Nice. Do you have cycling shorts? Will extend your comfortable range. You can get underwear with a chamoix to wear under regular shorts too. Get a decent pair, like your bike the cheapest options aren’t very good.
You could look into a hornless bike seat too. I have one and I really like it. There’s some evidence also that the traditional seats are a bit hard on the male equipment and may contribute to some erectile dysfunction.
Pardon me as I vent for a bit:
Last month I talked about getting a new wheelset, and I did – a “deep V” set of wheels that promise to be significantly more stable than my old ones. I’ve only been able to do my bike commute once or twice a week since I got the new wheels, but they’ve been great so far.
Yesterday I manage to bike into work. Great morning commute: a little chilly, but above freezing so I was still able to wear shorts rather than full leggings. Got to work, felt great.
Because of the inconvenient axial tilt of this planet and this body’s inability to see in the dark, I set out for home at about 4:30, which should have gotten my home not long after sunset with plenty of light left to see. My commute is about ten miles, and I was probably four miles into it when I hit something sharp in the road… sharp enough to go through the Gatorskin wheels and also the inner Kevlar lining that I had put in to further avoid just this thing happening.
Well that’s a bummer, but shit happens. There was a convenient concrete block nearby and I sat myself on it and pulled out my spare, CO2 and inflater.
That’s when I realized that I didn’t have any pry-tools to pull the tire off the wheel; I must have left them on my workbench at home. I tried in vain to pull the tires off with other stuff I had or could find lying around on the side of the road. 30 minutes of trying, no dice.
It was now a good while after sundown and any ambient sunlight was quickly waning. For a bunch of complex but still valid reasons, I can’t bike-commute with a cellphone. And this particular part of the road was pretty much the furthest away from any store or easy access to a telephone that it was possible to be: I could have walked about a mile backwards to an office building and probably convinced the guard to let me use his phone. About a mile and a half ahead was a shopping center. To the sides were neighborhoods probably less than a quarter-mile of walking, but I didn’t care for the idea of randomly knocking on doors asking to use a phone.
I elected to press on to the shopping center. It was uphill, but that’s just one of those things. Turns out that walking for a good distance in biking shoes pretty much sucks. I got to the gas station and convinced the clerk to let me use his phone. I swear that his was one of the most uncomprehending looks I have ever gotten from a human - this guy just could not conceive of someone not having a cellphone on them.
My wife drove out to get me and I made it home at about 7:30. Long day. Tonight I’ll take off the tire and try and figure out what punctured my tube.
After almost a 30 km day, I added the following to my Holiday shopping list:
- A more comfortable seat
- New biking gloves
This is a great story - you’ll look back at it positively.
When I had my flat in the middle of nowhere this year, I was on my own and my wife was at work, it occurred to me that if I screwed up the CO2 (which I hadn’t used in a couple years), I was seriously screwed. I would have had to stash the bike and call a taxi, or pay more for a van, or maybe a two hour walk in cleats to a transit stop? Who knows, fortunately the tire inflated.
Time to resurrect this topic as i love to cycle. I don’t get around to it quite as much as i used to since the ladyfriend and I have 6 month old at home, but i still manage to squeeze in rides on the gravel bike or one of the mountainbikes regularly.
I also recently borrowed my dad’s ebike and started commuting to work on it occasionally, which has been a nice way to get in some exercise during the week. My commute is about 20 miles in each direction, so it’s not something that’s feasible every day, but i have enjoyed it tremendously since the alternative is getting in the car and driving the busiest stretch of Autobahn in the country every single day or riding along forests and rivers. Ebikes are great for this application, but i think i’ll need to get one of the fast S-pedelec type on which the motor cuts out at 45km/h instead of 25km/h on a regular ebike. Since i spend the majority of my commute between around 25 and 35km/h, i’d hope to reduce the ride time of 90 minutes it currently takes me door to door.
I got myself a new trail bike in May, which i hope to take to the Alps next month to see what it’s really capable of. So far, it’s been very, very good to me.
Also, if anybody is looking for an alternative to watching the World Cup of soccerball this weekend, i suggest giving the mountainbike downhill World Cup a try. The season is already past the halfway point, but this week’s track in Andorra is a great one. The last 7 years were dominated by Californian Aaron Gwin, who won 5 out of 7 overall titles. He has been struggling with crashes and injuries this season and will probably try to heal up for the World Championships, so the American to watch should be 21 year old Luca Shaw, who has been inches away from winning his first World Cup race a few times this season.
Here is the winning run from last week’s race in Val di Sole, Italy by Frenchman Amaury Pierron:
And here are some impressions of what’s in store in Andorra. I got to ride the track last year and it is just insanely steep in the lower half (by “ride” i mean is was constantly dragging my brakes and trying not to die). And i can’t even begin to describe how insanely fast these guys and girls are going.
Anyway, if anybody is interested, the live broadcast tomorrow and replay can be found on redbull.tv.
Yeah, a good ebike will serve you well for that kind of thing. You’ll still get good exercise, but it’ll be more in line with a long walk, and you won’t have to sweat unless you want to.
I just dealt with a flat on the rear tire on my faraday, and decided to just replace the inner tube (as this was actually a patch that eventually gave way). This was the first time I had removed the rear tire from the bike since buying it, and I was kind of intimidated, because I had never worked with a belt drive system, and wasn’t really sure if there were things I was going to need to do that I didn’t deal with on a traditional gear and chain system.
Turns out, it’s stupid easy and you can’t really screw it up. There’s no tensioning or anything. The belt just sits on the single rear gear, the end.
Thanks, I’m going to watch when I’m back on wifi, currently on vacation and past my 5Gb data limit. .02 per megabyte adds up!
Positive note about my vacation rental is the satellite TV, so I do have access to the Tour de France. I’m cheering for Rigo Uran this year, mainly due to a couple of articles I’ve read about his positive personality; check out this one.. Maybe it’s just me but the Tour seems exciting this year, couple big finishes with the breakaway, peloton, sprinters, crash, all on a knife’s edge.
As a roadie I’ve had quite a few good rides this year, including a couple centuries in Ontario. Longest ride 176km with 1,400m of climbing.
Thinking about a new trail bike too, though it may be awhile out for me it’s fun to research.
How much capacity do those have? And the motor drives the front wheel i take it?
Quite a few people here seem to be getting flats in urban settings, have you thought about trying to go tubeless? I went back to tubes on my mountainbike mainly because i switch my tires quite often depending on weather and terrain and i don’t won’t to deal with messy sealant all the time, but a tubeless setup is great for dealing with punctures and you can get away with much lower pressures.
Capacity? Do you mean range?
Yeah, that’s probably a better measure. Just checked their site, which says 25 miles. That seems like quite a lot going by the size of the battery, so i was wondering how much capacity the battery actually has, or conversely, how much torque the motor is putting out.
Well, it’s a fairly small motor, i think like 300W? Maybe less. That range sounds about right in my experience, if you actually have the thing assisting you all the time. In practice though, that’s never the case for me. I tend to just flip it on if I’m going up a steep hill. Normally if i go on a ride of like, 15 miles, I’ll only end up using maybe 10% of the battery? That’s with fairly sparse use of the motor. When i first got it, and ran with the motor most of the time just enjoying going 20 mph all the time, I’d say that range of around 25 miles was around correct.
In terms of how much torque it’s putting out, i have no idea. I can tell you that the effect is that you are still pedaling and doing work, but it’s effectively doubling your strength. Or my strength, at least.
It means you can go up steep hills without shifting down nearly as much, which means you can continue making solid progress. You never get in the situation where you are in 1st gear moving really slow.
On flat terrain, it lets you ride in top gear with very light effort, and cruise at around 15mph. With effort, you can go 20mph fairly easily. I think that 20mph is the speed at which the motor no longer adds force.
The Faraday is an extremely well built bike, with very nice parts and it is all solidly put together. But it’s also not cheap. I think i paid around 3k for it? I was in the second round of the initial Kickstarter, i think my bike is number 455? I actually had number 227 originally, but there was an issue with it’s bottom bracket sensor and they ended up just giving me an entirely new bike. It was a great investment, because it’s gotten me riding infinitely more than i would otherwise. But there are definitely cheaper options these days when it comes to E-Bikes.
The best thing about it is just that it’s ridiculously fun to ride, since it makes you feel like a professional rider when you turn on the high level assist. You can just cruise, fast, with minimal effort.
Thanks for the write up, sounds like you got yourself a great ride. I’ll wait until next year until i pull the trigger on an ebike. I’ll probably need that time to make an informed decision as Europe has gone totally ebike crazy and there are just so many choices.
There are also kits that you can get to convert a normal bike into an ebike. The simplest are essentially a small wheel that flips down and rubs against the front tire, turning it with friction. It’s or course less effective than having a motor that is actually linked directly, but they have the advantage of being very easy to install, are generally light weight, and don’t hamper the power train when not in use.
I would like to read a few highlights of your cycling season as it comes to an end. What will you remember? Here’s a couple:
Solo ride when my cycling group wasn’t organized one day - I rode out of the city in the dark at 5:30 a.m. and caught a heart-stopping sunrise over the sunflower fields. It always amazes me that in a City of 5.5 million I’m the only one out there.
Brought my daughter on my tandem bike (she’s 4), and my wife pulled the trailer with our 2 year old, we rode along the Toronto waterfront on a warm day, stopped at playgrounds, ice cream, picnic etc., people are so happy to see our setups.
Friend was clipped by an F-150 pickup truck - we were going fast down a hill and the driver, coming the other way, miss-judge and started to turn left in front of us. He stopped at the last instant; my friend tried to dodge and nearly succeeded but ended up getting clipped. It was a big spill but just road rash and bruises. If the truck moved another foot forward, or my friend’s bike handling was only able to swerve a foot less, it would have been a head-on. Emotions were super high but we all calmed down, the driver was a nice, caring guy, super apologetic, didn’t deny that he misjudged and din’t see my friend. (Foot note - friend wears a black helmet and mostly dark clothes. The driver said he didn’t see him but instead saw the rest of us behind him - I wear a white helmet and have some high-vis accents).
Big climb and fast descent on a ride out of Creemore, Ontario - great road cycling and (I hear) mountain biking in that part of Canada.
Rouvy is a Zwift alternative that has focused on riding real courses with real videos, instead of in a CGI world. I like it a lot and have used it to ride courses I would never get my bike to-- in the Philippines, Tasmania and Majorca as well as the Pyrenees and Alps. Like Zwift it knows how steep the hill you are climbing in the video is, and adjusts your smart trainers resistance accordingly (also works with a trainer that just has a power meter-- the work you put in as well as the slope of the hill determines how fast you go).
Rouvy just introduce the open beta of their new augmented reality tech, and it is really nice. They’ve done detailed 3d analysis of a selection of their video courses, so they can project 3d objects onto them while the video is playing in the app: other riders, checkpoint banners, even custom street signs. Now you can ride with other riders like in Zwift while still being on a real video course.You can race against your own (or another user’s) previous performance on the same course, and see that cyclist on the road with you riding at the exact pace as the recorded ride. If any other riders are on the same course at the same time, you will see them as well. Slickest augmenedt-reality application I’ve ever seen.
Let me know how you like it. I picked up a smart trainer a month ago and demoed both but liked the feel of zwift a bit more. Planning on switching between them every few months to keep it fresh.