new to road cycling...could use a little help....
Hello everyone! I am new to road cycling and had a few questions. I want to get into cycling daily at some point in the future, however i currently am completely out of shape to do that.....which leads to my main question..... I am about 5"11, 220lbs. I used to be highly athletic and involved in alot of outdoor things. Im just going to be completely honest...since then ive turned into a couch potato and am pretty discusted with myself and apathy at this point. That said, I mustered up the motivation and self discpline to attempt to learn and start a weekly cycling routine...hopefully at some point from work to home (about 25 miles a day round trip).
so now that you have a little more info on me...here are a couple of my questions:
1) I am worried my height and especially my weight will prohibit me from riding a road bike. I am still very athletic and know i can physically ride...im just wondering about the durability of the actual bike with my extra weight currently?
2) Any suggestions for a first road bike? I am currently using an old DAWES compact frame, which is suiting my needs for now but i want to start researching on a decent road bike...maybe in the $750-$1000 range? Any suggestions?
3) Lastly I was curious if anyone had any previous experience being a little overweight and then starting cycling?...any success in shedding the extra pounds? If so...any training routines suggested?
OK, thanks everyone for reading my post, and thanks for any info you may have to give this newbee!!! Thanks again, Happy upcoming 4th of July to everyone!
Re: New to road cycling...
First, congratulations on your decision. Cycling can be a wonderful, addictive way to keep in shape, and loose weight.
Aluminum frames can be stiff and harsh for lighter riders, but for folks north of 200 lbs, they can be really nice. Nice aluminum bikes can be found in your price range. Many steel and carbon frames on $1000 bikes can be on the flimsy side. When you're looking at bikes, put the pedal down, and place a little weight on it. You will be able to see quite difference in bottom bracket stiffness for various bikes. If the bottom bracket is not stiff enough, the chain can derail while climbing, or out of the saddle. Make sure they don't put you on too small a frame. The top tube length is important, and watch for shops that will try to sell a smaller frame with a longer seatpost.
Try to find a bike with 105 shifters/deraillers, or if a lessor model, be sure that the bike shop is going to stand behind their performance (and adjustment). Wheels are also very important. You're not looking for the lightest, but a good strong wheelset. More spokes do not necessarily mean a stronger wheel. My strongest wheelset is 20 spoke model. Stick to 23-25 tires, or larger.
The seat is the hardest thing to fit, imho. My experience is that it is a very personal experience, what works well for someone else may or may not fit you. I rarely change seats models, but when I do, I look for a seat that fits my tail bone. The tail bone is actually what supports you. Wide and flat may feel good in the shop, but not on the road. When you're trying out bikes, note which seats you like and dislike.
Be sure and ride whatever you're considering. If something is not working correctly, take it back and make them fix it. If they're not willing to fix a problem to sell a bike, lotsa luck after you buy it. Try to show up at the shop on a weekday morning when they're less busy. Look for last year's model in your size.
If you're looking at used, I'd stay with a bike less than 5 years old. Wheelsets have come quite a way in the last five years. Find out what a shop would charge you to go over the bike. It should be $100 or less.
Have the bike shop show you how to check your spokes, and then buy a spoke wrench. Spoke tension is extemely important to a good wheelset. Ask them to set your position on the bike (not a full fit yet). Measure (to the 16th of an inch) from the tip of seat to stem, middle of bottom bracket to top of seat, and finally top of top tube to top of the tip of the seat. As you ride, you may want to adjust your position. Do so slowly, and in very small increments. Note your changes. This will help with soreness, etc. as you get your body used to cycling.
You've picked a great time to get started, during the TdF. Enjoy your shopping, and we'll see you on the road.