I thought I would start a cycling thread. It would be great if we could make it all inclusive, so whether you currently just enjoy bike rides but are interested in taking it further, or already train seriously, please post what you are up to and what your aims are. By sharing knowledge and experiences, hopefully we can spur each other on.
If you want to, please post a quick biog of how long you have been cycling, how much you currently cycle, and what your goals are.
And for those who wish to engage in a bit of bike porn, please feel free to post what sort of bike you ride!
Oh I am jealous of you living near enough to do that poached! I live in boring flat east anglia. You will have fun! Maybe you could hire a bike to try one out? (sorry voice of evil temptation there)
Viva not sure on your pedals imy first thought would be to loosen them more. If the metal bit at the front of cleat feels up against the pedal it should be right? Does your dh have spds and if so can he manage to clip in? I did have trouble unclipping for a bit when I first got them but not really getting clipped in or not to that degree
Did i mention I am going mountain biking for A WHOLE WEEK next week. Without kids. Much as I love them I cannot wait. Hurrah pyrenees here I come.
Been out today and got on with the SPDs OK. Its much easier to clip in when you're actually moving rather than stationary. I do struggle getting my left foot out which caused a bit of a panic at a junction. Will have to find out how to adjust the pedals and make sure its set right.
I did a triathlon at the weekend, my first in about 12 years (and I only did 3 or 4 pre children so no expert). I've decided I really want to get some bike shoes now. I'm still petrified i'll fall off when i have to stop at lights because i won't be able to release them but bugger it, I'm going to give it a go.
Any tips please for what sort to buy,what to look for, where best to go for them, how much i can expect to pay? and any other things you can think of to tell me .
They're not heavier, if anything I'd say they're lighter.
I think the difference is the road ones are geared towards the people who take it all very seriously. the shoe is very inflexible, I think this means you can pull up harder and therefore go faster when racing.
The mtb ones are more flexible, therefore comfier and you can walk in them a lot easier.
what are spd pedals please/ Are they what the shoes clip into? In which case the answer is no. My bike is good but old (I bought it from a friend who was competing for GB (in the vets) and he'd just built the bike when he decided the frame was that tiny bit too small for him. So I bought it from him for a bargain price. It just has toe clip bindings.
SPd = shimano clip in pedals. I also have mountain bike Spd pedals on all my bikes. Am mostly a mountain biker and don't want to be faffing with different shoes on my road bike. There are lots of different types of clip in pedals but I have only ever used Spds so can't comment on them!
I had a great ride on Sunday with my club. I went out with a faster ride than I have done before and just about managed to keep up, albeit I was working pretty much flat out for probably 50% of the 56 miles! I got a bit dropped on the hills but not too badly. There was one monster of a hill that I did suffer on - 20% gradient for near enough 500m, and I have to admit that I had to stop and put a foot down to catch my breath - only to annoyingly find that I was only about 40m from the summit anyway!
I was pretty knackered by the end of it, and my legs were still full of lactic when I commuted by bike yesterday. They weren't too bad on the way into work, but hurt pretty much constantly on the way home!
Re: queries about clipless pedals and shoes.
There are several different types of cleat and pedal systems available. SPDs are just the name of ones made by Shimano, and are aimed more at mountain biking than road. Road brands include Look, Speedplay, Time, and Shimano road. Prices range from about £30 for Shimano makes to a bargainacious £540 for Speedplay Zero Titanium Nanogram Pedals!
The advantage of SPDs is that you can adjust the tension so that you can make them really easy to get out of. The pedals also tend to be double sided, so you don't have to worry about getting the pedal the right way up to clip in. The cleats are also quite small so you can buy mountain bike shoes with the cleats recessed into the soles. This just makes walking about in them easier.
The down sides to using SPDs is that because the surface area of them is small, you can get numbness or pressure points on the sole of your foot if you cycle for a long time. Also, as they are made of metal, they can draw the cold into your foot in the wintertime. If you use them on a road shoe rather than a mountain bike shoe they are almost impossible to walk in.
In terms of the shoe you choose, a MTB or cyclo-cross shoe will have a tread on the bottom so they are easier to walk in. The soles will be pretty rigid compared to normal shoes - my cyclo-cross shoes are just as solid in the sole as my road shoes. This is a good thing, as it helps with the transfer of power into the pedal, as flexing your foot just dissipates and wastes power. You can also end up with sore feet on a long ride. Road shoes will be slightly lighter, as they don't have a tread on the bottom. This can make walking about in them pretty precarious. They are slightly more aerodynamic.
I have SPDs on my Tricross and Speedplay on my Tarmac. The SPDs are great for commuting, as they are so easy to clip into and out of, but are quite bulky. The Speedplays were a bit on the pricy side, and were a complete bugger to set up and get working, but once I had done so I have found them to be really easy to use, and being double sided I don't have to think about having the pedal the right way up when clipping in.
For someone who has not used a clipless system before, I would recommend SPDs.
I agree completely with giraffe about the benefits of going clipless.
I actually find it quite hard to ride a bike in normal shoes now as I find myself stepping off the pedals!
There are lots of little benefits such as being able to pull the pedal into the right position for a quick getaway at junctions and being able to pedal with one leg if you are filtering through a queue of traffic, as well as the main benefit of pedalling more effectively.
With clipless pedals you can work on pedalling in a circular motion - aim for the feeling that you are not only pushing down on each stroke but scraping your foot along the bottom of the circle. This evens out the power around the whole of the rotation meaning you can bring your cadence up and pedal far more efficiently. I sometime use focussing on pedalling in a smooth circular motion to help keep my speed and cadence up when going up a long hill. It takes my mind off how steep and long the hill is as well!
Hi everyone, mind if I join in, am more of a pleasure peddler just now but would love to build on it! Got a new bike earlier this year this hybrid it's a change from the old mountain bike I had and has taken a bit of getting used to, I fell off the second time I rode it . Have been doing approx 6 miles in about 40 mins mainly due to time constraints (when dd2 is in nursery). Am off to read more of the thread am struggling a bit with hills so would be grateful of any tips.