What size bike do I need?
Bike fitting is a very complex subject and every person is different. Lots of guides are available on the internet but Wiggle has superb guidelines available at the following link:
In most cases bike shops will be happy to help you out with a basic fit, but remember don’t rush out and spend all your hard earned cash on a bike that doesn't fit because it looks incredible or you don't want to wait, doing this will only cause you pain in the future.
If you start to get serious about riding, a good, pro bike fit is almost always money well spent.
Tyre pressures can depend on a few factors such as rider weight tyre size and weather conditions and can vary from 80psi to 130psi. If the weather is bad and the roads are wet you can reduce the pressure in your tyres to increase the contact surface area of rubber with the road improving grip. However this action can increase the tyres rolling resistance meaning more energy is required to maintain the same average speed making pressure a balancing act
Heavy riders tend to run with higher pressures, this can be up to 120 psi.
As a general guide if you are unsure then 100psi will be fine for dry weather and 80psi in the wet.
What is "Cadence"?
In cycling, cadence means - the number full rotations of the pedals per minute; Cyclists typically have a cadence at which they feel most comfortable. Recreational cyclists typically cycle around 60–80 rpm. A good cadence for a club rider would be between 75 to 100 but during a sprint riders will hit a cadence of well over 150 for a short period.
Certain cycle computers are able to measure cadence but are normally higher in the price range.
What is a clipless pedal?
Unlike the name suggests a clipless pedal is a pedal that clips you (your shoe) to the bike.
Clipless pedals systems come in two parts, the pedal and the cleat. The cleat is a small plastic section that is screwed to the bottom of the cycling shoe, this will slot/clip into the pedal and hold the pedal and the shoe together. Most pedals have adjusters to change the holding strength. To release your foot a simple twisting action is required. This action soon becomes second nature.
Two main tyres of clipless pedal are Shimano SPD system and the Look system. Both are similar in function but are cross compatible.
I have a new chain, how long does it need to be?
As a rule of thumb, you take your new chain, wrap it round the largest front cog and then wrap it round the largest rear cog (not around the rear changer/derailleur), pull the ends together and then add two links. This will give you your correct chain length.
Obviously you will require a chain splitter and I would recommend a reusable removable chain link to join the chain together, remember this acts like an extra link so when using one you only need to add an extra link in length.
Argh my gears don’t work properly!
This could be one of many things, have a search on YouTube for some tutorial videos on how to set them up. Alternatively ask one of the guys at Trent Valley Road Club for advice. Also your local bike shop will be happy to help.
I keep getting sore when riding, what can I do?
Saddle sores have stopped yellow jersey wearers in the final stages of the Tour De France in the past. However if you stick to the following rules you will drastically reduce the chance of getting a saddle sore.
Always clean your kit and never wear the same shorts twice without washing it! If you wear a dirty bib and get a small abrasion you are open to infection leading to a sore.
Have a wash before a ride - This will reduce the chance of infection if the skin gets abrasive marks.
Use chamois cream, and plenty of it. Chamois cream is essential on the long rides and a godsend for the cyclist.
Buy quality shorts - A decent chamois and a good fit with strategic stitching is important to avoid sores.
Stand up on the bike once in a while. Standing up gives a rest to areas prone to abrasion, and gives the legs a stretch. Watch the tour guys and you will notice they always stand up from time to time.
Get a bike fit - You may have a bad bike fit causing unnecessary rubbing, also using an incorrect saddle can be a cause of saddle sore. Saddle choice is very personal to the rider, some good bike shops will offer a “try before you buy” service.
Once you have experienced a serious sore you will never consider overlooking the above suggestions as prevention is better than the cure.
If you do fall foul of the killer short disease you might find it hangs around for much longer than you thought possible. Experience suggests that the following can help increase recovery time
Wear cotton underwear – The bacteria that cause the infection prefer a warm and wet environment. Cotton underwear has better qualities for removing everyday sweat away from the area. This is known to reduce healing times.
Antibacterial creams – Treating the area locally with antibacterial creams will increase the speed at which your body can heal the area. Creams like Savlon, Bepanthan and Sudocrem will help but be careful to follow the instructions.
Allow the area to breathe – Where possible sleep in loose fitting clothes to allow air to the area to keep it cool and dry.
Stay off the bike – If every time you ride you aggravate the sore, DON’T RIDE
Go to the doctors – as a last resort go to the doctors and get them to take a look. If the infection is persistent they will give you antibiotics to help clear it up.