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Newbie Needs Advice
In Gear & Components
Ben Phillips
May 16, 2022
Hi there Pete. First off - thanks for signing up and for posting your query. Great to have you here. And amazing to hear you're getting back into the saddle! Don't worry if you haven't ridden for so long. The they say it's like riding a... Well. You know...😁 I'm assuming you're in the US (as you used "$" in your post). If being totally honest, I've never heard of a 'Gates belt drive system' before so I can't comment. All I know is that all the pros on the tours use good ol' chains, so if it's good enough for them then it's good enough for me. Bikes under $1000 is a tricky one. I'm not sure if you are actually US-based but if you are then the US second hand market might offer up some fantastic deals? The UK market has been tough the last couple of years as everyone took up cycling during COVID, so demand went through the roof and supply took a massive hit. I think it's less-so now so there might be a deal to be had if you know what to look for to ensure you don't by a dud (cracked frame, broken /damaged gears and derailleurs etc.) For less then =< $1 my advice would be to ensure the group-set is the best quality you can afford. As a minimum I'd look or Shimano 105 gears and breaks (or other brand of similar quality). Gears and breaks are the things that tend to see you in the workshop more than any other part of the bike in that price bracket, so look for quality in these areas. From a brand perspective I'd look at Giant, Specialized, Cube, Felt, BMC - ones like these. If you're in the UK then Ribble are getting a great name for themselves for excellent quality at a great price. Canyon, too. (German based but delivery to UK) If buying new you may struggle to find a carbon frame with decent gears and breaks but if you're on flat roads then a decent aluminium frame should see you right for the level of riding I think you'll be looking to do whilst getting back into the swing of things. You can always invest in a better bike later down the line if you're still into it this time next year! Hope this helps. I'm sure others in the community will have some great tips and advice to share too. Best of luck with it, mate. Please keep us posted on how you get on. Ride safe. Cheers.
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Intro + Help
In Hints, tips and advice
Ben Phillips
Jan 14, 2022
https://bit.ly/3qvLljM
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Intro + Help
In Hints, tips and advice
Ben Phillips
Jan 14, 2022
Hey, Adam. Great to have you onboard. Make yourself at home. 🤜🤛 First off, I hear you. You've got a lot on your plate and juggling everything is challenging. It won't work for everyone as career /life situations are different, as are times of the day when people feel most energetic /productive etc. I also have a very understanding wife who lets me ride a lot (I think she's just happy to get me out the house!) so I appreciate some of the below might not work for you. With that said… Typically, in colder /wetter months I aim to bash out 50 -75 miles a week - just to keep the body ticking over until the warmer seasons. When I'm really 'on it' I'll get up at 6am, get dressed, and then straight on the bike and do 15 - 18 miles whilst fasted (no food. I just take a bottle of water with me). I do intermittent fasting anyway so usually stop eating at 8.30pm and then won't eat again until 1pm (ish) the next day. It's worth noting that I can do 15 - 18 mile in c. 45 mins - 1 hour so tweak this distance based on your fitness levels. Do what you can based on the time you have. (I then need to get home, walk the dog and do school drop off so I can start work at 9ish). When early morning rides aren't possible (either I can't be arsed or due to bad weather) I have a turbo trainer. I'll either jump on this at a similar time for an intense 30 - 45 mins or will do in the evening, after work /before dinner. Then there are the weekends. To fit around social engagements /son's footy training and matches /Uber driver for my 14 year old daughter etc., I ride when I can. This will usually be either early morning or mid-afternoon (depending on chores /commitments etc). Depending on the time I have, weekend rides can either be one or both days and anything from 30 - 100+ miles (usually around the middle). Again, don't use this as your barometer. I've been riding for 10+ years. In short - don't worry about how far you're doing. Any ride is good. My advice? Plan when you're free and use those slots to ride. Your thinking should be "I have a spare 45 mins. I'm going to ride for 45 mins" NOT "I want to ride X miles" Any riding, done consistently, will improve your fitness, stamina and strength. Also, before COVID-forced working from home was a thing I used to commute to work a couple of times a week. This was 18 miles each way going in and out of the City of London. But I appreciate this depends on people's confidence about inner-city riding plus the washing and bike storage facilities at your place of work (amongst other facts that make commuter riding possible for people or not). Check out this post if you're looking for a bit of help with discipline and motivation (the former drives the latter ☺️) - https://www.m2mcycling.com/post/staying-motivated There's also a helpful section in this podcast episode from approx 33 mins onwards (obviously, the whole thing is great 😉 but for this purpose, I think you'll find this particular bit helpful) - https://www.m2mcycling.com/post/on-your-mic-podcast-6 Good luck with it, buddy. Keep us posted with how you're getting on. Shout if you need anything else. Cheers
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