Cycling in Sydney Australia
*EDIT* This is originally a Swap/Sell thread but I'm overwhelmed with helpful advices for keeping my bike, so I'm moving this to General.
I bought this in 18th June this year and barely took it on the road. I'm still an unfamiliar beginner - not being able to lay my foot flat on the ground on this bike really makes me struggle to balance, especially on uphill, which my commute has plenty of (Rushcutters Bay - Wynyard).
I'm 172cm tall. Looking to swap this bike for something with a lower saddle that I can put my feet flat on the ground, or I'm happy to sell it for a price you think it deserves so that I can use the money to buy an easier bike.
You can find the full spec of the bike here:
Thank you for reading and please feel free to message me to discuss further.
Hi Bill, thanks for your reply. It is indeed a nice bike and I did try it at the shop, though I only tested it around the block where it was mostly flat, so I didn't feel any real struggle at the time. This model was highly recommended to me by the staff at Reid.
Yes I mean when I'm seated on the saddle when I can't put my foot flat on the ground. I'm not sure if I should have gone back to a cruiser bike (which you sit on the saddle with your back straight as you pedal) or if my current fitness is just not up for this Reid bike. I feel all mixes of frustrated, scared, discouraged when I'm on this bike. I can't even pedal while standing up, and I go off balance on uphill.
First I want to say I'm really glad to have come here first. If I had put the bike up on Gumtree or something, I might have really let go of the bike by now instead of getting invaluable advices from Bill and Kim.
Kim, thank you for your reply. I do struggle between the thought of "is it just me or is it the bike". There are many other factors too like the hilly geology of Rushcutters Bay area (the mentality of "I should be able to do this slope as I live here, why can't I?"), and the scare from Sydney traffic. It just doesn't feel right that I have to be comfortable with these challenges already, when I can't even balance properly on an uphill.
I've only seen most BUG or bike lessons being offered in Alexandria area, which feels a bit far to take my bike there from Rushcutters Bay (I don't drive).
I also recommend that you practice your gears a lot on flat ground (preferably grass in case you fall). If your bike has a triple on the front (three gears), you should be able to achieve riding some steep hills if you have the chain on the smallest gear on the front and the largest gear on the back.
If you practice on the weekend at a park with cycling facilities, I'm sure you will be able to ask any of the many cyclists for advice.
Oh, and welcome to the site, and to cycling in Sydney.
Kim's advice is very worthwhile and backed by a lot of riding experience. It is very likely that your bike is a very good match for your size and what you want to do, there is always adjustments you can do to make it match better but those will likely come later.
I do a lot of riding but have only had a bike for 10 years and can remember the early frustrations and doubts. While you never stop learning it does not take a long time to get to a good basic proficiency level but it does take a bit of work, skills training and practice and these lead to confidence.
You are not far from the cycling nirvana of Centennial Park so well worthwhile identifying ways to get there. You can turn on the "Bicycle" routes option on Google maps that will show dedicated cycle lanes/cycleways and bicycle "friendly" roads. Also have a look at the government's cycleway finder site
but with both take care to ride away from parked cars as a driver might open a door in your path. The Councils also all publish cycleway maps of their area, available online and in paper form, http://www.sydneycycleways.net/map/.
In the next few week there is a mass of cycling related activities and the maps will be available at some of these, have a look at the program of events http://www.sydneycycleways.net/ and make sure you get to some, you will see hundreds of other cyclists and this helps with confidence.
That site also has a listing of courses available at Sydney Park (St Peters), these are very very good and well worth doing, they focus on basic skills and confidence building, do them all, even the bicycle maintenance ones as this gives an understanding of how your bike works, http://www.sydneycycleways.net/events/categories/courses/
In getting around you will find some bits of routes where you might not have confidence to do them, in this case just get off and walk a little until you feel ok with the route again or ride (slowly) on the footpath (not strictly legal but your safety is your primary concern).
If a hill is too much for you there is no shame in getting off and walking, I do it all the time. Don't dismiss using a combination of train & cycle to get places, train from Edgecliff might overcome some of the hills you would otherwise need to overcome, getting to Centennial park from Bondi Junction might be a lot easier.
Starting & Stopping is lession #1, there are lots of videos on the internet like http://www.sheldonbrown.com/starting.html. Once you have that basic skill then everything else becomes possible.
Practice the skills and one day real soon you will be surprised how good you have become.
you aren't suppose to be able to touch the ground with your feet while you are sitting on the seat
I'd amend that to say you aren't supposed to be able to put your feet flat on the ground while you are sitting on the saddle. You should, however, be able to put the toe of your foot to the ground while in the saddle for routine stops such as at intersections, traffic lights, etc.
I totally endorse Kim's point that it is probably not totally the bike's fault and that practice in a quiet location will help immensely.
yes but you have very long legs and big feet and balancing on tip toe is not very stable for normal people ;-) nor good practice for a beginner
I should probably clarify that I can't touch both my toes on the ground from my saddle. I'd have to tilt to one side to touch the ground. I'd feel more balanced if both my toes could reach the ground.
watch the sheldonbrown video
Thanks. I definitely saw the link in your reply, just a lot of other information to digest at the same time. I just watched the short video and it's very right that starting and stopping should be the most basic thing being taught to us, anywhere. And it's frustrating that it's not, leaving me looking embarrassed to a community of second-nature cyclists.
Cycling skills are not innate to most humans, we all had to start from nothing, it just takes time & practice, best though to start with good technique so you don't have to waste time unlearning bad habits.(remember though that not everything you see on the internet is correct)
Raise you saddle (likely at least 10cms) so that it allows your leg to be approximately straight while you are on the saddle and your foot (heal) is on the pedal while the pedal is at its lowest, ie your leg is most extended. This is likely at least 10cms above the ground. You should be able to pedal freely without rocking your hips, over extending your leg (which will damage your knee) and your knees should be in same vertical plane as the pedals, ie your knees should not be pointing out to the side as will be the case if your saddle is too low). You might need a friend to help, hold the bike while you get this right.
Reid has a good reputation and guards this so I am sure the shop would spend 10 minutes free helping you get the basic fitting right, call them, now, the sooner you get that fixed the sooner you can start your skills formation
Good advice about practising on grass, a lot softer
these people , previously associated with Reid might be still active here