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Bicycle ERA |OT| This Is Why

T8SC

Member
Oct 28, 2017
908
UK
Hey guys, just wanted to put a quick message in here to say I won't be returning to the site, long story short is that I don't like how it's managed/moderated.

I'm not going to suicide my account, request a deletion or anything stupid, this is just me saying goodbye. I wish you a lovely Christmas (If you celebrate) and all the best for 2020, hopefully you'll have many safe rides wherever you live.

Take care.
 

Frontieruk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
440
Hey guys, just wanted to put a quick message in here to say I won't be returning to the site, long story short is that I don't like how it's managed/moderated.

I'm not going to suicide my account, request a deletion or anything stupid, this is just me saying goodbye. I wish you a lovely Christmas (If you celebrate) and all the best for 2020, hopefully you'll have many safe rides wherever you live.

Take care.
Good bye good luck
 

FondsNL

Member
Oct 29, 2017
710
Hey guys, just wanted to put a quick message in here to say I won't be returning to the site, long story short is that I don't like how it's managed/moderated.

I'm not going to suicide my account, request a deletion or anything stupid, this is just me saying goodbye. I wish you a lovely Christmas (If you celebrate) and all the best for 2020, hopefully you'll have many safe rides wherever you live.

Take care.
I respect your choice but I’m sad to see you go.
You were an inspiration! I wish you many happy miles on the road!
 

HTupolev

Member
Oct 27, 2017
817
Mt Rainier peeking over a ridge of the Cascade foothills.



Two days later, looking toward Whitehorse and Three Fingers.



I hadn't counted on snow, and while other people did just fine on knobbies, this particular snow offered basically zero traction on my 2.1" slicks. I also have very little snow riding experience, so trying to sort this out in steep mountainous doubletrack got a bit interesting. I sort of began to learn how to use one foot as a drag brake and stabilizer, and also got a lot of running in. Somehow I ended up not crashing at all, although the other folks were forced to wait at the bottom of a hill for me to catch up a few times.
 
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BabyMurloc

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,411
Any one got thermal sock recommendations?
I like my thick Endura and TLD merino socks, but I imagine any brand will do. Also have a looser fitting shoe, because thick socks defeat themselves if it makes your shoe fit tight. At that point go for regular thin socks and water/windproof overshoes. Neoprene overshoes are super effective but can be a major pain to put on.

Another biggie, at least for me, is heat escaping from the sole and metal cleats creating a cold spot. Thermal insoles can help but the ones I've found have been a bit pants in general.

Oh, and a special mention for waterproof socks. They can make your feet sweat a lot, but also in some conditions they can be the best thing ever. Like the 2-5C snowless rain and mud fest we have this winter. If you ride a long time in the rain, water will simply just trickle down from your legs into your shoes.
 

bawjaws

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,425
Aye, overly thick socks aren't good because your feet will get squashed and that'll restrict the circulation. Merino-based thermal socks seem to strike a good balance between warmth and thinness in my experience. Insulating overshoes also do a good job but I prefer toe covers because you can just leave them on your shoes rather than fannying about taking overshoes on and off (which as BabyMurloc says, is a right pain in the arse).

All that said, I've still found that my feet tend to get cold (and numb toes are just horrid - I've actually fallen over after getting off my bike because my feet had gone numb. Not nice.) After putting up with this for a few winters, this year I've taken a different tack and bought myself a pair of proper winter boots - in my case, Shimano MW701s (aka MW7s). I snapped them up in the pre-Black Friday sales for £120 and although that is quite a lot of cash for a pair of shoes, they have been absolutely bloody brilliant so far. Almost totally waterproof (weak spot is water running down your legs into the ankle cuff, but can be mitigated by fashionably wearing your bib tights over the ankle closure rather than under it, or fitting a tape "gasket" for longer rides) and very, very warm - I've been out in -5°C weather and my feet have remained warm, even though my fingertips (wearing thick outer gloves and merino glove liners) have been frozen. They're SPD-cleat only, but I'm a commuter not a racer :) No more fannying about with overshoes or toe covers, no more cold toes, no more wet feet or trying to dry off socks, shoes or overshoes at work. Also means that my non-winter shoes will last a lot longer as they're no longer getting soaked on the reg (and they won't stink quite so much either!)

Slight criticisms would be that they're not light (about 450g each, although that's actually only slightly heavier than my normal shoes + thermal overshoes), the BOA dial is a pull-to-release effort rather than a two-way dial, and they are slightly more true-to-size than my other Shimano shoes - probably because they anticipate you wearing thicker socks, as discussed above. They could possibly do with a second BOA dial too, but that would probably compromise the waterproofing. Oh, and if you do get them properly saturated, they take an age to dry out.

I also tried on some Northwaves (GTXs?) which seemed great, apart from one minor issue... I couldn't get my feet into them, as the ankle opening was so narrow. I'm sure that once on they would be grand, as the seal around the ankle would be nice and tight, but even trying on the biggest size they had in the shop (far too big for my feet), I just couldn't get them on.
 

BabyMurloc

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,411
I have the Northwave Extreme XCM GTX (what a name), they're really good winter shoes. Warm and wide enough sole for me, which is weird given they're Italian. Better than the Shimano MW7 I used to have. Both are the wider model I'm pretty sure. The ankle seal on the Northwave really is a bit small, but the neoprene stretches well and is low friction. There's also a well designed pull tab. Time will tell how they will last. With the MW7 the ankle seal is what broke first, by ripping at the stem of the velcro opening.

But the dark secret is that once it gets really cold and there's a lot of snow, flat pedals are the only smart choice unless you stick to cleared main roads. Packed snow in your cleats is the worst thing ever. So I just use regular winter hiking boots and trust the gnarly spikes of the pedals.
 

bawjaws

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,425
Aye, I think I would have gone for the Northwaves if I could only have got the bloody things on my feet :D I'm sure they could be persuaded to fit but you don't want to get medieval on a pair of boots in the shop when the staff are hovering about over your shoulder :D

And I'll keep an eye out for the ankle closure - cheers for the heads up. I sometimes find that a couple of stitches to reinforce a weak spot can help prolong the lifetime of a bit of gear, so I'll watch them closely!

As for snow, I'm lucky enough not to have to deal with it too much, being on the coast. But I do like my double-sided pedals (PD-A530s) for exactly the reason you gave - being able to switch between cleated shoes and normal shoes as required.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,765
Thanks BabyMurloc and bawjaws i already have some winter boots (45nrth japanther and ragnarok pending conditions) it’s just been socks. My feet still get super cold in them even with covers. I’m trying out some defeet woolie boolies which feel thick but my feet never sweat. My normal wool socks just make my feet sweat like crazy despite being of better brands.

It’s stupid to have two winter boots but the japanther are over kill for anything over 30 and they’re super stiff which makes using them on a road bike kind of shit
 

BabyMurloc

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,411
In that case try thin socks and thermal insole, the sort with aluminium foil on the bottom and a fluffy footbed. They'll be annoying to set up though, at least mine were, because they slide around.

But at the end of the day, it's probably just because naturally cold feet and cycling not being intensive enough for the feet. I sometimes get the blood flowing in my feet by running around during a break.

edit: I just remembered they actually make insoles with a heating element. I haven't tried yet but some do like them.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,765
In that case try thin socks and thermal insole, the sort with aluminium foil on the bottom and a fluffy footbed. They'll be annoying to set up though, at least mine were, because they slide around.

But at the end of the day, it's probably just because naturally cold feet and cycling not being intensive enough for the feet. I sometimes get the blood flowing in my feet by running around during a break.

edit: I just remembered they actually make insoles with a heating element. I haven't tried yet but some do like them.
I’ll look into winter soles. I use Superfeet inserts and one day I forgot them in my shoes. My foot was frozen within 30 minutes. I under estimated how much they matter in the cold
 

bawjaws

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,425
Feet are tricky to keep at the right temperature, aren't they? At least with the rest of your body you can layer up and add/remove layers as required, but for feet you're pretty much stuck for the whole ride. I'd echo BabyMurloc 's shout for thinner socks plus thermal insoles, or even wrapping your feet with foil before you put your shoes on :D

Unfortunately, though, if you're naturally cursed with cold but sweaty feet then there's not too much you can do :D
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,765
Feet are tricky to keep at the right temperature, aren't they? At least with the rest of your body you can layer up and add/remove layers as required, but for feet you're pretty much stuck for the whole ride. I'd echo BabyMurloc 's shout for thinner socks plus thermal insoles, or even wrapping your feet with foil before you put your shoes on :D

Unfortunately, though, if you're naturally cursed with cold but sweaty feet then there's not too much you can do :D
Cold and sweaty is me, ha. I’m needing to train for a March gravel race so finding the comfort to ride 50 to 70 a few times in the winter is proving interesting. I think these woolie boolie are going to work because even in 40 degree weather my feet were pretty dry. I found some thermal insoles on super feet but they’re high volume which I hate.
 

studyguy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,091
So it's been four or five months since I started. Finally went down what would be a formal black diamond trail out in Simi Valley, really giant ass rock face rolls, lots of narrow drops, features galore and neat kickers, burms, the works out there. Had a fucking blast. Just absolutely killing it till I did this massive roll over on this rocky drop and my fucking rear axle just gave up, we had gone through some really muddy terrain the day before and had cleaned it all out, I must have put it on wrong or something because I did one really hard drop and felt my rear brake, chain and everything attached behind just give up. With some supreme luck I managed to use my front brakes the stop on a small platform instead of pitching down the drop. Good times man.

Also my cousin's gopro managed to get this great shot of us. Me on the left, him not enjoying life on the right.

good times, love riding
 

Psychotext

Member
Oct 30, 2017
4,738
Hope you can keep your spirit up and push through these awful time. Wish you all the best to cycle and more important walk without pain soon.

Had a few times in my life, where I couldn't walk so I can slightly imagine what you are going through.
Cheers buddy.

I seem to be developing a bit of a limp at the moment, which is pissing me off a bit. I've found that if I'm drunk I walk completely normally, which means it's partly psychological... it's going to be a bit of a pig to beat.

I did however manage to do my first rides over the Christmas period, which I'm pretty damn happy about. I've never been so scared just descending on tracks before though. So a long way to go mentally.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,765
Knocked out 62 yesterday in prep for Mid South Gravel and wake up this morning with a small cold. I can’t tell if it’s just over working or from the chill. It was mid to high 30s and I was pretty damp under my jacket for most of the ride.
 

FondsNL

Member
Oct 29, 2017
710
Knocked out 62 yesterday in prep for Mid South Gravel and wake up this morning with a small cold. I can’t tell if it’s just over working or from the chill. It was mid to high 30s and I was pretty damp under my jacket for most of the ride.
Yeah it's been damp and cold here in the past few days as well...
It slowed down the last few weeks of the year as far as riding goes.

I did manage to ride more than 7000k this year.
My overall stats for the year:

Distance - 7.119,5 km
Time - 236u 17m
Climbing - 28.393 m
Rides - 169

Pretty happy with how that turned out.
Still wondering what my cycling goals will be this year. At least I've got a neat trip planned to Hong Kong come February.
Really looking forward to riding around the area and climbing Tai Mo Shan.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,765
Yeah it's been damp and cold here in the past few days as well...
It slowed down the last few weeks of the year as far as riding goes.

I did manage to ride more than 7000k this year.
My overall stats for the year:

Distance - 7.119,5 km
Time - 236u 17m
Climbing - 28.393 m
Rides - 169

Pretty happy with how that turned out.
Still wondering what my cycling goals will be this year. At least I've got a neat trip planned to Hong Kong come February.
Really looking forward to riding around the area and climbing Tai Mo Shan.
This year I’m finally pushing myself mentally with the midsouth (formerly land run 100) and then rooted Vermont. Then also physically with trying more cross after having fun last year in the one race
 

ShapeGSX

Member
Nov 13, 2017
1,198
I did alright last year. I wish I could have gotten more in.


I did manage to meet this guy at the top of a mountain in Utah, though! So that was cool!
 

Psychotext

Member
Oct 30, 2017
4,738
lol, awesome.

So as some of you may know by now, I managed to get out at Christmas (in Aviemore) for some riding. On the bike for the first time since the accident... nearly six months. Thankfully my hip held up fairly well, though I noticed that my power delivery is extremely spiky on the right side now (sort of surges at particular parts of the pedal stroke).

I don't mind admitting that I was absolutely fucking terrified on anything slippy, and descending was done at next to no miles per hour. I don't know if I can ever get past that to be honest, but time will tell. I guess realistically I just need to stick to difficult up with very safe downs.

I just updated my Strava rides to include some photos. Beautiful place... I don't think I really could have picked much better for my return.

https://www.strava.com/activities/2949233631
https://www.strava.com/activities/2976665982
https://www.strava.com/activities/2976665825
https://www.strava.com/activities/2978107988
https://www.strava.com/activities/2976665882
https://www.strava.com/activities/2976665780

I don't know if I'm going to be able to handle any rides longer than say... 4 hours for quite some time, but it's a start.
 

bawjaws

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,425
I don't mind admitting that I was absolutely fucking terrified on anything slippy, and descending was done at next to no miles per hour. I don't know if I can ever get past that to be honest, but time will tell. I guess realistically I just need to stick to difficult up with very safe downs.
I think you just need to give it time, and hopefully your confidence will come back eventually.

I definitely feel you, though, as someone who's had a couple of bad crashes (nothing nearly as severe as your injuries, of course) - the psychological hangover lingers long after the physical healing is complete. Slow and steady does it for now, and well done for getting back out there so soon after your fall.
 

Frontieruk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
440
lol, awesome.

So as some of you may know by now, I managed to get out at Christmas (in Aviemore) for some riding. On the bike for the first time since the accident... nearly six months. Thankfully my hip held up fairly well, though I noticed that my power delivery is extremely spiky on the right side now (sort of surges at particular parts of the pedal stroke).

I don't mind admitting that I was absolutely fucking terrified on anything slippy, and descending was done at next to no miles per hour. I don't know if I can ever get past that to be honest, but time will tell. I guess realistically I just need to stick to difficult up with very safe downs.
You're doing better than when I broke my back after a Focus decided it didn't like the look of my Giant Rapid.

Took me a year to get back on a bike, which after that ride I broke down for nearly 30 minutes. It was another year before I got on a bike and that was off road no where near the sort of location my accident occurred, that took another year to conquer.
 

Psychotext

Member
Oct 30, 2017
4,738
I'm still way, way, way more scared of roads than anything else... so there's that I guess.

Give me a choice between a busy A road and being forced to smash it down a tricky descent and I'll take the latter, no question.

Though I may weep the entire way down it.
 

Frontieruk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
440
I'm still way, way, way more scared of roads than anything else... so there's that I guess.

Give me a choice between a busy A road and being forced to smash it down a tricky descent and I'll take the latter, no question.

Though I may weep the entire way down it.
My point is time allows for acceptance and confidence to grow and you will get back to attacking the downhills again Though with a tear in your eye..

that tear in your eye will be from the blistering speeds
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,765
You're just trying to make my mind up that I need a full sus bike for no other reason than I want one by posting that... aren't you.. ADMIT IT .

That is a sexy bike
I only got this because my hard tail was too small otherwise I’d still be rocking it. That said, I’m quickly learning how to leverage that rear squish and it rules/terrifying. I need to get rebound dialed in but people able to load it into hard fast turns is so satisfying.

It’s also going to make exploring different trails for better. Kona refers to this as “down country” so it’s a perfect middle ground bike. Since I ride road more than trail, I’d rather have 1 mountain bike than two
 

studyguy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,091
The last trail I hit really nailed home the point of the rear suspension to me. The moment I start bouncing on the rear during rock rolls, it becomes terrifying. Didn't really see the point before but man. I get it now. Anyway, currently working towards replacing my brake pads and rotors, met a guy who had the same bike I had and he suggested a super simple upgrade in swapping out the stock rotors. Some pretty garbage shimano resin only rotors and pads. Tried out his bike for a second and the only difference he had was the pads/rotors and it's like a whole new world. Now learning I have to adapt the centerlock to 6 bolt. Still super green so I was like oh, you don't just slap on a generic sixbolt right away ok... little bit of a pain but nbd. Tinkering with the bike seems like a hobby in and of itself.
 

FondsNL

Member
Oct 29, 2017
710
I'm still way, way, way more scared of roads than anything else... so there's that I guess.

Give me a choice between a busy A road and being forced to smash it down a tricky descent and I'll take the latter, no question.

Though I may weep the entire way down it.
Awesome that you’re back on the bike! Great job!
I once cracked a vertebrae in my lower back when snowboarding. Took a year of fysio before I could comfortably run again.
It took a lot longer before I was comfortably going full gas on off piste powder snow though. I think the fear fades with time as you slowly regain confidence in your riding.
 

Lonely1

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,418
Power meter woes.

So, I used the power meter on two events so far. On the first, I went all out on a 20km, 750m climb to find out my FTP, which was 258W. However, whenever I looked at my Garmin the number (3s average) always was between 250-300w.

For today's event, which is a harder at 1200m in 26km, I tried to use my power meter to administer my effort and targeted 240-250W and I thought I was able to hit that by looking at my screen. However, the average power dropped to a mere 220w, which means I totally failed at my target. Should have know that since I ended relative fresh... It was still good enough for a new personal record, though:



So, my question is: Any tips on using the power meter? I fell I would have done better if I measured my effort with my heart rate.
 

HTupolev

Member
Oct 27, 2017
817
For today's event, which is a harder at 1200m in 26km, I tried to use my power meter to administer my effort and targeted 240-250W and I thought I was able to hit that by looking at my screen. However, the average power dropped to a mere 220w
Were you keeping your power up on flats and downhills along the way? Using less power in those parts isn't necessarily bad strategy, but it will severely drop your average compared with maintaining a flat level or power.

Also, that's a lot of elevation gain for that distance. Were you bottoming out your gearing on steep spots? That can hurt power output as well.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,765
So I’m two months out from mid south gravel which will be my first legitimate and hard ride I’ve done (100 miles over red clay, 5800 feet of elevation, no support). I’m still not feeling right on my new bike. I can’t seem to find the right ,point of balance. I hate to do another fit but I think I’m going to do it. I’ll be more at ease going into this final 2 months of prep.
 

Facism

Member
Oct 25, 2017
821
i've been shit at riding this autumn. Most i've done is a few rides to football and back. Really missing it but the weather is shit and it gets dark too early :(
 

FondsNL

Member
Oct 29, 2017
710
Yeah the winter season can be harsh.
My GF bought me lights last year and motivated me to ride more, even in lesser conditions, since she knows how much I love to ride (and how much less grumpy I am after a ride).
 

Lonely1

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,418
Winter woes questions...

So, in a few days I'm moving from my tropical climate to Berkshire... how feasible is to do outdoor training over there!? :S You guys are making me worried. Is a trainer a must?
 

Frontieruk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
440
Winter woes questions...

So, in a few days I'm moving from my tropical climate to Berkshire... how feasible is to do outdoor training over there!? :S You guys are making me worried. Is a trainer a must?
im about 50miles away from your planned move and am planning a 50km ride Saturday, it shouldn’t be to bad, but being native it could just be me. roads will be damp, probably a headwind both ways, but it’ll be nice getting out.

but two years ago apart from when it snowed I commuted by bike every day bar rest days so it can’t be that bad... ( I may be lying)
 
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studyguy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,091
Actually never noticed how much mountain bike (and bike content in general) is run by Brits.
Why is that.