Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Maiden Voyage......and help wanted!

I have decided to name her Lucile. She seems retro to me so Lucy, Lucile, Leverne, and Shirley were my top pick for bike names. Yesterday Lucile and  I went for our first ride.

After all the anticipation I am not very satisfied and that sucks. I felt it was similar to the way people describe sex for first time, short and awkward. I was not comfortable and had many issues. I did get a top speed of 27mph which was kinda of scary on the stretch of downhill I was on, but I know I could have ran that faster. Though if I fall on this road it will be a very bad day. In 30 minutes I rode 4.87 miles per the bike computer (4.4 per I am not sure the computer is correct and I am pretty sure I reset it completely after my ride. Looks like I will be buying a new one. I will be looking for one that has trip distance, odometer, pace, time, stopwatch, and number 1 is affordable.

Here are some the issues that I had. I have some general bike knowledge since I have been mountain biking for years but some of this is new to me. I am hoping that if I list the issues some of you who ride can provide me some insight. I do realize some it may just take getting used to so here goes:

  • The ride in general felt very squirrely, I swerved a lot, especially when I had my hands up top but I figure that is because of narrow hand placement outside of the stem.
  • I could not find a comfortable hand position. The space between my thumb and index fingers kept cramping. The seat has a slight forward cant. I will change it back to level to make sure that I am not putting too much pressure on my hands. I rode with my hands at the bars, in the middle of the curve (is it hood?) near the brakes, and at the bottom of the curve. Preferred bottom and middle the most, but still had pain.
  • Brakes felt like they needed tightening. Is there a fine tuning screw for road/tri bikes like on a mtb?
  • Hard time clipping in. My mountain bike pedals can be entered from both sides. These pedals could not be and if I unclipped I had a hard time getting the pedal rolled back over. They are slippery little devils.
  • I had a harder time climbing on this bike than on my mountain bike I have using. I thought this was supposed to be more efficient.
  • What is the best way to shift with down tube shifter. I was damn near scared when I would take one hand off the bars to reach below me for the shifter when I was already wobbling.
  • Popped my chain off twice, I chock once up to bad shifting while climbing, but still aggravating when I have to get off the bike to put me chain back on track and then restart mid-hill with no momentum.
It seems like there were more problems than that, but this is all I can think of. It almost seems like I have bitched about every part of cycling. Could there be anything else? I would greatly appreciate any help you guys can give me and please share this with anyone who might be helpful as well. I may also post this on some forums later. I am planning to find a group ride to get some pointers in person and please don't give me the advice of getting a new bike, I need tangible information.



Emz said...

I will certainly be asking my "biking" friends for you. Sorry I [personally] am of NO help.

Did love the same as... "short and awkward" comment. ;)

Molly said...

Sorry to hear the first ride wasn't the greatest...wish I could be of help in that regard!

Oh, and you can find Amazing Grass on their website, or on Amazon. I buy it in my grocery store, near the protein powders.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

- you feel woobly because of the tires your on. your probably on 700x23 or 700x30 tires, its takes a little getting use too

- i suggest riding on the hoods till you feel comfortable to ride in the drops. the hoods provied the most stable control of your bike.

- being an older bike, the chain might be worn and stretched, though the lbs should have caught this if it was. Maybe a new chain is needed.

- as for the shifting, I highly recommend researching to upgrade your shifters, I dont know how much that will cost, but to havce your shifters on your hoods will make your life so much easier on the road.

Luke said...

the tires are 700x23 and I thought this might have something to do with it but i had also wondered if my bars are too narrow for my shoulder width.

The hoods are the most comfortable place I have found yet, although it still feels a bit funny, like I 'm on the wrong side of the bars. I still have to shuffle around due to getting the hand cramps.

I asked about shifters when I was at the lbs and they told me it would cost too much when compared to that bike. I still looking for another alternative. Those combo brake/shifter levers are sexy but I would settle for something like a MTB shifter if I can find one compatible. I am still doing the research.