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Any advice for an excited newbie?(14 posts)

Any advice for an excited newbie?Lizard
May 8, 2001 2:39 PM
I am simply thrilled!!! After waiting five weeks since I ordered it, my bike has FINALLY come in! Was looking at the Bianchi Donna Eros when the LBS owner/manager suggested the Veloce instead. I balked, at first. Quite an expense for a newly turned 40, on and off again spinning addict with four young children and a husband who's been dying to turn me into a mounain biker (he's a die-hard). I found a local bike club to join on group rides, so I suppose my first priorities should be to learn to ride clipless (any suggestions?), and bone up on basic bike maintenance. Just wondering if any of you can offer advice you found beneficial when starting out. Thanks, in advance!
Just Ride!grz mnky
May 8, 2001 2:45 PM
Get out with the local club and find some friendly folks to ride with. Some will be your own speed, but have some valuable experience to share. Always wear a helmet. Set your clipless system up with very low spring tension. Make sure the bike fits and don't be afraid to change some settings, position or even the saddle. Get comfortable and work into it slowly - remember to smile when it makes you feel like a kid again. Speaking of which, hopefully you can out and ride with some of your kids. Go after your own goals, not someone elses.
Welcomeblue bayou
May 8, 2001 2:51 PM
We all began in your shoes.

Have no fear of clipless pedals. The worst thing that can happen is you fall over. We ( the honest ) have done it. After that, ride, ride, ride. Good tips are on this board, keep an eye out.

May 8, 2001 4:07 PM
i am proud, and honest, when i say that i haven't fallen over YET (after a year). i've come close a few time, though...i think if you take if slow, and keep the tension low, you'll be able to clip out before you topple over. and make sure to get your foot out kinda early, that way, if you can't get it out, you have a little time to work with it before you meet the ground...
May 8, 2001 3:05 PM
The first shocking thing I learned was that I had a cheap(er) bike (seemed pretty expensive to me!).

Other things, have correct clothing, shoes, and gloves. The right stuff in those areas makes a difference. Learning clipless goes from very frustrating to second nature in a hurry, just get going with it, but away from traffic please. If cautious, you could try a regular pedal on one side but challenge yourself to get out of the clipless side and put that foot down first.

Learning a paceline is unnerving at first but rewarding.

Have fun!
I've got one more important itemseth1
May 9, 2001 7:06 AM
A good pair of cycling specific glasses. I use to think glasses were not important until I sunburned my eyeballs (no joke) in Montana. I then put on a pair of regular sunglasses and the draft made it worse. It felt like I had sandpaper for eyelids.
Don't crash. . .mike mcmahon
May 8, 2001 3:12 PM
or at least crash as infrequently as possible. Other than that, just go nuts and enjoy yourself. Oh yeah, and if you decide to post a picture of you bike in the Photo Gallery, take the saddle bag off the bike before taking the picture, or you'll get seriously flamed. Unless of course you like getting flamed, in which case you should track down a saddle bag the size of a Samsonite overnight bag and mount it to your saddle. ;-) Did I mention enjoy yourself?
re: Any advice for an excited newbie?MeDotOrg
May 8, 2001 3:22 PM
I started riding (after a 10 year hiatus) in September, got a Veloce in November, and I've already logged over 4,000 miles on it. A very comfortable bike, and very good for getting back into riding.

I recommend "Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance" as a complete book. You don't have to read the whole thing, but it will give you a lot of good road bike maintenance information.

Keep your chain lubed and clean and keep your tires properly inflated. If you and your husband don't already own one, I highly recommend a floor pump. Your dealer should offer a 90-day tune-up and inspection. Make sure you take them up on it, sooner if you put on a lot of miles.

A word of caution: If you find the Veloce seat uncomfortable, you are not alone. Many people have swapped out the stock seat. There are a lot of good after-market seats out there, I happen to have a Terry Liberator. Terry makes a lot of women-specific clothing and accessories, check out:

re: Any advice for an excited newbie?simstress
May 8, 2001 4:21 PM
Congratulations on your new toy.

Clipless advice: Unclip one foot as you are rolling to a stop so you're already out when you come to a full stop. If you're not already out by the time you stop, keep pedaling to keep the bike moving, and try disengaging again. Be sure your cleats are properly positioned on your shoe, typically under the ball of your foot.

One thing to learn: How to change a flat. Try changing the rear tire in your garage to make sure you know how and that all your equipment works. Also get comfortable with removing and installing the rear wheel.

Riding advice: If you have a computer with cadence, try to maintain 80-90 rpm. Learn to keep the bike steady as you reach for your water bottle.

Have fun!
re: Any advice for an excited newbie?Teach
May 8, 2001 6:10 PM
First and most importantly - have fun! Second, about going clipless. You'll love it very soon. I rode my first 1,000 miles on my road bike before I took the plunge - it was a whole new experience when I switched. Just follow another poster's advice and unclip as you're rolling to a stop so you're ready to put a foot down, and you probably want to get in the habit of always unclipping the same foot first. Know that there will come a time when you are stopped but not unclipped. You will fall. It was months before I fell with mine. Now, a year later, I've had 3 falls that are the result of not being unclipped in just the last 3 weeks. One was really stupid - I was stopped with a friend with one foot clipped in and the other on the ground and leaned too far looking over my shoulder on the clipped side. Stupid, stupid. The other two had to do with people stopping in front of me with absolutely no warning on group rides, oh well. I've not ever done any club rides, as I started riding with a group of friends. We are a very mixed bag, speed-wise, so we meet up at specified points along the way to regroup. We do always make sure that we stay with newcomers, even if it means slowing down a bit. Don't want to lose anybody!
May 8, 2001 6:58 PM
make sure you fit yourself to the bike correctly, you can get all the info on the web if you look not sure if anyone told you that yet...and dont get too excited, you have to ease your way into it, dont do too many miles, rest alot...without bike shorts biking sucks...get used to spinning your pedals fast in a high gear(called spinning) it is something newbies dont seem to do which has a lot of benefits..
Get this book...keith m.
May 9, 2001 7:16 AM
I think it's called the complete book of road cycling by Ed Pavelka. It will save you alot of questions later on. covers lots of things from nutrition to training and bike maintenence
THANKS TO ALL for your advice!Lizard
May 9, 2001 8:52 AM
I'm picking the bike up today at 5PM with the kids in tow -- after picking one up from a student council meeting and before dropping two off for lacrosse practice. I'm already scoping out some "me" time over the next week to practice, practice, practice (both riding clipless and changing the back tire as suggested). Will check out the recommended clothing and the books, too. Thanks, again. I've bookmarked this board and look forward to learning a lot while making new friends. I'll keep you posted on my progress!
Best Advice: Stick With It!!MalandMo
May 9, 2001 12:10 PM
don't get frustrated if your first rides are short ones. After my first few rides last year, I was ready to quit because my distances were not very far. I thought this was just not the thing for me, but my riding buddy(the guy who encouraged me to take up the sport) would'nt let me quit. Now, I'm no pro, but I am about 20 pounds lighter and hopefully still shrinking, but my endurance is much much better. You'll love it, just ride!