Beginner - advice from experts please? Please help....

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by The Oracle, Jun 13, 2003.

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  1. The Oracle

    The Oracle Guest

    Hello, I am a beginner cyclist (okay, I had a Raleigh Chopper when I was a kid but we won't go
    there!!). I am also a runner and I am recovering from bad shin splints so I decided to go out on my
    bike for some exercise - a wrecked Peugeot "mountain bike". Guess what - I loved it and did about 50
    miles. I have done this about ten times so far and I find it great and marevlous for fitness. It
    doesn't stress the joints and bones as much as running and its great for my weight training becuase
    its great for my quad muscles in my legs

    I am six feet two and mucular in the upper body and legs and weigh in at 15 stone. I am 35 years
    old. I am going to get riding a lot more but can I have some advice from you guys please? I see
    loads of cyclists on the road who seem to be on racing bikes. What are they doing and how many miles
    are they doing as a guess? I would like to do that too. What do I need? What kind of bike? Is it
    dangerous on the roads nowadays? Are there any clubs in Nottingham for someone like me - I am very
    dedicated. Any specific URL's for me to look at?

    Thanks very much for any assistance. Steve Nottingham
     
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  2. Peter B

    Peter B Guest

    "The Oracle" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I see loads of cyclists on the road who seem to be on racing bikes. What are they doing and how
    > many miles
    are
    > they doing as a guess?

    Having invested in a good quality road (racing as opposed to touring) bike I'd guess a "short" ride
    to be between 20 and 40 miles and a longish one 50 to 80 miles with the bit in the middle neither
    here nor there ;-) (or at least that's about what I do) The reason for arriving at this is because
    if you're not interested in riding at relatively high average speeds of say 17 to 20 mph it's
    pointless, IMHO, to buy a "racer" when maybe a tourer may be more comfortable and functional. So
    quite simply an hour or two after work is a short ride of upto 40 miles and a Sunday morning ride of
    3 or 4 hours gives the higher figure. In my case my span of attention is exhausted after 4 hours on
    a road bike so if I want a good "days" ride I'll go off-road somewhere like the Peak District on my
    mtb. (With a touring road bike you could do a similar thing but obviously with very limited off-road
    capability).

    >I would like to do that too. What do I need? What kind of bike?

    Think of spending £500 up for starters, if you can get a previous years model at clearance price so
    much the better generally. You should be able to manage Nottinghamshire with 18 gears, (just a
    double chainring) but somewhere like the Peaks will require 27 gears (triple chainring) and it's
    probably not a bad idea to go down that route anyway.

    > Is it dangerous on the roads nowadays?

    Well it's not undangerous but the health benefits of cycling outweigh the road risks. Hopefully
    others will point you to some websites that provide info on good practice.

    > Are there any clubs in Nottingham for someone like me - I am very dedicated. Any specific
    URL's
    > for me to look at?

    http://www.ctc.org.uk/ The CTC provide all kinds of info, help and third party insurance is included
    in the membership fee. http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/index.shtml provides maintenance help.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com is a font of information and humour.
    http://www.shimano-europe.com/cycling/ for more technical stuff. http://www.leisure-lakes.co.uk sell
    bikes and kit. http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/ sell kit at rock bottom prices with fast, free
    delivery. http://www.bikemagic.co.uk/review/review.asp?sp=&v=2 Provide reviews of bikes and kit plus
    other stuff.

    Pete
     
  3. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Pete B wrote:
    > if you're not interested in riding at relatively high average speeds of say 17 to 20 mph it's
    > pointless, IMHO, to buy a "racer" when maybe a tourer may be more comfortable and functional.

    I disagree with those figures. I usually ride at under 17mph average
    (14.5 - 18) and find my road bike much more enjoyable and efficient than a tourer - at least when
    the weather's ok and I don't need to carry much luggage. I tend to do 15 to 40 mile rides,
    with the occasional longer one up to 60 odd. Thing is, like most people, I'm going a lot
    faster than my _average_ speed for plenty of the time and that's when the road bike's
    qualities really kick in.

    So Steve, not /everyone/ you see on a road bike is a racer-in-training or hardcore fitness fanatic.
    The next one you see might just be some bloke going down the road to post a letter - all lycra'd-up,
    of course! :)

    ~PB
     
  4. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    The Oracle asked:

    > What do I need?

    New road bike (avoid the cheapest ones) or a second-hand one, shoes, gloves (mitts), shorts, water
    bottles, pump, small tool kit, cycle computer, lights. That's it, to start.

    > What kind of bike?

    Normal road race bike. They're all of quite similar type and quality for the money. It's vital to
    get right size and shape for you, so consult a couple of bike shops that sell plenty of road bikes.
    The most major decision over componentry is over the chainset: double or triple (number of sprockets
    at the front) - and that's a whole subject in itself. Everything else is relatively unimportant and
    you can always upgrade/replace when you've learnt more (next year, etc). But it is often worth
    changing saddles, tyres and pedals straight away to something more comfortable or better-quality for
    general use.

    > Is it dangerous on the roads nowadays?

    Not if you are sensible and alert.

    ~PB
     
  5. Peter B

    Peter B Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Pete B wrote:
    > > if you're not interested in riding at relatively high average speeds of say 17 to 20 mph it's
    > > pointless, IMHO, to buy a "racer" when maybe a tourer may be more comfortable and functional.
    >
    > I disagree with those figures. I usually ride at under 17mph average
    > (14.5 - 18) and find my road bike much more enjoyable and efficient than a tourer - at least when
    > the weather's ok and I don't need to carry much luggage. I tend to do 15 to 40 mile rides,
    > with the occasional longer one up to 60 odd. Thing is, like most people, I'm going a lot
    > faster than my _average_ speed for plenty of the time and that's when the road bike's
    > qualities really kick in.

    Yes. On reflection I agree with you Pete. Average speed is in itself not a valid criteria for bike
    selection. I'd prefer a "racing" bike for its handling qualities alone as I travel light anyway. And
    early in the year my average isn't 17mph either but I'm still almightily chuffed to be on my "racer"
    after laying it up during the salty road period
    :)

    Pete
     
  6. Ian

    Ian Guest

    Buy a recumbent, comfort, high ish cruising speeds depending of course on fitness, you can pedal
    round corners, and at least 50years ahead of wedgies in technology.

    Ian

    > Pete B wrote:
    >> if you're not interested in riding at relatively high average speeds of say 17 to 20 mph it's
    >> pointless, IMHO, to buy a "racer" when maybe a tourer may be more comfortable and functional.
    >
    > I disagree with those figures. I usually ride at under 17mph average
    > (14.5 - 18) and find my road bike much more enjoyable and efficient than a tourer - at least when
    > the weather's ok and I don't need to carry much luggage. I tend to do 15 to 40 mile rides,
    > with the occasional longer one up to 60 odd. Thing is, like most people, I'm going a lot
    > faster than my _average_ speed for plenty of the time and that's when the road bike's
    > qualities really kick in.
    >
    > So Steve, not /everyone/ you see on a road bike is a racer-in-training or hardcore fitness
    > fanatic. The next one you see might just be some bloke going down the road to post a letter - all
    > lycra'd-up, of course! :)
    >
    > ~PB
     
  7. The Oracle

    The Oracle Guest

    Thankyou guys, A big subject this isn't it. By the way, I have got a killer ache in the groin area
    from cycling. Does this go away eventually? Steve

    "The Oracle" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hello, I am a beginner cyclist (okay, I had a Raleigh Chopper when I was a kid
    but
    > we won't go there!!). I am also a runner and I am recovering from bad
    shin
    > splints so I decided to go out on my bike for some exercise - a wrecked Peugeot "mountain bike".
    > Guess what - I loved it and did about 50 miles.
    I
    > have done this about ten times so far and I find it great and marevlous
    for
    > fitness. It doesn't stress the joints and bones as much as running and
    its
    > great for my weight training becuase its great for my quad muscles in my legs
    >
    > I am six feet two and mucular in the upper body and legs and weigh in at
    15
    > stone. I am 35 years old. I am going to get riding a lot more but can I have some advice from you
    > guys please? I see loads of cyclists on the
    road
    > who seem to be on racing bikes. What are they doing and how many miles
    are
    > they doing as a guess? I would like to do that too. What do I need?
    What
    > kind of bike? Is it dangerous on the roads nowadays? Are there any clubs in Nottingham for someone
    > like me - I am very dedicated. Any specific
    URL's
    > for me to look at?
    >
    > Thanks very much for any assistance. Steve Nottingham
     
  8. John B

    John B Guest

    The Oracle wrote:

    > Thankyou guys, A big subject this isn't it. By the way, I have got a killer ache in the groin area
    > from cycling. Does this go away eventually? Steve

    If you take Ian's previous advice about a recumbent, yes. It is futile to resist the DS; it will
    strike anywhere ;-)

    John B
     
  9. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jun 2003 11:24:30 +0100, "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:

    >So Steve, not /everyone/ you see on a road bike is a racer-in-training or hardcore fitness fanatic.
    >The next one you see might just be some bloke going down the road to post a letter - all
    >lycra'd-up, of course! :)
    >

    You've been spying on me, Pete.

    James

    --
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/c.butty/Dscf0632.jpg
     
  10. >By the way, I have got a killer ache in the groin area from cycling. Does this go away
    >eventually? Steve

    You need to check your saddle - is it positioned correctly and is it comfortable? Are you wearing
    padded cycling shorts? If not - it's worth investing in some.

    Honestly - with a comfortable, correctly fitting and correctly positioned saddle, you should not
    have any discomfort at all.

    The other thing to check is whether or not you are wearing underpants or "going commando". If you
    wear underpants, you can get a rubbing between the groin and the edge of your underpants. For this
    reason, many prefer to go commando :)

    Cheers, helen s

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    This is sent from a redundant email Mail sent to it is dumped My correct one can be gleaned from
    h$**$*$el$**e$n$**$d$**$o$*$t**$$s$**$im$mo$ns*@a$**o$l.c$$*o$*m*$ by getting rid of the
    overdependence on money and fame
    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  11. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    wafflyDIRTYcatLITTERhcsBOX wrote:

    > Honestly - with a comfortable, correctly fitting and correctly positioned saddle, you should not
    > have any discomfort at all.

    To an extent... even the best saddles, especially on racers, are quite small and support your weight
    over a limited area. If you're sat on it for several hours it's quite possible you'll ache (as you
    would sat on a kitchen stool for several hours) regardless of position and fit. To avoid this
    altogether, get a bike with a comfy chair instead (they're the ones called "recumbents").

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  12. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Ian wrote:
    > Buy a recumbent, comfort, high ish cruising speeds depending of course =
    on
    > fitness, you can pedal round corners, and at least 50years ahead of wed=
    gies
    > in technology.

    Aside from aerodynamic fairings (where used) the technology is pretty=20 much the same. My recumbent
    uses standard gears, standard wheels,=20 standard brakes, standard controls, standard suspension
    units, standard=20 tubing fixed together with standard welding and it carries standard=20 panniers.
    The seat isn't standard, but it doesn't employ any more=20 technology than a typical modern saddle.
    So the technology isn't really any different, it's just the mindset that =

    doesn't have the UCI's "this is how we define a a bike, and you shall=20 not do anything else"
    dominating what gets *done* with the technology.

    But as a recumbent rider who much prefers them just because of the=20 possibilities this mindset
    affords, I'll recommend you at least consider =

    one of the hotter sports models too. You can get just as much exercise=20 but do it in a comfy
    chair instead of perched on a wee saddle on a pole=20 while leaning on your arms for a long spell.
    Note that the "high=20 cruising speed" depends on the design as well as fitness, just as much=20
    as an upright bike. Urban recumbents are slow, racing recumbents can=20 move like shit off a
    teflon shovel.

    There are definite downsides: first up, the market is small so things=20 start far more expensive.
    You can get a nice upright racer for =A3500=20 while a hot 'bent will start at twice that. Because
    really nice=20 uprights are a niche as well the price difference isn't maintained=20 though, so a
    really amazing 'bent won't necessarily cost anything like=20 twice as much as a really amazing
    upright. If you want to race, most races are closed to 'bents (they were banned=20 in the 1930s
    after someone had the cheek to take the hour record on one=20 and upset the Powers That Be, the
    UCI). And if you want to go out with=20 the local Chain Gangs you really need a bike that has the
    same overall=20 characteristics as everyone else's, as you'll be doing co-operative=20 drafting and
    riding as a bunch most of the time ('bents will usually be=20 slower up hills, faster down and
    faster into the wind than an upright=20 racer with a similar standard of rider). You need to be an
    exhibitionist: you will get noticed and talked about,=20 and though most of the buzz is +ve there
    are some folk who'll laugh at=20 you. Avoid if you dislike standing out a *long* way from crowds.

    If those downsides aren't a problem, might as well do your cycling in=20 more comfort rather than
    less, and that means look at recumbents.

    Final note is that even if you don't choose recumbent, "road bikes" are=20 not limited to UCI-style
    racers. Things like the hotter Moultons,=20 Airnimals and Bike Fridays will be just as quick but do
    things like come =

    apart for transport and stowage, maybe have roadgoing suspension to=20 improve comfort and
    efficiency over poor surfaces and so on. Again the=20 case that stepping outside the usual box puts
    the base price up to=20 around a grand though.

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics,
    Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  13. > Is it dangerous on the roads nowadays?

    Well it's safer than walking, measured in deaths per mile, but I seem to recall that once you do
    more than 1000 miles per year, the accident rate per year doesn't get any bigger, no matter how many
    miles you do.

    Experience is the best teacher, but her fees are expensive, as the saying goes, so it's best to
    learn from other people's bad experience, not your own. Not everything that you should do is
    intuitively obvious, and there is a lot of bad advice floating around.

    The definitive book to read is John Franklin, "Cyclecraft", the Stationary Office.

    beware of bike facilities. Those most enthusiastic about them tend to be those who have most
    difficulty riding on the road. This is often because they do the wrong thing. Those same mistakes
    tend to get built into bike faiclities, essentially making those mistakes compulsory.

    Jeremy Parker
     
  14. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    The Oracle <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Thankyou guys, A big subject this isn't it. By the way, I have got a killer ache in the groin area
    : from cycling. Does this go away eventually?

    Yes and once won't do any harm, but cycling should be comfortable.

    The probable causes are a saddle that's too high, too low, too soft or too hard. So that covers a
    fair few things.

    The most likely cuase on a bike that's just been bought are either the saddle being too high or too
    soft and wide in my experience.

    See if you can borrow some different saddles from friends and try them out. What they find
    increadably uncomfortable may work fine for you and visa vera.

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org Power is delightful. Absolute power is absolutely delightful -
    Lord Lester
     
  15. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    On Mon, 16 Jun 2003 09:13:03 +0000, Jeremy Parker <[email protected]> wrote:

    >beware of bike facilities. Those most enthusiastic about them tend to be those who have most
    >difficulty riding on the road. This is often because they do the wrong thing. Those same mistakes
    >tend to get built into bike faiclities, essentially making those mistakes compulsory.

    Or to put it another way: dangerous places, cycle lanes.

    --
    Dave...
     
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