New Member
Jun 20, 2015
Howdy all:

Just bought myself my first bicycle. I have of course, had bicycles in the past, but I have never bought one with the intent being to "get serious" about it, for lack of a better expression. The main reason for the new hobby was as a runner, I've been developing an annoying runner's knee problem, but I digress.

My main intention with cycling is to form a new hobby, and to ride on the paved bike paths in my area. Not looking to go for extreme distances, but as a former cross-country runner I'm ready to jump right in and hack at it.

I did some quick searching online and I ended up and these forums. They seemed like the best bet side-by-side with the other first page google results.

Anyway, my point of posting was to get some fine sage advice from all you glorious experts out there.

I know very little about basic bicycle maintenance, and honestly just trying to figure out what kind of lubricant I want to buy has been a dizzying experience thus far. I need to learn how to properly adjust and tune by brakes etc, and I need to learn proper hand signals for road-biking and maybe even biker-to-biker etiquette, if that's a thing.

What gimmicky gear should I stay away from? Should I go DIY style or become a regular at my local Bike Shop?

Anything you can think of, give it to me!


(My bike! It's a "Trayl Men's Dispatch 700c Hybrid" .. found it in a store closing sale for an absolute steal, and grabbed the last one)
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If you were an avid runner, that bike is unlikely to make you happy for any period of time. Notice the emphasis on "comfort" in the product presentation.
Also, a 3x7 AKA 21-speed in that price point will most likely have a freewheel rear wheel, which is an inherently weaker design than the modern freehub.
It's NOT a bike for dedicated, frequent riding.
For general bike lore, visit
Lubes and greases is a so-so thing.
By weight/volume bike specific stuff is ridiculously expensive compared to general mechanical supplies.
OTOH bikes don't need much, so unless you service lots of bikes you can probably afford it.
The Park Tool website and YouTube will be your best bet for learning bike maintenance from basic stuff to advanced tasks. Art's Cyclery's series entitlesd "Ask A Mechanic" is also a good place to research maintenance issues.

Lubricants? There's a zillion, but almost any of the admittedly over-priced stuff sold at bike shops will be fine. As will most automotive lubricants. You can clean a chain with WD-40, but please do not rely on it as a lube.

Some jobs are best left to your local shop until you feel confident you can tackle them and have the tools in your own shop to do the job correctly. Bottom bracket work comes to mind here as well as some headset work.

If you feel mechanically inclined and are not an idiot around mechanical devices, AQUIRE TOOLS! Bikes can, for the most part, be serviced with mid-line quality automotive tools. However, be advised that you WILL need specialty tools and that for most folks they are a very good investment for your dollar.
Depending on how 'avid' you were as a runner...dabac is correct. That Trayl is an entry level bike aimed at the recreational rider that rides more or less 'infrequently'. It will not hold up to being ridden multiple times a week for training/conditioning purposes.

At least it will not hold up without getting very familiar with those tools or your mechanic at the LBS.

The riding position may be more suited to the casual jogger, but I doubt a genuine 'runner' that is transitioning to road cycling due to injury will be satisfied with it for long. Maybe you could provide more details as to your age and running experience and ultimate goals on a bike. The runners I've known to transition into cycling, regardless of age and injury...and I've known many ex-runners!...tend to become serious cyclists and very dedicated roadies.

Even the ones that ride, for the most part, on the rails-to-trails and cycle paths become Terrors Of The Trails. They exhibit very good speed, are well conditioned and still looking for a good workout. Ex-runners often transition to cycling easily absorb the needed 'education' fast and effortlessly in most cases.

Welcome to the Dark Side!