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Old 05-03-2012, 05:02 PM   #23896
pierce
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speaking of racing, anyone making plans for any sections of the Amgen Tour of California? I've volunteered again to be a course marshall on the Santa Cruz County leg, but apparently this year, single day volunteers are going to be 2nd class and just used as backup in the finish area, that the main stretch of the course will be manned by Amgen peoples :-/ last time I covered a stretch of Bonny Doon, which was awesome.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #23897
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Originally Posted by pierce View Post
speaking of racing, anyone making plans for any sections of the Amgen Tour of California? I've volunteered again to be a course marshall on the Santa Cruz County leg, but apparently this year, single day volunteers are going to be 2nd class and just used as backup in the finish area, that the main stretch of the course will be manned by Amgen peoples :-/ last time I covered a stretch of Bonny Doon, which was awesome.
I signed up for this:

http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/nissan

Thinking of blasting down the LA River bike path to the event, then blasting back home to watch a recorded stage with a beer in my hand.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:06 AM   #23898
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Well, having bought the new bike, I am about 500km in for the last month and things are sorting out. My technique for sensing shifts is improving and I'm finding the hills to be more fun every day. Shit, I even dropped a pants size.

I am getting tired of having to go to bike shops for relatively simple repairs to the various bikes in our house. It seems like this can't be so hard if I can wrench a motorcycle, but at the same time it's clear that bicycles have a few special tools and considerations as well. So with do-it-yourself maintenance in mind, can you fellas answer a few questions?

- I was considering buying the Park Tool "Big Book" of bike maintenance. Is this good resource? Sure seems complete. Any other good sources?

- I'm seeing lots of options for tool kits, single tools, etc. I'm hesitant to buy a kit right away since I have so many tools at home already for motorcycling, but clearly some tools are bicycle specific. Can somebody give a short rundown (or link to one) of the most essential tools I'll be needing? Clearly my sets of allen and torx from my motorcycle kits will work, but how abou tthe rest of it?

- Another tool question. I'm seeing things like "pedal wrenches" and things. They never usually show the actual dimensions of these wrenches. Are sizes for things like this standard on bicycles? Seems a bit confusing not knowing what I might need, but they aren't cheap either.

And of course, I'm perusing this thread for general information. It's a really great resource. Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:38 AM   #23899
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Originally Posted by FinlandThumper View Post
- I was considering buying the Park Tool "Big Book" of bike maintenance. Is this good resource? Sure seems complete. Any other good sources?
Park's website is good too. Videos.

[quote]- I'm seeing lots of options for tool kits, single tools, etc. I'm hesitant to buy a kit right away since I have so many tools at home already for motorcycling, but clearly some tools are bicycle specific. Can somebody give a short rundown (or link to one) of the most essential tools I'll be needing? Clearly my sets of allen and torx from my motorcycle kits will work, but how abou tthe rest of it?[quote]Any more, that's about it. Maybe a pedal wrench, but most of my pedals are allen wrench only. My personal opinon: if/when you need it, buy it. No need to have a bunch of bicycle-specific stuff laying around collecting dust.

Quote:
- Another tool question. I'm seeing things like "pedal wrenches" and things. They never usually show the actual dimensions of these wrenches. Are sizes for things like this standard on bicycles? Seems a bit confusing not knowing what I might need, but they aren't cheap either.
If you're talking pedal wrench as in 'open ended wrench' they're going to be 15mm (with some of the older ones having a 9/16" side). If you're talking about allen wrench style, they're either 6mm or 8mm with the most likely size being 8mm

Quote:
And of course, I'm perusing this thread for general information. It's a really great resource. Thanks for your help.
No worries.

I still have a bunch of headset and bottom bracket tools from 20 years ago that are as useless as udders on a steer. They were important to have up until about 15 years ago tho so its not like it was wasted $

About the only thing you may need that's NOT an allen wrench is a set of cone wrenches and then only if you're running loose ball hubs.

Rode 4:06 yesterday with 'the guys.' It was either up or down. Very little flat. Culpeper north towards Warrenton, turn left, turn left, turn right, turn left onto 522 to drop one of the guys off at the house that was too pooped to party, then a short loop south of town and back. Not nearly 400km, but man! are my legs beat!

Got some new Bont A-1 shoes from a friend of a friend. Did the heat up and mold thing yesterday AM but didn't want to try a 4hr ride on shoes I would have just put cleats on. I'll save em for today/tomorrow and do a short ride first. Got another 5 hrs planned Sunday.

M
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #23900
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The Park "blue book" is my go-to bicycle maintenance book. It seems to tread the fine line between gruesome detail (e.g., Barnetts) and being overly simplistic. It's approach to problems are very practical and it matches up nicely with Parks online information. Park tools are sometimes a little flimsy but they get the job done.

If you already have basic hand tools, my advice would be to NOT buy a standard bicycle toolkit as it will likely just duplicate a lot of what you have and will probably include tools that don't match up to your bike. Instead, I'd just set to wrenching and when you run into a problem that requires a special tool, go get it. (I'm fortunate in that I have a good bicycle shop nearby that has a good selection of tools in stock and they're not terribly expensive. They also are pretty good about doing repairs on the spot for stuff I don't have the tools for - for example, I don't have the tools for headset installation/removal, but if I take the frame/fork in ready to use the tool, they'll bash it in/out in seconds while I wait and usually don't bother charging me. Nuturing a good relationship with the wrenches at your local shop is a good thing!! There are a lot of things with bicycles that are ridiculously simple with the right tools and an absolute nightmare without.)

Here are the common things you'll likely need fairly soon:

1. Spoke wrench(s). I like the colored Park ones and have all three. You want to be absolutely sure you have one that fits TIGHT on the spoke nipple flats - if it doesn't require a little work to get the wrench around the nipple, you likely are using the wrong wrench.

2. Cone wrenches. Thin wrenches for adjusting wheel bearings. The sizes vary between hubs a bit so you need several. (Adjusting wheel bearings is a bit tricky - be sure you understand what is going on here - simply "backing off" a 1/4 turn like a car wheel bearing doesn't cut it.)

3. Chain-breaker tool. You can sometimes get by with the cheapie universal ones in bicycle multi-tools, but I like having a good shop tool for this.

4. Freewheel/cassette removal tool. This is something that you need specific for what you have on the rear of your bike. And if you have a modern cassette system, you'll also need a chain whip to hold the cluster while you remove the lockring.

5. Inch-lb torque wrench. Lots of light-duty torquing required on bikes.

6. Bottom bracket/crank removal tool(s). Another case where each system has its own special tool(s) for removal.

7. Cable cutter. It's almost impossible to make good clean cuts of cables and housings without a special tool.

8. Chainring nut wrench. Chainrings bolts use a strange nut on the backside that most of the time doesn't turn when you remove the bolt, but sometimes does and unless you have this cheap wrench, to hold this nut, getting the bolts out is very difficult.

That's all I can think of, but as I said, I think you should just dive in and get them as you go.

bikeforums.net has a pretty good section on bicycle mechanics, but like all forums there are some "my way or the highway" blowhards over there so you have to take everything with a little common sense.

Just ran across this the other day and it is a good resource for understanding parts, compatability, etc.

http://www.velobase.com/Default.aspx

I find bicycle mechanics a lot more approachable that motorcycle mechanics. More art than science. I recently did my first wheel-build and it was great fun.

- Mark

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Old 05-06-2012, 02:04 AM   #23901
Lewy
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I made a Go Pro timelapse of my ride to and from work on Friday

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Old 05-06-2012, 05:09 AM   #23902
fullmonte
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The 3 State century was tough yesterday. I got off to a terrible start on account of having to take a massive dump as the peloton was leaving the stadium. Then I had to pin on my race number, so I was at least 10 minutes behind the pack. The first hour was spent riding alone while passing scores of other riders. The weather ran the gamut with fog, then some rain with a hail chaser, and brutal afternoon sun made it an interesting ride. The goal was to conquer Burkhalter Gap (which is the last mountain climb of 2.4 miles with a grade that exceeds 20% at the top) without walking the bike. Standing on the pedals and seeing 3mph on the speedometer is a experience. Mission accomplished. Total of 102 miles on the odo in 6:23 at an avg speed of 15.9. My little brother rode it in 4:54, but he had to jump off and walk his bike up the steepest part of Burkhalter.

Yours truly.

A refreshing shower on the other side of the lake from where the previous pic was taken.

My brother (in the lead pack) is wearing the Gerolsteiner jersey in the right row. He hung with this group until the bottom of Burkhalter Gap at the 83 mile mark.

Busted! You're not doing it right.
edit: They got the pics up in a hurry this time.
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fullmonte screwed with this post 05-07-2012 at 07:12 AM
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:51 AM   #23903
Schnickelfritz
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Originally Posted by fullmonte View Post
Mission accomplished. Total of 102 miles on the odo in 6:23 at an avg speed of 15.9. My little brother rode it in 4:54, but he had to jump off and walk his bike up the steepest part of Burkhalter.
You'll both be crushing it when nationals comes to yer town, then!

Aaaaand the Giro's on (yes, I know I should be riding bikes, not watching them):

http://www.steephill.tv/giro-d-italia/#live
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:51 AM   #23904
Jim Moore
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Hey Markjenn,

How 'bout a square taper crank arm puller?

Btw, to re-install the crankarms do you simply tighten the crank arm bolt to spec? Or do you need to press it back onto the spindle?
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:54 AM   #23905
Jim Moore
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Quick question: If I wnat to sit around on the forums and brag about doing a century, do I have to do it solo or does a group effort count? I did 67 miles in a group yesterday and it seemed pretty easy. I think 100 miles with 8-10 modestly fit riders is doable.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:02 AM   #23906
Dranrab Luap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
Hey Markjenn,

How 'bout a square taper crank arm puller?

Btw, to re-install the crankarms do you simply tighten the crank arm bolt to spec? Or do you need to press it back onto the spindle?
Tightening the bolt to spec will press it back on Jim.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:05 AM   #23907
Gummee!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
Quick question: If I wnat to sit around on the forums and brag about doing a century, do I have to do it solo or does a group effort count? I did 67 miles in a group yesterday and it seemed pretty easy. I think 100 miles with 8-10 modestly fit riders is doable.
If you can ride 67 solo, having someone to draft will make the longer ride cake.

My tale of woe comes next:

M
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:06 AM   #23908
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So I got goat-roped into helping a buddy with his Devil's Backbone ride. Its 2+ hrs away at Wintergreen, so I'm up at 0430 and driving by a little after 0500.

Get there earlier than expected and waited for people to show. ...and waited... and... Helped set up the PA system, etc.

So 1000 (ride start) comes up and I'm assigned to stop traffic till the riders leave the parking lot. (which I do) Then I can hop on the bike and head out with em.

So there's 100+ cyclists wandering up the road to the first turn.

Up a hill.

So I'm riding thru the backmarkers and catch up to a guy on a similar bike to mine and start chit-chatting about steel cross bikes. We'd just climbed a steep section of the road and I was kvetching about it. ...till he sez 'too bad we haven't gotten to the steep part yet.'



Yup. Around the corner is a wall of road. 21% pitching straight up into the woods.



People were struggling with the pitch. People were getting off and walking. People were 'paperboy-ing' across the road () in order to get up and over it. It was probably the steepest thing I've climbed in about forever. Really amazing that I was in my lowest gear, standing up on it, and barely moving faster'n a walk.

As we crested the hill, it turned to dirt/gravel. Wheee! Till the ripple bumps.

Hey! There's a water bottle!

Lookit! There's more!

Someone's gonna be upset that they lost their bottle... ...then *I* looked down, and sure nuff! one of mine was gone too.

More in a bit. Gotta get gas for the big mower

M
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:06 AM   #23909
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So I'm bouncing down the gravel road and my handlebars slip in the stem. I'm fixin to have a REAL fun time if I don't do something fast, since I couldn't stop right there, I switched to braking in the drops and kept going downhill till I hit a flat spot in the road.

Whew!

Broke out the wrenches and tightened that bitch back up! Onwards and downwards!

Ended up on the tarmac for a bit. Wound around a creek/valley then right and up.

...and up

...and up

...and up

I swear I must've climbed for 30-40min. I passed a bunch of people 'cause if I didn't spin at a certain cadence, I was stopping dead in my tracks. Its funny, but its easier to go a little faster than it is to sit back and grind.

I'd pass someone, ask em a question to keep my mind of the interminable climb I was on, then catch the next person. Repeat till you hit the top of the hill.

...but the decent was worth it! Even in the rain. Oh, did I mention that as soon as the ride started it started to rain? It did. Thankfully, it was warm, and not 50deg! THAT woulda sucked out loud.

So at the bottoms of the hills, I took my jacket off. Put it back on on the way down the hill. I must've gone in and out of my jacket a dozen times over the course of the ride. Its a skill, putting a jacket on on the move. Not for the faint of heart!

So I get to the bottom of what felt like a 45mph downhill and there's a rest stop! Woot!

...except I didn't see my buddy there. The whole way up the hill I kept thinking he was a sadistic, evil little man and I was gonna kick his ass.

Then I turned right at the short ride cutoff.

Short may equal short, but it sure nuff didn't equal easy. I could just see him laughing: I'll show those short ride pansies! I'll send em up something EVEN STEEPER than the first climb. I'll make it LONGER too! That hill sucked all the life out of my legs lemme tell ya. I was paperboying across the road like my life depended on it. Cause it DID!

So I got over the first bit, rounded the corner and there's another one.

Got around THAT corner and guess what?! Something as steep or steeper yet again! As long or longer! This one topped out on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I chatted with a couple of hikers for a few minutes and headed down another screaming downhill. This one told the truckers to watch out, cause there were 15% downgrades.

So I get to the bottom of the hill and see a 'turn right sign' for the ride. OK. Kewl. One more hill...

As I'm hoofing it up the hill, I'm looking around. Pretty round here. I wonder if that spring is OK to drink from, I'm about out of water...

So I see another wall in front of me. K. I can make this. Just around the corner! You can do it! Keep on spinning them pedals around.

Hey! Waitaminit! That wall in the field looks REAL familliar! OH SHIT! I'm going up the first hill again! I sure as shootin didn't want to do THAT again! I was already done.

So I went back down the hill in the rain. Didn't bother with the jacket this time. I knew I was close enough to the end that I didn't need it.

2:35 or so of riding time that felt like a lifetime.

IF I get goat roped again in the fall, 1. I'm staying down there the night the night before, 2. I'm getting a bigger cassette, and 3. not running knobbies

All in all, it was more of an accomplishment than what I'd call fun. I'm not built to go up hills. I'm built to go fast on the flats. Damn little skinny bastards think the world revolves around climbing! I'll show him next time we're out riding.

M
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:59 PM   #23910
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Yay! We are gonna be the host city for the USA Cycling Championships for 2013-15.

http://www.usacycling.org/chattanoog...-nationals.htm
Chattanooga is such a fantastic city. It will make a great venue for the event. I am anxious to see what kind of course thay will lay out.
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