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Racers - General Tips & Comments

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    5 Reviews
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      08.04.2001 19:27

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      My bike is a mountain bike with a front and back suspension. Which I really like as it helps make the ride alot more relaxing . It means I do not have to always stand up I can just sit down. Before I had my bike, I had to walk every where so if you have been saving up and have got to walk every where then buy a mountain bike. I like them better thn BMX's as I do not like how far forword the handle bares are on BMX's and they do not come in different sizes as I am a bit bigger than every body else, if you are bigger than every boddy alse then you will no who I fell. But do not worry just get a mounting bike. dont forget to give me a rating, i will update this soon.

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      08.02.2001 02:27
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      I've just read Ken's words of wisdom on the pros and cons of race bikes. He wonders how to get good braking performance from a road bike. First and foremost - check the rims! Make sure the wheels have alloy rims (brakes on steel rims won't work in the rain.) If the wheels are running true and the rims are in good condition road brakes can be set up with very little gap between the rim and the blocks (leave a bit more at the back as the wheel will distort v. slightly when you accelerate) Using a decent set of modern dual pivot road brakes (I have been using Shimmano 105's for years now.) you should be able to get braking power up to the point where you can lock a wheel on a dry road without too much effort - how much more could you need? Remember that road bikes tend to have less tyre area in contact with the road, the tyres are run much harder (100 + psi ) and that it is much further to fall when you loose it all (I don't know why, it just is!!!) Road bike brakes also tend to work on a larger diameter rim - gives a bigger lever effect and short reach road callipers have very little "flex" giving good modulation and feel for the point at which a wheel is going to lock. A lot of the extra power of a v-brake is used to dig its way through the muck and water on an ATB rim. If your last memory of a road bike brake is based on a piece of folded tin with two bits of hard rubber pressing on a steel rim then maybe it's time to look at what's available now. Road bike kit is often much more affordable than the equivalent ATB, but it does take a bit of extra work to find it. Ride safe - fast David

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      11.10.2000 22:45
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      I still have my old racer, although I currently use my mountain bike more. Racers used to be the "big thing" then came BMX, now its Mountain bikes. You can still buy racers, and you will find that a lot of serious riders still use them, they are the bike of choice for competition speed races (and the Tour De France). A standard, fairly cheap racer should last you a very long time, they are a lot tougher than their thin frames look, but you will probably find the wheels buckle easily. Racers are capable of greater road speeds (in general) than mountain bikes, but off-road they dont fair very well, due to the thin tyres, and the fact they are basically just not designed for off-road use. They dont have any suspension meaning the ride can be very bumpy on some roads, curbs have to be taken carefully, and they have tend to have much worse brakes than on a decent mountain bike. However, they are less attractive to thieves these days, which is one advantage (although Im sure they can still be stolen). My racer has lasted me very well over the years (I built it myself from second hand parts mainly) and I will keep it, as a second bike, I may look into upgrading its brakes, although I dont think theres much I can do, as I cant see how to fit V brakes onto it. BIkes are a personal choice, but on the whole I prefer mountain bikes for comfort, safety and durability.

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        19.08.2000 01:50

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        Recently Saab and Gary Fisher extended me a very unique invitation. On Saturday, May 20, 2000, they were holding an event called <I>The Gary Fisher/Saab Test Drive</I>. It was held at Green Mountain Park near Morrison, Colorado. Green Mountain Park is one of the Denver area’s nicer mountain bike trails. It is also located two miles north of Bandemere Speedway. I’m sure it was no accident that Gary Fisher and Saab picked this location for their test drive. I suppose I was extended the invitation because I am a registered owner of a Gary Fisher Big Sur mountain bike. I love my bike, and wrote a detailed review on it back on February 5th. I brought my bike with me to compare my Big Sur to the newer Gary Fisher models head-to-head. I did this for a few reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to remember exactly how my bike felt in case I fell in love that day with a 2000 model year bike. Second of all, I knew I would be writing a review for Epinions. To make the comparison fair, I rode the exact same trail with all the bikes I tested, including my own. I have test-driven Gary Fisher soft-tails before and hated them. The “Joshua” frames were based on the Trek “Y” frames -- a disastrous design that lead to far too many people being launched over the handlebars. In 2000, they still make the “Joshua,” but have come out with a far superior design in the “Sugar” series. <B>The make-up of the Sugar 2</b> The Sugar 2 is the exact same frame as the Sugar 1. It is made from 6061 T6 double-butted aluminum. However, it lacks the carbon fiber stays the Sugar 1 carries. This bike is a somewhat light full-suspension bike. The Sugar 2 is outfitted with a Manitou Mars fork with 80mm of travel, a Cane Creek AD-10 rear-shock with 2-1/2 inches of travel, Shimano XT SGS rear derailleur and a Shimano LX front derailleur. The 9-speed shift system is a Rap
        idfire design. The braking system is Avid SD 20s, based on the “V” brake design. Trek, the parent company of Gary Fisher, provides many of the other parts. For the last few years, Trek has been selling parts under the name of Bontrager, a company it purchased three years ago. The wheelset on this bike is Bontrager Race, outfitted with WTB NanoRaptor tires. It has a Bontrager Race crankset, and uses Time ATAC pedals. <b>My test drive</b> I am impressed. The Sugar 2 isn’t as light as the Sugar 1, but is still considered lightweight. However, my Gary Fisher Big Sur is extremely lighter, if you factor in all the upgrades I’ve put into the bike. This added weight was quite evident as I was climbing hills. The weight of the bike felt as if I was packing gold bricks in my Camelback and as soon as I got to the top of the hill, I was out of breath. I needed to rest at the top of the hill At the same time, that added weight of this bike made it sit in the loose dirt better than my Big Sur. When I was climbing the hill, I never felt the back tire slide as if losing traction. When taking bumps downhill, especially over rocks, that back suspension was very nice. It felt wonderful to have the shock of the trail removed from my body. It didn’t perform as well as the Sugar 1’s Rock Shox, but did an admiral job. The front suspension was nice but a bit on the heavy side. I have a similar system on my Big Sur, but it is constructed from carbon fiber, not aluminum. The weight difference is evident, but the ride is similar. The Bontrager Race crankset was okay but I didn’t really care for it. I am used to a Shimano XT crankset that is, in my opinion, is far superior. Perhaps it is just what I’m used to. The brakes were excellent. They performed in a similar fashion to my Avid SD 25s. I also, interestingly enough, found I preferred the Rapidfire
        9-speed system to my GripShift 8-speed system. It was initially confusing to figure out how to change the gears, but that confusion quickly subsided. It was nice to have that extra cog to garner some spee on the flats. The big question I have for Gary Fisher is why he chose Time ATAC pedals. The industry standard for clipless pedals is based on the Shimano SPD system. I didn’t have ATAC biking shoes, and quite frankly I don’t know anyone who does. As luck would have it, the test bikes offered a choice of pedal systems, and I was able to use my biking shoes for the test drive. <b>My decision after the test drive</b> When I compare the Big Sur to the Sugar 2, I find I definitely prefer the Big Sur. I prefer the lightness of the Big Sur, but I like the weight when I had to dig in loose dirt that the Sugar 2 provided. I hated the crankset on the Sugar 2, but love the one on my Big Sur. I prefer my shock system mostly due to the weight difference between the carbon fiber and the aluminum. When all is said and done, I have decided to not upgrade my bike to the Sugar 2. It is priced at around $1400, but would require roughly $1600 in components, thus bringing the total price for me to $3000, which is far more than I’m willing to spend. To be fair, my Big Sur is totally customized, and has the exact components I want, from the Spinergy Wheels to the Manitou SXR carbon-fiber shocks. The only component that is “stock” on my bike is the frame. However, I have invested close to $3500 to get the bike to my standards. <b>My recommendations</b> If you were dead-set on a dual-suspension bike, I would definitely recommend the Sugar 2. It is very well built and performs very well. At $1400, this bike is almost a steal.

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        06.08.2000 20:44
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        what type of bike should you use? well we have all seen people cycling around the town on a mountain bike, but wait, where's the mountains? seriously though mountain bike were designed for mountains, for going round town you should realling be using a racer, it is designed for roads, the thin tyers reduce friction which makes cycling eaiser. now you don't have to go buy the best bike you can, that will cost you a few grand, but you can pick up some decent ones very cheaply. should you have your feet locked in though, it's not nesseary thats for the pro's to stop there feet falling out at 30 mph which can hurt, trust me, but for going at 10 - 15 mph you just need normal pedals

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