Hi! I've been lurking on the boards for about a month now, and figured since we're back in season here in Buffalo I would ask a few questions.
What do you mean just back in Season... you can ride year around no problem around here
Seriously once you get the cycling bug you won't want to pack away your bike for 6 months.
I just purchased a cheap Quest bike from Dicks ($99, down from $250). I took it out for a 9 mile ride Saturday. Last year, I did the ride on a cheap Wal Mart Roadmaster mountain bike and was dead tired. I had to stop at least twice there and back and walk the bike. I've been going to the gym and really focusing on cardio. This time, I was able to do the ride without stopping and I was going pretty fast this time!
It does take a bit of time to develop specific cycling endurance. When I started commuting to work a little over 2 years ago my 10 mile RT commute would get me quite tired for the first few weeks. After a while it gets easy. First a 20 miler seemed like a good long distance ride. As you ride more your perspective changes. Now I can ride weekly with the NFBC (Niagara Frontier Bike Club) weekly and can maintain nearly 21 MPH for 20 to 25 miles. You will get much stronger... just keep with it. It sounds like the workouts you've been doing over the Winter have helped set the stage for some descent endurance compared to where you were last year.
When I got the bike home, I noticed the front rim was bent a little, so the brakes were rubbing in a few spots. I want to get a new front and rear wheel. I am only looking to spend about $30 or $40 on the wheel. I was looking at some at Niagara Cycle Works online. I figure i need steel and 36 spokes. Any suggestions from that site that anyone can help me with? Thanks!
Take it back to Dicks and see of the "bike pro" can straighten the wheel out a bit. Unlike Wallmart of Target at least they do have some dedicated staff to help perform basic bike maintenance. These may not be the worlds most capable bike mechanics, but they should give you some basic help. If that doesn't work, then I fear that a $40 wheel will not help much either. I weight 215 Lbs and pack about 35 Lbs of gear with me on my daily commute. My first wheel neede replacing about 800 miles. The 2nd wheel went of almost 2500 miles before it started blowing spokes. As I approached 4000 miles, the wheel started blowing spokes every few weeks. I finally went and bought a high quality hand built wheel from Peter White. That set me back $238, but I also know that this wheel will last for may years and will NOT fail. Between my new rear wheel and the front wheel with generator hub (about $250), my wheels actually are worth just a hair more than what I paid for the bike. Such is the life of a clyde. Even mid priced bikes (around $500 to $600) will have wheels that will not hold up under normal riding conditions for us. Cheap machine built wheels just don't take much punishment. If Dicks won't help you straighten the wheel Berts Bikes charges $20 for wheel truing. That my be a best 1st step and then see how long your wheel lasts before you start blowing spokes.