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New bike.....and struggling....advice?

Furners78Furners78 Posts: 11
edited April 2016 in Road beginners
Hello Everyone

I am new to road cycling - and until last week I had been doing training and some cycling events on a hybrid bike. I had really made some progress in my fitness and training, invested in a Turbo trainer and was feeling great. Completed a 37mile sportive 2 weeks ago and felt fantastic as it was hilly and had a huge hill at the end!

So, with a 50 mile and 100 mile event coming up, I invested in a Decathlon B'TWIN....and am finding it VERY hard work! I did a 33 miler with Toys Hill in it the other day, and it was hell.... I feel like I am cycling so slowly, my legs finding the gears hard work, and in the lowest gear hills are a huge struggle. I know if I had been on my old bike I would have found it much easier! Even today I did a ride that I managed with ease 2 weeks ago, and today it was much slower and harder.....

Please help! Is this just a case of getting used to a new bike? Should I put it on the TT to get used to it more? I am really feeling pretty deflated and stressed as I was feeling great, even now a flat cycle feels exhausting!

Any advice would be greatly received....!
Thanks

Posts

  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Have you checked that the brakes aren't rubbing ? Tyres not rubbing on frame ? Tyres pumped up properly ?
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,195
    Sounds like a big difference in gearing between bikes, have a look at the gears and count the teeth if you don't know already on the front chainset and rear cassette. It sounds like you may have gone from a triple chainset hybrid with a granny gear to a double chainset that won't be as forgiving.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Furners78Furners78 Posts: 11
    Might check the tyres etc again - but it was serviced as I bought it.....

    Both my new bike and old bike had triple chainsets......in my old bike I could ride with ease on biggest cog, now I can't!

    Is it just a gears thing? Will a few sessions on the TT help?
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    It could well be that your new bike has a higher top gear - but is it a user problem ?

    You don't go into the top gear if you can't turn it ? Stop going up the gears when it's getting too hard ?

    My top gear is only useful for descending at 40mph downhill.
  • Furners78Furners78 Posts: 11
    Hahaha yep I won't use the gear.....just surprised I can't use it if that makes sense!

    I think I just need to get used to it.... Its just pretty nasty feeling fit and to be back to feeling like I am cycling in jelly....
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I'd imagine that your old hybrid simply had lower gears. It's not designed to whizz along - but your road bike is.
    So the road bike has higher gears. You don't HAVE to use them. The idea is that you keep your legs spinning at a constant speed = 85rpm ish.... and you adjust the gears up and down accordingly.

    I do see a lot of beginners pedalling everywhere at 60rpm in gears that are clearly too big.
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    Which chainset and rear cassette do you have?

    E. G. 50/34, 12-30 etc.
  • Furners78Furners78 Posts: 11
    This is the spec on new bike....

    Aluminium 50/39/30 triple chainring, drivetrain is 8-speed microshift, crank size 175 mm (bike is a 57inch frame)...
    My old bike had Shimano Deore, so I think this is where the problem is.....just need to get used to new gears that are much harder!
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    It's not harder gears as such - you have 24* to choose from - its just that you're using them incorrectly. Riding in the top gear for example and struggling to turn it.

    *ok I know there will be duplications in ranges - but let's not get into this now.
  • Furners78Furners78 Posts: 11
    Ok thanks. To be honest I haven't actually been trying to cycle in the top gear, as I can't, but even much lower gears are proving to be hard....so I guess I need to figure if its just a gearing issue that I need to get used to them, and if it isn't....what is the problem!
    I am new to all of this, hence the beginner thread, but after a good 6 months of cycling, I feel like I have done nothing and struggle to cycle on the flat....
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    What was your old bike ? Do you have a link to it maybe ?
  • Furners78Furners78 Posts: 11
    Old bike is a meteor Ridgeback, not sure on anything more specific as I was given it, its a very old model though as I have had it for 5+ years, and my friend had it for several years before that!
    I have now changed to a Decathlon D'TWIN Triban 500.....so quite different....
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    edited April 2016
    I think the point is what were the gears on your hybrid? (teeth on the cogs)

    These kind of sites explain things:

    http://www.bikecalc.com/speed_at_cadence

    To give yourself a real sense of the bikes and the differences then you need some constant factors, e,g, ride the hybrid at 15mph in the right gear (as in a nice gear your legs can turn happily) and then see how you get on with the road bike. You should find that for a fixed speed, the same gearing will feel roughly the same, e.g., 34x13 on the hybrid against 34x13 on the road bike. In reality, the road bike should actually feel easier because of aerodynamics and tyres, etc.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    OK so old bike
    CHAINSET - Shimano Altus 48/38/28
    FREEWHEEL - Shimano Cassette 11-32 8sp
    Lowest gear is 23.87 inches

    new bike 50/39/30 triple chainring
    FREEWHEEL- 12 x 25
    Lowest gear is 31.51 gear inches

    So yes the hybrid did have a lower bottom gear - but unless you were always in that or the one above it - it shouldn't be that much of a problem ?

    Are you regularly in absolute bottom gear ? Pedalling less than 60rpm ?

    If so you can get a lower cassette fitted on the new bike. I'd take it back to Decathlon and explain to them.
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    Furners78 wrote:
    This is the spec on new bike....

    Aluminium 50/39/30 triple chainring, drivetrain is 8-speed microshift, crank size 175 mm (bike is a 57inch frame)...
    My old bike had Shimano Deore, so I think this is where the problem is.....just need to get used to new gears that are much harder!

    Are you trying to ride the 'same' gear on each bike. That is on the hybrid you used the largest chainring and the 5th sprocket and it felt fine so you are using the largest chainring and 5th sprocket on your new bike. If you are you will be trying to ride in a much bigger gear.
    FDor instance if you look at the lowest gear. The rings on your deore chainset could be as low as 44/32/22 and if you have a deore cassette it could be as low as largest sprocket of 34 tooth. 22 chain set with 34 cassette this gives a gearing of about 18" where as 30 chainring and 25 cassette is 32" that's almost twice as 'hard' .

    The gearing on your bike your bike depends mostly on the ratio between the teeth on the chainrings (50/39/30) and the cassette (which you've not stated, say 12-25). Wheel and tyre size also plays a part.
    Count the number of teeth on the chainrings and cassette on each bike. Use the link below to work out how many inches this is equivalent to (don't worry about what it mean just use it as a comparison). Ride on your hybrid and make a note of what gear you are in. Then next time you ride use your new bike and use a gear (chainring/ cassette combination) that has the same number of inches as you used on your hybrid.
    If the new bike is lighter you should find it easier if not there's either something wrong with the bike or your position on it. Either way take it back to the shop for advice.

    If it's that even in the lowest gear on your new bike is way you still find it way too hard you can either, buy a new cassette with a larger sprocket, loose weigh or get fitter.

    http://www.bikecalc.com/gear_inches
  • Furners78Furners78 Posts: 11
    Ok great, thanks Fenix and Bobbinogs....great info and helpful.... Think I will put both on the TT and have a test out and find out what/where it works.....I need to take new bike back to Decathlon anyway as gears a bit crunchy....so might also ask for lower cassette as you say!

    Thanks Whoof too - just seen that.....will be counting up later and doing the comparisons!

    Lots of reading and learning for me!
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 11,176
    Furners78 wrote:
    Ok great, thanks Fenix and Bobbinogs....great info and helpful.... Think I will put both on the TT and have a test out and find out what/where it works.....I need to take new bike back to Decathlon anyway as gears a bit crunchy....so might also ask for lower cassette as you say!

    Thanks Whoof too - just seen that.....will be counting up later and doing the comparisons!

    Lots of reading and learning for me!

    The good news is that a new cassette is less than £15
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    Sounds like you've been working hard over a few weeks to improve and are now starting to experience a degree of over-training. Your body can only take so much in a given time and can become fatigued - especially if you aren't used to regular strenuous exercise.

    Take a few days off, rest, eat well, go to bed early - you will likely find you will be faster after this and can then progress with more - appropriately graduated - training.
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    What about position on the bike? If the saddle is too high or too low then you will really struggle.
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    Furners78 wrote:
    Hello Everyone

    I am new to road cycling - and until last week I had been doing training and some cycling events on a hybrid bike. I had really made some progress in my fitness and training, invested in a Turbo trainer and was feeling great. Completed a 37mile sportive 2 weeks ago and felt fantastic as it was hilly and had a huge hill at the end!

    So, with a 50 mile and 100 mile event coming up, I invested in a Decathlon B'TWIN....and am finding it VERY hard work! I did a 33 miler with Toys Hill in it the other day, and it was hell.... I feel like I am cycling so slowly, my legs finding the gears hard work, and in the lowest gear hills are a huge struggle. I know if I had been on my old bike I would have found it much easier! Even today I did a ride that I managed with ease 2 weeks ago, and today it was much slower and harder.....

    Please help! Is this just a case of getting used to a new bike? Should I put it on the TT to get used to it more? I am really feeling pretty deflated and stressed as I was feeling great, even now a flat cycle feels exhausting!

    Any advice would be greatly received....!
    Thanks

    In addition to what the others have suggested, I just wonder, are you actually slower on the new bike, or is it perceived effort / discomfort? If the new bike gives a very different riding position, that could also have an impact on how you feel. For example, are your saddle heights carefully measured? I would also check the length of your crank arms on both bikes. Some people are sensitive to small changes like this.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,578
    If you are struggling to turn the pedals round on the flat when you're using your smallest chainring and biggest cassette sprocket then it sounds to me like something is amiss with the bike. That should really be a pretty easy gear which should spin round with very little resistance on the flat unless you're cycling headlong into a gale.
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 5,522
    what are the tyre pressures?
    Your old bike probably had much wider tyres and rolled ok with low pressures. Your new one probably needs 100psi or something near it.
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    svetty wrote:
    Sounds like you've been working hard over a few weeks to improve and are now starting to experience a degree of over-training. Your body can only take so much in a given time and can become fatigued - especially if you aren't used to regular strenuous exercise.

    Take a few days off, rest, eat well, go to bed early - you will likely find you will be faster after this and can then progress with more - appropriately graduated - training.

    +1 Check the rider as well as the bike.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    what are the tyre pressures?
    Your old bike probably had much wider tyres and rolled ok with low pressures. Your new one probably needs 100psi or something near it.
    Yes, you need a track pump if you haven't already got one. I never used to pump up my tyres on my first old hybrid, but now I nearly always check and top up the pressure on the tyres on my road bikes.
  • Bluemoon17Bluemoon17 Posts: 732
    It has been very windy all week.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    No updates ?
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965
    I made the move in September last year from a XC MTB to a 500Se, and found similar to start with ( approx. 2 weeks), but it was the change in available gear ratios that was the problem - I was unfit, and used to be able to ride up my local 6.4% hill on the granny ring on the MTB. but couldn't do it with the gearing available to me on the 500. A few months commuting later and I can now climb it on the 500 with 3 gears to spare.

    One thing I would check with the 500, especially if you've been out in the rain with it, is how well the rear wheel free wheels - when new, it would continue to do a "good number" of revolutions after stopping spinning. After some poor weather, it deteriorated significantly due to water ingress into the freehub and axle.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • Building base fitness can take months, even years, and even for people who are healthy and reasonably fit already. Give it time. If you are tired, rest. If you do the right training, you will see results in time.

    N.B. 'TT' is a time trial, by the way, not a turbo trainer! ;)
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Still no updates?
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,578
    He went out for a 30 mile ride on Wednesday and has not been seen since.
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