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  • Road biking… newbie question!

     mr-marty-martin updated 11 years, 11 months ago 5 Members · 13 Posts
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  • c150student

    Member
    24 May 2009 at 6:56 pm

    I’ve been mountain biking for nearly a year now, and a few days ago I purchased a Raleigh Pulsar road/racing bike for £50 off ebay, as I find that when I choose to bike to work, my mountain bike makes things more difficult than they need to be. Plus, I often get overtaken by men in lycra riding road bikes (damn them!)

    However, for a bike thats intended to be ridden on the road, I’m finding it really difficult! I can only activate the brakes when in the fully low down position, and that makes it harder to look both ways at a junction (on my MTB, I can slow down whilst looking for traffic with no problem). Also, the handlebars are really small, and I dont know where my hands are meant to be for the majority of the ride. Surely riding leant far forwards would make it more difficult… thats why I have bar ends on my MTB so I can extend my body when climbing steep hills, this seems the opposite.

    I havent ridden my ‘new’ bike to work yet because I’m not confident enough on it. Does anyone have any advice for general road biking?

    Thanks! Told you it was a newbie question 😀

  • Anonymous

    Member
    24 May 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I found the transition from MTB to road bike difficult for the first few rides. No suspension, crap brakes, razor blade for a saddle, but got used to it after half a dozen rides. Just keep at it and it will soon see natural enough.

  • mr-marty-martin

    Member
    24 May 2009 at 7:47 pm

    my campag skelton brakes are class on my road bike…

    you need to be more aero on a road bike, hence the position…, although you should be able to use the breaks on the hoods of the brakes 😕

  • Richard A Thackeray

    Member
    24 May 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I can only activate the brakes when in the fully low down position, and that makes it harder to look both ways at a junction

    Most of us ride ‘on the hoods’ on the road, open the attached pictures for examples of this position

    I know these are competative images, but the same position applies

    Also, the handlebars are really small, and I dont know where my hands are meant to be for the majority of the ride

    Raleigh’s used (& may still have narrow bars for the frames sizes, I once bought a 54.5CM C-C that had 39cm bars on it! 😯

    Bar width is usually reflected in your shoulder width, if you’d bought from a shop, you may have had some flexibility

    (maybe next time?, if you buy a better one)

    I havent ridden my ‘new’ bike to work yet because I’m not confident enough on it. Does anyone have any advice for general road biking?

    Yes, some;

    1. Beware the inattentive car driver & ‘White Van Man’

    2. Join British Cycling, or the CTC, & get yourself 3rd Party Insurance, protect yourself (they’ll also fight for you, if you get knocked off

    3. Lights & reflectors!

    4. All the rules of the road apply to you too, red lights, zebra crossings, no riding on pavements, not down one-way streets, etc……..

    Sorry if I’m preaching to the converted there, but there’s cyclists & ‘people who ride bikes’

  • c150student

    Member
    24 May 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I can apply the brakes whilst on the hoods (now I know what that means!) but not as firmly as when fully down.

    As for handlebar width, yes, ideally Id have bought from a shop. But road bikes are very expensive, and to be fair, I cant justify the expense. This £50 would still take me about half a year of cycling into work to cover, by saving the cost of petrol.

    Regarding insurance, what sort of cost am I looking at here? I’m paying about £1100 a year on car insurance (!) so am hoping it wont be anywhere near that 😀

    I only have lights on my MTB at the moment, as its not getting dark early enough for them to be much use. But they will get put on come winter.

    And yes, I do abide by rules of the road! That said, the journey to work isnt through busy streets or anything.

    Thanks for the replies guys, I think I’ll have to have another few practise runs to get the hang of it.

    One final thing… some of the roads I go along have holes and dips and what-not at the edge. Now, I can just about cope with most of these on my MTB, as it has fat tyres and suspension. But what about the road bike? If a car is coming up behind me, I can hardly just swerve around the pothole, because the car wont be expecting that. Whats the best thing to do in this situation? Cheers

  • mr-marty-martin

    Member
    24 May 2009 at 8:27 pm

    ride closer to the middle of the road… and dont hug the curb whils riding…

    if you ride further away from the road cars usaly take a wide line, and take more time…

    you could bunny ho the holes…

  • c150student

    Member
    24 May 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Ah, I tend to ride as close to the edge as I can, so that cars can get past easier. And bunny hop? You must be kidding! I cant even wheelie 😀

    Anyway, Im now a member of CTC, so have 3rd party insurance. 🙂 £36, no excesses, bargain!

  • Richard A Thackeray

    Member
    24 May 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I can apply the brakes whilst on the hoods (now I know what that means!) but not as firmly as when fully down

    You’ll get used to it.

    (erhaps it needs new cables (or them lubricating inside the outers at least)

    Regarding insurance, what sort of cost am I looking at here? I’m paying about £1100 a year on car insurance (!) so am hoping it wont be anywhere near that 😀

    You’ve already answered that one with a reply

    Don’t forget though, it is 3rd Party – your bike’s not covered for theft/damage.

    You & it are only covered for the damage you/it do to other peoples property

    £1,100!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bloody hell!, I pay under £750 for the Landie & the XKR (both F/C)

    .

    And yes, I do abide by rules of the road! That said, the journey to work isnt through busy streets or anything

    Very pleased to hear it

    One final thing… some of the roads I go along have holes and dips and what-not at the edge. Now, I can just about cope with most of these on my MTB, as it has fat tyres and suspension. But what about the road bike? If a car is coming up behind me, I can hardly just swerve around the pothole, because the car wont be expecting that. Whats the best thing to do in this situation? Cheers

    Ride light, stand partially up – take the weight off the saddle & ride like you might the MTB over rough ground, ie; ‘float it over’

  • c150student

    Member
    24 May 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Don’t forget though, it is 3rd Party – your bike’s not covered for theft/damage.

    You & it are only covered for the damage you/it do to other peoples property

    £1,100!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bloody hell!, I pay under £750 for the Landie & the XKR (both F/C)

    Ride light, stand partially up – take the weight off the saddle & ride like you might the MTB over rough ground, ie; ‘float it over’

    Thats for an 11 year old, 1.4 litre Corsa! I’m only 18, they screw you on insurance 🙁 Plus a £400 young drivers excess. And thats with a clean license and 1 years NCB, in a good area!

    I suppose I’ll have to try riding over a few dips to practice ‘floating it over’. What I dont want is for the wheels to come off the ground and for the bike to become uncontrollable, as the road bike doesnt seem as stable as the MTB. When you say ride light, do you just mean take my weight off the saddle, or dont take much with me? Because I take a backpack with my laptop and uniform in it. How much would that affect road biking?

    Oh, and as for the brakes, they work OK, but when riding on the hoods, my hands dont get as good a grip on the levers, thats all. I guess I can always pre-judge when I need to brake and get into position, but if I ever need to do an emergency stop, I’m buggered.

  • Steve Kish

    Member
    25 May 2009 at 9:36 am

    I agree. Ride a bit away from the kerb and if you hear a car behind with circumstances permitting, pull over just a little bit.

    Most cars are quite considerate – they have been known to slow down for horses, slower and wider than you. 😀 J

    Just don’t consider yourself to be a second-class road user. 😛 You have at least as much right to be on the roads as motorists – more so if they’ve no licence, tax, insurance, MOT etc. etc.

  • Richard A Thackeray

    Member
    25 May 2009 at 10:00 am

    Thats for an 11 year old, 1.4 litre Corsa! I’m only 18, they screw you on insurance 🙁 Plus a £400 young drivers excess. And thats with a clean license and 1 years NCB, in a good area!

    Well, it’s all comparative, I guess.

    I remember paying £250 insurance for my first car, about 23 years ago!

    Now I pay £180 for the 110, & the XKR is about £570 (with named drivers)

    Ride light, stand partially up – take the weight off the saddle & ride like you might the MTB over rough ground, ie; ‘float it over’

    I suppose I’ll have to try riding over a few dips to practice ‘floating it over’. What I dont want is for the wheels to come off the ground and for the bike to become uncontrollable, as the road bike doesnt seem as stable as the MTB. When you say ride light, do you just mean take my weight off the saddle, or dont take much with me?

    Take the weight off the saddle, partially bent legs – even if it’s only lifting your weight by an inch or so, keeping it distributed between arms & legs

    Practice on a quiet street.

    In that respect a back-pack is better (less weight on the bike to ‘clatter’ through pot-holes), but it can sway around & affect your balance.

    As for the ’emergency braking’, again practice varying the pressure, or rapidly altering your hand position (I can apply almost as much pressure from the hoods)

    Perhaps you need to alter the position of the brake levers on the bars too??

    You can get levers that fit on the tops of the bars, in-line, that allow you to brake from ‘the tops’

    I’m not sure of the proper name/manufacturer, but one of our other members may know what they are

  • Richard A Thackeray

    Member
    25 May 2009 at 10:02 am

    You can get levers that fit on the tops of the bars, in-line, that allow you to brake from ‘the tops’

    I’m not sure of the proper name/manufacturer, but one of our other members may know what they are

    Similar to these

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/cane-creek/crosstop-levers-ec008804

    Again, someone may have them fitted & take a picture to help you?

  • mr-marty-martin

    Member
    25 May 2009 at 11:01 am

    he usual name is cross top levers…

    as they come from the cyclo cross side of things i think 😕

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