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  1. #1
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    Several questions

    So, I'm in the market for a new bike. What do you recommend? I plan on using it for commuting and just general riding. I don't want to spend a lot of money so I'm not opposed to a used bike.
    I have a mountain bike but it just...requires so much effort. I'd like to think that's because of the bike and not just fitness based. Is it? Would a lighter bike be easier if its geared more to city travel? I've seen a few on Craigslist and they're only slightly lighter than my mountain bike so I wonder if weight even matters.
    Basically, I'll take whatever knowledge you want to share : )

  2. #2
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    I'd keep the bike I have and get into better shape. If you're afraid of a little effort, then you're in the wrong forum.

  3. #3
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    If you have knobby tires on your mountain bike, replace them with slicks. That can make a huge difference. If this is the case, swap the tires and see where you are.

    Bike weight basically only makes a difference for climbing hills (and it's total bike + rider weight that is important).

    Once you're moving fast enough, the less upright you are, the less aerodynamic drag. So being on a road bike helps here. But you may not be there yet.

    Cheers,
    Charles
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  4. #4
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    I commuted for years, 25 miles round trip, on a mid-'80s steel Bridgestone mountain bike with road(ish) tires. If money is really a crunch, you might try swapping your knobbies for some smoother tires you can run at 75psi or so. 26x1.5 to 1.9 is a good size range. You'll be surprised how much faster you'll be.
    If you want to keep the offroad capabilities of your present bike, I'd look around thrift shops (Salvation Army, Goodwill etc) for an older, rigid mountain bike, then buy road tires for it. Around here you can find good ones, barely used, for less than $50. I bought a Specialized Hard Rock for my son when he was in college for $25, and it came with a $35 computer and $40 Blackburn rack. They're plentiful, durable, easy to get parts for and not attractive to thieves.
    For the riding you mentioned, I wouldn't worry much about weight or gearing. It's easier to take five pounds off the rider than the bike, and gearing is easy to change.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    If you have knobby tires on your mountain bike, replace them with slicks. That can make a huge difference. If this is the case, swap the tires and see where you are.

    Bike weight basically only makes a difference for climbing hills (and it's total bike + rider weight that is important).

    Once you're moving fast enough, the less upright you are, the less aerodynamic drag. So being on a road bike helps here. But you may not be there yet.

    Cheers,
    Charles

    +1

    This^^^ And if you swap the front suspension on the mtb, with a rigid fork, you can move even faster.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    If you have knobby tires on your mountain bike, replace them with slicks. That can make a huge difference. If this is the case, swap the tires and see where you are.

    Bike weight basically only makes a difference for climbing hills (and it's total bike + rider weight that is important).

    Once you're moving fast enough, the less upright you are, the less aerodynamic drag. So being on a road bike helps here. But you may not be there yet.

    Cheers,
    Charles
    Duh, it never occurred to me to change the tires! Thanks. I think I'll try that before purchasing a different bike.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, I do need to get into better shape. I just wasn't sure if it was so difficult because of the bike or if it was all me.

  8. #8
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cfiber View Post
    And if you swap the front suspension on the mtb, with a rigid fork, you can move even faster.
    This is another good point. Front suspensions can be very lossy (when you pedal, you are bouncing up and down instead of going forwards).
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  9. #9
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    It sounds like you want an excuse to get a road bike. Do it! Anything that makes the ride more enjoyable for you means that you'll be on the bike more often.

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