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Old 11-07-13, 05:08 PM   #1
tariqa
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Additions to a bike: An unnecessary hindrance?

Edit: Unnecessary not necessary. I'm questioning their necessity.

This bike shop repair guy was trying to get me to spend more money in his shop by convincing me that my bike was too plain and needed some extra oomph. He was telling me about how important it is to add to and beef up a long distance commuter bike so that you are prepared for anything. Maybe he didn't know that I have been riding for some time now in all conditions and have dealt with almost every condition of the road there is to deal with and fared well under each circumstance. I let him talk but explained to him at the end that I had no desire to beef my bike up nor add anything to it. I ride a bike with minimal additions. The less weight the better. I want my bike to be stripped down to the core as close as possible. As weightless as can be and as simple and easy to maneuver, manage, and transport as possible.

If I could get away with no lights, i would too however some compromises are needed. I keep lights, a bike chain, and a tube pump as the bare minimum. I need not a water bottle because I make sure I eat and drink a very decent meal before any and every ride if possible. That way by the time I am on the road, I never get exhausted nor dehydrated and have plenty of liquids to burn until the next rest stop. I carry a very durable book bag that does get sweaty very often. But it is a necessary hindrance and I make sure to always keep lotion, cloths, a change of clothes, and hygiene products in the bag at all time in case I need to clean or change up if necessary.

I feel a book bag is a much better fit for a bike than a pannier or rack. I feel the added weight to the bike would make the bike more difficult to maneuver. The weight on the shoulders is still heavy but without the added weight of the rack and the pannier, I feel it is more simple for just a shoulder bag. 2 strapped book bags over messenger bag as well makes for a more sustainable ride.

As far as the fenders and whatnot, I feel this is also an unnecessary addition. The worst part about riding in the rain is the water splashing back up as you ride. However if you have a water proof bag and a water resistant rain coat or something to deflect the rain splashing back up, by the end of your ride, you should either have a fresh change of clothes or in all, dry clothes underneath everything.

The point I am making is this. A simple backpack and extra layer of weather-proof clothing is usually all that is needed. All the other additions to commuting with a bike seems nice and probably makes bike companies a good deal of money promoting to some riders as if it is bike necessity, but it may not be a necessity for everyone. A feel good planning and a little creative ingenuity goes far longer than advanced additions.



Also since we are on the subject of additions, what do you think about fixed gear bikes? They to me are the most simple a bike can get. The only reason I ride a commuter bike over a fixie is the fact that they seem dangerous and unfit for long distance rides in various terrains. But I have been considering switching from the geared to the "gearless".
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Old 11-07-13, 05:22 PM   #2
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I have to have fenders on my commuter bikes. They do in fact keep your feet/lower legs drier,and help to keep the drivetrain(and everything else) cleaner.
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Old 11-07-13, 05:25 PM   #3
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I'm glad you have figured out what "works for you", but "what works for you" doesn't necessarily work for everyone else.

Also, regarding the fixed gears- people have done centuries in the mountains riding fixed.
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Old 11-07-13, 05:28 PM   #4
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If all of us were identical, the world would be a very boring place. But we are not, so I get to enjoy my rack, pannier, head light, tail light, two bottle cages, one bell, one bike pump, one extra tube, one multitool and fenders. And thank god for that!
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Old 11-07-13, 05:30 PM   #5
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What do I think about fixed gear bikes? I think they are a good choice for commuting, particularly when outfitted with fenders, waterbottle cages, and brakes. But that's because I prefer to keep the nasty water off my butt and drivetrain, the clean water available for drinking, and because I like to be able to stop without having to skid. These are all personal choices, of course.



What makes you think fixed gears are dangerous or unsuitable for long distance rides?
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Old 11-07-13, 05:31 PM   #6
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+1 no1mad. Everyone's needs are different when it comes to their needs/wants. Personally, Lola has quite a bit of stuff on her (fenders, rack, Reelights, Brooks saddle/grips etc.), because I love the way it makes her look, as well as the assurance that I have things there when I need them. However, that is just a personal choice. I will admit though, Lola is heavier now than when I bought her, and going up hills can be quite a climb!

Glad you found what works for you, and as others have said, don't let anyone tell you what you should do for your bike. It is exactly that, YOURS.

It has taken me a while to come to terms with the above myself, but I think I finally have. (Hopefully!)
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Old 11-07-13, 05:31 PM   #7
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I'm glad you have figured out what "works for you", but "what works for you" doesn't necessarily work for everyone else. And maybe it's just me, but questioning the need for things that don't "work for you" could be viewed as an insult to those that have found those things "work for them". But, whatever gets people to ride...

Also, regarding the fixed gears- people have done centuries in the mountains riding fixed.
The part in Bold above... everyone's needs are different... no matter how much alike we may seem.
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Old 11-07-13, 05:32 PM   #8
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What do I think about fixed gear bikes? I think they are a good choice for commuting, particularly when outfitted with fenders, waterbottle cages, and brakes. But that's because I prefer to keep the nasty water off my butt and drivetrain, the clean water available for drinking, and because I like to be able to stop without having to skid. These are all personal choices, of course.



What makes you think fixed gears are dangerous or unsuitable for long distance rides?
Nice bike!
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Old 11-07-13, 05:39 PM   #9
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Thanks! It's a Nashbar frame built up with spare parts. I think I've paid more for a singular tubular than I put into this whole bike.
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Old 11-07-13, 08:37 PM   #10
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I wouldn't ride around the block without fenders and water bottles. Lots do of course. On all day rides I carry 2 water and 1 gatorade. As for a tool and stuff bag, it is actually faster if you shape it right. The head honchos at RAAM make damn sure that no bikes have anything in front of the headtube or hanging from aerobars, not even a water bottle I think. I've never seen a bike that didn't like weight on the front.

Getting rid of deraillers, now there is a hellava good idea.
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Old 11-08-13, 12:13 PM   #11
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I gave in last year when a bike shop convinced me that I needed a saddle. I can't say that I was all that happy about changing my pedaling style to suit the new addition; however there are times when it's kinda nice to sit and cruise. I am not happy about the dye transfer to my shorts, though, and I had a few tumbles at first because I forgot I needed to raise my leg higher to mount.

Bottom line is that upgrades come with plusses and minuses. It's your bike, you have to ride it, and so it's also your choice. Always remember that most upgrades are reversible.

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Old 11-08-13, 12:24 PM   #12
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It sounds like you like a fairly minimal bike. Honestly fixed gears aren't bad for commuting, depending on how far you go.

I ride 10 miles (one way) to work each day on a fixed gear that was <$300.
And, despite being fairly new to biking, I've ridden 25 miles or so at once very comfortably and am planning a metric century in the near future.

With your other questions/statements, it just depends what you like and what you need on your bike. I personally don't have any racks. I have two small clip-on lights that come off when I'm riding during the day. And a YNOT saddle roll. I've ridden in the rain and the cold and done fine with that so far. But others would feel better with fenders, a rack, and a water bottle. It's all preference, but you don't NEED it.
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Old 11-08-13, 12:44 PM   #13
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what do you think about fixed gear bikes? They to me are the most simple a bike can get.
Nothing is simpler than coasting down a hill or coasting to a stop; too bad it can't be done on a "simple" fixed gear bike.
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Old 11-08-13, 01:01 PM   #14
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As far as the fenders and whatnot, I feel this is also an unnecessary addition. The worst part about riding in the rain is the water splashing back up as you ride. However if you have a water proof bag and a water resistant rain coat or something to deflect the rain splashing back up, by the end of your ride, you should either have a fresh change of clothes or in all, dry clothes underneath everything.
.
Tell the truth, you've never ridden so much as three feet in wet weather, have you. The worst part about riding in the rain without fenders is the very dirty water splashing up your back and whatever backpack or messenger bag or musette bag or whatever you might use to transport necessary things like 'hygiene items'. Seriously, what hygiene items would those be? You're a dude, right? I mean... I could be wrong, but not usually. You're trying way too hard. Just so you know, after a ride of any length in the rain, without fenders and you and everything on your bike is coated with grit. You need a lot more than hygiene items to clean up the mess. You've lost so much credibility with this one paragraph that I've decided every other word of your rant is just so much nonsense because you are one of those people who simply gets off on attention. There's a word for it. Rhymes with troll.

H
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Old 11-08-13, 01:09 PM   #15
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I gave in last year when a bike shop convinced me that I needed a saddle. I can't say that I was all that happy about changing my peddling style to suit the new addition; however there are times when it's kinda nice to sit and cruise. I am not happy about the dye transfer to my shorts, though, and I had a few tumbles at first because I forgot I needed to raise my leg higher to mount.

Bottom line is that upgrades come with plusses and minuses. It's your bike, you have to ride it, and so it's also your choice. Always remember that most upgrades are reversible.
Love this. Spoiler alert. Folks this guy is kidding! Like big time sarcastic. The proper response for an o.p. this contrived. I'm glad someone else gets it. A couple of quibbles if I may? It's pedaling, not peddling. And, dye transfer to one's shorts should be non-issue, either because one was wearing shorts of the proper color - black, and/or the saddle was not a Brooks (likely) or Brooks knock-off. The edit window is still open. Tighten this up and you can really roast this thread.
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Old 11-08-13, 01:20 PM   #16
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Also since we are on the subject of additions, what do you think about fixed gear bikes? They to me are the most simple a bike can get. The only reason I ride a commuter bike over a fixie is the fact that they seem dangerous and unfit for long distance rides in various terrains. But I have been considering switching from the geared to the "gearless".
I am, for the most part, on the opposite end of the spectrum from you. I carry a lot because I don't want to be stranded or too hot or too cold or dehydrated, etc. I ride with 2 water bottles, 2 panniers, one of which I has my tool kit (levers, pump, tube, tube repair, multi-tool) and spare clothes (meaning, rain coat on sunny days, extra cycling clothes for wet days, warmer layers for cold days and of course, clothes that I needed for the ride in but not on the ride out), 2 front lights, 2 rear lights (generally, only operating one of them), etc. Of course, I also need to carry my cell phone, house and lock keys (lock is left locked to the bike cage at work), wallet, lunch and work clothes.

However, sometimes I don't need to bring in a lunch or work clothes (because I brought in extra the day before) and I take a lot of joy in riding my lightweight speedy road bike (still with lights and a toolkit and water) and I take some measure of risk with weather (although if I'm dressed fine for the ride in and would be overdressed for the ride out, I'll leave the extra at work to bring home the next day).

What we consider to be too much or too little, too light or too heavy, is personal choice and as long as we are each happy with our decision, then, well, we're happy. Sure, we'll ask others about alternatives but even with the knowledge of alternatives, we may choose to use them or bypass them.

Each to his/her own.
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Old 11-08-13, 03:38 PM   #17
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I just can't stop chuckling that, after diss'ing all of Fred's favorites in principle, the OP lists a bike chain (a whole one?) and "lotion" as two of the top four bring-along items.

Why not lotion up during the "very decent meal" routine and really go lite?

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Old 11-08-13, 04:45 PM   #18
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Also, regarding the fixed gears- people have done centuries in the mountains riding fixed.
I did, it was an amazing experience. Then I went and got a wheel w/ a damn freehub and put a 7 spd cassette on the thing.
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Old 11-08-13, 05:43 PM   #19
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i ride single-speed now and i'm in much better shape than i was riding a 3x9 setup.

a few more months and i'll change it to fixed gear.
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Old 11-08-13, 06:15 PM   #20
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Thanks! It's a Nashbar frame built up with spare parts. I think I've paid more for a singular tubular than I put into this whole bike.
That's funny, because I just posted on my blog about all the additions I have for Lola, and I think they have added up (esp. the Brooks saddle/grips package b/c it was a limited ed. & a gift from my Mom ... thanks Mom!) to more than what Lola was bought for (also a gift from my Mom last year ... again, thanks Mom!).
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Old 11-08-13, 06:17 PM   #21
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I am, for the most part, on the opposite end of the spectrum from you. I carry a lot because I don't want to be stranded or too hot or too cold or dehydrated, etc. I ride with 2 water bottles, 2 panniers, one of which I has my tool kit (levers, pump, tube, tube repair, multi-tool) and spare clothes (meaning, rain coat on sunny days, extra cycling clothes for wet days, warmer layers for cold days and of course, clothes that I needed for the ride in but not on the ride out), 2 front lights, 2 rear lights (generally, only operating one of them), etc. Of course, I also need to carry my cell phone, house and lock keys (lock is left locked to the bike cage at work), wallet, lunch and work clothes.

However, sometimes I don't need to bring in a lunch or work clothes (because I brought in extra the day before) and I take a lot of joy in riding my lightweight speedy road bike (still with lights and a toolkit and water) and I take some measure of risk with weather (although if I'm dressed fine for the ride in and would be overdressed for the ride out, I'll leave the extra at work to bring home the next day).

What we consider to be too much or too little, too light or too heavy, is personal choice and as long as we are each happy with our decision, then, well, we're happy. Sure, we'll ask others about alternatives but even with the knowledge of alternatives, we may choose to use them or bypass them.

Each to his/her own.
COMPLETELY AGREE! Personally, I would rather be over-prepared than under-prepared.
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Old 11-08-13, 06:36 PM   #22
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That's funny, because I just posted on my blog about all the additions I have for Lola, and I think they have added up (esp. the Brooks saddle/grips package b/c it was a limited ed. & a gift from my Mom ... thanks Mom!) to more than what Lola was bought for (also a gift from my Mom last year ... again, thanks Mom!).
I see this a lot. MedicZero spent 2k on upgrades

That's why I'm doing the "BSO" test ... cheap and see what I can get out of the bike+lights+lock+puter.

The additional stuff always catch up on you ... for example ... a Brooks is great ... but where I am the retail price is the same as my whole bike (almost) ...

http://www.brooksengland.com/catalog...wallow+Select/

for example, this is more than 60% of what my bike is ...

that's why I want do a cheap bike experiment ... and I'm at the sweat spot ... any cheaper and parts replacement will bust me (like with a Denali) but any more expensive and it's too much.
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Old 11-08-13, 07:03 PM   #23
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Love this. Spoiler alert. Folks this guy is kidding! Like big time sarcastic. The proper response for an o.p. this contrived. I'm glad someone else gets it. A couple of quibbles if I may? It's pedaling, not peddling. And, dye transfer to one's shorts should be non-issue, either because one was wearing shorts of the proper color - black, and/or the saddle was not a Brooks (likely) or Brooks knock-off. The edit window is still open. Tighten this up and you can really roast this thread.
Fixed spelling - always appreciate the help in that department. Saddle is a Brooks BTW. I didn't give up lycra when I hit 60, but now I do stealth mode with baggy khaki shorts over.
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Old 11-08-13, 10:46 PM   #24
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lol I rode my road bike's stock white saddle once whilst wearing jeans, and the saddle was slightly blue when I finished riding.

I don't really understand the point of this thread, honestly. Fenders benefit the bike as much or more than they benefit the rider, when riding in wet conditions. Whether it's keeping some of the junk from hitting the bottom bracket, or reducing or eliminating water that finds its way inside the frame of the bike, fenders definitely come in very handy.

I personally HATE carrying stuff on my back. I have to sometimes because my bike has no provisions for a rack, so I try to take stuff in the car and then ride with nothing on my back. But one of these days I plan on building a bike that will take a rack so I can use a trunk bag with it.
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Old 11-09-13, 06:55 AM   #25
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I spent years getting covered in dirty gritty water and told myself how un-cool those old fellas looked with fenders on those 4+ hr club rides.

somewhere past 35 I spent more time riding and in a fog fitted fenders to my training bike.
On my race bike there is no room for fenders, 23mm tires barely fit. But I will never go back to fenderless for my do it all bike.
I've tried both sides and the grass is greener and dryer on the fender side!

My spair/repair kit sits behind by brooks and contains a quick link, mini pump, tube, a tube repair kit, levers, multi tool, red blinky and a cliff bar. People's choices vary, but this is a pretty standard set up, why you would cary a whole chain I don't know.
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