Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Trek Women: Getting Started with Cycling

On the eve of our ZOOMA Great Lakes half marathon, we had the pleasure of attending Mocktail Hour with Trek Women and Barefoot Bubbly.

ZOOMA Great Lakes
ZOOMA Great Lake Mocktail Hour with Trek Women and Barefoot Bubbly

The info-filled hour psyched me up to take my cycling to the next level.  Right now I have a Trek mountain bike, which I enjoy taking on gravel trails with my children and on the trainer for cross training purposes.  For my next bike I would buy either a road or town bike.  It's a tough call - I'm not sure if I would be serious enough for the road bike, but also not sure if I want to just "cruise" around either...

Trek Women Mountain bike
Cycling at Waterfall Glen

The Trek ladies stressed proper bike fit being key to comfort and power.  For proper bike fit, take your bike to the shop, especially if you're a beginner.

Couple things mentioned -

  • legs should be extended but not so much that hips would have to rock back and forth
  • right saddle makes a huge difference
  • support with core - less movement on saddle (less soreness)
  • arms and shoulders relaxed, slight bend in arms
  • bend at hips not waist

As with most sports, correct gear and fit make a huge difference for comfort and performance.  Some essential gear includes:

Cycling shoes that clip in help with comfort and efficiency.  When you "clip in" your feet work on the up and down giving you more power and a smoother ride.  It sounds scary to me, and the speakers didn't hide the fact that it's tricky to get started (and most likely beginners will fall down several times before getting the hang of it).  They assured us though, once you get the hang of it, it really makes a huge difference in the ease and comfort of riding your bike.

Chamois (or padded shorts) give a little padding and protection.  They are usually made with spandex, but also in baggy form and  always worn without underwear.

Padded gloves support and protect the hands (and help catch a drippy nose).

Last but not least - safety gear...

A helmet should always be worn.  Worn correctly it sits close to the brow - not back protecting your pony tail.  

Reflective gear helps with visibility and lights are a good idea for visibility and to see where you are going. :)

Have any other tips for a beginner cyclist?

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  1. So cool! I love Trek..and yes you will fall a few or many times getting used to clipping in- it's inevitable...like i've heard.. "there are two types of cyclists- those who have fallen and those who haven't fallen YET" haha. I would just add that getting a light on your bike and being sure you know the rules of the road before you go is a big plus!

  2. Great info here! Very cool that they added this to the race weekend! Now we just need Trek to give you a road bike to review. :)

  3. I was very scared of going clipless, but I didn't find the pedals to be so difficult or scary on my road bike. I've had quite a few falls thanks to the pedals on my mountain bike...less predictable terrain leading to slowing/stopping and oops! My foot's still attached. :)

    Some kind of chamois cream for longer rides helps prevent chaffing. A jersey with back pockets to stash stuff in is good, too.


Have you tried this gear? Something similar you like better? Something I should try? Let me know by leaving a comment!

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