I started working as the Graphic Designer at Terry Bicycles in August of 2010. I have always been a mountain bike owner and recreational rider, but it wasn’t until working here at Terry that I desired to get on a road bike. Having the proper gear is half the battle in starting a new sport and I have certainly come to the right place. Now that I have a road bike and have access to the best women’s cycling gear I am ready to get my butt on a bike and ride much more often. I have always liked going fast! Come back regularly to read “The New Rider” series for my very raw and uncut take on becoming a cyclist. We all have to start somewhere and here I am!
Before I bought my bike I watched Georgena’s fit videos and asked her what size bike would be best for me. I went for a ride with my husband this past weekend and my mind went crazy with ideas for a new rider blog series. I have so many questions and I want to start this series by asking Georgena for some advice.
One of the things that makes me most nervous about cycling is being clipped in to my pedals. I know I don’t have to put them on just yet until I get comfortable, but how would you suggest easing into clip-in pedals?
I’d start by putting one on the bike at a time. That will give you time to get used to the feel and concept. Add the second one when you’re ready. It’s also important to know that the tension can be adjusted on the pedal, meaning that you can make it easier or harder to click in and out. You might want to start with an easy setting at first.
Terry offers so many saddles. How do I know which one I should start with as a new rider?
For the kind of riding you’re doing, I’d start with the Butterfly CroMoly Gel. The shape of this saddle seems to have a universal appeal to a lot of women. The gel in the saddle is just enough to dissipate pressure and absorb shock without being bulky and heavy.
As a new rider I feel a little uneducated about chamois and there seem to be a lot of options. I have only tried the Bella Knickers and I can definitely say that I have never felt more comfortable on a bike in my life. Are there different types of chamois for different kinds of riders?
There definitely are a variety of chamois shapes and densities that are offered for different rider styles and affect the price of the shorts quite dramatically. Endurance/distance riders like higher density, perforated chamois with air flow. Recreational riders can get away with something a bit less technical, but still comfortable. Chamois fit and seam placement are most critical. You want to be sure it’s wide enough in the rear so you don’t get seams underneath your sit bones. The Italians have cornered the market on 4-way stretch, which ultimately moves with you and disappears beneath you.
Changing a tire. I suppose I need to learn how to do this. What is your best tire-changing tip for new riders?
Read my Cycling Savvy eLetter on about this.
How to Remove and Install a Tire
Don’t go out on the bike until you’ve learned to change a tire. Always carry the right tools for the job and a spare inner tube so you don’t have to take time to patch a tube on the spot.
Thank you Georgena!
These are all great answers and I am excited to get out there and start riding (after I learn to change a tire of course). I hope that the “new rider” series will inspire other new riders and help to answer some of the questions you may have. If you are a new rider and have questions or topics you would like me to cover I welcome suggestions!
Great first post! I’d like to also see addressed techniques and gear for riding in the rain.
Thanks for the suggestion, Meg. We’ll include it in an upcoming post. Hopefully it will stop raining by then!
This is an awesome idea for a post/blog, always so many questions to ask and a guru of women’s cycling to gain experience from. Georgena it is great to hear your advice, must say I have been involved in a community of women cyclists since the 80’s mostly in part due to you. It is awesome to have your voice of experience. Ride on!
I looked everywhere in this site and couldn’t find where to ask a question, so I guess it is here. Anyway, I am asking here. I am 59 1/2 years old. I will be 60 in late Dec. of this year. Am I too old to start riding a bike? What precautions should I take when riding. I want to ride to this olypic size pool that is beside an equestrian center. I would be riding from my house to there and back each day. It is approximately 15 miles, round trip. I haven’t ridden a bike in years, but I want to do this. I am motivated by my desire to lead a healthier lifestyle, lose weight, and feel good about myself. Any suggestions for me. Like maybe start out slow? And build myself up to being able to ride longer amounts of time and distance? I live in FL and it is extremely hot here in the summer months. I suffer from fibromyalgia, Type 2 Diabetes, arthritis, and a touch of asthma.
Cathy, you’re NEVER too old to start riding a bike… at age 60 myself, after two hip replacements, I picked it up again.
I personally wouldn’t start out riding 15 miles, though. Try 5 miles for the first outing and see how you feel after, and two days after ; ) Or get a trainer for your bike and start riding 30 minutes a day at about 10mph, or whatever you can do without being too winded. Work up to an hour or so on the trainer…. get to know your abilities and limitations.
Before you start, though, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR. Make sure you won’t be putting any strain on your heart or lungs, especially since you have serious medical problems. AND HAVE FUN!!!
Emily Lepage says
I would like your opinion on the 29’er bikes. Is there any advantage to a 29″ wheel versus a 26″ ?
Did you know 29’ers are 700c? In theory, they should roll better over rough off road terrain. But they may build up into a bike that’s too large for you. Bigger tires mean longer top tube lengths and taller stand over heights. You’ll know from the test ride if 29’ers are for you.
Priscilla Ireland says
A friend of mine was told that after a certain speed ,to continue to pedal will only slow you down. This woman thought it was around 25mph. Do you know what she is referring to?
Hmm — never heard that one. I’m not sure how pedaling can slow you down. If you’re “spun out”, it won’t make you go any faster, but it shouldn’t slow you down.