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Another newbie question? How can I get confident pushing off??

bungle73bungle73 Posts: 748
edited July 2016 in Road beginners
This is bugging me. I'm not a new cyclist - I've been riding an MTB for years, and I'm very confident on it.

I've just received my new road bike, but the the life of me I cannot summon up the confidence to push off. I'm not sure why. I've tried putting flat pedals on instead of the SPDs I bought for it, temporally, and I've also lowered the saddle. Yet I still can't get the confidence to set off. Any tips?

Which position is the best to hold the bars? Maybe it's because I'm used to flat bars where you always have full control over the brake levers.

Help!

Posts

  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I, and I suspect 95% of other road cyclists, spend most of my time with hands on the hoods. It's a comfortable position, and you can brake and change gear from there.

    Road bikes can feel very light and twitchy when you're used to MTBs; all I can suggest is lots of practice, on the flat and away from traffic.
  • Man Of LardMan Of Lard Posts: 903
    keef66 wrote:
    Road bikes can feel very light and twitchy when you're used to MTBs; all I can suggest is lots of practice, on the flat and away from traffic.

    That! MTB feels like driving a bus after being out even on a CX bike.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    How to push off? Check it's clear behind, right foot on the pedal at about the 2 o'clock position with the other flat on the kerb ideally, then just push with the right. You don't need to try to break the crank or reach 20mph inside a dozen yards, just push & go and as the left pedal comes round drop your dangling foot onto it. Look where you're going too - not as in watch out for that ped about to walk right in front of you, but your bike will tend to go where your gaze is so look where you intend to so that you're not fighting that instinct. And practise. Doing it without thinking is the target.

    Hold the bars on the hoods, like the rest of the human race does almost all of the time they're out on a bike. Drops are for sprinting & racing & getting down to a low profile when pushing on a bit. Hoods are for riding on.
  • bungle73bungle73 Posts: 748
    I'm almost there! I managed push off and ride up and down my road a few times (I live in a cul-de-sac). I'm still not that confident braking from the hoods though.

    Haven't progressed to gear shifting while moving either, yet.
    CiB wrote:
    How to push off? Check it's clear behind, right foot on the pedal at about the 2 o'clock position with the other flat on the kerb ideally, then just push with the right. You don't need to try to break the crank or reach 20mph inside a dozen yards, just push & go and as the left pedal comes round drop your dangling foot onto it. Look where you're going too - not as in watch out for that ped about to walk right in front of you, but your bike will tend to go where your gaze is so look where you intend to so that you're not fighting that instinct. And practise. Doing it without thinking is the target.

    Hold the bars on the hoods, like the rest of the human race does almost all of the time they're out on a bike. Drops are for sprinting & racing & getting down to a low profile when pushing on a bit. Hoods are for riding on.
    Oh, I'm a seasoned road rider on the MTB. I'm just having trouble gaining confidence handling the road bike.
  • bbrapbbrap Posts: 610
    bungle73 wrote:

    Haven't progressed to gear shifting while moving either, yet.

    I suggest not trying to change gear whilst stationary unless you have hub gears :P
    Rose Xeon CDX 3100, Ultegra Di2 disc (nice weather)
    Ribble Gran Fondo, Campagnolo Centaur (winter bike)
    Van Raam 'O' Pair
    Land Rover (really nasty weather :lol: )
  • bungle73bungle73 Posts: 748
    I'm also having a lot of trouble trying to install a mirror I bought for it. This one>>

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/CycleAware-01- ... die+mirror

    I'm finding it impossible to insert the plug into the end of the bars! It just won't go in. The only thing I can think is that the bar tape inside is making it too narrow. But if I start fiddling with that it might all star unravelling!
    bbrap wrote:
    bungle73 wrote:

    Haven't progressed to gear shifting while moving either, yet.

    I suggest not trying to change gear whilst stationary unless you have hub gears :P
    LOL!
  • bbrapbbrap Posts: 610
    I must admit I'm having a slight problem in seeing how you are having problems. You state that you are a seasoned bike rider using flat bars. If you are holding the road bike bars by the hoods your thumbs go towards the centre and the other four fingers go to the outside, you just put those fingers on the brake levers and pull (like trying to make a fist). Regarding gear changing, you also use the same outside finger(s) to change gear (depending on system), campag or old Sora may have a thumb button to change to an easier gear. Can't see that is a million miles from flat bars and rapid fires, just oriented at 90 degrees.
    Rose Xeon CDX 3100, Ultegra Di2 disc (nice weather)
    Ribble Gran Fondo, Campagnolo Centaur (winter bike)
    Van Raam 'O' Pair
    Land Rover (really nasty weather :lol: )
  • bungle73bungle73 Posts: 748
    bbrap wrote:
    I must admit I'm having a slight problem in seeing how you are having problems. You state that you are a seasoned bike rider using flat bars. If you are holding the road bike bars by the hoods your thumbs go towards the centre and the other four fingers go to the outside, you just put those fingers on the brake levers and pull (like trying to make a fist). Regarding gear changing, you also use the same outside finger(s) to change gear (depending on system), campag or old Sora may have a thumb button to change to an easier gear. Can't see that is a million miles from flat bars and rapid fires, just oriented at 90 degrees.
    With flat bars you have full power all the time. But on road bars, on the hoods, you don't . Plus I'm used not used to road type brake levers..
  • bungle73bungle73 Posts: 748
    It's also probably because I'm just not used to the road bar configuration.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    bungle73 wrote:
    Oh, I'm a seasoned road rider on the MTB. I'm just having trouble gaining confidence handling the road bike.
    Shouldn't be a problem then surely? It's not like swapping your mtb skills for abseiling, it's still 2 wheels facing where you want to be. People throw words like twitchy around but it's still a bike that goes where you make it go. It just happens more quickly than on a mtb, presumably...
  • bigmitch41bigmitch41 Posts: 684
    Overthinking maybe?
    Paracyclist
    @Bigmitch_racing
    2010 Specialized Tricross (commuter)
    2014 Whyte T129-S
    2016 Specialized Tarmac Ultegra Di2
    Big Mitch - YouTube
  • bungle73bungle73 Posts: 748
    Maybe.

    I'm begging to think that this mirror I bought is a piece of censored . It just will not go into the end of the bars. I'm thinking of sending it back and complaining.
  • bungle73bungle73 Posts: 748
    It's just the different position. I've been used to flat bars for so long.
    bungle73 wrote:
    Maybe.

    I'm begging to think that this mirror I bought is a piece of censored . It just will not go into the end of the bars. I'm thinking of sending it back and complaining.
    Never mind, I've done it!
  • bungle73bungle73 Posts: 748
    Gaining more confidence now. I've put the seat up to around the correct position, and I've been been venturing out further! :D
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    I tend to push off in a bigger than expected gear. Really hoof it, and use the extra bit of speed / time, to settle in.
  • paul2718paul2718 Posts: 471
    It just takes some time for your brain to get dialled in to the handling, persistence will sort it. I remember changing my stem from 110mm to 120mm and finding it hard to take a hand off for a while. Getting to a drinks bottle, or something out of a pocket can seem very difficult. Until you're used to it when it's hard to believe anybody could have a problem.

    Paul
  • Check out this tips maybe you need to pay more attention on your positions
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  • bike_3.gif
  • Mark AlexanderMark Alexander Posts: 2,277
    bungle73 wrote:
    I'm almost there! I managed push off and ride up and down my road a few times (I live in a cul-de-sac). I'm still not that confident braking from the hoods though.

    Haven't progressed to gear shifting while moving either, yet.

    First off I must admit it came naturally to me but I didn't have any previous experience to unlearn. Are you still having a problem braking? Think of braking with a road bike as progressive. You have to feather the brakes, jam them on and you'll skid. Everything you do on a road bike is more smooth and more subtle. Sometimes imperceptible.
    http://twitter.com/mgalex
    www.ogmorevalleywheelers.co.uk

    10TT 24:36 25TT: 57:59 50TT: 2:08:11, 100TT: 4:30:05 12hr 204.... unfinished business
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