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Thread: Bike Fit and Clipless Pedals

  1. #21
    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
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    Clipless pedals aren't going to make you measurably faster, I'm sorry to say. As I think others have noted, they do have benefits like comfort and some added efficiency, but any performance gains really are going to be on the margins. I'd say work on getting much more comfortable handling your bike and pushing yourself harder. As your fitness and bike handling improves, switching to clipless pedals will be a more natural transition and you'll be better able to appreciate their benefits. For now, however, they may end up being more of an impediment than an improvement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sujiro View Post

    I also feel completely drained after uphills in custis trails after I pedalled up. Do you have any suggestion on this?
    Drop your gears before you start climbing, and bike it more often. It's totally normal to feel drained though after a big hill. I have a big hill I've been doing 3-4x a week for a year, and I still feel drained at the end of it every day. But you will find the more you do it, the faster you get, and the quicker you recover from the effort. It wont be something you notice in a week or two, but over the course of a few months I guarantee you it'll become evident if you bike more often.

    And don't feel bad about getting passed. That's TOTALLY normal. Even now I have days where I think I'm seriously going fast and I still get passed by tons of people on bikes I would swear should be slower than mine...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sujiro View Post
    I also feel completely drained after uphills in custis trails after I pedalled up. Do you have any suggestion on this?
    Suggestion: always do the Arlington loop counter-clockwise. The good news is if you feel completely drained you are doing it right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sujiro View Post
    Do you have any suggestion on this?


    Just enjoy ride.

    If you enjoy riding the bike, ride. The human body is an amazing thing. It always strengthens with what we demand of it. Do what you enjoy because you enjoy it - and the rest will come. And never worry about people passing you - there will always be someone who can pass you.

    If you want to race, yeah, you have to train and suffer. But then you find yourself with idiots doing hills at 5 am. And what normal person wants to do that??
    Last edited by rcannon100; 06-29-2017 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Oh yeah and go clipless. They're great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sujiro View Post
    I'm tired of being passed by a lot, that's why I'm thinking if clipless pedals will help me to go faster.
    Keep in mind you only see the people that are passing you or that you are passing. You'll never see anyone behind you who is going slower than, or the same speed as you. Even if more people pass you than you are passing, there could be a whole army of people that never have a chance to catch you. So don't sell yourself short! You're probably not as slow as you think. Also, 11 mph average is not slow, in my book.

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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sujiro View Post
    I usually bike the whole Arlington Loop 3-4 times a week. It will took me 1hr 40mins to finish it. The problem is almost all bikers pass through me even grandmas and granpas. Lol. Not sure if I'm just really slow and using a fitness bike or the other bikers are all using road bike with clipless pedals. Or probably combination of both. I'm tired of being passed by a lot, that's why I'm thinking if clipless pedals will help me to go faster. But now I'm scared to use the clipless because I'm afraid to fall.

    I also feel completely drained after uphills in custis trails after I pedalled up. Do you have any suggestion on this?
    When you say "fitness" bike it could mean a bunch of things. After the first time I rode the Custis on a 30lb 26" MTB I swore off trying to bike to work. Something in the range of 18-23lbs will actually make a pretty big difference on hills, especially if you're not heavy yourself, and a lot of the "gains" you can make are based on gaining confidence and positive feedback as opposed to being passed by old folks.

    I wouldn't worry too much about clipless, and I'd also second the flat pedals with pins as a good in-between option (I have a pair I used in the winter with boots, and also for intermittently practicing certain skills that I'm still terrible at). A half-decent bike fit is probably more important - make sure you have your saddle up high enough to get leg extension.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subby View Post
    Suggestion: always do the Arlington loop counter-clockwise. The good news is if you feel completely drained you are doing it right.
    I done this like 3 times already and always I need to dismount at least twice on some uphills. I feel like I would die after the uphills. Lol. I dont know, but I guess its mental that I'm always hesitating if I could make the uphill or not without dismounting. The problem is after I mounted again, I feel drained.

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    Could you post your height and weight?

    Without a bike fit, try adjusting seat height, one inch or 3/4 at a time, then measure the time it takes a certain segment. Preferably a segment that is a slow steady uphill. I found that by raising the seat, I got more efficient, up until a certain point, then efficiency drops. So that would be the sweet spot. Also, if you consistently find yourself sliding forward on your seat after cycling for a while, then slide your seat forward. This is assuming that the seat was level to begin with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sujiro View Post
    I done this like 3 times already and always I need to dismount at least twice on some uphills. I feel like I would die after the uphills. Lol. I dont know, but I guess its mental that I'm always hesitating if I could make the uphill or not without dismounting. The problem is after I mounted again, I feel drained.
    Sometimes I literally tell myself, "you can do this", like when I'm riding uphill in the winter into a 30 mph headwind, and I'm tired and cold and it would be SO easy to just get on the Metro. But as others have said here, the body is an amazing thing, and sometimes you'll feel drained, and you'll feel pain, and if you talk yourself into pushing through that, you discover that you've got one more level of energy and strength that you didn't know you had. And it can be fun to make that discovery; to learn that you can push through the hard.

    I've been back on the bike for about 4 years now. Even though I'm old, I get stronger and faster each year. I'm a gear faster than I was last year. It's the doing that matters. Have fun with it; alternate hard days with easy days so your body can recover. Some days there's no there there, and you just have to push through that. And those days make all the better the other days when everything is in sync, and you're in this sort of Zen space, where you discover you can do things you hadn't imagined.

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  19. 06-29-2017, 10:14 PM

    I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.


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