So many benefits to riding a bicycle......

imwjl

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Mine are not the thicker + versions, but the standard SK. I was going for weight savings over my stock Giant Crosscuts.

Discovered running lower pressures by accident. Had been riding around 40 psi and was in a hurry one day to ride and didn't top off my tires. During that ride, I noticed that the gravel felt much smoother, and faster too. When I got home, I measured 28 psi in both tires. Has been my go-to pressure ever since.

@Honga Man - I hate to hear you are having these issues. Will the bike shop you bought the wheels from work with you on switching the rims out for some that have a known good tubeless compatibility?
I discovered the go low pressure in part by accident and in part by having friends and acquaintances who are in the bike industry and test where I've been a trail steward. Even with tubes I've learned to go lower. It amazes me to realize how wrong bike design and things about tires were.

@chris m. strikes a chord here. I got the GravelKings because some Bontrager GR1s that were surprisingly good had defective replacements. I got the GK in the interim. I don't dislike the Schwalbe but have found some less expensive tires that have been fantastic. I rolled every bit as well as friends with the G-Ones and found the edges of the GR1 superior when leaning. They were almost $30 less than the Schwalbe, still $15 less. I might try Challenge Strada Bianca that are expensive part for the good reputation and part for the guy who runs the US operation being a fellow local trail steward.

I'd like to try Tufo too but my Trek warranty replacements are waiting for me and I've had enough tire f*ckry this month so will keep going with the GKSS+.

For @Honga Man woes, I know the Velocity rims have a good reputation and there are SO many tire choices these days so hopefully something works out well. I've had good Velocity rims but not any made for tubeless.

I feel very over the days when I liked to have more exotic hubs and rims and experiment. In recent years I've had good luck with WTB OEM and some we built as far as aluminum, anything DT Swiss I've had, and I got Bontrager composite because of a good combo of US labor, price and Trek's generally outstanding warranty. I've had none of the problems friends have with more exotic stuff. White Industries and DT have served me well.

For the amp people, Mesa Boogie and White Industries are neighbors.
 

KokoTele

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I was waiting for someone to invent the gravel bike - without even knowing it.

Because of course , gravel bike is also another name for “road bike rideable on the worst roads in the nation, by someone who weighs more than 150 lbs”.

Drops, slightly more relaxed frame geometry, hydraulic discs, and going between 35cm-45cm rubber.

Done.

I’m rarely on dirt/gravel.

Asphalt patched numerous times is where I live. (I’ve been a lot of places in the US and there are no worse streets/roads/highways than Mich)

I feel like a slob because I’m only doing 20 miles every other day. Pending knee replacement so…

I was in kind of the same boat. Almost 15 years ago I bought a Fuji Silhouette. The model that year was a essentially a flatbar road bike. Light(ish) weight, narrow 700c tires. Nice for its price I followed a couple of the cycling forums and tried to learn to love it the way all the cycling hobbyists said I would. But the reality was that I was never lighter than about 235, and the roads and sidewalks here can be pretty rough too. It was never a comfortable ride for my butt, and the geometry was not right. All my rides were exercises in perseverance. I kept trying to kludge it into a bike that fit me better, but it never happened. After the kid came along I basically stopped riding it.

A few months into pandemic I decided I needed to get a new bike. A Montague folder was my first choice (I'm a pilot and wanted to fold it and stuff it in the plane), but there was no stock and no delivery date. BikesOnline.com had a bike that I think is a good value. $600, disc brakes, Shimano gears and shifters, tires big enough to absorb just about anything these streets will throw at me. It's pretty heavy, though, coming in over 30 pounds. Nothing special, but plenty good enough to last until I decide to splurge on that Montague folding bike.

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Nogoodnamesleft

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I feel like this subject is coming up a lot lately and I've posted this pic twice now:

View attachment 985201

Compared to some of the mighty steeds I've seen in this thread, my Craigslist Giant Sedona is nothing special, but it's the best bike I've ever had. Just this last Sunday I was able to dig it out of the basement, re-inflate the tires and go on the maiden voyage for 2022.

What a blast! I wish I could do this year round.
At the beginning of that which shall not be mentioned, suddenly working from home and travel being restricted, I decided it was time for something new to get out of the city. I had a cyclocross bike, but that bike had sad associations with an ex-girlfriend. So, as a fresh start I bought an inexpensive single speed road bike from a mail order bike shop. One of the cheapest I could find.

The result? I started enjoying riding again. So much so that I ended up buying some parts to upgrade (hey this IS a guitar forum) and the plan tomorrow the maiden voyage of my newly upgraded ride.

It's interesting to me how, in an age where we value expensive things, sometimes it's the opposite that gets us back into happiness again. In my youth I was really into bicycles and could never afford the fancy stuff, but I loved it and loved tinkering with things. That progressed to the point where I was a bicycle mechanic at a shop, got seriously into racing, spending untold sums on marginal gains, etc. One day it all ended after a bad experience at a race, and I abandoned cycling and everything to do with the culture for a long time.

My inexpensive single speed and tinkering around brought me back to the old days, before the obsession and ultimate implosion happened.

I guess it's a little bit like my experience owning a J-45. I loved that guitar. It was like carrying a choir of angels in a case. But when things went awry with job loss, etc., and having sold everything else with no takers on my car at the time, it was the last thing to go. A few years later it was replaced by a Simon and Patrick acoustic, one of their entry level models. I think I've bonded with the S&P more than I ever did with the Gibson.

I'm actually excited about going for a ride tomorrow. A far cry from the days of training and having to go.
 

cometazzi

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@cometazzi your comfort and fit issues might also be tied to how much you are riding if the frame size is correct. There's a fitness and strength threshold where you can need more time riding to be comfy or you are riding an amount where a different style bike or some fit help is needed. Something wonderful is we're in a time in bike and much product history where there are great choices at all price points. A time when a new modestly priced bike outperforms what used to be high end.

On the prices of things - guitars or bikes - my wife and I think about this sort of thing. We've got modest and nice things, and have crossed a pretty big range of demographics and neighborhoods in our lives. We enjoyed doing things and learned to be shameless and just do stuff at all the income/asset or price levels. Both of us have been aggressive about pursuing education and work advancements. We're approaching retirement. It seems okay to me that we can and do enjoy some fruits of our labor.

You might be right about just "getting used to the bike I have". I wasn't going to be surprised if I went down to Budget as planned and they told me the fit was good. For some time I thought that "too much midsection" on my body was a factor, but that's lesser now and it didn't make much difference. I'll see how things are by the end of my riding season (autumn).

I agree that we're in a wonderful time where 'reasonably good' can be had for reasonable money. I think the MSRP of the Giant I ride was around $300-400 new and if I were to look at new bikes I think I would be very happy for years and years with any of the choices in that bracket. I think I've got $200 invested in this one total, for comparison.

I know you don't need my permission but there's nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of one's labor. Why else would we put in the effort?
 

Burn Yesterday

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I dearly miss riding, but back home I could ride to beautiful places and there are no beautiful places down here in Hooterville. Plus my advancing age has kind of taken a jump. Plus the roads here are like rollercoasters. Plus drivers here think that driving is a videogame where the object is to kill people.

I don't have to shovel snow anymore, but when you leave civilized areas of the country you lose a whole lot.
 

oregomike

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I was a bike/race mechanic for 15+ years and worked all over the industry. GAS was in full effect but 15% over cost made it manageable. I miss riding in the Bay Area and my commute, which was 20mi round trip, I’d do it every day. Weekends were 3 hours in the saddle, minimum. I’m in Hood River now, which is gorgeous, but my commute would be 46 mi round trip (albeit with a view of the Gorge and about half of the route is closed to motor vehicles.) Amazing ride, but can only manage it once a week; twice if I'm lucky. Winters are out of the question.
As beautiful as it is here, I’d choose riding everyday in the city over one day in the gorge. Biking is more than exercise for me, its a lifestyle.

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Stanford Guitar

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@oregomike

The cruiser bike I built up: I have a frame builder friend who is going to ream/mill that old Specialized head tube and fork crown to ISO standard. Specialized had those frames built in the 80's in Japan so they used the old JIS track standard back then.

I called around a few shops looking for a JIS headset and almost no one even knew what I was talking about. There are not many Sheldon Brown types left in the world, sadly.
 

oregomike

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Nice! Yeah, JIS is difficult to find these days. And true, not many Sheldon's around. We had Jobst and Peter Johnson (RIP) leave us too, and they were the last bastions of old bike geekdom in the Bay Area IMO. You can try American Cyclery in SF. If they don't have anything, they'll know who does. Maybe The Freewheel on Hayes. Good luck!
 

oregomike

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Nice! Yeah, JIS is difficult to find these days. And true, not many Sheldon's around. We had Jobst and Peter Johnson (RIP) leave us too, and they were the last bastions of old bike geekdom in the Bay Area IMO. You can try American Cyclery in SF. If they don't have anything, they'll know who does. Maybe The Freewheel on Hayes. Good luck!
@Stanford Guitar Just found this. https://velo-orange.com/collections/threaded-headsets/products/vo-alloy-headset-in-iso-or-jis-size

Also, if you're ever looking for NJS (the track (Keirin) standard) https://www.njs-export.com/ or https://www.tracksupermarket.com/head-parts.html have been pretty reliable.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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Speaking of Keirin racing, that's what made me want to do some upgrades on my single speed. It's now a fixie with drop bars. I had never heard about it until a couple of years ago I saw a GCN video about it on Youtube. If I ever make it to Japan I'll be hanging out at the tracks.
 

oregomike

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Speaking of Keirin racing, that's what made me want to do some upgrades on my single speed. It's now a fixie with drop bars. I had never heard about it until a couple of years ago I saw a GCN video about it on Youtube. If I ever make it to Japan I'll be hanging out at the tracks.
Keirin has a great history, and the framebuilders are masters of the craft.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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Keirin has a great history, and the framebuilders are masters of the craft.
Yeah! I'm a big fan of steel frames too so it's right up my alley. One of my friends recently bought a second hand NJS bike. I'll probably see it Sunday if I go out again and he's working.
 

Stanford Guitar

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Found this place up in your neck of the woods. They have a pretty good selection of JIS/NJS stuff.

 




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