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Return rider looking for advice

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Road Cycling ďIt 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.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Return rider looking for advice

Old 07-28-22, 10:31 AM
  #1  
jema123
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Return rider looking for advice

I originally posted a thread asking for help to buy a new bike. 2 years later I brought my new bike. During the pandemic a friend let me their hybrid since bikes were impossible to buy at that time. I don't know if I brought the right bike but I will find out.

I brought the Trek Domane AL5. It took a while to get it in stock but I was set on a 105 instead of the Triaga which I could have easily gotten. Plunked down 2299 after taxes.
I brought entry pedals rather than removing my old look pedals because this is a new bike and it looked trashy. But I have my old shoes and the new cleats come with the shimano pedals.

I pick it up today from the bike store and have a fitting appointment. (I have come to realize I should have fitted it and test road before I brought it but oh well.

Before I spend another fortune to buy all the accessories and look like a total fred, I want to just get was is necessary to go for some rides on the weekend. I have helmet, gloves, sunglass to use for now. I have the mini pump for the air cartridges, is that still the thing?

What I need and would love some suggestions.
Good riding sunglasseIs
Best bag for tools (Wedge) My old one could use an upgrade.
Phone holder - I'd like a bike computer, have an old cateye with wires but for now (till I get more money) I'd use iphone stuff and then debate that issue later.
Water cage (carbon or alluminum) or hydration pack?

Riding log examples, I can make my own or buy something.

I'm a return rider (40s) and have a club I want to rejoin as soon as I can ride 20 miles to start. My goal is to train for a century I did 20 years ago. I have no desire to race or be so light to go as fast as possible. I want it for exercise and centuries/endurance rides.

Any information or advice is appreciated. Thanks
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Old 07-28-22, 10:58 AM
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Take your time breaking your butt in. Start off with 30-45 minute rides. Join the club asap.
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Old 07-28-22, 11:00 AM
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All, I may have to buy a new seat. This one is hard but has a slit in the middle. Yes, I was going to start 30 minute rides and gradually move up to 1 hour a day. 5 days a week, Two days off for rest.
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Old 07-28-22, 11:02 AM
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The Domane seems like a great bike for the type of riding you appear to plan on doing and your goals, so I think that'll work out fine, as long as the bike shop got you the right size, which I'll assume they did.

A minipump that doubles as a CO2 inflator is still a good item. I tend to just use the pump since I'm not racing so the speed of CO2 isn't needed. You'll want a patch kit and/or proper size spare tube, along with tire levers to go with that. I'm guessing you have those in your old bag.

I like Lezyne saddle bags, they make several styles and sizes to match what you want to carry and aesthetic preference. I use the L-Caddy on my road bike. Lezyne Saddle Bags

I use a Garmin compuer now, but for quite a long time I used my phone with a Quad Lock case setup. It worked great, was very easy to use and secure. Quadlock Cases

I'd definitely go with bottle cages over a hydration pack. Other won't make fun of you and it keeps the weight low on the bike rather than on your back. Lots of good cages, look at somewhere like this and see what's highly rated. Competitive Cyclist Cages

I like Camelback Podium water bottles, specifically use the 21oz Chill mostly. Camelback Bottles

To log your rides, you can't really go wrong with Strava. Download the app on your phone. The free version is fine for tracking your rides.

As you start adding distance to your rides, you'll probably want to look into some bib shorts to help keep you comfortable in the saddle for longer. That's a very personal thing and very body dependent so tough to give a suggestion.

Just enjoy the ride and don't worry too much about much beyond just getting out on the new bike.
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Old 07-28-22, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jema123 View Post
All, I may have to buy a new seat. This one is hard but has a slit in the middle. Yes, I was going to start 30 minute rides and gradually move up to 1 hour a day. 5 days a week, Two days off for rest.
Saddles are a tough one, and very individual with so many different variations out there. As you get to longer rides though, a firm saddle is going to be better than too padded which are ok for shorter distances but not so great for longer endurance rides. I'd suggest talking with the bike shop when you get your bike fit done. Getting things properly adjusted will go a long way to comfort, but you may also need a different saddle width to fit you. Ask to test out some options and see if they'll let you at least do a short ride on a few to see what feels best. Once they've got you setup with your sit bones supporting your weight, it will probably still take a little while for your body to get used to that and to feel more comfortable for longer.
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Old 07-28-22, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jema123 View Post
I want to just get was is necessary to go for some rides on the weekend.
Water bottles and bottle cages. Note that is plural as in more than one. In this heat a 24 fl. oz. bottle lasts me less than 50 minutes. I take a few gulps every 10 minutes during the first hour or so of riding. After an hour I sometimes will go 15 minutes before taking a good swig.

When temps near 100įF or the real feel is way way up in the triple digits, then a bottle might only last 30 minutes.

I use to tell beginner's to figure one bottle for every 10 miles or 1 hour of trip distance. Err on the side of more bottles till you know for certain.

Last edited by Iride01; 07-28-22 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 07-28-22, 03:24 PM
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Like NumbersGuy said, get some good bib shorts. They don't have to be expensive. I like The Black Bibs
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Old 07-28-22, 07:42 PM
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I consider a decent headlight and tail light pretty important, even if you're not riding at night. Anything that makes you more visible to drivers is worth at least a moderate investment.

I like narrow Lizard Skins seat bags. Link here. I don't own one, but I've had my eye on them and will buy one the next time I need a replacement (this could be years, as it's not the kind of thing that wears out quickly). Another kind I like and use regularly is the one from Ortlieb with a roll-up closure like a dry bag, and a mount that stays attached to your seat rails while the bag itself can easily be removed. Link here.

While seats are very much a matter of personal taste, I've had really good experiences with Fabric. They're my favorite, and I've tried a lot of different seats. Link.

For sunglasses, get whatever fits your face and your style preference. Beyond that, it doesn't matter much what you wear. Take your helmet when trying them on--usually the two will work well together, but it's good to make sure before you buy. Just a few things to consider: If they sit low on your brow or have a thick frame across the top, you might find they hinder your view, depending on how low/forward your riding position is. And if you get a computer (like Garmin, Wahoo, etc.) or mount your phone on the bike, you might want to avoid polarized lenses. Some combinations of polarized lens and display screen are incompatible, meaning the display becomes invisible.

I'll second the recommendation for Quad Lock to attach a smart phone to your handlebar. Link. They're not cheap, but they work really well.

Also a second recommendation for Camelbak Chill insulated water bottles. They keep your water cool much longer than standard bottles.

Padded cycling shorts are a game changer for rides longer than 10 or 15 miles. Even better are bib shorts.

There are a thousand water bottle cage designs, and nearly all of them work great. You definitely don't need carbon fiber. Get the one that you think looks cool. My favorite, because they always make me smile, are the various birds and animals from Portland Design Works. (I have the Owl, but the others are cool too.) Link to PDW.

Last edited by Broctoon; 07-28-22 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 07-28-22, 09:42 PM
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I always like to carry a 4 and 5mm hex/allen keys, for tightening and also if you have to make seat adjustments while out.
I always carry either a gel or a small pouch of fruit bites (Motts), it not that rare for me to need some energy on a ride.
Ride On
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Old 08-24-22, 12:44 PM
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Thanks for the advice I have gotten. I have been out on several rides getting used to my new bike but my only comment or complaint is why is it so damn slow. I said when looking that speed wasn't an issue but I have it on the highest gear and am spinning so much as other riders are flying by me. Is it me? Is it the bike? The big ring on this bike feels like the small ring on my previous bike. Although I could barely get up a hill with the the old bike. I hope to do more longer rides and hills and see if the comfort for more distance will outweigh the feeling of going so slow.

I looked up the comparison between my bike and the Emonda and they both had max speed at 39mph. Does it mean I have to do more WORK pedaling? I mean the other bike hardly had to pedal to be zooming down the road.
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Old 08-24-22, 01:23 PM
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I was also a return rider, coming back after about 8 years off the bike at the age of 40. That was 2 years ago now, and I can tell you that the speed is taking FOREVER to come back, and the weight is taking even longer to go away. If, like me, you're considerably heavier than you were in your 20's, that isn't helping your speed either. I guess patience is key for us middle aged come-back riders.

Originally Posted by jema123 View Post
I looked up the comparison between my bike and the Emonda and they both had max speed at 39mph.
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Old 08-24-22, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jema123 View Post
Thanks for the advice I have gotten. I have been out on several rides getting used to my new bike but my only comment or complaint is why is it so damn slow. I said when looking that speed wasn't an issue but I have it on the highest gear and am spinning so much as other riders are flying by me. Is it me? Is it the bike? The big ring on this bike feels like the small ring on my previous bike. Although I could barely get up a hill with the the old bike. I hope to do more longer rides and hills and see if the comfort for more distance will outweigh the feeling of going so slow.

I looked up the comparison between my bike and the Emonda and they both had max speed at 39mph. Does it mean I have to do more WORK pedaling? I mean the other bike hardly had to pedal to be zooming down the road.
You are spinning your highest gear and people are flying by? Is this on flat ground? What is the big ring, 50? What is the smallest cog in the back?

Never heard of a max speed on a bike.
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Old 08-24-22, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
You are spinning your highest gear and people are flying by? Is this on flat ground? What is the big ring, 50? What is the smallest cog in the back?

Never heard of a max speed on a bike.
https://99spokes.com/compare?bikes=t...nda-alr-5-2021

I donít know if itís a max speed but this was where I got that. When I say spinning I donít mean like spin class but Itís a lot of reps for me to keep up with others not not pedaling as much.

Iím on road very flat. Like zero incline. It is 50/34

Last edited by jema123; 08-24-22 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 08-24-22, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
You are spinning your highest gear and people are flying by? Is this on flat ground? What is the big ring, 50? What is the smallest cog in the back?

Never heard of a max speed on a bike.
My Domane SL5 is 50/34 front and 11/34 rear. I understand the SL5 and AL5 have the same drive train. I have yet to spin out at 50/11. I've also never hit 39mph on the flats.

If the OP is spinning out in 50/11 on the flats, then he is much more manly than I am (I know I present a fairly low bar). I could see spinning out pretty easily in 50/34 on the flats.
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Old 08-24-22, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
My Domane SL5 is 50/34 front and 11/34 rear. I understand the SL5 and AL5 have the same drive train. I have yet to spin out at 50/11. I've also never hit 39mph on the flats.

If the OP is spinning out in 50/11 on the flats, then he is much more manly than I am (I know I present a fairly low bar). I could see spinning out pretty easily in 50/34 on the flats.
Iím actually a woman. Spinning was a bad choice of word. I mean Iím doing a lot more pedaling than previously to try and maintain a speed that use to require very little rotations. Iím really not at a fast speed either.
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Old 08-24-22, 04:32 PM
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Ride the saddle for at least a few weeks. For example, 3 weeks, 10 or 12 rides. Then see how it feels. Any saddle will be "terrible" at first! Your butt is just not used to sitting on a saddle for more than a few minutes at first.
At the end of the testing, decide where it's still annoying. I disliked the edge of the saddle on my inner thigh. I got a more rounded side profile instead of a flat one, and that was better for me.

~~~
I love stainless steel bottle cages. Only a few grams heavier than carbon cages. They don't mark up bottles with black marks like aluminum cages, and grip way better due to their springy steel. Indestructible: I can slam the bottle back in without looking down. I found carbon cages to be a bit harder to pull out and return bottles, and they are probably a little more fragile. Some grip very well, others just ok.

Last edited by rm -rf; 08-24-22 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 08-24-22, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jema123 View Post
Thanks for the advice I have gotten. I have been out on several rides getting used to my new bike but my only comment or complaint is why is it so damn slow. I said when looking that speed wasn't an issue but I have it on the highest gear and am spinning so much as other riders are flying by me. Is it me? Is it the bike? The big ring on this bike feels like the small ring on my previous bike. Although I could barely get up a hill with the the old bike. I hope to do more longer rides and hills and see if the comfort for more distance will outweigh the feeling of going so slow.

I looked up the comparison between my bike and the Emonda and they both had max speed at 39mph. Does it mean I have to do more WORK pedaling? I mean the other bike hardly had to pedal to be zooming down the road.
EDIT--I posted this without seeing your post just above. It's still useful info, perhaps not directly relevant to your original question. The Domane should be less work than just about any older bike you were riding.

Your bike is 50/34 front and 11-speed 11-34 rear, from the Trek website. A typical "weekend" cyclist setup, a very good drivetrain for most cyclists.
You have plenty of high speed gearing with the 50-11 top gear. I'm not sure why you are feeling like you are spinning out at low speeds.
The 1:1 lowest gear, 34 front and 34 rear, is really helpful on steep grades.

~~~
Road cyclists do learn to "spin"--moderate pedal force at fast rpms. Instead of "mash"--a lot of pedal force at slower rpms.
To check your cadence: Away from traffic and other distractions: watch a timer, count the right foot revolutions for 20 seconds, then multiply by 3. Are you in the 50-60 range, or the 70-90 range?

For me: easy pedaling, just cruising along using very light pedal pressure, I might be doing the low 70s range. I'm not working hard at all.
sustained flat roads at a fast-for-me speed: 85-95, light to moderate pedal pressure.
all-out sprints: 95-110! standing up, pulling up on the drop bar while pedaling to use all my muscles. A 15-25 second effort.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here's speed ranges for sustained effort riding for all the gear combinations. From Mike Sherman's Gear Calculator.

The Domane 50-34 and 11-34.
34 chainring in red, and it's good for speeds up to about 17 mph (which avoids the 34 front and 12 or 11 rear cross chaining.) Climbing steep hills at 3-5 mph, cadences drop way below this range, not shown.
50 chainring in black. Good coverage from about 12 mph up to 20 mph, then at faster speeds, each shift is a large jump to the next range.
(Most riders can't hold 30 mph in their top gear for very long at all, so this range is fine. And even allows some easy pedaling on fast downhills.)



See the 20 mph mark: 50 chainring and 17 cog, 4th from the smallest cog. It's in the middle of it's speed range, so around 90 rpm.
~~~

For comparison, 11-28 cassette instead of 11-34:
The red 34 chainring is good for around 14-20 mph with these different cog tooth counts.
The black 50 chainring has closer shifts at the 18-24 mph range, useful for fast group rides. If I'm trying to hang on a fast group at 22 mph, I keep shifting one gear easier--no: it's too easy, then back to the harder gear: too much pedal force -- I want closer shifts for an exact cadence.

The downside to this setup is that it's about two shifts harder at the lowest gear on steep hills, compared to the 11-34 cassette. Most riders need the hill climbing assist over the 20+ mph spinning!


Last edited by rm -rf; 08-24-22 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 08-24-22, 04:55 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by jema123 View Post
https://99spokes.com/compare?bikes=t...nda-alr-5-2021

I donít know if itís a max speed but this was where I got that. When I say spinning I donít mean like spin class but Itís a lot of reps for me to keep up with others not not pedaling as much.

Iím on road very flat. Like zero incline. It is 50/34
This just means that the two bikes have the same gearing and wheel size. *If* you could turn the pedals over at 100rpm in its largest gear, you would go 39mph on flat ground. But very few riders are strong enough to do so.
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Old 08-24-22, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jema123 View Post
Iím actually a woman. Spinning was a bad choice of word. I mean Iím doing a lot more pedaling than previously to try and maintain a speed that use to require very little rotations. Iím really not at a fast speed either.
It's hard for us to figure out what's happening. You're saying you have to work harder than on your old bike to go the same speed? Do you know what your cadence is?
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Old 08-24-22, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jema123 View Post
Iím actually a woman. Spinning was a bad choice of word. I mean Iím doing a lot more pedaling than previously to try and maintain a speed that use to require very little rotations. Iím really not at a fast speed either.
Sorry about that!

Iím not sure what you are experiencing, but it may simply be that you just need to get used to the compact drivetrain. If you are coming from a bike with a different drivetrain, it may just take some time to learn the gearing.

I havenít found the new Domanes to be slow bikes. I donít have any issues keeping up with other bikes unless the rider is younger and stronger.
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Old 08-24-22, 09:49 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by jema123 View Post
Thanks for the advice I have gotten. I have been out on several rides getting used to my new bike but my only comment or complaint is why is it so damn slow. I said when looking that speed wasn't an issue but I have it on the highest gear and am spinning so much as other riders are flying by me. Is it me? Is it the bike? The big ring on this bike feels like the small ring on my previous bike. Although I could barely get up a hill with the the old bike. I hope to do more longer rides and hills and see if the comfort for more distance will outweigh the feeling of going so slow.

I looked up the comparison between my bike and the Emonda and they both had max speed at 39mph. Does it mean I have to do more WORK pedaling? I mean the other bike hardly had to pedal to be zooming down the road.
Originally Posted by jema123 View Post
https://99spokes.com/compare?bikes=t...nda-alr-5-2021
I don’t know if it’s a max speed but this was where I got that. When I say spinning I don’t mean like spin class but It’s a lot of reps for me to keep up with others not not pedaling as much.
I’m on road very flat. Like zero incline. It is 50/34
Originally Posted by jema123 View Post
I’m actually a woman. Spinning was a bad choice of word. I mean I’m doing a lot more pedaling than previously to try and maintain a speed that use to require very little rotations. I’m really not at a fast speed either.
Hi, I think you've caught most of us by surprise. We're trying to figure out what you mean. I'm getting that we're talking over your head about stuff which you don't seem to have a solid understanding. It's not knocking you, discussions work best when we all know what the 'baseline' of understanding is...
rm-rf's post trys to get some of these basics covered - are you understanding that ?
The range of gears on a bike like the Domane & Emonda are meant to allow the 'motor'/you to utilize your strength and ability to produce the power with 'gear' combinations which can work best for you. But YOU have to pick the gear combo which will work the best for you, at any pace, terrain, or conditions of the ride.
Bikes all require the 'motor'/you to provide the power to get up to speed - there's some small variance from a 'cheap' bike to a 'expensive' bike due to 'better stuff' - it's mostly up to the motor to do the work, provide the power.
Sure, stuff like difference between a big, heavy tire with lugs, vs a lighter, easier rolling tire will make a big difference, but there's not much else.
You say your old bike seemed 'faster' than the new bike - Does that mean 'easier' to pedal up to any certain speed?
It might be good to tell what your 'old' bike was, and anything you might know about it's 'gearing'. That'll help get the conversation in some relative space/framework.
Comparing to others you might ride with is only valuable in understanding the differences between you and them, and learning to better use the attributes you have.
at the moment we're all guessing your current level, where you are, and what you're expectations are.
You might give us some idea what bike you're coming from, what kind of riding you are doing or wish to do, and what you're expectations are - if you want ideas and comments which might be more focused for you.
Ride On
Yuri

Last edited by cyclezen; 08-24-22 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 08-25-22, 01:21 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I was also a return rider, coming back after about 8 years off the bike at the age of 40. That was 2 years ago now, and I can tell you that the speed is taking FOREVER to come back, and the weight is taking even longer to go away. If, like me, you're considerably heavier than you were in your 20's, that isn't helping your speed either. I guess patience is key for us middle aged come-back riders.


Yep, I'm thinking a lot of it has to do with me.
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Old 08-25-22, 01:24 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Ride the saddle for at least a few weeks. For example, 3 weeks, 10 or 12 rides. Then see how it feels. Any saddle will be "terrible" at first! Your butt is just not used to sitting on a saddle for more than a few minutes at first.
At the end of the testing, decide where it's still annoying. I disliked the edge of the saddle on my inner thigh. I got a more rounded side profile instead of a flat one, and that was better for me.

~~~
I love stainless steel bottle cages. Only a few grams heavier than carbon cages. They don't mark up bottles with black marks like aluminum cages, and grip way better due to their springy steel. Indestructible: I can slam the bottle back in without looking down. I found carbon cages to be a bit harder to pull out and return bottles, and they are probably a little more fragile. Some grip very well, others just ok.
I've been out about 6 times since I got the bike. My butt does hurt when I get off for a short bit but it's not bad. The seat is pretty cool. There is a slit in the middle so...well ya know. But I'm not having an issue with it. I don't think I need a big cushion. Of course I'm wearing padded shorts. I brought the plastic cages. The carbon cages were just way to expensive for it's purpose.
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Old 08-25-22, 01:36 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
EDIT--I posted this without seeing your post just above. It's still useful info, perhaps not directly relevant to your original question. The Domane should be less work than just about any older bike you were riding.

Your bike is 50/34 front and 11-speed 11-34 rear, from the Trek website. A typical "weekend" cyclist setup, a very good drivetrain for most cyclists.
You have plenty of high speed gearing with the 50-11 top gear. I'm not sure why you are feeling like you are spinning out at low speeds.
The 1:1 lowest gear, 34 front and 34 rear, is really helpful on steep grades.

~~~
Road cyclists do learn to "spin"--moderate pedal force at fast rpms. Instead of "mash"--a lot of pedal force at slower rpms.
To check your cadence: Away from traffic and other distractions: watch a timer, count the right foot revolutions for 20 seconds, then multiply by 3. Are you in the 50-60 range, or the 70-90 range?

For me: easy pedaling, just cruising along using very light pedal pressure, I might be doing the low 70s range. I'm not working hard at all.
sustained flat roads at a fast-for-me speed: 85-95, light to moderate pedal pressure.
all-out sprints: 95-110! standing up, pulling up on the drop bar while pedaling to use all my muscles. A 15-25 second effort.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here's speed ranges for sustained effort riding for all the gear combinations. From Mike Sherman's Gear Calculator.

The Domane 50-34 and 11-34.
34 chainring in red, and it's good for speeds up to about 17 mph (which avoids the 34 front and 12 or 11 rear cross chaining.) Climbing steep hills at 3-5 mph, cadences drop way below this range, not shown.
50 chainring in black. Good coverage from about 12 mph up to 20 mph, then at faster speeds, each shift is a large jump to the next range.
(Most riders can't hold 30 mph in their top gear for very long at all, so this range is fine. And even allows some easy pedaling on fast downhills.)



See the 20 mph mark: 50 chainring and 17 cog, 4th from the smallest cog. It's in the middle of it's speed range, so around 90 rpm.
~~~

For comparison, 11-28 cassette instead of 11-34:
The red 34 chainring is good for around 14-20 mph with these different cog tooth counts.
The black 50 chainring has closer shifts at the 18-24 mph range, useful for fast group rides. If I'm trying to hang on a fast group at 22 mph, I keep shifting one gear easier--no: it's too easy, then back to the harder gear: too much pedal force -- I want closer shifts for an exact cadence.

The downside to this setup is that it's about two shifts harder at the lowest gear on steep hills, compared to the 11-34 cassette. Most riders need the hill climbing assist over the 20+ mph spinning!

This is amazing stuff. A bit over my head but the key word is cadence. I'm doing a lot of revolutions as I ride trying to go faster, which might explain why after my last ride my entire leg cramped up and I wasn't moving during my other workouts much. I did over do it trying to go faster and the slow moving was probably due to lack of fitness. I did not reach 39mph but I over did it. I am going to hit a longer ride and hit some incline this weekend and see how it goes. My old bike has a wired cateye that does measure cadence, but I wasn't putting that on my new bike. I just use Strava from my phone.
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Old 08-25-22, 01:37 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
It's hard for us to figure out what's happening. You're saying you have to work harder than on your old bike to go the same speed? Do you know what your cadence is?
This is the key here. I am learning more about it. Reading up, and I think a lot makes sense after I read more about it.
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