Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Orleans
Bikes: Cannondale CAAD9 5
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As a newbie who went through a long adjustment process to my road bike, I can assure you if you stick with it, you will be pleased! For a long while I thought "maybe I'm just not young enough, slim enough or in shape enough to ride one of these things" I think one of the only reasons I stuck with it was because I had sold my old bike and couldn't afford to buy another one!
I am still not to the point of thinking about clipless (tried that one too soon
), but these are some of the things I found that helped me so far...
I found a safe place to ride and would just click through the different gears until I figured them out. I learned not to put too much of my weight on my hands and to not lock out my elbows. I had to consciously think about using my core muscles to maintain my position. It was hard but you will get stronger and your hands and elbows will thank you!
I also had to take some time to get used to having the seat at the proper height... I felt vulnerable with it 'way up there' at first so I started lower and raised it slowly as I adjusted. I'm pretty much at the right height now and it makes it way easier to pedal.
I also found that the bike shorts with the pad are my friend! I usually wear mine under some other shorts or capris. If you wear long pants, be sure to secure your right pant leg so it doesn't get caught up in the chain.
Give yourself time to adjust and you will be having a blast on your new bike in no time!
Lastly, does your bike look like this one?