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Stryver
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^ Yeah, that.

Lights are good for two things, seeing and being seen. Both things need to happen straight ahead and to the sides. My personal preference is to do the straight-ahead primarily with a handlebar mount, and augment with a helmet mount when I need better side-to-side light. Light-and-motion has a nice side-by-side comparison of light throw, though I can't find a link to it except by clicking on their products and selecting beam comparison. They seem to have done a decent job testing, though I never put full faith in material provided by someone trying to sell me something.

The other consideration is battery life. I had a 45 minute commute. I normally charged at work, so I'd run 90 minutes between charges. My Expilion 350 lasted about 3.5 hours, which meant I could forget to charge one day with no worries. The Expilions don't have a good battery-life indicator, so I really liked this extra life. They have only one charge speed, and it's slow. A full charge for mine took somewhere around 4 hours.

Also _strongly_ recommend more than one tail-light, including at least one of the new strobes, like the PB Superflash, Niterider Cherrybomb, or Princeton Tec Swerve. Run one in steady and the big strobe in flash. Bikes depend on lights to be seen. The flashing light does a good job of attracting attention, but it very hard to visually determine distance and speed. The steady light is a bit harder to pick up initially, but provides the brain with the information needed to get distance and speed.

9/16/2013 9:52:00 AM

cheerwhiner
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good thoughts on turning...I think a helmet light would work well with the one I linked. I do have a rear red light but may get one for my helmet as well.

I'd probably wear a reflective vest.... although that wouldn't be seen until somebody is fairly close

While I have an indoor trainer...every once in a while I just have the urge to get up and run or bike, but its only been running now with headlamp.

9/16/2013 8:01:42 PM

Jeepin4x4
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i've started riding in a massive group ride Tuesday nights in Charlotte. It's almost too big, topping out at 103 riders last week. But helmets and lights are required and it's a social no drop ride with sweepers, leaders, and marshals. Thankfully Charlotte traffic is pretty dead around 8pm when it starts. Plus we always stop for beer

9/16/2013 10:11:32 PM

Jeepin4x4
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are all rear racks the same? I'd like to get a rear rack and attached a basket for quick trips to the grocery store.

9/26/2013 9:05:39 AM

Stryver
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Definitely not all the same.

Several overlapping major features. Most racks bolt on to little eyelets in the frame near the rear axle. If you don't have these, you may need a seatpost-mounted rack. Most racks (and bags/baskets) are pretty universal, though some rack/bag combos (topeak, in particular) are designed to fit specifically with each other, with the advantage of attaching/detaching faster and/or being more secure.

My commuter has an old blackburn mountain rack, which looks nearly identical to this Planet Bike rack at REI: http://www.rei.com/product/789675/planet-bike-eco-rack-bike-rack. For grocery bags, I have a transit grocery bag pannier, like this one: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1023647_-1___400031

Neither of those is necessarily the best, but they both work, and I acquired them cheaply. I suggest identifying the bag/basket/pannier device you wish, and then choosing a rack that fits it (and your bike). Or, be cheap and get a rack off craigslist and bungeee a stolen milk-crate to it.

9/26/2013 8:57:49 PM

seedless
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Quote :
"Greenway app an example of public-private data sharing
RGreenway app

Raleigh, N.C. — Government agencies collect a lot of data, but getting that data in a useful form can be tough. Raleigh's annual City Camp event is a hack-a-thon where participants brainstorm with local governments about how to put open-source data and technology to work. One of the most popular products to emerge is the RGreenway app.

In a little over a year, thousands of people have installed this mobile guide that helps them enjoy the outdoors. RGreenway is short for Raleigh Greenway, officially the Capital Area Greenway System.

The system's 100-plus miles of trails can be tough to navigate without a good map. RGreenway is here to help.

"The cool thing about this app is that it lets you know where all the greenways are in Raleigh," said Eric Majewicz, a software developer at SAS Institute who volunteered to help create the RGreenway app.

But it is more than a map. The app shows how trails connect, measures walking or biking distance and shows the weather forecast all in one place.

"It was really a unique need that we tried to solve with this app," Majewicz said.

The idea was born at City Camp 2012.

Organizer Jason Hibbets, who works at Red Hat, said a greenway user spoke up.

"She said, 'Hey, how many people get lost on the greenway?' and a lot of hands went up," he said.

The volunteer team used free data the city already had.

"We were able to get this really extensive map of all the greenways as well as all the parking locations for Raleigh," Majewicz said.

More than 14,000 downloads later, RGreenway is a hit.

Hibbets said the app is an example of how people and government can work together to make valuable information easier to find.

"I think the RGreenway app is a good example of taking the data the city has and using it in a new way," he said.

The RGreenway app is free and includes greenway information for Raleigh and Cary. It's available in the App Store for iPhones and iPads and the Google Play Store for Android devices."

9/27/2013 8:52:45 PM

Jeepin4x4
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http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1122045_-1_400154__400154

can someone give me some feedback on that tool kit? i'd like to get one since i've began doing a bit of bike tinkering. and i'm going to be replacing my freewheel and chain when I get back from vacation.

if not that one, can anyone else recommend a good home tool kit that's not $texas?

9/30/2013 1:27:42 PM

Stryver
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The Spin Doctor kit looks reasonably decent. It has some duplication I'd shy away from (three different sets of allen wrenches? And who doesn't have a screwdriver?) But it does have the big, nice P-handle allens, which is the first tool you should get for serious tinkering. The chaintool looks decently sized, the little dinky ones can be a pain to use. It's missing a set of cone wrenches, which you'll need if you have cup-and-cone hubs (shimano and campy, most everyone else is sealed/cartridge bearings). If you have cup-and-cone hubs, and you wish to tinker, you should pick up some cone wrenches.

Is the whole kit important to you, rather than picking things up piecemeal? The kit will be cheaper than buying all of the tools individually (except the park kits, they're pretty darn close to a sum of retail...). But you lose out if there are tools you don't end up needing. You can start out with a good set of allen wrenches and cable cutters, maybe a pedal wrench, then pick up whatever tools you need for the job you want to do next. Somewhere along the way, add a torque wrench, 'cause if you need to pull off cranks, you'll want to torque them back on, and a handful of other parts are picky about torque. With the torque wrench, you'll need a set of hex drivers (allen-head sockets), and maybe a set of sockets, depending on your cranks and other parts.

Edit: I see you want to replace freewheel and chain. This kit only has the HG cassette lockring remover tool, if you are actually replacing a freewheel, and not a cassette, it may not fit. You should double check what tool you need to replace your freewheel/cassette, particularly if this kit is being bought to support that job.

[Edited on September 30, 2013 at 5:44 PM. Reason : Freewheel vs Cassette]

9/30/2013 5:41:33 PM

Jeepin4x4
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thanks, yeah i've already got the Freewheel removal tool. Ordered that separately with my FW and chain.

10/1/2013 9:06:42 AM

Stryver
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If you've never pulled off a freewheel before, it can be a bear. I've seen it done several ways. The guy running the co-op I'm at right now uses a 2-foot breaker bar and rolls the tire up to a wall (more like a flat post). With the breaker bar pointed up/towards the wall, and pushing into the wall, you get pretty nice leverage. An old friend that ran a bike shop would put the tool in a vice and set the tire on it, then you can crank on the tire, no breaker bar needed. I've also seen the axle used to hold the tool in place, prevent it slipping and stripping anything. I haven't had too much problem with freewheel/cassette lockring tools slipping, but I have had problems with BB tools slipping, which aren't that different.

10/1/2013 2:58:04 PM

Jeepin4x4
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yeah, all of the videos i've watched of the process have either used a breaker bar or a vice. i'll probably go with the vice route since I have access to one at my dad's house. hopefully it's not too terrible of a chore.

how long does it usually take a shop to true a wheel? since one is going to be off my bike i'd like to take them both in to be trued before i put the new chain on. I guess it depends on their back log.

10/1/2013 3:07:13 PM

jocristian
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It takes 5-10 minutes for a skilled mechanic assuming it isn't seriously jacked up. However, most shops have a queue for work so unless you know them, it will depend on their backlog.

10/1/2013 3:57:57 PM

Stryver
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I recommend learning how to true the wheel yourself. It'll take a while before you figure it out, sorta like riding a bike to start with. Me, I'm moderately experienced for a home mechanic, and I figure 15 minutes unless I do something stupid or something's seriously wrong.

For minor adjustments flip the bike upside down (or place in workstand) and use the brake pads as guides. Find the most out-of-whack spot. Use 1/4 - 1/2 turn increments in pairs (on one either side) or triples (two-and-one) of spokes to move that single most out-of-whack spot. The spoke nipples tighten in righty-tighty fashion as if you were looking at them through the tire. Tighten spokes on the side you want the rim to move towards, and loosen spokes on the other side. Always work in groups (pairs/triples), always tighted _and_ loosen, and use _very_ small increments (1/2 turn or less). If this is incredibly confusing, remove the tire, tube and rim tape and use a flat head screw driver on the exposed nipple. If that doesn't make sense, then find a better teacher, or send the wheel to a shop.

I have a truing stand, and it's spiffy, but only mildy so for normal truing. If I'm fixing roundness problems, or other serious problems, I remove the tube and tire and put it in the truing stand, for normal wobbly rims, I'll fix it in situ.

10/2/2013 9:46:16 PM

Jeepin4x4
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digressing to tool kits. this one is a little more expensive, but seems to have a better selection of tools.


http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_551678_-1___202586

10/8/2013 2:52:28 PM

Stryver
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I've used some individual nashbar tools, and found nothing egregious to complain about. The co-op I'm at now has a slew of nashbar cable cutters (like the ones in this kit) and they work quite nicely for cutting cable and housing.

Pros:
It _has_ cone wrenches, although they're the stubby dual ones. They'll work, but on stubborn axles, you will curse them.
The spoke wrenches are one-size-per-tool. I don't like the three-in-one or two-in-one tools, I keep having to check the side I'm using when I'm truing. I prefer these.
The chain tool is sized for a normal person's hands. Much easier to use. This does mean if you mis-use it, it will be easier to break pieces.
Chain checker! I haven't seen another tool kit with a chain checker. Beats the snot out of measuring with a ruler.
Crank puller, maybe? This is an awesome must-have for square-taper cranks.

Cons:
I don't like the allens. I _really_ like my p-handle allen wrenches (my set is a Pedros).
The thing that looks like a pedal wrench is small for a pedal wrench. In pedal wrenches, size matters.
The detachable-head thing on the chainwhip/cassette tool/ pedal wrench is nifty, but it's new and I fear change.

Bottom line: this looks like it has a much wider variety of tool than the previous one. You could get stuff done with this, though you might upgrade pieces later. This is better than the other one, where you could get some stuff, but would have to add tools to it to reach the functionality of this one.

10/9/2013 7:48:56 AM

Jeepin4x4
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thanks! like you said earlier, i don't think there is a perfect set out there unless you piece it all together yourself.

10/10/2013 9:52:20 AM

Jeepin4x4
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also, how do you guys deal with riding in the fall/winter?

i can barely get home and out of my neighborhood before having to turn before it gets too dark to ride. is investing in a trainer worth it? or do you just try to stay in shape during the week and make the most of your weekends?

the last few days i haven't even put on my gear or taken my main bike out. Just been riding until dark on the C'dale just to get outside.

10/10/2013 11:48:11 AM

Stryver
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Statistically speaking, the most frequent way I deal with the winter is to get fat and lazy. However, successful methods I've used have included: commuting daily (with lights and stuff), finding a specific goal (LT, that year) and watching movies on the trainer, living in a top-10 cross-country-ski destination and picking up that sport.

Other people I know have found several variations of cycling-training videos worthwhile (spinervals, something else, one where a dude yells at you and plays loud music...). I've not used them, not my style (expensive!). I prefer bad action movies on Netflix with explosions and shit, and then I put my own workout schedule on top of them.

Trainers are tough to do. They are incredibly boring and will require some strategy to alleviate boredom. They will also require some thought about what kind of workout you'll do, and some method of measuring. There are various measuring methods, with pros and cons and varying complexity and cost. The simplest is to use a stop-watch and take your pulse. The cheapest/most accurate is to correlate work output with speed/RPM, some trainers have very accurate correlations (Kurt Kinetic is one, fluids tend to have pretty repeatable correlations). The next cheapest is to get a heart-rate monitor, and the easiest/most expensive/seemingly most accurate is to get a power-measuring device (in the trainer, in your hub, in your pedals, or a whole new spin bike). This solution can range from small hundreds to many thousands of dollars. I used the RPM/power correlation on the trainer. I calculated the RPMs and gearing to get the power outputs I wanted, and then would have workouts that went something like 90RPM in 2-5 for 5 minutes, then 90 - 95 RPM in 2-7 for 20 minutes, then 5 minute rest at 2-5 or below. I counted RPM, because my speedometer (with pseudo RPM calculator) uses the front wheel.

Other alternatives - get lights. Find an indoor group (several bike shops I have known had some kind of trainer-group, some were bring-your-own, some had a few available, some cost some money). Or join a spin class at a gym (I understand spin classes get sort of weird, in part because spinning is boring, in part because who knows)

10/11/2013 8:34:04 AM

jocristian
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In addition to what ^he said, mountain biking is a great winter alternative. You still have to deal with the dark, but its my experience that you can get a better workout in a short period of time on a good mountain bike trail and you won't have to deal with cars not seeing you.

As it gets much colder, riding in the freezing wind is straight up miserable for me. I won't do it if I can avoid it. Mountain biking is much warmer in that respect because the trees cut the wind. I also ride cyclocross throughout the winter and when I have to I will put the bike on the trainer and do a sufferfest video. They are about the only thing that makes riding on a trainer tolerable to me.

10/11/2013 11:55:58 AM

Jeepin4x4
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put in a slow paced ride around a lot of Raleigh on Saturday. Through downtown, out to the fairgrounds, and back through centennial campus returning downtown to finish at Oak City Cycling Project. what a cool place that is. I would definitely spend a lot of time there if I lived in Raleigh.

10/21/2013 10:06:10 AM

PaulISdead
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Quote :
"also, how do you guys deal with riding in the fall/winter? "


switch to the running thread

10/21/2013 10:44:28 AM

Jeepin4x4
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i know we've discussed lights recently. i purchased this one from Amazon because it was cheap and i got to see it in person during a group ride a few weeks back.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006QQX3C4/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

for the price and the amount of night riding I do I have been very pleased with it. It has a very "hot" center spotlight instead of an even disbursement, but that hasn't bothered me. some reviewers have mentioned ordering other lenses to help balance the projection.

10/29/2013 10:35:45 AM

Stryver
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I'm curious to know what you think of it's durability and water resistance. I'm pretty happy with Amazon's return policy, I think I previously saw those on ebay, and I'm not willing to buy something from Ebay that I worry might show up dead.

10/30/2013 9:50:46 AM

Jeepin4x4
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i'll definitely provide an update the first change i get on durability and water resistance. Also going to try and get a good idea of true battery life as well. but for $20 i think it'll do just fine.


does anyone have a Brooks saddle? thoughts?

10/30/2013 1:33:42 PM

llama
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A couple of my friends have Brooks saddles, and they're also the ones that have to ride on plastic bags when it's wet outside. I don't see the appeal of them. They look insanely uncomfortable, but one of the guys is a rando and swears Brooks is the best thing ever, so I guess there's gotta be something to them. I'm a big fan of my Selle Italia SLK, although the non-gel version I had on my older bike was better.

10/30/2013 9:15:09 PM

Stryver
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I've never ridden a Brooks. My road bike has a Sella Italia Prolink Gel Flow Trans Am. I like it a lot, and I can't find them anymore. I tried a Sella Italia Prolink Gel Flow, without the Trans Am, and it didn't fit my ass, even after a thousand miles or so. I ended up switching back. Whatever the Trans Am means makes my ass happy.

10/31/2013 12:58:11 AM

dustm
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^^^

I have that same light. I've ridden with it in the rain a handful of times and used it on the headlamp holder for grilling and camping (in the rain) and have had no problems. Like jeep said this light has a bright spot in the middle. A different lens sounds like a grand idea... The spot is annoying at times.

The battery life is very good. I've ridden for 3 hours on the bright setting with no noticeable dimming. Even longer in the daytime on strobe. Like an old 'candybar' cell phone you really only need to charge it every few days of use. I think you'd have to totally forget to charge it for a week of use before it would be too dim. The power button has a green/red led in it that will let you know when its very low. I just throw it on charge when I get back from riding and don't worry about it. The only time the power button has been red was when I purposefully tried to run it out.

The charger has a green/red led that fades slowly from red-green as the pack charges... You can get a general idea of the batwery status based on the led color. Most of the time when I plug mine in after 2 nights of riding its a yellow color and bright green the next morning.

I've been thinking about getting a second one to put on the other side of my bars. The mount doesn't allow l/r aiming and with the narrow bright spot it leaves something to be desired.

10/31/2013 2:25:35 AM

Jeepin4x4
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^ Here is a link to the lens that most people on Amazon seem to be using to disperse the light pattern. only $5

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WLCLQY/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3UPJ5GEOF76Z7&coliid=IQET4NXY1E1PC


^thanks for the input on the saddles. The saddle on my Cannondale is a Sunlite C9 (Cloud 9). For the most part it's comfortable, but it's really bulky and heavy. The Brooks saddles mostly appeal to me aesthetically. The people I know that ride them have had them for years and their saddles are noticeably conformed to their sit bones. So a test ride on something like that would be a bad case to judge.

10/31/2013 8:17:58 AM

Jeepin4x4
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I installed the new freewheel on my Cannondale. I went from 6 cogs to 7. Same spread of 11-28T, however after I put everything back together and replaced the chain I can't seem to shift down to the small ring in the front, or to the largest gear in the back.

I've tinkered with both derailleurs and seemed to get it to work, but it just doesn't feel smooth.

Also, when spinning freely the new freewheel seems to have quite a bit of "wobbly". Is this the wheel being more out of true than i originally thought? The freewheel isn't loose, nor was it cross threaded.

I'm thinking about taking it in because I don't want to make a mess of the shifting and there aren't very many videos on friction shifting adjustments.

11/13/2013 9:26:56 AM

jocristian
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You may have bent the derailer hanger when you were tinkering. Check to make sure that is straight. That can cause just the type of weird feel you are describing. Also, you may have checked this already if it's not able to get to the final gear, you may need to adjust the limiter screws on the derailer. They are what keeps the derailer from going off the cassette on the high or low end.

11/13/2013 9:37:33 AM

Jeepin4x4
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yeah, i think i just got both derailleurs out of whack. I watched a few more videos this morning and it made more sense. It was getting late last night.

I really need a stand, because i was working with the bike upside down and i think i was just doing everything backwards.

11/13/2013 9:53:14 AM

Stryver
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I assume you have friction shifters. If you have index shifter levers that "click" into each gear, you've got a different problem.

The new cogset is slightly wider than the old one. You'll need to adjust the limit screws, probably one labeled H and one L, on the rear derailleur. I don't always remember which is which, so I normally peek inside the derailleur to see which screw is touching a stop in the position I want to adjust, and then move it. (Sheldon Brown tells me that L(ow) is the biggest cog, so I might try to remember that L = Large, see his instructions, with some more warnings, here: http://sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html)

The limit screws create physical stops to keep the derailleur from shifting off the gears into the spokes (bad) or between the frame and cogs (annoying, usually not quite as bad). Try to visually confirm the movement of the derailleur when you move the screw. You can do this by moving the shift lever to the position for the smallest cog, so that it's trying, but the stop is in the way. Then, when you move the set screw, you should see the derailleur move, slowly.

Be sure to check the other limit after you are done adjusting. Try to shift to the biggest cog, and then push a bit more. It shouldn't go further. If it does, then you may have turned the wrong screw, or it may have been out of adjustment to start with. In either case, adjust it using the same method.

RE-CHECK BOTH LIMITS BEFORE RIDING. Throwing a chain into the spokes can destroy a wheel. That sucks.

11/13/2013 12:16:39 PM

Jeepin4x4
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ok i watched a few more videos, started over from scratch and seem to have everything in working order in the shifting. There is still some FD chain rub, but only on the extreme gearing i'll never be in (Big/Big and Small/Small).

There is still a decent amount of "wobble" or "float" in the freewheel when coasting. Reading more into this it seems to be related to the hub.

I planned on taking both wheels in once the nasty winter weather comes to have them trued. Should I have them look at the rear hub too?

11/13/2013 7:08:05 PM

Stryver
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There will often be FD chain rub at either end of the range. The friction shifter should provide for pretty easy adjustment, just nudge the lever a bit to move the derailleur out of the chain's way. I have Ultegra shifters with the paddle by the brake lever, and they have a half-step to nudge the FD over and eliminate chain rub. I get chain rub if I'm above the middle cog and in the big chainring, or in the smallest three and in the small chainring. The half-click will eliminate rubbing on everything except the small chainring upfront and the smallest cog in the back, at that point, the chain is rubbing on the big chainring, not the FD. It took me a while to figure that out. It's also cross-chaining to a degree that is not recommended.

I've seen some "wobble" on several freehubs of mine. It bothered me a lot on the first one, though i never did anything, and figured I'd fix it when it broke. The rest continued to wobble, and none have done anything bad, yet. I don't know why it does it. The wobble I see is when you pick the bike up off the ground and spin the rear wheel, the cogset moves back and forth a small amount.

I suggest you get a spoke wrench and try your hand at truing. It requires patience, but can easily be done in the bike for most wobbles. Use the brake pads as guides. I'm quite sure there are lots of instructions on the web, my advice is to go slow, and try to do an equal amount of turning on both sides (1/4 turn on one side, 1/4 turn on the other), this will help keep things round. If you have serious roundness problems, take the wheel into a shop, I find roundness a bit more challenging that straightening wobbles.

11/13/2013 10:00:07 PM

Jeepin4x4
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Quote :
"The wobble I see is when you pick the bike up off the ground and spin the rear wheel, the cogset moves back and forth a small amount."


yeah, this is what i see. It was too dark to tell when i tested out the adjustments last night. I may be riding in an alley cat Friday night, so i'll have my lights and try to see how it looks while rolling. Never noticed this on the old FW.

11/14/2013 8:02:50 AM

Stryver
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I recommend not trying to visually diagnose shifting problems while riding. A much younger me rode into a parked car while engrossed in what the rear derailleur was doing. Even the pros pull up to a car and let someone else do the work for them.

This video proposes a valid hypothesis (machining defects) from someone who sounds knowledgeable (a wheelbuilder). I had technical issues with the video (no picture, sound only). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI6JxL-zjXc

Multiple conversations on forums around the net discuss freewheel/freehub wobble. I read very few of them, this one has a whole bunch of people who say, "It happens on all my freehubs", and several that say something to the effect of "cheap hubs do that". http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-609030.html

The internet consensus I see is that it happens frequently, and is not the cause of any known problem, but _may_ be related to shorter lifespan (I think this is superstitious, the evidence is anecdotal).

[Edited on November 14, 2013 at 8:28 AM. Reason : link!]

11/14/2013 8:28:17 AM

Jeepin4x4
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haha, those were two of the sources i watched/read last night.

11/14/2013 8:45:50 AM

Jeepin4x4
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Quote :
"^ Here is a link to the lens that most people on Amazon seem to be using to disperse the light pattern. only $5

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WLCLQY/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3UPJ5GEOF76Z7&coliid=IQET4NXY1E1PC"


just updating this. I ordered this lens. It's made of cheap plastic, but fight right in the bezel and takes the circular "hot spot" and turns it more into a horizontal beam. Think Cyclops from the X-men. Gives a better road coverage since the hot spot has more road coverage. will test out this weekend.

11/14/2013 3:05:00 PM

Jeepin4x4
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rode in my first alley cat and goldsprints races last night. the underground bike scene is a weird f'n group.

11/16/2013 8:27:21 AM

Jeepin4x4
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my mom wants to get me some cycling gear for Christmas but i'm really not sure what to tell her to get. My first two thoughts were leg warmers and/or a long sleeve jersey. What kind of cycling gifts have you guys received?

12/5/2013 8:46:09 AM

llama
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My parents are pretty horrible gift-givers. I can tell them exactly what I want and hand them instructions on where to get it, and I'll end up with something slightly related from walmart.

Assuming they're not as difficult as my parents are, I'd say ask for something like a cycling computer/GPS device if you don't already have one. Clothing might be a little confusing as they won't have a clue on sizing.

12/5/2013 1:05:10 PM

Stryver
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What do you have/not have/want?

I asked for socks a while back, because I couldn't convince myself at the time to pay money for socks specific to a task and didn't know what I wanted in a bike sock. I have gotten over that (or, I wear bike socks everywhere else, too).

Other little things:
Tail-lights, you can never have too many (PB Superflash, NR Cherrybomb, PT Swerve, etc.)
Toe covers, warm fuzzy awesomeness for the winter.
Ear muffs or something equivalent. If it's cold enough for toe-covers, my ears complain.
Waterbottles, depending on how many you have, what your cleaning/storage habits are.

Big Things:
Rain jacket (my wife got me a nice, high-vis jacket a few years back when I was commuting heavily)
Other outerwear (vests are awesome, leg warmers/tights)
Bibs, or something a bit over-the-top that you wouldn't purchase for yourself
Headlight (I normally use an expilion 300, though the choices are many. Not just for night-time, they improve daytime visibility as well)
Bags/rack/other carrying device (Although, I tried this, and the response was what I wanted was too specific, so I should get it for myself)


Don't ask for:
Tires (I mean, I'd love to get new tires as a gift, but I think it'd be a hard one for a non-cyclist to understand, same for brake pads, chains, tubes other disposables)
Other parts (if tires are heard to understand, cassettes or bottom brackets are worse, and you'd have to give detailed specs, so it's almost not a gift anymore)
Supplements/food (a couple Gu packs in a stocking are awesome, but a tub of protein powder doesn't seem like it would go over well, and I'd want very specific stuff, so as above)

12/5/2013 1:05:46 PM

Jeepin4x4
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a new taillight is a great idea. A quick trip to the LBS should at least get me a much better upgrade than my current Walmart light.

I have leg warmers and booties on my list as well. I think booties would be easier since my size is easier to know than my thigh/leg size.

I also desperately need a cool weather jersey or vest.

12/5/2013 6:48:13 PM

Stryver
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I've tried a thicker/insulated jersey or two and have not liked them at all. I have a vest and armwarmers that do a very wonderful job of being easy to take off/put on/adjust layering as outside temp or body temp changes, and I am very pleased with the options they give. I have an ancient PI vest with half-mesh back that is one of my favorite bike-clothing items. I tend to be warmer than others, and dress a half layer or so less than people I ride with (or the magazine says I should).

12/5/2013 8:59:30 PM

Jeepin4x4
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do you wear anything as a base layer? or is a standard short sleeve jersey your first layer? Right now I only have arm warmers, thin warm season jerseys and a light vest that's more for wind than anything. I still find my core being cold until several miles in. Perhaps I don't need a thick jersey, but something tighter as a base layer.

12/5/2013 9:05:39 PM

Stryver
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Down to the 40s, I wear just a regular jersey for a base layer. In the 40's, I would also have on full length legwarmers, armwarmers, a vest, and medium-weight gloves. (High 40s, I might do just kneewarmers and my normal-weight full-length gloves) I would expect to shed the legwarmers and probably either the vest or armwarmers (but not both if it stayed solidly in the 40s). I might have earwarmers on. Somewhere before 40 toe-covers are needed with my road shoes. My mountain shoes are less breathable and fit thicker socks, they're fine to 40.

Close to 30, it's hard to start with that little on, and I'd start with a jacket, ear warmers, lobster mitts, and toe covers, expecting to be cold for a mile or two. My old commute descended for the first mile, that was a cold way to start. When I warmed up, I would expect to shed the jacket, maybe the earwarmers, and change gloves, and would cruise in legwarmers, vest and armwarmers. I experimented with a long-sleeve jersey underneath sometimes, it made the beginning nicer but regulating heat at cruise was harder.

In the 20s, I wear a long-sleeve jersey, a regular jersey, armwarmers, vest, jacket over it, a hat that fits under the helmet and covers my ears, toe covers, and legwarmers, and I'd wish I'd bought the insulated bibs instead of the legwarmers. Depending on the day, I might shed the jacket, or I might slip the armwarmers off from underneath. I haven't done too many rides in the 20s, so I don't have this system down pat. If I encountered these temps more often, I'd have a different set of gear.

General notes: Bright & sunny day can make it feel half a layer warmer, night-time can be half a layer colder. Rain is complicated. Active rain _might_ be a worth a half layer, but I'm likely to sweat anyways, so it has to rain enough to make me more damp than I'd get myself to have an impact. That said, based on experiences cycling and other outdoor activities, there are few cold-weather situations more hazardous than steady rain in the mid-to-low 30s. I will bring the raingear, and put it on if the weather warrants, or if I break down/stop/something else.

I acknowledge the usefullness of baselayers, and have some really great longsleeve smartwool shirts that I wear in other places and in stop-and-go activities where I might warm up and cool off. On the bike, I'm working hard enough and generating enough heat, with few enough breaks, that I have a hard time having a base-layer on and getting rid of enough heat. That said, I like it cool, and would rather deal with being cold for a while than sweating through an extra layer.

[Edited on December 6, 2013 at 3:26 PM. Reason : Cold ears]

12/6/2013 3:18:19 PM

Jeepin4x4
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mind blown, again.

12/10/2013 1:17:13 PM

PaulISdead
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[Edited on January 15, 2014 at 10:01 AM. Reason : ive realized my mistake]

1/15/2014 9:59:42 AM

jocristian
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Jeepin, any updates on that Chinese light? Since most of the bad reviews are about the durability, I'm curious how yours has fared.

1/15/2014 10:09:26 AM

Jeepin4x4
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still holding up strong. i've used it in light to medium rain without any issues and for the price it has been holding it's charge very well.

I do recommend getting that $5 lens i linked as well. puts a much wider spread on the road.


the only gripe that i have, and it's a small one, is that the light is strapped to your bars via a thick rubber cord/band. and sometimes when i hit a big bump it causes the light to shift and i have to push it back up. not a big deal, it's probably more due to the fact that my handlebars are narrow.

1/15/2014 10:22:22 AM

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