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Cant Climb

Turbo Monkey
May 9, 2004
2,683
10
Nice thread.

I just started commuting 6 weeks ago.........just ordered some Panaracer T-Serv's, Conti's were flatting once a week.......anyone else have flatting issues......?.....

....i'm trying to stay away from the super heavy tires, my commute is prettty long....

Also, anyone know where i can get one of thoose little tool kit bags that go inside the corner of the top tube and down tube......?......would like to run another rear light but saddle bag is in the way.......
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
I just started commuting 6 weeks ago.........just ordered some Panaracer T-Serv's, Conti's were flatting once a week.......anyone else have flatting issues......?.
Not familiar with the T-Serv's, but I tried Specialized Armadillos and liked them a lot... only put 300 miles on them, didn't have a flat during that time, but decided that I really didn't want one so I went airfree.

Also, anyone know where i can get one of thoose little tool kit bags that go inside the corner of the top tube and down tube...
I'm sure Nashbar, performance, jenson all carry frame bags.

..would like to run another rear light but saddle bag is in the way.......
Instead of ANOTHER (since lumens are not cumulative) light, I'd recommend the Dinotte tail light. Yes, $125 (on sale) is a lot of money for a light, but if you need it, then it's that or your life. The focker is bright like a motorcycle brake light! You can be seen in fog, around curves, over hills.
 

Cant Climb

Turbo Monkey
May 9, 2004
2,683
10
Not familiar with the T-Serv's, but I tried Specialized Armadillos and liked them a lot... only put 300 miles on them, didn't have a flat during that time, but decided that I really didn't want one so I went airfree. .
I am trying to stay away from the armadillos because of their weight. The T-Serv’s have
Reasonable weight…..my commute is fairly long as it is, don’t really want to make it any longer dragging 1280 grams of tire….how did you go tubeless….?….i’m new to this roadie stuff…


Instead of ANOTHER (since lumens are not cumulative) light, I'd recommend the Dinotte tail light. Yes, $125 (on sale) is a lot of money for a light, but if you need it, then it's that or your life. The focker is bright like a motorcycle brake light! You can be seen in fog, around curves, over hills.
Ok Lumens are not cumulative but something else flashing in a different spot makes me more noticeable…..i will look at that Dinotte light, going to have sell something first to buy that though…..
 

splat

Nam I am
Watch out for Ice patches !!! went down hard on the way this morning on one. landed on my right wrist pretty hard. I took my glove off so it would get cold riding the rest of the way in. it only hurt when I needed to down shift (grip shift ) . Icing it now.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
I am trying to stay away from the armadillos because of their weight. The T-Serv’s have
Reasonable weight…..my commute is fairly long as it is, don’t really want to make it any longer dragging 1280 grams of tire….how did you go tubeless….?….i’m new to this roadie stuff…
How long is your commute?

I know extra weight is a sin for roadies, but let's just theorize that running a heavier tire makes your commute five minutes longer. Can you change a flat that fast? Is it cold where you are? Would changing a flat in bad weather ruin your day?

Here in Denver, the weather is usually nice, but it can get below freezing often enough that changing a flat just sucks.

If your commute if fairly flat and the wind is usually mellow, you can trade the extra tire weight by going single-speed.

As for the airfree tires, I only got them a couple of months ago and for my commute -- 7 miles each way, some what hilly -- they've been great. If you want a set from airfreetires.com, be prepared to wait upwards of a month to get them. It takes a while since they only make them twice a month as needed.

Get the widest ones you can fit on your rim considering fenders and frame clearance. I got the 20s and wished I had the 28s. Also, they are a little lighter than Armadillos, so that's nice.
 

Cant Climb

Turbo Monkey
May 9, 2004
2,683
10
How long is your commute?

I know extra weight is a sin for roadies, but let's just theorize that running a heavier tire makes your commute five minutes longer. Can you change a flat that fast? Is it cold where you are? Would changing a flat in bad weather ruin your day?

Here in Denver, the weather is usually nice, but it can get below freezing often enough that changing a flat just sucks.

If your commute if fairly flat and the wind is usually mellow, you can trade the extra tire weight by going single-speed.
My commute is 24 miles each way. It has some short steep hills in it, especially at the end on the way to work but it also has along stretch of flattish road where i can crank up some nice speed....

I ran into to the changing flats in bad weather this past monday.It was rainy and in the high 30's....pretty miserable. Adding to the misery was a piece of crap CO2 inflator (that the bike shop was selling on clearance, instead of pulling off the shelf). First flat was bad then second had me calling the wife 6 miles from home.....only carry one tube.

Being new to the road i guess i'm not sure how the heavy armadillos would effect my speed. I still want to use this bike as my regualr road bike. So i guess i'm trying to find a balance between tire weight and dependability.....that's why i went with the t_servs (35mm). My commute has some ruff gravely areas, and some highly littered shoulders.....
 

Cant Climb

Turbo Monkey
May 9, 2004
2,683
10
What's everyone's top three dangers on your specific commute?
1.) the parking lot at work here.....people brains seem to shut off when they are in it. Have 2 recent incidents of people nearly running me over, was like i was invisible...
2.) People wondering off the sidewalk to cross the street. Again they really don't pay much attention. Sometimes they are going to their car with their eyes looking in the purse or just yabbering on the phone staring into space...
3.) Trailers on the back of SUV's....people forget they are back there.....have had a couple close calls within inches......
4.) Me.....sometimes i get too aggressive.....
 

Heidi

Der hund ist laut und braun
Aug 22, 2001
10,174
757
Bend, Oregon
In the winter...

1. slipping on the ice coming around a roundabout or down the hill by my house

2. having a car slide into me at a roundabout

3. freezing my eyeballs
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
My commute is 24 miles each way.
that's far for a commute! :)

Well, I've given all the opinions I will on tires, but will suggest that you pick a tire that maximizes safety over speed and purchase a second wheelset so you can have a safer, heavier, more durable wheelset and tires for commuting and a lighter, faster wheelset and tires for the weekend runs :)
 

BikeMike

Monkey
Feb 24, 2006
784
0
Being new to the road i guess i'm not sure how the heavy armadillos would effect my speed. I still want to use this bike as my regualr road bike. So i guess i'm trying to find a balance between tire weight and dependability.....that's why i went with the t_servs (35mm). My commute has some ruff gravely areas, and some highly littered shoulders.....
Armadillos have come a long ways from four or five years ago. They have a pretty reasonable ride nowdays (used to ride like a brick, and blow off certain Mavic rims). Depends on how wide you want 'em, but the All Conditions Armadillos sit mostly a bit over 400g if I remember right. They make solid training tires.

Weight is mostly an issue with acceleration, so the flatter the route, the less the weight matters (unless you've got mad stop signs on your route). Really wide tires will have a larger impact on speed. Rough surfaces are hard...the inflation is often key, and optimal in a tricky range. You mostly puncture or pinch flat?
 

Cant Climb

Turbo Monkey
May 9, 2004
2,683
10
Rough surfaces are hard...the inflation is often key, and optimal in a tricky range. You mostly puncture or pinch flat?
I pinched flatted once, just hit a small rock in the road. Other things that have caused flats are roofing nails, strands of wire, or just random pieces of metal.....other things have punctured and left no evidence.....i shyed away from the Armadillos because the wieghts are on the Spec site and are very heavy, i wil try them but only as a last resort.....

The commute sometimes does have alot of starting and stopping....just depends how that day goes....

My current set of tires are Conti's with the Gatorskins are 28's and running about 115 psi, they are about 6 weeks old and the rear has about 6-7 cuts/slits already........i weigh about 230 all geared up with my backpack....
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
This morning's commute was fun and different!

First, thanks again to James for the Vredestein Carraterra tires! They rocked. Zero issues when going straight or easy turns. I wasn't very aggressive this morning since I needed to get to work :D I'll push 'em a little more tonight.

HELP!

At one point, my Ultegra STI was not shifting. I clicked it several times, nothing. It started working again at some point. Also, even tho I've got full-wrap fenders, all non-moving drivetrain parts froze up. Is this gonna be a problem. You can see from the photos below. That's not snow on them, that's ice and would not come off... it's melting in my office now :D Glad my boss is out of town :busted:

|



Some more photos :)
| | | |
 

splat

Nam I am

HELP!

At one point, my Ultegra STI was not shifting. I clicked it several times, nothing. It started working again at some point. Also, even tho I've got full-wrap fenders, all non-moving drivetrain parts froze up. Is this gonna be a problem. You can see from the photos below. That's not snow on them, that's ice and would not come off... it's melting in my office now
Welcome to the wunderful world of winter commuting !

That is one of the reasons I used to use a fixed gear in winter, simplicty of the drive train! what you can try , is spary your compnets with PAM. also do you cables route under the bottom bracket ? if they do spray that /cover them some how . other wise good luck , oh and watch out for rim brakes when they glaze with Ice!
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
Welcome to the wunderful world of winter commuting !
Thanks!

I'm already hardcore, but now I feel I'm a little closer to being Splatcore!

That is one of the reasons I used to use a fixed gear in winter, simplicty of the drive train!
I want to ride my SS, but my bike can't take wide enough tires. I already told my wife that if I continue to commute through the winter, that I'm going to build a dedicated winter commuter next year with internal geared hub or maybe a fixie with wide tires.

what you can try , is spary your compnets with PAM. also do you cables route under the bottom bracket ? if they do spray that /cover them some how . other wise good luck , oh and watch out for rim brakes when they glaze with Ice!
Cool! I'll try PAM.

Yes, cables do route under BB.
 

Biscuit

Turbo Monkey
Feb 12, 2003
1,768
0
Pleasant Hill, CA
I've also heard that PAM keeps ice from sticking. Not hardcore enough to know for sure though.

I'd also recommend running continuous housing in the winter. That road grime is gnarly.
 

G-Cracker

Monkey
May 2, 2002
528
0
Tucson, beatch!
Nice rides, everyone!

I don't have a designated commuter. I just use my road bike and throw a huge backpack on with all of my clothes, etc. Commute is 12.5 miles each way, with maybe 700 feet of elevation change. Thankfully going TO work it's downhill so I'm not quite as sweaty.

I used to commute 3-4 times per week but lately (last two months) I've commuted in maybe 3 or 4 times total. Yesterday was awesome though! If I hit this one light green, I can really crank down this long, gradual hill. I managed to hit and maintain 35mph yesterday along this stretch. I always enjoy the looks on people's faces as I slowly pass them in their cars. ;)
 

splat

Nam I am
Thanks!
that I'm going to build a dedicated winter commuter next year with internal geared hub or maybe a fixie with wide tires.
Yeah if you are riding with the snow and Ice and SALT ! you really want a Beater , the salt really plays hell with every thing, come spring you will see corrosion all over it.

A buddy of mine picks up a "new" Junker from the dump every fall fixes it up a bit then rides it all winter and come spring returns it to the dump.

I also have a couple of 3 Speed ( sturmey Archer ) 3 speed hubs I'm thinking of making a beater commuter with.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
Yeah if you are riding with the snow and Ice and SALT ! you really want a Beater , the salt really plays hell with every thing, come spring you will see corrosion all over it.

A buddy of mine picks up a "new" Junker from the dump every fall fixes it up a bit then rides it all winter and come spring returns it to the dump.

I also have a couple of 3 Speed ( sturmey Archer ) 3 speed hubs I'm thinking of making a beater commuter with.
It seems to me that there is no such thing as a good winter bike?

Taking your advice, I decided to put my rarely used mtb to good use, even if it gets destroyed by a couple of Denver winters. We're expecting crappy weather later this week, so I'll be configuring my mtb for commuter use.

Since I don't like it anywhere as much as either road bikes, it's a little annoying to have to buy two sets of all commuter stuff -- racks, bags and lights -- just so I can ride one of my good road bikes on nicer days.

Thanks for your help bro, I'm sure you saved my roadie from the bike eating magenisium chloride ice salt.
 

aktallguy

Monkey
Aug 31, 2006
117
0
Puget Sound, WA
I love this thread. Nice to know that there are others out there. I just biked home in 15mph gusts with slushy rain and still had a bigger smile on my face than all the others sitting in their cars. :disgust1:

So here goes my post to this thread. I don't know how to do multiple quotes so I'll just post some answers to various topics I've seen along the way.

a) My commute is 5.5 miles one way. Never really flat, but a nice mix of fairly shallow grade ups and downs. 4.75 miles if I stay on the main roads, but I prefer the side streets.

b) I used to ride up in Alaska and really liked having the studs. Don't remember what brand they were though.

c) I have the Armadillo tires. Yes they're heavy, but it's not much different than the weight I add on if I eat breakfast at home instead of work so I don't care much. I really like 'em. I was flatting just about once every other week before. Only one flat in the last 8 months with the Armadillos. I even ran over a construction staple that stuck into the tire and then bent over. Not even a slow leak! I've got about 1200 miles on them since I leave them on for all my training and weekend rides as well. I only really switch to lighter tires for when I'm doing triathlons or 40+ mi rides. (One bike gets to do it all.)

d) 3 Dangers on the Commute:
1) There's always 1 left hand turn across 4 lanes (2 each way) along my route. Unavoidable. If I'm cocky and it's light out I'll get in there with the cars as they turn across. If it's nasty and dark I use a crosswalk.
2) The ice that forms on the hill leading into my apt complex.
3) People who throw their cigarettes out the window which then land on you. Nothing like getting a nice lit cigarette but on your arm or neck. (It's happened twice now where it hit me.)

e) Funny story related to item 3: I was sitting at a stop light in the bike lane and someone chucked their cigarette but out going between my bike wheels and landing on the road. I bent over picked it up and knocked on the passengers window offering it back. They quickly rolled the window up the rest of the way and refused to look at me. I left it on their windshield wiper. :busted:

Lastly here's a pic of the bike:
2005 Trek 1500 (Last year they still had the full 105 group on the model standard.) Got a great deal on it too!
- Armadillo Tires
- Fenders
- Cateye Front Light (Works great for what I paid!)
- Blackburn Rear light
- Wireless bike computer.
- Kool new blue bar tape just put on last weekend!
- Not shown: super bright & reflective highway workers mesh vest for when it's dark.

DSC01733a.JPG
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
Great post aktallguy!

I've used and really like Armadillos too.

Nice job returning the cigarette!


I gotta ask... how fvcking long are your legs man! that saddle seems so much higher than your bars! Holy crap!
 

aktallguy

Monkey
Aug 31, 2006
117
0
Puget Sound, WA
Haha, Yeah I'm 6'7" with a 6'10" wingspan and 39.5" inseam. (Read: I wear large sized shirts and have circus like long appendages.) I didn't have the cash to drop on a higher end better fitting bike so I got the largest frame I could find in my price range. It does the job though and considering bang for buck I have yet to have another bike that has worked as close as what I had hoped when I got it without modifications.

I'm jealous of the lights on your bike. I went to the site you posted. Nice stuff. Working on a new mtn bike at the moment. Maybe once that's done. :^)
 

aktallguy

Monkey
Aug 31, 2006
117
0
Puget Sound, WA
Ok here's a question for fellow commuter monkeys:

Winter's here: cold, wet, and tons of road grime gathering on the bike. What's your maintenance/lube schedule and what do you use to clean/lube your bike?
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
32,060
4,003
aktallguy, i was on the roads in seattle yesterday, too, so i feel your pain. i pussed out and slapped the bike on the front of the metro on the way back home. that was hellish.

my maintenance schedule is: none. some lube on the chain once a month or if i remember, from whatever bottle is on top in my toolbox. full fenders so not too much grime. i'm the part of the equation that needs the most maintenance...
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
Ok here's a question for fellow commuter monkeys:

Winter's here: cold, wet, and tons of road grime gathering on the bike. What's your maintenance/lube schedule and what do you use to clean/lube your bike?
Simple: I no longer care.

I'm going to use beater bikes on those days and let them be destroyed.

Otherwise, I'm hearing from people that you need to clean and re-lube your bike EVERY DAY! :(

Especially if your city used road salt, magnesium chloride or similar. That stuff is just too harsh.
 

aktallguy

Monkey
Aug 31, 2006
117
0
Puget Sound, WA
Just what I need a reason to put yet another bike in my garage. :) My two wheeled concubines as my wife calls them.

Washington doesn't use any salt, but they don't sweep the streets or bike lanes again until spring. Leaving "Northwest Toothpaste" in the bike lanes all winter.

I've found that a gentle rising and re-lube after every 2-3 rides works well. With a every other week supercleaning.

Anyone have a favorite lube?
 

aktallguy

Monkey
Aug 31, 2006
117
0
Puget Sound, WA
aktallguy, i was on the roads in seattle yesterday, too, so i feel your pain. i pussed out and slapped the bike on the front of the metro on the way back home. that was hellish.
With all the ice lately it has to be my bikes. (Mtn bike once it snows.) My other vehicle is a motorcycle; so I'd rather try to balance my lighter road bike on the ice than a 480lb moto. :disgust:
 

Cant Climb

Turbo Monkey
May 9, 2004
2,683
10
With all the ice lately it has to be my bikes. (Mtn bike once it snows.) My other vehicle is a motorcycle; so I'd rather try to balance my lighter road bike on the ice than a 480lb moto. :disgust:
I'm not commuting in snow/ice this year.......i like using the full shoulder most of the time.....don't want my neck any further out in traffic than it has to be.....
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
With all the ice lately it has to be my bikes. (Mtn bike once it snows.) My other vehicle is a motorcycle; so I'd rather try to balance my lighter road bike on the ice than a 480lb moto. :disgust:
480#?! Dry or loaded?

My bmw k75 is about that, but loaded. What bike do you have?

And yeah, I'd much rather ride one of my bicycles than my moto in such conditions.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
Frozen boogers!

ugh.

So this morning didn't seem that cold, 20°F and I wasn't in the mood to wear my balaclava as it's annoying under the chin strap. Well, eventho I usually pull the chin/nose cover down to just under my chin since heat from the nose covering fogs my glasses... it seems that by keep my neck, cheeks, ears, etc. a little warmer helps keep everything warmer.

So, ice snot notso good.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
Can you call yourself a commuter if you're invisible?

There was a guy riding tonight that I've seen before in the daylight, so I know that his bike must be 3x as much money as mine. He's got a messenger bag and rides in full kit. I've seen him probably a dozen times at the same time of day, so clearly he's commuting.

The dumb ass rides in a dark kit on a dark bike with a dark lid with NO reflectors, NO lights. I only saw him at the last minute on the other side of the street.

Why are people so dumb?

On a related side-note: My Dinotte Taillight is clearly more powerful than my other taillights as people have never changed lanes for me before and they are :)
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
Last night's ride home SUCKED! I rode my single-speed yesterday as it was a nice day, except that I had ~20mph headwinds on the way home. I was over 90% of my max heartrate the entire way.

I forgot that I have exercise induced asthma :(

I still feel like sh1t right now. Flu like symptoms.

I thought I was having a heart attack last night, then remembered and used my inhaler which expired like a year ago.

Since my LHT is down for repairs, I had to take my mt.bike to work this morning. While the lower gearing and ability to ride it hard over obstacles was nice, I hate having suspension on pavement.
 

Cant Climb

Turbo Monkey
May 9, 2004
2,683
10
Last night's ride home SUCKED! I rode my single-speed yesterday as it was a nice day, except that I had ~20mph headwinds on the way home. I was over 90% of my max heartrate the entire way.
Sorry to hear about your Flu_like symptoms but nice ride LO.

We had heavy winds all night here. My old house was creaking (i like that.) But off and on through my sleep i laid there a bit apprehensive about my planned morning commute. Well i got up, went down stairs, walked outside in my PJ's and stood there in the frigid and 20 mph winds for about 2 minutes. Finally decided most of the wind was up high in the trees.

Got on with the commute. Starting temp was 31, wind-chill was forecasted for 18 degrees. The ride was real nice. Had some nice wind at my back. Felt like a sail. Was real nice being out in the fresh air. The ride home will be a bear going headlong into the westerly wind but will be a nice workout....will tell the wife i'll be home later than usual though, the wind will tack 15-20 mins to my ride. Nothing wrong with that. :clapping:
 

Cant Climb

Turbo Monkey
May 9, 2004
2,683
10
Ha! I did the same thing.
Being fairly new to road riding i was a bit apprehensive about dealing with the wind on tight roads. Was concerned with Panel trucks and myself being pushed aroud by the wind. Wasn't too bad at all....made it more fun if anything. Also, the wind does a nice job off blowing the exhaust fumes away. :clapping:
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,022
3
Denver
Wind does suck on tight roads.

I never thought about the fact that when it's windy, I'm less likely to be sucking down pollution, cool.
 

aktallguy

Monkey
Aug 31, 2006
117
0
Puget Sound, WA
We've had tons of rain, flooding, snow, and ice. So I gave up the road bike for my moto the last two days. Also working offsite and much further away this week. I'll take the label of wimp, but 30 mph winds, 6" of standing water just make the moto seem much more homey. I also went to the international motorcycle show on Sat so maybe that had something to do with it. :^)

Props to Opie though for sticking it out!