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Aug
31
comment Why such a dramatic drop in power when the handlebars are lower than the seat?
Good work. Check your spinal alignment between the two positions. I suspect the additional setback straightened out your spine, giving you a more stable pedalling platform
Aug
28
comment How to improve my performance on a commute?
I would argue tire construction (i.e., supple) will be more important than width. I ride some wide slicks (42mm) which barely differ in speed on the long flats from 25mm slicks. Also flat pedals are not necessarily less efficient than clipless pedals. There are other advantages but sustained effort may not be one.
Aug
27
comment Chain really noisy near front derailleur on low gears but doesn't appear to be rubbing.
I am impressed with how clean your chain is!
Aug
27
comment It it impolite to “informally” join or draft a group of cyclists?
@GrimmTheOpiner - Yes. He thought I was being sketchy for slowing down suddenly. And in fairness I would never have slowed down there if I was on a road bike. He didn't realize I was on a CX bike riding mixed terrain when he started drafting.
Aug
26
comment How to perform a long-distance bunny-hop?
I have always understood the term "bunny hop" to refer to the technique you referenced as an "American bunnyhop," with a "hop" referring to both wheels leave/land at the same time. It is interesting how terms differ across the world.
Aug
24
comment Pedal-powered head/tail lights
@TheSmallestOne - If your budget is under $100 then I would suggest waiting on a dynamo light setup, as it really pays to do the set-up right (i.e., hub dynamo, LED dynamo light). The bottle dynamo you linked will likely fail in winter, plus the light is halogen which will be quite dim. LED lights with lithium ion batteries have improved greatly and closed the gap on the hub dynamo + LED dynamo light compared to even a few years ago. For reliability and set and forget, hub dynamo + LED dynamo light is still the best (mine is 6 years old and going strong).
Aug
19
comment Are MIPS helmets actually any safer than standard helmets? Independent Research?
That sceptic link also quotes a 1997 article when referring to rotational injuries. Bike helmets then often used to have fabric covers which has more friction than the modern hard shell helmets. Even without MIPS modern hard shell helmets are a big improvement for glancing blows over first generation helmets.
Aug
19
comment It it impolite to “informally” join or draft a group of cyclists?
@gaurwraith - an effective way to shake uninvited drafters is for the last person (a strong rider) to let a large gap form in front of him/her. When a sufficient gap has formed they will need to jump the gap they let form leaving the drafters out in the wind by themselves.
Aug
18
comment It it impolite to “informally” join or draft a group of cyclists?
I personally enjoy breaking rules. Generally the faster you are, the more rules you can get away with breaking.
Aug
17
comment It it impolite to “informally” join or draft a group of cyclists?
When running a group ride I usually try and communicate the above diplomatically to any rider that has suddenly appeared. Others may be take a more defensive stance, as they see the situation as a threat to their "group." Not everyone wants to be an "ambassador" in all situations.
Aug
10
comment Problems with a slipping seatpost
@SamQasbah - If this answer worked for you, then you should consider accepting the answer.
Aug
5
comment What are the risks of fenders?
That was my take of the Internet forums as well, though metal is making a comeback. Ran some stainless last year, I liked the longer coverage and with a leather mud flap (plastic aren't strong enough) my BB and chainring didn't see a drop of mud even on the muddy dirt paths I was riding. I decided though to switch back to SKS (with QR clips) this winter as I encounter a lot of downed branches and the stories of jammed fenders gave me pause. I have been on a quest for something more than anecdotal accounts but haven't found any yet.
Aug
5
comment What are the risks of fenders?
Can you provide evidence as to why jamming is more of a problem with plastic vs metal fenders? My understanding was that objects can jam and crumple a metal fender as well. If anything a failed metal fender could be more dangerous as it is made of stronger material. With plastic you might have a shot of tearing the fender clear off.
Aug
1
comment How much speed can I buy
@Michael - While fit may not be the whole answer it is often a huge component. If money is no object (as you suggest) I would consider professional fitting in a wind tunnel. If you can reduce your drag coefficient, yet remain comfortable this could be huge gain, potentially much bigger than a lighter bike and aerodynamic wheels. How big depends on the pace you can ride at (the gains are multiplicative relative to speed). To me changing some bike specs such as weight and wheels is a very one-dimensional approach.
Jul
23
comment Always cycling in highest gear, why?
A couple points: 1) Whether or not you recruit your fast-twitch muscles depends on the total force being exerted. You can cycle at low force at a low cadence (and moving slowly). 2) You cannot exercise anaerobically for more than about a minute. A half-an-hour commute will primarily be powered by slow twitch muscle fibers.
Jul
23
comment Always cycling in highest gear, why?
@andy256 - you might want to consider having your biomechanics assessed. You may have alignment issues that are perfectly functional at a lower force, but problematic at a higher absolute force.
Jul
22
comment Long term benefits and risks of bicycling
Nice summary. A negative you might want to add: loss of bone density. Cycling is not an impact sport so you can lose bone density if it is your only form of exercise. Also body posture can be a negative and an be confounded if you sit a lot for work (hip flexers, IT band, back, shoulders, neck).
Jul
17
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@Michael - Indeed why don't we run bigger volume tires? Many are trying to get more people on larger volume tires, but many modern road frames can't fit much larger than 25mm (although this has recently been changing with "all road" bikes). The pro peloton probably won't go much bigger as acceleration especially sprinting on larger tires is not as efficient (or so the story goes).
Jul
17
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@azer89 - I agree, but who will pay for all this? Science is expensive and costs need to be recouped or future experiments cannot be run.
Jul
17
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@ojs - The thought experiment is to relay that the one set of experimental results you linked (while interesting), is really one piece of the puzzle and may not give you the whole picture of "real world" performance. Perhaps all of Shwalbe's marketing is crap - sure it is a possibility. Or perhaps they were also basing it off a larger set of test conditions. We don't know. None of us know because we are not privy to the testing data. Often as more data is collected under many differing set of conditions our understanding evolves.