Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Runner Turned Cyclist? Need Advice

Notices
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

Runner Turned Cyclist? Need Advice

Old 08-15-22, 08:01 AM
  #1  
C_Myers22
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Runner Turned Cyclist? Need Advice

Recently injured runner and started biking as cross training. I ended up liking it much more than I thought I would. I love being able to bike for 3+ hours and feel fine the next day. I loved watching the tour this year. I don't think I am very good at it. Here are some things that I think are holding me back. Is this normal for a beginner?

1. I am terrified of going fast. Anything over 24mph feels like I am going to crash and die. Going downhill is even worse. Is this just something that takes time to get better at?

2. My bike is pretty old. It's a Trek 1220 from 1996. Very little maintenance has been done in the past 5-7 years. Taking it to a bike shop this week.

3. My bike just has regular pedals so I'm not able to pull up on them.

4. My bike is too big for me. Probably made for someone 5 inches taller.
C_Myers22 is offline  
Likes For C_Myers22:
Old 08-15-22, 08:09 AM
  #2  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 39,024

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 352 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20338 Post(s)
Liked 9,037 Times in 4,485 Posts
I can't say whether or not that's normal for a beginner, but I would say that it doesn't strike me as being unusual for someone on an ill-fitting bike with questionable maintenance.

Do you have an idea of what the bike shop visit is going to cost you? It may be worthwhile to see how far those funds would go towards a better fitting bike.
WhyFi is offline  
Likes For WhyFi:
Old 08-15-22, 08:11 AM
  #3  
timdow
Miles to Go
 
timdow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 616

Bikes: 2022 Juiced Crosscurrent X, 2022 Fuji Touring, 2005ish Fuji Club LE, 1998 Schwinn Moab (drop bar conversion), 2010 LHT (Stolen)

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 113 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 61 Posts
With more riding will come confidence in riding at speed. Until then, just go slower.

Old bike is OK, but bike that does not fit is not. I sounds like your bike is way too big! You will be a lot more confident on a bike that fits.

Regular pedals are fine. You can try the special "clipless" pedals and shoes once you get more cycling experience. Or not... I used them for mountain biking, but for the casual, non-competitive cycling I do flat pedals are just fine.
timdow is offline  
Likes For timdow:
Old 08-15-22, 08:12 AM
  #4  
C_Myers22
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I took it to a Trek store and they said around $450
C_Myers22 is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 08:13 AM
  #5  
alcjphil
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 5,165
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1458 Post(s)
Liked 1,107 Times in 664 Posts
You will probably never feel confident on a bike that is that much too big for you
alcjphil is offline  
Likes For alcjphil:
Old 08-15-22, 08:29 AM
  #6  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 39,024

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 352 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20338 Post(s)
Liked 9,037 Times in 4,485 Posts
Originally Posted by C_Myers22 View Post
I took it to a Trek store and they said around $450
$450 for the work to be done on it? If so, no way - I wouldn't sink that kind of money in to a bike that doesn't fit.
WhyFi is offline  
Likes For WhyFi:
Old 08-15-22, 08:33 AM
  #7  
mschwett 
please no more flats
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 938

Bikes: aethos, creo, vanmoof, public ...

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 495 Post(s)
Liked 576 Times in 327 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
$450 for the work to be done on it? If so, no way - I wouldn't sink that kind of money in to a bike that doesn't fit.
agreed. you can get a low-end, but totally serviceable new bike for $1,500. get one that fits, ride the heck out of it, if you're still bitten by the cycling bug you can sell it in a few years and upgrade.
mschwett is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 08:34 AM
  #8  
datlas 
Should Be More Popular
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 38,886

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 530 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18615 Post(s)
Liked 5,494 Times in 2,700 Posts
Get a bike that fits properly.

Do it now and thank me later. Even if it's old/used, fit is really important.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Likes For datlas:
Old 08-15-22, 08:36 AM
  #9  
C_Myers22
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
$450 for the work to be done on it? If so, no way - I wouldn't sink that kind of money in to a bike that doesn't fit.

Thank you! I really appreciate all of the responses.

If I were to get a new bike would it be possible to find something that I could race on for less than $1,000? Is there a thread on here that has discussed budget racing bikes?
C_Myers22 is offline  
Likes For C_Myers22:
Old 08-15-22, 09:24 AM
  #10  
alcjphil
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 5,165
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1458 Post(s)
Liked 1,107 Times in 664 Posts
Originally Posted by C_Myers22 View Post
Thank you! I really appreciate all of the responses.

If I were to get a new bike would it be possible to find something that I could race on for less than $1,000? Is there a thread on here that has discussed budget racing bikes?
What is your experience riding in a group?. Bicycle racing involves being a safe enough bike handler to be able to ride in close proximity to other cyclists at high speeds. It also depends on what you consider to be a race. Things like charity rides are not races. $1000 for a race level bike would mean buying second hand and you might run into some of the problems you are having with your current bike unless you become really good at assessing the mechanical condition of the bikes you are looking at as well as being able to figure out proper bike fit. My recommendation once you find a bike is that you look around and find a cycling club to join. There you can acquire the skills to ride safely in a group before you try to jump into racing. If you look at my avatar, the picture was taken during the Coupe des Ameriques which was at the time the North American championship stage race for master racers. I was on the front at the time
alcjphil is offline  
Likes For alcjphil:
Old 08-15-22, 09:28 AM
  #11  
datlas 
Should Be More Popular
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 38,886

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 530 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18615 Post(s)
Liked 5,494 Times in 2,700 Posts
Originally Posted by C_Myers22 View Post
Thank you! I really appreciate all of the responses.

If I were to get a new bike would it be possible to find something that I could race on for less than $1,000? Is there a thread on here that has discussed budget racing bikes?
Yes but probably you are looking at used. Maybe a used CAAD with 105 groupset from a few years ago, but remember FIT is KEY.

Or cough up 1500 for a NEW one.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 09:29 AM
  #12  
Ubie
Full Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: 20,000 leagues under the sea
Posts: 414

Bikes: 2019 CO-OP DRT 1.2, 2001 Trek 2200, 2021 Cannondale Topstone 1 Alloy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 71 Times in 37 Posts
Originally Posted by C_Myers22 View Post
Thank you! I really appreciate all of the responses.

If I were to get a new bike would it be possible to find something that I could race on for less than $1,000? Is there a thread on here that has discussed budget racing bikes?
New under $1000? That's a hard no. However, depending on where you are Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace can be a goldmine. You don't need a new bike right away, but finding a quality used ride that physically fits you will do absolute wonders for your enjoyment, and your wallet.

A lot of people bought some very, very nice pandemic bikes and are now realizing they make terrible clothes hangars. Keep an eye out for people just trying to clear space in their garage, especially since we are getting later in the riding season.

These are extreme examples, but I got a 2001 Trek 2200 for $20 that I put less than $400 in to, and my cousin found a 2021 REI CO-OP ADV 2.1 for $50 (new, $1050 on sale currently). One new brake cable and a quick derailleur adjustment later and it did a 65mi ride the next week.
Ubie is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 09:52 AM
  #13  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 20,323
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5105 Post(s)
Liked 4,551 Times in 2,435 Posts
I agree with finding a group ride/shop ride/ club, or something where you can ride with experienced riders before you consider racing. It's not like running.

Definitely don't invest in a bike that doesn't fit. A Cannondale CAAD would be a decent starter bike which can be raced. You're going to have to figure out what size you need first.

As far as downhill speed, some people never get comfortable with it and that's ok. Some go crazy before they have the skill or brains to handle speed.
big john is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 10:07 AM
  #14  
koala logs
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 674
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Liked 166 Times in 136 Posts
Originally Posted by C_Myers22 View Post
3. My bike just has regular pedals so I'm not able to pull up on them.
Even if you get clipless pedals eventually, it is still advisable not to pull up the pedal based on many studies showing you're actually less efficient when doing it and some develop issues from doing it.

Even the racers in Tour de France don't do it. It's only okay to pull up just a little to unload your feet from the pedal using only the hip flexor muscles but not to brute force pull the pedal up with the hamstrings simply because our legs are less efficient at flexion compare to extension.

When tour racers bob up and down on the steep stages, that means they're using their glutes and hamstrings on the downstroke of the pedal. If they also pulled up with the hamstring, they'd burn out their hamstring or even force it to cramp from overuse. Not a good thing. Nevertheless, clipless pedals would still deliver significant improvement despite not brute force pulling up the pedals simply by giving more efficient and secure interface between the feet and the pedals.
koala logs is offline  
Likes For koala logs:
Old 08-15-22, 10:13 AM
  #15  
koala logs
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 674
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Liked 166 Times in 136 Posts
Originally Posted by big john View Post
As far as downhill speed, some people never get comfortable with it and that's ok. Some go crazy before they have the skill or brains to handle speed.
Some think they have gathered enough experience to go full speed on descents, then they crash, break some bones, rushed to ER and telling everyone that's normal and part of the hobby.
koala logs is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 10:26 AM
  #16  
rsbob 
Sniveling Weasel
 
rsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 2,894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1048 Post(s)
Liked 1,952 Times in 1,127 Posts
For $1000 you could buy a very nice USED racing bike. Try to find one relatively new. If you don’t know your proper frame size, go to your local bike shop and ask their opinion on the right size.

if there is a good sized bike club in the area, check their classified. Craigslist is another. Buy the best bike you can afford
__________________
Immoderate Cyclist “No regerts”



rsbob is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 10:27 AM
  #17  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,043

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2815 Post(s)
Liked 1,640 Times in 1,078 Posts
Originally Posted by C_Myers22 View Post
Recently injured runner and started biking as cross training. I ended up liking it much more than I thought I would. I love being able to bike for 3+ hours and feel fine the next day. I loved watching the tour this year. I don't think I am very good at it. Here are some things that I think are holding me back. Is this normal for a beginner?

1. I am terrified of going fast. Anything over 24mph feels like I am going to crash and die. Going downhill is even worse. Is this just something that takes time to get better at?

2. My bike is pretty old. It's a Trek 1220 from 1996. Very little maintenance has been done in the past 5-7 years. Taking it to a bike shop this week.

3. My bike just has regular pedals so I'm not able to pull up on them.

4. My bike is too big for me. Probably made for someone 5 inches taller.
1. Think about what is making you scared and if you can address it.

2. The biggest difference between the 1970's and the 1980's is that shifters became indexed (one click per gear), and then before Y2K they moved to the brake levers. Your bike is from a transitional period so it might have this, I haven't googled it to check. Maintenance parts for an old standard road bike are still available and you can keep it working fine. The biggest difference since Y2K has been integration of power meters and smart trainers so you can use software for your training plan and Zwift in the winter.

3. Someone probably already talked about this.

4. Hey! You have an excuse! Don't let us get in your way. For reference someone of an average height of 5-10 would likely be on a 56cm.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17

Last edited by Darth Lefty; 08-15-22 at 10:30 AM.
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 10:47 AM
  #18  
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 12,892
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3429 Post(s)
Liked 2,176 Times in 1,286 Posts
You know, the bike might not be as much to big for you as it feels right now. Lots of new people get into cycling and think their bike is too big because they can't put their feet on the ground while in the saddle and think that's what bikes are supposed to feel like. It's not. It's really not. What size is the bike? How tall are you? What's your inseam?
himespau is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 10:51 AM
  #19  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,340

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1551 Post(s)
Liked 1,508 Times in 941 Posts
Originally Posted by C_Myers22 View Post
Recently injured runner and started biking as cross training. I ended up liking it much more than I thought I would. I love being able to bike for 3+ hours and feel fine the next day. I loved watching the tour this year. I don't think I am very good at it. Here are some things that I think are holding me back. Is this normal for a beginner?

1. I am terrified of going fast. Anything over 24mph feels like I am going to crash and die. Going downhill is even worse. Is this just something that takes time to get better at?

2. My bike is pretty old. It's a Trek 1220 from 1996. Very little maintenance has been done in the past 5-7 years. Taking it to a bike shop this week.

3. My bike just has regular pedals so I'm not able to pull up on them.

4. My bike is too big for me. Probably made for someone 5 inches taller.
#2 and #4 could contribute to #1, at least partially, outside of just more experience handling a bike.
burnthesheep is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 11:22 AM
  #20  
VegasJen
Full Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 311
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 302 Post(s)
Liked 175 Times in 97 Posts
Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
For $1000 you could buy a very nice USED racing bike. Try to find one relatively new. If you don’t know your proper frame size, go to your local bike shop and ask their opinion on the right size.

if there is a good sized bike club in the area, check their classified. Craigslist is another. Buy the best bike you can afford
^^^

Craigslist is your friend. I've bought all my bikes of CL. Bought 10 year old bikes for $400 that sold new for $2500. At this point there is zero sense in spending good money on a brand new bike. Let someone else pay that depreciation.

Buy a good used bike(or two) and figure out what you like to do first. You may discover you prefer trails more and decide to go full suspension mountain bike. You might learn you like gravel bikes or you might want to try a triathlon/TT bike.

The only trick to Craigslist (and buying used in general) is that you may have to be patient until the right bike pops up. Don't buy the first bike you find (spoken from someone who has done that). Throw some very basic maintenance into your current bike and just check used bikes every couple days until you find the one you want.
VegasJen is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 11:31 AM
  #21  
VegasJen
Full Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 311
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 302 Post(s)
Liked 175 Times in 97 Posts
OP, you didn't say, but what kind of "racing" are you interested in? I do triathlons and I use a road bike for it (now) but I'm shopping for a triathlon bike. What kind of racing you want to do will influence what kind of bike you want to get.
Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
Even if you get clipless pedals eventually, it is still advisable not to pull up the pedal based on many studies showing you're actually less efficient when doing it and some develop issues from doing it.

Even the racers in Tour de France don't do it. It's only okay to pull up just a little to unload your feet from the pedal using only the hip flexor muscles but not to brute force pull the pedal up with the hamstrings simply because our legs are less efficient at flexion compare to extension.

When tour racers bob up and down on the steep stages, that means they're using their glutes and hamstrings on the downstroke of the pedal. If they also pulled up with the hamstring, they'd burn out their hamstring or even force it to cramp from overuse. Not a good thing. Nevertheless, clipless pedals would still deliver significant improvement despite not brute force pulling up the pedals simply by giving more efficient and secure interface between the feet and the pedals.
I've now done both flat pedals and clipped in. Honestly, I think it's all personal preference, but for me, I'm comfortable with flat pedals. I think it's something everybody should try, and give both a fair chance, but for the majority of people out there I think clipping in is kind of like buying jerseys with sponsor names on it. Mostly for show. But you know, you do you.
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
You know, the bike might not be as much to big for you as it feels right now. Lots of new people get into cycling and think their bike is too big because they can't put their feet on the ground while in the saddle and think that's what bikes are supposed to feel like. It's not. It's really not. What size is the bike? How tall are you? What's your inseam?
I'm curious too. Bike fit is very individualized. I'm 5'4", but I have relatively short legs so I typically ride a 49 or 50cm bike. I've ridden a 54cm bike before, but that's on the very ragged edge of just being too big.
VegasJen is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 12:18 PM
  #22  
terrymorse 
climber has-been
 
terrymorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 4,819

Bikes: Scott Addict R1

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1393 Post(s)
Liked 1,238 Times in 664 Posts
Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
Even if you get clipless pedals eventually, it is still advisable not to pull up the pedal based on many studies showing you're actually less efficient when doing it and some develop issues from doing it..
This "pull up" vs. "don't pull up" on the pedals discussion is somewhat of a simplification. In reality, there is plenty of pushing and pulling in different directions throughout the pedal cycle.

Different muscles are engaging throughout the pedal cycle to make the pedals go in circles, pushing forward on the pedals near the top, pushing down and forward in the first quadrant (0º-90º), pulling back in the next two quadrants (140º-270º), pulling up in the last quadrant (270º-360º).

Here is what the quadriceps and hamstrings are doing throughout the pedal cycle. I've marked the graphs with what the muscles are doing, either flexion (bending) or extension (straightening) a joint.



Roughly, the hamstrings extend (straighten) the hip joint on the down stroke (pushing down on pedals), flex (bend) the knee around the bottom of the stroke (pulling back on pedals).

Also roughly, the quads extend (straighten) the knee on the down stroke (pushing forward on pedals), flex (bend) the hip on the up stroke (pulling up on pedals).
__________________
Ride, Rest, Repeat

terrymorse is online now  
Likes For terrymorse:
Old 08-15-22, 12:39 PM
  #23  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 23,029
Mentioned: 82 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18004 Post(s)
Liked 9,829 Times in 5,573 Posts
I think having a bike that's too large and hasn't seen maintenance in years has something to do with you not being comfortable at speed.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Likes For Seattle Forrest:
Old 08-15-22, 12:54 PM
  #24  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 39,024

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 352 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20338 Post(s)
Liked 9,037 Times in 4,485 Posts
Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
...but for the majority of people out there I think clipping in is kind of like buying jerseys with sponsor names on it. Mostly for show.
Your posting history indicates that you don't know much about much when it comes to cycling. Maybe you should save the aspersions for later.
WhyFi is offline  
Likes For WhyFi:
Old 08-15-22, 01:11 PM
  #25  
zandoval 
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 3,341

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 528 Post(s)
Liked 802 Times in 524 Posts
Fantastic... Runner going to cycling... What a great transition. There certainly are more things in common then differences between the two. You are going to do just FINE!

Originally Posted by C_Myers22 View Post
...My bike is too big for me. Probably made for someone 5 inches taller.
I had an 80s FUJI that was way to big for me. But I was making a transition to ridding back roads and torn up asphalt which was a bit different from plain paved road biking. I was making changes to wider tires, chain wheel and freewheel experiments and many other things. Gravel bikes had not evolved as a specific species yet. I called it my Horse cause I had to jump on and off of it... Ha

Keep ridding. You will soon know just what kind of bike (Bikes) you really need... Happy Happy, Joy Joy...
__________________
No matter where your at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.