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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!

evilgiraffe Tue 24-Jul-12 20:11:12

Thanks everyone! I have now tested out my shoes and shiny new pedals while wobbling from one wall to another in my hallway - I think it's going to be okay. I'll have a ride on them tomorrow and report back!

Neverme Thu 26-Jul-12 10:23:45

Evilgiraffe and was it ok? Slightly worried it is 2 days later and you haven't reported back!

Think I'm sadly going to have to swap my clipless pedals for normal ones. I had thought it was a difficult job for some reason but DH informs me it is easy as we have a pedal wrench.

Anyone having trouble with cyclying on sticky tarmac in heat. DH went out yesterday on his fancy pants Planet X time trial bike, and had to literally pull chunks of melted tarmac off it when he got back. Thought he was going to cry (it's debateable whether he would save the bike or me and DS in a fire first!)

Looking forward to the olympic road races at the weekend - has anyone got tickets or going to watch?

evilgiraffe Thu 26-Jul-12 10:44:18


I went out with my new pedals last night. And I didn't fall off and I didn't have to get off and walk up the hills (though it might have been quicker) and I went zooming down the downhill bits and I LOVE MY BIKE grin It's been ages since I went that far, but 18 miles at an average of 13mph is not too bad for a porky woman who's never used clipless pedals before I think.

evilgiraffe Thu 26-Jul-12 10:47:10

I'm desperate to watch the road race on Saturday, but I'm at a wedding! DH and I are making plans for running out of the service as soon as we can to find out what's going on. Wedding is at 2pm so hopefully we can try to stream the end over the phone... or find a shop selling TVs!

prettybird Thu 26-Jul-12 15:50:55

I'm driving down from Glasgow with dh and cycle mad ds tomorrow to stay with a MNer who lives on the route so that we can watch the road race!

A long way to go for a couple of minutes as they zoom by hmm

Thistledew Thu 26-Jul-12 17:14:58

I will be watching it in Richmond Park, and on the telly. I tried really hard to get tickets for Box Hill but failed. sad

evilgiraffe Thu 26-Jul-12 18:00:31

I will be watching the start on the telly, and then hoping the wedding I'm going to (2pm) is all over for the end so DH and I can dash back to the car/find a quiet corner to see if we can stream the finish on his phone! Thankfully we're going to the service and the party but not the reception in between so there's time to squeal and run around all overexicted if (when?!?!) Cav wins and then calm down somewhat before having to behave in polite company again grin

Itwillendinsmiles Fri 27-Jul-12 07:44:56

We'll be watching tomorrow on the TV but do have tickets for Box Hill on Sunday... no car parking ticket though so that may be fun!

mungojenny Fri 27-Jul-12 18:00:02

I bought myself a road bike yesterday having dabbled with a mountain bike for a couple of years. I went out on it today and it was brilliant !! It is light and lovely and I feel really lucky. However I have cycle undershorts already but feel a bit sore - do you think I need to invest in some new shorts ? I feel like I need some with extra level of gel lining but I have no idea if anyone can recommend a pair? My bike saddle didn't feel as if it was quite the right 'angle' but my husband is keen on cycling and good at adjusting bikes so we are going to adjust it tomorrow which may help.
Wanted to join this thread as a beginner to road cycling.

Pedallleur Fri 27-Jul-12 21:41:34

OK, some info for those who may need it.

Speedplay pedals - v.good and adjustable but can be expensive and fiddly. The cleat is actually the pedal. Require a higher level maintenance imo but if looked after are v.good.

Shorts? Bib or waist, (dis)advantages to each. Assos and Rapha and Castelli both do women- specific shorts (pad and cut are different to mens) but are expensive. Giordana are slightly cheaper. Have a look at Chain Reaction or Wiggle.

Chamois cream a must for longer rides - we use Udderly Smooth. Good but not expensive and doesn't use menthol in the ingredients.

Saddles. Basically 2 sorts. Leather eg Brooks or a shell eg Selle Italia,Terry or Specialized BG. A cut-out is good to relieve pressure on the labia. Saddles are v.specific so try to borrow different models. Some firms have demo models. Too much paddingmay mean you sink into the saddle and this can lead to discomfort. A harder thinner padding may be better.

When trying clipless pedals,find a quiet area eg a large car park and practise clipping/unclipping. Do not get fixated with unclipping one foot as you may find yourself hitting something. If one foot doesn't unclip, try the other foot immediately and start applying the brakes gently.

Neverme Fri 27-Jul-12 23:11:20

V happy to see Bradley kicking things off tonight but I do hope he went straight home to bed

ILoveLemonCurd Sat 28-Jul-12 16:10:36

Hi all, just back from a quick trip to Devon. It was lovely but I missed my bike wink. Went for a run this morning, a nice 7 miles and rode to and from the start <feeling virtuous>.

Gutted for Cav sad

Thistledew Sun 29-Jul-12 17:15:54

I just want to share something that made me really pleased today (apart from Lizzie Armistead's medal). I went out with my cycling club this morning and joined a faster group than I normally would - it was still the slowest group that went out but was with more experienced riders and a slightly faster pace than I am used to. The ride was a tough one with 6 decent sized hills to tackle. I still got dropped on the hills, but not by very much.

It was on the way home after the end of the club ride that I noticed something that made me realise how much I have improved this year: I had not come home the way I did today since about April of this year, and I had always cursed the one short but very steep hill I have to go up. In April, I was having to drop down to my third chain ring and would have to work really hard to not stop half way up. What made me probably inordinately happy today is that I went up it with relative ease in my middle chain ring, wondering why I had previously found it so daunting! That I could do this after six hills is really pleasing. smile

FredFredGeorge Mon 30-Jul-12 08:06:30

That's great Thistledew You can join the training ride soon then ;-)

(Reading the right page this time...)

ILoveLemonCurd Mon 30-Jul-12 09:06:05

Fabulous Thistle grin!

Velo Mon 30-Jul-12 13:25:53

It's great to have an active cycling thread on here. For those who are looking at cleats/pedals on my touring bike I had something like the Shimano dual platform pedal which means that I can decide if I want to use cleats or not i.e. cleats during the day and then could wear normal shoes to cycle on in the evening if we went out to dinner without having to change of adjust pedals. Using past tense cause bike was stolen and given that i'm now almost 7-months pregnant I'm not sure when the next touring holiday is going to be (sob)

BlueChampagne Mon 30-Jul-12 15:03:59

Well done Thistle! On a smaller level, I managed the 200' climb on my route twice last week with 2 kids in trailer, panniers et al without getting off for the first time this year!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 30-Jul-12 19:13:58

Hello, just found this thread. I'm hoping some of you knowledgable people might be able to answer a question for me. Thinking of gettign another bike (only have a mtb at the minute). Have been dithering over a hybrid or a road bike and think I've finally decided to go for a hybrid.

I love the look of the Specialized Vita Elite. Now I've found a 2011 model and a 2012 model. Same price but I do like the look of the 2012 colours better. However I'm sure on a forum somewhere yesterday I read the spec has changed for cheaper stuff on the 2012 model - can't find the thread/forum now.

If I list the specs can you tell me if its a big difference - should I get an older model if I can? From what I can see the main frame and forks are the same, but then other stuff like brakes, casettels, deraillieurs, etc are different. I guess stuff like this can be replaced if needed but if the spec on the older model are a lot better I ought to get that one. Thanks for reading.

2011 model;

Frame:Specialized A1 Premium aluminium, fully manipulated tubing, women's compact design, hourglass Speedstays, integrated headset, fender and rack eyelets
Fork:Specialized FACT carbon legs, aluminium crown & steerer, fender eyelets
Front Derailleur:Shimano Altus
Rear Derailleur:Shimano Deore
Shifters:Shimano EF-51, EZ Fire
Chainset:Shimano FCM171
Chainrings:48 x 38 x 28T with chainguard
Bottom Bracket:Sealed cartridge, square taper, 68mm
Cassette:Shimano HG-40, 8-speed, 11-32tChain:KMC Z-51
Pedals:Composite flat pedal
Front Brake:Forged 6061 aluminium, 85mm linear pull with cartridge pads
Rear Brake:Forged 6061 aluminium, 85mm linear pull with cartridge pads
Brake Levers:Shimano EF-51 integrated with shifter
Handlebars:Specialized Expert flat bar, 2014 aluminium, 31.8mm
Stem:Specialized Elite-Set, 3D forged alloy, 4-position adjustable, 4-bolt 31.8mm clamp
Headset:1 1/8" sealed Cr-Mo bearings integrated with headset, 20mm alloy cone spacer with 20mm of spacers
Grips:Body Geometry Women's locking Comfort Grip, open end with plug, alloy bar end
Rims:Alex AS-14, double wall
Front Hub:Forged aluminium, sealed bearing, QR, 32h
Rear Hub:Forged alloy, double-sealed, cassette, Quick Release, 32 hole
Spokes:Stainless 14g
Front Tyre:Specialized All Condition Sport, 700x32c, wire bead, 60TPI with Flak Jacket protection
Rear Tyre:Specialized All Condition Sport, 700x32c, wire bead, 60TPI with Flak Jacket protection
Tubes:Standard presta valve
Saddle:Body Geometry Women's Riva Road, 155mm width
Seatpost:Specialized Sport, alloy, two-bolt clamp, 27.2mm
Seat Binder:Alloy, 31.8mm
Extra Features:Chain stay protector, chain catcher, clips and straps, derailleur hanger, clear coatWeight:Approx. 23.06lbs (10.46kg) for the Medium Size

2012 model;

Frame:Specialized E5 aluminium, fully manipulated women's tubesets, women's fitness geometry, smooth weld, internal cable routing, integrated headset, fender/rack eyelets
Fork:Specialized FACT carbon legs, aluminium crown/steerer, Zertz inserts, fender eyelets
Front Derailleur:Shimano Acera, 31.8mm, top swing
Rear Derailleur:Shimano Alivio, 9-speed
Number of Gears:27
Shifters:Shimano Acera Rapidfire, 9-speed
Chainset:Shimano Acera triple, w/chainguard
Chainrings:48/36/26, w/ chainguard
Bottom Bracket:Sealed cartridge, square taper, 68mm
Cassette:Shimano Alivio, 9-speed, 11-32t
Chain:KMC X9 nickel plate, reusable Missing Link
Pedals:Sirrus pedal, 1.5mm Various Angle, nylon body, symmetric alloy cage, low profile bearing system, toe clip capable
Front Brake:Alloy linear pull
Rear Brake:Alloy linear pullBrake
Levers:Die cast "V"-brake lever, linear pull
Handlebars:Specialized PG flat bar, alloy, 6-degree bend, 31.8mm
Stem:Specialized EliteSet, 3D forged alloy, 12-degree, 4-position adjustable, 4-bolt, 31.8mm clamp
Headset:1-1/8" sealed Cr-Mo Campy style integrated bearings, 15mm alloy cone spacer with 30mm of spacers
Grips:Body Geometry Contour Women's
Rims:Sirrus DRX270, alloy double-wall, pinned, CNC machined, 32h
Front Hub:Forged alloy, sealed, alloy quick release, 32h
Rear Hub:Forged alloy, sealed, cassette, alloy quick release, 32h
Spokes:Stainless 2.0mm
Front Tyre:Specialized Nimbus w/ Flak Jacket, 26 TPI, 700x28c
Rear Tyre:Specialized Nimbus w/ Flak Jacket, 26 TPI, 700x28c
Saddle:Body Geometry Women's Riva, 155mm
Seatpost:Alloy, double bolt, 27.2mm
Seat Binder:Alloy, 31.8mm
Accessories:Derailleur hanger, clear coat, owners manual
Weight:Not Specified

FredFredGeorge Mon 30-Jul-12 20:52:17

There's not much in it - the newer is perhaps better in that 8 speed is getting obsolete now so 9-speed parts will now be more available (I actually thought Acera didn't come in 9-speed but it seems to from that?) Nothing reallly in it - get the chaeaper and buy better tyres.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 30-Jul-12 20:58:16

OK, will get the newer one then as its only £6 more and I like the colours better!

What tyres would be good for it?


FredFredGeorge Mon 30-Jul-12 22:09:02

For a hybrid that you're 95% on the road 28mm Vittoria Rubino Pro's are reasonably fast and comfortable and hard wearing. Tyres (and to a less extent innertubes) are the most important things that make a difference to how a bike rides and how easy it goes along. The main problem is at 28 wide (good for comfort and needed on a hybrid with wide rims) is that they're not that cheap (20 quid each - the same as I end up paying for a race tyre) So it may not be worth it, they are more comfortable and faster though.

Something to keep an eye out for a discount as it's a good upgrade.

prettybird Tue 31-Jul-12 12:47:35

Just back from visiting a lovely MNer in London so that ds could watch the Road Cycling race (and yes, he was gutted sad) We also got soaked on Sunday watching the Women's Race.

We drove from Glasgow, so that we could take ds' bike and dh's bike (couldn't fit 3 bikes in the car, so couldn't take mine: dh was uncomfortable with using the bike rack - it's just a wee one that hooks over the boot).

They were able to cycle parts of both both the road route and the time trial route (Bushey Park/Hampton Court Palace/Kingston) and then yesterday we detoured to go home via Box Hill so they were able to ride part of the Box Hill circuit. Unfortunately they had shut Zigzag Road so that they could put the speed bumps back in hmm - but there were loads of cyclists there trying to soak up the Olympic atmosphere - and all of them being turned back from the hill. Still, ds enjoyed himself.

We also saw one of Voss'/Rabobank's support van(s) and had a chance to look inside it.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 31-Jul-12 16:50:10

Well I rang the bike shop up today to ask if they'll get a Vita Elite in small for me to try. Bloke said no, he said I need to buy it and then they'll order it in for me. I said I don't know if I want it till I've at least sat on it and ideally ridden it for 5 mins up and down. He said that's not the way they work!!! The yactually stock this bike, just don't have it in a small. I need to make sure it feels comfy before I commit so guess I need a different bike shop, problem is tehre aren't any more near me.

Thistledew Tue 31-Jul-12 17:48:02

That's a bit rubbish, Viva. I would also expect to try a bike, at least up and down the road, before buying it. What area do you live in?

Can I also ask why you decided to go for a hybrid rather than a road bike if you already have a MTB? Unless you are planning to replace the MTB altogether, I would say that a road bike is a better addition to your stable. For short trips and just pootling about, a MTB is going to be much the same as a hybrid. A little heavier, maybe, but much the same in terms of ride position and handling. If you are wanting to do more road cycling to the extent that a MTB becomes impractical, then you would be better off with a road bike.

Or to further muddy the waters, what about a cyclo-cross bike? They tend to be aluminium bodied with carbon forks, so are pretty comfortable and stable as opposed to a road bike. The ride position is also more upright than a pure road bike so they are good for commuting and longer distances. Most of them, certainly the Specialized ones, have fittings for mudguards and panniers. However, they have the look of a road bike and a similar ride position, so are just that bit more sporty and versatile than a hybrid.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 31-Jul-12 17:55:39

This is the big dilema really. I'm just worried that I won't find the position of a road bike comfortable and seeing as the lbs won't let me try one I can't currently find out. I'm also concerned about lack of stability/twitchiness/falling off potential of a road bike???????

The route into town is partly on a cycle path rather than tarmac. Though dh who had a road bike when he was younger said it would be fine on a road bike - its a very well maintained cycle path, but not tarmac - kind of compressed grit.

I think the main thing is my slipped discs and not knowing how I'd find it on a road bike.

I've had a bit of a look at cyclo-cross/tourer type bikes and they look really good. But more money. I reckon £650 is top budget.

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