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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    5

    Question Wobbly on my new roadbike

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    My family is obsessed with cycling and I'm finally getting in on the action. I set aside my hybrid and am riding a road bike for the first time in my life, clip-ins and the whole nine yards. I am so unstable on it though; it's always a little scary when I first get going. But my biggest problem is that I am wibbling and wobbling all over the place. I'm not even close to biking in a straight line.

    How do I, consciously and physically, ride in a straight line?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,619
    well, before you get back onto that bike, you might change those pedals I'd not want to be clipping in until I had gotten the other issues figured out.
    I'd look at bike fit for one thing. Did you get fit to this bike or did you just get it handed to you?
    Is all your weight on your hands? That's not good, that would surely cause wobbling.
    One thing that will help is just getting used to the bike. Good luck and welcome to TE
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    +1 on swapping the pedals to a set of platforms while you get used to the bike.
    My first couple rides on my road bike were terrifying. They're lighter and more responsive than a hybrid, to the point that they feel twitchy the first couple rides. It takes a little while to get used to the bike.

    Take a couple rides, or go to an empty parking lot and ride in circles. I also second Biciclista's suggestion to get a fitting done.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    2,033
    spin in a low gear and look ahead... and clip out early and often
    It's a little secret you didn't know about us women. We're all closet Visigoths.

    2008 Roy Hinnen O2 - Selle SMP Glider
    2009 Cube Axial WLS - Selle SMP Glider
    2007 Gary Fisher HiFi Plus - Specialized Alias

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,222
    I think it just takes more time in the saddle to get over that wobbly feeling. I feel that way every spring, when I break out my bike for the first ride of the season after having it parked all winter. Once you have some miles under your belt, you'll start to notice that wobbliness diminish.
    2012 Seven Axiom SL - Specialized Ruby SL 155

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    105
    I've been on my road bike for a couple months now. They happily sent my 54 year old self home with clipless peddles from the store. Yikes!

    I am someone who likes to make my mistakes alone. So I did the whole thing--getting used to the new position, changed center of gravity, clipless peddles, squirrelly feeling with the lighter bike all at once. I took rides on low traffic areas. I fell. It wasn't pretty.

    I'm still here.

    Maybe what you don't know...is a good thing.
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5 WSD

    2011 Trek FX7.2--What can I say? It was on sale!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    +100 on getting the clipless pedals replaced with platforms for now. Can you learn with them? Certainly, but they do complicate things. Your body has a lot to learn right now and that just adds complication. You've got a new riding position to get used to, along with the new shifters and brakes.

    Congratulations on the new bike!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    83

    Thank you for posting this!

    I was feeling so inept because I have had a road bike for 12 years and I still feel this way whenever I try riding it again. I used to ride it all the time and I loved it but in recent years (the last 8) I have tried from year to year to ride and I always get discouraged because I feel so wobbly and unable to control the bike.

    I just finial went out and bought a hybrid this year and have loved riding it because it is so easy to just hop on and go. I use the same clip less on the hybrid as I do on the road bike but it is way harder on the road bike.

    I think I will try platform pedals too and see if that makes me feel any differently.
    I pedal for chocolate

    1999 Klein Quantum - Terry butterfly Ti
    2011 Trek Utopia - Bontrager Nebula Plus...for now

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    5
    Thank you all for your ideas and encouragment! I'll put it to good (and consistent) use!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    2,516
    Riding in a straight line is all about relaxing on your bike. Here are some tips. First, put your hands on the top of your hoods (not in your drops) at first. Bend your elbows, relax your arms, and support your upper body weight with your abdomen not your arms. Of course, you will rest on your arms, but they need to be relaxed, and bent. Above all, keep them bent.

    If your arms are stiff and straight, every movement of your body and weight changes will be transferred directly down into the bike and you will go from side to side. If you are relaxed and have bent arms and loose shoulders, let your shoulders drop!, then your bike will not react to every movement that the rest of your body does. I've been riding for years and even I when I get tired start to tighten my shoulder up on one side. All I have to do is drop the shoulder and I am more comfortable and the bike is easy to ride!

    I ride on the drops a lot. You can brake from the drops so don't worry, just go out and practice a bit. If you are riding in a pace line you can feather your brakes from the drops, keeping your pedals moving and control the bike better than if you just brake. Feathering the brakes means, just lightly applying the brake. Try it, your bike will instantly be more stable when you need it to be in close quarters. But, practice this before you get in a tight situation!

    So, bend elbows, drop shoulders, relax, and look where you are going. That's all there is to it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    5

    SO much better!

    Thank you, ladies, for all of the great advice!!!

    Adelaide (my bicycle) and I are getting along so much better. Straighter lines, sharper turns, confidence in the clip ins. I'm now able to take one hand off the handlebar to itch my nose and/or grab my water bottle. It's a christmas miracle!

    Spokewench: reminding me to drop my shoulders and bend my arms changed the way I feel during and after a ride.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    NW Ohio...for now
    Posts
    124
    Quote Originally Posted by referencerocks View Post
    Thank you, ladies, for all of the great advice!!!

    Adelaide (my bicycle) and I are getting along so much better. Straighter lines, sharper turns, confidence in the clip ins. I'm now able to take one hand off the handlebar to itch my nose and/or grab my water bottle. It's a christmas miracle!

    Spokewench: reminding me to drop my shoulders and bend my arms changed the way I feel during and after a ride.
    WOW! In one weeks time you have changed alot! TE fam is the best with the encouragement and advice. I began in early May for the first time on a road bike and am 56 years young. This forum helped me stay at it and I now have 300 miles logged on the bike with an average speed of 11.8! Would have never gotten here without their help!
    Don't cross the river if you can swim the tide...

    2011-Cannondale Synapse Alloy5 WSD with 105 and BB30!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Central Indiana
    Posts
    624
    Yes, glad to hear you are better. My shop (run by a bunch of gnarly bike bros) put me on a brand new road bike with clips and I fell two times and was scared to death of my bike for days. I eventually got back on and sucked it up, but I wish I would have waited!

    I am glad you are doing great! It takes time, but you'll figure it out. I've only ever had road bikes since I started to "get into" cycling, but my previous road ride was a 35 year old steel hulk of a bike. Big adjustment. Glad you haven't fallen. You are a super star! Keep it up!
    ***proud Hoosier, statistics nerd, and mom to a headstrong toddler***
    ****one car family and loving it!****

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Chessie, Scottish Terrier
    Bonzai, Catahoula Leopard Dog

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    Quote Originally Posted by referencerocks View Post
    It's a christmas miracle!.
    Totally laughing at this...I'm always hollering "It's a Christmahanukkahkwanza miracle" after those Virgin mobile ads from a few years back.

    My first few rides on my first road bike felt SCARY! Then my first few rides on my newer, more aggressive, lighter road bike felt scary, all over agin. My most recent bike is a cyclocross bike...wow, that thing feels heavy and numb, by comparison.

    You'll adapt. Then you will get FAST!
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,059
    Quote Originally Posted by referencerocks View Post
    Spokewench: reminding me to drop my shoulders and bend my arms changed the way I feel during and after a ride.
    Also ... relax, d@mn it! Sounds counter intuitive but the death grip on the bars makes you less stable. Fluttering your fingers or playing piano on the bars may keep your hands relaxed.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

 

 

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