14

Clipless pedals let you pull up a bit and road shoes are rigid-ish, so you can get some more power from each turn (of course, you're using your muscles in a bit of a different way). This also gives a bit of a different pressure distribution than platform pedals (look at the layout of say, a Look pedal versus a platform pedal). In an off road situation, they ...


14

Gear ratio range. If you decrease the chainring sizes you decrease the highest ratios available. It's not possible to make the gap between the chainrings much bigger and get decent front shifting so the large ring has to shrink with the small one. It's easier for manufacturers to make a wide ratio cassette that retains an 11 tooth sprocket and shifts ...


11

You mostly answered your own question: the racing market drives the industry, sometimes to the detriment of the availability of real-world gearing. A major compounding factor is that there are a lot of hoops a person has to jump through to get smaller rings on their road bike, starting with buying new, weird, mostly old or retro cranks. Making things work ...


11

There is a limit to the amount of tension a given chain should be put under. Smaller chainrings increase that force - the pedal arm and chainring form a lever, and the smaller the chainring (and longer the pedal arm) the more force will be applied to the chain given a fixed force on the pedal. What you might be gaining in terms of chainring and cassette ...


9

To answer your question directly, you certainly can use clipless over long distances. However, scientific studies have actually shown that clipless pedals offer no discernible performance advantages over long distances. They have shown that a small advantage can be gained on sprints, but that's about it. That said, many cyclists do report increased ...


8

As a cyclist who had a hard time getting comfortable on road geometry with drop handlebars, I will recommend that you ride as many different bikes as possible for a long time before you consider dropping money on a "custom" bike. Considering frame material and construction, geometry quirks, wheel sizes, brake types, drivetrain compatibility, tire clearance, ...


7

Aside from what the others have said here (with details on how to use clipless pedals), your original question was can you ride long distances in them. That is one of the things they are designed for. By keeping your foot exactly placed on the pedal, they maximize your pedaling efficiency. You foot never falls off the pedal. I rode over 3,000 miles last ...


5

Replacing your chain at regular intervals is by far the best maintenance money you can spend on a bike. Generally what goes wrong with a chain is a "stuck link" and the chain tool you have can fix that. Either by slightly tweaking the pin to loosen the link or by taking the link out altogether. If you do need to take a link or two out, avoid attempting to ...


4

Custom frames are better, but for many people there is enough adjustability in standard components to get a good fit. If you can, find a fitter who is also a physical therapist. Getting comfortable on a bike for longer distances is often a matter of fitting the bike to you and fitting you to the bike.


4

Most of your chamois creams/"butt butters", such as Paceline's "Chamois Butt`r", are fairly conventional combos of standard skin cream ingredients, with a heavy emphasis on lanolin. I've never tried petrolatum (though many swear by it), and I'm a bit skeptical as to how it would fare compared to the more skin-cream-like concoctions. Plus it would make more ...


4

You can absolutely ride long distances in clipless pedals. There are countless examples of this - at the extreme, look at any picture of a Race Across America participant, there is a very strong chance are they will be using clipless pedals of some kind (RAAM being a 4800km race, completed solo in less than 8 days by the winners..) Clipless pedals are ...


4

Okay, so this is an aluminium-framed Sora road bike, with a carbon fork, from a European chain store, as shown here? First of all, there should be no problem doing a 200km ride on that type of bike, its what its made for. And, you should be fine to do several of these rides in close succession. The bike doesn't have the greatest drivetrain, but for the ...


3

super-reliable not too heavy low maintenance not super expensive Any Shimano XT hub M76X - M77X. Also confider the newer T7XX "touring XT" models. Shimano hubs are exclusively (afaik) loose-bearing rather than cartridge hubs, so they're easily serviceable and the balls are available almost everywhere. The XT range should also have decent seals, durable ...


3

The advice previously given is very good and I won't repeat that. When buying shoes, go for a comfy fit, and not a tight squeeze, and they must not flex. Make sure your cleats are aligned so that your legs will spin comfortably. To get the most, your bike and riding position also needs to be optimised. Once you get used to cycling cleats on your shoes/'...


3

From what it sounds like is that you've been trying to do sportive 'road' riding on a hybrid bike which has a geometry that doesn't fit your riding style well. It may feel fine for more casual riding, but not for your more sporty style. You need bikes that works for the types of riding which you prefer to do. Many places can do a pre-purchase bike ...


3

Like some of the other answerers, I have used clipless pedals over long distances. I have both Look pedals and SPD pedals, with the Look pedals, I have taken part in Audax UK events with distances of up to 400km in a 24 hour session, some of the rides being longer than this, but spread over several days. One I remember well was a 300km ride (187.5 miles) ...


3

It appears that someone has come up with a solution to use vbrake noodles to re-route the STI shifter cables with some success. http://thecrazyrandonneur.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/how-to-have-a-large-handlebar-bag-with-sti-shifters/


3

The best solution is probably to move to either a different shifter setup like newer shimano 105/ultegra or SRAM (with cable routing under the handlebars) or to a barend setup like most randos employ. I know this isn't your preferred solution, but it's probably the easiest and most effective. If you mess with the routing/length on your shift cables, you're ...


3

For road bikes the subcompact cranks have a bolt circle of 110 mm diameter. The smallest chainring that fits is 34 teeth. There are cranks with smaller bolt circles and small chain rings available, but the selection is limited. Your proposed 42/26 is available in mountain bike cranks, but matching that with road cassettes is a challenge. The chainlines ...


2

Not home-made, but pretty darn cheap (less than $5 last time I bought it, and it's lasted over 2 years): Lantiseptic. http://www.rusa.org/newsletter/08-04-10.html


2

I went from flats to half-toe clips, which had no noticeable impact. I changed back to flats after an accident where the toe clip was upside down and snagged on something. Plus I found it fiddly to clip-in/hook-on at the lights. So back to flats... and the differences became clear. You stay on the pedal a lot better - I noticed that a bad gear change or ...


2

Because you are using an 11-speed Campy chain, and are willing to lose some gear range if you have a mechanical, I'd recommend you carry 1 or 2 spare pins for your chain and a good chain tool. You're not going to be able to carry a shop-quality chain tool on your bike, but this folding one by Park is a good choice. http://www.parktool.com/product/folding-...


2

What would probably work best is a "chain breaker" similar to the one in your link, plus several inches of chain, plus a couple of "repair links". New chains are generally several inches longer than needed, so anyone who replaces chains regularly is apt to have some spare segments -- ask your buddies or go begging at a bike shop. Worst case a few inches of ...


2

To answer your question: of course a road bike is great for a 200km or longer brevet! And, I think your bicycle is great too. In my opinion, to get better long rides on your arms and rear the order of most to least expensive and effective changes are new fork, tires, then handlebars and stem. The fork on the 520 C1 is steep, short, and has almost no rake (...


2

Riding long distances comfortably has very little to do with whether you're on a 'road' frame or a 'trekking' frame and much more to do with the tires you're using and the seat you're sitting on. Wide, plush tires will go a long ways toward absorbing the bumps in the road, and the seat is your most important point of contact with the bike. For starters, try ...


2

You're not typically carrying heavy loads while randonneuring, any quality, road hub should work. I think an MTB hub is overkill. I've used American Classic hubs for MTB race wheels, but I probably would not choose American Classic for randonneuring. I have thousands of brevet and randonnee miles on Shimano Ultegra, Cycle Ops Power Tap, and Schmidt SON hubs, ...


1

Inspect the bike for rack mounts. Review I saw stated the bike has rack mounts front and rear. Panniers do effect the ride. If it gets cold or rains and you don't have gear that is not comfortable. I happen to prefer front racks. Get some small waterproof panniers. But a large seat bag may carry what you need. Problem with a frame bag is then you lose ...


1

I randonneur extensively (on a touringy Kona Jake with a saddlebag) and have found Novatec hubs with sealed industrial bearing to be very cost effective, offering tens of thousands of kilometers with virtually no maintenance and no degradation of performance to speak of.


1

You should be fine with a chain tool and maybe an extra few links which you have leftover after you installed it. You technically don't need extra pins as you can shorten the chain, put it in the small ring up front and you'll still have the full range of gears in the back to get home. Generally you should replace the chain and the rear cassette at the ...


1

I have very little experience regarding road bike fit, but I have asembled several mountain bikes, some of them for other people. I'm obviously happy with my setups, but also are my "customers" (not that it is a big deal, but I do it just because... I do not work at a shop or anything like that). I have learned two very important concepts: 1) Bike fit ...


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