used to your New Bike.
By Bikesport, Inc. Staff.
Even if we are adults there are few things as
exciting as getting a new bike. Bikes aren’t necessities
like a new refrigerator so there is a special quality to getting
your new bike and being fitted precisely to it, making it uniquely
If you are new to the sport and this is your first
time riding a performance oriented road or triathlon bike then
there are a few things worth knowing.
It’s going to feel unusual.
You’ll feel unusual on your new bike. It
takes time, sometimes months, to get accustomed to maintaining
the riding posture and learning good bike handling skills on
your new bike. This is normal for any new piece of sports equipment,
be it skis, a golf club or a tennis racket. One reason a bicycle
takes a little more work than some things to get accustomed
to is that you are actually riding it at relatively high speeds
and you are attached to it. Be sure to give yourself adequate
time to get acclimated to sitting on and riding your new bike.
It takes most new riders about 600 miles of riding, or about
5-8 weeks, before they begin to feel comfortable on their new
My saddle hurts! I need a different saddle!
Saddle comfort is more than just the right saddle
for you. Adequate saddle comfort is a combination of good bike
fit, being acclimated to sitting on a bike seat, having reasonable
fitness, using tight fitting bike shorts worn correctly with
no underwear, using chamois cream on every ride and starting
with short but frequent rides. Until all these techniques are
in place you cannot expect to have tolerable saddle comfort.
While saddle choice is individual, there are some saddles that
generally produce better results than others. These are our
“go to” saddles that are on most bikes when they
leave our store. It is likely your bike is equipped with one
of those saddles now. There is no one saddle that is “best”.
Riders who try a number of different saddles usually settle
on one not because of the saddle, but because they have finally
put enough time in the saddle that they are now accustomed to
it- or they finally bought quality bike shorts and started using
Every new rider experiences saddle discomfort,
soreness and numbness. This is likely a part of getting accustomed
to your new bike. If you practice good saddle comfort habits
and ride with consistency and moderation you will develop tolerable
My stem is too long and I think I need
my handlebars higher.
The three most common comments from new cyclists
is that their saddle is uncomfortable, their reach measurement
(distance from saddle to handlebars) is too long and their handlebars
are too low. If you are experiencing any of these sensations
the likelihood is that you haven’t become acclimated to
sitting on your new bike. We recommend moderate duration (under
2 hour) regular rides for 600 miles to get acclimated to your
new bike. This time will enable you to accumulate adequate fitness
to be comfortable in the road or triathlon position. Your body
needs time to adapt to your new bike, 5-8 weeks of regular,
short, consistent rides is a normal time to get acclimated to
your new bike.
I’m picking up my bike on Friday
because I have a race on Sunday.
Rule #1 in any kind of racing where equipment
is involved: Never race on new equipment.
If you have read anything about road racing and
triathlons or have had a conversation with any competent coach
or spent time on an internet forum then you have heard this
already: Do not race on new equipment.
It takes time for your body to adapt to new racing
equipment. It also takes time for your equipment to be “broken
in” and to confirm all mechanical adjustments are solid
and dependable. The additional stresses placed on your equipment
and your body in a race could lead to mechanical problems on
a newly assembled bike that hasn’t been broken in. It
could cause injuries on an otherwise correctly fitted bike that
you are not yet accustomed to. Racing on new equipment is a
substantial risk that often results in mechanical problems or
We strongly recommend you ride
your bike a minimum of 600 miles and have one tune-up performed
on it prior to your first race.
Many people choose to ignore this advice because
they are excited about getting their new bike. This is a mistake.
Countless stories of bad experiences posted on internet forums
confirm this. Be sure to buy your bike early enough so you can
have adequate time to get accustomed to It for at least 600
miles prior to your first race.
What maintenance should I perform on my
We’ve published a real-world maintenance
schedule of the minimum maintenance you should perform on your
The basic principles of maintenance are: