Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

CYCLING newbie - hit me up with tips, tricks what to get what to avoid!
47

justrestinginmybankaccount · 18/07/2019 15:46

OOH my second thread of the day :)

I'd LOVE some pointers!

I have bitten the bullet and with good guidance I've bought an endurance bike and will start heading out with a group that trains on weekends. WHOOHOO!

Now the hard bit starts. Lordy help me - - -
Pedals & cleats - should I get mountain cleats as they fit into the bikes in my spin class? Or is that a no no on your nice road bike?

I'm looking on wiggle for shorts, and the price band is wide, what do I look out for and what is a good comfortable brand? (don't mind spending a bit of money)

Same for helmet?

And socks, do I need particular socks?

My biggest mental blocker right now is getting used to cleats.

Anything else I should be aware of, but may not even think of to ask?!

Also - and I asked this on another thread and got nowhere really with an answer - are cycling shorts designed to be worn with underwear or not?

Thank you!!

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

noodlmcdoodl · 19/07/2019 00:04

Nooooo. Never ever wear cycling lycra with underwear. It won’t end well, you’ll be chaffed to bits.

Wiggles DHB brand is a good starter. It’s reasonably priced and decent quality. So a good starter to get you going. Go for bibs. They are much comfier than waist shorts/ tights and you avoid a muffin top.

Arm warmers are super handy. If you get too warm you can stash them in your back pocket. Likewise a lightweight windproof gillet.

When it starts getting colder get some bib tights so you remain cozy. Overshoes are good for keeping your feet warm and dry(ish).

A cycling jersey with pockets across the back is handy as you can stash your phone, gillet or waterproof, money, pump and snacks away.

Make sure you can change a tube before you set off in case you puncture. Always carry a spare tube, patches, pump and multi tool. With the acception of the pump they’ll all fit nicely into a small saddle bag.

MTB cleats are indeed a complete faux pas on a road bike. But sod it. They are much easier for a newbie whilst building confidence clipping and unclipping. You can get ‘touring’ pedals with a platform on one side a cleat the other. That way approaching lights or a junction you can un clip in plenty of time and ride the platform side. Make sure you loosen the tension on the pedal (there’ll be an Alan key slot) as the loosest setting means you can un clip easily. Once you are compétant you can easily swap to road pedals and shoes.

Cycling glasses are a must to protect your eyes from the sun and dust and random bugs.

Helmet wise... remove visor (seriously uncool on a road bike but seriously cool on an MTB) and ensure it’s correctly fitted.

Socks - get some cycling ones, again wiggles DHB brand. Appropriate sock length is a thing.

Make sure you have plenty of water (have two bottle cages fitted) and snacks to keep you going.

Get yourself on Strava (phone app)!!

Happy peddling.

Please
or
to access all these features

YeOldeTrout · 19/07/2019 21:15

You have to try things to figure out what suits you.

For me personally, I only go along with 1.5 things noodl said (I love arm-warmers). I do wear padded shorts for many rides so that's the 0.5. I don't even know what mountain cleats are. We all have SPDS & SpeedPlay are useless Princess cleats (imho). Knix under padded cycle shorts (mens) has always been fine for me. Etc.

I wanna suggest just 1-2 new things try at a time until you know what you like. I don't see point in having gear for sake of having gear.

Please
or
to access all these features

ivykaty44 · 19/07/2019 21:36

Shorts, get as many panels as possible in the shorts / makes for better comfort on longer rides

I have same cleats as a spin bike, one bike has flat one side and cleat the other, you can change pedals easily

Cleats are fine at junctions it’s when you just come to a stop that you can find your brain switches off - so be careful 🤕

Please
or
to access all these features

Leftielefterson · 19/07/2019 21:47

Ooh I love this thread!

Bib shorts/bib trousers are sooo comfortable and I think they are really flattering. I love mine. The ranges are endless, I like Castelli, Rapha and Pearl Izumi, all really good quality. No underwear required.

As for tops I’d say a few cycling jerseys. Again, I think these are so flattering and there is so much choice out there. POC is a great brand, really stylish. Pricey but really lovely.

MTB cleats are easier to get in and out of imo, but SPDs are viewed as most appropriate for road bikes but at the end of the day who cares?

Yes @ivykaty44 - great advice, I remember coming to a stop at traffic lights (heavy traffic and loads of pedestrians as was central London) and forgot to unclip. It was like something out of a comedy skit.

Please
or
to access all these features

CMOTDibbler · 19/07/2019 21:48

I started with double sided pedals, and they are easier to learn - but you get vastly more power transfer with road cleats. DH and I have SPD, DS has Look cleats. I have no idea which is better tbh
Helmets depend on your head shape really. They all have to pass the same safety tests, but then some are more comfortable than others - we wear Kask after dh got one and then it turned out to be comfortable for us all on long rides.
Shorts - DHB halter neck bibs are great if you aren't too tall. Nothing underneath except chamois cream (without menthol)

You don't need specific socks unless you want to match your kit..

Please
or
to access all these features

ivykaty44 · 19/07/2019 21:56

Left

Bus stop flop... I got home turned onto the drive...forgot to unclip & bang

I’d also have a look at club website for riding in a group etiquette, things like not half wheeling / keep your wheels level with the person next to you, calling potholes, car back is car up and car coming towards you is car down etc

But most of all enjoy

Please
or
to access all these features

ivykaty44 · 19/07/2019 22:00

galibier.cc/shorts-tights-suits/

I have had a couple of items from this company & think for the quality they are excellent value

Please
or
to access all these features

YeOldeTrout · 19/07/2019 22:27

I have 4 cycling tops I never wear. Maybe I should sell at least 2 of them.

Please
or
to access all these features

ivykaty44 · 19/07/2019 22:33

Why don’t you wear them?

Please
or
to access all these features

YeOldeTrout · 19/07/2019 22:45

t-shirts & tank-tops or even ordinary clothes are more comfy. Don't want pockets full of stuff so use panniers.

Please
or
to access all these features

justrestinginmybankaccount · 20/07/2019 23:29

Oh my god people replied!!!! THANK YOU!!!

This advice is amazing - all of it. My thread was unanswered for a while so I’d given up hope Grin

Right so - at the bike shop they suggested SPD cleats which I understood to be mountain bike cleats? Can be pedalled on the other side and same as for my spin class bike? So then the hunt for the shoe began that had the option for both cleats so if I change my mind I can keep the shoes and just change pedals & cleats. Nothing in my size so a few pairs are being sent over to try during the week.

Helmets - thank you so much for saying no peaks - that’s exactly the sort of advice I was looking for I just want to blend in! Have shortlisted to a Kask today, - a white one - hoping white doesn’t mean anything!!!

The dhb shorts were the ones I was liking - great - so a bib sounds the way to go - ok thanks!! And THANK YOU for clarifying the underwear question! Smile

I got a tiny saddlebag...

Getting excited now!!

Thanks so much for the replies 👍👍👍

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

BikeRunSki · 21/07/2019 00:07

SPDs are fine for road bikes, but will seriously limit your choice of cycling shoe. The majority of road shoes (even Shimano ones, that’s what the S of SPD stands for) are designed for Time/Look type cleats. SPDs are much easier to learn on (but you’ll be fine, DS was riding off road on SPDs by the time he was 8). I use SPDs in the winter, so I can use my warm, waterproof mtb boots on my road bike. I hate neoprene overshoes.

DHB is a great brand for well priced cycling gear. Chammy cream on the inside of the pad will always help. Bepanthen is just as good though. Cycling shirts should be worn commando. I wear bib shorts/bib tights depending on the weather. I don’t like waistbands on cycling bottoms. I also have a long torso, and bibs stop the bare gap in the middle.

Get some fingerless cycling mitts too. They will absorb sweat and road shake, and protect your hands when you fall off.

Please
or
to access all these features

YeOldeTrout · 21/07/2019 09:03

Do you guys have to get completely nuddy* to use the loo, if using bib shorts? Friend has to do this. Not great if the only loo available is behind a bush. Luckily it was warm outside.

(*not counting feet, I don't think she had to take shoes or socks off).

Please
or
to access all these features

Bloomburger · 21/07/2019 09:09

Make sure you do other weight bearing exercises alongside your cycling.

There is a huge issue with middle aged men who spend their lives whizzing around the countryside being super fit in a CV sense whilst their bones are slowly crumbling.

Please
or
to access all these features

noodlmcdoodl · 21/07/2019 09:38

Nope. You can get bibs with halters which are easy to remove without taking tops off. I always wear a lightweight vest under my jersey anyway. There’s also a technique for weeing without taking the shorts down, you kinda roll the leg up and scoop it all over to the side. In the winter if I’m wearing bibs without a halter, I’m always wearing a l/s baselayer or l/s thermal jersey underneath so I have the straps over the top, my Gillet or jacket hides the straps. It’s dead simple!!

Please
or
to access all these features

CMOTDibbler · 21/07/2019 09:45

I noticed upthread I said I use SPD, when its SPD SL...

Bib shorts and loo - the DHB halter neck system just lets you pull them down, or there are methods like the Altura ones with a zip across the bum. Alternatively you can do like triathletes do, and very carefully push one shorts leg up and pull it across.
In the winter options are more limited, and I just take one sleeve off and pull down over the other.

BTW, if you have smaller feet, try ebay - there are loads of very lightly used shoes that have been outgrown by teenagers. My own teen has had some very lovely shoes at bargain prices, and I've swapped my own around several times in the hunt for the perfect shoe. And don't even ask how many DH has had...

Please
or
to access all these features

YeOldeTrout · 21/07/2019 10:09

Apparently this is what the halter system is like when in use for loo poor model. May tell my cycling friend about that. She's +size though, so purchase options may be limited. Seems to require a bit of physical gymnastics and balance that some may not be good at, but I suppose same is true if you just squat normally.

CYCLING newbie - hit me up with tips, tricks what to get what to avoid!
Please
or
to access all these features

noodlmcdoodl · 21/07/2019 11:36

That’s a good tip about shoes. Also eBay is very good generally for nearly new cycling kit at bargain prices, so well worth saving some favourite searches to expand your cycling wardrobe. Folk buy all the kit for a sportive, then don’t really take to cycling/ carry on after the sportive.

On the cleat/ SPD front if the shop don’t do it, make sure you set them up correctly (as in attach them to the shoe in the correct place). GCN have stacks of decent films on bike fitting/ setting your bike up correctly eg appropriate saddle height, but here’s one for cleats:

I actually have an ergon cleat tool - if you ask around cyclists you’ll probably find one you can borrow.

Please
or
to access all these features

BikeRunSki · 21/07/2019 12:25

I hate halterneck bibs, they feel like they are strangling me, they smears feel too short. I’ve been wearing ordinary women’s bibs for 25 years with no real loo-going issues.

Please
or
to access all these features

lljkk · 21/07/2019 13:22

What is an ordinary bib short? Do you have to strip to have a wee?

Please
or
to access all these features

noodlmcdoodl · 21/07/2019 13:39

I call ‘ordinary’ bibs the non-halter style, so the straps are like braces. Admittedly most of my shorts and tights are the ordinary style. I’ve heard some women complaining the halters cause them neck tension.

Please
or
to access all these features

TroysMammy · 21/07/2019 13:42

What to avoid - potholes and calling it a hobby Grin.

I used to carry a little mirror in a bumbag because I would be hysterical if I had something like a fly in my eye.

Enjoy.

Please
or
to access all these features

YeOldeTrout · 21/07/2019 13:44

Lots of ppl on this thread really into their gear.
I wonder if I have less gear coz I cycle a lot less than others.
Question for noodl, BikeRunSki, CMOT, ivykaty...

how many miles cycling do you do, winter & summer each, weekly averages?

Please
or
to access all these features

CMOTDibbler · 21/07/2019 13:51

I don't do that many miles a week - 50 -80 I guess on average in 25-35 mile blocks normally plus a bit of pootling round with bike as transport but I don't count those miles. I only have use of one arm, so longer rides are hard for me as I'm wonky and it takes a lot to keep everything together. DH and ds are much faster than me so I need to use every advantage I can!
DS and I are doing the 46 mile Ride London in a couple of weeks which will be fun, but dh is doing the 100.

Please
or
to access all these features

BikeRunSki · 21/07/2019 14:06

I’m lucky if I get time to do more than 50 miles a week. I am constrained by opportunity rather than desire. I have been riding a bike for leisure for over 30 years. In that glorious period of not ha big exams or children. I was probably doing 100 miles a week. Now my weekends are about juggling swimming lessons and cricket matches etc, and my 35 mile-each-way commute is just about doable by car by the time afterschool club closes.

I’m doing a 60 mile Sportive next week though.

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.