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Joining the Dark Side (Sorry fellas cycling thread)

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by Not4Resale, May 8, 2009.

  1. Alright for those who know i'll be out of commission for a bit as I decked the storm at the track.

    So i've been thinking about alternative forms of transport.... I hate trains and I can only drive in if i can borrow the parents car. So it popped into my head. Pushbike! :LOL:

    The trek will take me around 2 hours to do so it's feasible, i'm pretty fit, although i feel like spending a few weeks training the muscles to push through an endurance activity like this. There's showers on campus so i won't have to be smelly when i go to class and i've been trying to think of ways to integrate more cardio work into my training so i think its a pretty sound plan.

    The only problem is i have an old mountain bike at home and that's not really feasible for riding all the way up southern cross drive as it's not really designed for long road rides. So i worked out a budget and i can basically afford around $400 for a bike, that won't set me too far back in reparing the storm...

    Just curious for the cycling inclined of you lot, is this a descent amount to be looking at? I don't mind going second hand, I looked on fleabay and a few other sites and found bikes for under this price but not sure if they are alright brands.

    There's this shimano thing for like $300 odd that looks alright but couldn't dig up any reviews on the brand so hoping some netrider wisdom will suffice. I don't mind about getting the best quality etc. but i don't want to be buying a bike that goes bust within 6 months.

    So yeh, any advice appreciated and for anybody wanting to jeer, just make sure it's funny enough to give me a laugh out of it, i'd be laying into anyone else if i got wind of them hanging up the engine and going for pedal power! :LOL:

    and just a reiteration, I will be going powered again, soon as i can get new bits on my girl so don't be thinking i'll be out of it for good! I've only begun to explore the finer points in motorcycling! I'll quit when i'm cold dead and buried! Booyah!!! :LOL:
  2. Perhaps the Giant flat bar road bike? Not sure if it can be had for $400 second hand though. Otherwise a new $300 mtb with road slicks and a drink bottle.
  3. Do you want a mountain bike or road bike?

    Can't speak for road bikes but a 2nd hand one for that price is pretty decent. Just like a motorbike, over time you can upgrade the parts.
  4. Hmm, is there anything preventing you from simply outfitting your old mountainbike with a proper set of road slicks and maybe a nicer seat?

    Not even "city" semi-knobbly tread. Go all the way with 1.6" wide slicks with just a whisker of rain tread. :)

    Stay away from dual-suspension bikes if you are thinking of urbanising an MTB; unless you can get inertial lockouts on the rear suspension they waste a heap of energy + weight.

    Hardtail or rigid is good. :)

    Highly recommend a Camelbak(tm) or similar "hydration solution" backpack rather than using water bottles... much more convenient to use while cycling, IMHO.
  5. Personally I've found the thin, high pressure slicks to feel really fidgity, bordering on dangerous. I've got some 2.1" slick center, shoulder tread tyres that were cheap ($30 ea) yet offer pretty good feel, stability and traction.
  6. Went through a similar decision process recently. For $400 you will be sure to get something 2nd hand, but I found the market pretty price savvy. Even more so, stay away from eBay as all the bikes tend to be overpriced. The flat bar roady is a good suggestion^, a goodish brand like Giant will cost you $6-700 upwards, however you can get things like Apollo for considerably less.

    The STARTING rock bottom price for pretty much any new roady is about a grand. You may get a deal at this time of year for an '08 or earlier clearance.

    A couple of places to try for decentish spec cheap bikes are cell.com.au or learsport.com.au. You will not get a decent road bike for $400.

    In the end I opted for a single speed (flip/flop hub) roadie. Good wheels, good cranks, old school (but tough!) cro-mo frame. Got it for about $400 new which was a good price. Then proceeded to get some new clipin pedals and mtb shoes (the cleats are recessed into the sole so you can walk around in them). All up incl helmet, bottle and cage, lights etc was about $750. It will be a very robust bike for many years to come.

    It was a bit of a worry at first wondering if I did the right thing getting a bike without gears, but it turns out to be a great workout; you adapt really quick. Only problem is going downhill you have to coast as the gearing doesn't match.
  7. cheers for the replies. I had already looked on cell and lears, best i found was 500 for a flat bar. It looks pretty good and should do me better than a cheaply done one. Second hand market is a bit daunting cause i know piss all about pushbikes.
  8. Hmm. Yeah, I agree that the supernarrow ones are a bit twitchy, particularly on my XTC3 which has a very aggressive rake/trail. Hasn't caused me any grief, touch wood, though swapping straight from 110kph-Tiger-1050-countersteering to supernimble aggressive-steering MTB is always hilarious. ;)

    The slicks gain me a very reliable ~4kph increase in average speed in most situations compared to my usual hardpack knobbly tyres.... and best of all, they don't get chewed to pieces on the road like the knobblies do. :grin:
  9. :LOL: i remember doing that a few times going from the VTR to the GT, go to take a corner and whooah oversteer haha.

    im yet to run any decent slicks on my mountainbike, but i'd be wanting alot more than 4kmph increase, something like 10kmph or so at least when cruising on the flat.

    to the OP, suggest you dont go second hand, too many people dont look after their bikes, especially the running gear (chain/derailleur/sprocket/cassette). unless you know what you're looking for, you might pick up a clean looking bike which only ha a month left in the life of the gearing, and for some semi decent parts (Deore LX or something), you're looking at a good $400 for a complete setup.

    save a bit more dosh if you can, and $800 will get you a half decent mountain bike. chuck on some semi slicks, buy a camelpak (must!! good for the motorbike too), some lights and a helmet, and you're set. a set of cycling cleats will make a huge difference in your riding too, but you're looking at $150 or so for an alright pair there i think.

    it can really add up eh?for a while i wanted a CF flatbar bike, something like $4k, then i realised it was ridiculous, and i'd probably snap it trying to take it on a track/path, not the road :LOL:

    good luck with it all, you'll be amazed how much your cardio fitness increases after a few weeks of your 2 hour transit :grin:
  10. Two hour ride in each direction??? Holy crap. Even with slicks, your MTB style bike will kill you - there's a lot or rolling resistance in your typical MTB slick and the MTB gearing means that holding a decent clip requires a high cadence.

    Anyway, get the thinnest tyres that will fit on the wheel - this reduces the effort required to keep going forward, and don't worry about thread. Tread is a furphy! Unless you're going off road, there is absolutely no need for tread on cycling tyres. You cannot aqua plane a bike on the road at the speeds bicycles can attain - even MTB wide tyres need to hit a standing puddle at >100km/h.

    All that tread does is adds resistance...

    For $400 new, all you'll get is an entry level hybrid... that might still be plenty though... but a two hour grind each way... fark, I'd be taking the train for sure!
  11. Take into account, the more I spend on this, the longer it takes me to get the ol' firehawk back on the road! The $500 one is marked down from $700, i'll research a bit more and if i don't find anything else to my liking, might end up doing this.

    I'm actually a bit worried about shredding weight taking this up. I'm pretty fit but my training consists of High intensity interval training that is great for fighting but i'm not sure how good my endurance beyond the 15 minute marker is. Do you reckon i'll eat heavily into muscle tissue from 2 hour daily stints on the bike? Up until now i've avoided endurance runs lasting multiple hours etc. because i'm too worried about losing muscle mass and ending up in a lighter weight class. How did you go with it? Did it eat into fat/muscle fairly quickly or was it manageable enough to maintain weight and size?
  12. You're not going to "eat into muscle" tissue. Your legs will pump up into steel pylons. You will probably lose some fat, but that depends on how much you eat off the bike.

    If you're going to ride two hours at a time, I highly recommend bringing along food/energy bars/gels etc and water, lots of water.

    Get the best bike you can afford, you'll be on it a lot by the looks of it.

    Oh and think about toe clips or SPD cleated shoes... cranking all that way will hurt.
  13. eat plenty/healthy, and i dont see how you will eat into muscle tissue. im not a big guy by any means, but when i was riding alot, my legs were all muscle, basically zero fat. depending on your riding style, you're gonna get some pretty strong thighs/calves.

    Rob, i reckon two hours is fine! as long as you do maintain a high cadence, one you're at a decent fitness level an your muscles are used to cycling (two weeks in at least i reckon), you can go for hours. its low cadence high intensity riding that kills you, the standing up riding... that is, until you overcome it, and love a good standing climb :twisted:

    mmm i'd go the $500 bike if its any good. got a link or something, i'll have a geez at it. but definately invest in SPD cleats, they make a world of difference in effort. avoid the toe clip/strap in setup, its dangerous if you crash i think, can be hard to get your feet free. and a camelbak, with storage space for a banana or two, need energy for your ride.
  14. Alright i liked this one, it's a bit out of price range, $700. A bloke at work said the gearing on this is good quality.


    and here's the $500 one. This one's the flat bar


    and here's the cheap as chips one WITH FREE WATER BOTTLE! :LOL:


    Bit confused about those cleat things though, what the hell are they? Are they the things that make your feet stick to the pegs? I looked it up online and they are just funny looking pedal things.

    And about the muslce shredding concern. I'm worried because a personal training buddy stresses that if you are wanting to grow you don't want to overdo the cardio. However, I'm just interested in maintaining so was voicing a worry of losing my current build. (I'm on the stocky side)
  15. Not sure what the gain is for flat-road cruising speed; by 'average speed' I do mean average speed, point to point, steep hills and all. That was back when I was recording my riding times to/from work; two steep 100m elevation hillclimbs each way and slight inclines/descents the rest of the 10km way.

    Either way, they do significantly reduce rolling resistance and the inertia of the tyres. :)

    They make your feet stick to the pedals, yep.

    The pedal has a clip in it, and the shoe has a cleat on the sole. When you start riding, you step down on the pedal and the shoe's cleat is locked in place by the clip.

    With your shoes effectively locked to the pedals, you can push the pedal down, lift the pedal up, push it forward and push it backward without fear of your foot slipping off. They are the ultimate evolution of the 'toecages' some bicycles have.

    Effectively, it allows you to continuously supply power to the crank instead of only on the downward stroke. You can utilise your "lifting" muscles as well as the pushing muscles, for greater pedalling efficiency and power.

    To release your shoe from the pedal's clip, you simply twist your foot to the side and the cleat pops out of the clip. :)
  16. And that's why I was mentioning the toe clip - you can wear your normal shoes but you strap them down to the pedals.

    But cleats are a little safer. Go with shimano SPD style - made for MTB riding, cause the shoes let you actually walk around fairly normally. Go for a platform type pedal like the M545 or something like that.


    It lets you clip in with an SPD cleated shoe, but if you choose to wear normal shoes, you have a good bearing area for cranking.

    Even with SPD shoes you'd probably be best to have a pair of sneakers or something in your locker - you'll wear out the cleats otherwise.

    Like spots described, cleats let you apply power the whole way round... that means you get to your destination less fagged, OR like 99% of riders out there, use the efficiency gains for greater speed and you get there a little faster.

    By the way, I liked the first bike marked down to $700 :) You might get something similar for less on EBAY or trading post. Buy from a person who's an enthusiast rider who upgraded and you'll know they looked after their bike. Enthusiast riders take their bikes to the local bike store for the slightest of creaks...
  17. Just swapping tyres to semi slick (slick centre) will give about 4km/hr as already pointed out. You'll need to save a lot more weight in the wheels (diff between road and mtb wheels complete is about 1kg per set). The contact patch of a typical road tyre is much smaller than a slick mtb tyre. Then there is the aero difference, the flat bars of an mtb open you up to assist in control but only serve to add to drag. Also personally I find it easier to make good constant power on a racer due to the frame geometry. Lastly there is about 5kg difference in weight overall between the two bike types.

    Add all that up and it should make most of the difference.

    Just found this : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_performance
  18. I got my bike from K-mart for something like $150 (clearance price) It's fine - the gears take a bit longer to mesh than a fancy bike but it gets me around - having said that if I rode to and from work every day I'd invest in a really good bike. Second hand should be fine - you're more likely to get something good without paying a heck of a lot.

    If you do decide to go second hand - it would be a great idea to have the bike inspected by a professional - it might need a new chain or new brakes or something.
  19. Cheers zenyetta, i think i'll go for new and actually fork out for an entry level road racer. I have to get measured up etc. so might as well get it out of the way now, i don't feel like getting a bike that's going to need parts replaced within 6 months. And those road racers are fcuking fast! :LOL: Someone on here alluded me to the wikipedia of the speeds attainable on a pushbike and after talking to a bicycle salesman, they sound pretty damn quick! I reckon this could be a fun new endeavour, just concerned a bit about the amount of cagers i'm going to annoy, and i won't have the big twin under me to gas it out of there when they play up :LOL: