Hot answers tagged

31

I agree with the comments that 9 miles is a not a short ride for somebody not in shape, but you’ll get in shape for it really fast, so you should go for it. Just get ready to be sore in funny places for a couple weeks. You can make your situation better by doing a few things: Buy a road bike instead, assuming you’ll be on pavement. At the very least, ...


28

A heavier bike may not handle as well as a lighter bike, and can be less enjoyable to ride. It's more fun to ride farther and faster, so a lighter bike is probably more likely to be used. Also, you can make a bike heavier by hauling stuff on it, it's hard to make a bike lighter! I'd suggest that someone who wanted to get in shape pedal further and faster ...


26

The gearing of your bike seems reasonable, the 26 front/34 rear combination will (eventually) make climbing hills easy. But till then… Before you do anything else, take @cherouvim's advice and make sure you seat is at a reasonable height. It should be high enough that if you place a heel on the low pedal your leg is almost fully extended (just short of ...


24

Rob, you are correct that a heavier bike will give you a greater fitness benefit over the same distance. The only real counter-point I have is that the most effective bikes for fitness are the ones that get ridden. So, if some reason a lighter bike would more fun or appealing to you (while still be a "good enough" commuter), than a lighter bike could be a ...


23

For any given speed, you can either spin at a higher cadence in a lower gear, or a lower cadence in a higher gear. The high cadence + low gear combination should reduce the strain on your joints since you don't have to push as hard. You just have to do it more often. I like to ride around 90rpm and sometimes drift up to 100-110 especially if I'm trying to ...


18

To a large extent the comment by @wdypdx22 is correct. The primary exception being if you are working out in a hilly area. The weight or mass of the bike and rider makes a big difference in the initial acceleration, but once moving on flat ground inertial effects take over. While most riders do all they can to keep from starting and stopping frequently, ...


17

The answer to this question is dependent on a number of factors, but the short answer is just 'yes'. If you are purely looking for weight loss then the equation is calores in minus calories out equals delta, and so long as the delta is negative, i.e. that you burn more than you consume, then you will lose weight. It's just simple arithmetic. So, in the ...


16

You cannot outride (or outrun or out-any-other-exercise) a bad diet. On top of that, decades of research shows it's impossible to "spot-reduce". Your options are: Eat some combination of food that results in fewer calories in. Shoot for somewhere between 200-500 fewer calories for moderate weight loss. Ride some combination of harder and longer while ...


15

First off, if the soreness is such that you feel painful stabs when you move/stretch the muscles you definitely should rest for awhile (at least several days, maybe up to 6 weeks), and perhaps should see a doc. This can be a sign of tendinitis, muscle pulls, or a muscle disorder, and continuing to exercise in such conditions can lead to permanent damage. ...


14

250-260 pounds isn't that heavy. You may not need to worry about weight at all. See if you can find the information from the manufacturer about weight limits for their bikes. For a mountain bike that you intend to use for what it was made for, you're probably within the weight limit the bike is designed for. You may want to avoid the lightest weight stuff ...


14

Advice in book Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald goes something like this, paraphrased: Yes, training without carbohydrates will train your body to use stored fat better. But your capacity to train will go down (not enough fuel!), and net result will be less improvement. It references this study, which compares two groups of athletes on hi-carb and low-carb ...


12

Echoing what others have said, anything that gets you riding trumps all else. If you would ride to work, but not in the wet, fenders will help you get fit. If that's what it takes to get you riding, that's the most important thing to do. Do you wear a suit at work? Drive your car 1 day / week, so you can keep fresh clothes at the office. Suddenly driving ...


12

I would think some sort of a tricycle would be the best choice for you, probably a recumbent. Something like this is the first thing that comes to mind: You lay in a reclined position and pedal with your feet in front of you. These come in several variants, from fully reclined (such as the above) to more upright. There are also numerous variations of ...


12

If you are riding near your aerobic limit you'll definitely discover that you've lost aerobic capacity during the next 12-24 hours. It can take that long to replace the red blood cells you've lost. Since a blood donation is about 10% of your blood capacity, your aerobic capacity will be down by 10% I wrote the rest of this before I saw your comment that ...


11

As I became more experienced I noticed that I began to spin at a higher cadence. I typically stay between 85-95 now, while when I started I spun at around 70. But cadence is a very individual thing, and bike fit can play a large part in how comfortable you are at a particular cadence. If you find that you want to pedal faster, but have difficulty ...


11

I've cycled 15km (or 9.3 miles) to work for over 2 years. You'll get used to it very fast. I can reiterate what @tim.farkas is saying about that wearing a backpack will get old fast. I've bolted a big plastik box onto my bike rack to put my backpack in. It was very relieving to cycle without anything on your back. Take your time in the beginning and cycle ...


11

Just keep on doing the same route and you'll see progress very fast. Also this will soon not be true: It's not so fun on the way back though Some tips to make it: make sure that the tyres are inflated correctly make sure your drivetrain runs smooth and the chain is lubed make sure your seat height is correct (ask your LBS if unsure) conserve energy ...


10

what are the drawbacks of using an exercise bike? Noise (you mentioned this) Many quickly get bored riding on an exercise bike Promotes bad cycling form Can be large, heavy, expensive My favorite alternative to riding in the snow in the winter is to ride on rollers. The rollers I have used have several advantages Not as boring Amazing for form ...


10

The "pure" answer to the question as asked is probably as others have said, climb as much as possible. But perhaps a better answer is to admit that cycling is awesome for aerobic fitness and leg strength but not as great on the upper body. Obviously, cross-training is an option, but even if you are 100% committed to your bike, you can probably get ...


10

What to do: Eat well, but don't overdo it. A hearty meal the night before and a solid breakfast the morning of the ride are a must. Stay well-hydrated. Get plenty of sleep. If you've been burning the midnight oil lately, cut back on your riding and catch more z's. Feel free to ride, but go for less distance and intensity than you normally would. Lube ...


10

Wait a little before you buy a new saddle. It takes some time for both your butt and the saddle to adjust to each other. Wider and softer saddles are only more comfortable for shorter rides or very upright riding positions. 17 km and 50 minutes are a very good point to start. Depending on your time constraints and where you live you can either do longer ...


9

Informally, I find that on long rides, your body will simply know what it needs. You pull off at a stop; the trail mix and pickles look delicious, so you eat them. More scientifically though, your body can process about two servings (e.g., bottles of gatorade, gel packs, etc.) of carbohydrate per hour. Any more than this, and you can experience ...


9

No - Struggling away in the small rear cog/large front chainring combo is bad. Fitness is an overall term that has many components, so: If you want power you need to work on intervals, which is as fast as possible at full power for short burst times, then recovery time at a middling state. If you want to train for endurance, being at the steady state for ...


9

Riding at 30kph average for 3 hours, in a hilly area is a solid effort. Assuming your pack riding skills are sufficient, you will also likely do fine in in a club ride that averages 30-40kph (but see the pack riding primer below). Club rides will have a faster pace than what you are riding now, but you will also be working a lot less (about 30% less) at any ...


9

If you really want to measure how much effort you're putting in, you should look into getting a power meter. It measures the actual wattage you output, and can therefore be used to calculate total energy output. However, they are quite expensive. The other option is to get a heart rate monitor along with cadence and speed meters which together can give you ...


8

First off, can you explain a bit more about how you "don't feel very good"? Do you feel at all queasy? Do you feel especially weak? Also, how often do you exercise so intensely, and how long have you been doing it? And how long does this period of feeling unwell typically last? Anyway, there are several possibilities (though most apply to rides longer ...


8

There are going to be dozens of opinions on this, so keep in mind that I'm only talking in generalities: Don't get too caught up on what type of terrain you're on, flat, uphill, downhill, etc. As long as you're exerting yourself on your bike, try to take deep, steady breaths, breaths that seem to go clear to your stomach. Try to focus on keeping your breath ...


8

There's already a cacophony of answers, but their detail obscures the simple response to your question: no, a heavier bike will not help you get fit easier than a light bike. Simply put, you will output the same amount of power independent of the weight of the bike you are riding. On a heavier bike, you will just go slower than you would have otherwise on a ...



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