Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Scared of road bike

bikeparrbikeparr Posts: 9
edited March 2011 in Road beginners
Hi

I decided to buy a second hand road bike (giant avail, allez etc) as I will be doing a triathlon this summer and also as a bike to use to go to college and into town.

I've never ridden a road bike or used drop handle bars and having tested one in a shop I found it really strange/uncomfortable.

I now feel quite nervous about riding a road bike - I'm worried about the tires and traction and have also read that positioning on road bikes makes it harder to see hazards/traffic.

Would I be better getting a hybrid? For some reason in my mind I really don't want a hybrid and was wondering if road bikes are difficult to use and whether I would get used to it?

Sorry for these really novice questions

Posts

  • Keith47Keith47 Posts: 158
    Nah, don't get a hybrid, you will soon regret it and wish you'd bought a road bike. It does feel very weird, twitchy and scary when you first ride a modern road bike but you will soon get used to it and you will wonder why you ever had doubts about it!! I can virtually guarantee you will soon not be able to get enough of your road bike before long!! :D
    The problem is we are not eating food anymore, we are eating food-like products.
  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,134
    if you really fancy a road bike i wouldnt worry about the change in position etc, no big deal youll get used to it no problem.

    just be aware if you get the bug (and you will) its going to cost you

    pedals, shoes, saddle, stem, new wheels, bib shorts, jerseys, gloves, tyres, upgrade to a new bike blah blah :lol:
    Death or Glory- Just another Story
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    My roadie is no more twitchy than my 700c hybrid. Visibility is no worse, but it's a lot more comfortable over long distances due to the extra hand positions.

    It's important to get a bike that fits you properly.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • As a beginner on a road bike (but a regular 30mile/day commuter on a flat bar hybrid) I found the drops hard to get to grips with at first. Its taken a fair amount of fettling to get the rotation on the bars just right to find the point where I can comfortably grip the brakes while in the drops. Riding up on the hoods is fine, no different to the flat bar, other than narrower and therefore more skittish. To some extent its been like learning to ride again! Also going from MTB SPDs to the road cleats has been an experience...

    I dont thnk I would use the roadbike for commuting any time soon (my commute is through Central London traffic so you need to be looking in all directions at once). Tyres and traction wise - i have skinny slick tyres on the hybrid - ok not as skinny as the roady - but to my untrained senses there's little difference in grip.

    The reason I got the roady is simply the upright riding position on the hybrid was limiting my top speed... it was fine for leisure rides at the 14mph average mark but now I am looking at some sportives i want to go up a notch...and I'll think you find the same issue...
    Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:
  • bikeparrbikeparr Posts: 9
    Thanks for your replies they are all really helpful.

    I was also thinking of spending more money and getting a cyclo cross bike instead of a second hand road bike as from what I have read people have said they are quite good for commuting....can handle bad road conditions better/more versatile.

    Decisions decisions!
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    bikeparr wrote:
    Thanks for your replies they are all really helpful.

    I was also thinking of spending more money and getting a cyclo cross bike instead of a second hand road bike as from what I have read people have said they are quite good for commuting....can handle bad road conditions better/more versatile.

    Decisions decisions!

    Good call, cyclo cross bikes make a great starter bike. They have clearance for wide tyres and mudguards, some have mounts for racks etc. This makes it a good commuter and winter bike and when the good weather comes you can strip off the winter kit and have fun for the summer.
    Don't worry about handling you'll soon get used to it just make sure you get a good fit so you are comfortable and can concentrate on the road ahead.
  • TeachTeach Posts: 386
    bikeparr wrote:
    Hi



    Sorry for these really novice questions

    Don't apologise, most people on here are very friendly. This is the Road Beginners section and is designed to help and support new road beginners. Even though road bikes have drop bars, you don't need to use the drops straight away, a lot of people spend most of the time on the hoods.
    You will get used to it, but as Mattshrops said, get ready to spend some money. It's not necessary to have an expensive flash bike, but it's all the other bits that add up as well as the bits you'll need for a triathlon - tri suit, wetsuit, new shoes, computer etc.
    Have fun and good luck with the triathlon.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,448
    Make sure you get good advice about fit and setup. You will get used to the road bike position quite quickly, but if the saddle position is wrong, the reach to the bars, etc etc, it will be a lot more difficult. The problem is that when you are new to it you can't tell very easily whether something feels weird because the fit is wrong or because you just aren't used to it.

    It takes a while to get used to the more stretched out position when riding in traffic, you need to stretch your neck a little more to see around you, but it will soon become natural. You should be able to brake securely from the hoods if things are set up properly, this is the position you will be in most of the time, especially when riding in traffic. Once you are used to them the drop bars are much more comfortable, it is more natural for your hands to be vertical (thumbs at the top) than twisted around to the horizontal position as they are on a flat-barred bike.

    As regards traction on narrow tyres - don't skimp on quality tyres, they really do make a difference. The main dangers are oil/diesel on the road and raised white lines / drain covers, gravel etc, especially when it is wet. Just take it easy on corners, roundabouts etc in town, especially when wet. Good tyres will grip very well unless you encounter the above hazards, so it's just a case of being able to recognise them (or recognise that they might be there) and acting accordingly.
  • EyonEyon Posts: 623
    As said above, dont worry about it. I went from a MTB with nice wide comfortable riser bars, to drop bars, and my god it felt weird at first. Now, its second nature.

    You dont spend much time on the drops out of sprints, downhill sections and racing, 95% of my riding is on the hoods, its comfortable and easy to control.

    Dont worry about traction either. They are designed to grip roads, which means you will get MORE grip out of a totally smooth tyre at high pressure than a knobbly or treaded tyre. Yes, you will one day find the edge of grip and it hurts, but it takes a lot of sack to barrel into a corner at that sort of pace, they really are surprisingly grippy!

    You can pick up a good deal on 2nd hand stuff, even the cheaper end with a 2300 groupo is good enough, the shifting is fine even at the sacrifice of weight I guess. The expense comes with the little stuff as said above, but its all buy once stuff, but well worth it.

    If you think the drops are odd to ride with, and you're getting into triathalon, try out aero-bars, my god they are another experience to ride with!
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Keith47 wrote:
    Nah, don't get a hybrid, you will soon regret it and wish you'd bought a road bike. It does feel very weird, twitchy and scary when you first ride a modern road bike but you will soon get used to it and you will wonder why you ever had doubts about it!! I can virtually guarantee you will soon not be able to get enough of your road bike before long!! :D

    Yep, and don't forget that a nervous rider makes for a nervous horse, er, bike. :)

    The old tip of gently biting the end of your tongue helps. Really.
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • bikeparrbikeparr Posts: 9
    Thanks for all your replies - definitely feel less fearful of road bikes now. I think I will get a road bike as I've always wanted one and if I really don't like it I can sell it after the triathlon and will have more money by then for a cyclocross or other type of bike.

    Thanks
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 25,193
    You ll be fine!
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
Sign In or Register to comment.