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Group Riding Etiquette | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

Group Riding Etiquette | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling


– Welcome to this week’s Ask GCN Anything where we answer your cycling questions submitted to us on social media. First up this week, we have a question from Angelo Bales who says, “Hi GCN staff. “I’ve seen GCN videos
regarding dos and don’ts “when riding in a group
but what can you do “if you’re riding with someone
who spits like every minute? “What’s the etiquette on spitter alley?” Great question. Everyone’s different really when they spit or get rid of phlegm or snot. However, one thing you could do is actually just ask them if they’re okay. That way, you kind of
guilted them into something where I guess they kind of know that they’ve done something
but not sure what. Or just be up front. Just tell them stop it. Look at me, I’m covered,
covered in your spit. Now we’ve got some great tips for you on how to ride in groups, maybe even point them towards that video. It’s just up here. – So many people still
insist on not checking behind when emptying the contents of their nose. So, if you’re gonna deliver a snot rocket, clear your throat,
whatever you wanna call it. Take a glance behind,
bit of an indication. Away you go. – Next up, we’ve got a question
from Ashley Green who asks, “I often cycle to work with baggy shorts “rather than cycle
shorts as I don’t want to “parade around the office in Lycra. “How much of a performance gain do you get “wearing Lycra shorts versus
mountain bike or baggy shorts?” Great question, Ashley. Firstly, don’t be ashamed to
walk around in your Lycra. Show it off. Performance-wise, we’ve never
actually done a video on that. But I can tell you something. You’re gonna save a fair
few watts wearing Lycra. Also, depending on the
length of your commute, Lycra’s gonna be a little bit
more comfortable, I imagine. So if you’re commuting a fair
distance, go for the Lycra. Up here, we’ve actually got a video when we compared a baggy
jersey versus an aero jersey. The results will amaze you. – Now we’ve gone for option number one, which is the full GCN
pro kit with aero helmet. Option number two is a vented Kask helmet and let’s face it, a top that’s probably several sizes too big
and just a touch baggy. (upbeat energetic music) – Okay, time for the rapid fire round now. First up, Woolfel asks,
“Can’t wait to see you guys “do the Taiwan KOM challenge.” Good news, the guys have just finished. We’ve heard from them. Actually, we’ve not heard from both. We’ve only heard from Si. So Matt, if you’re watching,
hope you did okay, mate. Next up from SnakeBounty Hunter. “So I’m 16 and cycling for four months “and my average speed is
24 kilometres per hour “and I can sustain that
for an hour or two. “How good or bad am I?” Hashtag TorqueBack. Well, SnakeBounty Hunter. What’s most important
is that you enjoy it. Yeah, do you know what,
you’re doing alright there. Just keep at it. At that age, it’s all about enjoyment. Don’t worry about average speed. In fact, maybe even take it off. Don’t worry ’bout that. Next up, Manan Joshi asks,
“I have a single speed “52 by 11, I believe. “Should I stay away from climbs?” Uh, yes, I would. Alternatively, Manan
Joshi, what you can do, send that bike into us and we’ll get Mr Tom Last to try it out on our local hills and we’ll report back. Next up, Lincoln Smith. “Six months back on the bike
after a seven year break. “Completed the first 100km today. “How do I celebrate?” Well, Lincoln. What I would do is probably have a think about actually your next goal. So, mark something in the
calendar and look forward to that. Train towards it. Maybe have a mineral water. – I’ve had at least eight mineral waters. Mineral waters. Mineral waters myself. I’m not sure what the
others have been drinking. – Okay, next up from Paul D. “I ride fairly intensively for an hour “each day but feel I’ve plateaued. “What steps can I take to progress again?” Well, Paul. What I suggest, stop what you’re doing and actually mix it up a little bit. So, throw in some sprints, go up some hills, that kind of thing. Actually make the riding
a little bit more fun, little bit more interesting, maybe a little bit more painful. Stop riding at that gentle,
or maybe not gentle, pace. Okay, Stevo B. “When doing interval training on the road, “how should you handle junctions,
traffic, obstructions?” Well, the first thing is to be safe and really just use your
head thinking about it. Alternatively, find a different route to actually do those intervals on. One where you don’t have
all that to interfere. Turtle Guy, this is the last one. Great name, Turtle Guy. Big fan of turtles. “Sometimes when I push myself really hard, “I get very exhausted
and a little nauseous. “Is there a method I can
do to eliminate this?” Sadly, not really Turtle Guy. When we push ourselves,
that’s what happens. Just make sure you’re not
doing anything too extreme. Stay safe. Okay, now we’ve got one
from Patrick Klostermann. Patrick asks, “Selecting
the optimal chain ring “and cassette combination?” Thanks Patrick. That’s quite a short and concise one. I try and answer it though. Firstly, you need to actually consider your terrain you’re gonna be riding in so if it’s very mountainous, you gonna look for a low gearing but also you’ve got to
consider your fitness as well. If you’re not particularly fit or you’re coming back from an
injury, that kind of thing, and you’re riding in the mountains, consider some pretty low gears just to get yourself going
and rebuild that fitness. We’re lucky actually now that most bikes actually come equipped
or easy enough to convert into a semi-compact or compact situation so you’re looking at a 52 chain ring combined with a 36 or a 34. Then on the rear, on the cassette, you’re looking at an 11 to 28 or a 30 or sometimes even a 32. So that will get you over most things and it’s pretty reliable and robust and really is suitable
for all kinds of terrain. So it’s a one for all kind of situation. More recently however is the
one by Drivetrain system. So you got a single chain
ringing at the front and a very wide ratio on
the back in your cassette. Si is gonna explain a little bit more about that in this video up here. – For normal cyclists like you and I, there’s less maintenance
and it’s easier to set up ’cause you only got one
derailleur to worry about. Can also be lighter depending
on the exact combination of sprockets that you choose to use. It’s also quieter on
anything rougher than tarmac. There is no chain slap
because that clutch derailleur holds the chain nice and tight. Personally, I also just
think there’s something really nice-looking, super clean about that front chain ring setup. – The final question this week comes from CaptainSexay who asks,
“How do heavy riders “like me get better at climbing? “I’m two metres tall and there’s no way “I can keep up with
those little spinners.” The good news is, you can. Well, maybe not all the way but with a little bit of practise, you can improve your
efficiency, your speed and probably your technique as well. So, what’s important is a
bit of weight loss possibly but you can also improve those things with our tips, climbing made easy. – Instead, start climbs
deliberately slowly. Give yourself some time to get into a rhythm and only at that point, think about lifting the pace slightly. This is very beneficial because not only will the climbs hurt less,
you’re probably fine, you’ll end up going faster too. – That’s it for another
week of Ask GCN Anything. Remember to submit your questions though using the hashtag TorqueBack. Remember to subscribe to GCN. It’s absolutely free. Just click on the globe. Now for more videos from GCN, how about seven ways to hang your helmet. That’s just up there. And five bits of tech
that the pros should use, that’s well worth a watch too. Click just down there.

100 comments on “Group Riding Etiquette | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

  1. #torqueback I have had pain in the back of my leg for quite a few rides now, specifically in my calves and lower hamstrings. I have messed around with saddle height and cleat position however something just doesn’t seem right in my right leg. Can you help?

  2. Hi GCN.On a training ride I find I get faster as dusk falls into night. Is there science to say riding at night or dusk is faster than day? #torqueback

  3. Hello GCN, What is the point of being a skinny rider (61 kilos) if i live in a flat city with maximum Cat4 Climbs. knowing that on the flat i should match the Watts to ride with the big guys. #tourqeback.

  4. I ride a £600 road bike and drop lads on 3-4k bikes, why?…… Because I'm a machine that's why who buys into my engine not marketing

  5. #torqueback Hi GCN, is it normal, that somedays when I arrive to traffic lights and stop I feel like I have to vomit or die, but when I get back on the bike I feel OK? Is it cause of lack of water, or too much water, that i am overheated or went too hard?

  6. So long story short I started cycling at 11 but it was always just a method of travel until a year ago when I realised having dysbraxia wasn't affecting cycling through jt I lost 3 stone and then found a love for road biking and have found a dream of going pro, but I'm worried it's too late to "go pro" in either the grand tour or Olympic scene so my questions is is it too late? And what are good routes into the sport professionally eg, competing at uni? #tourqueback

  7. Can anyone help me with finding roads to cycle on
    I'm asking because I live in the suburbs of Mumbai (in india) and can't find any traffic free roads without traffic lights
    #torqueback
    #askgcn

  8. snakebountyhunter. keep tracking your rides. its a good way to make progress. but its hard to know how well you're doing without more information about your bike etc. but that is a decent average speed.

  9. Why are so many cyclist focused on average speed? It's not an absolute since it can vary due to road and weather conditions. I often ride the same route for my training sessions and my average speed varies quite a bit every ride while my wattage is the same. Like today. It was stormy in I rode into a head wind. Of course my average is lower than normal and it can be demotivating and disappointing. But when I check my wattage things went as planned.

    Everyone should use a power meter. Yes, you can afford one. stfu.

  10. I would to see a video, or a series, on the fitness aspect of road biking. Twice in my life I've experienced dramatic improved fitness from regular biking. And not just an easy 10 or even 20 miles on flat roads, but routes with many climbing and distance options. I live near the Santa Monica Mountains (Malibu, CA), as a point of reference. After years of mostly flat route riding on weekends along the beach, I decided to take on climbing.

    To do so I upgraded from a vintage 10 speed to a modern road bike with climbing gears. It was a shock to the system at first, having never gone up anything more than a few hundred feet of elevation at a time. The mostly dull pain I felt during and after for weeks was centered on the ligament areas of my knees, hips and groin. That made sense to me, because of not using those muscles to that degree before. I was building them up, strengthening the ligaments. Slowly the pain went away, as breathing capacity improved, and within 6 months, pedaling up those once difficult climbs were still challenging, but much more pleasant.

    Within a year I was taking on challenging rides I had never imagined possible. One by one I ticked off the world class mountain climbs in my region: Mt Wilson, Mt Baldy, and Mt Palomar. It got to the point where I wouldn't hesitate for a second to do any of those major climbs at the drop of a hat. I had become friends with the local cyclists, and thanks to texting, we were never without company on any given day, to head out for a ride on any number of routes frequented by pros during the Tour Of California.

    That first round of dramatic fitness improvement happened 8 years ago, and after a 5 year absence from biking (long story), I'm currently experiencing this fitness curve for the second time. On my first ride in 5 years I decided to see exactly where my fitness level was by taking on a moderate climb I took on with ease 5 years prior. It was so pathetic I laughed. I also knew what I had in store (pain), and was looking forward to it. This time the pain wasn't in my ligaments, it was all cardio. My heart and lungs needed a refresher course, so I gave it to them. 6 months in, the improvement has been dramatic.

    Bottom line is you will improve your fitness through riding. What I don't know is the science behind it. I can't explain it with the same clarity and ease, with facts and stats, the way you fine folks at GCN could explain. So, how about a fitness series? Science, tips, stages, goals…Thanks for all you do.

  11. Cycling shorts are the underwear. It's pathetic to show off with them in the office, especially when they are bitten up by elements. Older men are appearing in those quite often by some reason. Could be due to age related brain degeneration – riding slow, pretending young.

  12. Maybe a question regarding conduct on the Bristol to Bath cycle path? lol. I know many of your staff commute and they have the luxury of being able to ride 'good' bikes as you have secure parking but being cycle path warriors doesn't earn my kudos lol. A very small amount of courtesy goes a long way! Especially considering their employer.

  13. Regarding baggy shorts: Why not wear lycra cycling shorts underneath your baggy shorts? You get all the benefits of both (except for aerodynamics).

    Regarding lycra shorts: One of the reasons that I prefer professional road shorts is they usually have the highest compression. That means they fit tighter than cycling shorts designed for amateurs. Plus, the Pearl iZumi pro cycling shorts that I use tend to have one of the better pads (chamois). These features make longer rides more comfortable and help reduce muscle and hip joint soreness.

    Liner shorts: Another option is to wear cycling liner shorts underneath your baggy shorts. Liner shorts are a stretch undergarment with a cycling pad (chamois) built in. They won't provide the muscle support of a full-on compression short, but they will help you wear baggy or street clothing on your bike without "killing" your crotch or chafing your inner thighs. 🙂 They're great for a quick trip to the store. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive and offer a good way for newbies to increase their distance/duration before committing to buying more clothing. Good cycling clothing can be expensive. So wait to spend the big money until after you've been cycling a while and your weight and physique have stabilized into their new svelte form. 🙂

  14. I’m a fatladonabike, 50 next year and planning on doing Maratona Dles Dolomites day before my 50th Birthday. Just got a turbo trainer and signed up to trainerroad, Zwift etc. so will be training hard. My question though is that I have a Merlin Fuse with 105 groupset. I see that Shimano have new Ultegra Cassette with 11-34. I’m on a tight budget, what is the minimum i would need to change to be able to change to this cassette. Got to give myself every advantage on those climbs!

  15. good episode Jon, nice one. I'm also wondering why I get so much snot and phlegm.. maybe a sinus infection or allergy?
    Also, any tips when leaving your bike unattended for a minute please
    #torqueback

  16. Hey TurtleGuy, that is your sympathetic nervous system telling you that is as far as it can go. Congratulations! You pushed yourself to the limit, you know that you didn't leave anything on the table.

  17. hi there, i live in a mountainous city, the easiest road is a 15km climb average 6% grade, is this too steep to use a training road every day?
    most the roads average 8-12%
    my bike is a caad 10 with 34 small chain ring and 11-26 cassette

    keep training on road or buy a set of rollers or buy a new cassette?

    #torqueback

  18. I prefer commuting in jeans pretty much the year around–they are durable and let me look like a regular guy, not that my bike doesn't give me away but oh well, I try.

  19. A group being overtaken by a faster group must string out into single file. If you are at the back of the novice group, you must slow down a lot to make space. The riders at the front of your group are pushing air and can not speed up.

  20. If you have a wide rimmed wheel that inflates a 25mm tyre to 28mm-size, do you treat you tyre as a 25mm (higher psi) or a 28mm (lower psi)? in terms of tyre air pressure. In a related note, do I need to use a 28mm-capable inner tube or just stick with a 25mm-based inner tube?

  21. hi im 12 yearsold thank you for helping me be a good cyclist sorry for my english me is from philippine but i understand yours language thank you for helping me i am in this channel for 2 years since 2015" thanks to you i am now a mountain bike – good biker whatever you call it

  22. Hey guys I was given an older model Trek SL1000 it's in near mint condition. I want to turn it into a gravel bike is that possible

  23. Yesterday I encountered a great [read: savage] hill – Sugar Loaf Mountain, just outside Abergavenny (so not too far from GCN HQ). Despite the name, there's nothing sweet about it! Definitely one for Lasty to try. It's about time the Suffer-Meter made another appearance on the show!

  24. Why can't they make cassettes of good quality, but not with 11 speeds? I don't want that many. I'm happy with 8 or 9.

  25. Science challenge: measure the effort of a cyclist riding a flat 20km on a TT bike versus a road bike versus a mountain bike? #torqueback

  26. Hi, Can you tell me what the performance difference is between a cycling shoe with a carbon sole stiffness index of 7 versus indexes of 10 or 13? Can you quantify the difference in GCN does science?

  27. #Torqueback You all do great work! I ride in Kansas. How much do loose, heavy gravel roads increase work (or decrease speed). How about really strong pure cross winds? Thanks!

  28. #Torqueback I've got quite large 'sticky-out' ears that result in severe air influx when riding at speed and especially when descending. It's quite distracting and dangerous on the quiet blind lanes when I can't hear any potential oncoming vehicles, and obviously an major aerodynamic issue. Wearing a hat in the winter helps , but are there any specific techniques , tapes or lughole adhesives I could use to reduce drag and noise?

  29. Hi GCN, when hanging the summer bike up in the garage through winter, is it better to leave the tyres inflated or let all the air out to let the tubes rest? Thanks!

  30. ASK GCNYTHING : What's the collar on your presta valve for? If it works loose it rattles against the rim but I can't quite bring myself to take them off as I assume they are extremely important?

  31. cycling paths question – do you also think they are often good for slowly moving city bikes, but not fast roadies on razor thin fragile tires? Roads are autocleaned by fast moving cars, cycling paths are not, all the dirt (rocks, dbris of all kinds, esp. under the trees) just cummulates, besides often questionable surface and zigzagging nature, esp. in urban area… so, yes, good for keeping children and commuters from traffic, but not for real training

  32. #torqueback #askgcn
    Bib tights and socks…. over, under, pulled up, shuffled down, rolled down, ankle socks… help!! What do i do with the excess sock/tight

  33. I'm going for a new bike and I'm not sure of the differences in specifications between the Orbea avant H50 and the Specialized allez sport. Which should I choose?

  34. TORQUEBACK: Hi im 15 years old and I can ride at 32km/h for around 1hrs but I'm not sure if I would be good enough to compete in local races, what do you guys think and if I should how do I get involved?

  35. #torqueback #askgcn Hey guys! I know you measure your saddle height from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the saddle but this confuses me a bit. Doesn't the length of the cranks, or the rise from your shoes/cleats make a difference? Or is the calculation based on an average length/height for both, so will need to be adjusted accordingly? Thanks for the consistently great content.

  36. #TorqueBack Recently after a about a 45 minute session on the turbo trainer, I left the back tire pressed/compressed against the trainer instead of letting off the tension. I came back in a two days to find that I had a flat tire. When I removed the wheel/tire, I had a pinhole in the tube and a slight "bite" or "pinch" in the sidewall of my tire. Do you think that this was due to the heat or something else? For those wondering, this bike has not been on the road in months and this was the only use for this rear tire/wheel, so I know the issue originated from something to do with the trainer.

  37. I crashed my nearly new carbon bike quite heavily though no obvious damage to frame or equipment apart from superficial scratches. Is there anything I can do to get the frame checked ?

  38. When I ride, especially for an hour or more, my hands start to get numb. Is it my stem/bars or my grip? I’m trying not to grip too tightly. #torqueback

  39. Should I use creatine to improve my performance on the bike, and how many affect does it have? #torqueback You guys are great!😉

  40. #Torqueback After a pretty intense training, I feel like throwing up and my head feels light weighted. How to recover from this faster or how to avoid it?

  41. If you are having trouble with junctions and intersections for interval training, instead of trying to stick to a pre-set interval plan, try using the junctions/roundabouts/stop-signs as part of the interval training.
    I have a 30km out-and-back route with a a roundabout at least every km. I use the roundabouts as markers for my efforts. between one pair, I will sprint, the next, recover. The next, might be 10 second efforts with 20 second recoveries, or ramped heart-rate (IE 140 at the start, aiming for 180 by the next roundabout).
    Living in the city, it's hard to find a long route without interruptions, so use them to your advantage!

  42. #torqueback it rained the other day on my ride (this doesnt happen very often in Australia) what can i do to keep traction on my back wheel when climbing out of the saddle?

  43. how accurate is Garmin data?according to my fenix3,it shows my average speed for 50 kms @29.9 km/hr.how accurate that would be?if thats accurate,how to increase the average?does wearing cleats reduces average or improves?#TORQUEBACK

  44. The guy who keeps spitting needs a good slap tbh. It is a most disgusting and unhygienic habit. I don't know why people feel the need to do it.

  45. #torqueback I'm looking to get a new road bike and I dont know what to get. I want a bike that can do it all, road, cyclocross, gravel. What should I look for?

  46. Hey Gcn love the content. A fellow rider has recommended using biltong (you may know it as jerky) to help prevent cramps because of its salt content. Is this true? I have suffered from cramps in a race in the past and don't want to go through it again.

  47. I have a 95 trek 2100 in remarkably great condition. I've noticed on group rides that I keep up well on the climbs, but on the sprints/flats I struggle. It has a 46/36 and a 7 speed 11-24 in the back. Would it be worth it to get a 50 or 52 teeth chain ring in the front?#TorqueBack

  48. I want to know the difference between clincher and tubular tires of the same make and model. I keep hearing that carbon clinchers aren't worth it and nothing like tubulars. Wjhat says GCN? How about some science? #torqueback

  49. Any advice on pain at the top of the calf muscles on the outside of the leg. Been cycling for four years and have had a bike fit and haven’t changed anything. Was thinking it might be my cleats? #torqueback

  50. We all know that Chris Froome would destroy the average club rider going up Mt Ventoux, and that Chris Hoy would destroy us in a sprint. But what would your peak power output need to be to beat Chris Froome in a sprint, or what would your FTP W/kg need to be to beat Chris Hoy on a long climb ? #torqueback

  51. I am new to the gcn family, and I have been catching up on the video. I am curious about your obsession with socks , I prefer the ankle length variety which you have completely ignored.

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