Well, it has been a while since I posted and figured it was time. I have been working a lot of hours, but they have gone down recently. I have been fairly consistent about riding to work at least 3 times a week, though.
Anyway, I thought it would be good to share a post with people about where to find some good information about bicycles. I have amassed a decent amount of websites that will help out when in need.
I think the first one I will start with is probably the oldest and maybe the most complete site I have ever came across about bikes. It was put together by a guy named Sheldon Brown (RIP) and apparently if you emailed the guy, he would always email back. But, you want to know what the difference is between a cup and cone and cartridge bottom bracket is? Here is the place. Want to know the hell a lateral stay is (I did not even know that until now) is? You can probably find it on here. It is a great site that deserves a bookmark: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/
Here is another great site that I came across. This site is all about repairs. It shows you how to do the basic stuff like fixing a flat, installing new cables, how to overhaul your hubs and bottom bracket and how to assemble a brand new bike out of the box. And, it is not just some pictures with a digital camera. He has someone filming it and goes through all the steps! The unfortunate thing is that Alex, the site owner, has not posted anything new in nearly 9 months now. But, there are still 43 outstanding tutorials on this site: http://bicycletutor.com/
Did you find a bike on craigslist that you think will be a good fit for your body and needs? Well, before you go over to look at it, there is another excellent site that has information on every bike basically ever made. It will tell you what the frame and fork are made out of, what kind of components it has, and even the the suggested retail price is. So, you can make sure you aren't going to be able to go the bike shop and get it for the same price or cheaper. What I don't like about this site is that it does not list information from anything past 1993, but I am a lover of old bikes. You can even find the weight of the bike on some of the listings: http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/Default.aspx
Do you work with a guy that is just convinced because you ride your bike you don't pay your fair share on taxes? If you do, just send him the link to this site: http://www.stlbikefed.org/Advocacy/Cyclistspaytaxestoo/tabid/150/Default.aspx
I was not sure I wanted to put these down as I am kind of giving free advertising and I do believe in shopping locally. But, sometimes going online is going to save you some money and allow you to get a few things that are hard to find.
This site has plenty of inexpensive stuff, although beware of some of the Sette house brand stuff. Some of it really is not that great. I have dealt with them a few times and the shipping is pretty quick and they do have great sales at times: http://www.pricepoint.com/Default.htm
This site is a big site that I have never purchased anything from really, but they have a good rep and there is plenty of stuff to buy: http://www.jensonusa.com/
I am sure you could find more store if you look. In order to belabor the point, you can google Nashbar, Performance, and whatever the brand of bike you want.
Finally, a great site I ran into is one that plans your route for you using Google maps. The bummer is that it is only for Portland and Milwaukee, WI. It really works just like Google maps and allows you to choose a safe or a "normal" route. It is: bycycle.org
So, happy riding to all and be safe! The days are getting shorter so don't forget the lights. This company makes great lights and they donate 25% of proceeds to bicycle advocacy!: http://www.planetbike.com/page/