Just bought first road bike (Cannondale Synapse 5) and now. . .

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by kneedrachen, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. kneedrachen

    kneedrachen Moderator Mod Team Tavern Member

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    Good Afternoon All,

    This past weekend I just bought my first road bike, a 2010 Cannondale Synapse 5 with Shimano 520 pedals. I also purchased Specialized shoes and some shorts along with it. Unfortunately no riding yet as it has been snowing (I brought the bike home yesterday after having a fitting session which made an amazing difference for me). I've learned how to clip-in and clip-out during the fit session, the proper way to shift, etc. The shop I purchased it from (The Peddler in Long Branch, NJ, thepeddler.com) holds training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I can't make it this week, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can go. I've been doing some reading and there seems to be a lot of people that believe in bicycle computers and various other gadgets to complete their riding experiece. Prior to purchasing this bicycle I was and am still riding a 2004 Trek 4300 with only a frame mounted micro pump and Avenir (sp?) seat bag with multi-tool and tire levers in it along with bar-ends mounted. Do I truly need to start purchasing various accessories to have a complete bicycling experience? I'm looking to increase endurance and strength which in turn will hopefully result in being able to ride long distances.
    I guess what I'm trying to ask is:

    Will purchasing various gizmos really result in a more enjoyable bicycling experience that will possibly have the effect of me being able to quantify what will better suit me being able to ride longer distances/train better?

    This may seem like a ridiculous question, but one browse through Bicycling Magazine and a noob bicyclist can easily feel overwhelmed by the selection of gear out there and the "YOU NEED THIS" attitude of the magazine.
     
  2. whyeyebike

    whyeyebike New Member

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    Let me tell you, you have come to the right forum. Glad to hear you are diving into the road bike world. I remember when I first did, and I had a lot of the same questions. I don't think you need much more then your bike (and a helmet) to have a good time. A lot of the toys out there, especially computers are more training aids then anything else. I will disclose that I have a Garmin Edge 705 but I use it mainly because a lot of the rides I go on are in unfamiliar places. I like having the mapping so I know I won't get lost. The other bells and whistles I get from the computer are nice, but really aren't necessary for what I am doing. I ride until I am tired, sometimes that’s a century, sometimes its 15 miles. The key is to enjoy it, and if you feel pressured into buying the latest and greatest, you won't. I am by no means an expert, and there are people on this forum that are much more knowledgeable then me. So make sure you ask lots of questions, because this forum is eager to help.
     

  3. kneedrachen

    kneedrachen Moderator Mod Team Tavern Member

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    Thank You for your reply. I am pleased as can be to hop on my Trek and just pedal my way to work (with my helmet!) and let the scenery roll by. I have set two goals for myself, for the nearer future I'd like to be able to bike a marathon, for the more distant future, a century. I know I have a long way to go as I am just starting out, but these are goals that I have set for myself. It just seems mind boggling with all the technology out there and the way some of the magazines present it that it almost is presented that you NEED to have it. I prefer simplicity but if it helps me train, I have to wonder if it would help me enough to justify the purchase over just pumping the pedals? I've been looking at the CatEye V3 and the BlackBurn Neuro 5.0 but am not sure if I should take the plunge.
     
  4. Nigal

    Nigal YAY BAIKS! Tavern Member

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    +1 for the Garmin bike gps. I use mine with Mapmyride.com and it gives my rides a whole new dimension.
     
  5. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    An inexpensive computer with a timer, average speed and HRM are invaluable for getting the most out of training on your bike. It will be much easier to track improvements to your fitness, especially when you start doing intervals. The 26 mile ride should be easy enough for any cyclist, but the century will require some dedicated training if you want to enjoy it, rather than slog through it.
     
  6. jwl325

    jwl325 Member

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    I'm much like you, just having purchased my first road bike.

    The two accessories I added were a little flat repair kit/seat pack thing--it's a compact little kit with a couple CO2 cylinders, nozzle, and tube repair kit--and a little Garmin 305.

    I'm primarily using my bike for fitness, as part of a diet/exercise program I've been involved with since late Fall. I'm currently alternating between the gerbil machines at the gym and the bike when the weather's good, but hope to transition primarily to the bike (I hate indoor exercise).

    The flat kit is pretty essential I think, the computer not so much in terms of enjoying your bike if $$'s tight. As others have said, it does provide you with an easy-to-track tool for assessing workouts, routes, etc. if you're into that.

    Congrats on your bike!!
     
  7. kneedrachen

    kneedrachen Moderator Mod Team Tavern Member

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    Thank You all for your replies. When I purchased the bike I also made sure to purchase two spare tubes as well as a set of metal core/reinforced tire levers so I hopefully won't be stranded in the event of a puncture. I'm going to start researching computers with heart rate monitors in the not too distant future as this seems like it would benefit my training and eventual distance riding.

    I appreciate all of your time and answers.

    Alex
     
  8. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Absolutely not. For just riding and having fun, the less junk on your bike the better. For training, a basic cyclocomputer with a heart rate monitor is a handy tool, but not necessary unless you plan on competing.
     
  9. chh55

    chh55 Drink plenty of water!!!

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    Biking is like so many other sports and hobbies that rely on technology; when you start out you don't think you're going to get that serious but if you're like me (and most folks here) the hook sinks in after a short time. You can sort of break down the money flow into 3 categories (each with myriads of subcategories!)
    (1) the bike(s) (Yes you will see the "need" for several more!)
    (2) the accessories
    (3) the clothes/shoes
    If you have the bike already to go then you can move on to the accessories... bottles, computers, saddle bag, tools, computer, etc. My advice is; have a good look at what's available in modest GPS units with HRM. You will probably want one soon after you start anyway so it's better to get it right away than to go through a series of upgrades which inevitably end up costing more.
    Don't skrimp on clothes.
     
  10. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    I got two new fixed/single speeds last year, and will probably never go back to a multi-gear road bike. Stripped down to the essence, the enjoyment factor goes way up.

    As I previously stated, anyone riding to improve their fitness will benefit from a computer with a heart rate monitor. It's simply the easiest way to track relative fitness over a set distance, and a good one allows you to set an upper and lower limit (with alarm) so you can stay in the correct zone to improve your cardio or burn fat. There is no way to do that efficiently without the HRM.
     
  11. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Exactly. Only female cyclists should ride naked.
     
  12. Nigal

    Nigal YAY BAIKS! Tavern Member

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    I'm thinking of switching all my cycling clothes to wool. The spandex stuff just doesn't hold up as well and stinks to high heaven. Some of the wool stuff I've found is fairly comparable price wise and it looks so much better (I'm not a fred).
     
  13. gatorguy

    gatorguy New Member

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    I have computers on all my bikes, most recently the Garmin 705 which I have not actually used yet.
    Here is why I like them:
    I always want to know the distance and time, particularly on frequently traveled routes. I like to log my sessions when I get home and have catagories for time, distance, and now with the Garmin, climbing information. I also log comments about how I felt. This year I will also add a catagory for the food I've consumed to see if I can draw correlations to the ride experience and my diet. I don't train for anything specific, I just like to know how I'm doing. You can get a cheap wireless for $20 to $30 and they don't add much for weight or resistance.
     
  14. chh55

    chh55 Drink plenty of water!!!

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    Lycra is probably the toughest material oz/oz that there is! I have shorts that are 30 years old and they are still not worn out. The only lycra cycling clothes that I've ever had to throw away were destroyed in crashes.

    Merino wool is nice but recent media reports of how it is produced should make you wince.

    As far as odors are concerned all cycling clothes should be washed (or hand rinsed) after every use. If you have problems with odors during a single use try not drinking alcohol or eating meat for 2 weeks and be amazed at what happens!
     
  15. baj32161

    baj32161 American Expatriate Tavern Member

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    There is nothing like getting that first new road bike is there? Now you are finding out that it is just the beginning to a (hopefully) very enjoyable lifestyle. All of the things that were mentioned in this thread can make your cycling more enjoyable, some of them if you use them according to your needs. A cyclocomputer is one of those things. I have one on both of my road bikes and found myself relying on them way too much. Now don't get me wrong, I like them very much but...one of the pratfalls of them is that you find yourself looking at the computer too much to enjoy the ride....paying too much attention to your speed. You will likely be slow at first and your computer will often tell you that you are moving slower than you think you are. I am not a racer by any means so I no longer concern myself too much with my speed. I do like to track my mileage though, so in that aspect, it is still beneficial for my use. A proper fitting saddle is THE most important thing in my opinion and, unfortunately, that involves a lot of trial and error. Once yuou find that you will enjoy your riding even more. Clipless pedals and shoes are another thing that I went for and have no regrets about. The difference in pedaling I felt almost immediately and gained a small bit of speed (but not a whole lot) what made a difference for me was the feeling of my feet being securely attached to the pedals with no chance of slipping off. On a tough climb or when you need to sprint, you will really appreciate this. Don't ever leave for a ride without your flat kit and extra tube in your seat pak (if you have one, and if you don't you should). A cellphone can be invaluable also...trust me on this one (lol!). The more you ride, the faster and further you will be able to go. Just don't expect to make huge leaps, the increases will be gradual....try increasing your distance by 10% per week or so...remember this more than anything though. This is supposed to be fun. Do not let overeagerness get you and go at your own pace.

    Cheers,

    Brian J.
     
  16. chh55

    chh55 Drink plenty of water!!!

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    QUOTE "one of the pratfalls of them is that you find yourself looking at the computer too much to enjoy the ride....paying too much attention to your speed. "

    Good point Brian,
    It can actually be dangerous. When riding in a paceline your attention must be on the riders around you. When riding alone you have enough to keep your eye on like cars, broken glass and potholes. A quick glance now and again but pressing buttons and checking different screens... no! A GPS can give you a full readout when you get home.
     
  17. jagonz456

    jagonz456 New Member

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    Bike computer

    I am a tech junkie. Technology is my first addiction with biking coming in around 3rd or 4th. I would recommend a cheap $40 bike computer that lets you know the basics (speed,time,distance).You should look at the technology you already own. If you have a smart phone you can use the build in GPS to track your miles. If you own an Iphone then you can use the B.iCycle app/cycle GPs this is the best tool you can use for the price its a $10/$5 app. it gives you MPH,Trip distance,average speed, calories and altitude with a real time GPS screen that shows you where you are. at the end of you ride you can upload your ride info to a website and you can track your progress. you can also post your rides on facebook and twitter. You can do all of this while your listening to your favorite songs. If you don't want to look at a screen while your riding you can store your phone in your bag or pocket (if your sick like me you also own a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphone) and the APP will give you voice prompts on you speed,distance,altitude. So while your riding listen to music in one ear (so that you can hear traffic and other riders with the other ear) the music will pause and the voice will tell you "you are on your 15mile your average speed 16 MHP and your climbed altitude is 190ft" not bad for a $10 app lol I love my Iphone.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  18. chh55

    chh55 Drink plenty of water!!!

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    wow, that does sound good!
     
  19. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Ok, forgive my lack of geek cred, but does the iPod touch run the same apps, with stuff like GPS? I have no need for the phone, but I'm starting to appreciate the apps.
     
  20. jagonz456

    jagonz456 New Member

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    no GPS on the ipod touch but you can buy third party GPS adapter but i don't know how well they work. I would check what apps are available for your phone most phones have build in GPS. If your cell phone contract is up buy an Iphone you will be very happy.