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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Riding an undersized bike

    I'm asking this question here since I'm 50 and perhaps age has some bearing on the answer.

    Right now the only bike I have to ride outside is a slightly undersized mountain bike. (I'm saving up for a good road bike)

    What I'm wondering is will riding an undersized bike dramatically increase the chances of doing any serious damage to body? I ride it occasionally up and down some hills which face each other -- like a big U, though not so steep -- and have never had any real pain from that, but those rides are brief.

    What I'd like to do is ride 20 or 30 miles on the roads with it, but I've been hesitant to risk damage to my knees.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    The main thing with the mountain bike is having the seat high enough for your leg length. Like you, I actually rode a mountain bike on the roads for the first 800 miles or so and it wasn't a bad experience-may have even helped since the mountain bike is +++++ heavier. You don't want the seat so high that your hips are rocking when you ride, though. Ideally you should have a slight bend in your leg when the pedal is near the bottom of the rotation.

    If your not getting any knee pain then you should be okay. Also unless the hills are excessively long or excessively steep riding that distance you should be okay even if you're off a little on position.


    Just listen to your joints and adjust accordingly. Keep up the riding!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    How are your hips? They ever bother you?

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Mountain bikes are set up to be small as you can see from the attachment.

    The frame is a 15" and I am 5'6" short. Long seat posts are wonderfull for standover clearance

  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone.

    I do not have hip pain, just the occasional knee pain, but that goes way back, so I know the bike riding isn't causing it. It might be making it a bit worse, but sometimes it hurts just driving the car, so it's no big deal.

    If the seat post is 2-3 inches into the tube will that be sufficient to keep the seat from breaking/falling off? I think I read somewhere that you needed at least 2 inches in the tube, but maybe I'm confusing things.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlodewell
    Thanks everyone.

    I do not have hip pain, just the occasional knee pain, but that goes way back, so I know the bike riding isn't causing it. It might be making it a bit worse, but sometimes it hurts just driving the car, so it's no big deal.

    If the seat post is 2-3 inches into the tube will that be sufficient to keep the seat from breaking/falling off? I think I read somewhere that you needed at least 2 inches in the tube, but maybe I'm confusing things.

    Thanks again.
    Cycling is generally good for knees and in the long run will probably help them feel better if the bike is adjusted right.
    I think your 2-3 inches is reasonable. Most seat post have a minimum insertion mark, this may be only a straight line across the post.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Seat height and fore/aft seat position would be the most important things to get right for easy riding.

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlodewell

    If the seat post is 2-3 inches into the tube will that be sufficient to keep the seat from breaking/falling off? I think I read somewhere that you needed at least 2 inches in the tube, but maybe I'm confusing things.

    Thanks again.
    On the seat post you should find a minimum insertion line. Providing this line is not out of the seat post, you should be ok but I like to see the seat post go an inch below the joint where the top bar meets the seat post.

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