Posted by: spinner | 2005/12/14

want to do races

Hi there,

I am spinning 5 times a week and find it very entertaining. So i want to start doing road cycling and participate in races like the 94.7.

Is it much different to spinning? (Specifically regarding fitness)

What gear do i need to start off? Is it an expensive hobby?

How do i train?

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Our expert says:
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Hi there spinner

Spinning is a great place to start your cycling career and I do think that you should be able to make the transition pretty easily. There are differences, certainly. The main one is that when spinning, the resistance is fixed unless you change it, whereas on the open road, the resistance is decided for you, by the terrain! So the change from the spinning bike is pretty big when it comes to gear ratios. Remember also that when on the road, you won't be 'spinning' your legs at 120 rpm like you may do in the gym - the resistance is often a lot higher and you may find that you are 'grinding' away a lot of the time. But the essentials are the same. There are obvious differences like the fact that a good deal of energy goes into steering, balance and control of the bike, not just turning the legs and you will have to get used to the constantly changing conditions - wind, hills etc. The key difference fitness wise is the variable intensity. You will get onto a steep uphill and for 10 minutes, cycling harder than you eve do in spinning, but on the other side, you recovery, so there is a different rythm of fast-slow, hard-easy that you would have to get used to. But I am pretty sure that if you go into it with a basic level of fitness, the transition will be simple.

As for what you need, a bike and a helmet obviously are necessities, and then from there, the rest are just accessories. For example, special shoes can be bought and are probably important if you want to ride properly. Then cycling jerseys and shorts are probably also needed, though you may already have some padded shorts for spinning already. Gloves, water bottles, tools etc are all little things that you can get as you go along.

It can be expensive, though it may be money well spent if you do get fully involved. You would have to shop around and then make an informed decision.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: spinner | 2005/12/15

Thanks E! It helped a hell of a lot!

Reply to spinner
Posted by: E | 2005/12/15


I’ve been spinning and cycling for about 5 years now. Here’s my 2 cents if I may…

Is spinning much different, yes and no. Yes: Spinning will help you with your technique (pedal stroke) and it will improve your fitness. No: The main difference i.e. fitness for me is the time spent on the bike. The spinning classes take about 45 minutes, and the intensity is high, where’ as a road race will last +/- 3 hours, depending on your fitness. In a race, you can’t work at full intensity all the time.

Gear: A bike, cycling shorts, shirt, a helmet, cycling gloves, cycling shoes. As with all things, the better equipment costs more. Races: Expect to pay between R100 and R200 for a race entry. If you start off, it can be expensive, after that, no I don’t think it’s expensive.

I suggest you join a cycling club, it’s safer and more fun to ride in a group. Your will gain confidence and become a better/safer cyclist. The clubs normally ride on Saturdays (shorter ride) and Sundays (long ride). If you ride 100km on Sunday, rest Monday or take it slow. Don’t over train.

Hope this helps.
Reg, E

Reply to E

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