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What was your new to biking learning curve like?

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What was your new to biking learning curve like?

Old 09-23-23, 07:10 PM
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What was your new to biking learning curve like?

After about 4 months of road biking I have ~700 miles.

Things I've learned.

How to ride clip-less.
Strava.
Why bikes can get so darn expensive.
Tire sizes; mine are 700x32.
Gears: crankset, cassette, derailleurs, etc.
Tire pressure (checked before every ride now).
Nutrition and hydration. The sugar in powders hasn't caused me issues yet so I drink my calories.
How to change a tube; and the importance of carrying a tube and kit with you.

and finally. how to clean the chain. Long story short, all it took was spraying down the cassette, crank shaft and derailleurs with water.

Can't wait to see how it rides tomorrow morning

any tips for this newbie are greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-23-23, 07:19 PM
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Enjoy riding.

No other valid advice, sorry.
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Old 09-23-23, 07:27 PM
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Enjoy riding and your new bike. But there is more to chain cleaning than spraying it with water. Unfortunately nobody here seems to be able to agree on how to clean and lube a drivetrain.
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Old 09-23-23, 07:38 PM
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I was five. Balance was the thing. I had to put my foot down twice. Took a couple minutes maybe.

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Old 09-23-23, 08:40 PM
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Lube chain after cleaning with water or rides will be less fun very soon.
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Old 09-23-23, 08:46 PM
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As a kid, I used to ride my bike to the school, convenience store, friend's house, etc. It's how we got around.

In the summer of 1980, starting my senior year in high school, I was invited to ride with a club, even though I was on an old 3 speed with a saddlebag that dragged on the rear wheel and brakes that were an exercise in overconfidence. And around Labor Day weekend 1980, I did my first club ride. Didn't crash, and didn't crash anyone, but after breakfast I ended up with the racer group and I stayed with them since I didn't know any better on a hilly route. A very nice lady named Susan took me aside and started to give me useful riding tips (later, she would coach me on my first cycling team as I ascended the rankings to, ahem, Cat 4).

A week later, my neighbor invited me on a LAW quarter century. By now I'd "upgraded" to an ill-fitting Schwinn Varsity, and again I rode with a group of then-strangers and completed an unthinkable 25 miles at once.

At the end of the month, that Varsity and I did our first century. Less than a year later, on a much better bike, I did my first 24-hour endurance ride (the old Arizona Challenge). Won my first races later that year. And I've been riding more or less since then.

Sounds like you're off to a good start as well. Just keep riding, take care of your bike (including the chain), take care of yourself, learn from good examples, and see if there are Cycling Savvy or Smart Cycling classes in your area (the classes I took in 1981 were a key part of my improvement as a rider).
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Old 09-23-23, 08:55 PM
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As to your specific items:

I'm not a fan of Strava, as the competitive aspect of it seems to induce poor behavior in some riders (blowing through signals, etc.)

Don't get too hung up on tires. Sounds like the ones you have are probably fine for you at the moment. Let your experience and not advertising be your guide.

Drivetrain: Many many options out there. Get experience, and then modify as needed.

Other stuff: see my comment re classses that might be in your area.

Happy riding!

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Old 09-24-23, 02:47 AM
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One thing I learned is to never ever ask anybody for advice on what type of bike you should purchase Make your own decisions and purchase the type of bike that you want and not what somebody else thinks is right for you.
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Old 09-24-23, 08:12 AM
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I like Ride with GPS to track my rides. The free version gives me all the info I want about how I performed .... time and distance, speed on different sections, whatever.

I keep all that stuff out of sight when i ride ... when I start riding with my eyes on the power meter ... well to each his or her own. In fact, i stopped using visible electronics because I was a couple miles into a ride and found myself watching the computer, worrying that I needed to pick up the pace to get a better average speed than my last ride. That was enough for me ... I can look up the data After I enjoy the ride.

Same with Strava ... I hated being disappointed after riding a really fun ride only to find I was slower on all my marked segments ... for me the ride is the thing, not the data.

However .... different riders have different best practices. if you want to do Strava, go ahead. There are free versions of Strava and Ride with GPS, so you can use them simultaneously. Then you can pick and choose, upgrade or not, whatever. Do what you find You like.
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Old 09-24-23, 08:27 AM
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I stilll like 25's. Presta valves break. Chains don't need lube for 4-5000 miles...that is my annectodal experience, do what you want and don't listen to me.... I don't care.... (I like a clean DRY chain and lubricating the chain allows for dust and grit adhesion) if you feel the need, lube the cassette and rings. I don't do that either.
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Old 09-24-23, 08:43 AM
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I push down on the right pedal, then I push down on the remaining ones and repeat, took about 20 minutes back when I was 7...
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Old 09-24-23, 08:52 AM
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At first I couldn't balance properly and fell over a few times. But pretty soon I was a pro.
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Old 09-24-23, 09:22 AM
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Cadence…….
Definitely above 70rpm
ideally above 80rpm

Takes a while to get used to it, but it will help with your endurance.
Fast vs Slow twitch

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Old 09-24-23, 12:07 PM
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I enjoy the constructive and silly comments alike! I too rode a bike as a child and dropped it once I started to drive. I am amazed though that my "whatever" speed bike lasted as long as it did seeing as I never cleaned it, never had to change a tire, rode it like it was a dirt bike, etc.

Regarding maintenance I will find what works for me and what doesn't... I find it humorous though that I thought using a brush on the bike was enough to clean it instead of simply hosing it down.

I am quickly coming to the same conclusion regarding strava. I do not listen to music or wear headphones for safety reasons. Why strava gets a pass is beyond me. I am getting a natural feel for my cadence and have found I am naturally in the high 70's and low 80's. Gearing down so I can comfortably ride in the mid to high 80's is my current goal for endurance purposes. Plus my legs have been hurting a lot (nothing serious)... another reason to ignore strava and only use it to keep track of distance and trends rather than constantly push myself... I've also upped my protein and water intake a lot.

Anywho... more random thoughts while I watch the Jax Jaguars actively try to lose this game!
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Old 09-24-23, 12:20 PM
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Massive carbo loading before a big endurance ride is being replaced by eating consistently while riding. Not getting into the protein/carb debate, but I like to get a good balance of each through drinks and bars/gels. Consistent hydration is another key to distance riding. (You will read about people that never eat anything or drink anything before, during or after rides, but these people are the outliers and not using today’s sports science.)

Keep up the good riding.
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Old 09-24-23, 12:22 PM
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I was lucky. I had a Mentor. I was over 20 years old when I got my first real Road Bike. My mentor took me over to the Army Motor Pool where the trucks were parked exactly 18" from each other. The goal was to wind through the parked trucks braking, shifting, turning, skidding, hopping, around them. It was difficult at first but not really hard for a young athlete.

Truly the hardest thing I had to learn was how to keep up with the pack, and then stay with the pack without Trucking Up!

Of course now days I find it better to just ride by myself...

Still Learning!
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Old 09-24-23, 01:09 PM
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I am watching the Dolphins beat Denver .... when I want bad football I watch the Giants.
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Old 09-24-23, 01:14 PM
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I've learned that there's really no standard for accessories & how they mount for those of us that don't have racks & can't use the seat post nor drop bars while having a clean durable solution.
countless hours making my own stuff, & it's getting old.
AdditioAdditionally, battery life is often too short for most things like cameras, bright rear taillights & a road front light.
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Old 09-24-23, 03:40 PM
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When I was 6, and got my first bike, a Stingray, I had to learn to ride on a bike with a small front wheel, and a big rear one, and avoid hitting my belly on the stick shift handle when racing against my friends. After a year my Stingray was stolen, and my grandfather gave me an old 26” Speedster. I liked this bike, despite the fact I was only 7, and wasn’t tall enough to sit on the saddle. Since then there hasn’t really been any learning curve when riding bikes, except that the cable levers on XTR work opposite than the Di2 version, and I find myself sometimes shifting the wrong way, and the Duomatic hub on my old Moulton Stowaway is a little tricky to shift. I’ll figure them out.
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Old 09-24-23, 05:35 PM
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[QUOTE=a1a;23024265]how to clean the chain. Long story short, all it took was spraying down the cassette, crank shaft and derailleurs with water./QUOTE]

Uh, no. That might be fine for removing mud, but it is NOT "cleaning the chain." That requires (typically) solvent or soap.
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Old 09-24-23, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason
I push down on the right pedal, then I push down on the remaining ones and repeat, took about 20 minutes back when I was 7...
“Ones”? How many pedals does your bike have?
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Old 09-24-23, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M
Unfortunately nobody here seems to be able to agree on how to clean and lube a drivetrain.
Pressure washing is the only correct method.
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Old 09-24-23, 05:49 PM
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Have you learned to wave yet?
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Old 09-24-23, 08:01 PM
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When going 20 MPH or greater, wind resistance is the big enemy, so either use the drops or the hoods with forearms parallel to the bars.
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Old 09-25-23, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Massive carbo loading before a big endurance ride is being replaced by eating consistently while riding. Not getting into the protein/carb debate, but I like to get a good balance of each through drinks and bars/gels. Consistent hydration is another key to distance riding. (You will read about people that never eat anything or drink anything before, during or after rides, but these people are the outliers and not using today’s sports science.)

Keep up the good riding.
I read the science and listen to my body. Two of my best rides were after incidental carb loads. First was after eating out the night before and ordering a dish that had a lot more pasta than I expected. Living in a very carb restricted house (a'la my wife) I devoured the plate. Second was, again, at a restaurant where I ate a brownie desert built for two. I was definitely expecting to be sluggish the next day but was very surprised that I wasn't. On my current "go to" route I drink 28 oz at the 9 mile mark and 20 oz at the 14 mile mark... just convenient stops on a 21 mile ride. Consume 180 calories between the two with an extra electrolyte powder thrown in. When I've gone just over 30 miles I am more consistent with spreading out my fluids. There's a paved RR track route that I plan on doing twice for ~60 miles for which I will be even more regimented and calculated. I will likely add protein for that ride.
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