Having fun with my new bike



K

Karen Gallagher

Guest
I hit the tarmac today for the first time in some 20 years - my own fault,
but I'd like some ideas if there's anything I can do to avoid it.

My new (to me) bike's an Avanti Corso - I'd describe it as a short wheelbase
bike, rather like the track bike I raced 30 years ago - so short that on
turning the front wheel sharply, the tyre hits my shoes.

I was waiting for a gap in traffic to turn right, it was rush hour, so I had
a long wait. Then a long safe gap. It's an uphill start, so a bit wobbly
while I clip in - wobbled too much, wheel hit the shoe & I leave bloodstains
on the tarmac & get a bit winded.

No real damage though, bit of skin missing here & there & another scratch on
the bike, but with a bike as short as this, what do I do to avoid a repeat
performance?

--
"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."
- Slartibartfast
 
R

Random Data

Guest
On Thu, 11 May 2006 17:16:29 +1000, Karen Gallagher wrote:

> No real damage though, bit of skin missing here & there & another scratch on
> the bike, but with a bike as short as this, what do I do to avoid a repeat
> performance?


There's not much you can do set up wise, since that's a function of
the bike's geometry. However, you can work on getting the wobble out of
your take off, and making sure your foot isn't in the way.

1) Work on clipping in quickly so you can get power down quickly. That'll
get rid of a lot of the wobble. I'm assuming you're running traditional
one sided road pedals here. Double sided MTB pedals are easier, and then
you've got those eggbeaters, which are for those too unco to clip into a
real pedal </troll>

2) Trackstand? I know you're just getting into bikes again, but this is a
great way to be able to get going quickly. Fun when you tag your forward
foot on the wheel trying to trackstand... Look around Google for some how
tos, but it's basically a matter of turning the wheel and then using
balance to stay upright by letting the bike rock back and forward to push
left and right. Practice in the park to avoid injury!

3) Get into the habit of setting your feet so that they're way from the
wheel. If you have to start in your lowest gear so you can pedal one
footed while you get the other foot in,do so.

4) Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike! The more you ride, the
easier all the little things get. Have a playful attitude to riding as
well. I'm allegedly on the sensible side of 30, but that doesn't stop me
trying to hip jump embankments on the side of the road. Provided there are
no cars around, doing silly stuff on a bike is a great way to improve your
balance and agility, which improves your ability to do silly stuff on a
bike.

--
Dave Hughes | [email protected]
"My ambition, naturally, is to have a student quote my own words back
to me without attribution in a final paper. That's an office hour I'd
look forward to." -- Kieran Healy, on plagiarism
 
T

Terry Collins

Guest
Karen Gallagher wrote:

> No real damage though, bit of skin missing here & there & another scratch on
> the bike, but with a bike as short as this, what do I do to avoid a repeat
> performance?
>


Well, apart from getting a bicycle with a longer wheelbase (ducks), or
chopping off your toes, sounds like you needed to be a lower gear.

I have to keep telling my wife to change down to the gear she needs to
start with before she stops. Partly why I've decided to chase hub gears
for her next bicycle.

OTOH, you can ignore my advice because I've only ever raced with loaded
pannier to places like train stations {:).
 
K

Karen Gallagher

Guest
Terry Collins wrote:
> Karen Gallagher wrote:
>
>> No real damage though, bit of skin missing here & there & another
>> scratch on the bike, but with a bike as short as this, what do I do
>> to avoid a repeat performance?
>>

>
> Well, apart from getting a bicycle with a longer wheelbase (ducks), or
> chopping off your toes, sounds like you needed to be a lower gear.
>
> I have to keep telling my wife to change down to the gear she needs to
> start with before she stops. Partly why I've decided to chase hub
> gears for her next bicycle.
>
> OTOH, you can ignore my advice because I've only ever raced with
> loaded pannier to places like train stations {:).


I was already in the lowest gear - it was the uphill start that had me off -
the shoe missed the cleat (keo) slid off, and while I was trying hard to
pull up with the other foot (unsuccessfully due to the hill) the wobble took
over!

I did change the cluster last week, lowest gear was only a 23, now it's 25,
the biggest that would fit without major engineering. I may have to think of
changing both chainwheels, as the small one is about the size of the biggest
on my hybrid, and the large one I only use going down Camp Hill or similar.
But that's going to cost me ...

Looks as if I'll have to take on Random Data's suggestion of learning to
track stand - I never did master that even when racing at Coventry Velodrome
in the 60's. Though that trick would not have saved me tonight, in the rush
hour I'd had to wait by the side of the road more than five minutes before
there was any gap to cross the two lanes to my turnoff.

And yes, I'll have to improve my skills at clipping into the Keo's - they
are nowhere near as easy as my Keywins were, the pedals haven't done enough
kms to rotate _really_ freely yet.

Might take the day off riding tomorrow - did a long ride today, and falling
heavily at the end of the ride has left me bruised all over & lots of gravel
rash. Must check out my helmet too as it got quite a knock on the tarmac.
And at my age I don't seem to bounce the way I used to :(

Karen
--
"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."
- Slartibartfast
 
A

adam85

Guest
"Karen Gallagher" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>I hit the tarmac today for the first time in some 20 years - my own fault,
>but I'd like some ideas if there's anything I can do to avoid it.
>
> My new (to me) bike's an Avanti Corso - I'd describe it as a short
> wheelbase bike, rather like the track bike I raced 30 years ago - so short
> that on turning the front wheel sharply, the tyre hits my shoes.
>
> I was waiting for a gap in traffic to turn right, it was rush hour, so I
> had a long wait. Then a long safe gap. It's an uphill start, so a bit
> wobbly while I clip in - wobbled too much, wheel hit the shoe & I leave
> bloodstains on the tarmac & get a bit winded.
>
> No real damage though, bit of skin missing here & there & another scratch
> on the bike, but with a bike as short as this, what do I do to avoid a
> repeat performance?
>
> --
> "I'd far rather be happy than right any day."
> - Slartibartfast


What a bugger Karen! I don't really have anything more to add than what
RandomData said. Now you know about it you'll probably be ok. Why is it you
can clip in a million times straight away, but the one time you have to
start up a steep hill with angry traffic behind you and need to sprint away
is the one time you'll flick the pedal with your shoe sending it spinning,
then you'll have to have a few goes at it before clipping in. Even more
likely to happen when there are more witnesses :)

Just thinking about what I do subconciously with my SPD-SL pedals - I take
off with one clipped in foot at the forward position (about 10-oclock), give
it a quarter turn to the bottom of the stroke, but with the brakes dragging
so it's kinda like a track-stand, clip it with the other foot at the top of
the stroke and go. Normally only takes about a second or two. If on the odd
occasion I stuff up I can soft pedal with the shoe just resting on the
pedal.

I recently bought a track bike and put a front brake on it so I could ride
it on the street. It's got steep geometry so it's got heaps of toe overlap.
I saw someone I knew and instictively did a really tight U-turn forgetting I
was on a fixie and just buried the wheel into my foot. Somehow managed to
flick the wheel back until my foot was clear but it must have looked gumby
:)

Oh yeah, my wife has a Avanti Corsa as well. It's about normal for toe
overlap I guess. Maybe see you an a brissie ride sometime.

Adam
 
T

TimC

Guest
On 2006-05-11, adam85 (aka Bruce)
was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
> I recently bought a track bike and put a front brake on it so I could ride
> it on the street.


Pffft. JayWoo spits in your general direction. As does Chuck Norris.

--
TimC
A transistor protected by a fast-acting fuse will protect
the fuse by blowing first. --unknown
 
T

Terry Collins

Guest
Karen Gallagher wrote:

> I was already in the lowest gear - it was the uphill start that had me off -
> the shoe missed the cleat (keo) slid off,


Toe clips {:)


> But that's going to cost me ...


Decades ago, one of my first major investments was in cotterless cranks
ad TA triple cranks, then I started buying various size chain rings to
play swapsies. Still wearing some of them out with help from swmbo.


> And at my age I don't seem to bounce the way I used to :(


Ouch.
 
D

Donga

Guest
TimC wrote:
> On 2006-05-11, adam85 (aka Bruce)
> was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
> > I recently bought a track bike and put a front brake on it so I could ride
> > it on the street.

>
> Pffft. JayWoo spits in your general direction. As does Chuck Norris.



Hehehehehe. I'm glad not everyone has forgotten Chuck's prime use for
his beard.

donga
 
D

Donga

Guest
Karen

I reckon you are up there with Robbie in the legend stakes. Guts all
the way! I reckon if you raced a trackie 30 years ago, you know all the
answers and you're just buttering us up. How to avoid a repeat
performance? Slartibartfast knows the answer...know the force, young
Jedi.

Donga
 
V

Vincent Patrick

Guest
Karen Gallagher wrote:

> Terry Collins wrote:
>> Karen Gallagher wrote:
>>
>>> No real damage though, bit of skin missing here & there & another
>>> scratch on the bike, but with a bike as short as this, what do I do
>>> to avoid a repeat performance?
>>>

>>
>> Well, apart from getting a bicycle with a longer wheelbase (ducks), or
>> chopping off your toes, sounds like you needed to be a lower gear.
>>
>> I have to keep telling my wife to change down to the gear she needs to
>> start with before she stops. Partly why I've decided to chase hub
>> gears for her next bicycle.
>>
>> OTOH, you can ignore my advice because I've only ever raced with
>> loaded pannier to places like train stations {:).

>
> I was already in the lowest gear - it was the uphill start that had me off
> - the shoe missed the cleat (keo) slid off, and while I was trying hard to
> pull up with the other foot (unsuccessfully due to the hill) the wobble
> took over!
>
> I did change the cluster last week, lowest gear was only a 23, now it's
> 25, the biggest that would fit without major engineering. I may have to
> think of changing both chainwheels, as the small one is about the size of
> the biggest on my hybrid, and the large one I only use going down Camp
> Hill or similar. But that's going to cost me ...
>
> Looks as if I'll have to take on Random Data's suggestion of learning to
> track stand - I never did master that even when racing at Coventry
> Velodrome in the 60's. Though that trick would not have saved me tonight,
> in the rush hour I'd had to wait by the side of the road more than five
> minutes before there was any gap to cross the two lanes to my turnoff.
>
> And yes, I'll have to improve my skills at clipping into the Keo's - they
> are nowhere near as easy as my Keywins were, the pedals haven't done
> enough kms to rotate _really_ freely yet.
>
> Might take the day off riding tomorrow - did a long ride today, and
> falling heavily at the end of the ride has left me bruised all over & lots
> of gravel rash. Must check out my helmet too as it got quite a knock on
> the tarmac. And at my age I don't seem to bounce the way I used to :(
>
> Karen


Hi Karen,

If you are consistently having a problem with wheel overlap, you might
consider moving the cleat attachment on the shoes forward a fraction.

Earlier this year I moved to spd-type cleats which were kindly set up at the
time by my friendly LBS. Like you, I had a bit too much toe/wheel overlap:
I had go quite cautiously on any tight slow speed turning spots in my
regular commute. Several weeks ago I moved the cleats-to-shoe angle out by
a couple of degrees to reduce a slight stress on my knees, and as an
experiment moved the cleats forward on the shoes by a few mm. That reduced
the foot/wheel overlap enough so that tight manoeuvres were not such a
problem. Incidentally, I found the pedalling position just as comfortable.

Something to think about, anyway.

Cheers,

Vince
 
T

TimC

Guest
On 2006-05-11, Donga (aka Bruce)
was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
>
> TimC wrote:
>> On 2006-05-11, adam85 (aka Bruce)
>> was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
>> > I recently bought a track bike and put a front brake on it so I could ride
>> > it on the street.

>>
>> Pffft. JayWoo spits in your general direction. As does Chuck Norris.

>
> Hehehehehe. I'm glad not everyone has forgotten Chuck's prime use for
> his beard.


Why would I forget when I have siggy to remind me?

--
TimC
Chuck Norris stops his fixie by putting his beard on the front tire.
....and he'd kill you with his bare hands for mentioning yourself in the
same sentence. -- Donga in aus.bicycle
 
D

Donga

Guest
TimC wrote:

> Why would I forget when I have siggy to remind me?
>
> --
> TimC
> Chuck Norris stops his fixie by putting his beard on the front tire.
> ...and he'd kill you with his bare hands for mentioning yourself in the
> same sentence. -- Donga in aus.bicycle


Oh Tim, I'm sure Chuck would hesitate for just a second before he
killed you, wondering if it was the right thing to do. Then he'd kill
you. Bow down before Chuck!

Donga
 

alison_b

New Member
Feb 24, 2005
316
0
0
Karen Gallagher said:
I hit the tarmac today for the first time in some 20 years - my own fault,
but I'd like some ideas if there's anything I can do to avoid it.

[...]

No real damage though, bit of skin missing here & there & another scratch on
the bike, but with a bike as short as this, what do I do to avoid a repeat
performance?
*ouch* but good to hear no big damage to you or the new bike.

Well, I can't suggest more than what others have said. It took me awhile to remember that I can pedal with one foot clipped in (I'm a slow learner!), but otherwise trying to time stops and gearing to match as much as possible seems to get me out of most clipping moments. That and pedalling a couple of rounds not clipped in if necessary, just to get the momentum going (thanks Bleve, for this tip!!)

At present my bike is being slowly transformed into a rugged tourer :D ready for Land's End to John O'Groats next month. I've put on double sided pedals with the clip for my MTB shoes on one side and platform on the other so I can use other shoes easily when I like. This set up really does make the whole clipping in/clipping out thing trouble-free. I don't know if they come with alternative cleat set ups?

I'm way too uncoordinated to track stand, but then, half the people on my commute are too and they insist on keeping a good car space around them as no-one ventures close to the erratic wobbling and changes of direction.

These days when I take a fall (either off the bike or sparring) I take a moment to do an inventory of what is still moving :rolleyes: I think that is the main difference between cycling pre- and post-40!

congratulations on the new steed - I hope you continue to have such fun with it and no new scratches (on you or the bike!)

ali
 
K

Kathy

Guest
alison_b wrote:
> Karen Gallagher Wrote:
>
>>I hit the tarmac today for the first time in some 20 years - my own
>>fault,
>>but I'd like some ideas if there's anything I can do to avoid it.
>>
>>*ouch* but good to hear no big damage to you or the new bike.
>>
>>[...]
>>
>>No real damage though, bit of skin missing here & there & another
>>scratch on
>>the bike, but with a bike as short as this, what do I do to avoid a
>>repeat
>>performance?
>>
>>

>
> Well, I can't suggest more than what others have said. It took me
> awhile to remember that I can pedal with one foot clipped in (I'm a
> slow learner!), but otherwise trying to time stops and gearing to match
> as much as possible seems to get me out of most clipping moments. That
> and pedalling a couple of rounds not clipped in if necessary, just to
> get the momentum going (thanks Bleve, for this tip!!)
>
> At present my bike is being slowly transformed into a rugged tourer :D
> ready for Land's End to John O'Groats next month. I've put on double
> sided pedals with the clip for my MTB shoes on one side and platform on
> the other so I can use other shoes easily when I like. This set up
> really does make the whole clipping in/clipping out thing trouble-free.
> I don't know if they come with alternative cleat set ups?


Which reminds me . Suzie were you going to see if you had some of these
or your local bike shop did or something.. or am I completely confused.
For the spectacular but cleat disadvantaged Kathy

Good luck Alison

Dave
 

alison_b

New Member
Feb 24, 2005
316
0
0
Kathy said:
alison_b wrote:

> I've put on double sided pedals with the clip for my MTB shoes on one side and platform on
> the other so I can use other shoes easily when I like. This set up
> really does make the whole clipping in/clipping out thing trouble-free.
> I don't know if they come with alternative cleat set ups?


Which reminds me . Suzie were you going to see if you had some of these
or your local bike shop did or something.. or am I completely confused.
For the spectacular but cleat disadvantaged Kathy

Good luck Alison

Dave
Thanks Dave! If you are having trouble getting the pedals Fleminton Cycles ordered them in for me and they were there within a week. From memory Cecil Walker had them (online and in store).

After putting them on my 'tough enough to take to the market' bike I really found the cleats (Look) on the roadie *much* easier. It was a confidence thing as much as anything...

cheers,
ali
 
K

Karen Gallagher

Guest
alison_b wrote:
> Karen Gallagher Wrote:
>> I hit the tarmac today for the first time in some 20 years - my own
>> fault,
>> but I'd like some ideas if there's anything I can do to avoid it.
>>
>> *ouch* but good to hear no big damage to you or the new bike.
>>
>> [...]
>>
>> No real damage though, bit of skin missing here & there & another
>> scratch on
>> the bike, but with a bike as short as this, what do I do to avoid a
>> repeat
>> performance?
>>
>>

> Well, I can't suggest more than what others have said. It took me
> awhile to remember that I can pedal with one foot clipped in (I'm a
> slow learner!), but otherwise trying to time stops and gearing to
> match as much as possible seems to get me out of most clipping
> moments. That and pedalling a couple of rounds not clipped in if
> necessary, just to get the momentum going (thanks Bleve, for this
> tip!!)
>


I did try that, but as it was uphill, all of my weight was not enough to get
going - a second foot pulling up was an absolute requirement.

In hindsight, better fitness will help (though I am very fit for a 58 yo),
plus more experience at clipping in quickly (my top field has a nice slope
to practice on), and also maybe going PAST the turn off, turn round then
getting up speed downhill as I clip in (against the flow of traffic, I know,
but I had waited patiently for a decent gap in traffic so no real risk) -
this was a dual carriageway I was crossing, btw.

And also the fact I'd not eaten since breakfast, a 60 km ride had left my
energy levels somewhat depleted.


--
"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."
- Slartibartfast
 
T

Tamyka Bell

Guest
adam85 wrote:
>
> "Karen Gallagher" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> >I hit the tarmac today for the first time in some 20 years - my own fault,
> >but I'd like some ideas if there's anything I can do to avoid it.
> >
> > My new (to me) bike's an Avanti Corso - I'd describe it as a short
> > wheelbase bike, rather like the track bike I raced 30 years ago - so short
> > that on turning the front wheel sharply, the tyre hits my shoes.
> >
> > I was waiting for a gap in traffic to turn right, it was rush hour, so I
> > had a long wait. Then a long safe gap. It's an uphill start, so a bit
> > wobbly while I clip in - wobbled too much, wheel hit the shoe & I leave
> > bloodstains on the tarmac & get a bit winded.
> >
> > No real damage though, bit of skin missing here & there & another scratch
> > on the bike, but with a bike as short as this, what do I do to avoid a
> > repeat performance?


<snip>
> What a bugger Karen! I don't really have anything more to add than what
> RandomData said. Now you know about it you'll probably be ok. Why is it you
> can clip in a million times straight away, but the one time you have to
> start up a steep hill with angry traffic behind you and need to sprint away
> is the one time you'll flick the pedal with your shoe sending it spinning,
> then you'll have to have a few goes at it before clipping in. Even more
> likely to happen when there are more witnesses :)

<snip>

I have different pedals on different bikes and it usually takes me a bit
to get used to the change. Uphill take-offs are always worse, because
you take off slower and have less momentum. And like Adam said, it's
worse in traffic. So when I take off up a hill, I tend to rush things,
and that's when I flick my pedal and stuff it up.

Instead, I focus on getting a really good push-off, rolling my
bodyweight forward and stepping all my weight onto the pedal. The next
step is focussing on my bum in the saddle and getting the foot that's in
to pull up. Somewhere around here I glide my other foot onto the pedal
and it clips in, as if by magic.

When I rush to clip in, I stuff it up. When I'm calm and relaxed, I nail
it every time. If worst comes to worst, you can put a foot back down,
and start again, right? So focus on pedalling smoothly with the foot
that's clipped in and keeping those bars straight, so that if you have
to put a foot down, it'll be nice and easy.

Tam
 
K

Kathy

Guest
alison_b wrote:

> Kathy Wrote:
>
>>alison_b wrote:
>>
>>
>>>I've put on double sided pedals with the clip for my MTB shoes on one

>>
>>side and platform on
>>
>>>the other so I can use other shoes easily when I like. This set up
>>>really does make the whole clipping in/clipping out thing

>>
>>trouble-free.
>>
>>>I don't know if they come with alternative cleat set ups?

>>
>>Which reminds me . Suzie were you going to see if you had some of these
>>or your local bike shop did or something.. or am I completely confused.
>>For the spectacular but cleat disadvantaged Kathy
>>
>>Good luck Alison
>>
>>Dave

>
> Thanks Dave! If you are having trouble getting the pedals Fleminton
> Cycles ordered them in for me and they were there within a week. From
> memory Cecil Walker had them (online and in store).


Yeah I understand expensive versions exist. Am sort of hoping some
cheap ones do as well. How much did u pay do you mind me asking?
>
> After putting them on my 'tough enough to take to the market' bike I
> really found the cleats (Look) on the roadie *much* easier. It was a
> confidence thing as much as anything...
>


Yeah. When I can;t get a foot in I find it scarey. Go figure

Dave
 

alison_b

New Member
Feb 24, 2005
316
0
0
Kathy said:
alison_b wrote:

> Kathy Wrote:

> Thanks Dave! If you are having trouble getting the pedals Fleminton
> Cycles ordered them in for me and they were there within a week. From
> memory Cecil Walker had them (online and in store).


Yeah I understand expensive versions exist. Am sort of hoping some
cheap ones do as well. How much did u pay do you mind me asking?

I can't recall exactly - I got them at the same time as the shoes, and I think they were around $150 together. I've seen the pedals for around $60-70. A fair qhack of $$$s, but perhaps not so bad when compared to the cost of some pedals. Not sure who else might make them, but mine are BBBs.

Have had them for around 18 months now...

ali
 

Resound

New Member
May 15, 2004
430
2
0
52
Karen Gallagher said:
I did try that, but as it was uphill, all of my weight was not enough to get
going - a second foot pulling up was an absolute requirement.

In hindsight, better fitness will help (though I am very fit for a 58 yo),
plus more experience at clipping in quickly (my top field has a nice slope
to practice on), and also maybe going PAST the turn off, turn round then
getting up speed downhill as I clip in (against the flow of traffic, I know,
but I had waited patiently for a decent gap in traffic so no real risk) -
this was a dual carriageway I was crossing, btw.

And also the fact I'd not eaten since breakfast, a 60 km ride had left my
energy levels somewhat depleted.


--
"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."
- Slartibartfast

So standing on the pedals, in the lowest gear you have, your weight wasn't enough to get the bike moving? What sort of incline are we talking about here?! I lose traction and spin the back wheel before the bike stops and while I'm a good bit younger and male (35y/o) that happens at a very low level of effort indeed in the lowest gear. And when I say lowest gear, that's actually middle chainring of the triple, not the smallest. Is this a torque thing or a balance at low speed thing? You say you used to ride track so I'm guessing that you're an experienced rider and I'd be surprised if balance was the issue, but I'm equally surprised at the notion that you can't muster enough power standing on the pedals to get the bike moving. I'm honestly not trying to troll or be confrontational, I just don't quite understand what happened.