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My first road bike, l have questions......

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

My first road bike, l have questions......

Old 08-31-04, 08:26 AM
  #1  
Redhed 
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My first road bike, l have questions......

I rode Sunday for the 1st time on my new and first road bike (OCR2). I got about 7 miles out and I was thinking to myself, "Wow, I am almost home and I haven't crashed yet." We pulled in an empty parking lot and just as I was coming to a stop, I said, "Uh-Oh" and down I went. My right foot was still connected to the bike and my husband had to get it out for me, while he was laughing his *ss off. He couldn't get home fast enough to call my dad and tell him.

I noticed that the pedals are really hard to get out of. I have shimano pedals and sidi shoes. This is all new to me, I had no idea I could sink 120 bucks in a pair of shoes, and I am female! I have rode the bike 2 times now. I made it home without crashing yesterday!!!

1) Will the pedals loosen a little over time? (I have to really jerk them out) I have Shimano PD-M505 (they came on the bike), I can't seem to find these on the Shimano website. If I were to upgrade, what could I get that would be better and not too expensive?

2) Will my shoes get a little more comfortable? (They have what I call "hot spots", not painful, just annoying. I am wondering if they will "break in".)

3) I have raised the seat over 1 inch since I was fitted in the LBS. Is this normal? It felt as if my knees were in my chest but they said my extension was perfect. On my MTB I have my seat higher than recommended also. Could this be just part of learning the new position of the road bike? To me I think "comfort" is relative to what you are doing. I think anything new may not be "comfortable" until you get used to it, so I am unsure as to what is right and wrong as far as positioning on the bike.

4) My hands have a hard time reaching the brakes/shifters when I am in the drops. I have small hands, so is there some type of adjustment? Or will I just get used to reaching? They get a little numb too, just because I have been using the top of the bar instead of the drops. The hoods feel funny. (just need getting used to??) I am using my gloves.

5) The same route that I rode on my MTB now no longer feels like a workout on my road bike. Could it be that I am so concerned about getting out of the pedals that I am not noticing anything else?

Sorry for the long post, just trying to iron out all the details. I need help from the experts on this forum. Thank you in advance for your help.
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Old 08-31-04, 08:34 AM
  #2  
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1. There's a tension screw, but it's easy to break, so take it to the shop you bought it at and ask 'em to loosen it for you.

2. What kind of hot spots? Is it bone/ligament or is it on the outside, like a blister starting to develop? Are you able to return the shoes?

3. As a *very* rough guideline, place the heel of your foot on the pedal while seated. If you're knee is locked out, then your saddle is too high. There's nothing wrong with you adjusting anything. Ultimately, your fit and comfort will be designed by you. But the shop should give you a decent starting point.

4. Wow, sounds like everything is a bit out of whack. Talk to the shop, get a better fit. To reduce numb hands, sometimes moving the saddle back helps... but not if it means you can't even reach the bars.

5. Road bikes are 22% more efficient, so I'm not surprised that the same route on your mtb is much easier.
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Old 08-31-04, 08:56 AM
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To add to what LO has said,

While I don't think you need to take the bike in to have the pedal tension adjusted if you don't know what you are doing then it is better to err on the side of caution. If you back out the tension adjustment screw too much it will bugger up the whole adjustment system. However your partner seems to have a grasp on the sport so bug his a$$ and get him to help you out! You could upgrade but why bother. I would say use the pedals for a while right now and when the cycling bug really takes hold, then start looking at better options. You can spend any where from $50 to $300 for pedals.

The hotspots could be due to improper cleat positioning. As a starting point they should be centered somewhere near the ball of your foot. The shoes are brand new so maybe they need a little time to break in. As long as they fit properly and aren't done up too loose then they should be fine. Pay attention to where the hotspots are, it will help you identify where you may need to make your cleat adjustments. It took several rides and cleat adjustments until I finally got my speedplays set up just right for me.

Seat positioning is a matter of preference for some. LO gave you a starting point to gauge seat height. As long as when you pedal your hips are stationary and not rocking back and forth on the saddle your seat height should be just fine. Just remember pain behind the knees means its too high, pain in the front means it too low. With time your muscles and ligaments will stretch out and you can make further adjustments. Do small increments at a time to avoid injury and discomfort.

I have small hands too. So when I get in the drops my fingers don't get a great purchase on the levers. However, I spend most of my riding on top of the bars or the hoods. I'll get in the drops if I know I won't need to shift or brake for awhile. There are a number of adjustments you can make like just slightly rotating the bars up or bringing up the shifter/brake lever a about an inch (but not much more). You can even turn the hoods inward a bit to help with the comfort level. Its a matter of preference really.

And yes. Eventually anything less then 20miles will soon be a cake walk.

Good luck and keep riding.
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Old 08-31-04, 12:19 PM
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Give it a few rides before you start adjusting everything in the world. You are on a bike with a whole different riding position. You need to get used to it. Loosen the pedals immediatly. I wouldn't start changing the handlebar and brake lever positions so soon. (Unless it is a safety issue) When I went to a road bike from MTB my hands got sore the first few rides.
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Old 08-31-04, 04:46 PM
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loosen the screw that tensions your pd-505s. a few turns will do it. also they are very decent pedals, why do you want a new one so soon?

your saddle height is good when it's high. more leverage. you'll know it's too high or too low if you experience knee pain of any kind (generally, knee pain in front part of the knee= a saddle that is too low, and pain that's on the back of the knee between the calves and hamstrings means saddle is too high).

raising your stem/bars will fix the problem of legs hitting the chest.

loosen your shoe laces. they don't need to be tight at all.

smaller handed people seem to prefer campagnolo. there are also some older style handlebars which apparently bring the levers a little closer to your hands.

sd
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Old 08-31-04, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Redhed
1) Will the pedals loosen a little over time? (I have to really jerk them out) I have Shimano PD-M505 (they came on the bike), I can't seem to find these on the Shimano website. If I were to upgrade, what could I get that would be better and not too expensive?

2) Will my shoes get a little more comfortable? (They have what I call "hot spots", not painful, just annoying. I am wondering if they will "break in".)

I use these pedals myself on my MTB, and am soon to buy two more pairs. they are meant as OEM market only pedals, and are a very chepened down version of the M-520 pedal. the biggest problem with this pedal is how tight the spring is. It takes a good amount of pressure to clip in, and a good mount to come out. Best bet is to fine someplace to stand your bike securely (I use the handrails at the light rail station here, and just place one of my drops in it (or rope tie my mtb bar to it)...bike sont fall over easily that way), and loosen it as far as it cna go, then clip in and out, tightening by half a turn then quarter turns till it's right. These pedals are notorious for needing adjustments, and for being so tight that it's near impossible to get out of when used in stock adjustment. I like em myself, but many don't....it's a love/hate thing with those pedals.

2) yep, they will stretch over time. i have some Forte Traverse IIs (the cheapo $35 performancebike ones) they were tight as all let out on my feet (I wear a wide, and nobody has wide bike shoes ), but after a few months they now fit almost like sneakers....BUT you do want them tight to some extent, it's the tightness that allows you to spin properly (give you power on the upward stroke without shoe stretch robbing you of power).
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Old 09-01-04, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by catatonic
I use these pedals myself on my MTB, and am soon to buy two more pairs. they are meant as OEM market only pedals, and are a very chepened down version of the M-520 pedal. the biggest problem with this pedal is how tight the spring is. It takes a good amount of pressure to clip in, and a good mount to come out. Best bet is to fine someplace to stand your bike securely (I use the handrails at the light rail station here, and just place one of my drops in it (or rope tie my mtb bar to it)...bike sont fall over easily that way), and loosen it as far as it cna go, then clip in and out, tightening by half a turn then quarter turns till it's right. These pedals are notorious for needing adjustments, and for being so tight that it's near impossible to get out of when used in stock adjustment. I like em myself, but many don't....it's a love/hate thing with those pedals.

2) yep, they will stretch over time. i have some Forte Traverse IIs (the cheapo $35 performancebike ones) they were tight as all let out on my feet (I wear a wide, and nobody has wide bike shoes ), but after a few months they now fit almost like sneakers....BUT you do want them tight to some extent, it's the tightness that allows you to spin properly (give you power on the upward stroke without shoe stretch robbing you of power).

When you mean loosen the pedals, is there only one spot to loosen on each pedal? (I do have the allen wrench, I think I saw 2 spots where the wrench would fit). Also, could anyone give advice on gear jumping? My gears on the back started jumping on my ride last night. I am not sure what the barrel adjusters do, do I turn them away from me, or turn them towards me? What will this do? I barely made it home. I only have about 40 miles on it, so is this normal?
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Old 09-01-04, 08:46 AM
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Hi Redhed, I'm a bit behind you in biking (about to buy my first road bike) and when I was getting fitted, I felt too bent over too, and the lbs guy heightened the handlebars for me, saying it could be lowered after a while when I had more experience and wanted a more aerodynamic profile. Felt much better! I also had trouble reaching the brakes in the drops (really small hands) and even though I just mentioned it thinking it was something I could get used to, the guy (also the owner) was adamant about making adjustments to fix that too, saying a perfect fit would make me ride the bike often!! I'd been to 3 bike shops trying out bikes, and even though his was more expensive than I had planned to spend, that's where I'm going to buy my bike!! Hopefully this weekend.

Yay!

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Old 09-01-04, 09:35 AM
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re: rear derailer

The cables will stretch out a bit on a new bike as it's "breaking in" but jumping gears sounds a bit extreme. Most LBSs offer a period of free adjustment with a new bike, so if your's does, they could quickly tune it up. I think you said that you had fallen to the right which could contribute to the rear derailer jumping.

I wish I could give advice on adjusting the rear redrailer, but I still stumble though the adjustment process. Over in the "bike mechanics" forum there's a sticky post that links to a repair manual that goes into a good amount of detail.
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Old 09-01-04, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Redhed
When you mean loosen the pedals, is there only one spot to loosen on each pedal? (I do have the allen wrench, I think I saw 2 spots where the wrench would fit). Also, could anyone give advice on gear jumping? My gears on the back started jumping on my ride last night. I am not sure what the barrel adjusters do, do I turn them away from me, or turn them towards me? What will this do? I barely made it home. I only have about 40 miles on it, so is this normal?
Redhead - if the pedals are 2 sided there will be one adjustment screw for each side, I am guessing this is what you have. Adjust both the same. Sounds like the bike is starting to go out of tune...yes this will happen fairly quickly with a new bike and your LBS should at the very min offered a free tune up after about a month, this tune up is to readjust the shifting and braking as well as true the wheels and tighten anything that may not have been or stayed properly tightened from the factory. I guess from reading here that shops in larger areas offer free lifetime tune ups or for a year or whatever. Take advantage of what your LBS offered because you paid for it in the cost of the bike. If you want to learn to do it yourself too that is great and the Park Tools web site has a nice write up of how to do the different jobs on just about any bike. Sorry I don't have a link here at work, maybe someone else will post it.
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Old 09-01-04, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Redhed
When you mean loosen the pedals, is there only one spot to loosen on each pedal? (I do have the allen wrench, I think I saw 2 spots where the wrench would fit). Also, could anyone give advice on gear jumping? My gears on the back started jumping on my ride last night. I am not sure what the barrel adjusters do, do I turn them away from me, or turn them towards me? What will this do? I barely made it home. I only have about 40 miles on it, so is this normal?
There are very small head allen bolts on each thin edge of the pedal, and a red "marker" you can see from there, which is meant to show you visually how it is adjusted. I found the marker to be utterly worthless, so I just adjust them until it feels right.
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Old 09-01-04, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rogue9607
re: rear derailer

The cables will stretch out a bit on a new bike as it's "breaking in" but jumping gears sounds a bit extreme. Most LBSs offer a period of free adjustment with a new bike, so if your's does, they could quickly tune it up. I think you said that you had fallen to the right which could contribute to the rear derailer jumping.

I wish I could give advice on adjusting the rear redrailer, but I still stumble though the adjustment process. Over in the "bike mechanics" forum there's a sticky post that links to a repair manual that goes into a good amount of detail.
Not anymore, the barton manuals are gone now...apparently Mr. Barton didn't like his work being posted like that...so away they went
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Old 09-01-04, 01:01 PM
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DOH!!!! I just had a Homer Simpson moment when looking on the net to find out how to adjust the gears. I thought the barrel adjusters that the LBS was referring to were the ones on the front by the handlebars. OH NO! Those are for the brakes!!!!!! Now I am unsure of what I have done to the brake cables!!!! I was wondering why my toying with those wasn't having any effect! I guess I will have to go in to the LBS to get this stuff adjusted. I was hoping to learn how myself as the LBS is 26 miles one way. I'm not as think as you dumb I am........
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Old 09-01-04, 01:05 PM
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Here is the Park Tools link. I am teaching myself how to do it too but again if you get a free tune up or more than one don't be affraid to use them.
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Old 10-15-04, 04:58 PM
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1) I had some Ritchie pedals that I had to jump on to get into and very difficult to get out of-- I adjusted the tension screw until it fell out -- changed pedals (Shimano) and haven't looked back -- they are better (for me) -- however, justing using the pedals will eventually wear them.
2) I think shoes are a personal choice for comfort/fit -- I personally haven't found a road shoe that doesn't hurt, so I use MTB shoes -- my preference is Diadora, which has a wider toe box -- again, personal prefeerence.
3) Seat height adjustment is pretty standard (when lower foot is on pedal and level with the floor, break the knee, no hip rocking). If you need to make adjustments, make them a little at a time and let your body adjust to the change.
4) Small hands -- my problem also -- I even changed my Campagnolo to Shimano Ultegra because it has adjustability. That's pretty extreme -- but maybe try a Terry bar, especially made for women, which has a crease in the curl to allow you to reach closer to the levers.
5: The LESS you think about your pedals, the less problem you will have getting in and out of them. On road bikes it is easy to predict when you willl be stopping -- just unclip one side when you are slowing down and pretty soon it will be very natural.
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Old 10-15-04, 05:26 PM
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about the pedals - the Speedplay road pedals (with names like X5, X2 etc..) have a very smooth unclip to them, although they use a big doofy looking cleat like Look pedals so they make you walk funny when you're off the bike. they might also be healthier for your knees because they have a lot of "float" or left right wiggle to them with no tension trying to straighten your position from where it would be when relaxed.

about the small hands - there's a thread here someplace about somebody who made some inserts out of foam that went in the space that's created at the top of the shifters when you brake. it leaves them so they are closer and i think it helped him or his wife or something. you could do something like that to give you a bit more reach.
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Old 10-15-04, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Redhed
.....new to me, I had no idea I could sink 120 bucks in a pair of shoes, and I am female!
....lots of women do, and even more $$ on the non-cycling variety!
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Old 10-15-04, 06:41 PM
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Follow-up....

I adjusted the tension screw on the Shimanos and that helped, but after 3 weeks of riding my knees kept swelling and I had really bad pain. I have never had knee problems before.

So...I got my Speedplay frogs in the mail yesterday!!!!! I put them on, I was sooo excited. I got my shoes out and the cleats were too big for the Sidi's. They are the frogs with the original cleats. I thought about trimming the soles as others mentioned, but I just couldn't do it. Not on these ridiculously expensive shoes!!!!

I had to drive 50 miles one way to get the Frog II cleats, but they are in my hands now, and I will be putting them on momentarily. It is dark and very cold, so I will wait till tomorrow to try them out. I can hardly wait!!
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Old 04-30-05, 09:00 AM
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I also have PD-M505 pedals on my OCR, and couldn't find anything on the Shimano website about them. So...I searched the web and found the service instructions and parts breakdown in .pdf file format. I can't upload to this forum due to size limits in the forum, but below are links where you can download them yourself....

http://www.paul-lange.de/ftp/SHIMANO/epvusi/VPDFS/SI_EN/45C0B_EN.PDF#search='Shimano%20PDM505'

http://www.orangebikes.co.uk/technic...LS/PD_M505.PDF
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Old 04-30-05, 09:56 AM
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Not add to the revival of an old thread but you can also look up instructions I think on the M520's and the M540's, the adjustment is the same.
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Old 04-30-05, 10:01 AM
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I thought the 520s and 540s had addjustable float?

the 505 is about as basic as they come...only thing you can adjust is release tension.

Basically the m505 is shimano's "freebie" clipless pedal. I use them on my roadie and mountain bike and like them...but once you wear em out, go for asomething a bit better...I've found they have too much play, and lack of adjustability is really a big weakness.
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Old 04-30-05, 03:32 PM
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Lots of good advice for you - you might want to inspect the cleats on the bottom of your shoes - if they move AT ALL, they will be MUCH harder to release - you're working against the 'play' in the cleat as well as the resistance of the clipping mechanism.
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Old 05-02-05, 08:05 AM
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I chucked them permanently for the frogs. My husband is thinking about getting a pair of clipless. Any suggestions? He was looking at some of the pedal shoe combos in the Pricepoint catalog. He does not want to spend as much as I did for shoes and pedals. (around $280 is what I spent)
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Old 05-02-05, 08:23 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Redhed
I chucked them permanently for the frogs. My husband is thinking about getting a pair of clipless. Any suggestions? He was looking at some of the pedal shoe combos in the Pricepoint catalog. He does not want to spend as much as I did for shoes and pedals. (around $280 is what I spent)
He looking for road or MTB shoes and pedals? Remember MTB pedals can be used or a roadie just fine.
How about this combo http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/132...ome-Pedals.htm
Or maybe these http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/134...t-C-Pedals.htm
Or if road shoes maybe these http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/139...RXS-Pedals.htm
Or with cheaper pedals http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/139...-R1-Pedals.htm
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Old 05-02-05, 09:18 AM
  #25  
pstrauss
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What a trooper!! Ride on
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