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Author Topic: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?  (Read 3687 times)

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Offline Hodge Podge

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Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« on: June 17, 2014, 09:17:21 AM »
I believe that I've seen a few mention an affinity for the other two-wheeled transit (Flyer?). Anyhow, I'm contemplating getting into road bicycling for weekend rides and extended commuting (10 to 20 miles, depending on which office). My current bike is a '91 Scott Boulder mountain bike, that has recently sported hybrid/touring tires for leisurely family rides. It's fine for beach vacations, graded trails, and other times I likely have a kid in the kangaroo seat. However, it's a couple decades out of date (gotta love it when the 20something bike mechanic exclaims "I love working on old bikes like this!") and the frame is heavier than needed. For the cog set cognoscenti,  I have two questions:
1. Should I continue to make the old Scott into more of a trekking bike (taller gear ratio, drop bars, etc.) and accept it will be heavier than necessary
2. Do I invest in a Craigslist special--"bought a few years ago and ridden maybe 8 times"--for a purpose-build entry- to mid-level road bike (current crop has an 04 Specialized Allez for $600, a 2010 Trek 1.2 and a 2010 2.1 for $500, and a 2011 Motobecane Grand Record for $400)

Any (relevant) input is welcome.

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 09:45:12 AM »
Fecking cyclists.
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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 09:51:22 AM »
You need to evaluate how realistic it is whether you'll get value from a new bike.  If you think you will use it more than the "8 times, then put away" go ahead and look on Craigslist for a deal- they are definitely out there.

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Offline motormike

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 09:52:23 AM »
I have a mountain bike from 1991 that I seldom ride.  I'd keep your existing bike as is for the uses you stated and find a used bike on CL for your intended purpose.  If you like it, you'll be glad you have a bike for that purpose.  If not, you probably can sell without loosing too much money.

Offline MrsCablebandit

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2014, 09:55:15 AM »
There's always room for another bike (powered or not!).

That said, I found the best of both worlds with a cross bike. I bought a Salsa Vaya 2 and am in absolute love :inlove: with it whether on gravel, dirt, or asphalt.
I used to make a bigger impression.

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2014, 06:51:00 PM »
The Scott sounds ideal for the Munchkin, but no amount of money is going to make you long to ride it 20 miles with any regular enthusiasm.
I agree there's likely a CL low mileage beauty out there somewhere, but you'll probably have to buy individual (read: expensive) parts to make it fit you correctly. IF YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY FITS you on a road frame.
I'm a big believer in making good friends at the best bike shop you can find.
They will take their time and experience to fit and advise you as to what will work best at your price point.
You don't have to spend a fortune, but take the time to do it right the first time, and you may find yourself a life changing experience.
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Offline Hodge Podge

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2014, 07:31:58 PM »
Thank you! There are a couple promising bike shops near my office and home, so I'll start off there. One has weekend rides to/from coffee shops in DC, so I can sound that out as potential recreation, too. Much appreciated!

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2014, 08:06:02 PM »
I vote #2.  It'll be much easier to upgrade a Craigslist special later on if need be than your current ride.  As you have probably discovered, bicycle manufacturers don't have to keep making parts for old bikes, like car manufacturers do, so they're often tough to find.
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Offline sodapop6620

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2014, 08:58:21 PM »
Is there a way to have mapmyrides figure out the climbing total?

I have been back riding since last year.  Now I need to get a road bike and move the hybrid to trainer status.

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2014, 05:25:55 AM »
My philosophy on a heavier bike has always been that I'm riding it for exercise so who cares if I have to do a little more work.  I put road tires, well slick fat tires anyway, on my mt bike and just ride that.  It's still way more comfortable than the road bike (2nd hand gift albeit a nice one) even if I'm not going as fast as I could be going.  If you're talking about casual riding, that should scratch the itch for the cost of a set of wheels and tires.  If you're looking to keep up with the Jones's's, then you'll probably want something more catered toward the specific task.  You'll be hard pressed to hang w/ a group ride of a bunch of roadies on a mt bike unless you're really fit. 

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2014, 04:25:05 PM »
Some road biking videos:

Inside the bunch at stage 2 of the Tour De Suisse.  They are going almost 42 MPH.


Inside a sprint finish. 
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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2014, 03:38:14 PM »
So my ride today was mostly pleasant, but there were a few bits that sucked.

I rolled out of the house at 7:30, planning on doing what I call the "City Loop", a nice 50 miler with about 2500 feet of climbing.   It's all urban, but for most of it there really aren't too many stop signs or lights, so it makes a nice three hours on the bike.

Halfway up the first major climb my right cleat came loose a bit.  Not enough to detach, but enough to cause concern.  No big deal, I had a nice multitool with the needed phillips screwdriver, so I tightened it and resumed speed.  Still, that hard stop halfway up a decent four mile climb did me no favors when it came time to pedal again.

Anyhow, about 2/3 through the loop, as I was just riding along a slight descent, my Campagnolo carbon seatpost broke about halfway between the collar and the clamp.  I'm glad it happened when it did, because a fast, bumpy downhill a few minutes later would have been a bad spot for it.

 The nearest bike shop along my route was about 10 miles, so I figured I'd just ride standing up until I got there.  I shifted into the big ring to drop my cadence and slogged along until I got to The Bike Whorehouse.  Man, what a disappointment that shop (if you can still even call it that) has become.  There is no service department any more (they outsource, I guess) and the only post in a 27.2 (the most common size ever) was a complete POS boat-anchor Kalloy that they wanted $30 for.

"F**K that" was my response.  I rode on (still standing) a few more miles until I passed a new shop I'd never been in before on my way to a place run by a friend of mine.  Well, my destination was closed (I'd forgotten wednesday was his late opening day).  I backtracked to the new shop and stopped in, hoping they had something.

The guy dug around in a box of miscellaneous posts, and it didn't look promising.  Finally he found a Time carbon post that had never been in a bike but had rattled around in that box for long enough that the anodizing on the cradle was a bit worn.  Since it was NOS, the guy gave it to me for $100 out the door, and man, was I stoked.  It was the same offset as the Campy, but was noticeably lighter and most important of all, way, way less broken.

as I was returning to my scheduled route there were some guys stopped on the side of the route trying to fix a flat.  I gave them my spare tube and rode on, legs shot but happy with the way things turned out.  I had one last big double climb (about 500 ft of gain) to go to get back home, but I was OK.  All I had to do was grind it out.

At the stop light at the top of the second pitch, my front tire went flat.  Damn it!  I was six long blocks from home- too long to ride on the front flat without ruining the new $60 Continental I had on there, and long enough that my cleats would have been a real bummer.  And, of course, I now had no spare tube.  As they say, no good deed goes unpunished, right?

I called a riding buddy who lives just a few blocks from where I was and he drove over and gave me a lift home.  He gave me a hard time about not inviting him along on the ride, but when I told him I'd started at &:30 he admitted that there would have been no way he would have gotten up that early, anyway...


Normally, road rides go without a hitch- and for most of this ride, that was the case.  However, that seatpost breaking put a bit of a damper on my ride.  I'm certain this was a long time developing, and it would have gone sooner or later, so in that sense it worked out OK, it seems.


Edited to fix spellcheck fixes.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 03:12:55 PM by miles »
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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2014, 08:57:36 PM »
I keep a spare $50 at home and have "Taxi" on speed dial.
Only had to use that three times in three decades, and I don't ride with a spare.
Dumb Irish luck?  :shrug:
Sean Kelly would have run the long way home, bike on his shoulder, in his bare feet!
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Online miles

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2014, 09:40:37 PM »
I keep a spare $50 at home and have "Taxi" on speed dial.
Only had to use that three times in three decades, and I don't ride with a spare.
Dumb Irish luck?  :shrug:
Sean Kelly would have run the long way home, bike on his shoulder, in his bare feet!
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Sean Kelly had a team mechanic with a spare bike nearby at all times.  He was a hard, hard man, but he never ran anywhere, ever.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2014, 10:08:46 PM »
 :o That second vid is a rolling wreck waiting to happen.
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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2014, 11:31:19 PM »
Sprint finishes are absolutely crazy.   
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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2014, 03:26:18 AM »
I'm not current with who's who.  Was the guy they were focusing on (elbow bandage) the designated sprinter or was he sorting out the pack for someone else?
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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2014, 08:45:23 AM »
I'm not current with who's who.  Was the guy they were focusing on (elbow bandage) the designated sprinter or was he sorting out the pack for someone else?

He's Giant's sprinter, John Degenkolb. He got third on the stage. He's good, but not top-tier.
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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2014, 01:49:50 PM »
So my ride today was mostly pleasant, but there were a few bits that sucked.

I.

Anyhow, about 2/3 through the loop, as I was just riding along a slight descent, my Campagnolo carbon sea tops broke about halfway between the collar and the clamp.  I'm glad it happened when it did, because a fast, bumpy downhill a few minutes later would have been a bad sop for it.



Ouch. That sounds like it could have /seriously/ sucked.
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Offline expatbrit

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2014, 01:53:59 PM »
I believe that I've seen a few mention an affinity for the other two-wheeled transit (Flyer?). Anyhow, I'm contemplating getting into road bicycling for weekend rides and extended commuting (10 to 20 miles, depending on which office). My current bike is a '91 Scott Boulder mountain bike, that has recently sported hybrid/touring tires for leisurely family rides. It's fine for beach vacations, graded trails, and other times I likely have a kid in the kangaroo seat. However, it's a couple decades out of date (gotta love it when the 20something bike mechanic exclaims "I love working on old bikes like this!") and the frame is heavier than needed. For the cog set cognoscenti,  I have two questions:
1. Should I continue to make the old Scott into more of a trekking bike (taller gear ratio, drop bars, etc.) and accept it will be heavier than necessary
2. Do I invest in a Craigslist special--"bought a few years ago and ridden maybe 8 times"--for a purpose-build entry- to mid-level road bike (current crop has an 04 Specialized Allez for $600, a 2010 Trek 1.2 and a 2010 2.1 for $500, and a 2011 Motobecane Grand Record for $400)

Any (relevant) input is welcome.

What I was told on the dedicated bicycle forums when I was looking at getting a road bike was that fit was critical for longer rides. It also seems that the sizing between brands is absolute chaos, and almost irrelevant. That means going to a bike shop with a good fitter, and getting it sized up. Also means more than your prices above, though you can get into an entry level AL frame that'd work fine and fit well in the $700 range, maybe. Good time to be looking if you can find your size, with the '15s arriving.

If the Scott works, sounds like it'll do fine; probably as well or better than a CL special however. Trekking bars, maybe re-gear it if you need to, slick tyres. You'll get more exercise from the extra weight. :)
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Offline expatbrit

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Re: Any (road) bicyclists among the ranks?
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2014, 01:55:29 PM »
The Scott sounds ideal for the Munchkin, but no amount of money is going to make you long to ride it 20 miles with any regular enthusiasm.
I agree there's likely a CL low mileage beauty out there somewhere, but you'll probably have to buy individual (read: expensive) parts to make it fit you correctly. IF YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY FITS you on a road frame.
I'm a big believer in making good friends at the best bike shop you can find.
They will take their time and experience to fit and advise you as to what will work best at your price point.
You don't have to spend a fortune, but take the time to do it right the first time, and you may find yourself a life changing experience.

OK. Flyer said exactly what I said,. only first. Doh.
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