Biking

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Biking

Postby uNicedmeMan » Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:10 am

So I've decided that I need to start doing some sort of routine exercise and that running is definitively not for me (210lbs and bad knees).

I'm rooting around on craigslist trying to find something to get for a reasonable price. I will be riding around in the city but would maybe like to get something versatile enough that I could take it to a trail or two.

Also, whats the deal with fixed gear and single speed bikes? When I was in Portland they seemed like all the rage.

-Greg
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Postby some call me...tim? » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:59 am

I don't know what the huge thing is with the fixed gear bikes. Seems that's all the rage for the hipsters/trendy bandwagon crowd. I think having a messenger bag and fixed gear bike are like staples of the scene in metropolitan areas these days. Supposedly they're lighter, and you get a better feel for the road and bike that way. I dunno. I'm cool with gears.

I'm not a biker these days, but I used to work in a shared space outdoor store and bike shop. The one thing I can say is if you want something for day to day use, but also want off road capability, stay away from dual suspension bikes. Front suspension is OK, but the rear only takes power off your pedal stroke when cruising around on city streets.
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Re: Biking

Postby Eric O » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:45 am

uNicedmeMan wrote:Also, whats the deal with fixed gear and single speed bikes?
Afaik, people like the single speed cause it cuts some weight and mechanical complexity out of the equation. Maintenance is simpler, etc. My brother converted one of his road bikes a few years ago to a single speed then it got stolen a few months later. That's about as far as my experience goes with that.

I used to ride to an old job I had almost 10 miles each way. I much prefer a road bike over a mountain bike for getting around in a city. If you have to go off road with it that won't work though.
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Postby Jerrod » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:09 am

I picked up a fixed gear bike about a year ago (Specialized Langster). Hopefully that doesn't make me a hipster/trendy bandwagon member. Though I don't live in a major metro area so perhaps that gets me a pass.

One of the reasons I got it was because that is the kind of bike most serious messengers ride and so I assumed there was something to it for riding around in urban areas. My bike is extremely light (probably about the same as a $5,000 geared road bike) and as previously mentioned there is little maintenance. I do ride with brakes but since there is no coasting or changing of gears it does make you have to pay more attention to what you are doing. Here is a good write on the pros and cons if you interested though it sounds like your looking for something more like a hardtail mountain bike.


http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html
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Postby Eric O » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:50 am

cool link!
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Postby Leopard » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:13 am

i used to do some light distance riding, and never had anything but a mountain bike. 70 miles max ... so cruising a city on fat tires is no biggie. besides you can't ride a city without jumping stuff... not purely road riding. hybrid if you dig it, but mountain is the shet.

front suspension yes -- back suspension no. disc brakes FTW. i offroad with disc brakes and never flipped :lol: so just don't space out. gears rock, c'mon. if your city is flat, move.
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Postby GorillaTactics » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:23 am

The biggest reason fixies are popular with the messenger crowd is simply the fact that they're basically impossible to steal anything off of while you're delivering a package in a high rise in NY or SF or wherever. No brakes/derailleurs=nothing to steal. Having a bike with any moving parts means it's prone to quick theft. They definitely got somewhat hipster-ish in recent years, but they will turn your legs into steel cables.

I have a single speed dirt jumper, but it still has brakes. I kept breaking the derailleurs and shifters jumping it off of stuff downtown so I said "f-k it" and went SS . Never been happier. It hurts to ride up big hills, but I got used to it pretty quick. I also have a full suspension geared bike for trail riding exclusively.

I'd get a hardtail mountain bike if you want to take it off road (make sure you get something with double-walled rims if you're going to do any kind of reasonably technical riding or any jumping). You can put slick or semi slick tires on it for city riding if that's what you'll be doing the most of.
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Postby uNicedmeMan » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:30 am

thanks for all of the info!

I think I'll just see whats out there on craigslist when I'm ready to buy and try and swoop up a mountain bike. Maybe get some streetish tires and have two sets of tires and wheels.

Am I correct to assume that biking is a good alternative form of exercise to running for those who don't like running and have bad knees?
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Postby Eric O » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:41 am

As long as you are pedaling and not coasting most of the time it's great exercise.
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Postby GorillaTactics » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:42 am

I've had surgery on both knees and biking works great for me. I still run while playing basketball etc. but my days of distance running are over because its not worth the knee pain. you can get great exercise on a bike, and its a lot more fun than running, too, IMO.
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Postby uNicedmeMan » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:49 am

Eric O wrote:As long as you are pedaling and not coasting most of the time it's great exercise.


Maybe then fixed gear is the way to go for me while I'm livin in the city.

I agree that biking is more fun than running. Especially because you can easily cover more ground.

I rode my buddies bike a few years ago after not riding a bike for 5 years or so and was laughing because it was so much fun.
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Postby Eric O » Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:03 pm

You don't need a fixed gear to keep pedaling. It just forces you to do so. It's easy to get in the habit of keeping your legs moving even with a geared bike because you will find it's more efficient than coasting around. Coasting around is boring anyway.
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Postby some call me...tim? » Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:14 pm

yeah, if you have clipless pedals (and the shoes to go with them) or the bearcage type pedals, you can also get power on the upstroke of your pedaling motion, so that your legs are doing a push-pull exercise rather than just push-push, giving yourself more power/speed and a better workout.

And yes, the few times I've tried to get into the habit of jogging, the whole time on my run, I've had repeating thoughts of "wow...this kinda sucks, it'd be a lot more fun on a bike." :lol:
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Postby uNicedmeMan » Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:29 pm

Tim_the_Enchanter wrote:yeah, if you have clipless pedals (and the shoes to go with them) or the bearcage type pedals, you can also get power on the upstroke of your pedaling motion, so that your legs are doing a push-pull exercise rather than just push-push, giving yourself more power/speed and a better workout.


how do you get your feet out if you bail?
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Postby some call me...tim? » Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:35 pm

with the clipless pedals, I believe it's a twisting motion that releases the shoe from the pedal. I've never had a set myself, so can't say from experience. With the beartraps, well, practice and prayer are your best bets.
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