Okay, I have bought a bike, any tips for a newbie?

(98 Posts)

Bought a bike yesterday to commute to college, first time I had been on one since I was 12, planning to commute to college everyday on it, which is 2 miles each way, loads of hills.

I went a similar route yesterday covering 4.5 miles, omg my back and fanjo hurts! And I did have to walk up a couple of steep hills.

Does anyone have any tips? It's a cruiser bike.

CMOTDibbler Thu 14-Aug-14 10:28:13

Just keep going! And wear some padded cycling shorts (no pants) under whatever you are wearing. Makes the world of difference

LEMmingaround Thu 14-Aug-14 10:35:18

A sprung soft saddle is the only way! I used to do a 7 mile each way commute on my bike (and I ama big girl). You get used to the hills and also youll get to know how the gearing works for you. Some people go on the easiest gears to get up hill and peddle like fuck but I prefer to take it slow and feel like each stroke is actually getting me somewhere but much rather get off and push than end up a sweaty mess.

jerryfudd Thu 14-Aug-14 10:36:59

Padded cycling shorts do make a difference!

Don't be a hero, the granny ring is your friend.

Will need to buy some, any ideas for where I could get cheap ones?

LEM Because it's a cruiser, it has a massive saddle that is like a proper seat really, it couldn't get much comfier, I don't think! Just the day after... I tried the peddling like fuck up hills and got no where, it only has 3 gears...

Little I did actually lol at that.

LEMmingaround Thu 14-Aug-14 11:02:46

3 gears??? therin lies your problem mine has 21 and i still struggle! saying that i use my bike mostly off road, its a hybrid. not sure what a cruiser is?

catsofa Thu 14-Aug-14 11:08:46

You may well need more than three gears for somewhere hilly, ouch!

Big soft saddles often hurt more than smaller harder ones - there is more to rub with a larger saddle, and cushioning means your weight is spread over a wider area instead of you sitting just on your seat bones like you're supposed to. You might need to try a few and see what actually works for you.

There is a really good cycling forum here, they will look after you well.

Enjoy, cycling is brilliant! grin

littleducks Thu 14-Aug-14 11:12:58

I'm a few weeks in.

I cycle with the kids, who quite impressively both learnt to ride in winter and now zoom off. I have baby in child seat in the back of mine so it is heavy and slow. I do get achy.

But the good things I have done is a sky ride and an booked on a couple more. Good place to pick up tips. We also went as a whole family to Ride London. That was a fantastic day out.

Things like you tube videos of gears for idiots have helped me.

Good luck!

Thanks for the link and sky rides are also a good idea, this is the only bike I can have (tried others and felt too unstable) and it was bought for me as a present for getting in to college (it's an Apollo Blossom, can't link on phone).

CMOTDibbler Thu 14-Aug-14 11:20:44

If theres a Decathlon near you, their cycling shorts are really good. Or wait for Aldi to have one of their excellent cycling events.

HellonHeels Thu 14-Aug-14 11:24:11

The best cure for a saddle sore arse is to get back on the bike the next day and go for another ride. You'll get used to it quickly.

I do agree about trying a different saddle, a narrower one with less padding that has your sit bones on it and no other bits of your undercarriage is the most comfortable, IMO. If you're near a Specialized bike shop, they have an arse measuring device AKA assometer that calculates the best saddle for your bone structure. Though actually for a 2 mile each way ride you will be OK on pretty much any saddle i think.

CM. My Aldi has all of their cycling stuff reduced just now, are they good then?

Hellon Getting back on it soon and doing the 4 miles again but a different route, it's just a hilly bit down the road that's killing me, but will see if there's a way to make it easier, I figure that even if I have to walk the bike a bit, I'm still not in a bus or a taxi...

littleducks Thu 14-Aug-14 12:32:31

lol at arse measuring device

HellonHeels Thu 14-Aug-14 12:42:46

TBH I've always been put off having my arse measured with one of those devices because I don't fancy having a man measuring it grin

OP just keep at it, every time you ride the route, try to get a bit further up the hilly bits. You could also stop, have a breather and get back on rather than just walking up. Your fitness will improve in weeks. I am very excited for you!

Almostfifty Thu 14-Aug-14 13:31:00

Take it to a bike shop and get them to put some more gears on it.

I think I would cry if someone measured my arse, not pretty.

Done another 2.5 miles, it took 25 minutes. sad Again, hilly bits, got a bit further up this time though but legs are still jelly from yesterday. Starting to get a bit more comfortable with the gears I have, will look in to having more put on if it's possible.

Was going to cycle back too but DP is in a hurry and it's now pissing it down with rain, not sure I would be confident in the rain yet...

CMOTDibbler Thu 14-Aug-14 14:00:41

I really like the Aldi stuff.

You'll get a little further every time you go out, so don't worry. At christmas, my dh struggled to cycle a mile. He's now doing over 100 miles a week, and has done over 1500 miles this year. And he's a big lad, though getting smaller every week

Wow, that's a lot of miles! DP is going to start too, he's also pretty big...

catsofa Thu 14-Aug-14 18:19:46

Ha ha the arse measuring things just involve you sitting on a flat bit of foam, not what you're thinking!

The black stuff is foam so when you get up, little indentations remain for a few minutes showing how far apart your seat bones are.

catsofa Thu 14-Aug-14 18:28:10

BTW when I started (also somewhere really hilly) I just made sure to leave the house with the bike every day. Did a minimum of 10 minutes on it a day, including a hill or slope that got me out of breath. In two weeks I could get myself up all sorts of hills I'd thought would be impossible, I was completely unprepared for just how fast I would get awesome leg muscles!

Never looked back and now I cycle everywhere and use it for everything.

If your bike is good enough that you can cycle at least a little bit every day then don't bother changing anything yet. When you are fitter and have used it a bit more then you'll have a much better idea of what you actually need.

This is it from reading online, it's a "sit up and beg"? confused

I will admit, I love the big seat as I have a bad back (lots of mobility issues and struggle to walk much of a distance) and the smaller seats I tried just felt wrong. confused

I will be on it everyday and try my hardest, I really want to love cycling as it's free! grin And I am pretty unfit tbh, have done a few insanity classes lately and some 30DS but regular exercise would really help and it's always the bike my physio made me do...

DP (if he has found a decent job before then) has said he will get me another for Xmas if I stick to it. grin

That picture is taken from online btw, just in case I have to say that.

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