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Random thoughts on road bikes on a wet weekend

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Random thoughts on road bikes on a wet weekend

Old 03-13-16, 08:24 AM
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Inpd
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Random thoughts on road bikes on a wet weekend

It's been raining non-stop in NoCa for the last week so I've been thinking about cycling rather than cycling.

1. Cycling is generally very safe but when its dangerous, its life threatening. I fell of a bike, just grazed cheek. Another inch I would have had a serious concussion and another 10 seconds and a car would have cleaned me up.

2. Multi-directional cleats are great (SH-56 not SH-51). Easy to clip in with a roll in any direction.

3. I wouldn't have it any other way than wrenching my own bike. I took all our bikes and adjusted FD/RD, lubed etc. Took me 90 minutes but it was fun and saved me a bit of money. My LBS have a minimum turn around of 2 days for a single bike.

4. Bike assembly can be hit or miss. I bought a Diamondback Junior Podium for one kid (amazingly well put together) and a Diamondback Clarity for another and argh. The cones were over tightened, the bottom bracket (loose ball) was shot.

5. Quality bike parts are cheap. Sure high quality stuff is really expensive for but $20 I got a 2 pound triple crankset (Shimano M131) and for $10 I got a 330 gram smooth BB (UN-26).

6. I'll probably be dead in 45 years so I'm going to ride as soon as it stops raining (Monday).
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Old 03-13-16, 11:22 AM
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trainsktg
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Regarding points 3 and 5, I just walked out of the LBS with a full Shimano 2x11 mixed 105/Ultegra groupset (minus brakes) for under $400. Some tools, grease, misc. stuff, etc. added another $70 or so. The retail price delta between my bike getting the upgrades and the equivalent factory- built bike (105 groupset only) is around $800, so I saved quite a bit of money going the DIY route and I'll learn a bit rebuilding the bike too.

Keith
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Old 03-13-16, 11:33 AM
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I like riding a bike with fatter tires when its wet. There's a lot to be said for a wider tire run at lower pressure on a slick surface.
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Old 03-13-16, 02:24 PM
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I would add to your list that you can get fantastic deals on bikes and parts when buying used. We live in a golden age for cycling imo.
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Old 03-13-16, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
It's been raining non-stop in NoCa for the last week so I've been thinking about cycling rather than cycling.


6. I'll probably be dead in 45 years so I'm going to ride as soon as it stops raining (Monday).
As a fellow NoCal resident, I can empathize. If the forecast is correct, I'll be jumping on the bike early tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, it will be to commute to work.
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Old 03-13-16, 08:25 PM
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Inpd
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89 View Post
I would add to your list that you can get fantastic deals on bikes and parts when buying used. We live in a golden age for cycling imo.
Please do add to my list. It was just a series of random thoughts I had whist working on bikes over the weekend.

Also, I agree with you. Used parts have to be cheap given you can buy new parts from the UK so cheaply.
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Old 03-13-16, 09:56 PM
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anotherbrian
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Huh. Sacramento'ish NorCal here. I thought about cycling ... made sure the fenders were on tight and the batteries for the blinky lights fully charged and then went out for 50mi to Auburn. Rained start to finish.

I did think about all the bike stuff I need to do (get the MTB ready for spring), but wasn't stuck in the house for yet another rainy day while I did it.
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Old 03-13-16, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
It's been raining non-stop in NoCa for the last week so I've been thinking about cycling rather than cycling.
Ride in the rain. I grew up on the SF peninsula, and I fretted through the rainy season. When I moved to Seattle, I realized that, A) the roads were full of cyclists year round, and B) if you didn't ride in the rain, you got in about 20 days a year. Now I live in the desert, and rain is a treat--people look forward to it. Fenders are a must, and for God's sake lose the universal black tights and jersey. If you can stand a bright yellow poncho, that and fenders work great. I used to commute to work that way. Otherwise, microfiber shell in a drizzle, goretex in monsoon season.
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Old 03-14-16, 01:53 AM
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I used to not even consider riding in the rain ever, but after I really got into riding last summer I was essentially riding every day. So winter came, and I no longer had long days to enjoy riding after work, and the rainy season (as you know too well) got kind of crazy over here!

Took me a bit to get used to riding at night, but now I don't mind it too much, although I personally stick to my commute back home a few times a week.

Regarding riding in the rain, I first did it in typhoon weather in Japan: I was on a mission to do a century around lake Biwa (in Shiga prefecture, if you care to know), and that crazy rainy/windy day was my only chance due to other obligations. So I sucked it up and rode for 9 hours. I got totally soaked twice (TWICE!). At the end, I gotta say I felt pride in having done it! Since then, I haven't let rain stop me, and I even did another rain century 2 saturdays ago (you'll know the day I'm talking about if you're from the SF bay area!).

Bottom line: When you do that, you just got to accept you will get fully drenched! Just make sure you have enough layers to at least keep your warmth while you're riding (stopping for any length of time made me too cold), and of course be careful on the road with proper lights and everything. That'll be an epic ride I guarantee it!


Geoff
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Old 03-14-16, 05:29 AM
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When the weather is wet, that's a great time to do some maintenance! I too like to do all of my own, unless it's some pressfit stuff. Then I let my shop handle that, but try to choose a day where they can do it then and there
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Old 03-14-16, 05:38 AM
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I generally don't ride in really heavy rain, but if it is light and or variable, I'll take a bike with fenders. Right now I have three bikes that can take them. One being my commuter, which has them on all the time, one is my single speed cross bike (just a bike boom steel bike that already had se rust problems) and the other is almost too nice to want to ride in the rain - a 1978 Raleigh Competition GS that except for a single paint gash looks brand spanking new with zero rust problems, nice chromed stays, fully double butted Reynolds 531 with a campy drive train. I probably don't need to, but I baby that one and only ride it in nice weather. I wish my carbon bike would accept fenders. I got caught in some nasty downpours on it and the bottom bracket bearings were starting to rust.
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Old 03-14-16, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
......

3. I wouldn't have it any other way than wrenching my own bike.
I also love wrenching.... I call my wrenching on my bikes the hobby within the hobby. But sometimes when it's raining (or freezing) I go to the LBS and shop.
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Old 03-14-16, 07:14 AM
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Eh I say just ride in the rain. Mind you I'm biased as I live in Portland and not riding in the rain would seriously curtail the amount of riding outside I get. My only real excuses for not doing are is if thunder is in the forecast or if I have something like a concert schedule the day(s) I normally ride outside.
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Old 03-14-16, 08:14 AM
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Inpd
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Originally Posted by knitguy View Post
Eh I say just ride in the rain. Mind you I'm biased as I live in Portland and not riding in the rain would seriously curtail the amount of riding outside I get. My only real excuses for not doing are is if thunder is in the forecast or if I have something like a concert schedule the day(s) I normally ride outside.
Sure, but this was no light drizzle. This was a downpour with bad visibility for a good part of the weekend. Several roads got minor flooding as well. But its over now for the next 10 days.
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Old 03-14-16, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
It's been raining non-stop in NoCa for the last week so ...
Rainiest winter in history here. This weekend the forecast called for scuba diving on the sidewalks. But the radar was showing a big hole in the clouds over Ellensburg, WA. It's a long drive, but it's kind of pretty out there. Did a half century. Today the clouds are dark and the forecast calls for rain. I'm glad I got out and rode in the sun.
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Old 03-14-16, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
Sure, but this was no light drizzle. This was a downpour with bad visibility for a good part of the weekend. Several roads got minor flooding as well. But its over now for the next 10 days.
Rule 9. Besides, the harder it rains the more salt washes out of your helmet.
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