Hi, I've been riding everyday for heart health for about 3 months rather than walking on the walking trail. I'm 48 years old, 6' 1" and currently 188 lbs. I now ride an older GT Pantera MTB w/18.5" frame and a handle bar change that extends forward and up from the original. I was told by a LBS that this bike is too small for me, he seen me on it with the original handle bar which was awkward for me to ride. Anyway, I ride about 30% paved roads and 70% gravel roads that are very hilly and has a lot of wash board surface. This wash board road surface combined with the speed of going down hills in excess of 30 MPH is hard on my body. These roads have some pretty sharp turns at the bottom of some of these hills, and I need to be able to hang these turns in excess of 30MPH as well. I kind of want to keep my speed from going down because most of the time I have to climb another hill right afterwards. I was thinking of geting a DS MTB and run across this Hybrid section. I'm wondering if maybe this is what I should consider over a MTB. One thing for sure is I currently don't know anything about front shocks and I'm not sure if the one on this GT bike is any good or not, nor do I know how to go about checking or adjusting it. Please offer me any advise you feel would be helpful for me. Thanks: John
For the riding you describe you are better with an MTB than a hybrid. Go to the MTB forum and ask for advice there if you decide to buy a new bike.
Before reaching that stage fit wide tyres on your bike if it hasn't go them already and play with the tyre pressure. Don't take it so low the rubber can touch the rims on a hard bump, but take it as low as you up to that. You will be more comfortable and faster on the type of road you describe. (Un-evened out bumps steal forward speed; a cushiony tyre will reduce this.)
You can also try adding a suspension seat post - these can give you a lot of the advantages of suspension especially when limited travel is need. This model is very cheap and should be effective:
..And if you feel like spending more money, you could consider a Thudbuster post.
Non-joke quality dual suspension MTBs aren't cheap although they are not as expensive as they used to be. Take a look at the MTB faq to get an idea of prices. A cheaper alternative might be an FS 29er MTB with high volume tyres and a suspension seat post. If you buy a DS MTB you will have to maintain it so buy "Zinn's Mountain Bikes" and at least the minimum toolset he recommends.
As for the fit issue, how much standover room do you have? Do you feel cramped on the bike?
For immediate advice on the Pantera's shock go to www.retrobike.co.uk/
Thanks for the quick reply, I'm also considering a used 2005 Trek Liquid 25 with Mavic Crossmax SSC wheels, Easton Monkey Lite carbon handle bar, I'm not sure about any other upgrades. Anyway, the guy is asking $1,000.00 for it. The price seems kind of high, but I guess due to the high dollar wheels he figures this price. If I decide the bike is the right fit, I'll make him some sort of lower offer. Anyone have any idea what a fair price would be? I have not yet seen it, but he said it was in very good condition but did say it needed a tune up.
2. Ask in the MTB forum. Most people here barely know what an MTB looks like!
But unless you get an amazing deal, I doubt this is the right bike for you. It has an ok-ish rep (http://www.mtbr.com/cat/bikes/allmtn...6_1547crx.aspx) but it's designed as a bike for tight technical singletrack. A more cross country oriented bike might be a better match for your use.