Hot answers tagged

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

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 ...


26

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 fit from a bike shop. As a lot of beginners either have their seat too high or too low which can limit your power and actually cause you to tire quicker, ...


24

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 body more and backing off when it's getting too much. It may also be blood-pressure related: people with low blood pressure are (as I understand it) more ...


19

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 ...


18

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 do not get fit exercising, you get fit recovering from exercise. If you do not allow time to fully recover, you will struggle to get fitter. Two days after a ...


17

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 ...


17

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. ...


17

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 "preferred" range of about 70-90 RPM -- maybe 50-60, and pedaling as hard as you can. However, if you want to KEEP losing weight by getting on the bike again ...


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 ...


14

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 exercises like lifts, pulls, rows at the gym or elsewhere. Or cake.


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 between 10-18mph (16-30kph) on the road, a bit less off-road. As you can see it's a fairly wide range, so time and intensity are better measures.They can also ...


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 the ...


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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


10

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 ...


10

Depends on exercise intensity. In a day or two you can return to your normal/moderate exercise. A complete recovery of oxygen delivery can take as much as 3/4 weeks. This means a professional athlete should be careful because he will loose performance, but us normal human beings can carry our normal daily lives. You can read more complete answerers given ...


10

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 not have a saddle, or post, this might be an option for you. This is what they look like: You might want to just use a regular bike and stand up instead as it ...


9

The physics model of cycling power and speed has been validated in the real world. Two examples are this and this. The model embedded in Analyticcyling.com's online calculator is based on these two papers. Whether the amount of difference calculated by the validated models is worth it to Joe and Billy is a question that can't be answered by the physics.


9

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 must have goals to be obtainable. Cycling is generally consider to be cardio exercise that improves aerobic fitness. Standing while cycling is more of a strength ...


9

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 it was really demanding. I was able to cover the one way trip in somehow 45-50 minutes, and when it was Friday I could feel really empty and craving for rest. ...


9

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 aerobic and more resistance training, which builds muscle mass. Either way, at this point, it sounds like getting yourself moving in whatever way you like will be ...


8

You can climb a hill basically three different ways: Spinning up the hill in low gear at high RPM Charging up the hill standing up (or at least really pumping the muscles sitting) Grinding up the hill at 20-30 RPM Of those, the third one is a good way to wreck your knees and generally make yourself miserable. The other two, however, are both perfectly ...


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