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Old 05-08-14, 07:05 AM   #1
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New to Cycling-Any advice?

I am sort of new to this cycling endeavor.

After 19 years of smoking (thanks US Navy for that one) I decided to quit and picked up cycling to help off set the cravings about 8 weeks ago.

My present set up for my bike is the Trek X-Caliber 4. Changed out the MTB tires for the Bontrager LT1 700c X 38, changed out pedals for ones with clips, and some other miscellaneous items like bags and lights.

The runs I complete are 6.2 to 6.45 miles in the morning (around 530AM) and a night run with my wife at a slower pace also equaling 6.2 to 6.45 miles. These runs are Mon-Fri while Saturday and Sunday's are set aside for the Eastern Seminole County FL trail system.

I will be looking at getting a road bike here soon enough when I feel it is time to upgrade, while maintaining the X-Caliber for weekend/family rides until my wife is ready for an upgrade on her's as well. One main curiosity is when does one upgrade? 8 weeks ago I was only able to maintain about 10mph. Now, I am at 16.5mph. I feel the time will be soon, however, not really sure.

If anyone has any advice, I will be more than happy to accept it.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-08-14, 07:16 AM   #2
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Time to upgrade to a road bike?

The time is now!

Once you've decided to get a road bike, you must first determine your budget. Next, if you'd like a more upright sitting position or a more aerodynamic sitting position, bending down and forward, riding mostly in the drops. Once you've made this decision, you can determine if you're leaning more towards a performance hybrid (with horizontal flat handlebars), or a more classically styled road racing bike (with curved or "drop" handlebars).

Since you're coming from a mtb, you'd most likely be more comfortable on an endurance road bike, as opposed to a road bike with a racing styled geometry. I dunno though, you'd have to test ride both geometries to know for certain. Long distance cycling generally requires drop handlebars, for a greater selection of hand positions.

$1200 is a good starting price for a decent aluminum or steel framed road bike. Of course, there are a few good deals out there for less. Anything above $1200 will usually be more than adequate.

Last edited by WestPablo; 05-08-14 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 05-08-14, 07:43 AM   #3
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Congratulations on the decision to change things in your life, and on your new-found successes in riding. By enjoying the evening time with your wife on bikes, you've made it a family activity. Bonus points...

My advice is to quit now while you still can.

Don't rush into the road bike purchase. Take the time to visit local shops and ask to test ride a few different ones. Let the LBS staff know about your progress and your interests, and see what you discover. Some bikes will be comfortable for you, while others won't feel quite right. That's the process of finding the one that's best for you now. You might also develop a reasonable budget figure after these first few visits. How much is enough, and how much is too much. Involving your wife will also help to keep things realistic, too. Thank her for her input.

Since you're in FL, you have the benefit of year round riding, which is great. The best time(s) to buy are during the dead time of winter and during the changeover between this year's and next year's models, which will happen in the late summer. Keep you eyes out on display bikes (that you've ridden and love) that may be even last year's model. There are deals there.

Also, continue to ask questions.

Good luck.
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Old 05-08-14, 10:11 AM   #4
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Welcome to the club.

Definitely look for an appropriate style of road bike as indicated above, based on what feels right, and how you want to progress in cycling.

In my opinion, unless you plan to ride outside of Florida, I wouldn't worry about getting a high end road bike unless you plan to race, since the major difference between road bikes as you move up the line above about $800 is that more dollars equals less weight. There is some bling factor... if you want to buy based on bling, please feel free to ignore the rest of my post. Make your decision based on whatever is likely to keep you riding.

Lower bicycle weight benefits you at 3 times.

1) When climbing hills. I never saw a real hill in Florida... but my experience is limited.
2) When you accelerate. Nice if competing, but of marginal value otherwise.
3) When you lift the bike to put it on a rack or carry it up stairs.

For #1 and #2 , the benefit is directly related to the overall weight of bicycle plus rider, so saving an ounce on the bike is the same as losing an ounce of flesh, performance wise. (Some minor differences because of rotational weight of the wheels, but potentially irrelevant unless you are competing).
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Old 05-08-14, 10:16 AM   #5
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Ride the first 500 miles just to get adjusted to the bike.

Don't be concerned about Speed.

Be concerned about safety

Once you pass 2000 miles go all out for it.
Fred "The Real Fred"

Last edited by 10 Wheels; 05-08-14 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 05-08-14, 12:35 PM   #6
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When you reach a point that you are really piling on miles, trainers recommend adding not more than 10% to weekly miles to prevent over-training. Also, your longest ride each week should increase by no more than 10%.
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Old 05-08-14, 03:59 PM   #7
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Don't worry about speed, just enjoy the ride, enjoying the moment , long term.
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Old 05-08-14, 07:48 PM   #8
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I would wait till they go on sale personally. Get a bunch of miles on your current bike and test out as many as you can. The more you ride the more you learn what you like.
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Old 05-08-14, 08:11 PM   #9
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FWIW I'd avoid riding the same route too often.
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
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Old 05-08-14, 08:32 PM   #10
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You don't need a road bike, but you want one. How much money do you have?

No, scratch that. How much space do you have?

Does your wife have an expensive hobby? If not, encourage one.

n+1 is the answer always.

Test ride lots of bikes. Lots. Buy the one that makes you grin, settle for nothing less.

Fit trumps everything.
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Old 05-09-14, 09:12 AM   #11
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buy a cheap bike and see if you like cycling. then pick what kind of bike you want.

prepare for friends to say things like "so are you like lance armstrong now" or other dumb cycling jokes.
prepare for an angry wife that says things like "you spend how much on _________"
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Old 05-12-14, 09:54 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone,

Having a blast doing this and found some pretty sweet little gems (areas) that were around us and we never knew they even existed. Not to mention the building of muscle and fat loss that accompanies it as well as having something that replaces the urges to smoke.

Also found a LBS. Not one of the "RETAIL" joints, but, a true mom and pop place. Stopped off there this past weekend, had a good conversation with the owner of the place. Determined the road bikes that will be purchased next will be Bianchi's.

I know I could get something a little cheaper, but, I figure I would help out a small mom and pop LBS, and since that is only road bike brand he sells. Well, there ya go. Not to mention the wife fell in love with this Carbon ride that she saw.
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