Here are some typical newbie questions and answers


Do you put chamois cream on you or the chamois ?

It ends up in the same place so whatever you find most enjoyable.  Remember to draw the curtains before performing this act.  Also this should not take longer than a minute, if it does you are enjoying it too much.

What cadence is optimal ?

aim for around 95 to 100 rpm, but it probably depends on situation and personal preference.  But this seems to be a reasonable aim for starters.  If you don’t have a cadence meter then find a rider who has a smooth style and ride behind them.

What front ring should I ride in?

Typically for endurance ride in the smaller ring.  For power ride in the big ring.  At the end of the day find what is comfortable and sustainable for you.  If you are stuggling up hills or cant go fast enough on the flat then you may need to consider altering your gearing (talk to you bike shop).

Does your butt stop hurting?

Jury is still out on this.  You do get used to it (hopefully) and combined with a good seat, good bike pants and chamois cream you can make it more bearable.  Note it is best not to talk too much to work colleagues or strangers about your hard weekend that has left you with a sore butt, people may misunderstand.

What are basic rules of bunch riding?

Stay close but don’t overlap wheels.  Try to keep pace constant and avoid surging.  Watch for hand signals, listen to spoken alerts and pass them on to others.  Watch and learn.  Ask and learn.  Get involved and learn.

Why are peaks on your helmet not a good idea?

In road cycling you are leaning further forward than MTB and so the peak can restrict your vision.  They are also less aerodynamic and further serves to differentiate road cyclists from MTB’ers.

Where can I find training programmes?

Most of the organised rides such as Taupo etc have basic training guides on their websites.  Join your local club and ask around for coaches.  Look on our website for offers of training.

What distance should you start with?

It depends on your fitness and experience.  If you are new to cycling aim for 5 to 10kms then just keep increasing.  You will find that you can ride further and easier with a group.  It is fine to go out with a group and once you feel you are struggling just say goodbye and turn around and head home.

What is the best bike?

It is alright to lust after other bikes and it is often tempting to sell your house, kids and or kidneys to fund a flash bike but it still does come down to the rider (and the bike for sure).  If you can’t afford the flash one then start with a good frame and build upon it over time.

Any important gear required for your bike?

Frame, 2 wheels and brakes (optional).  Like all things in life it is not the biggest or best looking that matters, it is what you do with it.  Lights are important for safety and an odometer (speedo) is useful especially if it shows your cadence.

What componentry do you need ?

The better the componentry the better is will perform.  Get the best you can afford as it should work better and last longer.  If you are going to ride a lot you probably want to get 105 level preferably.

What frame size do you need ?

You really need to get this right.  Bike designs are changing and with it the way they measure frame size.  Get the right size before you buy.  Ask your local bike store for advice.  Things such as seat height and stem length can be altered but the frame can only be replaced, so get it right.

What is the reason for old fella retraction (aka turtle necking, shrinkage) when cycling?

Cold, fright or seat pressure.  Check your seat angle or consult a professional.  Maybe try some different seats. Dont ignore it as it could turn serious and impact your performance (not just your cycling)

Should it hurt to urinate after cycling?

Dehydration and seat pressure are the likely cause of this.  Drink more and alter the seat angle downwards to relieve pressure.  If symptoms persist while cycling see your bike store and if symptoms persist when not cycling go see your doctor.

What is the general advice about hydration (aka drinking) ?

Basic rule is anything over 30mins you should carry fluid.  Drink regularly.  You are probably best to practise drinking on your bike as it does take co-ordination to take and return your bottle to its cage.  Do not try it for the first time in a group ride.

 What is the general advice about nutrition (aka eating) ?

Similiar to drinking. Basic rule is little and often.  Experiment with different foods to find what works for you and suits your digestion.   Cream cakes do not tend to travel well.  Consult with some of the enduro athletes as they will have plenty of knowledge and experience.

end faq