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My Noob’s Guide to Cycling

This page is a compilation of all of my “Noob’s Guide” posts covering my first three years of cycling.  If you’re having a problem cycling related, chances are I’ve screwed that up and wrote about it.


The Noob’s Guide to Saddle Height: Too High, No Comfort. Too Low, No Power  Three easy and one hard way to get your optimal saddle height.
The Noob’s Guide to Cycling: Understanding Road Bike Frame Styles and What will Work Best for You  Standard and Compact frames are examined.
The Noob’s Guide to Cycling: Road Bike Setup, the Intersection of Comfort and Cool – and More Important, How to Have Both
The Noob’s Guide to Buying Cycling Shoes: Road, Mountain or Mix? To Thine Own Hobby be True!
The Aftermath of the Biggest Ride of the Season: The Noob’s Guide to Cleaning Up After the Big Ride
The Noob’s Guide to Shaving One’s Guns
The Noob’s Guide to the One MUST NOT BREAK Rule.  It’s not what you think.

A Noob’s Guide to Road Bike Weight:  When Bike Weight Matters and When It Doesn’t
The Noob’s Guide to Tire Pressure:  If you want speed, how much already?  This post details my journey to find my best tire pressure, front and back (they’re different now).  Be sure to read the comments in this post for some great tips too.
How to Cycle Fast:  The Noob’s Guide for What to Worry About and What to Save for Later.  A specific list on what’s important for burying your buds.
A Noob’s Guide to Cycling:  Why a Good Fitting is So Important.  I really messed up…  I switched out the saddle on my Trek with the one on the Venge because the former matched the paint scheme on the Venge better…  I didn’t put it back where it should have been and I paid for it.

The Noob’s Guide to Frame Size:  Does Size Really Matter?  Yes.  Yes it does.
How Much Training is Required for a Century  This post deals with, specifically, how I got ready for my first century ride.
The Noob Roadie’s Guide to the Century  This post covers the three F’s of century riding and a few more training tips.
The Noob’s Guide to Picking the Right Helmet.  I go from geek to, well not so geeky and explain where I went wrong, more than once.
A Noob’s Guide to Aero:  What to Concentrate On (and what not to)
Cycling:  A Noob’s Guide to Aero:  What You Need to Know.  And Ignore
Cycling Faster:  The Magic Pill
Springtime Speed Drill:  Simple and AWESOME
Advanced Pace Line Cycling
The Noob’s Guide to the First Club Ride:  What to do if you get dropped
Avoid cramping up after a long ride
Rear Derailleur Adjustment
Shifting Ratios, Cassettes, Cranks and Chain Rings
How I Got Fast:  A guide to beating a 23 mph average
Purchasing Cycling Specific Sunglasses (on a budget)
Single Track Mountain Bike Safety
HTFU (Harden The F*** Up)
Derailleur Adjustments (The post above is rear derailleur specific)
Crank Surgery and bicycle wrenching
Cycling for Fitness
Safe Cycling (Open road crash avoidance)
Cycling in the heat
Aerodynamic Equipment, does it matter and is it worth the price
Cycling Shorts – are $150 shorts really worth it?  (Short answer:  Bet your butt they are)
How I Got Fast (specifically, how I trained to get to a 23 mph average)
How to wrap your handlebars without the ugly electrical tape
Cleaning (includes a few obscure tips)
A Newbie Comparison of Shimano Shifters – The full line of integrated road shifters
How To Learn How To Fix A Bike – Not how to fix it, how to learn how to fix it…
The Noob’s Guide to Active Recovery:  How to ride and recover from a hard effort at the same time.
The Noob’s Guide to Buying Cycling Shorts – Exactly what to look for and what to avoid…
The Noob’s Guide to Upgrades – To gear up or not to gear up…  The post looks at whether or not to upgrade components
The Noob’s Guide to Buying Cycling Shorts…  Put some love between your saddle and your butt – don’t go cheap!
The Noob’s Guide to Stem Height – Two posts deal with this important topic
The Noob’s Guide to Handlebars:  They’re not all created equal.

The Noob’s Guide to the First Club Ride:  What to do if you find yourself off the back…
How to think “Fast”:  It’s really a post on how to get beyond mental weakness – Literally, how to think fast.
A Noob’s Guide to Drafting in a Pace Line:  There’s a distinct “Happy Zone” when drafting, this post explores how to find it and exploit it.
Don’t Ride What You Can’t Afford:  A top ten list of what I can’t live without now that I’ve spent the dough.

The Noob’s Guide to Why a Good Bike Fit is Important:  If you’re one of those who think having a bike fit to you isn’t all that important, read this post!

Series on bike selection:
The Noob’s Guide to Picking The Right Bike:  A wide ranging post on what to look for in a bike, covering everything from road bikes to mountain bikes and all ranges in between…  I left the dreaded cruisers and leisure bikes out as I despise them.
The Noob’s Guide to Picking the  Right Road Bike:  The most important items to consider:  Frame/fork material, component grades, fitting and geometry.
The Noob’s Guide to Picking the Right Mountain Bike:  Same as above, but for the single-track

How Much Does a Road Bike Weigh:  The Noob’s Guide to Putting a Bike on a Diet  Ever wonder how much an entry-level road bike weighs compared to one of those high-priced dream bikes?  Read on…


The Noob’s Guide to Saddle Height:  Too High, No Comfort.  Too Low, No Power


  1. brettday says:

    Man, looks like I have a crap load of reading to do 😉

  2. This seems like a great resource. Glad you posted this. I hope to implement your pointers in the future once I get back on the bike.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I’m glad you like it, thank you. I’ve gotta work on updating that page, too. There are a lot of posts I need to add to it. Ride hard, my friend.

  3. […] $10,000 super bike make you faster? Yes! Well, no. And yes. But no, kind of. To paraphrase my bro Big Jim over at Fit Recovery, a fast bike won’t make you fast, but it’ll make fast easier. That is especially true […]

  4. Rush Limbaugh’s dead! Yay! Who’s your hero now?

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