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Newbie, advie please :)

andybradandybrad Posts: 92
edited February 2011 in Commuting chat
Hello there folks im quite new to all this so please me gentile.


I’ve decided (as im sure many have at this time of year) to get fitter. One of the ways im intending to do this is cycle to work. Nowthen i tried this last year a few times on my old bike and enjoyed it. But i just started at the end of October so i got a couple of weeks before it got too rainy. I was using a Saracen back trax but it turns out it was a 21” frame. Me being just about 5’6” felt very uncomfortable on this so ive picked up a GT zum S2 at the weekend. (anyone want the old Saracen?) this fits me much better but ive got a few questions.

Firstly its come with cable disc brakes. Having never had discs before i was looking forward to super doper braking power. It turns out that there not much better than the v brakes i had before. Should i replace them with something else(bit short of cash tbh), or is there something i can do to make them better? There shimano alivio leavers with integrated shifters and quad qmb-5 brakes. I cant find much info on them.

Secondly ive just been reading about the dp17 rims its got. A couple of reviews seem to say they are deathtraps! Should i be changing them or are they alright?

Its got some stange valves on the wheels. There not like the standard car valves ive had before. Can i swap them? Can i get an adaptor for my pump?

The boss at work has invited me on a bike ride beginning of may. Ive said yes but don’t know what im letting myself in for. Its round Columbia park (Nottingham i think) and 17 miles (far far further than anything ive done before. ) however there all mountain biking nutters with full suspension carbon bits and such. Soo can i use the bike round there with a change of rubber? Or am i risking life and limb?


Its cold outside should i try and bike to work tomorrow or wait till its warmed up :)

Sorry for the daft questions 
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Posts

  • mudcow007mudcow007 Posts: 3,861
    edited January 2011
    disc brakes need quite a few rides for them to "bed in", this allows the pads to wear down a bit an contour to the disc

    what type of riding are you planning on doing on your "ride" if its just commuting, i wouldnt change anythign excepts maybe some skinny tyres. this will greatly improve your speed an efficiency

    the valves your new bike has are called Presta, becareful with them they have a threaded bit on top that you have to unscrew to let air in/ out this can snap (i have done it loads of times) when removing the pump after pumping them up etc.. you might find that you cant fit normal innertubes in your rims, because the valve wont fit in the hole, if this is the care just drill the rim to allow a normal car type innertube (schraeder)

    i hope this helps....
    Keeping it classy since '83
  • cornerblockcornerblock Posts: 3,228
    "Its cold outside should i try and bike to work tomorrow or wait till its warmed up"

    Pointless answering the rest of your post until you get rid of this shocking attitude! :x
  • "Its cold outside should i try and bike to work tomorrow or wait till its warmed up"

    Pointless answering the rest of your post until you get rid of this shocking attitude! :x

    CHEERS FOR THE ADVICE. :)
  • cornerblockcornerblock Posts: 3,228
    andybrad wrote:
    "Its cold outside should i try and bike to work tomorrow or wait till its warmed up"

    Pointless answering the rest of your post until you get rid of this shocking attitude! :x

    CHEERS FOR THE ADVICE. :)

    You are most welcome. :)
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    edited January 2011
    Pointless answering the rest of your post until you get rid of this shocking attitude! :x

    What a friendly welcome that it! :roll:

    Hi andybrad, well done for getting the bike. If you're not sure then maybe do a practice run at the weekend, so you know how long it'll take, and so you can be sure the bike is set up just right for you.

    The brakes will probably take a few rides to bed in. If you wanted to, you could get seperate gear shifters and upgrade the brakes, either hydraulic disc brakes or avid BB5 or BB7s (cable disc brakes, but very good) would be an improvement, but once bedded in, the ones you've got should be adequate for on road use.

    The 17 mile ride with your boss, find out what the terrain is like. 17 miles of mountain biking is generally much harder work than 17 miles on the road, but it depends on the terrain. So maybe try to do 20 miles on the road at the weekend. Just to get a feel for how hard it might be. also, try to find out if it's a slow, social ride or a full speed XC racer training ride. One will be fun, the other might kill you! The Zum is essentially a rigid forked MTB, so it should be capable of a fair bit of off roading. Some MTB tyres will be needed though.

    I wouldn't worry about the rims.

    If your pump is half decent it should be switchable between presta (what you've got now) and schraeder (car type). I've been using presta on both my MTB and road bike for a couple of years and have never snapped/broken them. So as long as you don't have fists of salty pork then you'll be fine.

    Finally, if you don't want to ride then don't. With the right clothing (how far is the commute btw) you can comfortably ride in most weather. But there's no point forcing yourself to do it, in case you end up hating it.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • jzedjzed Posts: 2,926
    "Its cold outside should i try and bike to work tomorrow or wait till its warmed up"

    Pointless answering the rest of your post until you get rid of this shocking attitude! :x

    Easy - there's promise there already - contemplation of upgrading bits is a good sign.

    Just get out on your bike and 17 miles will be no problem by May. Sounds like you have a hybrid which might not be great for a ride with a bunch of MTB full sussers - best ask them what the rides going to be like.

    Welcome to the fold andybrad
  • kelsenkelsen Posts: 2,003
    The best upgrade for a bike is the person sitting on it.

    Ride it, enjoy it, ride some more, get fitter, get faster.

    And then you upgrade the components, or get a new bike!!
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    kelsen wrote:
    The best upgrade for a bike is the person sitting on it.
    True, but some cable disc brakes are positively lethal (from a moutain biking perspective anyway). Doesn't matter how fit you are, if you can't stop then you've got a problem!
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    andybrad wrote:
    Hello there folks im quite new to all this so please me, gentile.

    Ooo, so forceful. :oops:
  • cornerblockcornerblock Posts: 3,228
    bails87 wrote:
    Pointless answering the rest of your post until you get rid of this shocking attitude! :x

    What a friendly welcome that it! :roll:

    Hi andybrad, well done for getting the bike. If you're not sure then maybe do a practice run at the weekend, so you know how long it'll take, and so you can be sure the bike is set up just right for you.

    The brakes will probably take a few rides to bed in. If you wanted to, you could get seperate gear shifters and upgrade the brakes, either hydraulic disc brakes or avid BB5 or BB7s (cable disc brakes, but very good) would be an improvement, but once bedded in, the ones you've got should be adequate for on road use.

    The 17 mile ride with your boss, find out what the terrain is like. 17 miles of mountain biking is generally much harder work than 17 miles on the road, but it depends on the terrain. So maybe try to do 20 miles on the road at the weekend. Just to get a feel for how hard it might be. also, try to find out if it's a slow, social ride or a full speed XC racer training ride. One will be fun, the other might kill you! The Zum is essentially a rigid forked MTB, so it should be capable of a fair bit of off roading. Some MTB tyres will be needed though.

    I wouldn't worry about the rims.

    If your pump is half decent it should be switchable between presta (what you've got now) and schraeder (car type). I've been using presta on both my MTB and road bike for a couple of years and have never snapped/broken them. So as long as you don't have fists of salty pork then you'll be fine.

    Finally, if you don't want to ride then don't. With the right clothing (how far is the commute btw) you can comfortably ride in most weather. But there's no point forcing yourself to do it, in case you end up hating it.

    Well I am glad the OP did not take my reply seriously unlike yourself. Bit early for you?
    Here you go :D The rest of your post is spot on by the way. :wink:
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    Sounds like your ride is at Clumber park (not Columbia!) which is pretty easy riding unless there is some nails of road course I dont know about. They have an informative website you could look at in advance:

    http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w- ... park-2.htm

    Very popular with families out riding so should be pretty easy.

    Well done for starting and dont let the cold put you off: "no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes!"
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    Cornerblock
    Fair enough, I've seen grumpier responses before, but onlyfrom the roadies :wink:
    :D
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • cornerblockcornerblock Posts: 3,228
    bails87 wrote:
    Cornerblock
    Fair enough, I've seen grumpier responses before, but onlyfrom the roadies :wink:
    :D
    Ahem! :oops: I commute too!
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Quad mechanical disks should be OK. You wont get much more braking power than some decent V brakes BUT they continue to work when its wet and muddy. You have more than enough braking power to be safe.
    You can bed in a disk brake by finding a steep hill. Speed up, apply brakes firmly, repeat a few times.
    Keep the disc rotor free of all slippery stuff, chain lube, wax, finger grease etc. Clean if needed with methalated spirits and allow to dry before braking.

    Most pumps can work with (car style) shraeder or (thin bike style) presta.
    Unscrew the ring in the pump head. Fish out the rubber gromet and plastic gizo.
    Reverse the plastic gizmo.
    Reverse the rubber gromet
    Put back together.

    Presta tips.
    When replacing a punctured inner tube, push the whole valve unit 1cm into the rim, seat the tyre in the rim then pull the valve out and tighten the (6mm) threaded retaining nut finger tight.
    To inflate, undo the tiny (2mm) nut a couple of turns.
    The pump body must be at 90 degrees to the valve at all times. You can damage the valve by wiggling and levering the pump around.
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    andybrad wrote:
    Its cold outside should i try and bike to work tomorrow or wait till its warmed up :)

    Welcome.

    Quite a few of us on here ride everyday, whatever the weather (me included). It partly mind over matter (I don't mind the weather so it doesn't matter) and partly wearing the correct clothing. Find out (trial and error I'm afraid) what you need to wear to ride comfortably. Some people wear shorts no matter what, others wrap up warm when it is anything under 25 degrees c. Some wear full waterproofs for a little bit of drizzle, others wear lycra and accept getting wet ("Skin is waterproof" is their mantra).

    Personally, I don't like being cold, but even riding through the snow I found all I needed on top was a wicking base layer (they're witchcraft, I tells ya), a long sleeve full zip jersey and a windproof jacket. I think wicking materials are witchcraft because when you sweat it wicks the sweat away from your skin. In practice, this means the outside of the material becomes wet with your sweat, but the inside of the material stays dry, as does your skin.

    When dressing for cold weather, remember that you will warm up quite a lot when cycling. Dress for how hot (or not) you will be, not how cold it is when you leave the house.

    Also, don't wait until you are hot and sweaty before unzipping (venting) to get cool. If you are sweaty and then unzip, you will get cold very quickly due to wind chill. Vent before you get sweaty to prevent this.

    Cycling specific clothing (or at least athletic clothing) has been designed for the purpose and is your friend. You don't have to spend silly money. Decathlon is a very good shop for cheap cycling stuff.

    Enjoy riding. If you don't enjoy doing it you will resent doing it. If its too cold for you (or wet, windy etc) don't ride that day. We won't rip the pi$$ out of you too much!

    Don't fear lycra. Embrace the way it feels and the admiring looks you get.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • cheers for the advice guys and gals. ill take a look at my pump tonight.

    yea its that national trust place. although after asking the boss (who is very competetive btw and i dont think ill get an easy ride) seems to think ill need better rubber. its got kwest tyres on there at the moment. ive got a continentak vapour and shwallidie sumething hurricane i think? would these fit my rims or am i looking at something else? they look mghtly thin compared to other wheels ive seen before.

    ill did out a pair of trousers for tomorrow and see if i can bare the cold. the ride to works up a 1mile 1/10 hill so it should warm me up a little. just dont want to arrive shivvering or sweating my knackers off.

    im thinking of a bike lock. i dont need one at work or home as it will be indoors but if i go to the pub on a weekend i dont want somone pushing it off. so whats a really nice small lock i can fix to the bike?
  • EKE_38BPM wrote:
    andybrad wrote:
    Its cold outside should i try and bike to work tomorrow or wait till its warmed up :)


    Don't fear lycra. Embrace the way it feels and the admiring looks you get.

    this comment scares me!
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    andybrad wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    andybrad wrote:
    Its cold outside should i try and bike to work tomorrow or wait till its warmed up :)


    Don't fear lycra. Embrace the way it feels and the admiring looks you get.

    this comment scares me!

    Embrace the lycra, embrace it.......

    Homer_Angry.gif

    Welcome! Enjoy saving the money that you would normally spend on an explosive liquid.....
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    andybrad wrote:
    ...whats a really nice small lock i can fix to the bike?

    No such thing as a good, small lock. They are either good for resisting attacks by dirty thieving gits with tools but big and heavy, or small but only good for resisting opportunist dirty thieving gits without tools.

    Assess your level of risk and get the biggest lock you can live with carrying around.

    To resist opportunists, how about this?
    To resist a determined attack, how about this?

    You pays your money, you take your choice.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • gtvlusso wrote:
    andybrad wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    andybrad wrote:
    Its cold outside should i try and bike to work tomorrow or wait till its warmed up :)


    Don't fear lycra. Embrace the way it feels and the admiring looks you get.

    this comment scares me!

    Welcome! Enjoy saving the money that you would normally spend on an explosive liquid.....!

    wont be saving much as it will all go in the motorbike for fun :)
  • yea thast the little lock thing im after. do they do comething like that but it could clip to the frame?
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    That little lock will prevent someone just walking off with your bike, but a thief with anything more sturdy than a butter knife will laugh as they ride off on your steed.

    No idea on brackets. Get your thinking cap on once you buy one and you'll come up with something.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • cornerblockcornerblock Posts: 3,228
    andybrad wrote:
    cheers for the advice guys and gals. ill take a look at my pump tonight.

    yea its that national trust place. although after asking the boss (who is very competetive btw and i dont think ill get an easy ride) seems to think ill need better rubber. its got kwest tyres on there at the moment. ive got a continentak vapour and shwallidie sumething hurricane i think? would these fit my rims or am i looking at something else? they look mghtly thin compared to other wheels ive seen before.

    ill did out a pair of trousers for tomorrow and see if i can bare the cold. the ride to works up a 1mile 1/10 hill so it should warm me up a little. just dont want to arrive shivvering or sweating my knackers off.

    im thinking of a bike lock. i dont need one at work or home as it will be indoors but if i go to the pub on a weekend i dont want somone pushing it off. so whats a really nice small lock i can fix to the bike?

    Andybrad, regarding the shivering or overheating. Get yourself a decent baselayer. One that has good wicking qualities. A good pair of bib tights is also a must to combat the cold. Having the right gear on will help make a ride enjoyable. Hopefully come May your boss will be trying to hang on to your wheel!
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    [thread hijack] I've never tried bibshorts as I get on fine with normal shorts. What is so good about bibshorts?[/thread hijack]
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • cornerblockcornerblock Posts: 3,228
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    [thread hijack] I've never tried bibshorts as I get on fine with normal shorts. What is so good about bibshorts?[/thread hijack]

    Well a couple of reasons why I prefer bib shorts as opposed to the non bib variety is that they tend to stay nice and snug and not ride up and down around the waist. Also in the cold weather they help keep the torso warm. Oh yeah, and they look better! :)
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    Clumber park is a really good family cycling venue. It's pretty flat and criss-crossed with lots of nice cycle tracks. There are a couple of waymarked routes. 17 miles should be fairly straightforward.

    Tyres will depend on weather. If it's been dry, you'd probably get away with your road tyres at Clumber park. Your two spares are known as semi-slick and are designed for people who want reasonable speed on road or over smooth hardpack with a slightly higher degree of grip on loose or damp surfaces. They'd probably be a good choice for Clumber park if they fit on your bike.

    First thing to do is check the tyre sizes: your spares may be 26", your wheels 29" (there will be some words on the sides of the tyres which tell you what size they are). If your spares are the right size for the wheel, it's still possible the frame won't have enough clearance for them. If your spare tyres won't fit, I'd suggest popping into your local bike shop for advice.

    ...but why wait until May?
  • EKE_38BPM wrote:
    [thread hijack] I've never tried bibshorts as I get on fine with normal shorts. What is so good about bibshorts?[/thread hijack]

    Well a couple of reasons why I prefer bib shorts as opposed to the non bib variety is that they tend to stay nice and snug and not ride up and down around the waist. Also in the cold weather they help keep the torso warm. Oh yeah, and they look better! :)


    having just googled bib shorts, are you on drugs? how can they ever be described as looking better?
  • what tyres could you recomend that are 1.5" wide. both rims are 26"
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    andybrad wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    [thread hijack] I've never tried bibshorts as I get on fine with normal shorts. What is so good about bibshorts?[/thread hijack]

    Well a couple of reasons why I prefer bib shorts as opposed to the non bib variety is that they tend to stay nice and snug and not ride up and down around the waist. Also in the cold weather they help keep the torso warm. Oh yeah, and they look better! :)


    having just googled bib shorts, are you on drugs? how can they ever be described as looking better?

    If you're wearing a jersey, the only sign you're wearing bib-shorts as opposed to normal ones is a look of serene contentment.
  • andybrad wrote:
    having just googled bib shorts, are you on drugs? how can they ever be described as looking better?

    It's what's inside the shorts that count... Plus, all cyclists are on drugs. You should get some before your first commute. :D
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