Life begins at 30 PSI

Bricks. Not just any bricks, but bricks designed to be uneven are going down all over Winter Park. If this keeps up, there will be fewer and fewer places to ride.

So what to do? Give up riding? Or find a way to smooth out those bumps?

I chose the latter and here is what I did:

1. Sprung saddle. A good sprung saddle, like a Brooks-66 will cushion the bod from all the shock. It really makes a difference and works better than a telescoping seatpost.
2. Low pressure wide balloon tires. I use Schwalbe Big Apple 2.00×26 and I set the pressure at the minimum. I tried “normal” wide tires set at their minimum, but kept picking up glass. Schwalbe claims that their tires have less rolling resistance than the others, but to me it feels about the same. The Kevlar that Schwalbe uses keeps away the flats. I have even run them as low as 15 PSI without any trouble.

Here is more info about the advantages of sprung saddles and Big Apples.

5 replies
  1. Keri
    Keri says:

    Those of us with longer commutes and road bikes can’t do balloon tires and spring saddles. But I recently switched to a slightly wider tire on my road bike and it made a difference… enough to be survivable for a block or two. Next time I need new tires I may go wider yet, if I can get them past the brakes.

    I curse Winter Park for those bricks. They have destroyed almost all of the residential collector bike routes with them.

  2. Eric
    Eric says:

    I guess people have to make a decision. Do they want a bike that will look good in a paceline while they faux race? Or do they want a bike where they schlep around town?

  3. andrewp
    andrewp says:

    Did the bricks slow down the cars any? I thoughty it might be two
    factors at play — looks, and slowing down traffic. The negitave
    is of course it makes it really lumpy and slow on a bike.

    I have this as part of my commute into downtown, and the only smooth
    part of the road is the bike lane! It’s so smooth I see cars taking
    their right side wheels and running down the bike lane all the time.

  4. Keri
    Keri says:

    Nothing (other than relentless law enforcement) slows motorists who are determined to speed, but the bricks used by Winter Park are annoying to drive on, even with four 8-inch tires. In addition, they create a lot of unnecessary noise, increase fuel consumption and release additional pollutants into the environment due to tire degradation.

    All the while forcing cyclists (who create no environmental impact and don’t speed) onto busier roads.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m sure sick of paying for the sins of others.

  5. pmsummer
    pmsummer says:

    The next step will be a 3-4′ wide smooth (albeit debris filled) gutter pan to give “bikers” their place, and keep ’em there.

    P.S. Real nice blog you got here. Bookmarked for further review!

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