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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Got my first bike (Litespeed Catalyst) - now what?

    I've ridden mountain bikes a lot when I was younger, but primarily just for fun. I was never serious about it. But now I am, for health reasons and the whole 'zen' experience of cruising down a smooth road (I like to meditate while riding, though this applies to skating or jogging too). I found some great bike trails and after attempting 100 miles on a mountain bike, I decided to just cough up the cash for a better bike.

    A Litespeed Catalyst w/ campagnolo Chorus 9 speed Gruppo and Speedplay X2 pedals.. I don't really know anything else about the bike. It's in excellent shape.

    Here are my questions:
    What's the proper way to ride? The area between my index finger and thumb feel sore and ache after riding for awhile. This mainly happens on the left hand probably because I use the brakes on that side.

    I've read that people w/ small hands prob wont like campys but I have big hands. It could just be because I'm not used to being in that position and etc. I've been in a state of atrophy for awhile.

    What are some essentials I NEED to take along for long rides? Pump, inner tubes, basic first aid kit.. etc I'd like to remain as lightweight as possible, but I want to assume there are no bike shops around.
    Update: I found my answer here: What do you use to carry 'stuff'...

    Are there any guides on shifting ergo? I can reach everything fine and I seem to have the hang of it but I really have no reference and don't know if I should be doing things differently. The guide would also help me improve my hand posture on the handle bars.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    That is one hell of a first bike.

    A couple of things about the hand pain.... I am going to assume for the moment that you are wearing padded gloves while riding (if not, those would help). What you don't want to do, is put all of your weight on the hoods. I find the most comfortable way to ride on the hoods is to put most of my weight on my palms which rest on the handlebars. Another thing is that you should try and change hand positions frequently. Every few minutes, move your hands from the hoods to the top of the bar and you will feel a lot more comfortable.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: spastook's Avatar
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    I also have a Catalyst with Chorus. I bought mine in 1994 and it was probably my 10th road bike and I haven't bought another one since. Ergo doesn't shift as smoothly as Shimano but it lasts longer. Maintaining a good cadence 90-110 rpm would be my first advise to a new road biker. Second would be to get out of the saddle on short "roller" hills. This helps stave off leg fatigue and helps your butt as well by changing pressure points. As a mountain biker you're in and out of the saddle constantly but on the road you'll have the tendancy to stay seated more which will lead to premature aches and pains you would'nt get if you were in the woods. Hope this helps a bit.
    Humbug!!

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: jsedlak's Avatar
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    For the hand pain, tighten up those abs and get your core strength up to par!

    When I started riding I had numbness in my hands because when I leaned over I couldn't hold myself up and rested my weight on them. Work on putting your hands there but taking the weight off by lifting your chest/head from the torso.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Thanks all. Will heed all your advice.

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