Last modified: March 10, 1998


  2  Index

  3 Administrivia

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 write
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 via

Mike Iglesias


Subject: 2  Index

(! means updated since last FAQ.  + means new section.)


  2  Index

  3 Administrivia
     3.1  Abbreviations
     3.2  Gopher and World Wide Web access
     3.3  Archives
     3.4  Posting Guidelines
     3.5  Electronic Mailing lists
     3.6  Posting Guidelines for rec.bicycles.marketplace

  4  Rides
     4.1  Maps
     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  Racing
     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  Social
     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  Marketplace
     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
     7.6  Seats
     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  Tech
     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
     8.29  Workstands
     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  Misc
     9.1  Books and Magazines
     9.2  Mail Order Addresses
     9.3  Road Gradient Units
     9.4  Helmets
     9.5  Terminology
     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
     9.16  Trackstands
     9.17  Front Brake Usage
     9.18  Slope Wind, the Invisible Enemy
     9.19  Reflective Tape
     9.20  Nutrition
     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
     9.27  Mirrors
     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  Off-Road
     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, or
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 Web,
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 and
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 a
few other items on (  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
<> 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
the line


in the body of the message to <>.  You'll get
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 ( "Ultimate bike light"

                Lawrence Hare's ( 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 ( summary of
                bike locker vendors.

bike.painting   Sam Henry's ( collection of articles on
                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 (

biking_log.*    Phil Etheridge's ( hypercard stack
                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 ( collection of articles
                on cameras to take on a bike tour.

                Roger Marquis' ( article from the
                Feb 91 Velo News on nutrition and cycling.

                Sheldon Brown's ( universal bike
                computer calibration chart and installation suggestions.

cyclesense      Larry Watanabe's ( copy of
                the "Cycle Sense for Motorists" ready to run thru LaTeX.

faq.*           The current Frequently Asked Questions posting

first.century   Pamela Blalock's ( tips on training
                for your first century ride.     Terry Zmrhal's ( writeup of
                a frame building class he took.

gear.c          Larry Watanabe's ( program to
                print gear inch tables.

glossary        Alan Bloom's ( glossary of bicycle terms.        Erin O'Brien's ( article on the
                League of American Bicyclists.

lights          Tom Reingold's ( collection of
                articles on bike lights.

lights2         More articles from rec.bicycles.* on lights.

mtb.faq         Vince Cheng's ( MTB FAQ.

pam.bmb*        Pamela Blalock's ( report on her
                Boston-Montreal-Boston rides.

pam.pactour*    Pamela Blalock's ( writeup of her PAC tours
                across the country.        Pamela Blalock's ( information
                on her Paris-Brest-Paris ride.

pictures        Bicycling gif pictures.

prof.sched      Roland Stahl's ( list of
                scheduled professional races in many countries.

pwm.regulator   Willie Hunt's ( design notes
                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 (, a
                ride diary program.  The .exe file a self-extracting archive
                for PCs.      Bob Fishell's ( 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' ( spoke length
                calculator, written in Microsoft Quickbasic.

spokelen.c      Andy Tucker's (tucker@Neon.Stanford.EDU) port of
                Roger Marquis' spokelen11.bas to C.

spokelen.hqx    Eric Topp's's Hypercard stack that
                computes spoke lengths.   (Name removed by request) compilation
                of messages on studded tires, including how to make your

tandem.boxes    Arnie Berger's ( 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
                address. Joshua Putnam's ( 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 ( instructions on
                how to build a wheel.

wheels.*.hqx    R. Scott Truesdell's ( Hypercard
                stack to calculate spoke lengths.  See wheels.readme
                for more info.

wintertips      Pete Hickey's ( notes about
                how to cycle in the winter.

wintertips.pam  Pamela Blalock's ( winter cycling tips.

Files available via anonymous ftp from ( in the
directory local/biking. This directory is maintained by Joern Dahl-Stamnes

Last updated: July 3rd, 1994.

File            What

READ.ME         Information about the other files in the directory.      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.

faq.*           Answers 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 your
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

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 and
   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 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
   sociopaths. 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. This group is moderated.  Discussion of riding
   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  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 "" with the body of the
        message having the line "info tandem", or point your WWW client at
        <>, or

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 to the
          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

          info hpv

   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


  A new regional internet discussion group has been started to discuss bicycle
  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
  to join.
  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
  subscribe BikeMidwest

 Bicycle BBS

 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
 (formerly ca-bike-safety)
 * 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

Web sites:

Trento Bike Pages


Subject: 3.6  Posting Guidelines for rec.bicycles.marketplace
From:    "E. Paul Stanley" <>
Date:    Sun, 09 Mar 1997 19:14:59 -0500

All subject lines in rec.bicycles.marketplace should stick to the
following codes.


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, email,

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 nomenclature.

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.