The official cycling thread

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Edinburgh01
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Edinburgh01 »

BlackMac wrote:
Mick Mannock wrote:
BlackMac wrote:Right folks, I have an old Carerra road bike which I bought in 1987. Really expensive model, cost me just shy of a grand at the time. Used to ride 30 miles a day to work but it has been lying in the shed for the last 12 years. About 5 years ago I tried to get it going and stripped it down but never got round to putting it back together. I want to get it back on the road and other than it being in bits the only problem is that both wheeels will be a bit buckled and will need new rubber. The questions are, is it worth it and how much would it cost (ball park) to get a bike shop to do it for me??
Good steel frame? Downtube shifters? You might want to measure the rear drop outs. Modern wheels that take cassette instead of freewheels are a different size.

I would get it roadworthy. If nothing else, it will be far more attractive/elegant than today's models. Unless you are super-fit, you will not find it any slower either.
It'll be fine then!!
Blackmac,

I had my old (25 year old) D'Accordi rebuilt by Velo Ecosse in Bruntsfield. Can't remember how much but it wasn't bad. There's a bike shop opened across the road from them close to the garage. Mrs W has used them for her bike and the boys' and they are very good. They might be a better bet as the guy who started it is ex Halfords. Really good mechanic and also knows Halfords bikes.
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DOB
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by DOB »

Seez wrote:
DOB wrote:You can still get wheels for a narrow spacing at the back. How many speeds, BM? 2 at the front 6/7 at the back?


f**king front derailleur broke today. Again. What is up with the spring catch on these Shimano triple shifters? Same bit broken, twice, on this bike. Every other part (other than wear-and-tear stuff) still working like new after 6 years and umpteen thousand miles.
It's telling you to MTFU and get a double.
That's part of the next-phase plan, but I don't see why I should restrict myself to a 42x25 when all around me are cruising up on 36x26's and telling me to man up and not climb in 32x19.
frillage
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by frillage »

Edinburgh01 wrote:
BlackMac wrote:
Mick Mannock wrote:
BlackMac wrote:Right folks, I have an old Carerra road bike which I bought in 1987. Really expensive model, cost me just shy of a grand at the time. Used to ride 30 miles a day to work but it has been lying in the shed for the last 12 years. About 5 years ago I tried to get it going and stripped it down but never got round to putting it back together. I want to get it back on the road and other than it being in bits the only problem is that both wheeels will be a bit buckled and will need new rubber. The questions are, is it worth it and how much would it cost (ball park) to get a bike shop to do it for me??
Good steel frame? Downtube shifters? You might want to measure the rear drop outs. Modern wheels that take cassette instead of freewheels are a different size.

I would get it roadworthy. If nothing else, it will be far more attractive/elegant than today's models. Unless you are super-fit, you will not find it any slower either.
It'll be fine then!!
Blackmac,

I had my old (25 year old) D'Accordi rebuilt by Velo Ecosse in Bruntsfield. Can't remember how much but it wasn't bad. There's a bike shop opened across the road from them close to the garage. Mrs W has used them for her bike and the boys' and they are very good. They might be a better bet as the guy who started it is ex Halfords. Really good mechanic and also knows Halfords bikes.
The bycicle repair man 111 newington road is very good and reasonable. has sorted a couple of mates bikes out.
Spyglass
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Spyglass »

blindcider wrote:Started to plan my John O'Groats to Lands End ride for April/May next year after putting it off for 2 years. All the advice is to go the other way yet I want the long travel segment first as I live much nearer to Lands End.

First decision is to decide on a route and time span.

Also considering whether I should try and get some team mates or do it solo.

New bike on the next bike for work scheme as a present to myself as well...

42km ride yesterday curtailed by a blow out though :x

Loving the Strava phone app as well BTW. Only following Womack at the mopment though.
Try to recruit some team mates, you can share the work, especially when it's wind and it will give you company. Also set of a formal training plan (plenty of resources on the net). Good luck
Mick Mannock
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Mick Mannock »

Edinburgh01 wrote:
BlackMac wrote:
Mick Mannock wrote:
BlackMac wrote:Right folks, I have an old Carerra road bike which I bought in 1987. Really expensive model, cost me just shy of a grand at the time. Used to ride 30 miles a day to work but it has been lying in the shed for the last 12 years. About 5 years ago I tried to get it going and stripped it down but never got round to putting it back together. I want to get it back on the road and other than it being in bits the only problem is that both wheeels will be a bit buckled and will need new rubber. The questions are, is it worth it and how much would it cost (ball park) to get a bike shop to do it for me??
Good steel frame? Downtube shifters? You might want to measure the rear drop outs. Modern wheels that take cassette instead of freewheels are a different size.

I would get it roadworthy. If nothing else, it will be far more attractive/elegant than today's models. Unless you are super-fit, you will not find it any slower either.
It'll be fine then!!
Blackmac,

I had my old (25 year old) D'Accordi rebuilt by Velo Ecosse in Bruntsfield. Can't remember how much but it wasn't bad. There's a bike shop opened across the road from them close to the garage. Mrs W has used them for her bike and the boys' and they are very good. They might be a better bet as the guy who started it is ex Halfords. Really good mechanic and also knows Halfords bikes.
I rebuilt a 1992 Falcon San Remo. 531c frame was a bit of a mess. £40 for powder coating. Put a Tiagara RD on to replace the Campy rubbish. Some new bars, levers, tape, and dual pivot calipers. Of course it does not look original, but it rides OK. Just need some classic style wheels to replace the heavy Prolite Comos.
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Nieghorn
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Nieghorn »

Today's playground shot ...

Image

Moving to La Belle Province has been a brilliant idea, with being able to canoe in the river that's just around the corner and having the massive Gatineau Park entrance just two blocks north of here. (It's a bitch to get to the mountain biking trails on my mountain bike as they're about 5kms in the park - the good ones double that - but it's better than not having proper trails to ride on!)
Seez
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Seez »

Mick Mannock wrote: I rebuilt a 1992 Falcon San Remo. 531c frame was a bit of a mess. £40 for powder coating. Put a Tiagara RD on to replace the Campy rubbish. Some new bars, levers, tape, and dual pivot calipers. Of course it does not look original, but it rides OK. Just need some classic style wheels to replace the heavy Prolite Comos.
How about some wooden rims for true classic style?

http://www.cerchiinlegnoghisallo.com/pa ... ipopag=eng
Seez
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Seez »

Posted this in the Olympics fred but belongs here too. A friend of mine runs a bike shop and says he has never seen anything like Saturday. Loads of people buying road bikes and bringing in cobwebbed old things from their sheds for upgrades and services. Even the kids are buying road bikes now, he may have to have a fire sale on the MTBs soon.
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duke
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by duke »

Seez wrote:Posted this in the Olympics fred but belongs here too. A friend of mine runs a bike shop and says he has never seen anything like Saturday. Loads of people buying road bikes and bringing in cobwebbed old things from their sheds for upgrades and services. Even the kids are buying road bikes now, he may have to have a fire sale on the MTBs soon.
Same down our way, LBS has had their busiest two weeks ever.

Was interesting going out on the last couple of evenings and seeing many more cyclists of all shapes and sizes around. Hope it lasts and the weather doesn't dampen enthusiasm too much.
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Womack
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Womack »

Nieghorn wrote:Today's playground shot ...

Image

Moving to La Belle Province has been a brilliant idea, with being able to canoe in the river that's just around the corner and having the massive Gatineau Park entrance just two blocks north of here. (It's a bitch to get to the mountain biking trails on my mountain bike as they're about 5kms in the park - the good ones double that - but it's better than not having proper trails to ride on!)

Looks great, Niegs. I realised the other day that I haven't had my MTB out in months, hopefully this new enthusiasm for road cycling over here will mean the trails are nice and empty if I manage to get out this weekend!
Spyglass
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Spyglass »

Nieghorn wrote:Today's playground shot ...

Image

Moving to La Belle Province has been a brilliant idea, with being able to canoe in the river that's just around the corner and having the massive Gatineau Park entrance just two blocks north of here. (It's a bitch to get to the mountain biking trails on my mountain bike as they're about 5kms in the park - the good ones double that - but it's better than not having proper trails to ride on!)
NH - good pic, reminds me of some of the trails around here. Get some clipless pedals, much better for putting the power down (especially on hills) and helps you move the bike around underneath you - bunny hops, etc.
Armchair_Superstar
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Armchair_Superstar »

Spyglass wrote:
Nieghorn wrote:Today's playground shot ...

Image

Moving to La Belle Province has been a brilliant idea, with being able to canoe in the river that's just around the corner and having the massive Gatineau Park entrance just two blocks north of here. (It's a bitch to get to the mountain biking trails on my mountain bike as they're about 5kms in the park - the good ones double that - but it's better than not having proper trails to ride on!)
NH - good pic, reminds me of some of the trails around here. Get some clipless pedals, much better for putting the power down (especially on hills) and helps you move the bike around underneath you - bunny hops, etc.
I have a real love-hate relationship with clipless pedals. Obviously I use them on the road and for a bit of XC but I am far too loose on proper trails to feel comfortable on them. I learnt my biking on rocky, rooty, wet trails on flat shoes though, so I have probably taught myself to be reliant on getting the foot out!
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cheese cutter
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by cheese cutter »

red bull mtb film from 2010:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty0eZ_Da ... re=related

I shat myself about 28 seconds in.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Nieghorn »

I'm going to consider the clipless pedals. Cheers for both opinions. More would be welcome. What's easier now - than when I used my mtb for everything - is that this new one only goes mountain biking.

Edit: I always forget that "clipless" means shoes that click in, and "toe clips" are the 'baskets/cages' you stick your shoes in. I was thinking of the latter. No way I'll go with clipless. Tried on my buddy's spinner at home and couldn't get the hang of it.

And found this when looking into it: http://www.bikejames.com/strength/which ... al-stroke/
Armchair_Superstar
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Armchair_Superstar »

Nieghorn wrote:I'm going to consider the clipless pedals. Cheers for both opinions. More would be welcome. What's easier now - than when I used my mtb for everything - is that this new one only goes mountain biking.

Edit: I always forget that "clipless" means shoes that click in, and "toe clips" are the 'baskets/cages' you stick your shoes in. I was thinking of the latter. No way I'll go with clipless. Tried on my buddy's spinner at home and couldn't get the hang of it.

And found this when looking into it: http://www.bikejames.com/strength/which ... al-stroke/
Niegs that guy does some great conditioning routines for MTB but he is a bit of a crank when it comes to pedals. I'm not saying clipless is shit, its more efficient for road or XC work and worth persevering with I just find it too fiddly for techy downhill type riding.
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Mat the Expat
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Mat the Expat »

Armchair_Superstar wrote:
Niegs that guy does some great conditioning routines for MTB but he is a bit of a crank when it comes to pedals. I'm not saying clipless is shit, its more efficient for road or XC work and worth persevering with I just find it too fiddly for techy downhill type riding.
This - I love my SPDs for road work but coming down a rocky MTB track? No way :?
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Womack »

Armchair_Superstar wrote:Niegs that guy does some great conditioning routines for MTB but he is a bit of a crank when it comes to pedals.
Image

I don't use clipless as I honestly don't feel the need. On an intuitive level, I agree with much of what that guy says about where the power comes from on a pedal stroke, and on a kind of 'spiritual' level, for want of a less wanky term, when it comes to MTBing I prefer the idea of not being attached to the bike and being able to clear obstacles etc without 'cheating' by pulling the bike over with the feet. That's to say nothing about how unpalatable I find the idea of being clipped in when riding on sketchy or rocky trails.

If I do end up doing a few longer road rides on a regular basis, I'll probably relent, for reasons of propriety as much as anything else. I'm not shaving my legs though :x

NB, I nearly got left-hooked by a fecking motorbike this morning. The twat slowly overtook me, then suddenly did that revving thing that motorbikers sometimes do as a way of saying 'look out', and cut right across the front of me to turn down a side road. I had to jam on the anchors and he was millimetres from my front wheel. Unbelievably plum behaviour from a fellow two-wheeler :x
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Jeff the Bear
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Jeff the Bear »

Dropped my run in to work by 5 minutes from the start of the summer...down to 27 minutes now, down from 32/33. Hoepfully I can get it under 25 minutes by the end of next month. :smug:
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DOB
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by DOB »

I've had MTBers say to me that you're better off at least with clips on the pedals, something to keep your feet attached to the bike anyway. I can't remember the rationale, it was a long while ago, but if I were to hazard a guess I'd say it might be that coming off the bike unrestrained could lead to broken legs more readily than coming off strapped in. You can still ride home with your legs cut to pieces by thorns and tarmac, but you're going nowhere if you snap a tibia.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Brazil »

My back wheel appears to be totally f**ked. This is suspicious since I only had a new one put on a couple of months ago. I am the verge of jacking it in, selling what parts are viable and just getting a new one.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Mick Mannock »

Brazil wrote:My back wheel appears to be totally f**ked. This is suspicious since I only had a new one put on a couple of months ago. I am the verge of jacking it in, selling what parts are viable and just getting a new one.
What has failed? Rim, hub, spokes?
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Womack
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Womack »

Brazil wrote:My back wheel appears to be totally f**ked. This is suspicious since I only had a new one put on a couple of months ago. I am the verge of jacking it in, selling what parts are viable and just getting a new one.
A new what - wheel, or bike? Rear wheels are the bane of my existence, the perils of being a heavier bikeist, I suppose. If it's just badly out of true, or even missing a few spokes, you could try Swift Cycles on Strype St (Spitalfields) - they trued up my rear wheel and replaced a broken spoke for a shade over £15. Did have a bit of a wait to get a workshop slot, mind. There's also a Cycle Surgery more or less opposite that'll do it for an equivalent price and may have less of a 'waiting list'.
Last edited by Womack on Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Womack
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Womack »

DOB wrote:I've had MTBers say to me that you're better off at least with clips on the pedals, something to keep your feet attached to the bike anyway. I can't remember the rationale, it was a long while ago, but if I were to hazard a guess I'd say it might be that coming off the bike unrestrained could lead to broken legs more readily than coming off strapped in. You can still ride home with your legs cut to pieces by thorns and tarmac, but you're going nowhere if you snap a tibia.
I suppose you may be more likely to go flying over the handlebars if you're not clipped in? I dunno, tbh I tend to try and avoid falling off if I can help it!
Brazil
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Brazil »

Mick Mannock wrote:
Brazil wrote:My back wheel appears to be totally f**ked. This is suspicious since I only had a new one put on a couple of months ago. I am the verge of jacking it in, selling what parts are viable and just getting a new one.
What has failed? Rim, hub, spokes?
Christ knows. I took it off to clean the cassette properly the other week and have had trouble with it ever since. I think it's either badly buckled or out of tune because when I took the brakes off to take a proper look at it I couldn't get them back in the housing because the right one was right up against the rim. I also had real trouble getting the wheel back in the first time round and, consequently changing down a gear which suggests it's not in straight. More worryingly the rear cassette wobbles rather than runs true now, which I assume is a sign of either it being badly out of true or something having gone wrong with the hub. Either way I am substantially non-plussed as it cost me two trips to Dever Cycles and nigh on £200 to get it sorted out last time, which is barely three months ago.
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cheese cutter
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by cheese cutter »

Brazil wrote:My back wheel appears to be totally f**ked. This is suspicious since I only had a new one put on a couple of months ago. I am the verge of jacking it in, selling what parts are viable and just getting a new one.

Over the last 4 weeks I've had a run of problems with mine: a slow leak which I couldn't be arsed fixing, until I got a proper puncture - repairing it disturbed old patches, leading to more leaks, and a new tube; then 2 broken spokes, which I had replace by the LBS.

2 days later the bike was on the back of a car when the driver (not me) backed into a fence - 2 more broken spokes and worse, a big buckle. After looking at it I decided a new wheel was the answer so went to the LBS for another.

Asked for a 26", didn't check the rim and only noticed it was a 700 when the rim tape wouldn't fit, having already swapped the disc and cassette.
Return to the shop the next day, exchange it and get the job done.

If anything else goes wrong with it I'm having a f**king exorcism performed on it.

tl;dr - get a new wheel.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Brazil »

Cheese Cutter

The thing is it was a pretty much new wheel in the first place - had barely done 200 miles so for it to be so f**ked suggests either I'm not as good at retuning wheels as I think I am (and I think we all know that that's not possible), or I damaged it in my most recent crash (possible) but unlikely, or there's something more fundamentally wrong.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by cheese cutter »

Braz, did you mess with the spokes? That is a black art for me, I need to do a course or something as I am rather stout, and snap spokes regularly.
Could you return it under warranty? For £200 invested I'd be expecting a problem-free wheel for quite a while.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Gospel »

Why the fudge wouldn't you ride with SPDs? You can really attack uneven terrain without the fear of barking your shin on a spinning pedal and it's so much easier to get out of the saddle. Even BMXers use clips – I noticed our chap Liam pull his foot out when he got offline so it's not as if you can't take evasive action when you need to. Start off using some with multiple release points. You will forget and fall over once or twice but it's all part of the learning curve.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Brazil »

cheese cutter wrote:Braz, did you mess with the spokes? That is a black art for me, I need to do a course or something as I am rather stout, and snap spokes regularly.
Could you return it under warranty? For £200 invested I'd be expecting a problem-free wheel for quite a while.
It was rubbing on one of the brake pads so I tuned it back. I've done this before and so long as you're patient it's not too difficult. However it's properly skewiff now. I'm going to take it in on Saturday, see what they say and if it looks like it's going to be a pain I'll say "how much for the frame, and what bikes do you have in that require a minimum of f**king maintenance?".
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Womack »

Gospel wrote:Why the fudge wouldn't you ride with SPDs? You can really attack uneven terrain without the fear of barking your shin on a spinning pedal and it's so much easier to get out of the saddle. Even BMXers use clips – I noticed our chap Liam pull his foot out when he got offline so it's not as if you can't take evasive action when you need to. Start off using some with multiple release points. You will forget and fall over once or twice but it's all part of the learning curve.
Don't need 'em, don't want 'em. Not sure how getting out of the saddle is an issue on flats tbh, and the sweet kiss of V8 on shinbone is one of life's great pleasures. Meanwhile, I'll take being able to lose the front end and run out of it, rather than going down like a sack of spuds.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by duke »

Womack wrote:
Gospel wrote:Why the fudge wouldn't you ride with SPDs? You can really attack uneven terrain without the fear of barking your shin on a spinning pedal and it's so much easier to get out of the saddle. Even BMXers use clips – I noticed our chap Liam pull his foot out when he got offline so it's not as if you can't take evasive action when you need to. Start off using some with multiple release points. You will forget and fall over once or twice but it's all part of the learning curve.
Don't need 'em, don't want 'em. Not sure how getting out of the saddle is an issue on flats tbh, and the sweet kiss of V8 on shinbone is one of life's great pleasures. Meanwhile, I'll take being able to lose the front end and run out of it, rather than going down like a sack of spuds.
Would not having SPDs actually save you if your front end went? The times I've had the front end go (admittedly, on the road), I've ben on the deck before I've had a chance to realise what's happening.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Womack »

duke wrote:
Womack wrote:
Gospel wrote:Why the fudge wouldn't you ride with SPDs? You can really attack uneven terrain without the fear of barking your shin on a spinning pedal and it's so much easier to get out of the saddle. Even BMXers use clips – I noticed our chap Liam pull his foot out when he got offline so it's not as if you can't take evasive action when you need to. Start off using some with multiple release points. You will forget and fall over once or twice but it's all part of the learning curve.
Don't need 'em, don't want 'em. Not sure how getting out of the saddle is an issue on flats tbh, and the sweet kiss of V8 on shinbone is one of life's great pleasures. Meanwhile, I'll take being able to lose the front end and run out of it, rather than going down like a sack of spuds.
Would not having SPDs actually save you if your front end went? The times I've had the front end go (admittedly, on the road), I've ben on the deck before I've had a chance to realise what's happening.
I'll preceed this by saying that I obviously have the reactions of a ninja on ephedrine, but I've lost the front end on road and off, and have always managed to run out of it. It's possible that that is a function of not going very fast, but given my supreme bike-handling ability and surface awareness, this seems highly unlikely.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by duke »

Womack wrote:
I'll preceed this by saying that I obviously have the reactions of a ninja on ephedrine, but I've lost the front end on road and off, and have always managed to run out of it. It's possible that that is a function of not going very fast, but given my supreme bike-handling ability and surface awareness, this seems highly unlikely.
I bow before the god of two wheels :)
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Womack »

:D

Of course, this is mockers baiting on a monumental scale so no doubt a catastrophic faceplant lies in my very close future.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Nieghorn »

It's not so much getting out but it's getting the shoes back in that annoys me. I always have a chuckle when I over-take someone at a green light as he's struggling to get his shoe into the clipless pedal. I also can't remember the last time my foot slipped - even in the rain! I've got some pretty angry pedals on all my bikes that provide plenty of grip and always ride with shoes that have just a bit of grip and aren't too knobby / flat.
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DOB
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by DOB »

Brazil wrote:
cheese cutter wrote:Braz, did you mess with the spokes? That is a black art for me, I need to do a course or something as I am rather stout, and snap spokes regularly.
Could you return it under warranty? For £200 invested I'd be expecting a problem-free wheel for quite a while.
It was rubbing on one of the brake pads so I tuned it back. I've done this before and so long as you're patient it's not too difficult. However it's properly skewiff now. I'm going to take it in on Saturday, see what they say and if it looks like it's going to be a pain I'll say "how much for the frame, and what bikes do you have in that require a minimum of f**king maintenance?".
Your brake pad was rubbing so you tuned the spokes? It might be just me, but I always prefer to tinker with the centring of my calipers (or cantilevers) before I'll touch a spoke.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Womack »

Nieghorn wrote:It's not so much getting out but it's getting the shoes back in that annoys me. I always have a chuckle when I over-take someone at a green light as he's struggling to get his shoe into the clipless pedal. I also can't remember the last time my foot slipped - even in the rain! I've got some pretty angry pedals on all my bikes that provide plenty of grip and always ride with shoes that have just a bit of grip and aren't too knobby / flat.
This is what I mean by not seeing the need. I honestly don't think my ability to cycle is impeded in any way by using flats, and frankly the only good reason I can see for using SPDs is to fit in. It's possible I could try them and it be a revelation, but I just don't see that happening - I think it's more likely that I'll find it a ball-ache getting used to them.

Re pedals, I've got a pair of generic V8s on my road bike which looks frankly ridiculous, but there's no way my foot's coming off that thing when I'm laying down the power awesome.
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Apposite
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Apposite »

Always been a toeclip man, on MTBs and on the road. Just like being able to wear my own shoes and free my feet in a hurry.
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duke
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by duke »

Womack wrote::D

Of course, this is mockers baiting on a monumental scale so no doubt a catastrophic faceplant lies in my very close future.
Wouldn't wish that fate on anyone.
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Re: The official cycling thread

Post by Armchair_Superstar »

Gospel wrote:Why the fudge wouldn't you ride with SPDs? You can really attack uneven terrain without the fear of barking your shin on a spinning pedal and it's so much easier to get out of the saddle. Even BMXers use clips – I noticed our chap Liam pull his foot out when he got offline so it's not as if you can't take evasive action when you need to. Start off using some with multiple release points. You will forget and fall over once or twice but it's all part of the learning curve.
Overexaggerating slightly here, but if its seriously "uneven", you won't be trying to pedal through it. If I am riding with flats I am usually descending with the saddle as low as it goes, where its steep enough to get most of your momentum out of the hill. Also, its very easy to ride flats and not spike your shins, if you keep your heels dropped. Spiked shins are a symptom of losing your balance, either by putting too much force through the wheel and spinning it out, or directing your bodyweight past the axle and off the pedal. I know a lot of racers use SPDs and like to stay attached to the bike, even top World Cup downhillers usually prefer SPDs. Those guys are incredible bike handlers looking for fractions of a second to beat their competitors. For a weekend warrior its often far more confidence inspiring to be able to move your foot off or back onto a flat pedal. A lot of MTB coaches have a preference for teaching people on flats to give them proper technique.

Braz, if your cassette is wobbling it sounds like your lockring is loose, the bit that screws it onto the freehub. You might find that everything needs tightened up in the hub.
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