Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by eagleeye1200, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. David

    David Guest


    > >
    > > Would like to spend no more than $500-$600 and get something that I am not
    > > going to want to upgrade again.
    > >
    > >


    While a good fit is important, it's the type of bike fitting that is
    fitted to the type of riding that's going to make you happy with your
    $500 to $600 bike purchase. Make sure that a bike shop isn't going to
    sell you an aerodynamic efficient road bike with drops, cause you need
    to very flexible on your body joints and that is something you need to
    develop over time with more cycling. That is why, upright bicycles are
    selling like hot cakes, especially with newbies. There are a few
    advantages of riding on drops, namely being aerodynamic. But it also
    allows you to push bigger gears by ways of leveraging your body against
    the drops, which you can't easily do on flat bars.

    David.
     


  2. David

    David Guest

    Folks,

    There are 2 main reasons in using clipless pedals. The push and pull
    technique which I bet most people do not use. Most people push their
    pedals at the 3 o'clock mark and while that's fine with normal pedals,
    you want to be pushing the pedals before that, usually around the 1
    o'clock. Again, this all depends on the flexibility of your foot
    joints. Without clipless pedals, your foot will just slide out of the
    pedals if you try to do this with bigger gears. The pulling technique
    comes from after completing your pedal downstroke and then pulling it
    up on your upstroke. To a competent cyclist, this push and pull
    technique will allow you to push bigger gears efficiently, go faster on
    flats and sustain good average speeds on steep mountain passes.

    David.
     
  3. David

    David Guest


    > Another good bit of advice. Bike shoes have very stiff soles, since we
    > don't want our feet bending around the pedal. Also, being secured to the
    > pedals is extremely important. You get better power that way, and it is
    > safer. Don't worry about not being able to get your foot out in a crash.
    > For one, having a leg dangle about in a crash is just something else to
    > break.


    This is yet another misconception.. Not all bike shoes have very stiff
    soles. Some shoes have stiffer soles than others. The stiffer the
    soles, the harder it is to walk on -- I have a SIDI road shoes than I
    can barely walk on compared to my Answer's touring shoes which are more
    flexy but easier to walk on. I have one pair of commuting SPD shoes
    that are just as flexible as my runners, but man it's so comfy just
    walking on them. The reason I got this is because it's got SPD mount
    on it.

    Unless you're going to be doing any ultra long distance and be pushing
    big gears, I'll stay with runners and toe strap pedals until you are
    ready.

    David.
     
  4. jj

    jj Guest

    On Tue, 01 Mar 2005 14:38:11 GMT, David
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >> >
    >> > Would like to spend no more than $500-$600 and get something that I am not
    >> > going to want to upgrade again.
    >> >
    >> >

    >
    >While a good fit is important, it's the type of bike fitting that is
    >fitted to the type of riding that's going to make you happy with your
    >$500 to $600 bike purchase. Make sure that a bike shop isn't going to
    >sell you an aerodynamic efficient road bike with drops, cause you need
    >to very flexible on your body joints and that is something you need to
    >develop over time with more cycling. That is why, upright bicycles are
    >selling like hot cakes, especially with newbies. There are a few
    >advantages of riding on drops, namely being aerodynamic. But it also
    >allows you to push bigger gears by ways of leveraging your body against
    >the drops, which you can't easily do on flat bars.
    >
    >David.


    This sounds wrong to me. What is an aerodynamic efficient road bike? To me
    that means TT bike, not a road bike.

    Second, you don't need to be more flexible in the body joints. Spinal flex
    helps, but that is normally adequate unless you have a gut, or an injury.

    Upright bikes are selling like 'hotcakes' to newbies b/c they are
    mis-informed, mostly. Too many people may be getting knobbie tired MTB when
    all they are doing is riding on the road or hard-pack dirt b/c a
    dual-suspended MTB is 'trendy' - imo.

    Riding on the drops allows you to get higher gears because, in my
    experience, it puts your bodyweight more fully over the pedals. Newbies try
    to get more power by 'pulling' on the bars, but it's better to use your
    weight, like you're standing to pedal, but your butt is still on the seat.
    You have a relatively light touch on the drops most of the time.

    The more forward position, or 'racing' position that you obtain in the
    drops -is- more aero.

    The truth is, you have a lot more hand positions available using drop bars
    and I rarely have to use the drops - plus holding the flat part of the bar,
    your arms are closer together than on a flat-bar bike, exposing less of
    your chest, which improves your aerodynamics also.

    In addition, in my experience, you can sit up relatively the same on a road
    bike with drop bars as with a flat bar bike. If you have an injury or flex
    issues, just get a different stem, or reverse your stem, decreasing the
    angle between the seat and the h/b. If your seat is too low, your legs will
    have to flex more against your torso, so it might feel, in that case, like
    you struggle to get into the right position on the drops. Simply raise the
    seat to the optimal height and see if you don't feel better.

    That's my experience - not trying to be critical, here.

    jj
     
  5. David wrote:
    >
    >
    > This is yet another misconception.. Not all bike shoes have very

    stiff
    > soles. Some shoes have stiffer soles than others. The stiffer the
    > soles, the harder it is to walk on -- I have a SIDI road shoes than I
    > can barely walk on compared to my Answer's touring shoes which are

    more
    > flexy but easier to walk on. I have one pair of commuting SPD shoes
    > that are just as flexible as my runners, but man it's so comfy just
    > walking on them.


    I've never understood why the norm is to use tiny pedals - which would
    concentrate pedal forces on small areas of the foot - then compensate
    by wearing shoes with broad, stiff, unwalkable platforms.

    Why not use pedals with a wide platform, and have at least a moderate
    amount of flex in the shoe? Certainly, clipless pedals _could_ be
    designed this way.

    FWIW, my commuting bike has the old Lyotard platform pedals (Mod 23? I
    forget) which I ride with loose straps. The platform isn't extremely
    broad, but it's fine with my dress shoes or even with rather spongy
    athletic shoes. If the platform were an inch wider, I imagine I could
    pedal in moccasins.
     
  6. jj

    jj Guest

    On Tue, 01 Mar 2005 14:48:46 GMT, David
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >Folks,
    >
    >There are 2 main reasons in using clipless pedals. The push and pull
    >technique which I bet most people do not use. Most people push their
    >pedals at the 3 o'clock mark and while that's fine with normal pedals,
    >you want to be pushing the pedals before that, usually around the 1
    >o'clock. Again, this all depends on the flexibility of your foot
    >joints. Without clipless pedals, your foot will just slide out of the
    >pedals if you try to do this with bigger gears. The pulling technique
    >comes from after completing your pedal downstroke and then pulling it
    >up on your upstroke. To a competent cyclist, this push and pull
    >technique will allow you to push bigger gears efficiently, go faster on
    >flats and sustain good average speeds on steep mountain passes.
    >
    >David.


    Going from toe clips to clipless, my pedalling is a lot smoother and relies
    a lot less on some 'artificial' push-pull.

    When I'm really pedalling hard, I notice both my quads and hams are
    strongly involved. When I was using toeclips, I did focus a lot more on
    'pointing my toes' and pedalling in a long oval, and I did occasionally use
    the 'scraping mud off the shoes' style pedalling, but it never felt
    natural. My brother claims to be using this style (he has toeclips), but
    he's nowhere near as fast as I am, despite being 5 years younger and 100lb
    lighter - admittely he doesn't get in the mileage that I do, since I'm
    retired.

    I -expected- to be able to use more of the 'pulling up' when I got
    clipless, but it never materialized. Just a thought. ;-)

    jj
     
  7. David wrote:
    > Folks,
    >
    > There are 2 main reasons in using clipless pedals. The push and pull
    > technique which I bet most people do not use.


    I doubt anyone uses the push and pull technique except under extreme
    conditions.

    Lots of people think they pull up on the back part of the stroke, but I
    recall reading a research paper showing the results from using
    instrumented pedals with a number of road racers. When the racers
    swore they were lifting the pedals on the upstroke, they were actually
    just reducing the amount of down & back force they applied. That is,
    they reduced the amount their back leg fought against their front leg.

    There may be a few moments someone actually applies positive torque
    during the back part of the pedal stroke, but I think those moments are
    very few indeed.
     
  8. On Tue, 01 Mar 2005 14:57:18 +0000, David wrote:

    >
    >> Another good bit of advice. Bike shoes have very stiff soles, since we
    >> don't want our feet bending around the pedal.


    > This is yet another misconception.. Not all bike shoes have very stiff
    > soles. Some shoes have stiffer soles than others.


    True, but I don't buy the ones with less-stiff soles.

    The stiffer the
    > soles, the harder it is to walk on -- I have a SIDI road shoes than I
    > can barely walk on compared to my Answer's touring shoes which are more
    > flexy but easier to walk on.


    part of the trouble is that big glob of a road cleat. I have no trouble
    walking on stiff-soled mountain bike shoes, with my Frog cleats.


    > Unless you're going to be doing any ultra long distance and be pushing
    > big gears, I'll stay with runners and toe strap pedals until you are
    > ready.


    Well, yeah, but it is a good idea to encourage getting "ready", since it
    does make a big difference.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | The lottery is a tax on those who fail to understand
    _`\(,_ | mathematics.
    (_)/ (_) |
     
  9. On Tue, 01 Mar 2005 07:29:36 -0800, frkrygow wrote:

    > I've never understood why the norm is to use tiny pedals - which would
    > concentrate pedal forces on small areas of the foot - then compensate
    > by wearing shoes with broad, stiff, unwalkable platforms.


    It's either that or use a big, absolutely unwalkable, cleat. Besides, I
    don't find that stiff-soled shoes with recessed cleats are bad for
    walking at all.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Become MicroSoft-free forever. Ask me how.
    _`\(,_ |
    (_)/ (_) |
     
  10. jj

    jj Guest

    On 1 Mar 2005 07:34:33 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

    >
    >David wrote:
    >> Folks,
    >>
    >> There are 2 main reasons in using clipless pedals. The push and pull
    >> technique which I bet most people do not use.

    >
    >I doubt anyone uses the push and pull technique except under extreme
    >conditions.
    >
    >Lots of people think they pull up on the back part of the stroke, but I
    >recall reading a research paper showing the results from using
    >instrumented pedals with a number of road racers. When the racers
    >swore they were lifting the pedals on the upstroke, they were actually
    >just reducing the amount of down & back force they applied. That is,
    >they reduced the amount their back leg fought against their front leg.
    >
    >There may be a few moments someone actually applies positive torque
    >during the back part of the pedal stroke, but I think those moments are
    >very few indeed.


    This makes sense. Didn't this whole 'pulling/scraping' style come from a
    tip from Lemond?

    Sometimes when I'm trying to recover after a very tough little hill, I'll
    think about alternate pedaling styles, or maybe lifting my opposing leg
    more, maybe hoping not to be dealing with the weight of my leg resting on
    the pedal in addition to moving the bike forward, but it never lasts.

    I did use a lot more emphasis on pedaling style when I was riding toeclips,
    but all that vanished when I went to clipless. Now I know my foot and pedal
    stroke are fixed, and I can tell my efficiency is improved. I don't seem to
    get anything from trying to 'pull up' or 'oval', and I -know- my hams are
    strongly involved when I am pedalling hard and fast - the leg naturally
    uses both it seems. Still, sometimes I think about it, but no advantage so
    far.

    jj
     
  11. Dan Gregory

    Dan Gregory Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    > FWIW, my commuting bike has the old Lyotard platform pedals (Mod 23? I
    > forget) which I ride with loose straps. The platform isn't extremely
    > broad, but it's fine with my dress shoes or even with rather spongy
    > athletic shoes. If the platform were an inch wider, I imagine I could
    > pedal in moccasins.

    Model 23 Lyotard Piste Marcel Berthet Single Sided ... a wonderful pedal
    that I rode throughout late 50s and 60s. Much lighter than my current
    Looks or Time Atacs too. I think the closest clipless to them would be
    the Tima Atac Cyclo.
    They cost me 21 shillings in 1961 (Just over a pound) but then I only
    earnt 8 pounds a week so things are cheaper now,,
    All the best
    Dan Gregory
     
  12. Kevan Smith

    Kevan Smith Guest

    On Tue, 01 Mar 2005 14:48:46 GMT, David
    <[email protected]> from Shaw Residential Internet
    wrote:

    >Folks,
    >
    >There are 2 main reasons in using clipless pedals. The push and pull
    >technique which I bet most people do not use.....


    Spend a few minutes riding a fixed gear bike to see how erroneous that theory
    is.
     
  13. Gooserider

    Gooserider Guest

    "David" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:010320050638111525%[email protected]
    >
    > > >
    > > > Would like to spend no more than $500-$600 and get something that I am

    not
    > > > going to want to upgrade again.
    > > >
    > > >

    >
    > While a good fit is important, it's the type of bike fitting that is
    > fitted to the type of riding that's going to make you happy with your
    > $500 to $600 bike purchase. Make sure that a bike shop isn't going to
    > sell you an aerodynamic efficient road bike with drops, cause you need
    > to very flexible on your body joints and that is something you need to
    > develop over time with more cycling. That is why, upright bicycles are
    > selling like hot cakes, especially with newbies. There are a few
    > advantages of riding on drops, namely being aerodynamic. But it also
    > allows you to push bigger gears by ways of leveraging your body against
    > the drops, which you can't easily do on flat bars.
    >


    What's the difference between an "upright bike" with flat bars and "road
    bike" with the bars the same height as the saddle? The drop bars will be
    just as upright on the tops, and then there are the additional hand
    positions on the hoods and the drops. A flat bar has one position.
     
  14. Gooserider

    Gooserider Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > David wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > This is yet another misconception.. Not all bike shoes have very

    > stiff
    > > soles. Some shoes have stiffer soles than others. The stiffer the
    > > soles, the harder it is to walk on -- I have a SIDI road shoes than I
    > > can barely walk on compared to my Answer's touring shoes which are

    > more
    > > flexy but easier to walk on. I have one pair of commuting SPD shoes
    > > that are just as flexible as my runners, but man it's so comfy just
    > > walking on them.

    >
    > I've never understood why the norm is to use tiny pedals - which would
    > concentrate pedal forces on small areas of the foot - then compensate
    > by wearing shoes with broad, stiff, unwalkable platforms.
    >

    I have an ancient pair of Look MTB pedals with a large platform. They're
    great, and I get fewer hot spots than with my tiny SPD pedals. I guess the
    weight weenies influence pedal design. There are Shimano pedals with large
    platforms, though.
     
  15. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    > I've never understood why the norm is to use tiny pedals - which would
    > concentrate pedal forces on small areas of the foot - then compensate
    > by wearing shoes with broad, stiff, unwalkable platforms.


    I have the original MTB style SPDs, which I guess are what you describe as tiny.
    My shoes are stiff, but have plenty of flex in the toe area to make walking
    comfortable. As long as they're stiff right under the ball of the foot,
    tapering gradually toward the toe, the design works fine for both riding and
    walking. If you want to blame someone, blame shoemakers for not doing a better
    job.

    > Why not use pedals with a wide platform, and have at least a moderate
    > amount of flex in the shoe? Certainly, clipless pedals _could_ be
    > designed this way.


    The problem is the difference in tolerance between pedal and cleat, and pedal
    and sole. Shoes vary too much, especially as they wear. We can't rely on the
    precision of this interface. The softer the sole, the more the pressure will be
    concentrated on the cleat, and the worse the hotspot under the rider's foot --
    no matter how big the pedal platform is. The stiffer the shoe, the less the
    size of the platform matters.

    > FWIW, my commuting bike has the old Lyotard platform pedals (Mod 23?
    > I forget) which I ride with loose straps. The platform isn't
    > extremely broad, but it's fine with my dress shoes or even with
    > rather spongy athletic shoes. If the platform were an inch wider, I
    > imagine I could pedal in moccasins.


    Yup. Use what works for you.

    Matt O.
     
  16. David L. Johnson wrote:
    > On Tue, 01 Mar 2005 07:29:36 -0800, frkrygow wrote:
    >
    > > I've never understood why the norm is to use tiny pedals - which

    would
    > > concentrate pedal forces on small areas of the foot - then

    compensate
    > > by wearing shoes with broad, stiff, unwalkable platforms.

    >
    > It's either that or use a big, absolutely unwalkable, cleat.


    See, I don't think it has to be that way. I'm proposing that it's
    possible to design a walkable cleat that interfaces with a wide, stiff
    platform on the pedal. If the stiffness were in the pedal, the shoe
    could flex more and make walking more comfortable. (Not that I've got
    any design ideas sketched out, mind you!)

    I suspect part of the reason for the current "tiny pedal" fashion is so
    bike or pedal manufacturers can claim less weight. But in effect, the
    weight just moves to the shoes, which have to be made heavier to
    provide the necessary support to minimize hot spots.

    To me, it looks similar to selling a bike without a saddle, to save
    weight. To be used only with shorts featuring a built in, 1.5 pound
    saddle, of course!


    Besides, I
    > don't find that stiff-soled shoes with recessed cleats are bad for
    > walking at all.


    That would be OK if I were to drive to the start of the ride, strap on
    shoes, and walk to the back of the car to get my bike. Or perhaps walk
    "all the way" into the coffee shop during the rest stop.

    When on tour, there have been plenty of times I've wanted to walk
    significant distances. I've gotten by, admittedly, but even my touring
    shoes are not really comfortable for, say, a mile walk.
     
  17. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    > David wrote:
    >
    >>Folks,
    >>
    >>There are 2 main reasons in using clipless pedals. The push and pull
    >>technique which I bet most people do not use.

    >
    >
    > I doubt anyone uses the push and pull technique except under extreme
    > conditions.
    >
    > Lots of people think they pull up on the back part of the stroke, but I
    > recall reading a research paper showing the results from using
    > instrumented pedals with a number of road racers. When the racers
    > swore they were lifting the pedals on the upstroke, they were actually
    > just reducing the amount of down & back force they applied. That is,
    > they reduced the amount their back leg fought against their front leg.
    >
    > There may be a few moments someone actually applies positive torque
    > during the back part of the pedal stroke, but I think those moments are
    > very few indeed.


    Unless they are riding PowerCranks: <http://www.powercranks.com/>.

    --
    Tom Sherman - Earth
     
  18. On Tue, 01 Mar 2005 17:05:40 -0800, frkrygow wrote:

    >
    > That would be OK if I were to drive to the start of the ride, strap on
    > shoes, and walk to the back of the car to get my bike. Or perhaps walk
    > "all the way" into the coffee shop during the rest stop.
    >
    > When on tour, there have been plenty of times I've wanted to walk
    > significant distances. I've gotten by, admittedly, but even my touring
    > shoes are not really comfortable for, say, a mile walk.


    Depending on which bike I ride, if I ride one that has clipless pedals I
    keep cycling shoes on all day long. Fortunately I don't have to dress up
    at work. Sometimes after a recreational ride I will come home and keep my
    riding shoes on for hours.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored
    _`\(,_ | by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." --Ralph Waldo
    (_)/ (_) | Emerson
     
  19. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    [bunch of crossposting pruned]

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Boyle M. Owl" <[email protected]> writes:

    > I have to chime in here and say that clipless pedals are much SAFER than
    > clips and straps for city riding, as it is *far* easier to get in and
    > out. Even comparing them to strapless toe clips, it's safer.


    I'm using Zefal Christophe MTB clips, together with cordura straps.
    It's actually not difficult to extact from them, and I've never had
    any real safety issues with them. And they work with street shoes
    as well as cycling shoes.


    cheers,
    Tom

    --
    -- Nothing is safe from me.
    Above address is just a spam midden.
    I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
     
  20. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    1 Mar 2005 07:29:36 -0800,
    <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] wrote, in part:
    rec.bicycles.soc removed from x-post.

    >FWIW, my commuting bike has the old Lyotard platform pedals (Mod 23? I
    >forget) which I ride with loose straps. The platform isn't extremely
    >broad, but it's fine with my dress shoes or even with rather spongy
    >athletic shoes.


    I'd used those pedals on my touring bike for many years and tens of
    thousands of miles. I love 'em. However, before I went to clipless on
    most of my bikes, I tried PowerGrips. I'd become so accustomed to the
    PowerGrips it was a long-lasting and painfully debilitating shock
    when, on and aborted start, I couldn't twist out of the Lyotard pedals
    with their cinched straps.

    Seeing as the PowerGrips can't be adapted for use on that model of
    Lyotard pedal, I switched to EggBeaters for awhile. Now the Lyotard
    pedals are back on that bike as they're the most correct choice for
    that period of European equipped touring bicycle.
    Fashions be damned, they're still a fine pedal.
    --
    zk
     
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