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1 month to prepare for a road cycling challenge: what are your recommendations?

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1 month to prepare for a road cycling challenge: what are your recommendations?

Old 08-20-21, 06:40 PM
  #26  
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Yes, ridewithgps or strava to record your ride. Perhaps a handlebar phone holder if you want to see it while you ride, but it works fine in a pocket.

I've seen the rule of thumb here that a rider can (barely) finish a day ride that matches their weekly mileage. It won't be fun!

Most riders can go farther on the event than their longest recent ride. It's the motivation to finish and the other riders company along the way. With a 62 mile Metric goal, I'd want to ride 40 miles fairly comfortably, and do at least one 50-55 mile training ride a couple of weeks before the event -- to prove I can handle the distance, and to sort out any saddle, shoe, or hand problems.

If the event has hills, climbing practice is key. Hills aren't bad if you figure out your pacing and gearing.
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Old 08-21-21, 06:53 AM
  #27  
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Thanks to you all for the support! I just prepared my bike this morning. It needed a good clean after riding on wet roads and I checked all screws with my torque wrench and nothing had to be re-tightened which is good news . Lamps are charged too so I'll have a ride this afternoon.

Right now I have flat pedals and Adidas Gazelle sneakers and have good sensations. I plan to make a switch for automatic pedals later but can you confirm I rather do the switch after the challenge than before? Or do I have the time to accomodate to automatic pedals until the 26/09?

I downloaded strava, there is a 1 month free membership available but I'll wait till the end of this month to try the full version so that I can benefit from it during the challenge.

Do you always take rain clothes with you for a multi hours ride (let's say 3-4h) or how do you do? I live in Belgium, weather changes quick sometimes.

Typically what tire pressure do you run? I'm 72kg for 188cm and chose to go for 8bars (25mm tires), which is 1bar less than recommended on this chart (source: road.cc)


Edit: I'll reduce my pressure to 7bars as I found it a bit too harsh with 8 bars. We'll see how it goes. I obtained this result with Silca's calculator
https://info.silca.cc/silca-professi...ure-calculator

Last edited by Pulse_; 08-21-21 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 08-21-21, 10:47 AM
  #28  
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Hello, I'm back. I did a small ride in the town.




No idea how to interpret these numbers but it's a bit tricky with all the red lights, traffic and pedestrians. Cars don't respect the cycle path even if bicycles are painted on the road every few meters. I really need to find better/safer places to ride

Btw I had much better sensations with 7bars (100psi) compared with 8bars (115psi). Bike was more comfortable and the difference in speed didn't seem significant to me (not that I know about what I'm talking about lol). In terms of setup I only change one parameter at a time generally. I used to race r/c cars and this was my approach so I will continue to do so.

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Old 08-21-21, 11:34 AM
  #29  
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The tire pressure chart refers to weight per wheel not total weight. You are grossly overinflating your tires. 5-6 bar should be fine with your weight.
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Old 08-21-21, 12:03 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
The tire pressure chart refers to weight per wheel not total weight. You are grossly overinflating your tires. 5-6 bar should be fine with your weight.
Ok now that's the proof I'm a noob. Thanks! The good news is I didn't go over the max pressure admitted for my tires..

Silca calculator gives me these results, I'll try these pressures out on my next ride

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Old 08-21-21, 12:26 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
Ok now that's the proof I'm a noob. Thanks! The good news is I didn't go over the max pressure admitted for my tires..

Silca calculator gives me these results, I'll try these pressures out on my next ride

Looks good. I like a little lower pressure because my roads are terrible. If you have decent roads, 6 bar should be perfect.
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Old 08-21-21, 12:41 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Looks good. I like a little lower pressure because my roads are terrible. If you have decent roads, 6 bar should be perfect.
We have every road condition in Belgium, it can be very very bad as well as near perfect so I need to find a balance. I'll try 6 bars and give a feedback
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Old 08-21-21, 02:00 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
You would advice no rest days even for a beginner? In other sports I have no rule, I just train and adapt to my sensations. Sometimes I'm tired but it gets better during the training. So unless I feel a pain that isn't related with my muscles I don't necessary rest. I'm not in the same shape as before Covid though.. I did less sports last months so I need to regain endurance and strength.

Generally speaking I don't eat processed food. I cook every time. I need to eat more vegetables but I don't know if it's important in cycling.
Sorry, I shouldn't have tried to inject the humor. Yes, rest days are important. Full rest, no bike, is very rare for me, but I typically have 1 or 2 days per week that are "rest', which is really recovery. These are very low effort (spinning so easily that my heart rate barely rises above waking, which for me is 95-105bpm), and very low volume (MAXIMUM 1 hour total for the day). Those days usually consist of only my commutes to/from work (25minutes each way over 9km from Zaventem-Sterrebeek to the NATO HQ). In some cases I will actually take a total day off, but that is rare, as I said, and usually is the result of being ill or some other factor that makes me think resting my whole body is a better option than a light, easy spin.

Fruits and vegetables are critical sources of the nutrients and vitamins your body needs to function at the micro level. Things like potassium, magnesium, iron, etc. are vital to good cellular function which leads to all sorts of good things elsewhere in the body. Do some research, veggies, especially are hugely beneficial.

Good to hear on the muscles and the temporary "aches" you're experiencing. I still get these aches from time to time, but they really last long and they go away quickly when I am done riding. Don't ride in pain, but somethings the position on the bike will be uncomfortable as you're new to it, in time it will improve. But, don't ride so that you use yourself pain, discomfort is different, you should be able to know the difference.

Feel free to send me a private message regarding routes. I think I can help you out.
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Old 08-24-21, 04:16 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post

My road bikes are endurance oriented (Trek Domane AL2 and Triban RC520 Disc) so they should do the trick. Both are new, I'm coming from mountain biking and planned to use the Trek for nice roads and sunny days (25mm tires, 2x8 Claris groupset, brake pads) and the Triban (28mm tires, 2x11 105 groupset, disc brakes) for gnarlier roads and/or bad weather. Converting it for gravel later is also an option. For now I've no idea which one to choose, what do you think?
I would be tempted to fit 28 mm tyres to your Domane. As you say it's a new bike I'm surprised it didn't come with Bontrager 28 mm tyres to start with (as that's what the Trek website says they come with). You won't lose any speed and it will be more comfortable (lower pressure), which can make a huge difference on a long endurance event.
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Old 08-25-21, 12:34 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Sorry, I shouldn't have tried to inject the humor. Yes, rest days are important. Full rest, no bike, is very rare for me, but I typically have 1 or 2 days per week that are "rest', which is really recovery. These are very low effort (spinning so easily that my heart rate barely rises above waking, which for me is 95-105bpm), and very low volume (MAXIMUM 1 hour total for the day). Those days usually consist of only my commutes to/from work (25minutes each way over 9km from Zaventem-Sterrebeek to the NATO HQ). In some cases I will actually take a total day off, but that is rare, as I said, and usually is the result of being ill or some other factor that makes me think resting my whole body is a better option than a light, easy spin.

Fruits and vegetables are critical sources of the nutrients and vitamins your body needs to function at the micro level. Things like potassium, magnesium, iron, etc. are vital to good cellular function which leads to all sorts of good things elsewhere in the body. Do some research, veggies, especially are hugely beneficial.

Good to hear on the muscles and the temporary "aches" you're experiencing. I still get these aches from time to time, but they really last long and they go away quickly when I am done riding. Don't ride in pain, but somethings the position on the bike will be uncomfortable as you're new to it, in time it will improve. But, don't ride so that you use yourself pain, discomfort is different, you should be able to know the difference.


Feel free to send me a private message regarding routes. I think I can help you out.
Ok, I think I'll continue my actual schedule of 3 rides per week + a longer ride during the w-e . I feel better with my neck, I try to be aware of my back position while riding and don't hesitate to adjust it when needed. An other thing I improved is to loosen my grip on the handlebars. I realized I was holding them too tight which isn't needed. I'm still experimenting with my position but the overall feel is great.

Here is my new lid. I chose the POC Octal in the MIPS version. I bought it in two sizes /two colors to make sure I can try them on first and decided to keep the M size in white. The funny thing is that the AVIP version of the Octal is 25g heavier compared to the white in the same size.. no clue why. I tried it for the first time yesterday and it makes a world of a difference in terms of weight and aeration. I'm super pleased with this helmet! To put things into perspective it's 100g lighter than my previous model from Van Rysel which is also in the picture (size L).



I also ordered an other botlle and cage and a saddle bag for the tools + spare tube, tire lever, etc... It's mounted on the bike already. Before I carried everything on me and used a Salomon trail running vest to do so but I felt it might be better to put everything on the bike. I like to feel free to move when riding.

Next step is to upgrade brake pads. I need more braking power, especially under the rain and in traffic.
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Old 08-25-21, 01:31 PM
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For ride weather I like the 'EpicRideWeather' app. You enter your route from Strava, RideWithGPS. or GPX file, the date and time you want to start, and your expected average speed and it will give you the weather forecast along your route and also wind direction. Its a subscription model, but I believe you can go month by month so you can fire it up for serious rides.
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Old 08-25-21, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
For ride weather I like the 'EpicRideWeather' app. You enter your route from Strava, RideWithGPS. or GPX file, the date and time you want to start, and your expected average speed and it will give you the weather forecast along your route and also wind direction. Its a subscription model, but I believe you can go month by month so you can fire it up for serious rides.
Excellent tip, many thanks. I was looking for a free weather app (1h gap) last week and wondered which ones are the most popular among cyclists
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Old 08-25-21, 10:19 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
Next step is to upgrade brake pads. I need more braking power, especially under the rain and in traffic.
I assume you're talking about the brakes on your Trek...

Here are some general thoughts on disc brakes. They are all better than rim brakes in the sense that they perform roughly the same wet as dry. But not all disc brake systems are identical. To keep the discussions simple, cable actuated (like you have on your Trek) do not provide the same stopping power, and more importantly ability to be modulated, as hydraulic brakes. But, they do work, and will continue to work. While there are some "off-brand' or third party brake pads available fro some brake calipers, in general, they are not hugely different, on a bike, in particular because the size of the pads is quite small, the pads generally perform similarly for a given caliper. But, an upgrade to a full hydraulicc system on that Trek doesn't really make sense (and may not even be possible without changing the entire the drivetrain).

A better solution might be sourcing a set of TRP HY/RD brake calipers (in fact, I think I have a set in my parts bin, DM me, I can look, and we could work out a fair price since they were used for about 4 months on a bike that I then converted to full hydro), they have a hydraulic reservoir on the top of the caliper that activates hydraulic driven pistons, but are actuated by a caliper. They were designed for bikes with shift levers like the ones on your Trek, and I think your Triban may actually be equipped with them.

Also, it rained overnight, again...because it's Belgium.
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Old 08-26-21, 12:46 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I assume you're talking about the brakes on your Trek...

Here are some general thoughts on disc brakes. They are all better than rim brakes in the sense that they perform roughly the same wet as dry. But not all disc brake systems are identical. To keep the discussions simple, cable actuated (like you have on your Trek) do not provide the same stopping power, and more importantly ability to be modulated, as hydraulic brakes. But, they do work, and will continue to work. While there are some "off-brand' or third party brake pads available fro some brake calipers, in general, they are not hugely different, on a bike, in particular because the size of the pads is quite small, the pads generally perform similarly for a given caliper. But, an upgrade to a full hydraulicc system on that Trek doesn't really make sense (and may not even be possible without changing the entire the drivetrain).

A better solution might be sourcing a set of TRP HY/RD brake calipers (in fact, I think I have a set in my parts bin, DM me, I can look, and we could work out a fair price since they were used for about 4 months on a bike that I then converted to full hydro), they have a hydraulic reservoir on the top of the caliper that activates hydraulic driven pistons, but are actuated by a caliper. They were designed for bikes with shift levers like the ones on your Trek, and I think your Triban may actually be equipped with them.

Also, it rained overnight, again...because it's Belgium.
Hi my Trek is equipped with rim brakes and I don't plan to convert it in discs. It's not interesting financially IMO, I would need to change the wheels etc... Do you think upgrading brake pads won't improve the braking?

An other solution is to use the Trek in the dry/ on smooth roads only and the Triban in the wet/bad roads/winter conditions only. Generally speaking, do riders have one single bike for everything and they change the wheels depending on the weather conditions/ surface or they have one different bike for each use? What sounds the most relevant to you?

Yes, the RC520 is indeed equipped with TRP HYRD. Apparently it needs to be checked before the first ride to make sure it has been set up correctly from the factory.
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Old 08-26-21, 05:05 AM
  #40  
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Some of us have "rain" bikes...and some of us just ride whatever bike we have. I thought the Trek had discs, but agree, the cost of conversion is pretty significant, and doesn't make much sense for that bike. I'd definitely opt for a disc brake equipped in rain/foul weather conditions. Rim brakes work in the wet, but discs work better...much better.
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Old 08-26-21, 02:00 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Some of us have "rain" bikes...and some of us just ride whatever bike we have. I thought the Trek had discs, but agree, the cost of conversion is pretty significant, and doesn't make much sense for that bike. I'd definitely opt for a disc brake equipped in rain/foul weather conditions. Rim brakes work in the wet, but discs work better...much better.
Ok so keeping the Trek for good conditions and the Triban for bad conditions might be a good idea then .

I went out this evening with the Trek around Bois de la Cambre. I did many circles but didn't count. I stopped twice to drink (I need to learn how to drink while riding ) but sensations were pretty good. I noticed I feel better and better through the ride. Especially in the evening when the air gets cooler. I still have a light tension at the rear of the neck but I stretch a bit and then it goes much better.

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Old 08-26-21, 02:56 PM
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Glad to hear that you are adjusting. It doesn’t take long, but it does take commitment.
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Old 09-01-21, 02:08 PM
  #43  
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Hi, just a little feedback. I'm riding 50km every 2 days now without stopping (I had a hard time drinking on the bike without stopping because of my lack of technique ).

A few things that helped significantly:
- using a lighter and more ventilated helmet ( I feel less and less neck pain)
- wearing sport glasses (sounds weird but I didn't realize how much of a difference it could make not to feel the wind in my eyes)
- drink a little but regularly (trying to figure out which hydration solution is the best between a camelback and bottles or both)
- focus on making efforts without going as far as feeling pain or difficulties to breathe normally (again it sounds obvious but I have a natural tendency to "push" myself as I'm used to sports demanding more intensity and less endurance)
- focus on my comfort and calm down mentally, which again isn't natural for me
- eat while riding (fruit paste)
- breathe deeply and slowly and open my mouth a bit wider than what I'm used to

What I improved on the bike:
-> saddle bag to carry all the stuff to repair an eventual tire puncture
-> bigger bottle (1L)
-> frame bag for my waterproof jacket + tire pump
-> tire pressure: 6.4 in the front and 6.6 in the rear is almost perfect for me

What's to come:
-> new brake pads (swissstop BXP), which have become an absolute necessity
-> latex inner tubes?
-> larger tires for winter riding, especially on the wet (25mm slick tires don't feel especially safe on wet leaves..)
-> GPS
-> bike fit?

All in all I feel comfort is the essential factor to ride for a long time. I still have a little pain in these areas: back of the neck, lower part of my back, bum..
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Old 09-11-21, 01:06 PM
  #44  
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Back from a short 55km ride (2h)

I made a few adjustments since the last time:
-> I lowered the handlebar (1cm) and feel much better now, my back pain disappeared which is weird considering my position is more aggressive but whatever if it works!
-> I had enough of the black aspect of chain lube when it gets dirty.. it's just a mess! So I cleaned my drivetrain completely and went with wax (Squirt) -> it's now less noisy and just feels more efficient. No more black greasy stuff on my white socks
-> I installed and set new brakes up: I went with Swissstop BXP and the improvement is massive VS the stock ones. The stopping power is satisfying,. I realized stock adjustment of the brakes wasn't perfect so the better performance must be due to the fine adjustmenst also, not just the new brake pads.

What's to come:
-> I received my replacement tires + tubes which will make me gain 400g VS my current setup: I chose to go for Conti GP5000 and Vredestein Superlite latex tubes, can't wait to try them out! I kept them in the same size (25mm) to isolate the difference related to the brand/model VS my stock tires. I could have gone for 28mm (I know it's a trend to run wider tires) but I'll still be able to do the change in the future
-> shoes + cleats: I won't do this change before the challenge. For now I feel a real benefit in the ability to move my feet slightly depending on my position on the bike. I like to use the full benefit of my bodyweight on a climb for example and I naturally move my feet more to the front in this case. In the same way I feel I need this mobility to ease my joints and knees just by moving slightly even if it's not for a long time. I doubt this is possible when locked in cleats but tell me if I'm wrong

I'd like to focus on nutrition for the 2 weeks left. I was surprised with how much of a difference drinking often but slightly makes. Fruit paste is working great also but I'll need to do some research to better understand what to plan for the event
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Old 09-14-21, 08:31 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
Back from a short 55km ride (2h)

I made a few adjustments since the last time:
-> I lowered the handlebar (1cm) and feel much better now, my back pain disappeared which is weird considering my position is more aggressive but whatever if it works!
-> I had enough of the black aspect of chain lube when it gets dirty.. it's just a mess! So I cleaned my drivetrain completely and went with wax (Squirt) -> it's now less noisy and just feels more efficient. No more black greasy stuff on my white socks
-> I installed and set new brakes up: I went with Swissstop BXP and the improvement is massive VS the stock ones. The stopping power is satisfying,. I realized stock adjustment of the brakes wasn't perfect so the better performance must be due to the fine adjustmenst also, not just the new brake pads.

What's to come:
-> I received my replacement tires + tubes which will make me gain 400g VS my current setup: I chose to go for Conti GP5000 and Vredestein Superlite latex tubes, can't wait to try them out! I kept them in the same size (25mm) to isolate the difference related to the brand/model VS my stock tires. I could have gone for 28mm (I know it's a trend to run wider tires) but I'll still be able to do the change in the future
-> shoes + cleats: I won't do this change before the challenge. For now I feel a real benefit in the ability to move my feet slightly depending on my position on the bike. I like to use the full benefit of my bodyweight on a climb for example and I naturally move my feet more to the front in this case. In the same way I feel I need this mobility to ease my joints and knees just by moving slightly even if it's not for a long time. I doubt this is possible when locked in cleats but tell me if I'm wrong

I'd like to focus on nutrition for the 2 weeks left. I was surprised with how much of a difference drinking often but slightly makes. Fruit paste is working great also but I'll need to do some research to better understand what to plan for the event
Yes, it's very common to find relief from back pain by adopting a more aggressive position. Which is exactly the opposite of the "conventional wisdom", but has a good basis in physiology. Our backs like to flex. Bending forward opens the gaps between our vertebrae which can relieve pinched nerves.

Chain lube is a personal choice. There's not a right and wrong way. However one is not supposed to let one's leg touch the chain and get a rookie tattoo. Bad form.

BXP are wonderful pads, the best I think.

I run GP5000 tires & latex, though I'm old-fashioned and run 23mm tires on 23mm outside deep rims. The only downside of latex is that it's really hard to find a small puncture back home without ruining the tube by overinflating it - makes a balloon-like bubble.

Most clipless systems allow some amount of foot rotation or float while clipped in. I try to position my cleats so that when I pedal normally, my foot is in the middle of the float. Once you have your pedals and shoes, you might discover that pedaling out of the saddle is more efficient if you point your toes down all the way around the circle. I adjust my cleat position so that the pedal axle is centered under the joint on my big toe. That works best for me. Here's a site talking about float: https://www.cyclingweekly.com/fitnes...-cleats-255941
While racers all use road shoes and various pedal systems, all the long distance recreational cyclists I know use MTB shoes and SPD pedals. It's very helpful to be able to walk around comfortably for rest stops and getting food and water.
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