So it looks like i've just bought my first road bike. I've been riding off road for years but never on road. What tips are there for gear, manner and general roadie-ing!
I'm new to the dark side - Talk to me
pedal hard, wave and shout Hiyah ! to any mtb riders you see, assume that all motorised vehicles contain a hitman with your name in his book
It's a bike. Ride it. Have fun.
Take the opportunity to buy some new shiney stuff.
Any display of weakness will be preyed upon.
Just buy some bib shorts with a Scorpion on, that's a good start.
Edit: Look forward to some serious fitness/thigh bigging improvements.
It's basically a quick glance over your right shoulder. You should do it lots.. and lots.
The main thing with road cycling is that done properly it isn't meant to be enjoyable. Once you grasp that you'll really start to enjoy it.
Go really fast for a long time.
All the above plus less cleaning, less maintenance, less loading bikes into cars and driving to the ride start point.
Yes, there is loads of kit you could buy but in reality, coming from mountain biking all you need (probably) is a few pairs of lycra shorts, a top or two and maybe a higher pressure / smaller pump. and a couple of water bottles. The simplicity is one of the joys I think.
Don't call it the dark side unless you expect to get your legs ripped off on every ride.
Learn to ride in a group, learn the calls.
Accept you might well get a beasting on some rides
Go back next time and ride harder
Learn to enjoy training in the wind,it'll make the leg ripping sessions much less frequent.
Don't disrespect the old guys in old kit on old bikes. They often turn out to be ex national champs and will rip your legs off.
If you rock up in team kit riding a pro level bike, you'd better have the ability to go with it. Or you'll look like a dick.
Join a club.
Smile and wave at every other cyclist, especially mountain bikers. It really pisses them off because then they can't whinge to their friends on their forum.
Join a club or a least try riding in a group and you won't regret it. Solo rides are fun but very hard mentally. Group riding can really push you that little bit extra and the miles can fly by when the mind is occupied.
Join a bunch ride.
Learn to love climbing hills.
It isn't "the dark side" its just riding bikes
No one cares how good your bike is, how you ride it is important.
Travel light, you can do 50miles with a bottle, saddle bag and stuff in your pockets.
mtb shoes are fine.
Lycra shorts are more comfortable than baggies especially when it rains.
Get away from the traffic. Head out into the countryside. If you are unfortunate enough to live in London then move. The riding is better nearly everywhere else.
There's no where to hide. If you don't put in effort you go slow.
Cheers for the replies - I'm looking forward to riding from the door mainly. I have a few mates who ride road so we're going to start group riding pretty soon. The two week wait to pick the bike up and a heavy work load are going to build the excitment
Just get out and enjoy the world by bike ,
For me I tend to ride my road bike mostly on my own as my spare time is often weekday day times
But can't say I find it mentally hard not being with others
But do be wary of te traffic as keep focused on what the cars are doing even if your head down going for your best segment time ever
Struggle for a few rides, stick with it, enjoy a huge leap in fitness.
Join a club, I love a solo 50 but group rides are ace and offer another opportunity of slightly different riding. Plus you'll learn a fair bit off the more experienced riders.
Avoid Strava. Just a lot of pointless willy waving.
Clubs are good. Riding in groups is fun.
Travel light, you can do 50miles with a bottle,
saddle bagand stuff in your pockets.
Strava can be useful if you are measuring yourself against yourself. Always good to see you averages / climb times go up over the same route after a period of time. Although, so many factors (dry/wet, wind, traffic lights etc) can alter things so don't take it too seriously.
Enjoy it. I took the plunge in January and have loved it. My Allez is my least posh bike but the one that gets ridden the most, although I do ride solo all the time I really enjoy it. I've even embraced lycra despite hating it for years...it's annoyingly comfortable!
I've only had a road bike for a few months but my bike fitness had improved a lot. Still room for more improvement, but I'm climbing better on the mtb.
As others have said, get out in the countryside. I can get out to some quite nice roads and villages from my doorstep. The views are nowt compared to Scotland or the Peaks, but it's still nice after being cooped up in an office all day.
The thing I've liked the most is the lack of faf. Put on my riding gear, sling some water in a bottle and off I go for as long or little as I want. No hydration packs to fill, no driving somewhere good to ride, less cleaning. Brilliant.
Most of the other guys on road bikes are friendly enough too.
Strava is really addictive for monitoring your progression, adds a whole new element to lone riding on the road
Yeah, there are better ways to monitor your own progress (as you say, variability in conditions etc.) Power test on the turbo for example to minimise the variability.
If you want to know how fast you are compared to others then race
I use a saddle pack...a tiny Lezyne one that I can squeeze a spare tube in, tyre levers, patches, multi tool and C02 canister. That way it stays on the bike so I don't have to keep stuffing thngs into my jersey. I only put my phone, money and food in my jersey.
I use my phone to record my road rides only so I can track distance, speed etc. It's been good to track the improvements for me, but I don't get too hung up on it.
The most important thing to bear in mind, at all times, no matter what, is to look cool.
Shave your legs and apply a thin film of oil to enhance the coolness, lose lots of weight so you can wear closer-fitting clothes whilst looking cool, and work on your super-cool-thousand-
Whenever you pass oncoming traffic, close your mouth and breathe through your nose - it looks cooler.
Whenever you stop at traffic lights, avoid letting passers-by see you pain by holding your breath... It looks cooler.
Don't attach anything to your bike - it's not cool.
Watch bike races, see how cool they look, and focus on emulating them.
K's are cool, miles, not so cool.
And Strava... It's cool.
My top tip is spent time and effort (and some money) getting your bike to fit properly. Despite what people say, it SHOULD be comfortable on both drops and hoods, and it's not a question of beating your body into submission.
There are way more variables on a road bike than an MTB. Different bar shapes, how much they are rotated and where you put the hoods have a big effect. And the saddle is crucial too because you spend so much time just sat in it, you are far more susceptible to numb plumz.
Shibboleth, spot on Strava though, not cool.
And get a saddle bag. There's nothing cool about looking like Quasimodo, and it means never forgetting your tools/tubes/etc. Back pockets for food+phone, gillet if needed.
I know its against the rules, but I like my saddle bag - I never forget anything because it is always on my bike. Being tiny, I don't think that it's that offensive to look at either.
I'll echo what molgrips said - I spend a fair bit of time fiddling with saddle heights / angles etc to get it right. I've not fiddle with my bar angle or owt yet because they feel comfortanle as they are.
One thing I have thought about is a carbon post - my Allez is quite harsh over poor road surfaces (which we have lots of). Not sure if it will damen things much though.
+1 for saddle bag. It's not cool to land on your multi-tool after a fall. or the mini-pump or spare gas canisters.
Learn to wheelie it. Then do one at the top of every hill.
You might want to buy one last MTB accessory....
A dust sheet.
There's every chance your MTB will never see the light of day again.
take the peak off your helmet - they may be handy for shielding the sun/rain from your face/glasses, but being able to see in the first place is even handier...
after your first ride, take the tape off your handlebars - this will allow you to tweak the position of the bars/sti units, they're never in the right place when new.
(if you live somewhere hilly) buy some new brake pads, fit them after your second ride, you'll never be able to achieve the same improvemenent/£ on any other bike component.
(i) use google streetview for finding narrow, quiet lanes.
Definietly agree about the brake pads - now I'm more confident, I'm riding fater than I did when I first got it and I've definitely found the braking power to be lacking.
ahwiles - any recomendations for better pads? I'm currently just running the stock Sora ones that came with my bike.
For winter the salmon coloured Kool Stop ones are brilliant.
I have it on the very highest authority, there is absolutely no shadow of a doubt on this one.
There is nothing cool about riding a road bike.
it SHOULD be comfortable on both drops and hoods
So true. Even if it means having the bars higher than is "cool" and not slamming the stem. My new bars are 21cm from the crown race to the bars. That means a little higher on the hoods than previously, but so easy on the drops. Gain is at least 1mph average speed.
As for seatpacks, my new bike won't take a light on the post, so I use a saddle rail mount and no seatpack. I keep a medium lezyne caddy sack in my jersey and it swaps from bike to bike and ride to ride.
There is nothing cool about riding a road bike.
you must have spoken to my wife
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