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Thread: first ride on the road bike:-(

  1. #1
    Senior Member SEFTON's Avatar
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    first ride on the road bike:-(

    I've just come back in from my first ever outing on a road bike.

    I live on the west Pennines so there are quite a few hills. when decending the palms of my hands where aching really badly whilst trying to brake (I had to stop quite a few times to shake them off).

    my hands where positioned on top of the bars.

    I feel I have the bike set up correctly (with regards to saddle height & position)

    I thought maybe the brakes could be adjusted so I don't have to reach with my fingers quite as much? or adjusted so I don't have to apply as much pressure?

    the bike is a planet x sl with sram red.

    the gears also kept jumping a little too (and after putting it in the lowest gear it changed back down its self)

  2. #2

    Re: first ride on the road bik

    Were your hands on top of the bars all the time, even when braking? By 'on top of the bars' do you mean braking with your hands on the brake lever hoods? (If not I've no idea how you reach the brakes unless you have some of those old touring style brake lever extensions). Try inside the curve of the bars. For most riding I have my hands on the hoods but its hard to apply heavy braking force for long periods from here so I'll swap them about to the drops on a long descent - better control at speed and easier to apply brakes. Also mitts with gel pads take some of the strain out of it but its probably also down to you simply not being used to the riding position yet.
    Sounds like your gears may just be slightly out of adjustment, specifically your rear - if you are already an MTB rider the adjustment principles are the same and you probably already know them. If not, briefly, with you bike on a stand (or the rear held off the ground) use the pedals to spin the gears in top and adjust/increase the tension on the cable with the barrel adjuster until it starts to 'click' against the next cog, almost but not quite changing gear. Then adjust it back until the noise goes away, that should just about do it.
    Last edited by Mark G; 09-01-2011 at 03:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Master PaulE's Avatar
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    Re: first ride on the road bik

    Good advice above. Also, if your hands are sore it may be worth rotating the bars towards you a touch and/or raising them a little. I'd try the rotating first, only 5 or 10 degrees, as it's easiest. I always used to have the hoods quite level, new bike arrived with them up a bit and it was loads more comfy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SEFTON's Avatar
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    Re: first ride on the road bik

    cheers guys, yep hands on top of the hoods (ouch)!

    I think I'll try rotating the bars slightly and maybe adjusting the reach on the brakes.

    If I need to raise the bars will I need some spacers?

    very scary ride (coming from mtbing). I felt quite unstable (especially when moving hand positions) & descending.

    I was amazed with acceleration/speed & smoothness of the drive train. got a great work out too.

    need to get used to being clipped in to!

  5. #5
    Master and MR
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    Re: first ride on the road bik

    Sefton you may have to get used to just riding the road bike. It takes time for your body to adjust. When your riding are your arms locked straight or do you have a slight bend in them. Sit on your bike and see. If your arms are locked straight then you will put to much pressure on your hands.
    And a daft question I know but how much higher is your seat then your handlebars.

    You will need spacers to lift the bars up . But is your stem angled down ?. Roadbike stems can be turned round so they are angled up. This can help.
    Your brake levers may need lifting slightly higher back up the bars as well.

    Good luck

  6. #6
    Senior Member SEFTON's Avatar
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    Re: first ride on the road bik

    nope there is a small bend in my elbows when my hands are resting on the hoods. not sure how much higher the seat is. I think the stem has a 10 degrees rise (not sure if its pointing up or down)?

    will check.

  7. #7
    Master wheezing donkey's Avatar
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    Re: first ride on the road bik

    Craig,
    Lots of good advice by earlier posters. I'm in the fortunate position that one of our Bowland members is an ex mechanic / manager for a pro team and has very intuitive bike set up skills. He just watched me riding both my 'crosser and sportive bikes and made suggestions that totally changed the comfort factor; BUT only make incremental changes, 4 or 5 mm at a time.
    I moved the pedal cleats forward on my shoes ( feet moved back on the pedals ) by 5mm
    On both bikes I dropped my seat post by 5-6mm and slid the saddle back 5mm.
    The only radical changes were on the 'crosser, where I had the 'tops' going forward level and the bar ends pointing down (and back) at 30*. We swung the bars down in the clamp, to bring the bar ends up, so that they were pointing down by only 15*, but then pulled the brake levers back up the bars by 35-40mm, so that the hoods were higher and nearer - the latter entailed re-taping the bars!

    It totally transformed the ride on both bikes, particularly when braking on the drops on steep descents.
    In that situation, I used to get really bad pains across my shoulders.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SEFTON's Avatar
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    Re: first ride on the road bik

    But is your stem angled down ?. Roadbike stems can be turned round so they are angled up. This can help.
    Your brake levers may need lifting slightly higher back up the bars as well.

    Good luck[/QUOTE]

    yep the stem is angled down, so I'll try it the other way.

  9. #9
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    Re: first ride on the road bik

    Keep faith with the brakes. I have quite small hands and found reaching the brake levers tricky to start. After a while my hands strengthened and stretched. Not an issue any more but was terrified when I started on the road bike 3 years ago. Disc brakes spoil a chap....

  10. #10
    Master bigfella's Avatar
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    Re: first ride on the road bik

    If you've got small(ish) hands as I have then you may want to adjust the reach of the brake leavers which is done on many Shimanos by inserting rubber shims (supplied or available at a bike shop). I did this and now feel much safer and can actually stop safely but still probably less braking power than my MTB with discs.
    Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

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