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  • FIRST POST
    • armyknife
    • By armyknife 28th Jan 15, 2:55 PM
    • 592Posts
    • 2,502Thanks
    armyknife
    Aren't Bicycles Great.
    • #1
    • 28th Jan 15, 2:55 PM
    Aren't Bicycles Great. 28th Jan 15 at 2:55 PM
    Aren't bicycles great, a simple machine that let's people get places in a low cost, low impact way. Can even be maintained by people with limited mechanical skills like me.

    So what are you cycle transport plans for 2015?

    I'm planning on doing more long distance travel with mine and more trips by train with the folder.


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    Last edited by armyknife; 08-11-2015 at 1:14 AM. Reason: spelling mistake in thread title!
Page 26
    • brat
    • By brat 15th Jun 17, 8:27 PM
    • 2,429 Posts
    • 3,079 Thanks
    brat
    Quick video of my descent to Sa Calobra, a memorable descent of 2,200 feet in about 15 minutes. The climb back up took 35 minutes, which I'm quite pleased with. Every cyclist should give this a go!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YA7WtqyZzY
    Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 16th Jun 17, 5:27 PM
    • 2,325 Posts
    • 1,530 Thanks
    Johnmcl7
    Just returned from a family holiday in Pollensa, Majorca. I hired a bike for 5 days but because it was a family break, I only ventured out in the mornings when the family was getting uo. Still managed Formentor and Sa Calobra. What a beautiful island for cycling and touring. We'll have to get back to do more.
    Originally posted by brat
    Sounds great, I'm getting an access denied symbol on your picture though

    John
    • Lord Baltimore
    • By Lord Baltimore 18th Jun 17, 6:58 PM
    • 1,297 Posts
    • 1,286 Thanks
    Lord Baltimore
    Quick video of my descent to Sa Calobra, a memorable descent of 2,200 feet in about 15 minutes. The climb back up took 35 minutes, which I'm quite pleased with. Every cyclist should give this a go!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YA7WtqyZzY
    Originally posted by brat
    Epic descent and beautiful, laconic violin. I bet you slept well and with a little smile on your face
    all your base are belong to us
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 18th Jun 17, 9:07 PM
    • 7,536 Posts
    • 5,330 Thanks
    esuhl
    With this beautiful weather, I've been doing 20 to 30 miles a day! (Don't laugh -- it's a lot for me on my pannier-laden mountain bike! :-P)

    But... I've been consistently spending money on my bike for years now! There's always something wrong with it! It's starting to drive me up the wall!

    I keep buying new stems of completely inapproproate dimensions! It's hard to know until you try them out (and spend ages wiggling the saddle up/down and to/fro. And I have ergonomic grips on my flat bars, so I need to adjust them by about 0.1 mm each time... which is tricky.

    My freehub has suddenly started sticking, and I've no idea how to fix that. And my gears (which were running fine) suddenly needed the B-screw screwed in by about a centimetre(!) to take up the slack which didn't exist before!? And after spending the last two days tweaking my gears, I can't quite get them right.

    There's no way I'd spend so much time and money on cycling if it wasn't so damned amazing! Aren't bicycles great! :-D

    So... just wondering... Brat, your bike is much nicer than mine (which cost £450 new). And everyone else... Do you guys have to spend so much time fixing/tweaking/repairing/upgrading your bikes...?
    • brat
    • By brat 19th Jun 17, 9:19 AM
    • 2,429 Posts
    • 3,079 Thanks
    brat
    With this beautiful weather, I've been doing 20 to 30 miles a day! (Don't laugh -- it's a lot for me on my pannier-laden mountain bike! :-P)

    But... I've been consistently spending money on my bike for years now! There's always something wrong with it! It's starting to drive me up the wall!

    I keep buying new stems of completely inapproproate dimensions! It's hard to know until you try them out (and spend ages wiggling the saddle up/down and to/fro. And I have ergonomic grips on my flat bars, so I need to adjust them by about 0.1 mm each time... which is tricky.

    My freehub has suddenly started sticking, and I've no idea how to fix that. And my gears (which were running fine) suddenly needed the B-screw screwed in by about a centimetre(!) to take up the slack which didn't exist before!? And after spending the last two days tweaking my gears, I can't quite get them right.

    There's no way I'd spend so much time and money on cycling if it wasn't so damned amazing! Aren't bicycles great! :-D

    So... just wondering... Brat, your bike is much nicer than mine (which cost £450 new). And everyone else... Do you guys have to spend so much time fixing/tweaking/repairing/upgrading your bikes...?
    Originally posted by esuhl
    20 to 30 miles per day is a decent distance for anyone. On a heavy bike, that deserves respect!

    I'm not the best person to talk to about maintenance, my work colleague who is much more bike savvy than me is always going on at me about my poor bike maintenance.

    But I have learned a little, and learned to mitigate the damage caused by the elements. The single best purchase I've made to reduce bike wear and tear is my turbo trainer. Of the 5,500 miles I've done this year so far, 2,400 miles have been on the turbo. I use the turbo when the weather is poor, so I'm not submitting my bikes to the worst weather. I've put mudguards on my cyclocross commuter bike too, which prevents a lot of the dirt and grime getting into the chain and bottom bracket.
    I also clean, oil and grease the bike much more than I used to. I do that as a matter of routine now, rather than wait until parts fail or stiffen. So the chain gets oiled for every decent ride, and at least once a week. The headset and BB bearings get checked cleaned and greased every couple of months. The freehub is removed and pawls cleaned and regreased regularly. I tried to bleed my disc brakes recently, but failed miserably, so that had to go to the LBS.

    My total bike budget is not cheap. I reckon I spend over £3,000 a year on bikes, kit and maintenance. Not much of that is maintenance, it's mostly for improvement and new gear.
    So in that respect, the maintenance costs are low as a percentage of total costs.

    But the primary lessons I've learned are

    1) Keep your bike spotlessly clean
    2) Keep it well, but not over lubricated
    3) Check and service parts regularly. Don't wait for them to fail
    4) Regrease routinely where needed.
    5) Protect your bike against dirt and grime either by not going out in horrible weather, or use mudguards
    6) Don't damage any part of your groupset by dropping the bike, or leaving it carelessly against something. Don't force it against other bikes on a bike rack on your car.
    7) Buy a chain gauge to check for chain wear and replace before worn
    8) Keep your weight down. More weight on the bike= more maintenance
    9) Clean rim brakes regularly. Replace pads often, so that the pads wear more quickly than the rim.
    10) Don't sprint like Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, wrenching your bike from side to side each pedal stroke, putting loads of pressure on the rims, spokes and bearings.
    11) Cultivate a good friend who is also a wizz with bike maintenance and repair.
    12) Ride lots of miles for pleasure, so that you feel the cost is always worth it.
    Last edited by brat; 19-06-2017 at 9:34 AM.
    Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
    • Emily Blunt
    • By Emily Blunt 19th Jun 17, 9:22 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Emily Blunt
    Wanting to do an across the nation ride with my brother by marriage and some of his companions in April and anticipating driving by bicycle several days seven days once the climate moves forward.
    • brat
    • By brat 19th Jun 17, 9:28 AM
    • 2,429 Posts
    • 3,079 Thanks
    brat
    Epic descent and beautiful, laconic violin. I bet you slept well and with a little smile on your face
    Originally posted by Lord Baltimore
    It was a very special ride. A serene descent followed by a lung bursting ascent. I have to go back there for more of that!

    I love that piece of music, It's The Protecting Veil by John Tavener, played by Steven Isserlis, believe it or not, on the cello. I think the greater resonance of the cello gives it that almost impossible dual quality of being melancholic and uplifting at the same time. It raises the hairs on the back of my neck every time I hear it. :-)
    Last edited by brat; 19-06-2017 at 9:33 AM.
    Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
    • Lord Baltimore
    • By Lord Baltimore 20th Jun 17, 12:15 AM
    • 1,297 Posts
    • 1,286 Thanks
    Lord Baltimore
    Great list of "lessons learned" above brat.

    One of my bikes is an old, steel-framed classic (its a stiff, uncomfortable ride but I have it simply for the pleasure of owning it). Despite its age, it had unpitted chrome front and rear forks etc and no mudguards (because I like it original).

    Notice I said 'had unpitted chrome'. Last winter I took it out and picked up something that virtually destroyed the bike. Chrome has come off in chunks; the paintwork is shot and now the cables routed down low are coming apart. I failed to clean it after use and thought a little 'mud' would do no real harm. Gutted is all I can say.

    Cello, yes. Now, not only is my bike knackered, I'm revealed as uncultured. Woe is me .
    all your base are belong to us
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 22nd Jun 17, 12:58 AM
    • 2,325 Posts
    • 1,530 Thanks
    Johnmcl7
    I've dabbled with cameras on the bikes for a while experimenting with helmet, bar and chest mounting opting for the latter as a good balance although it's still a little bumpy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmFPOXInjYc

    After spending a while looking at gimbals, I finally bought one and gave it a go and I'm amazed at how smooth it is. The bike is a short travel hardtail so it's not a smooth ride and the camera still seemed to be bouncing up and down with the shocks so I was bracing myself for the footage being not much good. However it seems to smooth everything out incredibly well:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjUJ-KhSpwQ

    Wind noise is clearly an issue although the audio isn't great on action cameras anyway.
    • Lord Baltimore
    • By Lord Baltimore 23rd Jun 17, 12:20 AM
    • 1,297 Posts
    • 1,286 Thanks
    Lord Baltimore
    Nice. Just be careful not to let the camera 'encourage' you to push the envelope. Great ride; stay safe.
    all your base are belong to us
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 25th Jun 17, 6:57 PM
    • 2,325 Posts
    • 1,530 Thanks
    Johnmcl7
    As odd as it sounds, with mountain biking you need to push the envelope - riding slower and with more caution is much more likely to cause the bike to crash as the lack of forward momentum makes it easier for the bike to go over. Then of course you want to ride slower and more cautious the next time so you crash again etc. so it's a vicious circle.

    I've been working on trying to get my speed up and more comfortable with the bike at speed but it's hard to convince yourself even though logically I know it's correct. Particularly on steep downhill sections where you can creep down on the brakes and be constantly on the verge of falling off or let go of the brakes, the let bike speed up to the point you can no longer stop it and let it roll smoothly. I was doing a steep bit last night I rarely ride as it scares the crap out of me this time let the bike go and carry some speed and it was far easier.

    Of course if you're at speed the crash is much bigger particularly if the front wheel doesn't roll and you're chucked over the handlebars.

    John
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 25th Jun 17, 7:50 PM
    • 7,536 Posts
    • 5,330 Thanks
    esuhl
    ^^ The soil round here is really sandy, so the most important thing (other than not sliding) is to stay perfectly balanced.

    You can slide across the sand with both wheels losing traction, but if the bike is perpendicular to the ground, you can kind of flick it back is you start drifting sideways a little.

    I ride pretty fast, but I'm not "adventurous"! I don't throw myself off the side of cliffs like some of the MTB riders round here!
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 28th Jul 17, 8:53 PM
    • 2,325 Posts
    • 1,530 Thanks
    Johnmcl7
    I decided to have a go at cycling up the A9 between Perth and Inverness as it's a road I've been up many times in the car and now I know I can do the range on the bike, fancied giving it a go as there's a cycle path all the way. I picked a day when the wind shouldn't have been too bad and only light rain so set on with booking a train ticket to take me there and I'd cycle home.

    It was one of those days which just wasn't meant to be it felt, the train was not good, the cycle route had been torn up at the starting point and several chunks of the cycle route were off road on gravel or forest track and some of the on road sections were old damaged tarmac. The weather forecast was wrong and it varied between light and heavy rain most of the way with a westerly wind. Pedalling over the main summit on an off road section into a head wind with the rain lashing down was unpleasant and same again on the next summit as well.

    On the plus side at least I finished it and despite some of the rough sections, no punctures and the bike mostly survived at least long enough to complete the ride. I was planning another long ride this weekend but the weather isn't looking good, I think I'm going to need to replace the rear pads on the road bike (already had a new BB) and knee is a bit sore after a minor mishap on the MTB last night.

    • scd3scd4
    • By scd3scd4 28th Jul 17, 8:59 PM
    • 319 Posts
    • 284 Thanks
    scd3scd4
    I cycle about 280 miles a month. 14 times to work and back as I work 12 hour shifts. Plus what I ride to the shops and the like and have been for about the last 4 years. Winter and summer. I suppose I am saving one gallon a shift in petrol.

    I can now cycle the 10 miles to work in about the same time it use to take me to drove the 18 miles in a car. About 45-55 minutes. Depends on the shifts, head wind and how I am feeling on a hybrid. The time is over my average as I have to stop to use the Woolwich foot tunnel/lifts under the Thames. 3/4 of the journey is on the Thames foot paths. A lovely no car ride.


    Best thing I ever done. Still over weight but that is properly down to the beer but fitter than I have been in years. I have some envious legs now... ;-]


    On a side note, I really see my bike as I did my car. I enjoy the ride but I kind of neglect the bike. its just a work horse. I clean it now and again and spray a bit of oil when I remember. I suppose I get around this by putting the boy in my respected local independent twice a year for maintenance and repair. I always seem to get a bill for a couple hundred but then again. 3500 miles plus does wear the gear set, rings, brakes and the like.
    Last edited by scd3scd4; 29-07-2017 at 5:58 AM.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 22nd Aug 17, 2:00 AM
    • 2,325 Posts
    • 1,530 Thanks
    Johnmcl7
    It's just passed six years since I properly got into cycling with the purchase of my Trek hybrid:



    I thought the turbocharger on my car was failing as it was making a distinctive whining noise so I decided since it was a costly item I'd buy a really nice bike and then have to use it to avoid short trips in my car. With the maze of options out there I bought myself the Trek Soho Dlx which appealed to me for its lack of rim brakes, the hub gears, the carbon belt drive and the full metal mudguards with pannier mounts.

    The push to buy the bike had been a charity cycle at work which was running for the first time and offering a 26 mile and 49 mile option so I went for the 26 mile option which would be far more than I'd ever cycled when I was younger. Despite thinking I was in good fitness my muscles ached and were sore for a good few days after but as I cycled along in the countryside under the blue sky, it was the first time I actually enjoyed cycling.

    The next year I cycled back and forth to work all through the winter and that was fine, I was saving the car but it wasn't until nearly a year later I realised how much I liked the bike when it had to go away for repair. Suddenly popping into town wasn't so easy as I couldn't just go straight in and park in the centre.

    I did the same charity event again going for the same route as I didn't I'd be any better at it having only cycled short distances but I was wrong, not only did it feel far easier but I was half an hour faster as well. At that point I decided I was going to do the 49 miler the next year so bought myself a mountain bike and joined a newly formed MTB group riding at night (since it was going into winter) and then getting a road bike in the spring and did the 49 mile route.

    Since then each year I've progressively built up the miles although never doing anything strict, just what I enjoyed so did my first 24 hour race and several more, gave CX racing a go, went round Loch Ness on the road (something I'd never even have thought possible before then) and made it round Loch Ness off road which was a tough challenge.

    Last week I decided to do a 114 mile cycle and wasn't at all worried about it which again seems odd now given how panicked I was about riding 26 miles just not that long ago.



    I always like coming back to this thread as it's a great reminder of how good cycling is and the cyclists as well. I've made so many great friends through cycling and it's great to hear what people are doing here as well. Physically my fitness is much better as I'd always go out regular walks with the dog and so forth but nothing like the challenge of an endurance cycle however it's the mental benefits I particularly appreciate. There's been times I've really need to clear my head and destress from work and I've not found a better way than hoping on the bike and attacking the track or the road and just letting everything else drift away.

    The best part is after all that the turbocharger on the car wasn't failing at all, I was driving along and I noticed a slight fuzz to the whine as I changed gear so I switched the stereo off and the whine disappeared. I'd been listening to very quiet piano music and it was amplifying the background noise which jumped in pitch when the turbo spun up. For all the hassles the DPF caused me, at least it's one of the main pushes that got me into cycling.
    Last edited by Johnmcl7; 22-08-2017 at 2:06 AM.
    • MaxPerwer
    • By MaxPerwer 25th Aug 17, 12:36 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    MaxPerwer
    Bikes are amazing! So mechanically simple but so much fun! I've sadly just had to get rid of my Trek Remedy XC bike as had some major car trouble and needed the money (the bike was never used anyway!) but I've still got my Trek Session 88 which I ride on the downhill trails when I can get out
    • marks87
    • By marks87 14th Sep 17, 11:27 PM
    • 163 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    marks87
    I thought I should finally post on this thread because today was a revelation as to how great my bicycle is for carrying stuff.

    I've had a rack for 18 months now but always used a top bag that barely took a change of clothes. I'd been put off the idea of side panniers because I didn't want to risk being unbalanced.

    But yesterday I bought 2 side pannier bags that are as big as rucksacks. I used one today which, after stopping at Tesco on the way home from work, was feeling pretty heavy in my hand. But I noticed no difference in handling at all. Tomorrow I'll take the other one (empty) and get even more shopping.

    I can also now carry my laptop instead of relying on a steam-driven one that I keep at work, that had Noah as a previous owner!

    Such simple machines but their cargo-carrying capability (try saying that five times fast!) is immense.
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