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Newbie/Brand New to Cycling

Old 06-15-20, 08:00 AM
  #1  
JTBurkes
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Newbie/Brand New to Cycling

Hello everyone. I am very new to cycling and this forum. I used to run some to stay in shape and with age catching up to me and bad knees I started looking for another outlet to get in some exercise. I had a very good friend give me a Felt F80 in very good shape (looks brand new). In your opinion what else do I need to get me going.

What type of advice can you offer.

Thanks
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Old 06-15-20, 10:02 AM
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Sit on the seat. Spin the pedals. Don't crash.

it's so easy it is like riding a bike.
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Old 06-15-20, 10:04 AM
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Sorry .... hard to be serious all the time.

Does the bike fit?
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Old 06-15-20, 10:26 AM
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Just a helmet and go ride!!
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Old 06-15-20, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Sit on the seat. Spin the pedals. Don't crash.

it's so easy it is like riding a bike.
NICE!! I teed that one up for you. I actually would have been disappointed if I didnt get a response like that.

Bike fits, are there any gadgets you would recommend?

Thanks
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Old 06-15-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by JTBurkes View Post
NICE!! I teed that one up for you. I actually would have been disappointed if I didnt get a response like that.

Bike fits, are there any gadgets you would recommend?

Thanks
If you're going to ride on the road, a rechargeable blinking rear light is a good idea. And if you think you might get caught out near dark a rechargeable headlight is a good investment. A tire pump, a patch kit and maybe a bike-specific multitool to carry with you on the bike are other suggestions.
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Old 06-15-20, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by JTBurkes View Post
Hello everyone. I am very new to cycling and this forum. I used to run some to stay in shape and with age catching up to me and bad knees I started looking for another outlet to get in some exercise. I had a very good friend give me a Felt F80 in very good shape (looks brand new). In your opinion what else do I need to get me going.

What type of advice can you offer.

Thanks

We're coming into summer, so definitely a water bottle and cage. How far do you plan on riding? If it's more than a few miles, you should get the things you need to fix a flat on the road side.
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Old 06-15-20, 11:17 AM
  #8  
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Clipless pedals and shoes with cleats to match the pedals. You will fall once or twice but should pick it up pretty quickly. I wouldn't consider riding and not clipping in.
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Old 06-15-20, 11:21 AM
  #9  
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Hi! Congrats!
That bike is a pile of garbage. I will buy it off of you for $50, just to help you out.
--Just kidding--
seriously:
Here are some things to figure out.

Get a helmet! Always use it! The basic helmets at Wal Mark or your local sporing goods shop are fine. All helmets are made to meet a specific set of performance standards; more expensive or more fancy helmets are not necessarily any better for safety. More expensive helmets have better fit and or are lighter in weight. So, you can start out with basic helmet to get you going. $25 to $30 dollars. Maybe less.

Is the bike, overall, a good enough size for you? -You can read about "bike fit" on line. If bike is too big, then you will have to stretch too far to hold the handle bars and operate the brakes and shifters. If too small, then your knees will come up too high as you pedal, and you will be hunched over when holding the handle bars.

What kind of pedals will you use? There are three main types. First, plain ol' flat pedals. You just wear your athletic shoes to ride. No big deal. Second: flat pedals that have "clips:" some kind of cage or harness in which you put your forefoot, so your foot stays there more securely. "Clip" might be shaped aluminum, aluminum plus a strap (usually of woven nylon thus ropelike but flat not round), molded plastic plus a strap, or all straps. This seems like a small deal but is a big deal when riding long distances. You can often buy the "clips" and many types of plain ol' flat pedals are built so you can screw these "clips" on. Third: "clipless pedals" PLUS matching shoes. These look really different from regular bike pedals; they are smaller and are not really a pedal at all. They have a matching mechanical part on the underside of their matching shoes. You clip your shoe into this mechanism. This really makes all motion go to pedal power and no wasted movement, and also no foot slip. This should be considered "advanced." You should get experience on a road bike before making the transition to "clipless." Note: it is confusing that they call these "clipless," when they seem to be the 1 of the 3 types with a clip. These are "clipless," opposed to the second type - those with the "clip" cage or net in the front half of the pedal.

Shorts to wear. Regular shorts will chafe after a while of riding. Nylon underwear plus nylon or polyester shorts, esp athletic shorts, is better - less chance of chafing, but can still chafe. You can put vaseline, diaper rash cream, or any of many products on your groan to avoid chafing. Or, get "cycling shorts," with a built-in "chamois," "shammy," which gives a bit of cushion and protects from chafing. A good pair is not cheap, so you may opt to ride without at first - it is discouraging for people to hear they have to spend $50 on cycling short, $80 on helment, etc., just ride a bike. But in the long run you will either quit cycling, or you will go ahead and get cycling shorts. Here, there are two kinds: mountain bike, where you get to look normal, and unusual form-fitting road-cycling shorts. Most people new to cycling like to opt for the modesty and normalcy of mountain bike shorts with chamois versus road-cycling shorts with chamois.

Some kind of eye wear to protect from things flying around. Rocks fly off cars, etc. There are bugs flying around in the air, etc. Here, you have to see what you like, plus what works with your helmet and its straps. Again, the enthusiasts pay a lot for great glasses, but you can go cheap, for starters.

Gloves: can be optional. But if you ride for a long time, you will sweat, and your hands on handlebars wil get uncomfortable and maybe get blisters. And, slippage when trying to brake or change gears. Most any ol' fitness glove will do, so you can go cheap. After a while you will naturally appreciate a better glove. For starters, you should get artificial fabric like nylon or polyester, not cotton.

A route. Where will you ride? Maybe make a plan for your regular ride. Maybe 5 miles. Some people go somewhere that is a good starting place, such as a park, and some start from home. Also - do you want to ride in road traffic? Decide your route. As you ride, you should get better quickly, and jump in the distance you can ride. Like from 5 miles to 15 to 30 to 60 to... but get a good route to start with.

A routine. Have your shorts, gloves, glasses, and helmet in one place. At least assigned places. Plan when you will ride. Morning, evening, weekend, etc. Try to stick to it. Change the routine to work for you. And follow through. A big deal in road cycling esp for fitness and health is that you commit, and don't let little things derail your plan to ride. If you ride consistently, you will know if it is for you, plus see how enjoyable it is.

Water. And maybe food. If you plan to ride for more than 45 minutes, you really need to be drinking water. Get a water bottle like cyclists use and put it in your water bottle holder on the bike. when safe, practice pulling the water bottle out of holder and drinking from it while riding. People have differing opinions on food. But if you ride beyond one hour, you really will need something to eat. Frankly. PB&J is fine. You can use those Gu packets of malto-dextrine for energy. Trail mix is fine. There is a lot of discussion about what foods to carry and eat. This really is a big deal as you get beyond a steady riding for 45 minutes. Also - yes, you can stop at any convenience store, coffee shop, deli, etc., that you want.

Bike familiarity when riding. Make yourself change the gears, both front and back, to make it automatic to use them. To change gears, you must be pedaling - !dont shift unless pedaling! And, you cannot have much pressure on the chain - try to just have chain moving, but not putting power to the wheel - and chain will change gears well. If you are not pedaling and shift the shifters, it can get janky. If you have pressure on chain and shift, it can slip, and mayb enot change gears when you need it. This means you have to anticipate down-shiftin gto go up steep rises. This is bike familiarity to develop. Learn to use mostly the rear brake, and the front just as a helper brake. Grabbing the front can make you 1. slide in loose dirt or gravel or sand or mud, or even on dry pavement, and 2 make you go head over heels - an "endo" endover end. So, bike familiarity with gears and brakes.

Spare tubes, and tools. You may not get flats often, but you could be pretty far from home. Get at least a couple spare tubes. Carry at elast one with you. Learn to change a flat tire out on the road. There is lots on the web about this. Tools: some of us change the tube with our bare hands - this depends on knowledge of how to do this, plus a tire that is not so tight that it cannot be peeled off by hand. If difficult, you can use "tire levers" to get tire off to change flat. Frankly, if you are riding where other cyclists will be passing by, you almost always can ask for help .Just say you are new, and not good at flats. I stop any time I see a cyclist stopped, and possibly having a "mechanical." Most times, they say they are fine. Not all of us stop. Many of us are rude and condescending to newer cyclists. And old cyclists. But there are some good samaritans out there. Many things on the bike can be adjusted by hex wrenches. I have had a front gear come loose. Fixed with hex wrench. Adjust seat height: hex wrench. Get a cheap set or a multitool and carry that. A couple things need a phillips head screw driver. Mainly the goofy reflectors that most of us take off because they make us look like beginners. --You can ride without any tubes or tools, at all. You are just chancing it.

Take cell phone. And a few dollars. If you can, take wallet - then, the medics will have an idea who you are if you get hurt.

Learn how to ride with road traffic. Stay off the sidewalks. Ride where cars ride. Stay out of grass, weeds, mud, turf, etc., as much as possible! Things that cause flats lurk there big time.

This is the handful of things to get in order and know as you pedal off for the first few rides. As you encounter new questions and situations, just post new questions here.
Keep in mind we are a bunch of "insiders," and some of us are pretty rude and snotty. If you can deal with that, you have easy access to expertise beyond what you will ever need.
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Old 06-15-20, 11:26 AM
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Duh. Others noted this, and I forgot: bike pump. To fill up tube, if you flat.
There are "frame pumps," / portable small pumps, plus "floor pumps," what you will keep in your garage. Frame pumps are really hard to use.

You can also use co2 cartridges, with a little valve thingy on it, to release compressed co2 into tube. This is a bit tricky to use - you can discharge too much, or too fast, and blow a hole in the tube. But, these fill the tube really quickly - like 2 seconds or less - versus the frame pump, which could be beyond a couple minutes, but is "sure and steady."
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Old 06-15-20, 12:41 PM
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If you are just starting out and haven't become infected with this disease then it is simple. I, like others, advise the ability to fix a flat or lose bolt on the road. So a frame mounted air pump, underseat bag with tube and multi tool, plastic tire irons, that should get you started. Water bottle and cage and helmet.

If you take to this and find yourself doing rides of more than an hour then you will want to start a clothing collection, beginning with shorts. There are literally one quad-trillion ways to spend money on this hobby. A good repair manual like Zinn's is worth the investment. Bicycling Magazine (Rodale Press) publishes a bunch of books that are of interest to the beginner.

Not sure how old the OP is but when I was a kid it was simple. Get a bike for Christmas and ride. Now bikes a specialized, really.
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Old 06-15-20, 02:14 PM
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helmet maybe gloves (better than picking gravel out of your hands, if you fall)
Now a Mask .. Neck gaiter over your nose? safety glasses if you dont go with sunglasses..

& be ready and practice at home, how to take the wheels & tires off, and fix a flat tire..




...
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Old 06-15-20, 02:20 PM
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Don't forget to shave your legs!!!!
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Old 06-15-20, 02:35 PM
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JTBurkes
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Thanks everyone.

Great suggestions, I appreciate it.
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Old 06-16-20, 04:22 AM
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By the time I got back here, everything had been covered.

I definitely suggest cycling shorts, or better still, bibs---after years without, I have ridden a lot more years with and recommend.

Water bottle and cage, seat bag and tools, tubes, and a pump. Learn to change a tube in the dark, in the rain, in tall grass, on the side of a busy road with no shoulder .... well, you will, one way or another ... eventually ... I carry a few quick links and a chain tool (Park Tools mini-brute) , a multi-tool ---but at least have a phillips screwdriver and the three most common allen keys---not sure what they are, 5,6,8 mm? But I know you can by three-pronged allen keys for convenience and they can fit 90 percent of the bolts on your bike. Small pair of pliers never hurts.

You will probably want to buy a patch kit. or buy tire cement and patches on EBay in bulk for much less.

I never ride without an energy bar in the bag, just in case.

Chain lube. You can start with Marvel 3-in-one Mystery oil while you read the encyclopedias people here have written on chain lube. I either wax or use whatever is on sale at the hardware store---pretty pleased with some generic PTFE dry-lube I found cheap. it's oil. Squirt it on, let it work its way in overnight, wipe it all off the next day, repeat as needed.

Lights, rechargeable .... don't go cheap on the tail light. $35-$50 gets you a good Cygolite or something.

I like gloves with a little padding, but not necessary. Hemet is also optional, but if you do get one, please read what @PJay120 says---don't spend $300 for style and a decal. You can buy Any helmet, they are all certified and all pass the same tests. I have always bought whatever was on sale---unpopular colors, or whatever---because A.) I can paint a helmet (and have) and B.) as long as it works, who cares? You can't see it while you are wearing it. (I choose not to most of the time on the road, but you will make your own choice.)

Otherwise .... as long as you are always buying something .... there is always something else you could buy .....

Seriously ... just ride the bike. If you ride a lot and come here to read, you will be buying a couple more bikes before long.
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Old 06-16-20, 07:25 PM
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Sorry, have to disagree with comment about helmet being optional. While conventional bike helmets don't prevent concussions, they can prevent skull fractures. That's a pretty good benefit. Give me the choice of a) concussion only; or b) concussion + skull fracture, I'll take "a."

The newer (and yes, more expensive) MIP helmets are purported to potentially reduce the risk of concussion, too. Jury's still out, I suppose, but I personally think spending some cash on protecting the one and only brain you'll ever have is not a bad investment.
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Old 06-22-20, 11:29 AM
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Mirror

Get a mirror
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Old 06-22-20, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by GARY HANNAN View Post
Get a mirror
Absolutely! Cars have a habit of sneaking up behind you, or other cyclists on a bike path.
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Old 06-23-20, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by JTBurkes View Post
Hello everyone. I am very new to cycling and this forum. I used to run some to stay in shape and with age catching up to me and bad knees I started looking for another outlet to get in some exercise. I had a very good friend give me a Felt F80 in very good shape (looks brand new). In your opinion what else do I need to get me going.

What type of advice can you offer.

Thanks
set goals, track progress, and ride a lot!
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