New Road Cyclist - Looking to join/share/help

DSK

Active Member
Hi to all members.

I am returning to cycling after some 15 years, for no real reason other than wanting to get out of the car for shorter trips, I don't get to use my motorcycle as its reluctantly resides as a garage queen, an occasional commuting option and and extra leisure activity as my knees no longer like running.

I got myself a second hand TREK Alpha 2.3 with all the bells whistles that should not leave me wanting upgrades overnight. Its all Shimano 105 group set, cateye lights, on board pump, Fizik Aliante seat, cages and a tool bag filled with spare tubes, canisters. It came complete with the original purchase invoice and owners pack.

Just in the process of giving it a quick de-grease, wash and lube. Gears, brakes, cables all seem healthy and precise. I'd like to fit fresh inner tubes and a set of Conti Gator Skin tyres for peace of mind.

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With the poor standards of motorists towards cyclists these days, I am a little nervous but, will venture out for 30 mins or so at a time on early Saturday/Sunday mornings to start getting into it when the roads are a quieter and drivers a little more relaxed.

Anyway, I look forward to contributing across the forum.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
With the poor standards of motorists towards cyclists these days, I am a little nervous but, will venture out for 30 mins or so at a time on early Saturday/Sunday mornings to start getting into it when the roads are a quieter and drivers a little more relaxed.
A little more relaxed? In some cases, still newt'ed from the night before! Make sure your roadcraft is up to date (stay out of the gutter and so on) - some councils offer adult refresher training for a low price or sometimes free, or John Franklin's manuals for the IAM or TSO are OK about roads (just ignore the politics and the bad advice about riding on cycleways).
 

Shadow121

Well-Known Member
If your changing tyres, can wider ones fit inside the frame,
if so they will help absorb the bumps and hum of the road,
and can be run at slightly lower pressure making for a little comfort.

Chose your route to avoid heavy traffic, avoid the rush hours, school runs etc.
You mention bad knees, bikes can be quite sore on knees too, best to not put
in too much power and change gears instead of grinding up hills.

Make sure your lit up, bright colors help too.
 
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tom73

Über Member
Location
Yorkshire
:welcome:
Only you know the roads round you and which routes are possible and you will know which times are best traffic wise.
Work out one or two routes that you can chop and change a bit as you go and can add to when you need.
Which let you get to know them and how your bike handles.
Early mornings is a good start well you get use to things. As is a short spin round the block early evening once rush hour has past.
Go nice and steady and things will fall into place soon enough.
 
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DSK

Active Member
Thank you for the advice and words of wisdom.

I have just finished de-greasing the drive train and giving it some fresh lube (wowzers at how it sparkles). The tyres have been pumped up and are holding air as they should. Just been riding up and down the drive way trying to get the hang of this cleat business and its not too bad at all to be honest so venturing out around the blocks after an afternoon cuppa.

Lighting, its got the Cateye rear in full working order. A new little but seriously bright LED has also bee added to the rear. Up front I have replaced the Cateye with what is basically a battery bank with 2 ridiculously bright LEDs attached, classed as a cycle light with the relevant mounts.

There is a little local independent bike shop (Cycle Inn, Nottingham) that was in business when I was at college (over 20 years ago) and its still going, so they obviously know their stuff and offer a good service. They also advised fitting 25c rather than 23C which I currently have. I'll be riding down there in the next couple of weeks, once I've got a bit of practice in to get the tyres freshened up.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Lighting, its got the Cateye rear in full working order. A new little but seriously bright LED has also bee added to the rear. Up front I have replaced the Cateye with what is basically a battery bank with 2 ridiculously bright LEDs attached, classed as a cycle light with the relevant mounts.
I expect others will flame me again for complaining about any light when there are so many riders out there with none, but are you sure that's not a MTB light intended for off-roading only which will dazzle oncoming riders? You can usually tell by whether the lens or reflector has any shaping on it (often looks like vertical striping) or simply by pointing it at a wall and seeing if the top of the brightly-illuminated area is above the horizontal.

Some say such lights can be made to work by aiming them lower, but all I've seen result in an area too close to the bike being too brightly lit for good use. Strictly speaking, a road-legal non-flashing main light should have BS (British Standard - very rare now) or K~ (German) or equivalent markings on it, but there's almost no chance of a fine as long as it's more than four candles brightness and not dazzling.
 

RoadRider400

Well-Known Member
When I first started I went out early at the weekends, sometimes just gone 05:00 and it was bliss. Hardly anybody about and air wonderfully fresh.
Had to push that back to 06:30 now with the darker mornings.
Roll on May.
 
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DSK

Active Member
Still got my old cycling lycra and tops from 20 years ago, amazing how well old things stand up, and still look great.

Amazed at how well it rides for a used bike, certainly rattle and vibe free compared to a new Claud Butler Milano I bought 20 year ago. Geometry on it also feels nice.

MJR re the lights, they are Nestling from Amazon.

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2400 lumens (full)
1200 lumens (medium)
600 lumens (low)

600 lumens is plenty goo enough but the light spread is nice on 1200 (for use in the dark) so I have aimed the unit down slightly to prevent blinding and also provide decent lighting of the road and sides. Overkill for a bike light but, I plan to mainly ride during day light so thought a brighter light would stick out better in the day. The brightness options and battery longevity can be seen as overkill for a cycle but at £18 it made sense for its versatility. I will get a reflector type LED, they have them on Amazon at around £10 and 400 lumens in the long term.
 

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