Cycling Thread 4.0


Does anything bad happen if you’ve fucked it up? Does totally braking loss happen if there’s shitloads of air in the system?

Yes and yes, but if you’ve done it and it’s improved it then that’s fine? - I’m sure you’d notice straight away if you’d put a load of air in it and made it worse.

I’ve just never ever been happy with my SRAM disc brake performance. They work, and maybe they stop me like a millisecond before a rim brake would, but that’s just not worth the faff.

(Shimano mtb brakes I’ve ridden have been a really really different story, they chuck me over the handlebars without a second thought)

Nb. As evidence many times in this thread, I am not a bike mech

tbf I have almost gone over the bars a few times with these :grimacing:

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might just be a sram vs shimano thing, i’m almost tempted to change the groupset on my 1x bike and see… I’d try and ride a lot more fun stuff on it if I just trusted the brakes a bit more. and i’d have no excuse not to take it wankerbike-packing everywhere if we got on a bit better :thinking:

if anyone is looking for some casual shorts for riding in, the alpkit ones i bought a couple of months back are in their sale: (womens ones are also available)

(highly recommended, i basically live in them)

i’ve got sram brakes and they’re great


Who makes good gilets? Mid range budget (50 -70 quid?) dunno what they cost really.

Dunno if I mentioned but I finally joined a cycling club of sorts!! They’re all a bunch of mtbers but they’ve fully welcomed little old slow me with open arms. Thursday we had a great ride and they toned down the mtb element to accommodate me.

They had a gravel ride out this morning and I realised about four miles in there was no way I could keep up with them so let them go off, but even just being in the WhatsApp group is giving me a real sense of belonging.

All blokes. Haha.


Also ngl their version of a gravel ride is basically single track and some seriously tough twists and turns.

I suppose my question to you hardened bikers is… Am I cramping their style? Would you be really pissed off at having to stay slow for a noob? I don’t want to be a burden to them. At the moment they’re being really nice and inclusive but I have the feeling behind closed doors they’re a bit like oh god not the slow coach. Wondering whether it’s worth doing a few more months on my own trying to get my fitness up… But also the irony is they push me far further than I would myself so am probably upping my fitness more with being with them

Im already starting to dread hills a bit less.

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I was in a similar boat - i went to club ride, embarrassed myself and then I never went back.

I would say it depends on the people -if they’re decent people, riding in a group to be social and have fun then they absolutely wgaf if they have to drop their pace. If they get antsy about having to not burn full gas everywhere because there’s a woman with them, then theyre bellends anyway and sod them. I’m sure you’re astute enough to sense what type of group they are.

I definitely think though if your aim is to get fitter and faster then you’ll do so much more effecitvely by riding in a strong group than by training solo, so stick with it imo, if you’re having fun then go for it!


Thank you Harru that is really good advice. I get the feeling the mtbers are a bit more forgiving than the gravel riders this morning. It was evident in their outfits… Thursday all trainers and baggy shorts, this morning caps, shaved legs and clip ins.

I actually think more of the problem is my bike! I felt comfortable with the mtbers but with my gravel bike I couldn’t do half the things they were doing and often had to split off from them and go down the gravel trail while they went into the woods. It wasn’t a massive issue as theyd routed the ride around me, but I’d have felt more comfortable with a mtb. Fat chance of getting one though!

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No. Any bike club worth sticking with should be inclusive of all abilities and stages of experience. Many are big enough to be able to split their rides into smaller groups tailored to experience levels, so that could be something worth looking out for.

Again, no, but this is where having lots of different expectations on a group ride starts to come into play. Most rides will be no drop (wait for the slowest rider of the group) and many clubs publish their proposed routes beforehand. If you’re being dropped without telling them to carry on, you need to fuck them off. But there may be an element of some riders in the group getting annoyed at (perceived) excessive stopping. Fuck em. They started somewhere too.

Personally, I hated riding with a club and preferred meeting mates and riding with them. But like harru said, you’ll find the most benefit sticking with a group, where they can pass on tips and experience and you’ll learn skills quicker with them than solo.

You’ll get there though. Maybe this group is lovely, but it may not be the best fit if they’re MTB and you’re on a gravel bike. But the experience of riding with a group is positive, so you should definitely stick with them.

I’ve really enjoyed your adventure into bike wankery, so stop worrying about others and get out there.


When I used to ride, my local club (who shall remain nameless) were the worst, unfriendly bunch ever. One ride one route (80kms), at times 60 riders, no road discipline, hazing of new riders (got pushed out of the line a few times into on coming traffic). Terrible bunch.

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Wtaf, that’s horrendous

Fucking hell, that’s not the smurfs is it?

South Down Velo

Smurfs were lovely in comparison

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The rebellious side of me is like… Let’s see what this bike can do ffs!!! A one way ticket to a broken stem :joy::joy::joy:

Thank you so much @rich-t. It feels so weird that a few months ago I was just bimbling around on a Brompton and now I’m actually managing trails and that.

Pushing people into oncoming traffic is fucking psycho behaviour and I’m glad you got away from that lot.

One of the reasons I like this group is its all mainly in the forest and no roads or cars to contend with. Also, they’re really considerate of walkers etc.

If they’re a considerate bunch, that should tell you a lot about their nature as a group then. You’ll figure it out

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@tilty I can only echo what others have said - if they’re a good bunch who have welcomed you, they shouldn’t be annoyed. In Penge we have… Well, a silly amount of rides going out at the moment (as we can only accommodate 6 riders per group, tomorrow we have fifteen groups going, and at least two unofficial others) and we cater for all abilities. It sounds like your folks are a bit smaller, but yeah. Also as everyone else has said, the best way to improve as a rider is to ride with others.

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I used to go out with my local CTC group. I enjoyed the rides and could keep up but I found it really cliquey. There were obviously groups who knew each other well and it was really hard to mix.

One night at a pub I got a bit bored trying to join chats and some were about to leave to go back so I asked if I join them on the journey back. They said yes, and they were A group riders and knew I was a B. But a few miles down the road I could keep up and I lost them I was going a so fucking hard bit I was just nowhere near.

I was pretty worried as I only vaguely knew where I was and it was dark but I manage to follow them enough to pick up on a main road and get back on my own. I haven’t been back.