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Hi all

I just wanted to introduce myself and say hello. I've been browsing the site and forums for some weeks now, but have taken the plunge and signed up as a member.

Having been on something of a cycling hiatus for a good 10 years, a change of job some months ago has reduced my commuting distance to the point where it's not worth using the car, so I decided to get back in the saddle again.

So far, so good really, despite all the horror stories about cyclist fatalities of recent weeks. I commute just a few miles across a provincial town with a reasonably good cycle infrastructure, and the local drivers are mostly considerate.

All of this to date has been on a trusty old Scott mountain bike, but I've got a Trek Madone on order through cycle2work, which I'm expecting to pick up in a couple of weeks.

The main thinking with that is to get out and do a bit of distance at weekends. My current best is about 20 miles on the Scott (on tarmac) before both the bike and I give up, so I'm hoping a "proper" road bike will be a conduit to greater endurance and, dare I say, some sportive riding next year.

I'm impressed by the weight loss so far though. I was portly at best when I started cycling again, but have lost the best part of 2 stone in a little under 6 months. I could still do with losing at least as much as that again though...

Anyway, hello again, I'm looking forward to being a part of what goes on around here.

Cheers

James

14 comments

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dave atkinson [6259 posts] 3 years ago
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you'll be *amazed* at the difference a road bike will make.

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Jimbonic [136 posts] 3 years ago
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Great to hear you're back on the road. Of course, being back on the off-road is plenty fine too. It really doesn't matter a fig what you ride. Although, if you're planning on going some distance, you'll want a nice comfy road bike / tourer.

I find it best to cover all bases. Or at least as many as my wife will let me...

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dunnoh [199 posts] 3 years ago
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I reckon you will do 40 miles plus really easily. 20 miles on my hybrid kills me now

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Super Domestique [1609 posts] 3 years ago
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Welcome.
Enjoy the new bike. Road riding on a road bike is very different to road riding on an mtb imho and I think you'll really enjoy it.

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veseunr [259 posts] 3 years ago
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I would suggest finding a couple of like minded mates or a local club for weekend rides. I reckon more enjoyable if you have someone to spur you on. Try to resist the "Strava can of worms" for a while yet though!!

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parksey [343 posts] 3 years ago
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Thanks all for the welcome.

Definitely looking forward to getting the new bike, went a bit over-the-top with the test rides and fact-finding before taking the plunge, but went with the Trek (all-black alu 2.1) based on a combination of the way it rode, the frame/component quality for the price, some positive reviews and the after-sales service I know I'll get from my LBS.

The n+1 rule is one that I definitely abide by though! Certainly don't want to run before I can walk, but I've always got half an eye on the next bike, mostly from drooling over the various bikes I've seen in the shops that I can't afford to buy just now!

Club riding is definitely on the radar too. Just want to get my confidence and endurance on a road bike up a bit more first, then I'll have a look locally (Hampshire) and see what's what. Besides, I kind of enjoy cycling as a solitary pursuit anyway, gives me time to think away from family or work.

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Colin Peyresourde [1773 posts] 3 years ago
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Don't make the mistake that some dude did on the club run. Turned up on a brand new carbon bike in Bermuda shorts, long-sleeve t-shirt and a ruck-sack. Everyone was polite and friendly, but given that everyone was in early winter gear he must've felt a bit like a fish out of water, and probably a bit uncomfortable after 40 miles.

I would also buy gear which is right for the job, rather something which is a bit cheaper. Down the line you'll notice the difference. It's all about doing your homework.

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bashthebox [752 posts] 3 years ago
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What Colin said. When I started out, I tried to get all my bibs, jerseys etc in the sale - which meant that all my clobber was rubbish.
Read reviews, identify what it is you want out of your gear, spend the right amount of cash and spend it once. It only took me 4 years to work that one out....

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notfastenough [3715 posts] 3 years ago
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bashthebox wrote:

What Colin said. When I started out, I tried to get all my bibs, jerseys etc in the sale - which meant that all my clobber was rubbish.
Read reviews, identify what it is you want out of your gear, spend the right amount of cash and spend it once. It only took me 4 years to work that one out....

Amen. I've got so much stuff that I don't wear due to this.

That said, starting commuting by bike has put the less brilliant stuff back to use. I'm not wearing Rapha or club kit just to get to work.

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numbercruncher [28 posts] 3 years ago
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Hi Parksey

Like the post. Sounds very much like myself. Just signed up as a member on here after a few weeks of browsing the topics.
Just got back in to cycling this year after about 20 years (age showing a bit there!). Started off by banging some road tyres on my old MTB and getting out there. 10 miles quickly grew to 20 and then I decided that the bug had definitely taken hold and it was time to invest in a proper road bike, and some appropriate gear!
After a bit of research, I went for the Battaglin S11 with the 105s on from Wiggle. It was pushing my budget a bit at the time, but was the best equipped bike I could find at the time for just over £600. (I was definitely at the 'entry level' end of the market).
I'm usually doing a 40-50 mile run at the weekend, with a couple of rides to work during the week, and loving being in the saddle.
I'm still at the point of adding to the 'cycling wardrobe' as the seasons change and have picked up a few of the cheap options along the way, but just invested in a Gore windstopper jacket, which is a definite step up.
Love the forums for checking out ideas for gear etc. and seeing others offering advice. I don't feel too qualified to offer that much in expert advice at the moment, but we all start somewhere!
Best of luck with the new bike. You'll soon be stepping up the mileage with the extra enthusiasm that comes with it.

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arfa [806 posts] 3 years ago
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Welcome to the forum and I am sure you will enjoy your new purchase and 40-50 miles will come easily to you if you can grind a MTB along for 20.
I would only add to the above that a road bike is going to feel very twitchy in the wet/leafy conditions in comparison to the MTB so it is worth finding limits gradually !
You may already be familiar with them but websites like mapmyride, ridewithgps and dare I even say strava are useful for finding local routes and rides.
I hope you enjoy your new purchase

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parksey [343 posts] 3 years ago
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numbercruncher wrote:

Started off by banging some road tyres on my old MTB and getting out there. 10 miles quickly grew to 20 and then I decided that the bug had definitely taken hold and it was time to invest in a proper road bike, and some appropriate gear!

Yeah, definitely where I'm at too!

The cycling wardrobe is definitely something of a minefield though. I've been getting by so far with just a couple of pairs of baggy padded shorts and a reasonable wind & waterproof jacket, under which I layer up relative to the temperature, or just go with a t-shirt when it's warm.

My physique isn't quite lycra-ready yet, so it'll be a little while before I pull on the bib shorts and jersey but, as per the Aldi thread, I'm definitely in need of some cycling trousers if I'm to continue through the winter proper.

Then there's the subject of shoes, but that's perhaps something for a new thread!

Was also thinking of starting a new thread on cycling apps. Currently using MapMyRide, which works very well for me, but it seems that Strava is where it's at when it comes to "proper" cyclists.

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numbercruncher [28 posts] 3 years ago
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parksey wrote:

The cycling wardrobe is definitely something of a minefield though. I've been getting by so far with just a couple of pairs of baggy padded shorts and a reasonable wind & waterproof jacket, under which I layer up relative to the temperature, or just go with a t-shirt when it's warm.

My physique isn't quite lycra-ready yet, so it'll be a little while before I pull on the bib shorts and jersey but, as per the Aldi thread, I'm definitely in need of some cycling trousers if I'm to continue through the winter proper.

I wouldn't worry too much about the aesthetics of cycling clothing. It might look like a fashion show in some parts, but at the end of the day comfort counts and that is what the stuff is designed for and why we wear it. I started with the Lidl gear and some Sports Direct stuff - all relatively cheap but functional. Looking at the Aldi stuff, I would say it's well worth seeing if you can pick something up there if there's anything you need.
Base layers are key to keeping you comfortable. I made the mistake of wearing cotton under a cycling jersey and soon realised my mistake.
The main thing is getting in the saddle, but you want to be as comfortable as possible, and sod what it looks like. There's only one person you have to answer to, and that's yourself! (it's o.k., the wife won't be reading this!)

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Colin Peyresourde [1773 posts] 3 years ago
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numbercruncher wrote:
parksey wrote:

The cycling wardrobe is definitely something of a minefield though. I've been getting by so far with just a couple of pairs of baggy padded shorts and a reasonable wind & waterproof jacket, under which I layer up relative to the temperature, or just go with a t-shirt when it's warm.

My physique isn't quite lycra-ready yet, so it'll be a little while before I pull on the bib shorts and jersey but, as per the Aldi thread, I'm definitely in need of some cycling trousers if I'm to continue through the winter proper.

I wouldn't worry too much about the aesthetics of cycling clothing. It might look like a fashion show in some parts, but at the end of the day comfort counts and that is what the stuff is designed for and why we wear it. I started with the Lidl gear and some Sports Direct stuff - all relatively cheap but functional. Looking at the Aldi stuff, I would say it's well worth seeing if you can pick something up there if there's anything you need.
Base layers are key to keeping you comfortable. I made the mistake of wearing cotton under a cycling jersey and soon realised my mistake.
The main thing is getting in the saddle, but you want to be as comfortable as possible, and sod what it looks like. There's only one person you have to answer to, and that's yourself! (it's o.k., the wife won't be reading this!)

Getting a good chamois is probably the main thing. Getting a saddle which is 'wide' and 'clunky' isn't necessarily the right thing. Pro cyclists do 100s of miles each race and what counts is doing everything as efficiently as possible. Your chamois is effectively a moving saddle fitted to your arse. There are some technical aspects (about fitting your ischial bones and pressure on your pubis) that are important….although if you are on the larger/heavier side of things you are likely putting a lot of pressure through those important bits. There are manufacturers such as specialised, who market themselves in that respect.

The right clothes will keep you warm, dry, cool and sleek - the wrong clothes will not do that - so if you are in discomfort it is usually due to your clothes/equipment.

I do still have my original bib shorts that I bought - but I only ever use them indoors on the turbo and only for an hour.