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TRB
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, so a quick back story on me. Used to weigh 498lbs had gastric bypass lost 210lbs. Started riding again, friends got into it with me, just upgraded my Specialized HardRock to a 2009 Cervelo RS w/ Bontrager Race X Lite Rims and full Ultegra. Doing more organized rides as well as charity rides. I know nothing really about group riding, bike maintenance, hill climbing, gear shifting, etc...etc...I really am a true NOOB in every sense of the word. So please help me out, don't be negative as I'm eager to learn. Thanks!!

Some of my initial questions...

1. Chain maintenance...How often? What should I do to it? I have White Lighting right now, should I use a towel and clean off the entire chain the apply the White Lighting?

2. Brake maintenance...What should I check? How often? Do I need to adjust them ever?

3. Hill climbing? Now I'm not familiar with this at all, I have just ordered a Garmin Edge 500 so I'll have my cadence readings soon, will that help? I don't know if I should just power up the short hills or get into a steady gear and sit while doing them?

4. Gear shifting, are there any gears I should stay out of? I'm using the Big Ring as much as possible and really don't shift either 1 or 2 gears each way. Is this good?

Those will do for now, I'm sure I can come up with more but these are the main ones that have been on my mind. Thanks in advance for your replies. I'm doing the Jim Calhoun Cancer Ride on the 12th of June and want to be prepared for it. Here are some pics of my ride, I love her, she rides so smooth!!! I could ride forever, yes I did get fitted for my bike by a certified fitter at my LBS.
 

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Congrats on the weight loss and nice bike.

1) Lube it every ride or two. Put on the lube, let set for a few minutes and wipe off the excess. That'll keep the chain from picking up as much rubbish and grit that cause increased chain wear. Every couple of weeks, use a degreaser, I like Simple Green, and clean the chain thoroughly. Replace the chain at least once a year to minimize wear on the cogs and rings.

2) Most brake pads have wear indicators, usually grooves that go about halfway to the pad holder. When the grooves are gone, time for new pads. Also, aluminum rims wear and leave metal shavings embedded in the pads. Green ScotchBrite pads clean the pads nicely, as well as removing brake dust from the rims. Also check periodically to make sure the calipers are centered on the whell when braking.

3) Sitting on hills will increase you're leg strength, standing will increase the power you send to the pedals, but you use 10-15% more energy standing. Sit to train, stand to race your riding partners :D

4) You have 20 gears, use them, use them all. Cadence is a personal thing. Some like to mash, some like to spin. Practice both. Whichever you prefer, the other comes in handy to rest your legs from time to time. If you spin a high cadence, when you legs start to tire or build up lactic acid and burn, you can mash for a bit and get a little recovery, or vice versa. My cadence usually averages in the mid-90s in a race and mid- to low-80s on training rides, but I like to climb in the 70s usually.

But most importantly of all, NEVER EVER FORGET TO HAVE FUN!!! :thumbsup:
 

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still shedding season
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Tim Red Beard said:
So please help me out, don't be negative as I'm eager to learn.
Hassling n00bs is strictly verboten. Have no fear here, but stay out of General. :) Congrats on the awesome weight loss success. New toys are a nice reward for your efforts! :thumbsup:

I'm a little more casual with chain maintenance, every 2-300 miles unless it gets wet (then right away). I wipe down with an old rag, apply Pro Link Gold (one drop to every roller) then wipe again. Best to do it the night before riding so it can soak in and the liquid will evaporate, leaving the oil behind. Wipe down (wrap rag around chain, grab crank and pedal backwards) the next morning and go.

When you're in the big ring, just stay out of the two biggest cogs (on the back wheel) as much as possible. This will make your chain last longer. If you need a lower gear for a hill there's no reason not to use the smaller ring up front, but try to stay out of the two smallest in the back.
 

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Looks like you've gotten answers to your questions. My 2 cents on the gearing is to keep your cadence up. Whatever gear is required to be at a nice 85-95 cadence keeps me happy on the bike, and my knees happy off the bike.

I use the easiest gears on my bike very often when climbing hills. It's better for me to keep my cadence up and let my lungs do their share of the work rather than relying on my leg muscles alone to power me up. When the easiest gears get too hard (cadence slows below 75) I may stand if I feel I can make it over the hill with that boost. Standing requires more energy for me, so I have to judge the hill, otherwise I will suffer when I must sit back down, but the hill isn't over. If standing isn't a good option, sitting back far on the bike seems to help. It's more of a push with your legs feeling, like sitting on the floor and pushing a heavy object with your legs. Staying out of the drops on climbs gives your lungs a little bit of a boost by opening up breathing. The aero advantage the drops provide doesn't matter as much on a slow hill climb. Watch the pros.

Weight is a significant disadvantage on the bike. Great job losing so much weight! If you are at your goal weight, that's wonderful. Congratulations! If not, keep plugging away at it. It makes a huge difference when keeping up with a group of thin and fit cyclists. I speak from experience here. Every 10 pounds I lose is a very noticable speed encrease, with faster post-ride recovery.

Have you talked to your doctor about endurance sports post surgery? Longer rides require proper nutrition and hydration. With the reduced ability to absorb nutrients that you will have from here on out, you may need to compensate in a way beyond what normal cyclists do. Nutrition probably isn't a big deal, since most sport foods don't take up a large amount of space in the tummy, and liquid calories are available (although rarely without sugar). Electrolyte intake may be more challenging for you. I highly recommend non-calorie electrolyte replacements such as Nuun.
 

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TRB
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sebastionmerckx said:
First of all,get rid of those wheels pronto style....Bontragers are known to crack at the rim and otherwise fail on larger riders...Get some nice handbuilts with 36 out back and 32 up front.
Really? The LBS put those on there instead of the stock Cervelo rims, they were an upgrade from what I read and researched online. Do you think I can sell them with ease to offset the cost of new wheels. I mean I am a bigger guy and seem to have had no problems with them yet.

Anyone else agree with replacing the wheels? Thanks, again Noob here, don't need a cracked rim halfway thru my ride on the 12th.
 

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TRB
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Loraura said:
Great job losing so much weight! If you are at your goal weight, that's wonderful. Congratulations! If not, keep plugging away at it. It makes a huge difference when keeping up with a group of thin and fit cyclists.

Have you talked to your doctor about endurance sports post surgery? Longer rides require proper nutrition and hydration. With the reduced ability to absorb nutrients that you will have from here on out, you may need to compensate in a way beyond what normal cyclists do. Nutrition probably isn't a big deal, since most sport foods don't take up a large amount of space in the tummy, and liquid calories are available (although rarely without sugar). Electrolyte intake may be more challenging for you. I highly recommend non-calorie electrolyte replacements such as Nuun.
Thanks! I'm not at my goal weight yet. I have another issue that I have to resolve at the end of the year with my back, however I have been cleared to do as much physical activity as possible. I just had surgery in January for a herniated disc. Goal is to lose more weight and ride as many rides as I can before I have my 2nd surgery so that I'm in the best possible recovery shape.

However as for nutrition and hydration, I'm very educated on the subject espically with my weight loss. I'm 6 yrs post op so I have been on a special diet and supplement program since my surgery, I take a handful of vitamins and various other products everyday throughout the day. Thank you for your concern and attention to that detail...I stay well hydrated on my bike, I take all my pre and during items while doing long rides.

Again Thank you all for your replies I feel very welcomed here and am glad to have found this site. Anymore suggestions please keep them coming.

Also I'm an avid Disc Golfer, is anyone would like to know about that sport, let me know I'm a tournament player and play almost 2-3 times per week.
 

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still shedding season
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Tim Red Beard said:
Do you think I can sell them with ease to offset the cost of new wheels.
Before you go ahead and sell, talk to the LBS you've been working with. Tell them your concerns regarding weight and a long ride, etc. Selling something used (even just barely used) will cost you a lot of depreciation, so be sure it's what you really want to do. I think some of the Trek stuff I have says there's a max weight limit of right in your neighborhood, but that's more of an after-the-fact thing than anything else. Obviously you want to avoid anything from happening in the first place though.

With any wheels it's best to ride "light", meaning that you watch out for and steer around stuff in the road, pot holes, etc. If you have to hit something, get out of the saddle and coast (just stand up, basically) as it happens.

I wouldn't say these are ideal given the situation, but OTOH you might not have a problem with them either. Standard recommendation for bomb-proof good wheels at a decent price would be Shimano Ultegra hubs with something like Mavic Open Pro rims, with 36 spokes in a "3x" (three-cross, not radial) pattern. They're heavier but not bad and they're very durable. I commute on 32-spoke versions of these and our city roads are pretty awful!
 

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Tim Red Beard said:
Really? The LBS put those on there instead of the stock Cervelo rims, they were an upgrade from what I read and researched online. Do you think I can sell them with ease to offset the cost of new wheels. I mean I am a bigger guy and seem to have had no problems with them yet.

Anyone else agree with replacing the wheels? Thanks, again Noob here, don't need a cracked rim halfway thru my ride on the 12th.
I think you could sell them for 250 or so on Ebay but talk to the LBS and see if they would be willing to give you a trade in on handbuilts if they do those or if they would give you a credit or some money back on those.To be very honest with you, I'm 195 pounds and I would NEVER ride any Bontrager wheels ever again after the failures I've had and friends of mine have had. You have lost a whole **** ton of weight and I commend you on that :thumbsup: but Bontrager wheels are crap imo and your weight is in the upper end of what they even say they can handle. I know several builders that I would be more than happy to recommend to you if you want to pm me or you could just go to bicycle wheel warehouse and get you a set. 36/32 Ultegra hubs laced to Open Pros would be great and would be a shade under 300.Again, wonderful job on the weight loss:D
 

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I'd talk to the folks at your LBS before getting drastic with buying/selling wheels unless you have plenty of disposable income. As someone said, depreciation, even on slightly used wheels, will surprise you. I wouldn't go there fresh out of the noob gate with a brand new bike unless I had to. If the folks at the LBS share the concern, then think about it, but get several opinions. I had a set of Bontragers on a Lemond I rode for 3 years. I'm 220 lbs and never had an issue with them. My son's riding that bike and those wheels now.
 
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