My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
David9694
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My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby David9694 » 28 Jul 2019, 10:48pm

Great decision!

Quote a few people make it, but rush out with some ill-advised / exotic purchase that then becomes shed clutter three months later. I’m assuming you want to do road riding. I don’t know whether you live in the fens, London or the Peak District.

You’ll need to work out where and when you’re going to cycle. You’ll develop a handful of local loops from your house. What local cycling groups have you got around you? Start doing some basic work on your core muscles.

When I got back into cycling in my 40s, an 11 mile one hour ride on flat roads would put me on the sofa for the rest of the day. So while you want to stretch yourself, like all things build up slowly and don’t give yourself the grotty experience of having nothing left in the tank miles from home and with dark, cold or rain closing in. There’s a good reason why group rides start at 9 am. I used to try to stay close to bus and train routes and carry a cafe lock, just in case I clapped-out, an insurance I never used. You may get saddle sore to begin with and there are preventative creams for that. Don’t be tempted by padded saddles - the trick with hands and backside is to keep lateral movement to a minimum.

A couple of randomish bike picks of mine - I don’t own either one, but this to give a flavour of what to look for: Genesis Delta 20 and Ribble Endurance AL Disc. You don’t want something too twitchy and super-fast. You probably do want something that can mount mudguards for autumn riding. If things go well, this first bike could become your second bike in due course - most people have a winter bike and a “best” bike. My two picks, and there’s plenty more to choose from, are aluminium frame with carbon forks, decent set of gears, representing a lightweight, value for money combination. Tyres on new bike don’t tend to be the best. The Ribble 725 is nice too, but I’m a steel affencionado.

I’ve assumed some £££ leeway for some accessories - like cycle clothing. My wife thinks my padded pants are the worst, but you’ll need these to keep out the cold, a “base layer” top, suitable for the season, and your pick of shorts, 3/4 length or full length tights, and a couple of jerseys or gilets to layer up. Don’t try to ride these bikes for any distance in jeans, trainers and a t shirt. Ordinary clothing flaps, chafes and will give you a chill when it gets clammy. +Helmet, gloves, glasses. It’s miserable being cold, but also bear in mind on a chilly morning that you’ll warm up. Look after your extremities in the cold - e.g. over-socks for your feet, a buff around your neck. There’s a long whaleback ridge near me that I often cross and it’s always a couple of degrees colder on the far side.

A GPS ‘phone will do a lot of the time and distance tracking for you with minimal outlay - get a backup battery for it. ViewRanger is a favourite app of mine as it will help you plan, navigate and track if you buy your local OS mapping and it doesn’t rely on always having a signal. There’s lots of advice out there about specific training regimes and drills if you’re that way inclined.

As I’ve improved, I’ve been raising my saddle - it’s as though my legs have got longer. Buying from a shop might be good for you as they’ll help you get set up with the right size of bike. You don’t want a set-up that’s too long for you, or that is making you bend too low to reach the brake hoods - sitting on the bike and putting your hands on the handlebars should be a natural act for you, not too much of a stretch.

You’ll also want some cycling shoes and mostly it’s clipless pedals - try to start with dual-sided SPD pedals: Shimano M324 is a favourite of mine while you get used to the bike. Unclipping will take a bit of practice and most of us have gone over sideways at some point.

On any new bike, various bolts will come loose in the first few weeks, and your cables will stretch so be prepared for all that. This includes the bolts in your shoes that hold the cleats - if clipping/ unclipping isn’t snappy, loose bolts are a likely cause.

You’ll need some kind of bag for your spares (SKS saddlebags are a favourite of mine). Your basic kit will include a pump, puncture kit, multi tool, two spare inner tubes, model maker’s pliers, and in your pocket an extra water resistant layer to put on. Don’t forget some fluids and something to eat. Are you sure that village stores is open on a Sunday?

You’ll want some items for home - wet lube, dry lube, track pump, Muc Off cleaner, work stand, a collection of standard and bike specific tools that will grow.

good luck!!

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mjr
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Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby mjr » 28 Jul 2019, 11:13pm

That was a party political broadcast by the spandex orthodoxy party. Other types of cycling in ordinary clothes and group rides starting at 10am, 11am or even 7pm are available.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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horizon
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Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby horizon » 29 Jul 2019, 12:10am

David9694 wrote: There’s a good reason why group rides start at 9 am.



There's a good reason I don't go on them. :wink:
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

tatanab
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Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby tatanab » 29 Jul 2019, 6:59am

Why does this specify "Road Riding"? Surely the information (if valid) applies to all sorts of riding. In my view none of that advice is "needed". My advice would be "just get out there and ride on anything you have. You will adapt your position and equipment as you gain experience".

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Cugel
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Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby Cugel » 29 Jul 2019, 8:04am

Is that disguised spam for some bikes? Who's it for, the blurb?

Poster! Explain your motives and we can consider whether to believe them or not.

Cugel

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 29 Jul 2019, 8:19am

tatanab wrote:Why does this specify "Road Riding"? Surely the information (if valid) applies to all sorts of riding. In my view none of that advice is "needed". My advice would be "just get out there and ride on anything you have. You will adapt your position and equipment as you gain experience".

I agree.

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Mick F
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Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby Mick F » 29 Jul 2019, 8:36am

horizon wrote:
David9694 wrote: There’s a good reason why group rides start at 9 am.



There's a good reason I don't go on them. :wink:
Ditto with knobs on! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

profpointy
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Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby profpointy » 29 Jul 2019, 8:53am

Looks like a fair enough post to me, with some worthwhile suggestions, not all of which will everyone will necessarily agree with.
Poo-poohing him merely for having an opinion seems a tad churlish

To the OP - good for you !

keyboardmonkey
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Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby keyboardmonkey » 29 Jul 2019, 8:55am

profpointy wrote:Looks like a fair enough post to me, with some worthwhile suggestions, not all of which will everyone will necessarily agree with.
Poo-poohing him merely for having an opinion seems a tad churlish

To the OP - good for you !

+1

roubaixtuesday
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Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby roubaixtuesday » 29 Jul 2019, 9:14am

profpointy wrote:Looks like a fair enough post to me, with some worthwhile suggestions, not all of which will everyone will necessarily agree with.
Poo-poohing him merely for having an opinion seems a tad churlish

To the OP - good for you !


+2

David9694
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Joined: 10 Feb 2018, 8:42am

Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby David9694 » 29 Jul 2019, 9:19am

I’ve stated an assumption about what our imaginary enquirer might be looking for, broadly in line with the sort of riding many of us do. Let’s extend the post for those alternatives - people do pop up, often looking for instant answers. They might already have a bike available, in which yes, fix it up, go ride it. If they’re in the market, they might not want drop bars, they might not have £1000 to spend, might want to go off-road or do laden touring, all of which would affect that they go for.

What we don’t want is their initial enthusiasm being defeated by the many things that can go wrong, not least of which is lashing out on that £2000 Cervelo or Stork, having difficulties of various kinds, and giving up.

David9694
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Joined: 10 Feb 2018, 8:42am

Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby David9694 » 29 Jul 2019, 9:22am

horizon wrote:
David9694 wrote: There’s a good reason why group rides start at 9 am.



There's a good reason I don't go on them. :wink:


Me neither.

David9694
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Joined: 10 Feb 2018, 8:42am

Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby David9694 » 29 Jul 2019, 9:30am

mjr wrote:That was a party political broadcast by the spandex orthodoxy party. Other types of cycling in ordinary clothes and group rides starting at 10am, 11am or even 7pm are available.


I’m not top to toe, lean Castilli man, I’m somewhat overweight polyester- with Lycra string of sausages on wheels man. Ordinary clothes fine for tootling around in moderate conditions, but more than 60-90 minutes of reasonably strenuous riding and you’re likely to get uncomfortable. If your Lycra gets wet, you’ll dry off - wet denim can be a health hazard.

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Spinners
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Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby Spinners » 29 Jul 2019, 9:53am

profpointy wrote:Looks like a fair enough post to me, with some worthwhile suggestions, not all of which will everyone will necessarily agree with.
Poo-poohing him merely for having an opinion seems a tad churlish

To the OP - good for you !


+3
Cycling UK Life Member
PBP Ancien (2007)

pete75
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Re: My advice to those taking up or resuming road cycling

Postby pete75 » 29 Jul 2019, 9:56am

Spinners wrote:
profpointy wrote:Looks like a fair enough post to me, with some worthwhile suggestions, not all of which will everyone will necessarily agree with.
Poo-poohing him merely for having an opinion seems a tad churlish

To the OP - good for you !


+3


+4