Advice on Cycling

Hi all

I am doing the Big Battlefield Bike Ride next year raising loads of dosh for Help for Heroes. Only problem is, I am not much of a cyclist, in fact I don't even have a bike yet!

I have managed to get a deal from a local bike shop (Robin Cycles), the owner of which is ex REME, he is giving me a Kona Jake (2008) with a very handsome 50% discount.

Like I say I am not a cyclist, and I am going to be in the saddle for an average of 70 miles a day for seven days, so now the bike thing is sorted, what other accessories should I invest in (saddle, pedals, clothing etc.)?

Any sensible advice welcome.

Make sure you have a good ''gel'' saddle, if you are doing that distance per day buy the proper cyclist underwear with chamois gusset and shorts with the gel insert, they really will make a difference. Before you start each day wash your ring and leave wet, apply talc, ( Johnsons Baby Powder is best ) talc will stick to your ring and go along way to soaking up the sweat.
Seriously.......your arse will sweat like buggery if you are doing that sort of mileage each day.......sweat makes your ring sore as fcuk and the talc will do its job.


Lantern Swinger
I don't know what sort of pedals you've got but I would recommend getting some SPDs or similar that clip your shoes to the pedal. That way you use your leg muscles on the "pull up " part of the rotation rather than just the "push down". It really does make a huge difference and you can really get moving well. Just make sure you practise unclipping your shoes from the pedals so that it comes naturally otherwise you will find yourself flat on your face with skinned knees as soon as a driver pulls out in front of you or a dog runs out and you slam the brakes on but can't get your feet out quickly enough! Best of luck with the ride :thumright:
Yes I was looking at SPD's, are all cycling shoes compatible or do they have to be Shimano.

Why is there such a big variation in price with the pedals? I have seen them from as little as £19 to over £100


If it is your first time cycling at length, I would recommend Speedplay (lollipop) pedals. If your cleats are not set up correctly with SPD or others, you will give yourself real lower limb problems, the Speedplay have lots of float in the pedal. To set your cleats on other designs, could take ages and lots of minor adjusting.


Lantern Swinger


I've not used Speedplay before but I think Blobmeister's recommendation is a good one. There is a lot on google about speedplay which you might want to have a look at and I'm sure your friendly bike shop owner can help you set up whichever system you go for. One other thing, you might want to get some bib shorts/tights for your ride. Ok, you'll look like Big Daddy in them (well i do!) but they are very comfy and best of all there is no chafing where the waist band of regular shorts is. The tights are nice and warm as well. Finally, and my best buy recently, is if you are going to be in bad weather or at night then to maximise your visibility to car drivers invest in a set of Trek bar end lights which effectivly triple your width to a drivers vision. They are red lights which go in the end of your handle bars (different models for straight or drop bars) and flash away merrily. They cost about £13. Trek are the best as they take AAA batteries as opposed to the fiddly watch batteries that other makes use.

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