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Old 08-02-05, 07:16 PM   #1
relaxbycycling
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Newbie series of "stupid" ? questions...

Well, my wife and I are new to cycling, and I've spent hours online reading some of the great posts here at bikeforums.net. Now that I've done some reading, I'm confused on a few points. I hope you guys can set me straight.

1 - Did I buy the wrong bike? My wife and I both purchased Giant Sedonas. We planned initially to just ride around town, but after just a few weeks, I'm hooked (she is coming along slowly) and we are considering working up to 15-30 mile rides with a local bike club. (Haven't joined yet) Is the Sedona going to do us justice on those longer rides? or is the Sedona too much of a "mountain" bike to make that ride doable? The guy at the lbs told us they were road bikes, but after more reasearch Giant's web site says they are intended for dirt trails..

2 - Lights. (This is the "stupid" question) We've added a CatEye front/rear light system to the bikes... When should we have the lights on steady vs. flashing? I would think flashing makes the most sense for visability of others to see us?? (I've already learned in another thread to add some amber lights to the front and get a reflective vest if really riding in the dark.... they are a future purchase as the winter gets here..)

3 - Bell. State law here in NJ that bells are mandatory (or a horn) - What is the LOUDEST yet SMALLEST bell you know of??

Thanks all! I searched the lists and couldn't find clear answers to these....
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Old 08-02-05, 07:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxbycycling
Well, my wife and I are new to cycling, and I've spent hours online reading some of the great posts here at bikeforums.net. Now that I've done some reading, I'm confused on a few points. I hope you guys can set me straight.

1 - Did I buy the wrong bike? My wife and I both purchased Giant Sedonas. We planned initially to just ride around town, but after just a few weeks, I'm hooked (she is coming along slowly) and we are considering working up to 15-30 mile rides with a local bike club. (Haven't joined yet) Is the Sedona going to do us justice on those longer rides? or is the Sedona too much of a "mountain" bike to make that ride doable? The guy at the lbs told us they were road bikes, but after more reasearch Giant's web site says they are intended for dirt trails..
Depends on the pace of the rides. The Sedona is a "mountain style comfort bike" intended for dirt and gravel roads or pavement. The wide, low pressure tires and upright position will limit your speed on the road but you can certainly do 15-30 miles on one once you get time in the saddle. Some clubs have a wide range of group rides for different paces and distances. You can usually go on club rides without joining to find out if it works for you.



Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxbycycling
2 - Lights. (This is the "stupid" question) We've added a CatEye front/rear light system to the bikes... When should we have the lights on steady vs. flashing? I would think flashing makes the most sense for visability of others to see us?? (I've already learned in another thread to add some amber lights to the front and get a reflective vest if really riding in the dark.... they are a future purchase as the winter gets here..)
I have read that drivers get the best reference on where you are if you have one steady and one flashing light on each end. Flashing gets their attention, steady gives them range. That said, I use a red flashing light in the back and a white steady light in the front.


Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxbycycling
3 - Bell. State law here in NJ that bells are mandatory (or a horn) - What is the LOUDEST yet SMALLEST bell you know of??
http://www.mirrycle.com/brassduet.htm

Last edited by cheg; 08-02-05 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 08-02-05, 09:08 PM   #3
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You will find the bikes easier to ride if you replace the fast 2" tires with 1.5" slicks. For lights its as cheq said, but when it is getting dark I use steady LED at the front and flashing at rear. For bell, they are all pretty useless so get the cheapest - I carry a Fox 40 whistle and I scream when necessary.
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Old 08-02-05, 10:05 PM   #4
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Later on you can upgrade your rear to a Cateye TL-CL1000. Run the top row on steadyand the bottom row on side to side. That way you get noticed and range scoping.

Don't worry about your bike purchase decision. It was the best for you at the time with the information you had. I've had mine about a year and still wondering if it was the best buy and horror of horrors considering a totally different bike.

First get in shape and learn to ride safety and with enjoyment. The rest will come.
It just takes determination to get thru the first 1,000 miles. Think of your bike purchase as health club dues. You get to exercise and improve your health with scenary.
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Old 08-02-05, 10:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxbycycling
Well, my wife and I are new to cycling, and I've spent hours online reading some of the great posts here at bikeforums.net. Now that I've done some reading, I'm confused on a few points. I hope you guys can set me straight.

1 - Did I buy the wrong bike? My wife and I both purchased Giant Sedonas. We planned initially to just ride around town, but after just a few weeks, I'm hooked (she is coming along slowly) and we are considering working up to 15-30 mile rides with a local bike club. (Haven't joined yet) Is the Sedona going to do us justice on those longer rides? or is the Sedona too much of a "mountain" bike to make that ride doable? The guy at the lbs told us they were road bikes, but after more reasearch Giant's web site says they are intended for dirt trails..

2 - Lights. (This is the "stupid" question) We've added a CatEye front/rear light system to the bikes... When should we have the lights on steady vs. flashing? I would think flashing makes the most sense for visability of others to see us?? (I've already learned in another thread to add some amber lights to the front and get a reflective vest if really riding in the dark.... they are a future purchase as the winter gets here..)

3 - Bell. State law here in NJ that bells are mandatory (or a horn) - What is the LOUDEST yet SMALLEST bell you know of??

Thanks all! I searched the lists and couldn't find clear answers to these....

1) depends on your riding goals...there are all kinds of gorup rides, from "family" rides (your bikes would be just fine there), to hardcore trianing rides (I wouldn't even try to keep up with the racer types on a bike like that...it's like taking a dode neon to a corvette club race). Just find a club that has all types of rides, and try them out to find out what works for you. St Pete here has a nice one...I've been trying to hit the saturday one, but my freaking job keeps getting in teh way

2) Blinking gets attention, but it screws with a person's ability to judge speed. Best bet for the front is a solid bright light, and the back something bright (blinking or solid your choice, I do solid myself, and I'm a everyday, rain/hail/"what the hell?" weather commuter)

My choice in lights: Niterider TrailRat 2.0, and a cateye something "600" taillight (the super wide and narrow one). Those lights are both very bright (I've been mistaken for a moped on occaision), and the taillight gets great battery life (the niterider gets about 2-2.5 hours on a charge, using a rechargable frame mount battery...but is rather pricey at about $100)


3) depends...I'd jsut get a giant rotary style bell. Here's a quick lesson in acoustics, which relates:

Sound is merely energy formed by exciting particles of air...now there are two factors in this to produce the sound...frequency (how deep or how high ptiched the sound is), and volume (loudness)....what you want is volume of air moved...this means you need an object with large surface area to produce a loud enough sound. This is why church bells were always monstrous things, and not some tiny tinny little tinkerbell. I'd say go for a good sized bell and hang it somewhere unintrusive on your bike. Or if you just want to meet legality, there's a bell called the "incredi-bell" that's not very loud, but pedestrians will notice it. Keep in mind a driver will never hear a bell, and probably won't hear a horn (obvious exception to airhorns).
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Old 08-02-05, 10:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxbycycling
3 - Bell. State law here in NJ that bells are mandatory (or a horn) -
....


I haven't come across a ti bell yet but, when I do....

I WILL NEVER PUT A STINKIN' BELL ON MY LITESPEED!

I wonder if the bicycle cop in town could even catch up to me to give me the once over and issue me a summons.
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Old 08-02-05, 11:12 PM   #7
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Bell required? What happened to screaming a stream of profanities in couple languages? That usually gets people attention much faster then a bell.
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Old 08-02-05, 11:42 PM   #8
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Yep, flashing front and steady white light is the winning combo.
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Old 08-03-05, 04:01 AM   #9
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Cheap bell, and yell loudly if needed, it's quicker and more effective but the bells great on a bike path.
I agree if you are using low powered lights, one flashing and one steady on the front and a blinky on the back.
If you go to higher powered lights steady is fine.
I would go with your current bikes (the distance should not be a problem on them) but consider higher pressure, narrower slick tyres as they will make pedalling easier and the bike slightly faster.
Once you have been riding for a while you will have a better idea of what bike type/features you want.
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Old 08-03-05, 06:10 AM   #10
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Your questions are all good ones.

I won't give you specific answers. For me, part of the fun is trying different things and seeing what works.

Welcome to cycling!
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Old 08-03-05, 06:54 AM   #11
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eubi, you and I think alike. Part of the fun is trying different things to see what you like and what works for you.

relaxbycycling, I ride (commute) with my rear flasher and front headlight on in the day as well as night. It is a personal safety preference. So is the bell (if your law doesn't require it). I like my bell. It adds geekiness to my bike. I use it on the Katy Trail and the park trails here.

All are great questions! Keep them coming!
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Old 08-03-05, 06:58 AM   #12
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Hey Cheq, that's a great website! I've had more people ask "what the h--- is that?" every time I open the web site!

So far....know one knows!

I know, I know. It doesn't take much to entertain me.........

I sit in a cubicle all day!
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Old 08-03-05, 07:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KirkeIsWaiting
I haven't come across a ti bell yet but, when I do....

I WILL NEVER PUT A STINKIN' BELL ON MY LITESPEED!

I wonder if the bicycle cop in town could even catch up to me to give me the once over and issue me a summons.

LMAO.... is there really a LAW about a bell?

Kirke... just yell out "DING"
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Old 08-03-05, 08:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkafire
LMAO.... is there really a LAW about a bell?

Kirke... just yell out "DING"
Just in case anyone from outside of the state doubts the existence of this law, here's the exact wording:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39:4-11 Audible Signal.
A bicycle must be equipped with a bell or other audible device that can be heard at least 100 feet away, but not a siren or whistle.
I think my bike needs more cowbell.
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Old 08-03-05, 10:51 AM   #15
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Hi! I live in south jersey too and was laughing my arse off at the bell law. my sister in law has been cycling for years and when i told her that she was like "whaaa??".

I'm getting my new road bike this weekend and will buy the cheapest crap bell I can find to comply because I think that unless you have a bullhorn it won't make a difference.
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Old 08-03-05, 11:18 AM   #16
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will buy the cheapest crap bell I can find to comply because I think that unless you have a bullhorn it won't make a difference.
I agree... Here is what I was looking at... Nice and small, and no one will ever see it.

http://www.mirrycle.com/barend.htm
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Old 08-03-05, 12:10 PM   #17
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Giant Sedona is not a road bike or an MTB but is a good general purpose bike. You can fit fenders and a luggage rack and use it for shopping/commuting/running errands and even touring.
You should be able to do longer rides, but go at your own pace.
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Old 08-03-05, 12:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxbycycling
I agree... Here is what I was looking at... Nice and small, and no one will ever see it.

http://www.mirrycle.com/barend.htm
No one will probably hear it either, and that is why I think the law is crap. But, a law is a law and as a retired cop's daughter I'll comply too even though it it silly. But, good luck I hope you have fun riding and have found some nice roads to ride on :-)
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Old 08-03-05, 01:08 PM   #19
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I use bells when I ride on multi use paths because even dogs seem to understand, unlike "On your left" which doesn't mean much to a dog. The bar end bells and others with the little spring mounted striker are easily destroyed. If you bend the spring that holds the striker they are toast. The duet has a lever and the striker is internal. They withstand much abuse. Of course if you just want to carry a bell and not ring it, it doesn't matter it it works.
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Old 08-03-05, 01:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jharte
Hey Cheq, that's a great website! I've had more people ask "what the h--- is that?" every time I open the web site!

So far....know one knows!

I know, I know. It doesn't take much to entertain me.........

I sit in a cubicle all day!
Here, entertain yourself some more :

Raleigh International

Diamond Back

Raleigh 20

Rocks

Geology maps
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Old 08-03-05, 01:47 PM   #21
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I bought Sedonas for both the wife and me about 3 1/2 years ago. For a year or so I really enjoyed mine. The wife still uses hers. After a year or so, I realized that I spent most of my time on the road and had a desire to travel a bit farther and faster. I made the move to a road bike. Since then, I have upgraded the road bike to a Specialized Roubaix. After about one year of not using the Sedona, I sold it.

I really liked the Sedona. I enjoyed myself and lost 60 lbs riding it. When I stopped using it the odometer read about 1500 miles. The Sedona is a great machine and will serve you well, particularly if you occasionally want to see where a dirt road will lead you. It is also a very comfortable bike with a well cushioned, upright posture for the rider.

Don't second guess your choice too quickly. When you want one, road bikes will be there.
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Old 08-04-05, 07:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkafire
LMAO.... is there really a LAW about a bell?

Kirke... just yell out "DING"

Around here, the (insert name of German Bling Mobile and/or Loopholed- Gas hog-SUV, or any of the absurd exotic vehicles that are driven here at a speed never to exceed 25 mph!) driver always has their window up, A/C on and generally speaking a phone attached to their head.

The likelyhood of them hearing my bell, whistle or even my LOUD VOICE...isn't very good.
I generally go for eye contact...a prolonged viscious stare usually gets their attention.
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