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Questions answered...


chiangmaiexpat

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  • 2 weeks later...

good idea, Chiangmaiexpat!

7. Should I go for disc brakes or rim brakes are good enough?

There are other types of brakes of course, but I'd say they are not so widespread.

In many cases rim brakes are enough to stop your bike: commuting, lazy touring, city rides, fitness (cardio) training etc. But they have a very serious disadvantage comparing to disc brakes. They lose most of their braking power in wet conditions. This may be important when you go through a hard traffic in the city, or descend a steep hill. Rim brakes also "eat" your rims, as it comes from their name. Especially in wet conditions the abrasive wear of your rims will be much higher.

In these terms disc brakes are more reliable. They are also easier to maintain (change pads) and usually need less maintenance. Disc brakes can be hydraulic or mechanical. Mech brakes are cheaper and easier to service, but still efficient. Hydraulic brakes may need to be taken to a skilled technician when you need to bleed them.

8. I've ridden my friend's bike (of the same type) recently and noticed that I can go faster than I do on mine. I am not happy with my bike anymore, what should I do?

Unless you ride a heavy metal machine built with water pipes, do not hurry to throw your bike out. Take a look at your wheels first.

Most of the bikes including the road racing ones come with very cheap entry level wheels. Wheels, I'd say, form about a half of your bike's agility. The stiffer they are - the better your effort is transferred to the ground, the faster you go.

Cheap entry level wheels are also less reliable and have to be serviced often: spokes lose tension, rims become wobbly, so you lose a lot of your power to surpass your wheels' deformations. Take your wheels to a wheel builder to check them, and should you still be unhappy, try to put your friend's wheels on your bike and ride.

Tires (tyres?) are also very important as their rolling resistance may vary significantly from model to model. The pressure is also significant - always check your tire pressure and keep it within a recommended range (usually printed on the tire) having in mind your weight and riding conditions. A difference of 0,3 - 0,5 bar may change a lot.

9. I've followed the item 6, but my butt still hates my saddle. Should I buy a wider/softer one?

Not always a wider or softer saddle means more comfort. Moreover, a sport saddle may feel much more comfortable if it suits your constitution, unless your usual rides are a few hundred meters to the 7-11. There are many saddle makers and most of them have comprehensive guides (on websites) on how to chose your saddle. Many shops offer test saddles that you can try to ride and understand what you really need.

Remember: do not rely on your feelings if you try a saddle on a stationary trainer. Everything may change when you are out on the road.

Pls feel free to delete anything you find irrelevant. And accept my apologies for my bad English.

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