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Old 08-17-2004, 01:54 PM   #1
Griff
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Bikes!

I'm still working off the Euphoria of two hours in the saddle so why not try another bike thread? I do this at least once a year hoping some of the new folks ride.

Breaking News rides so that's two...Pete is three, she intended to ride 10 miles at lunch today and did 30, good grrrl!

I had a pretty quiet loop today. They've resurfaced some of my best descents with tar and stones which makes things a little dicey but my ride is a Trek 520 touring bike which weighs 1.3 tons but handles ugly stuff like a dream. The bike disappeared under me right away today, I don't even remember the hairpin turn that usually gives me the jitters coming down our mile long hill. More later g
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Old 08-17-2004, 02:01 PM   #2
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I jus' hafta say there's nothing better than a root beer float when you've just ridden off the equivalent of five of them!
I had one of those moments today when I passed two riders going the other direction and I was going a lot faster. I felt like a kick ass rider til i discovered that I had a tail wind. Good ride though. No better way to play hookie from work.
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Old 08-17-2004, 03:00 PM   #3
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Sunday I just rode a bike for the first time since college. Went from Collegeville to Green Lane and back on the Perkiomen Trail. I had rented some sort of mountain bike, a lot better than anything I'd ever ridden before. I mean, I used to ride Sears-special bikes with traditional (read: shitty) derauillers and no working brakes, and here I am on something with sequential shifters, brakes that grab like (um, can't post that at work), a frame of something other than lead-filled steel, front suspension, and wheels that were actually round and everything.

Anyway, I had a good time but I'm not sure I want to get into biking. I'd have to get a bike, then I'd have to get two bikes (one for the road and one for the unpaved stuff), and then I'd never get out on my skates any more.
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Old 08-18-2004, 06:45 AM   #4
Griff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russotto
Anyway, I had a good time but I'm not sure I want to get into biking. I'd have to get a bike, then I'd have to get two bikes (one for the road and one for the unpaved stuff), and then I'd never get out on my skates any more.
[Jeri]You will be assimilated.[/Ryan]

Folks don't realize how well engineered modern bikes are, especially with the big box stores selling badly assembled junk. The good stuff is expensive but bikes can last a long time if they're maintained well. My mountain bike has eaten two sets of wheels and some components but I've had it since '92(?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breakingnews
My brother rides a Trek 5900 with 9-spd Dura-Ace and Bontrager race-lites - beautiful bike! I took it out for 40 miles a few weeks ago ... climbing was incredibly easy, though I have to admit I didn't have a very good time on descents. His bike is one size too small - I'm dying to try the next larger.
That's a very sexy machine. When I hit the lottery I think I get the titaniumMoots YBB. Those road racing machines are twitchy but in your size I bet it handles a lot better. Did you find that the carbon fiber soaked up much of the roughness of the road?
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Old 08-18-2004, 01:36 PM   #5
russotto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff
[Jeri]You will be assimilated.[/Ryan]
Can I swap 7/9 out for Mystique?

Quote:

That's a very sexy machine.
At $4800? See why I don't want to get into biking? Even the most expensive racing skates ain't THAT much.

Quote:
When I hit the lottery I think I get the titaniumMoots YBB.
$2475, just for the frame. Or $2650 for the SL frame. Yikes.
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Old 08-18-2004, 01:44 PM   #6
Griff
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You can get a quality bike for $600, but if you're gonna dream...
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Old 08-18-2004, 01:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russotto
Can I swap 7/9 out for Mystique?
[mystique]You will be a-simulated.[/mystique]
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Old 08-17-2004, 02:54 PM   #8
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Yeah, it's not so much fun being a cyclist and living in New York City. Riding is tough, not only because you have to venture out into city traffic, but because tall buildings and strategically positioned trees make the after-work hours a very dim time. We won't get into moronic roller bladers and people who ride their bikes the wrong direction in Central Park while talking on their cell phones. Totally absurd.

I'm looking into getting a new bike this winter. I'm riding a bit of a modern tank - a 1999 Lemond Zurich. Factory specs say 21.8 pounds, but with Mavic open pros, a generic seatpost and a Forte (Performance Bike) stem, it must be nearing 23 pounds (not to mention the 250g set of Look 396s). Might as well be dragging cinder blocks when I ride.

My brother rides a Trek 5900 with 9-spd Dura-Ace and Bontrager race-lites - beautiful bike! I took it out for 40 miles a few weeks ago ... climbing was incredibly easy, though I have to admit I didn't have a very good time on descents. His bike is one size too small - I'm dying to try the next larger.
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Old 08-17-2004, 03:35 PM   #9
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I somehow left this part out in my last post ...

I really want to get back into racing, but cycling is soooo damn expensive! It's a great lifetime hobby, and I'll definitely do it as long as I can ... but for now, trying to keep up with the wanna-bes in the racing scene is really draining on the wallet.
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Old 08-18-2004, 02:51 PM   #10
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Yeah, bikes and bike equipment is just god-awfully expensive. Especially if you want to get top-of-the-line junk (which is totally unnecessary, just nice to have - kind of like a car).

My brother's racing team is Trek sponsored, so he got his for $2200. I thought about asking him to get another 5k series, but I suppose if I'm going to drop all that freakin' cash, I might as well wait for the new series to come out.

I'm looking at titanium - possibly buying an '04 Litespeed Tuscany frame and building it with Ultegra 10. Or dura-ace 9. I'm not sure how much I'll be needing the 10 though - if I race here in NYC, the terrain is very very plain, so gear variety is not a huge issue.

Anything will beat my steel Lemond. Reynolds alloy is a great material, rides very well on flats and even climbs like Greg once did, but if I can shed about 10 pounds for $2500-3500 (and maybe 10 more off my fat ass), that would be worth the investment.

Griff, ever consider the Jersey double-century? Dunno if they do one out your way in PA, thouugh I'm sure there is.
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Old 08-18-2004, 03:19 PM   #11
Griff
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There is an MS ride up in Utica (?) I think that's a double. Pete and I talked about it but I haven't had the time to train for it. I'd like to aim at one next summer if we don't do a week touring somewhere else.

Steel is real as they say. I had an aluminum failure last summer (old frame design flaw not material failure) so I kinda lean steel, titanium would be it though.

When I worked in a shop we always tried to get folks to take the inexpensive (belly) pounds off before moving up in bike price.
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Last edited by Griff; 08-18-2004 at 08:42 PM. Reason: That double hundred is an option at the Saranac Lake ride.
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Old 08-18-2004, 06:25 PM   #12
Kitsune
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but my ride is a Trek 520 touring bike which weighs 1.3 tons

Yeah! Hard tail steel frame all the way! They last forever. My old Trek 820 has seen better days, but it continues rolling quite well. Getting it up the steps at the end of a ride is the hardest part.

Anyone want to share their highest milage? I've ridden the Suncoast Parkway two times in recent years -- 55 miles, total. I'm never in shape for it, either. I collapse and hurt for a good three days afterwards and I'm never sure if it was really worth it. I have no idea how people can ride century rides.

So, here's my question to those of you that own $1000+ bikes: does it really help? I know actually getting in shape is the best option, but do the lighter bikes make a huge difference? If someone can crank out 10 miles on a normal bike, will they be able to do many more on a racing bike?

trying to keep up with the wanna-bes in the racing scene is really draining on the wallet

Then don't try to keep up. I pedal up and down the bike paths on what is supposed to be a mountain bike, that I paid $300 for some years ago, that I put street tires on and while I don't ride behind someone in their airstream, I certainly don't enjoy my ride any less. Its still a great workout and I'd hate to think that the need to keep-up would take the pleasure of riding away from anyone.

And god dammit, someone out there please manufacture a comfortable seat!
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Old 08-18-2004, 08:33 PM   #13
Griff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune
Anyone want to share their highest milage? I've ridden the Suncoast Parkway two times in recent years -- 55 miles, total. I'm never in shape for it, either. I collapse and hurt for a good three days afterwards and I'm never sure if it was really worth it. I have no idea how people can ride century rides.
The past two years Pete and I have done the MS 150 out of Seneca Falls. That's 100 miles on Saturday and 50 more on Sunday. The Sunday fifty is much more painful. For me any mileage over 60 doesn't matter. Once you've ridden 60 you can do it. Of course I haven't done 60 this year, which leads me to believe that I'll be curled up in a fetal position this coming Sunday morning after Saturday's century. We toured in Ireland once and and did 300 miles in 5 days. We were not in shape before that trip but came home in pretty good condition.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune
So, here's my question to those of you that own $1000+ bikes: does it really help? I know actually getting in shape is the best option, but do the lighter bikes make a huge difference? If someone can crank out 10 miles on a normal bike, will they be able to do many more on a racing bike?
My 520 is sub $1000 just barely but under. When you road ride with a competitive group it matters after you've tuned yourself to the highest degree. [commercial]The 520 has a nice group of components assembled for durability and precise shifting in bad conditions.[/commercial] It's made to be a reliable bike for heavy (self-contained) touring. When you ride longer distances you want a bigger chainring for more mechanical advantage than most mountain bikes come with and a more comfortable geometry for a relaxed ride. I'll let BN address the racing stuff.

Mountain bikers are generally a little less competitive and that's how I spend my summers. My old Jamis is fine for that stuff although a front shock would allow me to descend faster. My old hardtail is dominant when we're climbing. The nice thing about the Trek is that I can get in shape without the constant little injuries you get riding single-track.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune
And god dammit, someone out there please manufacture a comfortable seat!
This baby fights that um...er... numbing problem.
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Old 08-19-2004, 12:59 AM   #14
breakingnews
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune

Yeah! Hard tail steel frame all the way! They last forever. My old Trek 820 has seen better days, but it continues rolling quite well. Getting it up the steps at the end of a ride is the hardest part.
Hey, I had one of those too! Great fuckin bikes ... Antelope series, I believe. Incredible uphill ride, excellent acceleration, but those came out in the early days of rock shox - which would have helped me tremendously. My fork really took a beating and I think is now busted, but I retired it rather than taking it to the shop. Bought a Giant afterward, but don't ride it much since I got into road cycling.


Anyone want to share their highest milage? I've ridden the Suncoast Parkway two times in recent years -- 55 miles, total. I'm never in shape for it, either. I collapse and hurt for a good three days afterwards and I'm never sure if it was really worth it. I have no idea how people can ride century rides.


I've gone about 90-95 miles, just shy of the full century. Griff's right - once you hit the 40/50-mile barrier, pretty much any distance after that can be handled very easily (with proper training of course).


So, here's my question to those of you that own $1000+ bikes: does it really help? I know actually getting in shape is the best option, but do the lighter bikes make a huge difference? If someone can crank out 10 miles on a normal bike, will they be able to do many more on a racing bike?


Of course it's mostly the kind of thing where if you understand the technical stuff, you'll mentally feel better about your riding. :P

The most notable difference though is frame material - higher priced bikes are just so incredibly well engineered. It's particularly important for carbon, and slightly so for titanium. For example, the Trek 5900 is made with OCLV 110 carbon, which is extremely light yet very sturdy. You could be riding on a 6 percent uphill grade, give one heavy pedal stroke and the bike will literally take off from underneath you (frame stiffness factors into how responsive the bike will be to your pedaling). Aluminum, on the other hand, won't have this kind of zip, but ppl say it handles cornering well and has a very soft overall ride.

Titanium is not as light as carbon, but stronger, which is important when you are exerting a lot of stress on the bike, such as fast downhill corners/turns/sweeping bends. And when climbing hills out of the saddle ("jogging" on the bike, as Mr. Armstrong calls it), stronger materials won't sag. That's something I didn't notice until i tried my other brother's aluminum Cannondale R1000, which felt kinda flimsy when I was out of the saddle and cranking hard on the hill in Central Park. I weigh more than he does though, which is why it probably works better for him.

Then there comes the components. If you can afford nicer stuff, great. Otherwise making sure all the parts fits YOU is the most important thing. If you find a bike doesn't fit well, ask about changing some of the parts - longer/shorter pedal cranks, obtuse or longer stem (part that holds the handlebars), different styles of handlebars, different saddles, different seatposts, taller/shorter headsets. Buying expensive components won't necessarily mean that they fit - unless you ride for U.S. Postal (soon to be Discovery Channel) and Shimano *custom* makes parts specifically for you.

This is all highly technical stuff that I hardly think about. Some of it didn't even become apparent until watching the technical spots on the Lance Chronicles. Bottom line is a more expensive ride will get you better handling, better feeling, stronger acceleration, but it takes a while before any of that makes a difference.
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Old 08-19-2004, 06:58 AM   #15
Griff
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Tyler Hamilton won the Olympic time trial yesterday and Bobby Julich took third. The US is turning into an absolute force in cycling. Anybody watch Paolo Bettini using Sergio Paulinho to take the Gold in the mens road race? Pretty interesting strategy conflict between the two of them.

As far as saddles hurting, there really is a break-in period for both the saddle and your butt. Thats one of the things I've been worried about going into Saturdays ride, my butt isn't in the condition it should be because of lack of training. It's tough for shop owners because by the time you really know a saddle isn't going to work for you, it's used merchandise. Pete bought a Terry saddle that never really worked for her but then picked up an inexpensive Nashbar saddle that really is comfortable. Terry is a pretty cool company, it is run by women for women. They were still new in the business way back when I was a shop guy. They are all about lady cyclists getting the right equipment, bikes, saddles, and clothing.

My father-in-law switched to a recumbent after his back surgery as well. He claims that hills are not a problem but I haven't seen him on any. He really likes the bike though and it brought his leg around after it had atrophied pretty badly.
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