Cycling communities were one of my favourite parts of reddit, and I've been unable to find any equivalents on here so I decided to start this community. Feel free to post and comment about anything related to cycling! I'd love for this place to continue in the spirit of /r/xbiking, not necessarily content-wise but definitely attitude-wise. We're all cyclists, and at the end of the day the only criteria for being a part of this community is riding a bicycle (and enjoying it!)
Please comment any suggestions you have for this space, or simply say hi and let us know what you like to do on your bike!
So I comute by bike and this week I ride through fast changing snow condition. It got from completly covered cycle route, to badly cleaned roads, to mushy brown sludge, and today there were loads of frozen bits of snow and ice patches.
I managed to fell only twice - inertia is your best friend and worse enemy at the same time. And I hope that these conditions will be over soon. Most annoying part is that I dont know what to expect and how to prepare because conditions vary from day to day.
Hello! I don't have pictures yet, but I finally finished my mixed road/gravel bike and took it for a short ride (in wet conditions) over the weekend, and I wanted to celebrate a bit. Sorry for the long post!
I bought the frame on sale a few months back from Velo Orange, it's their Pass Hunter model. I had been kind of eyeing them up for years, as they're based near me, for this kind of bike. My eventual goal is to tour the GAP and C&O canal trails with it - my road bike, a CAAD12, would not be up to such a tour. I'll also take it with us when we go camping - we were out west for a few weeks last year, and there were a lot more gravel roads than this east coaster is used to.
The groupset is a GRX Di2 2x11 with hydraulic discs. I know some will disagree with the electronic shifting for a touring rig, but I've read all of the arguments on both sides, and it's what I wanted. In hindsight, I wish I'd realized that the VO Pass Hunter frame isn't really Di2 compatible, because there are limited options for fishing the wires through the frame - a restriction that never even occurred to me until after I had everything. But I can live with it.
This is my first build, my first experience (ever) with electronic shifting, and my first experience with disc brakes (aside from a very short test ride years ago), and my first experience with hydraulic brakes. Lots of learning!
The wheels are from Bikesdirect.com - did you know they have decent deals on wheels, too? DT Swiss rims, Shimano hubs, Shimano rotors, 38c tires mounted, rim and tires tubeless ready, but set up with tubes. I got 700s, but I probably should have gone with 650b for the clearance on the rear wheel. Longer term, I'll pick up a set of 650bs with mixed road/gravel tires, and put pure road tires on my 700c wheels.
I had a bike fit on my road bike (a CAAD12) done a few years ago, so I used the results from that as a guideline for this build. In particular, the top tube on the VO is longer than the Cannondale, so I got a shorter stem to compensate.
I did end up getting wider handlebars (46 instead of 44), but the gravel handlebars feel a LOT wider than the road handlebars. Which, for an all day ride, probably isn't a bad thing - more positions.
I want to test it more, but I'm thinking I'll set the handlebars a little higher than my CAAD12's are, relative to the seat height - because, one, they're wider, so my arms are out farther when I'm on the hoods, meaning I'd be leaning down a bit farther, and two, comfy, all-day touring bicycle.
The bike is all black. I'm not very imaginative. It's like, how much more black could it be? None. None more back. I don't usually name my bicycles, but suddenly I want to call this one "Smell the Glove". (The VO paint is actually black with flakes and a chrome logo, it looks pretty cool.)
It's definitely a slow bike with the weight and tires on it now, but that's okay - the point was to build a comfortable, ride-all-day tourer, not a speed demon. It weighs 24 lbs without water bottle cages, bike bags, etc.
After my test ride, I'm even happier with my decision to go Di2. And that's with repeatedly hitting the wrong buttons to shift on the ride (I have no idea why I was doing that, it's essentially the same as the 105 5800 on my CAAD12, but I kept doing it).
Bar tape: I am terrible at wrapping bars. I have no fear of the mechanical or electronic portions of building a bike, but bar tape...I dunno. It's very stressful for me, I think because it's so visible, and I feel like everyone is looking at it and going, LOOK WHAT THAT AMATEUR DID! But, I think I actually did a credible job on this one, for once. Tip for anyone else that suffers the same phobia: Look for extra long tape, it's one less stressor!
Suppliers: Frame came from VO, obviously. I got the Di2 setup off eBay - oddly enough, that seems to be the easiest way to buy a groupset, if you need the whole thing. Bikesdirect.com for the wheels. I went to Biketiresdirect.com for a lot of the parts, and when I couldn't find what I wanted or needed there, I went to Amazon. I ordered a few random parts from other places, too - I think the handlebars came from another bike parts supplier.
Costs: I expected this to cost more than a pre-built bike would, but if I wanted that VO frame, building one was my only option. But now that I think about it, I might have actually saved a little money this way. This bike, the first result on google for "Di2 gravel bike", is $3495 with 2x, and I'm pretty sure I have less than that into my build. And I included pedals and a good saddle that fits me in the cost, neither of which comes with most pre-built bikes.
Plus, I probably put a few better components on than would be stock, like softer bar tape, and Easton stem and seat posts, and so on. And, I got the parts I needed - such as the correct stem length for me - so I'm not replacing parts that came with a pre-built bike, either.
So, while it doesn't feel like it, I probably did actually save some money over a pre-built bike. Of course, I spent hours working on it, and I bought several new tools at the same time - strangely, I never had a bike stand before, so I bought one as part of this build. (I don't count the tools as part of the build costs, as I'll very likely use them again.)
To do yet:
Ride it and adjust the handlebar height as desired, then eventually cut the steerer tube, again. I did an initial cut to get it in the right ballpark, but there's likely another inch or so that could come off.
Check the rear brake - it engages a lot lower than the front brake, so it might need to be bled. I adjusted the engagement point, but it's still quite different compared to the front. It doesn't feel spongy, and I can lock up the wheel, it just travels a lot farther back. I'd rather it be more consistent with the front brake.
Adjust the clipless pedal tension. I'm used to SPD-SL cleats, and I've used SPD before, but I was having a miserable time with these at first, so I loosened the tension. I'll want to crank that back up.
Mistakes I made:
My biggest was the Di2 wiring thing. The frame was really intended to have cables, so I have bosses for shifters or cable mounts that I'm not using (they're covered with caps that are the same color as the frame, at least). I wonder how hard it is to remove that thing - I had to repair similar downtube bosses on my old aluminum bike, and that just had a metric threaded rod running between the two sides. Maybe cut a rubber plug for the holes...hmmmmmmmmm.
I bought a second band clamp because I thought the first one was interfering with one of the water bottle cage bolts...but while I was waiting for the new clamp to arrive, I figured it out with the original clamp. Not sure what I was going wrong at first.
There are a few spots I could switch to shorter Di2 cables, but the necessary length is extremely hard to predict, I've learned, and those cables are not cheap. One that's too long is the one for the rear derailleur, and that one would be very easy to change and could be done whenever I feel like it. The other is the cable from the junction near the bottom bracket to the shifter - I have a 1200 mm cable, but a few cm shorter wouldn't have hurt. But neither one is so long that it's a major problem, either.
Total ride was around 70 mi or so. Had to do a bypass because some of the bridges are closed. Got chased by a couple dogs. Got down to about 35° or so. Camped at Foster Falls in the middle. Pretty good time overall.
No mud, no ice, no insects, no spider webs, hard ground, not too hot, not too cold, not too much snow. My only complaint is the lack of daylight.
This past Sunday's ride, a view across the water from Alki Beach in West Seattle.
Was real good.
Globally, car crashes are the world’s leading cause of death for people aged five to 25. These deaths are stark reminders of the structural problem with a deeply entrenched, car-dominated culture. The huge numbers of deaths and injuries on our roads are a result of choosing to build our society around cars. This degree of harm does not seem to draw the same level of outrage as any other form of violence would.
For context... not only did the truck driver kill this former pro cyclist and flee the scene, but he also pleaded guilty to another hit-and-run in 2001 (that person survived).
As if 6.5 years wasn't shameful enough, they are trying to plea him down to half that.
Can anyone think of any other form of murder, using any other weapon, that's viewed with such unimportance as killing people with motor vehicles and leaving the scene? Just turns my stomach.
Despite being on some really old single-wall wheels, and hauling way more weight than I should be, I've ordered up a pair of double-wall wheels.
Since I set up my current wheels over 1500 km ago, they have never been out of true, and the rim brake surface is still in excellent shape. They have been more reliable than single-wall wheels are supposed to be, from what I hear.
My question is: will I notice any difference while riding after the upgrade?
Context: These are going on my 26" wheel 90s MTB that I use for everything from grocery hauls to very long (150km) rides over mostly paved ways, but also gravel and some offroad (nothing crazy, because I fear injury. LOL).
I'm upgrading more for peace of mind, but an improvement to performance is also welcome.
Was out riding and got to one of these wooden walkways over a wet area and then my bike went away from underneath me.
I did tap the lever didn't I...
Considering how lax the punishment for drivers who kill cyclists is, what's the incentive to flee?
Seems like the majority of motor related cyclist accidents these days are hit-and-runs.
And if it's safe, is it overkill? I really, really dislike road salt.
For me, I'll be using my 90s steel MTB.
I've already coated the inside of the frame with anti rust, got a rust resistant chain, and have studded tires at the ready. The studded tires will only go on if there's persistent icy conditions.
Packed marine grease into my hubs, bb ends, and headset bearings.
On my todo list, I'll be installing pogies/bar mitts, which have proven to be way better than any glove solution I tried last winter.
I also want to buy/make a mudflap to expend the front fender. This should prevent a considerable amount of grit, salt, melted snow from reaching my shoes, chain, crankset, etc.
As soon as salt goes down, my bike will get more cleaning around critical parts, and a frame wipe down after every ride.
I do have a winter cycling jacket and fleecy cycling pants, but feeling the cold on my body was never an issue last winter. A fleecy buff and helmet liner that gets over my ears are a must, and i may invest in a few extra pairs.
I swear to god, motorists are behaving just like the lunatic “don't take our guns” extremists these days.
Running across various different places on rides is one of my favorite things. With abandoned and run down locations having a special place in my heart.
While out on my last ride, I ran across this abandoned massive live stock farm. Most of it has been overgrown with various plants and weeds.
The place is huge, with a large part still explorable. Photo above seems to be were the animals were kept, with a copy paste building right next to it that is still full of hay.
So I commute year round in Calgary and that means cold and dark. I can't seem to find a tail light that isn't disposable garbage and will actually hold up to a few years of use.
Yes you can basically buy tail lights in bulk off Amazon - but I hate tossing dead junk in the trash. I would rather pay more for a light that lasts.
My perfect light would use replaceable 18650 (or whatever size) lithium ion cells, or at least have USB-C with pass-through charging (so that I can run it off an external battery in a pinch).
For front lights I use Outbound Lighting and they are perfect - long battery life, great performance, pass-through charging, works in the cold. Unfortunately Outbound doesn't make tail lights. I've begged.
So anyone have a tail light that they LOVE?
I've got a single speed k1 wide chain I want to put on my multispeed bike (lectric 3.0 ebike).
I'm a newbie, not sure of what info on the bike might be relevant but it's a modern, 7 speed, freewheel.
I've messed this up before. I tried this chain on a different bike when converting it but I kept skipping.
Sounds like I need better fitting cogs? Do I need "wide" ones? Crankset and rear cog? Possible better fitting chain tensioner too? Shopping around, I'm not seeing much a difference in sizing for these parts.
Any tips appreciated
This being a kickstarter makes it a non-starter for me but it looks pretty promising: Hopefully they work great and become popular.
I've been going back and forth a few apps. Apple Maps and Google Maps fail me too often suggesting me to take streets without bike lanes. With OsmAnd I'm able to mark a few roads as "Avoid", but I end up marking half my city and sometimes I do need to go one block or two on those streets.
Is there an app that allows me to to plan a route explicitly prioritizing AAA lanes that works in Vancouver?
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A place to share our love of all things with two wheels and pedals. This is an inclusive, non-judgemental community. All types of cyclists are accepted here; whether you're a commuter, a roadie, a MTB enthusiast, a fixie freak, a crusty xbiking hoarder, in the middle of an epic across-the-world bicycle tour, or any other type of cyclist!
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