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Cycling Advice Please

I've just completed my first summer of triathlons - 4 Olympic distance events- and although the times aren't great it gives me something to work on :-)

My biggest problem is my cycling - its rubbish and everyone tells me I just need to cycle more - practice, practice, practice.

Although th eplan is to get outide as often as possible is it worth buying a turbo trainer for those long winter months and if so what type ?

Also will aero bars make a difference and any tip son what type to buy for a specialized Ladies Specific Road Bike?

Any advice gratefully recieved and who knows maybe I might overtake someone next year on the bike leg!!




  • Hey Sam, did you mean to include a photo of yourself as an attachment? If so, we are all happy to meet you and will look out for you next summer as you smoke us on the bike. Re. turbotrainer - the short answer is yes. As for what type etc. there are various threads on the forum that discuss the pro and cons of various turbos..
  • The main thing to remember is that everyone starts somewhere! To do 4 Olympic distance tri's, make it alive, without any major problems is fantastic!

    Now here's the bad news.... to get better at cycling, you have to just do the miles pretty much. Turbo trainers are great in the winter when the weather conditions mean icy roads, icy cold, or icy rain! You can work pretty hard on a turbo so it can give you the chance to do come hard sessions and really test yourself, but at the same time not have the worry that you'll collapse from exhaustion miles from home!

    Added bonus is that you can catch up on TV, sing to loud music (or use it to mask your screams.....) and still nag the family all from a seated position, and be getting exercise - so in a way it could almost be viewed as multi tasking!

    Cycling is also my worst bit, but I just try, try and if in doubt.... try a bit more!

    If your pretty new to cycling I wouldn't go for rollers, they can be a bit tricky to get the hang of (see U Tube for amusing learner footage...), a basic turbo trainer would get you going and do the job.

    Aero bars do make a difference if you are going at the right speed to need them, a general guideline is that over 23-25mph they do make some gains. Other than that I know people that use them as an alternative position on longer rides. (but not in groups obviously!!!!)

    They are certainly not essential, and a lot of people that have them do not go any faster because of them! It could almost be looked upon as more weight to drag up the hills!

    If you don't have a strong lower back it is worth doing some exercises to build the muscles up as aero bars can cause back ache otherwise due to the nature of the position being held.

    Bike wise - I'm a little lady myself, but have a man's bike. I tried women's specific, but this one just felt the best. My advice would be to go sit on load of different makes and types, and you'll know what feels right.

    Happy cycling!
  • for back strength try pilates i do classes with wife every few weeks she does it every week it makes a hell of a difference to your posture and core strenghtalso after long arduous rides its good as a streching exercise a few weeks at it you woul;d see the difference
  • learnerlearner Posts: 100
    Re the turbo issue, good advice they are great in winter for keeping the legs moving. you can work on technique and positioning (have to get a bit vain and use a big mirror or two to check your positioning) work on one leg cycling to hone circular pedaling etc.

    Try and get one or two on test if you can, find which you prefer, magnetic or fluid. Bear in mind fluid ones use oil and this reduces resistance as it heats up, there was a great clip on the forum a little while ago explaining it all.

    Try and get hold of the spinervals dvd's the help with some of the boredom.

    for me it's either dvd of family guy or the simpsons.

    good luck.

  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Get a turbo and join a club and get out with the bunch. Virtually every area has a club or group that will suit everyone. You will get good advice from members, you will cycle further than on your own, and you will get so much better without feeling that you're trying. Then buy the aero bars in Spring as a reward
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Amen as above. Re aero bars, yes they do confer an aerodynamic advantage and I'm sure I posted a link about this before but can't find it know, it was an excellent scientific study ah well. Anyway have a look at this to start


    and this


    and also these fellows who do some good articles


    There is a trade off though with a road bike as you do lose some output however the theory is that the aero advantage more than outweighs the disadvantge and the good news is that going aero provides a greater edge for us normal types as oposed to the elites.
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