Bike in the eye of the beholder

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Mark cleary

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Sep 22, 2021, 3:41:14 PMSep 22
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I have this homeless person who has been seeing me for spiritual direction the past few months. He is trying to get his life back together and his therapist suggested since he was Catholic Christian he find a spiritual director.

Well Deacon Mark is a trained one by special schooling ( assuming you are a believer). He shows up yesterday with his transportation a new bike to him an old Raleigh Technium. Has the suicide levers and I believe about 6 speeds in the rear with shifters near the headset.

So I hate suicide levers and nice downtube shifters are fine but these looking bad and are harder to work than the trusty downtube shifter. He is ecstatic the bike co-op place sold him this bike for $20 and it rides fine he says. Much lighter than the big heavy chromoly frame he had in the past. He just loves it and says the best $20 he has invested yet.

So given my cycling life I just nodded said that this was good a nice ride. Glad he had this and he did not wear a helmet. I did suggest he ride with a helmet if he could I don't have a spare of I would give him one.

In the end this guy may very well make us all understand the meaning of cycling. It is his only way to get around much better than by foot if you can't buy a car.

Lessons in the spiritual life run deep.

Deacon Mark

ritzann...@gmail.com

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Sep 22, 2021, 3:56:44 PMSep 22
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You mention "suicide levers" twice. What are those? I know suicide levers is a slang term. I would guess you mean stem mounted levers. Levers mounted on either side of the quill stem. I suppose some people think, imagine, dream, make up, you could stab yourself if you flew forward and your chest or belly hit the back of the stem. You would have to have the levers pulled down. So big chainring and biggest cog.

William Crowell

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Sep 22, 2021, 4:02:26 PMSep 22
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Deacon Mark, in my small town everyone is so car-addicted (myself included; I have just always liked cars) that almost the only bike riders (except me) on the road are DUI-convicted guys with no driver's license who are riding to the liquor store to buy more beer. Under the circumstances I can almost understand why so many drivers around here disrespect cyclists. It might be an example of the concept that "money talks and BS walks", but I'm not sure.

William Crowell

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Sep 22, 2021, 4:06:04 PMSep 22
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No, Russell, "suicide levers" are levers that run alongside the top of your bars, and that are connected to your brake levers, so you don't have to take your hands off the top of the bars in order to brake. Schwinn was one of the biggest producers of road bikes with suicide levers. It must have been what their customers wanted, but I understand that they can sometimes malfunction and jam your brakes on.

AMuzi

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Sep 22, 2021, 4:28:46 PMSep 22
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+1

Air his tires, check over the bike, run some Rock N Roll in
the cables and ride with him if even a mile or so.
Discussion of equipment ought to be very much later if (and
hopefully when) he takes up cycling as a part of his life.

I've found few things turn new cyclists away faster than
discussing equipment. Time spent riding together, even if
brief, means much more than a new or better component.

--
Andrew Muzi
<www.yellowjersey.org/>
Open every day since 1 April, 1971


Frank Krygowski

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Sep 22, 2021, 4:31:05 PMSep 22
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That's nice. But if I came upon such a person and wanted to make their
cycling safer, I'd first offer them a copy of _Street Smarts_ by John
Allen. If necessary, I'd go over the major points with them. It's much
better to avoid crashing, instead of trying to protect from a crash's
effects. https://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/

If I wanted to give them more safety related stuff, I'd add a cheap LED
taillight, one that uses disposable batteries. Disposables last longer
and are more available to many people compared to USB chargers.
https://www.amazon.com/BV-Taillight-Visibility-Reflective-Batteries/dp/B00FX9RVJG/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=battery+operated+rear+lights+for+bikes&qid=1632342189&sr=8-8

My next addition would be a headlight. Again, disposable batteries, and
for most people's use it does NOT need to have hundreds and hundreds of
lumens. Having any legal light is far more important than melting the
asphalt. (Generator lights are great for the long term, but many people
can't handle the mechanical and electrical installation.)

I'd consider a rear view mirror next, since so many people ride facing
traffic because they're afraid of getting killed from behind.

Helmets are wildly over-promoted. As olympian cyclist and current bike
advocate Chris Boardman has said, helmets are not even in the top ten
measures for safer cycling.

I'd be happy to mail you a few copies of _Street Smarts_ if you let me
know your address. (Mine are customized for Ohio, but there's not much
difference.) Contact me at Gmail.


--
- Frank Krygowski

AMuzi

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Sep 22, 2021, 4:39:46 PMSep 22
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'Suicide levers' or 'Saf-Tee levers' or 'Extension levers'
(Sheldonism = 'Turkey wings') fit between the brake lever
arm and brake lever body, pivot on an extended brake lever
arm pivot, and extend up under the top part of a maes road
handlebar.

http://schwinnbikeforum.com/SLDB/Images/Gallery/Continental/1972/72conti1.jpg

Sir Ridesalot

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Sep 22, 2021, 4:55:28 PMSep 22
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And the ones t hat connected directly to the main brake lever were better than the ones that sat between the main brake lever and the body.

You can remove the "safety lever", file the protruding stud a bit and then mount your downtube or stem mounted shifter to it. LOL

https://www.flickr.com/photos/73832500@N00/27884270035/

Cheers

ritzann...@gmail.com

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Sep 22, 2021, 5:04:59 PMSep 22
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OK. I know what you mean now. I had those on my first 1981 Schwinn 10 speed road bike. I took them off after awhile.

Duane

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Sep 22, 2021, 5:29:55 PMSep 22
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+2

Mark cleary

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Sep 22, 2021, 6:22:10 PMSep 22
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Andrew this guy is 58 and I think has ridden a bike before but certainly he is not riding like me for pure sport and pleasure. One thing about the fellow is he is a mechanic and works on cars and trucks. He has a very good skill set for bikes and probably given cars and such are much more complicated, he could be fantastic bike mechanic. He just got a job and he will be doing to maintenance and work on garbage trucks for a local garbage hauling company. Given the shortage of bike mechanics he probably could get a job as a bike mechanic with a little coaching my guess he would be very employable if he can stay away from the usual problems he has. Frankly this guy could probably build himself a pretty decent bike that would be an urban cruiser that would really help him out.
Deacon Mark

AMuzi

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Sep 22, 2021, 6:43:50 PMSep 22
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Sharing a short ride is more appreciated than you might at
first imagine. (Dragging him along for 50 miles not!)

He'll earn more as a fleet truck mechanic and it's not seasonal.

Ralph Barone

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Sep 22, 2021, 9:12:45 PMSep 22
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And on the other side, between floppiness in the mechanism and chromed
steel rims, pulling on the levers usually resulted in no actual braking. At
least that was my experience

jbeattie

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Sep 22, 2021, 10:05:27 PMSep 22
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Unless the component is a seat.

-- Jay Beattie.

AMuzi

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Sep 22, 2021, 10:14:45 PMSep 22
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+1

Good point. New cyclists are intimidated by saddles and opt
for something too big and too squishy.

jbeattie

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Sep 22, 2021, 11:11:03 PMSep 22
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Butt pain seem to be the most common complaint I hear from new cyclists.

I'm giving a flat clinic at work tomorrow for two of my female partners. One just got a Checkpoint and wants a primer on through axles. She also has a Specialized Ruby and a custom steel frame made by Tony Pereira now of Breadwinner. https://breadwinnercycles.com/ She's pretty serious, and oddly, has never fixed a flat on the road. Lucky, I guess. I have to remember to take some nitrile gloves to work tomorrow.

-- Jay Beattie.



Tom Kunich

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Sep 23, 2021, 7:01:11 PMSep 23
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I suppose you've always been a pain in the butt for everyone.

Roger Merriman

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Sep 24, 2021, 7:12:36 PMSep 24
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I get the feeling that was the reason for the term as they where
terrifying! I had some interrupter on the CX bike I had which where fine
the levers that is, but the brakes themselves being wide + rim brakes where
woefully underpowered!

Roger Merriman

Frank Krygowski

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Sep 24, 2021, 7:58:10 PMSep 24
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We had two bikes in the family with those levers. One had long reach
centerpulls, and those levers were an atrocious feature that I removed.
The other bike had short reach centerpulls and the extra levers worked
fine for non-emergency braking, although all the adjustments had to be
just right.

--
- Frank Krygowski

Roger Merriman

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Sep 30, 2021, 7:34:58 PMSep 30
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These where not your traditional suicide brakes which my first road bike
had I think, but CX interrupters which in terms of levers worked fine, in
that the brake levers and interrupters could be used and did work, but
where hampered by the canti brakes that for that sort of bike and my use,
ie used as a gravel bike, where just woefully underpowered even using
expensive soft pads that lasted only a few hundred miles, made little
difference.

The biggest gain with my more modern Gravel bike is the brakes hydraulic
disks which just work and have the power to not be overwhelmed by
steep/mucky etc stuff.

Older CX had triple/7 block so was a touch tedious and could end between
gears vs the Gravel bike’s 2/10s it is better but not dramatically so.

Roger Merriman

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