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#123047 - 02/08/08 01:46 PM Re: 50 miles on a bicycle... [Re: Greg_Sackett]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: Greg_Sackett
Ha! I don't know of too many touring cyclists who wear bib shorts (or have full Campy record setups).

I won't comment on the Campy stuff, as I have never ridden with it. By reputation it is great stuff, but I know it's not cheap.

The difference between wearing bicycle shorts and not is I think larger than the difference between bicycle short and bibs. Getting into a pair of shorts designed not to chafe while riding is big. I prefer bibs, because they are more comfy and never slide to threaten to give a view of the so-called "carpenter's crack." But, I think one could prefer to go without the bibs.

#123314 - 02/10/08 07:48 PM Re: 50 miles on a bicycle... [Re: teacher]
teacher Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 848
Helmet and sunscreeen, eat before and during, water breaks often, ...

#123321 - 02/10/08 09:29 PM Re: 50 miles on a bicycle... [Re: teacher]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7129
Loc: southern Cal
Fifty miles a day on a bike is actually quite easy - given a good bike and a conditioned rider with some experience. Fifty miles would be tough for a neophyte.

If I ever pack a bugout vehicle, my touring bike will be included, because a bike can go when and where a car cannot, can travel self contained, and can cover a surprising distance, given the proper motivation.

My preferences are a touring frame with wider tires (37cm), low gearing (around 20 inch to grind up hills),front and rear bags as well as a personal waist pack, helmet and riding gloves, properly mated shorts and bike seat, dark glasses, and lots of water and energy food. You can easily pack forty pounds of gear, food and water, but compared to backpacking, you can cover five times as much distance. Count on a sore butt.
Geezer in Chief

#127378 - 03/15/08 02:22 AM Re: 50 miles on a bicycle... [Re: wildman800]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2818
Loc: La-USA
Additional note: In my local newspaper today was an article outlining a plan to build a 25 mile bike/jogging/hiking trail between Lafayette to Breaux Bridge to St. Martinville.

I have no doubt that this will be the usual paving of an anbandoned railroad right-of-way. This will provide an excellent conditioning route to be used weekly.

Also of note, I have looked at 2 different Goodwill stores so far with negative results irt bicycle touring accessories. My thanks to the poster of the bicycle accessory website. I think I'll just cut the BS and order what I need.
The best luck is what you make yourself!

#127453 - 03/16/08 01:47 AM Re: 50 miles on a bicycle... [Re: wildman800]
teacher Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 848
Yeah - racks and panniers don't come up often. If you have time search ebay, rei and craigslist. But its probably easier to get new touring gear on a used bike

#130368 - 04/17/08 02:46 AM Re: 50 miles on a bicycle... [Re: teacher]
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
It's a lot faster either by yourself or with others of equal gear and conditioning. On pavement, as others have pointed out, anything that fits you will get the job done. Unless you're in really horrible condition, 12-13 mph with a meaningful load on a mountain bike on gravel path (essentially flat) is an easy pace to sustain all day - YMMV, but that's my experience.

If it's a BoB bike, then hardtail mountain bikes rule against the possability of having to go off-pavement. Stay away from softtails for a long ride anyway - unless you really want a work out.

My bike is set up with full toolbag under seat (includes CO2 inflator, several 12gr, spare tube, glueless patch kit, etc etc); Beefiest rear rack available (I had to design & machine a 7075 block to properly mate this setup to my downtube, but that's up to your frame and how you're configuring everything - they usually fit as-is)); expandable top bag on rear rack; easily removable "grocery sack" style panniers; small bag lashed onto handlebars; bottle cage; and I keep a Camelbak Ridgerunner (100oz) on my back. Helmet and padded fingerless gloves a must. Also really good seat (skinny and "correct" for male). Needs a better pump mounted - after I'm sure my boys won't "borrow" it <grin>.

Bike currently has BMX Mosh pedals and I will NOT put clipless pedals or toe clips on it because it has a BO role. The only bad thing about those pedals is that they positively maim your shin if you screw up (once is enough). This lets me wear the most appropriate walking/hiking/whatever footgear for the season/conditions with confidence that they will not slip off the pedals.

This is NOT as efficient a setup as a road bike with clipless pedals running on smooth pavement. I travel slower for equal amount of effort. OTOH, it's positively flying compared to walking.

Highspeed downhill runs are crazy with that sort of set-up, though - if heavily loaded like that, most mountain bikes become very unstable as speeds rise over 30mph (mine sure does!). They have relatively short frames (for agility) and the heavy rear weight bias when loaded like that gets hairy and scary going fast. (So slow down). One thing I would like to do is come up with a bomb-proof no-tool lock-out for my suspension (front), then figure out a quick-mount mount rack and other bags up front. As it is now, I pretty much max out things on the rear when fully loaded for a camping trip.

Anyway, 50 miles on pavement is generally well within most people's grasp with just some common sense and a bike that won't break apart in that distance. Folks on road bikes (with support crews for gear) often do twice that or more in a day in moderate terrain.

My rule for bike trips is: Have fun! I save the grueling stuff for hiking.

/edit Most mtn bikes come with tires that are WAY too knobby for most uses. I have much more reasonable tires on mine and they have a "pavement" rib in the center and Kevlar in the carcass. Much less rolling resistance and frankly, if they slip (never have), I'm in such shmutz that I'm going to walk the bike anyway. One of my boys is a bike nut, er, expert, so I consult with him... his advice has been spot on so far. /end edit


Edited by AyersTG (04/17/08 02:53 AM)
Edit Reason: addition

#130448 - 04/17/08 11:48 PM Re: 50 miles on a bicycle... [Re: AyersTG]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5247
My bike is similar to what Ayers describes, Cro-Moly frame mountain bike, looks a lot like a road bike but the tires are 2" wide slicks with a high center instead of the fat knobby tires you find on most MB's or the narrow road tires you find on typical road bikes. The tires are nice in that on pavement there's maybe 1/2" on the asphalt, but when you get off pavement they sink in and you have the full 2" width for traction.

I've never had a problem with stability going fast, but maybe it's because my frame is more like a road bike's.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#130508 - 04/18/08 07:16 PM Re: 50 miles on a bicycle... [Re: Russ]
Smackdaddyj Offline

Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 13
I have raced triathlon and MNT Bikes for years, and I am currently in the military so I have done my fair share of forced marches with a heavy ruck. If you are going to be carrying a lot of gear and may need to make it farther than 50 miles total, I would approach them the same way. Ride for about 50 minutes and rest for about 10. This will keep you going over the long haul.

A few thoughts on components and misc cycling equipment. If there is any possibility that you are going to be off road, a road bike will simply not due. Maybe a cyclocross, but unless you are racing cyclocross, why spend the money on that kind of bike. If you are looking for all around fitness, and real possibility as a BOK, I would get a decent MNT bike and two sets of wheels. One with slicks and one with knobby. Train on pavement with the slicks, and if the time comes, you can switch easily and while the knobby tires are more resistence, they allow you to ride pavement or off road.

Cycling shoes: You are definately not going to want to ride any kind of long distance without having your feet attached to the petals. Especially if you are looking at using this as a form of exercise as well. If you get mnt. bike petals and clipless shoes, you will be able to walk fine for short periods (i.e. scrambling up slopes) and you can just carry your hiking boots with you if the need to abandon the bike arrises. Even using boots with clips is not a good idea for long periods of time. The real key to cycling shoes is that they have a stiff sole. This means that all of the force that you are applying to the pedals is actually being used to drive the bike forward. With flexible shoes, you are not only going to lose energy with each stroke, but you may also get sore soles of your feet.

Groupo: If you feel the need to get a higher end groupo, 99% of people will be well suited with Shimano Ultegra and it will save you a bundle over the other higher end groupos, and you will not notice the difference unless you have been riding a long time.

Handlebars: you are definately going to want bar ends for a ride this long on a mnt. bike. These are short peices of pipe that attach to the end of your straight mnt bike bar. It not only gives you an additional hand grip, but I often rest my forearms near my elbows at the corner of the bars for a more relaxed position. However, if you are not used to aerobars or riding in a low position you may not find this as comfortable as I do.

Suspension: On mnt bikes, you have three options for suspension. No suspension, front shocks, and front and rear shocks. The full suspension is really designed for down hill racing, where absorbing shock is critical. If you are riding a long distance off road, you will probably appreciate the front suspension, but if you are trying to mount a front rack for equipment, you may find that this causes problems. Just another thing to consider.

Final note, be careful about going to a bike shop as they are often more interested in selling you something you may not need then really giving you what you are looking for. Not all are this way, but as I learned more about cycling, I learned more and more that the local shops were trying to rip me off. YMMV.

Bottom line, find what works for you and your intended purpose and go with it. But I would definately get out and ride, if you are considering this as a means of transportation.


#130526 - 04/19/08 01:59 AM Re: 50 miles on a bicycle... [Re: Smackdaddyj]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7129
Loc: southern Cal
You can do fine on a road bike, if it is set up for touring. This means wide (37mm or so) tires. These ride fine on pavement, crushed rock, and dirt roads - probably not so good for hiking trails, a situation where mountain bikes indeed rule.

I prefer clip pedals and low cut hiking shoes. This combination allows me to do 70 to 80 miles day after day with an occasional 100 mile ride, all with one shoe that I can hike in forever and still use on the bike. Clipless pedals are just too fiddly and adjustment prone in my opinion. I get the impression that some clipless rigs also tend to cause knee problems. I read comments on bike touring forums from other riders who feel the same way. The are many options for pedals and the best thing to do is start riding and see what works for you.

I started with a touring bike frame (basically a longer wheelbase compared to a road racer). It is quite elderly now and I find over the years I have replaced a lot of original components with mountain bike equivalents. Since I have about 40-50 pounds of gear with me, depending upon the water I am carrying, I paid significant money for 40 spoke rear wheel, 36 spoke front wheel with Phil Wood hubs, custom built at my local bike shop. About ten thousand miles and not even a hint of a problem. A lot of my gear and clothing comes right out of my climbing/backpacking closet. If I ever had to abandon the bike, I would just rearrange the load and hike on. If you are used to riding it, a bike is a very feasible way to bug out. If you are not used to riding one, after a week or so, you will be....
Geezer in Chief

#130584 - 04/19/08 10:52 PM Re: 50 miles on a bicycle... [Re: MoBOB]
Wilderness Offline

Registered: 04/19/08
Posts: 2
I cycle 50 miles a day 5 days a week, 25 miles each way to work, it takes around an hour 15 each way.

Yes your bum hurts but you learn to look after it and wear good quality shorts. Your legs will hurt till you get used to it. Increase your food intake to match the miles, and eat high protein early in the evening, your body will use that to repair and build new muscle overnight.

Any average fit person should be able to easily cycle 100 mile in a day. A Scottish guy has just cycled 18000 miles around the earth in 195 days, he cycled approximately 100 miles a day for 180 days, the other 15 days were rest days or transit days between Continent's.

The funny thing is the food experts said he needed to eat 8000 cals a day to maintain his physical fitness but the only place he managed to do that with ease was as he crossed the US.

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