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43 minutes ago, Mookie said:

Getting rid of the front derailleur saves weight, reduces the mechanical issues that can go wrong, and eliminates a shifter on the handlebars.  I bought a new Kona this winter and it came with a 1x12, and I haven't missed my front derailleur one bit.  I also have a hydraulic seat dropper post and the lever is mounted where the front derailleur shifter used to be.  The dropper post is a HUGE advancement that you don't appreciate until you ride with it.  It's a game changer.

I've been contemplating one of those for many years now but the reviews I've seen haven't been great.  Which one are you riding with?

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Yeah. I have. 24 speed trek...I exclusively use only the middle 8 gears for mist rides around here (on the road now more than any trails) and there are a fair amount of climbs as its not all that flat here in TN.

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5 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Yeah. I have. 24 speed trek...I exclusively use only the middle 8 gears for mist rides around here (on the road now more than any trails) and there are a fair amount of climbs as its not all that flat here in TN.

And most of us, like 99% of us, don't need that many gears. We need close to the high and low. As long as we can get up nearly every climb, I am good. And if I pedal put at 30 mph, or whatever, that is fine by me- I am not racing.

It really is a slick setup, the 1x11. Big fan

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I don't mind the double ring on the road bike b/c the gear changes are so gradual and easy to anticipate.    I mostly use the small ring but I like have the big when bombing down hills.  It makes the effort to get to the top worth it.   

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2 hours ago, NutterButter said:

I've been contemplating one of those for many years now but the reviews I've seen haven't been great.  Which one are you riding with?

RockShox Reverb, but it was hard to set up - once it got dialed in, it's been great.  I've heard good things about even the cheap dropper posts, but it's important to get the right size for the bike you have.

Another game changer is flat pedals/shoes.  If you are riding technical stuff, or just want to be able to walk around, I highly suggest getting these shoes and pedals.  I had one too many low speed crashes in my clip in pedals in the backcountry and was willing to sacrifice uphill performance - turns out, I sacrificed nothing and ride better knowing I can put my foot down whenever I want.

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5 minutes ago, Mookie said:

RockShox Reverb, but it was hard to set up - once it got dialed in, it's been great.  I've heard good things about even the cheap dropper posts, but it's important to get the right size for the bike you have.

Another game changer is flat pedals/shoes.  If you are riding technical stuff, or just want to be able to walk around, I highly suggest getting these shoes and pedals.  I had one too many low speed crashes in my clip in pedals in the backcountry and was willing to sacrifice uphill performance - turns out, I sacrificed nothing and ride better knowing I can put my foot down whenever I want.

👍

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14 hours ago, ragincajun said:

What Moops and Mookie said.

Yea thanks guys, never thought about it before. I do use both rings on an 11 speed but could probably get by with one pretty easily. Interesting concept, thanks :thumbup:

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12 hours ago, Mookie said:

I had one too many low speed crashes in my clip in pedals in the backcountry and was willing to sacrifice uphill performance - turns out, I sacrificed nothing and ride better knowing I can put my foot down whenever I want.

Most decent MTB pedals are adjustable.  You can set the release pressure to be quite light - there are advantages to being clipped in and the whole "keeling over" crash can be avoided.

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1 hour ago, Sand said:

Most decent MTB pedals are adjustable.  You can set the release pressure to be quite light - there are advantages to being clipped in and the whole "keeling over" crash can be avoided.

Sure, I did it for 30 years, but clipping out can still be a problem if you get mud or dirt in your pedal or if your cleat gets loose.  The clipping out motion also became more difficult when I started to have knee issues.  If I didn't anticipate trouble spots, I had the potential to get stuck on roots or rocks, usually on steep technical climbs or around tight corners.  I had a keeling over fall deep in the backcountry a few years back and bounced my way down the hill about 30 yards, staying clipped in the whole way down.  I was only cut up, but breaking a collar bone or shoulder so far from help would've been really bad, so I decided to try the flat pedals. 

I don't ride as hard as I once did and knowing that I can put my foot down whenever I need makes me a more confident rider.  I haven't seen a dropoff in uphill performance, and have all the control I need going down - granted, I'm not launching off stuff or riding on the edge.  Just relaying my experience for anyone else who might be uncomfortable with the clipped in approach - It's a nice option.   

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13 hours ago, Mookie said:

Another game changer is flat pedals/shoes.  If you are riding technical stuff, or just want to be able to walk around, I highly suggest getting these shoes and pedals.  I had one too many low speed crashes in my clip in pedals in the backcountry and was willing to sacrifice uphill performance - turns out, I sacrificed nothing and ride better knowing I can put my foot down whenever I want.

Pretty sure those pedals are on my Marlin 7. They are fantastic for mountain biking. I've lamented my shoe issues before but finding a pair of clips for my clown feet is near to impossible without robbing a bank. Hence I ride in an old pair of running shoes. These pedals actually fit my extra wide foot beautifully. Thought about pulling them off to see how they would be on the road bike. Love them.

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2 minutes ago, beer 30 said:

Pretty sure those pedals are on my Marlin 7. They are fantastic for mountain biking. I've lamented my shoe issues before but finding a pair of clips for my clown feet is near to impossible without robbing a bank. Hence I ride in an old pair of running shoes. These pedals actually fit my extra wide foot beautifully. Thought about pulling them off to see how they would be on the road bike. Love them.

Those FiveTen shose I linked above have a flat bottom, super grippy rubber, and they are really wide.  It matches up really well with the spikes on the flat pedals. 

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27 minutes ago, Mookie said:

Those FiveTen shose I linked above have a flat bottom, super grippy rubber, and they are really wide.  It matches up really well with the spikes on the flat pedals. 

Checked them out. Sadly with clown feet I get the best of both worlds, length & width. My running shoes are 14 EEEE. I can do a 13.5 for everyday wear or biking but these seem to stop at 13's.

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5 minutes ago, beer 30 said:

Checked them out. Sadly with clown feet I get the best of both worlds, length & width. My running shoes are 14 EEEE. I can do a 13.5 for everyday wear or biking but these seem to stop at 13's.

Those are some BIG paws!

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Posted (edited)

I watched a video on MTB vs road on GCN YouTube a while back. They ran some tests among themselves and at the end, it's barely a difference at all. Two guys each ran the same course with the different pedals, and it turned out road pedals only led to I think it was like a 4-6% improvement in, it was either time or pedaling efficiency, don't remember. Really, not a big deal unless you're super serious about it or racing.

Edited by ShamrockPride

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5 hours ago, beer 30 said:

Checked them out. Sadly with clown feet I get the best of both worlds, length & width. My running shoes are 14 EEEE. I can do a 13.5 for everyday wear or biking but these seem to stop at 13's.

Size 14 on Amazon - It's a wide shoe to begin with (think skateboard look) but I dunno if it would work for you.  With free returns, there's not much to lose

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On 6/16/2020 at 10:06 PM, Mookie said:

Another game changer is flat pedals/shoes.  If you are riding technical stuff, or just want to be able to walk around, I highly suggest getting these shoes and pedals.  I had one too many low speed crashes in my clip in pedals in the backcountry and was willing to sacrifice uphill performance - turns out, I sacrificed nothing and ride better knowing I can put my foot down whenever I want.

I don't think I ever crashed due to clips.  I was worried about it, but it's turned out to be a non-issue for me.  I did have a couple of crashes where a foot didn't pop out, though - that's annoying when you're trying to get oriented and you can't push your bike off of you because it's still connected.  Reminds me of some ski crashes.

The reason for clips for me isn't about uphills - it's about root drops on downhills.  I had too many times where a foot bounced off the pedal during a fast droppy downhill, which took away all of my control.

Good point, though - not everyone is comfortable in the same setup, find what works for you.

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On 6/17/2020 at 9:48 AM, beer 30 said:

Yea thanks guys, never thought about it before. I do use both rings on an 11 speed but could probably get by with one pretty easily. Interesting concept, thanks :thumbup:

I mentioned it in https://forums.footballguys.com/forum/topic/589684-bicycle-guys/?do=findComment&comment=22776903, but I recommend messing around with http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com.  Find your current setup, check the min and max gear ratios for the gears you actually use, and then see what else can give you that range.  It made me confident that a 1x10 would work for my son based on the range of gear ratios.  From the riding I've done on his bike here and there, it really seems like the high and low gear ratio is almost all that matters... I don't think I would notice the difference between a 1x10 and a 1x12 - I can find a gear I like from 10 choices.  I even wonder if I would be fine going with a narrower rear cassette at something like 1x8.  There has to be a breaking point, I just don't know where it is.

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On somewhat of a whim I bought a 2014 Orbea Orca full carbon road bike.  This was my first road bike and to say I was shocked by the ride would be an understatement.  As I looked down the street during my first ride, the whole world juddered.  "People really enjoy this," I thought to myself.  Now, only a few days later, I can't wait to take rides on it.  The judder sensation is gone and now my attention had turned to how fast and stiff this thing is.  Unfortunately it's a little big for me and I'll likely end up selling it, but damn has it set the expectations for its replacement pretty high.  

 

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Posted (edited)

Been really biking a lot recently and really enjoying it.  Great way to get out and get a break from everyone especially since we are still limiting our contacts with others.  Just finished up 600km for June across the bike and Peloton (though still not as many as @beer 30 who can really push it for a guy with beer in his name).  

Also, really enjoying the Strava FFA group even if it is run by the folks in the crazy running thread.  Would recommend to others who are biking regularly.

Edited by Redwes25
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1 hour ago, Redwes25 said:

Been really biking a lot recently and really enjoying it.  Great way to get out and get a break from everyone especially since we are still limiting our contacts with others.  Just finished up 600km for June across the bike and Peloton (though still not as many as @beer 30 who can really push it for a guy with beer in his name).  

Also, really enjoying the Strava FFA group even if it is run by the folks in the crazy running thread.  Would recommend to others who are biking regularly.

Good to see you getting after it out there :thumbup:

Exercise provides a lot of stress relief and some alone time, especially when everyone is couped up for months on end. Good way to burn off negative #### and get your sweat on.

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On 6/25/2020 at 9:24 PM, Captain Cranks said:

On somewhat of a whim I bought a 2014 Orbea Orca full carbon road bike.  This was my first road bike and to say I was shocked by the ride would be an understatement.  As I looked down the street during my first ride, the whole world juddered.  "People really enjoy this," I thought to myself.  Now, only a few days later, I can't wait to take rides on it.  The judder sensation is gone and now my attention had turned to how fast and stiff this thing is.  Unfortunately it's a little big for me and I'll likely end up selling it, but damn has it set the expectations for its replacement pretty high.  

 

Same experience with my full carbon bike.  I got used to the speed and judder pretty quickly, and probably got too comfortable with it.  I've only had one wreck on the road (realizing I was missing a turn and thinking I could still make it, wrong move).  Cracked my helmet and road rash on my left side shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle but was really fine and had to finish the ride (we were at the furthest point out so 20 miles back to the cars).  But ever since then, I can't shake the judder feel when picking up speed.  I hope to get back to normal but it's been a year since the wreck.

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56 minutes ago, Corporation said:

Same experience with my full carbon bike.  I got used to the speed and judder pretty quickly, and probably got too comfortable with it.  I've only had one wreck on the road (realizing I was missing a turn and thinking I could still make it, wrong move).  Cracked my helmet and road rash on my left side shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle but was really fine and had to finish the ride (we were at the furthest point out so 20 miles back to the cars).  But ever since then, I can't shake the judder feel when picking up speed.  I hope to get back to normal but it's been a year since the wreck.

Damn...sorry to hear.  I have to be careful not to be too lax myself.  Hopefully you can get back to normal quickly.  

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On 6/14/2020 at 2:40 PM, gump said:

Any advice from Bike Guys on Child Seats?  I have a Trek mountain bike with street tires, which i'll be riding with my wife and her hybrid around neighborhoods, light trails.  

I like the idea of the front mount...

This thing is awesome...my 2.5-yr-old loves to ride now.  My wife got a larger seat for our infant...she's having an issue with the width of the seat.

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In large part because of the advice I got in here, I made a decision on a bike a month ago today (would have posted about it, but got suspended).  I ended up with the Kona Dew Deluxe hybrid.  The 1x drivetrain is incredible, and other than hardcore race bikes, I see no real reason why it isn't standard on most bikes.  Couldn't be happier with the bike.  So far I have 330 miles on it, and have set a goal of 75 miles per week.  Will probably increase it to 100 shortly since 20 mile rides are getting increasingly easier.  I've been adding a lot more climbing to my rides, which was something I have historically avoided as much as possible.  The simplicity of the drivetrain just makes climbing so much enjoyable.  Gone are the days of dropping down 9 gears and frantically upshifting before all momentum is lost.

I found the FFA Strava group, but it appears to be mostly runners.

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32 minutes ago, Dickies said:

In large part because of the advice I got in here, I made a decision on a bike a month ago today (would have posted about it, but got suspended).  I ended up with the Kona Dew Deluxe hybrid.  The 1x drivetrain is incredible, and other than hardcore race bikes, I see no real reason why it isn't standard on most bikes.  Couldn't be happier with the bike.  So far I have 330 miles on it, and have set a goal of 75 miles per week.  Will probably increase it to 100 shortly since 20 mile rides are getting increasingly easier.  I've been adding a lot more climbing to my rides, which was something I have historically avoided as much as possible.  The simplicity of the drivetrain just makes climbing so much enjoyable.  Gone are the days of dropping down 9 gears and frantically upshifting before all momentum is lost.

I found the FFA Strava group, but it appears to be mostly runners.

Nice ride!

The Strava group is mostly runners but there are some bikers in there too. The more the merrier!

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8 hours ago, Dickies said:

In large part because of the advice I got in here, I made a decision on a bike a month ago today (would have posted about it, but got suspended).  I ended up with the Kona Dew Deluxe hybrid.  The 1x drivetrain is incredible, and other than hardcore race bikes, I see no real reason why it isn't standard on most bikes.  Couldn't be happier with the bike.  So far I have 330 miles on it, and have set a goal of 75 miles per week.  Will probably increase it to 100 shortly since 20 mile rides are getting increasingly easier.  I've been adding a lot more climbing to my rides, which was something I have historically avoided as much as possible.  The simplicity of the drivetrain just makes climbing so much enjoyable.  Gone are the days of dropping down 9 gears and frantically upshifting before all momentum is lost.

I found the FFA Strava group, but it appears to be mostly runners.

I'm a Kona man too. Have a Rove ST. I'm a big fan of their bikes. They hit a really sweet spot of affordability and quality builds.

And yes, the 1x, especially when you have 11 gears and a wide range, is money

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My wife and I pulled the trigger on his/hers Trek Verve 2 E-Bikes and have to say enjoyed our first ride immensely.  We’re both causal bikers, me more than her but I’ve been riding the same mountain bike I got in college 1992. Parts have been replaced but it was time has been time for a while.  Decided on E-bike for a couple of reasons

1.  Hills.  To get to some great trails in our city we have to bike downhill for about a mile and half with I really step climb part way through.  While it’s great on the way out the last mile coming home uphill is brutal.  I’d always be thinking about the dreaded climb and wouldn’t go as far as I wanted because of it.

2.  Age my wife just turned 50 and I will next year.  We’re both in decent shape but not getting any younger.

3.  Our city is very biker friendly and we have an easy 3 mile trip to the grocery store (minus the big hill) and my office is about 4 miles away so I figure we these bikes we’re more apt to use them for those type of errands and me commuting to work.

We just picked them up tonight and went on a short 15 mile ride.  It was a blast.  The big hill was still some work but the pedal assist was a huge difference.  Just need to get my ### used to riding but feel I’m going to put a ton of miles on.  It will be nice to get back into biking again

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4 hours ago, the moops said:

I'm a Kona man too. Have a Rove ST. I'm a big fan of their bikes. They hit a really sweet spot of affordability and quality builds.

And yes, the 1x, especially when you have 11 gears and a wide range, is money

Yea, for the drivetrains I was looking at the Kona was a couple hundred dollars less than any of the other major brands. I was toying with a bd.com bike that would have saved me a bit, but was going to be months of waiting. I miraculously found a local bike shop that had my bike in stock in my size that was delivered unassembled the day I called. 

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I have a Ross Eurotour, I think it's from 1976.  It gets along ok, but the handlebars are really uncomfortable.  What's the best set of handlebars for the $$$?  

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I’ve been riding my bike to the grocery store and would like to start riding to work, so the time has probably come to start exploring luggage rack options. My primary goal is to be able to carry a laptop, but would also like the ability to carry a couple bags of groceries and a 12-pack of beer.

Any suggestions?  

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On 7/20/2020 at 1:55 PM, Dickies said:

In large part because of the advice I got in here, I made a decision on a bike a month ago today (would have posted about it, but got suspended).  I ended up with the Kona Dew Deluxe hybrid.  The 1x drivetrain is incredible, and other than hardcore race bikes, I see no real reason why it isn't standard on most bikes.  Couldn't be happier with the bike.  So far I have 330 miles on it, and have set a goal of 75 miles per week.  Will probably increase it to 100 shortly since 20 mile rides are getting increasingly easier.  I've been adding a lot more climbing to my rides, which was something I have historically avoided as much as possible.  The simplicity of the drivetrain just makes climbing so much enjoyable.  Gone are the days of dropping down 9 gears and frantically upshifting before all momentum is lost.

I found the FFA Strava group, but it appears to be mostly runners.

A few of the runners also ride on and off. Pretty active group and I like it. 

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5 hours ago, Dickies said:

I’ve been riding my bike to the grocery store and would like to start riding to work, so the time has probably come to start exploring luggage rack options. My primary goal is to be able to carry a laptop, but would also like the ability to carry a couple bags of groceries and a 12-pack of beer.

Any suggestions?  

What kind of bike you have and what sort of mounts does it have? How long of a ride to work?

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3 hours ago, the moops said:

What kind of bike you have and what sort of mounts does it have? How long of a ride to work?

Kona Dew Deluxe

It has mounts on the front fork, seat stays and top tube.

Commute is about 7 miles each way. 

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3 hours ago, Dickies said:

Kona Dew Deluxe

It has mounts on the front fork, seat stays and top tube.

Commute is about 7 miles each way. 

I have this on my beach cruiser. I've carried a 12 pack in the high side many times.  It can handle a couple sacks of groceries with no problem. I've added a mesh net across the top.  Big enough to put a pizza on top as well.  Love it.

I previously tried handlebar type baskets but hated how those impacted the handling. I have a cantilevered seat post rack on my hybrid and it looks good and works great but doesn't have much capacity. It could handle a 12 pack but not at the same time as groceries. My beach cruiser has become my everyday ride mostly because of the utility of this basket.

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5 hours ago, Dickies said:

Kona Dew Deluxe

It has mounts on the front fork, seat stays and top tube.

Commute is about 7 miles each way. 

Oh yea, I think you told us all of this already :bag:

I have a front porteur rack that I leave on my Kona pretty much all the time. Can get a 12 pack on there for sure https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f7/df/fb/f7dffbe09db11653fc94bc6ff1a155cc.jpg

The Velo Orange one is super slick if you want to spend some cash https://velo-orange.com/products/vo-porteur-rack

I also picked up a Burley Travoy that I ####### love. Easy detachment to seat post. Great for grocery shopping or putting a cooler on and head to the beach. I am not sure I would want to commute 7 miles with it though, but maybe? I had a large gift card and dividend so I splurged https://www.rei.com/product/171930/burley-travoy-bike-cargo-trailer?cm_mmc=sm_pin_feed&partner=sm_pin_feed&CAWELAID=120217890009957503

I suppose you just want a generic rear rack though and you could use some slick panniers to carry your laptop. I haven't used any in years, but there are some nice panniers that comvert to backpacks/messenger bags. This looks pretty slick https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CQDD23U?tag=aboutcom02thebalancesmb-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1&ascsubtag=365484|n60be31e0f0304eaebab234ee0f6f3f8713

I definitely try to not put anything on my back these days. Much rather everything strapped to my bike somehow. It was such a huge revelation when I finally stopped carry a backpack. I don't think bikepacking bags would work for your commute, for it wouldn't fit a laptop, but they might be something to look into. https://www.revelatedesigns.com/

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Anyone know of a good portable pump for Presta valve types?  I have Vibrelli but I have to use the Schrader to Presta adapter. 

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9 hours ago, Redwes25 said:

A few of the runners also ride on and off. Pretty active group and I like it. 

They're a bunch of premadonna's who think the sun rises & sets on their feats of athleticism. Don't feed their egos :D

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17 hours ago, Dickies said:

I’ve been riding my bike to the grocery store and would like to start riding to work, so the time has probably come to start exploring luggage rack options. My primary goal is to be able to carry a laptop, but would also like the ability to carry a couple bags of groceries and a 12-pack of beer.

Any suggestions?  

I bought the front basket recommendation from the Wirecutter guide for my daughter in college and she likes it.  They also recommend side panniers and rear racks.  Reading their reviews tends to help me decide.

3 hours ago, Brony said:

Anyone know of a good portable pump for Presta valve types?  I have Vibrelli but I have to use the Schrader to Presta adapter. 

Another Wirecutter guide link.  I think having a dual type pump is nice so you can help others.  I felt like a dummy when I stopped to help someone with a flat and didn't have a converter.  Now I just keep a CO2 cartridge and adapter that fits both types - I put it in a sock in my saddlebag and it's nice and small.  I've only used it three times, though - twice on my bike, once on a stranger's.

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Thanks for the info @Tick and @the moops

Thinking about getting this guy with the Topeak rear rack.  Looks like an all-around solution that provides all the utility I would need in the short term.

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Dickies said:

Thanks for the info @Tick and @the moops

Thinking about getting this guy with the Topeak rear rack.  Looks like an all-around solution that provides all the utility I would need in the short term.

I've held that guy.  I don't think it would hold a six pack.

 

Given any thought on panniers?  I've got a Topeak rack and a couple bungee cords.  I'll use a Jansport pack for a roughly a bag of groceries and have tied a plastic milk crate to the rack to carry a bag of charcoal on occasion.  Panniers should work for the office as well.

https://banjobrothers.com/collections/panniers/products/minnehaha-canvas-grocery-pannier

Edited by rogwadd

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Anybody on Zwift, they opened up France to all and lemme tell you, Ven Top is a #####. Had to bail at 3000' because of work.

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Another dumb question - if you are going for a longer ride, do you bring any emergency stuff with you such as cell phone or extra tube and levers?    

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, Brony said:

Another dumb question - if you are going for a longer ride, do you bring any emergency stuff with you such as cell phone or extra tube and levers?    

Yes. Always have cell with me, and unless I just totally spaced, have a small bag that holds pump (or small CO2 canister thingy), multitool, tire lever, patch kit, some duct tape, chain tool, and some weed

Edited by the moops
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9 minutes ago, the moops said:

Yes. Always have cell with me, and unless I just totally spaced, have a small bag that holds pump (or small CO2 canister thingy), multitool, tire lever, patch kit, some duct tape, chain tool, and some weed

:goodposting:This, always have a spare tube and cycling tool along with cell phone. I've done the 6 mile walk of shame home once, rather not do that again if need be.

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1 hour ago, beer 30 said:

:goodposting:This, always have a spare tube and cycling tool along with cell phone. I've done the 6 mile walk of shame home once, rather not do that again if need be.

Thanks.  Seems like a no-brainer but I was noticing that most other riders on the trail had essentially nothing.

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On 6/29/2020 at 11:34 AM, beer 30 said:

Good to see you getting after it out there :thumbup:

Exercise provides a lot of stress relief and some alone time, especially when everyone is couped up for months on end. Good way to burn off negative #### and get your sweat on.


With my job going from awesome to full suck - I was coming home miserable everyday. After a few weeks I made the decision to stay and adjusted my attitude. 

A big part of that adjustment was coming straight home and hoping right on my bike for what is now my daily 6 mile ride. I throw on some AirPods and “wash the day off me” with a ride. 

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Posted (edited)

In an effort to keep the wife n kids active I just bought 6 new tires for 3 of our 4 bikes. 

Wife and I bought Trek 800 bikes back in 2001 and they’re still awesome. A little heavy but love em. Mine has had a lot of wear and tear but hers is basically brand new. 

Oldest needed a new bike but there haven’t been any at the stores so we Found a Trek 700 multi-track in new condition for $150. Just gonna throw on new tubes and tires and tighten up the handlebars. 
 

I know these aren’t $5,000 Cannondales but I’m really Looking forward to riding with everyone again. 

Edited by STEADYMOBBIN 22
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7 hours ago, Brony said:

Thanks.  Seems like a no-brainer but I was noticing that most other riders on the trail had essentially nothing.

I add a rear derailleur hanger.  That's an intended failure point, and I've broken 3 on MTB trails.

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9 hours ago, Brony said:

Thanks.  Seems like a no-brainer but I was noticing that most other riders on the trail had essentially nothing.

You're probably fine on most rides just taking it easy and not pushing too hard, but that one time you break down, you will kick yourself for not having that one simple tool that made the difference between a 5 minute adjustment and a 3 hour walk out.

YouTube is your friend.  Watch videos on simple fixes in the backcountry like flats, chain breaks and rubbing disc brakes, and then figure out the basic tools you will need to fix these issues.  I used to have a bag under my seat with all of this stuff, but now I just keep it in my hydration pack. 

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