Author Topic: Cycling in 2016  (Read 6315 times)

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Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #50: June 03, 2016, 12:51:54 PM »
big tent sale at Spokes in Belleview plaza, Alexandria  this weekend.

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Online Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #52: June 08, 2016, 01:59:21 AM »
I had some 20(?) year old nag in a Porsche Cayenne clip me on my evening 33 tonight.  Twice.

On the upside, I saw two fuzzy fledgling barn owls not 15 feet away on the ground in Rock Creek Park.

Bikes are simultaneously a quick death and an escape from the dreary reality of quotidian life.   

Offline HattoriHanzo

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #53: June 08, 2016, 02:50:48 AM »
I guess I'm lucky that my master planned community has miles upon miles of bike trails and there are a lot of people that live here that love riding their bicycles here on the weekend so it's easy to find others to ride with or if you're alone and see a group ahead or behind you, they are cool about letting you ride with them.  Some people are real hardcore and the master plan hosts a race every year and there's quite a bit of hardcore riders riding 30k buck bikes. I just like to get some fresh air and get a little exercise in.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #54: June 08, 2016, 08:15:47 AM »
I had some 20(?) year old nag in a Porsche Cayenne clip me on my evening 33 tonight.  Twice.

On the upside, I saw two fuzzy fledgling barn owls not 15 feet away on the ground in Rock Creek Park.

Bikes are simultaneously a quick death and an escape from the dreary reality of quotidian life.   
did she clip the owls, too?  I wouldn't want to piss them off.  I mean, piss off a stoner, what is he going to do to you?  Throw bong water?  piss off an owl, and they will gouge you.   Glad you are well enough to post.  Hopefully there's some scratches on her car now.

The only time I've rode through rock creek was on a Sunday and I remember following a guy who I thought was sticking to the bike route but ended up going through the tunnel.  Frightening experience.  I think after that ride (out the Canal on the gravel path, up to Bethesda and then out the Georgetown whatever unpaved extension of the Capital Crescent, then back through Rock Creek) I ended up with a slow flat that I found the next morning.  I don't think I picked up any glass, although there was a glassy spot under one of the bridges near the Lincoln Memorial on the way back.


Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #55: June 13, 2016, 01:57:20 PM »
So, I did not do the Crystal Ride this year because I missed the on-line sign up and had not ridden much at that point.  I did watch the Men's race and caught the recap of the Women's race.  With the Men, it was a neat.  Two guys broke away by themselves for the first 30 minutes or so, a guy named Eastler (I think) from a small team and another guy.  At that point, about 13 more guys bridged up, including 3 UHC riders (Magner, Alzate, and another).  Going into the final 20 laps or so, the break split into 9 (Magner) and 6 guys, and other groups attacked the peleton.  With about 12 or so laps to go, Magner attacked the break and bridged up (lapped) peleton.  About 4 other guys eventually lapped the field, including Eastler and some guys from a couple other teams, but what UHC did was they formed a leadout for Magner near the front with the guys who were cruising in the peleton and guys who more or less eased up from the various other groups on the road.  Last lap they asserted control and delivered Magner.  Eastler finished top 5 and was most courageous after being in front the whole race.  I missed all but the start of the women's race as it finished a little early, but I saw the replay of the finish. Coryn Rivera crossed the line ahead of a Colavita-Bianchi rider but cut her line in a two person sprint and was relegated to 2d.  Pretty neat, very windy and hot for the pro races.

Online Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #56: June 13, 2016, 02:21:00 PM »
Back in the day, the big race around town was the "National Capital Open" which was held on the Ellipse every year.  It was pretty unique for a road race in that it didn't have any real corners to speak of.   

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #57: July 01, 2016, 11:26:36 AM »
I'm riding around on a cruiser now- fine for chasing a five year old who just ditched training wheels or going to the pool, but I want to start riding more for exercise- what's the cheapest I can get away with for a road bike that won't be miserable to ride?

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #58: July 01, 2016, 11:51:01 AM »
I'm riding around on a cruiser now- fine for chasing a five year old who just ditched training wheels or going to the pool, but I want to start riding more for exercise- what's the cheapest I can get away with for a road bike that won't be miserable to ride?
MDS's wisdom was to wait until fall and get close outs.

Online Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #59: July 01, 2016, 11:58:51 AM »
Or view the $$$ difference as a surcharge for several months of long days and warm weather.  Bikes have come down so much, you can now get a legit road bike for what department store trash used to cost. 
MDS's wisdom was to wait until fall and get close outs.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #60: July 01, 2016, 02:10:17 PM »
MDS's wisdom was to wait until fall and get close outs.

That's the current plan- I'm just trying to figure out what the entry point for a decent bike is- i.e. will a $400 trek do, or is a $800 specialized the real entry level

Online Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #61: July 01, 2016, 02:43:19 PM »
If the budget allows for the latter, I think you would be glad you did...but I'm sure the cheaper one is perfectly adequate if you aren't riding a whole lot of long or hilly routes. 

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #62: July 01, 2016, 07:35:37 PM »
Also, Le Tour starts tomorrow.  Time for Froome to crush some souls.  Gonna say Porte podiums as a goodwill gesture from Sky, and that Contador attacks so much he drops time trying. No such thing as second for him.  The course looks good for Quintana, too. 

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #63: July 01, 2016, 08:47:20 PM »
If the budget allows for the latter, I think you would be glad you did...but I'm sure the cheaper one is perfectly adequate if you aren't riding a whole lot of long or hilly routes. 

The goal is to replace half my runs with rides, so I'd want the cardio equivalent of an hour run

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #64: July 02, 2016, 08:33:57 AM »
Today's stage of the tour de France finishes at Utah Beach.  There's some spectacular shots of Pont du Hoc.  The finish approaches from Carrentan, I think.   There will be a rebroadcast from 9 to 11 tonight on NBCSN if you want to tape it or watch.  It is on live right now.  The approach is from the south (Mont St Michel).

Offline mitlen

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #65: July 02, 2016, 09:51:34 AM »
Announcers mentioned that they'll come in around Utah  ...   at approximately 11:15 Eastern (may be an early guess).

Offline mitlen

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #66: July 02, 2016, 10:37:41 AM »
14 miles left in the leg  ....

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #67: July 05, 2016, 07:44:34 PM »
Does anyone have any opinions on the specialized Allez? Spokes etc is really near me, so I prefer to go there which means trek or specialized. I'm thinking a road bike is the right choice - ill mostly be on the my vernon trail, and if I buy a decent hybrid then change my mind, my wife will laugh and say no.I figure with the allez, I can swap components if I keep riding, so entry level doesn't bother me

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #68: July 05, 2016, 09:10:46 PM »
i have Spokes service my Fuji Absolute hybrid, so they will service anything.  i don't know what sort of service breaks they give if you buy from them. 

They have a good mark down on the 2015 Specialized Diverge sport. http://spokesetc.com/product/specialized-diverge-sport-a1-213500-1.htm It is a gravel bike, which might be overkill for the Mt Vernon Trail and local streets, but that trail has a fair number of roots and stuff that might make something like that useful.  I'll leave it to Ali and others to chime in.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #69: July 05, 2016, 10:03:26 PM »
Stay away from Trek and Specialized.  The lower end Trek models have awful groupsets, bad welds, and are generally overpriced junk; Specialized just sucks as a company.

Whatever you spend on the bike plan to spend at least 30% of for gear (tubes, helmet, clothes, new tires, chains...etc.).  Spokes has a QBP account so they can order more than just Trek and Specialized and the Surly Straggler http://surlybikes.com/bikes/straggler or Surly Long Haul Trucker http://surlybikes.com/bikes/long_haul_trucker are both great options for riding there.  The issue with the lower end road bikes from Trek and Specialized is that the components are going to wear out after about 1,000 miles of riding, especially if you don't service it frequently (clean the chain, cassette, bottom bracket), and replacing a groupset can easily run $500-750 for the midrange 105 Shimano 11-speed.

The Specialized Diverge Sport that JCA mentioned I wouldn't recommend since it's a 9-speed and that's a dying groupset option (everything is moving to 11-speed).  Probably not something you'd think is a big deal but on the low end bikes the wheels are usually really, really bad (machine made, old stock) so you'd need to replace them when you upgraded the groupset since you can't "upgrade" the freehub (what the cassette attaches to) to 11-speed.  Going cheap at the beginning is great if you plan on riding it every once in a while and letting it collect dust 350+ days a year, but the cheap road bikes are usually really bad buys.  One bike I recommend anyone that thinks they might do more than crank out a couple of rides a year is the All City Spacehorse (http://allcitycycles.com/bikes/space_horse).  That bike is pretty fast for steel, is an affordable frameset (~$550), and you could run a cheaper 105 Shimano groupset on it and not break the bank. 

To be honest, if you're planning on using the bike to replace running you're going to need to plan to ride 30+ miles a day three to four days a week at a pace over 14mph.  I average about 150 miles a week now at paces between 14-16mph on a loaded down touring bike and don't see much improvement on the health front.  Cycling is an ok workout but to really push yourself the amount of effort is completely related to the amount of time you put on the saddle so a three hour bike ride might match the effort and output of a 30 minute hard elliptical workout.  Next month I'm doing 270 miles over three days (MPLS to Cedar Rapids) and that's probably the equivalent of a half marathon, in terms of training load, just to give you an idea of how little effort cycling takes.

Online Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #70: July 06, 2016, 08:28:10 AM »
Not my personal experience, but no two bodies are physiologically alike.  I have yet to find an outdoor activity--with the possible exception of nordic skiing--that can beat the bike in terms of optimising the pleasure-exertion curve.  A couple hours of weekday strenuous exercise that's actually fun and interesting?  I'm in.  Y'all can have your gyms and ellipticals & crap  :P


To be honest, if you're planning on using the bike to replace running you're going to need to plan to ride 30+ miles a day three to four days a week at a pace over 14mph.  I average about 150 miles a week now at paces between 14-16mph on a loaded down touring bike and don't see much improvement on the health front.  Cycling is an ok workout but to really push yourself the amount of effort is completely related to the amount of time you put on the saddle so a three hour bike ride might match the effort and output of a 30 minute hard elliptical workout.  Next month I'm doing 270 miles over three days (MPLS to Cedar Rapids) and that's probably the equivalent of a half marathon, in terms of training load, just to give you an idea of how little effort cycling takes.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #71: July 06, 2016, 09:46:15 AM »
Not my personal experience, but no two bodies are physiologically alike.  I have yet to find an outdoor activity--with the possible exception of nordic skiing--that can beat the bike in terms of optimising the pleasure-exertion curve.  A couple hours of weekday strenuous exercise that's actually fun and interesting?  I'm in.  Y'all can have your gyms and ellipticals & crap  :P

We're in violent agreement there.   I don't mind cranking out 30 minutes on the elliptical watching an episode of Longmire or some really bad baseball, but it's a bore and if not for needing to improve my HR I wouldn't bother with it.  Cycling will always be (even with the wind is 30+ mph and/or the snow is 14" deep) the most physical fun you can have and keep your pants on.  My point is that as a guy that's really active but still 100+ pounds overweight the bike really isn't a "workout" unless I'm doing insanely long rides with a lot of hills at a fast pace.  That said, I like the punishment of rides like that because I'm a masochist, YMMV.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #72: July 06, 2016, 10:13:48 AM »
Nothing wrong with punishing workouts- I try to get a 5 on garmin training effects at least once a week. Thanks for the advice MDS, $1,000 is probably the point where my wife will start giving a crap. Still hoping something in the 1,200 range drops with post labor day sales

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #73: July 06, 2016, 10:32:32 AM »
Ali, MDS - what do you think of gravel bikes generally? 

There's a Ridley that got good reviews on velonews listed < $1600
http://velonews.competitor.com/bike-review/2016/05/ridley-x-trail-alloy_408313?resultspage=1&type%5B0%5D=gravel&price_range%5B0%5D=all&gender%5B0%5D=all&brand%5B0%5D=all&product_search

I don't need to get rid of Mr. Fuji (2014 Absolute 1.7), but the hand-numbing when I go > 30 miles is a bit of a drag.  Also thinking that I may want to move Mr. Fuji to New Hampshire and get something different for locals.

FWIW, I try to do 35 - 55 miles a day on my off days on Mr. Fuji, and at least 3 days a week of 14 miles or so in segments on the CaBi Bixis.  target is maybe doing the W&OD back and forth this fall.  I have friends who have made noises about longer trips, like the ride between Pittsburgh and Washington, and another one who is trying to convince me to do a multiday ride in Israel this fall or next.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Cycling in 2016
« Reply #74: July 06, 2016, 11:13:51 AM »
Nothing wrong with punishing workouts- I try to get a 5 on garmin training effects at least once a week. Thanks for the advice MDS, $1,000 is probably the point where my wife will start giving a crap. Still hoping something in the 1,200 range drops with post labor day sales

If I were you I'd buy used and just get a good overhaul once the original components wear out.  No idea how tall you are or what your inseam is, but just a quick look on CL and I found a number of deals:

https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/bik/5660209692.html (Surly Cross Check, great steel frame)
https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/bid/5646455360.html (Surly Pacer, smaller frame but a great deal)
https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/bik/5662873767.html (Surly Long Haul trucker, great all around bike)
https://baltimore.craigslist.org/bik/5618452509.html (Surly Ogre, this is my touring bike, GREAT bike for touring, probably not what you're looking for)
https://baltimore.craigslist.org/bik/5637256354.html (Another Cross Check)
https://baltimore.craigslist.org/bik/5623172860.html (Trek 520, steel and great for touring and commuting)

As much as I love Surly (and QBP) there are a number of other mid-level steel makers out there offering really good deals.  I don't like SRAM groupsets (the shifting is really bad) but this is a steal for a disc steel touring/commuting rig:

http://fairdalebikes.com/bikes/2016-weekender-drop/

If you don't want steel you can probably find any number of "weekend warrior" Trek or Specialized (or GT/Giant/Motobecane) road bikes on CL for less than $700, which would probably be perfect for you.  I don't care for aluminum (too flexy) but you could probably get a good deal on a mid-level road bike that someone bought and used a few times that wouldn't need more than a tune up to be road ready. 

One thing you really don't want to go cheap on is the helmet.  A lot of people don't listen to me on this and then tell me "I just rode a metric (63 miles) and my neck hurts, what happened?"  Well, you're wearing a heavy, hot, cheap, and uncomfortable helmet like I told you not to dipcrap.  I don't buy anything Specialized makes but they do make a really good helmet (the Prevail, $200, https://www.specialized.com/us/en/helmets/sworks-prevail/105346) which is the standard for most road cyclists, as much as I LOATHE them they do have a good trade in policy if you crash, so that is one thing I'll give them.  I had a Prevail and didn't care for the fit so I switched over to the Giro Atmos (http://www.giro.com/us_en/atmos-ii-18.html) which is just a little heavier but much cheaper (~$120) and fit my head better.  Again, if you're going to be doing a lot of riding you definitely don't want to be in any pain or feeling uncomfortable and a heavy, hot helmet is both.

I don't drive or drink or really spend money on anything other than cycling and bad baseball so here are a couple of lists you might find helpful.

Things you can (and should go cheap on):
Cassettes (they wear out so no reason to go nuts)
Bar tape (ibid, I use the really cheap SRAM cork)
Bottom brackets (ibid, I use $30 Shimanos whenever I can)
Chains (ibid, I use an expensive Ti chain on my winter bike but that's only because it keeps the salt off)
Jerseys (if you're not big you can find these CHEAP)
Snacks (I only eat almonds on rides now, trail mix is the best)
Pedals (they wear out here after 5,000 miles, YMMV)
Brakes (you aren't Peter Sagan so cheap is fine until you're cranking out 10,000 miles a year)
Fenders (most are plastic disposable junk unless you go with the $100 metal versions)
Water bottles (I lose one a week so I just buy the cancerous stuff from China in bulk)

Things you should NOT go cheap on:
Seatposts (cheap ones snap and anally impale you, good ones bend, Thomson Elite is $100 and allows for a perfect fit)
Saddles (easily the most frustrating piece of cycling equipment to find)
Stems (go cheap if you don't like your teeth)
Tires (cheap ones are a rough ride and have very little puncture resistance)
Helmet (detailed above)
Sunglasses/eye protection (you only get one set of eyes)

Things to buy when you get a bike (almost all of this is available for dirt cheap on Amazon):
Helmet (~$120)
Sunglasses (I use Tifosi's with interchangable lenses, $60)
Bike computer (Strava on the iPhone/Android is fine)
Quad Lock (best $60 I've spent in years)
Park bike lube ($6 tube should last years, be sure to lube everything up you put on the bike, you could also use Marine grease)
Bike fitting (best $100-300 you'll ever spend)
Some form of chamois cream (DZ Nuts or Gooch Guard are great and cheap)
Chamois shorts ($20-$200, I use Canari gel shorts which are $45 a pair)
Water bottle and cages (go cheap)
Patch kit (CO2, tubes, patches, tire levers, saddle bag)
Map of local rides from of MUT terrorists and tourons (Spokes has this and it's like $15)