Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bike test ride

OK, so I gave my new e-bike a test ride today.
It's really good. Even before turning on the power, and despite the added weight of the battery (which one can remove if one wants to ride unpowered), it is an easier and faster ride than the last bike I had, which was actually a pretty goood one. Despite being solidly built, it feels like a racing bike.
When you turn on the power, that feels amazing. But that's something I'll need more experience to evaluate properly.

I can really get places fast on this bike. Once I get into better shape, I mean. It's been a while since I really used my thigh- and belly muscles, and had a long hard thing between my legs. What's up with racing saddles? What happened to saddles which actually support your buttocks?

[PS: Do people on bikes not indicate turns in the UK? Every time I did it, somebody waved back at me!)

Update: a reader points to this highly interesting and controversial page about helmets and safety.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, August 12, 2009   36 comments links to this post

36 Comments:

At 12 Aug 2009 15:04:00, Blogger Monsieur Beep! said...

Do people on bikes not indicate turns in the UK?

Oh my dear Eo, didn´t you know that traffic rules weren´t made for cyclists?

And please stop waving when riding, you look so silly!

Haha.

Eo, maybe it´s me who´s out of this world. I don´t get it why cyclist don´t drive on the right (on the continent), why they don´t indicate their turns, why they ride so fast through pedestrian precincts etc.
A consequence of this is that in our town it´s forbidden to ride a bike in ped areas, you got to dismount, and need even more space!
Why can´t the twowheelers drive in a sensible way? I hate to obey rules which were imposed because of some anarchists in the first place.
So I won´t dismount. I drive as slowly as I can in ped areas, being constantly overtaken by peds. That´s much more difficult than going fast, believe me!

I know, I´m wrong. The rest, which is the majority, is right.
I´m not of this world....

 
At 12 Aug 2009 15:25:00, Blogger Bronislaus Janulis said...

Eolake,

Saddles are like religion and politics, touchy subjects, not to mention art.

My opinion; a stiff, narrow saddle works better for me; I sit on the sit bones, and avoid the dreaded penile numbness, that often appears when riding a broad, cushy saddle. Selle Italia, Brooks. A lot of saddles are being made with cut-outs in them. This is when a good bike shop can be of assistance; of course you will pay a premium, but the insight is worth it.

As to traffic laws; I try and act like an auto, and follow the laws for cars, and will take a space like a car for certain turns, etc. On paths, I use a bell to warn others when I'm overtaking; I only wear a helmet when required on organized rides; I'm also very willing to cheat on traffic laws if I feel safer when so doing.

Happy Trails!

 
At 12 Aug 2009 15:26:00, Blogger Alex said...

Hmm, were you doing UK hand signals, or some old school Danish thing?

Arm straight left for left, arm straight right for right, and a right arm up and down for slow or stop.

Of course it doesn't help that hand signals are not on the test anymore, nay bugger under 30 knows what they are.

As a motorist I always appreciate indications, they help take away some nasty surprises.

 
At 12 Aug 2009 15:51:00, Blogger eolake said...

Yes, those are the ones I learned as a kid, and still use.
Prob is they are hard to use on a nimble bike. Or maybe it's because I'm out of practice.

 
At 12 Aug 2009 18:50:00, Blogger ttl said...

What's up with racing saddles? What happened to saddles which actually support your buttocks?

I too have often wondered about this. But maybe saddles are a bit like computer keyboards where the out-of-the-box keyboard (saddle) is only a "placeholder" to be replaced with one you actually like to use.

 
At 12 Aug 2009 19:06:00, Blogger eolake said...

Well, this one looks pretty fancy, and they brag about how soft it is.
But it still burns my nads.

 
At 12 Aug 2009 19:18:00, Anonymous Barry Goldwater said...

[PS: Do people on bikes not indicate turns in the UK? Every time I did it, somebody waved back at me!)

In the U.S., only nerds do that.

 
At 12 Aug 2009 19:42:00, Anonymous Sukiho said...

its surprising it doesn't have electric indicators considering its already got a battery

 
At 12 Aug 2009 20:02:00, Blogger eolake said...

Yeah, it should have.
But I got that as extra, I just haven't put it on yet, it looks a bit fiddly. But the connection to the controls is wireless, believe it or not.

 
At 12 Aug 2009 20:28:00, Blogger eolake said...

Does anybody know that the little metal "horns" at the ends of the handle bar are for?

 
At 12 Aug 2009 20:32:00, Blogger Monsieur Beep! said...

And Eo, please don´t forget to buy a sturdy chain for your bike, in case you´re on a photographic assignment and leave your bike somewhere behind. Someone might like it!

Can´t you go to a shop where they have several saddles mounted on dummies for checking which one is the most comfortable for you, and which you like best?

Anyhoo, welcome to the bicycle community, it´ll keep you healthy. Is bicycling very popular in the UK? In the Netherlands there are more bikes than inhabitants, and in Germany they´re also all on the increase, and what fancy machines you can see, wow! I have an old basic mountain bike with which I´m happy, and I do many an extra ride for health reason and distraction.

Enjoy!

 
At 12 Aug 2009 20:39:00, Blogger The Dissonance said...

Ah yes, the dreaded TB (tired butt) problem. I still have my Trek ten-speed from my college days. But I did change the seat to one designed by a Nasa engineer.

It was on the sale table because people didn't like it. I didn't like it for a while but I've never had TB since. It is actually square with a short nose.

All other seats I have used presses a nerve no matter how you sit, so I'm happy with this one even more. Too bad I can't find a link to it online.

 
At 12 Aug 2009 20:44:00, Blogger Monsieur Beep! said...

Yeah the old grandpa seat, makes everyone laugh and makes you sitting comfortably. Haha.

:-)

 
At 13 Aug 2009 00:22:00, Anonymous neeraj said...

Does anybody know that the little metal "horns" at the ends of the handle bar are for?

IMO just a protection of your hands against lateral crashes.

 
At 13 Aug 2009 03:17:00, Anonymous Ben said...

The 'metal horns' are called 'bar ends' and they allow you to change the position of your hands for comfort and endurance.

Your seat shouldn't hurt, find a professional at a bike shop and have them help you adjust it.

 
At 13 Aug 2009 10:10:00, Blogger TC [Girl] said...

Alex said...
"Hmm, were you doing UK hand signals, or some old school Danish thing?"

LOL!! You guys are cracking me up!

I'd be putting those signals on ASAP, Eo, so you don't crash trying to, politely, let the dude behind you know what you're doing. Hopefully, the signals will be bright enough for peeps to notice them, too! City bicycling! arg!!

 
At 13 Aug 2009 10:27:00, Anonymous Philocalist said...

Well ... if you ever want a slightly less conventional alternative .....

[url]http://thereifixedit.com/2009/08/05/epic-kludge-photo-unnatural-union/comment-page-1/#comments[/url]

Nice comfy seat though, innit?:-)

 
At 13 Aug 2009 11:40:00, Blogger eolake said...

"IMO just a protection of your hands against lateral crashes."

I think it might be more, they are high quality, and adjustable (with a screwdriver) in fine degrees.

 
At 13 Aug 2009 11:42:00, Blogger eolake said...

Thanks, Ben.

 
At 13 Aug 2009 13:02:00, Blogger Jimbo said...

One thing, be sure to get a helmet. They look stupid, I know. Even Brad Pitt couldn't look good in one of those things. But take it from someone who has done a face plant on the sidewalk off a bike (not even going very fast): get a helmet. Wear it properly. Get a new one every few years.

 
At 13 Aug 2009 13:42:00, Blogger eolake said...

Sigh. It's just that I suppose a helmet is hot and clumsy, and where do you put it when you park?...

 
At 13 Aug 2009 13:45:00, Blogger eolake said...

... Also the bike helmets I see don't actually protect the face, it seems.

 
At 13 Aug 2009 15:29:00, Blogger Jimbo said...

A helmet is definitely a drag. You have to carry it with you. Some people live it with the bike hoping no one will steal it.

... Also the bike helmets I see don't actually protect the face, it seems.

They usually have something sticking out the front beyond the face which will take the brunt of the force in a crash. I don't know how well it would work in reality but it's got to be better than nothing. If you wanted something that definitely would protect the face, you could wear one of those BMX helmets, but you'd definitely gets comments and snickers from people. ;-)

 
At 13 Aug 2009 20:41:00, Blogger Bronislaus Janulis said...

Eolake,

In Holland, very few actually wear helmets, and their safty record is quite good. In Australia, where helmets were mandated, safety improved, but there were less riders riding fewer miles, so statistically worse.

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence, " the helmet was smushed, it saved my life" kind of stuff. Bad reasoning.

Here:http://bicyclesafe.com/helmets.html

I should add helmets to touchy subjects.

 
At 14 Aug 2009 00:23:00, Blogger Jimbo said...

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence, " the helmet was smushed, it saved my life" kind of stuff. Bad reasoning.

Yeah. Right. I'm sure a bunch of moron motorcycle riders tried to tell themselves something similar back in the day. And hockey players. Idiots, all of them. Today they're accepted, and with good reason. I don't base my opinion on my own experience, or on the anecdotal evidence of others. Of course, it is only common sense, but there are the numbers to back it up too. Funny, that.

 
At 14 Aug 2009 03:27:00, Blogger eolake said...

Thanks all.

 
At 14 Aug 2009 07:46:00, Anonymous RonC said...

Eolake, if you are still uncomfortable, you could try a 'gel' cover for the existing saddle. They cost little, and I spotted them on 'sale' in your local Aldi store last week. Worth a few pounds to try?

 
At 14 Aug 2009 09:48:00, Blogger eolake said...

Didn't know such existed, thanks.

 
At 14 Aug 2009 11:29:00, Anonymous neeraj said...

... 'gel' cover for the existing saddle ...

I used to have such a cover some years ago. The type I had was not protected enough against wetness. So, after raining it took a long time drying again.

Furthermore it slipped easily from its position during riding, and I had to correct it quite often.

May be there are better ones now.

Now I'm using a seat with integrated gel => comfortable and easy to handle.

P.S.: captcha "ditchi" ;-)

 
At 14 Aug 2009 12:05:00, Blogger eolake said...

I'm wondering if there isn't integrated gel in the seat on it. It has to slits with clear plastic seemingly designed to show off a few millimeters of something clear above the foam rubber.

 
At 14 Aug 2009 12:07:00, Blogger eolake said...

BTW, I can't believe nobody yet has mentioned the "long hard thing between my legs"...
It's hard to believe it's too subtle a joke, but then it's nigh impossible to make too obvious a joke for a mixed crowd.

 
At 14 Aug 2009 13:17:00, Anonymous neeraj said...

At least I have noticed and grinned a bit ...:-)

 
At 14 Aug 2009 15:12:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet ol' Bronny doesn't believe men ever went to the moon either. guys like him are good for a laugh at least, but I just wouldn't want to be there when the laughter stops.

 
At 14 Aug 2009 16:32:00, Anonymous Sukiho said...

I would wear a helmet, Ive seen quite a few low speed motorbike accidents round here where people didnt have helmets and you can do serious damage if you land on your head

 
At 15 Aug 2009 13:36:00, Anonymous Daniel said...

Soft cushy seats feel nice when you're not conditioned for riding. However, they develop pressure points and become generally more uncomfortable as your butt gets conditioned and the seat wears. I personally recommend a harder, racing type saddle. It's a bit uncomfortable at the beginning of the riding season, but once you get past that you'll be glad you developed a hard butt and can ride for hours rather than always fighting with getting everything adjusted correctly on that soft cushy thing. Here's the saddle I ride (12 miles to/from work most non-rainy days):

Terry Dragonfly

Welcome to the world of bicycling where we stay in shape while getting places.

 
At 15 Aug 2009 13:43:00, Blogger eolake said...

Thanks, that's worth some thought.

In my twenties there were a couple of years where I rode 15-20 miles each way to work on a high quality racing/tour bike (Claud Butler Brevet). Fun. I got up to a good clip on that.

 

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