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Getting a road bike, and wanna be seen(18 posts)

Getting a road bike, and wanna be seenpeterjh9
Feb 11, 2003 8:01 AM
Hi all,

About to buy my first road bike within the next two weeks. I road all last summer on my mountain bike, and loved it. Sure there is a higher element of danger, but I try to stay where the cars are not.

Two questions:

1- Since image means nothing to me, I am thinking of leaving the reflectors on. I wanna be seen by the cars out there. Not planning on riding at night really, but will probably find myself out at dusk, and reflectors will help. ANy other suggestions?? What do you all do to ensure your seen.

2- Wanna get a computer for the roadie. I use an Enduro 2 on my MTB and love it. Recommendations for a good (and reasonable) road computer? Mity 3? Enduro 2 maybe?

Thank-you and I look forward to joining your tribe out there!!!
how obscene!JS Haiku Shop
Feb 11, 2003 8:20 AM
(LOL)

1) jandd sells adhesive 3m reflective tape that i would highly recommend. sticks well, doesn't wash or wear off, and can be removed by hand without taking paint with it. this stuff can be seen from more than 1/2 mile, easily, even by indirect light. use on shoes, helmet, bike...don't forget crankarms, rims, seatpost, stem, fork...that is, if you want to be seen. you can also purchase reflective ankle bands with velcro fasteners from them. i've found wheel reflectors to be more hassle than help, but that's just IMHO.

2) mity 3 = enduro 2 with less stout wires. just because the enduro 2 is marketed for MTB doesn't mean it's not for use on a road bike. either is a good option. i have the mity 3 on three bikes, and would still be using an enduro 2 if i hadn't lost it on a ride last year.

welcome to the jungle.
Thank-youpeterjh9
Feb 11, 2003 8:30 AM
I am very excited to get in and get the order down. Now the snow has gott melt!

I was thinking of putting some refelctive tape on the non-drive side seatstay, to help visability. Possibly a strip across the back of my helmet too.

Yeah, I was thinking of maybe getting another Enduro 2 for the road bike. I love this computer. I assume the Mity 3 operated identically, which means, I will probably just get whats cheaper.

Another question: I plan on (and have cleared it through the LBS) to swap out the triple crankset and BB for a double and BB. There are hills by me (Northern NJ), but nothing super major. I was fine last year on my MTB without ever dropping into the granny. Seems a triple woul djust add weight that is not warrented. Good idea you think?

As for a seatpost bag, any cheap one will do right?

Thanks for all your help.
well, i sound like a jandd salesman, but...JS Haiku Shop
Feb 11, 2003 8:46 AM
i've used pedro's, specialized, and other seatpacks, and keep coming back to jandd. they reinforce the area behind the seatpost and on top of the bag so it doesn't rub through with constant use. inexpensive if you buy from their clearance page on the jandd website. take that old tool-purchase axiom everybody's dad gives out for free: buy a cheap tool many times, or a good tool once. good does not equal expensive in this circumstance.

a great thing about the enduro, mity, and velo series of cateye computers is that they each work on the other's mount. the mounts **and** wheel magnets are universal. i think you can also set an alternate wheel size on the mity 3 and enduro 2, also. they can often be found for less $$ at performancebike.com and/or nashbar.com.

on reflective tape and other material, don't forget about the drive side. your non-drive side may be facing the road most of the time, but you'll be crossing side streets, cross-streets, and also will be turning sooner or later. it also helps in parking lots and other places.

I started with a double and now have a bike purchased with a triple specifically for extra long rides, and out of town rides, and extra hilly or mountainous rides. the weight difference is miniscule, unless you're counting grams. the major issue with a triple seems to be the associated image with the racing crowd, or those who think they're the racing crowd.

i'd rather have one and not need it than the inverse. a gem of experience from fellow poster MB1: "i'd rather not be limited by my equipment." an observation i made last year at the georgia 6-gap century: on the steepest climb, which came in the last third of the ride, i passed countless cyclists walking the >20% grade, pushing their ultra-lightweight $5000 bikes--outfitted with double chainrings. of course, i was grinding a very low gear on a ~25 pound cyclocross bike with a 30x32 low gear combination. on the other hand, i have no problems riding at the front of many "fast group rides" around town on the other end of that triple setup: 52x11. i've also ridden 105, ultegra, and chorus doubles, and find that if they're properly maintained and adjusted, shifting is fairly accurate regardless of the number of chainrings.

if you're stuck on swapping equipment for a double, assuming it's shimano 9 speed, it seems you can equip a 53/39 crankset with a 9-speed mtb rear derailleur and 12-34 cassette for **almost** a triple/27 combination, which should help you achieve most of the steep climbs around, depending upon your abililty.

don't be convinced to buy a double due to pressure from your local shop or local riders--many are limited in scope and achievement by what can be ridden from their front door. by the way, i plan to race several crits and circut road events this year on my cross bike with the triple. :)
wow, great infopeterjh9
Feb 11, 2003 9:11 AM
Invaluable to me.

Never thought about the drive side reflector tape, but yeah, makes total sense. I will wrap both rear seatstays with the tape.

The Mity 3 is on sale at nashbar rightnow for $14.99. Will probably buy it. I am familiar with the cateye commands from the enduro 2, and would like to keep within the family. No new learning or thinking "which computer am I using now, and where do I go" lol. I thought about just using the Enduro on both bikes, but (as silly as this might sound) I measure chain life using the 2nd trip distance. This would not work be switching back and forth. Although my MM ruler can perform the same function LOL.

I will check out the Jandd seatbags. Thanks for the suggestion.

As for the cranks, I pretty much thought about swapping out to a double for a few reasons:

1- Never thought I would use the granny on the road
2- Weight savings (extremely minimal..a granny weighs nothing)
3- Aesthetics. Not from other peoples opinions, but for my own.

I am not locked into the switch, so I have some time to decide.

Gosh, new bike buying sure is fun.
that's a good price for the mity 3JS Haiku Shop
Feb 11, 2003 9:40 AM
when they got down to $12.99 at nashbar last year i bought a few, since that's almost like buying a replacement mounting kit and getting the actual computer for free. a good investment when they're on sale.
Couple of suggestions...Silverback
Feb 11, 2003 8:28 AM
Being reflective is a good idea, but there are better ways than the stock plastic reflectors, which are pretty sorry in addition to being ugly. Another post already mentioned reflective tape--I have it on the chainstays and fork blades of an old mountain bike I use as a commuter, and it's way brighter than the stock reflectors were. Also, I got an Illuminite vest from Performance--bright yellow during the day and reflective at night. If I might get caught out at dusk or later, I take that. It makes a huge difference in how far away cars are when they react to you.
illuminite is a great suggestionJS Haiku Shop
Feb 11, 2003 8:31 AM
I have an illuminite camelbak (aerobak) that lights up like a christmas tree for even the faintest and most distant auto headlights. they make all kinds of clothing with this stuff.

by the way, a small rear blinkie light can be seatpost (and often seatpack) mounted, and enabled just before dusk or in bad weather. a good, inexpensive investment. be sure to keep the batteries fresh.
Coolpeterjh9
Feb 11, 2003 8:34 AM
Thanks for the input.

For my birthday, my girlfriend got me a red Louis Garneau jersey, so that should also assist in being seen.

The reflective tape is a great idea. Love it.

Sorry, another question: The bike I am getting comes with a Tiagra crankset. Do you know if the threaded hole size will accomodate Time ATAC pedal spindles? Standard hole size amongst MTB cranks, just was not sure about road cranks.
Don't get the one I got ...Humma Hah
Feb 11, 2003 10:11 AM
I got the yellow Illuminite windbreaker/rain shell. It is bright both night and day, and cars avoid me like radioactive waste at night.

However, it doesn't breathe enough to tell, and after 5 miles I'm condensing sweat inside it in cold weather. For longer rides, it soaks you.

The vest, or a different model that breathes, is probably a better option.
You CANNOT "ensure (you will) be seen"torquer
Feb 11, 2003 8:33 AM
No amount of reflectors, colorfull clothing, even flags, will ensure that that you will be seen by that head-up-his/her-butt driver motivating their two-ton appliance down the road. (I speak from experience.)

The one thing you can do that will increase your chances of riding another day is to assume that YOU BECOME INVISIBLE the moment you put yourself on a bike on the roadway.

Sorry if I sound negative (and I certainly don't mean to discourage anybody from road riding- the more us us out there the safer it will be) but for most drivers, they may "see" a cyclist but they invariably fail to register that cyclist as anything they need concern themselves with.
Both drivers who hit me within the past five years claimed I "came out of nowhere". Right, I dropped out of the sky, landing in front of their front bumpers.

You improve the odds by riding with a group, but that can't always happen, so just remember that as a rider you've just put on an invisibility suit, and expect the worst from drivers.
Yes, assume you are visible, but ...Humma Hah
Feb 11, 2003 10:15 AM
... do TRY to be as visible as possible. If you really ARE invisible, it may well be impossible for you to be sufficiently vigilant to avoid getting creamed.

My reflective jacket, reflectors, tail flasher, and headlight do seem to get the attention of 99% of drivers. Yes, I must assume there will be the occasional driver in their midst that does NOT see me, but it is very nice when I have failed to notice one (about one time in 1000) to find out they've noticed me.
You will be seen:mainframe
Feb 11, 2003 8:34 AM
Lightman (www.lightmanstrobe.com) tail light (focused LED) is, IMHO, as good as it gets. I've done alot of pre-dawn riding and along with a Turbocat headlight, I am lit to the max.
other thoughts...KEN2
Feb 11, 2003 9:05 AM
You mention putting reflective tape on your helmet... know that the higher up you have reflectors, the less likely they are to catch significant headlight beams, since those beams are aimed slightly down and to the right to avoid shining in oncoming car drivers' eyes. Lower is better.

Secondly, the wheel reflectors that come with bikes are crippled with CPSC regulations which mandate that they have to reflect at wide angles to the source. In theory that's good, but in practice it means that they aren't very bright without a strong source of light directly on them.

And speaking of light sources, also keep in mind that one reason it's more dangerous to ride at dusk is because your reflectors are passive, i.e. if a driver's lights aren't on they don't do anything to make you visible... another good reason to have a battery powered rear light/blinkie.
Indeedpeterjh9
Feb 11, 2003 9:15 AM
Which is why I liked to end my rides before the sun went down. Might be a wimpy attitude on my part, but its certainly a (mild) fear.

Great point about the wheel reflectors. Unles viewed from the side (with car headlites), they are worthless.

My shoes (shimano) have a refelctive strip built in ont he back of em. This will help as well.
(yes, more) other thoughts...JS Haiku Shop
Feb 11, 2003 9:44 AM
agreed, lower is often better. then again, the road always isn't level, nor is the rider. in this case, i'll submit that "MORE = better". there is **no overkill** for being seen at dusk, dawn, or night, provided you're not on the run from the fashion police.

this tape is all over the grey plastic parts of my sidi genius 4 shoes--back and sides. i also wear a white specialized s1 helmet, and it's covered in the stuff, too. due to the muted, light grey color of the tape, you really can't tell, until it's important to be reflective.
re: Getting a road bike, and wanna be seenSnowBlind
Feb 11, 2003 10:27 AM
Remember, reflectors only work if someone else is throwing light at them. So if motorist does'nt turn on lights at dusk, you can't be seen.
Get a tail-light and add it to the seatpost. The LED ones are cheap and the batteries last forever.

2. Can the Enduro 2 handle more than one tire setting (some do, like the Mity 3) then you just need a mount kit and you can use the same computer on both bikes.
Be seen: led headlight & flashing led tailight...fbg111
Feb 11, 2003 8:09 PM
led lights are bright enough to make you visible, don't drain the batteries after 2/3 hours like halogen ones, and aren't as much cost and trouble as generator halogen lights. Here's the headlight I use:

Cateye EL-300
http://www.cateye.com/detail_mod02.php?products_id=91

It makes you very visible on the road, or can light up a forest if you're using it mountain biking. I attached it upside down under my aerobars and it looks swift.

Any old led tail light will do, especially the flashing ones.