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Old 05-07-05, 03:59 PM   #1
let down
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I don't commute but I just bought a new road bike

I just came back from my LBS with Specialized Sirrus.
I thought it was a hybrid, but now that I bring it home, the wheels seem way too skinny.
Having said, that, I like it. Do you folks know if I can ride this on light, dirt trails with some gravels and what not? I skerd cause there is no suspension fork, and i dont feel safe.. I already fell once today riding from my LBS.. embarrassing

PS. the guy mentioned something like.. you can't switch gears whenever you want? I don't get what he means; he was showing me how the gears work -- but I'm not a bike junkie I know hardly anything alas
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Old 05-07-05, 05:07 PM   #2
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Perhaps he meant that you need to be turning the pedals, but not pushing them hard, to change gears. That bike sure looks like a hybrid to me, but some might call it a cyclocross bike. Just curious, what was the cause of your fall today?
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Old 05-07-05, 05:19 PM   #3
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If you ride on anything bumpy. Lift your ass off the seat. Or you will, repeat, will superman.
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Old 05-07-05, 06:19 PM   #4
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I commute on a Sirrus and it isnt that bad. And it is a hyrbid. I ride over a dirt path sometimes and I hit potholes and cracks in the road all the time. Just lift your butt up like the other person said and bend your knees and you will be fine.
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Old 05-07-05, 06:41 PM   #5
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What size are the tires? Somewhere on the wheel it should say 700 x __ . The __ number tells you how wide the tires are. For light trail riding you should have at least 32-35mm tires, depending on your weight. The tires on your bike look like they are 32 or 35's, but it's hard to be certain. Don't be afraid to put go up to 37 or 38mm tires if you want. You'll feel more stable on all surfaces and you'll get fewer flats. On gravel or loose dirt, you get the water-skiing effedct with skinny tires.

Your bike is a hybrid, but "hybrid" covers a wide variety of bikes, some are more road/speed oriented and come with 28mm tires. If your bike does have 28's, I'd change them before you trails with loose dirt or gravel. Hard packed dirt should be fine on 28's.
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Old 05-07-05, 07:03 PM   #6
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How did you fall?
Your bike should be equiped with specialized 700x28c tires, which I wouldn't take on a trail. The smallest tires I'd take are some 700x35 specialized hemispheres with some thread on them.

What he means by shifting is that you have to be pedaling to shift. Try to back off slightly on the pedaling pressure when you shift, kind of like shifting in a car. The gear train doesn't like to be under a lot of stress when the chain is shifted.
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Old 05-07-05, 07:10 PM   #7
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Pick up some touring tires, like Schwalbe Marathons, in 35mm size. You'll be fine on trails...
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Old 05-07-05, 08:01 PM   #8
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You do have to be moving the pedals to shift, not pushing, but just move them around, if you get a chance to look down when you're shifting a gear sometime, you can get an idea of how the shifting mechanisms work, I highly recommend doing this, go on a nice safe stretch of road and practice shifting, while looking at how the chain moves, note how you can shift to the bigger or smaller gear in front, and to large or smaller gears on the back. Note that some combinations end up looking really silly, with the chain at an angle - will work, but not all that well.

From the sound of it you need to get out regularly, and just ride and have a good time, don't push too hard, and just get some "saddle time" in. The reason you see high school kids looking graceful as birds riding around is they've been on bikes for years already even at their young ages. It just takes time, and welcome - cyclists are one of the finest groups of human beings around!
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Old 05-07-05, 09:37 PM   #9
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mine says 280. guess no trails for me. i was on a narrow road and the cars were being too much so i wanted to go on the sidewalk but i didn't realize there was a small ledge too big to get on the sidewalk from the road and i just wiped out
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Old 05-08-05, 06:32 AM   #10
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700x28 are fine for trails, I have doonee lots of off-road on that size, gravel, mud, hills whatever. A thin tyre will not explode or get damaged but you have to ride a bit more sentitively than with fat tyres.
Non sus forks are again OK.
The Sirrus is really a light-touring bike with flat bars. It is a popular and well-designed bike, ideal for commuting, day rides and light trail use and a lot better than pretty much any traditional "hybrid" style of bike.
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Old 05-08-05, 02:36 PM   #11
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haha...the sirrus is basically a flat bar road bike. I would not attempt to take it on anything remotely bumpy or "offroad" other man maybe some hardpack paths through a neighborhood or something, I was talking to a fellow BF.net member and he said that 28C was about as big as the frame had clearance for, it's still a nice bike.
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Old 05-08-05, 03:23 PM   #12
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I have 2002 Sirrus. I had my only crash pretty much the same way. I was used to riding right up on a driveway cut with my 38mm tires and when I tried it with the 28mm tires on my sirrus at a shallow angle, I crashed.

My 2002 Sirrus has some low end mtn bike components. I've think I've seen some of the newer Sirrus line have road bike components. But I've seen it classified as everything people have mentioned here. A hybrid, a touring bike because of the geometry and the three water bottle cage mounts, and a flat bar road bike. Specialized seems to classify it as a road bike, but then they don't have a hybrid category on the website and I wouldn't certainly wouldn't put it in their comfort category either.

Anyway, I personally don't take mine out for pure gravel trail riding, but it will take some light trail riding I am sure. I have gone over some short sections of fine gravel on both my sirrus and my road bike. The road bike has 23mm. The Sirrus now has 25mm Armadillos and a no suspensions seat posts and I use it for commuting on roads, multi use paths and an occasional short bit of dirt/gravel that have many holes and bumps. I even came home through some fresh snow once. I agree with the other recommendations about going over bumps. Get to know the physical limits and you will be fine.
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Old 05-08-05, 08:24 PM   #13
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I've ridden 50+ mi on semi-groomed dirt trail on 23c Conti 2000's before... I don't think its a big deal. If you want a good all around tire, I like the Kenda Kwick cyclocross tires, in a 35c variety. Heck I've ridden bikes like that down the local singletrack mountainbike trail with a 35c tire, no problems.
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Old 05-09-05, 03:30 AM   #14
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What is the tyre clearance on Sirrus. I know it used to be a bit tight but have they losened up?
Some of these flat bar road bikes have racing calipers (which is a pretty dumb idea) and very restricted tyre choice, other have small V brakes and room for something fatter.
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Old 05-09-05, 10:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by let down
mine says 280. guess no trails for me. i was on a narrow road and the cars were being too much so i wanted to go on the sidewalk but i didn't realize there was a small ledge too big to get on the sidewalk from the road and i just wiped out
Small lips, like those at driveways, are always prime places to crash, especially if you are trying to go up them parallel to your line of travel. Try hitting them at a steeper angle next time, preferably as close to 90degrees as you can get. Ruts and lips are also prime places to crash on a mountain bike. Suspension helps here but not all the time.

28c are kind of narrow for trails but you can put wider tires on this bike. A 32 or 37 would work well. Stick to mild trails through, this would be an ideal bike for railtrail riding. If you really want to try mountain biking, borrow or rent a mountain bike first. Mountain biking is a blast but it is best experienced with the proper equipment. The Sirrus is kind of the Rav4 of bicycles while a mountain bike is more like a Wrangler.
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Old 05-09-05, 06:25 PM   #16
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the fun of mountainbiking..eh?

my intention entering into the LBS was to buy a mountain bike, but then i realized, i'm too much of a wuss to do any of that mountain stuff.. i regret a bit now. i cant even go on mild trails without fearing that i would fall off and crack my head because my wheels are too thin and there is no suspension fork. hmm well well well
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Old 05-09-05, 06:35 PM   #17
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You don't need suspension or fat tires to run a mountain bike course. All my mountain bikes are rigid, actually. Running cyclocross tires will be more than adequate.
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Old 05-09-05, 09:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by let down
the fun of mountainbiking..eh?

my intention entering into the LBS was to buy a mountain bike, but then i realized, i'm too much of a wuss to do any of that mountain stuff.. i regret a bit now. i cant even go on mild trails without fearing that i would fall off and crack my head because my wheels are too thin and there is no suspension fork. hmm well well well
Unfortunately, real mountain biking, not racing or hucking or doing big drops or any of that other crap, is not sexy enough for advertisers. I have ridden mountain bikes for over 20 years now and I don't drop off cliffs or do back flips or go act like my mountain bike is just a larger version of a BMX bike. I do ride it to the top of mountains, into canyons, along old railbeds and over hill and dale. I look on mountain bikes the same way I look at my road bikes... as an instrument of discovery. In fact, this next weekend, I'm leading a ride for my local club that is a fairly easy 17 mile ride that always takes about 6 hours to complete. It goes into little know canyons in the far southeastern corner of Colorado where there are Native American petroglyphs from 5000 years ago, Spanish settlements from the 1800's, a ranch from the late 1800s and one of the largest dinosaur trackways in the world from over 250 million years ago. I've been down there dozens of times and still find something new every time I go down there. We won't win any races but we will have a memorable time

And, if the trail scares me, I get off and walk! I've broken enough bones in my life and I don't need any more, so yes, I will walk. You aren't a wuss, you are just prudent! Go out and explore and learn, you can do more than you think.
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