What's your advice for a person just starting out on a road bike?
I've had a MTB for a few years and progressed to dual sports, but just bought my first real road bike, carbon frame, etc. This one needs shoes with cleats, etc. What should I expect when cycling? How is it different? Things to avoid, etc.
If you are a rider, although from a different kind of bike, you should do pretty well. One thing you really need to know to keep from crashing is that the cranks are longer and when you take a corner, make sure the crank on the down side of the corner is in the up position or you will likely crash. I have seen this happen with many people who make the change to a road bike.
From the sound of it, this is your first bike with a clipless pedal system -- one that uses biking shoes and cleats.
If that's the case, spend some time making the clip in and out procedure a reflex. That'll be a saving grace when coming to a stop and forgetting to unclip.
Forgetting to unclip and falling over happens to us all when we first start. It only hurts the ego because it always seems to happen when people are around!
A good way to practice with the pedal system is to hop on the bike and lean your shoulder against a wall for balance. Once you're balanced, start clipping in and clip out until you're comfortable doing it.
Def agree with 'timmathisen' with regards to the clipless pedals! Having forgotten to unclip on ocassions when coasting up to junctions and then realising my only option is to fall gracefully to the deck!
Obviously your riding positon is going to change, being in the saddle for a lot longer when you get more in to your riding.
I have found that selecting the right seat is crucial, and you will find that no matter what the blurb says, or what anyone else may suggest, only you can find the perfect one, we're all different shapes!
As someone who has ridden on the road for a while now and loves it, all I can say is enjoy!
Welcome to the world of speed and smooth riding
First of all make sure you have a comfortable pair of cycling specific shorts and a comfortable road specific saddle as you'll likely spend more time in the saddle.
You'll still have to avoid objects in the road I'm afraid but your carbon frame should help dampen any vibration from the road
Whereas my mountain bikers use predominantly the rear brakes on the road if you simply hold the rear brake down your back wheel will lock and cause you to skid so get used to gradually braking with the front brake- you won't simply stop and fly face first over the handlebars which people expect.
Helmets are a debatable question but in general you'll be safer in case of some types of accident if you wear one.
The best advice I can give however is simply get out and ride. Have fun and learn from the many mistakes you'll make just let you did when you started mtb'ing
@bruzzbruzz- road and mountain bike crank lengths differ rarely so the likelihood of difference is minimal however the advice on lowering the pedal at opposites to the corner does lower centre of gravity and gives additional grip into a corner.
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