Bikes… What the Heck?????

While I am on my forced medical leave I have taken another bloggers advice to use this time for some research. Of course I am totally triathlon obsessed and while I cannot train hard right now I figured research was a great idea.  So, I realized the one are I know nothing about yet is bicycles.  On my initial Google search I now know and realize this is truly going to take some work.

Yes, I could probably go to a trusted store, get a bike, ride a bit and probably figure out some of the basics. But that is not how I operate. I have to understand what the parts are and how it all works.  For me this is what puts it together and helps me in the long run progress in the sport/hobby.  So on first pass I started seeing stuff about derailers, chainssets, forks (I can figure this one out pretty easy) and stuff I believe relates to breaks.  I found tons of heated discussions on wheels, too many to even bother with for right now.  I also found some sights that mentioned the basics of riding and switching gears, which totally flew over my head.

So, I decided there were multiple things I needed to learn and I needed to make a list since I really like lists.  So here is how I am dividing my research:

  1. Gear and parts – what are all the parts of the bike and what do they do. High level, can learn more intricate levels later.
  2. What to buy – I have already started this, might help to understand above better first.
  3. Gear besides bike required for riding. clothing and non clothing.
  4. Where to ride – I am terrified of the roads around my house, where can I ride that might be safer for short and  long rides.
  5. Financing – I want 6 months same as cash.
  6. How to ride – namely what is all this gear nonsense and how do I use it.
  7. How best to train and get better once I purchase a bike.

So that is my list of things I am trying to learn about bikes.  Did I forget anything?  Any suggestions on good information sites or books? Any must have or must anything suggestions?

Leave suggestions in comments please.

Til next time.

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8 comments

  1. Interesting entry. One piece of advice… a log of avid bicyclists (and especially bicycle salesmen) are real gear heads and will insist you need the most expensive setup imaginable (and you can imagine a lot). While there is nothing worse than a cheap bike, a mid-range (or used) bicycle is only a hair below the top of the line. You can save a lot of money by buying last year’s gear.

    Good luck and have fun. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I have started doing some research on shimano type of parts and other parts so that if I buy before finishing my end all research I have a basic idea at what is really neccesary. I feel confident that just from sorting through all the information I have a decent idea of what I want at the minimum. Of course it helps that I was raised by a die hard sales man so I am used to the tricks. Still looking to understand the parts and mechanics. Thanks for the advice.

  2. My husband and I own good bikes that would be considered low quality to true bike athletes. The brand is Giant Sedona’s and they have 21 gears. They have shocks under the seats and the front fork. The bike doesn’t have a flexible frame. It would be considered more a road bike more than a mountain trail type, although it does great on gravel. My knees do great with it even on inclines. The inclines on our country roads here in Ky. make for a great interval workout. The gears overwealmed me at first. On our bikes… The left handle are your main gears…1 – 3. Each main gear has 7 sub-gears. For steep inclines I keep it at 1:1 and on pretty flat I use 2:1-3. Hub has worked up to using 2:1 to 2-7 for the entire 7 mile route. We bought ours at Montgomery Cyclery. http://montgomerycyclery.com/ i think they are a just a local small business. Good luck. The bike world is HUGE.

    1. The gears are what primarily seem so daunting right now, oh and two handed break handling.

      1. For me, it is SO much easier to consider my 21 speed to be a 3 speed. It is easier to just never adjust the right one…. find a good number that works for you and leave it. The left one is just the 3 gears and I can deal with three. My first time out was rough because I tried to shift constantly and just about fell off. Steep hills require the 1st gear….medium to easy hills usually 2nd gear and flat surfaces 3rd gear. If we’re on flat for long periods, then you can kick it to 3 : 7…which is the highest gear possible. We have too many hills though. I seldom use my brakes…if I do..I easily tap / pump them.

  3. As far as the actual bike is concerned, I would agree with Bill Chance. Buy last years bike. I bought my Specialized Allez Sport on sale a year or two after it was released, brand new, for 600 dollars cheaper. As far as the mechanics of the bike I would recommend nothing bellow Tiagra on the Shimano end. You shouldn’t really need anything more than this until you need to start shaving weight off of your bike. When you are ready to ride, try to find a bike club. I ride with one in Raleigh and its great. They should have weekly group rides which means safety in numbers. Plus you can get a lot of excellent advice about what you actually need for cycling. Lastly, don’t worry about gear so much. When I first started I was riding in some Under Armour, some gym shorts, and a sweat wicking shirt. Helmet is a must. Hope this helps.

    1. Great advice. Yeah, a little research lead me in the direction that I wanted Tiagra at a minimum. Its allot to absorb. Thanks for the suggestions.

  4. […] weekend I took a plunge and plopped some money down on a shiny new bike.  My Saturday post was the impetus that led to some in depth research to develop an understanding of what I was […]

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