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Old 07-23-13, 09:17 AM   #1
Ric14221
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advice welcome

Hi,

I just started riding 2 weeks ago and bought myself a Trek Wahoo 29er. 1st ride was 1.3 miles around the circle I live on. It's been 2 weeks and now my longest ride has been 8 miles. I average approx 9.5 miles an hour and plan on doing 10 miles on Saturday which will be week 3. I'm 5'8" and 260lbs. I used to be very active, ran 3 marathons, weight lifting, all sports but in the last 5 years haven't done much of anything but work. Couple questions?

1. should I replace the tires on my mtb? I never go off road and have no plans to. I ride bike paths.

2. will bar ends provide any comfort on longer distances?

3. I also ride the LifeFitness upright bike at my gym and it seems I can pedal much faster about 14 mph for 30 minutes. Is this good to train on? I would like to eventually be able to ride 50 miles above a 10 mph pace.

Thanks...Rick
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Old 07-23-13, 09:25 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ric14221 View Post
Hi,

1. should I replace the tires on my mtb? I never go off road and have no plans to. I ride bike paths.

2. will bar ends provide any comfort on longer distances?

3. I also ride the LifeFitness upright bike at my gym and it seems I can pedal much faster about 14 mph for 30 minutes. Is this good to train on? I would like to eventually be able to ride 50 miles above a 10 mph pace.

Thanks...Rick
Good on ya! Keep at it and the distance will come.

At this point the tires are not making much of a difference, narrower smoother tires will offer less rolling resistance though at this point it won't make a LOT of difference. I'd just stick with what you have and then if you start realizing the bikes shortcomings then upgrade to a new bike that fits the activity you are doing.

Bar ends will give you additional grip options and usually help with discomfort. However your average MTB has twist shifters so you will have to get something to accommodate them, either ends that fit into the bar tubes or cut back the present grip to make room for them, which may not leave enough room for your hand to grip. Disregard if it uses other shifters.

ANYTHING you do will help you in training, spin on any bike and it will help build muscle and help cardio. You can spin on it faster typically because of lack of wind resistance.

Keep up the good work we expect reports back as to your progress.
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Old 07-23-13, 09:49 AM   #3
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1. should I replace the tires on my mtb? I never go off road and have no plans to. I ride bike paths.
Sure, a smooth tire will be nicer.. Schwalbe big apple in 622-50 will roll nicely and still be cushiony wide.

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2. will bar ends provide any comfort on longer distances?
Yes, I give particular favor to the grip/bar end combination of Ergon

their GR5 offering is the longer bar end for more grip locations for your hands.
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Old 07-23-13, 01:34 PM   #4
Ric14221
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Thanks all. I will look into the bar ends. This is something I can do myself? Yes
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Old 07-23-13, 02:38 PM   #5
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Hi,

1) Better tyres will roll better, letting you go faster and further.
They make a big difference, so choose wisely. Personally I look
for very nice replaced tyre models available near budget prices.

2) Combined ergonomic grips and bar ends will give you
more hand positions by making the corner of the bars
more comfortable. Big range from budget to expensive.

3)
Any training is good. I'm 50+. I average 10mph on
my folder and 13 mph on my road bike and that is
all riding, not average speed on rides, that is higher.

TBH by the time you get to being able to ride 50 miles
your average speed on a ride should a lot higher than 10,
on tarmac. On trails 50 miles is a different kettle of fish,
speed becomes very dependent on the trail conditions.

rgds, sreten.

Last edited by sreten; 07-23-13 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 07-23-13, 03:13 PM   #6
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Most of what everyone said I agree with. Except just remember a life fitness bike has little to do with real world speed. It is a good training aid but the speeds posted are a guess as best. I once read an article by a trainer that was working with a over weight women and told her to ride a stationary bike at an average speed of 12 MPH for 20 minutes. She discovered she could kick real hard on one pedal and then let it coast down to 12 before having to kick again. Seemed strange but he simply wanted to empathize what extremes some people will go to in order to avoid any extra effort. Keep at it and you will get so a 20 or thirty mile ride seems like a warm up.
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Old 07-25-13, 08:12 AM   #7
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Well did 10.10 miles today. Avg speed 9 mph. Had to limp in the last two miles and got stung by a bee. Had 2 60+ people pass me like I was stopped. I'm so depressed. Focusing on the positive I am up to 10 miles now.
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Old 07-25-13, 08:21 AM   #8
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Well did 10.10 miles today. Avg speed 9 mph. Had to limp in the last two miles and got stung by a bee. Had 2 60+ people pass me like I was stopped. I'm so depressed. Focusing on the positive I am up to 10 miles now.
Forget about what other people are doing or thinking. Keep riding. Fun, isn't it? (Ok, except for the bee part...and dogs. Otherwise it's fun.)
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Old 07-26-13, 06:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ric14221 View Post
Hi,

I just started riding 2 weeks ago and bought myself a Trek Wahoo 29er. 1st ride was 1.3 miles around the circle I live on. It's been 2 weeks and now my longest ride has been 8 miles. I average approx 9.5 miles an hour and plan on doing 10 miles on Saturday which will be week 3. I'm 5'8" and 260lbs. I used to be very active, ran 3 marathons, weight lifting, all sports but in the last 5 years haven't done much of anything but work. Couple questions?

1. should I replace the tires on my mtb? I never go off road and have no plans to. I ride bike paths.

2. will bar ends provide any comfort on longer distances?

3. I also ride the LifeFitness upright bike at my gym and it seems I can pedal much faster about 14 mph for 30 minutes. Is this good to train on? I would like to eventually be able to ride 50 miles above a 10 mph pace.

Thanks...Rick
Just wondering why you went with a mountain bike rather than a road bike or hybrid like the Trek FX series? No matter. The Wahoo should be more than capable, especially if you like to ride rough dirt or gravel roads, but it is a mountain bike, so if you want to ride really long distances (60, 75 or 100 miles a day), you might eventually want to switch to a road bike. That being said, the Wahoo should be fine for rides of 25 or even 30 miles. Yes, go with a lighter, smoother tire, but don't expect miracles. You still need to do the work.

Stationary bike at the gym is fine, but maybe you aren't putting enough resistance on to simulate pulling yourself up hills, or riding into even a slight headwind. Best way to train is to ride.
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Old 07-26-13, 07:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Well did 10.10 miles today. Avg speed 9 mph. Had to limp in the last two miles and got stung by a bee. Had 2 60+ people pass me like I was stopped. I'm so depressed. Focusing on the positive I am up to 10 miles now.
Don't be depressed because you're headed in the right direction. As the saying goes: "I'd rather be a foot from hell going away than 100 miles away running toward it." The only place you can start the road to better fitness is where you happen to be at this exact minute. You can't wait until you get into better shape to start getting into better shape.

Uh - those folks who passed you like you were stopped - there's a hand signal for that. Smile and keep a light heart.
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Old 07-26-13, 08:25 AM   #11
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Just ride more. If buying bike parts makes you want to ride your bike more, then buy them, but at this point, I'd just try to ride as much as you can.

I honestly just started riding a bike again in February and did exactly what you did, started off slow with low miles and just tried to go a little farther each time. My legs hurt and I huff'd and puff'd but I enjoyed it and couldn't wait to get back out the next day. Five months later and my 28mile roundtrip commute is an easy day and knocking out 40-50 miles is common. My speeds are much faster and my legs don't hurt so much anymore. I'm waiting for the AZ weather to break so I can knock out a few centuries.

Everyone had to start somewhere, you can do it! I started the year at 240, was around 230 when I started riding and now I'm at 195. In no time at all, you'll be the guy passing people.
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Old 07-27-13, 09:40 AM   #12
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the people that pass you, likely have been riding for years. I have been riding for many years but have found myself slowing down as I approach the age of 60. With time on the bike, your fitness will improve, your riding distance will increase and your speed will increase. Just keep at it and enjoy the ride. I always find the time riding as a time to forget my problems and enjoy some fresh air.
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Old 08-09-13, 08:31 AM   #13
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Caught this thread late...but OP sounded like me a few years back. I was 280, didn't know sh...from shinola, and just started riding [I toured when younger, and thought I knew something; I didn't]. I used to think 10 miles was doing something. I remember when I did my first 50 it almost killed me. I wondered, 'How the heck do these guys do a 100 miles?". Well, I've done 10 full century rides now and I've lost count on the metrics I've done...and as I look back, I realize it was not as hard it first seemed. But it does take commitment and just keeping at it. The more I rode, the longer I could ride. It gets easier if you just keep at it. Hmm...things that helped me...that stand out....keeping a log of daily training of course helps. it might be a bit early in your progess, but monitoring my heart rate helped me to decipher when I needed to step things up or rest. You'll learn [later I'd imagine] that hydration and fuel [food] are very important to cycling stamina. The cycling is great for fitness of course, but to lose weight [if that is a goal], you HAVE TO WATCH WHAT YOU EAT. I count calories myself...but there are all sorts of systems [I won't hawk mine here]...but suffice it to say you cannot get around a simple dynamic that you MUST burn up more calories than you take in to lose weight; you still have to watch what you eat. Fitness closely parallels weight [and things like BMI etc], but they are not the same. One can be pretty fit and still carry a hefty paunch [I see a lot of cyclists like that, me included, I still carry a bit of bulge at the tummy but nothing like it once was]. Also, cycling is great for specific muscle groups [leg and heart], but totally neglects other [like your core...stomach and chest etc]. It pays to spend some time at the "Y" to strengthen those areas [supplement with swimming and/or jogging perhaps]. You'll hear over and over the BIKE FIT is fundamental to doing distance on a bike. At some point, I'd imagine [as others suggest] that you'll want to trade your 29er in for a road bike [or make a road bike your n+1 bike of the day]. I know this from experience, having bought a hybrid as my first bike [I loved it, a Trek FX7...wonderful bike]. But I'm a full roadie now; still use the FX for town utility runs, but my serious riding is all road bike now [especially doing centuries and other event rides]. Hmm...I could write all day I suppose. If you get stale, try throwing the bike into your car [or however you can carry it] and head to the next city or somewhere new. That's one of my greatest obstacles even now, finding new routes that maintain my interest. I've been all around the state now, camping out, just to find new terrain to ride [a hobby in itself]. One last thing...you get far more training benefit by riding in groups than riding alone; so when you feel ready, sign up to your local bike club [they'll have all levels most likely]. All my personal records have been made in group rides [you go substantially faster in pacelines etc...something even NASCAR has discovered due to drafting]. 10 miles today...100 tomorrow. It mainly just takes 'showing up'...day after day...and progress is faster than you think. Best of luck to you. [also, get to know your LbS people by first name that they know you as well...become a patron; they'll help immensely as time goes I'm sure].
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Old 08-09-13, 08:50 AM   #14
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Yes, yes, yes, to your questions. But trainer miles (and mph) do not equal true cycling miles. Trainer resistance settings are not realistic compared to actually riding a bike out in the world. So comparing the mph on the trainer to the mph you actually ride is not really valid.

Your progress in three weeks is actually very good. Keep at it. The more you ride, the easier it gets and the faster you go. To expand your envelope, try to ride 3 times a week as a minimum. If you only ride on weekends, you lose much of your gains by the following weekend.

As for speed: Don't let it concern you at all. Focus on distance. You can steadily increase your distance by planning your rides out. Eventually the speed will come, but even if it doesn't, don't worry about it. I ride a fair amount and can keep up with social cycling groups no problem. I don't picture myself ever doing serious racing or even hardcore training group rides. So averaging 12-15 mph is plenty fast for me. My wife rides with me sometimes; when she does, we average maybe 7 mph. That's fine too. In fact, rolling at the slower speeds I've noticed a lot more in the neighborhoods than I did at twice that speed, so there are advantages to going slow, too.

Just have fun. With increased riding, the speed will come. If you want to increase your speed, think about joining some group rides in a couple months. Also, you might want to ride some charity rides. Around here they cost $20-50 to sign up, they provide snacks/water along the way, and you can find a group that's running a speed you can keep up with.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 08-09-13, 10:03 AM   #15
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Bear in mind on the trainer in the gym you have no wind-resistance .. sitting up on your bike you have more .

bent over riding on road bikes there is a smaller frontal area presented to the wind, than if sitting upright.
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Old 08-09-13, 10:24 AM   #16
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The trainer was actually going 0 mph.

A couple of weeks is way too early to be building substantial cycling fitness. Too early to be discouraged, too. Just keep riding and you will get stronger. Gradually.
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