Complete Novice - Questions

cswilson10
cswilson10 Posts: 5
edited January 2013 in Road beginners
Hi all,

I'm sure there are millions of newbies, especially since the Olympics - and I'm one of them. I have just bought a Specialized Allez 2013 - this one; http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Specialized-All ... _54927.htm

I was measured properly and all that, but completely forgot to ask the following questions so I was hoping you lot may be more helpful, and hopefully more impartial.

Apologies for how stupid some of my questions are.

1. Will it come with a saddle? It isn't listed on the spec. If not, what would be a good value saddle?
2. Pedals. I want ones that I can wear with trainers, and with.....
3. Shoes - good value shoes?
4. Mudguards - are they completely necessary?
5. Any other tips/purchases you feel are vital?

I know, I'm sure these questions seem ridiculous, but there is so much to learn.

One day, hopefully, I'll be able to answer someone else's questions - so you won't have to.

Thanks in advance,
csw

Comments

  • 1. Yes
    2. Pedals, you really need to decide if you want clipless or flats
    3 but if you want the option of clipless or flats then Shimano 324
    4 Not totally necessary, however, make a big difference when it's wet
    5. Carry spare tube, levers incase you get a flat. Keep asking questions, they are only easy to answer if you know the answer
  • Welcome! Don't worry; knowledge comes with experience. Before long you'll be a dab hand...

    1. It will almost certainly come with a saddle; I have never heard of a complete bike being sold without one.

    2. If you'd like to be able to wear trainers, probably the best choice is SPD pedals. I want to say clips and straps because I like them (and don't like riding on a plain platform), but you can't have both clipless and clips on the same pedal. The Shimano M324 is the obvious choice.

    3. DHB (Wiggle own brand) shoes are very popular, but you can't try them on. Shimano (which I use) and Specialized are also very common, and you should be able to find them in bike shops; definitely the larger chain ones (Evans, etc). In any case you want MTB/touring/'leisure' shoes with recessed SPD cleats. MTB - particularly racing - shoes are likely to be the stiffer choice, which is preferable for higher tempo road cycling.

    4. They are a very good idea. They keep some of the muck off your transmission as well as you and they improve visibility for other road users. It's also no fun to be riding in the rain behind someone who doesn't have them!

    5. Equip yourself to deal with a puncture or broken chain by the roadside: Spare inner tube, tyre levers, some sort of pump (a mini one will take ages but fit in your back pocket), and a chain tool. You could consider a multi-tool which incorporates a chain tool as well as Allen keys and screw drivers (amongst other things), but whilst useful these are things that you already have in your tool kit that you may not need when you are out, and these tools often have lots of bits you won't need. You should also have a track pump at home to maintain tyre pressure; this is one of the most important items I've listed.

    Otherwise, padded shorts are essential and cycling jerseys are cut for purpose, made from performance fabric and have useful pockets. In other words, you may as well get the whole outfit. Most would agree that a helmet is a good idea, a cap (or skullcap) will keep your head warm at this time of year, overshoes will keep your feet warm/dry (i.e. not necessarily both), gloves help with comfort and can keep your hands warm/dry, glasses can keep bugs/stones/the sun out of your eyes...
  • tetley10
    tetley10 Posts: 693
    Definitely second padded shorts they make a huge difference.
    Nice bike as well. Will need plenty of pictures when you finally get it.
  • nmt
    nmt Posts: 88
    Your bike comes with a body geometry riva road saddle. full spec from Specialized http://www.specializedconceptstore.co.uk/Detail/13allez/allez/Allez
  • Thank you all very much indeed.

    I do like the look of the SPD pedals - I'll pop to Evans to get the rest (bag, puncture kit, helmet, shorts etc.) soon as they have - and I'm sure other retailers do too - really good January sales.

    Will definitely put up some pictures, thinking of starting a blog too so may link to that.

    Again, thank you so much everyone.
  • Wobblehead wrote:
    but if you want the option of clipless or flats then Shimano 324
    +1 to this.

    After only ever having used platforms I decided to give clipless a go, as I was getting sick of my shoes slipping off the pedal in the wet, and chose the M324 simply because it gives me the option of being able to ride with whatever I have on my feet. Two months on and they're going great. Ideal "gateway" pedal option.
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    If you are a complete newbie as in learning to ride, then don't use clipless pedals. You can't learn to ride using them, you will fall off.
    The test for when you are ready to use clipless pedals is: can you do a track stand.
  • MichaelW wrote:
    If you are a complete newbie as in learning to ride, then don't use clipless pedals. You can't learn to ride using them, you will fall off.
    The test for when you are ready to use clipless pedals is: can you do a track stand.

    I hope this is a joke.
  • zx6man
    zx6man Posts: 1,092
    MichaelW wrote:
    If you are a complete newbie as in learning to ride, then don't use clipless pedals. You can't learn to ride using them, you will fall off.
    The test for when you are ready to use clipless pedals is: can you do a track stand.

    I hope this is a joke.

    and is it legal....... I'll get my coat
  • lotus49
    lotus49 Posts: 763
    edited January 2013
    cswilson10 wrote:
    ... shorts ...

    I like the cold (it's just as well living in Yorks) but it's a bit nippy for shorts at the moment. You could buy shorts and leg warmers but I have been wearing a pair of bib tights recently. I am not that fit so I tend to warm up quite quickly but one things beginners often don't take into account is the wind chill factor. You can get up some speed on a bike and bare legs are going to get pretty cold at speed.

    It's -4 Celsius here right now so I shan't be going anywhere in shorts today (although my postie wears shorts literally all year round whatever the weather, he's just walking though).
  • lotus49
    lotus49 Posts: 763
    edited January 2013
    MichaelW wrote:
    If you are a complete newbie as in learning to ride, then don't use clipless pedals. You can't learn to ride using them, you will fall off.
    The test for when you are ready to use clipless pedals is: can you do a track stand.
    I think it is probably reasonable to assume that the OP can actually ride a bike. Doesn't almost everyone in this country learn to ride a bike as a child?
  • zx6man
    zx6man Posts: 1,092
    1. Yes
    2. Pedals, SPD are very forgiving compared to the road specifics
    3. If SPD I use M077 shimano. Good robust shoe and no issue to walk in
    4. Love them on mine
    5. Tube, levers and basic multitool and pump. I carry a spare chain link too.

    Track pump for inflating tyres at home, nothing worse than trying with the tiny ones from the bike.
  • Alibran
    Alibran Posts: 370
    MichaelW wrote:
    If you are a complete newbie as in learning to ride, then don't use clipless pedals. You can't learn to ride using them, you will fall off.
    The test for when you are ready to use clipless pedals is: can you do a track stand.

    I hope this is a joke.

    So do I. I've just bought some clipless pedals, and I can't do a track stand.
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Track Stands are definitely not necessary regardless of if it was meant as a joke.

    Just be pre-emtive and unclip early for junctions etc. You can always re-clip and carry on.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • smidsy wrote:
    Track Stands are definitely not necessary regardless of if it was meant as a joke.

    Just be pre-emtive and unclip early for junctions etc. You can always re-clip and carry on.

    Exactly. There is no prerequisite for starting using clipless pedals, and if there were it wouldn't be that. It has to be said that the instinct to secure and unsecure the feet, rather than have them unsecured by default, gives a cyclist a distinct advantage when using clipless pedals for the first time, but most road cyclists these days either don't use clips and straps at all, or don't use them to their full potential, so they have to learn with clipless. You might have a few more 'moments', but don't we all...
  • ballysmate
    ballysmate Posts: 15,921
    smidsy wrote:
    Track Stands are definitely not necessary regardless of if it was meant as a joke.

    Just be pre-emtive and unclip early for junctions etc. You can always re-clip and carry on.

    Exactly. There is no prerequisite for starting using clipless pedals, and if there were it wouldn't be that. It has to be said that the instinct to secure and unsecure the feet, rather than have them unsecured by default, gives a cyclist a distinct advantage when using clipless pedals for the first time, but most road cyclists these days either don't use clips and straps at all, or don't use them to their full potential, so they have to learn with clipless. You might have a few more 'moments', but don't we all...

    When I judged the time for clipless pedals, I fitted them to an old mountain bike and spent an hour riding around a field clipping in and out using both feet. I still favour the right foot though. All this practice still didn't stop me pulling up at roadworks, unclipping my right foot and then falling left. Doh!