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Noob: Various & Sundry Q's about Biking



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 12th 04, 04:01 AM
frkrygow
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Default Noob: Various & Sundry Q's about Biking

Bop wrote:

Some questions about
current bike stuff:

... I'm kinda shocked not to find any standard
cleats, but only those for the clipless kinds. Are they there and I just
need to get some glasses, or has the clipless revolution taken over?


For sport and recreational riding, clipless has taken over. Some of us
still use clips and straps, but we're labeled "retro-grouches."

I've nothing against clipless, just that I know nothing about them (other
than that they don't require a cage). Should I stick with my present
setup, or should I buy a cheap clipless replacement?


....
I used to have a pair of touring shoes which have "ridges" instead of
cleats, and a steel shank embedded in the sole to keep them stiff. ...
I don't want to have to commute with an
extra pair of shoes, so I'm looking for something like this. But on
Nashbar and other bike sites, all they have are road & MTB shoes, no
touring stuff. Any tips on where I can look?


For commuting, I use clips and straps on platform pedals, and I ride in
dress clothes and shoes.

For most other riding, I've got a pair of Lake shoes. They look pretty
similar to the Lake MX60 Mountain model at Nashbar (LK-MX60M). They
work fine, and they've got many thousands of miles on them. I can't see
making a certain kind of shoe a requirement for riding my bike!

What kind of light I can get that a) last for a while on flash
mode, b) are light and small, and c) easy to mount. Nashbar has these
LED ones w/ elastic mounts that look to fit the bill, but I'm wondering
just how visible these suckers are, and how long the battery lasts? (I'm
guessing they take those dime-type batteries). Any other ideas for lights?


IMO, those tiny Cateye LD100 LEDs are not worth having. I'm not a lumen
freak, but I don't consider them to be bright enough. Ditto the Photon
Mini Lights. In my experience, almost any full-sized LED blinky will do
the job, particularly if you also add reflectors to your bike.
Reflectors are likely a legal requirement anyway, and while some
disparage them, I find them to be very effective. But I'd never rely on
reflectors alone.

All states require active headlights, and even if not required, some
active taillight is a very good idea.

The choices in headlights are these, depending on your riding
conditions, your fear of traffic (if any) and your night vision:

1. Self-contained units powered by flashlight batteries. Almost all are
pretty marginal in light output, and battery costs can be large if you
use them regularly. If you night-ride only occasionally, and
exclusively on well-lit streets, these may be OK as a "be seen" light.

2. Rechargeable lights with a separate battery pack. These are
surprisingly expensive - most are over $100 - and "feature" very crude
optics, so most of the light output is wasted (unless you're mountain
biking at night - the only time you need light shining up). Battery
care must be fairly diligent, and the batteries are expensive (perhaps
$50) when they've died of either too many recharges, or overcharging.

3. Generator lights are pretty hard to find, and most require some
mechanical and electrical sense to install. They vary widely in price
($15 to $250), quality and drag on the bike. But a decent set, properly
installed, will last forever and always be ready to go, just like your
car's headlights. The low power (just three watts) works for many
people because the headlamp optics are very efficient. But some people
don't feel safe unless they're pumping out 15 watts or more.

4. Home brew rechargeable systems. Since most rechargeable lights use
hardware-store track light bulbs, lots of folks have spent $10 for one
of those bulbs, $25 for a battery, scrounged a charger, and cobbled
together a headlamp. A very few have put a higher-powered halogen bulb
into a generator headlamp, using the good optics to get brighter light
with longer battery life. Naturally, you still need to tend the battery
charging (unless you get a very expensive "smart charger.")


For me, after trying the other options, I decided generators come
closest to the optimum. Others disagree rather militantly. As I said,
I think it depends on your situation.


Does Nashbar have storefronts other than the one in OH?


Nashbar doesn't even have a store in Ohio any more, AFAIK. Arni
Nashbar sold the business to Performance. Now when you phone Nashbar,
your order is taken by kids in West Virginia.


You may be interested in http://www.bicyclinglife.com


--
-------------+
Frank Krygowski [To reply, omit what's between "at" and "cc"]

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  #2  
Old April 12th 04, 08:13 PM
external usenet poster
 
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Default Noob: Various & Sundry Q's about Biking

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

In article ,
Bop wrote:

OK, not really a noob. I used to ride heavily some 10+ years before,
mostly commuting stuff. Not really much of a specs guy, but I did know all
my gearings and such. Had two accidents under my belt, one minor and one
not so minor. Anyway, just looked at my 15+ yr old bike in storage this
weekend, and on an impulse decided to clean off the cobwebs and take it out
for a spin. It was nice. But it was hard, too. Some questions about
current bike stuff:

My beater is a Team Fuji road bike, with pretty much old tech: friction
shifters, clips & straps, etc. These are fine--I'm used to them and they
still work great. But when I get on the Nashbar site to look for some
shoes & cleats replacements, I'm kinda shocked not to find any standard
cleats, but only those for the clipless kinds. Are they there and I just
need to get some glasses, or has the clipless revolution taken over?


_ IMHO, clipless pedals are the one new change to bikes vs 15-20
years ago that's really a drastic improvement. The only place to
buy old cleats anymore is Ebay and I don't know where you'd get
any shoes you could put them on.


I've nothing against clipless, just that I know nothing about them (other
than that they don't require a cage). Should I stick with my present
setup, or should I buy a cheap clipless replacement? I see common clipless
types like SPD and SPDR and whatever else. Can someone give me a quick
rundown on their differences, or point me to a FAQ somewhere?


_ The market has settled out into two basic styles for attaching
cleats SPD and Look. Look is for smooth soled road shoes and SPD
started with mountain bikes and is now used for both. The cleats
vary great according to exactly which pedal you buy, but at least
the bolts for attaching them have roughly standardardized.

_ Here's a FAQ that you might find useful

http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ


I used to have a pair of touring shoes which have "ridges" instead of
cleats, and a steel shank embedded in the sole to keep them stiff. These
obviously don't work as well as cleated ones, which I also have a pair, but
they allow me to walk around. I don't want to have to commute with an
extra pair of shoes, so I'm looking for something like this. But on
Nashbar and other bike sites, all they have are road & MTB shoes, no
touring stuff. Any tips on where I can look?


_ Shimano makes shoes like this, try looking for Shimano MO-38 on
google. Most cheaper SPD mountain shoes are at least flexible enough for
short walks. You can even get SPD sandals. On mountain bike shoes
the lugs on the sole extend far enough that you can walk without
the cleat touching the ground.

_ Booker C. Bense

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  #3  
Old April 12th 04, 11:23 PM
Zoot Katz
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Default Noob: Various & Sundry Q's about Biking

Mon, 12 Apr 2004 19:13:23 +0000 (UTC),
,
. stanford.edu wrote:

The only place to
buy old cleats anymore is Ebay and I don't know where you'd get
any shoes you could put them on.


I found a NOS pair at OCB!, my LBS
They've holes for mounting on SPD compatible shoes.
HTH
--
zk
  #4  
Old April 14th 04, 12:55 AM
Rick Onanian
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Default Noob: Various & Sundry Q's about Biking

On Sun, 11 Apr 2004 04:01:22 GMT, Bop wrote:
My beater is a Team Fuji road bike, with pretty much old tech: friction
shifters, clips & straps, etc. These are fine--I'm used to them and they
still work great. But when I get on the Nashbar site to look for some
shoes & cleats replacements, I'm kinda shocked not to find any standard
cleats, but only those for the clipless kinds. Are they there and I just
need to get some glasses, or has the clipless revolution taken over?


Clipless has indeed taken over.

The cheap Nashbar Special SPDs are pleasant and easy. Comfortable
shoes with treads that recess the cleats make walking and riding
both very pleasant. I like my SPD sandals.

than that they don't require a cage). Should I stick with my present
setup, or should I buy a cheap clipless replacement? I see common clipless


You could just use modern bike shoes with clips and straps but no
cleats; or, regular shoes, for that matter. The cheap pedals I
mentioned above are often on sale for $20/pair with cleats.

types like SPD and SPDR and whatever else. Can someone give me a quick
rundown on their differences, or point me to a FAQ somewhere?


SPD is actually two standards: bolt pattern for attaching the cleat,
and cleat-pedal compatibility. SPD pedals can use eachothers'
cleats, but many pedals exist with SPD-bolt-pattern-cleats that
won't work in standard SPD pedals. The pedals I mention above are
compatible with standard SPD.

SPD-R and SPD-SL are not at all like SPD; they're "road" clipless
standards. There's also Look, Speedplay, Time and other brands and
standards of all sorts for "road" and "mountain".

The "road" and "mountain" designations are mostly pointless. It all
comes down to personal opinions, but to make hasty generalizations,
"Mountain" clipless pedal systems tend to be best for general
riding, while "road" systems offer advantages for people whose
preferred cleat position or shoe doesn't offer sufficient support,
and for highly competitive racing.

I used to have a pair of touring shoes which have "ridges" instead of
cleats, and a steel shank embedded in the sole to keep them stiff. These
obviously don't work as well as cleated ones, which I also have a pair, but
they allow me to walk around. I don't want to have to commute with an
extra pair of shoes, so I'm looking for something like this. But on
Nashbar and other bike sites, all they have are road & MTB shoes, no
touring stuff. Any tips on where I can look?


Look for MTB shoes that are acceptably styled. Or, if you're allowed
to wear sandals to work, Shimano and Lake both offer SPD sandals.

The Lake SPD sandals have the same outsole/undersole as the
Shimanos, but a different footbed and upper. They've got a ridge in
front to protect your toes (probably not helpful off-road).
--
Rick "Verbose" Onanian
 




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