Subject: 1 Introduction
Answers to Rec.Bicycles' Frequently Asked Questions and Interesting Information
The following monthly posting contains the answers to frequently asked
questions posed to rec.bicycles and interesting information that cyclists
might find useful. Some of the answers are from postings to rec.bicycles,
and some are condensed from postings. Answers include the name and
email address of the author. If no author is listed, I'm the guilty party.
If you're the author and I've misspelled your name or have the wrong email
address, let me know and I'll fix it.
****NOTE****: I am not the moderator or "person in charge" of the
rec.bicycles newsgroups. I also have no way to help you with problems
reading the newsgroups unless you are at UCI; you'll need to talk to your
system or news admin for help.
If you have something you feel should be included in the FAQ, please
it up and send it to me at the address below.
Note: I don't read each and every posting to rec.bicycles.*, so suggesting
that something be included in the FAQ may not be seen. If you want
something included, summarize the discussion and send me the summary.
This FAQ is posted to rec.bicycles.misc, news.answers, and rec.answers
around the 15th of the month. It is also available via anonymous ftp from:
Check the "Archives" section for information on how to obtain the FAQ
Subject: 2 Index
(! means updated since last FAQ. + means new section.)
3.2 Gopher and World Wide Web access
3.4 Posting Guidelines
3.5 Electronic Mailing lists
3.6 Posting Guidelines for rec.bicycles.marketplace
4.2 Touring supplies
4.3 Taking a bike on Amtrak
4.4 Travel with bicycles - Air/Rail/Other
4.5 Warm Showers List
4.6 Touring Europe Guide
4.7 More information on Amtrak and Bicycles
5.1 Tour de France Jerseys
5.2 Major Tour Winners 1947-1996
5.3 Rating the Tour de France Climbs
5.4 How to follow the Tour de France
5.5 Tour de France Time Limits
5.6 Tour de France Points Jersey Competition
5.7 Bicycle Racing Movies
6.1 Bicycling in America
6.2 League of American Bicyclists
6.3 Rules for trail riding
6.4 Commuting - Is it possible for me to commute by bike?
6.5 Commuting - How do I choose a route?
6.6 Commuting - Do I really need to look that goofy?
6.7 Commuting - Do cyclists breathe more pollution than motorists?
7.1 Marketplace hints/guidelines
7.2 Bike Trailers
7.3 One Less Car T-Shirts
7.4 Panniers and Racks
7.5 Clothing materials
7.7 Women's Saddles
7.8 Women's Bikes
7.9 Bike Rentals
7.10 Bike Lockers
7.11 Bike computer features
7.12 Recumbent Bike Info
7.13 Buying a Bike
7.14 Kids Bike Clothes
7.15 Repair stands
+ 7.16 Updated Bike Locker listing
8.1 Technical Support Numbers
8.2 Ball Bearing Grades
8.3 SIS Cable Info
8.4 Milk Jug Mud Flaps
8.5 Lubricating Chains
8.6 Wear and Gear Slippage
8.7 Adjusting Chain Length
8.8 Hyperglide chains
8.9 Bottom Bracket Info
8.10 Crank noises
8.11 Cracking/Breaking Cranks
8.12 Biopace chainrings
8.13 Snakebite flats
8.14 Blown Tubes
8.15 Mounting Tires
8.16 More Flats on Rear Tires
8.17 What holds the rim off the ground?
! 8.18 Anodized vs. Non-anodized Rims
8.19 Reusing Spokes
8.20 Clinchers vs. Tubulars
8.21 Presta Valve Nuts
8.22 Ideal Tire Sizes
8.23 Indexed Steering
8.24 Sidepull, Dual Pivot, and the Delta Brakes
8.25 Seat adjustments
8.26 Cleat adjustments
8.27 SIS Adjustment Procedure
8.28 Where to buy tools
8.30 Workstands 2
8.31 Frame Stiffness
8.32 Frame materials
8.33 Bike pulls to one side
8.34 Frame repair
8.35 Frame Fatigue
8.36 Weight = Speed?
8.37 Adjusting SPD Cleats
8.38 Rim Tape Summary
8.39 STI/Ergo Summary
8.40 Roller Head Bearings
! 8.41 Tubular Tire Repair
8.42 Cassette or Freewheel Hubs
8.43 Cassette or Freewheel Hubs take 2
8.44 "Sealed" Bearings
8.45 Installing Cranks
8.46 Stress Relieving Spokes
8.47 Traffic detector loops
8.48 Gluing Sew-up Tires
8.49 Common Torque Values
8.50 Measuring the circumference of wheels
8.51 Tubular Fables
8.52 Folding a Tubular Tire
! 8.53 Frames "going soft"
8.54 Inspecting your bike for potential failures
8.55 ETRTO numbers for tire sizes
8.56 Using a Quick Release
8.57 Tube and Tire Casing Repair
8.58 The Continuously Variable Transmission
8.59 Patching Tubes
8.60 Shimmy or Speed Wobble
8.61 Bike Part Failure Web Site
8.62 Rolling Resistance of Tires
8.63 Blowouts and Sudden Flats
8.64 Tied and Soldered Wheels
8.65 Tube Failure in Clinchers
8.66 Wiping Tires
8.67 Coiling a Wire Bead Clincher
8.68 Working on a Bicycle Upside-down
8.69 Talcum Powder for Tubes and Tires
8.70 Tires with smooth tread
+ 8.71 Another way to glue sewup tires
9.1 Books and Magazines
9.2 Mail Order Addresses
9.3 Road Gradient Units
9.6 Avoiding Dogs
9.7 Shaving Your Legs
9.8 Contact Lenses and Cycling
9.9 How to deal with your clothes
9.10 Pete's Winter Cycling Tips
9.11 Nancy's Cold/Wet Cycling Tips
9.12 Studded Tires
9.13 Cycling Myths
9.14 Descending I
9.15 Descending II
9.17 Front Brake Usage
9.18 Slope Wind, the Invisible Enemy
9.19 Reflective Tape
9.21 Nuclear Free Energy Bar Recipe
9.22 Powerbars Recipe
9.23 Calories burned by cycling
9.24 Road Rash Cures
9.25 Knee problems
9.26 Cycling Psychology
9.28 Another Powerbar recipe
9.29 Lower back pain
9.30 Saddle sores
9.31 Group Riding Tips
9.32 Riding in echelon
9.33 Mirrors II
9.34 Thorns aka Puncture Vine
9.35 Gyroscopic Forces
9.36 Going over the bars
+ 9.37 Yet another powerbar recipe
10.1 Suspension Stems
10.2 MTB FAQ available
10.3 Installing new rear derailleur spring
10.4 A Brief History of the Mountain Bike
10.5 The Mike Vandeman FAQ
Subject: 3 Administrivia
Subject: 3.1 Abbreviations
Some common abbreviations used here and in rec.bicycles.*:
FAQ Frequenly Asked Question. What you are reading
now is a file
containing answers to some FAQs.
IMHO In my humble opinion.
TIOOYK There Is Only One You Know. Refers to the Tour de France.
See the glossary in the ftp archives for more bicycle-related terms,
check out Sheldon Brown's Glossary at
Subject: 3.2 Gopher and World Wide Web access
I've made the rec.bicycles ftp archives available via gopher and the
and have split the FAQ up into individual files for easier access via
gopher. The FAQ is available via the Web as listed below.
You can access the FAQ and archives via the Web using these URLs:
To connect to the gopher server, use the hostname draco.acs.uci.edu
port 1071. Please don't ask me how to use gopher or how to configure
your gopher client; I don't know how to use all the available gopher
clients, nor do I have access to them. Please talk to your local gopher
Again, please ask your local gurus for information on how to use Web
Subject: 3.3 Archives
I've made available via anonymous ftp a copy of the current FAQ and
few other items on draco.acs.uci.edu (220.127.116.11). This is the
workstation on my desk, so I'd appreciate it if people would restrict
their use to 7pm-7am Pacific time. The files are in pub/rec.bicycles.
For those without Internet access, you can use the ftpmail server at
<email@example.com> to get copies of items in the archives. I
really don't have time to email copies of files to people who can't get at
them easily. To use the ftpmail server, send an email message containing
in the body of the message to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
a help file back with more information on how to use the ftpmail server.
README for Rec.Bicycles Anonymous FTP area
arnie.light Arnie Berger's (email@example.com) "Ultimate bike light"
Lawrence Hare's (firstname.lastname@example.org) copy of a
Hypercard stack to calculate gearing. Lawrence says
there is a newer version on major bbs systems.
bike.lockers David H. Wolfskill's (email@example.com)
bike locker vendors.
bike.painting Sam Henry's (firstname.lastname@example.org) collection of
how to paint a bike.
bike_power.* Ken Roberts program to calculate power
output and power
consumption. See bike_power.doc for more info.
updated by Mark Grennan (email@example.com)
biking_log.* Phil Etheridge's (firstname.lastname@example.org)
riding diary. It keeps track of dates, distance, time,
average speed, etc., and keeps running weekly, monthly,
and yearly totals. See biking_log.read_me for more
CA-veh-code A directory containing the California
vehicle code sections
that pertain to bicycles and gopher bookmarks. See the
README in that directory for more information.
camera.tour Vivian Aldridge's (email@example.com)
collection of articles
on cameras to take on a bike tour.
Roger Marquis' (firstname.lastname@example.org) article from the
Feb 91 Velo News on nutrition and cycling.
Sheldon Brown's (CaptBike@sheldonbrown.com) universal bike
computer calibration chart and installation suggestions.
cyclesense Larry Watanabe's (email@example.com)
the "Cycle Sense for Motorists" ready to run thru LaTeX.
faq.* The current Frequently Asked Questions posting
first.century Pamela Blalock's (firstname.lastname@example.org) tips
for your first century ride.
frame.build Terry Zmrhal's (email@example.com)
a frame building class he took.
gear.c Larry Watanabe's
(firstname.lastname@example.org) program to
print gear inch tables.
glossary Alan Bloom's (email@example.com) glossary of bicycle terms.
lab.info Erin O'Brien's (firstname.lastname@example.org)
article on the
League of American Bicyclists.
lights Tom Reingold's
(email@example.com) collection of
articles on bike lights.
lights2 More articles from rec.bicycles.* on lights.
mtb.faq Vince Cheng's (firstname.lastname@example.org) MTB FAQ.
pam.bmb* Pamela Blalock's
(email@example.com) report on her
pam.pactour* Pamela Blalock's (firstname.lastname@example.org)
writeup of her PAC tours
across the country.
pbp.info Pamela Blalock's
on her Paris-Brest-Paris ride.
pictures Bicycling gif pictures.
prof.sched Roland Stahl's (email@example.com)
scheduled professional races in many countries.
pwm.regulator Willie Hunt's (firstname.lastname@example.org) design
on a pulse width modulated voltage regulator. Originally
designed for caving, this design is adaptable to bike
lighting. The author has parts available in kit form.
ride.index Chris Hull's/Bill Bushnell's
explanation of a way to "index" rides and compare the
difficulty of different rides.
ridelg22.* Found on AOL by Gary Thurman
ride diary program. The .exe file a self-extracting archive
spike.bike Bob Fishell's (email@example.com)
Spike Bike series.
They are numbered in the order that Bob posted them to
rec.bicycles. All the Spike Bike stories are
"Copyright 1989 by Robert Fishell, all rights reserved."
spokelen11.bas Roger Marquis' (firstname.lastname@example.org) spoke length
calculator, written in Microsoft Quickbasic.
spokelen.c Andy Tucker's (tucker@Neon.Stanford.EDU)
Roger Marquis' spokelen11.bas to C.
spokelen.hqx Eric Topp's email@example.com's
Hypercard stack that
computes spoke lengths.
studded.tires (Name removed by request) compilation
of messages on studded tires, including how to make your
tandem.boxes Arnie Berger's (firstname.lastname@example.org)
notes on how
he built a box to transport his tandem to Europe and
back. It's taken from a longer travelogue on his trip - if
you want more information, contact him at the above
tech.supp.phone Joshua Putnam's (josh@Happy-Man.com) list of technical
support numbers for various manufacturers. This list
used to be in the FAQ but now is too long to include there.
trailers A summary posting
of messages about bike trailers. Good
stuff if you're thinking of buying a trailer.
wheelbuild.txt Sheldon Brown's (CaptBike@sheldonbrown.com) instructions
how to build a wheel.
wheels.*.hqx R. Scott Truesdell's (email@example.com)
stack to calculate spoke lengths. See wheels.readme
for more info.
wintertips Pete Hickey's (firstname.lastname@example.org)
how to cycle in the winter.
wintertips.pam Pamela Blalock's (email@example.com) winter cycling
Files available via anonymous ftp from ugle.unit.no (18.104.22.168) in
directory local/biking. This directory is maintained by Joern Dahl-Stamnes
Last updated: July 3rd, 1994.
READ.ME Information about the other files in the directory.
bm106a.zip The latest version of Bike
Manager. Bike Manager is a
shareware program that help you keep a log of your training
activities. It can report summary reports, weekly reports,
monthly reports and yearly reports. Features to analyze your
activities against your goals. And more...
brake.doc About how to make your own brake booster.
gtos91.doc A story from The Great Trial of Strength 1991.
gtos92.doc Same, but for the 1992 trial.
gtos93.doc For the 1993 trial.
toj93.doc The Tour of Jotunheimen 1993 report.
to Rec.Bicycles' Frequently Asked Questions and
Interesting Information (ASCII text format).
velo.txt Description about Velocipede (TM) for Windows.
velo*.zip Velocipede (TM) for Windows.
Velocipede is a window based
training log program based on the ideas in Bike Manager.
Compared to Bike Manager, Velocipede offers a better user
interface, graphic presentation and more. For more details,
see file velo.txt.
Velocipede is a shareware program.
Subject: 3.4 Posting Guidelines
The rec.bicycles subgroups are described below - please try to post
article to the appropriate group. The newsgroups were designed to minimize
cross posting, so please take the time to think about the most appropriate
newsgroup and post your article there. Most postings to rec.bicycles should
not be cross-posted to groups outside of rec.*.
Steve Ciccarelli has archives of the last 6 months of the rec.bicycles
newsgroups available at http://blueridge.infomkt.ibm.com/bikes/News/.
rec.bicycles: DO NOT USE THIS NEWSGROUP - it should have been dropped
from news servers, having been replaced by rec.bicycles.misc.
rec.bicycles.marketplace: Bicycles, components, ancillary equipment
services wanted or for sale, reviews of such things, places to buy
them, and evaluations of these sources. Not for discussion of general
engineering, maintenance, or repair -- see rec.bicycles.tech.
rec.bicycles.tech: Techniques of engineering, construction, maintenance
and repair of bicycles and ancillary equipment. Not for products or
services offered or wanted -- see rec.bicycles.marketplace.
rec.bicycles.rides: Discussions of tours and training or commuting routes.
Not for disussion of general riding techniques -- see rec.bicycles.misc.
rec.bicycles.soc: Social issues, cycling transportation advocacy, laws,
conduct of riders and drivers; road hazards such as potholes, dogs, and
rec.bicycles.racing: Race results, racing techniques, rules, and
organizations. Not racing equipment -- see rec.bicycles.marketplace
rec.bicycles.misc: General riding techniques, rider physiology,
injuries and treatment, diets, and other cycling topics.
rec.bicycles.off-road: This group is moderated. Discussion of
on unimproved roads, gravel, dirt, grass, sand, single track or 4x4 roads.
Also discussion of environmental issues related to mountain biking, trail
issues, backcountry travel, how to handle conditions
(technically and evo-sensitively), off-road magazines and other media.
alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent: Discussion of recumbent bikes.
Subject: 3.5 Electronic Mailing lists
firstname.lastname@example.org A mailing list for tandem bicycle enthusiasts.
Suitable topics include questions and answers related to tandem
componentry, riding technique, brands and equipment selection,
prices, clubs, rides and other activities, cooperating on a section
on tandems for the rec.bicycles.* FAQ, etc. For more information
send mail to "email@example.com" with the body of the
message having the line "info tandem", or point your WWW client at
BOB is the Bridgestone Owner's Bunch, and this is the internet
edition of it. This is a mailing list, not a newsletter, and has no
connection with the real Bridgestone-sponsored BOB except in name and
in spirit. Get more information by sending mail to
HPV list The HPV list is for the discussion of issues related
design, construction, and operation of human powered vehicles
and closely related kin. (Hybrid human/electric, for example.)
For further information,
send a mail message containing the
following single line in the message, to firstname.lastname@example.org:
BICYCLE on LISTPROC@LISTPROC.NET
The BICYCLE list was formed to provide a forum for cyclists to
discuss all topics related to bicycles, mtn. biking, and cycling in
general. This is NOT the place to discuss issues related to
To subscribe to BICYCLE send the following command to LISTPROC@LISTPROC.NET
in the BODY of e-mail:
SUBSCRIBE BICYCLE real name
For example: SUBSCRIBE BICYCLE John Doe
Owner: Chris Tanski email@example.com
A new regional internet discussion group has been started to
advocacy issues in the midwest area. BikeMidwest was started to connect
cyclists in L.A.W. Regions 6, 7, 8 and 9. That is, the states of Ohio,
Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota,
Iowa and Missouri. Of course, people from outside this area are welcome
Subscriptions to the list are handled by a computer program called
Majordomo. To subscribe, send a message with the following command in the
body of the message to Majordomo@fuji.physics.indiana.edu:
BicycleBBS offers free access to cyclists. The # is 619-720-1830.
The BBS is run by Neil Goren, Neil@BicycleBBS.Org.
BicycleBBS also has a mailing list. Anyone can join by sending e-mail to:
ARMBRC-request@BicycleBBS.Org and put "JOIN" in the text body anywhere.
VeloNet has a list of some 200 cycling-related mailing lists,
all run under standard majordomo protocols, with both live and
digest formats. Subscribe/unsubscribe requests should go to
Here are the "international/general" lists:
* bikecurrent - Discussions regarding Bicycle Electronics
* bikeham - Cycling and Amateur Radio Operation
* bikemedic - Cycling and Emergency Medical Services
* bikepeople - General/International list for Bicycle Advocacy
* bike-station - Bike commuter centers at transit stations
* bikes-n-transit - Taking your bicycle on public transit
* bmx - General BMX Discussion List
* coaching - Coaching discussions for racers
* commute-logistics - Discussions regarding bicycle commuting logistics
* facilities-n-planning - Transportation infrastructure affecting cycling
* iccc - International Christian Cycling Club
* icebike - Winter cycling
* ifcmc - International Federation of Cycle Messengers and Companies
* imba - International Mountain Bicycling Association
* marketplace - Discussions regarding buying a bicycle or components
* messengers - Bicycle Messengers and Couriers
* mtb - General Discussions about Mountain Biking
* mtb-trials - Mountain Bike Trials Riding
* moulton - The Moulton Bicycle Club Mailing list
* patrol - Discussions regarding Mountain Bike Patrols
* power-assist - Power-assisted HPVs
* promoters - Race promotion
* race-results - International, Cat A & USPRO Race Results
* randon - Randoneering (touring and non-competitive ultradistance)
* safety-n-education - Discussions of Bicycle Safety and Education
* team-internet - International Team Internet Racing Team
* touring - Bicycle Touring
* ultra - Dicussions regarding ultra marathon cycling events
* velonet-admin - Discussions regarding the operation of VeloNet
Trento Bike Pages
Subject: 3.6 Posting Guidelines for rec.bicycles.marketplace
From: "E. Paul Stanley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 09 Mar 1997 19:14:59 -0500
All subject lines in rec.bicycles.marketplace should stick to the
Where <CODE> = FS (for sale), WTB (wanted to buy), WTT (wanted to
<Size> would, of course, be omitted for some items.
Commercial vendors could use the following:
Where <spam> would be the crap enticement to go to the web site,
There is no space between the Code, the colon, and the size of the item
to conserve space and make sure the complete subject comes out.
Following this nomenclature would permit newsreaders to see similar
items grouped together and would highlight spam which would not follow
The argument that "I have a buch of stuff to sell/buy so it would
require bunches of posts" is without merit. First, "Regular" people
don't have bunches of stuff so it would be a "COM:" post. Second, if a
regular person does have a buch of stuff, simply post the same message
with the proper subject lines for each item. Several posts, but only
one copy and paste from your word processor.