But coming to a stop only to be unable to unclick your shoe is a classic cycling rite of passage! Who can forget that helpless feeling of falling sideways in slow motion while being inextricably linked to your bike :)
Ok, I have a question about the spandex outfits.
Not to prod at something that’s universally made fun of, but why? Are regular clothes flapping a bit really that distracting? Are they only for competitive racing where you are timing yourself and every second counts? I can’t help but giggle at the spandex every time I see someone in the bike shorts.
Or is the flapping clothing dangerous, or super distracting, or something? Maybe I’ve never ridden that fast so it never bothered me.
The reduction in drag is enormous, which is as much about conservation of energy, as improving time. Over even moderate distances that can make big differences to your performance, endurance and overall enjoyment of the experience. Comfort also comes from that, though it’s more than just the padding - the snug fit and wicking materials help keep you dry during the ride.
If you only ever ride short distances, you probably won’t care (and you can get cargo pant style shorts with bike padding for comfort), but do a couple of 50km rides with loose fitting gear and then try with spandex, you won’t go back.
Getting over the initial “I’m never wearing spandex!” hump is another rite of passage the new cyclists must go through! Sooner or later it is just going to happen, then when you do you don’t care any more.
The flip side of that is I see lots of people wearing spandex or even full kit on rides that absolutely don’t warrant it. For some reason middle aged and especially older people around here are really bad for it and suit up in at least bike shorts (but usually bike shorts, neon yellow windbreaker, gloves, etc.) just to go 5km to the grocery store or whatever. Lots of people seem to have a weird hangup about wearing their everyday clothes cycling. Personally I just wear whatever I’m wearing to go to work or the shop.
But on that note I did just order bib shorts and a jersey ;)
If I go for even a short 10-15km ride, I will wear my gear, but that will be because I am going for a ride, a hard ride, to workout and sweat. If I am noodling down to the shops, not so much.
Thanks for answering, hope I didn’t offend anyone.
Also, this thread title has got to be one of the saddest I’ve ever seen. Sounds like something Tony Shalob would say.
Well I thought this thread would fall into obscurity pretty quickly when I named it.
Stretch cycling shorts bind less. I like them, but there are alternatives. Mountain biking and bicycle touring shorts often still have the built-in padding, but are baggier and have pockets. So you’re not limited to the fredly look.
As others have said, comfort, reduction in drag, etc., but do not forget one of the most important features: the built-in padding to protect your acorns. While you can get padding built into seemingly loose-fitting bike pants (which are really just spandex with a loose outer layer), the spandex is necessarily tight to make sure that the padding doesn’t slip and endanger your sweetbreads. So while you might risk the ol’ Bojangles for a quick ride down to the local pool or something, if you are going on any ride longer than a couple klicks you’ll really start to appreciate the additional protection for the spunk bunkers.
We do seem to have a lot of rites of passage.
I protect my acorns by using a seat without a horn. It’s very comfortable. My acorns dangle free and unencumbered (relatively) the way nature intended instead of being smashed against a bike seat.
Has anyone had any experience with battery powered conversion kits? Someone pointed me to this and it looks interesting. Much cheaper ($259) than the ready-to-use products I’ve looked at.
Update on my Trek Assist bike: I’ve used it to commute to work every single day since I purchased it, save two days when it was out of commission with a flat on the rear tire. I’ve also ridden it on most of my days off.
It looks like I can get about 12-15 miles out of a full charge if I am cautious with it. That means riding some of the time with no power on, some of the time on the lower settings, and using downhills to regen the battery. So it’s good as a commuter bike but if you wanted to use it for long recreational rides with the power on it’s not going to work all that well.
I love it. I have two big hills coming and going to work – one’s a quarter of a mile long, which is great on my way to work when I’m going downhill on it, but sort of sucks when riding it uphill after a long day of work. The pedal assist really does flatten the hills and makes it as easy as riding on level ground. My knees are balky with age. I really can’t pump very hard with them, so help on the hills makes all the difference between dreading a ride or just enjoying it.
Despite a broken spoke that took the bike out of commission for a couple days, I’ve managed to bike in about 50% of the time over the last three weeks. It’s nice to get back into shape.
Also awesome. I bike in every day these days unless it’s really hard rainfall. For me it’s actually the most convenient way to get to work and going back to waiting for the bus really sucks. Also saves me $40+ in bus fare.
I’m hoping to keep it up into the winter this year, so if anyone has winter clothing suggestions I’m all ears. Winters here are pretty mild, snow is incredibly rare (think one light dusting a year that’s gone by the afternoon), but the winters are slightly wet. Think a drier Seattle, essentially.
Yeah, I plan on riding it in winter too, as long as there isn’t snow and ice on the road. I may look into getting one of those face mask things that the motorcyclists use. I’ll probably spend a lot on really nice gloves, too. I’ve biked in winter and the face and hands seem to be the parts of me that feel the cold the most.
I think my huge ears are what I’m most worried about. Need something that will cover them and fit under a helmet.
This discussion prompted me to order this:
I’ll try them out when I get them and report back on them, even though it will be warm weather. If I like these ear things I will probably order a mask from them as well.
Everybody still cycling? What’s up cyclists? I’m at three months now of cycling to work and it’s awesome. A pain in the ass sometimes, but so much more convenient. Looking at selling my old hybrid now because it’s a piece of crap and has just become a maintenance nightmare for me.
My daughter and I rode 67 miles (106 km) in the Tour de Menlo charity ride. It we a PR for longest ride for both of us. Despite a total elevation gain of almost 4000 feet, we averaged 14.3 mph.
I ride to work every day. I usually take a pleasure ride on my days off. I also just got my first ever smartphone, an LG something or other, and now can listen to music while I ride via bluetooth earbuds. I am very traffic conscious if I have music on. This morning’s ride featured The Travelling Wilbury’s!