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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 10-05-07, 01:28 PM   #1
Chiboy
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Newbie Questions

First off, please tell me if I should be posting this in a different forum subgroup.

I just bought a 2006 Specialized Tricross Comp from someone on CL, and should get delivery in about a week, unless the seller just decides to keep my money <I'm not too worried>. This is my first bike since my '89 mountain bike, and I intend to use it on road rides with friends who have, I think, pretty fast bikes, and on light trails along the Chicago shoreline, or out here in the suburbs. There are a few things I think I will need or want right away:

1) Bike shoes. The bike is coming equipped with "Nashbar Look-style clipless pedals". I don't really know what that means. I assume I can use running shoes with the pedals if I want, but would like to explore getting a reasonable (inexpensive) pair of biking shoes. Do I need cleats, or do they come with the pedals, or do they come with the shoes, or is it all a la carte? Any recommendations on what to get and where to get it are appreciated.

2) Computer. I'd like to get a new desktop -- KIDDING!!! I testrode a bike that had a computerized speedometer/odometer and thought that would be pretty handy and fun to have. I don't really know, but think I will only need an odo to keep track of how many miles I've put on the new toy; a trip odo; and a speedometer so I can regale my wife with stories of extreme speed. What would be a relatively inexpensive but reliable computer that would fit the bill?

3) Clothes. I don't want to get too carried away, but thought that, say pants that wouldn't get grease and stuff from the chain the way my Levis do would be a good start. Anything in particular I should look for? I have plenty of running clothes (wicking shorts, light tights, heavier tights, shirts, singlets, blah, blah, blah). Are any of them appropriate? I'm more concerned with comfort than in looking like Lance Armstrong.

Thanks a lot, and again, if this is in the wrong place, I'll move the thread. And if there's anything else I really need for my new bike (can't wait!!!), let me know.

Last edited by Chiboy; 10-05-07 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 10-05-07, 01:48 PM   #2
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1) Mountain shoes that allow you to walk around. Shimano MA-80 is a reasonably priced shoe and doesn't look awful, but there are plenty out there.
2) Look at Cateye wireless. Real easy setup, no wires, no mess, and reasonably priced.
3) Wool looks and smells better but is more expensive. I love my Kucharik wool shorts and my Swobo wool jersey.
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Old 10-07-07, 08:01 AM   #3
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Thanks for the ideas. Very helpful!
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Old 10-07-07, 08:51 AM   #4
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If it were me i would go with some sort of mt pedal. I like the good old spd's.
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Old 10-08-07, 08:00 AM   #5
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"Nashbar Look-style clipless pedals" are not compatible with running shoes - dangerously not. You can ride around the block, carefully, to try it out, but it is awkward and potential shin-bacon. You should use clipped or flat pedals to go with normal shoes.

Cleats are available separately, and always come with clipless pedals. Usually you don't get the cleats with used pedals or a bike with used pedals. Shoes never come with cleats. I've got a set of the Atac compatible Exus pedals that Nashbar has been selling and they are a very good, very affordable pedal. Unfortunately the cleats for those will cost as much or more than the pedals. A pair of mountain bike shoes with Atac type cleats is the way to go if you want to keep the pedals. Or, buy the mtb shoes and another pair of pedals for the cleats. For the most part, one expects to buy new pedals to go with a bike purchase, these days.

If you go into Walmart and buy the $9-10 Schwinn branded computer you will have as good and accurate a unit as any you can buy for under $25. It has features not found on other low-priced bike computers and is more rugged than most. I can't think of any reason to get anything else unless I were to become serious about racing and got something much more expensive and exotic.

Padded shorts are a definite improvement on any ride over an hour. Very strongly recommended. The bigger mass market sporting goods stores will carry jerseys and shorts in the $30-50 range. Not a bad place to start. You can go baggy or lycra depending on your personal style. The baggies have a nylon shell over a mesh or lycra under-layer that holds the chamois (and the anatomy) in place. The only advantage of baggies is for the bashful - they spare you from the "ten foot rule." If you are going to do any racing at all, you need the lycra. Hanging your shorts up on the saddle on a remount can be disastrous. The jerseys have pockets that actually are useful on a bike and are cut to fit in riding position. Wear what you want, but there's a reason bike kit evolved to what it is.

So, in short you either need pedals, or shoes and cleats or shoes and pedals. Get the shorts. The jersey will not prevent grievous personal injury, but the shorts might. Go ride and have fun.

Ron

Last edited by Ronsonic; 10-08-07 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 10-08-07, 11:30 AM   #6
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Thanks for the thought provoking response. I will definitely plan on either getting new pedals and/or new shoes and cleats. I guess I'll just have to figure out what I like once I get the bike.

I don't know whether the Schwinn computer is wireless or not, but are you saying that it's not even worth getting the Cateye wireless one for $30-$35 from ebay?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=020

I'm not looking to waste money, but I don't want to go too cheap (age old dilemma).
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Old 10-17-07, 07:32 PM   #7
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chiboy, did you buy one of those on ebay? That is my next purchase too & I'm wondering what to get.

If you got one from ebay, how do you like it?
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Old 10-17-07, 08:11 PM   #8
Chiboy
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I haven't bought one yet. It looks like ebay prices have gone up a bit since then.
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Old 10-17-07, 11:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiboy View Post
Thanks for the thought provoking response. I will definitely plan on either getting new pedals and/or new shoes and cleats. I guess I'll just have to figure out what I like once I get the bike.

I don't know whether the Schwinn computer is wireless or not, but are you saying that it's not even worth getting the Cateye wireless one for $30-$35 from ebay?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=020

I'm not looking to waste money, but I don't want to go too cheap (age old dilemma).
I would suggest going with the Cateye, the Schwinn may have more functions and work for awhile... but Cateye specializes in computers/lights/bike electronics. You get what you pay for.
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Old 10-18-07, 07:24 AM   #10
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If you're new to cyclocomputers, you might want to check out the Cat Eye Vectra, which always seems to be on sale at Performance for 30 bucks. It's a very basic wireless computer that does what you're looking for (odo, speed, trip, clock). The nice thing about it is that it auto starts/stops depending on whether the wheel is moving. Later on you might want one with a start/stop button and more features, but I've found that I don't miss them (I used to have a nicer comp that broke, grabbed one of these as a quick replacement and have only rarely wanted something more advanced).
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Old 10-18-07, 08:09 AM   #11
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The $9 Schwinn computer isn't wireless, so if that's a feature you want then you'll have to go with something else. I just don't see the advantage in wireless so didn't consider it.

Ron
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Old 10-18-07, 08:11 AM   #12
Chiboy
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Well, I ordered the Cateye micro wireless earlier today. I'll post once I get it and use it.
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