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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Misguided Advice?

    On a group ride last week we had a lady show up for her first ride on a slow 22 mile ride. She finished the ride but was hurting by the end of the ride.

    Some of the things I and a few other noticed.

    She mentioned that this was her first ride ever of more than 5 miles.

    The bike was a comfort hybrid with suspension fork and the handlebars had her elbows sticking almost straight out from her body.

    She had one of those thick plush saddles.

    Her saddle was low enough that she could put both feet flat on the ground.


    After the ride one of the ladies on the ride and I were talking to her about the ride. We mentioned that raising the saddle and possibly replacing it with one that had less padding would make for a less painful ride.

    While talking with her, two other people came up and told her that if she had clipless pedals the ride would have been much easier for her and completely ignored the bike fit issues.

    Shouldn't thinking about clipless wait until the bike fit issues and soe general conditioning are taken care of?
    Last edited by steve0257; 06-11-11 at 04:08 PM. Reason: formatting
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  2. #2
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I think her first ride of over 5 miles jumping to 22 miles is going to hurt no matter what. But yes people get a little silly about equipment and advice.

  3. #3
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve0257 View Post
    On a group ride last week we had a lady show up for her first ride on a slow 22 mile ride. She finished the ride but was hurting by the end of the ride.

    Some of the things I and a few other noticed.

    She mentioned that this was her first ride ever of more than 5 miles.

    The bike was a comfort hybrid with suspension fork and the handlebars had her elbows sticking almost straight out from her body.

    She had one of those thick plush saddles.

    Her saddle was low enough that she could put both feet flat on the ground.


    After the ride one of the ladies on the ride and I were talking to her about the ride. We mentioned that raising the saddle and possibly replacing it with one that had less padding would make for a less painful ride.

    While talking with her, two other people came up and told her that if she had clipless pedals the ride would have been much easier for her and completely ignored the bike fit issues.

    Shouldn't thinking about clipless wait until the bike fit issues and soe general conditioning are taken care of?
    Absolutely! She has much bigger problems than platform pedals. There's way too much for her to learn without putting her in cleats. She is liable to fall on her ass, break her wrist and says to hell with the whole thing! I probably have a bias -- having ridden a century + 12 additional miles the same day wearing steel-toed boots and pushing on platform pedals. I think the recommendation that she needs cleats right away is ignorant elitist crap!

    First priority is a little narrower, firmer seat at the right height. It need not be hard as a rock -- one step at a time.

    It takes time for new riders to adjust to lower bars -- I know in the last three years I have lowered the bars on my bikes 4-8 inches.

    Having said all this, if she is actually super lean and fit with good core strength etc., but just new to cycling more and bigger initial changes might just fly.

    Don in Austin

  4. #4
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    I think in general all the advice was good. Probably the best 10,000 foot advice would have been, take a look at the other more experienced riders, how are they sitting on their bikes, what equipment are they using, how much do they ride?

    Several years ago there was a young rider on one of our club rides, he also works down the hall from me. I pulled him aside and told him to observe the experience riders and see what they are doing. He was low on his bike, he was spinning at about 50 rpm, and had a lot of things that needed correction. Over time he worked out the bugs and now he rides with the A riders. People can only make so many changes at a time, everyone was trying to help.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    I think her first ride of over 5 miles jumping to 22 miles is going to hurt no matter what. But yes people get a little silly about equipment and advice.
    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by Don in Austin View Post
    Absolutely! She has much bigger problems than platform pedals. There's way too much for her to learn without putting her in cleats. She is liable to fall on her ass, break her wrist and says to hell with the whole thing! I probably have a bias -- having ridden a century + 12 additional miles the same day wearing steel-toed boots and pushing on platform pedals. I think the recommendation that she needs cleats right away is ignorant elitist crap!

    First priority is a little narrower, firmer seat at the right height. It need not be hard as a rock -- one step at a time.
    Accurate assessment IMHO!

  6. #6
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Plus, clipless is overrated, especially for new cyclists. My wife refuses to go clipless and rides flats. We have done several multi-day tours, riding 80+ hilly miles/day and she routinely puts clipped in riders to shame. Bike fit issues are so much more important to resolve.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I rode many years with clips and tennis shoes. Not a problem. Mis-adjusted bike? Big problem!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    OK, I've got to know.

    That's a lot of people giving advice to a new rider. I'm thinking she must have been hot.

  9. #9
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve0257 View Post
    two other people came up and told her that if she had clipless pedals the ride would have been much easier for her and completely ignored the bike fit issues.
    I have heard many stupid things and advice said at group rides.

    At least you gave some good advice.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

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