Comment here on the current newsletter issue, or about anything you see on the site. All we ask is that you maintain civility and respect for your fellow cyclists. Thanks.
Well the injury gremmlin caught up with me. Ruptured (completely) the patellar tendon in a fall while hiking. Doc says probably 6mo. before I will be able to ride. on my 3rd week in a non flexing brace.
Have been doing between 10000 and 12000 miles/year so this is going to be frustrating as hell. I am 79 and do a lot of mt. riding here in southern New Mexico and in Colorado.
Question is has anyone out there had this type of injury and what was the outcome etc. Welcome all comments/advice
Bottom Bracket - Jim, you hit the nail on the head. As an industry consultant, I have done a lot of work with both styles of bottom brackets (external threaded and press fit) and 9/10 mechanics overtighten this critical torque setting. I have seen bikes with Rotor cranks that you can barely turn by hand. Rarely, I see a bike with a BB too lose and the result is clicking and clacking, So I guess mechanics opt for the easy fix...overtighten. This prematurely wears out bearings and creates frustration from the cyclist as the bike doesnt seem as fast anymore.
As for Jim and John and all of the power you guys output, I am thinking of designing a water-cooled bottom bracket.
If the part in question is tested when it is not under load (for example on a repair stand), the ease or smoothness of rotation does not guarrantee that it will not cause significant drag under normal operationg conditions, i.e., when transmitting a torque or rotating under the rider's weight. Conversely, a noticable amount of viscous drag in a bottom braket or pedals, due to viscosity of grease or friction in dust seals etc., doesn't imply that it will cause significant drag during normal operation. Is there a better test to measure drivetrain drag under load?
"water-cooled bottom bracket" ! Too funny, Rick. Thanks for sharing your experience with too tight BBs and for the laugh. Jim
I don't mean to bash the workout shown for improving one's time trial performance but some one leg drills and a couple of 5 minute efforts in an hour workout wouldn't be on any schedule I put together. After a 10 minute warmup I'd concentrate on multiple 5 minute efforts with 2 minutes between or a few 10 minute efforts with 5 minutes between at a power/Hr above tt pace on the 5 minutes and at tt pace on the 10 minute. I've never read any evidence that one-leg drills are beneficial. I've been riding tt's for 18 years and have completed over 400 in that time. I'm also a USAC Level 1 coach with the Power Certification.
Thanks for the training feedback. It's difficult to design a workout for general readers. As a coach you know that every athlete is different and responds to a workout in different ways. This point is made forcefully in David Epstein's book, The Sports Gene. So if your TT workout is working for you, and the training you design for your clients works well for them, by all means continue with them.
The same is true for one-leg training. It works for some riders who have weaknesses that the drill can address while for others it's a waste of time. Coach and multiple national TT champion Arnie Baker likes one-leg drills for most riders but again, it's important to find out what works for yourself
In my opinion, "OK" is primarily a function of whether riders are naturally riding at the same pace. If you have to jump to catch the other rider as opposed to increasing your cadence by just a few RPM, you're likely to be a nuisance even if you manage to take a few pulls. If the other rider(s) sped up to pass you and you are very close behind without accelerating, it's a good match and asking to tag along a minute or two later may be well received.
Ask questions? Why? I never understood why cyclists have this issue with a person sucking their wheel.
When I am out cycling I am out for a cycle, what other people do (as long as I am safe) is fine with me. What difference does it make to my cycle that the person is sucking my wheel? None. I still have to do the same amount of work as if they weren't there.
Take it as a compliment that someone sees that you are stronger. Also, think of it as charity, you are helping a fellow human being.
Thank you cardiologists and Big Pharma, but no thanks. I tried statins for a couple years and didn't enjoy the side-effects of muscle fatigue, numbness, tingling, etc. I prefer my muscle fatigue in my legs, and numbness and tingling in my wrists and fingers from my favorite sport.
I don't want to live past the age when I can't ride my bike. 15 extra years in the nursing home doesn't do anybody any good.
A good friend and once avid cyclist remains partially parallelized from a car accident 20 years ago due to this exact cause. He will never ride again and continues to this day to be envious watching cyclists out having an early Saturday morning spin. The driver who struck him was an elderly gentleman and when he stopped the car and saw what had happened immediately went into cardiac arrest and died at the scene. It was a tragedy for of those involved.
This is a great reminder to always know where the sun is.
... and thanks to everyone who's contributed and kept the effort going - always a terrific read, even if the info isn't immediately applicable to my situation. Great information (technical and not-so-technical), great inspiration, and always timely. Cheers and thanks - ;-)
My personal experience mirrors Coach Fred's almost exactly. You have to do whatever it takes to keep riding and ENJOYING it. Worrying about whether some "gearing snob" will think you're a weenie is just plain silly. Anyone who cares about that or the color of your socks or whatever other "fashion statement" you may make is a loser with much bigger problems, who is not worthy of your time.
I regard "riding" the same way I do "reading". I could force myself to read without the reading glasses that my age has forced on me, but I wouldn't get much of it done and wouldn't enjoy it at all, so what's the point? The same would be true if I forced myself to ride the gearing I once raced with; it would restrict the roads I could ride and the distances I could travel, and I'd be struggling and not having any fun. I ride for enjoyment and fitness, and long ago resigned myself to the fact that I'm not going to impress anyone with my prowess on the bike.
FWIW, I currently use a compact with a 13-26 cassette, as I don't need the high-end gearing either, but I do still appreciate the feel of close ratios.
Do what you need to do, dismiss anyone who gives you crap and have FUN on your rides!
I agree, why be hung up on it? And if you are such a big stud concerned about your image, shouldn't you be training in the Pyrenees and the Alps? I ride Colorado mountains all the time. I reconfigured my 80s-vintage Bianchi from a 39/53 front to a 30-39-50 triple, and it cost less than $100. I also put a 28 on the back. I did that about 5 years ago and now that bike is my commuter bike.
My carbon bike was purchased as a compact, 34/50. I changed out the rear cassette to a SRAM PG1070 11-32 configuration, which matches the ratios on my Bianchi. No regrets. No changes needed to any other running gear, and that also cost less than $100.
You know, Its hard to imagine that I've been reading RBR Newsletter for this long. I have been with RBR I believe now for approximately eight years??..yep, think so. In that time I have learned so much, RBR really is a part of each and every week I live. I look forward to Thursdays to read up on what's new, trends and what's happening in gereral. At 52, every aspect of my life is important and RBR keeps me informed. Keep up the great work!!!
By the way, I will be renewing my subscription next month.
Andrew Hodge, West Kelowna, BC
A couple of quick items related to current newsletter. Not as high tech as Roofbrain but lots of things like this out there: http://bikesonroof.com/ And talking about an accessible sport, Back in the Tour de Trump/Dupont days I was at a stage start and Davis Phinney walked over, handed me his bike and asked me, a complete stranger, to watch it while he went off to get something he had forgotten. There I sat for 5 or 6 minutes with his shiny red and green
7-11 Merckx. In subsequent years I worked as motorcycle driver for the tour and other events and witnessed many similar personable encounters. Great sport.
How about a survey on this subject? Although I agree that "We're all an experiment of one in this area..." it might be interesting to know what percentage of your readership does or doesn't. On my long-distance rides, it seems everyone but me uses these products. I never have, and don't see the need, but I'm lucky in that regard. Just curious....
I have never needed to use a cream and have never had an issue with saddle sores ...maybe just lucky...
What I do is wear a thin pair of tight silk underwear without seams under my riding shorts. And I do ride up to centuries...
Works for me and might be worth a try if having issues...
I typically don't find any need for chamois cream on rides under 40 miles. For longer rides, I use Bag Balm (my standby since the '70s) or Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Creme (I kid you not) that I bought on a whim at Walmart. If you don't like the thick texture of Bag Balm, give the Queen a try!
I've tried several others over the years. Products like Udderly Smooth and many bike-specific chamois cremes are water-based, which means they wash off as soon as you start to sweat, making them a waste of money. In my own experience, for durability, chamois creme needs to be petrolatum or oil-based. Of the bike-specific products, Chamois Butt'r is the only one that I've tried that works decently, though there are probably others. Frankly, most are too expensive to take a chance on, especially when I have two inexpensive, proven alternatives.
The standard disclaimer applies: Your mileage may vary.
Maude beat me to it about this being a possible survey. Good idea!
I remember having to use it in the old days, but still use it with modern, ultra high tech synthetic chamois pads. Some shorts require more (Pearl Izumi) than others. As a primarily fixed gear rider, it is manditory to prevent pain and skin damage as the legs never stop unless the bike does.
I'll tee up that question for the Dec. 5 or Dec. 12 issue. Thanks for the suggestion -- and always feel welcome to hit me up with ideas.
I read your article and wanted to comment. I suffered for years with saddle sores and used every cream, ointment and ungent available. Until my dermatologist recommended I stop using all those things and use powder. She recommended Zeasorb extra absorbant with the yellow stripe on the package. My happiness in the saddle has increased exponentially!
See the creams were clogging the pores and causing the problems....something to think about.
The Cycling Past 60 eArticle includes great advice, but it would be so much more useful if the article included the pictures showing the exercises, stretches, etc. and not merely refer the purchaser to some other website where such pictures can be found.
Please consider reissuing this eArticle with such pictures so that this paid-article can be a real resource for its purchasers.
Thanks for the great info in the newsletters! After reading this article, I think that what you said about the interface of the QR is crucial. I also got to thinking about rollers. I got mine before I got a trainer. There are things you can do with rollers that can't be accomplished with trainers and visa-versa. However, there is more of a learning curve to them. I started learning in the hallway where I could gain stability, moved to the living room after I got the hang of it. I got a "really good deal" on them when I bought them used from a guy who's wife made him sell them after he rode off and into the aquarium. Anyway, I was riding my FS MTB on it with slicks and wanted to see how fast I could go. When I reached about 45 MPH, my square pedal stroke I was trying to smooth out got the best of me. As I felt like I was losing control, I managed to grab the brakes just as I slipped off maiking two skid marks in the middle of the living room carpet. I got it cleaned up before my wife came home but the 2 extra clean spots were pretty obvious. If I use the rollers now, it's in the garage. it's cooler in there anyway.
Thanks for the great story about the skid marks and the carpet, Phil ;-) Rollers have caused many such household calamities and even some serious injuries, but they sure are fun when you're upright and zooming along at 120rpm!
Funny you mentioned this. The December issue of Velo has an article -- "Understanding the Burn" -- that states, "There is NO lactic acid in human beings." (Empesis added.) HMMMMMMM . . . .
If true, the exercise physiologists have badly mislead us over the years!
You summed it up perfectly: "So doing what you need to do to enjoy what you love to do is all part of a day’s work".
"Lactate threshold is the exertion level beyond which your body can no longer produce energy aerobically"
The body obviously continues to produce energy aerobically once past lactate threshold, it's just that it begins to produce energy anaerobically too. Otherwise why are we breathing so hard?
"In scientific papers it’s sometimes referred to as OBLA (onset of blood lactate accumulation)"
This is the onset of blood lactate accumulation, the level of exertion where lactate levels start to rise. It is a farily low exertion level. You could ride at this level darn near all day long.
" Basically, LT is the maximum intensity a rider can sustain for a 30- to 60-minute time trial."
This is the big one, the maximum steady state lactate level you can tolerate and what the article is about.
I don't mean to be picky but there are plenty of questions about lactate threshold and a couple of lines may have added a bit to the confustion.
Good point. There's lactate threshold as defined in the lab and there's LT as it works in the real world on the road. I like to keep it simple and practical by thinking in terms of how long you can maintain a certain level of effort.
Question: As a former surveyor I have often had occasion to check out cyclist reported grades on various hills reported to be 6% or over, around the country. My findings of 127 grades checked, from 7 different states. All checks were made using classical surveyor tools, no altimiters, gps ect. The accurccy is within 99% OR BETTER.
Of these 127 hills, are you ready for this? NONE were as steep as reported. There were 32 that were within 1 % or less of reported. All of these 21 fell in the 6% reported range. Steeper hills 7% up to 10 % 49 hills. None were closer than 1 1/2%. Range was from 1&1/2 % less than reported, to as high as 5% less!
11% to 16%. 38 hills in this group. again none were as steep as reported. 7 were within 2%. 13 were within 3%. the remaining 18 varied from more than 2% to as much as 8% less than reported.
17% to a max reported of 26% 8 hills in this group. 1 within 4% (reported as 20% was 16%) 2 were 5&6% below reported, the remaining balance of 5 were more than 6% off. One was 10% lower than reported. Of all places this one was in Georgia.
I have talked to many riders and they all report what their computer shows, or highway signs. None of the referanced 127 hills was based on highway signs. I have used 4 quality computers and on these same hills, and my computer results were no better that what was reported, in some cases worse.
This survey started when I retired and one of the first real climbs I did that was reported to be 16% turned out to be 10%. That got me going. The survey covers 13 years of cycling around the country. I am now 79 and get in from 8000 to 12000 miles per year. (No, I no longer try to ride anything more than 10%)
On highway reported grades I have found them to usually be within 1%
Wonder if anyone has had the same or different results?
My test were all done with the requirment that the reported steep part had to be more than 2/10 of a mile and be a part of a hill that was at least 1 mile long and all of that reported as 6% or greater.
Yeah I know, I should get a life!
Very interesting Mitch, thanks :) Now I'm off to do some 15% hill repeats <-just kidding ;)
Just wanted to give you a big thumb's up ! You're AWEsome as always brotha. I still have some toe straps with Binda on 'em, and I always use downtube shifters...
Move to California - never too hot, never too cold, never too wet. Also, the best thing about commuting for me in San Francisco is flying by all the cars stuck in rush hour traffic. In fact, I've gotten so used to it, that if I have to take a bus or ride in some other motorized vehicle, the slow stop and go pace is starting to drive me crazy.
When a person trains indoors without hydrating, what is that person trying to accomplish?
I used to dread riding indoors until I started using cycling specific training videos. They give you some structure and goals needed to make the time fly (sort of). Just fire-up the big screen and blast the music. Any of the available DVDs or downloadable products are good, variety is key.
I've been doing the one steady and the others flashing for a few years, however I have no proof if it works. All I know is that European studies showed steady was better and Canadian studies showed flashing was better so I combined them. My main and brightest light is on steady at night (flashes at daytime if riding on a busy road otherwise off), and my other 3 tail lights flash (off at daytime). I also use two head lights, the brightest one is steady and the other on my helmet flashes while I'm in city traffic at night, the helmet light only goes on steady if I'm riding a dark unlit road or path.
In some European countries (Germany is one), flashing headlights are illegal. Not sure about tail lights. I actually ride, always, with a flashing tail light. Like you, I don't have proof, but I feel that it makes me more visible. If you think about it, you're constantly riding into and out of shadows, etc. (think, underpasses, tree coverage, and the like). And even in bright sunlight, I feel a driver is more apt to catch a glimpse of a flashing tail light.
I use these Var levers. They work great. Never have to worry about pinching a tube.
These are the best levers for installing the last inch or two of a very stiff and difficult tire (mostly wire beaded tires), however most tires should go on without any tools. But the VAR works so easy you wonder why you broke so many tire levers.
Not to blast a company, but I tried Rox rim strips a few years ago, trying to shave some rotating weight of my wheels. I got 4 rim-side flats in 3 weeks. Once I changed back to good old Velox, the flats went away. With today's wheel designs (with recessed/internal nipples) they may work better than they did years ago.
As for filament tape, make sure that the filaments are nylon or polyester. I worked for a tape manufacturing company for years.. A lot of filament tape is made with fiberglass; the glass filaments are fragile and will break over time. Nylon or polyester won't have the same issues.
Thanks for the great tip on which filament tape is best, Tony. That's good information. On the Rox rim strips, I had some that got cut from the spoke holes inside the rim being sharp and that's why I mentioned to check for that and make sure the hole edges are rounded/dull, not sharp. But, it's also possible that their rim strips have slipped in quality. The reviews I found suggested that riders still like them. Thanks a lot,
I've found that listening to audio books is a great way to make riding an indoor training more enjoyable. They really engage your mind, and he time passes quickly.
Majority as in 50.1%? I thoroughly read the directions, and try as I might I couldn't get the tire off the rim. After four minutes, I gave up and watched the video. Amazingly, Fred did it exactly as I had done it, but with success. I tried again, had no luck, and got a blood blister on my thumb. So I used my Quick Stick, and, presto, I had the tire off in ten seconds with no additional blood blisters. I have no trouble getting the tire back on. I guess I'll just keep my Quick Stick handy, and that is my recommendation to anyone else embarking on this fool's errand.
Thanks for mentioning the Quik Stik, John. I tried to find that for mention in this week's Tech Talk but had forgotten the name. That's a nifty tool for tire removal because it's made of tough nylon and has a long enough and thick enough handle to make prying off tires easier and it also slides around the rim nicely helping remove the tire quickly.
FYI - in the video, that's Coach Fred removing the wheel from his Bike Friday. I'm the tire-changer. What's really hard to see in the video - and the part I could show you if I demonstrated the technique in person - is the "move" that gets the tire where it needs to be in order to lift the tire enough with your thumbs so that the tire beads are above the height of the rim and you can push the tire off the rim/wheel.
That's the key step. If you don't do that, you can push all you want with your thumbs and the tire won't budge; it'll just stay stuck where it was when the tire was fully infated. In that position, the tire will never come off without tools.
If I was there to show you, I would show you how I hold down the tip of the Presta valve and squeeze all around to make sure all the air is out of the tire. Next I wiggle and squeeze and tug with the hand that's moving around the tire. The other hand stays at the top with the tire rolled back over the thumb. This keeps upward pressure on the tire and that pulls the tire off the rim edges and into the center around the wheel. This "move" only takes a few seconds with experience so it happens real quick in the video.
As you get the technique down, you will start to notice what happens: the squeezing and tugging and wiggling is felt at the top, in the tire gradually becoming slack and raising higher on the wheel. And once you can notice/feel that, you know it's ready to come right off.
Sorry this is so hard to explain, and there's no need to do it with your hands only if you don't want to. But, so many people ask me to show them that I wanted to explain it. Thanks again for telling everyone about the Quik Stik. That's a nice tool. Bike shops should have it or be able to order it, I'm sure.
I ride in and around Chico, CA. We are blessed with city streets, a wonderful miles-long park and literally hundreds of miles of rural and mountain roads just outside our small town. Aside from red-neck pickup drivers who think bikes shouldn't even be on the road, we live in a cycling nirvana. Chico is a college town with a wide variety of cycling types including racers, enthusiasts, recreational, transportational, school kids, college kids, homeless and those riding because they lost a license due to DUI. It is common to see disciplined pacelines and triathletes on their TT bikes as well as helmetless, lightless and totally clueless types riding on the wrong side of the street both day and night. Any studies that attempt to define cycling safety by lumping these wildly varient groups of cyclists into one statistic are problematic at best.
After almost every bike vs car accident in our area we are treated to an outpouring of driver rage at clueless cyclists and the knee-jerk assumption that it must have been the cyclists fault. Sadly that attitude often includes local law enforcement. What contributes to that attitude is the general public, the press and cops reacting, as do nearly all these studies, as if "cyclists" are one homogeneous group.
Most of these studies, some of which even include mt. biking and BMX accidents , are almost worthless for drawing any conclusions about cycling safety other than "it can be dangerous out there so wear your helmet, be vigilant, use lighting at night and obey traffic laws." Not exactly major revelations for any serious cyclist. What would interest me, as someone who typically logs several thousand miles a year on my bike, is a study that gave me some insight into what the odds are for those of us who are savvy, highly experienced riders. Probably too much to ask to take into account miles ridden or hours on the bike vs accidents/injuries. At 66 my decades of riding have provided me with a healthy heart/cardio system, a decent BMI, great friends and most importantly, priceless moments of joy in being fully alive. Think I'll keep taking my chances on the road for as long as I am able.
John, many of us who study bicycle crashes have a very different take on the subject from you.
Compared with other road users, a bicyclist has many things that improve his safety. He is small, therefore, it's easier for him to avoid a collision, and be avoided. He is maneuverable. His speed is relatively slow. He sees better and sits higher than motorists.
The accident and fatality rate per mile for bicyclists is surprisingly low. And when you actually study the causes of bicycle accidents, what you find is that many were causes by the bicyclist himself (Darwin-award behavior, such as riding at night without lights, figures prominently in reported crashes) and many more are PREVENTABLE by the bicyclist, even though the person at fault can be someone else.
Unfortunately, the jock community has largely shunned the body of knowledge that sheds light on these things. And many things that jocks do tend to increase both the stress level of cycling and their actual risk of a collision or crash.
Where to go? Cyclingsavvy.org
You'll be astonished at how much you learn from this course. Yes, you, with the carbon bike and the millions of miles of experience. You will be astonished at how much you learn.
Most cycling accidents don't involve another vehicle. More than half of those that do are with another cyclist. That means that inattention on our part may be the main culprit. Venues like this one are very helpful in making us aware of both the joys and dangers of cycling. Thanks to John and all those who put RBR together each week.
Yes, cycling can be dangerous. I have had several crashes with two of them being auto related. One destroyed my road bike and occurred at night time. The other caused me major soft tissue injury. It was caused by an inattentive motorist. We do risk our lives every day on the road. It is still better than sitting on my ass watching TV. It relieves stress and keeps me from feeling depressed. Life is full of danger.
I would like to see statistics comparing accidents/injuries versus exposure hours for biking and driving. I think this would be the best way to determine relative safety. Per 100,000 drivers/riders doesn't work. Neither does adding up accidents. One has to remove the number of drivers/riders from the equation.
Cycling does have inherent risks and several readers listed effective precautions. Most crashes can be avoided when we as cyclists DRIVE our bikes, that is, follow the rules of the road and position yourself at and between intersections as you would DRIVEing a car.
Leo, Santa Cruz CA
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