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38

Good to hear that you are back on a bike! From what you are saying about struggling to maintain balance, I suspect that you are riding slowly, and pedaling slowly. The part about feeling like you'll fall over when turning is consistent with that too. Maintaining control when riding slowly is actually one of the hardest skills to master. So I recommend ...


34

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 ...


33

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, ...


29

A fit person can do 50km without too much difficulty, though they'll probably be sore from the effort if they don't cycle much, just because cycling uses different muscles to, say, running. It wouldn't be easy, but it wouldn't be too hard. It sounds like you're not very fit. If you were determined, you could probably make it around 50km but I doubt it ...


25

18km a day is not far, as long as you have an OK fitness level to start with and no health issues, it is certainly achievable, but... You will not get any rest days. I was once told, you do not get fit exercising, you get fit recovering. If you ride 5 days a week, there's no recovery time. This could lead to problems since each day's effort is stressing ...


24

I had the same "motivation" thingy when I tried to keep my wife motivated in joining me during weekend rides. First we did a really short and slow trip around the city (about 4 or 5 km at such a slow pace that my legs were hurting). Then I tried to combine cycling with other activities we both liked. Being both foodies, I tried to find, in every outing, a ...


22

Do whatever works, really. The problem with the container of water approach is that it requires a container of water. It won't damage the tube. Also, if you need to patch the tube, you have to wait for the wet tube to dry. So, I'd generally recommend doing this last (usually leaks are not subtle enough to need the immersion), but no harm going there first. ...


21

Average speed depends a lot on various factors. But, having said that, 8km/h is very slow for a fit young person: it's not a whole lot more than walking pace. Where you're cycling. In cities, it can be hard to cycle quickly. Cycle paths often have lots of pedestrians on them; roads often have lots of junctions, stop signs and traffic lights. If you're ...


20

I started commuting the same way about 8 months ago on a 29'er mountain bike, 2 things made the trip faster and more enjoyable. Firstly tyres, I changed from knobblies to slicks and it made a BIG difference both in feel and actual speed. Secondly I got a lot stronger from biking every day. I eventually got a lighter cheap touring bike which is faster, and ...


18

I've been a cycle commuter for 12 years. Here are the things that had the biggest impact on my speed: Smooth high pressure tires (80+ psi for road) Greatly decreases rolling resistance Clipless Pedals & Shoes - When you're clipped in you put energy into pedaling all the way around rather than just on the downstrokes Remove any suspension - suspension ...


17

To follow up on what Batman says, what you use to find the leak depends a lot on the circumstances. If you get a flat by the side of the road (and you don't have a spare tube) then you obviously can't use the tub of water (unless you find a convenient pothole filled with rainwater). In other circumstances the water tub (or bathroom sink or whatever) is ...


16

There's not really enough information in your question to tell for sure what the problem is, so let me just list a few possible explanations that come to mind: As others have noted, your gear ratio might just be too high for you (since you say it takes a lot of effort to get going). You can take your fixie to a bike shop and have them swap the rear cog for ...


16

Safer for whom? Cycling on the sidewalk transfers risk from you to pedestrians without their consent. If you feel that the roads are too dangerous to cycle on, you have the option of getting off and walking. If a pedestrian feels that the sidewalks are too dangerous to walk on because of all the cyclists, what are they supposed to do? If a child runs out ...


16

I estimate 6.8mi as about 11km. That is definitely doable for a novice, though it may not be as fast as Google's estimate at first. Unless there aren't any traffic lights or stop signs, you should figure your overall average speed at no more than 15km/h initially, so budget 45-50min your first time out. (Google is notorious around here for not allowing ...


15

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 ...


15

A few simple tips: Whether it's cycling, running or any other physical activity the more gradually you build up your mileage, the better off you'll be in the long run. A good rule of thumb is don't increase your time or mileage by more than 10% a week. Carrying on a conversation with someone should be difficult but not impossible. If you can't carry on a ...


15

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 ...


15

In most scenarios, it is not safer for you to ride on the sidewalk. This has been demonstrated numerous times in numerous studies. I won't attempt to site individual studies here, but I will sum up the reasons. One is that you create more potential points of impact. When you exit the sidewalk to go through an intersection, driveway, or parking lot entrance/...


14

Not necessarily thinner tyres, but ones with less tread will make a difference. If you are commuting by road only, then putting on some 'slick' tyres will cut a lot of the wind resistance, and rid you of that whirring noise as the tread nobbles whiz through the air. I've had my rigid mountain bike up to 76 Km/h on slicks (but that was down hill). About the ...


14

Yes, 4km is good, especially if the road is hilly. Any new form of exercise is difficult at the start because it uses muscles you're not used to using, in ways you're not used to using them. It's completely normal to be tired and a bit sore. That's your body's way of saying "OK, I've done enough – ive me a break for a bit," and it's important to ...


13

Prioritize more: Tires -- the bike must allow me to use the tires I want to use. I used to have a road bike that did not allow any tire wider than 25mm. Any bike that cannot use 35mm tires is useless to me. Some people are still under the illusion that narrow tires are fast, wide tires are slow; there is a bunch of research that indicates this is not ...


13

Yeah, I would suggest that you not start out doing this daily, but do it every 2nd or 3rd day for a couple of weeks, taking care to take an extra rest day when needed. You will find that some days you are eager to get started riding and others your stomach churns at the thought, and you can kind of use that to adjust your frequency. After about 2 weeks, ...


13

I live in a rural area, and I am always looking for new roads. Most of the roads here have no shoulder, and there are some cliffs. The first thing that I do when I'm deciding whether a new road is too dangerous or not is to do a test-drive in a car. I look to see where there is a shoulder and where there isn't, I look for blind curves, I look at the ...


13

You have to remove the wheel to replace the tube. A repair can be done in the frame. On older bikes without quick release, and with current gear hubs, electric hubs, Nuvinci hubs, belts etc, you need a spanner and oftentimes, the gear adjustment goes back different and needs fiddling with. This reduces the advantage of tube changes. A fix is only 3 mins. ...


13

It's probably not a great idea. Start with a shorter route and see how you do. Pick a flat route without hills. Make sure you have a bail out and a way to get home (public transport, a friend, Uber etc.). You probably should get a bike shop to have a look over your bike for any issues, you don't want to get stranded by something going wrong or have any ...


12

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 ...


12

The key is to know your intended use. Knowing what you don't want also helps. But also a bike has a wide variety of applications, like a car. Main (non BSO) adult bike types (people are always trying new ideas, or marketing approaches, so this is intended as an overview) Road (racing) bike. For those who want to ride as fast as possible (for them). The ...


12

Generally speaking your off hand should be the front brake, so if you're right handed the front brake should be the left. They can be set up either way, though, especially if you're using cable-driven (non-hydraulic) brakes. Even with hydraulics you should have no problem making the right hand brake the rear. I would highly advise this, as in a panic ...


12

All these answers are excellent. My opinion is that as well as doing all these things, you need to give yourself a psychological safety net. I am an advanced motorbike rider and use some of those skills when I ride. For example, too many cyclist ride too close to the edge of the road. This gives you the impression of being too tight when a car comes along ...


12

I'd invest in a pair of bike shorts. Casual riders going short distances on big comfy saddles can get away with casual or regular sports clothing. You won’t be able to do that riding significant distance on a sports saddle. Bike shorts have padding, obviously, but are also constructed so there is no seam between rider and saddle. Regular sports shorts ...


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