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40

If the aluminum is sufficiently stiff it makes zero difference -- the crank could be any shape (a disk, an S shape, etc), but the relationship between the two contact points would still remain the same, and that's all that counts. The only effect the crank could have is adding a bit of spring to the crank, which might be good or bad for effective cranking. ...


26

The pros of buying pre-built are the cons of building your own. Each approach is born of very different requirements. That is, the person who is actually likely to build their own is very unlikely to buy off the shelf and vice versa. (I assume that 'build from scratch' also covers getting the LBS to do it for you to your specification). I would caution ...


25

The comments on the Kickstarter project have a few good explanations of both why the design is effectively identical to a straight crank, and why the plan to make carbon-fiber versions is dangerous. Now leverage: if you tried to push down on the pedal (as shown in the video) when it was exactly top dead center and stopped, it doesn't matter if it is ...


24

Equipment/Accessories: Fenders — keep you dry if it's rained recently. I prefer the "full-coverage" kind with a mudflap, but anything that keeps you from getting a stripe up your back is probably sufficient. Regular platform pedals (or even better: BMX style pedals) - clips or clipless and frequent stops don't go well together and might mean needing ...


23

Pedal Selection Pick a system that will work well for your current and future use. It's annoying to have different shoes for different bikes. My experience is limited to Shimano SPDs and Crank Brothers systems -- both of these work very well for road and mountain biking. The shoe cleat is similar for both systems and is fairly small, which means you can ...


21

This is just a rehashing of a very old and horrible idea. See PMP Cranks et al. Edited for additional information: RE: PMP cranks A moment's thought shows a straight crank and an L crank always have the same relation between pedals, chain, and bottom bracket. Thus, there is no advantage to L cranks. And an L crank always has more material than a ...


21

Here's a little bit of information that's in contradiction to "higher end equals better" Lower end components can sometimes last longer and be less problematic than the higher end components. In order to shave off every single gram they sometimes have to skimp on materials. Also, the tolerances are much tighter, and high end components can often be ...


20

Here I'll summarize everyone else's answers (because of all the Q+A scattered through in the comments), with some additional information that I got elsewhere from reading inspired by people's answers. Wheels+tires: 700 x (28 - 38, maybe ~30), tires; slicks or light treads, not knobbly. The larger wheel makes it faster (because of 'gearing') and the ride a ...


19

If you want to maximize your max. speed, go for an 11 tooth cog. If you want to maximize your average speed, unless you're a pro you probably are better off without it. Even cruising at 40km/h does not require and 11 tooth cog. For example, take a look at this table, showing cruising speeds for a 11- 21 tooth cassette: And compare to this table for a 12 - ...


18

You should not be getting multiple flat tires in such a short timespan. I commute on poorly-maintained roads in Atlanta, and have not had a flat tire in 4,000 miles. In order of estimated likelihood, either: your tires are not properly inflated your tires are worn or punctured and need to be replaced you have a sharp object embedded on the inside of your ...


17

Yes, people still use them and swear by them. I've seen them for sale in most of my local bike shops. The breaking-in thing (that they mold to your backside over time) is the big feature that everybody who uses one seems to love. They're very popular amongst the touring crowd, especially the B-17. Yesterday, I was volunteering at a huge road ride event and ...


17

Other than the obvious fact that your better quality (and better handling) bikes tend to be lighter, there's no real correlation between weight and performance (other than a modest effect on acceleration and the obvious effect on hill climbing). But you can generally (with some exceptions) assume that a bike that is quite a bit (like 2x) heavier than others ...


16

Basically, they're harsh and hard on your wheels. A quick look at Sheldon Brown's site will tell you more: Airless tyres have been obsolete for over a century, but crackpot "inventors" keep trying to bring them back. They are heavy, slow and give a harsh ride. They are also likely to cause wheel damage, due to their poor cushioning ability. A pneumatic ...


15

If you are looking at the Biopace/Rotor/O-Symmetric relationship as similar due purely to aesthetics, or their similarity due to their lack of similarity to round chainrings then, yes, they are similar products. But, that said, from the RotoR website "The Q-Rings are elliptical; the Biopace and O.SYMETRIC chainrings are asymmetrical.". And Sheldon Brown ...


15

The focus is on the riders, because the bikes are just not so different from one another. The UCI (international cyclists' union) tightly regulates what shape and weight the bike must be, and what technical solutions are acceptable, so the sponsoring manufacturers can only compete on relatively minor features such as aerodynamic tubing or frame stiffness. ...


14

Unfortunately this doesn't help. The example pictures demonstrate misunderstanding elementary classical mechanics and more specifically, statics. Moment, a.k.a. torque, is defined as M = F * d where F = the force applied d = the perpendicular distance from the axis to the line of action of the force. The shape of the crank has not effect on either. F ...


14

Flat pedals are great for lots of reasons, but I won't get into the virtues or pitfalls of platforms versus toe clips versus clipless systems (though I am a big fan of plain old platform pedals.) I will try to give information pertaining to the different styles and a few examples rather than an exhaustive list of specific brands and prices. There are lots ...


12

Typically the majority of their yearly R&D is spent on their top of the line group, then they will trickle down it's technology to the next lower group, and continue that way, so usually, this years tiagra is close to last years 105, etc. The major thing to look for is # of speeds in a group, weight, and finish. I believe the 2010 Sora(3400) set is ...


12

That's for mounting straps on the pedal. Here's a picture of a pedal with the straps on it: Which side of the pedal should you use? On some pedals, one side has an axis that protrudes a bit, and the other side is flat; the latter is the one you should use. However, if both sides of the pedal are flat, feel free to use either side of the pedal.


12

They are called Pegs. Pegs are mainly used by BMX riders to help perform various tricks. Flatland trick (standing with all of his weight on one peg, not damaging anything): Grinding a wall on the rear peg (imagine the forces when the rider jumps on the wall, still: no damage to the hub but of course to the peg and the wall): Images from Wikimedia ...


11

Things to consider are that when you buy a new bike it is a mix of different components, which are then packaged together and you receive a discount on the sum of the parts. This means that different manufacturers attempt to save money by using cheaper items for certain pieces of the overall puzzle. The major headline items are the frame, gear system, ...


10

The main difference between road and mountain shoes are the stiffness. On road bikes, the shoes are much stiffer allowing for a more efficient transfer of energy from you -> crank -> tire -> road. When you are in a race and every tenth of a second counts, the more efficient you are the better. On a mountain bike, you give up some efficiency, so you don't ...


10

That's an impressive amount of mileage on a single chain. Especially on a narrow 11-speed one. I'm guessing that you keep everything very well maintained and don't ride in much wet weather? The two main problems you'll get from a worn cassette are: Skipping chain (either between cogs or jumping on a single cog) Premature chain wear (as the chain ...


10

There's no way to 100% secure everything, but there are things you can do to make it more difficult or time-consuming. Don't lock up your bike. Bring your bike with you instead of leaving it outside. Mine goes into my office. Choose a location where you or other people will see thieves messing with the bike. Not a super-high traffic area (in that case ...


10

It's something that should be experienced. Go grab an old school beater bike (like my old MTB that weighs 35lbs), ride it for awhile. Then, stop by a bike shope and see if they'll let you test drive a nice lightweight bike (usually on the order of 16-20lbs). You'll be astonished at how much more FUN it is to ride the light bike due to the responsiveness ...


10

Modern suspensions have a valve inside, and when the suspension moves, the valve moves inside oil, and the oil is forced to pass a very narrow opening. The size of this opening is different depending if the suspension is compressing or returning. Usually, there is a spring which lets the oil flow more when it compresses, and less when it rebounds (the ...


10

For me, and for many riders that come through my shop, the 11-25 is missing the critical 16t cog, which (at least for me) is the sweet spot. That is, the gear which I don't tend to spin out of, and that doesn't turn in to a grind fest. If I'm doing a Euro trip, then I will run an 11-28, with a compact front. But at home, for daily riding, a standard 53/39 ...


10

This very much depends on how exactly you define the classes of components and what type of riding you plan on doing. The definitions are not standardized, but component ranges from each manufacturer are easily ranked. The following are the MSRP of complete group sets for Shimano (the price ranges are similar for other manufacturers). Dura Ace 9000: ...


9

A trick that couriers use around my area is to carry the key on a rubber band around their wrist - no more fumbling around in the pockets for a key. I find that a lock that you can wear across your chest like a bandolier is most convenient for carrying around. There are a number of chain locks around in this length that have a plastic tube over the chain to ...



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