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What do you wish someone told YOU when you were starting out?

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What do you wish someone told YOU when you were starting out?

Old 04-08-11, 01:51 PM
  #51  
meanwhile
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
As an engineer I have to say that if the design of your bicycle is really that sensitive to adjustment then it's probably best to seek out a more robust design. After all, what's going to happen to that very precise fit:

...

3. As your frame expands/contracts with the seasons. I see a lot of pro fitting advocates claiming that even a few mm of difference is significant. So what time of year should you go to the fitter? Do you adjust your bike between winter and summer to compensate for expansion/contraction?
More significantly, your spine contracts by something like a centimetre over the course of a day (the re-elongates when you lie down to sleep.) And its just weird seeing people pay to have their saddles moved but not to to re-fit their bikes with cranks appropriate to their leg size or bars that match their shoulder width (which is the case with at least some fit services and their clients.) But thermal frame elongation??? We have to be talking about a fraction of a millimetre here - a small fraction.
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Old 04-08-11, 01:56 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
But thermal frame elongation??? We have to be talking about a fraction of a millimetre here - a small fraction.
Clearly he was just being obtuse there. (See his comment above about being an escapee from the retirement (err, I mean recumbent) forum.)
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Old 04-08-11, 02:11 PM
  #53  
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Anyway:

Tyres. They make a huge difference to a bike's handling and even add considerably to speed, but very few people understand anything about them other than bicycle folklore that is usually wrong. Read up on them on wikipedia and study the docs and tyre ratings on Schwalbe's site. Low hystereis rubber and advanced antipuncture systems that let a tyre wall stay thin (necessary for speed) while not being being easy to blowout are where it is at.
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Old 04-08-11, 08:22 PM
  #54  
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When you take off the headset with the bike right side up, a lot of ball bearings will fall out all over the place.

No one ever told me not to ride a fast 15 miles to play in a softball game. I ended up pulling a hamstring the evening before a century ride.

Last edited by cyclist2000; 04-08-11 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 04-09-11, 03:06 AM
  #55  
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Oh another thing:
Don't buy loads of crap lights, just spend the extra and buy a good one first time. Dinottes aren't that expensive on sale and also when you compare them to the amount that you'd spend on other lights.
For a front light get a torch - much cheaper and as bright.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:09 AM
  #56  
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I wish someone had told me to:

Keep the bike in good fettle. It'll save you a lot of annoyance, and will earn you a lot of smugness when all your mates are struggling to change gear and you can demonstrate your seamless shifts to rub it in their faces

Not waste my brake pads on cars that won't slow down. They'll stop eventually.

Keep the tyres pumped up and check them regularly. Stops that heart stopping moment when you realise that you've got a flat.

Not be afraid to go into the LBS. They'll only help you, and probably fix what you went in there for.
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Old 04-09-11, 08:33 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
Oh another thing:
Don't buy loads of crap lights, just spend the extra and buy a good one first time.
I agree: lighting is worth spending your money on; it's an investment.

For a front light get a torch - much cheaper and as bright.
Here I disagree, at least if you're riding on the road. If your goal is to light the road surface adequately without blinding oncoming drivers, it's worth spending the money on a light with an asymmetrical beam.

What I wish someone had told me when I started: Read Sheldon Brown's website. He has left us, but the site remains as his legacy (now updated by John Allen and Harriet Fell). It's an amazing resource.
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Old 04-09-11, 10:05 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
Here I disagree, at least if you're riding on the road. If your goal is to light the road surface adequately without blinding oncoming drivers, it's worth spending the money on a light with an asymmetrical beam.
I think most people are most concerned with being seen by drivers.

If you need to be able to control where your photons are going, then two LED torches are often cheaper than one equivalent bright bike light. You set one on strobe aimed forwards (maybe with a "wand" diffuser) and the other on continuous beam aimed down. If you want to ride off road you put both torches on continuous and point them both at the ground.

What I wish someone had told me when I started: Read Sheldon Brown's website. He has left us, but the site remains as his legacy (now updated by John Allen and Harriet Fell). It's an amazing resource.
+1000
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Old 04-09-11, 10:16 AM
  #59  
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You don't have to spend a fortune on cycling specific clothing. An $8 "Starter" poly t-shirt from Walmart works just as good as a $50 jersey for summer heat.

If you want clipless & most of your riding is urban stop & go or commuting then go with spd's & mountain shoes. You will be more comfortable off the bike & your cleats will last longer.

Wax/Dry lube always.

Visit Park Tools, Sheldon Brown's page or search the "mechanics forum" before working on your bike.

Also, don't waste your money on "designer foods" for cycling. Fig Newton bars, trail mix, breakfast bars etc etc will get you through those long rides. Let the pros buy the $20+ (box of 6) "power strength & recovery max fuel protein endurance" bar of the week.
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Old 04-09-11, 05:02 PM
  #60  
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You don't have to buy new. You don't have to buy new. You don't have to buy new.
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Old 04-09-11, 09:02 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
I think most people are most concerned with being seen by drivers.
Maybe. I routinely ride home after dark (commuting in the New England winter), and I appreciate being able to see the road without blinding drivers. And the time I saw a skunk in the road ahead of me, I was really glad that I had sprung for good lights and saw it from a distance instead of surprising it....
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Old 04-09-11, 09:29 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
Chain wax is way better than oil based lubes.
Unless you ride in cold weather ... in which case oil based lubes are so much better.
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Old 04-09-11, 10:25 PM
  #63  
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I wish someone had told me about riding on Conti 4000s 700x25 tires... much better grip and shock absorbing than a race tire. Also, buy bibs - not shorts and spend at least $100 on a good pair. learn how to change a tire completely by actually taking the class at the LBS. Drink lots of water/ sports drink and remember to EAT on long rides even if you have to force it - Bonking out is no fun. wear sunscreen ( skin cancer kills ). Always wear your helmet. Unclip at intersections- at least one foot.
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Old 04-10-11, 12:42 AM
  #64  
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Wish someone would have told me I need to tuck in my boot laces so they wouldn't get caught in the crank and tear.
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Old 04-16-11, 07:57 PM
  #65  
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I've only been riding 3 years, but #1 I wish someone had told me: watch out for the right hook. #2: when it starts to hurt, take a day off.
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Old 04-17-11, 12:17 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by NegativeZero View Post
...What do you wish someone had told you when you were a newb?
I wish someone had reminded me that "we're ALL wet on the inside" already, so that rain [and weather in general] is no impediment to cycling. Get good gear that minimizes the Weather issue.

Last edited by Billy Bones; 04-17-11 at 12:17 PM. Reason: mispelled word
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Old 04-17-11, 08:54 PM
  #67  
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Cycling specific sunglasses are worth the money because the air vents keep them from fogging.
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Old 04-18-11, 02:59 PM
  #68  
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wish someone had said to get prescription cycling sunglasses as generic ones are good but prescription are better, even for mild prescription.
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Old 04-20-11, 05:51 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Oramas View Post
no fat chicks
But if you encourage them to ride with you and you go out regularly, they turn into nicely toned skinny chicks.
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Old 04-20-11, 06:04 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by kingsting View Post
But if you encourage them to ride with you and you go out regularly, they turn into nicely toned skinny chicks.
... who are are thankful to you for helping them make the transition ...
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Old 04-20-11, 06:17 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by contango View Post
... who are are thankful to you for helping them make the transition ...
And more than happy to show their thanks...
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Old 04-20-11, 08:21 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Buy a Brooks saddle and don't worry about fancy cycling pants. Your butt will thank you.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 04-20-11, 07:57 PM
  #73  
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Get the stuff you wear on the contact points - shoes, shorts, gloves - right, even of you have to swap them out several times. They matter a heck of a lot more for your comfort and cycling enjoyment than your jersey or shirt.

Make sure you have your saddle high enough and that you keep your revs between 80 and 100 (for most folks) on anything other than hard hills or sprints/fast downhills. This is the best way to avoid knee issues.

Learn how to hold your line in a grouop and how to draft. Nothing discourages people from riding with you faster than being squirrelly.

Eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty, rest before you're tired. Someone else arleady said it, but it can't be overemphasized.

You don't have to get there fast, you just have to get there. And it;s okay to be flexible about what "getting there" means.



Originally Posted by RunningPirate View Post
9) There is no correct answer to the following dilemmas: Steel v. Carbon v. Aluminum; Campagnolo v. Shimano v. SRAM; Lycra v. Wool; Bicycle Brand A v. Bicycle Brand B.
Are you nuts? Of course there are correct answers to these. They are: steel; Campy; wool for jersies, lycra for shorts (preferably bibs); and my bike over your bike.
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Old 04-21-11, 06:49 PM
  #74  
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49cm is too big.

Purchase Dinotte lights.

riding in a skirt is awesome.

Last edited by ____asdfghjkl; 04-21-11 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 04-21-11, 07:39 PM
  #75  
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The biggest thing I would say is to buy a decent book and read it. You don't know what you don't know.
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