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Old 10-05-07, 02:38 PM   #1
stapfam
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Easing up on the roiad bike for a while.

Just done my first full summer on the road bike. No mountain biking at all other than a couple of trips on the Tandem- but they were only on unmade trails so it doesn't really count. One thing I have not missed is the bone jarring rides on the rock hard bumpy trails in the summer that were beginning to hit the body just a bit too much. What I have been missing though is the Cardio- Vascular workouts that a long steep climb up rough tracks gives you when offroad. I just do not get them on the road bike. I may do some steep road hills but in general- they are no steeper or longer than the offroad climbs- and are on smooth surfaces and on a bike that seems to roll along them.

That road bike has given me a different view of riding. First of all there are the cars that you have to be aware of. Not too many of them on the backroads but fast riding around blind corners does definitely get the heart rate up when you confront Horse boxes and Tractors on your side of the road. You have to keep alert all the time. Then the town riding. Far too many cars and pedestrians just do not see bikes at all. There are a few pluses though. You do see a lot more bikes on roads and can often join in with a few other riders to be a bit sociable on occasions.

So I am getting the MTB back into full offroad condition. Checked the Tyres and they are OK. All the wheels are perfectly true and the Chain has been replaced. Cables have been lubed and I am ready to go. All I have to do now is wait for a bit of Enthusiasm to get out and get muddy.

Might give it another couple of weeks before I hang up the road bikes for the winter though as the forecast is still for dry weather for a while and going by the condition of my garden- Those trails are going to still be rock hard.
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Old 10-05-07, 03:23 PM   #2
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Heck I'm geting ready to cut back on the road bike and pick up couch sitting. Now that is a truly aerobic activity. Actually, I need to cut back a bit as I'm beginning to feel a bit worn out having done a number of longer rides in the last 6 week. Three metric centuries one imperial century and another metric sceduled for tomorrow. That will probably be my last longer ride for the year as the regular Irma's ride is only 42 miles. I don't mind the cold weather riding but will generally keep it in the 15-20 mile range other than pie riding.
P.S. Is that droid (steroid) riding or something else altogether?
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Old 10-05-07, 08:03 PM   #3
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You know, there's no law that says you can only do one or the other. You'll get stronger at both by alternating between road and MTB instead of extended periods of one to the exclusion of the other.
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Old 10-05-07, 08:26 PM   #4
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You know, there's no law that says you can only do one or the other. You'll get stronger at both by alternating between road and MTB instead of extended periods of one to the exclusion of the other.
But does he need to get stronger? He is already smart, fast, and having way to much fun.
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Old 10-05-07, 08:34 PM   #5
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Stapfam, did you ever consider a lightweight, full suspension bike?
I also like to do a bit more off-roading in the winter, if you can call what we have out here winter.
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Old 10-05-07, 11:13 PM   #6
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Having read some of his posts, I reckon he misses being cold and covered in muck, he misses bouncing off rocks and having long chats with his doctor ... hmm, maybe that's it, maybe his doctor's surgery has a new nurse

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Old 10-06-07, 12:52 AM   #7
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Stapfam, did you ever consider a lightweight, full suspension bike?
I also like to do a bit more off-roading in the winter, if you can call what we have out here winter.
Considered it and my dream bike for a long time was a Whyte 46. Did a test day and and I am afraid that none of the bikes I tried that I could afford- worked. That Whyte though was good, along with a Santa Cruz and One of the top end Specialised. They are a bit pricey though and above my budget.

Now that Whyte has a different ride to most of the other bikes around. Instead of feeling like a Pogo stick on the test track- It was the bike gliding through the bumps and I was not going up and down with the bumps. Unfortunately- When I did get to try one on my local Hills- I did not like it. Ride was beautiful and I can see why a lot of the Enduro riders use suspension. Problem was uphills where I felt the bike was holding me back. Only a 15 mile test ride with a member of staff from the shop-perhaps not quite set up properly or I had a great deal of riding adjustment to make- but I was not prepared to put the money down on something I was not fully happy with.

So if I do the Enduro rides now- I use the Bianchi with the Thud buster Suspension post from the Tandem.

Now most of the Fast riders on these long offroad rides- use just front suspension. Only ever talked to one of them and he said that most of the effort involved in this type of riding is used uphill. The one place where Full suspension bikes do not have the edge on a standard bike. In fact- If he had a choice- then he would use a FullyRigid bike for performance but he was getting old and the body would not take it any longer. He had just reached his 40th birthday.
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Old 10-06-07, 06:44 AM   #8
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Gotta drink some coffee before reading BF. I thought your post said "giving up the rhoid bike". Why would you want to keep riding one anyway?

As Gilda Radnor used to say: "Never mind".
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Old 10-06-07, 06:52 AM   #9
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If price is a consideration, take a look at a KHS XC604. A few of the mtn.bikers (and racers) around here have them, and speak very highly of them. MTB Action just did a test on it, and gave it high marks (though I don't put a lot of stock in what I read, but I like the mag. anyway). Lists for $1599, and this being the "end of the season", might find one discounted. Lets see if this link works:
<A HREF="http://www.khsbicycles.com/03_xc_604_07.htm">KHS 604</A>
looks like that didn't work, so here:
http://www.khsbicycles.com/03_xc_604_07.htm
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Old 10-06-07, 08:02 AM   #10
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Gotta drink some coffee before reading BF. I thought your post said "giving up the rhoid bike". Why would you want to keep riding one anyway?

As Gilda Radnor used to say: "Never mind".
Me too. I thought it was a "roid" bike and I expected to see stapfam on the front page with Marion Jones.
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Old 10-06-07, 09:56 AM   #11
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Me too. I thought it was a "roid" bike and I expected to see stapfam on the front page with Marion Jones.
And they say cycling is the main Drug Culprit.
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Old 10-06-07, 10:41 AM   #12
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Have you had the opportunity to try a full suspension rig with a lock out? It allows you to lock out the suspension to tame the "bobs" on the ups and fly the downs under complete control. The good stuff doesn't come cheap though.
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Old 10-06-07, 10:47 AM   #13
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From what all the guys I ride with on MTBs tell me, there has been major progress in the last few years in making full suspension bikes climb without bobbing up and down. I'm planning to know all about it by the end of the year. Just waiting for the price to drop.
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Old 10-06-07, 11:36 AM   #14
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From what all the guys I ride with on MTBs tell me, there has been major progress in the last few years in making full suspension bikes climb without bobbing up and down. I'm planning to know all about it by the end of the year. Just waiting for the price to drop.
There have been major improvements to Full suspension bikes but The ones that work and are light enough for XC are still in the upper price bracket. As it is- For the type of riding I do-I am happy staying with the Bianchi hardtail. Mind you- the tandem has full downhill spec Boxers fitted to the front and the stokers seatpost is a Thudbuster. Who needs suspension with one of those on?
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Old 10-06-07, 11:42 AM   #15
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the stokers seatpost is a Thudbuster. Who needs suspension with one of those on?
Me. I just used one for a year and it is great. But when I ride fast on rough trails for more than an hour, my back becomes my limiting factor. The Thudbuster really works, but it can't do what 5" of controlled travel does. So I'm going for a full squishy, Stumpjumper FSR. You are right, thety aren't cheap, but if I want to ride the way I like to ride, I need it. Thank goodness for the team discount!
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Old 10-06-07, 01:08 PM   #16
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seatpost is a Thudbuster. Who needs suspension with one of those on?
They're really two different things. At least at the better quality levels.

A well set up full suspension bike keeps the wheels in contact with the ground much better. That gives you much better control so you can ride the downs faster. Better rider comfort just happens to be a bonus.

A suspension seatpost just cushions your tushie from the big hits.
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Old 10-06-07, 02:51 PM   #17
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They're really two different things. At least at the better quality levels.

A well set up full suspension bike keeps the wheels in contact with the ground much better. That gives you much better control so you can ride the downs faster. Better rider comfort just happens to be a bonus.

A suspension seatpost just cushions your tushie from the big hits.
Ever tried to get the rear wheel off the ground on a Tandem? It can be done- but a full suspension bike- Even the good ones- are not as effective at climbing hills on rugged terrain as a Hardtail. Riding a hardtail, or even a rigid, for long term teaches you to Ride the bike to get over the obstacles. It is a skill that does take some practice but once gained is an asset. Up on the hills- I am still the one that can climb the Tricky rooty hill in the wet- I am still the one that can pick out the route on the Debris strewn path and I am still the one that can climb the steps in the Rutted track after rain- due to my bike skills.

Other than a couple of experienced Riders that started out on Hardtails- All I see from the bouncy brigade is slam into the rock- or the root or ride over the debris and let the bike do the job. It does not always work. And when it comes to lifting the front of the bike over the ruts and take the load off the rear wheel so it does not bury itself in the side of the rut- A hardtail is still better.

I am not knocking all suspension bikes- Some I know are good but I can no longer warrant the cost of one that works. And I definitely do not want to ride another that will put me into trouble- or make me sea sick.
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Old 10-06-07, 02:58 PM   #18
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Riding a hardtail, or even a rigid, for long term teaches you to Ride the bike to get over the obstacles. It is a skill that does take some practice but once gained is an asset.
Now cut that kind of talk out! I'm the retro grouch here.

And incidentally, if you're riding down rocky downhills at any speed at all, your back wheel is probably off the ground more than you know.
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Old 10-06-07, 03:20 PM   #19
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Now cut that kind of talk out! I'm the retro grouch here.

And incidentally, if you're riding down rocky downhills at any speed at all, your back wheel is probably off the ground more than you know.
At in excess of 40mph- the whole bike is off the ground and there ain't many full suspension bikes that overtake me.-Probably too scared to try in case they get sideswiped.
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Old 10-06-07, 09:57 PM   #20
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All my friends have switched from hardtails to full suspension, even the the guy who could go anywhere fast on his hardtail. The pounding gets old as we get into our fifties, especially with all the rocks and ruts around here.
The advantages of full suspension are no longer a compromise. There are platform shocks, vpp designs, and others that deal with bobbing, or, if you have a smooth spin, bobbing isn't an issue anyway.
What I didn't expect was how much better the brakes work with rear suspension, it's surprising.
It may be true that riding a rigid or hardtail teaches you to pick the right line, but with a properly set-up full squish, you don't have to pick a line in the rough stuff, you can go nearly anywhere.
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