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Some beginners advice needed

seanoraweseanorawe Posts: 950
edited May 2012 in Commuting general
I weighed myself a few months ago and nearly died when I saw I was 20 Stone. I decided to start cycling to work and back everyday. A 6 mile round trip, and I try to get out on a Saturday morning for a 20 – 30 mile ride. I have a Giant CRS2.0 hybrid, and I have well gotten used to it now. My commute to work is in heavy traffic with lots of lights, but coming home is all up hill. So here is where I need advice.

My employers are introducing a cycle to work scheme, so Im getting a new bike. Do I change to a racer type road bike with drop bars and faster tyres? Or does the hybrid suit heavier people more? Which is better for weight loss?

Also, as the work route is heavy traffic I was looking for a dual platform/clipless pedal. So I can ride platform to work and clip in for longer cycles. If anyone knows of a certain brand they know works well would be great. (Shimano M530 seem popular)

Wirth the hybrid im averaging 12mph on flat and 10mph in traffic rides. Is this normal for my size after a few months, or should it be better?

Cube Attain SL Disc
Giant CRS 2.0


  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    I dont think the question should be 'which is better for weight loss' as arguably a heavier bike means you work harder and is better for weight loss but you might not enjoy it so might use it less.

    I think you first need to look at your current bike and riding and ask - 'what am I not happy with?'.

    If you are finding the uphill a struggle then a lighter bike might help, as might one with lower gears instead.

    Although it is often debated (at length) there is a point of view that says drop bars are not so good for commuting in heavy traffic and a flat barred, more upright, higher up seating potision give you better vision and better for being seen and maybe more manoueverable.

    If you are going to get really serious then you may want to look at drop bar though as it is faster (when not in traffic).

    Another thing you need to think about is security - if your bike parking at work isnt great, you may want to use your current bike for commuting and the new one just be for the longer, leisure time rides.

    Shimano pedals are great if you are happy with the compromise, at the cheaper end, I have used M324s for some time and am really happy with them. Occasionally I have to spin the cranks to get the right side up but I find that a small price - other people hate them.
  • seanoraweseanorawe Posts: 950
    Are hybrid bike gears more forgiving for hills? i.e IS there more of them to mkae hills easier?
    Cube Attain SL Disc
    Giant CRS 2.0
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    Hybrids probably have smaller gears, as some will be based around MTBs. But it's not a given, and you can change the cassette and chainrings on a road bike anyway.

    As for pedals, just get clipless or flats, the combo ones are the worst of both worlds.

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • king_jeffersking_jeffers Posts: 694
    I would stick with your current bike for bombing into work, use the cycle scheme to get a road bike for the weekends :-)
  • corshamjimcorshamjim Posts: 234
    My usual speed on a long weekend run is about 12mph too. I know a lot of people do ride faster than that, but personally I think that's plenty enough to get around so I've no ambition to go much faster!

    I find the weight loss question an interesting one. An oft-quoted phrase is 'excercise more, eat less'. The first is easy, but my experience is that cycling a lot actually encourages me to eat more! Personally I reckon the Low GI diet is a good place to start - it encourages an understanding of how the body will use the energy you eat. With that understanding you realise that actually sometimes you do need to eat quite a lot and that's okay if you're actually using the energy you're consuming.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    Your current bike is good for a 2x6mile commute. Your gearing goes down to 28/28 ie 1:1 which is sufficient for hilly commutes.
    If you want another bike (and who doesn't), get one that you can use for alternate leisure rides. This may be an MTB, a road race bike or a more tourable road bike. It is always useful to have a backup bike in case your main ride is in the workshop or worse.
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