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KikiKitty678
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05 Aug 2019, 11:11 am

Does anyone else enjoy riding bikes?

Yesterday, I biked for 20 minutes and enjoyed it, would have gone longer, but it was hot.



Mountain Goat
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05 Aug 2019, 12:22 pm

Yes, but I need to feel good first as in having energy.
Is my secondary special interest. :)


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05 Aug 2019, 12:24 pm

KikiKitty678 wrote:
Does anyone else enjoy riding bikes?

Yesterday, I biked for 20 minutes and enjoyed it, would have gone longer, but it was hot.



Do you have a nice bicycle?


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Borromeo
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05 Aug 2019, 12:32 pm

Ooh, cool, a bike thread!



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05 Aug 2019, 12:36 pm

I like touring bikes.


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Borromeo
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05 Aug 2019, 10:02 pm

I have been thinking about getting an old "English roadster" style of bicycle--you know, 28" wheels, rod brakes, iron frame, mudguards, leather seat, dynamo lamps. The kind that weighs about fifty pounds...picture a 1913 Raleigh.

But those are hard to find. I like the idea of an indestructible machine that works well for city cycling. Around here, though, it would develop a self-starter and disappear.



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06 Aug 2019, 12:06 am

Love bicycles. It was one of my obsessions for a few years. Would ride 5000 miles/year mostly on a mountain bike. I'd go out for 8+ hours in the saddle or more covering 100+ miles many times each year. I sustained a good number of injuries so I'm trying to take it easier now and stick to more mellow rides.



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06 Aug 2019, 2:21 am

Love my bikes.
I have a Raleigh road bike and a Schwinn hybrid.
The Schwinn is currently my favourite.
Wondering if I should get some panniers for it?


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Mountain Goat
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06 Aug 2019, 2:44 am

Borromeo wrote:
I have been thinking about getting an old "English roadster" style of bicycle--you know, 28" wheels, rod brakes, iron frame, mudguards, leather seat, dynamo lamps. The kind that weighs about fifty pounds...picture a 1913 Raleigh.

But those are hard to find. I like the idea of an indestructible machine that works well for city cycling. Around here, though, it would develop a self-starter and disappear.


I hve an old rod braked ladies bike by Cartwright & Sons. It was made in 1926. It needs restoration though, but is complete. I restored it in the 1990's for my Mum but I used ordinary spray paints so the rust issues hit. It is a strip down and repaint job.

Now if you want a new bike that is similar but has hub brakes (I don't think rod brake brake blocks are still available. I bought new ones on mine when I last rebuilt it), then take a look at a company called Pashley.
Pashley is the bicycle version of what Morgan is with cars. The best of Pashley would be their Guv'nor or the Speed 5 as they have 531 frames. (I believe these days it will be partial 531, but even then it is worth paying the extra as 531 is a hidden gem when it comes to the bikes performance)..


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Borromeo
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07 Aug 2019, 12:07 pm

That's pretty neat. I've looked at Pashley cycles already and while they are wonderful machines they cost quite a bit more Stateside than they do in England. However, in India, copies of the early Raleigh designs are still used--and they are almost 100% identical to the original "safety bicycle." While they aren't built to the standards of Pashley or a vintage BSA, they're still good quality and extremely durable. I am thinking of one of them, if I decide to take the two-wheel route.

I'd never heard of a 531 frame until now, though. I looked it up and saw something about a particular sort of steel. Is it that much lighter?



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07 Aug 2019, 1:33 pm

REYNOLDS 531.

531 is an alloy of manganese molybdenum added to steel which makes it stronger so less material is required to give the material its strength.
531 was first developed in the 1930's for the aircraft industry but soon found its way to other uses like racing cars and of course, bicycles.

531 used to be available in standard 531, competition 531C, touring 531ST and mountain biking 531MTB forms. 531C was later rebadged to be 653 and is basically a thinned out and lightened version of 531, and was used for racing bikes and time trialling bikes. It had a rider weight limit of 16 stone. It was recommended that heavier riders bought standard 531 rather then 531C.

531 is still made today but only available in one tube width and in standard form, so todays frames only have 531 for the mainframe (Main triangle) part of the frame, while some older 531 bikes could be full 531 throughout including the forks.

Reynolds also made or make various other forms of frame tubes. Here are a few from the past that I can recall.
453 Standard carbon steel.
500 Cromolly steel. (Alloy of steel and chromium and molybdenum).
501 As above but with extra heat treatment to further improve it.
531 Alloy of steel, manganese and molybdenum.
631 A modern reworked 531 so that it can be welded. 531 has to be brazed or silver soldered. 631 is meant to be similar to 531, but many cyclists have been less impressed.
653 Rebadged 531C.
753 I can't remember its specifics, but one to avoid as the steel has a shelf life of about a year or two. The steel should be ok to use afterwards, but its riding qualities will have no advantage over ordinary steel. Before its shelf life had expired, it was meant to be very lively to ride and was therefore used on racing bikes for tjose few who were racing (Usually sponsored). After the frame had aged, the bike felt "Dead". It is said to be not far off 531C. Bearing in mind 531C lasts just about as long as the rider if looked after, some bicycle manufacturers avoided selling 753 altogether as they had to warranty their frames.

What is 531 like to ride?
Well, to explain its special abilities I will give reference to a touring bike I own. 531 has a "Spring" effect to it. The best 531 frames are made in such a way as to exploit this spring effect. Ormally with bicycle frames one is trying to eliminate flex as flex works against efficiency. 531 flexes so it seems undesireable. (It is comfortable due to this flex, hence 531 became the number 1 choice for touring and sports touring bikes). Now something interesting happens in the way 531 flexes (If the frame buklder knows what he's doing). The bottom bracket area will flex to the left when one pedals with a downward effort on the right pedal and vice versa when one pushes down on the left pedal. When ordanary steel bicycles flex here, the flexing is inefficient in that it is energy absorbed by the frame rather then it going to drive the wheels. The frame then returns to its non flexed position. Now with 531 having a "Spring" effect, in that it returns quickly to its non flexed position, the return actually adds to the drive effect at the very end of the pedal stroke just where the dead spot is and therefore assists the riders efficiency... One loses some efficiency but then gets it back right at the dead point of the pedalling stroke. It is the only say I can describe the effect.
Now in a demonstration of this with one of my touring bikes, I had not long purchased the bike secondhand, and I had worked my way through giving it a thourough service. It is an Orbit Gold Medal (For those of you who want to know the make and model). Orbit was clever in that they made this bike with offset seat and chainstays so an undished rear wheel is used which further adds to the riding efficiency of the machine and adds strength to the wheel.
Now when I took this bike for a spin on a flat country road, I had forgotton about the sudden steep rize over the dissused railway crossing. I turned the corner and it was there, and I was not in anywhere near the right gear. As it had caught me by surprize, I had to put more pressure on the pedals in the hope that I could grind up the rize which is probably a 1 in 4 to gain about 6 to 8 ft in height. I was in one of the top gears and had slowed right down to take the 90 degree corner on a road which was only wide enough to take a single car.
The sudden pressure I exerted on the pedals was instantly rewarded with a noticable return of the sprining effect and I was up and over almost as if it was effortless. I was very impressed. I had almost forgotton what 531 was like after spending a while riding my Merida framed Carrera Crossfire 3000 (A hybrid) which has a light but stiff aluminium frame. Don't get me wrong, the Crossfire is qiute lively but it is stiff. It has to be stiff. Give aluminium the chance to flex and it won't last long!.
So I hope I was able to describe what 531 bicycles are like to ride.

Pashley bicycles are not cheap here in Britain either. But they're good.
We can get those Indian bikes here, but when we had a customer order one, I had to refuse to sign the PDI form, as it only had one brake (A coaster rear brake with no front brake) and neither did it have reflectors on the front, tje wheels or the pedals. Only a red rear reflector on the mudguard. The UK law says we have to have these and two working rakes before we are allowed to sell them. (After sold the reflectors can be taken off (Only the red rear one is needed if cycling at night but lights have to be fitted) to be legal even on a cycle path, two working brakes are needed The bike came from an order taken on our companys website and came direct from India. I did explain to the sales staff who explained to the customer. Was only a front caliper brake and a brake lever and cables, along with eeflectors needed, but the customer disn't buy it. It sat there for a couple of years in the shop after I left. I think they did sell it eventually... Probably by a new sales staff who was unaware of the law? Who knows!


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NeilM
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08 Aug 2019, 1:04 pm

Bicycling is one of my special interests. I go road cycling and have three main routes: One is a paved off-road "trail" thru the city that is good to go on in the spring when I am getting back in shape, about 6 miles long so 12 miles round trip. My second is a meandering route through a nearby neighborhood where there are quite a few hills to climb and its about 12 miles too. I call that my conditioning run. Finally, I hit some open roads (usually on Sunday morning since I'm not a church goer and the roads are pretty much mine) and cover between 20 and 30 miles.

What motivates me to go bicycling? Being out in the sunshine, by myself (I get my best thinking done while I'm pedaling along) and the endorphins are coming on strong. When I top a hill, I can really feel like I am on top of the world. And oh yeah, I am getting exercise too.


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08 Aug 2019, 1:11 pm

What bicycle(s) do you have?


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NeilM
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08 Aug 2019, 2:17 pm

Interesting you should ask, Mountain Goat.

I had been riding an old Bianchi that, best I could tell, was from the mid-1980s. It has the gear levers on the downtube and overall I was quite pleased with it. I gave $50 for it at a yard sale about 15 years ago and its still going strong with little in the way of repairs.

But with changes in my life, being retired among them, I decided it was time to spring for a new one. So about six weeks ago I picked out one I liked at a local bike shop and bought it, shiny and new! I got a Specialized Allez and it is a dream to ride. The gear controls are incorporated into the brake levers and shifting is so easy now. I have about 120 miles on it so far. Glad I took the plunge and got a modern day bike.


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08 Aug 2019, 2:50 pm

Keep the old bike though. Certain qualities the old bike has modern bikes lack. Those STI type brake and gear levers are nice. To shift and brake at the same time is blessing. But, the downside is the huge price to replace them. So to keep them going well, once a year spray is a very light oil. What happens that kills both types of STI levers (Both drop and straight) is that the grease inside them goes hard in time and ceases the little ratchet pawls. All that they need is for the ratchets to be freed up which is easier to get to on the straight bar STI's, but the drop bar STI's are more awkward as the pawls can be almost impossible to reach. The key is to fix them is to remove just enough without having thw springs flying off everywhere! Just about impossible to put back together!
The difference etween the old and new bikes. The new bikes will be more efficient when you are seated. The old bikes are great at standing on the pedals as an extra gear. This ability has been sacrificed with the modern geometry so though one can stand on the pedals, one won't be up for long as the geometry almost works against you. The older bikes were designed to be stood on the pedals for hillclimbing, hence they did not need such small gearing at the low end. To compensate for this, modern bikes normally have much wider range gearing.
It is very much a case of swings and roundabouts! I prefer the older geometry, but I customize my gearing set ups so I have a wide range without cramming too many cogs into the back.


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