Biking: Catch-all

Got in my first road ride on Sunday. The bike felt kinda sketchy at first, although some of that was me just not trusting the skinny tires. I had some hand numbness issues even with varying my hand positioning but I redid the old, worn-out bar tape when I got back. I put on some 2.5mm Lizardskin tape that will hopefully help out. It was amusing to be out riding in my mountain bike clothes and Camelbak getting looks from all the billboard-esque roadies out on a Sunday morning.

boogle wrote:

Boogle needs a bike. This is the pre LBS scouting report.
I am tall. I am 6'4". My inseam is 34 and I have long arms. Think adolescent Andre the giant.
This bike will be for commuting. This is Oklahoma so it is flat as all get out, therefore a singlespeed with a flip flop hub shall be considered if one were available and desirable. In fact it may even be preferable due to the lack of moving parts. I've always been one for simplicity when possible.
I would prefer not to spend any money, but I realize that to a large extent money buys quality. I mean ideally I would like to spend under $500. I can spend more, but I would like to also spend money on frivolous things like more discs for golf and a higonokami.

At that height with that inseam, I just want to point out that you must have a freakishly long torso and/or neck. Anyway, Trek and other companies make some pretty decent hybrid bikes in that price range, but the question I'd ask is if that price range includes gear, or just the bike? Because if that's your total budget, you'll be a bit on the low end of things, methinks.

Just the bike. And I guess I wear my pants well below my natural waist because other wise I get old fogey pants. My waist is really high so my inseam is prob 35 or 36 truly. Also I do have a giraffe neck.

Jonman wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

Real, honest-to-goodness exercise? Road bike, no question — with clipless pedals. Just kind of tooling around hoping to get the heartrate above 120bpm exercise? Touring bike.

Big time on the clipless. Takes a teeny bit of adjustment to get used to them, but once that's done, you'll never look back. Think of it as the touch-typing of cycling.

I've considered this, but I have a really bad ankle and have nightmarish visions of a foot getting caught the wrong way and me being on crutches for another couple months. My dad swears by them, but I've been sticking with generic toe clips just because it lets me use my arch-support-happy Asics running shoes I wear everywhere.

I've got one of these:

IMAGE(http://02e2c83.netsolstores.com/images/products/detail/secteur_sport_triple_blacksilver_10.jpg)

I biked a lot whilst young, and bought this a year or so ago to get myself back into things again. I love it; it's a relatively entry-level decent road bike (IIRC, it was around $900 or so), but it's comfortable and really easy to ride, and it lets me feel like I'm actually moving instead of wheezing along. As for Craigslist and such, I wound up buying from a shop just because I knew they'd take the time to get the bike set right for me, and I'm glad I did. If I'd randomly bought something, I'd be tweaking it constantly, but I spent about an hour when I bought the thing making sure it was comfortable for me and the shop set it up perfectly.

I'd be way more worried about ejecting out of toeclips than I would clipless pedals. Especially with SPD-style that you can dial the tension down.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
Jonman wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

Real, honest-to-goodness exercise? Road bike, no question — with clipless pedals. Just kind of tooling around hoping to get the heartrate above 120bpm exercise? Touring bike.

Big time on the clipless. Takes a teeny bit of adjustment to get used to them, but once that's done, you'll never look back. Think of it as the touch-typing of cycling.

I've considered this, but I have a really bad ankle and have nightmarish visions of a foot getting caught the wrong way and me being on crutches for another couple months. My dad swears by them, but I've been sticking with generic toe clips just because it lets me use my arch-support-happy Asics running shoes I wear everywhere.

Urgh. Call me a purist, but the idea of riding in running shoes, with their flopsy, bendy sole, just seems 'orrible. Bike shoes have a stiff sole for a reason, to transfer all the force onto the pedal directly.

Here's an idea - does your dad happen to wear a similar size shoe to you? If so, see if he'll lend you a pair of clipless pedals and an old pair of cleated bike shoes. Give it a try. I resisted going clipless for ages until I actually tried it and was blown away by how much more power it gave me almost instantaneously. If you go to a gym that does spin classes, and you can lay your hands on a pair of clipless shoes, they normally have pedals that accept them on spin bikes - try it there, which is a nice safe controlled environment to try out what it feels like.

Not sure that your concerns about your ankle are justified, but I'm no doctor. "Foot getting caught the wrong way" doesn't compute in my brain. I would have thought that clipless would be better for your ankle - your foot is less likely to twist in a weird way if it's attached to the pedal. I think that the only danger you're really running into with clipless if forgetting to unclip when you come to a stop and subsequently toppling over. Everybody does that when riding clipless for the first time - it's my theory that it's a necessary step in learning to remember to unclip.

Hmm, I may have to look into these, if I can find some with actual arch support. I've got custom orthotic inserts I wear which give me support, but I can tell the difference when using them with my usual running shoes vs. more or less arch-less dress shoes and such. Around four years ago I had surgery to repair a couple of torn ankle ligaments, and I've had a couple sprains since then. One of my long-term goals is to do real distance riding again like RAGBRAI (bike ride across Iowa), and I'd be doing lots of walking around in the shoes instead of just riding.

Yeah, the thing with good cycling shoes is that the soles are carbon-fiber or some other stiff material so that your power distribution is spread out over the entire foot. If you're in running shoes, your foot literally wraps around the pedal a bit as you pedal. It creates very painful hot spots and is generally bad for bones, etc. Not recommended. Clipless pedals really are pretty easy to handle. Everyone (and I mean everyone) has one or two incidents with them where you fall over at a stop sign because you forget to swing out of them, but they quickly become like second nature.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Hmm, I may have to look into these, if I can find some with actual arch support. I've got custom orthotic inserts I wear which give me support, but I can tell the difference when using them with my usual running shoes vs. more or less arch-less dress shoes and such. Around four years ago I had surgery to repair a couple of torn ankle ligaments, and I've had a couple sprains since then. One of my long-term goals is to do real distance riding again like RAGBRAI (bike ride across Iowa), and I'd be doing lots of walking around in the shoes instead of just riding.

I don't see why you couldn't put your orthotics inside your bike shoes.

Anyway, I'll stop banging the drum now. I guess my message is - don't discount clipless out of hand, give it a try. Especially if you're serious about doing distance riding, the efficiency gains you get out of clipless pedals should be enough of an encouragement to give it a go.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

I am not actually hostile to other cycling subcultures, just busting his chops.

I picked up on that. (Hence the :).)

LiquidMantis wrote:

I'd be way more worried about ejecting out of toeclips than I would clipless pedals. Especially with SPD-style that you can dial the tension down.

I used toeclips briefly, and found that SPD's are easier to get into, and more secure as well.

So what I'm getting is get a clipless system. Check.

Yeah, definitely SPDs. As some here may remember I was t-boned by a car while riding my bike. Clipless pedals saved my life because I was able to get off the bike without getting pinned, something I doubt I would have been able to do with cages.

That's on top of the more day-to-day benefits like keeping your knees from floating and thus saving wear and tear on your joints, giving you a more efficient pedal stroke, etc.

boogle wrote:

So what I'm getting is get a clipless system. Check.

Or listen to Rezzy. He pretty much covered you already Barring his suggestion, there's not much else you can do but go check out your local shops and take some bikes out for test rides. Both fun and informative!

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Hmm, I may have to look into these, if I can find some with actual arch support. I've got custom orthotic inserts I wear which give me support, but I can tell the difference when using them with my usual running shoes vs. more or less arch-less dress shoes and such. Around four years ago I had surgery to repair a couple of torn ankle ligaments, and I've had a couple sprains since then. One of my long-term goals is to do real distance riding again like RAGBRAI (bike ride across Iowa), and I'd be doing lots of walking around in the shoes instead of just riding.

No matter the shoes you get, look into SuperFeet insoles. They are made with varying degrees of arch support depending on your own feet and the type of activity for which they'll be used. Also, if you want the stiffest shoes possible to prevent arch collapse during cycling, I'd recommend road shoes over MTB shoes-- MTB shoes are made specifically to bend at the arch, to allow for more comfortable walking when off the bike, while still being stiff enough for better-than-running-shoes power transfer to the pedals. Even the higher-end MTB shoes like Sidi's inherently have more flex than their road conterparts, whose soles are supposed to prevent any flexibility at all during long rides (and road cyclists plant their feet on the ground far less than a mountain biker does, so no ground traction-- that's the trade off. Better pedaling performance for no off-bike traction). Not to say that road shoes should be your go-to, but don't rule them out completely if you're looking for a high degree of stiffness in your bike shoes.

WipEout wrote:

If you want the stiffest shoes possible to prevent arch collapse during cycling, I'd recommend road shoes over MTB shoes-- MTB shoes are made specifically to bend at the arch

This definitely isn't true across the board. My old BMX-style SPD shoes had a steel plate running through them, so no flex, and my Sidi Dominators are crazy rigid. In general mountain bike specific shoes have the cleat more recessed and better lugs on the sole.

Thanks for all the info. When my wife complains about the money I'm going to be spending on pedals and new shoes, I will blame you all.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Thanks for all the info. When my wife complains about the money I'm going to be spending on pedals and new shoes, I will blame you all.

As a faceless semi-imaginary internet denizen, I'm happy to bear the blame for any purchasing decisions to any and/or all Goodjer spouses.

One caveat - should we meet at an S&T, I'll be decrying any knowledge of this arrangement, especially if confronted by one such spouse.

LiquidMantis wrote:
WipEout wrote:

If you want the stiffest shoes possible to prevent arch collapse during cycling, I'd recommend road shoes over MTB shoes-- MTB shoes are made specifically to bend at the arch

This definitely isn't true across the board. My old BMX-style SPD shoes had a steel plate running through them, so no flex, and my Sidi Dominators are crazy rigid. In general mountain bike specific shoes have the cleat more recessed and better lugs on the sole.

The Dominators are definitely some of the most rigid MTB shoes I've come across, but they still flex more than the Genius, their road equivalent. But the Doms are still super stiff at the ball of the foot where the cleat mounts, and that's what matters the most.

I should rephrase my statement, though-- for the entry- to mid-level price ranges (versus the $200+ cost of Sidi's shoes), a road shoe will be far stiffer than a MTB shoe.

And what BMX shoes were you using?! I've only ever found shoes with the cleat base being a metal plate, not a plate running the length of the shoes. Those must've been some heavy monsters!

boogle wrote:

Boogle needs a bike. This is the pre LBS scouting report.

I am tall. I am 6'4". My inseam is 34", give or take. I believe myself to be relatively proportional, however trending to the heavier side.
After scouting my LBSes and doing some test-rides the extremely helpful staff at the family-owned shop convinced me that I should consider the Jamis Citizen 3 line. They had a 2010 model with a 23 inch frame and after pedaling around the block a few times I was sold on it. Around $600 bought me a new helmet, bike + kickstand + rail-style rack with zippered carrying pouch, odometer, bell, pump+water jug attachment.
I've only had it 3 days, but so far I have no complaints except the whole "realizing just how horribly out of shape I am" thing.

WipEout wrote:

And what BMX shoes were you using?! I've only ever found shoes with the cleat base being a metal plate, not a plate running the length of the shoes. Those must've been some heavy monsters!

This was almost 15 years ago, ack! I want to say they were Shimano. I got them at the time because they looked like Vanns and the cleat was really recessed so I could wear them to bike to the book store, coffee house, etc. and not have pack sandals or be a tapdancer. They weren't too bad. The reinforcement plate was more like a popsicle stick to brace them lengthwise, not a full-coverage piece.

Yeah, I haven't tried road-specific shoes to compare stiffness. I guess that's what the carbon fiber gets you.

tag, I am in

Oh, and I'm back biking again. I gained over 100lbs. after getting T-boned in 2008. It's been a long road back and I'm finally on my bike again. Starting off at 7 miles at a time and slowly building back up. *sigh*

LiquidMantis wrote:

This was almost 15 years ago, ack! I want to say they were Shimano. I got them at the time because they looked like Vanns and the cleat was really recessed so I could wear them to bike to the book store, coffee house, etc. and not have pack sandals or be a tapdancer.

I must have these shoes.

boogle wrote:

I must have these shoes.

Boogle needs clipless keens.

IMAGE(http://mikesbikes.com/merchant/344/images/large/shukeen_09commuterblk.jpg)

No mandals. Sandals expressly prohibited at the carceral office that pays my bills.

A 1400' climb earns some pretty decent views.

IMAGE(http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/Liquidmantis/chimneyGulchPeak.jpg)

This guy wanted to share my granola bar at the peak.

IMAGE(http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/Liquidmantis/chipmunk.jpg)

We just bought this for the 11 year old, who will probably be much faster than me now -- it weighs 10 pounds less than his current bike.

IMAGE(http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/1231/bennewbikesmall.jpg)

(On clearance here.) We're going to put interrupter bars on it, and hope that the down tube shifters don't take too long for him to get used to.

I have to say though -- all of LiquidMantis' pictures are making me want to outfit myself with a mountain bike and go for a ride in the woods.

So I have unfortunately been biking a lot less this year now that I have a youngin'. Last year I could get my wife to drop me off at work in the morning and then I'd bike the 26 miles home. Now that she's staying how during the day and working in the evenings I haven't been able to pull that off at all.

However we did pick up a Burley off of Craig's list pretty cheep. The previous owners weren't real bikers and I think it just stayed in their garage for years. Now that my daughter is old enough we've been taking her out. Even got her her own helmet... that has a tendency to rotate around on her head and upset her but still...

IMAGE(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SJ2PHU5Ty58/Tg4DuqfiiEI/AAAAAAAADFA/olmd9nQpRWs/s400/IMG_6504.JPG)

Alas, one trip did not go so well. I was on my way home pulling here going through an area they have been doing road construction for the last year or so. They had some traffic barrels randomly scattered on the bike path and I misjudged the space needed on the side and knocked the burley on it's side. Thankfully she was fine other then being startled. And like most of my biking trips with her it ended with her crying the whole way home.

Downtubes will make a man of him.

So, I bought a trek 1.2 today. It was on sale and I got a deal by exchanging some redbulls.

I had all sorts of fun up in Vail last week. Road bike trip up Vail Pass and back, mountain bike ride up and down the resort mountain. If I lived in Colorado, I think I'd never go to work.