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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!

poachedeggs Sun 09-Sep-12 21:43:07

It's not just any cake either. I'm reliably informed that it will be Mountain Cafe cake.

If nothing else gets me through, it'll be the prospect of that!

Why not come and just stay for the three weeks ...? wink

rubyrubyruby Sun 09-Sep-12 21:55:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Piffpaffpoff Sun 09-Sep-12 22:00:06

Noooooooo! Purveyors of the biggest slices of cake in the world?? Next year, definitely next year!

SummerLightning Sun 09-Sep-12 22:31:03

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.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 09-Sep-12 22:50:51

Have fun in the Pyrenees. Am well jealous.

Dh doesn't have SPDs so he has no clue. I think maybe it's just practice. Will try tomorrow.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 10-Sep-12 17:27:09

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.

SummerLightning Mon 10-Sep-12 22:06:57

Excellent! You can loosen them off with an Allen key is very easy.

mckenzie Tue 11-Sep-12 21:55:50

hi everyone, can i join in please?

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. smile

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 grin.


VivaLeBeaver Tue 11-Sep-12 22:01:51

Mine are Shimano ones, they're very comfy. I got mountain bike spd shoes rather than road racing ones. It means the cleat is more recessed inside the shoe so I can walk in them without skating about.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 11-Sep-12 22:02:43

I got mine from Rutland cycles and they were very helpful. Cost me £65.

mckenzie Tue 11-Sep-12 22:05:46

thanks very much Viva. Are the mountain bike ones heavier? What makes them different from road bike ones?

VivaLeBeaver Tue 11-Sep-12 22:09:36

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.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 11-Sep-12 22:10:51

Have you got spd pedals yet?

mckenzie Tue 11-Sep-12 22:28:52

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.

SummerLightning Wed 12-Sep-12 11:06:22

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!

Thistledew Wed 12-Sep-12 13:00:39

Hello all!

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! shock

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.

mckenzie Wed 12-Sep-12 18:18:49

thanks very much both of you. I shall be brave and venture to the local decent bike shop on friday, with my bike and my new found knowledge, and see what they have. smile

rubyrubyruby Wed 12-Sep-12 19:08:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

evilgiraffe Wed 12-Sep-12 19:37:47

mckenzie, I am a recent SPD convert - never had them until a couple of months ago, and I found them pretty easy to get used to and they make riding much easier. You'll not look back if you get some smile

Thistledew Wed 12-Sep-12 20:10:41

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!

Piffpaffpoff Wed 12-Sep-12 20:26:39

I can feel myself being talked into clip less pedals! My shoes already have the 'bits' in them, I just need the pedals. Hmmmmmm...

Thistledew Wed 12-Sep-12 20:34:35

Do it! Do it! Do it! grin

VivaLeBeaver Wed 12-Sep-12 20:41:18

PiffPaff - I got pedals which are SPD one side and normal the other. They spin round so its SPD side up, this means if you're in your SPDs you clip in without having to faff.

But if you don't want your cycling shoes on you can use the other side, its easy to nudge the pedal round th the other side as you set off. I FINd them really good.

Haemadoots Wed 12-Sep-12 20:41:35

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 blush. 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.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 12-Sep-12 20:55:27

Ho Hameadoots. No real hill advice as I'm no expert - no hills round here. But I think practice, practice, more miles, etc will help as your muscles will get better.

I think I read somewhere that trying to keep you cadance up is good for hills. So spinning quicker in a low gear rather than slow pedalling in a high gear.

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