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68 votes
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I am a beginner to commuting by bike and I find it very tiring. Is it my fitness level or my single-speed bicycle?

Was going to comment, but I'll make this an answer - it's the bike, not you. No, I really do mean it's the bike..... The bike as a fixie with 48/19 gearing is suitable for a cycle fit 20-something ...
mattnz's user avatar
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26 votes

Is it normal to stop so much because of thighs burning?

More than likely it is normal and frankly your legs probably aren't used to it. 17 miles is a long way for a beginner so I would pat yourself on the back for that. You may also benefit from a proper ...
Nate W's user avatar
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24 votes
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I get dizzy when I dismount. Causes?

It sounds like you over-exerted yourself and "bonked" – your body ran out of sugar so you fainted. In that case, you reduce the risk by eating more while you ride* and by listening to your ...
David Richerby's user avatar
22 votes

Advice for beginning cyclist

The most important part in training to get better, in anything really, is to keep enjoying to do it or to be forced to go on. In cycling by yourself that joy is a big motivator, the forcing is ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 4,810
20 votes

I am a beginner to commuting by bike and I find it very tiring. Is it my fitness level or my single-speed bicycle?

Great effort on both the write-up and the commitment to start riding again. Try and separate the issues: Your route was suboptimal due to trusting google Getting off and walking a bike is ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 128k
18 votes

Is it normal to stop so much because of thighs burning?

In addition to the answer by @Nate, I also commend you for putting in 17 miles after a 24 miles ride. Don't beat yourself up over struggling a little. Be sure you allow plenty of recovery time. You ...
mattnz's user avatar
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18 votes

Advice for beginning cyclist

Just a couple of things I think many beginners realize too late: Bike fit. Not necessarily by a professional, but just looking up a few bike fit guides on the internet and trying to adjust your bike ...
Michael's user avatar
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17 votes

For fitness's sake, is it better to ride with low cadence in high gear or higher cadence in medium gear?

In terms of losing weight immediately, the obvious answer is to use whatever gear combo allows you to produce the greatest energy output. For most people this will likely be a hair lower than the "...
Daniel R Hicks's user avatar
16 votes

Is cycling in my DNA?

If you really want to find out, look for a local time trial route and see what people can do on that. There's also an advantage coming up behind someone - not so much the aero advantage as you have to ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 60.8k
15 votes

I am a beginner to commuting by bike and I find it very tiring. Is it my fitness level or my single-speed bicycle?

4.1 miles, mostly flat, are on paper doable by any human with two legs in about 90 minutes. Walking. A bicycle? it should be at least 1/3 quicker (although I would expect it to be 3 or 4 times faster ...
EarlGrey's user avatar
  • 3,722
14 votes

How to avoid the road bike physique

This would be a great problem to have for most of us roadies. Simply eat more if you find yourself losing more weight than you care to lose. You can alternatively balance with more strength based ...
sjakubowski's user avatar
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13 votes

Is cycling in my DNA?

Daniel, what is your actual question? Us strangers on the internet cannot tell you if you are genetically gifted, you must test your biology yourself. I guess the best you can expect from this ...
12 votes
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How much cycling distance is needed to travel every day for good muscular exercise?

As individual speeds vary depending on fitness, bike and conditions, most information on this subject discusses intensity and time spend exercising, rather than distance. Most leisure cyclists ride ...
James Bradbury's user avatar
12 votes
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Does a build-up of CO2 in the lungs make you out of breath?

This is a huge topic. It is true that the breathing reflex is controlled by CO2 in your body (not just in the lungs). The key is the acidity of the cerebrospinal fluid. If you reduce your CO2 level, ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
12 votes
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Daily commuter - stamina got worse after saddle height adjustment

A change of saddle height won't change your stamina. 'Stamina' is a crude term that reflects many processes within the body which contribute to powering the bike forward. At a very basic level, we ...
Andy P's user avatar
  • 18.3k
11 votes

I am a beginner to commuting by bike and I find it very tiring. Is it my fitness level or my single-speed bicycle?

This is an updated form of my answer, partially in response to the other answers. It is you, not the bike. The bike may be a bit of a tough, perhaps over-ambitious choice, but it is in principle ok ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
11 votes

What are (a) the source of and (b) the justification (e.g. experimental) for the concept of "normalized power" used in physical endurance training?

My understanding is that high-intensity efforts are disproportionately taxing, and NP is a way of reflecting that. That is, if you went for one ride where you maintained a steady 75% FTP output, and ...
Adam Rice's user avatar
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11 votes
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Is there a maximum amount of time I should spend on an exercise bike?

The reason you're seeing mainly short sessions recommended is that exercise bikes are usually marketed to fairly casual users wanting just a bit of exercise. So long as it's ergonomic enough,* there's ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 60.8k
10 votes

Does anyone manufacture a seatless bicycle?

You can get a trials bike. They often do not have a saddle or seatpost, by design. They are meant for doing tricks, jumps, balancing, etc. This doesn't sound like what you are doing but if you must ...
ebrohman's user avatar
  • 5,518
10 votes

Does anyone manufacture a seatless bicycle?

Most trials bicycles are designed without a seat. However, they are likely to be uncomfortable when ridden for long distances. You may want to consider what what you mean by "stay fit". Fitness ...
Deleted User's user avatar
10 votes

Is cycling in my DNA?

Get a power meter or borrow a bike with one. Bicycling is all about power in relation to your body weight and aerodynamics. Measuring your watts per kg will answer your question. Don’t just measure ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 28.4k
10 votes

I am a beginner to commuting by bike and I find it very tiring. Is it my fitness level or my single-speed bicycle?

Despite their already being multiple good answers I am going to post this because I think each answer has good points but it is useful to have them in one place. I agree with everyone who said a ...
Eric Nolan's user avatar
10 votes

I am a beginner to commuting by bike and I find it very tiring. Is it my fitness level or my single-speed bicycle?

Both. You really, really, really don't want a bike without gears. In the city you'll rarely ride at the optimal speed for that transmission; instead you need to stop and start frequently and adapt to ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
10 votes

What are (a) the source of and (b) the justification (e.g. experimental) for the concept of "normalized power" used in physical endurance training?

Focusing more on the empirical part of the question, consider the link that R. Chung gave in his first comment to Adam Rice's answer. That's the introductory chapter to Andrew Coggan's book, training ...
Weiwen Ng's user avatar
  • 33.8k
10 votes
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How does biking speed correlate with the required effort?

The simplest physical model gives that the energy is proportional to the square of the speed but in that model maintaining a constant speed requires zero energy. This is a slight misstatement. If you ...
Weiwen Ng's user avatar
  • 33.8k
9 votes

Will my commute get easier?

My personal experience: I (re)started biking on commute last October, 26 km both ways. Though I believed I was not rusty (I was able to cycle 80 km in one day without complaints), the first few weeks ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 7,291
9 votes
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For fitness's sake, is it better to ride with low cadence in high gear or higher cadence in medium gear?

All things being equal, aerobic exercise is probably best for losing weight (after all, the only way to lose weight is to breathe CO2 out your nose). If you use too high a gear, you might be less ...
Greg Hewgill's user avatar
9 votes

Are bikes with aggressive positions required to achieve high fitness levels when training on a bike?

TL;DNR - The bike you will ride most often is the bike that will get you fittest. Fitness and power transfer are unrelated. Your bike fitter is presuming you want to make the most of the power you ...
mattnz's user avatar
  • 51.7k
9 votes
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Finding my physiologically relevant maximum heart rate

The 220 - age (or any age based formula) is a myth that works well enough for roughly 60% of the population and puts the other 40% wrong. That it persists to this day with such ready access to HR ...
mattnz's user avatar
  • 51.7k
9 votes

Muscle fatigue and tightness 3 days after the ride

1.) I am not a doctor, however 52kg at 174cm is ringing alarm bells for me. This is around 8kg lighter than a TDF mountain domestique that's spent 2 months dieting to shed excess body fat ready for ...
Andy P's user avatar
  • 18.3k

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