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New & Need Help Getting Faster(8 posts)

New & Need Help Getting Fasternaptown
Jul 23, 2003 6:43 AM
So I bought a bike this winter to see if I liked cycling. Didn't want to drop a lot on an experiment, so I bought a used Schwinn, with bar end shifters, 27" wheels, all chromed steel, but the 25" frame fits my lanky frame.

So I have gone out with some friends and enjoyed myself this summer. Last night I went to my first local training ride. It was my 3rd ride over 15 miles. I was in the middle of the pack after 2 miles. Then they dropped the hammer. After another 2 miles, I could barley see the last man in the group of 35 riders. When I got to the finish, I had averaged just shy of 20mph for the 20 mile ride. I found out that the peleton averages 27mph on the flats! Holy Cow!

I rode around the parking lot on a friend's newer bike, and it was autmatically faster than my old thing. So I need some help with these options:
1. Suck it up, work harder, and come back when I can keep pace.
2. Upgrade the components and wheels on the Schwinn (DA/Ultegra with STI from eBay stuff).
3. Drop the coin on a new bike.
4. Forget it and play more golf.

Thanks for the input.
Okay time to blow smoke....thatsmybush
Jul 23, 2003 6:52 AM
No seriously, if it okay with the group (ie that don't mind dropping you and you don't get in the way) continue to ride with them whenever you get the chance see if you can go farther and farther with them before the inevitable happens, perhaps at some point it won't happen. Second, new bikes are nice, I like new bikes, new bikes are light have pretty colors and say to me. What my bike says to me, "Hey jackass if you don't ride me you wasted a boatload of cash" or "You slow jackass the engineers who developed my crit style chassis did not intend for you to ride me so get faster or get off." And that is just my bike you should here my surfboard and what it screams at me, it hates my guts.
Forget golf and play on the bike more!hrv
Jul 23, 2003 7:38 AM
At this stage in your cycling development there are no secrets. Just keep riding and going on those group rides.
Sure, you can get Friel's Cyclist's Training Bible and get some particulars on proper training and some insight on how to finely tune your workouts but I think it is more info. than you need right now. Just keep riding, keep trying to go faster, rest/ride slow in between hard/fast days and things should fall into place.

BTW, 19 or 20 mph for 20 miles is no small potatos for a new cyclist. You've got what it takes. Keep at it and don't worry about your golf game too much! Regarding equipment, there's a guy who rides with our group that uses an old mtn. bike with slicks and still kicks our butts, and we're doing 30+ on the flats!

re: old bikes--new bikesFredrico
Jul 23, 2003 7:56 AM
Bikes are alot like fine firearms: once you start shooting, you start to appreciate the finer points of handling and performance. Within a year or so, you will lust for a fine machine to give you the feedback you crave.

There are alot of fine bicycles out there that can be had for around 500., 10-15 year old steel road bikes that in their day were state-of-the-art, and ride as well now as they did then, with only a few pounds weight penalty compared to the current state-of-the-art. Used bikes can be found in excellent condition. People buy them and then don't ride them. They sit in someone's garage collecting dust and light rust, grease drying out, brake pads hardening, tires cracking. For about a hundred bucks, you can rejuventate such a bike to ride like new.

My .02. Get rid of that old steel rimmed tank. Its only holding you back.
Here's a tip.............SECRET TRAININGBIG RING
Jul 23, 2003 9:08 AM
Dropping he tank will also help, but, that may not be an option at this time. You sound like me when I first started, but, your average mph is better. I was used to getting blown off the back on a flat 20 mile group ride. I just stayed out of people's way and tried to hang on as long as possible. Then I started putting another day or two of riding in and really concentrated on intervals. Nothing scientific here, just keeping an 18 mph pace, then accelerating to 22-25 and holding it for a minute, then back to 18 to get my heart rate back. Repeat as many times as you can. The accelerations mimicked what I experienced on the group ride. Within 3 months the distance between me and the last rider got considerably smaller. Soon after I was doing a pull or two.......then getting dropped. Now I can chase down anything they throw out. I'm sure many have a similar story and it is one of the reason's cycling is so cool, personal growth among good people who are happy to see the improvement.
re: New & Need Help Getting FasterSteve_0
Jul 23, 2003 9:31 AM
1. keep showing up; nothing makes one work harder and forces one to suck it up than trying to keep up and avoid embarassment.
2. Upgrading components will not buy you speed. If anything, wheels generate the most speed. I've gotta mention, unless your wheel bearings are totally shot, I doubt you truly realized speed benefits of a higher-end bike within the confines of a parking lot. I would guess most of your speed increase was perception. (I'd hate for you tp spend bucks and still be just as 'slow').
3. If you're just looking for excuses to buy a new bike, nothing I say can convince you otherwise, so go for it.
4. Definately play more golf. Nothing more borish than monomania.
Learn to suck wheels. Its all in the draft! nmSpunout
Jul 23, 2003 9:53 AM
Train, then you'll drop them on your used SchwinnContinental
Jul 23, 2003 11:39 AM
If you really averaged nearly 20 mph for 20 miles on your third ride over 15 miles, then you have more natural talent then most of the guys who dropped you. Ride more, learn to draft, and in a year or 2 you'll drop them. Keep your old Schwinn. Nothing is cooler than dropping guys on bikes worth 10 times as much as yours.