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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Dillon, Colorado
    I biked into work for several years... now I walk. Does that count?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    Quote Originally Posted by hurleyfor3 View Post
    I biked into work for several years... now I walk. Does that count?
    depends on shoe size and composition, i think. and, doesn't everybody, walk "into work", that is?
    Last edited by greybeard; 07-29-2007 at 01:35 PM.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Quote Originally Posted by greybeard View Post
    depends on shoe size and composition, i think. and, doesn't everybody, walk "into work", that is?
    I am one of those people who has to custom fit everything, not by choice. I am 6'7", gangly-proportioned, and would otherwise have to settle for equipment made for "average"-sized people. When I don't get things custom-made to fit my size, I wind up with medical issues. E.g., running shoes: prior to the last pair, the previous two pairs led me to a number of visits to the podiatrist and physical therapy (HORRIBLE bursitis in my hip). I don't have much of an issue with hiking equipment, as the manufacturers seem to make enough good equipment for my size.

    Cycling is another issue completely.

    Although I exer-cycle (YCCH), I would love to go on the road, but the back & neck strain is enough to frighten me. Have things changed in the last ten years (when I last checked) to the point where I can entertain going back on the road with a good custom (yet reasonably priced) bicycle?

    Thanks.
    Cheers,
    Lavabe

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Dillon, Colorado
    Quote Originally Posted by greybeard View Post
    depends on shoe size and composition, i think. and, doesn't everybody, walk "into work", that is?
    Not people in wheelchairs. And to be fair, I start my commute by taking an elevator down and finish by taking one up. But I don't use any other mode of transportation. I don't even own another mode of transportation!

    Anyway, to answer your question, this time of year, sandals, size 12. I change into real shoes at work.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    hurleyfor3, you da man on walking. I spend much of my professional life working in a closely related field, and I applaud you for making good choices to lead a low-pollution lifestyle. I use a combination of walking and rail transit to get to work, though I occasionally drive if there are unusual circumstances. I think I posted in another thread once how I can go from my house in DC to a meeting in New York and back without having to get in a car of any kind. (That said, I do have a thing for nice cars, so I'm not too uppity about it.)

    Lavabe, this is probably old news given your enthusiasm for the sport, but you should check out Leonard Zinn for a good "tall guy" bike: http://www.zinncycles.com/default.aspx.

    arydolphin, I'll send you a PM about what I know re cycling tour companies and so forth. It also happens that I grew up in Asheville and will be happy to share what I know about that.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Quote Originally Posted by mapei View Post
    Lavabe, this is probably old news given your enthusiasm for the sport, but you should check out Leonard Zinn for a good "tall guy" bike: http://www.zinncycles.com/default.aspx.
    Many thanks Mapei! Actually, I hadn't kept up, ever since the last time I went into a cycle shop. Still love to watch the sport (especially the grand tour variety), but I sort of treated getting a bicycle like becoming a jockey ... NOT in the offing. The best thing is that I will probably be visiting a colleague at UC Boulder this fall, so I may actually get a chance to visit the Zinn shop!

    Cheers,
    Lavabe

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    What would I look for in a road bike if I wanted to do some 'real riding'
    (my 5-10 miles a couple of times a week on the walmart special with the dogs attached to it doesn't count - but when 2 of 3 are powerful enough to bend or snap a frame you go for the cheapo).

    I'm in Florida so there is nothing that resembles a real hill for hundreds of miles. Lots of good paved roads and bike paths in the area.

    I guess I'd be looking for a bike that was good enough that if I got really serious would still be OK...I'd don't necessarily want to run out and have to buy a better one next year if the bike bug bites!

    I've been riding 'boys' bikes my entire life. Is there a compelling reason to switch to a ladies version?

    I'd appreciate any advice.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    The old-style ladies' versions are to be avoided. They are less stable and were originally built to accommodate riding in a skirt! There is a newer breed of bike that is much more relevant, called WSD (women's-specific-design) that is designed to accommodate women's typically shorter torsos, smaller hands, and so forth. The experience seems to be that they are especially beneficial to shorter women, say 5'4" and under; taller women seem to have no trouble fitting onto a standard "men's" frame, with stem adjustments and so forth.

    Do you want a road bike, with drop handlebars? (Your answer should be yes if you're serious about "real riding.") If so, the key is to look for one equipped with Shimano 105 components (or, more rarely, Campagnolo Centaur or Veloce). Those are your basic entry-level "serious" bikes, and tend to be durable, suited for all-round use, and affordable. (Spending more money basically gives you increments of reduced weight and more precision.)

    You can definitely "grow" on a 105-equipped bike if you like, since they can be raced on as well as used for recreational riding. Beyond that, the key is to try two or three models out and get the one that feels best. You may want to start by rummaging the web sites of manufacturers like Trek, Cannondale, Bianchi, and Specialized. Most of the frames in that group will be made of aluminum, some of steel, maybe one or two of aluminum/carbon combination, which is what my wife rides and loves (but those are generally a step up in price). It's all about what feels best.

    If you're looking for more of a hybrid than a road bike, those same web sites have plenty to browse from in those models as well. And they all offer WSD models in road bikes if that's what you're looking for.
    Last edited by mapei; 07-29-2007 at 08:13 PM. Reason: afterthought

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Brookline, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by greybeard View Post
    Wrong way to go in golf equipment. Getting cutom fit if you have a reasonably repeatable golf swing will tell you why. It is huge. Nowadays, custom fitting through technology has taken a quantum leap.

    Up until last few years, custom fitting consisted of putting these special stickers on the sole and face of a fitting kit of six irons, all with different lie angles, shaft stiffnesses, kick points. Anyway, it was amazing how you would find the right club out of dozens for you. Now, places like athis golf shop behind Montgomery Mall (the owner does a weekly show early saturday mornings on 980) takes fitting to an entirely different level. The old type fitting is terrific and free if you order clubs through the fitter. The latter is $100 per hour. I am told that the latter is a must for driver and woods.

    The lie of your club determines swing plane. Your plane is your plane. A club lie that is different will not produce quality contact. Stiffness and kick point have everything to do with whether the machine that is the golf club in your hands will be in or out of sync for how your club excellerates. Launch angles with driver and fairway woods now for the mid to upper range handicappers can add many yards and accuracy for the shot. check out www://mikehebron.com; there is a free library that might have information that will allow you to understand the importance of fitting better.

    I am told that the same applies to bikes. To get a whiff of what fitting is about for them, go to a Performance Bike store or even some Hudson Trail stores. If you schmooze enough and seem a real potential buyer, they might even do it for nothing, or charge you 25 bucks, and you will understand how even off the shelf bikes have different geometries, some of which will be much more comfortable and produce much better results than others. Of course, with them, their range of what fits you best will be what they carry.

    Getting into the world of maipei with custom frames, space age materials, wheels and hubs that can cost more than many off the shelf bikes, is a whole other universe.

    If you want to have a terrific day with your dad. Hebron spends the late fall-searly spring at a resort in the town of Pinehurst. (the other season in Smithtown, LI). He runs a day clinic about once a week. Small classes, 8 or so people. Two hundred a head. Guys with his profile, among teaching pros it has hard to find someone who does not know of his work, would charge a couple of grand for theirs. Very interesting perspectives presented by a true iconoclast. Designed to improve your concepts, not your lowest score; maybe your highest, though, paraphrasing Mike..
    I won't totally thread-jack on this, but note that I said "If you know what you're looking for". I totally agree that getting fit for clubs is the way to go, and I'm not going to buy a new driver until I get fit for a driver. However, once you know what your general fit is, then you can go online and look for deals. For example, I know that I love my current Cleveland wedges but the current set are wearing out, so I'm simply going to upgrade to the newest version of Cleveland wedges, and I can find deals on Ebay. To bridge the gap to cycling, I have a coworker that is a very avid cyclist, and he goes on Ebay all the time to look for spare parts for his current bike, as well as parts to restore a bike that he had 20 years ago! I'd say that people that are not all that knowledgeable would benefit much more from dealing with a brick-and-mortar shop as opposed to blinding spending money online, but more savvy consumers can find deals online.

    Mapei, thanks for the information via PM, it's very much appreciated!

  10. #30

    Ragbrai

    Just got back from RAGBRAI now that is an interesting week of cycling. Some people do it every year, not for me but I think every serious cyclist should experience at least once. There is really nothing else like it 15,000 to 20,000 cyclists on the road in rural Iowa. Lance was there and says he will be back next year. One of my favorite aspects is homemade pie is a big thing. Energy bars are for people whos taste buds have died. This said RAGBRAI is actually quite a hard endeavor and would not recommend it for everyone.

    Backroads is a very popular company as is Vermont Cycling and I have heard excellent things about them. One question for arydolphin is how good is your bike maintainence skills? Would you be willing to do a trip on your own? There are pluses and minuses on the plus side is it is cheaper and you will interact more with the local people and you can go at your own pace. The minus side is it is more work. I hope to put together my own trip to China next spring....a world away from RAGBRAI.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    Quote Originally Posted by arydolphin View Post
    I won't totally thread-jack on this, but note that I said "If you know what you're looking for". I totally agree that getting fit for clubs is the way to go, and I'm not going to buy a new driver until I get fit for a driver. However, once you know what your general fit is, then you can go online and look for deals. For example, I know that I love my current Cleveland wedges but the current set are wearing out, so I'm simply going to upgrade to the newest version of Cleveland wedges, and I can find deals on Ebay. To bridge the gap to cycling, I have a coworker that is a very avid cyclist, and he goes on Ebay all the time to look for spare parts for his current bike, as well as parts to restore a bike that he had 20 years ago! I'd say that people that are not all that knowledgeable would benefit much more from dealing with a brick-and-mortar shop as opposed to blinding spending money online, but more savvy consumers can find deals online.

    Mapei, thanks for the information via PM, it's very much appreciated!
    Never even occurred to me about building/upgrading on your own. You will note that I paid someone to recable.

    BTW, Cleveland's can have their lie reshaped. If the rest of your clubs are custom, you might want to have your wedge's done to. Any decent clubmaker will do it for you.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Good Time to Buy: Look for "Older" Models

    Late August on is an excellent time to buy, and looking for older models that are discounted can be well worth your time. Some dealers make their bones selling two year old models at discount prices all the time--Big Wheel Bikes in DC, (web, call Fairfax store and ask for Mike Sendar (owner)and hang onto your wallet), and Bike and Hike, in Brock Island Illinois, are two I know of. Can save quite a bit of money. They are dealers that buy out others going out of business or take old stock off manufacturer's hands; pass as much of savings as you can wring out of them on.

    In addition, bigger chains, i.e., Performance Bikes often pick up dated models at end of season and sell them way off price. The past two years Performance has done really well with some women's entry level (105 chromolly steel) bikes. An outdoor chain in the DC area, Hudson Trail Outfitters, had a drop dead price last August-October on a titanium/carbon forked bike with better than 105 componentry, something like $1400. I'm not sure that they make a point of advertising these deals, btw.

    Good hunting out there

    grey "I shop everything that I buy to death" beard
    Last edited by greybeard; 07-30-2007 at 02:37 PM.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    One question for arydolphin is how good is your bike maintainence skills? Would you be willing to do a trip on your own? There are pluses and minuses on the plus side is it is cheaper and you will interact more with the local people and you can go at your own pace. The minus side is it is more work. I hope to put together my own trip to China next spring....a world away from RAGBRAI.
    An even more pertinent question than mechanical skills is, "do you want to carry all your stuff on your bike?" Or, put another way, "do you want to be limited on your vacation to what you can carry on your bike?" Both kinds of trips are great, depending on what you like.

    Tec, congratulations on RAGBRAI - I've never done it, but I know scores of people who have, and every one has had a blast.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Clearwater, FL

    I should know better....

    First, thanks Mapei for all the good advice.

    I have some friends who do triathalons and the recommened a good bike shop so I stopped. I definitely am more comfortable on the men's version. I'm 5'7" and my arms and legs are long compared to my torso....the women's bikes just felt to cramped. I tried several bikes - they had a 2005 Trek 1500 which I really liked.. It is used...visually it is in excellent condition and they will guarantee the mechanical condition as they have checked it stem to stern...the previous owner, says it has 300-400 hundred miles on it. They tell me that isn't much for a road bike. They are going to let me 'borrow' it for the weekend (for a nominal fee which would apply to the purchase of any of their bikes). Of course I asked 457 questions about the differences between bikes and what makes that one better than this one etc. After I rode the 1500 the owner said he'd let me see the difference between a good decent road bike and a top of line one and put my on a new Trek Madone. Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. So now I want a bike that cost more than my first (used) car. This is not good. I will not be spending that much money on a bike unless I get very very serious!

    Does anyone have an experience with the Trek 1500? Considering this is my 'entry' bike I'm thinking a used one will be fine...is there a compelling reason for a new one?

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    Quote Originally Posted by Windsor View Post
    First, thanks Mapei for all the good advice.

    I have some friends who do triathalons and the recommened a good bike shop so I stopped. I definitely am more comfortable on the men's version. I'm 5'7" and my arms and legs are long compared to my torso....the women's bikes just felt to cramped. I tried several bikes - they had a 2005 Trek 1500 which I really liked.. It is used...visually it is in excellent condition and they will guarantee the mechanical condition as they have checked it stem to stern...the previous owner, says it has 300-400 hundred miles on it. They tell me that isn't much for a road bike. They are going to let me 'borrow' it for the weekend (for a nominal fee which would apply to the purchase of any of their bikes). Of course I asked 457 questions about the differences between bikes and what makes that one better than this one etc. After I rode the 1500 the owner said he'd let me see the difference between a good decent road bike and a top of line one and put my on a new Trek Madone. Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. So now I want a bike that cost more than my first (used) car. This is not good. I will not be spending that much money on a bike unless I get very very serious!

    Does anyone have an experience with the Trek 1500? Considering this is my 'entry' bike I'm thinking a used one will be fine...is there a compelling reason for a new one?
    For what it's worth, a female classmate in my Feldenkrais training is a serious racer and worked for Trek in Madison. I remember her saying that she wouldn't own one, a Trek that is. On the otherhand, like I said she is a serious racer and I didn't ask her to explain the whys and wherefores. BTW, she is about your height; a dancer's body, which she also is.

  16. #36

    tandems

    I do have some advice for cyclists out there with children consider a tandem or even a triplet. I bought a triplet about 7 years ago figuring I could do some cycling and "quality time" with the kids and maybe get a workout. I was wrong about the workout it is hard work kind of like using a weighted bat or ankle weights. But it is real "quality time" with your kids you are in a bubble removed from all other distractions using teamwork to accomplish your goal and zooming along or suffering along together.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Windsor, I rode a Trek 5500 frame (the carbon precursor to the Madone) for 14 years and loved it. Lots and lots of people ride Treks and are happy with them.

    The 1500 is exactly the kind of bike I was recommending to you, and 400 miles is definitely low; my bikes get 1500+ miles each annually.

  18. #38
    Windsor/Mapei/Greybeard,

    I just picked up a 2007 Trek 1500 on Monday here in DC (Revolution Cycles in Clarendon). They had it discounted from $1149 to $899 (if that helps to give you a price perspective on the used one). It's an aluminum frame with a carbon fork and seatpost (but not carbon seat stays), with full 105 components.

    I bought the bike to commute from our house in Vienna to classes at Georgetown. In preparation for that, and to save money on parking and gas, I'm commuting into my DC office for the next two weeks. 17 miles each way, which takes me a little under an hour, including all the stops at crossings on the W&OD trail. This bike is fast!

    So far I've got three days of commuting under my belt in 90+ degree weather, which is HOT! I'm looking forward to October! I can practically feel the weight falling off at this pace...

    A good buddy and former officemate is a sponsored Ironman Triathlete. He races in Hawaii every year and places, I want to say, in the top 100 out of maybe 800? He manages to train while still holding down a full-time job as a consultant (recently got his PhD in economics).

    I'm thinking about training for a sprint triathlon, which was one of the reasons I went for the 1500 over a more commuter-friendly steel bike.

    Anyway, I'm very happy with the 1500.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    Thanks everyone on feedback on the 1500 - I pick it up this afternoon for my 'test' weekend. Considering the kind of bikes I've ridden up to now (cheap, solid and suitable for doing roadwork with dogs) I suspect that the worst bike in my bike shop is orders of magnitude better than anything I've ridden before. The look of horror on the sales guys face when I said I rode with my dog leash looped around the frame was priceless....needless to say I won't being THAT wit this bike.

    I have thus far been very impressed with the customer service at the bike shop....prior to taking the bike one of the staff will take me on a 30 minutes 'training ride' since I'm not familiar with this caliber of bike (I expect they are motivated by wanting it back in one piece if I don't purchase it!)

    In terms of equipment what do I really need...I have an excellent well fitting helmet - the bike has road pedals with clips and I picked up a inexpensive pair of shoes that will work (who knew they made so many kinds of freakin' pedals - good grief). I'm thinking gloves would be a good idea but beyond that initally what should I really have....is it necessary to ride looking like I got plucked out of the Peleton in the Tour de France?

    They have so much beyond the basic bike - I want to get what I need for comfort and safety (hmmmm...perhaps my roller blading knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards will be a good idea ) without buying a bunch of stuff that isn't necssarily right away...any ideas?

    Greybeard - I laughed at your dancer's body reference...once upon a time I was built like a ballet dance...I'm afraid with the passage of time I am less suitable for ballet and more suitable for a Polka. Hopefully this bike will help with that.

  20. #40

    basics

    gloves are a requirement beyond that you need some sort of bag to go on the bike....wedgie bag and a basic repair kit with spare tube, multipurpose tool, levers to take tire off when changing tire and if you ride much some spare calories in case of bonking is not a bad ideal I also carry a patch kit in case I am unlucky enough to flat twice in one ride.

    a water bottle and cage and some sort of pump. One can forego the pump and use an inflater and cartridges but I don't recommend this....the weight savings is minimal they are harder to use and this is a more expensive option, there are also a lot of different pumps out there

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