Numpty IM Bike Thread



  • I've not used Continental GatorSkin.  I swear by Specialized Armadillo Elite tyres.  I've only had one puncture in about 1 year, riding 2-3 times each week.


    I've got another question.  image

    I now have a new back wheel on my road bike I use for commuting as the rim cracked on the previous one.  Anyway, I inflated the tyre to the normal pressure for the first time and there was a creaking noise from either the rim or the spokes as the tyre was being inflated.  The wheel is a Shimano R500, Specialized Roubaix Armadillo Elite tyre and it was being inflated with a track pump.  Riding the bike - no noises, no obvious problems.  

    Is the creaking just the spokes settling down with it being a new wheel, or does it sound like something more concerning and I ought to go back to my LBS sharpish?

    Thanks again.

  • Phil  - check tyres after a ride to pul lout any glass that's stuck int he tread but not worked it's way through yet, use good quality tyres and swap when they start getting well worn.  Armadillos are great on the commute but don't roll well, I've never tried the elites that are alleged to be good protection and better for riding, seems a bit too much of an ask to me.  I use Vittoria CX's and have been very pleased with them all round.

    Bump, will just be the nipples twisting in the rim as they get loaded / unleaded as you pressure them and the rim tweaks.

  • D74 - I use the Specialized Roubaix Armadillo Elite.  It's 700x23/25 - i.e 23 tread but 25 casing.  Anyway, very comfortable ride, soaked up what Paris-Roubaix threw at them with no punctures.  My other set have only punctured once in a year of commuting.  I don't know how fast the tyre is since I don't race, but my perception is that the Specialized Mondo Pro tyres which came with the bike are faster.  I've looked at their All Condition tyre in both Armadillo and Armadillo Elite version, and the Armadillo Elite version is considerably lighter.

    Thanks re: the creaking.  I knew you'd know the answer.  Is this creaking likely to continue, or will it go away after a while?

  • Should stop very soon.  On handmade wheels then you actually twist the spokes back and use a lever to give the spokes a bit of welly to actually bed them in before you use it.

    I'm pretty happy with what I'm using now tyrewise, so I doubt I'll look to change at the moment.  Really,  if you pay decent money from any of the names then you'll be right.  Either for race tyres or commute type (although the armadillos are probably a step ahead on protection at the cost of weight / rolling).  

  • Ok cyclocross bikes?

    someone suggested that rather than getting a road bike I should look at cylclocross bikes. I know the roads round here are sh*te but what exactly would the benefits be? and would the extra weight and rolling resistance make it useless on rides with others on road bikes?

    also would a cyclocross bike be capable enough off road to allow me to just have the one bike for road and offroad,or would i trash it on a bridleway blast?

    any thoughts??

  • I nuse a cyclocross for the commuter scooter..  Great for that as it's not going to crack on potholes and the extra bulk isn't going to hurt in terms of training.  I also use it for road rides with my wife, handy for the pannier rack I've fitted. 

    With a pair of road wheels and a seperate pair of 'bridleway' wheels then the weight penalty to a road frame will be minor, certainly as a % of rider + bike weight.  Handling will be slightly different, but nothing to make a fuss about.  Biggest issue is brakes, long story, but it's a PITA on cross bikes.

    As for what it will do off road, think more like canal tow paths and old railway lines rather than deep mud and rocky bridleways.  Depends where you are in the country, south downs bridleways may be OK, lake district no.  Won't be as comfortable as an MTB. 

    Why are they suggesting to get a cyclocross over a road bike?  If it's going to be used for races then I'd say not.   

    Oh, there are another couple of issues too, true cross bikes don't have bosses for bottles and they have 700c wheels, but 135(mtb) rear hub spacing, so you need to custom build the wheels.  Having said that an increasing number are now offered in 130mm and you can get bands to fit  bottles that work fine.

  • They are very heavy - 200g more than the average tyre but I recommend Schwalbe Marathon Plus for a commute
  • Hi quick question how often should i change my chain ive done about 850 miles ive got my bike booked in for a brake upgrade end of the week. i was unsure of what to expect millagge wise from a chain.
  • Depends on your cleaning regime and conditions.  Varies, I used to get as little as 400miles.  Use a chain wear checker - pretty cheap, or an inch ruler and measure off the links. IIRC then its 12", and look to see how much more to the next link.  if it's 1/8" or more then change.  has more on that.  Longer you leave it then the mroe wear you do to the cassette and ultimately the chainrings.  Chains are cheap as chips in 3s from chainreactioncyles , but you don't want ot be replacing the other stuff too often.
  • Thanks i will check tonight

    Re tyres i use armadillos no punctures but a very hard ride

  • Hi all,

     Newbie question here.... I've entered my first tri -a sprint- and most probably there'll more to come in the future... (forcing myself not to look at any im websites) 

    So I need a new bike and narrowed it down to the Trek 1.2 and the Kona Dew drop. One is a proper road bike and the other is more of a light-ish cyclocross one.  So my thoughts are that the more sturdy frame of the kona would be better suited for training around (I'm in Amsterdam so it's cycle friendly but there's a lot of irregular cobble stones ) while the trek would be light and probably faster but then it won't make a big difference in short races....

    Any ithoughts or something else I should be looking for before I fork out some cash? 

  • Trek 1.2, buy buy some alternative tyres for the cobbles that are a little bit more grippy and at least 25mm (ideally see if you can fit some larger, but the frame may be a  bit tight to allow much bigger on the back, no problem with the bigger on teh front though and that will give you more comfort and grip.

     I'd avoid the kona for a few reasons. 

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    Cyclocross bikes - I wouldn't bother unless you get a real bargain or intend to race cross - brake judder is a possible problem with some of them - I've read it on forums and a couple of guys in the club experience it on theirs - you can't really complain if you are using a cyclocross bike on the road either.     The brakes are generally a bit more fiddly than normal rim brakes too.    Plus I think you get a better deal from a normal road bike because they sell bigger volumes.

    Pkim - You could put fat tyres on the Trek and it'd be just as suitable as the cross bike for what you need - though personally I wouldn't want to ride with more than about 28s at most.  Unless you plan on riding across muddy parkland and need plenty of clearance for mud getting caked on the brakes/wheels etc the road bike will be the better option.  A normal road bike frame is very unlikely to fail because you are riding it over cobbles.    I bet it's better value than the Kona too.

    Chains - it's a balancing act between spending a fortune on chains or having to buy a new cassette a little more often.   Personally I get at least 1500 miles out of a chain.

  • Only a couple of weeks ago I bought a cyclo-cross bike for commuting - to give me that option of using the canal towpath.  I bought one of these, but from my LBS, and for less than the price quoted.  OK, there's only one gear, but I thought that was just the job as there's no major hills on my route.  You can flip the hub if you wanted to experiment with fixed wheel, but I'd need to get a cog for that side because it doesn't come with one.

  • Hmm

    me thinks its a road bike for me then ,I like the look of the trek 1.5 but have found a 2008 specialized allez elite for £720 and also a 2008n allez sport for £650 oh its soooo hard to make up ones mindimage

  • Sgt Wilson - I think the Allez Elite is better value.  I've got a 2008 Allez Elite.  As for spec, it's got a 105 derailleur but the rest of the kit is Tiagra, apart from the brakes which are unbranded - but they seem to work fine.  The 2009 Allez Elite has better wheels (Mavic) and also 105 throughout - but it's also £200 dearer.  The 2008 version also has what they call Zertz inserts which are meant to help with vibration dampening.  I don't think they appear on the 2009 model and they don't appear on the Allez Sport either.   
  • mr bump

    thanks for the run down,wifey has on allez sport so dont really want the same, how do you find the elite handles, i have heard that they can be a bit wooden until really pushed,i am coming from an old alloy frame,and high tensile steel forks,though its old it rides really well !would hate to trade up and find i dont enjoy the ride as much.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Cheers for the tyre comments.  I'll persevere with the Luganos but they're on probation.  image
  • thanks duncan re handlebars.  got some fsa compact bars in the end at £20.  was tempted to get the wing ones at £60 but they didn't have my size and there wasn't any point i guess!

    i do like the look of the carbon ones though.  although i wouldn't want to be replacing them every time i have an unclipping mishap!

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    That single speed cross bike is nice Mr Bump - if I hadn't got an unridden fixed in the garage I think I might be tempted by one of those.
  • JD  - and you'd obviously not be able to put tri-bars on the wings if you ever wanted to in the future. 

    FSA stuff is decent enough, may even be what I've got on the commute come to think of it. 

  • d74 - the wing ones did have a clip on area too.  although i couldn't really see it.  flat bit was for more comfort when climbing apparently.  at least they didn't have the gaul (gall?) to say it was more aerodynamic!  anyways, i'll see how the bars work out.  can't go wrong at £20
  • So, computers. I've got £20-£30 to play with, and wondered what the experts would consider essential features. For the money I'm thinking a basic wireless one is what I want - what about a cadence sensor?
  • My advice would be to get one with a cadence sensor and stick to wired if you can.  I used to recommend the Cateye Astrale 8 but I suspect that's been superceeded.
  • Try the Cateye Strada Cadence - £27.39 from Wiggle and probably cheaper elsewhere.
  • Yep, is it the Strada 8 or 9?  Not as good as the now defunt Astrale as you can't show elapsed time AND cadence at the same time, you always have speed that doesn't interest me. 

    Fitted that to wifey's new build and it's very clear, and seems to work well.

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    There are no essential features - I've gone the last two years without a computer - not to say they aren't nice to have and I do sometimes borrow my partners' garmin - but it's really a case of whatever you want is what you need.

     Personally I've no desire for cadence  - I like a choice of speed, distance, time and average speed - and sometimes heart rate - basically just stuff for interest or to provide a motivating factor to press a bit harder on the pedals - distance is just for interest really as I only do intervals by time.   

    Wireless or wired - I don't think there is much difference other than wired takes 5 minutes more to fit.

  • Popsider - Thanks.  image

    Sgt Wilson - My 2008 Allez Elite "replaced" a Giant Peloton of 1992 vintage.  (The Giant has given me sterling service but it is now used for commuting on the road and for really wet rides).  The Giant has alloy frame and forks.  For me, the Allez Elite is far better.  It's more comfortable to ride - possibly due to the carbon forks, rear forks (stays?) and Zertz inserts.  Also the geometry is less aggressive than on the Giant.  Anyway, it feels faster.  It's very good going up hills - because it's a lot lighter than the Giant for a start, not withstanding the easier gear ratios.  My Giant has 53-42 chainrings and a lowest gear of 42x23, whereas the Allez Elite is a 50-34 compact, with a lowest gear of 34x28.  As for handling, again it feels a lot more secure than the Giant.  The only negative is that the front brake hood rattles a bit if you take your hand off the handlebars - annoying at first, but solved with a bit of insulatoin tape, and to be honest, now I don't notice it.  I think for someone like you, who like me was used to an alloy frame and forks the Allez Elite would be a massive leap in quality.  And anyway, if you buy one of these you'll have a better bike than your OH.  image

  • Thanks guys. I thought wireless might be good but a cadence sensor might be a useful feature. After all, I only know a limited number of songs that are 90 or 180bpm and I get bored of singing them after an hour. image
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