Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 73
  1. #1
    RatedZ
    Guest

    I KNEW it was going to be difficult, but...

    So I'm back home in good ol' WV, and unlike my parents' neighborhood where I've been tearing around on the wife's new GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc on the street, there are a few more hills in my neighborhood. Now, before anyone tells me a mountain bike isn't the ideal cruiser for the streets, I was aware of that when we got it; in fact, I ordered a GT Avalanche 1.0 Disc for myself, which should be ready for pick-up by the end of the week.

    Anyway, lemme cut to the chase here. I already know street tires would make a world of difference due to much less resistance/road friction than a mountain bike's knobby tires, but I figured that out of 24 gears to choose from, I could find AT LEAST one that I could climb a hill with without huffing and puffing halfway up, and then having to walk the rest of the way up the hill with my knees quivering under me. In fact, I finished my ride about 20-30 minutes ago, and I'm still quivering at the knees!

    Yeah, I know, I'm out of shape; I know this, too. Maybe it's just going to take a while to build those muscles back up, and I'm just expecting too much, such as just jumping back on a bike like when I was 14 years old and have endless amounts of energy. Well, whatever the case, it ain't happening this time around!

    So, any suggestions on making my ride a little bit easier, or am I just being a pre-madonna and a sissy?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Yellowbeard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    735
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZ View Post
    So, any suggestions on making my ride a little bit easier...?
    You ride more.
    I'll eat it first.

  3. #3
    RatedZ
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowbeard View Post
    You ride more.
    That goes without saying! Maybe I'm asking the wrong question, like, "What would enhance the performance of my mountain bike for asphalt-only journeys?"

    I'm definitely going to ride more. We didn't spend $1300-$1400 in biking equipment to just sit and collect dust. We're both on a mission to get in shape, lose weight, and have fun while losing weight. It's hard work, but hard work never phased me when it came to doing something I really wanted to accomplish. No pain, no gain, right?

  4. #4
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    1. Make sure the brakes are properly adjusted and not dragging, pick the wheel up and spin it.

    2. Pump up tires to max on sidewall. (maybe plus 5 PSI ) You did get a floor pump, didn't you?

    3. Fit higher pressure slick tires.

    4. Make sure the saddle is at correct height, your legs should almost be straight when at full extension on the pedal, NOT straight, but close.

    5. Persevere, it will come, but for the first little bit, nothing will seem to happen, then you are going to find, "Hey! I didn't walk that hill!"

    Congratulations on taking the first steps, it's NOT easy if you've been sedentary for a few decades, but it's worth it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    8,486
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZ View Post
    but I figured that out of 24 gears to choose from, I could find AT LEAST one that I could climb a hill with without huffing and puffing halfway up, and then having to walk the rest of the way up the hill with my knees quivering under me. In fact, I finished my ride about 20-30 minutes ago, and I'm still quivering at the knees!
    Depending on the "hill" and what seems to be your level of condition, it isn't surprising that you might have had to walk up something. (Don't worry about it too much.)

    We have no idea what you think of as a "hill". It might be interesting to indicate the actual address of this "hill". I'm assuming that you are using your lowest gears.

    It's possible that you are trying too hard. Learning to bicycle also requires learning to pace yourself.

    ===========

    This bike has very low gears. The rear cluster is 11-32, which is fairly low (but not the lowest possible). The crankset is 22/32/44, which is low too (typical for MTB).

    This bike is reasonably set-up to climb fairly steep hills.

    http://www.gtbicycles.com/deu/eng/Bi...anche-1.0-Disc

    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=19143

    ===========

    A better strategy (starting out), might be to select one of your lower gears and go up the hill slowly.

    A good technique to using your gears efficiently is to shift to the lowest (smallest) front gear and shift the rear to a higher gear before you start climbing. That way, you can just shift your rear derailler as you climb and things get harder (if you need to). It's easier and faster to shift the rear derailler than it is the front.

    The general idea is to keep your pedals rotating at 60+ RPM (this number is called "cadence"). You pick your gear to match your cadence. It is possible that some hills might be too steep for you to be able to pedal at 60+RPM in your lowest gear. In that situation, you might have to walk.

    While the bike-related advice will help a little, hills only get easier if you work at it. That is, ride more.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 04-05-10 at 11:17 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oh! Lockout the front suspension, you don't need it on the street, and it sucks up pedaling energy.

  7. #7
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    OTP South
    Posts
    2,016
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use a set of Nimbus tires on my MTB for use as a 'hybrid' of sorts, and a commuter years ago. Helped a whole lot over the knobbies.
    One Foot Less

  8. #8
    Soma Lover
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Logan, UT
    My Bikes
    one bike for every day of the week
    Posts
    765
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I haven't heard any mention of clipless pedals yet. A budget pair of spd compatible shoes and some used pedals doesn't cost much and will get you as much speed as ditching the knobs. Once you get used to them, you'll never go back to platforms.

    And yes, knobs suck on the road. I notice a big difference just switching from slicks to semi-slicks, forget full on knobbies. Even having knobs on the sides for cornering will affect your ability to carry speed around a corner. At higher speeds that indexed, notchy feeling as you transition from the inside of a knob to the top and then to the outside is enough to spook beginning riders.

    I think #3 would have to be fit. Although you won't be worrying about aerodynamics much on a mountain bike, finding the most efficient riding position you're still comfortable staying in really pays off. Most serious cyclists agonize over it. I myself notice when my saddle to handlebar distance is off by more than just a few millimeters.

    Good Luck!

  9. #9
    RatedZ
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
    1. Make sure the brakes are properly adjusted and not dragging, pick the wheel up and spin it.

    2. Pump up tires to max on sidewall. (maybe plus 5 PSI ) You did get a floor pump, didn't you?

    3. Fit higher pressure slick tires.

    4. Make sure the saddle is at correct height, your legs should almost be straight when at full extension on the pedal, NOT straight, but close.

    5. Persevere, it will come, but for the first little bit, nothing will seem to happen, then you are going to find, "Hey! I didn't walk that hill!"

    Congratulations on taking the first steps, it's NOT easy if you've been sedentary for a few decades, but it's worth it.
    I'm glad you brought up the "brake issue," because it's going to save me from wasting bandwidth on a thread that could be answered here.

    The bike has disc brakes, and I'm noticing a "tsst...tsst...tsst" sound that I know is the rotor. It appears to be very close to the "caliper bolt," and I'm going to assume that as the wheel turns, it's lightly touching. The wheels are the "quick-release" variant, and I've tried removing and reinstalling the wheel numerous times, with numerous tensions on the "lock lever;" no dice. I can get it to spin freely, but the moment someone sits on it, it's back to the same game.

    I've never owned a bike with disc brakes. Is a very slight contact of the rotor with the caliper normal, or is there some sort of adjustment needed?

  10. #10
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Queens, New York
    My Bikes
    Surly Disc trucker (DIY), Fuji Reveal 1.0 (DIY MTB), Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    5,161
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZ View Post
    I'm glad you brought up the "brake issue," because it's going to save me from wasting bandwidth on a thread that could be answered here.

    The bike has disc brakes, and I'm noticing a "tsst...tsst...tsst" sound that I know is the rotor. It appears to be very close to the "caliper bolt," and I'm going to assume that as the wheel turns, it's lightly touching. The wheels are the "quick-release" variant, and I've tried removing and reinstalling the wheel numerous times, with numerous tensions on the "lock lever;" no dice. I can get it to spin freely, but the moment someone sits on it, it's back to the same game.

    I've never owned a bike with disc brakes. Is a very slight contact of the rotor with the caliper normal, or is there some sort of adjustment needed?
    Do you know the type/model of the brakes? The calipers usually have one or two rings/bolts for adjusting the pad position. However, the rotor can be warped too, but it may be possible to true it. Your LBS may be able to help you with that. Slight rubbing like that won't make your ride that much harder though.

    Simple brakes such as Hayes MX1 allow only to adjust one pad, Avid BB7 allow adjustments of both. Also, proper centering of the caliper over the rotor is important. Avid suggests 2/3: rotor closer to the inside, stationary pad.

    As mentioned above: hard, smooth tires and proper riding position make the biggest difference.

    Adam

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    8,486
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZ View Post
    I've never owned a bike with disc brakes. Is a very slight contact of the rotor with the caliper normal, or is there some sort of adjustment needed?
    Note that, if you bought it from a shop, they will generally look at issues and answer your questions.

  12. #12
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZ View Post
    I'm glad you brought up the "brake issue," because it's going to save me from wasting bandwidth on a thread that could be answered here.

    The bike has disc brakes, and I'm noticing a "tsst...tsst...tsst" sound that I know is the rotor. It appears to be very close to the "caliper bolt," and I'm going to assume that as the wheel turns, it's lightly touching. The wheels are the "quick-release" variant, and I've tried removing and reinstalling the wheel numerous times, with numerous tensions on the "lock lever;" no dice. I can get it to spin freely, but the moment someone sits on it, it's back to the same game.

    I've never owned a bike with disc brakes. Is a very slight contact of the rotor with the caliper normal, or is there some sort of adjustment needed?
    A slight noise as you describe is common, depending on the brake, it can sometimes be adjusted out. If the wheel still spins well though, not going to have a major impact. I was thinking more along the lines of a badly set up V-Brakes, seen more than a few of those.

  13. #13
    RatedZ
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    Do you know the type/model of the brakes? The calipers usually have one or two rings/bolts for adjusting the pad position. However, the rotor can be warped too, but it may be possible to true it. Your LBS may be able to help you with that. Slight rubbing like that won't make your ride that much harder though.

    Simple brakes such as Hayes MX1 allow only to adjust one pad, Avid BB7 allow adjustments of both. Also, proper centering of the caliper over the rotor is important. Avid suggests 2/3: rotor closer to the inside, stationary pad.

    As mentioned above: hard, smooth tires and proper riding position make the biggest difference.

    Adam
    Adam, it's a Tektro "cable-actuated" front disc brake; that's all it says on GT's website...

  14. #14
    RatedZ
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
    A slight noise as you describe is common, depending on the brake, it can sometimes be adjusted out. If the wheel still spins well though, not going to have a major impact. I was thinking more along the lines of a badly set up V-Brakes, seen more than a few of those.
    I'm hearing this sound while I'm riding, and while it's annoying, if I spin the tire, there may be very little resistance, if any...

  15. #15
    Senior Member Yellowbeard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    735
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZ View Post
    I'm hearing this sound while I'm riding, and while it's annoying, if I spin the tire, there may be very little resistance, if any...
    Discs rely on mechanical advantage in the mechanism for stopping power, unlike rim brakes which have their mechanical advantage in their position at the rim. You won't notice any drag at all when your'e riding, but yeah, the noise is annoying as hell.

    Cable discs have about four adjustments: caliper position, cable tension, fixed pad position and the fourth is that you can use an adjustable wrench to slightly bend the rotor to get it nice and straight if it's only rubbing at part of it's rotation. Check this out if you need to do it yourself: http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=124

    Mechanical discs are a snap to adjust, once you get the hang of it.
    I'll eat it first.

  16. #16
    tsl
    tsl is offline
    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    My Bikes
    1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
    Posts
    6,412
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZ View Post
    What would enhance the performance of my mountain bike for asphalt-only journeys?
    Another member here, Platypius, said this about that on another forum.

    Putting slicks on a mountain bike is like putting a dress on your best friend Bob. He still won’t look like a woman, and he won’t ride like one either.—Platypius
    I think that sums it up nicely.

    Eat your Wheaties, practice hills, and if that still doesn't work, get a 32 or 34 tooth big cog on the rear.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  17. #17
    RatedZ
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    Another member here, Platypius, said this about that on another forum.



    I think that sums it up nicely.

    Eat your Wheaties, practice hills, and if that still doesn't work, get a 32 or 34 tooth big cog on the rear.
    Looks like the most efficient way to do it is going to be to eat my Wheaties. It's the cheapest, too.

    I'm not worried about removing some of the "function" out of its "mountain prowess," because it's probably going to encounter less mountain terrain than asphalt. Now, you're probably asking yourself, "Then why did you get a mountain bike?" Well, I got one because if I see anything "interesting" to tackle while on a ride, I want to go for it.

    My wife and I go on vacation around 3-4 times per year, and sometimes we wind up in the mountains. While we've walked some trails, we'd like to step it up with some biking. We've never been "outdoorsy" type people, but after a very pleasant experience in Fayettville, WV last year, we've decided we'd like to pursue more "outdoorsy" adventures in the future.

  18. #18
    Wildflower
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    My Bikes
    Trek Madone 4.5 WSD road bike with Shimano Ultegra and 105 components. I also own a Giant Defy 1 road bike for a spare.
    Posts
    40
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZ View Post
    So I'm back home in good ol' WV, and unlike my parents' neighborhood where I've been tearing around on the wife's new GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc on the street, there are a few more hills in my neighborhood. Now, before anyone tells me a mountain bike isn't the ideal cruiser for the streets, I was aware of that when we got it; in fact, I ordered a GT Avalanche 1.0 Disc for myself, which should be ready for pick-up by the end of the week.

    Anyway, lemme cut to the chase here. I already know street tires would make a world of difference due to much less resistance/road friction than a mountain bike's knobby tires, but I figured that out of 24 gears to choose from, I could find AT LEAST one that I could climb a hill with without huffing and puffing halfway up, and then having to walk the rest of the way up the hill with my knees quivering under me. In fact, I finished my ride about 20-30 minutes ago, and I'm still quivering at the knees!

    Yeah, I know, I'm out of shape; I know this, too. Maybe it's just going to take a while to build those muscles back up, and I'm just expecting too much, such as just jumping back on a bike like when I was 14 years old and have endless amounts of energy. Well, whatever the case, it ain't happening this time around!

    So, any suggestions on making my ride a little bit easier, or am I just being a pre-madonna and a sissy?
    LOL! Sounds like you are very unfit and weren't prepared for riding. If your knees are still shaking then that says it all. Once you are fit, then you should be able to go up most of those hills without changing too many gears if they are small hills. You didn't say how big they were.

    Suggestions: Start riding every day and build up your distance by 2 kms each day until you are riding at least 10 kms. Begin to use some small weights to build up your anaerobic and resistance strength. If you are also overweight, then start to cut the amount of food that you eat and eat lots of protein foods. Make sure that you drink lots of water so that you don't get dehydrated.

    It doesn't matter how good your bike is (within reason), but it is you that improves your performance and for cycling, you need strong legs and good aerobic fitness. Good luck.

  19. #19
    RatedZ
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Wildflower View Post
    LOL! Sounds like you are very unfit and weren't prepared for riding. If your knees are still shaking then that says it all. Once you are fit, then you should be able to go up most of those hills without changing too many gears if they are small hills. You didn't say how big they were.

    Suggestions: Start riding every day and build up your distance by 2 kms each day until you are riding at least 10 kms. Begin to use some small weights to build up your anaerobic and resistance strength. If you are also overweight, then start to cut the amount of food that you eat and eat lots of protein foods. Make sure that you drink lots of water so that you don't get dehydrated.

    It doesn't matter how good your bike is (within reason), but it is you that improves your performance and for cycling, you need strong legs and good aerobic fitness. Good luck.
    Most people would probably get upset for you laughing at them, but in all honesty, it is quite laughable. These hills shouldn't even be considered hills. They're more like 25 degree inclines, but long, slight inclines. It really is funny indeed.

    I wouldn't say I'm very unfit, but I am certainly unfit. I just expected a little bit more out of myself, and you are absolutely right, I wasn't prepared. I'm using a lot of muscles that I don't use a whole lot, and haven't used in 22 years. I think another problem is that I'm not sure which gear(s) I should be using. It's like learning to drive a car with a manual transmission and being unable to determine which gear is the proper gear for the best results. I spent a lot of time on those "hills" swapping gears, unable to find one that suited me. It was a bit frustrating, really; having 24 gears and being unable to choose one. All I could think was, "THIS THING HAS 24 DAMNED GEARS AND I CAN'T FIND A SINGLE ONE I LIKE!"

  20. #20
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ah, watch this.

    http://bicycletutor.com/gear-shifting/

    nykayaker had it right, when a hill is likely to be challenging, sometimes it is easier to shift into the smallest front ring before getting on the hill, then shifting the rear as it gets steeper. If this means that you're going to be cross-chaining, that is small front to small rear, this is not a good idea, but you can get away with it, while you're learning.

    The thing to remember, is that however the gears work, you will find that the lever that makes the chain move to a bigger ring, will feel like you are moving the chain, the other will simply "release" the chain to a smaller ring. Where it gets confusing, is that in the front, a bigger gear is harder, while in the back, it's easier.
    Last edited by coldfeet; 04-05-10 at 10:33 PM.

  21. #21
    RatedZ
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
    Ah, watch this.

    http://bicycletutor.com/gear-shifting/

    nykayaker had it right, when a hill is likely to be challenging, sometimes it is easier to shift into the smallest front ring before getting on the hill, then shifting the rear as it gets steeper. If this means that you're going to be cross-chaining, that is small front to small rear, this is not a good idea, but you can get away with it, while you're learning.

    The thing to remember, is that however the gears work, you will find that the lever that makes the chain move to a bigger ring, will feel like you are moving the chain, the other will simply "release" the chain to a smaller ring. Where it gets confusing, is that in the front, a bigger gear is harder, while in the back, it's easier.
    If I'm going small gear to small gear, how would I be cross-chaining? The small gears would be on the outside, lined up parallel, wouldn't they? Also, couldn't cross-chaining mess up a chain?

  22. #22
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you are in the small front ring ( inner ) and small rear cog, ( outer ) if you look at the bike, the chain is running from the outside of the bike at the back, to the inside of the bike at the front, cross-chaining. It's not good, for the chain, but it should be able to take it, it'll just increase wear on the chain and gears.

    As I said, not recommended, but if it makes it possible for you to get up the hills while you are building your strength and gear shifting skills, well, chains and cogs are wear items.

  23. #23
    RatedZ
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
    If you are in the small front ring ( inner ) and small rear cog, ( outer ) if you look at the bike, the chain is running from the outside of the bike at the back, to the inside of the bike at the front, cross-chaining. It's not good, for the chain, but it should be able to take it, it'll just increase wear on the chain and gears.

    As I said, not recommended, but if it makes it possible for you to get up the hills while you are building your strength and gear shifting skills, well, chains and cogs are wear items.
    Ah, okay, I get what you're sayin'. I'm not interested in putting unneeded stress on parts. I'd rather eat my humble pie and just walk my bike up a hill...

  24. #24
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Paradise, TX
    My Bikes
    Surly Cross Check, Redline Monocog 29er, Generic Track bike, Surly Pugsley, Salsa Fargo, Schwinn Klunker
    Posts
    1,518
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just keep trying. It doesn't get any easier, but you'll go faster. The biggest thing is to make sure your saddle is the proper height for full leg extension so you don't damage your knees. In a few weeks you'll probably have increased the miles enough to notice the benefit of slick tires.

    Your bike doesn't actually have 24 gears, more like about 12 with some that repeat themselves. Changing the front chainring is like jumping two or three gears in the back. Start in about 2 in the front and five in the rear, go up to 3 in the front for downhills and down to 1 in the front for uphills and fine tune your cadence with the rear. As you get stronger you'll probably be pushing bigger gears, but you need to start somewhere.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  25. #25
    RatedZ
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
    Just keep trying. It doesn't get any easier, but you'll go faster. The biggest thing is to make sure your saddle is the proper height for full leg extension so you don't damage your knees. In a few weeks you'll probably have increased the miles enough to notice the benefit of slick tires.

    Your bike doesn't actually have 24 gears, more like about 12 with some that repeat themselves. Changing the front chainring is like jumping two or three gears in the back. Start in about 2 in the front and five in the rear, go up to 3 in the front for downhills and down to 1 in the front for uphills and fine tune your cadence with the rear. As you get stronger you'll probably be pushing bigger gears, but you need to start somewhere.
    Yeah, maybe it's just because I was younger that it was easier to push a GT Pro Performer up a hill; less rolling resistance from the lighter and smaller tires, maybe? Or maybe it was because I was 22 years younger!

    Regarding saddle height, the salesman told me that the proper height was so that only the tops of the balls of my feet or my toes touched the ground. This is what I've been adhering to.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •