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Thread: Hill Help?

  1. #26
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    How do I know how narrow of a tire I can fit on my rims? And would it be worth it if I'm looking to buy a new bike in a couple months?

  2. #27
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    I would ask at your local LBS what the narrowest tire that your rims will accept, but if you plan on getting a new bike in a couple months, you are right, it might not be worth it. Depends on your finances and how frustrated you feel with your bike.

  3. #28
    The Fred Menace! RI_Swamp_Yankee's Avatar
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    OK. You are 16! In this case, simply stick with it. You will rapidly become strong enough to tackle whatever lies beneath your tires... just remember that the faster your feet move as you pedal, the less force they have to exert as they pedal. I had a sadistic gym teacher who taught me to switch to the harder-to-pedal gears as I went uphill... he was wrong and stupid. Mechanical advantage is no sin - as small a front gear as you can manage, with as big a rear gear, and you'll zip up the steepest of hills. Soon you'll have a buff body, and the jocks will gnash their teeth-guards with envy as the cool, smart girls will be all-up-ons a hard-core cyclist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McStuff View Post
    Well I guess I was stupid when I bought the tires because I considered them to be better than the knobbies. These are the tires I got: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000_1504501 What's a more appropriate width for street riding on a mtb?

    That tire is not a bad choice. It does have much less resistance than the old " mud-grips " that probably came on your bike. You've already cut the rolling resistance down a lot. My converted mountain bike has a very similar tread design but it is 1.5", which should fit yours. In my opinion, since you may be trading soon, I would just go ahead & try to use your present tires. Swapping out will not make that much difference. Keep an eye on tire pressue. Practice,,,, do leg strengthening excercises,,,,
    continue dieting,, & all that should help a lot.

  5. #30
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    McStuff, how long have you been biking like this?

    If it's been less than a couple months, then stop worrying about the bike and just keep riding. Your body will need time to break down and build itself back up again.

    I'd get at least toeclips n' straps if you don't have them already, though. Having my feet attached to the pedals is probably the most significant thing that's changed my cycling in the past quarter-century.

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    Ya, I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. Plus, I want to be at my max height before I put down a few hundred on a bike. I should be hitting my growth spurt any month now, and I don't want to outgrow a brand new bike in a matter of months.

  7. #32
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McStuff View Post
    Well I guess I was stupid when I bought the tires because I considered them to be better than the knobbies. These are the tires I got: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000_1504501 What's a more appropriate width for street riding on a mtb?
    Those are indestructible commuter-type tires. As long as you're not forced to ride in a glass-strewn, potholed wasteland, the Metro-K tires will serve you much better: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000_1502001
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Those are indestructible commuter-type tires. As long as you're not forced to ride in a glass-strewn, potholed wasteland, the Metro-K tires will serve you much better: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000_1502001
    How much would I benefit from those tires over my current ones? And I have to check my tubes, because I might need to swap those as well. I might be keeping this bike until I hit my growth spurt because it would suck to outgrow a new bike so fast. Also, if I replace my tubes, is presta better than schrader? My pump supports both, so I might as well go presta if it's better.

  9. #34
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    I wouldn't rush to buy new tires. You'll just spend a lot of money and still be struggling with the hill. IMHO, just keep at it. Give your body some time to build itself up. Ride each day or two. Hit the hill at a slow and steady pace. See how far you can get each day before stopping for you first break. Do this for a few weeks, maybe a month or two, and I will be surprised if you do not see notable improvement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McStuff View Post
    Ya, I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. Plus, I want to be at my max height before I put down a few hundred on a bike. I should be hitting my growth spurt any month now, and I don't want to outgrow a brand new bike in a matter of months.
    Hmmm, that's a good thought. I didn't get into biking until I was done growing so I never thought about that.

    Anyway, all the technical discussion is fine, but it's all about the engine. Just keep riding up hills until you barely notice them anymore.

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    Ride of my life!

    So I decided that I'd go on a ride down to a paved trail, so I hopped on my bike and went. I got directions from my mom, but I ended up realizing that I missed a turn, so I kept going on a familiar path that I've gone before. I kept going and going until I finally went back. This put me at the bottom of a sizable hill, which I took like any other time. Except this time, I kept going. I shifted down, and I was at 2nd gear 1st range for a while. I found myself passing all of the points that I used to stop at for a break. Suddenly it struck me that I might actually be able to surmount the hill. As I kept going, I shifted down to my last gear and soldiered on until, before I knew it, I was at the top of the hill! That's right, I made it up without a single stop.

    Here are some figures off my computer:
    Time: 1:07:13
    Avg Speed: 10.38
    Max Speed: 27.19
    Trip Distance: 11.63

    Some other things that made my ride even sweeter were applying some tricks I learned from Sheldon's site. I focused on properly mounting/dismounting and using my front brake instead of my rear. Lastly, I adjusted my saddle so that when the pedal was at the bottom, my knee had a slight bend. Overall, I'm thoroughly satisfied with my ride.

  12. #37
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Hey, that's excellent.

    Another good site for technique is: www.leelikesbikes.com.

  13. #38
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    My 2 cents: don't get obsessed wit mileage and times early on, it gets in the way of fun IMHO. Just ride. I took off the computer off my commuter (hey, it rhymes!) and it feels better. I watch my mileage on longer rides to match with what I had planned to make sure that I don't overdo and as a navigation aid but not for "performance" reasons.

    Adam

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    My 2 cents: don't get obsessed wit mileage and times early on, it gets in the way of fun IMHO. Just ride. I took off the computer off my commuter (hey, it rhymes!) and it feels better. I watch my mileage on longer rides to match with what I had planned to make sure that I don't overdo and as a navigation aid but not for "performance" reasons.

    Adam
    I usually just like to know how long my rides are. The rest of that stuff was just to post for fun.

  15. #40
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    Good to hear you're doing better on hills. I personally had a hell of a time with hills when I first started riding. I'd look at some hills and say to myself "no way". Now they're not a problem at all. What I find works for me is that before it starts getting steep, push yourself just a little bit to get a little bit extra speed for momentum but don't kill yourself getting the speed. Then find a gear that you can keep pedaling on as you go up the hill, then when you find your cadence is really slowing down get up and do a standing climb and you'll find yourself zipping up hills. I find once you learn hills that you climb often that you know exactly what gears you need to use and when to hammer it.

  16. #41
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adclark View Post
    I agree with everything Arcanum said. Also, one thing I have found that helps me is clipless pedals. Being able to pull up on the pedals can do two main things: 1. Allow you to use a wider variety of muscles. 2. Let you distribute the load among different muscles to lighten the strain on all of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by McStuff View Post
    At this point, I don't think I'd want clipless pedals. It seems like it'd be a rather expensive setup, plus they wouldn't be too great in traffic.
    The way I've been riding for years has been to use toe clips with no straps. I get some improvement in terms of keeping my feet secured to the pedals. I don't get as much of a gain as I would from clipless I guess, but it's an improvement over plain platforms. You can really lean into the pedals and now worry about slipping off them. You can buy basic toe clips very inexpensively (like these for less than $10) They are simple to get out of if you need to put your foot down; you don't even have to think about them. Getting back in, you have to kind of flip them around with your foot because the weight of the clip flips them around, but it's an easy skill to pick up and if need be you can just pedal on the bottom side of the pedal if you have to get going in traffic.



    Quote Originally Posted by McStuff View Post
    So I decided that I'd go on a ride down to a paved trail, so I hopped on my bike and went. I got directions from my mom, but I ended up realizing that I missed a turn, so I kept going on a familiar path that I've gone before. I kept going and going until I finally went back. This put me at the bottom of a sizable hill, which I took like any other time. Except this time, I kept going. I shifted down, and I was at 2nd gear 1st range for a while. I found myself passing all of the points that I used to stop at for a break. Suddenly it struck me that I might actually be able to surmount the hill. As I kept going, I shifted down to my last gear and soldiered on until, before I knew it, I was at the top of the hill! That's right, I made it up without a single stop.

    Here are some figures off my computer:
    Time: 1:07:13
    Avg Speed: 10.38
    Max Speed: 27.19
    Trip Distance: 11.63

    Some other things that made my ride even sweeter were applying some tricks I learned from Sheldon's site. I focused on properly mounting/dismounting and using my front brake instead of my rear. Lastly, I adjusted my saddle so that when the pedal was at the bottom, my knee had a slight bend. Overall, I'm thoroughly satisfied with my ride.
    Congrats! One thing someone told me and it seems to be true- when you get up out of your seat to pedal up a hill, you get more power and your cadence will go up, sometimes enough that you're actually pedaling too quickly to keep the bike stable. If this happens, try upshifting a couple gears (i.e., go from 7 to 5). This slows the cadence down to where, for me, I feel like I'm just calmly pushing on a stair climber. Another tip someone gave me is to keep my elbows tuck in near my body which makes steering more stable.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    My 2 cents: don't get obsessed wit mileage and times early on, it gets in the way of fun IMHO. Just ride. I took off the computer off my commuter (hey, it rhymes!) and it feels better. I watch my mileage on longer rides to match with what I had planned to make sure that I don't overdo and as a navigation aid but not for "performance" reasons.

    Adam
    True. I've ditched the computer altogether and just ride. If I want to gage my performance I figure out my miles from Bikely.com and look at my watch when I leave and when I finish my ride.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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