from Brett Day's blog
When I started my adventure in the world of cycling I thought I knew what I was getting into. Turns out there is much more to cycling than just jumping on a bike and pedaling, until you can pedal no more. I have recently found out from some of the blogs readers that I really need to make several adjustments to my bike so it will fit me better and more suited to being ridden on the bumpy roads in my community. I am all for making things easier on myself and I greatly appreciate the time that everyone took to help me out, so today I decided to make a few changes to the bike…..
I am the noobiest of the noobs when it comes to cycling, and while I have learned a great deal about workings of a bike in a short amount of time, I still have a lot to learn - and that’s okay!
As I get older, I realize learning is a good thing, even if the things you ”learn” should have smacked you in the head with the common sense hammer a long time ago.
First things first, your tires.
The wonderful round pieces of rubber that are supposed to be our friend. It turns out that using off road tires on paved roads is not the smartest thing to do. To be honest, I never really gave this much thought, tires are tires right? Wrong!
As it turns out, the nasty, knobby mountain bike tires on my bike (okay, yes it is a mountain bike) were making me work harder than I needed to! The cheek of it! How dare my bike make me work harder. Time to fix that right now!
I was advised by my good friends that I needed a set of slick tires to make my bike glide along the road. The slick tires will do two things for you. Firstly they will help you ride faster (2-3mph faster without any extra effort), simply because there is less friction between the tire and the road. Secondly they will make you $55 (or more) lighter in the pocket. But that is okay, I would rather spend a little and hurt the bank account rather than spend nothing and just hurt myself from using extra effort when it is not needed.
Recently I went by my local bike shop to see what they had in stock. I was greeted again by Tommy. Now Tommy made my day because he told me he reads and enjoys my blog. So kudos and a big shout out to Tommy! With my last visit I explained to him that I wanted my bike to play nice with the road, and he fixed me up.
Now there are probably several thousand options when it comes to picking new tires, but I just wanted something that would be better than what I had already and something that would not make the bank manager come after me. Knowing that I have already poured quite a bit of money into this build, Tommy suggested I try some tires made by Kenda, the brand was Giant. The Giant K935 is a good durable tire, at a reasonable price, which sounded good to me.
Kenda Giant K935. Durable and priced right.
I know I have not spent a great deal of money on these tires, but the receipts are starting to pile up, and because my wife is warning me that sleeping on the couch is in my future (lol, She’s kidding……..I think?), Tommy and I decided these were the best way to go.
I already hear your next question. Why did you get tires that are not true slicks? Tommy and I picked the Giants because the roads in my area suck...majorly suck. Anyway there are many dirt and gravel roads to go along with the pothole infested asphalt roads where I live.
The Giants are a hybrid if you like, slick through the middle, with knobbies on the outsides, perfect for the times when I will be on the roads and perfect when I need to hit a dirt or gravel trail. I know these tires are not the best. However, I am a little reluctant to spend more until I see exactly what they will do for me. While I was at the store, I also picked up some new tubes, because like the tires that were being replaced, the old tubes were original to the bike. This means they are close to 22 years old. How they were still holding air is beyond me?
One of the old tires showing it’s age.
One of the hardest parts of this small project was actually prying the old tires from the rim. I think they had been on the rim so long that they thought they were a part of it. As I pulled the old tires from the rims, the tires were actually crumbling and tearing in my hands. As you can see from the picture above. The old tires have seen better days!
photo Putting new shoes on the bike
Replacing the old tires with the new ones was actually a little easier than I thought it would be. After just a little fight getting the new tires in place, I was ready to air up the tubes. Once the tubes had air I gave the wheels a celebratory spin, they looked great!
After lots of discussion with some friends, it was also determined that my saddle was set way to low for my lanky legs. I am 6’1 so the saddle on my bike needed to be set higher than what it was. The good news from this is that I am not as out of shape as I thought I was. Yesterday’s bike ride was pretty hard and now I know that this was partly due to me not adjusting the saddle height accordingly (at least I like the sound of that better). While I do not have pictures of the new saddle height yet, I can assure you that changes have been made. No more making things unnecessarily hard on myself.
After a pretty productive day working on the bike my family and I decided that we would head back out into town to celebrate my birthday one day early. I was hungry…..hungry for a greasy slab of meat with cheese, so we headed to my favorite spot for an early birthday burger.
Yes, the burger to the right was every bit as greasy, beefy, cheesy, and bacony (that’s not a word, but I like it) as it looks. The last part of this post has nothing to do with cycling really, other than I will need to cycle for miles and miles to work off the gazillion calories in this burger and fries. But I don’t care!
The burger was so good and I could feel food coma taking over. Not only was this a burger to celebrate my birthday (33 this March), I think it was a burger to celebrate the awesomeness, and re-birth of my Cannondale M500 bike.
It’s now ready to roll (smoothly now thanks to new tires) and it will roll for a long time to come. I was hoping that I would be able to go out for a ride tomorrow, but it seems as though the weather is ready to play some crazy tricks again. So it looks like my next ride will be next week, I can’t wait.
Hope everyone has a great day!