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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-17-12, 11:30 AM   #1
Chasbuddy
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Couple of dumb nubie questions

Firstly, thanks for reading this somewhat rambling post.

First: I put my bell cycle speedo on the bike this morning to see how fast I was going. That worked just fine. 16-17 on downhills and down to around 5 mph uphill into wind. This on my second ever five miler. Question: Am I just plain dumb or is this infernal machine (bell computer) insanely hard to use? Nothing intuitive about it to me. Manual is gibberish etc. So is there something better out there without spending a mortgage payment to obtain one? Maybe a cast off older model of something on ebay or Craigs?

Second: Okay day 2 of five miles put a strain on my nether regions. I rode for 14 straight days at 3 miles before attempting 5 miles with no discernible chaffing or pain. Two days into 5 miles per day and I'm chaffing. Liberal use of talc may help but is this just a phase or must I go out and buy something else to wrap my butt cheeks in? The thought of a $60 pair of spandex shorts is a little daunting to this old retired geek.

Third: What can I expect to pay for a Derailer tune up? My cable may have stretched or something is out of wack. This just began yesterday....my chain slips for half a turn or so when Im in top gear using the middle crank gear on the three gear crankset. "Cndale F400" stock (I think).

Anyway, nuther nice morning ride in the nineties and when I got home it was sweat city. Thanks in advance for any help. Best, Chas
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Old 07-17-12, 11:41 AM   #2
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1) Get bike shorts. Either get the regular ones (don't wear anything under them!!!, and some more !!!!!) or get liners you can wear under regular shorts but do get something.
2) Your body will need some time to adapt to riding. Pain is bad, discomfort is probably expected.
3) can't say about your bike computer, but cateye have been good to me, and you can get a cheap wired one for $25 or 30 or so (I think). They're all made in China and somebody is translating direction from Tibetanese or something, so the manual is likely to suck.
4) Tuning your drive train. i'd suggest going to park tools and youtube and watch some videos. This is one of those things that isn't hard to do and you'll be better off knowing how to do it. The bike shop will probably charge you $25 or so to adjust your rear derailleur. Have 'em show you what they do to it.

I don't know what kind of drive train that bike has, but all the above was written assuming it's indexed shifting and not friction shifting.
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Old 07-17-12, 11:48 AM   #3
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Thanks TH....I will go to Parks and U Tube. Ditto Cateye. Ill have a look around for them. On the bike shorts I guess there is no substitute for quality wear wear.....I suppose I can find this stuff locally at REI? Il have a look at the on line catalog. Thanks for the nice response. Best, Chas
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Old 07-17-12, 11:51 AM   #4
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REI typically has a good selection and their mechanics may also be willing to tune your gear while you watch so you can get a little experience. It's really not that hard but then again, it's greek until you know how it works.

If you're riding every day you'll probably want more than one pair but just start with one to see how you like 'em.
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Old 07-17-12, 11:58 AM   #5
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1. what part of the bell are you having trouble with? I had a $7 cheapo from Target that was great and simple.

2. For your "region" you dont really need bike shorts, it takes time to break in you bum. and every time you ride for longer you will go through the soreness all over again. You can play with the angle of your seat to help if you "junk" is going numb. other than that you just have to tough it out until your arse becomes seasoned.

3. It should like you do have a bit of cable stretch which is an easy fix, like trojan said park tools and youtube have a bunch of videos for blaing with the barrel adjuster on the derailleur. If you do go to a shop they will just charge you $10-$25, some will do it for free if its just a turn or two so they get your repeat business.
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Old 07-17-12, 12:50 PM   #6
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2. For your "region" you dont really need bike shorts, it takes time to break in you bum. and every time you ride for longer you will go through the soreness all over again. You can play with the angle of your seat to help if you "junk" is going numb. other than that you just have to tough it out until your arse becomes seasoned.
He did say chafing, which is what led me to bike shorts as a recommendation.

I agree that your butt will need time to adjust to your saddle.
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Old 07-17-12, 02:06 PM   #7
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He did say chafing, which is what led me to bike shorts as a recommendation.

I agree that your butt will need time to adjust to your saddle.
good call, missed that. Chafing and he is in Texas during the heat, even bike shorts may not solve it.

He could try DZnuts chamois cream, i swear by it on rides longer than 1 hour or extreme humidity. its only $25 in a bike shop, probably could find it cheaper online.

But the RIGHT shorts do help with friction, scored a pair of Gore bike wear with Windstopper for $40 at the bike shop.
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Old 07-17-12, 02:26 PM   #8
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If you're fat, fifty something and married like me, your wife's reaction to the spandex shorts will be worth the price.
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Old 07-17-12, 02:54 PM   #9
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I haven't had a bike computer yet that came with an easy to understand manual.

Play with your saddle adjustments. Small tweaks in height, angle, fore/aft adjustment, can make a huge difference. You may need to try some other saddles. unfortunately everyone is different. I got a new pair of riding shoes yesterday and when I got on my bike it felt wrong. I think the new shoes are a bit thicker than the old ones were. Raising my saddle about 3mm did the trick. You may need to do the same with your handlebars and stem. Eventually you will get it dialed closer in and it will start feeling right.
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Old 07-17-12, 03:01 PM   #10
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Okay about the wife....we will soon see

After my usual YMCA duties this afternoon, on a lark I stopped by Sports Academy, as it is closer than driving to REI. They had a pair of Camari's (sp?) on sale for 20 bux even. While there I picked up a pair of lose fit shorts as well but they were not on sale. Both made in China of course and prolly wont last long but I thought I would try. News after a couple of days but news isn't necessary I guess to this crowd.
On the Bell computer if you could let me how to reset mileage on the trip meter that would be good for a start. Id like to verify google maps mileage with an actual odometer reading off the bike. Thanks for the offer. I think I have the calibration correct for my tire size and bike style.
I dont think I mentioned it here yesterday but I was able to finish my walk/jog circuit today. I normally walk/jog for 30 minutes each day but yesterday after adding the 5 mile bike ride I could do my normal 5 laps jogging. Today I could so maybe all this physical stress is tipping me in the proper direction. Two days does not a trend make but I was pleased.

Doing Primal with just walking I went form 267 to 193 and then back to 233 with that last measure with my clothing on. That shook me up a bit and so I added biking. Trends in proper direction already after only 2.5 weeks of biking. The other day the scale read 223.6 and I imagine a lot of that was water loss due to my no longer stuffing salt down my gut. If I want salt Ill eat a pickle.

Thanks again all... best, Chas
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Old 07-17-12, 05:37 PM   #11
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(bell computer) Manual is gibberish etc.

Spend $250 for a Garmin Edge 500, then complain about the instructions.
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Old 07-17-12, 07:55 PM   #12
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Spend $250 for a Garmin Edge 500, then complain about the instructions.
I think I did just that. Except for the price.
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Old 07-17-12, 08:12 PM   #13
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WRT Garmin 500, WHAT MANUAL?

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Old 07-17-12, 08:33 PM   #14
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+1 on the Cateye computers. I got my Velo 5 (no longer made but there is a version with very similar features and price) at my LBS for $25. The manual isn't bad at all. It does time, speed, max speed, trip odometer, odometer. It's been very handy and all I've needed.
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Old 07-18-12, 03:51 AM   #15
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If you're fat, fifty something and married like me, your wife's reaction to the spandex shorts will be worth the price.
LOL that is the quote of the day!!!
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Old 07-18-12, 08:05 AM   #16
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On the Bell computer if you could let me how to reset mileage on the trip meter that would be good for a start. Id like to verify google maps mileage with an actual odometer reading off the bike. Thanks for the offer. I think I have the calibration correct for my tire size and bike style.
On the Bell there are two buttons left and right. Right scrolls through the menu/stats when you get to a stat you want to clear hold the left button for 5 seconds.

if all else fails since you walk/jog too i highly recommend a Garmin forerunner 305 you can use it for both sports.
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Old 07-18-12, 08:19 AM   #17
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On the Bell there are two buttons left and right. Right scrolls through the menu/stats when you get to a stat you want to clear hold the left button for 5 seconds.

if all else fails since you walk/jog too i highly recommend a Garmin forerunner 305 you can use it for both sports.
Thanks for that. I now have zero'd the trip meter. I guess I will learn this contraption one function at a time. My attention span must be inhibited in my old age! Thanks again! Best, Chas
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