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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 06-28-08, 12:34 PM
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aemulle
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New to cycling

Hello all, I recently bought a Trek Madone 4.5 upgraded the wheels to Race Light and brakes to Dura ace. I went out on my first ride today and although I loved it, it was only 6 miles (flat). Those short 6 miles really took "me" for a ride. I bought this bike with the intent of loosing some weight and hopefully re-connecting with the love for cycling I had when I was a kid. Here are my questions. Is there something I can do (diet, bike upgrade) to make my ride easier? Although I was wearing cycling shorts I found it a little uncomfortable after 3 miles.

Thanks,

A
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Old 06-28-08, 12:36 PM
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Get a professional fitting. That will make your riding a lot better. If you don't want to pay for a fitting, generally wider bars will help you breathe better and a different saddle will be more comfortable.
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Old 06-28-08, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by aemulle View Post
Hello all, I recently bought a Trek Madone 4.5 upgraded the wheels to Race Light and brakes to Dura ace. I went out on my first ride today and although I loved it, it was only 6 miles (flat). Those short 6 miles really took "me" for a ride. I bought this bike with the intent of loosing some weight and hopefully re-connecting with the love for cycling I had when I was a kid. Here are my questions. Is there something I can do (diet, bike upgrade) to make my ride easier? Although I was wearing cycling shorts I found it a little uncomfortable after 3 miles.
Absolutely not!! You're already on a bike that's well-beyond entry level.

First off, get the fit if you haven't already...the bike shop you bought it from should have stressed the importance of this and thrown it in for free.

After that, the only thing you should do is to go out and get some mileage under your belt. You only rode six miles this morning. I'm not a fitness guy so I can't tell you how to lose weight, but I can say that you need to go out an log some serious time and mileage in the saddle before you start upgrading or anything, unless you want to just throw money away.
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Old 06-28-08, 01:26 PM
  #4  
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Whoa -- Your bike is already a pro level bike. Just ride.
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Old 06-28-08, 01:27 PM
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You upgraded brakes and wheels before you even rode the thing? No, there are no upgrades that can make it easier. It's impossible to spend your way into that. You have to ride and gradually get fitter. A road racing type of road bike also requires some adaptation, despite what some websites might say. Neither your crotch nor any of your muscles are ready for that right out of the box.
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Old 06-28-08, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by logdrum View Post
Whoa -- Your bike is already a pro level bike. Just ride.
TCT carbon and a 105 drive train isn't exactly pro level, but it's still a very nice bike. So I'd agree with the just ride advice.

If the OP is saying the saddle felt really uncomfortable after 3 miles, some of that is getting used to a road bike saddle. Down the road you'll probably want to lose the stock Bontrager saddle (pretty much everyone does) but that's not the short term issue.

Don't go crazy upgrading an already nice bike until you really know what you're getting for your money...I'm not sure why you would need Dura-Ace brakes, for example....they're good, but 105 will stop you just fine for a lot less cash.

Ride your bike. As often as you can.
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Old 06-28-08, 01:57 PM
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I had to laugh at the idea "Is there something I can do to make it easier". You're where I was 3 months ago. I bought a "Womens Inspired" Schwinn at Wal-Mart. My first ride was about 4 miles. I thought it was great. Figured I can do this, no problem. I had quit smoking 7 months prior and gained 30 lbs. I needed to do something to loose the wieght. I got a riding buddy and we'd ride 5 or 6 times a week. We started at about 5 miles a day for 2 weeks or so. We worked our way up to 10 miles a day in about 60 mins. Through out this time we both worked out adjustments to ease the aches and paines we'd get.

In the first 2 weeks or so, I gained 5 lbs. I had friends pretty much pat me on the head and tell me muscle weighs more than fat. Bla, bla, bla. I'm 40, and now weigh 205. Thanks for trying to make me feel better!! So over the last 3 months or so I've dropped from a size 16 to a size 14. My 40" shorts have changed to a 36". I'm not loosing any weight, but I am loosing inches. I figure the weight will drop over time.

The best part - last weekend I bought a Cannondale Road Warrior. My ride buddy got a complete overhaul on her 15 year old mountain bike and got new skinny tires. We should be able to do 20 miles a day here soon. We both have hopes of much longer rides, but we're going to work our way up to them. That's all you can do with any weight loss plan. Work your way up to your goal.
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Old 06-28-08, 02:29 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by geeks View Post
I had to laugh at the idea "Is there something I can do to make it easier". You're where I was 3 months ago. I bought a "Womens Inspired" Schwinn at Wal-Mart. My first ride was about 4 miles. I thought it was great. Figured I can do this, no problem. I had quit smoking 7 months prior and gained 30 lbs. I needed to do something to loose the wieght. I got a riding buddy and we'd ride 5 or 6 times a week. We started at about 5 miles a day for 2 weeks or so. We worked our way up to 10 miles a day in about 60 mins. Through out this time we both worked out adjustments to ease the aches and paines we'd get.

In the first 2 weeks or so, I gained 5 lbs. I had friends pretty much pat me on the head and tell me muscle weighs more than fat. Bla, bla, bla. I'm 40, and now weigh 205. Thanks for trying to make me feel better!! So over the last 3 months or so I've dropped from a size 16 to a size 14. My 40" shorts have changed to a 36". I'm not loosing any weight, but I am loosing inches. I figure the weight will drop over time.

The best part - last weekend I bought a Cannondale Road Warrior. My ride buddy got a complete overhaul on her 15 year old mountain bike and got new skinny tires. We should be able to do 20 miles a day here soon. We both have hopes of much longer rides, but we're going to work our way up to them. That's all you can do with any weight loss plan. Work your way up to your goal.

WOW, first off, good job but what really amazes me is that there is a newbie on BF with some perspective.
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Old 06-28-08, 02:43 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by dcvelo View Post
Ride your bike. As often as you can.
^^^ That's the famous advice of Eddy Merckx when asked how to get faster.

To quote another multi-time TdF winner, regarding the "getting easier" part Greg LeMond said it best:

"it never gets any easier - you just get faster".

Ride as many times each week that you can and in 8 weeks you'll laugh at what you consider difficult today.
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Old 06-28-08, 03:37 PM
  #10  
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Yeah, 6 miles is fine for just getting (back) into cycling. I started cycling regularly in April. (Actually, I rode about 50 miles a week back when I was in high school, but that was 6 years ago. So it's basically starting fresh.) When I first started, I was totally dead after about 6 miles. Then, a week later, I was able to do 10. Then 20. Then 30. Basically, it takes a while to build your strength up. You can't be fast / long-lasting by assuming you are. You have to work at it.

And, yes, I'm embarrassed to admit that I only ride 30 miles a day. What can I say, I'm lazy
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Old 06-28-08, 03:45 PM
  #11  
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Hmm. You don't necessarily have to ride a lot to get faster. My weekly miles range from 10-300 depending on what I have to do that week, but do to school/activities it's usually on the lower side. I'd say I get only about thirty road miles, and that's usually in one ride a week. Obviously I don't get out too often.

However, I go out and dirt jump about three times a week for about an hour at a time. Very, very strenuous. I get more of a workout in those three hours than if I dabble along at for twenty hours on the road.

I race, by the way.
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Old 06-28-08, 03:55 PM
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yup

Originally Posted by logdrum View Post
Just ride.
+1
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Old 06-28-08, 04:00 PM
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I started back on a bike this spring after a 9 year break (used to ride a lot and race a little when I was a tween & teenager) - I started out a mile or two a day and upped it to 4, then 8, 12, 14, 20, 22, 24, 28, etc. Ride a couple of times a week, and every week add another mile or two. It takes a while to break in your rear... Expect to have a really sore butt. You'll hop on your bike and think someone was holding a lighter to it... but if you can push through it, it goes away after the first 5 minutes or so. Write down when you ride, how far you rode and how long it took you. Buy a cycle computer, doesn't have to be fancy. Look at your ride data and you will be able to watch your progression. Make sure you stay hydrated, and drink water during the day like you should do if you're cycling or not.
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Old 06-28-08, 08:04 PM
  #14  
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Hey, my first ride was 4.2 miles and I thought I was going to die. Just takes time in the saddle.
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Old 06-28-08, 08:56 PM
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HTFU? Seriously though, ride. Ride ride ride.
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Old 06-28-08, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by aemulle View Post
Is there something I can do (diet, bike upgrade) to make my ride easier? Although I was wearing cycling shorts I found it a little uncomfortable after 3 miles.
Everyone has to spend time in the saddle before it becomes more or less comfortable. That's normal, so I wouldn't go changing anything until you've put some significant miles on it and you've had a chance to get used to it. You've got a very nice bike, so just build up the miles gradually and you'll find it easier and more comfortable.
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Old 06-30-08, 12:50 PM
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Aemulle, just hang in there. You need more ride time to get used to it. Yes, I was there when you upgraded your components (105 to DuraAce brakes, from Race to Race Lites). Just to let everyone know, you did get credit back from your original components and upgraded the above items at a very nice price.

I told you, man. You just need to get your butt out there and pedal away. You'll know later what upgrades you'll really need (i.e. want). Once you get used to it, we can work on the pedals.

By the way, welcome to the wonderful world of cycling! You'll need to shave your legs next. I hope you know that. LOL.
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Old 06-30-08, 01:00 PM
  #18  
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- Get a careful fitting. Most new cyclists ride with their bars two or three inches too low, because they are trying to ride in a "pro" time trial position. Great position for a "Pro" riding a time trial. Terrible position for a new cyclist trying to get fit. Simple secret to comfort on a road bike: raise the bars.

You need to have the highest portion of the bars almost level with the top of the saddle. That will keep your back at a 45 degree angle from the horizontal when you are riding with your hands on the top of the brakes, an angle that keeps you from sitting any speed records, but will eliminated pain in the neck, wrists, hands, and crotch.

- Ride 27 or 28 days a month, even if some of the rides are only for thirty minutes. You will become more comfortable on a bike, and fitter, riding 30 minutes or 60 minutes a day than if you wait for Saturday, and then try to ride for six hours.

- Get the widest, firmest Specialized Body Geometry saddle you can find. The mountain bike models and women's models are much wider than the models designed for 140 pound "pro" male riders. The wider platform is provides more secure support for your sit bones. A firm saddle keeps your weight on your sitbones, a soft saddle lets your sit bones sink into the gel, putting your weight on the soft bits.
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Old 06-30-08, 01:03 PM
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6 miles today is still more activity than you'd have done without the bike, right?

So, 6 today.. 8 on wednesday.... 10 next week. You're on the right track, just keep doing what you're doing!
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Old 06-30-08, 01:10 PM
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when it hurts to think, its time to turn around and head home for the day...do this 6 days a week

on the seventh day drink beer, eat a plate of nachos, and sleep, wash rinse repeat
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Old 06-30-08, 01:14 PM
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I just bought a Madone 4.5 and am thinking of upgrading the brakes. Did you have to replace the shifters and cables too?
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Old 06-30-08, 01:16 PM
  #22  
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Ignore these harsh posts. Everyone likes to forget how slow they were their first ride, but I recall going seven miles and about puking. A couple months later it was 20, then 50, then 80. It takes a little while to get used to the saddle, and if you're like me the problem may be your shorts. If you want to upgrade any part of your bike, buy some better shorts, like in the $80-$100 range. They'll have much better padding and be a lot more comfortable. Stick with it, you'll get there.
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Old 06-30-08, 01:32 PM
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I started ride one year ago, from simple commuting to work 6-7 miles one way on entry level hybrid K2.
So year late i return it in back to REI and got road bike and still doing 8-9 miles (from other point) commute to work. The weekend doing 20-25 miles per day. It helped a lot to get in good condition. Used to be almost any roady pass me, now i can pass or hold a distance with other roady bikers. So keep doing same, it will get easy, but you will ride faster, so you're still need propel yourself.
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Old 06-30-08, 02:27 PM
  #24  
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Unless there's something seriously wrong with how you feel on the bike it sounds like you need to spend more time on it because losing weight and getting into shape isn't easy. I remember the first ride I went on when I started riding for fitness being really hard and I couldn't wait for the rolling hills to go away. Now I breeze through those hills so you just have to keep at it and not give up. The Madone is a great bike especially for a beginner, I started riding on a 20+lb Trek 820 so the Madone is already the "easier" option.
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Old 06-30-08, 02:45 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by goodall View Post
Ignore these harsh posts.
Are we reading from the same thread? The OP has been getting very civil, and very helpful answers.


aemulle, how old are you? if you're pushing 50, then progress might come very slowly. It can take up to 2 or three years to feel ilke you're getting the hang of it.

Just make sure you repeat this at all times as a mantra: "This is supposed to be fun, this is supposed to be fun...."
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