Cycling Thread - pleasure peddlers to serious cyclists sign in here!

(995 Posts)
Thistledew Sat 13-Aug-11 16:41:39

Hi All

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!

Happy peddling!

ssmile Fri 08-Mar-13 11:58:13

Thanks for all the encouragement. Im going to look at the latest entry date. But the main thing is to get cycling back into work again! The weather,health and childcare have beem blockers but i should be able to start doing Mondays again now. I dont have a work parking permit that day and have some afterschool childcare so no excuses!! Im going to try get out this weekend too. We are going to get DD1 a new bike for her birthday in April which will help extend family bike rides as DD2 can go in bike seat. But we are torn as i cant find a girls 18" bike with gears and she is just too short for a 20". The only 18" bike with gears i can find is a green n black alien bike grrgrr! That would SO not go down well. Does anyone know if or how easy could we fit gears to a smaller childs bike? Her best friend has the20" but is taller and sttruggles abit with it. DD1 will be 6.

LadyMud Wed 13-Mar-13 13:48:38

ssmile, have you talked to Isla Rowntree at http://www.islabikes.co.uk/ ?
She knows everything there is to know about kid's bikes.

Islabikes are rather expensive, but built to last, and you can get good "pre-loved" bikes.

Thistledew Wed 13-Mar-13 15:38:21

I very much doubt that you could fit gears onto a bike that isn't designed for them - at least not without major work that would cost as much as a new Isla bike.

Even if you could widen the frame at the rear dropouts to incorporate a hub gear, you would still have to weld on brackets to hold the gear cabling under tension.

fishinabarrel Sun 17-Mar-13 20:48:46

Hello cycling ladies, hope you are well. Am a newby to this thread. Thought I'd join as I've just signed up to a bike ride to Paris in summer. GULP! I would love some tips. This is my first foray into serious mileage. Has anyone done anything like this? Have started training, 40 miles last week (nearly finished me off) so went for a shorter ride this weekend, not so bad. Is there any particular way I should be doing it?

Just checking in!

Today I have bought myself a new bike, I am so excited! I have had a hand-me-down 16 year old bike for my whole adult life, and four years ago the gears totally gave up and brike beyond repair.

finally, I will have working gears again!

DP, DS and I are planning on cycling the coast to coast in the May bank holiday, so we are going to start training now I have a nice new bike! This weekend we are going to do a 40 mile ride on the Saturday, it will be DS's longest so far, but I recon he will be fine if we stop after about 25 miles for a pub lunch grin

fishinabarrel I don't have any advice but will be watching the thread with interest as I could do with some tips too!

We are going to start doing long rides (30 to 50 miles) both saturday and sunday to get us mor eused to cycling long distances on consecutive days.

rubyrubyruby Thu 21-Mar-13 06:57:46

ssmile - using gears is quite tricky for a 6 year old to understand and I think that's why they aren't put on smaller bikes. Cost is obviously a factor too and also the theory that there is more to go wrong. Gears are delicate,

rubyrubyruby Thu 21-Mar-13 20:43:38

......having said that. If you do really want gears I second Islabikes. I come across many children's bikes in my job and they really are excellent.

LemonDrizzled Fri 22-Mar-13 11:22:37

over congratulations on the new bike! I found when I started that after a 30 mile ride I was so tired I had to lie down, and was stiff for three days. Now I can do 50 or 60 and not notice it so much the next day, And all I do is go out for a longish ride once a fortnight or so. If it was warmer and I wasn't so lazy I could get fitter quicker I think. You will probably find your DC doesnt get any after effects at all due to being young!

nightshade1 Sun 24-Mar-13 10:08:40

hi ladies hope you are all well and getting out and about on your bikes, i was supposed to be going up cannock chase today but the large dump of snow means i will be walking not riding!

anyway im checking in to see if any of you lovely people can give me an idiots guide to SPD's, what i should know? if they are worth it? and reccommendations please. im still undecided as have visions of the classic falling over at traffic lights grin my DP is very for them but that said if i listened to eveything he said i 'NEED' id be several £££££ poorer and have evey gadget and gizmo under the sun!

TIA

Thistledew Sun 24-Mar-13 14:40:53

I am posting this from a lovely hot bath having just got back from a cyclo-cross ride with my club. It was completely awesome! We just did 30 miles but about 28 of those were off road, and it was properly hard work. We started off on towpaths, which were wet and a bit slippery, but perfectly cyclable. The paths across the commons and through the woods were a rather different story - it just became about staying upright, and trying to get enough traction to keep moving! We were rather pleased to pass some people with mountain bikes who had given up and were walking- considering that we were all on cyclo-cross bikes!

It was a really fun route which involved getting off and porting our bikes over styles and across railway lines, cycling down a 2 ft wide path that had deep water on either side due to flooding (with my back wheel merrily fish-tailing in the mud) and cycling down the steps of a foot bridge overpass (one of the guys managed to cycle up them as well, which I didn't even attempt).

The amount of mud I picked up is unreal- I just put my jacket, helmet, overshoes, and shoes in the shower and hosed them off as I didn't think the washing machine would cope. DP, bless him, said that he would clean my bike, after I had tried spraying down with the hose, which did nothin to shift the whole centimetre of mud which has welded itself to my chain stays- no wonder my front derailer seized up completely!

It has given me a decent confidence boost with regards my bike handling, as this took a real knock when I had my crash. There were a couple of times that I hit a tree root/pot hole/deep patch of mud that I have no idea how I managed to keep the bike upright- it was skipping around all over the place but I didn't go down. I did have one very gentle fall picking my way across the common when my front wheel suddenly sunk nearly to its hub. Somehow, I managed to land on a dry, soft tuft of grass, so it was a good lesson that I am not always going to do myself damage if I do come off.

Right, I just need to wash the lumps of mud out of my hair before my bath goes cold!

Thistledew Sun 24-Mar-13 14:51:28

Nightshade, I would recommend SPDs for a first experience of being clipped in. Most pedals are double sided, so you don't have to worry about getting them the right way up when you set off. I have them on my Cyclo-cross/ commuter bike, and I have them set really loosely so there is no hesitation at all about being able to unclip. I have never found that I accidentally unclip even with them really loose.

Most people do get hit by the topple goblin at some stage due to being unable to unclip, but this happens who you are stopping or about to move off so going at a very slow speed so you are unlikely to hurt yourself badly if at all.

Being clipped in does make you much more efficient in your pedalling- I find it really awkward to cycle on flat pedals now as I have to make a conscious effort not to step off the pedals. You also feel far more stable and part of the bike. I would have found it much harder to do my cyclo-cross ride today without being clipped in, as I was getting thrown about so much.

There are other brands of clipless pedals - I have Speedplays on my road bike as I like the fact of them being double sided and that they allow 'float' - being able to turn your foot a little whilst still being clipped in. This is good if you suffer from knee pain at all. They would be completely useless to go off road though!

Thistledew Sun 24-Mar-13 15:31:33

There were lumps of mud in my bath after I drained the water out!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sun 24-Mar-13 15:35:19

Can anyone help me please. I have a dd who is into triathlon but not much of acyclist (she's more a swimmer and a runner) what kind of mph should she be aiming for? She is currently managing 15-16mph on a solo 30 mile ride but wants to know what she should be aiming for. (She's 22 and a chronic asthmatic)

Thistledew Sun 24-Mar-13 15:43:49

Hi hell - I am aiming to get into triathlons this year but have not done one before.

Is 15-16 mph an average speed or the top speed she is reaching? If it is an average speed then 15-16 mph could either be pretty good if she rides a hilly route, or a bit on the slow side if her route is flat.

If it is a top speed then it is a bit slow. I can easily hold 20 mph on the flat, even on my commuter bike with laden panniers. On my road bike I can hold about 23 mph for several miles on the flat, but I am then working quite hard.

Triathlons tend to be a little slower on the bike section than you would expect in a pure cycle race.

Thistledew Sun 24-Mar-13 15:45:01

Oh, and I'm asthmatic too, but it is pretty much controlled by medication now. What does your DD take for it?

nightshade1 Sun 24-Mar-13 16:03:17

wow Thistledew that sound like some morning and so much fun!

right ok, so what am i looking for then, what do i need - im currently riding my hybrid with slicks on out on the road 3/4 times a week we did go off on the canal paths last week but it was thick with treacle like mud and was rather dicey (i binned it again) so will mostly be riding on the road with very occasional trail routes. i have had a quick look and it seems a minefield confused

Thistledew Sun 24-Mar-13 16:22:27

nightshade1 - it sounds like you need a cyclo-cross bike! There are several of us on this thread now who have a Specialized Tri-Cross- which is what I was out on today. Have a search through this thread - I think about a year ago, to look at the reasons why people went for them.

Aside from that it really depends what you want to do on the road. If you are commuting, doing some (untimed) distance rides and occasionally want to go off road then a cyclo-cross is ideal. If you want to do anything where speed on the road is important then you are better off with a specific road bike, and keeping your hybrid for off road (if it will fit thicker tyres).

nightshade1 Sun 24-Mar-13 16:35:24

DP's response is ' you dont need a new bike, youve only had that one 2months' grin

i will have a look back in the thread and have a read.

it mainly for some (untimed/charity) distance rides - 100kmoonride in july on the road

Thistledew Sun 24-Mar-13 16:39:32

Tell your DH that the number of bikes that anyone needs is expressed in the mathematical equation of n+1, where n is the number of bikes that you already have (subject of course to s-1, where s is the number of bikes that would cause separation from your partner).

nightshade1 Sun 24-Mar-13 16:42:01

i might well have to point this out...............he has multiple bikes!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sun 24-Mar-13 16:52:18

Thank you, it's pretty much a flat route and it's an average speed if she's out on a hillier ride with other cyclists she can maintain 17-18mph but lacks the training to keep the pace when she's out alone. DD is on Qvar and Fostair and a prophylactic antibiotic to try to keep regular infections at bay, sadly she is poorly controlled and has already had two hospital admissions this year, the cold weather is one of her triggers which makes training for cycling difficult.

LadyMud Fri 29-Mar-13 14:46:28

Anyone doing anything interesting bike-wise this Easter?

We've abandoned our plans for the Yorkshire Dales, and are now looking forward to a little road ride for lunch at Dunham Massey (National Trust) on Saturday, and a flat but muddy MTB ride in Cheshire on Sunday.

LadyMud Tue 02-Apr-13 20:58:29

Yoohoo - anybody out there? confused Are you all buried in snowdrifts?

Shall we organise a MN search party?

nightshade1 Wed 03-Apr-13 20:39:40

please send a search party with wine and a shovel - been lost in the snow for too long!

on a pedal power note, not a lot has been done - did manage to get out on the road on sunday for a short (but hilly) ride but thats been it blush we had intended to go up the chase the week before but the snow was above my knees and is still there now - melting very very slowly.

i am however signed up for a beginners mountain biking skills course on saturday and am looking forward to it - stealing DPs bike for it (its a good job there is only an inch between us!) and am also building up the santa cruz chameleon up for me so i will have an on-road and an off-road option soon

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