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Back in the saddle again
 
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Top Gear Challenge on bikes?!?
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:22 PM
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Velominati › The Rules

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Old 02-13-2019, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masraum View Post
Good idea. Since we aren't actually racing, the time isn't the priority (although we don't want it to be a 10 hour day either. For shorter training rides of 25-40 miles, I think we should be able to just stop for a few mins a couple of times to snack (until she's able to ride and eat).
Sounds good. 10 hours is a long day.....DO you have enough info already about the ride to make an initial plan in terms of feed stations, time etc? One aspect we have found is that getting people to stop, get off the bike and eat, say 15 mins really makes a difference to their mind set. Once done they seem really ready to 'start again'....as opposed to carrying on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by masraum View Post
I'm not comfortable with the shape of my bars and how they work for me in the drops, so I was thinking of getting something in a slightly different shape to be more comfortable and work better for me in the drops. In the process, I started wondering about the width, and they did feel a little wide. Based on my shoulder width, it seems the bars that came on my bike might be a little wide.

I do want to get different tires. I've looked at a bunch. Panaracer gravelkings, Continental GP 4000, etc.... so many choices. My bike is currently running 700x38 which limits my selection a lot if I want to stay with that width. I've been thinking that I could probably step down to 35 or maybe even 32 wide if it gives me several better options at possibly better prices.

I don't think I'm ready for a wheel upgrade yet. That seems like a fairly expensive upgrade, especially considering that my bike was only $850.
Fair point. Do they feel ok when riding on the hoods and tops? I'd imagine that is where you'd spend the vast majority of your time, especially on this ride. I've found that the brake levers are usually mounted too low on the bars for my comfort. Shifting them up has made a big difference.

Going to a 35 or 32 for a bike ridden only on good hard surfaces, tarmac etc makes a lot of sense... and as you say opens up the choices.

Had the opportunity to ride a set of these a couple of weeks back...my word... very nice. Really comfortable and speedy....price is ouch at retail, but they are now on the list if discounted.

https://www.wtb.com/collections/road/products/exposure-32c?variant=12932251058253
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:08 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #43 (permalink)
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Handle bars are as personal as saddles. If you really feel like you can be more comfortable on a new set of bars, its worth switching them out. When you are most comfortable on a bike, you produce more power can ride for a long time without fatigue. A lot of cycling is in your head, for me anyway because I am OCD to the max on the bike. If I go and switch out my bars or to a new set of pedals before a ride like the MS, the new part will play tricks in my head so much that I may not finish 60 miles and pack it in. Saddle height or tilt? Oh hell no that's aint gonna to happen, not even two weeks before the ride. I am almost never on the drops. 90% of what I do, even hauling ass is done on the brake hood. When I am cruising to and from the ride my hands are usually on top. Rarely am I on the drops because I can get as low on the hood with a slight bend of the elbows.

Those are big and wide tires. Why not try the GP 4000s 28mm if they fit your rim. You will notice the difference immediately. The responds is quicker and the effort to move forward is much less. You already know what cross tires feel like on the road, so why not? Pick a course, say 10 miles, do a time trail with the old tires and again with the new in a day or two. I bet you will see a huge improvement.

I still suggest Mrs. Masraum not do the large group rides yet. Start out with a few people and get used to riding next to someone else beside you. Having just a rider or two around will help her learn to feel comfortable without being in a large group should she panic and fall causing a huge wreck. She may never do it again. Don't worry about drafting so much yet, and there's not too much benefit in drafting doing less then 15mph. Plus, pushing wind makes one stronger.

Slowly learn the complete pedal stroke. No need to purposely or actually pull on the up stroke. Just lift your heel on the way up and its all its needed. It should be very natural with cleats. You may already be doing it and not know it. Try to keep a steady pace through the ride, slight hill or not. A lot of new riders stop pedaling just about when they crest the hill and cost through it and pedal again. keep pedaling and do not stop but don't increase speed. I don't do much of it anymore, but when I did go out during the week, I pick a day and ride the little ring, 39 x 15 or 53x21, hands on top of the bar,and just spin at 95-100 rpm, and do not quit for two hours except for stop lights. Oh man those days hurt.
Old 02-14-2019, 12:12 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #44 (permalink)
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If you feel the need to get her to draft, have her draft you. Keep a steady speed, say 15 mph, and hold it there. Tell her you are her eyes and will not hit the brakes unless there's a stop sign or light and yelll out so she know in advance. No sudden movements like dodging pot holes. Go around them with the straightest line and warn her. Have her not only look at your wheel or tire, but look at your ass or back. This way she will ride straight instead of following a wheel's slight movenment. Lots of people are all over the road becasue they only follow the tire. Have her stay about 18-24" away and gradually get closer when she feels safer riding behind you. This is what riding in a group is all about. Make sure to tell her to look around you once in a while by moving her head sideway without moving the bike. keep the bike in that exact place but only more her head. This is similar to the new driver who turn their head to look at their blind spot but when they turn their heads, they turn the wheel slightly and are changing lane already. Its the same thing but don't do that.
Old 02-14-2019, 12:24 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #45 (permalink)
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I’m not a bike guy but I do want to offer up this advice...

CARRY ID WHEN YOU RIDE

A former colleague had a massive heart attack while running at lunchtime. Nobody noticed that he never came back to work. At 6:00 he never came home so his wife started calling around all of the local hospitals and asking if he was there - they all said ‘no’.

His car was in the parking lot at the office so we put together a search crew and started knocking on doors along his normal running route (starting at both ends). Very quickly, the guys who started at the other end of the route spoke with some people who called 911 when a runner collapsed in front of their house at lunch.

At this point, we were able to figure out what hospital he was at (remember that he couldn’t be registered by his name - he was unconcious and had no ID).

He was unconcious for about 10 minutes before the ambulance arrived and the doctors wanted to pull him off of life support numerous times. He pulled through, albeit with some brain damage. 6 months later, he was back home with his family. He had to go through some very serious PT, etc. His kids got their dad back.

One other thing - when I race, my blood type, health care number, name, and insurance info is all written on my HANS device. Having this information on a dog tag or whatever could save your life.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:35 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #46 (permalink)
 
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the shape of the drops looks like it would be a far reach to the levers although they look like they would be comfortable.
I never spent much time in the drops

good setup with the tops level. the brake levers look to be at a good angle too. with that sharp curve the more you move the levers up the further the levers will be from the drops
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:12 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #47 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFAFF View Post
Sounds good. 10 hours is a long day.....DO you have enough info already about the ride to make an initial plan in terms of feed stations, time etc? One aspect we have found is that getting people to stop, get off the bike and eat, say 15 mins really makes a difference to their mind set. Once done they seem really ready to 'start again'....as opposed to carrying on.
This ride has lots of riders on lots of different kinds of bikes of lots of different skill levels. From what I understand there are stops every 10-15 miles with drinks and food. We will take advantage, but we also don't want to stop so frequently that we add lots of time to the total ride time. I think we'll probably end up stopping every 2-4 stop breaks, but will carry stuff in between so we can eat more frequently than we stop. I am assuming that as we get more experience, we may not want/need to stop as frequently. Also, the weather is going to change a fair amount between now and then, so what we need to do when the temp is 65 is probably going to be very different from what we'll want/need to do when the temp is 75, 80 or 85. We'll be fine tuning as we get closer and will probably improvise something once actually en route.



Quote:
Fair point. Do they feel ok when riding on the hoods and tops? I'd imagine that is where you'd spend the vast majority of your time, especially on this ride. I've found that the brake levers are usually mounted too low on the bars for my comfort. Shifting them up has made a big difference.
They are OK when on the hoods. I rarely ride on the tops, I just don't much like it. If I was going to ride on the tops, I'd probably just sit up and ride no-handed. If I'm already reaching for the bars, then I'd probably be on the hoods. I'm trying to use the drops more, mostly just to get a feel for it. I like it, especially if I'm trying to go fast.

Quote:
Going to a 35 or 32 for a bike ridden only on good hard surfaces, tarmac etc makes a lot of sense... and as you say opens up the choices.

Had the opportunity to ride a set of these a couple of weeks back...my word... very nice. Really comfortable and speedy....price is ouch at retail, but they are now on the list if discounted.

https://www.wtb.com/collections/road/products/exposure-32c?variant=12932251058253
I was thinking that if 38 is good, then 32 or 35 should still be pretty good, and certainly better than 25 or 28. I'll check those out as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by look 171 View Post
Handle bars are as personal as saddles. If you really feel like you can be more comfortable on a new set of bars, its worth switching them out. When you are most comfortable on a bike, you produce more power can ride for a long time without fatigue. A lot of cycling is in your head, for me anyway because I am OCD to the max on the bike. If I go and switch out my bars or to a new set of pedals before a ride like the MS, the new part will play tricks in my head so much that I may not finish 60 miles and pack it in. Saddle height or tilt? Oh hell no that's aint gonna to happen, not even two weeks before the ride. I am almost never on the drops. 90% of what I do, even hauling ass is done on the brake hood. When I am cruising to and from the ride my hands are usually on top. Rarely am I on the drops because I can get as low on the hood with a slight bend of the elbows.
I've tried getting lower on the hoods, and I like the drops better. I think part of it is that I'm still getting used to the riding position which is different from anything else you ever do day to day. That's why I'm thinking of changing the bars now, so I have time to check them out and decide if I like them and get used to them.

Quote:
Those are big and wide tires. Why not try the GP 4000s 28mm if they fit your rim. You will notice the difference immediately. The responds is quicker and the effort to move forward is much less. You already know what cross tires feel like on the road, so why not? Pick a course, say 10 miles, do a time trail with the old tires and again with the new in a day or two. I bet you will see a huge improvement.
I originally thought "get big tires so they'll be comfortable," but now that I have the bike, bike fit (getting there) and bibs, I'm so comfortable, that I think I could go smaller and still be comfy, especially since several of you have said that better tires will be more comfortable than the tires that the bike came with.

Quote:
I still suggest Mrs. Masraum not do the large group rides yet.
Agreed, both me and her. We do ride side by side some, but even then, not super close together. She is definitely not comfortable enough to try drafting yet. I'm not trying to force her to do things until she's comfortable and ready. I don't want her to have a bad experience and throw in the towel.

Quote:
Slowly learn the complete pedal stroke. No need to purposely or actually pull on the up stroke. Just lift your heel on the way up and its all its needed. It should be very natural with cleats. You may already be doing it and not know it. Try to keep a steady pace through the ride, slight hill or not. A lot of new riders stop pedaling just about when they crest the hill and cost through it and pedal again. keep pedaling and do not stop but don't increase speed. I don't do much of it anymore, but when I did go out during the week, I pick a day and ride the little ring, 39 x 15 or 53x21, hands on top of the bar,and just spin at 95-100 rpm, and do not quit for two hours except for stop lights. Oh man those days hurt.
I do try to keep pedalling pretty steadily and keep a constant pace, as much as I can while still keeping the missus close. I REALLY dig being clipped into the clipless pedals (stupid name). It makes the whole pedaling experience easier so you only have to think about propelling yourself forward and being smooth and comfortable. I think I'm pretty smooth. I do feel some amount of pulling up. When I pedal faster, I try to feel what's going on and concentrate on being smooth versus bouncing around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebilly View Post
Im not a bike guy but I do want to offer up this advice...

CARRY ID WHEN YOU RIDE



One other thing - when I race, my blood type, health care number, name, and insurance info is all written on my HANS device. Having this information on a dog tag or whatever could save your life.
I haven't been carrying ID or money, but I was just telling the missus on our last ride that I want to start bringing ID and a little cash. Good call. My parents taught me at a young age to ALWAYS carry ID, and I always have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T77911S View Post
the shape of the drops looks like it would be a far reach to the levers although they look like they would be comfortable.
I never spent much time in the drops

good setup with the tops level. the brake levers look to be at a good angle too. with that sharp curve the more you move the levers up the further the levers will be from the drops
Yes, I've been looking at my bars and levers and the bars that I'm looking at and thinking about where the levers are on the bars. It's a trade off, if you move the levers up so the hoods are higher, you move the levers farther away from the drops and vice versa. It's a balancing act. I'm going to have to tinker some to get them happy when I get new bars, I think. It should be fun trying to get them just right.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:57 AM
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like I said, yours look pretty good. personally I would not change them. too low and it puts weight on your hands and you will feel like you are sliding forward, especially when you sweat.

eat every half hour no matter if you are hungry or not.
potassium is good for cramps but I don't know how well eating a banana on the ride will help. that may be something you need to build up in your system before the ride, so I never really ate them. I was looking for the carbs and what would last. I can eat a banana and my stomach is growling 10 minutes later.

how is your seat height. take a pic of you on your bike with your foot at the bottom of the pedal stroke, same with her. too hi might cause back problems along with making your hips rock back and forth, too low may stress your hips and hurt your efficiency.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:31 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #49 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masraum View Post
I haven't been carrying ID or money, but I was just telling the missus on our last ride that I want to start bringing ID and a little cash. Good call. My parents taught me at a young age to ALWAYS carry ID, and I always have.
You'll be surprised what you "should" carry. Use ziplock baggies. You do not need to fully close them, but you want to keep the sweat off everything.

I carried:
Driver's License
Some Cash and a couple of quarters
A credit card
Cell Phone (own baggie)

And...
Keltec P3-AT
Some Wet wipes
Some tissues
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:46 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #50 (permalink)
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"I REALLY dig being clipped into the clipless pedals (stupid name)." I agree but before clippless, there was toe clips and straps, so these are pedals, sans clips.

If you are riding mostly on the drops, it means the bars are probably set too high.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mepstein View Post
"I REALLY dig being clipped into the clipless pedals (stupid name)." I agree but before clippless, there was toe clips and straps, so these are pedals, sans clips.

If you are riding mostly on the drops, it means the bars are probably set too high.
I remember having to reach down and loosen the straps when you wanted to take your foot out and then tightening it again when you put it back in. This made having the ability to stop and stand at a stop light with both feet still on the pedals a nice skill which I have lost since it's so easy to unclip now. It also meant the occasional zero speed crash

Let's not forget reaching to the down tube to change gears! One big reason I don't see a need for electric shifting is that haven't gotten over how easy it is to shift with mechanical brifters.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
I remember having to reach down and loosen the straps when you wanted to take your foot out and then tightening it again when you put it back in. This made having the ability to stop and stand at a stop light with both feet still on the pedals a nice skill which I have lost since it's so easy to unclip now. It also meant the occasional zero speed crash

Let's not forget reaching to the down tube to change gears! One big reason I don't see a need for electric shifting is that haven't gotten over how easy it is to shift with mechanical brifters.

I have electronic shifting and absolutely love it. Like I said, after couple rides, you get used to it, electronic or not. I still have my SARM and other Shinamo bikes which I really like. Electronic shifting is only on one of my bike, the Time. Just think of it as PDK and I am a big fan of.

Reason they called it clips is because in the old days, Clips and straps were necessary to keep fdeet attached to pedals. When spring retention pedals came out, (Look was the first, but Cinelli has one where you had to physically release) it was clip and strap less so they called it clips. I actually liked clips and straps and it took me a long time to change over.

What, no more track stands for you in traffic.
Old 02-14-2019, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masraum View Post
This ride has lots of riders on lots of different kinds of bikes of lots of different skill levels. From what I understand there are stops every 10-15 miles with drinks and food. We will take advantage, but we also don't want to stop so frequently that we add lots of time to the total ride time. I think we'll probably end up stopping every 2-4 stop breaks, but will carry stuff in between so we can eat more frequently than we stop. I am assuming that as we get more experience, we may not want/need to stop as frequently. Also, the weather is going to change a fair amount between now and then, so what we need to do when the temp is 65 is probably going to be very different from what we'll want/need to do when the temp is 75, 80 or 85. We'll be fine tuning as we get closer and will probably improvise something once actually en route.
OK, sounds like there will be plenty of options. Might I suggest you develop a plan in advance and work towards it. If you can do 20-25 miles between stops (say 15mins each) then you'll break down the day both physically and mentally in advance, reducing the size of the challenge. Making it up as you go along is often a recipe for a problem, like not finishing. It is perhaps easier to focus on a 25 mile ride, knowing you'll have a stop, coffee, food etc then setting off again, nothing to think about... no stress, just follow the plan. At least that helps in my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by masraum View Post
They are OK when on the hoods. I rarely ride on the tops, I just don't much like it. If I was going to ride on the tops, I'd probably just sit up and ride no-handed. If I'm already reaching for the bars, then I'd probably be on the hoods. I'm trying to use the drops more, mostly just to get a feel for it. I like it, especially if I'm trying to go fast.

I've tried getting lower on the hoods, and I like the drops better. I think part of it is that I'm still getting used to the riding position which is different from anything else you ever do day to day. That's why I'm thinking of changing the bars now, so I have time to check them out and decide if I like them and get used to them.
Riding the hoods with bent arms is physically more demanding than riding hte drops, and more aerodynamic....choices, choices.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by masraum View Post
I do try to keep pedalling pretty steadily and keep a constant pace, as much as I can while still keeping the missus close. I REALLY dig being clipped into the clipless pedals (stupid name). It makes the whole pedaling experience easier so you only have to think about propelling yourself forward and being smooth and comfortable. I think I'm pretty smooth. I do feel some amount of pulling up. When I pedal faster, I try to feel what's going on and concentrate on being smooth versus bouncing about.
Having a cadence sensor really helps to keep you steady. Cadence is one of those things that can be very misleading; we joke about those who spin and those who mash (or grind) yet that difference is say between 70 rpm and 95-100 rpm; a huge difference. Much more difficult to differentiate between say a 90rpm cadence and a 95 rpm one in the first instance. Yet the speed change in the same gear is significant. There must be some very inexpensive cadence meters you can add to the bike to help out, if you do not want to invest in a Garmin etc...

I get a load of s**t from my riding mates.. 'twinkle toes', 'ballet dancer'.... etc 'cos I tend to spin, easily between 95-100 rpm pretty constantly. Conversely they know that if I'm on the big ring I'll be spinning that as well.....with the consequent increase in overall speed and pain for them. Mind you our local coffee shop has great coffee and better cakes!
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
I remember having to reach down and loosen the straps when you wanted to take your foot out and then tightening it again when you put it back in. This made having the ability to stop and stand at a stop light with both feet still on the pedals a nice skill which I have lost since it's so easy to unclip now. It also meant the occasional zero speed crash

Let's not forget reaching to the down tube to change gears! One big reason I don't see a need for electric shifting is that haven't gotten over how easy it is to shift with mechanical brifters.
I have one of each on my road/gravel bikes. Di2 is the dogs' danglers without a doubt. Second best thing ever... just behind hydraulic disc brakes. One bike has Di2 the other discs and the third is a 1985 road machine, owned since new; a classic, like a period 911.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by MFAFF View Post
I have one of each on my road/gravel bikes. Di2 is the dogs' danglers without a doubt. Second best thing ever... just behind hydraulic disc brakes. One bike has Di2 the other discs and the third is a 1985 road machine, owned since new; a classic, like a period 911.
I still have my 1984 road bike, a Viner with Campy Super Record. I haven't ridden it in years and now it's just art.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:42 AM
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[QUOTE=David;10355377 It also meant the occasional zero speed crash

[/QUOTE]

I did that not too long ago, but fortunately I was in a crowd, so they all got to feel superior to the monkey on the pogo stick...
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:43 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #57 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by David View Post
I still have my 1984 road bike, a Viner with Campy Super Record. I haven't ridden it in years and now it's just art.
Art indeed with Super Record. Mine is just a well used bike.. still ridden a bit... beautiful ride, very smooth and fun.
Old 02-14-2019, 12:01 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #58 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by David View Post
I still have my 1984 road bike, a Viner with Campy Super Record. I haven't ridden it in years and now it's just art.
I rebuilt my 1989 Trek 400. All that is original is the steel frame.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:10 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #59 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by red-beard View Post
I rebuilt my 1989 Trek 400. All that is original is the steel frame.
Good its on the road.. shame to lose the original wheels etc. Found that my 85 does not like new gen hubs and rims, far better match to the original Shimano Golden Arrow hubs and Mavic M40 rims with period stainless double butted spokes. New wheels gave a harsh ride...( alloy hubs and rims).

Getting serviceable parts for the chainset is at times a challenge. Thank goodness I have a selection of period cassettes to play with. New chains seem to be good and the front and rear mechs indestructable. Love it, even have the Look pedals with Sidi shoes and delta cleats.
Old 02-14-2019, 12:41 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #60 (permalink)
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