Newbie's first commute

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Newbie's first commute

Postby scottomcgotto » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:48 am

Hi guys and gals, Well after lots of reading and watching and searching I've finally put down a deposit on my first commuter. I've gone with a 2014 Specialized Sirrus Elite Disc with added fenders and bar ends. My commute will be about 10km each way from Burnside to Mile End here in Adelaide. I'm currently a motorcyclist but very much looking forward to all the benefits that come with cycling.

Look forward to seeing you all out there.
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by BNA » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:08 pm

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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby MattyK » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:08 pm

Good stuff! Don't forget to buy some good lights before daylight saving ends.
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby wombatK » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:30 pm

That's a great bike. A cycling buddy bought one a few months ago - absolutely delighted with it. So much that a 2nd
cycling buddy also bought one a few weeks later . Unfortunately, the latter didn't lock it up too well at home, and
it got nicked within weeks. It was chained to a wall with ordinary common steel chain attached to
a masonry anchor that was prised out.

So get a good lock, plenty of threads here with discussion of pros' and cons of different locks.

Start here for my favorite.
Stainless steel cable is resistant to average bolt-cutters, but you need to make sure it's attached
to something that makes it pretty immovable (e.g. not a street sign post, as mostly you can lift a bike over the
top of that ).

Enjoy your new bike !
WombatK

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby scottomcgotto » Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:10 am

Thanks guys, very much looking forward to picking it up in a few weeks. I'll definitely be on the lookout for a good solid chain, although I'll be keeping it in the house at night and in the office during the day, the thought of losing it sucks.

Cheers
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby scottomcgotto » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:58 am

Just a quick one, Picked up the bike yesterday and rode the 15k home from the bike store. First time on a pushy in about 10 years and it felt awesome. There are a few niggles that I'll have to look at fixing, the 'Fit' they did for me at the store was essentially setting seat height, so I need to adjust the seat back slightly and do a proper alignment on the front and rear derailleurs because there is a little bit of noise and it doesn't shift as smoothly as I'd hoped, but other than that it rides beautifully.

Now, just need to figure a way to stop myself from spending too much on extras :)
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby MattyK » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:43 am

Great to hear. Since you're just starting out you will be developing strength and technique initially, so just tweak the bike fit for comfort and balance, not because a set of rules on the internet says you have to be a certain way. Keep adjusting as necessary; it will probably change as you progress.

gearing, make sure you ease off the pedals a little when shifting. Give it a few hundred k's to settle in, and if it is still noisy or harsh then take it back to the shop for a tweak, which will be free.

Now, just need to figure a way to stop myself from spending too much on extras

If you figure that one out, let me know!
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby scottomcgotto » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:31 am

Good advise! Thanks. Yeah not really confident I'll find a way to stop sinking hard earned into the new ride, but if I do you'll be the first I'll tell!
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby scottomcgotto » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:18 am

Well, first 100km of commuting down and I'm up to riding 3 days a week now. Have noticed my speed and fitness steadily improving. I have also placed my first wiggle order...
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby KGB » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:08 pm

He's got it bad. No hope of reigning in the spending from this point on.

Enjoy!
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby trailgumby » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:43 pm

KGB wrote:He's got it bad. No hope of reigning in the spending from this point on.

Enjoy!

Oh, yes. :lol: It's a long slope downhill from here! :wink:
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby clackers » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:23 pm

scottomcgotto wrote:Just a quick one, Picked up the bike yesterday and rode the 15k home from the bike store. First time on a pushy in about 10 years and it felt awesome. There are a few niggles that I'll have to look at fixing, the 'Fit' they did for me at the store was essentially setting seat height, so I need to adjust the seat back slightly and do a proper alignment on the front and rear derailleurs because there is a little bit of noise and it doesn't shift as smoothly as I'd hoped, but other than that it rides beautifully.

Now, just need to figure a way to stop myself from spending too much on extras :)


I'm afraid there is no cure for Gear Acquisition Syndrome. You'll be turning tricks to finance your habit.

More seriously, take the bike back after three weeks or so of riding to let them tighten everything up - in particular, the cables that have stretched since the gears were tuned in the shop.
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby scottomcgotto » Mon May 05, 2014 7:02 pm

Thanks for the tip clackers (both on the service and turning tricks to finance the habbit, hadn't thought of that!!). When I picked up the bike they suggested 4-6 weeks for the first 'service' so I'm taking it back next week. If anything though, the wear in has been good, shifting a lot better and feeling a lot smoother than it did on day one.
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby Zippy7 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:27 pm

How is the Sirrus Elite Disc going?
I test rode one on Saturday and I am sorely tempted to buy one.
Interested in your thoughts before parting with the hard-earned.
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby scottomcgotto » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:53 pm

I'm definitely enjoying it mate. Everything has settled in nicely and the 20km a day I do is a breeze (even at my hefty 120kg). The only little gripe I have is with some extras I got (I had bar ends and fenders fitted). The bar ends off the comp are pretty disappointing and the fenders I had fitted are good but really noisy.

The break disks needed a little adjusting as I was getting a wobble noise. Pads made a terrible squeak for about a week as they bedded in and it's a little firmer/stiffer ride than I'm accustomed to (my last bike about 15 years ago was a dual suspension down hill bike...) but on the whole very happy with the $1000 I spent.

If I was to upgrade anything I'd probably look into going up from a compact to a standard crankset. I find myself 'Maxing' out the bike more often than I thought, the bike gets up to speed bloody quick and I never change out of large chain ring and highest 5 gears on the cassette now. My commute is pretty bloody flat though 2% down to work and the same up on the way home.

I'll probably also swap out the saddle at some point but to be honest, it's better than I expected out of a stock saddle and I'm not in any sort of hurry.

If you have any specific questions let me know.
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby ironhanglider » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:36 pm

scottomcgotto wrote:If I was to upgrade anything I'd probably look into going up from a compact to a standard crankset. I find myself 'Maxing' out the bike more often than I thought, the bike gets up to speed bloody quick and I never change out of large chain ring and highest 5 gears on the cassette now. My commute is pretty bloody flat though 2% down to work and the same up on the way home.



You'd do well to work on your pedal speed. As a guide most riders are comfortable with a cadence of 80-100 rpm and more for peak efforts. A 50x11 is a big gear, with 25mm tyres you hit 50km/h before you get to even 90 rpm. Maxing out would be some serious speed. There are lots of gear calculators out there, here is just one. http://www.machars.net/bikecalc.htm

Pedalling faster puts less strain on your equipment, and your joints, and you can accelerate faster in a smaller gear.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Newbie's first commute

Postby Zippy7 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:19 am

Thanks for the feedback on the bike and the accessories.
I did look at the Comp Disc longingly and thought it looked nicer with the external BB, bar ends, and supposedly improved rims. Now I know I shouldn't bother stumping up the extra.

Are your tyres 28c? Do you find them comfortable enough?
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