Some beginner questions

mdavenport555
mdavenport555 Posts: 63
edited May 2022 in Road general
I bought myself a broadman CXR 8.9 and only just starting to spend time riding it and have some observations/questions that I’m hoping you can help me out with:-

1. I mainly ride with my hands on the top of the bars (where they curve up) so I can still change gear and apply the brakes. Sorry not sure what that part is known as. I have riding gloves but find it hurts my hands for a while and have to change to the horizontal part of the handlebars where there are no brakes. Any suggestions or is this normal?

2. I find riding that I get quite a bit of lower back pain. Is this normal? The bike is the right size for my height but someone did say the CX range have a long reach. Are there any options here?

3. Is there ever a bike with a decent seat. I’ve got some muddy fox shorts with padding but it’s still uncomfortable. Any recommendations?

4. Back disk brake squeals and squeaks a lot when applied. What’s the best way to stop this?

5. Do most people find they apply both sets of brakes equally or one over the other?

6. At the moment I just wear running T-shirt and some padded shorts. What is the recommended cycle wear?

7. Are cleats and proper shoes highly recommended for casual cycling or just stick with standard trainers?


Sorry for all the noobie questions.
«13

Comments

  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    edited May 2022
    1. Called the hoods. yup, v normal to r ide there . The more you ride the more you'll get used to it and it'll become comfy.

    changing between hoods, flat bits you describe and the drops (bottom bendy bits) is perfectly normal for comfort and speed

    2. Could be a mixture of getting used to the bike plus it may be a bit long - the latter is nothing major, you can just get shorter stems until you find the comfy one.

    they come in 10mm variances, prices range from a fiver to £hundreds. start cheap until you find the length you need then buy something nice.

    3. seats are really personal and it can take ages to find one that works for you - its trial and error. some places do a try before you buy set up.

    i'd ditch those shorts and get some proper cycling shorts. Try starting with something like a DHB pair from Wiggle for good value for money.

    4. Disc brakes, innit. Someone who likes disc brakes can answer this because i think they areshit and will just go off on a rant.

    5. front harder and first in normal conditions - they say something like 70/30 ratio, obvs different on conditions.

    tbh, i can't really remember the last time i used the rear brake in normal dry conditions on the road

    6. dump thatshit. shorts as above, cycling top. fits better lessy flappy, more efficient all that good stuff. get a helmet as well. choose plain colours.

    7. yes - more efficient. loads of options that can be discussed separately.

    8. don't be daft re questions - everyone had to start somewhere. if anyone makes any sarcy comments about any questions call them a moujee and ignore the balloon head.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,977
    edited May 2022
    1. Your bars may be rotated too aggressively for you. Try rotating them to a more comfortable position. Photos below.
    2. Answer to #1 may help. Additional spacers under the stem will help if possible, or a shorter stem.
    3. Yes when cold. If it's happening while warm try tilting your saddle front down a touch at a time, as long as you are not sliding downwards.
    4. Someone else will have to help there.
    5. The front brake is the most effective one.
    6. Whatever you like. Closer fitting will reduce drag and pockets on the back are convenient storage places.
    7. Depends on what you mean by casual. Trainers are fine for nipping to the pub but proper shoes are advised for an all day 100 miler.

    Ask away. We were all beginners once.
    A standard bar setting with the levers at the horizontal.



    An old skool agressive position.


    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • abishek_l
    abishek_l Posts: 45
    Hello there. I can try helping out with a few:

    1. The top of the shifters, known as the hoods, are where most casual riders would spend gripping. It makes for a more comfortable ride but you want to be able to reach the brakes when riding in busy spots where braking might be needed more often and to be safe. Numbness on the hands indicates that all the weight is being put on the hands so you may need to adjust the tilt on your saddle. Ideally you should be on your sitting bones on the saddle and the weight of your body equally distributed between that and your hands. Check out some bikefit videos to get an idea of the best fit for you. This would also relate to your second point and you may need a shorter stem.

    This is all part and parcel of trying and working out what works for you best. It may be best to invest in a bike fit before you spend on the paraphernalia. The cost of the fit would help you get a good understanding of the most favorable ergonomics for you.

    3. This could be again a lot of trial and error - I have 5 saddles sitting in the garage and have yet to find bliss but I've more or less worked out what works for me. Again, a bike fit may help.

    5. Both brakes with care not to let the wheels skid or flip you over. You might find GCN videos on some of this helpful. They can be found on YouTube. I'm also a motorcycle rider and find that the habit of pressing both brakes is better at keeping the balance on the bike.

    7. I ride with normal trainers but if you can get in the habit of riding with cycling shoes, you'll do your bones in your feet a huge favour. You're transferring power through your feet and the hard bottom cycling shoes would help if you're in it for the long term, and the long rides.

    Hope you enjoy the ride!
  • Thanks guys for all the great feedback so far.

    Any recommendations on shorter stems and what would be a good replacement?

    The references made to tilting the saddle to help pressure on the hands. I assume you mean tilt it forward / down slightly?

    Anyone know where in the UK you can get a bike fit? As not heard of this before. I can’t imagine Halfords being any good at this?
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,977
    edited May 2022
    Save yourself £100+ by asking on here with trial and error.
    Small adjustments make big differences. I’d try adjusting what you have before buying new components.

    PS - Dropping your saddle height may also help your hands.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • abishek_l
    abishek_l Posts: 45
    You'll need to confirm the size of your existing stem and try something shorter than that. You'll also need to get the right size where the stem clamps on to the handlebar and then search the Web for a shorter length. Maybe putting up a picture here of your existing setup would help others to help you - and the same goes for how the seat angle is looking right now.

    I was thinking of putting the front end of the saddle up a little, so that it sits flat, would help but that's not what pblakeney is suggesting, and going by their post count it might be that they're right - but does seem counterintuitive to me.

    You're likely to find a bike fitter locally to you so Google would be your best friend. But search for bike fit videos online before you go and spend your money. A lot of the little adjustments you can make yourself and learn along the way.
  • Thanks. I’ll get a photo of the bikes side profile and see what people suggest. Thanks
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,751
    1 - probably normal while you aren't used to it but could be down to bike fit/position

    2 - no not normal but might be a case of getting used to it I suppose. If it continues I'd seek advice.

    3 - cheap or I'll fitting shorts can be uncomfortable but personally I find just about any saddle ok certainly for a few hours and no I don't experience what you describe!

    4 - buy a bike with rim brakes

    5 - I apply both - you can put more force into the front without it locking up

    6 - whatever you find best - I wear different stuff depending on the ride I'm doing.

    7 I'd just stick with trainers for now - I still use trainers on my MTB and I can do 5-6 hour rides on it. Proper clipless pedals and cleats are good if you want to take it a bit more seriously but it isn't night and day.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,977
    abishek_l said:

    ...

    I was thinking of putting the front end of the saddle up a little, so that it sits flat, would help but that's not what pblakeney is suggesting, and going by their post count it might be that they're right - but does seem counterintuitive to me.

    ...

    I am thinking that the nose of the saddle may be applying pressure to the perineum.
    Lowering the nose may help. Or maybe it's just the wrong saddle for the rider. Try adjustments before buying.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    no need for a bike fit - its sll simple small adjustments

    and Halfords are just as good or bad as anyone else - it all depends on the the fella serving you behind the counter
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    re buying a stem - just go on the internet, find some like Merlin chsinreaction click price low to high snd go to the lowest

    you'll be 31.8mm at thr handlebar end, 1 1/8 at the fork end.

    to remove: allen bolt off for the top cap, undo side bolts, undo face plate

    to put on: slip stem on, do up top bolt until finger tight. apply front brake snd rock the bike forwards. if thr headset rattles, do up the bolt 1/2 turn at s go until it dtops.

    pinch up side bolts

    pop bars in the front

    do up bolts gently working against each other - ie do up top left then top right then bottom left, top right. do up little by little so that pressure is spread evenly.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,018
    Stem - besides looking at shorter, flipping it will shorten the reach (if it’s downwards at the moment). Several of your problems may relate to your fit - back pain, butt, numbness in hands, so getting the drop and reach right is a priority.

  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    edited May 2022
    Post a piccie of you sitting on thr bike (lean against a wall, feet on pedals both in the midway position) and we can have a look.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,082
    edited May 2022
    All totally normal questions and pretty much all of us have gone through the same process.

    I remember it feeling very unnatural to have quite so much weight on the front wheel when I first got my road bike - arms ached, neck ached, lower back ached.

    A lot of that just disappears with riding a bit more often. In the end I'd bought a bike too big so I stuck a short stem on it and it was fine.

    Just go riding it on it for a bit and you'll work out what aches were just you adjusting to riding in a road position and what actually needs tweaking. It's all fairly obvious usually.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoat
    N0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,877
    edited May 2022
    The geometry of this bike is quite stretched/aggressive, as per table on https://www.halfords.com/bikes/cyclocross-bikes/boardman-cxr-8.9-cyclocross-bike-528973.html

    My 58cm Cube Attain has 388mm reach, 610mm stack, 540mm C-T seat tube, 110mm -6 degree stem. I'm 178cm tall with short bow legs, top of pedal to top of saddle ~89.5cm, so only ~18cm of exposed post and saddle (EOL sale arrived almost 5 years to day).

    If I was to buy a CXR 8.9, I'd buy the small and be ready to switch out the stem for something longer. But the bars would be ~6.5cm lower than my Cube, something I don't know what my old lower back injury would make of right now, I have a Deda adjustable stem arriving in the next few days to look at this and see if I could reduce my aero drag.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • Hi all,

    Thanks for all the great comments/feedback so far. I've uploaded a couple of photos to show you the bike and also when I am on it (as a couple of you suggested) to see if you can identify any obvious recommendations/tweaks to help with my comfort (sorry I am not in full cycling gear)..

    Please let me know what you think.. TIA



  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,977
    I think rotating the bars* clockwise in the view shown would help your hands.
    Saddle looks okay so see how you get on with that tweak before looking at anything else. One step at a time.
    On the other hand, it could be an optical illusion by the camera angle. Anyone else think otherwise?

    *There is an old adage saying that the bottom of the bars should be horizontal, which yours are. I think this is nonsense.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • masjer
    masjer Posts: 2,592
    edited May 2022
    That looks ok from the pic, but it looks like the saddle is pointing downwards. I feel it's best to set it up level first, otherwise you tend to slide forwards, putting strain on your hands/wrists. Place the bike on level ground (check it's level) then put a spirit level on the saddle and adjust accordingly.
    Check saddle height too. An easy starting point is to put the pedal in its lowest position and with your heel on the pedal, your leg should be dead straight. Don't wear shoes with a thick heel, and certainly no high heels.
    If you are finding the reach to the hoods (levers) too far, you could tilt the handlebars very slightly up- bringing the levers closer to you. If you do adjust, make sure the stem bolts aren't over or under tightened.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    tbh, ithink it all looks pretty good. just more time in saddle and see how it goes.

    and sorry to disagree with pb above but i'd leave the bars exactly where they are - horizontal is how its meant to be.

    differing opinions, eh 🤣

    oh - funky bike by the way - v cool.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoat
    N0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,877
    Looking at photos, to my inexperienced eye at looking at photos like this...

    Saddle looks to be sloping down at front, try level.
    Saddle tip looks on same vertical plane as BB, should be 50mm behind. ;)
    You on bike doesn't look like cranks are level with ground, but your kneecap looks slightly forward of pedal axle, moving saddle back will also transfer less weight to hands. It also effectively raises saddle.

    Ballpark saddle height, put pedal at 6 o'clock (not bottom dead centre at approx 5/7 o'clock), heel of locked straight leg should touch pedal with leaning hips.

    Your arms look quite locked straight, try to bend them, could simply be because you're getting photo while trying to stay upright.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • masjer
    masjer Posts: 2,592
    edited May 2022
    7 - MTB shoes and pedals might be something to think about later. Unlike road shoes, you can still walk in most MTB shoes (if that is what you want) . Shimano m520 pedals are a near indestructible bargain.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    My thoughts on getting basic saddle height is slightly different to the suggestions above. It is with your heels on pedals, then pedal backwards without having to rock your hips should get you in the right starting point.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    this

    leg almost to full extension on full downward - just a slight bend in it.

    exactly as Webboo says, the minute you rock its a tad too high.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • Thanks guys for all the pointers... I managed to contact a bike fitter locally but I think he is a professional racer, wind tunnels etc and will be around £200 so I think this is over kill for me..

    I've read and re-read the pointers to come up with a short list of things to try.. This is what I have:-

    1. Riding the hoods hurts... Consider rotating the bars up a bit but not much as they are pretty accurate already (horizontal). Maybe lower the saddle a bit as that may help the hands..

    2. Lower back pain - consider shorter stem or additional spacers... or just keep riding and see if it improves

    3. Seat/Shorts - scrap the muddy fox and consider some DHB from Wiggle as a starter

    4. Disc brakes - try and bed them in...

    5. Braking - use both roughly 70/30 in favour of front

    6. Clothing - get some DHB shorts, get a cycling top and consider pockets on the back.. stick to plain colours

    7. Shoes - going to stick with my trainers for now unless I get more serious then get some proper shoes and cleats... watch this space...


    The other thing mention was to get a roadside repair kit, multi-tool and pump... Any links to recommendations please?

    Also, how do you carry this kit when on your bike? Do you attach pumps to the bike like we used to years ago or do you have some sort of cycling rucksack to put it all in?? Again, recommendations here please?

    Thanks again for help.

    Let me know if I have gotten any of the above wrong... :-)
  • shirley_basso
    shirley_basso Posts: 6,195
    edited May 2022
    Basically yes to all the above.

    I carry a few items, namely a multitool, pump, tyre levers and a spare tube.

    This multi tool, as it has a chain breaker. It wont do everything for you, but will do most roadside repairs. The lack of philips is a minor gripe but never caused me concern:
    https://road.cc/content/review/217008-pedros-rxm-multi-tool

    This pump:
    https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Topeak-Race-Rocket-Mini-Hand-Pump_34445.htm

    Options for storage are:
    Small bag which sits under your saddle (personally I hate them)

    Squeeze them into a back pocket (perhaps put them in a bag first) such as:

    https://www.wiggle.co.uk/lezyne-caddy-sack-medium

    Or use a bottle cage mounted storage bottle. I have this one. You may wish to put a nitrile glove and some tissues in to clean your hands / stop it rattling. I use one bottle cage for my drinks bottle, and my second for the below. That frees up my pockets to carry my phone, debit card, £5 cash and a flapjack. If I ride much longer, I decant it and put into pockets, so I can carry two bottles, but nowadays I just carry one and stop somewhere and refill liquids if I need.

    https://www.sigmasports.com/item/PRO/Storage-Bottle-500ml/PDRS

    As for rucksacks in general - they are advised against, as you want to try and keep weight off your back if you are riding long distances.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,977
    Only point raised previously that you may have missed.

    2. Flipping the stem will give an extra bit of height until you get used to riding in the road position.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,751

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all the great comments/feedback so far. I've uploaded a couple of photos to show you the bike and also when I am on it (as a couple of you suggested) to see if you can identify any obvious recommendations/tweaks to help with my comfort (sorry I am not in full cycling gear)..

    Please let me know what you think.. TIA




    Better with the camera side foot at 6 o clock
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    edited May 2022
    lowering your saddle risks messing up legs snd

    Thanks guys for all the pointers... I managed to contact a bike fitter locally but I think he is a professional racer, wind tunnels etc and will be around £200 so I think this is over kill for me..

    I've read and re-read the pointers to come up with a short list of things to try.. This is what I have:-

    1. Riding the hoods hurts... Consider rotating the bars up a bit but not much as they are pretty accurate already (horizontal). Maybe lower the saddle a bit as that may help the hands..

    2. Lower back pain - consider shorter stem or additional spacers... or just keep riding and see if it improves

    3. Seat/Shorts - scrap the muddy fox and consider some DHB from Wiggle as a starter

    4. Disc brakes - try and bed them in...

    5. Braking - use both roughly 70/30 in favour of front

    6. Clothing - get some DHB shorts, get a cycling top and consider pockets on the back.. stick to plain colours

    7. Shoes - going to stick with my trainers for now unless I get more serious then get some proper shoes and cleats... watch this space...


    The other thing mention was to get a roadside repair kit, multi-tool and pump... Any links to recommendations please?

    Also, how do you carry this kit when on your bike? Do you attach pumps to the bike like we used to years ago or do you have some sort of cycling rucksack to put it all in?? Again, recommendations here please?

    Thanks again for help.

    Let me know if I have gotten any of the above wrong... :-)

    I wouldn't lower the saddle height - that's going to affect legs and may even throw wrists into a more weird position and cause more grief.

    you're also spacered out - ie you can't fit any more but, tbh that 'bar height looks cool tbh.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • vincesummerskRoxcBTr
    edited May 2022
    Get the saddle position right for you first, height and fore and aft position, then see how the handle bar position is
    If your knee is over the middle of the pedal when the pedals are horizontal and you are sitting properly on the saddle is a good starting position. Too far back and you keep sliding forward on the saddle.
  • First.Aspect
    First.Aspect Posts: 14,800
    Saddle angle looks fine. There are no real rules unless it is clearly extreme. So don't make yourself even less comfortable trying to follow someone's advice on that it ought to look like. When I started people told me it should point slightly up, which made it a torture device.

    I have mine very slightly down, like you and a lot of pros these days. When my fat ares is on it, I'm guessing the shell flexes and it is essentially level.

    Size looks fine also, but another vote for tilting the bar back a bit, on the basis that you aren't comfortable now.

    Regarding the bar position, I think you should focus on having the bar leading to the hoods flat first, then worry about the hoods. I find having their tops either flat or marginally up, running from level bars, to be comfortable, and even small changes there make a difference.

    Who knows about seat height. You aren't even wearing the trainers you ride in so there's no way to tell.