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Any cyclists here?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by bobafett, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    9,193
    I have been thinking about getting into cycling for cardio. I used to play water polo / swam, then took up rowing, then took up squash. Problem is I get bored easily with treadmill, etc. and need an engaging activity. Cycling seems like a great solo activity with lasting power.

    As a complete novice who is quite out of shape from lack of activity, I was recommended the Bianchi Veloce as a good intro bike. What do you experts say?

    --Dan
     
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  3. tjacoby

    tjacoby F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
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    I was a roadie as a teenager but now we moved on the top of a side of a mountain I gave-in and bought a hardtail and wouldn't go back. Give the dirt a try, hill-climbing can be an intense workout after you've been at it for a few months. good luck and go for it!

    I stay away from the tricks and advanced downhill stuff, but it's there for those who need more adrenalin than I use up meeting payroll.
     
  4. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    Dan, I was a professional cyclist for several years. I only retired last year and I still have tons of connections. PM me and I will get you hooked up.
     
  5. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    9,193
    Ryan,

    Any direction is much appreciated. PMed. Thanks much.

    --Dan
     
  6. Uberpower

    Uberpower Formula Junior

    Feb 6, 2004
    902

    Hey Dan,

    I'm no cyclist- but my dad is. He wholeheartedly recommends the Bianchi to anyone and everyone that will listen. He rode the "Ride the Rockies" race on it two years running, 404 miles of mountian! I have a picture of him on my wall doing the race.

    Of course, my dad is a machine. I dunno if I'd ever try it.

    Nick
     
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  8. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    Nick, no offense but Ride the Rockies is not a race. It's just a ride. There's no categories, winners, or prizes. That being said, it's lots of fun.

    Also, there is no right bike for everyone, unless it is custom sized. Each manufacturer has its own frame geometry for each given size and depending on the individual's various dimensions, some bikes may work and some bikes may not. As I said, the only right bike for everyone is a custom bike. Like most Italian bike manufacturers, Most of Bianchi's models are made in Taiwan, along side frames from other manufacturers.
     
  9. Uberpower

    Uberpower Formula Junior

    Feb 6, 2004
    902
    Ryan- no offense taken. I didn't know it wasn't a race, but anyone 50+ like my dad who completes it is a bad mofo in my book. He said he saw this 70-something year old guy riding it.

    Man... I dunno if I could even do it now! I bet you could do it with your eyes closed with your background? It's a lot harder than it sounds I would think...
     
  10. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ
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    i ride a minimum of 20 miles a day, it used to be 50, but i hurt my knee (forgot the link to the thread i started on the topic)

    I would suggest that if you are new to it to get a carbon fibre frame. they are a but more comfy if you are thinking road bike. Avoid suspension mountain bikes, you are actually fighting the springs and you are less likely to keep high rpms on the crank as you will on the road. hill climbing will give you bulkier legs on a mountain bike too.


    Jordan saw me ride to c.cove many times. I like the speeds of road bikes as well, but I only signed to a pro team before an accident ended my career.

    I am sure that a few cyclists here will say the first 10 miles is tough, then you get a second wind and can go forever. I did velodrome marathons in high school and rode nonstop one day for 11 hours. i am probably sterile now :)
     
  11. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    9,193
    Ryan: my sincere pleasure speaking with you tonight. Lots in common. Thanks much for the advise, I'll be in touch shortly.

    Timothy: I do remember the thread, and was hoping you would chime in.

    --Dan
     
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  13. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ
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    A mountain bike on the road will provide a comfy ride, and with their lower gearing you will be spinning pretty hard to keep up speed. Road bikes, well depending on your height and weight, will help determine exactly what type of bike/wheel combo you need. Road bikes will provide faster speeds which with high spinning rpm will give you speed and cardio, and you will not sweat, until you stop moving, then it will feel like you got out of the shower. Where as mountain bikes again, slower speeds, high rpm, comfy ride and hotter body temperatures.








    I highly reccomend www.nytro.com www.rotationsbicyclecenter.com (top shop in Southampton) www.triathletezombies.com all these places do web ordering and when I am near them, I have them do all my work. I met the gang at Rotations this past summer when I brought in my Colnago CF3 Ferrari in. They have a cool irish setter that greets the riders in the back after long rides.

    The most important things to remember, finding a comfy riding position, soft saddle, some good tires that can cushion the blows and that you feel comfortable changing should you get a flat on the road, and soft handlebar tape or grips.

    When you are riding you may want to bring a small cd or mp3 player, although at first without one you will get bored, but after a while, you really don't care, your mind stays very clear while riding, and for me, it is addictive.
     
  14. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ
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    Most serious pro shops are very cool to newcomers, just the opposite of most people's perception of cyclists as being elitist.

    Riders get very macho testosterone and competitive, but not personal. You start passing people you feel great, you get passed, you will fight to keep up. Very primal.

    I was on my way out of Crystal Cove the first time I met Jordan_747, on the way out two guys said hi and I started out after them. In one mile there was this drop and on the way down I hit 60mph pretty easily and they guys were really impressed, we chatted for the next 20miles. Usually on the road, other riders will wave to you, it is a cycling thing, most people don't get. It is exactly like when we F-chatters get together.

    Serious riders all over as well, will welcome a newcomer. I have ridden in the peloton a lot, and trained all over the place, and no matter where you go, cyclists are friendly and stick together.

    Although I dislike weekend riders myself. Gotta admit that, since I do ride every day, rain or shine.
     
  15. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    I have to take exception with this part about cf frames. There are many carbon fiber frames that a excessively chattery, and not comfortable at all. The Trek OCLV is one, for example. If you're looking for a more comfortable ride, you can go with 25c tires instead of 23c. That will make more difference than anything.

    If you find that your hands are hurting, then you need to tweak your position. If your sit bones hurt excessively, you might need to tweak your position. The right position is the key. There will inevitably be some discomfort initially but it should not be anything that causes excessive pain or soreness.

    I rode over 21,000 miles per year each year (as much as 23,000 in 2000) and I never had an over use injury. I raced for two European pro teams when I lived in Europe, was on the national team from 1999 to 2003, got 3 top tens at World Championships, and won over a dozen state and national championships and medals. And the only injuries that I sustained were those from crashes (including the shattered pelvis that ended my career).

    No overuse injuries with all those miles is a major accomplishment.

    Tim, what team did you sign with? In 2000 I did some races for Linda McCartney and they asked me about a guy from New York that I hadn't heard of. That wasn't you was it?
     
  16. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    Dan, the pleasure was mine. We'll talk again soon.
     
  17. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    I know you didn't know. It's just one of my (and many other cyclists') pet peeves. Ride the Rockies "race", Triple Bypass "race", Elephant Rock "race. None of those are races, they're just fun rides for anyone who wants to do it. There are no rules or regulations, licenses, or previous experience necessary.

    That being said, it's not easy. It's a major accomlishment for anyone with a real job to do that. I find it absolutely insane. I have never signed up for it (it's a lottery, too) but I when I lived in Frisco and Vail I would do some long days where I would be on the same route as the Ride the Rockies people. You get a wide range of people and abilities and to see how happy some of these people are to accomplish such a feat is truly something to witness.

    There was a day when the route finihsed in Frisco, where I was living. I rode a long route that had me on the same finishing stretch as the RtR riders. Naturally, there was a decent speed differential. There were about 5 guys who latched onto my wheel on the way back and eventually, they all fell the pace before town. When I got back, I went to my usual main street bakery for some water and cinammon bread. While I was sitting outside, two of the guys came up to me and were going on and on about how could I go so fast after such a long day. I tried to explain to them that this was all I did, and you couldn't really compare it to having a normal job and riding for fun. It's a different world. When I told them that I had also ridden 60 more miles that they did that day, their jaws just dropped. But I can tell you for a fact that those guys are so much tougher than me. If I wasn't a full-time bicyle racer, I would never be able to get in the miles to do RtR and enjoy it.

    Anyways, I know that you didn't know that it's not a race.
     
  18. Sarc

    Sarc Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    196
    sunny detroit
    I was just thinking last night of posting a similar topic this afternoon!
    For the past couple of months, I've been looking at everything from Trek to LeMond, and am having trouble deciding what bike would be right for me.
    I plan to use my bike for daily 12-20 mile intervals as soon as the weather improves, and am seriously interested in competing this summer regionally. The bike I I have been using for this up to now has been a Specialized HardRock Comp with street tires, not exactly the most suitable machine for road cycling. Needless to say, I am interested in obtaining the right machine for my use.
    So far I've been looking at:

    Trek
    Giant
    Specialized
    Bianchi
    LeMond

    Any feedback on my options,as well as any tips on competition would be greatly appreciated!

    Regards,
    Paul
     
  19. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    Paul,
    Detroit is rich with cycling history. The Wolverine Club, run by the late Mike Walden, was one of the cycling powerhouses in the US. Many great cyclists came out of Detroit: Roger and Sheila Young, Frankie Andreu, and many others. As a result, there are lots of races in the midwest in the summer. There are lots of ways to get started but one of the best is to start riding with people who race. That way, not only will you start learning a lot about cycling itself but you'll start hearing about the races and learning how they work and where they are. You'll probably see some before you actually jump in, as well. All in all, it will allow you to get on the steep part of the learning curve early, which is key.

    Here in Colorado, I coach members of the Boulder Women's Cycling Team, which for many years was a powerhouse of women's amateur racing. I do many clinics with the girls and often, they bring along some real novices. Women's racing is a little different than men's but some of these girls have gone from beginning categories to winning pro level races in less than two years. And it's because they started riding with racers. It's a different world than people who just ride.

    There's a great coach who's a professor at Saginaw Valley State University. I don't remember how far it is from Detroit but he really is instrumental in getting beginners on the right track. PM me and I will give you some more info, if you want.
     
  20. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
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    Bob, im curiuos to know what turned you away from rowing? Did you row s single? Ive always wanted to learn how to scull. we ahve a training scull in the boathouse, and if get an internship in the area this summer and live at school, my coach will teach me this summer. I find rowing a little more fun than running, but only sometimes. Nice long 40 minute rows are nice, but the intense 2,000 meter peices are just painful (but it does feel great to be the first one to make it to the end of those 2000 meters.)
     
  21. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    I keep getting PMs about which bikes to buy and the answer is the same: the only bike that's right for everyone is a custom bike. Off the shelf bikes will vary for who they are right for and almost all bikes now are built in Asia. The best bikes are always the handbuilt ones.

    I was sponsored over the years by various manufacturers, some big, some small. The two best bike builders I ever used built bikes for me that were very similar in ride and handling and, not surprisingly, both builders were very meticulous craftsmen: Don Ferris and Bob Parlee. They share many of the same philosophies and, not surprisingly, both build their frames on Anvil jigs.

    Each of their websites are very informative but Don's has lots of info on some of the engineering principles of geometry which everyone should read. I did a bunch of testing on bikes and wheels over the years and just about everything that has come out of Don's mouth over the years has been true. Both websites are worth a look.

    BTW, I liked these guys' bikes so much that I gave up a pretty sizeable stipend from a big manufacturer to ride bikes from Don and Bob for free. Winning is priceless and having best equipment makes winning easier. It's not impossible without it but it's easier with it.

    Don Ferris: www.anvilbikes.com
    Bob Parlee: www.parleecycles.com
     
  22. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    9,193
    Tim: it's not that I've been put off from rowing. Quite the opposite, but it's a question of practicality and accessibility. I don't own any of the equipment myself, and single seat, from what I understand, it hugely different from what you and I are used to. Ideally speaking, I'd love to be out on the water every morning.

    Actually, I wanted to buy an erg for the cycling "off season" and see if I could do a 2k daily. Nothing will beat you up like an erg, that's for sure.

    Cycling seems like a much more accessible and manageable thing to do. Both have staying power, and who knows, maybe I'll be able to get into sculling one day too. I do agree that there are few things better than being out there.

    --Dan
     
  23. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
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    A 2k daily would be murder. This winter we do long erg pieces, 30 to 90 minutes nice and slow for cardio and interval sutff for sprinting. Recently, we have started training for the spring. Yesterdays workout was a 2k, 1500, 1000, and 500. I felt like sh*t all night after that one! The problem with ergs is the long peices are boring and the short ones are painful. I only have 1 more week of winter training inside and only 1 more erg test which is a 6k this friday, then i leave for miami to train for a week. i dont want to even look at an erg for at least 2 weeks!
     
  24. tigermilk

    tigermilk Formula Junior

    Jul 12, 2001
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    1) Don't get caught up in frame materials. I've personally got an all aluminum TT bike, a steel frame road bike with carbon fork, and an aluminum road frame with carbon fork. All feel fine for long (60-100 mile) rides. Some will say "steel is real" or that aluminum is harsh. Material does have some effect, but so does geometry, wheels/tires, seat, conditioning, ...
    2) Don't go bottom line. If you end up liking the sport, you'll get the fever to upgrade quickly. One cycling friend bought a low end Specialized bike for around $600-700 last year. Ended up getting a Litespeed late last year and just built up another frame a few weeks back.
    3) Get decent components. I personally like Campy. Not only does it match the wheel manufacturer for my 308 wheels, but I like the shifting and clean cable routing. Centaur is pretty good, but Chorus will drive you for a long time. On the Shimano side, I've got some older Dura Ace components on the TT bike that are battletested. Ultegra is more than enough, and 105 would be a good intro group. Avoid Sora.
    4) Don't get caught up in the weight or wheelset game. A pound saved on the bike is great for marketing, but unless you're climbing Alpe d'Huez, leave the savings at the store. Work on your weight instead. Cyclists get bent over on saving grams when it matters little to the bottom line speedwise. Bodyweight fluctuations will do more harm or good to speed than bike weight. Likewise, avoid the boutique wheels until you're fast enough to actually need them. If you're going under 20-22 mph, the power savings due to a set of boutique wheels will be minimal. Even at higher speeds, you may only save 10-20 W of power. That's only important if you're racing and either need to conserve energy or shave a second or two off each mile split.

    While I don't have the miles Ryan does, I ride 8000-10000 miles a year and never have had an overuse injury. Perhaps if you ride only at low cadence (50-70 rpm) in a big gear will you get some knee problems. Or if you're not set up properly. I've had more injuries from running.

    If and when you start riding, take it easy. Don't go out hard every day. You won't improve and you may lose interest. Ride for fun and take in the scenery. That said, running is a great cardio workout for the time involved. And nothing takes the weight off for me like running does.
     
  25. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    James,
    Great post.
     
  26. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
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    This is a great thread. I have been actually contemplating buying a bike as well for activity purposes. I currently play racquetball a few times a week, but during the summer I wont have access to the facilities, thus a bike would be very useful.

    I did read through the thread and checked out some of the links, but still have a few questions.

    I know everyone likes the custome 4 thousand dollar bikes and such, but how about for a novice, that wants to ride on the road (great paved roads) in the suburbs 3-4 days a week? Would a road bike or a moutain bike be better?

    I am about 5'6" and about 140, so if that helps any. Also what are the downsides of cheaper bikes?

    The reason I don't want to plunk down a lot of $$ for a bike is, after summer time, I will be back at UC Berkeley, the highest theft rate of all bikes in the world I would have to say. I don't want to hide my bike in my room, I want to be able to ride it to class next year, if I like riding this summer.

    THoughts and opinions appreciated.
     
  27. tigermilk

    tigermilk Formula Junior

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    You toss a bunch of things in there. One, the SF area offers great riding, both on and off road. You may want to consider a bike based on which one of those you'll do more of. For a MTB, just ride with slicks on the streets. Or you could look at a cyclocross bike to bridge the gap between the two a bit.

    The downside of a cheaper bike is that it won't last. I've got a cheap hybrid ($200 or so new) that creaks everywhere, the components are junk, and it's heavy. Same could probably be said for a $400-500 new road bike. My steel road bike has 15000+ miles on it and aside from the bottom bracket, is on the original components. The other road bike has 8000 or so miles on it and rides good as new.

    But even those bikes weren't expensive. I picked up the first at a good deal. A Campy Daytona equipped bike for $900 new. The second I put together with Campy Chorus components for under a grand.

    Bikes are like cars or stereo equipment. Is a Ferrari 360 10 times the car a Ford Focus is? Will that $10k tube amp give you 20 times better sound than the $500 Yamaha receiver at Best Buy? The answer to both is no. There's a point of diminishing returns when it comes to all good, including bikes. The sweet spot appears to be in the $1200 range. You get darn good value at that price point, give or take a few hundred.

    The benefit of a cheap bike? At Berkeley you won't care as much if someone steals it or if you leave it out in the elements.
     
  28. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
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    Thank you Joseph. See at Berkeley, my bike is absolutely not necessary, as I can walk everywhere. So I guess I can keep a nice 1200 dollar bike in LA and ride it for the summer.

    Things to think about. THanks again :)
     

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