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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Basically I have a million and one questions to ask. I don't know anyone else who rides and I just need alot of help. I am a 26 yrs old female, 5'7" abound 180lbs, I know, I'm overweight but that's not the point. I just bought a 2006 Trek 1000. I'm not a stranger to fitness, but while I was in the military I blew out my left knee and refuse to ever run again and am in search of a new cardio workout. I just need advice on anything and everything. My main riding surface is going to be country roads, the chip and seal type surface. What type of upgrades might I be wanting, since vibration is going to a problem. Also what is a good saddle that I should upgrade, because I can tell you already mine is pretty uncomfortable. If you want you are welcome to email me any tips as well, since I am asking for alot. [email protected] Thanks!!!
 

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Bicycling magazine's "Complete Book of Road Cycling Skills" is probably a good place to start. Bicycling magazine itself is pretty good for beginning riders.

Saddles have different shapes to suit different shaped people, so what works for one person won't always work for another. The shop you got your bike from should have taken some time to fit your bike to you, setting the saddle height, fore-aft adjustment, and stem length and height. Many shops will help you out with picking a saddle that works for you as well.

Even with the perfect saddle, starting riding is going to be a little bit uncomfortable. You'll be using muscles that you didn't use before in running, and sitting on a pretty small saddle. I was a very fit runner when I started serious cycling. My first ride was all of 6 miles and I was beat at the end of it. It wasn't long beforeI was doing 50 mile rides though.

Running your tires at a slightly lower pressure (like 100 instead of 110 psi) will help a bit on the chip seal. I mostly just ride loose and ignore it.
 

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Game on, b*tches!
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Give it some time.

As the other poster said, getting adjusted to cycling takes a while. Assuming the shop did the right thing and got you set up properly, time will iron things out. If you are riding primarily on loose tar and chip crap, you might want to 1) lower the air pressure (as was suggested)
2) get slightly fatter tires, such as 700x25 or fatter if the frame handle them. Confidence comes with time. Have fun!
 

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I 2nd the wider tires for those kinds of roads. 25 or 28mm width may fit. Check with your LBS, (local bike shop) to see if theyll fit. You might want to get some cushy, padded tape as well. My favorite is Sampson Fat Wrap, but there are many, many other good ones.
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Are

jessica47201 said:
Basically I have a million and one questions to ask. I don't know anyone else who rides and I just need alot of help. I am a 26 yrs old female, 5'7" abound 180lbs, I know, I'm overweight but that's not the point. I just bought a 2006 Trek 1000. I'm not a stranger to fitness, but while I was in the military I blew out my left knee and refuse to ever run again and am in search of a new cardio workout. I just need advice on anything and everything. My main riding surface is going to be country roads, the chip and seal type surface. What type of upgrades might I be wanting, since vibration is going to a problem. Also what is a good saddle that I should upgrade, because I can tell you already mine is pretty uncomfortable. If you want you are welcome to email me any tips as well, since I am asking for alot. [email protected] Thanks!!!

you wearing the padded bicycling shorts, they make A WORLD of difference in regards to saddle comfort....It will take your body a while to get adjusted to it though...the saddle that is.
 

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Growing Older, Not Up
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As others have said give it time. Run a little lower psi and/or wider tires. Don't be afraid to use the middle of the lane when you can. Also, spend about $30 and get some good gel gloves, specialized and pearl izumi make some good ones.

Over time what seems bumpy now won't seem that bad. The body will adapt over time. I've only been at it a year but cycling seems to reward you more quickly than other sports (such as running) IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of your advice! One for question?

jessica47201 said:
Basically I have a million and one questions to ask. I don't know anyone else who rides and I just need alot of help. I am a 26 yrs old female, 5'7" abound 180lbs, I know, I'm overweight but that's not the point. I just bought a 2006 Trek 1000. I'm not a stranger to fitness, but while I was in the military I blew out my left knee and refuse to ever run again and am in search of a new cardio workout. I just need advice on anything and everything. My main riding surface is going to be country roads, the chip and seal type surface. What type of upgrades might I be wanting, since vibration is going to a problem. Also what is a good saddle that I should upgrade, because I can tell you already mine is pretty uncomfortable. If you want you are welcome to email me any tips as well, since I am asking for alot. [email protected] Thanks!!!
I would just like to thank everyone for all of the advice that was given. I'll definatley be coming back here for more advice in the future. I'm sure I will have new question as I start riding more and more. My next question is, I have never used clip petal before. Should I consider then or just stick with the stock petals and worry about the clip ones later? Thanks!!!
 

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Good shoes and pedals are about #2 on the list....

First, be comfortable. Good bike shorts, bike gloves and any synthetic shirt (NOT COTTON! It gets sweat soaked and clammy-- try mountain bike cut jerseys- they look less bikeracer, but have the handy rear pocket(s)

As for fancy gel saddles, padded tape, seatpost gizmos- just ride. When your legs get stronger (happens quickly) they will take care of the bumps... it's the legs that count, so long as the saddle fits.

The biggest thing you can do for performance is probably good and comfy bike shoes and good pedals. You are going to be spinning hundreds of thousands of revolutions- may as well have comfy feet- they transmit all of the power to the bike, after all.

Next thing to mess with is tires and wheels... which you don't need to worry about.

Ride a lot, ride farther than you think you can. It won't take long before you think nothing of a 50 mile ride- if you work for it. 100 miles- you can do that by the middle of July. Go fr it. Just keep the pedals turning- that's all it takes.

'Met
 

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If you have a bad knee the most important thing is your seat height, others have mentioned that already but so many people don't realize what the proper seat height is and end up stuffing their knees as a result.

As a quick guide firstly you should not be able to touch the ground with both feet while sitting on the seat, if you can the seat is definitely too low. The next thing to try is to sit on your bike near something that can help you balance like a fence or the back of a couch, at the bottom of a pedal stroke your leg should be almost fully extended so it is not quite locked. The position should feel high and it isn't unusual to think that it is too high but it isn't it is just right.

Now hopefully your local bike store (LBS) did a proper fitting with you where they sat you on your bike on a trainer and sized everything to suit you so you don't need to worry, if they didn't then I would probably find a new LBS for any future purchases as it is pretty irresponsible to sell a bike without a fitting, especially a road bike.
 

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I also recommend finding a club or group of riders near you to ride with, at least on occasion. The internet is great, but having some knowledgeable real-time friends to learn maintenance tips from, get gear recommendations and just socialize with is probably better for beginners. Have fun and good luck!
 
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