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Old 08-05-03, 02:55 PM   #1
Doom5
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Got my bike today and road it home. Have some questions.

Hey guys, this seems to be best place on the net to discuss cycling so that's why I'm here. I'm 18 years and will be going back to community college on the 25th to continue my study in Criminal Justice; yes, I'm interested in working in law enforcement.

I picked up my Jamis Coda Sport hybrid today from the bike shop. This is my first real bike, and I'm hoping to get into cycling. I picked a hybrid due to the the sometimes poor conditions of the roads here(NY = Winter + Salt + Sand). I rode it home from the shop, which was about 4-5 miles. This is my first time riding a bike in years, so I didn't do too bad, but switching the gears probably would have made it easier. I was on the highest(smallest #8?), is that more suited for speed or hills?

As I was riding my hands/wrists started to hurt, is this because I was not wearing gloves? Or do I have to get used to the pressure on my hands and wrists? I have very long arms is that makes a difference.

The only accessories I have right now are a helmet and computer for my bike. What else do I need? I still need to go over the manual for the bike, but it's in my mom's car so that will have to wait.

Believe it or not, I didn't have any problems with mororists being rude to me. I was honked at once, but I believe that it was a "I'm passing you" honk, due to how short it was.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-05-03, 03:56 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome to the forums! There's alot of great information here, as well as a great bunch of people.

As far as shifting goes, the lower gears (for going slow, or up hills) are toward the center of the bike (left side as you're sitting on the bike) these will also have lower numbers on the shifters. The higher gears (for going fast) are on the right and have the higher numbers, like you mentioned above.

The only advice I can give you on shifting is to ride around your driveway or on a quiet street and just practice it, you'll get the hang of it real quick.

Accessory-wise I would recomend at least having enough to fix a flat (tube, or patch kit, tire levers and a frame or mini pump) and water, either bottles or a hydration pack. These are a must have if you're going to be riding any distance away from home. And a multi-tool is always handy to have in case something loosens up.

Well, that's all I can think of for now. Good luck and welcome to the addiction.
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Old 08-05-03, 04:02 PM   #3
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Gloves definitely a necessary item. They make a huge difference, especially if you are just getting back into riding and need the extra padding for your wrists and hands. You might also have to work on your technique - for example, standing slightly and not keeping your arms rigid when going over bumps. You could also try to change your hand position on the bar slightly now and then to relieve pressure on your wrists.

You've got the right idea with already having a helmet - take it from someone who's been hit. You might also want to get a small seatbag to carry a tube and some tire levers. You would also want a mini-pump that attaches under your water bottle holder. A good pair of baggy bike shorts and a jersey will make a big improvement in how enjoyable your ride is. You could go the full-spandex route, but baggies might make things a little less awkward if you are cycling to college. Look for a pair of baggy cycling shorts with the lycra and padding sown into the inside.

To put it simply.....As for your gear combos, putting the chain on a larger chainring (front) will make it harder to pedal. Putting the chain on a smaller cog (rear) will make it harder to pedal. A smaller chainring in the front will make pedaling easier, and a larger cog in the back will make pedaling easier.

Good luck with the law enforcement career - i am also interested in that field of work.

-Moab
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Old 08-05-03, 05:40 PM   #4
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The hybrid is a good choice for what you're going to use it for, and for someone who's just getting into cycling.

I wish I were 18 and knew what I know now. You wanna trade? I'll go back to school and you can have my job.

To learn shifting, get the chain on the middle chainring and leave it there to start. (you can worry about switching chainrings later) The eight gears you get by switching rear cogs should give you a good enough range to start. 1 is low for starting or going up hills. 8 is high for speed/downhill.

Once you get used to shifing the rear cogs, switching chainrings is extends the range of gears even further. If you're already in a low gear, going to the small chainring gives you even lower gears. The large chainring does the same for high gears. (the only thing is, you'll want to avoid cross gears (small chainring + small cog or large chainring + large cog))

Have fun. After a little riding the shifting all becomes second nature.
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Old 08-05-03, 05:45 PM   #5
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Might want a saddle bag. Carry a patch kit, get an inflator or mini pump, spare tube, copy of driver's license, insurance card, a couple of bucks, and some change. As far as the aches, could be there might be some adjusting needed. Gloves will help.
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Old 08-05-03, 05:46 PM   #6
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welcome to the cycling forum Doom. I think gloves are really important as well, not only will they keep your hands from hurting, they will help protect your hands in the event of a fall. Also if you plan to ride it in the winter, I would suggest getting some full fender both front and back to keep the mud off of your clothes. If you have anymore questions feel free to ask.
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Old 08-05-03, 05:48 PM   #7
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also for starting out riding, maybe start out in low gear, and practice from there until you are comfortable, but remember riding in too high of a gear will put strain on your knees, I try and ride in gear # 2 but switch to # 3 if I need more speed suddenly, but I don't ride in it for long.
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Old 08-05-03, 06:09 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forums, Doom5. Agree with most of the above that you'll want a saddle bag to carry a spare tube or patch kit and multi-tool. And you'll definitely want a good pair of shorts. On the other hand, I never ride with gloves in the summer. I've just never felt the need.

Re gears: just ride and practice. When you approach a hill, you'll want to shift down too early rather than too late.
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Old 08-05-03, 06:21 PM   #9
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As far as having proper tools, patchkit and tubes go, they'll probably not do you much good if you don't know how to change out a tube or repair a puncture. If you don't already know how, ask your friendly LBS to show you. Hopefully they've also explained how to tighten and operate the quick releases too. I've seen so many improperly closed QRs lately it's downright scary.
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Old 08-05-03, 07:00 PM   #10
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One general thing to remember in terms of gears: While some people do best pushing giant gears, most will benefit fromspinning smoothly in an easier gear. For someone who is new to the sport and is commuting, you would benefit from this. Make sure to shift down as you approach a hill so you can keep relatively the same cadence as you go up it. You shouldn't be having a huge struggle to push the pedals down (It might hurt because you are getting used to it, but it shouldn't be impossible to keep the pedals moving) or rocking back and forth real hard while sitting. The key is to have a smooth cadence/pedal stroke. This is even easier to do with clipless pedals (the next upgrade you should make to the bike). You also need to remember to stand periodically on uphills even if you don't feel as though you need to. Doing this will give your legs a break and relieve pressure. When you stand, you should switch up a few gears to compensate for the help your weight will give you in moving the pedals - you will have very jerky pedal strokes and will slow down fast if you don't do this.

-Moab
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Old 08-05-03, 07:04 PM   #11
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Welcome to cycling! You definitely want a patch kit, a spare inner tube, a pump, and instructions on how to use them.

One big disadvantage of a hybrid is that upright handlebars provide only one position for your hands. Consider adding bar extensions, such as end-mounted the climbing pegs many mountain bikers use; these will provide your hands with additional positions.

Note that the natural orientation for the human wrist, with the elbows at one's sides and bent at 90 degrees, is with the palm vertical. This is easy to achieve on road bike drop bars or on bar extensions, but impossible on standard hybrid bars.
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Old 08-05-03, 07:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by moabrider47
Gloves definitely a necessary item. They make a huge difference, especially if you are just getting back into riding and need the extra padding for your wrists and hands.
I still don't understand this... I just did a metric century this saturday with no gloves, and I had no discomfort whatsoever. My hunch is that if you're having hand probs on the bike, you're either gripping too tight or putting too much weight on your hands due to improper bike fit.
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Old 08-05-03, 11:48 PM   #13
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Originally posted by moabrider47
You've got the right idea with already having a helmet - take it from someone who's been hit.
Glad to be in the club now.
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Old 08-06-03, 12:38 AM   #14
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The gloves are more for protection for when you go down the first reaction you will have is to put your hands out to stop your fall, without the gloves you can end up with some serious road rash on the palms of your hand not a good place for it. If you plan on commuting you might want to start looking at lights for the twilight hours, you will need them, not only for safety but it probably is the law. You will want a good red rea light and dpeending on how well lit your rout is you will want at least a fron strobe light and if it is not well lit a good halogen to see by. Welcome back to riding, and this is the best biek forum out there. here are a couple of links to the cycling laws in NY

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...law=127&art=57

http://www.dot.state.ny.us/pubtrans/bphome.html
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Old 08-06-03, 09:15 AM   #15
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Well, as for "accessories"

Must Haves

1) Helmet - you have this. Good for you.
2) Saddle bag and pump, tire irons, spare tube or patch kit.
3) Water bottles at least 2 or hydration pack.
4) Shorts
5) Identification somewhere. In our club, we have had 2 of our members (who were out riding solo) found stunned without ID and that is not a good thing.

Nice to Have

1) rear blinker - one of these days you will be out in a low light situation. These cost something like $12 and I get the kind with AA batteries because the run life with AA is something over 100 hours.
2) Cycling shoes. You can use shoes with toe clips or you can go with clipless pedals.
3) Clipless pedals - much better transfer of power. In your case, SPD would be nice and some can be bought pretty inexpensively.
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Old 08-06-03, 09:30 AM   #16
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If you're going back to school, I suggest you put your spare tube, tire levers and mini-tools in a small bag that you can easily toss in your backpack. Saddle bags will disappear in no time. Gloves are good. I use them all the time. Fenders are good if commuting by bike only. Lights are also good ideas.

Other things you might consider are a good lock (U-lock) and perhaps a pannier rack (over rear tire) good for hauling things.

I don't know how far your commute is, but it may be worthwhile to invest in a Large Camelback. That way you can keep your tools in it, carry your water, and your books in one place!

Lastly, a lightweight windbreaker is good to have. Something that folds up small and you can toss it in your backpack. Rainy rides home are fun, but rides to school and sitting in a wet shirt all day suck!

L8R
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Old 08-06-03, 09:47 AM   #17
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If you're going back to school, I suggest you put your spare tube, tire levers and mini-tools in a small bag that you can easily toss in your backpack. Saddle bags will disappear in no time.
Or get one with a quick-release system (I remember that time being of the essence when scrambling to get to classes). I like the Topeak Small Wedge Seatpak although the new Aero Wedge models are nicer looking.
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Old 08-06-03, 09:58 AM   #18
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re hand/wrist pain

two ideas:

1) try adjusting the level of your brake/shift levers. if they are pointed to far down or to far up, your wrists will bend at an unnatural angle.

2) not sure what kind of handlebar you have, but if it is flat, you may want to switch to an upright bar or get bar ends like others suggested.

I would try #1 first since it costs nothing. gloves may help a little but I suspect adjusting the levers may work.

congrats on your new bike.
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