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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 06-29-14, 07:08 PM   #1
peggyd73
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Ride report - 1st time on new road bike

Very busy weekend on the bikes (love that I can now use the plural)

I joined a small group of girls for bike trail ride in Westerville. I wasn't sure how far we would ride (plan was 1.5 to 2 hours), so took my trusty hybrid. We went 18.8 miles in couple of hours -- very slow on the inclines but easily kept up with the group on the flats and outpaced them on the return downhill!

I met a friend this afternoon for a 2nd bike ride on local trail this afternoon. Figured it would be shorter so took my road bike for its inaugural ride (previously just ridden around the neighborhood). We ended up riding 19.7 miles (new high for the season)!! I also picked up ~2 miles per hour from previous rides on the same route :-)

Some things I learned:
* The drop bars / hoods were very different but pretty comfortable overall. I did have some discomfort in my upper back
* I REALLY need to spend some time learning the shifters -- moving from grip shifts to levers (integrated w/ brakes) is a big change.
* I missed having the bike computer to track speed / distance (I have one but haven't hooked it up yet as I wanted to make sure the bike fit was ok
* The saddle hurt - not sure if that is just because its new or if I need to get a different one
* Need to think about water / food as I think I struggled more on return trip than need be because I was hungry!

Thanks so much to the group here for all the tips and suggestions -- both in answer to questins I posted and just in general reading!

Peggy
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Old 06-30-14, 07:05 AM   #2
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Road riding is definitely different from hybrid. But the speed!
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Old 06-30-14, 08:15 AM   #3
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* The drop bars / hoods were very different but pretty comfortable overall. I did have some discomfort in my upper back
* The saddle hurt - not sure if that is just because its new or if I need to get a different one
Both of these issues may be solved by fitting. Adjusting the height, angle, or position (for/aft) of the saddle are easy things to experiment with. Changing the height and position of the handlebars is a little more involved as it may require trying different stems, but still easy.
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Old 06-30-14, 10:16 AM   #4
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Welcome to the dark side!
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Old 06-30-14, 04:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by peggyd73 View Post
I joined a small group of girls for bike trail ride in Westerville.
If you are like me, finding a women's group to ride with made a big difference. I am now comfortable joining a shop ride with men tho I can't keep up if it is not a no-drop ride. Tho I am faster now than I was...

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* The saddle hurt - not sure if that is just because its new or if I need to get a different one
* Need to think about water / food as I think I struggled more on return trip than need be because I was hungry!
Not sure what bike you have. Is it a women's specific design and thus has a women's saddle? Some stock saddles are ok once broken in. I have a non-WSD bike and the stock saddle was not a women's specific saddle. I rode on that saddle for 8 months including several metric centuries and a full century w/o issues. Wearing a good pair of shorts with a quality chamois can make a big difference. All that being said, this is your first real ride on the bike and it may just be that you just need time in saddle to get yourself broken in. If you are wearing good shorts/chamois and after a few months the saddle is still not comfortable...find a shop that has a test saddle program and TEST TEST TEST until you find the one that works. Many like the Terry Butterfly but I found the Fizik Vesta worked the best for me. Specialized makes some nice women's saddles as well.

You should not be dieting on the bike. If you are going to be riding longer than an hour and especially if it is hot...you will need an electrolyte replacement in your water (I like NUUN for short rides and use Infinit for long rides as NUUN does not have calories and Infinit does). Nutrition on the bike is a personal thing too. What works for me may not work for you. Find what your body tolerates and use that. So I say experiement. I enjoy Honey Stinger Waffles, Bonk Breaker bars, Powerbar Blasts, Sport Beans and Clif Bar gels for when I need to have food on me. I have even carried a PayDay candy bar as it has both sugar and protein (from the peanuts) and it won't get melted in your pocket because it isn't chocolate. I have also uses a softer to chew beef jerky.

Welcome to the forum and love to see more women out on roads.
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Old 06-30-14, 04:24 PM   #6
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I got my first drop bar bike a couple weeks ago, and love it. Still adjusting to the shifters, like you. Not sure if I like them, or if I need to go to bar end shifters, or a different brand of shifters(Campy or SRAM instead of Shimano) because of my Carpal Tunnel issues.

I've noticed a bit less sensitive to saddle height as I was on my flat bar bike, as far as discomfort. But being dialed in correctly, fit wise, seems to make much more of a difference on the road bike for speed/efficiency.

I'd try another saddle. I can ride anything for 5 miles, past that saddle choice makes a difference.
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Old 06-30-14, 07:39 PM   #7
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Not sure what bike you have. Is it a women's specific design and thus has a women's saddle? Some stock saddles are ok once broken in. I have a non-WSD bike and the stock saddle was not a women's specific saddle. I rode on that saddle for 8 months including several metric centuries and a full century w/o issues. Wearing a good pair of shorts with a quality chamois can make a big difference. All that being said, this is your first real ride on the bike and it may just be that you just need time in saddle to get yourself broken in. If you are wearing good shorts/chamois and after a few months the saddle is still not comfortable...find a shop that has a test saddle program and TEST TEST TEST until you find the one that works. Many like the Terry Butterfly but I found the Fizik Vesta worked the best for me. Specialized makes some nice women's saddles as well.

Welcome to the forum and love to see more women out on roads.[/QUOTE]

i bought a unisex bike (Fuji) -- since I'm 6 foot tall and most of my height is in my trunk, a women's specific bike wasn't a fit for me. Wondering if I need a a women's saddle though since my 'soft parts' are still tender even 30 hours after the ride!

I'll have to look into the idea of testing saddles - i like that much better than buying multiple saddles. Any tips on picking a saddle ?
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Old 06-30-14, 07:57 PM   #8
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I know my initial take when I've gotten on a road bike for the first time after riding only a MTB for a number of years is DAMN THIS THING IS FAST...
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Old 06-30-14, 09:09 PM   #9
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Women's saddles are wider. Your saddle should support your sit bones and not much else. Likely your present saddle is too narrow. If it were me I'd not wait more than 100 miles. If the saddle still feels uncomfortable a day later after your first hundred change it. Find a LBS that treats you well and has a saddle try until you buy program. Keep enjoying that new bike. It is also great you still ride the other one.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:51 AM   #10
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My first suggestion would be to have a fit done on the bike and to make sure that the saddle is positioned properly.

Second suggestion is find a LBS that has women's saddles AND a test saddle program. Try before you buy. You may need to do this at more than one store depending on the brands carried.

The women's bike shop I ride out of sells: Selle Italia, Terry and Fizik. As mentioned in my previous post, Specialized also makes some nice women's saddles would need to probably deal with a Specialized dealer to test those.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:22 PM   #11
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My first suggestion would be to have a fit done on the bike and to make sure that the saddle is positioned properly.
Listen to Beachgrad05 she has come a long way! The single most important thing is fit.

I have been road cycling for more than 30 years, with a little youth racing in the early 80's. This spring I purchased the first new bike in better than 10 years and set it up myself- the wrong thing to do. It was 'fine' for a bit but after some tweaking by my shop and myself it feels VERY good.
If you cannot afford this, Bike Fit Calculator | Find Your Bike Size | Competitive Cyclist is a great calculator which will put the setup near the right area. Just be sure your body measurements are spot on so get a close friend to help.
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Old 07-01-14, 01:03 PM   #12
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I'll have to look into the idea of testing saddles - i like that much better than buying multiple saddles. Any tips on picking a saddle ?
This is where having a woman in the LBS to talk to would be a big help. You need to be specific as to what bits are hurting and where.

For example, my stock saddle was not horrible considering it was the stock and it was a men's saddle. Just like bikes, women can ride on a mens saddle just like a non-WSD bike. We all have different bodies and our sit bones may be narrower or wider. My issue with the stock saddle occurred when I went in the drops for any length of time. My pelvis would obviously rotate a bit and I would then be putting pressure on some rather tender bits. On the tops or the hoods, my pelvis was normal and I was on my sit bones more. So the saddle that ended up working for me is the Fizik Vesta that has a slight relief channel built in. I tried a Selle Italia with one but the saddle was not stiff enough. The flex of the saddle drove me nuts. But others love the Selle Italia.

There are three things that are important with regard to comfort on the saddle: 1. Fit 2. Saddle and 3. Chamois

ANY one of those three can result in discomfort if they are out of wack.
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Old 07-01-14, 07:32 PM   #13
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This is where having a woman in the LBS to talk to would be a big help. You need to be specific as to what bits are hurting and where.


There are three things that are important with regard to comfort on the saddle: 1. Fit 2. Saddle and 3. Chamois

ANY one of those three can result in discomfort if they are out of wack.
Thanks so much for the advice. I think the fit is ok but will continue to watch it. I wear padded shorts (from aero tech designs) that do ok on my hybrid,so hopefully the saddle change will help!
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