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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-23-09, 08:39 AM   #1
HalfEmpty43
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Starting Out: How Much Is Too Much?

Hello Everyone,

I just moved from LA to SF and sold my car. I picked up a Specialized Allez 2010 (Steel) road bike and have been commuting to school and back. I absolutely love it.

The commute is about 6 miles each way with a few hills. Because I'm new to cycling my legs are super sore at the end of the day. I'm just pushing through the soreness and commuting on the bicycle anyways. Is this okay? Should I be throwing in a few train rides to allow my legs to recover before getting on the bike again?

I'm so excited about the bike I'd be on it all day if I could. Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 09-23-09, 08:57 AM   #2
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The Allez is steel now ?

If the soreness gets worse or you notice yourself starting to drag, give yourself a break. Either take it easy every other day or so, or just stay off the bike once or twice a week.
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Old 09-23-09, 08:59 AM   #3
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Pushing through general soreness is fine. Just try to take it easy if you're new to endurance exercise. Most importantly, listen to your body. Don't feel bad about taking a day off here and there (as far as commuting goes, however, it's fine for those days to be Saturday and Sunday). You get the idea; everything in moderation.
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Old 09-23-09, 09:08 AM   #4
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The Allez is steel now ?

If the soreness gets worse or you notice yourself starting to drag, give yourself a break. Either take it easy every other day or so, or just stay off the bike once or twice a week.
The "Allez Double Steel" is:

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...45678&eid=4350

Reynolds 520!

It's a retro style to earlier models with downtube shifters.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 09-23-09, 09:09 AM   #5
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I personally eased into it, even though its generally better to push through sore muscles (I think?). When I first started commuting, my ride was about 6 miles on way as well with some minor hills and a bridge. I got rid of my monthly subway pass, and made a deal with myself to only spend $8/week on public transit (2 roundtrip rides). I wasn't really used to it in the beginning, so I would commute by bike 3/5 workdays. I've been commuting year-round for 2 years now. My commute has been one-way 6 miles, 2 miles, 15 miles, and it's currently 5 miles. I take the subway about two times a month, now.

Happy commuting!
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Old 09-23-09, 10:22 AM   #6
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I'm a newbie and am into my 8th week of commuting. I jumped right in like you and continued my other workout routines. My commute is 5 miles in the morning and 10 in the evening. By middle of 2nd or 3rd week, I was so tired and sore I had to take a day or two off. Soreness was from all the biking & workouts. Tiredness was from not increasing my calories enough to compensate for what was being burned during commute.

So listen to your legs and eat a tad bit extra until legs & body are used to new routine.
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Old 09-23-09, 10:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HalfEmpty43 View Post
The "Allez Double Steel" is:

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...45678&eid=4350

Reynolds 520!

It's a retro style to earlier models with downtube shifters.

Thanks for the advice.
Interesting.

I wonder if they would have used generic 4130 instead of 520 or their regular Allez frame if they could have got the price down to closer to $500. The world needs a less expensive quality road bike.
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Old 09-23-09, 11:55 AM   #8
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Its fine. Just make sure to have a rest day thrown in every now and again. Even the pros need to rest.
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Old 09-23-09, 11:58 AM   #9
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Don't forget to stretch after getting home, or at least before going to bed.
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Old 09-23-09, 12:00 PM   #10
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Keep on riding.
You won't fall apart.
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Old 09-23-09, 12:51 PM   #11
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I've noticed (already) that the exercise has improved my mood and is allowing for a better night's sleep. Amazing.
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Old 09-23-09, 02:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Interesting.

I wonder if they would have used generic 4130 instead of 520 or their regular Allez frame if they could have got the price down to closer to $500. The world needs a less expensive quality road bike.
That's what this is. Tells you how overpriced the Langster is doesn't it?

I'm guessing that the execs said "make it cheaper than a Trek 7.3 FX."
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Old 09-23-09, 02:37 PM   #13
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HalfEmpty43,

Keep your cadence up and listen to any pain in your knees and back. Ignore your quads, hamstrings, and butt: They're just whiners.

You don't have to stop if you're in pain, you have to figure out what's causing it and fix that.
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Old 09-23-09, 05:18 PM   #14
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When I was new I had the same issue and kept on going. Now, 2+ years later, my 7-mile trips are practically effortless.

Keep it up, and stretch.
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Old 09-23-09, 05:25 PM   #15
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Got gears? Use 'em!
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Old 09-23-09, 05:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Interesting.

I wonder if they would have used generic 4130 instead of 520 or their regular Allez frame if they could have got the price down to closer to $500. The world needs a less expensive quality road bike.
Very interesting. How come I never see bikes like this in shops? I was basically left hanging when I first got into bikes because I wanted a steel bike around that price and no one had one. I wish I knew about this bike back then.

Last edited by hairnet; 09-23-09 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 09-23-09, 07:15 PM   #17
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You will probably be ok. As was already said, take a rest day, or two, when you need them. Remember to drink more water, too. Stretching is a must for me, and I do so at least every other day, usually just before bedtime.

Keep riding!
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Old 09-23-09, 08:17 PM   #18
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When I started commuting, my leg muscles were perpetually sore. Now they don't get sore unless I do an extra long ride. Eventually your body will just adapt. It probably won't even take that long.

Now, if you're having pain in your joints, you should definitely address that problem (bike fit, technique, etc). Joints don't have the same healing power as muscles, so when they get damaged, it can cause long-term consequences. Forcing yourself to ride through knee pain is just asking for trouble.

I'm no doctor, but I always just ride through the muscle pain, because muscles are resilient. When I used to lift weights, I sometimes got to the point where I could barely carry out everyday tasks, which means my body wouldn't even allow me to cause more damage even if I wanted to. If you are too sore, or feel too weak to ride, then take one or two recovery days. Your body is pretty good at telling you what is too much. It's been my experience that if you are pushing too hard, you will be able to tell pretty clearly.
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Old 09-23-09, 09:18 PM   #19
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Thanks again for the comments and advice.

It seems to me that the soreness I'm feeling is just my muscles adapting to being used again, which is a good thing. No pain in joints at all.

I am having some serious pains in my taint though. I just lowered my saddle a bit in an attempt to help that. I think that I was too forward on the saddle in order to reach the bottom of the drop bar comfortably, which made most of my weight rest on the nose of my saddle, which has direct contact with the taint.

Anyways, I'm hoping that takes care of it, or that I develop a nice callous, so that there's no pain.

I'm thinking this is a bit too much information. What did we do before the internet, eh?
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Old 09-23-09, 09:22 PM   #20
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Very interesting. How come I never see bikes like this in shops? I was basically left hanging when I first got into bikes because I wanted a steel bike around that price and no one had one. I wish I knew about this bike back then.
As I understand it, if you know what you're doing (I don't), you can build a better bike for the same money using an older steel frame. Of course your sacrificing the security of a new bike, whatever security that might be. Free tune ups?

Oddly enough the Allez was the first bike I was shown, in the first bike shop I visited. Very happy so far!
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Old 09-24-09, 09:07 AM   #21
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As I understand it, if you know what you're doing (I don't), you can build a better bike for the same money using an older steel frame. Of course your sacrificing the security of a new bike, whatever security that might be. Free tune ups?

Oddly enough the Allez was the first bike I was shown, in the first bike shop I visited. Very happy so far!
You can build a better one. Getting a used bike may even help with getting a much better bike. It's just that when I was new I didn't know anything about anything and just wanted a new steel road bike. I couldn't find one under $1000 because all anybody seems to sell are racing bikes.
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Old 09-24-09, 10:47 AM   #22
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Thanks again for the comments and advice.

It seems to me that the soreness I'm feeling is just my muscles adapting to being used again, which is a good thing. No pain in joints at all.

I am having some serious pains in my taint though. I just lowered my saddle a bit in an attempt to help that. I think that I was too forward on the saddle in order to reach the bottom of the drop bar comfortably, which made most of my weight rest on the nose of my saddle, which has direct contact with the taint.

Anyways, I'm hoping that takes care of it, or that I develop a nice callous, so that there's no pain.

I'm thinking this is a bit too much information. What did we do before the internet, eh?
In general you shouldn't be raising or lowering your saddle because of those issues. If you feel like you're to far forward there are adjustments to move the saddle forward, or back, without changing it's height. On most saddles you can also adjust the forward or backwards tilt of the saddle.
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