New Theme – Summer Heat

Since summer is upon us, I figure why not update the blog to reflex the summer heat! Sand dunes does a good job conveying the hot summer days of the Rio Grande Valley in deep South Texas. If anything is not working, please drop me a note and let me know. Enjoy!

More tweaks

Friday I wanted to go out for another short ride to further tweak my bike for the new pedals and shoes that I had bought. On my last ride, my feet were somewhat uncomfortable with the cleats in front of the ball of my feet and I also had numbness in my hands along with lower back soreness and leg extent issues. All related to cleat and seat positions. I never thought that switching pedals and shoes would cause so much discomfort.

I started off with raising the seat about 1/2 a centimeter and moved the cleats of the shoes to the bottom position. I hopped on my bike and took off. I had a hard time to clip in and when I did it was an awkward feeling. My knees have an inward tilt to them, but I thought it was the shoes. Reading the hype on pamphlet,  the shoes align your knees properly for cycling, they call it Body Geometry. Oh well, I kept on riding trying to get used to it.

By the time I got to the Mission Library (1 mile), I pulled over. I had to adjust the angle of the cleats for a more comfortable ride. After piddling with them I got back on the bike and rode around the huge parking lot. Wow! What a difference that made. My legs feel normal and clipping in and out is easy. The saddle height seems right too, so I kept on riding.

The rest of the ride was uneventful as I was just getting used to clip out at intersections and clipping back in. Getting to the point where clipping in and out is automatic takes time. I just hope I don’t fall over again!

By the time I got back home, I felt the seat needed a forward adjustment, so I went ahead and did that. The adjustment to the cleats made a real big difference, as they made for a comfortable ride.

Well, I think I got my bike tweaked again for the new equipment. I just need to do a minor front derailleur adjustment and I’m done. Lessons learned from this experience? Get your shoes locally. The sales representative experience in selling the correct shoe for your needs is something you do not get from on-line stores. Not only that, but you get to try different brands and sizes until satisfied. Another tip that I have learned, wait until the afternoon when your foot is the biggest. That’s right the biggest, your feet swell up after standing and walking all day. You want a shoe that fits well at that point.

Expect to tweak your bike setup as your body position changes with the new equipment. Don’t go on any major rides until you get all the new equipment dialed in after a few short rides. You are asking for trouble if you do.

By the way, the shoes I bought at the bike store are the Specialized Tahoe Mountain Bike Shoes.

Readjusting to using SPD pedals and shoes

It has been a long time since I clipped into bike pedals, but I felt it was time to head in that direction. I ordered Shimano’s PD-A530 dual platform pedals from Amazon and went to the local Bike Store, Bicycle World, to get the shoes. Shoes is one thing I don’t want to order online because of sizing issues. I opted for the Mountain Bike type of shoes because I can walk in them. When finished my riding, I want to get off the bike and be able to walk normally. Not too much to ask for.

Installing the new pedals is a straight forward thing, take the old pedals off and mount the new ones.  The shoes have two positions for the cleats, above the ball of foot and below. I went ahead and tried the top position and took the bike out for a spin. Clipping in and out seems fine, so I skipped the clip tension adjustment. At about mile five, my hands were going numb and my feet were feeling a little rough as well the need to stretch out some. Looks like some saddle adjustments are in order. I’ll start with raising the seat a centimeter and see how that turns out. That is for another night to do.

Oh, yes, I have forgotten to unclip at an intersection and fallen. I hope to avoid that in the future.