Learning the Right Way


New Member
I used to bicycle a lot when I was younger. I loved to bicycle for miles. Then, my mother was trying to be kind and purchased me a few new bicycles over the years. They absolutely terrify me, because my feet cannot touch the ground. She insisted that this was the correct way a bicycle should fit, but all I feel is unsafe — which makes me think it’s technically wrong.

She also would purchase the biggest seats I’ve ever seen for the bicycle, which didn’t make me feel much difference between that and my old, manufactory default ones, and makes me think it’s unnecessary. I read somewhere they really are unnecessary and uncomfortable for long distance, as they cause you to have to exert more effort?

As I research it feels so overwhelming. I already tried communicating with the local bicycle store, and they’re not much help and are a high pressure sale. I want to understand everything I can about a bicycle before committing to buy.

I’ll also add some obvious (yet not so obvious to me) questions.

Gears, I never understood them! I would fiddle with it on my bicycle, but always left them alone for the most part. What do all the gears really mean?

When trying out a bicycle, is the giant not-able-to-touch-the-ground feeling the right fit? Or should my feet touch the ground to a degree? I’m 5’7”.

I’d be riding my bicycle on roads 98% of the time, and the roads near my home are hilly. I live on a very steep hilled street.

How to build up endurance with daily mileage? Start out a mile a day for a week then go to two miles the next week and etc?

Lastly, I want to do the Whiskey 50 one day. My very busy father in law does it, and I know the obvious would be to simply ask him all these basic questions, but I can hardly catch him at home as he travels internationally for business. Plus, what would surprise him more than me surprise showing up to it?

Any PDF booklets, great websites (that don’t directly just say buy, buy, buy!) that this newbie could lean on if there’s way too many questions here?
Saddle height is important for comfort when cycling when you stop you just slide forward to put your feet down.

View: https://youtu.be/TxxiIx4yVe4


Wheely World
Bike fit is just about being comfortable on the bike and also efficient. If you have a comfortable riding position then you are in business, it has nothing to do with feet touching the ground.

For gearing you want something like 50/34 on the front and 11-32 on the back to get you up pretty much any hill once you get your fitness going. If the front has higher numbers or the rear lower numbers it will make hill climbing harder.

When buying a bike take your father in law with you if he does a lot of road cycling as he will be able to help chose and explain things to you.

Fitness comes over the first couple of months as you get comfortable riding the bike and learning what works best for you. Just remember to use your gears to go up hills as brute strength will just leave you collapsed gasping by the road side, good luck !

Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
I’d be riding my bicycle on roads 98% of the time, and the roads near my home are hilly. I live on a very steep hilled street.
Welcome to CC!
Have you considered an E-Bike?
Our EBike section has lots of info about them, and there are several members on here that ride them.


Riding a bike involves, when coming to a stop sliding your bum off the saddle and either putting one foot down or both over the cross bar. You shouldn't be able to touch the ground whilst sat on the saddle- if you can your saddle is far too low. This will impede your pedal stroke.

Learn to set off and stop on a quiet flat road or carpark when empty. Once you've mastered this then riding will be alot more confidence inspiring.

Endurance comes from riding regularly, building up time and distance over several months. Consistency is the key, riding 3-5 days a week. learn about gears because they will allow you to pedal up hills and not require to get off and push. Gears make your pedalling easier or harder. Easier for going up hills. Harder for pedalling downhill or on the flat but going faster. Its not complicated to learn, just someone to guide you.
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