New to Cycling, Seeking Advice

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iBreatheApple, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. iBreatheApple macrumors 68020

    iBreatheApple

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    Hey all. I have a few questions. In addition to kayaking, I've decided to become more active. I've purchased a new bike (Schwinn Trailway Hybrid, Men's 28") and I really don't know anything about them. Below are a few (probably elementary) questions I have.

    1. Are there general rules for shifting? I know you obviously need to be pedaling, it depends on terrain and what 'feels right', and I can tell that the front gear changes are more drastic than the back... is that all there is to know?

    2. What's the ideal position height for the bars and seat? It feels fine, I guess, but I really don't know what's normal. And I don't mean exact position in height, I mean relative to the body, are there any general rules?

    3. I've read briefly about the derailleur. What exactly does it do? How will I know if it needs adjusting?

    4. The recommended PSI for my tires are 50-75; I've filled them to 60 and they seem pretty rock solid, is it okay to keep going? I know I probably shouldn't max them out but with a range like that I'd expect them to be able to handle 65-70.

    5. Beside checking tire pressure and ensure everything is tight, is there general maintenance I should perform?

    6. Any other information for a new biker that you think would be beneficial is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #2
    Where did you buy the bike from? If it's from a bike shop, they can answer every one of the questions you posted, in as much detail as you think you need.

    If you bought from a private party, then I suggest finding a bike shop in your area. At the very least, it will be useful to patronize it for maintenance. Which also answers your question #6.
     
  3. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #3
    1. In general, you should avoid too drastic gear changes. Take it one or two at a time, and don't jump suddenly from 3rd to 18th, for instance. Also, try to keep the chain relatively straight between the back and front gears - avoid having it on the innermost back gear and the outermost front gear, for instance.

    2. That's individual, really. But generally speaking, the seat should be at such at height that when you're pedalling, your legs are slightly bent at their most extended. Not entirely stretched, but certainly nowhere near 90 degrees, either. Also, for security and comfort, you should be able to touch the ground with the tips of your toes/shoes when seated.

    5. Keep the chain and gears well-oiled.
     
  4. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #4
    I'm no expert but I'll try to answer the best I can. I'll put my answers in red inline in the quote.

    I was visiting www.bikeforums.net during the season last year, and will be going back there shortly. Some of the people there are hardcore but they do have areas suitable for beginners. Something I HIGHLY suggest you do is read up on rules of the road for the area in which you're riding, and if you ride on multi-use paths, read up on suggested practices for use of the trail by cyclists (call-outs, bells, alerting others to your approach, speed "limit") but one thing to keep in mind, pedestrians have the right of way.
     
  5. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    HR 9038 A
    #5
    Check out the app MapMyRide which will map your bike route and record speed, distance, and incline. Happy cycling :D
     
  6. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #6
    Go to a shop for advice on #3 & 4, but A) Keep your bike clean & free of dust, dirt and road debris, and B) Keep the gear systems well lubricated with a DRY lubricant, like silicone or lithium, NOT WD-40 or similar sprays...
     
  7. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #7
    Strava is another great app for cycling.
     
  8. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #8
    I have found my local REI store to be an excellent resource with knowledgeable and helpful employees
     
  9. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    #9
    Oil the gears? Never heard that. You oil the chain once in a while (hardcore cycle forums have threads with hundreds of posts of people arguing about proper chain maintenance), and more importantly, occasionally put a drop of oil on the pivot points on the derailleur mechanisms. And after you oil these things, wipe off any excess, because oil attracts dirt.
     
  10. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #10
    - If you oil one of the two (gears or chain), the other will automatically be oiled as well, since they are in contact.
     
  11. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    #11
    Not really, not if you do it properly. There should be no residual oil on the chain when you finish oiling it, and any that gets on the cogs or chainrings should be wiped up forthwith. There is no reason whatsoever to get oil on your gears, it only wears them out faster by collecting dust.
     
  12. ben123456 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    #12
    i second this. Been using it for a good year and love it
     

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