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Advice for a newbie

Old 10-03-17, 02:23 PM
  #1  
moegjlt
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Advice for a newbie

Hi

I started cycling 8 weeks ago to lose weight and get fit and Iím really enjoying it.

I started on a mountain bike coyote Oklahoma but 2 weeks ago I changed over to an hybrid through advice and now have a Boardman MX sport.

I am 60yrs old and was diagnosed with lung cancer 2 years ago and my medication is keeping it at bay. I am also 3 stone overweight 17stone.

I am cycling 3 times a week using a polar fitness watch with heart monitor. I cycle 14.3 miles on each trip which takes about 1hr 10mins. My avg speed is 12.7 mph average heart rate 147. Is this okay for my age and weight?

Another piece of advice I need I get very uncomfortable over halfway from sitting I have extra seat cushion + padded shorts but get very sore underneath the groin, I find it annoying as I feel okay fitness wise but have to keep adjusting myself. I know if I was more comfortable I could knock at least 10mins off my time. So any advice on seating or is it a case of getting used to it.

I want to eventually increase my distance and hopefully next spring ride for 50 miles Abergavenny - Monmouth - Chepstow - Newport.

Great forum by the way have received some sound advice on other issues since joining.
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Old 10-03-17, 03:35 PM
  #2  
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i'd love to help but I only understand American cycling. You Imperials ....

No seriously ... if you started eight weeks ago and have the health issues you mention and are averaging almost 13 mph for over an hour .... Very well done.

Of course it is So individual ... what your best heart rate is can only be determined by how you feel. Others can read charts and tables and make suggestions ... after my heart surgery I often spent an hour at 190-210 bpm, which anyone will tell you is insane.

That was actually a little lower than before the surgery ... I got so good at determining when I needed to ease off i stopped wearing my heart monitor--I could tell when I was ten bpm too high.

After a while my heart started to normalize ... it is still not happy or helpful but it isn't trying to kill me any more ... but if I had listened to my doctor, I would have stopped exercising except for strolling on the treadmill, gotten bored, gotten even fatter, and taken three times as long to recover. I had learned what my heart could do and when to stop and I followed my Personal limits.

Was it probably foolishly risky? Maybe. Will I lose two years of life later because I overworked my heart? I overworked my heart for years before i broke down and saw a doctor who then put me in for emergency surgery .... so I will never know.

You seem to be on top of your own health, which was the point I forgot I was trying to make.

if you can tell when your working hard and uncomfortable versus being in distress and uncomfortable, then work to your own limit, which will change every day.

On to the rest .... padding hurts. it is counter-intuitive but padding can press in all the wrong places, offer insufficient support, create hot spots (pressure points or friction points) .... too soft a saddle is the best way to get saddle sores.

Riding a bicycle is not a normal human activity and it takes some adaptation. One of the biggest is learning to sit on bones which don't usually bear focused pressure. You can try an ultra-wide tricycle seat. That will involve a much larger area for support but that will also usually interfere with your pedaling.

Your best bet is to try different saddles, and to build your things. Most of us, when we start out, try to Sit on the seat and spin our legs, with the weight on our buttocks. Not good. You eventually want to carry more and more weight on your legs ... but as you ride more, you will gain strength and increase comfort, then increase distance and feel discomfort ... over and over.\

I have been told to put a couple layers of corrugated cardboard on a very hard, flat surface, then to sit down and press down. The take the side of a piece of chalk or something and highlight the high points,. which should also highlight the two indentations where your ischeal loops protrude.

Measure roughly center-to-center of those two indentations, and that is supposed to be the width of saddle you need.

Then you cana join the rest of us searching for just the right saddle.

So ... basically what you feel is normal for a new rider. Probably you might do better with less padding in on the saddle (but I know people who use an extra cushion with success--no easy answer) and you will certainly change your riding habits as you keep riding which will change how much pressure is on your seat. You might look for a different seat, after a while. I buy saddles from the "returned merchandise" and "sales' and "closeout" pages for $10 or $25 when I see one I think is a good size and shape ... because new that can cost $50-$150 which is ridiculous.

On the other hand, riding in pain is ridiculous.

Some bike shops have saddle-exchange programs where you can try different models (it is understood that you will buy one if it fits ... but if you find one which fits, you will Want to by it.)

I see no reason why you won'rt be riding 50 miles plus by springtime---assuming the weather holds. You seem to be doing everything right.
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Old 10-03-17, 04:33 PM
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moegjlt From what I have read, your heart rate is ok. I think the recommended formula is 220 minus your age, should be your max heart rate. You are well below that level.

As for the padding, my wife kept wanting to have an extra padded seat on her bike and when we went to the local bike shop, the owner said a too soft seat was bad for comfort. We ended up buying a firmer seat and it helped her "pain" quite a bit. Perhaps you can reduce the padding and see what happens.
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Old 10-03-17, 06:28 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by moegjlt View Post
Hi

I started cycling 8 weeks ago to lose weight and get fit and Iím really enjoying it.

I am 60yrs old and was diagnosed with lung cancer 2 years ago and my medication is keeping it at bay. I am also 3 stone overweight 17stone.

I am cycling 3 times a week using a polar fitness watch with heart monitor. I cycle 14.3 miles on each trip which takes about 1hr 10mins. My avg speed is 12.7 mph average heart rate 147. Is this okay for my age and weight?

Another piece of advice I need I get very uncomfortable over halfway from sitting I have extra seat cushion + padded shorts but get very sore underneath the groin...
1. Keep riding and slowly increase your distance and the pounds (stones) will start falling off.

2. Your HR doesn't sound too far off since you've only been riding for a short time. Keep an eye on it and it should get better after another month or so of riding. FYI: I'm 72 and my HR rarely goes over 135 and that's when I'm climbing some of the small hills around here.

3. Sounds like your saddle has way too much padding. For a comfortable ride get a saddle with minimal padding. I have a Selle Anatomica on both of my bikes. I have the X series saddles. I love them.

Good luck and keep us updated on your progress.
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Old 10-03-17, 07:26 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by moegjlt View Post
Another piece of advice I need I get very uncomfortable over halfway from sitting I have extra seat cushion + padded shorts but get very sore underneath the groin, I find it annoying as I feel okay fitness wise but have to keep adjusting myself. I know if I was more comfortable I could knock at least 10mins off my time. So any advice on seating or is it a case of getting used to it.
The problem is saddles are personal, what works for one might not work for another. One saddle that gets rave reviews for comfort is the Selle Anatomica. Many people like the Brooks B17, but that has a break-in period and you won't know if it's for you until you've put a few hundred miles on it and it's broken in.

Those are 2 expensive saddles. There might be a much less expensive saddle that works for you. You might go to a bike shop and look at saddles and look around, talk to the bike people. You can't really tell how well a saddle will work for you until you've ridden on it for a couple hours, but you can make a good guess and almost certainly find one that's better than the one that came with your bike.

As others have mentioned, a thickly padded saddle is usually NOT the solution.
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Old 10-04-17, 06:54 PM
  #6  
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After 8 weeks you should be well-acclimated to your saddle, if you aren't, then you should consider trying something else. Some people think more padding is the answer, but often this is not the case. Too wide and soft a saddle might be more comfortable for a ride to the post office, but hurt like hell on a longer ride, whereas a hard and narrow saddle can feel uncomfortable for a short ride, but is far more comfortable on long rides.

I started using a Brooks B17 a few years ago, and it was a revelation. I now have B17 saddles fitted to all of my bikes. Break-in periods vary, but you can always get a used Brooks in decent condition for a very good price (compared to new), and it will break in more quickly, if not immediately. When training, I wear good shorts with somewhat thin padding, I typically ride 50km every day. But a broken-in Brooks saddle can usually be ridden comfortably for fairly long distances without requiring cycling shorts.

You might also check your riding position. Lowering your bars will take a little weight off your backside, and make things more comfortable. And as you weight continues to come down, you will feel more comfortable.
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Old 10-05-17, 07:15 AM
  #7  
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Welcome to the forum. There's some good advice above that I really don't have anything to add to. I would reiterate though that you should increase distance incrementally. Speed will take care of itself. As others have mentioned too, firm saddles are the most comfortable, but it is hard to find the right one for you. My local bike shop has a foam/gel thing you can sit on to make an impression of your sit bones. You can then use that to find a saddle that should fit. You might want to ask a shop near you if they have a similar system.
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Old 10-05-17, 11:04 AM
  #8  
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If the doctors don't tell you that you have some underlying cardio issue, then running your heart to max is not an issue. You'll tire out long before you wear it out.

You max hr may fall right into the value that formulas give you, but there is also a good chance it won't. So if you later find your HR 20 bpm over that value, don't worry. Everyone is different. The formula was just an average of widely varying data.

But be cautious working yourself up to extend periods of high HR initially. And make sure you hydrate adequately all the time you ride. Lack of hydration will play havok on your body and bite you badly before you know it. On a very warm day I drink about a 600 ml of fluid in 40 to 50 minutes. So I seldom leave home without two bottles of fluid. Water is fine for two hours or less riding. Especially if you are not racing others.
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Old 10-05-17, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post

3. Sounds like your saddle has way too much padding. For a comfortable ride get a saddle with minimal padding. I have a Selle Anatomica on both of my bikes. I have the X series saddles. I love them.
This ^ , and double for the Selle Anatomica. Just bought one and 175 miles later, still smiling.

Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
The problem is saddles are personal, what works for one might not work for another. One saddle that gets rave reviews for comfort is the Selle Anatomica. Many people like the Brooks B17,

Those are 2 expensive saddles. There might be a much less expensive saddle that works for you. You might go to a bike shop and look at saddles and look around, talk to the bike people. You can't really tell how well a saddle will work for you until you've ridden on it for a couple hours, but you can make a good guess and almost certainly find one that's better than the one that came with your bike.

As others have mentioned, a thickly padded saddle is usually NOT the solution.
And this ^.
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Old 10-05-17, 02:14 PM
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Nothing to add except another vote for Selle Anatomica. I have one on my double-century bike, one on my go fast bike and my wife loves hers on her touring bike.

True, they are a bit pricey, but totally worth it in my opinion!

Rick / OCRR
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Old 10-05-17, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
Nothing to add except another vote for Selle Anatomica. I have one on my double-century bike, one on my go fast bike and my wife loves hers on her touring bike. True, they are a bit pricey, but totally worth it in my opinion! Rick / OCRR
The best part is, if you happen to get the wrong size, wrong model, or just don't happen to have an anatomy which works well with that saddle ... wait, there is no "best part."

I see some on sale .... Never cheap, but they run 1$130-$150 most of the time. Just knowing that one of them might be perfect for me ... but I Don't Know Which One .... it would keep me up at night if I let it.
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Old 10-05-17, 07:06 PM
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stand up and peddle and also look up Selle Anatomica, Brooks or the company that the old owner of Selle Anatomica started (can't remember the name off hand but someone will)
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Old 10-06-17, 05:14 AM
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I have been moving towards less padded saddles and thinly padded shorts as a way to minimize pressure in the groin area. Brooks B17 Imperial (not the only option) and thin pad shorts on my primary road bike...seems counterintuitive until one considers the main pressure points vs soft tissue. ((Finding the best fore aft angle for your saddle for your body helps too...lots of info abt that here and on internet. Make sure your bike is on a level surface when you do it...iPhone has a level app that reads a degree at a time, useful)). The more you ride, the stronger and more comfortable you will become, for some that means the padding is no longer needed. I think you are doing really well with speed, distance and HR early on---enjoy! (I started riding serious in Jan and do 70-100mi a week, 61yo). My opinion.
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Old 10-07-17, 09:35 AM
  #14  
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Stormsedge raises valid points and tells why a traditional tensioned leather saddle is better than a padded one for many people.
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Old 10-10-17, 06:17 AM
  #15  
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Great advice

Thanks all for the great advice Iíve taken the extra padding off my seat and I am also now using anti chafe cream. This seems to be working no soreness just a slight ache at the end of my ride. I suppose I will eventually get used to the saddle. Also my times are getting better and I am also losing weight.
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