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What tips would you give absolute beginners?

Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

What tips would you give absolute beginners?

Old 10-05-18, 05:00 AM
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What tips would you give absolute beginners?

I had weight loss surgery almost 5 years ago. Iíve been successful in my journey and now I participate in a support group for people who are just getting started. A common topic in support group is what I wish I would have known before having surgery. Iím going to give a short talk/presentation on how to get started with cycling and I wanted to see if there is anything you think I should add to my list. Remember, these are folks who have been overweight and out of shape most of their lives and are starting their fitness journey from the very bottom. I think a lot of cycling info you find online starts at a little past that level of beginner, which is why I wanted to do this. I live in a somewhat rural area with a lot of lower income people so I absolutely will not tell them to not buy a department store bike. Thatís how I got started and what I rode for a long time prior to buying my Trek. I will talk about entry level prices at a bike shop, the value of buying from a LBS and how to chose a department store bike and make sure itís safe to ride if they go that route.
My basic topics are safety, fit and positioning, buying a bike, getting started on an excercise bike, local bike shops and what they offer, and beginner trails and greenways in our area. Is there anything you would add or would say if you were giving a talk like this?

Thank you in advanced!
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Old 10-05-18, 05:10 AM
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Buy a bike you feel comfortable on and buy the bike you fall in love with. Tick those two and you will ride the thing, get either wrong and you probably won't. Accept that in a year's time, your fitness and attitudes will probably have changed and you'll want a different bike... but you'll have the experience to help you choose your new bike.
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Old 10-05-18, 05:42 AM
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Look for sales, even a Hybrid on sale for $350 from an LBS or Scheels or Dicks Sporting goods will offer at least a free tune up in the first year and some free adjustments before it goes out the door. The free adjustments could mean the difference of being comfortable and absolutely hating the bike.

Either the bike or exercise bike, can and will cause your leg muscles to fatigue quickly especially if your a very raw beginner. The thing to remember is our legs recover faster than any other part of our body. So, no matter if its ten minutes on the exercise bike or a mile or two on a regular bicycle, just getting off and walking the stiffness out can get you more ride in.

Setting goals and sticking to them is key. If you set a 5 mile goal and after 3.5 you think you can't go any further, get off, walk it off and get back on and continue your ride.

Learn the difference between pain and discomfort. Discomfort is just that and you can push past it. Pain, you stop and try to figure out the reason.
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Old 10-05-18, 11:12 AM
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I would just take them on a short ride... show them how to do the stuff you need to do before each ride, pump up the tires etc. It's really easy to complicate this but you're just riding a bike. it shouldn't be a big deal.
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Old 10-05-18, 11:59 AM
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Have fun. All you hope, want and expect from cycling will come in time ... but won't come at all if you don't enjoy riding at an elementary level. Have fun!
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Old 10-05-18, 12:50 PM
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For complete beginners:
* Start with something really simple like a used bicycle or a beach cruiser. Low cost, and always nice to keep around for short rides even if you decide you don't like daily long-distance riding.
* Start by taking only short rides, and that can include just a simple 5-minutes ride around the block. IF that leaves you sore or tired, keep doing it until you feel comfy, THEN increase the distance. If that short ride works OK, maybe try something longer, and increase mileage as you feel capable of longer rides.
* Don't spend a ton of $$$ on a bicycle until you know you'll stick with riding, and have some idea of what you like (road, XC, MTB, touring bike, or . . . )
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Old 10-05-18, 02:11 PM
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Watch out for cars.
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Old 10-09-18, 03:43 PM
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The number one question I get about bike riding by everyone is, "Doesn't your butt hurt?" Let them know, yes, your butt will hurt, keep riding you body needs time to adjust to the saddle.
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Old 10-09-18, 04:28 PM
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- learn/practice patching/changing tubes at home.
- left/right turn hand signals (IME most newbs use the car right turn sign with their left arm).
- don't cross cracks/rails in road at sharp angles.
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Old 10-10-18, 10:05 AM
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Years ago, due to injuries and extreme loss of range of motion, I'd gotten back into cycling as part of the recovery and decided on this: a simple low-step bicycle with single-gear and coaster brake. (Not a choice for everyone, I realize.)

For me, given the issues I was contending with at the time, it helped me get on/off the bike much more simply. Nearly eliminated the risk of falling during getting on/off (due to range-of-motion issues). Made things simple, overall, if a bit harder up the rare gradual hills I needed to cope with. In short, it gave me a good boost for basic fitness, basic range of motion improvements, without having to worry about much else.

Choice of routes also helped, keeping those restricted to spots close enough to home and my destination so as to vastly reduce the risk of having to hoof it in case of break-down. Only had to do that once, and that was due to a part failure (through poor choice in parts, which was resolved quickly enough).

Another way: get a gym membership, and begin using the recumbent bicycles, "graduating" to the upright bikes when you're comfortable. If you get strong enough, fit enough and capable enough, then a suitable street/hybrid/MTB type bike would be suitable. If really starting from scratch.

Suggestion to consider: When you do get to the point of acquiring a bike, first head to a decent bike shop that has good fitting services. Get a proper fitting, prior to acquiring a "good" bike. You'll likely be happier in the long run. It'll fit better, you'll have fewer aches/pains when it's set-up properly, and you'll likely use it more.
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Old 10-11-18, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Yendor72 View Post
The number one question I get about bike riding by everyone is, "Doesn't your butt hurt?" Let them know, yes, your butt will hurt, keep riding you body needs time to adjust to the saddle.
yes, Iíve gotten this one a lot which is what prompted me to offer this discussion. I think Iíll start with ďdo you want to know the secret to not having your butt hurt really a bad when you ride? The answer is keep riding!Ē

Thank you all for the tips!
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