Buying a bike - what do you think?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:58 pm

I wouldn't use street shoes on clipless pedals for anything bigger than a milkbar run, too uncomfortable. You can score flat pedals for <$20 at Kmart, not great quality but enough to get you around while you save up for the shoes. Failing that, Shamino SPD pedals come out of the box with plastic platform that clips onto one side, ask the LBS, they've prolly got plenty.

Torpedo7 regularly do package deals on shoe/pedal combos, often <$100, tho I believe some users here have had issues with them :?

Shaun
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by BNA » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:37 pm

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Postby Bnej » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:37 pm

For on road get proper slicks, for off road get proper knobblies. No point getting anything in between.

A reasonably wide slick will be okay for light off road if you're careful, and will be much better on road. Slicks roll better and grip better on road, there is no reason not to have them if most of your riding is on sealed roads. If you go somewhere that has technical or steep off road, put good off-road tyres on.
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Postby amp » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:13 pm

Thanks bill.

Looks like I'l get the slicks then. The ones they recommended looked pretty flat in the middle but the edges looked a little knobblier.. No good?
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Postby Kalgrm » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:47 pm

amp wrote:Looks like I'l get the slicks then. The ones they recommended looked pretty flat in the middle but the edges looked a little knobblier.. No good?

Nope. Having knobs on the sides means that when you lean the bike into a turn, your tyres squirm - when you least want them to - because instead of solid rubber on the road, there is now little bits of soft rubber in contact with the road.

Having tread on bike tyres designed for asphalt use is unnecessary. The tread on car tyres is there only to allow water to be squeezed out when the tyre goes through a puddle. It prevents "aquaplaning". A bike tyre is round, letting water be squeezed out on each side. A bike tyre can't aquaplane. Having tread (or knobs) simply offers less rubber to be in contact with the road, so you get less grip with non-slick tyres on asphalt.

Knobs on the side? When you are already putting the tyres out of dynamic stability? Not a good idea. If your LBS is recommending this sort of tyre, ask them to explain their reasons. If they say it's better for turning in the dirt, hit them with a cricket bat until they understand that you are riding on the road.

(Knobs are indeed better in the dirt, because you want to bite through the loose surface and grip into the hard-packed stuff below. But you want the knobs on all parts of the tyre, not just the edges.)

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Postby amp » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:14 am

Thanks Graeme, makes sense! :)
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Postby amp » Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:59 pm

What do you guys think of the Holy Rollers?

I've been looking at tires alot and these seem to be fast with very low resistance, while still performing well on hardpack.

Considering I'm not into racing but still want a smooth city ride with the option to do a little dirt, what do ya reckon?
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Postby Bnej » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:12 pm

amp wrote:What do you guys think of the Holy Rollers?


You could try them, they don't look too bad.

The closely spaced knobs will clog in mud and won't clear easily. They also won't corner on loose surfaces as well as a MTB knobbly, though it might be marginally better than a full slick.
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Postby amp » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:58 pm

Yeah I read heaps of reviews on that mtbr site, concensus seems to be they're great on road and hardpack, have awesome grip and cornering on road.

Not good on loose dirt or mud, but I'd be swapping to the knobblies if planning to do that sort of riding anyway.
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Postby Hawkeye » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:20 pm

+1 for all the comments above for using knobblies on the road. NOT a good idea. You can get good slicks for cheap and keep the knobblies that coem with it for off-road use.

For slicks, if you can go 1.5" wide or less you'll find the bike a lot easier to pedal. Torpedo7 has specials on tyres and tubes from time to time, and they are a great source of stuff at the mid-to-entry end of the market. eBay can also be good, but you need to be well-informed.

WTB slickasauruses are quite OK, cheap, and roll really well. I think Maxxis make a well-priced slick for 26" wheels as well (Detonator?). There's an Innova slick on T7 for the moment at $16 each. Go the 1.25". You'll need ot buy 2 tyres and 3 matching tubes (1 spare).

I use Continental Sport COntact 1.3s, and they're awesome. Great grip, no punctures in over a year's use, and fast, but they are absolute <insert swear word> buggers to get on and off the rim, so I wouldn't recommend them if you are intending to swap between knobblies and slicks often on the same wheelset. I have two wheelsets for my hardtail.

Swapping tyres is pretty easy and can be accomplished in 15 minutes with only a little practice.

Tyres that try to do both on and offroad in one simply do both very badly. I'd rather spend a little more and get separate tyre sets and keep my body intact.
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Postby amp » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:24 pm

So you've tried the Holy Rollers and didn't like them?
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Postby Hawkeye » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:30 pm

On the subject of SPDs, for road use they're the biggest single performance improvement you can make, and there's no reason for not using them right from the start.

Off-road, though... I'm not sure I'd recommend them for a beginner unless you're riding is mostly fire trails or easy singletrack. That said, I use SPDs everywhere, but it was downright scary riding Manly Dam with them to begin with.

For shoes, you do need SPD-compatible shoesto use with them. The plastic platforms that come with the M520s are ordinary at best, and I don't trust 'em with sneakers. Too slippery.

A good size guide is 1 euro size smaller than yoru street shoes, as you use thinner sox and you don't want your foot to move around. Eg, I use 45s for my street shoes and 44s for my bike shoes. I bought some nice $220RRP Vittorias on a runout sale on eBay for $70. T7 might have something for sale atm.
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Postby Hawkeye » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:40 pm

amp wrote:So you've tried the Holy Rollers and didn't like them?
No, but they're way fat. Always equals slow. Which is Ok if you want the workout, but some days I want to ride at "recovery" pace without so much effort (rather than not ride at all).

Also, if you want to do multi-hour road rides (eg Gong Ride) they're simply too taxing. With the conti's on I was easily able to keep pace with most of the guys on road bikes without sending my heart rate up through the redline, even outpacing many of them on the climbs. 8) That annoyed my mate on his $5k carbon roadie, which was very satisfying. :lol:

I would not use Holy Rollers on the trail, especially not with clipless pedals. You'll spend a lot of time on your backside and your knees will be a grazed and bloody mess. Most trails are a mixture of surfaces and you will need something that copes with loose-over-hardpack as a bare minimum.
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Postby amp » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:19 pm

Yeah the clipless do like like something I'll be looking into, but until then I'll just be using normal ones I think.

How do they clip on to the shoes, anyway? Do you need to use your hands to detach them? Not sure what I think of the idea of not being able to put my foot on the ground easily if necessary.

Regarding the tires.. Sounds like I need to personally try both the Rollers and some pure slicks. Still keen to get some feedback from people who've actually used them, though.

And would only use the Rollers for road and hardpack of course, if planning to do trail riding if that's the name for it, would swap to the stock knobblies (Larsen I think).

Reason I'm looking at them is it seems like they act like slicks with a little more versatility in that they can handle a little dry/hard off-road - where as with pure slicks you get road only, and I'm thinking it could be a reasonable sacrifice to lose a tiny bit of speed for ability to go off-road with relative ease.
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Postby Bnej » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:49 pm

amp wrote:How do they clip on to the shoes, anyway? Do you need to use your hands to detach them? Not sure what I think of the idea of not being able to put my foot on the ground easily if necessary.


There's a small metal cleat you bolt to the underside of the shoes.

You put your toe on the pedal and slide forwards until you feel this hit the clip target (very easy & quick), then step down and you hear a "click" as the back of the cleat engages.

To get out you move the back of your foot outwards. If you back the spring tension off on the pedals they release very easily. You hear a click and your foot pops off the pedal. You can do this early and have your foot on the pedal but not clipped in.

WRT tyres, the biggest thing you'll notice with Holy Rollers vs something like a Maxxis Detonator in 26x1.5 is weight. Holy Rollers = 800g per wheel, Detonator 485g/wheel, Conti Sports Contact 26x1.3 370g/wheel. Sports Contact you'd be saving nearly a kilo off total bike weight.

Depends what you want out of your bike of course. A wider tyre will be more comfortable, and they will hold a bit better on gravel, grass, hard dirt etc. But it is always a compromise, no such thing as the best of both worlds! ;)
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Postby Matt_Matt » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:31 pm

amp wrote:Ps - This forum is much friendlier than Farkin :P


LMAO
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Postby amp » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:25 pm

Thanks Bnej.

Any idea how much "faster" bare slicks are compared the the Rollers?
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Postby Bnej » Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:48 am

amp wrote:Any idea how much "faster" bare slicks are compared the the Rollers?


How long is a piece of string? :)

On flat ground at speeds under 25km/h you might not notice much difference.

If you hammer the pedals to accelerate fast you'll notice the extra rotating mass. On hills you'll notice the extra weight. As you get faster they'll make more air resistance.

Probably 1 or 2 km/h off your average speed compared to sports contacts, but YMMV. Less noticeable if you're riding dirt and bike paths, also less noticeable if your average speed isn't high in total.
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Postby amp » Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:14 am

Hehe..

It sounds like it's hardly going to make a difference to me, I don't think I'd ride very fast on average.

1-2km/h sounds like a very reasonable sacrifice for the extra versatility.

Thanks! :)
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Postby Bnej » Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:43 pm

amp wrote:1-2km/h sounds like a very reasonable sacrifice for the extra versatility.


Where you'd notice it is if you ride with someone equally fit, over say 30km, you'd be more than a kilometre behind by the end. ;)

Try it and see how you use the bike. If you find you only ride it on roads and you want it to go faster, change to good road tyres. If you find you're using it off road a fair bit you can stick with the Holy Rollers, or go to a lighter MTB tyre if you decide you don't like them. A good MTB tyre generally comes in about the 500-550g mark, so if you're off road a lot you'd feel the difference.

It's always hard to know in advance how you're going to enjoy your bike best - as you ride you'll get a better idea of what you want.
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Postby amp » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:50 pm

Yeah, thanks :)
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Postby amp » Sat May 24, 2008 10:15 pm

Just thought I'd pop in and say I got my Rhythm about two months ago and I'm loving it! :D

Ended up coming with Rock Shox Tora 302 rather than the Manitou which was a nice surprise, and the "clipless" pedals came with the platforms attached which I'm finding fine to ride on with normal shoes.

The Holy Rollers went on a week or two after I got it and I must say I'm very pleased. They roll great on the road and I still feel confident doing mild off-road.

Thanks again to all those who helped out with my questions :)
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Postby Mulger bill » Sat May 24, 2008 10:21 pm

Great stuff Amp, glad you're having fun. :D

Shaun
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