New member with a new bike today

jasondxb
jasondxb Posts: 59
edited March 2014 in Road beginners
Collected my 1st road bike today since leaving school, not getting any younger and need to keep fit

After weeks of looking around I finally bought the RT-58 from planet X

Took it straight out of the box and headed to the LBS to get them to check it over and true the gears, 30 mins later on went for my 1st ride. Not good news after about 4k legs went to jelly, I guess its going to be an up hill climb from here on in

I found myself in top gear most of the time, Im guessing this is part of the problem, im grinding away rather than spinning

Any advice welcome

Comments

  • antsmithmk
    antsmithmk Posts: 717
    Learn to use the gears would be my first goal then if I were your good self.

    Maybe think about planning a short term goal, a medium term goal or two and a long term goal to work towards.

    I would suggest -

    Short term goal... Ride your bike 3 times in a week and cover at least 30km
    Medium term goal by the end of May... Complete a ride of one hour and 30 minutes non stop
    Long term goalby the end of summer.... Enter your first sportive and complete the short route 50-60km

    Good luck!
  • gubber12345
    gubber12345 Posts: 493
    First few rides are always the same I think, my first was 5 miles long and I thought I was gonna die at the end of it.its not gonna happen over night so just keep plugging away and as antsmithmk says set some small but doable goals...you'll get there.
    Lapierre Aircode 300
    Merida
  • norvernrob
    norvernrob Posts: 1,447
    Just keep getting out on the bike.

    I got my first road bike in January, and I hadn't ridden any sort of bike for around 15 years. After a few sessions on the rollers I went out with a mate and ended up doing 57 miles including Holme moss (multiple stops but I refused to get off and push!) and 4500ft of climbing in total.

    It was a mistake. 30 miles away from home, on the Woodhead pass my legs were totally gone. I had to use bottom gear just to get up short inclines and it's a good job most of the way home was downhill.

    I didn't even think it would be that hard, I was living in the past when I was a teenager and did 80-90 mile rides on a 12 speed mountain bike with knobbly tyres. Then I realised I'm 37 :oops:

    Strangely I didn't get any aches apart from sit bones, my body was just massively fatigued for a good 3 or 4 days after.

    I'm now sticking to 25-30 miles ride for the next couple of months along with a couple of training sessions per week. I've been out a couple of times since that first ride and have managed 25 miles in around 2hrs over pretty hilly terrain, tomorrow's run is a bit flatter though so should be a bit quicker. You'll definitely feel better every ride you go out on.
  • 1964johnr
    1964johnr Posts: 179
    Work out a programme of slowly building up the distances and find out which gears suit you best. Some people use easy gears well and struggle on the higher gears. For other people its the other way round. Knee pain would suggest your choice of gears may be to high. My first rides were as follows.

    2 miles for the first five rides.
    5 miles for the next five rides.
    10 miles for the next five rides.
    12 miles for the next five rides.
    15 miles for the next five rides.
    20 miles for the next ten rides.
    25 miles for the next ten rides.
    30 miles. This is my current distance for my Saturday ride and it takes me under 2 hours. I have no pain at the end of the ride and could do more if I had the time. Build it up slowly and before you know it you will be riding much further with no problem.
  • jasondxb
    jasondxb Posts: 59
    Thanks all for the replies its mch appreciated
  • ForumNewbie
    ForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    jasondxb wrote:
    I found myself in top gear most of the time, Im guessing this is part of the problem, im grinding away rather than spinning
    I would say that is definitely part of the problem. I'm hardly ever in my highest gear unless on a long straight downhill bit of road. You will always tire yourself out really quickly grinding away in top gear all the time.
  • cattytown
    cattytown Posts: 647
    Learn to use your gears and just get miles in. First time back on a bike for me I went into the local town. It's about a mile and a half, but mainly uphill. I was in such a state when I got there that I was seriously worried bout making it back home, which was mainly down hill. I just started with lots of short rides - little more than round the block and it was surprising how quickly I could do 10 miles without a problem, and from there it was just slowly extend the distances.

    Paul.
    Giant Defy 2
    Large bloke getting smaller :-)
  • I'm no expert but the other thing no-one has yet mentioned would be to research how best to set the bike up to suit your bodies geometry. Sore legs and back can be from poor position! Everything from cleat position, seat height and angle, handlebar distance can be adjusted.
    Agree with all said above, build into it slowly, set some goals and enjoy the view as well as the pain.
  • jasondxb
    jasondxb Posts: 59
    Went out again today and tried spinning more, it certainly helps, legs still like jelly after the ride but that's down to fitness more than anything. Stayed on the small ring

    I've put a bit of a plan together, out every other day, 3 times per week

    1st week 7k's per ride
    2nd week 12k's per ride
    3rd week 17k's per ride

    Will definitely be taking myself and the bike to the LBS to fine tune the position at the weekend

    Again thanks for all the input it certainly helps, I can see this becoming very addictive
  • Initialised
    Initialised Posts: 3,047
    Could you use it to commute? It's a great way to get used to riding regularly.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • jasondxb
    jasondxb Posts: 59
    Works only 20k's away, so in the normal world I probably would, living in Dubai I would probably have a life expectancy of about 10mins trying to ride in the rush hour traffic

    Luckily there is a purpose built cycle track about 5 mins from my door, I think the hole loop is about 100ks, I also have the benefit of using the local race track once a week, and that's literally a stone's throw from my front door

    All in all no excuses
  • I've cycled to work every day for years, but last summer decided to get my first proper road bike. My first 'proper' ride was 18 miles and i could hardly walk for two days afterwards.
    Now after about 9 months I regularly do 40 to 50 miles on a sunday. Not a massive distance, but its suits my time schedule and level of fitness.
    The main thing which hindered me in those early rides was lack of proper hydration. I had no clue.
    I thought if i get thirsty, i'll stop and have a drink. Not realising that if your thirsty, then you are already fighting dehydration. My first big ride was 75 miles through the peak district, all done with one bottle of fluid. For the last 20 miles i felt like i was going to die.
    Now i carry two big bottles and take small drinks little and often to keep my fluids up without any problems.
    Definitely a lesson learned the hard way.
  • Tjgoodhew
    Tjgoodhew Posts: 628
    I cant really add much other than what others have said.

    I was in the same position about 18 months ago. Got a new bike, managed 7 miles altho the last 2 miles was pretty much stop and start. I again was in my top gear most of the time and it just killed my legs. I now ride 50 miles without thinking about it and am knocking on the door of a century ride - just waiting for it to warm up a bit.

    To raise my cadence my solution was to use a much lower gear and if it felt like i needed to change gear then i would just try and spin a bit faster.

    You will find that short term you will prob end up blowing out of your ar5e but you will very quickly get used to spinning and will find that your biggest gear will only be used when you are 40mph down a steep hill.
    Cannondale Caad8
    Canyon Aeroad 8.0

    http://www.strava.com/athletes/goodhewt
  • ai_1
    ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    jasondxb wrote:
    Went out again today and tried spinning more, it certainly helps, legs still like jelly after the ride but that's down to fitness more than anything. Stayed on the small ring

    I've put a bit of a plan together, out every other day, 3 times per week

    1st week 7k's per ride
    2nd week 12k's per ride
    3rd week 17k's per ride

    Will definitely be taking myself and the bike to the LBS to fine tune the position at the weekend

    Again thanks for all the input it certainly helps, I can see this becoming very addictive
    Looks like a reasonable plan but I'd suggest not sticking to it too strictly. See how it goes and adjust to suit!
    You might find that the figures you've chosen are too optimistic or with any luck you might discover you feel well able to do some more. Don't make it a punishment by sticking to a plan that doesn't feel right, after all it's fairly arbitrary at this stage. Once you've done a few rides you can re-visit your plan and revise if needed.
  • jasondxb
    jasondxb Posts: 59
    Thanks again, so top advice. The hardest thing is not going out everyday :)

    Just back from the bike shop where a mate has just bought himself a bike, bit of extra motivation, I want to drop 10kgs by Sept and he wants to drop 15kgs. Im looking forward to the day I can complete 100k's without too many issues
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    What you've mentioned sounds normal for a new rider - you'll get used to it quickly. As said I wouldn't stick too hard to set numbers as you could end up burning out or injuring yourself aiming for an arbitrary target. Just do what you think you can manage and next time go a little further.
  • norvernrob
    norvernrob Posts: 1,447
    Ai_1 wrote:
    jasondxb wrote:
    Went out again today and tried spinning more, it certainly helps, legs still like jelly after the ride but that's down to fitness more than anything. Stayed on the small ring

    I've put a bit of a plan together, out every other day, 3 times per week

    1st week 7k's per ride
    2nd week 12k's per ride
    3rd week 17k's per ride

    Will definitely be taking myself and the bike to the LBS to fine tune the position at the weekend

    Again thanks for all the input it certainly helps, I can see this becoming very addictive
    Looks like a reasonable plan but I'd suggest not sticking to it too strictly. See how it goes and adjust to suit!
    You might find that the figures you've chosen are too optimistic or with any luck you might discover you feel well able to do some more. Don't make it a punishment by sticking to a plan that doesn't feel right, after all it's fairly arbitrary at this stage. Once you've done a few rides you can re-visit your plan and revise if needed.


    As a new rider I agree 100% with this. I've done 3 rides so far totalling 120 miles and over 9,000ft of climbing (just had a look on the Garmin), as well as around 12-15 roller and turbo sessions of 20-50 minutes.

    I'm no athlete, just a relatively fit postie. I hadn't been on any sort of bike for 15 years until this January and I'd never had a road bike before. I can do 20 miles at 14-15mph pretty easily, but I hit the wall around the 25 mile mark currently and crawl up hills in bottom gear after that point - but I have kept going and the more I push myself the easier it's getting each time I go out.

    I do have a riding partner who is a regular cyclist though and helps to push the distances up.
  • btiratsoo
    btiratsoo Posts: 204
    Some sound advice. Start small and work up. Most of all though, ride for yourself and enjoy it.