Biking: Catch-all

Serengeti wrote:

My latest video is up on YouTube. This time I'm riding the 18 Road Trails in the North Fruita Desert. First time on these trails this season, so I rode around a few jumps that I would normally hit. I'll go faster and jump higher later in the season, I promise!

Nice videos! Between social-isolation and the Spring snow-storms, I haven't ventured beyond my neighborhood trails in Denver yet this year. I'm going to have to put the Western slope on my bucket list.

Speaking of Fruita, I really enjoyed this video from the (cancelled) Banff Mountain Film Festival. These ladies seem like the kind of person I want to become.

ThingumBob wrote:

Speaking of Fruita, I really enjoyed this video from the (cancelled) Banff Mountain Film Festival. These ladies seem like the kind of person I want to become.

They are awesome, and that's a great short film. Also their pizza is the best in the valley

I'm not in love at all with my pedals. Got a pair of single-sided SPD SL pedals and I detest the single-sidedness of them, and how NOT easy they are to clip into.

Considering going back to regular SPD or Speedplay pedals so I can have a dual-sided pedal again.

I'm doing entirely road/paved trail riding.

Any thoughts?

Jonman wrote:

I'm not in love at all with my pedals. Got a pair of single-sided SPD SL pedals and I detest the single-sidedness of them, and how NOT easy they are to clip into.

Considering going back to regular SPD or Speedplay pedals so I can have a dual-sided pedal again.

I'm doing entirely road/paved trail riding.

Any thoughts?

Did you get those so you weren't locked into wearing clipless shoes? I ask because I've considered doing that but feared the very issue you ran into.

muraii wrote:
Jonman wrote:

I'm not in love at all with my pedals. Got a pair of single-sided SPD SL pedals and I detest the single-sidedness of them, and how NOT easy they are to clip into.

Considering going back to regular SPD or Speedplay pedals so I can have a dual-sided pedal again.

I'm doing entirely road/paved trail riding.

Any thoughts?

Did you get those so you weren't locked into wearing clipless shoes? I ask because I've considered doing that but feared the very issue you ran into.

No, I mean dual sided pedals that you can clip into on either side. I don't have need to leave the cleats at home.

I hate fannying around trying to get to the correct side of the pedal when taking off. My old SPD pedals were like that, and while I prefer my current ones once I'm clipped in, I hate the rigamarole of getting to that point.

As far as I can tell, regular SPD and Speedplay are the only clipless systems that offer that functionality.

Edit: Oops, I missed the whole part about them being SPD-SL, making my post irrelevant. I'll just leave it here spoilered in case you want some advice on regular SPD pedals and sandals

Spoiler:

I call those "party pedals" since you can clip in when sober, and ride flat when tipsy

But if you don't need that functionality, I've used M520s for years on my road and touring bikes. Can't think of anything I dislike about them.

Edit: Also just LOVE my Shimano sandals for summer riding! One thousand thumbs up for them. They're unusually rare outside of Iowa, and Shimano discontinued them a few years back, but there was such a big outcry from the Iowa cycling community that they brought them back. Shimano says they're "a great choice for casual riding" but don't let that fool you - I've toured in them all over, doing multiple century days with no issue.

Jonman wrote:

I'm not in love at all with my pedals. Got a pair of single-sided SPD SL pedals and I detest the single-sidedness of them, and how NOT easy they are to clip into.

Considering going back to regular SPD or Speedplay pedals so I can have a dual-sided pedal again.

I'm doing entirely road/paved trail riding.

Any thoughts?

There's no such thing as double-sided SPD SL pedals because of how the cleat works. I'd just switch back to regular SPD pedals if I were you. Bummer is that you will probably need to buy new shoes

Video #3 is up! This time I'm riding The Ribbon, part of the Lunch Loops trail system in Grand Junction.

This is a pretty awesome and unique trail, as much of it is on giant slabs of rock, and the views are amazing.

I actually hit a bunch of other trails after this, but during editing the video was getting way too long, so I'm splitting yesterday's ride into two videos, and I'll post the next one after I get around to finishing it

Russ reviews a one-by drivetrain that lists for less than US$300.

Anyone have thoughts on airless tires?

Anyone used a mask like this? It’s marketed as a cycling mask but i might adopt it as a general mask if it’s not horrible. (Not the brand, per se; “Kungfuren” is a little much.)

https://www.amazon.com/Kungfuren-dep...

muraii wrote:

Anyone used a mask like this? It’s marketed as a cycling mask but i might adopt it as a general mask if it’s not horrible. (Not the brand, per se; “Kungfuren” is a little much.)

https://www.amazon.com/Kungfuren-dep...

I've been seeing ads for this all over the place but under a hundred different names.

muraii wrote:

Anyone used a mask like this? It’s marketed as a cycling mask but i might adopt it as a general mask if it’s not horrible. (Not the brand, per se; “Kungfuren” is a little much.)

https://www.amazon.com/Kungfuren-dep...

Looks shady as hell. The thing is, it LOOKS amazing, when the thing that really matters in a product like this isn't something you can discern visually - that is, the fit, the seals, and the ventilation. If they're counting on how it looks so much that they bothered to make it look like that, it suggests they're trying to cover performance problems or shortcomings.

The best products of this category look like sh*t but they come with a ton of boring and ultra-detailed certifications from a bunch of well-respected organizations testing performance. The absolute most amazing ones perform well and look fantastic, but those cost a lot of money.

For reference, I've tried the Totobobo mask, which works wonderfully well but looks like sh*t, and the Vogmask which looks nice but the one-valve version really isn't suitable for cycling. Not enough air coming in.

Oh yeah, for sure I expect that particular model/brand is junk. I just hadn't noticed this was a thing until my YouTube ads were alternating between The Epoch Times and one of these masks.

I took a look at some YouTube reviews and I guess there's more of a trend to wearing these kinds of masks than I would ever have guessed.

IMAGE(https://cleanspacetechnology.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/14-PAFtec-CleanSpace2.jpg)

Pretty overkill. I think this one is about $5k. Hahaha.

I assume you're wanting to use it as a COVID mask? If so, know that the presence of an exhalation valve makes it much less useful in protecting others. The purpose of wearing a mask in public is twofold - reduce the chances of inhaling virus-laden particles yourself, and reduce the chance of exhaling the same if you're infected but asymptomatic. These valve masks only cover 50% of that requirement, and some municipalities have specifically stated that these masks are not acceptable.

If you're just wanting an anti-pollution mask, then the above doesn't apply.

Quick bike question for the bigger cyclists here. I’m looking at a new electric bike and the choice is being made difficult by an inability to get the new bike fitted, obviously.

My current bike is too small and caused some knee pain. The bike I’m considering comes in two 3 sizes (M, L, XL). These roughly translate into 50cm 54cm and 57cm.

I’ve traditionally ridden a 57cm or 22 inch bike, but when I tried it the stand over height was really bad. Have any of you ever ridden bikes with terrible stand over, because the size was right otherwise?

Standover height isn't the be-all end-all of sizing. Reach and stack are considered more important. I'll also say that it's much easier to make a small bike big enough than to make a big bike small enough.

To answer your specific question, yes. I have a 58 CM road bike that has a standover height at the top of my range. It's not too high, though. I can still put my feet down but it's a little tight. It fits otherwise. Overall, though, I think a 56 would fit a bit better. I also have a size M fat bike that is for someone up to 5'9. I added a set back seat post and extended it to the max. Then I push the seat back and it's good. I haven't added a longer stem because the reach is good overall. I'd also say the intended purpose of the bike matters. I'd rather have a too small mountain bike than too big. For road bike I can't say for sure but I'm just fine with my too big road bike.

Due to geometry, some bikes have a much lower standover height than the actual size. A sloped top tube make a big difference. That's why reach and stack are just as, if not more, important than standover height. If you can find the reach and stack you can compare it to your current bike.

So we're finally in Colorado. Glad to be here.

And on his first ride my 17-y-o got flats in both tires due to goatheads. I pulled all of the thorns out I could find, checked inside and out of the tire, put new tubes in, and then the front tire went flat by the next morning. And my 16-y-o has a slow leak now, too.

The struggle is real.

I'm looking at a couple different paths forward and I'm curious about y'all's experiences. I know about and bought some Slime for when next I fix their bikes (got the Slime but not the tubes and tires because derp), but I'm also considering tire liners (like Rhinodillos or the like). Reading about them, though, some folks say liners can cause more problems than they fix (e.g., if they're not trimmed properly and overlap they can create bulges, over time they dry, crack, and tear the tube, etc.).

I'm not going to be going tubeless on any bike any time soon, but I want us to be able to do moderate slightly off-road riding, like the grass near a paved trail in our neighborhood (where the thorns were). Thoughts?

Hey, folks! I haven't owned a bike in about 20 years, but the kids have gotten bigger and we're seeing bike rides as a nice family exercise activity. In my time I've owned a BMX, a ten speed road bike, and a mountain bike. Sigsbee recently bought a hybrid bike from Specialized, and that seems like it might be the right kind of bike for me, as well. I'm just looking for a comfortable ride around the neighborhood, but maybe with a little bit of off-road capability in case I ever need it.

Your thoughts are appreciated!

For basic gravel bike trails and even some flowy singltrack (nothing rocky or rooty) a flat bar bike works well. Now, the main issue you will have is finding bikes, especially under $1000. A ton of people bought bikes while everything was closed. Many bike shops are out of stock. Even places like bikesdirect.com are low. Also, what IS your price point? Do you plan on riding on mountain bike trails or road/gravel bike trails?

For everything but mountain bike stuff a flat bar bike with 650B wheels is going to work well. The wider tires on 650B wheels will be good for roads and even some light (green trail) mountain biking. They also smooth out bumps really well. Besides that, you want to look for hydraulic disc brakes, and a decent drivetrain. I prefer 1x because it's easier to service and easier to use. For a 1x you want at least 10 speeds and 11 or 12 is better. I'd say same for a 2x (10 on a 2x is plenty). I, personally, would shy away from 3x setups. I just don't like them and they only come on the cheapest bikes. I'd also avoid a front suspension bike unless you really want to do mountain bike trails. For dirt/gravel/road that suspension is unnecessary weight you don't need.

My wife bought a 2020 Kona Dr. Dew last august (right after they came out) and it's a great bike. Not sure what your price range is but the Kona Dew line ranges from $600 to $1100. The Dew Deluxe at $899 is a nice buy. 1x12 drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, and easy rolling WTB Horizons in 650B size.

If you fancy a drop bar, Salsa has the Journeyman which is a very nice bike (though drop bar bikes are a bit more expensive than flat).

Other choices are hybrid bikes like the Cannondale Quick. It's a 700C bike with narrower tires than the Dew so it won't be as good on dirt trails but would be slightly faster on paved roads.

Overall, though, I love the Kona Dew. My wife's is great. I've ridden it a few times (while she was gone) and while it's not my first choice (that would be a drop bar gravel bike) it's a fun bike to ride and she keeps up quite well despite being a runner on a heavier bike. She finds it quite comfortable as well.

I've got designs on the gorgeous and well-appointed Salsa Journeyman Apex 1 650B. I'd love to pick it up some time this year, but I'm not sure it's in the cards. In the meantime, I'm taking my road bike, putting the fattest tires on it I can fit (SOMA says their frame can take 32mm tires, perhaps even with fenders, which will be a nice upgrade from my 25mm tires currently on the bike.

Note, too, that the Journeyman comes in a flat-bar version for less money (and the frame's a little different, as I understand it).

There are lots of ways to arrive at a passable bike that doesn't break the bank and will allow you time to figure out what you like. This gentleman is out about $200 and did some light bikepacking and it seems like a good fit for his needs.

Wow, thank you for some very detailed responses! I can see I'm going to need to do some reading (or Youtubing) to learn a bit more.

My wife bought the Specialized Roll, which I was really impressed with. The most expensive bike I've ever owned was probably around $300, a Raleigh mountain bike in 1998. As for my budget today, I would definitely say less than $1000, hopefully several hundred less.

I like that her Roll has a comfortable seat and gives the rider a more upright posture. I definitely want a bike with a lightweight (probably aluminum) frame - I didn't spring for one in 1998, and it haunts me to this day!

I have seen that it's tough to find a bike right now, although we've gotten pretty lucky in that regard. If I had to order one and wait, that would be fine. At the moment I'm riding a really cheap mountain bike that my wife was using before the Roll. It's not ideal, but it will do in the meantime.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Wow, thank you for some very detailed responses! I can see I'm going to need to do some reading (or Youtubing) to learn a bit more.

My wife bought the Specialized Roll, which I was really impressed with. The most expensive bike I've ever owned was probably around $300, a Raleigh mountain bike in 1998. As for my budget today, I would definitely say less than $1000, hopefully several hundred less.

I like that her Roll has a comfortable seat and gives the rider a more upright posture. I definitely want a bike with a lightweight (probably aluminum) frame - I didn't spring for one in 1998, and it haunts me to this day!

I have seen that it's tough to find a bike right now, although we've gotten pretty lucky in that regard. If I had to order one and wait, that would be fine. At the moment I'm riding a really cheap mountain bike that my wife was using before the Roll. It's not ideal, but it will do in the meantime.

You should investigate pre-COVID prices and make some comparisons. The quarantines have driven up the demand for bikes in the cheaper end of the market and the prices went up to match. You'll probably end up a little more than $1000, but that's often the difference between looking and not looking - you get a lot more bike for the same amount of money.

I'm seeing list prices for comfort hybrids that look good to me that range from $300 to $700. My wife's Specialized Roll was about $550. What do you get by spending $1000 or more? Better derailers and other hardware?

While I would like this bike to last a long time, I'm also wary of spending too much, as I may discover after some time that I really would prefer X kind of bike.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

I'm seeing list prices for comfort hybrids that look good to me that range from $300 to $700. My wife's Specialized Roll was about $550. What do you get by spending $1000 or more? Better derailers and other hardware?

While I would like this bike to last a long time, I'm also wary of spending too much, as I may discover after some time that I really would prefer X kind of bike.

It really depends. The price range wouldn't matter except for the spike in demand at the lower ends, so you might be getting something worse than we could have gotten just last year for the same price. If you want a bike that will last basically forever, you're going to want something steel in the gravel or touring category. Bikes in the $300 range generally do have longevity issues, but they also tend not to be very fast or very nice to ride. $500 is where I'd put the breakpoint last year when the jump to better stuff happens without a big change in price. It may still be at $700 in your area. The jump in quality to price ratio will be in various aspects depending on the availability of bikes in your area. In my own locality, it's about at the $800 range when everything really comes together, though I did just recently get a $400 all-alloy bike I was very happy to purchase for the price.

I can wait if I need to, since I have a cheap bike I've been riding. It's good to educate myself now so I'm ready when availability normalizes.

Often times it's difficult to tell what you miss out on since it's hidden.
Wheels, for instance, can be quite expensive. Nicer wheels last longer, ride better, and stay true longer. An example would be single wall vs double wall rims. Single wall have only one 'wall' (really it's more like a floor) for the rim. They are made out of chromoloy, and bend easily. Double wall rims are often made of aluminum, have two 'walls' and are stronger. More expensive rims are also usually tubeless compatible. That means you can, like your car, run them without innertubes. They can run at lower pressure and are lighter than tubed rims.

You also get things you can see like hydraulic disc brakes. Cheaper bikes use mechanical. Cheaper cheap bikes use mechanical brakes with a single actuation and only push the brake in from one side. Better mechanical brakes are more easily adjustable, push in from both sides, and just work better. Hydraulic brakes work better than good mechanical brakes.

You also get a better drivetrain. The cheapest bikes use off-brand (not shimano or sram) drivetrains and tend to have something like a 3x7 drivetrain (which is bad). Better drivetrains shift better, stay aligned longer, and are often lighter than cheap ones. Right now, if it has a 3 speed in the front it's almost certainly crap. Better drivetrains often have a clutch, which helps with chain tension and keeps the chain from banging around all the time. It's not necessary for road bikes but really is for mountain bikes. Better drivetrains are made out of better materials (metal instead of plastic, better springs, better metal, better plastic) and last longer.

Better bikes have other things that are nicer. Better seats (which are more comfortable), better shocks (again for mountain bikes but also hybrids), and better tires. Frames are lighter. Wheels are lighter and stronger. Basically better bikes last longer, work better, require less maintenance, and are more fun to ride because of it.

I talked my wife up from a $6-700 bike that the salesman was showing her into a $1100 bike. My reasoning was that I wanted her to enjoy riding it and to be able to ride it when she wanted. Better bikes are more enjoyable and simply require less maintenance making it well worth the cost over the time of ownership. I told her that she'd have the bike for 10+ years and the difference between a $700 bike and an $1000 bike was less than $3 per month over that time.

Her bike had numerous upgrades but the most notable are:
Hydraulic disc brakes vs mechanical
SRAM 1x12 drivetrain vs shimano 3x8 (the shimano is heavier, requires more maintenance, and is more complex)
better wheels (generic double wall rims vs WTB STB i19s that are tubeless compaitible)
better hubs (generic hubs vs shimano hubs)
better rotors for the brakes (ligher, better materials, stay true longer)
aluminum fork vs chromoloy fork (aluminum is generally lighter and stronger)
nicer paint job (looks better but will also last longer and be more chip resistant)
better crank set (lighter, stronger)
better seat (at least in theory)

99spokes is a nice site for comparing specs. Here are the two bikes to help illustrate the difference.

https://99spokes.com/compare?bikes=k...

Re: disc brakes — I super wish I’d gotten hydraulic ones. I have mechanical and honestly I’d rather rim brakes than these.

Bad mechs are worse than rim brakes. They don't stop worth a crap and require a lot more maintenance. They might be better if you drive through a grease factory, though. There are some decent mechanical disc brakes. TRP Spyre's are okay. Not too hard to service and they actuate on both sides.

I have rim brakes on my road bike that I got in 2013. They've never failed and never needed one bit of service. Can't say that at all for any of the disc brakes I have.