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New Bike

2002-03-16 19:49:08+00 by Dan Lyke 12 comments

Must be something about Saint Patrick's Day that leads to bike buying. 6 years ago, on the weekend of the Fairfax Brew Fest, I stopped by Sunshine Bicycle Center[Wiki] and bought a Mongoose Rockadile. This weekend I decided that it was time to dedicate that bike to the Burning Man[Wiki] cause, and bought a Trek 6500. Basic transportation, nothing fancy, although I do tend to gloat a little when I watch the folks on the fully suspended penis compensation vehicles on that first steep stretch climbing up the Eldridge Grade away from the lakes stand up for more power, and then fall on their collective butts.

[ related topics: Burning Man Dan's Life Bay Area ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-03-17 00:58:19+00 by: meuon

Is this because the fully suspended bikes suspensions absorb the extra energy? I gotta get out more.. really..

#Comment made: 2002-03-17 01:35:05+00 by: Dan Lyke

There's some of that, but in the particular case I'm thinking of it was just 'cause the guys in front of me had super bad technique: when they stood up they stood up as though they were on level ground, which meant that they were far enough forward that they unweighted the rear wheel, lost traction, and slid backwards 'til they toppled.

#Comment made: 2002-03-17 23:49:05+00 by: ebradway

What kind of price range were you shopping in? I've been for a bike to replace my 10-year-old Specialzed Hard Rock that got stolen from my garage. I really need a bike now that I drive a VW bus. I've actually been looking at Wal-Mart. You can get an aluminum frame bike with upper-lower range shimano components for less than $150. I'm actually siding more towards a chromoly frame bike they had on sale for $48.

#Comment made: 2002-03-18 00:26:48+00 by: Dan Lyke

$600 to $1000 or so. And my decision was primarily made based on the fact that the folks at Sunshine have always given me a reasonable deal and made good recommendatons; I went in, said "I commute and do a bit of off-road biking, the off-road is for exercise, what's a good compromise?". The frame seems to have really nice power transfer, I'm still getting used to the suspended fork and will probably regret not paying a bit more for one I can lock, but we'll see, as I really don't do that much high performance riding.

But for basic transportation where you don't have to have something right now I'd be checking garage sales, I frequent them to find parts for various monstrosities and have seen a few really good deals.

#Comment made: 2002-03-18 16:52:28+00 by: Shawn

Mmmmm... biking :-) Katrina and I went out for the first ride of the year Saturday - despite the on-again/off-again snowfall. It's so nice to be back in the saddle.

ebradway, if you're interested in putting a little work into it, I have an older bike for sale. It's a Centurion (before they became Diamond Back) 14-speed road/racing bike (chromoly frame). I bought it back in 1990 when I worked in a bike shop. I was intending to start racing when I got back from Basic Training. That never happened and the bike wound up sitting in storage and never being ridden. It needs new tires (the originals have all but completely rotted off) and a tune up, but otherwise it should be fine. I'd like to get at least $100 for it.

#Comment made: 2002-04-07 23:58:43+00 by: meuon

A late addition, and it's Dan's fault (Kinda).

I hit a couple of bike stores, got shunned by the 'elite biker attitude', until I got to Suck Creek Cycle. a small, grubby-ish shop where I met a couple of nice people, one was the 'tech' and the other a nice (very healthy) 30ish lady. They showed me some bikes, let me ride a couple of new and used ones of various styles.

I ended up with a Schwinn Mesa GSX (Mountain Bike w/ Disk Brakes) with some 'semi-street' tires instead of the knobbies.

OK, I blew a wad I should not have, but I figure it will last me more than a couple of years.

Things I learned in 3 days of light riding:

  1. I need the 'comfort' seat they reccomended..
  2. The front shock, set stiff (I am at 240lbs), is incredible!
  3. Disk Brakes ROCK! Wow.. I had never had a bike that actually stopped.
  4. Toe clips are great, and a hazard.

#Comment made: 2002-04-08 17:07:32+00 by: Dan Lyke

I skipped disk brakes 'cause I saw too much potential for alignment issues and warping. Maybe when this one wears out or gets passed on to someone else I'll have to try those.

I also need to see about a comfort seat, and find that angling the seat forward by a few degrees helps, although every time I take the bike back to the shop they reset it level.

Next time: Front suspension lockout. Yes, there are moves that used to be impossible that this makes trivial (a couple descents over rough open rock are now "yeah, whatever", rather than "hit it fast and pray I can keep the front wheel up or hit it slow and shake my arms to smithereens"), but biking home from work, climbing the Sir Francis Drake overpass on 580 away from San Quentin in the dark, tired, I was putting waaayyy too much energy into that front shock.

#Comment made: 2002-04-08 21:12:53+00 by: meuon

I found by setting it 'stiff' I was happy with the front suspension. It's forgiving on curbs, and not so soft it bounces when I crank on it. I was shown the difference in the quality of disk brakes, and these look to be very well made. They sure look tough, and work flawlessly so far.

My legs are sore today.. and the weather getting nasty, and I still want to go for a ride. I forgot how much FUN riding a bike could be.

So the big question: too nice of a bike for Burning Man?

#Comment made: 2002-04-10 16:25:02+00 by: Dan Lyke

I dunno. I'll definitely be picking up a few garage sale specials for integration into various transportation projects, but I'll probably bring my new bike. This year, however, I'll also probably bring a lock. Nothing too secure, just enough that someone confused and tripping doesn't suddenly remember that they brought a bike to a place they'd walked to.

#Comment made: 2002-04-10 17:14:16+00 by: meuon

I've been wondering about your 'pedaling contraptions'.. TopSpin wants to play with a tent sized human interactive noise maker. ala a Theramin. But electronics require power and a decent environment. An eccentric pedal powered people mover has 'doable' and 'practical' all over it. as well as being a human interaction thing. And I see where my nice bike does not carry things well: unless I add baskets or saddlebags. Hmm.. an eccentric music making people powered vehicle, combination player xylaphone and trike.. Hmm..

#Comment made: 2002-04-13 01:25:15+00 by: Larry Burton

Meuon, remember the little tinkling sound when you got a stick caught between your fork and your wheel? Now think of your spoke wrench as a tuning key.

#Comment made: 2002-04-13 02:18:37+00 by: meuon

OOoohhhh.. Thanks, you fleshed out a foundation part I had not visualized yet.