I totally new to road cycling except for a few miles on a Wal-Mart mtb years back, so bear with me. I'm riding an old ten speed now that I've tried to fit to the best of my abilities as I've read on various websites. Here are a few of my questions.
1. I know I need to build up base miles. I've been doing this about a month now, maybe 4 rides/wk. This morning I rode approx. 16 miles in 66 min. (give or take just a bit) Tried to keep my cadence around 85 to just over 90. A little slower uphill, little faster down but for the most part I kept it there. I only have the old flat metal petals so too fast and I start to slap and I reallly can't "wipe the mud off my shoes" at the bottom of the stroke very well. I figure I'll need to do this for some time since I was really just sedentary before I started riding. Is this the basics for building base miles?
2. Can you recommend some reasonably priced riding shorts? I don't want to spend too much as I'd rather save for a new bike at this time. I do think the shorts would help though. Currently riding in gym shorts.
3. Would you recommend having a cyclocomputer and or hrm at this stage? I'm 44 doing this mainly for fitness but have visions of riding some centuries or maybe some tours. I like a bit of speed also though. I'm hoping to shed a bit of fat though I'm not really heavy 5' 10 - 11" and 165 lbs and reduce my BP without meds.
I know this is alot to ask at once, and I'm sure I'll have more but I'm a 3rd shifter and need to get to bed. Hopefully I'll have plenty of responses when I check back later. By the way, of the bikes I've looked at, I like what I see in the Cannondale caad8 and synapses or the speacialized allez or robait. The choices seem almost endless and I'll definately test ride before I buy. I can bring some the these home for a weekend ride for 25.00 refunded if you buy one. Try 4 bikes then buy and you get the 100.00 you spent off your new bike.
1. Ride at a comfortable pace and worry about distance more than speed. Try to increase the length of your rides, not your speed. Speed will come naturally. Later on, when you get into shape you can work specifically on speed.
2. Nashbar, Performance Bike, and Pricepoint sell reasonably priced bike shorts.
3. A cyclecomputer would be good for recording your distance. An HRM is useful to help gauge your efforts, but not required.