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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just took my new bike out for a spin. Didn't go far, maybe 2k. It was more of a trial run to see how quick I can get used to clipless pedals. That doesn't mean I'm not really tired though. I haven't had much exercise the last 6 or so years, and I've been putting on weight recently. I'm hoping to get rid of a few pounds and get in decent shape so I can hit the weights in a month (move back to school). I'm going to wait until Friday or so to go for my first long ride because I don't want to have to work with sore legs.

The bike seems to run great (it's my first road bike) but the roads around here are pretty bad, so I'm going to have to get used to dodging and hitting potholes properly.

I didn't fall :cool: . Not that there isn't plenty of time for that later haha. I came close a couple of times, but luckily the cleats snap off just in time if I panic enough.

I noticed I get to a pretty comfortable pace at about 25km/h, but at that point I find myself in a pretty high gear. If I were to get any better, I would be maxing out the 9 speeds. Maybe I'm totally off on how the gears are supposed to work? I remember reading that you shouldn't really have to switch the front gear except for extreme circumstances, like reaching top speeds or taking on tough hills.

It's a 2009 Devinci Silverstone SL2 btw.
 

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mmMike said:
Just took my new bike out for a spin. Didn't go far, maybe 2k. It was more of a trial run to see how quick I can get used to clipless pedals. That doesn't mean I'm not really tired though. I haven't had much exercise the last 6 or so years, and I've been putting on weight recently. I'm hoping to get rid of a few pounds and get in decent shape so I can hit the weights in a month (move back to school). I'm going to wait until Friday or so to go for my first long ride because I don't want to have to work with sore legs.

The bike seems to run great (it's my first road bike) but the roads around here are pretty bad, so I'm going to have to get used to dodging and hitting potholes properly.

I didn't fall :cool: . Not that there isn't plenty of time for that later haha. I came close a couple of times, but luckily the cleats snap off just in time if I panic enough.

I noticed I get to a pretty comfortable pace at about 25km/h, but at that point I find myself in a pretty high gear. If I were to get any better, I would be maxing out the 9 speeds. Maybe I'm totally off on how the gears are supposed to work? I remember reading that you shouldn't really have to switch the front gear except for extreme circumstances, like reaching top speeds or taking on tough hills.

It's a 2009 Devinci Silverstone SL2 btw.
Is this your bike? http://www.devinci.com/archive/2009/route/silverstonesl2.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup. Except it has Shimano R540 pedals, and a different rear wheel. I'm not sure why the original owner decided to upgrade it. I have the original as well.
 

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Cadence

mmMike said:
I noticed I get to a pretty comfortable pace at about 25km/h, but at that point I find myself in a pretty high gear. If I were to get any better, I would be maxing out the 9 speeds.
At 25 km/hr, you should be in a pretty low gear, nowwhere near maxing out your gears. As a beginner, try to work up to pedaling at 80 rpm, and then push toward 90 rpm with more experience. Your gears will be maxed out when you're going more like 50 km/hr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kerry Irons said:
At 25 km/hr, you should be in a pretty low gear, nowwhere near maxing out your gears. As a beginner, try to work up to pedaling at 80 rpm, and then push toward 90 rpm with more experience. Your gears will be maxed out when you're going more like 50 km/hr.
Ok that's what I figured. I'm not really sure how to describe what gear I'm in so I'll just use ratios. This is what I read, I'm not sure if it's correct though. You should do most of your riding in your 2nd front gear right? That shouldn't change unless you're climbing or going really fast. When I'm at 25km/h I'm in gear 2:7 (front:back, or left:right) I think. I have no way of measuring rpm, since I'm using the computer that came with the bike. It seems like I have to pedal really fast to get into a lower gear at that speed though, almost to the point where my legs don't go that fast. That's probably just cause I'm a beginner I guess.
 

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Kerry gives good advice.
If you can push even 70 to 80 rpm you are not going to run out of gears. The gears are designed so you can use rpm's for a smooth cadence.
You should do some forum searches for "beginning riders information, etc." for tips on what to and not do.
The more often you ride the more and quicker your body will adapt to the positions and exertion.
Don't ride once a week and on that ride try to do 30+ miles when you've barely ridden at all. It will not be a pleasant experience and if that is all you do it will never be a pleasant experience. Try to ride a bit every day or every other day. Stretch before you ride and once you've cooled down, after the ride as well.
Work up to it and it will be a better experience.

Pretty nice bike...good luck and enjoy.
 

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A quick and easy way to measure cadence is to count the pedal strokes, of one leg, during a 10 second period and multiply the number of strokes by 6...ie...10 pedal strokes in 10 seconds = 60 rpm. You don't need a computer, just a wrist watch.

Most riders will tell the gear they are in using the number of teeth on the gear of the rear cassette and the front chain ring. Many/most riders know how many teeth are on the gears of their cassette and the chain rings. You can easily find the number stamped on the chain ring...ie...26/36/50 for the innermost/granny, middle and outer chain rings. Rear cassettes may be 12-25...ie...12,13,14,15,17,19,21,23,25...for a 9 speed cassette. If you can't see the number stamped on the gears just count them and make a note of it...then if you say you are in your 36/17 you are telling everyone you are in the middle chain ring or the 36 tooth ring and the 17 tooth cassette gear and at Xrpm's we have some sort of an idea of what is going on.
 

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Kai Winters said:
Kerry gives good advice.
If you can push even 70 to 80 rpm you are not going to run out of gears. The gears are designed so you can use rpm's for a smooth cadence.
You should do some forum searches for "beginning riders information, etc." for tips on what to and not do.
The more often you ride the more and quicker your body will adapt to the positions and exertion.
Don't ride once a week and on that ride try to do 30+ miles when you've barely ridden at all. It will not be a pleasant experience and if that is all you do it will never be a pleasant experience. Try to ride a bit every day or every other day. Stretch before you ride and once you've cooled down, after the ride as well.
Work up to it and it will be a better experience.

Pretty nice bike...good luck and enjoy.
+1 on all points. When I first started cycling (long, long ago) I had preconceived notions that staying in a certain gear was good, but I was wrong and my knees suffered for it. The gears are there to be used so (as was suggested) keep your cadence up and select gears based on current fitness and terrain - even headwinds can have an effect on what gear you can safely push.

Even though you mentioned a computer, I suggest investing in a cheap wired version with cadence. The Cateye Astrale 8 goes for under $30 and IME is very reliable.
 

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Kai Winters said:
A quick and easy way to measure cadence is to count the pedal strokes, of one leg, during a 10 second period and multiply the number of strokes by 6...ie...10 pedal strokes in 10 seconds = 60 rpm. You don't need a computer, just a wrist watch.

Most riders will tell the gear they are in using the number of teeth on the gear of the rear cassette and the front chain ring. Many/most riders know how many teeth are on the gears of their cassette and the chain rings. You can easily find the number stamped on the chain ring...ie...26/36/50 for the innermost/granny, middle and outer chain rings. Rear cassettes may be 12-25...ie...12,13,14,15,17,19,21,23,25...for a 9 speed cassette. If you can't see the number stamped on the gears just count them and make a note of it...then if you say you are in your 36/17 you are telling everyone you are in the middle chain ring or the 36 tooth ring and the 17 tooth cassette gear and at Xrpm's we have some sort of an idea of what is going on.
I'll break with Kai on this. Noobs are the ones that need to keep closer track of cadence, but they also need to pay attention to the road, obstacles (dogs/ cars/ you name it) and are less experienced bike handlers. For under $30 I see no reason to burden yourself with checking watches and counting out pedal revolutions. By the time you've calculated cadence, the terrain (thus cadence) is apt to change.

Considering what we most of us invest in cycling (and the added element of safety it affords, get a cadence computer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok I took it for my first real ride today. Went 20km, which is pretty far for me. I feel pretty good about it. I spent a lot more time in a lower gear, at about 25kph. I tried to get my cadence up, but I don't know for sure what it was at. I'm going to look for deals on a good computer. I looked for the Astrale 8 in shop, but it was $50.

My neck was getting a little sore by the end, I'm not sure if that's because I fit the bike myself or because I'm just not used to the riding position. I think my seat is too low though, just by looking at my legs while riding. I think I'll bring the seat up a little before my next ride.
 

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mmMike said:
Ok I took it for my first real ride today. Went 20km, which is pretty far for me. I feel pretty good about it. I spent a lot more time in a lower gear, at about 25kph. I tried to get my cadence up, but I don't know for sure what it was at. I'm going to look for deals on a good computer. I looked for the Astrale 8 in shop, but it was $50.

My neck was getting a little sore by the end, I'm not sure if that's because I fit the bike myself or because I'm just not used to the riding position. I think my seat is too low though, just by looking at my legs while riding. I think I'll bring the seat up a little before my next ride.
The Astrale 8 is an excellent choice for a reliable, wired computer with cadence. Here's a link for a cheaper price:
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_135654_-1_201492_10000_200377

Use coupon code NBARLUV at checkout for 25% off that price.

The neck soreness is likely due to you not being accustomed to road riding for that distance, fitting yourself and craning your neck during your ride. If the soreness persists, depending on your current setup you could try raising the bars slightly by adding a spacer (if possible), flipping the stem up (assuming it's down now) or getting a more angled stem.

RE: saddle height. You should have a slight bend in the knee when you're at the bottom of the pedal stroke, but here's a link with more details:
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm
Scroll down to saddle height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
With taxes and shipping to Canada, that comes to almost $50 again. I'll just keep checking for sales.

As for the bend in my knee, from what I could see, it looked like it was quite a bit more than just a slight bend.
 

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mmMike said:
With taxes and shipping to Canada, that comes to almost $50 again. I'll just keep checking for sales.

As for the bend in my knee, from what I could see, it looked like it was quite a bit more than just a slight bend.
Ah, didn't realize your location. Keep looking, IMO/E a cadence computer is worthwhile.

Here's another link for assistance in setting saddle height - this one has pics. :)
Scroll to #2 once there.
http://www.jimlangley.net/crank/bikefit.html
 

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Mike,

I've been riding for several years now but still consider myself a nooB since I am just riding for fitness and enjoyment. These guys are giving you some great advice. I understand the computer is a little more than you really want to spend but IMO it is the single most important accessory you can have especially if you are riding for fitness and weight loss. My computer shows me speed, cadence, distance and time all at once. I find myself watching only the cadence and trying to keep it up in the 80's. Without it you really have no idea what it is. Keeping the cadence up is important for weight loss and I suspect overall fitness. A good computer really makes the ride enjoyable as well.

The only other thing I would suggest is taking your bike to a shop and having them fit it for you. I bought a brand new Allez a couple years ago and the LBS I got it from took the time to fit me and it was amazing the difference.

Good luck and enjoy.
 

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lechwe said:
Mike,

I've been riding for several years now but still consider myself a nooB since I am just riding for fitness and enjoyment. These guys are giving you some great advice. I understand the computer is a little more than you really want to spend but IMO it is the single most important accessory you can have especially if you are riding for fitness and weight loss. My computer shows me speed, cadence, distance and time all at once. I find myself watching only the cadence and trying to keep it up in the 80's. Without it you really have no idea what it is. Keeping the cadence up is important for weight loss and I suspect overall fitness. A good computer really makes the ride enjoyable as well.

The only other thing I would suggest is taking your bike to a shop and having them fit it for you. I bought a brand new Allez a couple years ago and the LBS I got it from took the time to fit me and it was amazing the difference.

Good luck and enjoy.
+1. Good addition and I agree that it's the preferred route whenever possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've been busy this week, and it's been storming lately so I didn't get out again til tonight. Did the same route as last week, but 10 minutes faster.

I brought the seat up about 1 or 2 cms before I went out today, but about halfway through I got a charley horse in my calf. When I brought the seat back down I tried that trick mentioned in one of those ^ links, where you put the heel of your foot on the pedal, and I noticed my leg was fully extended. I guess I was reaching with my calf when the seat was up, and that's what caused the charley horse. I must have been right with the seat height the first time.

I've decided to have it properly fitted, but I am going to wait until I move back to school in September and find a good bike shop there.
 

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mmMike said:
I've been busy this week, and it's been storming lately so I didn't get out again til tonight. Did the same route as last week, but 10 minutes faster.

I brought the seat up about 1 or 2 cms before I went out today, but about halfway through I got a charley horse in my calf. When I brought the seat back down I tried that trick mentioned in one of those ^ links, where you put the heel of your foot on the pedal, and I noticed my leg was fully extended. I guess I was reaching with my calf when the seat was up, and that's what caused the charley horse. I must have been right with the seat height the first time.

I've decided to have it properly fitted, but I am going to wait until I move back to school in September and find a good bike shop there.
Posterior knee pain, hamstring and gastrocnemius (calf strain) are all classic symptoms of saddles set too high.

Peter Whites directions are very good, but another (more, quick reference) site is here:
http://www.jimlangley.net/crank/bikefit.html

All that aside, I think it's a good plan to get fitted by a reputable shop. :thumbsup:
 

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YAFRT.........................................................

I thought you couldn't spell farty............................LOL

It's a good way to drop someone!!!!
 

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PJ352 said:
When I first started cycling (long, long ago) I had preconceived notions that staying in a certain gear was good, but I was wrong and my knees suffered for it.
This is a surprisingly common, very strong belief among a lot of beginners. The only prize with "holding that gear!" might be pain and injury. So, don't do it. Maybe you could get a deal on a used computer with cadence (Cateye Strada Cadence is another one) on ebay or here on the classifieds? End-of-season sale at a local shop? They're very handy to have.

I bought the Strada Cadence when I was starting out a few years ago because it's really difficult to try to watch seconds and count your pedal strokes. Makes life easy and all you have to do is look down for a moment to see if your cadence has dropped since last time you checked (probably did...).

Bonus points for creative thread title. Welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well my butt is getting sore. I have real bike shorts. I can tell that it would be much worse without them. I've been out about 5 times. 20-30km each time. My neck is getting sore faster, but it's still not really bad.

I tried to count my cadence, and I was about 80 or 90. I was surprised because I thought for sure that I would be low. I even tried counting over a whole minute and still got about 92. This was at 25kph, but my average is closer to 23. The routes I take are pretty flat.
 
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