Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 171950 times)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1050 on: October 15, 2019, 12:58:29 PM »
I definitely need to figure out how to be warmer. My legs and feet were sooo cold last time I biked and it was only like 32F. Not that cold. What do people were on their feet when it's cold? 'Cause running shoes are not keeping my feet warm, even with wool socks.

I biked up to the tiny LBS yesterday. They said that my tires were probably fine for winter but that I should get fenders. They are ordering some for me and I'll go back to have them installed. There are probably cheaper ways to get fenders, but my mental bandwidth is limited!

The fenders we chose are reflective and I already ordered a reflective vest, so I should be SUPER visible at night!

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1051 on: October 15, 2019, 01:27:01 PM »
I definitely need to figure out how to be warmer. My legs and feet were sooo cold last time I biked and it was only like 32F. Not that cold. What do people were on their feet when it's cold? 'Cause running shoes are not keeping my feet warm, even with wool socks.

I biked up to the tiny LBS yesterday. They said that my tires were probably fine for winter but that I should get fenders. They are ordering some for me and I'll go back to have them installed. There are probably cheaper ways to get fenders, but my mental bandwidth is limited!

The fenders we chose are reflective and I already ordered a reflective vest, so I should be SUPER visible at night!

I've found that keeping my chest and core warm enough actually keeps my hands and feet warm.  When my chest is too cold, my feet and fingers are the first to suffer . . . even if they're in heavy boots/gloves.  Other than that, make sure that your shoes and gloves are loose (don't pack boots so tight with socks that there's no room to move your feet around).  Tight stuff will cut off circulation, and as soon as you do that you're going to suffer in the cold.

Some other tips to stay warm:
- Don't wear cotton.  As soon as cotton gets wet, it conducts heat away from the body faster than being naked.
- Always wear a wind blocking layer on the outside and various insulating layers below that.  You're always getting whacked with wind while cycling, and that wind will cut right through most non-wind blocking materials - chilling you much more than would happen if you were just walking around.
- Have stuff with zips and vents.  Seems weird, but one of the problems you run into when cycling in the winter is that you overheat.  Then you sweat.  Then the sweat makes you cold.
- Try to keep your power output slow and steady on the bike.  If you're sprinting to the next traffic light and then sitting still you're going to build up a lot of sweat, and then freeze while you're not moving.  (Can also cause problems with glasses fogging up.)
- Cover your face and eyes!  Wear a balaclava over your face below zero.  Wear glasses or goggles to keep the wind from making your eyes water and then have cold liquid dripping down your face.

LittleWanderer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1052 on: October 15, 2019, 01:28:56 PM »
@La Bibliotecaria Feroz, do you own any boots?  Wind is going to rush straight through the mesh of running shoes.  Feet are really hard to keep warm when it's cold out. 

Fenders are awesome!  I love mine. 

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1053 on: October 15, 2019, 01:57:02 PM »
I definitely need to figure out how to be warmer. My legs and feet were sooo cold last time I biked and it was only like 32F. Not that cold. What do people were on their feet when it's cold? 'Cause running shoes are not keeping my feet warm, even with wool socks.

I wear ugg's, merrell winter hiking shoes, rain boots, blundstones, or heavy duty sorrel knee high winter boots... depending on how cold and how long I'm biking for. If you clip in you have much fewer choices. Sometimes you can get off and walk a bit to warm your feet up if you're going to be out a while. And yes I know that's a lot of winter foot wear, but it is winter here a lot! (We've hit -15C for a morning commute already, and have had 6ish commute days of snow and ice!)

I second what GuitarSV said, do not cut off circulation to hands or feet by stuffing another layer of socks/liner gloves - you will have the worst frost bite thaw pain ever!

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1054 on: October 15, 2019, 02:01:41 PM »
@La Bibliotecaria Feroz, do you own any boots?  Wind is going to rush straight through the mesh of running shoes.  Feet are really hard to keep warm when it's cold out. 

Fenders are awesome!  I love mine.

I have some Merrell snow boots. I guess seeing how those do would be the most economical choice!

@GuitarStv, thanks for the tips! That makes a lot of sense. My neck was super cold because I was just wearing a fleece that was a little loose in that area and I probably would have been more comfortable all over if I'd been wearing a balaclava instead of just an ear wrap.

I think if I buy only 2 things this winter--clothing-wise, so not counting the fenders--they should be cycling tights and a balaclava. Everything else I can probably make do with something I already have for any weather that I would really want to bike in.

mspym

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1055 on: October 15, 2019, 02:39:56 PM »
I've found that keeping my chest and core warm enough actually keeps my hands and feet warm.  When my chest is too cold, my feet and fingers are the first to suffer . . . even if they're in heavy boots/gloves.  Other than that, make sure that your shoes and gloves are loose (don't pack boots so tight with socks that there's no room to move your feet around).  Tight stuff will cut off circulation, and as soon as you do that you're going to suffer in the cold.

If your core is cold, your body won't send blood to the extremities because its highest priority is keeping the organs warm. You also don't want all your torso layers to be super tight fitting as the warmed up air pockets add insulation. I used my hiking boots + wool socks for my feet.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1056 on: October 16, 2019, 09:53:18 AM »
Installed my new, faster tires over the weekend and rode in for the first time on them today. As I'm leaving the house, I realize I forgot to bring a spare tube. Eh, what could go wrong? I haven't had a fast-leak flat since I started riding, right?

Ooooh, these tires are faster!!

Several miles in.... HissSsssSssssSSsssssSSssssssSSsssssssssssssssssssSSSssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.

Sonuva!!!!!!!

EscapedApe

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1057 on: October 16, 2019, 03:33:59 PM »
Several miles in.... HissSsssSssssSSsssssSSssssssSSsssssssssssssssssssSSSssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.

I could feel just this sitting in my office chair reading it.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1058 on: October 16, 2019, 03:42:20 PM »
Just got back from the bike shop with my new, 36 spoke, hand built, rear wheel.

They told me to bring it back after 500 miles so they can re-true it.

Once I got home, I noticed the wheel is true but there are two spokes that seem like they are waaaay too loose!

I'm scared that I'm going to ride it and start breaking spokes again on my freaking $323 wheel.

I texted the guy to let him know. At this point it would have been cheaper for me to just drive my car everywhere...

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1059 on: October 16, 2019, 04:39:28 PM »
I stopped by work this afternoon (on maternity leave) and picked up the correct size of the awesome new reflective bike jacket I earned through bike-to-work points. Iím excited to wear it as the mornings are starting to get chilly.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1060 on: October 16, 2019, 04:40:26 PM »
Oh right. Technically Iím squatting on this chat as I am not biking to work while on leave. I do bike my kid to school each day though so I am not a complete imposter.

mspym

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1061 on: October 16, 2019, 05:45:20 PM »
Oh right. Technically Iím squatting on this chat as I am not biking to work while on leave. I do bike my kid to school each day though so I am not a complete imposter.
AND you biked to work enough to earn an awesome reflective bike jacket. SCORE.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1062 on: October 16, 2019, 05:52:41 PM »
I think biking to work during the majority of a pregnancy earns you a permanent place of honor in the thread, actually.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1063 on: October 16, 2019, 05:59:07 PM »
Just got back from the bike shop with my new, 36 spoke, hand built, rear wheel.

They told me to bring it back after 500 miles so they can re-true it.

Once I got home, I noticed the wheel is true but there are two spokes that seem like they are waaaay too loose!

I'm scared that I'm going to ride it and start breaking spokes again on my freaking $323 wheel.

I texted the guy to let him know. At this point it would have been cheaper for me to just drive my car everywhere...

It's pretty common for spokes on a new wheel to require adjustment after a few hundred miles.

On a properly built wheel, all the spokes on the same side should be the same tension.  None of them should feel looser than any of the others (although on a rear wheel you'll find that the non drive side spokes are much looser than the spokes on the drive side).  Where do you feel loose spokes?  How loose are they?

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1064 on: October 16, 2019, 06:32:22 PM »
I think biking to work during the majority of a pregnancy earns you a permanent place of honor in the thread, actually.
~blush~

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1065 on: October 16, 2019, 06:33:37 PM »
I looked down at my helmet this evening and realized it has a couple of cracks in the foam. Since it is old and I ride an ebike I think I should replace it for something that will be safer.

Does anyone have recommendations on products and/or where to start researching?

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1066 on: October 16, 2019, 06:44:37 PM »
Just got back from the bike shop with my new, 36 spoke, hand built, rear wheel.

They told me to bring it back after 500 miles so they can re-true it.

Once I got home, I noticed the wheel is true but there are two spokes that seem like they are waaaay too loose!

I'm scared that I'm going to ride it and start breaking spokes again on my freaking $323 wheel.

I texted the guy to let him know. At this point it would have been cheaper for me to just drive my car everywhere...

It's pretty common for spokes on a new wheel to require adjustment after a few hundred miles.

On a properly built wheel, all the spokes on the same side should be the same tension.  None of them should feel looser than any of the others (although on a rear wheel you'll find that the non drive side spokes are much looser than the spokes on the drive side).  Where do you feel loose spokes?  How loose are they?

I havenít ridden the bike yet with the new wheel...

I plucked all the spokes and can tell that theyíre all slightly different tensions even though the wheel is true.

The two that were loose didnít ring at all.
Just clunked and I could move them back and fourth with my finger and thumb without much pressure.

I forget where on the wheel they were but they were only a few spokes apart from one another.

They said to bring the wheel back and theyíll take a look.
Since I have work tomorrow (and I ride to work) Iím planning on riding 4.5 miles to work, then 5 miles to the bike shop. Hope that doesnít do any damage.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1067 on: October 16, 2019, 08:18:08 PM »
I looked down at my helmet this evening and realized it has a couple of cracks in the foam. Since it is old and I ride an ebike I think I should replace it for something that will be safer.

Does anyone have recommendations on products and/or where to start researching?

I just went to a bike superstore and bought the one that didn't make me feel ridiculous.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1068 on: October 16, 2019, 08:27:09 PM »
Hah!

I add a wide brim to the outside of mine so I am guaranteed to look ridiculous regardless.


hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1069 on: October 17, 2019, 12:13:00 AM »
I looked down at my helmet this evening and realized it has a couple of cracks in the foam. Since it is old and I ride an ebike I think I should replace it for something that will be safer.

Does anyone have recommendations on products and/or where to start researching?
All helmets have to pass the same standards, but I did elect for a MIPS one - they are supposed to be better than the average brain bucket. Mine is a Bontrager Circuit MIPS. I can put lights on it, which is cool for visibility. Maybe a car pulling out of a driveway will see the blinky coal miner light over the top of parked cars.

It's actually my second helmet(same model) after getting a free crash replacement. I skidded off into a ditch on Hwy 9 while going like 30mph. Bad technique, too much speed, commuter tires. Bruised ribs and bloody scrapes helped me learn my lesson, but the helmet did its job.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1070 on: October 17, 2019, 12:36:19 AM »
Oh right. Technically Iím squatting on this chat as I am not biking to work while on leave. I do bike my kid to school each day though so I am not a complete imposter.

I'm also squatting here for another week since I had a cardiac ablation last week and I'm not yet healed enough for biking.

It's been soooooo boring and I had to make an unscheduled stop for gas today. Blerg.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1071 on: October 17, 2019, 01:18:21 AM »
I had to do a unscheduled has stop also! I had to run some car errands and was completely caught by surprise when the gas light dinged on the freeway. Iíve fallen out of the habit if managing this stuff. Hah.


Good luck healing.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1072 on: October 17, 2019, 06:04:03 AM »
Just got back from the bike shop with my new, 36 spoke, hand built, rear wheel.

They told me to bring it back after 500 miles so they can re-true it.

Once I got home, I noticed the wheel is true but there are two spokes that seem like they are waaaay too loose!

I'm scared that I'm going to ride it and start breaking spokes again on my freaking $323 wheel.

I texted the guy to let him know. At this point it would have been cheaper for me to just drive my car everywhere...

It's pretty common for spokes on a new wheel to require adjustment after a few hundred miles.

On a properly built wheel, all the spokes on the same side should be the same tension.  None of them should feel looser than any of the others (although on a rear wheel you'll find that the non drive side spokes are much looser than the spokes on the drive side).  Where do you feel loose spokes?  How loose are they?

I havenít ridden the bike yet with the new wheel...

I plucked all the spokes and can tell that theyíre all slightly different tensions even though the wheel is true.

The two that were loose didnít ring at all.
Just clunked and I could move them back and fourth with my finger and thumb without much pressure.

I forget where on the wheel they were but they were only a few spokes apart from one another.

They said to bring the wheel back and theyíll take a look.
Since I have work tomorrow (and I ride to work) Iím planning on riding 4.5 miles to work, then 5 miles to the bike shop. Hope that doesnít do any damage.

Both loose spokes are on the NDS.
Just rode the bike to work. The spokes pinged during the first revolution of the wheel with me on the bike.

I didn't think they were supposed to do that on a properly built wheel.

The ride was AMAZING though! wheel feels strong, true, and fast!
Also, I noticed that a creaking sound that I thought was the bottom bracket is no longer there with the new wheel.

I'm going to ride to the bike shop after work to get them to check the tensions.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1073 on: October 17, 2019, 08:10:58 AM »
Just got back from the bike shop with my new, 36 spoke, hand built, rear wheel.

They told me to bring it back after 500 miles so they can re-true it.

Once I got home, I noticed the wheel is true but there are two spokes that seem like they are waaaay too loose!

I'm scared that I'm going to ride it and start breaking spokes again on my freaking $323 wheel.

I texted the guy to let him know. At this point it would have been cheaper for me to just drive my car everywhere...

It's pretty common for spokes on a new wheel to require adjustment after a few hundred miles.

On a properly built wheel, all the spokes on the same side should be the same tension.  None of them should feel looser than any of the others (although on a rear wheel you'll find that the non drive side spokes are much looser than the spokes on the drive side).  Where do you feel loose spokes?  How loose are they?

I havenít ridden the bike yet with the new wheel...

I plucked all the spokes and can tell that theyíre all slightly different tensions even though the wheel is true.

The two that were loose didnít ring at all.
Just clunked and I could move them back and fourth with my finger and thumb without much pressure.

I forget where on the wheel they were but they were only a few spokes apart from one another.

They said to bring the wheel back and theyíll take a look.
Since I have work tomorrow (and I ride to work) Iím planning on riding 4.5 miles to work, then 5 miles to the bike shop. Hope that doesnít do any damage.

Both loose spokes are on the NDS.
Just rode the bike to work. The spokes pinged during the first revolution of the wheel with me on the bike.

I didn't think they were supposed to do that on a properly built wheel.

The ride was AMAZING though! wheel feels strong, true, and fast!
Also, I noticed that a creaking sound that I thought was the bottom bracket is no longer there with the new wheel.

I'm going to ride to the bike shop after work to get them to check the tensions.


A little pinging after adjusting spoke tensions is normal and no big deal.  Spokes that are so loose they're just sitting there and wiggling around doesn't sound good though.

Check if the adjacent spokes on the same side feel like they're at a much higher tension.  To me, that would be an indication of a wheel that's not built properly . . . it's possible to build a wheel very true with wildly uneven tensions on the spokes.  What happens with that sort of wheel though, is that the uneven tension leads to premature spoke failure and a much weaker wheel than you would otherwise get.

If all the spokes on the NDS feel a little loose, that's not necessarily a problem.  The dish of the wheel dictates that they'll all be much looser than the drive side.  None should be flopping around though, but it should be possible for the shop to slightly increase the tension of all spokes (DS and NDS) so that nothing's flopping around.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1074 on: October 17, 2019, 08:35:33 AM »
I looked down at my helmet this evening and realized it has a couple of cracks in the foam. Since it is old and I ride an ebike I think I should replace it for something that will be safer.

Does anyone have recommendations on products and/or where to start researching?

MIPS is the current state-of-the-art technology for helmets.  It is not conclusively better, from what I can tell, but studies suggest that it is better, particularly at mitigating rotational impacts.

I bought a MIPS helmet yesterday on Amazon from a reputable brand (Giro) for my e-biking.  My current helmet is old but still seems perfectly intact.  Nevertheless, I made the leap (partly to get a rounder helmet as well in line with other recommendations I've read).  Worst case, I wasted $40. 

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1075 on: October 17, 2019, 08:51:36 AM »
Once I got home, I noticed the wheel is true but there are two spokes that seem like they are waaaay too loose!
On a properly built wheel, all the spokes on the same side should be the same tension.  None of them should feel looser than any of the others (although on a rear wheel you'll find that the non drive side spokes are much looser than the spokes on the drive side).  Where do you feel loose spokes?  How loose are they?
I plucked all the spokes and can tell that theyíre all slightly different tensions even though the wheel is true.

The two that were loose didnít ring at all.
Just clunked and I could move them back and fourth with my finger and thumb without much pressure.

I forget where on the wheel they were but they were only a few spokes apart from one another.

They said to bring the wheel back and theyíll take a look.
Since I have work tomorrow (and I ride to work) Iím planning on riding 4.5 miles to work, then 5 miles to the bike shop. Hope that doesnít do any damage.
Both loose spokes are on the NDS.
Just rode the bike to work. The spokes pinged during the first revolution of the wheel with me on the bike.

I didn't think they were supposed to do that on a properly built wheel.
I'm going to ride to the bike shop after work to get them to check the tensions.
A little pinging after adjusting spoke tensions is normal and no big deal.  Spokes that are so loose they're just sitting there and wiggling around doesn't sound good though.

Check if the adjacent spokes on the same side feel like they're at a much higher tension.  To me, that would be an indication of a wheel that's not built properly . . . it's possible to build a wheel very true with wildly uneven tensions on the spokes.  What happens with that sort of wheel though, is that the uneven tension leads to premature spoke failure and a much weaker wheel than you would otherwise get.

If all the spokes on the NDS feel a little loose, that's not necessarily a problem.  The dish of the wheel dictates that they'll all be much looser than the drive side.  None should be flopping around though, but it should be possible for the shop to slightly increase the tension of all spokes (DS and NDS) so that nothing's flopping around.
It is possible that the rim they started with wasn't true to begin with, so they needed some variation in tension to true the rim. The wheel builder should have rejected the rim if the only way to build a wheel that is true from it was to have tension problems as bad as you describe.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1076 on: October 17, 2019, 09:04:24 AM »
Both loose spokes are on the NDS.
Just rode the bike to work. The spokes pinged during the first revolution of the wheel with me on the bike.

I didn't think they were supposed to do that on a properly built wheel.

The ride was AMAZING though! wheel feels strong, true, and fast!
Also, I noticed that a creaking sound that I thought was the bottom bracket is no longer there with the new wheel.

I'm going to ride to the bike shop after work to get them to check the tensions.


A little pinging after adjusting spoke tensions is normal and no big deal.  Spokes that are so loose they're just sitting there and wiggling around doesn't sound good though.

Check if the adjacent spokes on the same side feel like they're at a much higher tension.  To me, that would be an indication of a wheel that's not built properly . . . it's possible to build a wheel very true with wildly uneven tensions on the spokes.  What happens with that sort of wheel though, is that the uneven tension leads to premature spoke failure and a much weaker wheel than you would otherwise get.

If all the spokes on the NDS feel a little loose, that's not necessarily a problem.  The dish of the wheel dictates that they'll all be much looser than the drive side.  None should be flopping around though, but it should be possible for the shop to slightly increase the tension of all spokes (DS and NDS) so that nothing's flopping around.

I thought that the initial pinging was a sign that the spokes weren't properly stress relieved or seated properly or something like that.
It's relieving (har har) if that isn't the case.

Everything on the wheel is at a much higher tension than these two spokes as they're not even tight.
Comparing the adjacent spokes to the other spokes on the same side of the wheel, they sound roughly the same when I pick them.

Regardless, I'm going to take it in today and see what they say as the premature spoke failure issue is why I paid the $$$ to have a hand-built wheel from a pro (I hope) after going through 2 junkers from Giant.

I hope I'm just needlessly worrying here. I must say this whole thing has been quite disheartening.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1077 on: October 17, 2019, 09:15:16 AM »
Both loose spokes are on the NDS.
Just rode the bike to work. The spokes pinged during the first revolution of the wheel with me on the bike.

I didn't think they were supposed to do that on a properly built wheel.

The ride was AMAZING though! wheel feels strong, true, and fast!
Also, I noticed that a creaking sound that I thought was the bottom bracket is no longer there with the new wheel.

I'm going to ride to the bike shop after work to get them to check the tensions.


A little pinging after adjusting spoke tensions is normal and no big deal.  Spokes that are so loose they're just sitting there and wiggling around doesn't sound good though.

Check if the adjacent spokes on the same side feel like they're at a much higher tension.  To me, that would be an indication of a wheel that's not built properly . . . it's possible to build a wheel very true with wildly uneven tensions on the spokes.  What happens with that sort of wheel though, is that the uneven tension leads to premature spoke failure and a much weaker wheel than you would otherwise get.

If all the spokes on the NDS feel a little loose, that's not necessarily a problem.  The dish of the wheel dictates that they'll all be much looser than the drive side.  None should be flopping around though, but it should be possible for the shop to slightly increase the tension of all spokes (DS and NDS) so that nothing's flopping around.

I thought that the initial pinging was a sign that the spokes weren't properly stress relieved or seated properly or something like that.
It's relieving (har har) if that isn't the case.

Everything on the wheel is at a much higher tension than these two spokes as they're not even tight.
Comparing the adjacent spokes to the other spokes on the same side of the wheel, they sound roughly the same when I pick them.

Regardless, I'm going to take it in today and see what they say as the premature spoke failure issue is why I paid the $$$ to have a hand-built wheel from a pro (I hope) after going through 2 junkers from Giant.

I hope I'm just needlessly worrying here. I must say this whole thing has been quite disheartening.

If you're really concerned about the wheel build, ask the bike shop to show you the tensions of the spokes you're concerned about (and adjacent spokes) with their tensiometer.  I wouldn't expect more than plus or minus 5% tension difference on all the spokes on a side after the wheel is trued.  If you're seeing more than +/- 10% there's something wrong with the build.  (With some patience I was able to get the wheels I built true at at plus or minus two percent.)  If they don't have a tensiometer, find a new bike shop.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1078 on: October 17, 2019, 09:36:34 AM »
I thought that the initial pinging was a sign that the spokes weren't properly stress relieved or seated properly or something like that.
It's relieving (har har) if that isn't the case.

Everything on the wheel is at a much higher tension than these two spokes as they're not even tight.
Comparing the adjacent spokes to the other spokes on the same side of the wheel, they sound roughly the same when I pick them.

Regardless, I'm going to take it in today and see what they say as the premature spoke failure issue is why I paid the $$$ to have a hand-built wheel from a pro (I hope) after going through 2 junkers from Giant.

I hope I'm just needlessly worrying here. I must say this whole thing has been quite disheartening.

If you're really concerned about the wheel build, ask the bike shop to show you the tensions of the spokes you're concerned about (and adjacent spokes) with their tensiometer.  I wouldn't expect more than plus or minus 5% tension difference on all the spokes on a side after the wheel is trued.  If you're seeing more than +/- 10% there's something wrong with the build.  (With some patience I was able to get the wheels I built true at at plus or minus two percent.)  If they don't have a tensiometer, find a new bike shop.

Thanks, that's helpful. That gives me a baseline to go off of.

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1079 on: October 17, 2019, 09:59:03 AM »
Looking for thoughts around bike headlights as the winter approaches. For context: I live in the Midwest (Wisconsin). My commute to work is only 1.5 miles, but it does take place mostly in a bike trail that has no street lights or anything. I also bike to other places (mainly the gym), and I bike at night at least 1-2 times a week usually. I would prefer a rechargeable headlight so I don't have to worry about buying batteries.

I saw someone recommend the Cygolite Metro 750. This is way out of my price range, but I saw the Cygolite Metro 550 (https://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Durable-Waterproof-Rechargeable-Headlight/dp/B00LXTORC4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+Cygolite+Metro+750&psc=1&qid=1571327372&sr=8-1). Still more than I would like to pay, but seems to be a good quality headlight that's also rechargeable.

The other option would be: https://www.amazon.com/Vont-Bike-Light-Tools-Free-Installation/dp/B00KQSVRF8/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=bike+headlight&psc=1&qid=1571326523&sr=8-5. Cheaper but seems to still be good quality and almost half the price.

I guess just looking for people's opinions on this. I'm really tempted to get the more expensive one since it seems to be better quality and rechargeable, but I also don't know if I really need something SO nice if my bike commutes are never more than 3 miles? If there are other recommendations that you guys have, feel free to drop them for me.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1080 on: October 17, 2019, 09:59:54 AM »
I looked down at my helmet this evening and realized it has a couple of cracks in the foam. Since it is old and I ride an ebike I think I should replace it for something that will be safer.

Does anyone have recommendations on products and/or where to start researching?

MIPS is the current state-of-the-art technology for helmets.  It is not conclusively better, from what I can tell, but studies suggest that it is better, particularly at mitigating rotational impacts.

I bought a MIPS helmet yesterday on Amazon from a reputable brand (Giro) for my e-biking.  My current helmet is old but still seems perfectly intact.  Nevertheless, I made the leap (partly to get a rounder helmet as well in line with other recommendations I've read).  Worst case, I wasted $40.
What is special about rounder?

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1081 on: October 17, 2019, 10:18:41 AM »
Looking for thoughts around bike headlights as the winter approaches. For context: I live in the Midwest (Wisconsin). My commute to work is only 1.5 miles, but it does take place mostly in a bike trail that has no street lights or anything. I also bike to other places (mainly the gym), and I bike at night at least 1-2 times a week usually. I would prefer a rechargeable headlight so I don't have to worry about buying batteries.

I saw someone recommend the Cygolite Metro 750. This is way out of my price range, but I saw the Cygolite Metro 550 (https://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Durable-Waterproof-Rechargeable-Headlight/dp/B00LXTORC4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+Cygolite+Metro+750&psc=1&qid=1571327372&sr=8-1). Still more than I would like to pay, but seems to be a good quality headlight that's also rechargeable.

The other option would be: https://www.amazon.com/Vont-Bike-Light-Tools-Free-Installation/dp/B00KQSVRF8/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=bike+headlight&psc=1&qid=1571326523&sr=8-5. Cheaper but seems to still be good quality and almost half the price.

I guess just looking for people's opinions on this. I'm really tempted to get the more expensive one since it seems to be better quality and rechargeable, but I also don't know if I really need something SO nice if my bike commutes are never more than 3 miles? If there are other recommendations that you guys have, feel free to drop them for me.

The cygolite metro series is very good.  I'm currently using a 600 and it provides enough light for pitch black areas of my ride, with good flashing modes for the street lit sections.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1082 on: October 17, 2019, 10:42:48 AM »
Looking for thoughts around bike headlights as the winter approaches. For context: I live in the Midwest (Wisconsin). My commute to work is only 1.5 miles, but it does take place mostly in a bike trail that has no street lights or anything. I also bike to other places (mainly the gym), and I bike at night at least 1-2 times a week usually. I would prefer a rechargeable headlight so I don't have to worry about buying batteries.

I'm not familiar with other brands/models but can tell you what I use.

I went with a niterider 750 (was sent the 1200 boost) and absolutely love it but they're expensive.
I would go with a rechargeable headlight that is good enough for you to see (not just be seen) even if that means that you spend a little bit more on it.

Taillights are cheaper and only have to be good enough for you to be seen from the back. I would also get a rechargeable one of these.
I use a niterider solas 250 for the back.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1083 on: October 17, 2019, 11:20:25 AM »
Looking for thoughts around bike headlights as the winter approaches. For context: I live in the Midwest (Wisconsin). My commute to work is only 1.5 miles, but it does take place mostly in a bike trail that has no street lights or anything. I also bike to other places (mainly the gym), and I bike at night at least 1-2 times a week usually. I would prefer a rechargeable headlight so I don't have to worry about buying batteries.

I'm not familiar with other brands/models but can tell you what I use.

I went with a niterider 750 (was sent the 1200 boost) and absolutely love it but they're expensive.
I would go with a rechargeable headlight that is good enough for you to see (not just be seen) even if that means that you spend a little bit more on it.

Taillights are cheaper and only have to be good enough for you to be seen from the back. I would also get a rechargeable one of these.
I use a niterider solas 250 for the back.

I don't have any experience with the lights you posted, but I do have opinions about lights in general. I don't like the rigid mounting type that the lights you posted use. I find they break relatively quickly. If that happens while you're riding the light is often destroyed/lost on impact or when a car runs over it. Instead, I prefer this kind of rubber attachment. It lasts longer and fits a wide variety of shapes and sizes of handlebar.

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5038-788/Urban-500-Light

Distance is not relevant to how bright your lights need to be. You can get hit coming out of your own driveway. If you're out at night, you need lights. If you're riding on unlit streets/trails you need a brighter light.

I prefer to run 2 front and 2 rear lights. The reason is that the USB rechargeable lights switch off suddenly when the battery gets too low. This leaves you in the dark. Having a second light means I'm never completely invisible.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1084 on: October 17, 2019, 11:29:35 AM »

I'm not familiar with other brands/models but can tell you what I use.

I went with a niterider 750 (was sent the 1200 boost) and absolutely love it but they're expensive.
I would go with a rechargeable headlight that is good enough for you to see (not just be seen) even if that means that you spend a little bit more on it.

Taillights are cheaper and only have to be good enough for you to be seen from the back. I would also get a rechargeable one of these.
I use a niterider solas 250 for the back.

I don't have any experience with the lights you posted, but I do have opinions about lights in general. I don't like the rigid mounting type that the lights you posted use. I find they break relatively quickly. If that happens while you're riding the light is often destroyed/lost on impact or when a car runs over it. Instead, I prefer this kind of rubber attachment. It lasts longer and fits a wide variety of shapes and sizes of handlebar.

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5038-788/Urban-500-Light

Distance is not relevant to how bright your lights need to be. You can get hit coming out of your own driveway. If you're out at night, you need lights. If you're riding on unlit streets/trails you need a brighter light.

I prefer to run 2 front and 2 rear lights. The reason is that the USB rechargeable lights switch off suddenly when the battery gets too low. This leaves you in the dark. Having a second light means I'm never completely invisible.

My taillight mount is a rubber strap exactly like that but I don't use the mount.
The back of the taillight is a clip that I clip onto the back of my rack bag.

I haven't had any trouble with the headlight mount.
It's been about a year and a half of constant riding so I guess time will tell.

Agreed on the distance comment.
If I am riding on the road at night at all, I want good lights to see/be seen with.

Whether or not I use them during the day depends on the area.
Around my parents house, I generally don't feel like I need them.
Around my house or my work, I use them all the time.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1085 on: October 17, 2019, 11:36:08 AM »
I looked down at my helmet this evening and realized it has a couple of cracks in the foam. Since it is old and I ride an ebike I think I should replace it for something that will be safer.

Does anyone have recommendations on products and/or where to start researching?

MIPS is the current state-of-the-art technology for helmets.  It is not conclusively better, from what I can tell, but studies suggest that it is better, particularly at mitigating rotational impacts.

I bought a MIPS helmet yesterday on Amazon from a reputable brand (Giro) for my e-biking.  My current helmet is old but still seems perfectly intact.  Nevertheless, I made the leap (partly to get a rounder helmet as well in line with other recommendations I've read).  Worst case, I wasted $40.
WaveCel is another new technology, but there are tests that show MIPS is still better:
https://cyclingtips.com/2019/05/wavecel-vs-mips-virginia-tech-safety-test-rankings/
https://cyclingtips.com/2018/06/new-independent-test-ranks-bicycle-helmet-safety/ (this link has some helmet model names)

Trek has deals at least twice a year on accessories that cut down the cost, but they are still expensive. I'll admit that I'm buying into the brand ecosystem: Helmet colors match my bike. Light mounts work with my Bontrager lights.

Ion 100 R/Flare R City set (great for summer, usb rechargeable, light, easy to mount on my helmet)
Ion 800 R / Flare R (great for winter or when it gets dark, usb rechargeable, hard mounts available)
You can find them used on eBay. Trek quickly came out with models that were ANT+ transmitter compatible which made the ones above not the current model, so the price on them started to drop. Quality lights, been working rain or shine for me for the past two or three years.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1086 on: October 17, 2019, 11:53:30 AM »
I guess just looking for people's opinions on this. I'm really tempted to get the more expensive one since it seems to be better quality and rechargeable, but I also don't know if I really need something SO nice if my bike commutes are never more than 3 miles? If there are other recommendations that you guys have, feel free to drop them for me.

The Vont is only 150 lumens. If it's only between those two, I'd go with the Cygolite.
However lighting isn't really something to go cheep with. I agree with paying attention to the mounting and battery qualities.
I run a Light & Motion Urban 700. Can't say enough good things about their customer service. My first light lasted 6 years (used every day) and then they gave 40% off my next light.


Other things to think about:
- There are two types of light functions: To See and To Be Seen.
- Perspective on when to use a flash setting:  https://averagejoecyclist.com/use-flashing-bike-lights/


From all the other cyclists and drivers out there, thank you for taking the time & money to get lights. It really makes a difference, one could say it's like night & day. ;)

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1087 on: October 17, 2019, 12:13:46 PM »
Thanks everyone for the input! Noted: I will not go cheap with lights. I'll definitely check out Light & Motion since two people suggested those, and the fact that @GreenToTheCore's first light lasted 6 years is a really strong pull for me. I love when I can buy something and not have to worry about it for years. I'll also eventually invest in two sets in case one dies on me while I'm riding, but I'll have to wait a bit cause my budget is tight right now. Someone from this forum is sending me a taillight so I'll use that for the time being. Thanks everyone, love this forum!

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1088 on: October 17, 2019, 03:48:56 PM »
I've had Light & Motion riding year-round in Minneapolis and have been really happy with it. I spent a good few hours at a local shop at night playing with the different lights and mounting them on their bikes to make a decision.

My first light was a Cygolite and I still use the taillight.

For the first year I had my Cygolite set and then an old set of maybe $6 battery-operated lights from Target. They are definitely not bright enough to use to see the road, but they have been my flashing lights for riding in traffic (aimed a bit toward the ground) while my super bright lights stay steady (to not blind other cyclists). It's worked well, I think.

Riding in the temps that we do, I actually prefer a quick connect instead of only the rubber strap - it's sometimes hard for me to get them off without taking off my gloves (I take my lights inside with me everywhere partly due to theft risk and partly to warm them up so the charge lasts longer). A friend showed me how to make my Light & Motion light quick release with one screw - so that might be an option depending on the model you look at.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1089 on: October 17, 2019, 03:53:19 PM »
Brought the wheel back to the shop today.

The owner checked the round,true, and tension (with a park tool meter) and everything was fine.

He said that when you pump up the tube, it puts pressure on the wheel and can make some spokes looser.

Once he put the tire/tube back on and pumped it up again, the same spokes were loose but according to them I shouldnít worry about it.

I have to say my stress has gone down tremendously and I learned something new.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1090 on: October 17, 2019, 04:02:21 PM »
Glad to hear you found the advise useful. And in the meantime there ain't nothing wrong with a flashlight duct taped to the handlebar. Been there, done that. All that matters is that you have lights.

Since we're on the subject:
EL lights are fun and can be ordered for <$10 (although you get what you pay for, haven't had a unit last for longer than 1 year)

https://www.amazon.com/JYtrend-Neon-Light-Wire-Battery/dp/B017GCSVU0/ref=asc_df_B017GCSVU0/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167158513139&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16991623896782278984&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9030289&hvtargid=pla-304807278430&psc=1

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1091 on: October 17, 2019, 04:06:40 PM »
Riding in the temps that we do, I actually prefer a quick connect instead of only the rubber strap - it's sometimes hard for me to get them off without taking off my gloves (I take my lights inside with me everywhere partly due to theft risk and partly to warm them up so the charge lasts longer). A friend showed me how to make my Light & Motion light quick release with one screw - so that might be an option depending on the model you look at.

Agreed, I definitely prefer a quick release function.
That was my only disappointment with my replacement light, finding that they switched to this new screw function. I guess it still let's me take off the light with minimal effort. Maybe my Tiny-Details-Exaggeration-Syndrome is kicking in...

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1092 on: October 17, 2019, 04:07:20 PM »
Brought the wheel back to the shop today.

The owner checked the round,true, and tension (with a park tool meter) and everything was fine.

He said that when you pump up the tube, it puts pressure on the wheel and can make some spokes looser.

Once he put the tire/tube back on and pumped it up again, the same spokes were loose but according to them I shouldnít worry about it.

I have to say my stress has gone down tremendously and I learned something new.
Great news!

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1093 on: October 21, 2019, 09:46:24 AM »
Oh right. Technically Iím squatting on this chat as I am not biking to work while on leave. I do bike my kid to school each day though so I am not a complete imposter.

I'm also squatting here for another week since I had a cardiac ablation last week and I'm not yet healed enough for biking.

It's been soooooo boring and I had to make an unscheduled stop for gas today. Blerg.

I biked to work today! I've never been so happy to ride in the rain. Didn't even notice any pain in my leg from the procedure. It's supposed to pour rain this evening on the way home and I don't care at all. I'm just so happy to be out of my stupid car. I even biked to the gym yesterday! WooHoo!

never give up

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1094 on: October 21, 2019, 10:34:56 AM »
I walk the 5.5 miles to and from work now rather than cycle, so I havenít been able to post in this thread for a long while. I just wanted to say I hate cars and that you lot all completely rock. Keep up the good work and donít let winter get you down.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1095 on: October 21, 2019, 10:39:54 AM »
I walk the 5.5 miles to and from work now rather than cycle, so I havenít been able to post in this thread for a long while. I just wanted to say I hate cars and that you lot all completely rock. Keep up the good work and donít let winter get you down.

Wow! How long does that take you?
I might consider walking on days where the plows move all the snow/ice to the side of the street where I ride.
The shortest walk for me would only be about 2.5 miles though.

never give up

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1096 on: October 21, 2019, 10:48:34 AM »
Sorry I wasnít very clear, thatís a round trip not each way. Itís about 50 minutes one way. Itís mainly across fields and bridlepaths. When I do have stretches of road I like to scowl as cars go past ruining my air :-) On the busy road near my work Iíve thought about carrying a sign saying ďJourney less than 4 miles? Try walking insteadĒ but am worried work wouldnít like it.

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1097 on: October 22, 2019, 08:08:59 AM »
Okay how do you all manage to stay upright when it's windy?!

It seems like once the wind is above ~20mph, it's very hard for me to bike. Yesterday I tried going home during my lunch break, and I was pedaling but my bike was literally not moving because the wind was blowing against me. When the wind was coming at my side, I felt like at any second I'd end up in the car lane with all the cars. Not to mention all the leaves, sticks, etc that were being blown all over the place and kept hitting my face and neck. You know when the wind is hitting your face so hard that it's hard to breathe? That was me. Had to find cover somewhere just to catch my breath! My friend had to give me a ride, and my friend gave me a ride again this morning because the winds are going to be about the same and I didn't want to risk it. I saw someone else say they usually ride until the wind is at about 40mph+. Do you just get better as you continue doing it? I figure there will be more windy days as the winter hits, and I just need to figure out what my transportation plan will be for those days.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1098 on: October 22, 2019, 08:23:13 AM »
Be fatter.


Seriously, I'm about 200 lbs and have a much easier time dealing with crosswinds than my wife who is 100 lbs.  The wind in the face making it hard to breath is annoying, definitely run into that before.  It helps if you can pull a bandana or buff over your nose from time to time.  You do kinda get better at handling the bike over time as well.

If you have deep section rims, you'll find that switching to smaller ones will make the steering less twitchy in the wind.  I notice a difference even going from relatively shallow 32mm on my summer bike to 18 mm rims on my winter bike.  I run slightly wider handlebars (41 cm instead of 39) and have a longer wheelbase on the winter bike too . . . all of which makes handling more stable.  Tighter fitting clothing catches less wind as it gusts, which will push you around a little bit less too.  Every little bit helps on the ice and in the wind.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1099 on: October 22, 2019, 08:34:40 AM »
Personally, low-20's mph winds are about the highest I would want to bike in, especially if in traffic. (With exception to a 20-mph tailwindó those are great!)