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First Bike Ride in 25 years (new bike unboxing, zwift killed me, etc.)

Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

First Bike Ride in 25 years (new bike unboxing, zwift killed me, etc.)

Old 12-21-18, 06:57 PM
  #1  
cobalt123
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First Bike Ride in 25 years (new bike unboxing, zwift killed me, etc.)

So, today was the day! My new Tommaso Sterrata arrived from giantnerds.com. I ordered it as a "ready to ride in 10 minutes" prebuild.

Here is the box:




Opening the box reveals instructions, a personalized note, a set of allen wrenches and the skewer for the front wheel:


Quality checklist:


And the final product (hint - that's not me in the picture):

After this point I took it outside and rode it about 100yds and back in the pouring rain! It was fun to do that again after 25 years! (even if only a 100yds)

And here's the finished product on my Kurt Kinetic Smart Trainer:


Next, I brought it inside and setup up on the trainer, installed the new Shimano SPD pedals, figured out how to set up my Giro shoes and cleats. I set the seat height, position, etc.

I did a very short 1.5 mile ride on the trainer using Zwift - which KICKED MY ASS. I was doing the first "intro to zwift" training session and it was very aggressive relative to my fitness level. The first interval it wanted my to put out a "modest" 225 watts - I can't do that. I need to figure out how to adjust its calibration. Does it have a "fat guy" mode? If you happen to see "M. NotZoZwift" on there, say hi.

My only concern so far: the seat. It presses right where I don't want it do... perineum pressure... that's not comfortable. I want to tip the seat forward to relieve the pressure. I wonder if it is deflecting back when I'm seated? And that is causing the pressure? Anyhow, something will have to be done.

Anyhow, I'm super excited to have the bike and a new mode of exercise beyond the elliptical! Here's to getting fit!

Last edited by cobalt123; 12-21-18 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 12-21-18, 07:43 PM
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Congratulations on the new ride. Getting a new bike is pretty exciting. That bike will serve you well. As for the Zwift kick in the butt, don't worry about it. Get your sea legs under you first:
  • Ride it around the neighborhood... a couple miles today. Your butt will hurt tomorrow, but do it again anyway.
  • Take it to a shop that does fittings and get it dialed in. You can tolerate a terrible fit for a couple miles, or a slightly bad fit for ten to twenty miles. But you deserve to have a good fit from the start or you'll be risking damage to your knees and to your love of the sport.
  • Once you're ok with a couple miles around the neighborhood start going for 5 miles, then 10, then 15, 20... most days.
  • Zwift when the weather doesn't promote enjoyable riding.
Pretty bike. Seems like a fairly relaxed geometry. Have fun.

Last edited by daoswald; 12-21-18 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 12-21-18, 08:24 PM
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Congrats new bike day is the best!
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Old 12-22-18, 06:22 PM
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Here's what I'd do - log into zwift, find your "settings" and change your FTP to something low, like 100. Just ride around for a few weeks, they'll raise your FTP for you if warranted. Then try a workout. There are plenty of group rides you can do (look for a D ride) to sort of get into the swing of things.

Congrats, new bike day is always exciting.
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Old 12-22-18, 06:40 PM
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Nice looking bike. Re saddle comfort, it may be a combination of things, including your fitness, conditioning, seat angle height and setback, and the saddle itself. First things first. Iíd suggest starting with the seat dead level. If you then feel you still need to tip it forward a bit, go ahead and experiment. Tipped forward you will carry more weight on your hands, which may present other problems but probably ok on shorter rides.

Getting a fit is a good idea, but Iíd suggest doing your own experiments first. It will give you more information to consider and discuss with a fitter. As suggested above, doing some shorter rides will give you a chance to get used to it and play with things. If your butt hurts, you can kick up a few gears and stand up for 30-45 seconds for temporary relief too.

Ultimately you may need to try different saddles. My old Specialized Toupe saddle broke, LBS suggested I try Fizik, that didnít work out well at all for me, so I bought another Specialized.
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Old 12-22-18, 11:46 PM
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Congrats on your new bike and on joining the world of Zwifting. Listen to @TrojanHorse, he is a good Zwifter and a pretty good GMR climber!
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Old 12-23-18, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Here's what I'd do - log into zwift, find your "settings" and change your FTP to something low, like 100. Just ride around for a few weeks, they'll raise your FTP for you if warranted. Then try a workout. There are plenty of group rides you can do (look for a D ride) to sort of get into the swing of things.

Congrats, new bike day is always exciting.
thanks for that tip! Took me a while to figure out what ftp was and that it wasnít File Transfer Protocol.

I should have mentioned also, because itís kind of funny (Iím such a newb), that it took me about 5 minutes to figure out the gear shifters werenít missing but integrated into the brakes. Lol

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Old 12-27-18, 07:19 PM
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Congrats on the new bike and getting going on Zwift. Take some time and adjust the seat height and angle. It will take some time to get it adjusted to the spot that will give you a comfortable ride. Just take it slow. I am getting back on the bike after a few years away and some significant weight gain. Watch the FTP on zwift because with will increase it on you. Also...I have found that Zwift's algorithms for speed and power are not built for people over 200 pounds. I used my regular weight and the bike on zwift was moving very slow even when putting out decent power. I ended up lowering my weight in Zwift because I was getting very frustrated with trying to ride with that setup. I am not riding in any competitive events...only riding by myself on the Zwift programs. If I ever get to the point where I want to ride and of the competitive rides I would set my weight back up. But I found that the program set up for my accurate weight just killed my motivation.
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Old 12-27-18, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by billm67 View Post
Congrats on the new bike and getting going on Zwift. Take some time and adjust the seat height and angle. It will take some time to get it adjusted to the spot that will give you a comfortable ride. Just take it slow. I am getting back on the bike after a few years away and some significant weight gain. Watch the FTP on zwift because with will increase it on you. Also...I have found that Zwift's algorithms for speed and power are not built for people over 200 pounds. I used my regular weight and the bike on zwift was moving very slow even when putting out decent power. I ended up lowering my weight in Zwift because I was getting very frustrated with trying to ride with that setup. I am not riding in any competitive events...only riding by myself on the Zwift programs. If I ever get to the point where I want to ride and of the competitive rides I would set my weight back up. But I found that the program set up for my accurate weight just killed my motivation.
That is interesting! That was one of my biggest issues... I couldn't keep up with traffic except in short bursts. I'm definitely going to tweak the weight now!
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Old 12-27-18, 07:50 PM
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Always remember: Zwift is a video game, and should be treated as a video game. I've been chugging around the Volcano at 220-230W, barely making ~22mph solo, when a guy on a paperboy bike (you know, the flatbar with the fenders and racks) blows by me like I'm not moving. Because that guy is 5 foot nothing and weighs 100lbs, with an FTP of 100W-- well, at least in the game he is. I foolishly put in my real numbers-- and never rode in a group-- so I never got those 30-mile rides at a 26mph average.

If you're in there for a less boring workout, it doesn't matter. If you're in there to blow past people like they're not moving, start messing with the numbers.
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Old 12-28-18, 01:30 PM
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I too am new to road bikes and Zwift. I set my Felt VR5 up and tried a few spins with my regular weight (200+) and it seemed to work fine for me. But then again, I really don't know what is right and wrong with it, just loving the ride. I did the short FTP and then started the Fondo training and after the plan, I saw the FTP go from 130 to 150 after 4 weeks. I am currently in the 2nd week of the Gran Fondo training plan and just did my 2nd endurance free ride and it went the FTP automatically shot up from 150 to 180. I am able to keep up but I don't know if something is wrong with the set up but it is fun for me to log the miles and starting to feel healthier as the days go on. Started riding again in early August of this year and I am down 20+ lbs. only diet change was reducing Soda and Beer.

Good Luck and have fun!!!
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Old 01-05-19, 10:16 AM
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Got a pair of shoes by that company, love them. Didn't know they made bikes, thought they were just another Amazon brand. Stick with it, it's addictive.
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Old 01-07-19, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Always remember: Zwift is a video game, and should be treated as a video game. I've been chugging around the Volcano at 220-230W, barely making ~22mph solo, when a guy on a paperboy bike (you know, the flatbar with the fenders and racks) blows by me like I'm not moving. Because that guy is 5 foot nothing and weighs 100lbs, with an FTP of 100W-- well, at least in the game he is. I foolishly put in my real numbers-- and never rode in a group-- so I never got those 30-mile rides at a 26mph average.

If you're in there for a less boring workout, it doesn't matter. If you're in there to blow past people like they're not moving, start messing with the numbers.
Indeed, it is Not Real, but the effort you put in is real, so it's a good thing. There are no shortage of people who get ALL worked up about weight "doping" etc, which is funny in its own right.

The "paperboy bikes" are actually buffalo bikes, like the kind they fundraise to send down to africa. I guess they had a thing a few years ago, before I joined - if you donate X ($25?) to world bicycle relief, they gave you one of those virtual bikes, and it's actually one of the faster bikes in the game.

I was world-hacked over to the volcano one day and riding around all by myself. I think there were maybe 5 people there that day, but one of them was doing a steady 4.5 w/kg for > 100 miles. I mean, it never wavered for as long as he was near enough to me to show up on the list of people near me. Yeah, I can't do that. He probably can't either.
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Old 01-07-19, 09:28 AM
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Yeah, I was following a guy on one trip around the island, and his power never fluctuated. It just sat on something like 4.0W/kg and never moved. You watch your own, or anybody else's, and it's all over the place. I understand cheating at exercise even less than cheating at video games. People on Zwift are regularly doing both.
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