Today July 2019

adventurous cyclist

turtle speed cyclist
May 16, 2019
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Ube -shi, Yamaguchi-ken
You guys are having so much fun in the sun
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
3,863
2,031
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
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luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
1,326
797
143
I think this is what you're describing, right @luka?
wow who says you're "half-fast"?! that's exactly what I had in mind, as a general idea to look into and build upon. since I won't have the bike for a while yet (supposed to ship in 2 days, maybe get here in another 5-7, and to build it up and test somewhere more civilized another week?) I wasn't in the immediate execution mode, but now that I see it mapped and all.... hahaha

sure, I'd be up for it as soon as I get the bike up and running and on a weekend not hit by typhoons or something. if there's a group consensus, I might even consider taking a day off during the week for this (not sure about @joewein @Karl etc schedules?)
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
617
510
113
Yokohama
The ride would be a blast. I'll be gone from mid-August to mid-September though.

Last time I did it, from north to south direction, I discovered that my tires wouldn't get traction as I tried to ascend on the soft sand/rocky/gunky surface. As a result, I couldn't get the momentum I needed to ride much for the 3 or 4 km prior to the tunnel at the top. Wider tires may help some but I'm thinking knobbies are called for here, or better to do it south to north so you have gravity providing the momentum. FWIW, if you search the forum for "Tanzawa and Beyond" you can see a bit better description of the route.

Not sure what tires @Half-Fast Mike was using when he did it, or if he did it south to north (or vice versa), but would be interested to know what he would recommend.
 
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Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
3,863
2,031
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
Not sure what tires @Half-Fast Mike was using when he did it, or if he did it south to north (or vice versa), but would be interested to know what he would recommend.
I went north to south both times, using my old (1998?) MTB with what were probably 32 mm or 35 mm semi-knobbly tires. No problem then, but I'm sure the road conditions are worse after another 10 years of neglect.

20080613-105316.jpg
 
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luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
1,326
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anyway, I'm not changing tyres just for this ride. I've got 47 mm slick ones, with slight thread on the sides. it will do no matter what the terrain throws at us, esp with 31 front 34 rear low gear. I wonder if it's better to get pedals that have SPD mount on one side, and are flat on the other (for the difficult terrain when you're not sure if you're going up or falling over left OR right next moment)?

1564315108586.png
 
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Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
3,863
2,031
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Kawasaki
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I wasn't in the immediate execution mode, but now that I see it mapped and all.... hahaha
It really does look like fun... and from this view I have a new appreciation for @Karl's persistence in grabbing all these mountain tiles that are still waiting for me.

Google Earth ProScreenSnapz001.png

Certainly no problem on your tyres, @luka. I've always used two-sided SPD pedals and never had a problem. Using single-sided is more difficult for me, having never used 'proper' road pedals, as I find myself fiddling around to locate the correct side.
 
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luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
1,326
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what I mean is having the ability for dual use. on road, packed gravel, or other reliable surfaces I can stay clipped in. but if it gets tricky, I intentionally use the flat side to allow for any contingency... I wonder if it would work better that way (just afraid I might not unclip in time if I suddenly lose it)
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
3,863
2,031
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
what I mean is having the ability for dual use. on road, packed gravel, or other reliable surfaces I can stay clipped in. but if it gets tricky, I intentionally use the flat side to allow for any contingency... I wonder if it would work better that way (just afraid I might not unclip in time if I suddenly lose it)
Yes, I had the same thought initially, but it's never been a problem except when falling over at zero kph while outrageously drunk. I keep the pedal spring tension low on my off-road bikes, though.
 
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,576
1,242
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
I've always used two-sided SPD pedals and never had a problem. Using single-sided is more difficult for me, having never used 'proper' road pedals, as I find myself fiddling around to locate the correct side.
Unlike Mike I have used single-sided SPD pedals before but came to the same conclusion: it just makes it more difficult to locate the correct side, over 99% of the time.

Having said that, when I did ride a MTB on sandy off-road coastal areas in Barbados, I regretted my choice of SPD. I should have gone for flat pedals then because sometimes I'd run out of momentum and then had to uncleat in a hurry to not land on a knee or elbow. That was the less than 1% for which I'd make an exception.

Generally I have my SPD pedals set to disengage with minimum effort, to maximize my chance of being able to free my feet from the pedals before I hit the ground. I feel I don't really need the stiffer spring settings with my low gearing as I never have a need to strongly pull up on a pedal when the road gets very steep: I just shift down another gear.
 
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Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
617
510
113
Yokohama
I've been using Speedplay Frog pedals. Was thinking of using my flat pedals for this ride, but now that I have a bit more experience on trails, I think the Frogs may work better than the flats.
 

luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
1,326
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143
that's the thing right, experience. I have very limited one so far, mostly with my CX commuter on an occasional off-road section.

I guess thinking more clearly, I'm worried about surfaces like deep grass, mud, sand etc where I suddenly lose front wheel traction, as I was close to doing couple of times with my slick 35 mm tyres there. but I guess with any front wheel slip you're hitting the deck no matter what pedals you've got anyway. as all those sections were pretty much flat, I've got zero experience with any real climbing or descending off road too. I guess wider tyres would not sink in so quickly and would give more grip/ traction/ surface in the first place. I'll have to trial-and-error it, hopefully more of the former, less of the latter.

I now realize I've got everything for the new build, down to the smallest spacer, adapter, bar plug - whatever, and only the pedals are missing. hmmmm
 
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Winston Leg-Thigh

Maximum Pace
Mar 31, 2015
90
62
48
42
I use Shimano A530s - SPD one side, flat the other. I don't use the flat side too often and when I do I generally go with one side clipped in and the other on the flat, but it gives me a bit more confidence tackling particularly steep off-road sections where I think I'm not going to make it or dodgy on descents.
The flat side doesn't have much grip and I see that Shimano have now got the EH500 which is a similar design but with grub screws on the flat side. I like the idea but I'm not sure my shins, shoe soles or jerseys would.
 
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luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
1,326
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Thanks @Winston Leg-Thigh so my extrapolation from my very limited flat off road experience does make some sense... I thought if I'm feeling like this on the flats imagine the uphill etc. Being able to put one foot down on the descent when cornering is also good I suppose.

One option I thought of now is to get the time road pedals serviced and put them back on the road bike, and transplant the two sided SPD ones to the new gravel bike, at least for the time being. After a while, if I feel I wanna try flat on one side I'll do that, but basically just wanna postpone that decision now, as I don't have much to base in on. It will depend tho on 1 if the LBS will take in those for servicing and 2 if I'll be able to successfully do it myself if they refuse
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,747
2,479
133
Asakadai, Saitama
Seems like the summer has finally arrived. It’s getting pretty hot out there. Went for a short one along the Arakawa yesterday afternoon. Did a 30min effort. First 10mins felt comfortable but once my body heated up, the power began to drop and it was much tougher.
Need to find some waterfalls/rock pools to take a dip in along the way.
 
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,576
1,242
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
Unlike Mike I have used single-sided SPD pedals before but came to the same conclusion: it just makes it more difficult to locate the correct side, over 99% of the time.
Same ones I was using then :(

I found them most annoying in city traffic with frequent start/stops at traffic lights. I don't like being distracted by having to hunt for the proper side while trying to get up to speed again with cars also accelerating next to me. And basically I never really rode my bike in anything other than SPD shoes, because they work pretty well for almost anywhere off the bike short of hiking to a mountain top..