First road ride observations

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First road ride observations

Postby digbyj » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:17 am

Hey Folks,
I have just got into road riding to compliment my passion for mountain biking and assist in maintaining fitness.
I got me a 2H Trek 1400 and am slowly building up some kit and gear (its a bloody expensive hobby!).
Things I found:
- road bikes are fast, and make me want to go faster!
- they, or at least I, feel very unstable going down hill
- MOST cars were actually pretty good
- I found it difficult moving from over to under bars and don't get enough braking power over bars
- my MTB helmet - visor removed - is very noisy
- no granny gear makes some hills very challenging for my little legs!

Anyway there's the confessions of a newbie, if anyone has advice, happy to hear it.
Cheers


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by BNA » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:15 am

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Re: First road ride observations

Postby macca33 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:15 am

My only advice would be to enjoy the riding mate. I've been at it for almost a year now and it gets better the more I do!

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Re: First road ride observations

Postby Duck! » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:35 am

Descending stability: don't have a death-grip on the bars... your tensed body will cause the bike to "fight" & get wobbly. Relax & let it flow.
Changing hand positions will get easier over time. Eventually you'll get to the point where you can virtually slide off the hoods & down to the drops in one quick motion.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby human909 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:26 pm

digbyj wrote:they, or at least I, feel very unstable going down hill

Your weight is further forward on a road bike. Braking will be a little slower, but riding shouldn't feel unstable.

digbyj wrote:- I found it difficult moving from over to under bars and don't get enough braking power over bars

Full braking power is difficult from the hoods, even if you can get enough force from your fingers you are normally nor sufficiently brace for firm braking. Personally I'm always in the hoods if I am braking hard or anticipating the need to brake hard.

Is it difficult because transferring your weight is difficult? If so you probably have too much weight on your hands, a stronger core will assist. Or is simply taking your hands off the handlebars difficult?

digbyj wrote:- no granny gear makes some hills very challenging for my little legs!

While some might disagree, suffering in high gears is silly. If you can spare the cash look at getting a cassette/crank with some lower gears.
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby birdbrain » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:47 pm

digbyj wrote:
Things I found:
- road bikes are fast, and make me want to go faster!
- they, or at least I, feel very unstable going down hill
- MOST cars were actually pretty good
- I found it difficult moving from over to under bars and don't get enough braking power over bars
- my MTB helmet - visor removed - is very noisy
- no granny gear makes some hills very challenging for my little legs!

Anyway there's the confessions of a newbie, if anyone has advice, happy to hear it.
Cheers



Give it time and you will get used to your road bike. As it is lighter than the mtb it probably feels a bit twitchy. You can also improve your braking if you have good brake blocks. As for hills check your cassette and if it's a 12-25 for example think about changing it for a 12-28.
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:43 pm

digbyj wrote:Hey Folks,
I have just got into road riding to compliment my passion for mountain biking and assist in maintaining fitness.
I got me a 2H Trek 1400 and am slowly building up some kit and gear (its a bloody expensive hobby!).
Things I found:
- road bikes are fast, and make me want to go faster!
- they, or at least I, feel very unstable going down hill
- MOST cars were actually pretty good
- I found it difficult moving from over to under bars and don't get enough braking power over bars
- my MTB helmet - visor removed - is very noisy
- no granny gear makes some hills very challenging for my little legs!

Anyway there's the confessions of a newbie, if anyone has advice, happy to hear it.
Cheers


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what sort of MTB helmet with visor? im interested as i am looking to buy a Built in visor on a skateboard/urban helmet...
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby briztoon » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:17 pm

digbyj wrote:Hey Folks,
I have just got into road riding to compliment my passion for mountain biking and assist in maintaining fitness.
I got me a 2H Trek 1400 and am slowly building up some kit and gear (its a bloody expensive hobby!).
Things I found:
- road bikes are fast, and make me want to go faster!
- they, or at least I, feel very unstable going down hill
- MOST cars were actually pretty good
- I found it difficult moving from over to under bars and don't get enough braking power over bars
- my MTB helmet - visor removed - is very noisy
- no granny gear makes some hills very challenging for my little legs!

Anyway there's the confessions of a newbie, if anyone has advice, happy to hear it.
Cheers


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Just wait till upgradeitis hits.
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby grimbo » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:03 pm

Your list is the same as mine when I started on a roadie.
- The extra speed (or maybe, feeling of speed) is addictive
- Nowdays I like to go downhill on the drops, I feel more in control (and faster). Relaxed grip and bent elbows helps. Took me a few years to get there (being the nervous type)
- 95% of car drivers are very patient.
- I stayed away from the drops for the first year, then gradually got used to them, now hop back and forth without thinking
- Took me a while to adjust to braking from the hoods. I kind of hang on by the end of my thumbs so I can get my fingers tips as far down the lever as possible.

And the good thing - it's still a blast.
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby digbyj » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:02 pm

Thanks for all the responses, yeah I'll get used to it I reckon.
Someone asked about my helmet visor, it's just a mtb helmet which has the little sun visor at the front which is pretty uncool for road riding, I guess it is not aerodynamic. I think you might be thinking of something different?
Thanks for the cassette advice, that sounds like it might be worth looking into. It's pretty hilly where I am, Yarra Valley.
Cheers


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Re: First road ride observations

Postby human909 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:23 pm

digbyj wrote:Thanks for the cassette advice, that sounds like it might be worth looking into. It's pretty hilly where I am, Yarra Valley.


What is you current setup and do you have compact crankset? 34 teeth on the small ring up front and 28 on the cassette up back will give let you stay seated and spin away for all but the steepest hills.
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby rustychisel » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:40 pm

digbyj wrote:Thanks for all the responses, yeah I'll get used to it I reckon.
Someone asked about my helmet visor, it's just a mtb helmet which has the little sun visor at the front which is pretty uncool for road riding, I guess it is not aerodynamic.


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it isn't that. When you're crouched low the visor gets in the way of visibilty. The least you'll suffer is a sore neck from trying to see. Simple, eh?
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:54 pm

rustychisel wrote:
digbyj wrote:Thanks for all the responses, yeah I'll get used to it I reckon.
Someone asked about my helmet visor, it's just a mtb helmet which has the little sun visor at the front which is pretty uncool for road riding, I guess it is not aerodynamic.


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it isn't that. When you're crouched low the visor gets in the way of visibilty. The least you'll suffer is a sore neck from trying to see. Simple, eh?

Depends on your setup methinks. I don't have a problem with a visor on any of my steeds but I am more Fred than Eddy :|
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby bychosis » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:00 pm

but a good MTB session is still better :)
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby briztoon » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:23 pm

A lot of helmets you can take the visor off. They're just clipped on. Maybe that's just road helmets.
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby Dimis » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:48 pm

briztoon wrote:
digbyj wrote:Hey Folks,
I have just got into road riding to compliment my passion for mountain biking and assist in maintaining fitness.
I got me a 2H Trek 1400 and am slowly building up some kit and gear (its a bloody expensive hobby!)


Just wait till upgradeitis hits.


Haha... Ain't that the truth.

Welcome to the addiction... There is no cure. Haha
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby trailgumby » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:04 am

I've just started down this path. I found exactly the same thing :lol:

My Fox Flux has a removable visor but looks goofy like that. Will be getting a road bike helmet today.

I'm going to persevere with the standard gearing for awhile before I make the call on going to compact cranks. It's bloody hard work on the climbs but alternating between seated and out of the saddle and having to stabilise the bike with my hips instead of the bars is amazingly helpful for my core strength and lower back instability. The slightly shorter 172.5mm cranks seem to help my hip angle as well.

But yeah the braking sucks and I won't consider commuting in the wet on it.

Yet ;)
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby digbyj » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:58 am

My crank is a cs5600 from memory. I may have to count the teeth as couldn't see any other numbers on it. I will do a few more rides before making a decision whether to change so will start a new thread if I need help.
The visor on the helmet is not an issue for me, someone else mentioned it, my issue was the helmet is noisy! I want a more visible one for traffic anyway.
Also thinking about a mirror now too after reading some other threads, most importantly though, just need to keep riding!


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Re: First road ride observations

Postby TTar » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:13 am

digbyj wrote:- my MTB helmet - visor removed - is very noisy
-




You sure it's not just the wind rushing past your ears?

There's commercial ear flap type products available which velcro on to the helmet's straps to cut out the noise, but if you're handy with a needle & thread you can customise your own -- a nice soft comfortable fabric stitched over re-purposed foam helmet inserts works a treat.

It makes an enormous difference allowing you to hear traffic behind you more clearly, but more importantly you can listen to One Direction with greater fidelity through your earphones. 8)
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby Paul B » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:16 am

trailgumby wrote:I'm going to persevere with the standard gearing for awhile before I make the call on going to compact cranks. It's bloody hard work on the climbs but alternating between seated and out of the saddle and having to stabilise the bike with my hips instead of the bars is amazingly helpful for my core strength and lower back instability.)


I would just persevere full stop. I reckon you will get used to the gearing fairly quickly if you ride it often enough.
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First road ride observations

Postby RonK » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:20 am

It's kinda amusing to see all these avowed mtbers finally discovering what they have been missing out on. :lol:
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby Mozzar » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:41 pm

When i first got my road bike about 6 years ago i had non-compact cranks and only an 12-28 cassette and i struggled with hills at the start but once i got fitter and more into road riding i just accepted the gearing and pushed up the hills. I finally got a new bike and it now has compac chainrings and an 11-28 10s rear cassette so i will find out how much easier it will be on the hills.
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby bychosis » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:25 pm

M yroad bike is a business tool. Faster commutes, riding when the trails are too muddy, training (of sorts). MTB is for recreation. I do enjoy both, but off road is not going it be forgotten since a got a roadie.
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby trailgumby » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:18 pm

RonK wrote:It's kinda amusing to see all these avowed mtbers finally discovering what they have been missing out on. :lol:


Yep. Pain. Shut up, legs.
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Re: First road ride observations

Postby visrealm » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:34 pm

birdbrain wrote:You can also improve your braking if you have good brake blocks.


+1

The difference between OEM pads and a decent set of aftermarket pads is amazing. I was really disappointed with my brakes on my roadie after being spoilt by discs, but after throwing on a set of Swissstops, it's just as good as my disc roadie.

A cheap upgrade - Well worth it.

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Re: First road ride observations

Postby trailgumby » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:03 pm

Done that. They still suck. But at least I can now stop in less than a kilometre. :wink: Are Koolstop Salmons any better?

Paul B wrote:I would just persevere full stop. I reckon you will get used to the gearing fairly quickly if you ride it often enough.


Hoping so. It's hitting a lot of sweet spots for me at the moment with core, legs and glutes, but the bars and brakes setup is still a bit awkward and a source of finger and wrist discomfort.
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