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General tips/question/advice for a newbie

jonboyukjonboyuk Posts: 40
edited July 2018 in Commuting general
Hey all!

I've just decided that instead of being a lazy car driver, that I'd start commuting to work. It's a 30 mile round trip and I've been doing it for 3 weeks, 3 times a week (with a view to building up to 5). I guess I have a few general questions if that's ok?
  • Is a bike fit worth the money? Generally I don't get too much pain, other than numb hands at mile 10+ :lol: I also have had some posterior sores but bought some 'Udderly Smooth Chamois Cream' which helps.
  • I'm so poor at some general biking things. For example, for some reason I can easily take my right hand off the bar, but if I try my left, I know my bike will be in a hedge...with me. Any tips on how to overcome this?
  • I have no idea what speed/cadence I should be aiming for... it's all quite new to me. For a guide, I'm averaging about 17mph with a cadence of 80. My trip (each way) takes about 48 mins. I'm aware it's not a race, but it would be good to see what I could be aiming for.
  • Primarily I'm doing this because I'm a fatty and I don't want to be anymore! Presumably this will help me? I'm curious how long it might take me to see some visible changes.

I might come up with some other questions, but this is it for now. Thanks :)

Posts

  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    well - that's a good start - how long have you been doing it? What bike is it? Drop or flat bar?

    1) If the bike is comfortable then I'd suggest not needing a bike fit. If you're getting saddle sores then are you using the correct shorts (with nothing underneath) and is it the right saddle - you can size a saddle without having to do a full fit. The bog standard saddles are not always the right ones.
    2) Get on a quiet road/path and practice removing the hands - start with just away from the bars then slowly work your way to being able to ride with just one hand on the bar. We all have our preference.
    3) Fast enough to get you there in the time you have available. You should be aiming for something achievable in the timeframe you set.... ;)
    4) If you want to lose weight then you need to balance your exercise with your calorie intake. The problem with cycling is that you'll quickly get hungry and it's easy to over eat. More water/no-sugar juice may help ;)
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    If your hands are sore maybe there's too much weight on them. Can you raise your stem slightly or look at the angle you hold the brakes ?

    Bike fit is a pretty new thing - we managed without them for decades so I dont see them as being essential.

    Your cadence sounds excellent - you see so many people struggling along in big gears and turning over 50rpm - so inefficient and great for knackering the knees.

    As to the left hand - find an empty car park after hours and practice. You can do the right so the left one will come with a bit of time.

    Keep up the good work.
  • HamishDHamishD Posts: 538
    jonboyuk wrote:
    Hey all!

    I've just decided that instead of being a lazy car driver, that I'd start commuting to work. It's a 30 mile round trip and I've been doing it for 3 weeks, 3 times a week (with a view to building up to 5). I guess I have a few general questions if that's ok?
    • Is a bike fit worth the money? Generally I don't get too much pain, other than numb hands at mile 10+ :lol: I also have had some posterior sores but bought some 'Udderly Smooth Chamois Cream' which helps.
    • I'm so poor at some general biking things. For example, for some reason I can easily take my right hand off the bar, but if I try my left, I know my bike will be in a hedge...with me. Any tips on how to overcome this?
    • I have no idea what speed/cadence I should be aiming for... it's all quite new to me. For a guide, I'm averaging about 17mph with a cadence of 80. My trip (each way) takes about 48 mins. I'm aware it's not a race, but it would be good to see what I could be aiming for.
    • Primarily I'm doing this because I'm a fatty and I don't want to be anymore! Presumably this will help me? I'm curious how long it might take me to see some visible changes.

    I might come up with some other questions, but this is it for now. Thanks :)

    Keep going! You are doing very well. Your aris will toughen up soon enough. Ditto your hands - consider getting some bar ends to change hand position occasionally (if you have a flat bar bike).
  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 7,010
    People always say should eat less etc to see weight loss. I dropped from 103kg to 85kg (185cm tall) and my diet has not really changed - I still eat like a pig. I suppose I am still heavy for a cyclist, and if I wanted to drop another 5kg or more, I would have to stop eating like a pig.

    You'll get faster the more you ride, cadence of 80 is fine.

    Keep it up!
  • jonboyukjonboyuk Posts: 40
    Thanks all!

    @Slowbike - I actually went to a bike shop and they did a quick free fit for me because they don't sell them. It was quite useful and after a few tweaks and photos apparently my stem is way too low for my torso length. So I've bought a Humpert Comfi Handlebar Stem High Rise thingy which will give me additional height, which apparently will stop my wrist ache as I'm placing too much weight on them (in lieu of the saddle).

    @Fenix - As you said, I'm going to need to raise the stem quite a bit!

    @HamishD - Thank you, I do have a flat bar and the side pieces are a wee bit small!

    @hopkinb - How far/frequently were you cycling to achieve that, and were you pushing yourself hard? Incidentally, as weight/height goes, I started at 99kg (185cm tall) and after 3 weeks of this cycling lark I've gone up to 100kg?!! I'm also eating well (wife and I are doing slimming world) and this is the first time I've gone up in weight. I'm *hoping* it's maybe the development of some muscles in my legs that's caused that :lol: I've put a lot of effort in over the last 3 weeks, (I know it's only 9x30 mile round trips but I didn't expect to gain weight!!)

    Humph!!!

    PS. This is my bike - Cannondale 2017 Quick Carbon 2 Mens Hybrid
    JW4PXST.jpg
  • redbikejohnredbikejohn Posts: 156
    To lose fat use an app like My Fitness Pal to monitor your calorie intake. Once I did the fat dropped off. As for going up in weight you have most likely put on muscle mass but haven't lost much fat by still taking in too many calories. I started weighing and checking every single thing I ate and you will be surprised how little food you should be eating if it full of the wrong sort of carbs/calories
  • redbikejohnredbikejohn Posts: 156
    I invested in a body scanning scale so I could see weight vers fat etc. Sometimes your weight stays the same but fat % goes down. Also water % is critical for fat loss.
  • redbikejohnredbikejohn Posts: 156
    Ref commute.
    Get a good pump plus co2 for quick fill on way to work.
    Good quality multi tool from topeak.
    Spare rear gear cable.
    Spare chain link
    2 Spare tubes
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 416
    Like hopkinb and a similar height, I used to be around 100kg but am now around 85kg. This has been primarily as a result of the commuting I think.
    I noticed changes in my body before the weight began to fall off, I enjoy eating and just crack on with that without a concern. To lose that weight has taken over a year, but doing it gradually makes it feel more permanent in a way, my lifestyle has changed completely and I know it's not some fad diet that I'll revert from and pile it all back on.

    I do about a 30 mile round trip, some weeks it's five days (rain/shine/hail or snow) but more often than not life gets in the way one day in the week and I work from home or something so it ends up being 4 days on average. i find that distance sustainable, I live further out but cover half the distance by car which means I can be on streetlit roads and keep to the sustainable 30 mile round trip, I can't do many 60 mile days in a week along side work.

    Your average cadence sounds perfect and I am jealous of your average speed, the central London stop/start portion of my commute kills the average off.
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