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Old 19-06-2017, 13:45   #76
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
For all of my teasing of Dockhead, I agree with most of what he has said. I hope it was taken as good natured. As a bicycle enthusiast and 3-5 x per week rider, I love the topic and respect anyone who gets out there. Specifically...

* Most people push WAY to high a gear. Experienced riders, tourists and racers alike, will use the gears and spin along at 95-105 rpm, sometimes even more. If "pushing," I'm at 105-110 rpm. I'm 56, have had two knee surgeries and I NEVER stand on the pedals.
* If going for distance, you should almost never feel any burn. Maintain a pace you can keep all day.
* Fit the bike. Seat height and fore-aft position, handle bar height and reach, and placement of the cleats on the shoes are all critical to long term injury-free riding. If you are not experienced, get help.
* Lean. Bike racer bars, or at least relatively narrow bars set not too high, are best. Sitting up straight, without distributing weight, and your fanny will tell you all about it. It may not feel natural at first, but this posture is very well proven. The narrow seats are actually the most comfortable when used with the correct posture. If you sit up straight, you need a fatter, wide seat, and there will be more friction and more bruising of the glutes.
* Get cleats. Learning to use them is part of learning to ride. They are NOT just a racer thing. Same with some manner of proper shorts (they do not have to be black spandex, if that offends you, although that is best).

All of this is true for distance touring. It's not just racer stuff.
It is certainly not all racer stuff , many downhill and x/c riders / racers do not use cleats , flatties being the choice of many , accepted off road is a bit different from the usual road slogging / drudgery , me ? I am clip in always .
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Old 19-06-2017, 13:51   #77
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

^^ you know what will likely go first on a "beginner's" first long (50 mile) ride - probably their butt before their legs lol.
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Old 19-06-2017, 15:15   #78
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

50 miles or anything near it is far too far for any beginner , unless they are really keen , and why should they be if they have not experienced it before , then they will be thoroughly sore all over and thoroughly pissed off with the whole thing and never throw their leg over a bike again !!!
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Old 19-06-2017, 15:55   #79
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

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Full size or fold up ?
Dahon stowaway 3speed folder
Almost identical to this one even the color except I have stainless handlebars.
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Old 19-06-2017, 15:57   #80
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

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Dahon stowaway 3speed folder
Almost identical to this one even the color except I have stainless handlebars.
Dahon StowAway 3 Speed Folding Bicycle | eBay
I meant the train !
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Old 19-06-2017, 16:03   #81
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

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I meant the train !
Sound transit commuter train
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Old 19-06-2017, 18:59   #82
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
For all of my teasing of Dockhead, I agree with most of what he has said. I hope it was taken as good natured. As a bicycle enthusiast and 3-5 x per week rider, I love the topic and respect anyone who gets out there. Specifically...

* Most people push WAY to high a gear. Experienced riders, tourists and racers alike, will use the gears and spin along at 95-105 rpm, sometimes even more. If "pushing," I'm at 105-110 rpm. I'm 56, have had two knee surgeries and I NEVER stand on the pedals.
* If going for distance, you should almost never feel any burn. Maintain a pace you can keep all day.
* Fit the bike. Seat height and fore-aft position, handle bar height and reach, and placement of the cleats on the shoes are all critical to long term injury-free riding. If you are not experienced, get help.
* Lean. Bike racer bars, or at least relatively narrow bars set not too high, are best. Sitting up straight, without distributing weight, and your fanny will tell you all about it. It may not feel natural at first, but this posture is very well proven. The narrow seats are actually the most comfortable when used with the correct posture. If you sit up straight, you need a fatter, wide seat, and there will be more friction and more bruising of the glutes.
* Get cleats. Learning to use them is part of learning to ride. They are NOT just a racer thing. Same with some manner of proper shorts (they do not have to be black spandex, if that offends you, although that is best).

All of this is true for distance touring. It's not just racer stuff.
Agreed 100% although I am too cheap to get cleats. I like touring in sandals!

I would add:
*Max your tire pressure: rubber is porous and tires lose pressure...pump them to max rating for least friction before any long ride. My department store folding bike is comfortable but those 43 psi tires are no good for long rides.

*Get tri-bars. This encourages you to lean (as mentioned above) and allows you to change your grip so weight goes from hands/wrist to elbows. Varying your position is key unless you want to get into seat design...

My preferred rides are on bike trails that were once train tracks. Not a fan of road rides. I average 5000 km/year.
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Old 19-06-2017, 20:12   #83
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

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I've considered putting a biketight clamp on one of my aft lazarette lids for the same location. But I also want to bag my bike to keep it from the direct elements. Envision the bottom of the front fork being the only thing out of the bag.
Shoulda mentioned... even though I'm sailing on fresh water, I do bag Gary as well as ride, rinse, and oil often...
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Old 19-06-2017, 22:39   #84
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
For all of my teasing of Dockhead, I agree with most of what he has said. I hope it was taken as good natured. As a bicycle enthusiast and 3-5 x per week rider, I love the topic and respect anyone who gets out there. Specifically...

* Most people push WAY to high a gear. Experienced riders, tourists and racers alike, will use the gears and spin along at 95-105 rpm, sometimes even more. If "pushing," I'm at 105-110 rpm. I'm 56, have had two knee surgeries and I NEVER stand on the pedals.
* If going for distance, you should almost never feel any burn. Maintain a pace you can keep all day.
* Fit the bike. Seat height and fore-aft position, handle bar height and reach, and placement of the cleats on the shoes are all critical to long term injury-free riding. If you are not experienced, get help.
* Lean. Bike racer bars, or at least relatively narrow bars set not too high, are best. Sitting up straight, without distributing weight, and your fanny will tell you all about it. It may not feel natural at first, but this posture is very well proven. The narrow seats are actually the most comfortable when used with the correct posture. If you sit up straight, you need a fatter, wide seat, and there will be more friction and more bruising of the glutes.
* Get cleats. Learning to use them is part of learning to ride. They are NOT just a racer thing. Same with some manner of proper shorts (they do not have to be black spandex, if that offends you, although that is best).

All of this is true for distance touring. It's not just racer stuff.
Yes. We are in total alignment on all of this.

Cycling for pleasure and/or distance should be like flying -- almost effortless. A bit like sailing, actually, come to think of it. Thinwater has well described the main factors in achieving that delicious effortlessness -- spin, posture, cleats, spin -- avoiding pushing at all costs. That requires working the gears intensely, as I wrote earlier.

And as someone else mentioned -- good tires, pumped up really hard. Makes a huge difference.

And - pace. The exact right pace to match your optimum spin.
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Old 20-06-2017, 05:59   #85
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pirate Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

^^^ And as someone else mentioned -- good tires, pumped up really hard. Makes a huge difference.

This cannot be over stated, and yet it's the most overlooked item on all casual riding bikes and doubtless contributes to folks thinking that bikes are not for "real" utility.
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Old 20-06-2017, 06:34   #86
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

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spin along at 95-105 rpm, sometimes even more. If "pushing," I'm at 105-110 rpm.
Going to raise my hand again from the low mileage cheap seats . . . just got back from today's 20 mile ride, which I wanted to confirm my thoughts, before I commented (because I know you are espousing the 'conventional wisdom') . . . .

90 to 105 rpm is not 'easy'. it actually requires significant practice and development. I was never able to hold 100 even back when I was young and very fit (national fencing team) and biking a decent amount.

I can get to the 80's and hold it for a minute before small secondary muscles burn out and I have to back off.

In my lowest gear on the flat I can just get to the mid 100's for a very short time, but it is incredibly inefficient.

Right now my most efficient cadence is in the mid-70's. That may/probably will increase as I build up, but I personally doubt it will go above the mid 80's. I know during my fencing training there was no 'once size fits all' because of different muscle composition and body mechanics . . . I sort of suspect the same in actually true for biking.

How many of you are actually biking with cadence computers? I doubt Dock is. I'm getting every metric known to man off the bike (including watts).
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Old 20-06-2017, 07:22   #87
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

Interesting article on cadence . . .

Technique: Cadence matters - BikeRadar
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Old 20-06-2017, 10:47   #88
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

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Going to raise my hand again from the low mileage cheap seats . . . just got back from today's 20 mile ride, which I wanted to confirm my thoughts, before I commented (because I know you are espousing the 'conventional wisdom') . . . .

90 to 105 rpm is not 'easy'. it actually requires significant practice and development. I was never able to hold 100 even back when I was young and very fit (national fencing team) and biking a decent amount.

I can get to the 80's and hold it for a minute before small secondary muscles burn out and I have to back off.

In my lowest gear on the flat I can just get to the mid 100's for a very short time, but it is incredibly inefficient.

Right now my most efficient cadence is in the mid-70's. That may/probably will increase as I build up, but I personally doubt it will go above the mid 80's. I know during my fencing training there was no 'once size fits all' because of different muscle composition and body mechanics . . . I sort of suspect the same in actually true for biking.

How many of you are actually biking with cadence computers? I doubt Dock is. I'm getting every metric known to man off the bike (including watts).
You need more practice, and it will get easier. You shouldn't be "burning small muscles" while spinning at 80 or 90. The motion we used to call "souplesse" back in the day, is effortless, and making it effortless takes some practice.

It's funny, I'm just back from MY 20 mile ride for today (not counting riding around for errands and one meeting in the morning), and I was thinking about this. Some young boy on an expensive looking road bike blew past me as I was spinning lazily going slowly up a hill. He was pushing a big gear and standing up in the pedals, with a sidelong glance to the weird looking old man on the weird looking small wheel bike.

By the next straight, I blew past him -- although I had not altered my cadence and was not really racing with him. I was just spinning along and working the gears. He was really surprised. Blew by me again on the next hill, but I was not in a hurry, so I continued on with my pleasant, effortless ride.

By the third hill, he was already not able to get past me -- he was sweating and red faced.

Souplesse -- my cadence is normally about 80. I don't have a meter for it, but I'm a former musician and can easily calculate it in my head like it was a tempo; actually I don't usually need to calculate it -- I know instinctively. 60 is half-time for the normal tempo of the Stars & Stripes Forever march, for example. I focus hard on cadence when I'm riding. When I was training for racing, our normal cadence was 90 to 100, although we had one guy with short legs who did better at 110.


Human legs on a bike are a low-power, constant speed motor. To cycle efficiently, whether you're racing or just having a lazy long distance ride, you have to optimize that motor, first of all, so that there is no lost motion in the mechanism, and no muscles being strained in any way. Then hold that speed (cadence) and shift gears constantly with variations in terrain, road surface, and wind. When you get it right, you are either very fast, or it's completely effortless -- pick one. At my age, I take the latter.
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Old 20-06-2017, 11:03   #89
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

I suspect the market for boat bikes is segmented into at least two, maybe more, groups: enthusiasts -- all you guys who can talk about cadence and going up and down hills -- and casuals, or some such.

We mostly use ours for hauling supplies, ideally short distances, with some occasional sight seeing (ditto short distances). I do more of the latter, compared to wifey, since I have to deal with an injury that impedes walking anyway and sometimes riding two blocks gets me there whereas walking might not. More than that, taxi please. Or do without.

That puts us right smack in the middle of casuals, I think. Bike features maybe not the same as for enthusiasts; for instance, more than 3 gears isn't really an attraction, derailleurs and chains are just more to rust (internal hubs and probably belt drives, better)... and depending on stowage space, even the folding feature sometimes isn't all that great, since that's often more to rust, too.

IOW, different bikes for different strokes...

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Old 20-06-2017, 11:38   #90
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Re: Boat Bikes -- Some Observations

^^ "different bikes for different strokes..."

as with most things boat related - no single right answer.

btw Dock (and others in the enthusiasts camp) I might mention that, long long ago back when we were young, we took a 10 day bike holiday thru the French wine country (in wine picking season). There was a van that carried our luggage, the company organized the route and hotels, dinner and breakfast (5 star all the way), and we found lunch along the way in a cafe. We did not ride as a group, but made our own time as we wanted, with usually a couple route options suggested. It was mostly 50km days, with a couple 100km's (but you could do half to lunch and then ride the van if you wanted to - which Beth did on the one long hilly day - the day I won the yellow jersey ). It was the most memorable/enjoyable vacation I ever had (which is saying something). We used an outfit called Butterfield and Robertson to organize it, but it was a long time ago and I have no idea if they are still the "go-to" outfit for this.
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