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e.pilot
Nov 20, 2011

MR.FUSION
#TEAMTRASHMILES


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDMdcC63Z0s

This is the Bicycle Megathread and we're here to help (and/or one up each other in pointless internet arguments) The purpose of this post is to provide a quick introduction and direct you to places to find out more information (or just figure out how to ask us a question in a way we can help you). You could write a book on almost any topic I mentioned here, and there are entire websites devoted to aspects of cycling that I won't even mention because I don't have space.

The modern bicycle is nearly 140 years old, and typically consists of two roughly equally sized wheels, a metal (or carbon fibre) frame, some pedals, and various parts to turn your pedalling into forward motion and let you steer and brake. The bike itself is held vertical by a combination of gyroscopic forces and rider control; the first step in learning to ride is maintaining sufficient speed to keep the bicycle stable.

Within this basic framework; there are many varieties of bicycles adapted to particular uses--choosing the right bike for your task makes the ride easier and much more enjoyable. Within the broad classes of bike (such as road, cross, gravel/adventure, mountain, comfort, BMX), there are smaller divisions of bikes optimized for a specific purpose, and big price range as you pay for lighter weight and better performance. There is a bike to fit almost anyone's desires and budget; this thread will help you find it! No one bike is best for every situation unless itís a Stuntmanô

With that, lets talk about the most common types of bikes!

Road Bikes

Probably the most common type of bike used by enthusiasts. Road bikes are adapted from the bikes used in road racing, and are designed to go long distances at high speeds over paved roads. They will have thin tires, a riding position that keeps your legs at the optimal height for power generation, and your torso in a somewhat aerodynamic position. They will have curved handlebars that give you multiple hand positions, letting you move around to reduce fatigue in your hands and back. Experienced road cyclists can comfortably ride 100 (a "century") or even 200 miles in a single day; riding in a group they can average 25mph for many hours. These bikes are great for people looking to ride for fitness, even if they don't plan to race. If you are interested in racing, check out the Competitive Cycling Thread.

There are also some special types of road bikes, used for particular specialized purposes, including:
Time Trial/Triathlon Bikes, which feature an even more aerodynamic position (and frame/wheel design) at an expense of comfort and control (especially when using the aerobars), used because drafting is illegal in these events
Cyclocross Bikes, essentially road bikes with room for bigger knobby tires, used for races which combine pavement, dirt, mud and grass terrain, as well as obstacles that must be portaged
Gravel Bikes, like a cyclocross bike but with even bigger tires. The answer to ďwhat if we made an 80s/90s mountain bike with drop bars in 2020Ē theyíre real good.
Touring Bikes, bikes which can carry heavy loads such as camping gear, used by cyclists on multi-day cross-country tours
Track Bikes, which have a single "fixed" gear (no coasting possible), no brakes, and are designed for racing on a steeply banked track called a velodrome.

Cyclocross and Touring bikes are also popular for commuters; they are typically built to be a bit more rugged than road bikes at the expense of some weight, and will be more likely have mounts to fit racks and bags. If you're interested in commuting, check out the Bicycle Commuting Megathread.

Mountain Bikes
Along with road bikes, the other "big" market for enthusiasts. Mountain bikes are designed to go places a road bike can't: backcountry trails and fire roads, singletrack, off massive jumps and down rocky faces. They will typically have large, knobby tires that provide lots of traction and absorb small trail features; they often feature suspension to absorb larger bumps, cushion impacts, and provide control at higher speeds on rough terrain. "Downhill" mountain bikes almost resemble an offroad motorcycle without an engine; they will feature forks with 8" of travel and 2.5" wide tires.

There are several classes of mountain bikes, generally arranged in a spectrum from "Cross Country" to "Downhill". As you go from one end of the spectrum to the other, you trade off pedaling efficiency and weight for suspension performance and stability.

Want to be rad? Head over to the The Mountain Bike Megathread

Indoor Trainers
Want to take none of the good parts and all of the worst parts of cycling, and then make it even worse? Indoor trainers are for you. Come join us in getting dropped by a weight doper in Zwift or yelled at by coach chad on Trainer Road over in the Indoor Cycling thread.

BMX Bikes
You might have had one as a kid, you might have seem them doing crazy things on the X-Games. Adults ride them too.

Comfort/Hybrid Bikes
Pop into a bike shop, and you'll see a whole ton of these. Hybrids are ideally a combination of road and mountain bikes; in practice they are their own world and often aimed at beginner or casual cyclists. They will have flat bars (like a mountain bike), narrow and smooth tires (like a road bike), and typically an annoyingly upright posture and stupidly large seat (like neither). These will get annoying if you ride further than a few miles; fixing them is usually more trouble than it's worth. They can make good commuters; if you plan to ride any significant distance or ride for fitness you should really consider something else. But really nobody should buy these, theyíre bad.

Beach Cruisers/Townie Bikes/etc
Bikes for getting around town in style! Will usually have a single speed, or maybe 3, and a simple foot-operated "coaster" brake. May have fenders and lots of chrome. Generally, mechanically simple, reliable, and heavy. Great for short rides, not so great for longer distances.

Recumbents/Tandems/Unicycles
AKA Bikes for Freds

Recumbents are bikes that place the rider in a sitting position, with the pedals in front at about the height of the pelvis. More comfortable, until you have to ride up a hill. Popular with people with flexibility issues, back issues, or who would just rather sit back instead of hunching over a road bike.
Tandems are bikes for two people. Wherever your relationship is going, this will get you there faster.
Unicycles are not bicycles, because they only have one wheel. I don't think we need a unicycle thread.

E-Bikes
No.

Buying bikes
So, you want to buy a bike? We are here to help you!

Like anything, you have three options when buying bikes:
1. Retail
2. Used
3. The Internet

The bike industry is a bit weird; it is dominated by a few major brands (and a number of smaller ones), who typically get many of their parts from an even smaller number of suppliers. The biggest supplier is Shimano, whose parts go on the vast majority of high-end road and mountain bikes; Shimano's chief competitors are SRAM (mountain and high-end road) and Campagnolo (lol). Whether you buy a Trek or a Specialized or a custom bike welded by guy in a garage in Portland, it's probably going to have parts from companies. Which brand you buy from doesn't matter as much as what components you have; and bikes with similar frames and similar components from different brands will usually be close to the same price. Generally a set of components will the called a "gruppo". More expensive components are lighter, typically a bit more durable, and usually feel a bit better. Of course, these get revised periodically so if you're buying used it's worth knowing what generation you're dealing with. The bike industry loves making things pointlessly incompatible with other things as well as cramming more speeds in over the years, so it can be hard to find certain parts.

code:
                  Road Components

                 Shimano  SRAM  Campagnolo    
(cheapest)       2300      
                 Sora
                 Tiagra   Apex     
                 105      Rival      Veloce / Centaur
                 Ultegra  Force   Athena / Chorus
                 Dura-ace Red    Record
(most expensive)                 Super Record
Bike shops are almost always mom'n'pop affairs or small chains that grew out out of a mom'n'pop shop. If you're lucky, you'll have a local place with friendly staff and a good selection of bikes; if you're not you could deal with clueless teenagers or snobbish salesmen that don't care about anyone not ready to drop thousands. If you don't like a shop, don't buy a bike there. Nearly all bike shops are dealers for a few specific brands and will try to carry the bulk of their range. The bikes will be assembled and checked out by the shop, and you'll generally be given one or more free tuneups down the road; if you have any problems, you'll generally be expected to bring the bike back into the shop for warranty service.

The other big option (for new bikes) is the Internet, and thereís lots of options, ask in the thread whatís the current hotness. You're on your own to assemble it (usually not particularly difficult, or you can pay a bike shop ~$50), and obviously you can't test ride it beforehand. If you're interested something, run it by the thread first, since the market is always changing and we probably know what you need better than you do if youíre buying your first bike.

Buying used bikes can save you a ton of cash, if you're willing to spend the time looking, your city has a good market, and you are willing to deal with batshit insane people. In the US, craigslist is probably the way to go. Pinkbike.com is also good for mountain bikes. Ebay can be good, but look out for shipping costs--a bike can run $50-$100 to ship (and many inexperienced sellers won't realize this). It'll also be on you to make sure it fits. As a general rule, I never pay more than half of what a bike cost new for a used bike, and less as time goes on.

The number one rule to buying a bike is that it must fit you. It doesn't matter if you get a $10,000 road bike for $50, if it's three sizes too small you will not enjoy riding it. With road bikes fit is crucial (and even experienced riders will often pay for a professional fitting); with mountain bikes it's still important, albeit more of a matter of personal preference. This makes buying used bikes and buying bikes of the internet more difficult; if it's your first bike you may want to pay extra and buy from a shop, at a minimum you should test ride a bike before buying it. If you're buying off the internet, make sure the retailer has a return policy.

Some good places to check out for used bikes are http://theproscloset.com and http://pinkbike.com as well as your local craigslist and ebay.

Fixing your bike

Unlike cars, most bicycle problems can be easily fixed without special tools , and many bike owners do their own maintenance and repairs. There are tons of great internet resources, and we're happy to help you too. Sheldon Brown is probably the best resource for older bikes; for newer bikes you can find great info on parktools.com.

In general, you need only a few tools; a set of metric allen wrenches and some lube will get you through many mechanical issues on a modern bike, and a tire lever and a pump is all you need to replace a tube or a tire. Older bikes may need some metric open-end wrenches; very old bikes may use English hardware (or combination of English and Metric). Don't use non-metric wrenches on metric bolts, you will strip them!

For more special or advanced jobs, you will often find that buying the tool needed is cheaper than paying a shop to do the job.

If you're going on longer rides, you will want to carry a tool kit; at a minimum take enough to fix a flat, or else you may find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Trying to fix your crappy broken bike? Trying to figure out what that creak is thatís definitely not the bottom bracket but totally is? Come join us in the Bike Maintenance Megathread

Helmets

Bike helmets have a single purpose: to absorb energy from an impact that would otherwise go to breaking your loving skull. Bike helmets are generally heavily regulated and must meet certain standards to be advertised as a bicycle helmet; these differ a little bit from country to country but the key factor is that they will have energy absorbing foam. In general, bike helmets are designed to protect you from one crash and then be thrown away; the foam can be damaged and it will not protect you again. Helmets designed for other sports are generally not effective for the speeds and energies involved in cycling.

Paying more for a bike helmet does not get you a safer helmet; it usually gets you a lighter and possibly more comfortable helmet. Different brands are good for different head shapes; you'll probably want to try something on before committing. A helmet that you don't wear is not an effective helmet.

Pedals

One of the most common upgrades to a bike is changing the pedals; in fact many nicer bikes won't come with pedals at all because rider will be expected to add their own. The simplest pedals are flat pedals, where the shoe is not attached in any way to the pedal. This is fine for everyday riding, and preferred by some mountain bikers who want to be able to get their foot on and off the pedal quickly. The very large flat pedals that are popular for mountain biking and BMX are typically called platforms; these will have lots of surface area and bunch of pins to maximize traction.

However, by adding foot retention, you can engage more muscles in your leg, and prevent the problem of slipping off the pedals due to rough terrain or slippery pedals. This could either be in the form of toe clips and straps, which you slide your foot into, or in the form of clipless pedals, which you step into and create a mechanical connection between the pedal and a cleat on a specialized shoe.

Toe clips are advantageous because you can use standard street shoes; clipless pedals are lighter and somewhat easier to get into. In either case plan on some embarrasing falls while you master getting your foot detached from the pedal. For longer rides, using cycling shoes and clipless pedals will reduce the soreness in your foot that comes from regular shoes with flexible soles.

There are two general types of clipless pedals: Road pedals, which use large cleats that protrude from the bottom of the shoe, and mountain pedals, which will have a more small cleat that will usually recess into the sole. The larger size of road cleats makes for a stiffer shoe/pedal combination; they'll be lighter as well. Mountain shoes and cleats tend to be easier to walk in and easier to clip into; they will usually be double-sided. For commuter bikes, mountain-style is the way to go. There are also pedals that have a flat surface on one side, and a mountain-style interface.

When you buy a new pair of clipless pedals, they will usually come with cleats; the cleats will wear out over time (you can expect a few thousand miles at least). The cleats are specific to the brand/era of the pedal. If you are buying an ancient pair of clipless pedals you might want to make sure you can actually get cleats for it. If they're Shimano, Look, Time or Crank Brothers you'll probably be fine; other brands are less popular or prevalent.


Resources:

Info sites:
http://bikeforums.net Forums for all things bike
http://sheldonbrown.comTechnical info, maintenance, info on older bikes and parts
http://www.mtbr.com Mountain bike site
http://pinkbike.comAnother good mountain bike site(more downhill/dirt jump specific)
http://www.roadbikereview.com Road bike site
http://www.parktools.com Makers of many bicycle specific tools; also have videos on basically how to do anything to any bike the right way.

Some online bike stores
http://www.bikesdirect.com Good deals on complete bikes (you better know how to put it together)
http://bikesmart.com
http://www.coloradocyclist.com
http://www.excelsports.com
http://www.competitivecyclist.com High end bikes
http://www.probikekit.com
http://www.wiggle.co.uk
http://theproscloset.com
http://chainreactioncycles.com
https://www.biketiresdirect.com


Tracking your rides
This is the most important part, if your ride isnít on Strava, it didnít happen.
http://strava.com
Itís free to log your rides, but if you want to get more detailed stats as well as see how you rank on segments in your area, youíll need to pay $5/mo, which is pretty worth it imo.

You can track your rides using your phone, but if you want more detailed stats youíre going to need a bike computer. Bike computers also have vastly more accurate GPSs than phones.
The current big hitters are Garmin and Wahoo, both have their pros and cons, but you really canít go wrong with either of those.
There are a bunch of also rans that make computers as well, like lezyne, stages, cateye, and others, donít bother, get a Garmin or Wahoo.

e.pilot fucked around with this message at 00:44 on Aug 11, 2020

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bicievino
Feb 5, 2015



Bikes are cool.

BraveUlysses
Aug 7, 2002



bikes own

BeastPussy
Jul 15, 2003

im so mumped up lmao

I'm going on a bike ride right now and I can't wait.

Good Dog
Oct 16, 2008

Who threw this cat at me?

Clapping Larry

Riding my bike indoors today

LimburgLimbo
Feb 10, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 5 days!


Iíve heard that disc breaks are pointless and steel is real please c/d?!

Skarsnik
Oct 21, 2008

I...AM...RUUUDE!






bichael

e.pilot
Nov 20, 2011

MR.FUSION
#TEAMTRASHMILES


Good Dog posted:

Riding my bike indoors today

Youíre in the wrong sub forum my friend

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


Rode my bike outdoors today it was good

Heliosicle
May 16, 2013

Arigato, Racists.


I rode my bike yesterday for a long time and it was good

e.pilot posted:

You’re in the wrong sub forum my friend

Everyone now has to qualify trainer chat by saying they intend to use it outside

Heliosicle fucked around with this message at 15:13 on Jul 25, 2020

Development
Jun 2, 2016



my legs are killing me from riding my bike indoors yesterday

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him




Oh, we're riding around in our tux jerseys now?

Good Dog
Oct 16, 2008

Who threw this cat at me?

Clapping Larry

e.pilot posted:

Youíre in the wrong sub forum my friend

I'm riding in front of an open window so I get to hear the wonderful sound of cars driving passed me at 60mph.

Feels Villeneuve
Oct 7, 2007

Kanye West - Touch the Sky


LimburgLimbo posted:

Iíve heard that disc breaks are pointless and steel is real please c/d?!

OP, more and more people are saying this

paperwind
Sep 5, 2006
Cunning Linguist

Hi new biekthread. I am the thread's cautionary tale about peeing on your bike.

Feels Villeneuve
Oct 7, 2007

Kanye West - Touch the Sky


I am taking my wheel to the shop because the drive side spokes are loose, op.

HAIL eSATA-n
Apr 7, 2007



I'm looking at my bike right now

El Laucha
Oct 9, 2012




My last ride outside was on march 14th, it sucks.

On the bright side I've had 4 months of consistent turbo trainer training.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


HAIL eSATA-n posted:

I'm looking at my bike right now

I'm looking at my soon-to-be bike right now

Literally Lewis Hamilton
Feb 22, 2005

#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor
#BlackLivesMatter
#StillIRise
#Blessed




ground floor of a great thread

nwin
Feb 25, 2002

make's u think


Fallen Rib

Bikes are good

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


No pictures yet so here's some bichaeling from Tenerife in January













This was the only book in the hotel run by this weird russian guy?

becoming
Aug 25, 2004



I like bikes. My kids like bikes. They tell me that I should buy more bikes. My six-year-old has come up with a new formula to replace "n+1"; it is "dad, I think you should get... three more bikes. But that's it." So I bought two new bikes, and then I asked her how many bikes I should get now. She said, "Hmmmm, I think, yeah, it's three more bikes." So now apparently the correct number of bikes to own is n+3. I need to build a bike garage.

After riding all summer, my brother-in-law and I attempted a 50-mile ride on Labor Day one year. We had to bail at about 40 because, as he told me, "my legs are fine but I'm pretty sure my taint looks like a smashed tomato". I submit this for consideration for the next thread title.

cebrail
May 9, 2014



LimburgLimbo posted:

Iíve heard that disc breaks are pointless and steel is real please c/d?!

Disc breaks are round how could they have points

madey
Sep 17, 2007

I saved the Olympics singlehandedly


I went through my clipless rite of passage today. Came to a stop at a busy roundabout, unclipped my left foot ... and fell to the right

Vando
Oct 26, 2007

I want to be one of
those madmen


e.pilot posted:

Copy/pasting the old OP until I can put something updated together

Quoting for "this will 100% not happen" but man you could have at least updated the links. If we're starting a whole new thread *some* effort wouldn't go amiss.

Good Dog
Oct 16, 2008

Who threw this cat at me?

Clapping Larry

El Laucha posted:

My last ride outside was on march 14th, it sucks.

On the bright side I've had 4 months of consistent turbo trainer training.

Hell yeah you're gonna be stronk as heck when you can get back out. Figured I can use the lack of races and group rides to actually try structured training for the first time.

(Actually our fitness will fall apart over winter without ever getting a proper outdoor season, when we're still stuck indoors and get the usual motivation loss and put on weight from the Holidays)

Skarsnik
Oct 21, 2008

I...AM...RUUUDE!






kimbo305 posted:

Oh, we're riding around in our tux jerseys now?

Gotta be formal in a new place till we get comfortable

LimburgLimbo
Feb 10, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 5 days!


New thread so gonna repost from the very end of the last my test of recording a ride in Taiwan with a hilariously long selfie stick on my bike because I can.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAgxkXB32I0

Really like the scenery and angle, just gotta get a stick that doesn't wobble as much and make a proper video.

kimbo305
Jun 9, 2007

He is I, and I am him



LimburgLimbo posted:

New thread so gonna repost from the very end of the last my test of recording a ride in Taiwan with a hilariously long selfie stick on my bike because I can.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAgxkXB32I0

Really like the scenery and angle, just gotta get a stick that doesn't wobble as much and make a proper video.

Very good and GTA. Could you put some sort of mass damper tuned to cancel out whatever frequency it likes to swing at?

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


LimburgLimbo posted:

Really like the scenery and angle, just gotta get a stick that doesn't wobble as much and make a proper video.

I doubt it's possible to get a stick 3 meters long that doesn't wobble without also having guy ropes. If you get something stiffer that will probably make the problem worse, because the vibrations will be higher frequency.

iospace
Jan 19, 2038




loving Garmin.

Optimus Subprime
Mar 26, 2005

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?



I am tired of having to connect my edge to my computer like a peasant!

iospace
Jan 19, 2038




Is bear pope gonna reopen soon?

e.pilot
Nov 20, 2011

MR.FUSION
#TEAMTRASHMILES


Vando posted:

Quoting for "this will 100% not happen" but man you could have at least updated the links. If we're starting a whole new thread *some* effort wouldn't go amiss.

lol look at this guy that doesnít realize how much free time I have in between occasionally working, itíll be updated by tomorrow afternoon/evening

I would have done it today before work but the weather in Baltimore this morning was a cool overcast delight and I was busy partaking in this threads namesake

e:
also, dick woodô content

e.pilot fucked around with this message at 18:26 on Jul 25, 2020

LimburgLimbo
Feb 10, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 5 days!


kimbo305 posted:

Very good and GTA. Could you put some sort of mass damper tuned to cancel out whatever frequency it likes to swing at?

MrL_JaKiri posted:

I doubt it's possible to get a stick 3 meters long that doesn't wobble without also having guy ropes. If you get something stiffer that will probably make the problem worse, because the vibrations will be higher frequency.

I think that a stiffer stick would reduce things somewhat - the selfie stick I have is really thin and I feel like just a long wooden rod could be notably better.

I've got my camera mounted on a mini-gimbal so smaller higher frequency vibrations are probably okay I'm thinking, as long as it just doesn't wobble so much that it makes movement of myself in the foreground too obnoxiously large (especially like at 2:00 where it wobbles so much it literally takes me off screen).

Was also thinking of guy ropes as well - today I just strapped it to the back of my Brompton like so:



And was thinking a thicker solid stick of some kind (probably needs to be shorter too), and some guy ropes attached to the rear rack might reduce movement sufficiently. Brompton rear suspension means that the rear rack is moving a little relative the seatpost where I've got it mounted, but not thaaat much.

Going to hit up a hardware store somewhere tomorrow and see if they've got some wooden poles that might work.

El Laucha
Oct 9, 2012




Good Dog posted:

Hell yeah you're gonna be stronk as heck when you can get back out. Figured I can use the lack of races and group rides to actually try structured training for the first time.

(Actually our fitness will fall apart over winter without ever getting a proper outdoor season, when we're still stuck indoors and get the usual motivation loss and put on weight from the Holidays)

My ftp is up by around 22% so I am pretty happy. Most importantly, I've been training sustained efforts so I can actually maintain that for some decent time. Not having group rides and not being able to go outside has been a great factor for correct training for me (plus its winter here anyway). I'd recommend you give it a go.

Also:
https://twitter.com/i/status/1134825335567110144

a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007

(bi)cyclic mutation



This was in the old thread, but mine is just too good to let pass:

numberoneposter posted:

Your porn name is a road/trail + your bike's model.

Lindholm Revolver II

Dallas Mares

Marine R5

Murder Creek Cutthroat

numberoneposter
Feb 19, 2014



all i want to do is ride bikes with my friends

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a patagonian cavy
Jan 12, 2009

UUA CVG 230000 KZID /RM TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE BENGALS DYNASTY

Iíve done zero training rides with other people ever in over 10,000 miles of road cycling and Iím not allowed to start now. fine by me

riding bike is a solo, meditative activity

am I psycho

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