Ok, so I've been lurking for the past couple of months and figured I'd finally speak up and introduce myself. I'm a 33yo, 6'4"/275ish Perma-clyde. To date most of my riding has been chasing my 3 kids around the neighborhood, but I've been bitten by the bug, so am currently looking for something a bit more suitable for some longer rides to hopefully burn off a few of these pounds.
My first post was regarding upgrading a mart bike that my kids had gotten me for father's day. Thanks to everyone's invaluable suggestions, I finally ended up replacing the brakes (Single Digit 5s), levers (SD7s), brake cables (XTR), shifters (generic friction) and tires (Evolutions) and had the LBS give it the derailers a once over. Regardless of the fact that it's just a mart bike, and the frame is WAY too small, I've been having fun zipping around the neighborhood, chasing after the kids.
Fortunately (for dad), my oldest son's 20" bit the dust last week. After lowering the seat and handlebars, the mart bike fits him perfectly, so he's been having fun with that, and Dad gets to buy something new, thus alleviating the guilt factor that I had been initially concerned with.
Which brings me to the (somewhat rhetorical) question portion of tonight's entertainment... Why are road bikes seemingly more costly than ATB based-bikes? I can get a very clyde-worthy ATB, commuter, or Hybrid for around $400, but it seems that one would need to spend around double for a decent road or cyclocross bike. Just curious if anyone could shed some light. Drop bars can't be THAT much more expensive..
Thanks again to everyone.