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  1. #1
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    New Clyde, have questions, maybe you have answers.

    Hi, first post, 355lb, 5'11, and looks like I'm getting a bike soon.

    I went to a few bike shops yesterday, and rode a mountain bike for the first time in maybe 10 years. I'm so mad I didn't try sooner.

    First bike shop was more of an all-around sports shop, they also sold canoes, kayaks, etc. I felt that the bikes were more of an afterthought, spoke with a couple of the people there, while they sounded knowledgeable and did listen, they didn't seem to offer the whole proper fitting thing. They sold Kona and Scott USA bicycles, the Scott USA's were on sale for 25% off. Test-rode one of the Scott USA bikes, didn't like it at all.

    Second bike shop, the owner is maybe in his 70's, at least, and did more talking than ever, but really didn't want to listen to my concerns, and didn't have any bikes that were my size put together, his attitude makes me not want to go back.

    Third bike shop, I test-rode a Trek, I'm forgetting the model, the Trek had the fork lockout, and mechanical disks. I liked it, but it didn't seem quite right, and the next bike I test-rode blew me away. For me the Gary Fisher Mako seems like an amazing bike, although I won't be getting the discs on it, and the fork doesn't have the lockout, the dimensions of it were much better for me.

    So, I've pretty much decided on the Gary Fisher Mako for my first bike in 10 years. I'm just not sure what I should get with it for certain accessories. I know I need a helmet, and I want the bike computer thing, for current speed/elevation/avg. speed, maybe some sort of cadence detection and heartrate monitor. I'm just not sure what one to get, so I'm looking for recommendations, preferably in the $20-60 budget.

    Thanks for any suggestions/help you can give in advance.

  2. #2
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Nice bike. Those base model Trek/GF bikes are all over my neighborhood. They just keep going and going...

    I'd probably put a nice pair of bike shorts, a bike multi-tool, and maybe the tools and a tube necessary to fix a flat up at the top of my list of accessories.

    Enjoy...

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    The Gary Fisher Mako looks like a good first bike.
    Bike Shorts, two bottle holders and bottles.
    Tube repair equipment, Frame pump. Head and tail lights.
    $10 computers from Walmart work fine for me.

    Ride slow and have fun with it.
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    I'd probably put a nice pair of bike shorts, a bike multi-tool, and maybe the tools and a tube necessary to fix a flat up at the top of my list of accessories.
    Can't really see myself wearing the bike shorts quite yet, but will keep it in mind. Bike multi-tool may be nice just to have, even if I don't use it often. Tubes from walmart are ok right?

    Bike Shorts, two bottle holders and bottles.
    Tube repair equipment, Frame pump. Head and tail lights.
    $10 computers from Walmart work fine for me.
    Yeah, I totally forgot about the pump, that was on the list, didn't make it into the post. The bike shorts, although I've heard that they're really useful, I can't see myself wearing them, at least not yet. Head/Tail lights I shouldn't need quite yet, as I plan on not riding outside of daylight hours, and will mostly be riding bike paths/trails. Tube repair I hadn't thought of, thanks. Regarding the bottle holders and bottles, part of the package by buying the bike from that particular bike shop is one bottle/bottle holder, although I don't see that as being a big part of the equation, as neither of those are big-ticket items, and doesn't really influence the decision to buy from that particular bike shop.
    Last edited by whiteyonenh; 08-18-10 at 08:32 AM. Reason: clarification

  5. #5
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Bike shorts good if you start riding some miles.
    One spare WM tube would be good.
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  6. #6
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    You can get mountain bike shorts which have baggy covers or just wear gym shorts over the cycling shorts. It's the padding and not having seams in the crotch that makes bike shorts a must have for long rides.

  7. #7
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Don't rule out lights just because you don't plan on riding at night. I do a lot of riding on our local rail-to-trail, and between the crowds, and the sometimes very shady conditions (tunnels and tree canopy) I decided to pop for a cheap flashing LED headlight and taillight, just so other people can see me better. If your trail is crowded, it's a good investment, especially since you can get the pair for $20 +/- from places like Performance.

    For me, the four essentials of wearables are a helmet, and gear for your three "contact" points - gloves, shorts and shoes.

    Baggy shorts or tight is up to you, but you'll find you'll need cycling-specific shorts for anything over a ride around the block. And yes, they're supposed to be worn without underwear. Get used to the idea.

    For shoes, I prefer to be locked to my pedals, but that comes from years of riding. I feel insecure without cleats. But even if you're going with plain platform pedals that will take any kind of shoe, there are still some things to keep in mind: laces tend to get caught in the chainrings unless you have a way to manage them; a stiffer sole will transfer power better; and a wide, stable sole that's good for running is not necessarily good for cycling - you'll find it hits the crank arm with every turn of the crank, making you shift your feet outboard where they won't feel as stable. A narrow sole is best if you can find one.

    Other essentials are like everyone else described, and their degree of necessity should be determined by your affinity for, or aversion to, risk. They include spare tubes and some way to inflate them (pump or C02 cartridges), tire irons if you need them to wrestle a tire off the rim to get to the tube, and a multi-tool (if you know what to adjust to begin with), plus a saddle bag big enough for those items and whatever else you want to carry (ID, cell phone, etc.). Otherwise you can find yourself stranded, or at the very least, walking the bike home. Oh, and bottle cages and water bottles are a must too.

    Oh, and good luck with the bike and the riding. I bought a Fisher Marlin 3 or 4 years ago to help me get my weight down to where I felt comfortable getting back on the road bike (304 down to this week's weight of 226), and it's worked great. I have no doubt your Mako will work just as well for you.
    Last edited by CraigB; 08-18-10 at 02:01 PM.
    Craig in Indy

  8. #8
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    And one other thing that you'll find you need in short order: a good floor pump to keep at home. Tires need to be inflated frequently (you should at least check them before each ride, if not actually top them off), and frame pumps are no way to do that on a regular basis unless you want to build endurance and develop your salty vocabulary.

    And don't trust the process to compressors, whether your own or one at a gas station - bike tires contain relatively little air volume and a compressor can blow one out quicker than you can shake a stick.
    Last edited by CraigB; 08-18-10 at 02:01 PM.
    Craig in Indy

  9. #9
    A square going nowhere psalm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteyonenh View Post
    The bike shorts, although I've heard that they're really useful, I can't see myself wearing them, at least not yet.
    Same thing I though, until I actually rode with a pair. It makes a world of difference.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    I would get a floor pump (to make sure tires are properly inflated), reflective vest (to increase visibility), helmet (I don't want to debate whether you need one or not, but it can't hurt), a good U-lock (to keep your bike safe), rear tail light (again to increase visibilty), and multitool (so you can fix or make adjustments as necessary).

    Other things you might consider are rack, fenders, and front lights to increase the utility.

    Still other things are tires and/or saddle to improve comfort or speed.

    P.S. I come from a commuting background so your needs may vary depending on how you plan on riding.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Congrats on getting back on a bike. Lots of good info above but one word of caution on WM tubes. Check to see what type of valves the tubes on your new bike use. They are probably presta and I believe WM only carries shraeder which won't work.

  12. #12
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteyonenh View Post
    So, I've pretty much decided on the Gary Fisher Mako for my first bike in 10 years. I'm just not sure what I should get with it for certain accessories. I know I need a helmet, and I want the bike computer thing, for current speed/elevation/avg. speed, maybe some sort of cadence detection and heartrate monitor. I'm just not sure what one to get, so I'm looking for recommendations, preferably in the $20-60 budget.

    Thanks for any suggestions/help you can give in advance.
    1. Helmet
    2. Floor pump
    3. frame pump/spare tube/bike multi tool (useful for tightening up things that have come loose or making minor adjustments)
    3a. Lock, if you plan on leaving the bike anyplace unattended.
    4. Cycling shorts
    4a. Cycling shoes/clipless pedals or alternately, upgraded pedals.
    5. front or rear rack for the bike (to carry anything from a 6 pack to groceries, to a jacket) and/or a seatbag.
    6. Rack for transporting your bike
    7. Gloves
    8. Computer (cool to have, but not essential when starting out)
    9. Extra water bottle holder and water bottles
    10. sunglasses, if you don't already own a pair
    11. Cycling jersey

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    Congrats on getting back on a bike. Lots of good info above but one word of caution on WM tubes. Check to see what type of valves the tubes on your new bike use. They are probably presta and I believe WM only carries shraeder which won't work.
    looking on walmart.com they carry both, and yeah, i noticed the valve looked different than what i'm used too. I'm sure they only carry schrader in-store though, probably because their "bikes" if you will, use schrader.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    1. Helmet
    Most Definitely.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    2. Floor pump
    Also on the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    3. frame pump/spare tube/bike multi tool (useful for tightening up things that have come loose or making minor adjustments)
    3a. Lock, if you plan on leaving the bike anyplace unattended.
    Frame pump, yeah, spare tube, yep, multitool i'm not sure of yet, I don't think I'd really be adjusting much if anything on my bike, I get the first year of tuneups, etc. free with bike purchase. Lock I'm guessing basically any cheapish lock, just because locks imo only keep the honest people honest.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    4. Cycling shorts
    Still iffy on this, may try one of those gel/lycra seat covers first.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    4a. Cycling shoes/clipless pedals or alternately, upgraded pedals.
    This I'm not sure on yet, I was relatively happy with the pedals that come on the bike, as I ride it I'm sure I may find out more on what I might want. I've never ridden with cycling shoes or the clipless pedals before.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    5. front or rear rack for the bike (to carry anything from a 6 pack to groceries, to a jacket) and/or a seatbag.
    I was looking into racks, just wasn't sure what to get yet, I'll have to speak to the people at the bike shop and see if there's anything they recommend.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    6. Rack for transporting your bike
    Don't have a vehicle, so I'm not sure how useful this will be for me at all. I'll keep it in mind that if I need to have someone bring me to the bikeshop instead of riding my bike to the shop that this could come in pretty handy.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    7. Gloves
    Thought about this, I'm gonna see how I ride without for now, never ridden with gloves before, but I can see how they would be very comfort oriented.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    8. Computer (cool to have, but not essential when starting out)
    Main reason for me wanting a computer is if I don't see progress, I'm unlikely to keep going, most of my riding at the beginning will be mostly flat, with some small inclines until I feel more comfortable on the bike, so having mileage to show for it is going to be helpful for me I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    9. Extra water bottle holder and water bottles
    Was already considering this, extra cost isn't too much, and I can see how this would be helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    10. sunglasses, if you don't already own a pair
    I'm not really sure on what kind of sunglasses I'd like as I haven't worn them in so long, thinking a bike helmet with a sunshade/visor will keep me happy for at least a little while.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    11. Cycling jersey
    Something to think about, but for now I'm thinking to just get out on the trail and ride. I can see how this could feel much cooler than a t-shirt though.

  15. #15
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    ^^ The sunglasses aren't just for sun protection. In fact, some people, myself included, would say their more important function is to keep bugs and other airborne junk out of your eyes. I won't ride without glasses of some kind, whether my prescription ones, or on rides with my contacts, either tinted or clear "sunglasses." Even if nothing flies into your eyes, many minutes of exposure to the breeze can make your eyes dry and irritated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteyonenh View Post
    Still iffy on this, may try one of those gel/lycra seat covers first.
    I would recommend against this. A softer seat will often be more uncomfortable on long rides because the area under your "sit bones" compresses while the softer padding increases pressure elsewhere slowing blood circulation.

    Also the big benefit of the cycling pants is that you are not sitting on a seam like you are with most underwear and shorts. It's that seam that will cause the most irritation. Also because they are skin tight, they will help to prevent rubbing and chafing. If you're that self conscious about it you can always wear gym shorts over them, the padding of the cycling shorts underneath will protect you from the gym shorts seam.

  17. #17
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteyonenh View Post

    Still iffy on this, may try one of those gel/lycra seat covers first.
    I don't know about that. My local bike shop won't even sell them. My understanding is you're lucky if you can get the damn things to stay put on the saddle and ends up being worse than no cover at all.

    Seriously, how much dissent have you seen on bike shorts around here? Just buy them and wear them under some regular shorts if you're too modest.

    Although, I must admit- after spending 10 days in bib shorts I did yesterday's bike commute in regular shorts and boxers- 50 miles. It was actually kind of comfy. Of course, after 850 miles, I probably have an imprint of the Pearl Izumi chamois pattern on my ass by now.

  18. #18
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asforme View Post
    I would recommend against this. A softer seat will often be more uncomfortable on long rides because the area under your "sit bones" compresses while the softer padding increases pressure elsewhere slowing blood circulation.

    Also the big benefit of the cycling pants is that you are not sitting on a seam like you are with most underwear and shorts. It's that seam that will cause the most irritation. Also because they are skin tight, they will help to prevent rubbing and chafing. If you're that self conscious about it you can always wear gym shorts over them, the padding of the cycling shorts underneath will protect you from the gym shorts seam.
    +1. For rides longer than 15 or 20 minutes, I strongly recommend cycling shorts. A gel cover is, IMO a waste of money. If after riding for a couple of months with cycling shorts, you still feel discomfort in the saddle, look into switching saddles.

    RE: sunglasses. They are for eye protection. IMO, as important as wearing a helmet for rides of longer than 5 or 10 minutes.

  19. #19
    Senior Member abracapocus's Avatar
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    Frame pump, yeah, spare tube, yep, multitool i'm not sure of yet, I don't think I'd really be adjusting much if anything on my bike, I get the first year of tuneups, etc. free with bike purchase.
    My first commute, one of the front brake pads came loose. Having a multi-tool with allen wrenches in my little bag took care of that problem. You can get a cheap one for $12.

  20. #20
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abracapocus View Post
    My first commute, one of the front brake pads came loose. Having a multi-tool with allen wrenches in my little bag took care of that problem. You can get a cheap one for $12.
    My experience is that newer bikes, as they break in need more little adjustments than do older bikes.

  21. #21
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    Everyone else has hit a lot of good points so I just want to stress the bike shorts. Lycra shots may look funny but boy are the great. Look for a pair that has a good padding and you could always put a regular pair of shorts over them. Another idea is a pair of mountain bike shorts. They have the padded seat and the outer shell is a "normal" pair of shorts. I have both and love the MTB shorts for commuting to work.

    A second major requirement is a under saddle bag with a spare tube and a bike mounted pump. Never leave home without it. I learned the hard way many years ago when I was stationed in Spain. I was riding to my soon to be wife's house and got half way there and got a flat. I was on a road bike with cleated shoes and had to walk this country road from almost 10 miles before I got there. Learned the lesson well.

    Most of all get out there and enjoy the ride.

  22. #22
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteyonenh View Post
    multitool i'm not sure of yet, I don't think I'd really be adjusting much if anything on my bike, I get the first year of tuneups, etc. free with bike purchase.
    During the first few rides you will need to adjust the seat and bars to tune the bike to your riding style. It is important to dial in the fit while on the road. Also it may be necessary to do minor adjustments when the bike is new. Thats why I have a mini tool. a few allen wrenches would work but with a mini tool you have the tools to make adjustments and fix flats.

    Bike shorts are important for your comfort, since you haven't ridden in quite a while it will help with the break in period of getting your rear end to feel comfortable on longer rides.

    I think that you can wait on the jersey, computer, shoes and clipless pedals.

    Your regular sunglasses should work, after having a few gnats swimming in your eye fluid will convince you to get some sunglasses. I never ride without glasses, day or night.
    Last edited by cyclist2000; 08-19-10 at 05:40 PM.
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    and I want the bike computer thing, for current speed/elevation/avg. speed, maybe some sort of cadence detection and heartrate monitor.
    Two options: cheap computer + generic HR monitor -or- Garmin GPS/HR computer (way more that $60). I don't think you'll get a computer + HR monitor in the price range you're looking at. Just go out and enjoy riding & treat yourself to a HR monitor when you're bike skills have improved and your budget allows.

  24. #24
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    DO NOT go with a gel/lycra seat cover. You won't be able to sit on one of those long before going numb "down there". Cycling shorts aren't about the padding per se. They wick moisture away and fit snugly so you don't get chaffing.

    I would not ride without gloves. In addition to comfort, they protect your hands in case you fall. I've had a tire slip out on wet concrete and ripped the padding on the palm of my glove completely off. Had I not been wearing gloves, it would have been sking getting ripped off

    As others noted, glasses are about protecting your eyes from stuff other than the sun. As I'm basically cheap, I like the Smith & Wesson Magnums listed here:
    http://www.safetyglassesusa.com/smitwesmagsa.html
    I like the smoke or gold mirror leses for sun, the yellow tint for night riding and the copper blue block are nice for hazy conditions. They are cheap, very light weight, fit well (the temple length is adjustable) and wrap around so you don't loose any peripheral vision. They also make a Mini-Magnum (available from the same site) if you have a smaller face (my wife wears the Mini-Magnums).

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    If you are riding on the road, you shouldn't get many flats with a mountain bike. The tires are just a whole lot tougher, and you will learn to avoid glass and stuff on the road. Rather than a frame pump, I'd just go with a CO2 inflater head and a couple of cartridges. If your bike has schraeder valves (most mountain bikes do), you can even fill the tires at any gas station - at least up to 45psi or so. You'll also want to carry 1 or 2 spare tubes (1 should be plenty for a mountain bike) and a patch kit (just in case that one tube isn't plenty.....).

    Definitely have the shop show you how to fix a flat, though. Then practice a few times - let the air all the way out, take the tube all the way off, reinstall and re-inflate. Having all the stuff to fix a flat, but not knowing what to do with it - well,that just won't help. And you don't want your first attempt to be while you're on the road, in the middle of nowhere and with no cell phone reception.

    As for shorts, when I first got back into riding I'd picked up a pair of loose, baggy shorts that had a lycra lining, complete with chamois. No idea where I got them but those kind of shorts are out there. In fact, most mountain bikers around here don't wear lycra, but instead wear baggy shorts. And you can alway wear an unlined pair of shorts over lycra bike shorts.

    JB

    edit: I live where there's lots of goathead thorns - nasty things that will puncture a car tire if it's worn enough. Death to bicycle tires. I asked a local mountain biker how they deal with them, and he said he used to use slime inner tubes - they have some sealant goop that will seal off most punctures. He used to pull the thorns out after a ride, never even realizing he'd picked them up. He never bothered with a pump, just carried a patch kit and CO2 just in case. Now he's gone tubeless, but still uses a sealant in the tire.
    Last edited by jonathanb715; 08-19-10 at 05:58 PM.
    "Poor Reverend Hamilton! He worked so hard, got a mountain named after him and now all anyone wants to do is complain about his backside!" Overheard while climbing Mt. Hamilton

    Check out my cycling blog.

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