I'm a cycling novice, any advice welcome!

sticky88sticky88 Posts: 10
edited November 2013 in Women's cycling forum
Please be gentle with me, I've just joined here following recommendation.

I'm about to get into cycling and road bikes, as my other half is really into it, but I'm more a runner. I've not been on a bike for 20 years (and that was only as a form of commute), and never been on a road bike!

I know nothing about cycling road bike etc, just been window shopping for size, and have yet to gear any gear (attire, shoes etc). Also I have very wide feet, so will need advice on where I should be looking for wide shoes.

I'm a blank canvass, so any advice will be very welcome!

THANKS! :D

Posts

  • jaxfjaxf Posts: 113
    hope you enjoy it! and you can stay cycling for way longer than running (I have shot knees)
    I have wide feet and a narrow heel, and find Mavic have been good shoes for me. My sister also has wide feet and NorthWave. I think that there is no substitute for going to your LBS and trying a few on. I know that this can be difficult as many shops don't really stock women's shoes.
    As your partner is a roadie, presumably, he will give you a kit list, and you are more looking for the women's specific stuff? I think that when you are starting and not sure if you will really love it, VFM kit is a good way to go, so DHB from Wiggle is reasonable. Now I cycle more, I am willing to pay whatever it takes for a decent chamois - Assos and Rapha are my friends. Chamois cream is also worthwhile.
    The main difference for me is a women's specific saddle - many 'women's' bikes don't come with them. I went from ** TMI warning ** blood after any more than 30 miles to fine for 80 when I changed saddle, so make sure you get something comfortable.
    I would recommend a bike fit to get something comfortable and suitable.
    You will possibly get sore neck/shoulders/back after riding to start with - it dissipates with time. As a runner, you may not have the strongest stomach and lower back muscles (but strong legs to make up for it :) ), and may find some stomach exercises help, as does pulling in your abdomen as you ride. Not clutching at the hoods and relaxing also helps with the neck.
    Does your partner belong to a club? If yes, does it have a development ride you could go on? My club is great - really friendly and a lot of women, one of whom can whip most of the men without even trying. It makes riding more fun, and its great to cycle with people of a similar standard rather than (speaking from my experience) knocking myself out to stay on the back wheel of my husband's bike rather than getting to enjoy my pace.

    The main thing is that just like running, the more you do it, the easier it becomes - or at least, the farther you can go in less time. And, provided you are not a sprinter, I bet you'll be good at hills.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    sticky88 wrote:
    Please be gentle with me, I've just joined here following recommendation.

    I'm about to get into cycling and road bikes, as my other half is really into it, but I'm more a runner. I've not been on a bike for 20 years (and that was only as a form of commute), and never been on a road bike!

    I know nothing about cycling road bike etc, just been window shopping for size, and have yet to gear any gear (attire, shoes etc). Also I have very wide feet, so will need advice on where I should be looking for wide shoes.

    I'm a blank canvass, so any advice will be very welcome!

    THANKS! :D
    First off shouldn't your other half be helping you with this?
    1. Make sure the bike fits you well - get it from a reputable place. If you;re buying a road bike meant for men - you my need to change the "stem" and get a womens specific seat
    2. Get proper cycling gear - close fitting lycra!; research cycling shoes
    3. Decide if you want to go clip less or not (it depends how comfortable your are and serious you're gonna take things
    4. Learn how how use the gears approriately. - e.g. don't stick it in the biggest gear when your poodling along at jogging speed
    5. There's a lots of other stuff to consider - riding in groups, training, climbing etc but ne step at a time
    Welcome aboard and good luck :D
  • sasssesassse Posts: 64
    My no1 piece of advice to begin with is always to enjoy yourself. If you come back from a ride happy, you will want to go again.

    I think the technicla stuff has been covered, make sure your bike fits you, get the basics of shorts etc. Make sure you know how to change/repair a puncture and have the bits you need to do this when you go out etc.

    All the extra will come as you start to ride more, learn what kit you like, don't like, what suits etc.

    Go on get out there and just enjoy riding.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,204
    sassse wrote:
    My no1 piece of advice to begin with is always to enjoy yourself. If you come back from a ride happy, you will want to go again.

    I think the technicla stuff has been covered, make sure your bike fits you, get the basics of shorts etc. Make sure you know how to change/repair a puncture and have the bits you need to do this when you go out etc.

    All the extra will come as you start to ride more, learn what kit you like, don't like, what suits etc.

    Go on get out there and just enjoy riding.

    +1 for this, :) main part is the enjoyment.
  • sticky88 wrote:
    Please be gentle with me, I've just joined here following recommendation.

    I'm about to get into cycling and road bikes, as my other half is really into it, but I'm more a runner. I've not been on a bike for 20 years (and that was only as a form of commute), and never been on a road bike!

    I know nothing about cycling road bike etc, just been window shopping for size, and have yet to gear any gear (attire, shoes etc). Also I have very wide feet, so will need advice on where I should be looking for wide shoes.

    I'm a blank canvass, so any advice will be very welcome!

    THANKS! :D

    Welcome to the forum! Some great advice given already regards getting a bike fit and trying kit on for size before purchasing if at all possible (so I won't repeat this). For wide feet Mavic offer some of their range with a "Maxi" fit, which has a touch more room in the toe box to cater specifically or this. The Avenge Maxi could be worth considering.

    Enjoy the ride!

    Mike
    Mavic Community Manager
  • jaxf wrote:
    You will possibly get sore neck/shoulders/back after riding to start with - it dissipates with time.
    I am pleased to report that today, I have sore neck/shoulders/back!
    I bought my new road bike on thursday, got myself a helmet on saturday, and rode around a car park for the first time in 20 years yesterday on sunday, getting to know the gears etc!
    The bottom of my bum hurts too, didn't have any cycling shorts on as I was just going round and round the car park!

    My partner got me some bib shorts from ebay. He says I must have bib shorts as the normal cycling shorts can ride, pardon the pun! I don't have problems with running tights or shorts slipping, will I have problems with cycling shorts with nothing to hold them up apart from at the waist? Should I definitely get only bib shorts?
    Toks wrote:
    First off shouldn't your other half be helping you with this?
    Yes, he's been wonderful at getting me into cycling. I just find the extra help from forum like this useful, from my experience in using running forum which I've gained so much knowledge and advice from!

    Been looking at ebay to build up my cycling wardrobe! I'm currently cycling with my trainers (been out just the once!), will look for shoes next...

    Thanks all for all the invaluable advice so far! :)
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 5,607
    This place is an excellent resource for information. Use the search function and do your homework. Things will soon start to fall in place. Enjoy
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    sticky88 wrote:
    jaxf wrote:
    You will possibly get sore neck/shoulders/back after riding to start with - it dissipates with time.
    I am pleased to report that today, I have sore neck/shoulders/back!
    I bought my new road bike on thursday, got myself a helmet on saturday, and rode around a car park for the first time in 20 years yesterday on sunday, getting to know the gears etc!
    The bottom of my bum hurts too, didn't have any cycling shorts on as I was just going round and round the car park!

    My partner got me some bib shorts from ebay. He says I must have bib shorts as the normal cycling shorts can ride, pardon the pun! I don't have problems with running tights or shorts slipping, will I have problems with cycling shorts with nothing to hold them up apart from at the waist? Should I definitely get only bib shorts?
    I don't wear bib shorts and don't have any issues with them slipping down. ofc I'm fat which helps keep them around my waist :wink:
  • jaxfjaxf Posts: 113
    I have bibs and shorts, and am happy with both, but on a long ride, will always wear shorts - life is too short to take all my clothes off to go the loo. If the shorts have either decent elastic or silicon gripper, they will stay in place just fine. If you do get shorts, look for a weird cut that is high at the back, and low at the front; it keeps your back covered when you lean forward over the hoods or drops, and lets your tummy sag gently into the jersey rather than more constricting shorts, much more comfortable, especially after a large lunch ;-)
    Also, introduce yourself to the joy of chamois cream.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    Don't use clipless pedals and special shoes until you have developed some basic bike handling skill. There will be too much to think about, what with the strange new position, thin tyres, funny gear levers etc. You will probably forget to unclip and fall over.
    Helmets are useful if you intend to crash but gloves are equally useful for protection. I never leave home without them.
    Many road riders grew up on road bikes so they find the standard riding position easy but newbies may not have the flexibility in the right place. Don't be afraid to ride a roadbike setup in a more upright touring style. Your position will gradually change over the first few months.
    As a runner you may be capable of riding much harder than your body can take. Avoid injuries and go easy until you are conditioned to the new sport.
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