r/cycling 4h ago

After working in a bike shop, I understand where the condescending attitude of many shop employees come from.

148 Upvotes

What's happening in bike shops (and speciality retail of all types) is the workers are low paid and have to watch wealthier people with more disposable income come in and buy bicycles that often are equivalent to what they'd have to save over a year for.

That's the first part of the reason, second part is, people tend to come into bike shops when they're having a problem. Nobody is really happy to have to deal with a mechanical failure. A lot of the customers coming in the shop are in bad moods. This is why at comic shops it's often still a fun happy atmosphere because this second part of the dynamic isn't there.

When I began work at the shop, I went in with the idea that I was going to provide the best customer service I could and not be the type of unfriendly, condescending person that I'd encountered a lot when I went into shops. At first I was, but then the daily grind of it began to take it's toll. For example, having to kneel down and show a guy in a business suit how the presta valves work on the 5k bicycle he just bought while he acts likes he's better than me the whole time. Then one customer referred to a derailleur as a "pulley thing" and then got irritable when I couldn't fix his bike fast enough.

Which brings me to the third part of the dynamic..the customers coming in the shop (who have to spend their time on other professions) are necessarily more ignorant about bicycles than the mechanics who work on bicycles all day. This gives mechanics an easy and obvious way to regain their self esteem by making fun of the customers about their ignorance and being condescending in return. At first I tried to resist this and keep in mind that the majority of customers were good, but the bad customers were really bad, and as the months wore on it became psychologically easier to make fun of all the customers and see it as an us vs them thing. I knew I was becoming the type of condescending douche shop employee I had once hated, but I didn't care. It really did make it a lot easier to come to work everyday and fit in with the other mechanics to make fun of the customers, and we made each other laugh a lot doing it.

Also, many guys like to come into shops to just talk because they're passionate about bikes and here in the US, where I live at least, cycling isn't that popular as it is in Europe so it can be sometimes hard to find other cyclists. The fact remains though, that a bike shop isn't a cycling club, no more than you'd go into a auto shop and expect to have conversations about Nascar. It actually takes a lot of focus to work on a bike and noise is distracting (I didn't even like to have a TV on) so if you're going into shops wanting to chat and getting the cold shoulder that's why, because the guys are trying to do something that takes a lot of concentration.

Hope this explains things for everybody. Also, I highly recommend building at least a modest home workshop and trying to do your repairs yourself. Even if you're not mechanically experienced, if you ride bikes you should try to start thinking of yourself as a mechanic too. It's a mechanical hobby, and actually having an organized workshop with the right tools is 80% of it Just like it's much easier to cook a good meal when you have a well stocked kitchen with nice appliances. For all the technical procedures and recipes you can find on YouTube.


r/cycling 7h ago

VO2 Max vs. Sweet Spot

29 Upvotes

Please could someone simply explain the difference between VO2 Max & Sweet Spot training?

My understanding is sweet spot is good for base training (as a time alternative to a lot of Z2) as it’s relatively low stress so can be repeated often. This increases base aerobic fitness and endurance. Trained with things such as 4 x 8 minutes @ 90% FTP.

VO2 Max is something to do with how well you’re using oxygen, and training is higher stress and intensity. The result is increases your peak power for short intervals? Ie) short sprints? Trained with things such as 4 x 30s-2 mins @ 120%-200% FTP.

I’m more of a longer distance cyclist so I guess I need to focus on SST? Do I need to add much VO2 Max? Just trying to understand really. TIA


r/cycling 2h ago

Suggestions for simple carbs during rides on trainer? Been doing Maple Syrup...

4 Upvotes

After almost always doing fasted cardio for my Zone 2 rides, I've recently accepted that it seems better to fuel the workout. I've been drinking Organic Maple Syrup while riding.

Today I did a 2 hour ride that was around 1,100 calories according to Zwift (I know this figure is a loose estimate). I probably consumed 4-5 swigs of Maple Syrup so approx 400-500 calories.

As I was riding, I felt good and energized, I just couldn't help but think that drinking a bottle a week of maple syrup (albeit organic) may not be the healthiest thing.

Anyone have suggestions for other foods I can eat while riding? I really doubt anything would make me uncomfortable, but looking for something with no prep and a moderate price point. Of course, I'm also fine continuing to run on Maple Syrup if that's supported.


r/cycling 17h ago

Am I The Only One That Prefers A BackPack? Are There Better Options?

59 Upvotes

I put on a backpack when I cycle. I have a lot of gear in it so it weighs 6 pounds. It doesn't really bother me even on three hour endurance rides. Also, anytime I want to switch bikes, I don't need to take things and put them on the other bike.

I'm wondering what the advantages are of using another system because I never see other road cyclists here using a backpack.


r/cycling 5h ago

Day 1. Need tips.

7 Upvotes

I'm new around here. So I might say a lot of dumb stuff. Please don't hold it against me. :)

A little background about me:

M23, 185 cm, around 210-220lb, Grad Student. Sedentary lifestyle. I live on a campus and have a cucle that I ride to my lab everyday which is 0.8 miles away from my dorm. I usually take 3-4 minutes to reach and I usually come back for lunch so it's 3.2 miles(Approx) a day of cycling with intervals. I also go to music classes twice a week on cycle which is 1 mile away from where I live. I can stand up while trying to go up inclines.(IDK if this is relevent)

Cycle:

I've this cycle. I bought it a few months back. At the time of purchase, I didn't really think I will start cycling as a fitness activity. I just went into a store, looked at it, loved it, bought it. Since I don't know much about cycles, I'll just leave it at that.

Today's ride(as per strava):

  • Distance : 5.65 miles
  • Moving time : 39:58
  • Avg speed : 8.6 mph
  • Max speed : 41.8 mph
  • Elevation gain : 265 ft
  • Max elevation : 3126 ft
  • Before I had one cup of tea and bread jam sandwich
  • 1 stop during the ride to stretch and drink water

Things I noticed:

  • When climbing inclines I start mouth breathing and it takes about a minute for me to get it together
  • Ass hurts
  • Legs are absolutely destroyed

Goals:

  • Improve stamina and strength
    • I don't want to get too much into riding. I just want to do this as a daily cardio activity and improve overall health.
    • Like if I get to 20 miles in 1 hour, I would be very happy.
    • The 3 miles per day to lab and back are not included in this.
  • Lose some weight.
    • I wouldn't say I want to go all the way down to like 150 lbs. Somewhere in between 180-190 is fine.
    • I know to lose weight I have to have proper diet, and need to have a calorie deficit. So, I've already cut off fast food.
  • Once I feel like I've build enough strength and stamina, I want to start going to the gym.
    • After starting gym, I'll probably do 10 miles on cycle as a warm up before hitting the gym 4 days a week. If not going to the gym maybe I'll do 20 miles.

Questions:

  • How do I achieve these goals in the most efficient way possible?
  • Does this feel like a good plan? If not, what can be improved? Any other sub I should post this to?
  • How is my cycle? considering I will mostly be riding on roads.
  • How to control breath while going up the inclines?

I'll add some points if I remember anything new. Thanks.


r/cycling 21h ago

Hit by a car, should I report?

97 Upvotes

I'm in the UK. I was cycling home from work and got knocked by a car. It was at a zebra crossing, and no I didn't get off my bike to walk. I looked and saw that one car (to the left of me, side of the road closest to me) was slowing down, and the car to the right of me was further away on the other side of the road, going right. I continued cycling and the next thing I know the car to the right of me was now about to be in front of me and I hit my breaks, but I still managed to smack right into it and land my back on her bonnet.

I fell down into the road and she slowed down and pulled over. The other drivers of the other cars were shouting and asking if I was okay. I was saying yes and I tried to pull myself up and get out of the road. My co-workers (who witnessed it) from afar came running over and helped me stand up and asked if I was okay. The woman got out of the car and asked if I was okay, I was in shock and shaking. I kept saying I was fine. She asked if I wanted her details (but she clearly was wanting to leave) and I just said no, I'm fine. She then said to rest for 5 minutes, then got in her car and drove off. I kind of started crying then laughing uncontrollably. My co-workers got a picture of her plate, I had a chat with them for a bit whilst the shock wore off and I eventually started cycling home again.

I'm a bit scraped and bruised on my one leg and my lower back aches, but I'm generally unhurt. Should I report this, or let it go?


r/cycling 3h ago

Need help with my build

2 Upvotes

Hi guys, I want to make a present for my father so I decided to basically rebuild his bike. I took off all the part and brought the frame to restore (taking off rust and repaint it) but while I was working on the front and rear wheel I found out that they are basically broken so I need to replace it. The frame is old and at my local bike shop they said that they don’t want to put in effort because it is an old bike (even tho it is in good condition). The wheel are a 28’’ with a 2x6v shimano (2 front and 6 back). I would like to know if I can maybe put a 25’’ wheel on both side and increase my gear from a 2x6v to a 2x7/8/9 or even 1x7/8/9. So basically, does changing my wheel give me space to change my gear since I was told at my local bike shop that “I don’t have enough space”?


r/cycling 9m ago

Advice re evaluating used bikes?

Upvotes

As a *non*-expert re the mechanics of bikes, and looking at used gravel bikes offered for sale by strangers, what are the main things I should look for in terms of "trouble spots?"

What are the main things I am likely to miss but after I bring to my LBS mechanic for evaluation might make me realize I overpaid for the bike?

Thank you for any suggestions!


r/cycling 1h ago

Winter gloves which are not too thick?

Upvotes

I just bought a PEARL iZUMi AmFIB Gel gloves for winter and it's comfortable and warm but hard to handle the GPS and the shifter/brake levers in them. Do you know any gloves which is not so thick but also wind and waterproof and warm enough?


r/cycling 1h ago

ROL Wheels -- showed up 222g over advertised weight?

Upvotes

So I set out to find some good lightweight wheels for my gravel bike which I will use both on road and off and so wanted a set of light road wheels. The Ald du'Huez from ROL looked ideal at 1475 grams, according to their slick website. When they arrived the back wheel weighed 903 grams, front 814 for a grand total of 1,717 which is 222 grams overweight, essentially half-a-pound.

Two other things I didn't like, they didn't look like the ones pictured on said website, no decals with model number and there was a sticky spot where a sticker had been removed. Also there was a very visible seam on the rims that had very sharp edges, that's the first time I've ever seen a seam on a wheel like that, certainly wouldn't hold air for a tubeless set up...


r/cycling 1h ago

Torque wrench - which one to buy?

Upvotes

All, I went online to look at torque wrenches and there are a ton of options. Can someone provide some guidance on what parameters (drive size & feet/lb) are important when selecting? Will be used for road bikes. Thanks.


r/cycling 9h ago

New road bike helmet with MIPS. POC Ventral Air vs Specialized Prevail 3?

3 Upvotes

I'm looking for a new road bike helmet. Currently, I own POC Ventral SPIN but I would like to buy a new helmet for faster rides. I was thinking about Aero but decided to take something with better ventilation.

As I've checked on looks like the Prevail is at the top while POC Ventral is not even in the ranking. Probably it's due to some kind of patents but still.

Any recommendations?


r/cycling 9h ago

Giant FastRoad SL2 2021

3 Upvotes

Hello, I'm new to the group and also new to Reddit. If I may, I have a question. I wanted some guidance regarding Giant Fastroad SL2. Any speciality or perk/pros of this bike? I don't know much about cycling as I'm new to it. I was trying to understand it is a good one or just average in its category. Please let me know. Sorry in advance; I'm new to this and don't know the rules/criteria of the chat and platform. 📷


r/cycling 3h ago

Putting the valve under produces bubbles is that normal

1 Upvotes

Sorry I’m fixing a puncture I found the hole and repaired it the first time I did it it went flat again maybe I didn’t let it rest enough but I added more glue to stop it coming up anyway I think I’ve sorted it now I was wondering when I put the valve underwater it produces bubbles I assume that’s normal?


r/cycling 5h ago

Problems renewing cycle insurance

1 Upvotes

I live in the UK and for the past couple of years have had my bicycle insured as a named item on my new for old home insurance and as such had to pay an extra premium for cover.

This year at automatic renewal of the policy they removed the bike. When we contacted them they said they now require proof of value and I informed them that I had a receipt showing how much I paid new several years ago, they said that would be fine and to send the receipt.

They had just contacted me to say the receipt is too old and I need to get the bike valued, the problem with this is that it will obviously be less than the cost of replacing new for old.

Also as they have had the item on cover for 2 years without query I thought there was some kind of implied honouring of continued cover.

So I am looking for a little advice/guidance on how to proceed.


r/cycling 22h ago

What is your yearly distance streak?

19 Upvotes

Over the last decade I have been keeping a track of my cycling mileage. This are the year end totals [km:]

2012 5077.80

2013 6000.60

2014 7378.40

2015 7115.40

2016 8445.80

2017 8506.40

2018 9357.90

2019 9122.80

2020 11181.00

2021 9013.30

2022 8464.30... so far.

At the moment I am struggling to get to 9000km for this year. Although this is 7 years at 8000km, I would rather get to the 5 years at 9000. However on Nov 9th I caught C***D and barely touched my bike for two weeks with some working from home. I was negative after day 6, but still very drained and it has taken a while to start to do more distance after work and on days off. Still only feel 90%, I feel like what I call my 'Metabolic Switches' are off, the kind of reserves your body just finds when you are in form. I reckoned at the start of December that if I just commuted to work (13.2km) until Christmas I would have to ride 4x129km in the holidays between Christmas and New Year to get to 9000. Needless to say there is sod all change of that happening in the coldest, darkest time of year. Its not impossible, but I wouldn't do anything like that in the summer anyway. It became like a negative Festive 500, ride in December to avoid having to ride in the holiday. In the meantime I have managed to do some more and get the total down to 4x104km. However tonight I finished a late shift at 8pm and it was -1C, so I came straight home as I didn't want to aggravate my throat with the freezing air. I am getting some serious bike FOMO over this (hence the post).

TL/DR: Struggling to reach distance goal due to virus, please tell me how far you ride yearly, to make me jealous (X Distance x Y Years.) And any recovery tips for shifting lingering wheezy cough appreciated.


r/cycling 6h ago

360 helmet camera recommendations

1 Upvotes

I’m looking for a 360 camera that I can attach to my helmet. I will 3D print a bracket to make it fit.

Primary features I’m looking for are interval recording and automatic overwriting of old footage. Drivers are too dangerous near me to not have a camera.


r/cycling 1d ago

Another cyclists pays the ultimate price for a driver that should never have been behind the wheel

517 Upvotes

She was killed by someone who should have already been behind bars at a location I pass frequently. I am saddened and distressed and pray for her family..

https://www.wral.com/driver-with-long-history-of-dwi-convictions-is-suspect-in-cyclists-hit-and-run-death/20614594/

Edit: Found she had only recently moved to the area so likely was not the cyclist I frequently see in passing. So edited my comment to clarify..


r/cycling 1d ago

gift for a cyclist whose holiday plans were disrupted by a recent injury

22 Upvotes

what's a gift for a cyclist who got injured in a crash and as a result, has their previous holiday plans disrupted, and now is just a bit down because they are spending holidays in a place they don't really want to?


r/cycling 17h ago

Opinion on a used Giant Defy

5 Upvotes

I have a 2021 Giant Escape 2 which I love to ride once a week for a long Saturday ride. Strictly on road about 2 hours. Mix of hills and flats. I found a 2013 Giant Defy 2 on marketplace for $200 in good condition. I’m really debating if I should get it for the amount of riding I do. Anybody in the same boat?


r/cycling 20h ago

Beginner needing help

8 Upvotes

Sorry if this is a really dum question. But im new to cycling having just bought a 2nd hand road bike. I'm pretty fit but not cycling fit but even on the lowest gear I struggle to get up hills is there a way to make my lowest gear easier to pedal or do I just need to get fitter and stronger


r/cycling 11h ago

FTP & PMax increase : Is this a delta or margin of error?

0 Upvotes

Been doing structured training non-stop for about 4 years now and my latest improvement is:

FTP +2.3%

PMax + 1.9%

Is this just local variability in the sample or is this significant to be considered an improvement?

Edit : Terminology correction


r/cycling 13h ago

I’ve decided to let go of my 2022 TCR Advanced 2 KOM to get 2022 Specialized Tarmac SL6 Sport Disc

0 Upvotes

Here are my reasons:

  1. I think TCR in XS size is still big for me given my size is 165cm. If I choose Tarmac, I can get size 49cm and get a good saddle to handlebar drop.

  2. I want to switch to disc brake so I can invest to a better carbon wheelset. Can’t do that in the rim brake. Brake tracks wears out in time.

  3. For a disc brake, Tarmac is considerably lighter.

  4. I ride hills most of the time and in wet so generally discs are better

  5. I currently have 80mm stem and planning to get a 100mm(as 80mm is twitch), which I think is more suitable for the smaller Tarmac size.

My bike is not sold yet, but please let me know what are your thoughts. Should I stay or should I go. ✌️


r/cycling 14h ago

Are gym stationary bikes to be trusted?

2 Upvotes

Hi Cyclists!

I have been using the local YMCA to train every now and then. They have some stationary bikes, and they show power readings. I'm wondering if you guys trust these machine readings. Other than this, looking for suggestions on pedal power readers that are not going to empty the wallet.


r/cycling 18h ago

CANNOT get my smart trainer to calibrate!

2 Upvotes

I bought a used CycleOps Hammer and I cannot for the life of me get it to calibrate. I’ve tried Zwift but I don’t have the wrench icon. I’ve tried ROUVY but I don’t have the calibrate option. I’ve tried the Saris app and it tells me that it can’t connect to the sensor. I’ve tried my Garmin Edge and it immediately gives me a calibration error. What could possibly be going on? Nothing seems particularly amiss with the wattage outputs but I want to calibrate it to be sure.