Now that I committed to riding, the next step was finding the perfect bike. Knowing that my intentions were to ride at least three to four times a week, about 10 miles a ride, I immediately gravitated toward a road bike.
Schwinn makes an excellent women's road bike, so I decided to get the Fastback 3. It is a women's specific bike, and based on my size, 5'2”, I knew I would need a small version. The frame is lightweight aluminum, so I could also easily load and unload it from my vehicle.
The 24-speeds would allow me to easily change/adjust the intensities of my workout (be all Fast and Furious and stuff), but let's be real, they also provide for a much needed reprieve when I am doing hills or other more challenging terrain.
The saddle is also specifically designed for women to provide comfort on those longer rides that I would build up to.
So I went ahead and ordered the bike. Within a few days it arrived and was set up. One of my co-workers Ben assisted in building it out for me. Check out the step by step walkthrough we did of Ben setting up the Fastback 3 below.
He also helped with fitting to me. This is an important part of the cycling set up process. You want to make sure your seat is at the right height, your bars are adjusted, and of course you have the right amount of air in the tires. Ben suggested that I want to keep 90 psi in the front tire and 100 psi in the back tire. He also said to check them after every couple of rides to keep me riding smoothly.
He was great about replacing my clip-in pedals, with regular sport bike pedals. Clipping-in is a goal I will work up to and one that this lady was not about to do on her first voyage out. Call it intimidation; I just say it is smart. I want to get a feel for my bike—get comfortable with different riding conditions/experiences—and then I will start clipping-in. Watch for a future post on clipping-in!
This picture about sums up my excitement for this bike. I felt like I was a child again and it was late December. Man am I stoked!!!
A step-by-step photo walkthrough of building out Milissa's Fastback 3
- So you received your bike in a box...now what?
- The first step is to open the box, and invite a friend to "ooh and aah" with you as you take the first look at your new bicycle.
- Locate the seat post. It's always a good idea to lubricate the seat post.
- Some bikes have tool free seat adjusting post. The Fastback 3 needs to be adjusted and tightened with an Allen wrench.
- Ben has access to a work stand, but this is not necessary. Just be sure not to rest the derailleur on the ground while assembling your bike. You will be able to rest your bike on the seat and handlebars after attaching the handlebars.
- Oh, don't forget to remove any sneaky protective stickers, like the one over the badge.
- Next, you have to attach the stem. Remove the cardboard place holder.
- Place the stem and tighten the cap back on.
- Next, align your handlebars.
- Be sure to oil your pedals before screwing them into place. Note, the left pedal has a left-hand thread.
- To avoid having a chain that rubs, set the limit screws on the rear derailleur. You may have to adjust these several times to hit the sweet spot.
- Attach the front brakes to the bike
- Truing your wheel will help realign your rim and eliminate parts of the rim scraping the brake. Tweaking each spoke nipple helps align the wheel to true.
- Attach the wheel. Place the side with the graphics on the left side (this just looks better).
- Next, you will have to run the brake cable through the brake clamp nut. Tighten it so the brakes are not so tight they rub the rim when you're not squeezing your brake levers.
- You will also have to adjust the position of your brake pads to the rim.
- Adjust the position of your brake pads so just a bit of rim is exposed, as shown in this picture.
- Spin your wheel to test for any rubbing or stopping when the brakes are relaxed. If there is rubbing, you'll have to readjust the brake cable.
- Make one final adjustment for your preferred position of your handlebars and also adjust your seat height. You should feel comfortable, and not overextended or scrunched.
- Lastly, fill up those tires. For most road bikes, 90 psi in the front wheel and 100 psi in the back wheel does quite nicely!
- And there you have it, one Fastback 3 ready to go!