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  1. #16
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    May 2013
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    north woods of Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I'm iffy on gearing, at best. I live at sea-level, and not much applies. That's why I thought a frameset would be better, but that can be a pain.

    FWIW, Trek has great women's bikes. Dialed in, backed by a lot of research.
    Very true. My Domane 4.3 WSD is one of the very few bikes I've owned that fit me right, no mods or ad ons needed. All I had to do was adjust the seat height and start riding.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,129
    Eden, it's not a big deal according to DH. I think he only recharges it a few times a year, and he rides about 3k a year. If you don't keep tabs on it, there's a yellow warning light and it puts the bike into a low gear, so you can get up hills without having to shift. I didn't get it because I thought the extra money was frivolous, but he says it eliminates any having to mess around with fixing temperamental shifting. My Ultegra is perfect, so it's just not an issue.
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  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Traveling Nomad
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    Yes, from what I read about Di2, there is plenty of warning, and even once the low battery warning comes on, you have 500 miles in reserve! I'm pretty fastidious about charging my electronics, so for me, I don't think that would be an issue. As Crankin says, and as I read, the battery life is crazy long. Still, not a bad idea to take a backup battery on every ride, just in case.

    After breaking a shifter cable on one of our long rides and having to limp back to the hotel for 40 some miles in a single-speed mode, I can see the virtues of Di2. Among others, this article by a female triathlete made me lust after it:

    http://angelanaeth.com/once-you-go-di2/
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  4. #19
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    Jul 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    For sure, it is always more cost effective to get the gearing/group set you want, up front, rather than adding, later. I would like to see the bike manufacturers offer more lower geared performance/endurance class bikes like Emily wants. Seems like they just assume that if someone wants a high end road bike, they must be Tour de France competitors. Or maybe they think we're all young males.

    I do okay with a standard compact double 50/34 up front and 11-30 on the back on my Domane WSD for the country we have here, on the roads I bike, but I still find myself bottomed out on some of our steeper hills, even now after getting back into prime bike shape. Be nice to have an extra gear or two in reserve. If heading out into new, unknown territory, though, I opt for my Fargo with its more MTB like gearing. Out in real mountain country, though, I'd only go a triple up front and I'd still be looking hard at the gearing on any particular model.

    Best of luck, Emily. I may be doing the same kind of shopping at some point. Be very interested in what you find.
    Thanks! Like I said originally, this is a next year thing for me, but I will certainly be posting about it when/if I decide to pull the trigger either way.

    I do get what you're saying. A 34 front, 30 rear is still not the lowest gear around. I am hoping for at least a 32 in back, and I'd love a 30 in front, but I am not sure how many performance road bikes even offer triple cranks any longer -- probably not many. And we don't ride monster hills all that often, but when we do....

    This one we've been riding daily here to get back to the campground after visiting town looks like this in Google maps:

    Attachment 18066

    Even in my lowest gear on my Bike Friday (30t front, 32t or 34t, can't recall which, in rear), I am in my easiest gear and tacking like crazy (plus panting) to get up it. Today we rode our MTBs, and it was a leetle easier with a 22t front ring. My legs are fine, it's more the cardio that is so tough. I did determine that I can go 3.9 mph without falling over, however!

    Fortunately, these kinds of hills are few and far between in our riding. Normally they're either steep and short or long and gradual. Those I can handle. It's the steep and long ones that kill me, and since we're traveling all over the country, we never know where we may encounter them. My DH thinks I just need to train more and harder, and I am sure he's right, BUT sometimes we go from very flat areas (say Florida, or parts of the midwest) to very hilly areas in just a couple weeks of traveling. That makes it hard to train for the hillier areas.
    Last edited by emily_in_nc; 06-24-2016 at 12:27 PM.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  5. #20
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    May 2013
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    north woods of Wisconsin
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    That looks like a ... yummy, hill.

    I have several hills on each my daily bike routes that bottom me out on the gears, but, fortunately, none of them are all that long, quarter mile or so. I've actually given my hills names. I know exactly what gears I need on each bike for each hill, too, and the exact spot on the hill where I'll need to shift. That kind of familiarity really helps to tame the hill in my head. I don't go out of my way to find them, but I don't avoid them or fear them, either. Just a part of the ride. It's those new hills I've never done that make me a bit nervous. I do admire you for all that exploring the both of you are doing.

    Mostly I sit and spin to get up hills, but now and then, I just say the heck with it and stand and pedal, kind of a throwback to my younger days and also something I've always done in my MTB biking. Standing to pedal is probably a big no no in the roadie world, but I get lazy, sometime, and just don't want to shift. Now that I'm back in shape, I can handle it, physically.

  6. #21
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    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    659
    Speaking of the Di2, I was in my local shop last week and one of the guys was working on a Di2 equipped bike. Since all the guys in the shop know me for the bike nut I am, he invited me back to show me how the Di2 worked. Well, wow! Basically push button shifting far as ease of use. That setup would spoil me, big time.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    It's those new hills I've never done that make me a bit nervous. I do admire you for all that exploring the both of you are doing.

    Mostly I sit and spin to get up hills, but now and then, I just say the heck with it and stand and pedal, kind of a throwback to my younger days and also something I've always done in my MTB biking. Standing to pedal is probably a big no no in the roadie world, but I get lazy, sometime, and just don't want to shift. Now that I'm back in shape, I can handle it, physically.
    Thanks...you're right that what you don't know CAN hurt you. However, sometimes it's just as well not to know, so you don't build up any anticipatory stress over having a massive hill to climb. I know after I climbed the one here I've been talking about the first time, I was really dreading it the second and third times, since I knew how tough it was.

    You're wrong, though: in the roadie world, it is actually very much encouraged to stand some while climbing. Helps pull in different muscle groups so you don't get as fatigued. The usual advice on a long hill is to alternate sitting in a lower gear, then shifting up a gear or two and standing for a bit. Definitely helps keep you strong. I do stand from time to time, especially to get over short hills, and on longer ones I'll sometimes stand for a certain number of pedal strokes, then sit when I get too exhausted. Nuttin' wrong with that!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  8. #23
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    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    What you don't know can hurt you, for sure. The closest call to cashing it in was while biking in upstate New York. The sign said steep grade coming up. Wasn't all that steep a grade, probably 8% or so, but what I failed to estimate, properly, was the long half mile distance down the hill. Instead of going down, cautiously, I gunned it right from the start, hoping to build up enough speed to climb the other side. By the time I woke up and realized I was in trouble, it was too late. Last check on the bike computer showed 38 mph and gaining. I was now into a serious wobble. Tried feathering the brakes, but it just made it worse. No choice but to ride it out. I was praying, now, and holding on for dear life.

    I made it to the bottom, though. Pulled off to the side of the road and had a good cry. I was so lucky. That's a lesson I will never forget. Really the stupidest thing I've ever done on a bike. Believe me, my attitude about going down hills has never been the same, since. (The computer showed 42 mph for a top speed. )

    Good to hear about the standing thing, for sure. Pretty much what I do, too. Just recall, back in the 90s, when some local roadie expert told me, otherwise. Not that going against the grain has ever stopped me, anyway, and, for sure, notions on what is correct in biking change over time.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    The glorious Michigan U.P.
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    23
    I'm surprised a roadie told you that - maybe that particular person didn't like it. I don't remember a time when standing on hills was frowned on, that I was aware of. And I know I've seen in done in every Tour de France I've ever watched on tv.

    I love speed on downhills, although much more so on roads I'm familiar with. It's the unknown pavement patches, curves and possible gravel that I'm concerned about. I know I'm stupid that way, assuming everything will be fine. Once toward the end of a 100-miler on a course I'd never done before, I just tucked (okay, skier term) and went for it on what turned out to be a 40 mph downhill I'd never been on before. Afterward my friend said "did you see those deer by the edge of the road?". Nope. That was dumb.
    Last edited by Skierchickie2; 06-26-2016 at 06:03 AM.

  10. #25
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    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    If it's good enough for the TdF folks, it's good enough for me.

    Good point about being alert to animals popping out in front of you. This year, already, had a wild turkey explode out of the ditch and I actually had a wing nick my helmet.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    If it's good enough for the TdF folks, it's good enough for me.

    Good point about being alert to animals popping out in front of you. This year, already, had a wild turkey explode out of the ditch and I actually had a wing nick my helmet.


    Closest call we've ever had was deer running out on the road right in front of us. Thankfully, they were faster than we were, but it was still awfully scary.

    It's hilly enough around here that I've been hitting 35 mph on some of the descents, and that is even with feathering the brakes ever so often. Then I'll grind up at 4-5 mph. Brutal.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  12. #27
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    Feb 2005
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    Concord, MA
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    I hate descending and I am extremely cautious. Thus, my highest speed downhill has been 32.5. DH, on the other hand has hit 55-60 mph, but he no longer does this; too much risk involved. He doesn't get above 40 now.
    I've given up on the descending thing. I am a little better than I used to be, but I just don't feel comfortable descending in the drops, despite the fact it all fits perfectly. For some reason, I have more difficulty turning right, so I slow down on these turns. If I find a straight hill, I am much more comfortable. I do use the drops on flats or smaller hills, but I think it's an issue of feeling out of control, and once my body has muscle memory for something, it's almost impossible for me to shake the bad habit.
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  13. #28
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    I actually enjoy descending, but being aware of the risks, am pretty cautious these days and brake a lot more than I used to. I don't care for going over 30 mph! When we used to have tandem bikes, we used to hit much higher speeds on the descents, and those were super scary since I couldn't even see where we were going. I much prefer descending on a single bike!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  14. #29
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    Feb 2005
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    Ha, ha. This is why we will never have a tandem. I do not want to be under the control of someone else, even DH.
    I once said this to the wife of a colleague of DH's who ride a tandem, when we were at a party... I know they do the tandem because she can't keep up with him (and he won't slow a little). That was a mistake. She made a face at me and turned away, when I said I would never be under anyone's control! A few months later, we saw them riding the tandem when we were out riding with our former exchange student son when he was here visiting us. She wouldn't look or talk to me!
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  15. #30
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    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    30 mph is where I like to keep it as a max on a descent, these days, too, all the more so because I am out on remote roads by myself, so not worth the risks of going faster. My one close call was enough to last me for life. I'm on no schedule or specific training regimen, anyway, so I don't feel the need to pad my average speed number for a ride.

    Me and my hubby on a tandem? I have a hard enough time just keeping my mouth shut when he drives our car.

 

 

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