A born again rider with some questions

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Postby europa » Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:30 pm

Mulger bill wrote:If you're a fan of "street" shorts, you could try NZo, they're a Kiwi company, they make a line of padded undershorts that work well under regular shorts, an excellent compromise IMO.


That's interesting. I was at their site recently and didn't see that product. Time for another look ... or am I thinking of another NZ company with a similar name :?

Richard
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by BNA » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:36 pm

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Postby beauyboy » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:36 pm

Hay pugsly
welcome to the club of owning an UNreal bike. There is a saying "real bikes don't have kick stands". So welcome to the unreal bike club :P

Donald
ps i also have a kick stand on both my bikes
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Postby Bnej » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:38 pm

I would hate to be without a kick stand. Nice big long ones are the best/most stable, the little centre mount one on my Trek can be a bit tricky on uneven ground.
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Postby tinstaafl » Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:33 pm

I gave up on stands years ago and just let gravity work now.
I used to drive myself nuts trying to find a level stance and then the damn thing would fall over anyway.
I park my Trek lying down and it can't fall further.

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Postby pugsly » Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:31 pm

Thanks for the shorts advice - I think I'm going to go for a pair - save my legs a bit.

My LBS reckons they have shorts that'll fit me - I'm skeptical, but we'll see. I'm going in tomorrow morning to check them out.

Thanks for the advice on the pedalling too. Some things aren't always as straightforward as they seem. I think I'll hang off clipping my feet into anything until I've built a little more confidence and experience. :oops:

Now, next question. :) Speed. I have some reasonable hills around me, and my little speedo reckons that going down one in anger, that I was doing 45km/h. That seems pretty quick to me on a bike - I never thought I'd be close to breaking the speed limit. :lol: But on a serious note - forgetting local laws, how fast is simply too fast on a bike - I guess this is more of a theoretical question from me, as I don't see myself going that much faster - but it got me wondering. Obviously you need to be able to stop, and/or avoid cars/other obstacles - do bike tyres have speed ratings like car tyres?

Thanks again.

Cheers
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Postby tuco » Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:50 pm

pugsly wrote:Thanks for the shorts advice - I think I'm going to go for a pair - save my legs a bit.

My LBS reckons they have shorts that'll fit me - I'm skeptical, but we'll see. I'm going in tomorrow morning to check them out.

Thanks for the advice on the pedalling too. Some things aren't always as straightforward as they seem. I think I'll hang off clipping my feet into anything until I've built a little more confidence and experience. :oops:

Now, next question. :) Speed. I have some reasonable hills around me, and my little speedo reckons that going down one in anger, that I was doing 45km/h. That seems pretty quick to me on a bike - I never thought I'd be close to breaking the speed limit. :lol: But on a serious note - forgetting local laws, how fast is simply too fast on a bike - I guess this is more of a theoretical question from me, as I don't see myself going that much faster - but it got me wondering. Obviously you need to be able to stop, and/or avoid cars/other obstacles - do bike tyres have speed ratings like car tyres?

Thanks again.

Cheers
Pugsly


Your bum will love you after you buy some padded knicks.

As for speed, don't go faster than you feel safe with. Our local monster hill is 250m down and 3km long and winding.
The speed limit is 40 km/h and I've gone down at 50km/h and the girl I was riding with down at about 60km/h. I physically could have kept up but I didn't feel safe going any faster. There are some nasty drops off the side and at places, no barriers.

On the open road, downhilll, I've been well over 50 km/h but there were cars passing at 100km/h so the illusion of speed was gone.

I've never heard about speed ratings for tyres, the bigger question is are the tyres at their correct pressure. If they're under inflated then you're doomed from the top of the hill. I check my pressures at least once a week without fail.
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Postby mikesbytes » Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:30 pm

Bike tyres don't have speed ratings, but don't worry, I've cornered at 80kmh, the tyres squirmed, but didn't let go.
A helmet saved my life
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Postby Bnej » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:06 pm

pugsly wrote:Now, next question. :) Speed. I have some reasonable hills around me, and my little speedo reckons that going down one in anger, that I was doing 45km/h. That seems pretty quick to me on a bike - I never thought I'd be close to breaking the speed limit. :lol: But on a serious note - forgetting local laws, how fast is simply too fast on a bike - I guess this is more of a theoretical question from me, as I don't see myself going that much faster - but it got me wondering. Obviously you need to be able to stop, and/or avoid cars/other obstacles - do bike tyres have speed ratings like car tyres?


I've done 68 km/h down hill and routinely do 40-50 on the better flat roads.

BUT as my motorcycle riding friend says, you have very little protection should you fall off at that speed, you're not wearing motorbike leathers and the Australian Standard helmets are tested for a 20 km/h collision. Don't go faster than you're comfortable with, and check you have two working brakes before winding up.

Going fast can be fun, getting hurt isn't.

But you should be able to maintain control at whatever speed you can achieve for now. ;) Unless you start pushing over 100km/h you're pretty safe, bikes put less torque through the tyre than a car, and the tyres are higher pressure.
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Postby europa » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:42 am

Speed's an interesting one. I don't push past about 50km/hr when going down a hill - that's not me watching the speedo, just when I decide that cowardice is the better part of valour. Besides, as Richard Ballantyne said in 'Richard's Bicycle Book' (my bible from the eighties :D ) "who wants to pedal down hills?" (we now know about pedalling down hills to rid the muscles of lactic acid, but that's not what he was referring to).

Safety is an interesting one. There is falling off. There is bounding over a cliff. Then there is traffic. There is a long, steep hill I sometimes ride down with NO bicycle lane. Your only choice is to 'take the lane' and keep up with the cars to prevent them from trying to squeeze past. The speed limit is 60 but, of course, everyone speeds. I've topped 70 going down that hill, with a car on my bum and the bloke in front pulling away.

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Postby tuco » Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:09 am

europa wrote:"who wants to pedal down hills?" (we now know about pedalling down hills to rid the muscles of lactic acid, but that's not what he was referring to).


Can I pinch the thread for a post or two and state not all of us knew that.
Maybe its better in it's only thread but could you elaborate?
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Postby beauyboy » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:08 am

Speed is fun. I love pushing myself to full speed where i can :P , 50ks on the flat with a tail wind. That said I do that cos I fell safe. Now my other half will not do the same speeds as me just because he does not feel confident. While it annoys me sometimes I respect that and accept it.

Do what speed you feel confident with! As you ride more you may find yourself wanting to go faster.
My best so far is 60 downhill in traffic, Wind resistance can be a B***h

Donald
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Postby pugsly » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:20 am

beauyboy wrote:Hay pugsly
welcome to the club of owning an UNreal bike. There is a saying "real bikes don't have kick stands". So welcome to the unreal bike club :P

Donald
ps i also have a kick stand on both my bikes


Hey there. I didn't know about the kick stand thing. The bike came with one, and I have to admit, my first reaction wasn't to rip it straight off. I can see how outside of the house it isn't likely to be used, as the bike will be chained to something solid, and it's unlikely the stand will be useful then. But when the bikes at home, it lives in the garage, and I use the stand there... I'll stay a member for a while longer I think, unless I come across a compelling reason to change. :D

Thanks for the warm welcome beauyboy.

Cheers
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Postby pugsly » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:26 am

mikesbytes wrote:Bike tyres don't have speed ratings, but don't worry, I've cornered at 80kmh, the tyres squirmed, but didn't let go.


All good to know!

I don't expect to be going much faster, however I am in a state of "I don't know what I don't know". I'd hate to discover at speed that the tyres I have won't go that fast and decide to quit. That looks very unlikely reading through the latest part of the thread - thanks!

As for the brakes - the discs feel very firm - I suspect that if I had myself positioned wrong on the bike and squeezed both hands hard enough I'd have a birds eye view of the front of the bike as I sailed over the front of it and obtained a lovely shade of gravel rash. :oops:

Thanks again.

Cheers
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Postby Bnej » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:37 am

pugsly wrote:As for the brakes - the discs feel very firm - I suspect that if I had myself positioned wrong on the bike and squeezed both hands hard enough I'd have a birds eye view of the front of the bike as I sailed over the front of it and obtained a lovely shade of gravel rash. :oops:


Bit of practice will keep you safe.

The rear brake only will take you twice the distance to stop as the front brake, and will not throw you over the bars. The wheel will slide first. Make sure though, that you have your arms ready to deal with your weight being pushed forward by the braking.

The front brake is the brake for stopping quickly. As you brake, the front wheel is pushed down into the ground, so it has far more traction. Your suspension fork will dive as your weight shifts forward. With practice, you should be able to pull up very quickly without having the back wheel lift. If the back wheel comes off the ground you're breaking too hard! ;)

You'll develop a feel for how hard to pull the levers over time.
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Postby tuco » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:09 am

Bnej wrote:
pugsly wrote:As for the brakes - the discs feel very firm - I suspect that if I had myself positioned wrong on the bike and squeezed both hands hard enough I'd have a birds eye view of the front of the bike as I sailed over the front of it and obtained a lovely shade of gravel rash. :oops:


Bit of practice will keep you safe.

The rear brake only will take you twice the distance to stop as the front brake, and will not throw you over the bars. The wheel will slide first. Make sure though, that you have your arms ready to deal with your weight being pushed forward by the braking.

The front brake is the brake for stopping quickly. As you brake, the front wheel is pushed down into the ground, so it has far more traction. Your suspension fork will dive as your weight shifts forward. With practice, you should be able to pull up very quickly without having the back wheel lift. If the back wheel comes off the ground you're breaking too hard! ;)

You'll develop a feel for how hard to pull the levers over time.


Yep, just practice braking. I did a lot off practice braking when learning to ride a motor bike and it the same for cycling.

As for going of the handle bars, I had an employee riding a motor bike to work and a car crossed in front of him. He weighted over 130kg and he flew over the bonnet of the car, somersaulted and landed flat on his back. Like Bond's martini he was shaken but that is the very reason I never carry anything in the centre pocket of my jersey. I'd hate to have a spinal injury caused by a bike pump or mobile phone in the centre pocket of a jersey especially when it wouldn't have happened if the pocket was empty.
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Postby tinstaafl » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:04 pm

Disk brakes are magic but they definitely require practice.
I went from a sloppy ten year old set of standard rubber brakes to a flash new disk set up and went straight over the bars down my driveway.
Practice with your disks well before you really need to use them or you will need kneading.

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Postby dan_the_man » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:38 pm

I'm in a similar boat only i got a new road bike for xmas.

I mainly wanna get fitter and lose a bit of fat while building my legs up

been riding to n from work 5 days a week so 44 kms per day...

ordered some proper shoes with cleats / pedals

and ordered some netti shy bike shorts... lol i'll wear all the proper bike gear when i get into it more... its only been a couple of weeks
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Postby Mulger bill » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:59 pm

Keep it up Dan, many will snicker, but their opinion is not worth a slashed tube! You are well on the singletrack to enlightenment. The ride is the thing, all else is merely detail...

Shaun
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Postby dan_the_man » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:10 pm

thanks mate :)

will post up my progress over the next few months
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Postby pugsly » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:54 am

Well it's official - not that it wasn't already - I am a fat bastard.

I went into the LBS yesterday to try on the largest bike shorts xxxl - and, ahem, well they didn't fit. :oops: :cry:

That being the case, I am looking for tips and tricks on alternatives to the humble bike knicks. Maybe some well placed vaseline, someone mentioned a brand of undies that might do the trick. Or maybe I just have to deal with it until I'm of a physique that is acceptable to wear bike shorts. :)

Bikes have been around for longer than the stretchy shorts surely - what was used 'in the good ol' days'? :lol:
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Postby sogood » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:05 am

pugsly wrote:I went into the LBS yesterday to try on the largest bike shorts xxxl - and, ahem, well they didn't fit. :oops: :cry:

No personal experiences but I'd suggest that you try,
1) MTB gear. They are loose fitting and may better accommodate you. You just need the chamois bit of any shorts.
2) Go online and try some of the US mail order stores. There are a lot of big people there and I wouldn't be surprised if there are products that caters your needs.
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Postby tuco » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:15 am

pugsly wrote:I went into the LBS yesterday to try on the largest bike shorts xxxl - and, ahem, well they didn't fit. :oops: :cry:


On a brighter point, most cycling clothing sizes are odd sizes and generally marked at least a size too large.

I'm sure it's a conspiracy between the clothing companies and the bike companies to make us think we're too big and that we have to keep cycling and so buying bike bits and pieces.

My knicks are XL and my jersey's are also XL and I probably could do with a size bigger. I've never worn XL clothing in my life until I started cycling.
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Postby europa » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:57 pm

Go with the comfy undies and shorts I suggested Pugsly. I'm regularly riding 50+ km in them (and yes, padded pants will be an advantage but ya gotta get into the things first). By the time you desperately need something better, you'll have lost enough weight to fit into those XXXL shorts.

The shops here have finally got some larger sized gear in - up to now, I haven't found a pair of shorts that would go past my thighs :shock: Hundred bucks later and I finally have a pair of ShyShorts. So far, they've done half an hour on the stationary trainer but ...

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Postby beauyboy » Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:46 pm

bike knicks are not essential. Most of the time when I ride I ride in Jeans. Unfortunitly all my jeans now have a dirty big grease stain on the right leg :? but whos going to notice :P .
Now you may wonder why I ride with Jeans on up in brissy well simple fact is I have had two accidents. In both cases I was wearing jeans and the jeans pretected my legs from some pretty nice cuts. Sure I still had blood comin out but still less then if I had had shorts on.

Donald
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Postby europa » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:07 pm

My Europa has a small rust spot just in front of the seat post. It's there because the trouser clip chipped the paint there. Trouser clip? Yep, until recently, I've always worn jeans on the bike and always used a trouser clip to keep the cuffs out of the chain :D

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