General questions from a clydsdale newbie

Discussion in 'Clydesdales 200lb / 90kg + riders' started by xeus, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. xeus

    xeus New Member

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    So my newest weight loss scheme is road cycling, I bought an entry level road bike from Bikesdirect.com and it should be here Thursday. My questions focus on the bike itself and particularly the fit. I went to a LBS to figue out the correct size frame, let them know I wouldn't be puchasing anything that day and I was just trying to do a little research. So I'm pretty sure the frame is a good size for me, I'm 6'4" ish and ~ 265lbs. I got a steel 61cm frame.

    The cheapest place for a tune up is 75, and a fitting is 125 in my area. Now I just can't bring myself to pay that much money for this. When it comes to the "tune up" what can I do myself to make sure its rideable? I plan on going trough and tighteneing everything, but what are some tricks for making sure the wheels are "true"?

    As far as fit goes, I know that the leg should be very slightly bent at the bottom of the stroke, what are some other common things I need to keep in mind when it comes to fit? I know every body type is different, but any general rules of thumb would be a great help.

    Not sure if this is the right forum, but I waned to get the opinions of larger people, and not some skinny litlle 5'10 ****.
     
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  2. jagonz456

    jagonz456 New Member

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    Congrats on your new purchase i hope your new bike helps you meet your goals. I am 6'3 220 but i was 267lb before i started riding so i think i can help you. First Fit is the most important thing you should visit different bike shops and see if you can find a shop with a certified bike fitter at a lower price. If its not in the budget then you can set up a good fit following the instructions on this website
    Fit Calculator - Competitive Cyclist

    Second bike maintenance $75 is a lot on a bike tune up. I would shop around and see if you can get a price closer to $40-$50. If they are changing cables and checking your gears it might be a little more usually under normal wear you can get away with a tune up every year. If you are mechanical inclined you can follow the tips at this website

    Welcome to Bicycle Cleaning & Maintenance 101

    Third is tracking your miles the best way to do this is with a bike computer you can get one very cheap for around $35-40 for wireless buy it at the bike shop and they will install it for free. setup an account at this website mapmyride.com you can track your miles and see your progress you don't have to pay for an account you can use the free membership. This site is also great to find bike paths and rides around your area. It will keep track of your weight loss/sleep/caloric intake and life of your equipment. If you have an Iphone they have a bunch of Bike apps that can help you s well.

    when you can its a good idea to get a heart monitor so that you can see your heart rate and make sure that you are training in the right zone with out over working.
     
  3. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    Well, I'll tell you what I know (probably ain't much but the price is right):

    Check around with your LBS(s); some may offer informal classes on basic maintainence - washing it, oiling the chain, etc. Bring a 6 pack and they'll love ya. Otherwise Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintainence is the Bible of DIY bike fixing. For the mechanically inclined, it SHOULD be pretty simple; I've also found that if you want to learn to do stuff yourself, a LBS can be pretty tolerant of you nosing around and watching them work on your bike.

    As for the fit, I just had a fit for $175. I can tell you that it feels a TON better, but I agree it is a lot of coin to drop. Shop around, and see if you can get some opinions from others about which LBS is the best in your area if you have choices. Better to pay a few bucks more for someone who knows what they're doing as opposed to saving some nickels on a half-assed job IMO.

    Your pedal clips should be positioned on the ball of your foot for max power. EVERY part of your handlebars should be comfortable to ride on. You should not feel like you're stretching or cramped in when you've got your hands on the brake hoods.
     
  4. TheMadOne

    TheMadOne New Member

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    You didn't say what your past experience is. If you had been riding a lot, you probably know what a good fit is. But if not, it will take a lot of trial and error. If you don't want to spend for a bike fit, find a local bicycle club, and do some group rides. Look at how other people who were fit properly are set up, and follow that example. Have them look at you while you ride and give you pointers. For example, if the rider behind can see your hips rocking, that's a sure sign your seat is too high.
     
  5. xeus

    xeus New Member

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    So I got the bike yesterday via UPS. I'm pretty mechanically inclined and it took me 3-4 hours to assemble it completely with total initial fit, adjusting the derailer, installing the bike computer, adjusting the brake pads and brakes themselves, ect ect ect. I was unable to go for a ride last night though as it was raining pretty heavily. Luckily my nieghbor rides a bit and he was able to help me out with a few things, most notably (and slightly embarassing for me) hand position on the handlebars. It makes so much sense, but being a total newbie I had no idea that the normal position is on the top of the forward portion. I wondered how I was gonna shift. He also let me know that regarding riding shorts its usually better to position "it" in an upward position or it could get a little uncomfortable real fast. Looking forward to to a real ride tonight, gonna see if I can get 10 miles in, but I want to make sure I stay closeish to my apartment in case of massive failure.
     
  6. jagonz456

    jagonz456 New Member

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    Try and ride in a park or a bike path without cars. Make sure to always pedal when shifting and never pedal backwards when shifting. Get yourself a spare tube and Co2 pump and practice how to fix a flat at home. Before you ride make sure you have your tires pumped up to the highest psi for your tube (if you don't have a floor pump buy one today). Remember your Gas is food so when your on your bike remember to drink lot of water and eat protein bars,GU, fruits or figs whatever gets you going on long rides food is the key if you don't eat your body will break down. Good luck and enjoy your new bike (post some pictures)
     
  7. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    I would bet most fasteners on the bike are already correctly tightened. If you tighten them more, you risk breaking them. Whereas you mainly risk stuff becoming loose now.
    I pay a shop to true my wheels. It runs around $15-20 per wheel without the other tuneup stuff. They say new machine-built wheels will get a bit wobbly at first but settle in after the first good truing, so I just went ahead and paid for the service, and so far it seems to work the way they said, barring a major bump. If you want to do it yourself they have instructions online.

    I think the main other thing the shop does during a tuneup is to adjust the shifter barrel adjusters to take the slack out of the cables which forms when the high spots are worn off the cable and housing. Once that happens the wear slows down and the cable tension needs much less adjustment. I think you could probably do it yourself.
     
  8. xeus

    xeus New Member

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    Went on my first 2 digit ride today, this is half way in at a gas station.
     
  9. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    Good job. It's a nice positive feedback loop - the better you feel, the further you can ride, and the better you feel as you start riding further, the more you want to ride far.
     
  10. xeus

    xeus New Member

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    ok so Ive started logging more and more miles each week, and even on a daily basis now. Ive never been one for stretching, but DAMN my legs are burning the first 3-4 miles of my rides until I loosedn up a bit. What are some god stretches to do to counteract this? I know the basic pull your foot up to your butt, and the bend over till your gut keeps you from touching your toes, but what else can I do?
     
  11. xeus

    xeus New Member

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    oh yeah, I'm going to break 100 miles tomorrow.....**** YEAH
     
  12. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    Lay on your back, and pull your knee up towards the opposite shoulder.
     
  13. ghefty

    ghefty New Member

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    OK, so it's been a little while since you hit 100 miles. How's your progress?
     
  14. xeus

    xeus New Member

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    oh man I kinda forgot about this thread, I lost my job at the end of april so I've had plenty of time to ride. I try to average ~ 125 miles a week or so and just passed the 1,500 mark recently. I,ve gone through 3 tubes, a pair of bike shorts, 2 pairs of sunglasses, a rear flashing light that came off during a construction zone, gotten my rims balanced twice, and ~ 17 lbs. I'm loving it!
     
  15. Wlfdg

    Wlfdg New Member

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    :D Congrats!
     
  16. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    Assuming Wlfdg is congratulating you on the mileage and not the job loss, I heartily second this!
     
  17. Wlfdg

    Wlfdg New Member

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    Congratulations are for the mileage for sure. Really the congrats is for having the ambition to get it done. Very :cool:
     
  18. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    What are you doing to your bike shorts that they die so quickly?
     
  19. ChrisA70

    ChrisA70 New Member

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    Man, you are an inspiration. I just bought a 6 month old Bianchi from a friend who was too old school to ride aluminum/carbon, so he kept his 1984 Trek steelie and basically gave away his new bike to me. I am looking to do the same as you, I am 210lbs., 5'10" and need to go down to 175. After 20 years off a bike(back in 1986-1990 I used to ride 125-150 a week or more, and up mountain roads in New England, of course i was age 16-20 back then), I just know I need to for healths sake and because I miss cycling. 17 lbs, GREAT job!!!

    I almost bought that same bike you bought. Love steel frames....
     
  20. Coloradoflyer

    Coloradoflyer New Member

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    Not wanting to hijack this thread too much but the title seems to fit.

    I am a "super-newbie" and I have a few "issues"...

    I ride around a small town, wanting to transition to the bike for more of the "town stuff" like groceries, the hiking trail heads (no bikes allowed), and meetings/local gatherings - you know, save money, less gas and of course dropping some pounds. Every time I do a job in Europe I see the old style bikes all over the place and now I see the same type of thing here stateside in large urban areas.

    I have a hand-me-down that was a gift, an aluminum frame thing that I think I am going to break, I was thinking about getting a steel frame bike that has a more upright riding position, and will last for years of daily short urban/suburban use and a few unpaved bike trails (nothing challenging, just local bike shortcuts).

    I was thinking about one of the industrial/commuter bikes, something like a simple steel frame with a simple easy to maintain 3 speed. The LBS does not carry any of this style of bike, and I felt a bit uncomfortable around the biking clientele and the owner who seemed uninterested in helping an old fat guy, at least unless I was going to pop for a new 800 plus buck Cannondale.

    Am I barking up the wrong tree?

    Any suggestions?
     
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