Do you bicycle? A cycling thread I guess


#161

I have gotten a couple cat-calls from passing motorists saying that I look like I’m riding a kid’s bike.

This seems weird to me.
I don’t see what about that wheel associates it with a kid’s bike.


#162

These were not pricy at all. $200 for the pair. There are lighter options out there that run into the thousands of dollars of course where the spokes are composites or the entire wheel is one carbon disk.

Technically my bike is a “Cross-Trainer”, but it’s a hybrid by any other name – the wheels are 700c and I believe the the tires I have on it are 26mm.

Yeah, I do Podcasts too. They can be fine… though of course the quality varies. That’s basically what I’ll be listening to… though I will have to expand my selection beyond the Giant Bombcast. A few years back I used to listed to a short-story podcast; I might have to try and find that again. Thanks for the link.

Eh, they do look like something you’d find on a kid’s BMX-type bike. It was no big deal, as an insult from some fat guy sitting in a car while I’m on mile eight of my commute is no insult at all.


#163

I’ve never had a broken spoke (another first to look forward to!). I think those wheels look pretty cool and they sure solved your issue.

I’m back on the bike after another knee surgery. Got out of shape very quickly but at least I will be losing the extra weight doing something I love.

Have a fun spring summer and fall, QT3 bikers!


#164

Since this thread came back up, I figure I’ll report on the Faraday e-bike!

So I did finally receive this. It was delayed a while, partially due to the labor strike on the west coast which delayed the ship carrying the frame (the frames are welded together in a small factory in Taiwan).

Overall, it’s been really, really cool. I’ve never ridden an e-bike before, so it was a cool experience.

Since it has a gates belt drive, instead of a chain, it’s virtually silent when you’re riding it. When the motor is engaged, you can barely hear a little whirr as it’s going. It’s pedal assist, which means that the motor only engages when you’re pedaling (as opposed to some e-bikes where you separately control the speed via a throttle on the handlebars like a scooter). This is a nice way to go, I think, as it makes riding it basically function exactly like a normal bike.

The only difference is that when you pedal, the little motor on the front hub (a 300W motor, putting out approximately 0.3 horsepower) gives you an extra little boost. The best way to describe it is kind of like the resistance on the pedals is as if you’re in a significantly lower gear than you are. So you can be in 8th gear, and it feels like you’re in 4th, or something like that. This has a few effects… one, it means you can get going quite fast without much effort. You’re still pumping your legs and getting exercise, but you’re quickly going 15-20 mph without really pushing it that hard, which is really cool. This also means you can get going fast and then coast for a while if you feel like it.

I live at the top of a pretty long and steep hill (at the end the grade probably approaches 45 degrees) and the motor really levels it out nicely. You’re still putting forth some effort to get up it, but the thing that’s nice is that since you’re going up in a high gear while still being able to pedal, you get up it pretty fast.

The mechanical components of the bike are all very nice, and the bike went together very smoothly. They definitely put a lot of care into the manufacturing process for it. The internally geared rear hub is nice, and I’ve never had a bike with one of those before. It’s cool that you can actually switch gears while stopped, which is nice. It also prevents any kind of dirt or debris from getting in there. Coupled with the fact that the belt drive doesn’t really need grease, and the whole power-train is very clean and quiet.

Now, the bad stuff.

Upon receipt, the electrical motor seemed kind of “glitchy”. It would periodically have issues engaging when starting up from a full stop, where you’d start pedaling, the motor would engage momentarily, and then stop. There are a few various things which could cause this… From potentially an issue with the motor, or a problem with the cadence sensor in the pedal assembly, to the computer that controls stuff.

The good news is that Faraday has been very cool with helping to figure out what the problem is. Currently, they had me take it to a shop and they’re going to work with the professionals to figure out what’s up. I’ll report what ends up coming from it. It definitely highlights an issue with EBikes though, which is kind of similar to modern cars… once the electronics stuff is in there, it starts to require much more specialized knowledge to actually fix them and stuff. Even the guys who are looking at it at the shop are going to have some issues, because there are only 300 of this bike in existence. They’ve done work on EBikes, but never this specific type. But the Faraday guys seem really cool, so I’m hoping they’ll be able to walk the shop guys from doing stuff.

The thing is, while the glitch is annoying, especially on a brand new bike that cost more than my car’s worth (in fairness, my car is a beat up Jetta that’s 14 years old), I still kind of didn’t want to take it into the shop and not have it… because I’ve been having a huge blast riding it all over the place. The little motor lets you go out on pretty long rides without really killing yourself… you can ride without the pedal assist at all, and it’s just a normal bike (at 40 lbs it’s not a light bike, but it’s also significantly lighter than other Ebikes I’ve seen), and then if you start getting tired just flip it on and relax while still covering good range. One friday after work, I decided to just take a long way home and ended up riding around for around 20 miles. It’s a very fun experience.

It seems like it’s an almost ideal mode of transportation for any kind of urban commute. You can easily cover long range quickly, but without getting all sweaty so even if your workplace doesn’t have a shower you’re cool. It costs virtually nothing to run, and has a range of around 30 miles when operating in high mode (the throttle can be switched between off, low, and high), although in my experience the range may actually be higher.

It’s still pretty early in the market for EBikes I think, but I suspect they’re going to start getting some broader acceptance once folks start becoming more aware of them. Also, the Faraday is nice because it actually just looks like a cool, normal (retro, even) bike… it doesn’t have any big bulky battery or motor on it. Most folks don’t notice it’s an EBike, although they do notice that it has a fairly bright LED Headlamp.


#165

Timex, I have a Trek Pedal Assist e-bike and I love it. Like you say, it levels out the hills. My ride home from work is more uphill than the ride to work, so I don’t engage the motor on my ride to work but I like to use it at the end of the day for the ride home.

As far as I can see the only downside is I don’t get as much battery life as promised and I will have to replace the battery eventually, and those $700 each unless I can figure out how to make one. Still, I love the bike and ride it to work every day, weather permitting.

E-bikes seem like a good commuter solution for urban areas that are bike-friendly.


#166

That isn’t too bad at all. The local bike shop usually charges between $20 and $50 depending on how many spokes need repaired and whether they need relaced. I don’t have any spare money now but I may be looking at getting a new bike by the end of summer. I’ll check into them then.

The only short story casts I know of are Pseudopod, Escapepodand 19 Nocturne Blvd.


#167

+1 on the first two. Not familiar with the third.


#168

I had remembered Pseudopod because that’s just a spectacular name. “Escape Pod” was the other one I used to listen to, and I had forgotten the name.


#169

Well then, you may or may not be interested in Podcastle as well…

;)


#170

I decided to sell my old bicycle to my brother, since it’s not really suited to dirt roads and he actually has a group of friends he rides with.


#171

After years of bike-commuting to work, I had my first major accident yesterday. Fortunately (?) it was just me and did not involve a car or another biker.

In fact, I’m not entirely sure what happened: I hit a bump or a rock or something that caused me to lose control and I slid along the pavement on my ankle for a second or two before getting whipped over the bike and hitting the asphalt on my back, head-first.

I got away REALLY lightly. My left ankle at the bone-spur is abraded almost down to the bone but not quite (lucky!), and my helmet took almost the entirely of the impact (not luck, prudence!). My helmet is utterly and completely destroyed - it broke into several pieces and deformed where it didn’t break. I don’t know if I would have died if I were bare-headed, but I sure as hell wouldn’t be typing this today.

I think this is the first time I’ve been knocked senseless. I’m sure that many here - having read my posts - are surprised that this is the first major blow that I’ve taken to the head, but it’s true. I couldn’t stand for several minutes, and according to my wife (who I called thanks to a Good Samaritan passerby insisting that I call someone to pick me up rather than get back in the saddle), I was not making much sense. I was nauseous and dizzy for the next hour or three.

My wife drove me to the ER and I felt a lot better by the time I left (three hours later). They took an MRI and confirmed no internal bleeding or fractures. Sixteen hours later and I still have splitting headache though. Doc says minor concussion; no driving for a couple days; no biking for a week (argh!); no work for the rest of the short week.

I haven’t had time/energy to examine the bike. It looked OK from what I saw; apparently the only damage was to the wet-ware.


#172

Wow, I’m glad you’re doing okay. That sounds scary.

The helmets are designed to break up like that. It’s how they absorb the energy of the impact. Sounds like it saved you from a very serious head injury.


#173

Damn, glad to hear you are OK. Funny how quickly it all seems to happen when you go down. I came off during a recreational event in the middle of a peleton moving at a little over 40km/hr after a lead rider dropped his bidon (its French for bottle!). Thankfully I came down ok and avoided being ridden into/over by others behind me. Two blokes did not fare so well and I hung around to call for an ambulance. One suffered what looked to be some severe shoulder trauma and was having trouble breathing to boot.

People that don’t wear protective gear (helmets) when riding bikes must have no idea the kind of damage that can easily be inflicted by their head striking the ground.


#174

My helmet is utterly and completely destroyed - it broke into several pieces and deformed where it didn’t break. I don’t know if I would have died if I were bare-headed, but I sure as hell wouldn’t be typing this today.

Yeah, sounds like there is good chance you’d have died rom that impact, based on your description of the helmet. Minimally, you’d have a major concussion and possible long term damage.

This kind of story is what makes me tell the little voice in my head that says my helmet looks goofy to shut up, because I’d rather look goofy than have my brains splattered.


#175

I broke an axle on my bike the other day, so it’s at the shop waiting for Trek to warranty it and send a replacement part. So now I’m walking and catching a bus instead of biking. I don’t like it as much but I’m still getting in 1.5 miles of walking each way, so I’m getting some exercise still while I wait for my bike.

BTW, if you want a different look for a bike helmet, there’s this place:


#176

Glad you’re ok. You know this, but give your bike a thorough inspection before riding, brake pads and derailleur alignment especially, cables too. Good time to clean it and check all the bolts are tight.

Like Sharealoo, I went down in a recreational event and in addition to road rash it ended up costing me like $300 (helmet, derailleur, jersey, knee warmers). And I was ok with that considering it was not a fixed object or car.


#177

That’s a nice site. The Sahn helmets look pretty slick.

They have this helmetthough… I’ve seen it before. Am I wrong to think that it’s… totally pointless?

I mean, ok, so it collapses a very tiny bit. But it’s still pretty much helmet sized, and doesn’t seem like it could be stored any more easily. As it is, my pack has a helmet attachment thinger that I just stick my helmet on, which doesn’t really care much about the size.

Am I missing something here? It just seems like a grotesquely overpriced helmet that offers almost nothing.


#178

Those look fun, but for the replacement I’m definitely getting something more functional and safety-oriented than stylish. And maybe covering myself in three inches of bubble-wrap. Ye gods but I ache today.


#179

A guy I know owns the white version. It looks slick, but you’re spot on: the folding benefit is minimal. Didn’t think it was worth the price tag when I tried it out.


#180

This is a cool potential foldable helmet.