Last updated 14-JAN-2005
Welcome to the aus.bicycle FAQ
This is a compendium of Frequently Asked Questions
from the newsgroup aus.bicycle, some of them even have answers.
The lastest version is always available from:
And is mirrored at:
This document is Copyright © 2004 Kingsley Turner. Permission is granted to distribute this document on the criteria that it is remains unmodified, and it is not sold for profit.
|Magazine||What's it about|
|Australian Cyclist||Bit of a mix: bike politics, touring, lists of clubs and diary of club rides, occasional gear review. Not usually any road racing news. Six issues a year, available at most newsagents and bike shops.|
|RIDE Cycling Review||Completely covers the bicycle racing scene, including both road and track. Has great gear reviews, although it does tend towards the top-end stuff. Six issues a year, available some newsagents, and bike shops|
|Cycling Australia||Covers racing, road & track. Always has reviews of high-end bikes, the occasional maintenance tip, and a bit of cycling gossip. Published five times a year|
|Mountain Biking Australia||As above, but for mountain bikes.|
|Australian Mountain Bike||Covers the mountain bike racing scene in detail, usually has interviews with Aussie riders, gear review, maintenance and (technical) riding tips. Six issues a year.|
|Velovision (UK)||This is an exceedingly interesting magazine, it focus is mainly
bicycles as transport (or maybe 'bikes as a part of life'), with a heavy
bent towards recumbent and other non-mainstream cycling. It does have
a British and European focus, but contains articles sourced from all
over the world.
Available (at least) at Cheeky Monkey in Sydney.
This mostly depends on your childs age and capability:
There are two types of child carriers, the ubiquitous rear-rack mounted seats, and the seats that mount on the handlebars so that the child sits between the arms of the rider.
A trailer bike is basically the back-half of a diamond-frame bike. There is no front wheel, but a tow arm that commonly connects to the seatpost or under the seat. These require some bike riding skills and balance, but not steering.
These are usually tethered to the bike by a socket-jointed tow-arm to the left chainstay. They can hold one or two children, who are held in with a seatbelt, but are still requried to wear a helmet. It's common for trailers to come with instructions that specify the minimum child age of 1 year.
Kingsley Turner wrote in aus.bicycle:
Both of these have pros and cons:
As you can probably guess most of my experience is with trailer. We towed both the brats 1200km touring last year (and many km since) When they weren't being towed, they were being parambulated with the stroller conversion kit engaged.
For quick trips, the seat is probably better/quicker but for longer ones the trailer is great.
(i) husleying wrote in aus.bicycle:
I know that brandishing a stick works, but it is inconvenient while riding. If you're desperate to stop them though, it is a safe bet.
(ii) aeek wrote in aus.bicycle:
A magpie circled me closely and "yelled" rapidly at me yesterday morn, a wingclap just before it landed nearby but no actually swooping. I think I'd do myself more damage trying to wave a stick/pump than any magpie (I've met) is likely to.
(iii) Terry Collins wrote in aus.bicycle:
I have an old bell white helmet and that has resisted the few attacks, but most have just been swooped. Only wave the pump when with a group and safe to do so. Most magpie damage is caused by the shock of being swooped. Only seen one blood drawing attack in 30 years.
(iv) DaveB wrote in aus.bicycle:
> Is it the males or females maggies take swoop?
It's the males [...] at this time of year the males are pumped full of testosterone and their testicles swell to 200% normal size (that'd make me angry enough to take a swipe at pasers by).
(v) John Savage wrote in aus.gardens:
I recall reading that during the mating season the testicles of male magpies swell to something like 20 times their normal size. Apart from the discomfort :-) this means the bird is driven almost crazy by testosterone-induced instincts (and mood-swings), including its protective role.
(i) It makes applying first-aid/bandages simpler.
(ii) It looks and feels good.
(iii) Andrew Morris wrote in aus.bicycle:
Have you ever had gravel nail brushed out of hairy legs???
(iv) Paul J wrote in aus.bicycle:
... Reasons include; it feels damn nice, it look's good (so I'm told) and after a 120km ride the much needed massage afterward is so much better and easier.
(i) Phil wrote in aus.bicycle:
My girlfriend has never riden before. She can't even pedal along the driveway! [...] I have taken the pedals off and am getting her to use the bike like a skooter to get used to the steering.
(ii) Dominic Sansom wrote in aus.bicycle:
My wife was riding in half a day using the no pedal method (thanks to a previous poster). It helped to have a slight incline on the road so that the momentum carried the bike, and her, forward. It still takes her a couple of tries to get going.
(iii) Terry Collins wrote in aus.bicycle:
Adjust seat to right height, go to local oval/big grassed area. Put bicycle in lowest gear. Stand behind and hold seat. Have her pedal and you walk/run along holding it up then once she is okay with pedalling, have her start steering. The trick is to steer towards the side she is going to fall towards. repeat, etc. Keep emphasising that bicycles are unstable at walking speeds, go faster. Then explain that you also steer a bicycle by leaning slightly towards the side you want to turn, but you have to keep pedalling.
(iv) Tim Jones wrote in aus.bicycle:
Get her to scoot along with her feet off the ground for as long as possible with those pedals off, and when she can do it along a flat, try her out on a hill (as long as the bike has hand brakes - make sure she knows how to use them!).Once she can coast for a few seconds, she should be able to try pedalling a little - just in little spurts taking off from standing on the front pedal.
|Audax Alpine Classic||Australia Day weekend||See www.audax.org.au|
|Around the Bay in a Day||October(?)||Melbourne|
|Tour Down Under||January||Usually around Adelaide and Adelaide Hills|
|Sydney to the 'Gong||First Sunday in November||Two start locations, one in Sydney, the other closer to Woolongong. See www.msnsw.org.au/oe for further information.|
|Cycle Sydney||Late November||A mass-ride through the heart of Sydney See www.bicyclensw.org.au for further information.|
|RTA Big Ride: 8 days of supported bicycle-touring.||Varies, but once per year||Changes each year, always around New South Wales.|
"Critical Mass is a monthly bicycle ride to celebrate cycling and to assert cyclists' right to the road."
Probably the most spectacular thing about this assertion is that it happens during peak-hour traffic.
For more information visit: www.criticalmass.org.au or criticalmassrides.info
Yellow - The daily overall leader by general classification (time minus bonuses).
Green - The sprint leader, by points awarded at specific locations throughout the stages.
Polka-dot - The 'King of the Mountains', by points are awarded for each climb.
White - awarded to the fastest rider aged under 25.
(i) Hippy wrote in aus.bicycle:
> Then we pass the line and the Bell is donged at us. Right, 3 laps to go,
> my memory recalls from the start-brief.
No, bell lap is always the last lap. LAST lap. Dingaling... "this must be the last lap!". I don't know what the briefing guy was thinking when he "briefed" you, but there should be signs for 3 laps and 2 laps to go and bell is always the last lap.
(i) You must call the police if anyone is injured. Whether or not you must call them for other circumstances varies from state to state. You may be legally required to give identification details to the other parties involved. You may also have to report the accident within 24 hours. Get name, address, and licence (if a car) details from the other party, you may also want to collect details from a witness.
(ii) DaveB wrote in aus.bicycle:
Regarding the door opening, I was coming up between the lanes very slowly (had my wife on the back otherwise I would have been going a bit faster). We were both admiring the Rolls Royce when the driver opened the door. If I'd had more than a metre's notice I might have stopped, but as it was I did about $2K damage to the bike fairing and hopefully considerably more to the RR, but amazingly managed to hold the bike upright. His excuse was that it was a hot day and he wanted to get some air in the car for his dog (personally I would have opened a window, but hey what would I know). It took about a year to go to court and he paid up the day before. I suspect he would have taken the court option but luckily one of the surrounding drivers saw what happened and offered his details as a witness. That was a pretty good lesson to learn, if you do get hit, try and get some witness details at the time. Being in the right is hard to prove when it's your word against someone elses.
(i) Report it to the police, try to include details like the rego number
(ii) Claire Petersky wrote in rec.bicycles.misc:
> One car-full of passing geniuses suggested that I get off the copulating road.
> Only they didn't say copulating. I was a bit surprised that the road could
> do that -- that asphalt certainly doesn't look like it reproduced that way.
No, no, you misunderstood their intentions. The road does not copulate with itself. Rather, it is *you* who is partnered with the road.
Have you not had a day, where you get out there on your bike, and there is the road before you, warm, inviting? It feels good, it smells good, it almost seems to taste good to be on it. Some days you start out eager, knowing what lies ahead. Other days you start out a little reluctantly -- surely you have better things to do -- clean the house, mow the lawn -- but here you are anyway, your bike and the road together, and after a little bit you know its going to be a good time.
There are days when you dominate the road. It does your bidding. You groove on your control. There are other days when the road is your master. You submit to its demands. You get a perverted pleasure from the pain of your burning legs, your oxygen-starved lungs screaming for air.
In any of these instances, though, you with your bike, and the road, are lovers. The term, "get off" as we all know, is a slang term that means to "derive pleasure". Thus, the encouraging, if crude, words, "Get off the fucking road" can be understood as "Enjoy yourself as you and the road make beautiful love together".
To take this a step further -- in many mystical traditions, the physical act of love is understood as a metaphor for the spiritual union of human with the Divine. Can you ride as if you and the Road are One?
The mudra of the single upraised digit is a reminder of this oneness: unity in Christ Consciousness, being at one with the Tao, La illaha Il' Allah, Adonai Echad. Thus, when someone makes this gesture at you, you should understand that they are wishing you the experience of this ecstatic union.
The horn that is honked as the mudra is made is a meditation bell. Like a church bell, like the call of the muezzin's voice, it calls you into this sacred space of union, of you, your bike, and the road, as One.
Thus, when the motorist honks his horn, raises the single digit, and makes his sincere invocation, you have but one response: to smile, to wave, and return to the joy of riding your bike.
(i) DMR wrote in aus.bicycle:
There's no way you can advise anyone on their recommended daily fat consumption without knowing enough about their physiology, lifestyle and goals to properly calculate their actual calorific consumption, their BMR and then set their targets accordingly.
I am currently reducing my body fat% and I'm eating accordingly - yet my recommended daily fat intake is (just checking the spreadsheet) 49.5grams. And I've lost about three kilos so far. The problem with the low fat message is that it's bullshit and any honest nutritionist will tell you the food pyramid we've grown up with is just accurate enough to be dangerous (there's a new one due out soon). For the past twenty to thirty years we've been steadily reducing our fat intake and yet as a society we've been getting steadily fatter. Think about it.
I don't advocate a full Atkins diet (too many saturated fats for starters) but he was right about one thing: if you want to lose body fat you need to reduce your *carbohydrate* consumption. Cutting your fats intake - and you need the good fats, the poly- and monounsaturated ones, plus Omega-3 etc. - without cutting your *sugar* intake (which, at the end of the day, is all carbohydrates are) is a recipe for... (wait for it)... GETTING FAT!
Broadly speaking the macronutritional breakdown for someone exercising regularly should be (in this order of importance):
The thing is this. Your body is incredibly good at keeping itself alive and it will use whatever it has to. Having said that, it prefers certain energy sources to others, and since losing or gaining weight is ultimately all about manipulating energy levels you can use that fact to your advantage. Roughly speaking your body will use carbohydrates, then fats and lastly proteins as sources of energy. So, when you cut back on the carbohydrates it will go for the fat stores next - which is what you want. However, don't cut your calorie intake too far below maintenance or your body will kick into starvation mode, and it will do everything it can to avoid using its fat stores, so it will start targetting your muscles. Breaking down proteins to use as energy is inefficient but in starvation mode it will do that rather than use your fat stores.
So, having calculated your BMR and your actual daily calorific consumption, if you want to lose weight healthily set a target daily calorific consumption about 500 calories below maintenance, keep your protein and fat intake at their correct levels, drop your *carbohydrate* consumption heavily - and you'll see your body fat% drop slowly but steadily. There's roughly 3,500 calories per pound of fat so this regime should consume about one pound of fat per week, not including any loss of weight due to water loss.
(ii) Gags wrote in aus.bicycle:
The 65% to 85% max HR range is actually more like the range to train in to increase cardiovascular fitness (good for base training and general fitness). Sure, you will burn fat at these intensities but if fat loss is your main goal, then you are actually better off training at about 45% to 65% of max HR. The catch is that this only rings true if the distance is the same rather than the time (ie 1 hr @ 45-65% will not burn more fat than 1 hr @ 65% to 85%, but, 47km @ 45-65% will utilise more fat than 47km @ 65-85%). As with most things you have to compromise depending on how much time you have available and what your long term goals are.
[...] If you want to lose weight, you should concentrate on LSD training (don't get excited, it means Long, Slow, Distance). Basically you need to have your body utilising its aerobic energy systems and to do this you need to exercise at a moderate intensity for long periods of time. She is especially correct in that what you eat plays a big part in your results. As you have not said what your current situation is (could range from wanting to lose a couple of kg for summer to up in the obese range), it is hard to know what your final goals are.
(i) Gags wrote in aus.bicycle:
BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight(kg)) + (5 x height(cm)) - (6.8 x age) kcal
(ii) DMR wrote in aus.bicycle:
I use the ISSA Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR) formula:
0.8g/lb LBM. For the sake of illustration I'll assume your body fat % is 20%. Since your weight is 95kg (209lb) that would give you a LBM of 76kg (167.2lb) and therefore your protein intake should be 0.8 * 167.2 = 134 grams = 536 calories.(b) Fats:
Roughly (Target calories * 1/3). Since we're assuming weight loss that would be (2886 * 0.3) = 866 calories = 96 grams. No more than (96/3 =) 32 grams of that should be saturated fats, preferably less. Rule of thumb: poly and mono-unsaturated fats and Omega3 fatty acids good, saturated fats not so good, trans fats bad.(c) Carbs:
Whatever is left. 2886 - 536 - 866 = 1484 calories = 371 grams.
There's a bit of flexibility in these targets but as long as you're fairly close over the long haul they'll work for sustainable weight loss. The same would go for maintenance or weight gain.
(i) DRS wrote in aus.bicycle:
Branch Chain Amino Acid.
The human body needs 20 amino acids. It can make 12 of them. The other 8 it must get from other sources. This 8 includes the 3 BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are hugely important to muscle, typically forming about one third of your muscle mass.
Unless you're a competitive bodybuilder who needs the 0.1% advantage you might get from free form BCAA supplementation then forget about it. Hydrolized whey protein or even good old whey protein isolate/concentrate is a hell of a lot cheaper and all you need do for the same effect is take your WPI/WPC about five to ten minutes before the time you would have taken your BCAAs. But that's not at all the same thing as saying BCAAs are junk. If you could somehow cut out BCAAs from your diet you'd waste away.
The article "Branched Chain Amino Acids" by David Tolson in full is highly detailed and may be more than most people want to know, but if you're interested in this stuff then check it out. Here is part of its conclusion:
"All in all, it would appear that the positive effects of BCAA's on protein synthesis can be achieved by a high protein diet and use of a fast-acting protein prior to and after exercise, and that most of the other possible benefits on exercise performance could be achieved equally as effectively by ingesting simple carbohydrates prior to exercise. If caloric intake must be limited at all costs, or if protein intake is inadequate, BCAA's may be useful in this respect. Also, a unique benefit of reduced CNS fatigue by decreasing tryptophan buildup cannot yet be discounted. Given the other properties of BCAA's described below, the usefulness of BCAA supplements can further be questioned."
(i) Hippy wrote in aus.bicycle:
Serious Cycling has a snipper about BCAAs. "It has been known for a long time that BCAAs play a critical role in the turnover of lean body tissues (muscle) and are muscle sparing in a variety of muscle-wasting states."
(i) Hippy wrote in aus.bicycle:
From _my_ research and trials I found the following:
That's probably because your body is already low in electrolytes and water and longer/harder rides just exacerbate this situation. More water and more sleep. I don't drink coffee any more but I also don't often drink sports drinks. Water is much cheaper! I'll usually mix up a gatorade after a long ride, but I drink water on the ride. Cleaner bidons too. :)
(i) just us wrote in aus.bicycle:
Some time ago I asked about a "touchey subject" which was my very very sore "fanny". LOL, thanks to a few very good emails and suggestions here I solved that problem by getting a new saddle - one with a hole in it made for us girls. Since changing the saddle I have had not had any pain like I was frequently experiencing.
(ii) Bikesoiler wrote in aus.bicycle:
A second vote for "Amolin". Take some with you on long rides & apply as needed. I wash out my nicks under the shower after each use & have enough spares to get by for multi day tours but you can put them on still damp in the morning, good in summer :) As others have said, gotta find the right saddle & nick combo that works for YOU.
[ Ed: "Amolin" is commonly sold in supermarkets as baby nappy-rash cream ]
(iii) JH wrote in aus.bicycle:
Try soaking your knicks in diluted dettol for 1/2 hour (squeeze it into the chamoix), then rinse twice and dry. Also works well for jerseys.
(iv) amirm wrote in aus.bicycle:
I found the best way to avoid the problem is not riding with the same nix more than once before it's washed. This was costly as I had to have five nix for commuting, but the reward was worth it! I also use fabric softener with antibacterial agents after washing cycling garments and it has improved the comfort in summer.
(v) Marty Wallace wrote in aus.bicycle:
For a long time I blamed my seat and my knicks for a sore bum but since I've started applying a good cream before rides the problems have disappeared.
(i) Michael Warner wrote in aus.bicycle:
I get numb toes too, and my shoes are plenty wide enough. I read somewhere that feet swell up a bit when exercising, so I've been re-fastening the straps after an hour or so to loosen them, and it seems to help.
(ii) Hippy wrote in aus.bicycle:
When I get tingling in my feet, it is generally because I have the straps done up too tight or I have thick socks on (same effect as tight straps). It puts too much pressure on nerves and/or veins running on the top of the foot and causes pins and needles sensation in the toes. Loosen your straps and see what it feels like.
(iii) Tamyka Bell wrote in aus.bicycle:
I had this problem when I first started. Generally these sensations are related to pressure on some nerves. Mine was related to cleat position in an abstract way - the angle of the cleat was wrong so the knee wasn't moving directly over my toes in a straight line but rather slightly curving in at the top and bottom. I'd had problems with my ITB from running so I was susceptible to problems here. My lateral hamstrings got tight, and gluteus maximus, and that was putting pressure on the nerves and hence the tingly feet. So try some stretching of glutes and hammies, and when adjusting your cleats think about angles as well... (try riding on a trainer in front of a video camera). Worked for me.
(iv) wassupdawg wrote in aus.bicycle:
Also make sure the cleat isnt too far forward which places incorrect pressure on the wrong parts of your feet. Should be directly below (or a few mm behind) ball of your feet
> I am getting sore knees, but not on my knee, just above them.
(i) DRS wrote in aus.bicycle:
Soreness just above the knee usually indicates your saddle is too low. That means at the top of the stroke knee flexion is increased and so your quads have to work harder to force that leg down. What you're feeling is the result of that extra strain. Raising the saddle to its proper height will decrease knee flexion at the top of the stroke so your leg will be relatively straighter, your quads won't have to work quite so hard and you won't get sore in that area.
> I find my knees are getting weaker - literally [...] anyone out
> there have any pearls of wisdom to share?.
(i) Terry Collins wrote in aus.bicycle:
Work on keeping your cadence high. Low cadence will make your knees worse.
(ii) byron27 wrote in aus.bicycle:
I started riding because i couldnt run more than a couple of hundred metres and i swear by yoga, stretching. Massage is good to, but nothing beats doing a bit of yoga.
Also, when you ride do you use your glutes more or your knees to "push"? bit hard to quantify, i know, but i try to drive my power out of my glutes and it saves a bit of stress on the old knees.
(iii) Tamyka Bell wrote in aus.bicycle:
Is the knee pain due to weakness in the muscles around the knee, muscle imbalance etc., or due to the jarring motion of running? If it's jarring, then it's a technique thing, easy to fix - try shortening your stride, check your shoes are adequately cushioned, and make sure your feet don't land too far in front (in which case they push you backwards, why would you want that?). If it's a foot problem, which tends to spread to knee/hip/back problems, then getting the right pair of shoes or orthotics can be great.
If you find you cycle more comfortably with your cleats angled such that your toes turn in, it may be that you overpronate - most of the overpronating triathletes I know that don't get orthotics for their cycle shoes have their toes turned in a bit to compensate.
Then again it could be something like low joint fluid or cartilage damage, in which case you can take some glucosamine sulfate but mostly rest is best.
[If you have] flat feet I'd recommend seeing a podiatrist first, see a good sports podiatrist. They know lots about legs and feet, and they should also know drills for improving technique. Alternatively see a good physio or a good doc specialising in sports medicine.
> I'm getting plenty of soreness in my left ankle... right in the join
> area (just under the ball on my ankle)... it really starts to hurt at
> around 80km mark of a ride, and on the weekend, i had to stop riding.
(i) Tamyka Bell wrote in aus.bicycle:
Set up an indoor trainer in front of a mirror and check out your leg action from the front. If you knee is moving in and out excessively or your foot is flicking side to side a lot, that could cause the problem. It could be seat height or fore/aft position. Or it could be because the natural movement of your foot isn't centred with the cleat position, so you get some "pressing" that you work to resist while you ride, in which case you'd just need to fix that. (I'm assuming you're using red look-style cleats here, which is bad of me, but I can't help you otherwise)
> Does anyone know of any recommended strengthening exercises for these
> muscles to help with these upper back problems?
(i) Casurina99 wrote in aus.bicycle:
I get the exact same pains when riding a roady and hanggliding so: When training for hangliding stuff I used to lie on my belly, head and arms off my bed, and read a book for a while just holding my head up. Say a small chapter at a time...
Over time it strengthens the muscles and now it takes a much longer ride for me to get a sore neck/shoulders..
(i) powinc wrote in aus.bicycle:
Try shoulder shrugs on and off the bike.
(i) Ritcho wrote in aus.bicycle:
Sore calves? Either cleat position or seat height - first guess is that the cleat position is a little far forward... Some clipless shoes ride higher (see LOOK for a good example) than 'flats', shortening the effective seat height. The cyclingnews Fitness Q&A section has some good articles about fit.
(ii) flyingdutch wrote in aus.bicycle:
Sounds more like a common thing you can get when first taking up clipless pedalling IMHO. All of a sudden you also pull up, thus using calves that have happily gone along for the ride previously. [...] Adjust seat height to allow for new distance between shoe and pedal(axle).
The general answer is it depends.
Things like insurance policies are in a constant state of flux - (did you notice that standard exclusions now include "Terrorist Attack"), so any information presented here should be taken as a rough-guide only. You will really have to do the research yourself, particularly with respect to different premium providers.
Membership of your state bicycle body (e.g.: BNSW/BVIC) often includes 3rd-party style insurance, some offering insurance for the rider at an extra premium.
General household policies usually cover the bike at home, but perhaps only to a certain value. Check with your insurance provider to find out if/what that value is, and if the bike needs to be specifically mentioned in the policy. Be careful about exclusions on "Sporting Goods", even if you never ride your bike as sport.
Travel Insurance will readily cover a bicycle (obviously only during travel), but only to a certain value, and can be very expensive. Usually the bike is not covered for damage during use.
It is possible to get general bicycle insurance, even with extensions for overseas travel. It will have conditions like "bike only covered for theft if securely locked to an immovable object", and you may have to get a written valuation from your LBS. The best bet for finding out who supplies this sort of cover in your state is to contact your state bicycling body.
Reported policy costs (per annum) have been around 10% bike value.
John Retchford wrote in aus.bicycle:
Light is scattered by particles, water vapour, droplets and the atmosphere itself. The shorter wavelengths (blue end) is scattered through greater angles than the longer wavelengths (red end). This is why the sky looks blue away from the sun. More blue light is scattered back to the eye from rays that would not otherwise reach you. Yellow lenses cut the blue end of the spectrum and thus the more highly scattered light, leaving a higher proportion of the direct light. This has the effect of increasing contrast, especially in conditions of flat light due to light cloud, mist or fog. This is why fog lights are usually yellow.
Try the yellow lenses in low, flat light and save the clear lenses for darkness, where you want the maximum light transmission and where scattering is not much of a problem.
(i) p.dixon contributed via email:
> ... What type of bike would you guys recommend for a
> novice rider to buy? I don't intend on competing or joining a club. I'm just
> looking for something new to add to my fitness program. I intend on riding
> this bike to work daily. I live in Frankston and work in the city. Obviously
> I don't intend on riding from Frankston to Melbourne anytime soon but
> figured a could catch the train for a way and ride the rest.
About bike choice: (I'm assuming you want to spend $500 - $1000 or so for a new bike)
This is the reflex response.
Get one $600+ new, with non-knobby tyres but ones with grooves, so you can also
ride on grass and easy dirt tracks.
You may want to look out for one with threaded holes in the frame and the slots where the front and rear wheels go ("drop-outs") to attach racks you can attach bags ("panniers") to, in case you want to tote your stuff around in bags attached to the bike instead of yourself to commute or go on a big hippy bike holiday, aka "touring".
From my experience, it's most comfortable to commute with a backpack or courier bag,
but 110% more comfortable to tour with panniers. There may also be threaded holes to attach
serious (non-clip on) mud-guards to, too - they can be handy both for commuting and - especially touring.
These are basically mountain bikes with road-bike sized wheels ("700c" instead of "26 inch"),
though they tend to have more lightweight frames. They usually come fitted with grooved,
commuter-oriented tyres off the rack. Again, you may want to look out for hybrids with frames
which have threaded holes ("eyelets") for panniers and mudguards - lots of (the better) hybrids have them anyway.
They also tend to be designed for people who don't really ride their bikes often, but just want to buy a bike. This means "relaxed angles", which means... ah, it's too complicated. It also means that the components of the bike and the frame itself may not be as high a quality as a similarly priced road or mountain bike. They also may come with a wide, spongey, mushy saddle. If you are in any sort of physical condition better than morbidly obese, this is NOT what you want. Seriously. If you buy a hybrid, get that quarter of brie saddle replaced with one that's long, narrow and firm (ps: enough of your giggling, Finbar Saunders). You support yourself on a bike with your abdominal muscles and the (names of muscle groups to be inserted later by someone else who actually knows what they are talking about) muscles in your, umm, bum-oidal and hip-oidal (ibid)! regions. Squooshy saddles just make all of them sore if you do any serious riding.
The "entry level" road bike market ($400 to $800 or so) seems to be devoid of interest to bike manufacturers. Understandably so: the folks that would have bought a cheapish road bike 20 years ago now buy MTBs. And a 2004 MTB is much more comfortable and easy to ride than a similarly priced road bike. But if you want to go fast, and your tochas is up to it, get one - an "entry level" road bike will be well-made and good value.
Touring bikes used to be, in short, road bikes with "cantilever" (mountain bike... tho it's "V-brakes" now) brakes, a "triple" (triple chainring - three front gears, on the crank thingy the pedals are attached to, instead of the usual road bike two), and eyelets for racks and panniers. (They also had more "relaxed angles", etc) These days, they appear to be hybrids with road bike handlebars ("drop bars".) Many are actually fine, purpose-built machines - some bike companies seem to have put aside commercial imperatives, since there's not much of a market for tourers, and produced bikes that are just what I'd want to ride Mon - Fri to work. If I could afford one, that is.
(i) Geoff wrote in aus.bicycle:
Resistance trainers are really useful for complementing your road riding. They allow you to train at specific intensities without the influence of the environmental factors that exist when training out on the road.
For example a recovery effort at which you would want to be operating at or around LT (Lactic Threshold) heartrate to get the maximum benefit. If you were to try this on the road you would find it unbearably slow in terms of bike speed. You would almost certainly not be able to remain disciplined enough to go this slow. Factors such a hills and wind would make this even harder as they serve only to increase your heart rate. On a resistance trainer it is much easier to maintain a constant heart rate and cadence and hence a more effective workout.
As to what type of trainer to use will depend on what type of training you are planning to do. If you plan to do High Power Low Cadence work then steer clear of the Rim type trainers. They do not cut it. (I used to have one. The rubber wheels loose traction with the rim). If it is just low power (ie < 200Watts) spinning they are ok but you will still probably find that your pedal stroke is not as fluid as it could be. I think this is due mostly due to the mag unit's flywheel being relatively small.
If you are after something that will give you a good feel you will need to be looking at good quality Fluid or Mag resistance units that have a large heavy flywheels. If you anticipate you will be doing High Power Low Cadence (ie > 300Watt) workouts as well as Low Power High Cadence (Spinning) then I would be looking at Mag units and "Adjustable resistance" Fluid units. Examples to these would be the Tacx "CycleForce Swing", the Elite "Volare" or Minoura "Hypermag 1200".
Rollers are a good option if you are after a spinning type of workout. It's not too difficult to maintain a specific heart rate on rollers but you will find your HR will be a little higher for the same output power (due to the increased demands from the muscles of the upper body for oxygen) when compared to a stationary type trainer. If you use a road bike on the rollers you can easily change your resistance on the fly by moving through the gears. You cannot do Low Cadence High Power on normal rollers.
Personally for training I use a "Senator Ergo Frame" (see www.rickleonard.com.au) fitted with a Tacx resistance unit of the same type that is found on the Tacx "CycleForce Swing" trainer. This combination gives a realistic roadlike feeling.
I use Rollers for pre/post race warming up/cooling down when it is just not possible to justify transporting the Ergo to a race. I also have a Tacx "CycleForce Swing" that my wife uses, with her bike, for her indoor training. She used to think that the Minoura Rim trainer was good until she started using this. I have tried a High Power Medium Cadence power workout using the Tacx "CycleForce Swing" with my road bike just to see if it felt any different from the same workout on the ergo. The feel was reasonably similar, as expected, with the exception of one thing. The flexing of my road frame under load (est. power of 420-480W). This amount of flexing I did not see as being too good for the bike frame so I decided that the Ergo was definitely the better platform for this type of effort. There are other Ergo trainers out there, (eg Perkins, Evans) but they all seem to use air for their resistance method. These air resistance models are quite noisy when in use. Noise is also an issue to keep in mind when considering "fan type" resistance trainers.
(ii) Tamyka Bell wrote in aus.bicycle:
Wind trainers are kind of like a little fan inside the unit, so the faster the wheel starts spinning, the more you increase the resistance. Also the louder it gets! If you want to sit in front of the TV and really spin, with very little tension, it's a bad thing. If you want to get really, really strong, it's a good thing.
Mag trainers use a big magnet, often in oil, and so the resistance isn't speed-dependent. You can just spin and spin at whatever speed you want. Sometimes you have to jump off to adjust the tension and some mag trainers have a cable that goes up to your bars so you can adjust from there. (This is like the intensity control knob on an exercise bike). I use a mag trainer, I just work different gears for different intensity because I"m too lazy to get off my bike. Or I get my housemate to adjust it for me, he's a good slave. Quieter ones are more expensive.
You can also get cool "rollers" which have three big... rollers, you basically put your bike on it and spin, spin spin spin spin! Because you're not locked in like a wind/mag trainer you get to develop balance as well. Not recommended for outdoors on a windy day as I saw at a demo at uni.
Make sure you have a sturdy training tyre on your back wheel, you don't want to waste a really nice tyre on the trainer. You may have to change the qr skewer on the back wheel but there's usually a nice strong steel one provided with the trainer. Make sure the contact is firm enough that the wheel deforms a few mm. If you're going to do a lot of training on your indoor trainer, it's nice to have your computer rigged up to the back wheel instead of the front, so you can see speed/distance stats when you're not going anywhere. I'm too lazy to change mine, it's on the front and that's where it'll stay. But I only use it on rainy days, which aren't too frequent in Sunny BrisVegas.
I use a Minoura mag trainer, it came with a support for the front wheel and one of those sweat covers for the bike, it's light but strong and adjustable and not too noisy.
I guess the biggest point is that, so long as it holds your bike stable, it's pretty good. The more expensive ones really are just quieter in general.
(iii) Hippy wrote in aus.bicycle:
[Trainers] are better than nothing for replacing riding. They are great if you are doing serious training and need to focus on specific intensity levels that can't be maintained on the road due to lights, traffic, wind, etc, etc.. That said, I find indoor training to be dead boring. I watch movies and listen to music when I occasionally jump on my mag trainer these days.
Non-rim trainers will need slick tyres and will wear these tyres down. Fluid trainers are meant to better match road feel but are usually more expensive. I have a Minoura Rim mag trainer and it does the job it's supposed to.
(i) Rob Woozle wrote in aus.bicycle:
"Three Men on a bike" by Rory Spowers.
These guys found the Goodies trandem... and rode it through Africa...
a great read!!
(ii) Zebee Johnstone wrote in aus.bicycle:
>If you look carefully at the (Goodies) DVD, IIRC during the opening
>credits, the tandem they're using is actually a double with an extra seat
>tacked onto the rear. Yet in the series, at least all the episodes on the
>DVD, they ride a true triple-tandem.
Apparently the first incarnation of the "trandem" bike was a fixie! With no brakes... Later on they got a freewheel and a front brake, but for the first couple of seasons they were using up a lot of band-aids...
The first one was not only an unbraked fixie... it was a tandem with a 3rd seat as luggage. Apparently the handling with the weight of Bill Oddie on the back on a glorified luggage rack was interesting.
mfhor wrote in aus.bicycle:
It fits on the old Woods style skinny valve with the collar, pre-Presta, pre-Schrader. If you pull the valve core out, you might have found a seat for the tube, which acted as a valve core seal, and a filler hole seal as well. They tended to perish, hence the need for a spare or two. Still necessary in Asia, as many old bikes (including their repeatedly patched tubes) are still around. Hence their presence in our Asian-derived patch kits.
Limited to web sites where you can actually complete a purchase online:
Well, sometimes yes.
Local stores must charge you GST, and have already paid most of the shipping. Depending on the value of what you import, you will be charged GST by customs and perhaps duty too.
Before you buy, ensure sizing and specifications are absolutely correct, and for electrical equipment (e.g. battery chargers) are compatible with the local system. Also work out what will happen for warranty returns.
So factor in shipping, GST, possible customs duty, currency conversion charges (especially with credit card transactions), compatibility and then compare the cost. Less calcuable costs are warranty return problems, and discounts you might accrue via shop loyalty. Certain shops will also give a significant percentage discount to state-bicycle-body members, for example: BNSW card holders can get 5-10% off gear most places.
(i) ftf wrote in aus.bicycle:
If you get it delivered through a courier expect to pay all the fees (tax, duty, processing fee) and if through the post you will most likely pay none (if the total order is less than $500 AUD).
(ii) Hitchy wrote in aus.bicycle:
A mate of mine looked at trying to ship a Trek 'madone' from the US rather than buying it on the local market. The reasons for this were that the madone retails for around $5.9K Aus in the US compared with around $10K Aus in Oz (you can get it cheaper at the right LBS...try Hendry in Vic). Anyway....purchasing the thing, shipping & insurance (& even the potential $ for duty if he got 'busted'), still made it viable. The biggest issue was that Trek wouldn't provide any guarantee unless it was bought on the local market. This obviously isn't an issue unless anything goes wrong!, but with the 'madone' being 'cutting edge' technology & costing a small fortune....who would take the chance?.....I think other bike manufacturers take a similar view to protect their local distributors...something to think about other than cost, anyway
(iii) suzyj wrote in aus.bicycle:
> The prices on the internet are so good, that even with the shipping
> cost to Australia, you get better value ordering from some of the
> sites in the US.
One gotcha: Avoid DHL. They bill you for GST, then bill you a "processing fee". I copped this on a set of forks. The GST was $30, and the processing fee $80. Not happy Jan. I note that the online mob involved (Totalcycling) actually listened to my email whinge about DHL, and now have a parcelforce (=royal mail) option for shipment to Aust.
Shipping a whole bike is likely to be a reasonably expensive exercise, especially considering that it's generally the components and not whole bikes that Aust. importers love to gouge on. I usually only buy components etc on the net, and get larger stuff (for me this only equates to rims) locally.
(iv) Marty Wallace wrote in aus.bicycle:
I recently imported a mountain bike fork (Rockshox SID Team 2003), $US428 plus US$45 [delivery] for US$473 total.
Total $84 owed.
I work that out at 3% duty and 11.3% GST.
On the back of the form it says:
GST = 10% x (VOTI + WET)
VOTI = (Value of taxable importation (which is the customs value)) plus (Customs duty) plus (cost of transport). WET = Wine equalisatin tax (Which in this case doesn't apply)
So that means you actually get double taxed slightly. You pay GST on the import duty! How rude!
(i) Geoffs wrote in aus.bicycle:> I'm contemplating the purchase of a Hillbrick Chrome Moly road bike frame.
I have seen a few of paul's steel frames in at Star Enamel to be sprayed and they seem to be built ok. [...] I think Dave Short? rides a hillbrick track bike and if it can stand up to his leg power (silver @ the world masters) thats not to bad.
The guy that does the best work is John Bosevski at Taren Point but he is expensive and there's a wait.
(i) Peter Vesel wrote in aus.bicycle:
I had my bike done by Star Enamellers at Bankstown. Just a one colour job though. If they can't do what you want I'm sure they'll point you in the right direction.
(ii) cfsmtb wrote in aus.bicycle:
Custom stuff, these guys maybe able to help: www.hillbrick.com.au.
(i) Phil wrote in aus.bicycle:
If anyone's interested I've got a friend who specialises in graphics for motorcycles but more importantly he'll do small runs of stickers for you at very reasonable prices (especially if you do the artwork). Anyway his website is www.cutgrafix.com.
Nick Payne wrote in aus.bicycle:
I made my own stick batteries. It cost about $55 for 10 2.9Ah NiMH sub-C cells with solder tags from Jaycar - enough for two sticks. I used garden irrigation pipe and endcaps to make the stick. I already had the pipe etc lying around from having installed an irrigation system in my garden, but they're not expensive items. I also needed a couple of sockets to fit the plugs on the Vistalite cables. So total cost was around $70 plus a few hours of time.
Nick Payne wrote in aus.bicycle:
I built a couple of these, with the addition of a switch to toggle a resistor so that I can charge either 6v or 12v. They work fine with bottle batteries and stick batteries.
(i) Joesph wrote in aus.bicycle:
If I haven't used my bike for a week or so I find that the brakes sometimes squeak. My solution last time was to check the toe in (this didn't help). Then I cleaned the rims with methylated spirits and I also rubbed down the rims with a soft brass bristles brush. This stopped the squeak and now everything is quiet.
(ii) Kingsley wrote in aus.bicycle:
You could try some more up-market brake pads. Supposedly Kool-Stop 'Salmon' brake pads are good at stopping brake squeal.
(iii) stu wrote in aus.bicycle:
Toe in to reduce squeal, but not too much or the brakes will become too spongy. It will also wear a curve into the front of the pad. Greasing the pivots can help too.
(iv) tony R wrote in uk.rec.cycling:
My current pads of choice (with V-brakes on the commuter), Clarkes red coloured ones, always squeal when new or when the rim has just been cleaned. I presume the latter is because I carelessly leave some soap or whatever on the rims (although I always finish up with a rub down with meths - for the rims that is). However as the noise disappears after a few miles once some crap from the road is picked up, I'm not too bothered. Maybe you've got some unwanted residue on your front rim?
(v) Zog The Undeniable wrote in uk.rec.cycling:
[...] "Parallel push" V-brakes can suffer from this when the pivots wear a bit.
(iv) Pete Biggs wrote in uk.rec.cycling:
This can be really tricky to solve sometimes. You do everything right and the brakes STILL squeal like a massivley amplified goose :-( Change of pads is your best bet - after making sure there's no grease on the rim. Toe-in doesn't always help. Flex in the brake/forke can be a factor, but a brake booster (on v-brakes) can sometimes make the problem worse.
(i) suzyj wrote in aus.bicycle:
My first Look pedals were actually Shimano 105s, bought in the
late eighties. Since then I've also bought a set of Look PP296 and Look
PP396 pedals, and all three sets are still going strong on three
different bikes [...]
There's no better pedal, IMHO, and if you trundle along to a race meeting you'll find that perhaps 50% of roadies agree.
(ii) Mick wrote in aus.bicycle:
I use SPD on my mtb and SPD-SL on my road bike. Both have float. The SPD's I find a lot easier to clip into, although I've only been using the SL's for a few weeks.
The SPD's are double sided and you don't have to be too accurate with your foot placement to clip in. Also I find if I do happen to miss with the SPD's I can manage a couple of revolutions with one foot not clipped in if needed.
(iii) warrwych wrote in aus.bicycle:
I have Looks - 1998 vintage - and they are still going strong. I love em! I find that I go thru cleats [...] every 6 mth or so but I also buy them in "bulk" (ie 3 prs in a pack) thru Cecil Walker who discount them this way.
(iv) hippy wrote in aus.bicycle:
I have the double-sided caged, double-sided cageless and spd+flat pedal versions. The worst of these for clipping in is the spd+flat pedal version, because you have to make sure you get the right side up. Because they have a large flat pedal on the other side though it's not really an issue, unlike road pedals (SPD-SL, LOOK, etc) where your foot will slip off the back of the pedal. Double-sided SPD are great for commuting where you need to regularly unclip and clip-in (unless you trackstand). I trackstand more now with the SPD-SLs because they are a bit harder to clip-in quickly with.
(i) DJ wrote in aus.bicycle:
Whatever you do, never use the tyre levers to get that final bit of leverage otherwise you'll end up with snake bite like punctures in your tube due to pinching your tube against the rim & tyre. I won't tell ya how long it took me to find this out hehehe
(ii) Marx SS wrote in aus.bicycle:
I put powder all over the tube & maybe inside the tyre before I fit it. When putting the last of the bead of the tyre over the rim, I make sure the rest of the bead that already inside the rim is sitting along the most inside of the rim (up against the spoke nipple bases where the rubber strap/tape is) as this gives you more tyre bead to work over the balance of the rim edge.
(iii) flyingdutch wrote in aus.bicycle:
Can you get some slack by starting at the opposite side of the wheel/tyre and eeking out/around what 'give' there is in the tyre so you have more tye to finally work over that last bit of rim?