First ride on a road bike

Peter91 Posts: 16
edited March 2013 in Road beginners
So a few weeks ago I asked for advice on a bike and got a deluge of fantastic information (especially about kit), thanks!

Today I took my new Triban 5A (first road bike) out for the first time (ever on a road bike), lycra-ed up for the first time (for cycling), and started of with a relaxed 13 mile undulating route. My feet got cold; a brutal headwind for the first half; almost killed by a boy-racer; an HGV was very polite; didn't have a clipless moment, and I'm not sure what aches but something does! It was great, loved every second. Avg. 16.4 mph, max 36.8 according to Strava (don't laugh, I need to get some more confidence for descents :oops: ).

Can't wait to get out again! Anybody have any tips for the first few weeks of cycling they care to share?


  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Don't worry about your speed as that will come. Get comfortable on the bike & the set up of your bike, plus practice getting in/out of your clips as much as you can so that it becomes second nature. As for other road users, guess that depends on you as a rider, personally I tend to get myself into a nice positive road position so that your not pushed right up against the curb & have some room. Most important at junctions so that you don't end up pushed right up to the curb with nowhere to go.

    As for the feet welcome to road riding in the UK really :-) I have overstocks, overshoes & toe covers all get used at different times of the year but along with some decent socks are a worthwhile investment.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Peter91 wrote:
    Avg. 16.4 mph, max 36.8 according to Strava

    Ahh don't worry, good time :-)
  • That's a very good start and glad you enjoy it. My tip would be prepare for a clipless moment because it probably will come - as Danlikesbikes says, practice clipping in and out on both sides until it becomes second nature. My first clipless moment was on about my third ride and I ended up like a beetle on the pavement underneath my bike - perils of looking at the speedo and going into the kerb instead. My sister's first clipless moment was in front of a full pub car park on a warm Sunday afternoon so I'm glad no-one saw mine.

    My other tips would be just enjoy it and hope that the sun returns some time this year. Don't get too disheartened when you're out and not feeling good and equally don't get carried away when you're out and you do (often in the same ride). Increase the mileage little by little and learn to eat and drink on the bike and you'll be flying in no time. There will be the odd psychopathic motorist but don't get too hung up on it.
  • rjkflyer
    rjkflyer Posts: 102
    Where to start?! Looks like you have anyway actually made a VERy confident start and good metrics.

    1. Cold feet: most cycling shoes are well-ventilated but/and so your toes can get cold. I use Castelli quindici merino wool socks - just been out today for 3 hours in 3 deg C and no worry at all - the toe section is thicker.
    2. It took me about a month to get comfortable with the drops, but wow does it save you ENERGY. I'm sure you know this but the power required to overcome your drag goes up with CUBE of speed. Going hoods to drops reduces the overall drag (drag coeff times frontal area) by about 30%. That's about 2mph for most folks at around 20mph.
    3. Don't worry of you get neck ache. I did for about a month - simply a consequence of being 'crouched' and holding your head up. All fine now.
    4. Clothes clothes clothes. As they say, there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. As I said, three hours today at 3 deg C and a really chilling wind, and no problems anywhere (aside running out of puff...).

  • Peter91
    Peter91 Posts: 16
    Cheers for the good advice; I very much look forward to my clipless moment SadlyBiggens, aha (please be a private one)! The positive riding sounds like a good idea, and I'll be having a look at some foot warming gear soon. I barely used the drops today, so that's something I definitely need to work on (my brake levers were hard to reach on the drops, so I've added spacers to solve that). I was wondering about the neck ache, but I'll suck it up until it improves. :)
  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Most aches will go quickly just getting down to the new bike, same for riding on the drops will feel a bit weird to start with and may cause an issue with your neck the first time but it soon sorts itself out.

    Keeping your feet warm is a good idea IMHO. I find I can ride happily in cold, wet & windy weather soaked to the bone if I need too but if my feet get cold I struggle for hours afterwards to get myself back to normal.

    Enjoy your new ride - sounds like your already in love anyway!!!
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.