If you could offer just one piece of advice to somebody new to road cycling, what would it be?
It could be to do with bikes, maintenance, gadgets, clothing, nutrition, training, health, etiquette, competitive riding - in fact, anything related to road cycling!
We're sure there'll be a few suggestions that even the more experienced riders on here will find useful...
Feel free to suggest more than one tip if you think it falls into a different category.
If we get a good response, we'll even collect the best advice offered into a Wheelsuckers' Guide with all contributors named!
My top tip would be to 'Spin'. Keep your cadence above 90 at all times, even if it means getting lower gears for the hills. It will take a few months to adjust but your performance will definitely improve.
My top tip for equipment would be 'Get a power meter' The benefits it will provide when training and racing will outweigh any bebefits from a lighter bike or expensive components.
Good tip Jason. Cadence in the region of 80 to 90 rpm (for me) is one of the things I wish I'd tried much earlier on. I started trying to stay in this band when I got a Garmin Edge 500 which meant I could monitor cadence - kind of a rev counter to prompt when to change up/down. After a while it became 2nd nature.
Also meant I could do much longer rides without tiring so much and climbs are easier though makes no odds on some ascents when my rpm steadily drops and I have no more gears left!
Not tried power yet. Interested but power meters are still too expensive though the cycleops powercal looks interesting and affordable
I'm keen to hear more about this.My default for flat/mostly flat is always big ring/middling sprocket (anything else and I hear my Dad's voice saying "Your legs are whirling round but you're hardly moving) but pretty much everyone I know recommends spinning instead.
Given that big ring/big sprocket is a mechanical no-no, I assume I should actually drop to a middle ring/small sprocket and learn to revel in the whirling legs approach?
Clip on shoes and the pedals to go with them.....someone told me you can save up to 15% of your energy on longer rides by using clip ons compared to normal flat pedals!
Oh, and meet up or end your ride at a cake shop!
Start with the basics. Get the right bike! Go to a reputable bike shop, ideally one that has staff trained in bike fitting, and discuss with them the type of riding you are looking to do - admittedly, if you are new to cycling, that may not be something you know yet!
I would also suggest keeping your budget low. Nowadays, there are many great bikes available, with varying geometries, in the £500 price bracket and you can always upgrade components or buy a new bike, depending on how your riding evolves. And one more reason not to spend too much on your first bike is because you may not acutally enjoy cycling and before you know it, your 3k Pinarello will be gathering dust in the garage!
As for riding in the cold, keep your hands and feet warm, so invest in a decent pair of gloves and overshoes.
Get a pair of proper winter shoes. Cleats (especially metal ones attached to metal pedals) suck the heat out of your feet rapidly and turn a brisk winter ride into a painful experience you just want to end. Good boots have thick insulated soles. Not mentioning any brands but I bought a pair from a large popular manufacturer 2 years ago. They cost well over £100 but measured in pence per mile they are one of the best purchases I have ever made. And if that means longer rides then you can justify the cost to a non-cycling partner on health grounds too :)
Spend 80% on your frame.
The rest is just upgrades.
Totally agree with the cadence. Most new riders try to push a big gear (me included) but spinning a lower gear saves the legs, i would also say just get out and do mileage, but know your limits and most of all just enjoy your riding :)
Nah - spend 80% on your frame, another 60% on your wheels, at least 30% on a saddle that fits you and the rest on the upgrades. Okay so it may cost 200% of your budget, but you're worth it :)
Be comfortable. Have a hefty-enough lock so it's there when u come back to it.