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el Guapo gets a bike

el Guapo

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Irish,
I still enjoy and occasional afternoon with Mr. Limbaugh.

As to my riding, I have made much progress in increasing my fitness. I started off riding a few blocks. Now I ride about 15 miles after works every week day. I average about 15mph on a hilly course. The big chainring helps going down. I hit 35 mph the other night. Saturdays I go for about 25 miles. Sundays I rest. Please note that this is toting an old Schwinn Cro-Molly mountain bike up and down the hills of Northwest Missouri. We do indeed have hills. I seek them for the challenge. I rode up the worst hill in town yesterday.

I have changed out to semi-slick tires and keep the bike set up with fenders and a lighting system for rainy days and evening rides. I have a front bag and rear rack (softball for you Chet) for toting spare tubes, locks, wallet.

I started doing the occasional commute to work on days when I was sure i was going to do field work, but no showers are available in my neck of the woods and the ride is too short to make this anything other than a pain in the ass. The ride is only three miles and I need my car at work 70% of the time. Thus, it just makes more sense to go for a long ride after work.

I have used the bike for local erands and even went grocery shopping the other day with it. I made a set of homemade panniers to haul loads with. It is a supprisingly utilitarian device.

I really enjoy bicycling. I am fitter and feel better and I like the community of riders. The other day I went out without my normal cloth shorts over my bicycling shorts. The world wasn't ready for that much lycra covered ass.

I'm looking to get a used roadbike once the beergut is gone. Any suggestions. Keep in mind, I have a kid in braces and a frugal wife.
 

BKM

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Welcome aboard, El Guapo. It sounds like you are riding more regularly than I do!

For "unsociable" people like myself, that cycling community can be great.

Not sure how much you want to spend, but I would suggest you look at Trek's line of road bikes. Its an American company (Wisconsin), and they offer a wide range of models and pricing. And, they are very widely distributed. Bianchi, Cannondale, and Specialized also offer moderately priced bikes that can be recommended.

The key, of course, is to find a shop that knows bike fit and matches you to a bike that is right for you.
 

BKM

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A decent starting point. I might suggest an upgrade to Shimano 105 for the derailleurs, shifters, and brakes. But again, my first "real" road bike was a Trek, and it was fine until it was stolen.
 

donk

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Maybe this should be called el Guapo gets a new bike.


How tall are you and what is your inseam? (sizing is important) If you are of the right stature there are always good deals at the end of the season.

You may also want to look at used, bikes don't hold their value too much and you may be better off buying a 2-3 year old used bike in good condition(105-Ultegra level parts) vs a new sora bike.

For good value check out giant bikes. They are the manufacturer for just about everyone, even treks low end bikes.

Sora vs 105 for the shifters is preference thing. The shifters on sora are more like the campy ones then the rest of the shimano line. (you'll know what i mean when you look at them).

I'd also budget to get clipless pedals and shoes, they make riding much more comfortable and efficient.

If you are cruising at 15 mph on an old mountain bike you'll fly on a new road bike.

You are making me feel bad about not riding too much for teh last 2 weeks (weather related)

I see the group get together in DC including a bike tour.
 

The Irish One

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I road around with a beer gut for a while and I still won't wear those shorts alone! It's a big step in a bikers life when you go to the tights, big step. I've worn them before. Congrats on all the riding, that sounds great you're able to get that much riding in with a wife and kid. I think any trek is a great bike. I have a trek right now and I love it -it's about 5 years old and I have no complaints.

I see the group get together in DC including a bike tour.
I'm in the process of planning out my Northern Tier Tour or Transamerica tour for the Summer of 2004. Oh what fun. I'm looking at buying Ortlieb panniers -it's like Christmas.

here are the routes
http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/
 

el Guapo

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Donk,
Yeah the clipless and shoes are in the plan of acquisition. Got any recommendations? I also need a jersey. Got a suggestion for an entry level high- visibility brand? Right now I wear a lightweight reflective vest, because I ride exclusively on the road and in real traffic.

My sizes are 5'11 and 29-30" inseam. Call me el Torso. Can you recommend a frame size base upon that information?

I'd have NO problem buying a used 2-3 year old bike. In fact that is what I'd prefer. I'm doing my own maintenance now. My wife and I cut a deal. When I get 1000 more miles on this bike I can go get a better one.

I also bought a copy of Effective Cycling by John Forester. I'm about halfway through it. Next purchase is Zin on Bicycle Maintenance.
 

donk

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Another Trek rider here, my first and current road bike is an 8 year old trek (2100 carbon/aluminum 105/RSX). I have broken one frame, but they were pretty good about warranteeing it, even though the replacemnt's colours are ugly.
 

donk

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If you are short legged and have torso the compact geometry frames will probably be better for you. (they have a short seat tube and sloping top tube for stand over, but lots of distance from teh seat tube to teh head tube).

You can probably ride a 56 through 59 depending on the bikes geometry. One thing I'll look for on my next bike is a bike with a long head tube that puts the handlebars in a good spot.

For shoes and pedals, considering that it sounds like you are doing some utilitarian riding I'd go with mtb shoes and pedals. You can walk in them as the cleats are recessed and the shoes can look like hiking boots. For mtb pedals I use shimano pedals. Many people have good things to say about time (french) and egg beaters (US company)

If you are concerned with speed then road shoes and look pedals are the way to go.
 

BKM

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I've always road on Looks. The cleats do wear out, which means another $10-$15 every few months.

Shoes: Specialized have some decent entry level shoes. If you have big (wide) feet like I do, you might try (pricier) Deodoras (my favorites)-but that's probably after you get serious. :)
 

donk

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I am all over the diadoras. I have a pair for mountain biking.
The problem is that I got them for free and am having a helluva time justifing spending $350 on a new pair of shoes.

The only problem I have with look cleats is slipping on the floor of the gas station I refuel at on my 60 mile loop.
 

BKM

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Look Cleats

I know what you mean. I was on a ride once, and went into a country store. The doorway to the store was at the top of this half-ass little asphalt ramp leading down to the street. Of course, when I walk out, I slip on the "ramp" and fall right on top of my bike, pretzeling the wheel. 30 miles from the starting point :( It was a very wobbly ride back!

I like my current Sidis from a fit standpoint (they are comfortable), but I'm about to give up on them. I have severe pronation (flat footedness) and they don't give enough support/I can't get them adjusted right. I'm gonna wreck my achilles tendon.

Sorry, El Guapo for hijacking your thread with bicycling stories :)
 

The Irish One

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hijacked baby

Anytime somebody else starts riding I get the fever for more riding. 30 miles a day and I'm good.

Has anybody here been on an extended self supported tour?
 

donk

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I'm with you, all the talk of riding made me go for a monster ride last night.

I did a solo 70 mile (115 km). I maxed out at 40 (65km) miles per hour on a killer downhill.

I've never had anyone to go touring with, i think it would be fun to B&B hop for a week with a few changes of clothes and a credit card.
 

The Irish One

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One of these years when I have a lot of cash I'll definately do the B&B thing especially a tour in the north east when the colors are raging if temps permit.

I do solo camping tours. One of the cool things about touring is that you'll hook up with some people along the way. Sometime they ride slower but hey big deal -I like to kick at some one else's pace for a while. In California (my location) you can camp for 1 dollar a night at the state hiker biker sights. Going down the coast is a lot of fun. On the central coast you can easily get a 100 mile day in with the wind at your back. It's nice to pull that off and not be in great shape and have 45 lbs of gear all over your bike.
 

donk

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Irish one, can't find it/don't remember if it has been mentioned, what type/brand of bike do you ride?
 

The Irish One

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all of my local road riding is done on a Trek 7300 multitrack, a really fun bike to ride. I had to buy new handlebars and seat cause the fit sucked now the bike is a great ride. For touring I use a GT Palomar mountain bike-it cost me US$ 315. And it rides sweet with very few modifications.

My brother lends me his cannondale road bike often -can't remember specifically.
 

Seabishop

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Enter Dumb Guy

Allow me to be the dumb outsider here. What's the difference between more expensive road bikes and your average 10 speed Schwin or mountain bike?
 

donk

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Trying to get an image and just was'nt sure if you were touring on a mtb, hybrid or road bike.

here are the bikes I own and ride

1) Road Bike - Trek 2100 with 105/rsx parts- probably has about 20000 km on it
2) MTB - Dekerf team SL - syncros (from when they were good) and xtr - probably has about 5000km on it
3) Town bike - Brodie Climbmax - my old custom built racing bike - xt, and lots of cool old CNC parts. probably has about 12000 km on it.

Lustin gafter a new road bike(want custom or Ti) and a new mtb bike (suspension). Too bad I am a planner.
 

donk

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The primary difference between cheap bikes, less expensive bikes and expensive bikes are

1) Cheap bikes are made from cheap materials and parts. They are typically sold at department stores and when parts need to be replaced are a pain (unusual sizes / seized together). These bikes usually come in a few sizes that you have to figure out which one fits you.

2) inexpensive bikes are bikes that are put together by a quality retailer (LBS) and use the low end parts from recognizable manufacturers (shimano, rock shox etc). Better selection of sizes and help from a shop.

3) expensive bikes use hi tech materials and parts. (Titanium, carbon fibre, aircraft grade steel and aluminum) They tend to be expensive because people/artists put them together vs machines and factory workers.
Expensive bikes also tend to come in more sizes and the shop will work to fit you on the proper bike and parts.

Road bikes tend to have narrow tires (23-28 mm) vs the wide tires of a mtb (1.95 inches -2.25 inches). Road bikes are great where you have good roads, mtb are for offroad or rotten roads.

Hope this helps.

The best part about cycling is that you can afford (if you choose) to buy the exact same equipment that the pros ride. Can't do that in many sports.
 

ecofem

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I've got a Specialized hybrid. It's a solid, basic bike that I use for commuting to and from work. (about 6 miles round-trip)
 

Cardinal

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I did an extended, self-supported ride from Chicago to LaCrosse a few years back. We peddled anywhere from 40 to 100 miles each day, depending on terrain and the location of state parks where we camped. Rain presented the biggest problem, not just because the cycling was more dangerous, but becuase the 35 pounds of gear we each carried got wet and much heavier (ex., wet tent). If I did it again I would skip the camping and stay in hotels along the route. There would be more room in the panniers for extra clothing, and less weight. Another option might be to mail yourself packages at different points on the route, then just send the old stuff home.
 

donk

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A family I know road across Canada, they used BOB Trailers instread of panniers. Out MTB club uses one of these trailers to move tools around in the woods. They work well and don't mess up the handling of the bike too much. They can also carry more than panniers.

If I were to go long distance touring I'd probably use Michael's suggestion and have things drop shipped along the way.
 

Cardinal

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The Trek is a good choice, El Guapo. I've mentioned before that they are made in my city. Their plant borders my back yard, barely a quarter mile from the house.
 

Seabishop

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Thanks. Biking is the perfect workout for planners and other geography geeks because of the element of actually going somewhere. When I was a kid my bike rides got me intrested in the differences between neighborhoods. I can't do too much of it yet though because I'd be leaving my wife home with 2 very little ones while I have my fun.
 

michaelskis

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Re: Look Cleats

BKM said:


I like my current Sidis from a fit standpoint (they are comfortable), but I'm about to give up on them. I have severe pronation (flat footedness) and they don't give enough support/I can't get them adjusted right. I'm gonna wreck my achilles tendon.


To help this, get a pair of ECCO shoes for your every day shoes. I worked at a shoe store for 3 years, and I have 4 pair of them now. They are not cheep, but they are one of the best quality shoes, and it is way cheeper than a trip to the foot doctor. Go to a higher end shoe store, like Tradehome Shoes, and ask to try them on.
 

donk

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Seabishop wrote
When I was a kid my bike rides got me intrested in the differences between neighborhoods
when asked the question about your greatest accomplishment in job interviews I tend to say learning to ride a bike for this and a few other reasons.

Michael S wrote
barely a quarter mile from the house.
Thats cool. Can you smell the epoxy curing?icon12.gif
 

Cardinal

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donk said:
Thats cool. Can you smell the epoxy curing?icon12.gif
No, the moved the painting operation to Waterloo a couple years ago. Here's a picture of one being put together at the plant, though.
 

Repo Man

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Nice mullet!

I hope he built my bike! I bought an inexpensive Gary Fisher Wahoo mountain bike at the end of last season.
 

BKM

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Cool, Michael. The only thing made in the town (Fairfield) where I work is jelly beans and bad American lager (Budweiser).
 

Cardinal

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BKM said:
Cool, Michael. The only thing made in the town (Fairfield) where I work is jelly beans and bad American lager (Budweiser).
This is a very el Guapo-friendly town. We make Trek bikes, guided missile circuitry, beer (best oatmeal stout I know) and hydraulic systems for Volvos.
 

The Irish One

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I considered a Bob trailer but the front and back panniers have a better feel -especially going down hill. Some extra weight in the front panniers is really stable. Ok from my last tour I learned a couple of things.

1. I need waterproof panniers, plastic bags inside the panniers works but is to much clutter..

2. Send all extras home! I found that sending things back home would help unload weight. film, clothes I don't need, etc...

3. Having food sent to places along the way will be a must on my Norther Tier or TransAmerica tour.

4. A better sleeping pad.
 

JNA

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would this be a good time to create new thread/w/poll
for bicycle riders to vote on their favorite style/location of riding
street - touring, commuting
trail - single, rail-to-trail, levee
 

Chet

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I vote TREK too. I have their 7700, kind of a street / off road cross over, more desirable for street though. Its light enough, geared well, and comfortable.
 

JNA

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don't most Police/Paramedics on bikes ride Trek's?
 

el Guapo

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el Guapo bought a bike: Sung to the tune of Jamie Got a Gun by Aerosmith.

I took the day off from work today. I putzed around Lowes and the house and then went for a ride after the rain quit. I have been training for a club ride next weekend for about three months. Today I finaly rode the entire route. It is 22 miles of the worst hills in town. I was semi-pent when the ride was over, but I did it in 1:45 so I feel REAL good. That's 12.5mph in the "mountain stage."

I won't be the fastest rider out there next weekend, but I'll finish for sure. Not too bad for a 2 pack a day smoker three years ago. To top it off I bought some new jeans today. The waist is 6 inches smaller than the pair I wore six months ago. Suprisingly my legs are still the same lenght.

310 Road Miles in July.
 

donk

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EG
The waist is 6 inches smaller than the pair I wore six months ago
Unfortunately you sent half of them to me. Good thing I don't pack my winter clothes away.

Congrats and keep it fun.
 

Jen

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Way to go!

Six inches off the waist and legs like iron? Are you shaving the legs yet, want to show off that defined calf now dont' ya?

Really you riders are inspiring me to get back in motion . I stopped riding my trek with the chubby cheeks seatwhen the kids got too heavy for the Burley trailer. Two kids w/ combined weight bout 60 lbs oh yeah I could feel the burn. Well the bike is hanging in the gayraj and the girls are scooting along on their mini treks w/ training wheels just above walking speed. Thus I have decided to take up inline skating! Got a set of wheels by Bauer and some protection for the ankles elbows and knees, and YES I can do this! Wheeee but I hafta work on braking!
 

Wulf9

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My daily ride is a Brompton folder. It's not good for more than 5-10 miles but can fold small enough to fit in the car or in a suitcase for a plane flight.
 

giff57

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Believe it or not, in 93 and 94 I rode 20-30 miles three or four times a week, with at least a 30 minute ride on other days. Got out of the habit because I didn't want to do grad school all stinky, and when I didn't have class my time was occupied with a four year old I was raising myself. I have an old Trek in the shed. I may have to dust it off and roaderize it.
 

Rem

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donk said:
The only problem I have with look cleats is slipping on the floor of the gas station I refuel at on my 60 mile loop.
EG I think you and the other guys may be talking about two different things. Don't try to match their stats if they are really riding Yamahas.

There is some talk about touring options. Our state road authority organises an annual cycle tour each March(link) where luggage is carried ahead for you and meals and the like can be taken communally, if it suits. It may be a little crowded and slow for Cyburbians, judging by the discussion, but it is very popular with participants.

Is cycling taken seriously or encouraged by North American road authorities?
 

Cardinal

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Rem said:
Is cycling taken seriously or encouraged by North American road authorities?
If by "support" you mean not wanting to construct shoulders or sidewalks on bridges, and earmarking TEA enhancement money to partially fund highway construction, then our state "supports" bicycling. Fortunately, local governments are much more honest and truly supportive of cycling. Most of the bike lanes and trails that get constructed are done locally.
 

Rem

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Michael Stumpf said:
If by "support" you mean not wanting to construct shoulders or sidewalks on bridges, ...
Our State Road Authority provides cycling lanes, usually the shoulder, on all new roads and rehab. projects. New urban freeways have quite extravagent facilities for cycles. This does create some discontinuous sections, but over time that will disappear.

Local Government would probably build more cycle ways overall, but we tend to be criticised by the serious cycle users because most of our big projects tend to be recreational and mixed use (ie. with pedestrians) in character rather than the "head-down-bum-up" (our internal lexicon) variety cycle route.
 

Jeff

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el Guapo said:
My LBS is a Trek dealer. I was thinking this one: http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2003/road/1000.jsp

It is all I can afford.
Forgive me my dear friend I've been away, but before I read through the rest of this thread let me stop you in your tracks right now.

First off, if you are going to buy a road bike...DO NOT .. repeat DO NOT buy anything with a drive train other than Shimano Ultegra or better. Trust me, anything less is junk, and once you get fitter, and start riding farther, I will guarantee you will be stuck 50 miles from your house with a bike that won't shift out of a 39x23. Sora drive trains need tuning and adjustments almost daily. Do not waste your money on this crap.

Also, as far as Treks go, IMO if you aren't buying the USPS model, you are buying junk. That company sinks all their resources into building bikes for the USPS team and the rest of their production line is overlooked.

Recommendation for a good starter bike: Since I don't think you're quite ready for an Orbea or Colnago, I would go with Giant. A solid American company with bikes of decent quality at all levels.

Just remember, you get what you pay for in a bike. And bikes are expensive (I'm taking out a loan to get my next one). If you spend $500ish on a bike now, I can guarantee you will regret it in a few months. As you get fitter and fitter, you are going to expect better performance from your bike, and anything bought "off the rack" just isn't going to cut it.

I'll go back and read the thread now, I'm sure this was all already discussed ;)
 

el Guapo

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Mike,
Going <$500 is not an option. See: house, wife wants to travel to overseas every 3 years, dog, kid in braces who need a musical instrument, retirement funds and volvo maintenance. If I wasn't dancing for Chipendales on the side I'd have no fun money at all. ;) I think I'm just going to have to learn to live with a less than USPS quality bike. How about a used one? That is what I am thinking.
 
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