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  1. #1
    n00b Brambler's Avatar
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    New Clyde, addiction setting in

    Hi All, first let me say this forum is great. Between the inspirational stories and the great info, lurking here for the past few weeks has been a huge help in getting started. I'm 29 years old, 5'9", and 275 lbs. Like alot of other people here, I was always active and not really overweight until after college, settled in to a white collar job, and unfortunately let "cubical body" set in. I've had several brief stints of trying to work-out regularly, but find it tough to muster enough motivation to stick with hitting the gym. My fiancee and I were brainstorming other activities, and she suggested cycling knowing I enjoy watching the Tour de France every summer, and that my late Dad was an avid rider.

    It was a daunting thought at first, not really knowing anything about bikes other than the fact that I hadn't ridden one since my mid-teens, but as I started to look into it, it gew on me pretty quickly. I talked to some co-workers who ride, and they suggested watching craigslist. I did this for a few weeks, but being a novice and not really having the confidence to plunk down more than $100 or so on a used bike I knew nothing about, the ones in my price range that popped up were always either sold before my message got there, or turned out to be the wrong size (I've got stumpy legs, most I can stand over is 30"). I looked into the used market at the LBS's in the area (we are blessed with many close by here in Western Mass.), but only 1 had a large selection of used bikes, they generally seemed overpriced, and didn't look like they were in great shape (almost nothing under $250, and these were not "nice" bikes). This past weekend, we decided to bite the bullet and check out new stuff. We went out and settled on an 09 Trek Allant WSD for her (at a nice discount as they were trying to unload their 09 models), and a Hardrock Sport for me. The place right down the street was gonna have to order one in my size, and their price was a bit high, so I searched around and was able to find a great place that would do $400 on a 2010 (still had to be ordered).

    So, it arrived on Saturday, brought it home, got it rigged up with a basic computer, pump etc, squeezed into some bike shorts, and took it out for the first time in a drizzling rain (couldn't resist!). Was thinking "Oh, I'll do maybe 5 miles around the neighborhood", boy was I wrong lol. Having not worked out for a while, or ridden a bike in 15 years, I realized pretty quickly I was aiming a bit too high. My first thought was "Wow, my ass hurts!", second thought was "Man, my thighs are burning", the third thought? "I can't wait to do this again tomorrow!". I only did a mile and a half yesterday, and was sweaty, sore and happy. Adjusted the saddle laterally towards the back some today, took it out again this morning, and it's feeling better already. Managed 2.5 miles, sweaty and sore again, but not as bad as yesterday, and will probably go for another quick ride this evening. So far, so good, the only downside is living in New England, it'll be iced over here in a few months, guess I'll have to save for a trainer next!

    I feel like I've been bitten by the bug, in no small part from all the great stuff I've read here, thanks!

    The new ride:

  2. #2
    Senior Member Saltybeagle's Avatar
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    congrats, nice colors and layout.

  3. #3
    Senior Member AiredaleII's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard! I too am new here. I just bought an 08' leftover Hardrock Sport. The frame is much different than the 09's. I'm almost 30 years older than you, 50 lbs heavier and 3 inches taller. So far I have found that the front fork was too weak for my weight and so I am replacing it with a Surly 1x1 rigid fork. I am also replacing the stock tires with some Michelin XC Hard Terrains, which are much more suitable for the riding conditions (Paved and smooth trails) I encounter.

    Good luck with it all, this is a great place to learn.

  4. #4
    n00b Brambler's Avatar
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    Hi Airedale, I did check out your thread, they definitely do look alot different for being just a couple model years apart. Mine still has those "fat" tubes for the frame, but they're more wide from side-to-side, so it really only shows when looking down from above. What was it you noticed about the fork on yours? I locked mine pretty much right away after noticing that just leaning forward while riding on the road would compress the suspension a bit, but its seemed ok since then. I'll also probably replace the tires at some point once I'm able to go more than a few miles at a time, since roads and paved bike paths are about the height of my aspirations currently.

    I really dig that rack/bag setup you have, and had actually read up on the Topeak system and slapped it on my Amazon wishlist before the bike even arrived after seeing it in your post.

    Only managed a bit under a mile for my evening ride, my thighs told me right away they were not down with more punishment today!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Welcome and now it is time to ride and ride and ride. I love your logo. GO RED SOX from down here in Connecticut. ECB1

  6. #6
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brambler View Post
    Only managed a bit under a mile for my evening ride, my thighs told me right away they were not down with more punishment today!
    you shoulda spanked em for being sissies!!! took on a 3 mile ride just to spite them...


  7. #7
    Senior Member AiredaleII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brambler View Post
    What was it you noticed about the fork on yours? I locked mine pretty much right away after noticing that just leaning forward while riding on the road would compress the suspension a bit, but its seemed ok since then.
    Yes, mine compress too easily under my weight and there is no lock-out feature on mine.

  8. #8
    Bicycle n00B
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    Welcome!

    I started riding about 15 minutes at a time. Now, I can ride for 2 hours without a hitch or a stop.

    Keep riding!
    I reserve the right to be wrong at any time. :D

    Man does not live by bread alone, that's why God made ice cream.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    don't forget the helmet! and enjoy the ride

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Congrats on getting back on the bike! 15 years? really? I guess I shouldn't be surprised though, less and less kids take cycling much farther than 16, when they get their license. I've been cycling here and there (and every year) since I was 5. I couldn't imagine not cycling, its too...freeing. But, back to your story, good luck and it wont take long before you go for longer rides. If your legs hurt that much, you might be in way too high of a gear, back down and pedal smooth, and at a fairly high rpm. Even in the spring after no cycling all winter, my lungs hurt before my legs. Or, maybe you just gotta get your legs in shape, cycling legs are nice too!

    And, since you got your fiance a bike too, You both have more reason to go riding together, it is time well spent, even if its quiet. Nothing beats a good bike ride with your love! I know, I bought my girlfriend a bike two years ago, because she didnt have one. Keep up the good work, before you know it 20 miles will be easy

  11. #11
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brambler View Post
    Hi Airedale, I did check out your thread, they definitely do look alot different for being just a couple model years apart. Mine still has those "fat" tubes for the frame, but they're more wide from side-to-side, so it really only shows when looking down from above. What was it you noticed about the fork on yours? I locked mine pretty much right away after noticing that just leaning forward while riding on the road would compress the suspension a bit, but its seemed ok since then. I'll also probably replace the tires at some point once I'm able to go more than a few miles at a time, since roads and paved bike paths are about the height of my aspirations currently.

    I really dig that rack/bag setup you have, and had actually read up on the Topeak system and slapped it on my Amazon wishlist before the bike even arrived after seeing it in your post.

    Only managed a bit under a mile for my evening ride, my thighs told me right away they were not down with more punishment today!
    First, welcome to the forum.

    Second, recovery is important. Give your thighs the day off. Or do something other than cycling, such as going for a walk or hike.

  12. #12
    Home Brewing Beer Knurd
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    Welcome aboard... If you're only going to be riding on paved trails/neighborhood roads, I would highly recommend ditching the fat knobby tires and getting something better suited for the road. I picked up a pair of road slicks for my mountain bike, if I recall I got them from Performance Bike and they were only like 8 bucks or something like that...

  13. #13
    Each Drop of Sweat Counts
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    Quote Originally Posted by AiredaleII View Post
    Yes, mine compress too easily under my weight and there is no lock-out feature on mine.
    That fork doesn't lock out? Isn't it the Suntour SF7-XCM-MLO?

    Service it and stiffen it up if it can't lock out. You'll wear yourself out street riding with a front suspension.

    John

  14. #14
    Senior Member AiredaleII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekJapan View Post
    That fork doesn't lock out? Isn't it the Suntour SF7-XCM-MLO?
    No, mine came with the Capa RST T7 fork, no lock out and even if it did I would still be swapping it out with the Surly 1x1 rigid.

  15. #15
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    Welcome home!
    That is a sweet bike.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    Welcome to the heard!!!! You are well on your way to an addiction that will change your life in many ways if you stick with it. First it starts out with how far you can push yourself and then it's which bike do I want/NEED to buy next. I started out with one bike that I owned for years last year when I got back into riding. Now I have three bikes, I also bought one for my oldest daughter, plus another for my wife. All that plus looking to get a trail-a-bike for my youngest to be on for family outings. Soon you will be as addicted as the rest of us. Enjoy the new ride!!!!

  17. #17
    n00b Brambler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nymtber View Post
    If your legs hurt that much, you might be in way too high of a gear, back down and pedal smooth, and at a fairly high rpm. Even in the spring after no cycling all winter, my lungs hurt before my legs. Or, maybe you just gotta get your legs in shape, cycling legs are nice too!
    Yep, I definitely need to work on getting myself to ride with better cadence in a lower gear. My natural inclination right off the bat was to dial up through the gears until I was getting a good amount of resistance on each revolution and then pump a bit and coast, pump a bit and coast. Gotta learn to pedal in a more controlled way in a lower gear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersh View Post
    Welcome aboard... If you're only going to be riding on paved trails/neighborhood roads, I would highly recommend ditching the fat knobby tires and getting something better suited for the road. I picked up a pair of road slicks for my mountain bike, if I recall I got them from Performance Bike and they were only like 8 bucks or something like that...
    On the tires, what width should I be looking for? The ones it came with are 2", but it looks 26" tires can come in anything from 1.25" to 2.4" widths. Should I just be going for the narrowest tire my rims can handle? (if it comes in 26", can it ever be too narrow for the rim?)

    Thanks for the info!
    2010 Specialized Hardrock Sport

  18. #18
    Full of Love and Meatloaf aidanpryde18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brambler View Post

    I really dig that rack/bag setup you have, and had actually read up on the Topeak system and slapped it on my Amazon wishlist before the bike even arrived after seeing it in your post.
    I have the same system and I love it for my commuter bike. I don't know if they will do it again this year, but I was able to get the rack and the MTX Trunk Bag with Panniers at a great discount on Black Friday last year. I got both for 72.00. I have amazon prime so 2 day shipping was free. Altogether I got everything for less than the regular cost of the bag itself. Keep an eye out this thanksgiving.

    Also, definitely look into city tires. They will make a HUGE difference. Anything from 1.25 to 1.5 in. are a great size. They can also be picked up fairly cheap either online or in most bike shops.

    Congrats on getting into biking, it is an amazing hobby/sport. I started last August and could only ride a mile or so. This weekend I did a two day, 105 mile tour. If you put in the work, the rewards will come.

    Keep on spinning Brother,
    Billy

  19. #19
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new bike! I really like those white cable housings.

    All things come with time, take it slow and let your body adjust. It's also not a bad idea to let your primary care physician know about your new exercise routine.

  20. #20
    SpeedFreak
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    Congratulations. I started riding again in June of this year. The first month is tough! Begin by riding every other day so your legs will have time to recover. After a month, increase it to 5 days a week. Have your bike professionally adjusted to your body. Stretch before and after every ride. Slowly increase the distance. Climb a hill here and there. Do that for a while and you will see those pounds on your body drop, and your strength and endurance improve dramatically.

    When I started, I could barely do 5 miles! Now I can do 25+ miles with no problems.
    Palomar01

  21. #21
    n00b Brambler's Avatar
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    Ended up ordering a pair of cheapo Forte Gotham city tires (26x1.75) from Performance Bike (still kinda poor from the bike + accessories purchase). Getting them on was an adventure, first time doing it, but managed OK. What a huge difference they make over the knobbies that came on it, speed went up, and I was able to use bigger gears more comfortably than with the other tires. Broke 10 miles today for the first time and felt great afterwards. Really happy to have gone from barely huffing through a couple miles to today's ride in just 2 weeks. Don't think I have lost any weight yet, but my legs (and lungs) are much stronger already.

    I'm now starting to look for lights, I get home around 6pm during the week, and if I do an hour ride, it's already getting pretty dark by the end, and is only gonna get worse from here (62 mile trip each way for work, so unfortunately bike commuting is out). I was thinking about this set from Amazon. I know there are better lights available in higher price ranges, but are there any better lights out there for under $100 (for both front and rear)? I won't be riding on any high traffic roads in the dark just yet, as I don't have the confidence, plus living in a college town, I don't really trust many of the drivers on those main roads.

    I picked up some thermals and light colored wind-resistant workout pants and shirt to wear over them (thanks Walmart ) that I'm hoping will get me through until it drops down to the 30s (along with gloves and a hat).
    2010 Specialized Hardrock Sport

  22. #22
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    You can get serviceable front and back light set ups for well $100. Take a look at some of the Cat Eye offerings. The WalMart approach for long sleeve and wicking jerseys is a great idea, especially when first starting out. After all, the plan is to get smaller!

    I'm not much of a MTB guy but seeing these new designs could sway a guy, lol.

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