Bicycle ERA |OT| This Is Why

Hitmeneer

Member
Oct 30, 2017
97
I think I'm reaching the point of needing to retire my Giro Empire's. The soles are ripping, again, and the rubber is pretty worn off to the point my left foot definitely flops all over in there because they're not touching.

I think I may try the Shiman XC5 because at 100-150 it seems to be a great bang for the buck. I though about Quoc but it's hard to find a ton of info on them
I recently picked up cycling again and I went myself for the Giro Empire Knit, which is great for the hot Italian summer and they look really good. Maybe also consider the fizik (tempo).
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,963
How long have you had them? I am trying out some Bontragers (espresso or Velocis) this week but I think they might be too small (only go up to a 14.5 and I normally wear a 14, supposedly they run really small). Looking at the specialized torch 2.0 or 3.0 if those dont work.
4 years I think. They began pulling apart with the first year and I had to warranty them and super glue them back

I recently picked up cycling again and I went myself for the Giro Empire Knit, which is great for the hot Italian summer and they look really good. Maybe also consider the fizik (tempo).
Not in love with fizik stuff
 

Blackpuppy

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,575
I'm kinda confused about the derailer gear system.
1st, congrats on the bike.

As far as the derailleur gear system is concerned, it’s pretty simple. When you move your gear lever you’re physically moving the chain left or right by pushing it.

In a nutshell, if your front gear ring is small and the rear gear ring is big, you’re going to spin easier and this is useful for going up hills. The further you move your chain out the more ‘resistance’ you’ll feel. It’ll become harder to pedal but you can go faster.
 

FondsNL

Member
Oct 29, 2017
633


Monthly stats time! Had about a week off where I was fixing the new and old bike.



Also pretty stoked with this ride. Commuting with a backpack, crosswind, still crushing it.
Love the new bike!
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,963
Two weeks in with the new bike and I've been fighting some shoulder and hand discomfort. Measured and checked everything a bunch of different times. I'm narrowing in on needing to move from a 90mm stem to a 100m.

My nose to axle is 54mm, which is where I'm designed out to be...however this puts my nose to bar at ~501/502 and I shoud be a 508. What's interesting is the design has it being a 90mm stem at 508 nose to bar, but I'm realizing we never went over the length of my saddle (261) which is on the shorter side of saddles.

I thought about sliding back the seat that ~1cm, but I feel like that might put me in a weird balance point. I had the bike measured out that way for my initial ride and I felt like peddling was just off, as if the bike was sliding out under from me.



Monthly stats time! Had about a week off where I was fixing the new and old bike.



Also pretty stoked with this ride. Commuting with a backpack, crosswind, still crushing it.
Love the new bike!
Nicely done!
 

Frontieruk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
407


About a week's worth of riding missed compared to last month and it is going to get worse due to child care.

Guess the trainer really needs to get used. :(

Only positive is the number of PRs went up from last month by almost 3x
 

Senger

Member
Oct 27, 2017
27


Working my way to 10k for the year. Started slow due to unusual amounts of rain in Jan and Feb. Back on pace now.
 
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FondsNL

Member
Oct 29, 2017
633
Still though, that’s a super impressive total!
I ride to work as often as I can.
I think that once my daughter starts going to elementary school I’ll see a sudden rise my monthly stats :p
 

Facism

Member
Oct 25, 2017
588
going to book a service for my bike this week as it's been over a year and it's gotten a bit ropey from all the miles and hits i've taken. I need a new front derailleur because the current one has been bent due to slipping into the chain ring a few months back. Currently riding a Saracen Mantra 2017 using the shimano Altus M370 set and i want to make sure i get the right part. Looking at

Also could do with a new chain, but not sure what to look at. Ashamed of my ignorance tbh lol
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,963
Decided to split the difference and move my seat back ~1cm and that helped a ton. I'm going to give that another week to see if anything is thrown in terms of pedaling.
 

KodaRuss

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,884
Texas

Picked up my new Bike yesterday and broke it in today. Dont mind the pedals, they will be replaced tomorrow hopefully!

The saddle kinda killed me today, I am not exactly sure where I am going wrong in the position but I was dying by the end. Might should have done a shorter ride today.
 

FondsNL

Member
Oct 29, 2017
633

Picked up my new Bike yesterday and broke it in today. Dont mind the pedals, they will be replaced tomorrow hopefully!

The saddle kinda killed me today, I am not exactly sure where I am going wrong in the position but I was dying by the end. Might should have done a shorter ride today.
Hah whoa, that picture is proportionally super weird... What the hell am I looking at? Mini bike or mega cow + fence?!
Awesome bike though!

It looks like the saddle might need a bit more of a negative tilt at the front?
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,963

Picked up my new Bike yesterday and broke it in today. Dont mind the pedals, they will be replaced tomorrow hopefully!

The saddle kinda killed me today, I am not exactly sure where I am going wrong in the position but I was dying by the end. Might should have done a shorter ride today.
Put a level on the first 1/3 of the saddle nose and level it off that. Then bring an allen key with you on your rides and adjust it 1/4 turn up down as you see fit. If you feel yourself over extending your arms or pulling, it might be too far nose up. If you're feeling yourself sliding forward and consantly needing to shift back you may be too nose down.

9/10 saddle discomfort is fit more than the seat. So I'd start here with the saddle leveling and see how that goes.
 

KodaRuss

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,884
Texas
Hah whoa, that picture is proportionally super weird... What the hell am I looking at? Mini bike or mega cow + fence?!
Awesome bike though!

It looks like the saddle might need a bit more of a negative tilt at the front?
Everything is bigger in Texas! They are in front of a business and yes they are huge. Most of the views I get on my rides in suburbia DFW are not that great, figured this was unique lol.

I actually worked on the tilt/pitch a little bit before I left because it looked/felt pitched incorrectly but maybe not enough.

Put a level on the first 1/3 of the saddle nose and level it off that. Then bring an allen key with you on your rides and adjust it 1/4 turn up down as you see fit. If you feel yourself over extending your arms or pulling, it might be too far nose up. If you're feeling yourself sliding forward and consantly needing to shift back you may be too nose down.

9/10 saddle discomfort is fit more than the seat. So I'd start here with the saddle leveling and see how that goes.
Thanks, it is not that much different than my saddle on my other bike so it has to be the position. Going to keep messing with it tonight.
 

cHaotix

Member
Oct 25, 2017
341
Everything is bigger in Texas! They are in front of a business and yes they are huge. Most of the views I get on my rides in suburbia DFW are not that great, figured this was unique lol.
Nice ride! I'm actually in the process of purchasing my own first road bike. I must say, I'm not looking forward to navigating this DFW traffic, lol. Got any go-to areas?
 

T8SC

Member
Oct 28, 2017
738
UK
Anyone watching the TdF? Not seen anyone mention it so far and we're coming up on Stage 4.

Jumbo Visma absolutely smashed that TTT.
 

KodaRuss

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,884
Texas
Nice ride! I'm actually in the process of purchasing my own first road bike. I must say, I'm not looking forward to navigating this DFW traffic, lol. Got any go-to areas?
Well DFW is huge so depending on where you are, I have been sticking to some trails recently and 4-lane roads with speed limits around 35MPH. Honestly though DFW kinda sucks for cyclists, depending on where you buy your bike you should look into grouping up with the shop when they do organized rides.

If you are near Arlington the West Fork Trinity River Trail is awesome (a little over 10 miles but a lot of branching paths), I jump on the Cotton Belt Trail in North Richland Hills/Colleyville (15+ Miles) but a lot of busy streets you have to cross, which I kinda hate but it is the closest to my house.

Katy Trail in Dallas is fantastic but it is crowded/busy and honestly I am not sure I would be comfortable around as many runners going too fast, a woman was killed by a cyclist a number of years ago, freak accident not much the cyclist could have done but it shocked a lot of people around Dallas when I was running out that trail back then.

White Rock Lake Trail probably is the best trail that most people like the most in Dallas (9 miles around the lake).
 

HTupolev

Member
Oct 27, 2017
699
How did you get injured? Just curious since I don't normally think of achilles as a cycling injury.
The cleats on my SPD shoes are too far forward. By lengthening the foot lever, this forces the calves to put in a lot more work bracing the ankle for power transfer, and that all goes through the achilles.
The pedals on my touring bike are PD-M324, which have a platform side. So after the injury showed itself, I unclipped and moved my feet farther forward on the pedals. This reduced the load on the achilles and reduced the "lift off" component of my ankle form, which allowed me to continue pedaling in comfort. But the damage was done.

I've known about the fit issue for a long time, but this was the first time that it called me out. Not surprising, because it was a very ambitious ride. I was semi-retracing the route of a tour I did in 2016, but more interesting and more difficult, and I was on a more rugged setup with greater load.



I began the tour at the end of the week before last. I headed north and west to the North Cascades Highway in the Skagit river valley.



Heading east up the Skagit, the valley becomes a series of dams and lakes managed by Seattle City Light - Gorge Lake, Diablo Lake, and the huge Ross Lake - which provide about 20% of Seattle's power.

As you approach Gorge Lake, the gorge becomes steep and grim.



I spent the night at a small campground on the shores of Gorge Lake.

Day 2

I got up early and got back onto the North Cascades Highway.



This was a big day. Washington Pass, my gateway across the Cascade mountains and into the eastern half of the state, was 37 miles and 6,000 feet of climbing away. After reaching the pass and plunging into the Methow River valley, my goal was another 73 miles down the road at Alta Lake, near where the Methow river flows into the mighty Columbia River.

Diablo Lake overlook:



Up and up and up...



There are a couple of named passes that you cross on the way to Washington Pass. One of these is Rainy Pass... in my 2016 tour it lived up to its name, but this year it was bright and sunny.



Up and up and up...



Woohoo Washington Pass:



Plunging into Alta Lake at the end of the day felt excellent.

Day 3

This was supposed to be a "rest" day between the monster days 2 and 4, but it's where I realized that I had maybe underestimated Eastern Washington.

The morning weather was lovely. Here I'm along the Methow river: the bridge ahead is where the Methow dumps into the Columbia.



In 2016, I turned right and headed south down the Columbia. This year, I turned left and crossed the bridge, to head east up the Columbia.

Much of Eastern Washington is desert, but there is also extensive farming.





After following the Columbia for a while, I came to Chief Joseph Dam, a large hydroelectric plant.





After Chief Joseph, I left the Columbia behind for most of the rest of the day. My goal was to head upriver, but the road leaves the river and heads through the desert. And that's where things got tough: strong headwinds, high temperatures, undulating terrain.



Deep in the desert is where signs of my overuse injury first appeared.

After the long stretch of hot dry nothingness, I suddenly plunged down into the Columbia gorge once again, and to a highlight of the day: Grand Coulee Dam.



Grand Coulee Dam has a misleading name: it's located near the head of the upper Grand Coulee, but it does not dam the Grand Coulee, it dams the Columbia River gorge.

It has two major roles. Besides having an enormous power generation capacity (double the aforementioned Chief Joseph Dam), it's the source and centerpiece of the Columbia Basin Project, rerouting Columbia River water for irrigation. It provides water to about 600,000 acres of land that would otherwise be too arid to farm, and it would be possible to add another 500,000 acres if the project were expanded.



Now, although I said that the name was misleading, Grand Coulee Dam does have quite a lot to do with the Grand Coulee.

The Grand Coulee is an enormous canyon, with an upper and a lower basin, formed by cataclysmic floods during the last ice age. As part of the Columbia Basin Project, earth dams were built at both ends of the upper Ground Coulee, so that the coulee could contain water: Grand Coulee Dam pumps water from the Columbia River hundreds of feet up into the Upper Grand Coulee, creating the artificial Banks Lake, from which the irrigation water flows.

From Grand Coulee Dam, I rode up the hill to the Grand Coulee and Banks Lake. The butte pictured here is Steamboat Rock, within the Grand Coulee.



I was done riding for the day, but I couldn't help but climb Steamboat Rock. There's a hiking trail to the top, about a mile long and 700 feet up. The butte is about the same height as the Grand Coulee's canyon walls.



As you start to climb, you get better views of the structure of the upper Grand Coulee. It's 25 miles long, and has a box-shaped profile.




The layered walls of the coulee are basalt: about 12-16 million years ago, a series of hundreds of lava flows occurred in Eastern Washington. The layers of basalt cover a vast portion of the state, and in some places the layers go several kilometers deep.

As you can see in the photos, the basalt layers are heavily fractured, which occurred when the lava cooled. This helped make the bedrock vulnerable to erosion from the floods.

The floods themselves were enormous. During the ice age, an ice sheet covered the upper stretches of North America, and arms of the ice sheet would sometimes create ice dams across river valleys, creating lakes. The most notable of these in this story is Lake Missoula, which formed far to the east in modern-day Montana. Since this lake had a river inflow but no outflow, it would grow and grow until it overtopped and broke the ice dam, instantly releasing about five hundred cubic miles of water.



During some of these flood events, another arm of the ice sheet dammed the Columbia River near where the Grand Coulee Dam currently stands. This diverted the water up out of the Columbia river gorge, and onto the land where the Grand Coulee now exists.

Before the Grand Coulee existed, the water would have rushed south across the open landscape, until dumping off a hillside 20 miles south of where these photos were taken. The resulting waterfall (which had a flow rate many times higher than all rivers in the world combined) ripped away at the basalt edge that it rushed over, causing the waterfall to recede northward. Through repeated flood cycles, the waterfall receded and receded and receded until it had receded 25 miles and formed the huge canyon that is the upper Grand Coulee.



Day 4

I hope you like coulees, because this was coulee day. I got up early and rode south down the upper Grand Coulee.

Here I'm getting back on the highway, leaving Steamboat Rock behind:



And then continuing south:



After exiting the bottom of the upper Grand Coulee, you get to the lower Grand Coulee. The lower Grand Coulee is about 20 miles long, and formed in basically the same way as the upper part of the coulee: repeated huge waterfalls eroded a cliff edge backwards by 20 miles to form a 20-mile canyon. But, one exciting thing about the lower Grand Coulee is that the waterfall cliff edge still exists! The waterfall cliff edge that became the upper Grand Coulee eroded all the way to the Columbia River gorge, but the waterfall cliff edge that became the lower Grand Coulee only eroded back until it got to nearly where water poured out of the upper Grand Coulee.

This cliff edge is today known as Dry Falls.



Dry Falls offers a good bit of visualization as to just how severe these floods were: the water that poured over those cliffs was about as deep as the cliffs are tall.

From Dry Falls, I descended south into the lower Grand Coulee.



And then rode south to the end of the Coulee.





At the southern end of the Grand Coulee, I stopped for breakfast in the city of Soap Lake.

Unfortunately, I was now in a bit of a pickle: obviously I was in the mood for coulees, and I hadn't yet had my share of coulees. I needed to go find another coulee. So I topped off all 3 water bottles and made sure that I had a full 3 liters in the water bladder that was hiding in my handlebar bag, because the day was rapidly growing hot and I wasn't sure that anything would exist for a long ways. (It would turn out that I would drink nearly all of this water before my next fill.)

My plan was to head west to Moses Coulee.

From Soap Lake, Sheep Canyon Road climbed a thousand feet up a ridge of hills. The road had just been chipsealed into a lovely gravel surface. Looking eastward on the climb:



After getting to the top of the climb, I took a wrong turn and wasted 45 minutes and a bunch of effort. Oops.

After resolving the wrong turn, I descended the opposite side of the ridge. Sheep Canyon Road turned into a tiny low-use gravel farm road... this came as quite a bit of surprise since it was a wide white line on google maps, but it was a fun flowy descent. After the downhill, I rolled onto a straight road.

The road was pointed at my target. The scar between the distant hills was Moses Coulee.



Closer...



Closer...



The descent into Moses Coulee was gorgeous.





Within the coulee, stunning green farms.



Although there's not even a hint of a creek in Moses Coulee today, it empties out into the Columbia River gorge, now far south and downstream of where I'd first reached the Columbia. I rode north up the Columbia until reaching Wenatchee, and then east up the Wenatchee River until reaching Leavenworth, where I'd booked my only hotel stop of the trip.

The day totaled about 132 miles, and the final 70 miles were accompanied by a constant headwind. Probably the hardest single day of riding I've ever done, but the scenery was fantastic.

The bacon-wrapped brat tasted great afterwards.

Day 5

Leavenworth is a "Bavarian Village"-themed tourism town, so I woke up to an excellent and also fairly ridiculous breakfast with a dude playing an alphorn.



I spend the morning wandering around town eating food.



My next campsite was at Lake Wenatchee, only 20 miles away, so I could afford to waste time. Still, due to the constant strong headwinds, it took me nearly two hours to get there.

Heading to the lake along Chumstick Highway:



The winds at the lake:



It kind of sucked, because Lake Wenatchee is normally a really pleasant spot to just sit and soak in the view. But it was very uncomfortable on the beach that day.

Day 6

This was the ride home. I got up early to beat traffic on Highway 2 west over the Cascade Mountains on Stevens Pass.





I also got off of Highway 2 whenever practical, because Highway 2 sucks.



And that's pretty much that. Stunning tour. Occasionally a sufferfest, but that doesn't make it less rewarding. The big bummer is the injury.
 

bawjaws

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,097
HTupolev : wow, what a great post. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us! Some stunning photos and scenery there, brilliant stuff.
 

nelsonqos

Member
Jul 8, 2019
15
Hello! Just joined the Strava group. Mainly use my bike for commuting so apologies for all the short rides!
 

KodaRuss

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,884
Texas
HTupolev Great pictures and post. I have been following you a bit from the Resetera club on the Strava App. Sorry about the injury. Hope it doesn't take as long to get back full strength as it sounds.

This new saddle/position is kinda driving me nuts. I cant seem to get the nose down much at all, I think the ring that is inside the seat post where the saddle clamps hook up to is tilted too far back. I am going to ride after work today and obviously brought my tools and another saddle with me to try and work on it as I ride, might be slow going but I gotta get this fixed.
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,963
Ordered a pair of Lake MX237 Endurance shoes to give a go. This is where I miss having Psycho around as the only other person with non-road oriented stuff haha
 

FondsNL

Member
Oct 29, 2017
633
The weather has been taking a turn for the worse here in the Netherlands.

Haven't gotten a single ride in this week yet... I've even turned to strength training... ugh.
 

nelsonqos

Member
Jul 8, 2019
15
Managed to do my biggest ride so far. 116 miles! Lovely day for it through southern Scotland.

Suffered two punctures on the way down. Big chuck of glass went right through my Marathon plus tyres and caused havoc. I haven't had a puncture in about 4 years with those beasts on!
 

T8SC

Member
Oct 28, 2017
738
UK
Ordered a pair of Lake MX237 Endurance shoes to give a go. This is where I miss having Psycho around as the only other person with non-road oriented stuff haha
Quite a contrast to how it was a few month/year ago. But we're all cyclists so it doesnt matter what we ride, MTB, Road, TT :-)

I know some folk who have Lake shoes, road shoes mind, but they say they're great and apparently good if you have wide feet and not the typical skinny Italian fit like Sidi.
 

phazedplasma

Member
Oct 27, 2017
871
Ordered a pair of Lake MX237 Endurance shoes to give a go. This is where I miss having Psycho around as the only other person with non-road oriented stuff haha
Hey I only ride MTB and I'm also a Lake dude too since I have wide feet.

I run the MX 168 ENDURO's cause I've ripped BOAs off when they are on the side like that. Also its a beefier shoe.
 

bawjaws

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,097
Anyone here got a Decathlon Triban RC520, by any chance? I was thinking about getting one when they first came out but finances haven't permitted until now. I know the RC520 doesn't have modern niceties like flat-mount brakes or thru-axles, and is hybrid disc brakes rather than full hydro, but it's a £730 bike with (more or less) full 105, which is crazy. And it has mudguard mounts, which is critical as I'd be using it as a year-round commuter.

I'm just wondering if anyone has one and if they'd like to share their opinion of it. I know it's not going to be the lightest or quickest bike on the road but that's okay with me as long as it's not a complete dog.

And regarding the hybrid discs, if the worst came to the worst and I wanted to replace them, is there anything to stop me from grabbing a set of R7020 shifters and some post-mount calipers and converting it to full hydro? I guess it might not be possible to secure the hoses to the frame as it wouldn't have attachment points for hose cable clips?
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,963
Quite a contrast to how it was a few month/year ago. But we're all cyclists so it doesnt matter what we ride, MTB, Road, TT :-)

I know some folk who have Lake shoes, road shoes mind, but they say they're great and apparently good if you have wide feet and not the typical skinny Italian fit like Sidi.
Hey I only ride MTB and I'm also a Lake dude too since I have wide feet.

I run the MX 168 ENDURO's cause I've ripped BOAs off when they are on the side like that. Also its a beefier shoe.
I got a pair of them and Shimano XC5 and the Shimano shoes felt weird. The contact tread was different heights and sitting weird when standing on them. The Lakes are hella comfy and is making me think about buying a new winter pair from them.

I also got a pair Giro Code Techlace coming because I’ll be able to get them for like 60% of retail
 

Blackpuppy

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,575
Anyone here got a Decathlon Triban RC520, by any chance? I was thinking about getting one when they first came out but finances haven't permitted until now. I know the RC520 doesn't have modern niceties like flat-mount brakes or thru-axles, and is hybrid disc brakes rather than full hydro, but it's a £730 bike with (more or less) full 105, which is crazy. And it has mudguard mounts, which is critical as I'd be using it as a year-round commuter.

I'm just wondering if anyone has one and if they'd like to share their opinion of it. I know it's not going to be the lightest or quickest bike on the road but that's okay with me as long as it's not a complete dog.

And regarding the hybrid discs, if the worst came to the worst and I wanted to replace them, is there anything to stop me from grabbing a set of R7020 shifters and some post-mount calipers and converting it to full hydro? I guess it might not be possible to secure the hoses to the frame as it wouldn't have attachment points for hose cable clips?
I’ve heard a lot of positive things about those new Decatlon Tribans. I’ve seen them in person and they look great.

They seem to be a great deal as well. Go to a Decathlon and try one out!
 

Wolfapo

Member
Dec 27, 2017
142
Got a growth in my left ankle and got a biopsy done last week...
3-4 weeks on crutches and no cycling for me, just when the weather is getting great. Sucks!