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  1. #1
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    Too much too soon?

    Hi all.

    I just found the forums here - and especially this forum - today and I've spent a bunch of time reading. So many great stories and inspiration that I'm hoping to feed off of to get back on the bike and continue the fitness/health journey I started a few years ago.

    I have a lot of reading to do, but wanted to introduce myself and then ask a couple of starter questions.

    I am 44 years old, 5'11" tall and currently weight about 240 lbs. Three years ago I hit my all time high weight of 347 (or thereabouts - that was the highest reading I ever got, but the scale only went up to 350 - and at the time I wasn't prone to weighing myself regularly). I'd been overweight since freshman year of college (I was 175 at the start of freshman year - already at my full 5'11" height and the "Freshman 10" turned in to the "Freshman 25" for me - I haven't been back under 200 since). I weighed 250 - 260 by the time I got married in 1994 and over the next 4 years put on another 40 - 50 pounds. I had not been under 300 pounds from some time in mid 1998 until February 2012.

    Three years ago, my followed my daughters to a taekwondo school and enrolled in the classes after much support and encouragement from the owners/teachers. After 20 years of not having ANY physical activity hold my interest enough to get past the initial VERY HARD phase of just getting moving, taekwondo became that thing that I had been looking for. I started taking three 45 - 60 minute classes each week and over the next 20 months I got fitter and stronger - but didn't lose a lot of weight.

    On January 1, 2012 I was still 320 pounds - great improvement, but with by testing for first degree black belt just six months away, I knew I wasn't going to get there unless I really changed things. So, I enrolled in MyFitnessPal online and for the first time ever I really started to track what I ate. Along with that, I started walking, and shortly thereafter started running. The combination radically changed my fitness and my health. In 2012 I lost 87 pounds and ended up running three half marathons and a total of nearly 1000 miles.

    I still have a ways to go however, and eventually the dreaded plateau did hit me. I have been stuck between 235 and 245 since January, and though I am still running (I did my first Philadelphia Broad Street Run 10 miler this past sunday and I have two more Half Marathons already scheduled for later in the year.), I think I need a change of pace/additional challenge to kick start me back toward finally getting out of the obese category on the BMI charts (sub 215).

    As a kid, I loved to ride my bike. It was exercise and freedom... allowing me to get around town before I could drive and get around the city when I lived in Philadelphia during college. One of the many aborted attempts at finding physical fitness was to purchase mountain bikes (for both my wife and myself) in 1998.

    This leads me to my basic questions.

    We still have the bikes mentioned above (1998 Trek 800 Sports). They were purchased from a LBS here in SE Pennsylvania (Bike Line for anyone who is familiar with the area). I think we had two or three rides total back then, and they went into storage. They were pulled out and tuned up by Bike Line in 2002 or so - had a couple more rides and then went back into storage again. Finally, I tuned them up myself in about 2007 when we bought a second hand child trailer and hauled the kids around for a few paved trail rides. Other than that they have sat in the garage and gathered dust and rust.

    So while wanting to get back on the bikes (the kids are finally learning how to ride) the first thought was of the old Trek 800s. We know that they are strong enough to take our weight (my wife is also overweight, she'd be in the athena class, but she has lost over 90 pounds as well) since they are very sturdy bikes and were sized/fitted to us when we were both MUCH heavier than we are now. I would say that a reasonable estimate of total mileage on each bike is somewhere between 50 and 75 miles.

    What we are not interested in is really doing any mountain biking at this point. I am interested more in endurance events and would like to start building up bicycling endurance with an eye toward either a bike/run duathlon or a triathlon. I've never been much of a swimmer so I think duathlon is probably more my speed.

    Speaking of speed... I'm not fast at running. I don't expect to ever be fast and I'm coming to the realization that I'm not sure I would even WANT to be fast. (The Broad Street Run was the first race longer than 5K that I have ever run with a real time goal in mind. I got close enough to be pleased with my performance - about a 20 minute PR vs. my last 10 mile race last August - but I was so focused on time that I didn't have as much fun as I did in my other long distance events.)

    I pulled the bikes out last night, pumped up the tires and took them around the block for a test ride and they both work fine. I think a good cleaning/lubrication/tune up of the brakes, shifters and deraileurs is all that is really needed.


    So... I am interested in ideas of what I can/should do to change our Trek 800 sports to more suitable bikes for paved paths/roads. What kind of tires should I look for, etc.

    The frames are solid even if they are so old. The accessories/connection points - brake levers, handlebar stem, seat post, etc show some surface rust and/or oxidation, but they seem to be solid as well. Other than getting the drivetrain cleaned up, lubed and everything adjusted is there anything else I should be doing to ensure I'm good to go?

    Thanks for reading this if you've gotten this far.

    I'm excited to be getting back into cycling and I am looking forward to getting to know you folks.

    Ted
    Last edited by wombat94; 05-15-13 at 03:33 PM.

  2. #2
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Hi Ted,

    If you have knobby tires on the bikes, get rid of 'em. Replace them with something like 1.5" slicks (you don't need tread unless you're going off road). That will make a huge difference.

    How's your position on the bike? If you're comfortable, then it doesn't sound like you need to do much. If they're not comfortable, give us symptoms.

    Cheers,
    Charles
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    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    Great story, Ted, and welcome! Sounds like you're off to a great start. The bikes seem like a fine way to start (you already own them, no real investment to be made, save for maybe tubes and tires). I second the recommendation above about slicks or non-nobby tires; I use Michelin Wild Run'r slicks (at a 1.4 width) on my commuter, and they work great. Best thing to keep in mind is what you stated earlier--you used to have fun on your bikes. That's what cycling is really about. The health benefits are a nice bonus!
    "I had this baby hand made in Tuscany, from titanium blessed by the pope. It weighs less than a fart, and costs more than a divorce..."

  4. #4
    Senior Member tiger187126's Avatar
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    awesome story and definitely look into smoother, and probably skinnier tires.

    you shouldn't have to worry about weight too much at 240. a lot of bikes advertise their max range in that vicinity, but you'll see a lot of us weighing a lot more than that riding them with success and no issue.

    better tires, make sure the seat is comfortable and at the right height, and enjoy the ride.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    One further question - the current tires on the Treks are 2" wide... I should be okay going down to a 1.5ish wide tire on the same wheels, right?

  6. #6
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Narrow tires are cool as mentioned above, but make sure they have a higher psi rating as well. Something at 80 or 90 psi is going to roll faster than the 50-60 psi and not feel as squishy.

  7. #7
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat94 View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    One further question - the current tires on the Treks are 2" wide... I should be okay going down to a 1.5ish wide tire on the same wheels, right?

    Yeah, I did it with my Trek 800 back in 04 (?).

    I will tell you though, some brand combos make the tire tougher to mount and remove. I use Specialized slicks and man, they were a pin in the butt!

    Be sure to take that into consideration. If one brand fits tight, pass on it and look for another brand that does.

    For example, I have a Trek 8000 MTB now with knobbies. Panaracer tires with the Bontrager rim were a killer to mount and dismount. I swapped rims to a Sun Rhyno, tire now mounts smooth as butter. I had along walk back down a dirt trail so I made sure that didn't happen again.

    Who knows, maybe Bontrager rims work well with Specialized tires. Check out more than just one brand and keep an eye on the fit issue.

  8. #8
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    Like Beanz said, yes... The 1.4 Michelin's are mounted on Mavic 819 rims--and they fit great. I'm running them tubeless, so I had a bit more "fun" getting them to mount up and seat, but it wasn't overly difficult. With tubes, it would have been a walk in the park...
    "I had this baby hand made in Tuscany, from titanium blessed by the pope. It weighs less than a fart, and costs more than a divorce..."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat94 View Post
    Hi all.

    I just found the forums here - and especially this forum - today and I've spent a bunch of time reading. So many great stories and inspiration that I'm hoping to feed off of to get back on the bike and continue the fitness/health journey I started a few years ago.

    I have a lot of reading to do, but wanted to introduce myself and then ask a couple of starter questions.

    I am 44 years old, 5'11" tall and currently weight about 240 lbs. Three years ago I hit my all time high weight of 347 (or thereabouts - that was the highest reading I ever got, but the scale only went up to 350 - and at the time I wasn't prone to weighing myself regularly). I'd been overweight since freshman year of college (I was 175 at the start of freshman year - already at my full 5'11" height and the "Freshman 10" turned in to the "Freshman 25" for me - I haven't been back under 200 since). I weighed 250 - 260 by the time I got married in 1994 and over the next 4 years put on another 40 - 50 pounds. I had not been under 300 pounds from some time in mid 1998 until February 2012.

    Three years ago, my followed my daughters to a taekwondo school and enrolled in the classes after much support and encouragement from the owners/teachers. After 20 years of not having ANY physical activity hold my interest enough to get past the initial VERY HARD phase of just getting moving, taekwondo became that thing that I had been looking for. I started taking three 45 - 60 minute classes each week and over the next 20 months I got fitter and stronger - but didn't lose a lot of weight.

    On January 1, 2012 I was still 320 pounds - great improvement, but with by testing for first degree black belt just six months away, I knew I wasn't going to get there unless I really changed things. So, I enrolled in MyFitnessPal online and for the first time ever I really started to track what I ate. Along with that, I started walking, and shortly thereafter started running. The combination radically changed my fitness and my health. In 2012 I lost 87 pounds and ended up running three half marathons and a total of nearly 1000 miles.

    I still have a ways to go however, and eventually the dreaded plateau did hit me. I have been stuck between 235 and 245 since January, and though I am still running (I did my first Philadelphia Broad Street Run 10 miler this past sunday and I have two more Half Marathons already scheduled for later in the year.), I think I need a change of pace/additional challenge to kick start me back toward finally getting out of the obese category on the BMI charts (sub 215).

    As a kid, I loved to ride my bike. It was exercise and freedom... allowing me to get around town before I could drive and get around the city when I lived in Philadelphia during college. One of the many aborted attempts at finding physical fitness was to purchase mountain bikes (for both my wife and myself) in 1998.

    This leads me to my basic questions.

    We still have the bikes mentioned above (1998 Trek 800 Sports). They were purchased from a LBS here in SE Pennsylvania (Bike Line for anyone who is familiar with the area). I think we had two or three rides total back then, and they went into storage. They were pulled out and tuned up by Bike Line in 2002 or so - had a couple more rides and then went back into storage again. Finally, I tuned them up myself in about 2007 when we bought a second hand child trailer and hauled the kids around for a few paved trail rides. Other than that they have sat in the garage and gathered dust and rust.

    So while wanting to get back on the bikes (the kids are finally learning how to ride) the first thought was of the old Trek 800s. We know that they are strong enough to take our weight (my wife is also overweight, she'd be in the athena class, but she has lost over 90 pounds as well) since they are very sturdy bikes and were sized/fitted to us when we were both MUCH heavier than we are now. I would say that a reasonable estimate of total mileage on each bike is somewhere between 50 and 75 miles.

    What we are not interested in is really doing any mountain biking at this point. I am interested more in endurance events and would like to start building up bicycling endurance with an eye toward either a bike/run duathlon or a triathlon. I've never been much of a swimmer so I think duathlon is probably more my speed.

    Speaking of speed... I'm not fast at running. I don't expect to ever be fast and I'm coming to the realization that I'm not sure I would even WANT to be fast. (The Broad Street Run was the first race longer than 5K that I have ever run with a real time goal in mind. I got close enough to be pleased with my performance - about a 20 minute PR vs. my last 10 mile race last August - but I was so focused on time that I didn't have as much fun as I did in my other long distance events.)

    I pulled the bikes out last night, pumped up the tires and took them around the block for a test ride and they both work fine. I think a good cleaning/lubrication/tune up of the brakes, shifters and deraileurs is all that is really needed.


    So... I am interested in ideas of what I can/should do to change our Trek 800 sports to more suitable bikes for paved paths/roads. What kind of tires should I look for, etc.

    The frames are solid even if they are so old. The accessories/connection points - brake levers, handlebar stem, seat post, etc show some surface rust and/or oxidation, but they seem to be solid as well. Other than getting the drivetrain cleaned up, lubed and everything adjusted is there anything else I should be doing to ensure I'm good to go?

    Thanks for reading this if you've gotten this far.

    I'm excited to be getting back into cycling and I am looking forward to getting to know you folks.

    Ted
    Continental Town & Country tires. They're awesome. They did wonders for my old MTB.

    Where are you from, I'm originally from DE and familiar with Bike Line.
    - Dan \m/

  10. #10
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    Dan,

    I grew up in Cherry Hill, but we live in West Chester and have for the last 14 years. I've spent the last year looking for running routes around Chester County, and now I'm looking for biking routes. One of the great things about getting healthier and fitter is getting to know the area we've lived in for decades from a whole different perspective.

    Okay - back to bike questions. I ordered Continental Town and Country tires for my bike last night. Should be here tomorrow.

    As for my wife, one thing I didn't mention in the first post (it was long enough already) was that she has back problems. She has had back surgery and has needed several facet joint injections to reduce periodic inflammation in her back that was causing pain and numbness in her legs. At the advice of her doctor, she's pretty much given up the taekwondo and after a brief attempt to start running, decided that that was not a good idea either. He had recommended cycling as a good form of exercise.

    She's not very comfortable with the position on the old Trek 800 (she's going to give it a little of a test ride this weekend, but isn't optimistic), so we are considering a new bike for her. We were at Bike Line last weekend when looking for a bike for my 11 year old and my wife tried the Trek Verve 1 WSD for a little test ride and REALLY liked the feel of the ride and the position and lack of strain on her back from the Verve.

    I'm just interested in opinions on the Verve and other possible competing bikes in the same category - looking for a much more casual, upright riding posture to be compatible with possible back problems.

    Thanks for the warm welcome and the advice.

    Ted

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat94 View Post
    Dan,

    I grew up in Cherry Hill, but we live in West Chester and have for the last 14 years. I've spent the last year looking for running routes around Chester County, and now I'm looking for biking routes. One of the great things about getting healthier and fitter is getting to know the area we've lived in for decades from a whole different perspective.

    Okay - back to bike questions. I ordered Continental Town and Country tires for my bike last night. Should be here tomorrow.

    As for my wife, one thing I didn't mention in the first post (it was long enough already) was that she has back problems. She has had back surgery and has needed several facet joint injections to reduce periodic inflammation in her back that was causing pain and numbness in her legs. At the advice of her doctor, she's pretty much given up the taekwondo and after a brief attempt to start running, decided that that was not a good idea either. He had recommended cycling as a good form of exercise.

    She's not very comfortable with the position on the old Trek 800 (she's going to give it a little of a test ride this weekend, but isn't optimistic), so we are considering a new bike for her. We were at Bike Line last weekend when looking for a bike for my 11 year old and my wife tried the Trek Verve 1 WSD for a little test ride and REALLY liked the feel of the ride and the position and lack of strain on her back from the Verve.

    I'm just interested in opinions on the Verve and other possible competing bikes in the same category - looking for a much more casual, upright riding posture to be compatible with possible back problems.

    Thanks for the warm welcome and the advice.

    Ted
    You'll be very pleased with the Continental T&Cs.
    - Dan \m/

  12. #12
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat94 View Post
    Dan,

    I grew up in Cherry Hill, but we live in West Chester and have for the last 14 years. I've spent the last year looking for running routes around Chester County, and now I'm looking for biking routes. One of the great things about getting healthier and fitter is getting to know the area we've lived in for decades from a whole different perspective.

    Okay - back to bike questions. I ordered Continental Town and Country tires for my bike last night. Should be here tomorrow.

    As for my wife, one thing I didn't mention in the first post (it was long enough already) was that she has back problems. She has had back surgery and has needed several facet joint injections to reduce periodic inflammation in her back that was causing pain and numbness in her legs. At the advice of her doctor, she's pretty much given up the taekwondo and after a brief attempt to start running, decided that that was not a good idea either. He had recommended cycling as a good form of exercise.

    She's not very comfortable with the position on the old Trek 800 (she's going to give it a little of a test ride this weekend, but isn't optimistic), so we are considering a new bike for her. We were at Bike Line last weekend when looking for a bike for my 11 year old and my wife tried the Trek Verve 1 WSD for a little test ride and REALLY liked the feel of the ride and the position and lack of strain on her back from the Verve.

    I'm just interested in opinions on the Verve and other possible competing bikes in the same category - looking for a much more casual, upright riding posture to be compatible with possible back problems.

    Thanks for the warm welcome and the advice.

    Ted
    your wife sounds like a prime candidate for a recumbent. Either bicycle or trike. You can pick up a Bike-E used for around $400. They're not the greatest bents out there, but they'll get her started. I had one and decided to go back to a traditional "wedgie". Post in the recumbent forum with any questions or for other recommendations. They love to convert non-believers LOL.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat94 View Post
    Dan,

    I grew up in Cherry Hill, but we live in West Chester and have for the last 14 years. I've spent the last year looking for running routes around Chester County, and now I'm looking for biking routes. One of the great things about getting healthier and fitter is getting to know the area we've lived in for decades from a whole different perspective.
    When you want them, I have some routes for the northern part of the county. I'm just outside Phoenixville. There are some quiet roads, and some nice trails as well.

  14. #14
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassjones View Post
    your wife sounds like a prime candidate for a recumbent. Either bicycle or trike. You can pick up a Bike-E used for around $400. They're not the greatest bents out there, but they'll get her started. I had one and decided to go back to a traditional "wedgie". Post in the recumbent forum with any questions or for other recommendations. They love to convert non-believers LOL.
    We do indeed (we have a quota we need to fill ).

    Good advice.

    Cheers,
    Charles
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    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  15. #15
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    I'll have to do some more reading about recumbent bikes.

    I mentioned this to my wife this morning and her reaction was immediately negative. With her lower back/facet joint issues, she had tried the recumbent stationary bike during PT, and within a few minutes the physical therapist had her stop because it wasn't the right combination of position/motion for her issues.

    We're hopeful that the more upright posture of a hybrid/comfort/cruiser style bike is the right thing.

    We'll find it, I'm sure and I'M not rejecting the recumbent idea for her yet... but I'm not the one riding it, and if she's not comfortable with even the idea, I think that path is a non-starter.

    Thanks for the input... keep it coming, please.

    My tires should get here today... and miraculously (I really mean that literally) BOTH kids had bike riding "click" last night. I looked out the window while making dinner and these kids who could barely balance while riding down the gentle hill to our driveway on Monday night were outside on the driveway pedaling around on their own. They are not the most solid in their balance yet, but that's to be expected. So with all of that, we are looking forward to a nice lazy MUP bike ride this weekend to test everything out.... I think I can even rig up a harness/leash setup in the old child bike trailer for our dog so he can come along.

    Ted

  16. #16
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat94 View Post
    I'll have to do some more reading about recumbent bikes.

    I mentioned this to my wife this morning and her reaction was immediately negative. With her lower back/facet joint issues, she had tried the recumbent stationary bike during PT, and within a few minutes the physical therapist had her stop because it wasn't the right combination of position/motion for her issues.

    We're hopeful that the more upright posture of a hybrid/comfort/cruiser style bike is the right thing.
    Two points:

    1) If an upright bike works and recumbent doesn't, then ride an upright bike.

    2) Recumbent stationary bikes have a relatively upright position (like sitting in a chair). Recumbent bicycles can have seat angles that come pretty darn close to lying down



    Some people with back issues find these extreme angles to be much more comfortable. Others with back problems can not tolerate such low angles.

    Cheers,
    Charles
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  17. #17
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    Well... that was FUN!

    I got home and the packages with the tires and tool kit were here. In between dropping off DD2 at Taekwondo and picking her up 45 minutes later, I had changed both tires and the Town and Countrys were on!

    I went and picked her up, came home ate dinner and realized that I had enough time for a quick shake-down ride.

    My neighborhood is fairly hilly so I wasn't sure what to expect from a first ride... I'm actually quite pleased overall. 2.4 miles in just under 13 minutes. It wasn't really FAST in terms of cycling, but after running this little route dozens of times in the last year, I felt like I was flying.

    I LOVE the Town and Country tires. My old Trek 800 feels like a new machine and it is SO nice riding on the slicks.

    From a stamina/workout perspective, I can feel the difference in working out some different muscles in calves and thighs, but I think I'll be able to handle longer rides from a cardio standpoint with no problem... I'll probably have to worry more about overdoing it on the muscles because he endurance is already there.

    Thanks for the advice.

    I feel like I'm on another fitness adventure with taking cycling back up!

    Ted

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat94 View Post

    From a stamina/workout perspective, I can feel the difference in working out some different muscles in calves and thighs, but I think I'll be able to handle longer rides from a cardio standpoint with no problem... I'll probably have to worry more about overdoing it on the muscles because he endurance is already there.
    Exactly! Mrs. Fred has just recently transitioned from cycling to taking up running and has dragged me along for the fun of it. We both have to be careful about not using our cycling developed cardio endurance to destroy our, as yet untrained or unconditioned, running muscles. It's pretty easy for us to go out, over cook it a bit, and come back injured.

    The rule of thumb is to only increase your distance/intensity by no more than 10% per week. That can be hard to subscribe to early on when you're starting from quite low numbers. But, the additional mileage adds up quickly.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat94 View Post
    Well... that was FUN!

    I got home and the packages with the tires and tool kit were here. In between dropping off DD2 at Taekwondo and picking her up 45 minutes later, I had changed both tires and the Town and Countrys were on!

    I went and picked her up, came home ate dinner and realized that I had enough time for a quick shake-down ride.

    My neighborhood is fairly hilly so I wasn't sure what to expect from a first ride... I'm actually quite pleased overall. 2.4 miles in just under 13 minutes. It wasn't really FAST in terms of cycling, but after running this little route dozens of times in the last year, I felt like I was flying.

    I LOVE the Town and Country tires. My old Trek 800 feels like a new machine and it is SO nice riding on the slicks.

    From a stamina/workout perspective, I can feel the difference in working out some different muscles in calves and thighs, but I think I'll be able to handle longer rides from a cardio standpoint with no problem... I'll probably have to worry more about overdoing it on the muscles because he endurance is already there.

    Thanks for the advice.

    I feel like I'm on another fitness adventure with taking cycling back up!

    Ted
    What I tell ya about those Continental T&Cs, Ted...

    T&Cs are fantastic tires and I was very disappointed when I found they didn't make them for 29ers. Given such an excellent experience with my T&Cs, when I was searching for hybrid tires for our 29ers, I didn't even look outside the Continental brand. I purchased Continental TourRIDEs. They're really "snappy" tires and extremely responsive. My only complaint is that they can get a bit skittish over small twigs and such. I notice my back-end "stepping out" on me a bit so I have to pay attention. Given the nature of the tires being closer to roadie tires than anything else, I guess this can be expected, but they are tougher than nails.

    When it comes to Continentals, I'm probably the biggest fanboy you'll encounter on this forum. I had them on my old 2005 Subaru WRX STi (Continental Conti Extreme Contact), had/have them on our mountain bikes (past and present), and have we have them on our roadies. I believe my wife's 2012 Subaru Forester is also equipped with Continentals.
    - Dan \m/

  20. #20
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Hi Ted:

    Trek 800 are great bikes.

    Tires: http://www.amazon.com/Kenda-Kwest-Ti...words=kwest+26
    Nigel
    Mechanical Design Engineer

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Update after week 1.

    After my quick ride on the new slick tires on Thursday, I took our daughters out to the local paved rail trail for their first ride in "public" (and my first ride in public in about 8 years).

    It went... okay overall. My little one is a natural. She's been riding for just a few days and she was off and moving. She controls the bike very well (both speed and steering).

    The older one is still learning and is more tentative. The bike we bought for her may be a bit too big and she has a little bit of trouble controlling it. Steering is a challenge. I'm going to tinker with seat and handlebar positions to try to get her more comfortable - but for now, I'm just not sure if it is fit or lack of experience... probably a little bit of both.

    The kids rode 3 miles, and in the middle, they stopped to play "Pooh Sticks" at a bridge over a small stream, and I had a chance to get in a good higher-speed stretch. I did a mile out and a mile back at just about 14 mph average, with one good hill in the middle that I had to climb both ways. I'm really pleased with that. I felt comfortable on the bike and afterward I didn't have any saddle soreness - always a problem when I was much heavier. So I did 5 miles in just under an hour... not bad for a first "real" ride, especially if it was mostly a joy ride.

    Sunday, after a hike to find some geocaches, we stopped at several bike stores looking for the solution for my wife. Two local bike shops were in the running, and a comfort/hybrid with very upright seating position and a step-through frame was the targeted bike.

    We ended up choosing a Diamondback Vital 2 and after comparing Dick's and Sports Authority, we went with the one from Dick's. $299 for the bike. The closest we found from the two LBSs we stopped at was about $140 more at least (Trek Verve 1 - which was slightly down-line on components).

    As for the "service" at Dick's it was really bad... on a test ride, my wife found that the brakes and gears all seemed set up very well... she was able to easily shift through all front and rear gears with no problem. Well the kid at Dick's had to do the "adjustments" prior to the sale and he totally messed things up. NEITHER front or rear deraileur was working fully through it's range of motion and at first I couldn't figure out what was wrong... then a quick check showed that when he attached the kickstand after adjusting the shifters, he actually pinched the cables ... 10 seconds with a socket wrench and that was fixed. I'm glad that I am not interested in the service after the sale. I can do most of it myself and then we have a lot of local bike shops to choose from - a couple of whom also sell diamondback - so I'm sure we WON'T be back to Dick's, but we did get a good price.

    That's if for now. We are hoping to get out together for a leisurely first ride for my wife this Saturday... and either as part of that ride, or perhaps Friday evening, I'm hoping for my first hour long serious ride... I'm looking for where I want to ride now so I can plan ahead.

    Ted

  22. #22
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Enjoy, I ride the piss out of my Trek 800. I enjoy the knobby tires but I also wander off the paved trail and into the woods so it makes sense for me. Although a part of me wants to get another set of tires for when I commute on it, but if I really want a smooth, faster ride I hop on the road bike.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat94 View Post
    Update after week 1.

    After my quick ride on the new slick tires on Thursday, I took our daughters out to the local paved rail trail for their first ride in "public" (and my first ride in public in about 8 years).

    It went... okay overall. My little one is a natural. She's been riding for just a few days and she was off and moving. She controls the bike very well (both speed and steering).

    The older one is still learning and is more tentative. The bike we bought for her may be a bit too big and she has a little bit of trouble controlling it. Steering is a challenge. I'm going to tinker with seat and handlebar positions to try to get her more comfortable - but for now, I'm just not sure if it is fit or lack of experience... probably a little bit of both.

    The kids rode 3 miles, and in the middle, they stopped to play "Pooh Sticks" at a bridge over a small stream, and I had a chance to get in a good higher-speed stretch. I did a mile out and a mile back at just about 14 mph average, with one good hill in the middle that I had to climb both ways. I'm really pleased with that. I felt comfortable on the bike and afterward I didn't have any saddle soreness - always a problem when I was much heavier. So I did 5 miles in just under an hour... not bad for a first "real" ride, especially if it was mostly a joy ride.

    Sunday, after a hike to find some geocaches, we stopped at several bike stores looking for the solution for my wife. Two local bike shops were in the running, and a comfort/hybrid with very upright seating position and a step-through frame was the targeted bike.

    We ended up choosing a Diamondback Vital 2 and after comparing Dick's and Sports Authority, we went with the one from Dick's. $299 for the bike. The closest we found from the two LBSs we stopped at was about $140 more at least (Trek Verve 1 - which was slightly down-line on components).

    As for the "service" at Dick's it was really bad... on a test ride, my wife found that the brakes and gears all seemed set up very well... she was able to easily shift through all front and rear gears with no problem. Well the kid at Dick's had to do the "adjustments" prior to the sale and he totally messed things up. NEITHER front or rear deraileur was working fully through it's range of motion and at first I couldn't figure out what was wrong... then a quick check showed that when he attached the kickstand after adjusting the shifters, he actually pinched the cables ... 10 seconds with a socket wrench and that was fixed. I'm glad that I am not interested in the service after the sale. I can do most of it myself and then we have a lot of local bike shops to choose from - a couple of whom also sell diamondback - so I'm sure we WON'T be back to Dick's, but we did get a good price.

    That's if for now. We are hoping to get out together for a leisurely first ride for my wife this Saturday... and either as part of that ride, or perhaps Friday evening, I'm hoping for my first hour long serious ride... I'm looking for where I want to ride now so I can plan ahead.

    Ted
    I recommend the "Bike Repair For Dummies" book. It's been very helpful to me. While I'm still very slow as to making adjustments and find them a challenge, the book is an excellent source.
    - Dan \m/

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wooden Tiger View Post
    I recommend the "Bike Repair For Dummies" book. It's been very helpful to me. While I'm still very slow as to making adjustments and find them a challenge, the book is an excellent source.
    Thanks Dan, I'll look up that book.

    We couldn't wait until the weekend and it was so beautiful this evening, that we all went out for a ride back to the same rail trail that the kids and I tried out on Saturday after dinner.

    We did the same 3 miles - this time in just under 30 minutes. Still slow while keeping tabs on the kids. My wife's first real ride on her Vital was a HUGE success. No back issues, no tail bone/saddle issues and just a nice 30 minute low intensity workout. Step 1 on getting her more active.

    For me, it was another ride learning my way around the bike again, learning, really for the first time about using the gears primarily to keep a consistent effort going up and down hills and slopes so that I can get a good cardio workout - I've never done that before riding a bike - I was always trying to go all out in just totally coast and relax.

    I'm really looking forward to the time (in the not too distant future) when I go out for my first long distance ride (something like 15 to 20 miles).

    Ted

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat94 View Post
    Thanks Dan, I'll look up that book.

    We couldn't wait until the weekend and it was so beautiful this evening, that we all went out for a ride back to the same rail trail that the kids and I tried out on Saturday after dinner.

    We did the same 3 miles - this time in just under 30 minutes. Still slow while keeping tabs on the kids. My wife's first real ride on her Vital was a HUGE success. No back issues, no tail bone/saddle issues and just a nice 30 minute low intensity workout. Step 1 on getting her more active.

    For me, it was another ride learning my way around the bike again, learning, really for the first time about using the gears primarily to keep a consistent effort going up and down hills and slopes so that I can get a good cardio workout - I've never done that before riding a bike - I was always trying to go all out in just totally coast and relax.

    I'm really looking forward to the time (in the not too distant future) when I go out for my first long distance ride (something like 15 to 20 miles).

    Ted
    Three miles in just under 30 minutes isn't bad, six mph is a nice, leisurely cruising speed. The more you do it, the higher your cruising speed will climb; it'll just pick up without you even realizing it.

    It doesn't matter how fast you ride, it just matters that you're getting some exercise.
    - Dan \m/

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