 2019, 04:48:57 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.

So I just gave the wheel builder at a new (recommended) LBS the go ahead to build me a new wheel.
-Velocity Cliffhanger 36H rim
-Shimano Deore hub
-DTSwiss spokes
-locking brass nipples

Including parts and labor, it cost almost half the price of the bike but HOPEFULLY it will fix my wheel issues for good. Hurts to say but came to $303 plus tax so ~$323.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1037 on: October 09, 2019, 07:14:50 PM »
Just put in a call to my bike shop to ask about fenders. I donít want to get caught without them before the rain starts.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1038 on: October 09, 2019, 08:27:39 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.

So I just gave the wheel builder at a new (recommended) LBS the go ahead to build me a new wheel.
-Velocity Cliffhanger 36H rim
-Shimano Deore hub
-DTSwiss spokes
-locking brass nipples

Including parts and labor, it cost almost half the price of the bike but HOPEFULLY it will fix my wheel issues for good. Hurts to say but came to $303 plus tax so ~$323.

A hand built 36 spoke wheel will last you forever.  The 32 spoke rear wheel that I built hasn't gone out of true in four years of heavy use.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1039 on: October 10, 2019, 10:53:40 AM »
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 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.
So I just gave the wheel builder at a new (recommended) LBS the go ahead to build me a new wheel.
-Velocity Cliffhanger 36H rim
-Shimano Deore hub
-DTSwiss spokes
-locking brass nipples

Including parts and labor, it cost almost half the price of the bike but HOPEFULLY it will fix my wheel issues for good. Hurts to say but came to $303 plus tax so ~$323.
I also had a 36H rear wheel hand built a few years ago due to same problem (ALWAYS at the elbow on the non-drive side which has lower tension due to wheel geometry). My costs were a bit lower ($250-280 total; 50-100 rim, 50-70 hub, 40-60 spokes and nipples, 60-80 labor), but I'm pretty sure you rim and nipples are an upgrade from what I got. I'm a big guy, ride fairly upright, and pack ~20 pounds on the rear rack regularly, so lots of weight on that wheel.

After researching the problem (mostly sheldonbrown.com articles), I determined that the drive side spokes should have a larger cross sectional area than the non-drive side spokes so that the cross sectional stress is approximately equal. I determined that I wanted a hand built wheel and felt that I could DIY the job (using bike as truing stand and pitch method of determining spoke tension). As I looked to source the needed parts, I found that getting the spokes I wanted was going to be a problem. I could only find the spokes I wanted in quantities of 50, so I'd have 32 extra of each size - the cost of the extra spokes was about the same as the labor to build a wheel so I ended up having the wheel built at a LBS. I ended up going with the wheel builder's recommendation using the same single butted spokes on both sides of the wheel.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1040 on: October 10, 2019, 11:37:14 AM »
So I just gave the wheel builder at a new (recommended) LBS the go ahead to build me a new wheel.
-Velocity Cliffhanger 36H rim
-Shimano Deore hub
-DTSwiss spokes
-locking brass nipples

Including parts and labor, it cost almost half the price of the bike but HOPEFULLY it will fix my wheel issues for good. Hurts to say but came to $303 plus tax so ~$323.

A hand built 36 spoke wheel will last you forever.  The 32 spoke rear wheel that I built hasn't gone out of true in four years of heavy use.

I sure hope so! I feel like a spendy pants over here but didn't see a better option at this point.

I also had a 36H rear wheel hand built a few years ago due to same problem (ALWAYS at the elbow on the non-drive side which has lower tension due to wheel geometry). My costs were a bit lower ($250-280 total; 50-100 rim, 50-70 hub, 40-60 spokes and nipples, 60-80 labor), but I'm pretty sure you rim and nipples are an upgrade from what I got. I'm a big guy, ride fairly upright, and pack ~20 pounds on the rear rack regularly, so lots of weight on that wheel.

After researching the problem (mostly sheldonbrown.com articles), I determined that the drive side spokes should have a larger cross sectional area than the non-drive side spokes so that the cross sectional stress is approximately equal. I determined that I wanted a hand built wheel and felt that I could DIY the job (using bike as truing stand and pitch method of determining spoke tension). As I looked to source the needed parts, I found that getting the spokes I wanted was going to be a problem. I could only find the spokes I wanted in quantities of 50, so I'd have 32 extra of each size - the cost of the extra spokes was about the same as the labor to build a wheel so I ended up having the wheel built at a LBS. I ended up going with the wheel builder's recommendation using the same single butted spokes on both sides of the wheel.
Mine started off breaking at the elbow of the NDS but then the floodgates opened and they started breaking all over the place.

The LBS did an estimate of the parts cost but the only things that were certain were the spokes at $1.88 each, nipples at $0.36(?) each, and labor at $90. This LBS is in an expensive area and their prices are a bit higher than others I've noticed.

I do just about everything myself and was tempted to do this on my own, but after all the problems I've had, I figured I'd let them do it so I have someone to go back to if it starts failing again.

In the mean time, I've been replacing the spokes myself, bringing them up to tension by sound, and using a pen on the rim and a steady hand to true the wheel on the bike flipped upside down.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1041 on: October 10, 2019, 12:52:11 PM »
The LBS did an estimate of the parts cost but the only things that were certain were the spokes at $1.88 each, nipples at $0.36(?) each, and labor at $90. This LBS is in an expensive area and their prices are a bit higher than others I've noticed.
My LBS estimate only changed because rim I originally picked out wasn't available from their regular supplier (and shipping of a single rim from alternate providers was cost prohibitive).

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1042 on: October 10, 2019, 01:41:01 PM »
For the record, as a cycling newbie, I can no longer read the most recent posts on this thread. It's almost a different language.

As a cycling newbie update, sometime in the last few weeks I biked the "giant" hill between my old home and my work - the one that prevented me from biking daily before I moved. It was fine! It was a workout, but a moderate one. It was nice to have tangible evidence that I'm getting stronger.

mspym

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1043 on: October 10, 2019, 02:06:13 PM »
Yay @Tass that is awesome!

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GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1044 on: October 10, 2019, 02:10:13 PM »
Congrats on the hill!


Learning to talk about tweaking nipples on your wheels without collapsing into fits of giggles is an important part of becoming a cyclist.  :P

mspym

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1045 on: October 10, 2019, 02:58:06 PM »
Congrats on the hill!


Learning to talk about tweaking nipples on your wheels without collapsing into fits of giggles is an important part of becoming a cyclist.  :P
A certain type of cyclist...
I've successfully ridden for years without needing to talk about adjusting my nipples. YMMV

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1046 on: October 10, 2019, 03:10:46 PM »
Congrats on the hill!


Learning to talk about tweaking nipples on your wheels without collapsing into fits of giggles is an important part of becoming a cyclist.  :P

Ha!

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1047 on: October 10, 2019, 03:27:55 PM »
I'm not a newbie, but this is the first time I've heard truing a wheel referred to as "tweaking nipples on your wheels". Can't say that I'm collapsing into fits of giggles, but I am chuckling a bit about the phrasing.

Tass, congrats on the hill. I'm sure I'd find it a bit of a workout too. It's been over a year since I've gone up anything larger than an overpass (possibly over a year for that too). The most challenging hill I regularly ride is about 7 ft of elevation gain over about 200 ft. When I hit the traffic light at the bottom of the hill right, I can almost just coast to the stop sign at the top of the hill.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1048 on: October 10, 2019, 04:08:13 PM »
Tass, congrats on the hill. I'm sure I'd find it a bit of a workout too. It's been over a year since I've gone up anything larger than an overpass (possibly over a year for that too). The most challenging hill I regularly ride is about 7 ft of elevation gain over about 200 ft. When I hit the traffic light at the bottom of the hill right, I can almost just coast to the stop sign at the top of the hill.

This is 300ft of elevation over 1.5 miles. Per google maps it looks like the grade is between 3-5.5% at different points - so not appreciably steeper than yours, though more sustained. I'm pretty sure one of the signs on the route warns of 8%, though...

It's also the hill my partner would have to climb if he started biking, which I am now encouraging him to try. He needs to get over the sniffles first, though.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1049 on: October 11, 2019, 08:52:26 AM »
This is 300ft of elevation over 1.5 miles. Per google maps it looks like the grade is between 3-5.5% at different points - so not appreciably steeper than yours, though more sustained. I'm pretty sure one of the signs on the route warns of 8%, though...
I get the smallest hint of what it would be like to actually sustain a climb of that grade when I come to a stop at the traffic signal just before it so I can't hit it with speed.

As far as hills go, the most challenging ride I have taken was about 20 miles each way. The first 16.5 miles is mostly a bike path along the American River gaining about 60 ft in elevation. The next 3/4 of a mile is a 120 ft  climb from the river into Fair Oaks. Then 3 miles of rolling hills (unfortunately traffic signals tend to be at the bottom of the hills). Other than having a full hour of mostly flat riding before getting to the climb, even this isn't as tough as your hill. The return trip would be a lot more fun if sharp turns and traffic considerations didn't prevent carrying speed off the descent.