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  1. #1
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    mountain biking with my street bike?

    Last year I bought a Jamis Citizen (http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...itizen1l.html#). I wasn't really planning on doing much mountain biking at that point in time, so I just got the bike that seemed the most comfortable. Now I want to try mountain biking at this state park (Platte River State Park in Nebraska). I've heard the trails there are pretty tough, but I can't really remember what they look like exactly.

    Would it be dangerous for me to ride my street bike on mountain biking trails? I mean, I wouldn't be going in mud or anything like that where I'd need more traction.

    There'd just be steep hills/dirt trails.

    Would it be crazy for me to try this? It doesn't seem like a big deal, but obviously they make mountain bikes/street bikes different for a reason so I figured I should ask.

    Also- would adjusting the handlebars help any? They're the "hi-rise comfort" ones, but I think they can be lowered a bit.


    Let me know what you guys think.
    thanks


    - Jamie

  2. #2
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    I think for park trails like gravel roads and some dirt paths that bike would be just fine. However, if you are going to be doing anything that more extreme than that, I would get a different bike. That being said, that is a high quality bike, just not a bike for the application, it is not like it's going to fall apart (based on my speculated extremity of the trais you are thinking of riding), it might just be a rough ride. Basically, if your going to be riding any trails more difficult than you would want young children on, get a different bike. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    I'd be worried about roots and rocks. Usually when people tell me a trail is tough, that means technical.

    I doubt you'll total the bike but I don't think the wheels will hold up well.

  4. #4
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    I'd see if you could get a loaner mountain bike for the day. Find out if you enjoy it and if so, look into a new purchase. The geometry on that bike might not be the best for what you are looking to do. If you are uncomfortable, it may discourage you from a sport that you otherwise would have enjoyed.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  5. #5
    Senior Member gfrance's Avatar
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    I wouldn't take that bike on anything other than gravel, groomed paths...like a bridal path. Anything more difficult than that is asking for trouble. The control and balance is all wrong on that bike for anything remotely technical.

  6. #6
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    OK thanks for all the advice!

    I found this used Specialized HardRock bike on craigslist for $110. (http://omaha.craigslist.org/bik/778521596.html) Does that sound like a good deal? I'm not sure how much it would've cost new. I think I'm gonna stop by the guy's house and see if it'd be the right size for me (17" frame and I'm 5'4??)

    I did look into renting a bike, but for me to rent a decent bike for the amount of time I'd need to head out to the state park, it'd be about $40 bucks. I think I'd rather just buy a nice used bike, and put that $40 towards that instead.

    There's also a Gary Fisher on there for $175. I'm waiting for him to get back to me on the frame size though, in the picture it looks a bit big for me.

    I saw a Royce Union on there for $50, but it says it needs a little work, plus I heard some of those bikes were recalled...
    Last edited by jamielynn; 08-05-08 at 11:19 AM.

  7. #7
    Nitro xcracer13's Avatar
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    I'd take that bike dirt jumping
    www.teamnrc.com
    When you feel good, racing is hard. When you're not good, its worse.. - Sager

  8. #8
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    another question

    I just remembered I have another question.


    My street bike says that says the frame size is 14.5", but my old crappy mountain bike ($10 at the goodwill, just ridden on the street) was 18". So I don't know if that difference was just because one was a street bike and the other was a mountain bike or what??

    I don't want to drive clear out to this guy's house (it's about 20 or 30 minutes) just to find out that it's WAY too big for me.

    So yeah I'm kinda confused about the whole frame size thing. I'm only 5'4 so do you think the 17" specialized would be too big?

  9. #9
    Senior Member gfrance's Avatar
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    Even that "HardRock" isn't going to be ideal for difficult trails. There is no suspension. (that's not a problem for more seasoned riders, but you sound a bit new.) And it seems highly priced to me for what it is. But between that and the Jamis, I'd go with the HardRock if I had to choose.

    I think you need to sit back, slow down, and do some research. Don't make a hasty quick decision on this. Good bikes are a dime a dozen out there. Ride some, get to know exactly what you intend to use the bike for, etc. It sounds to me, you 'need' a regular mountain bike, even if you intend to ride it easily. You can look into full suspension or 'hard tail'.. either will probably be fine.

    As far as sizing goes... I just don't know.

  10. #10
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    That is a comfort bike, riding that contraption on the street is a pretty sketchy proposition, much less anywhere unpaved. Pay your dues on that bike, get in shape and learn about bikes, then get a more conventional bicycle.

  11. #11
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamielynn View Post
    So yeah I'm kinda confused about the whole frame size thing. I'm only 5'4 so do you think the 17" specialized would be too big?
    YES! I am 5'8" and I ride a 17". The hardrock is a nice hardtail and so you might do with the 17 if your legs are long and your reach equally long. A 14 - 15 is probably more likely your size. Keep in mind a front fork increases the height of the bike somewhat.

    I know people who ride road bikes on real mountain trails all the time but they are experts and have superior handling skills. It's best to have the right bike for the right sport or at least something close. Keep the road bike for roads and paths and look for a good used hardtail for trails.

    In buying a used bike it's best to have someone tag along that knows something about bikes. There is generally a reason the bike is being sold. You have no idea how hard the bike was ridden and what repair or problems there are. A busted up bike for $150 is a waste of money. But a bike in good condition, well maintained, lubed and clean would be a good buy. Ask the seller if he is willing to meet you at a bike shop with the bike and have the shop check the bike over. Just his response should tell ya something.
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  12. #12
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=BCIpam;7212666]YES! I am 5'8" and I ride a 17". The hardrock is a nice hardtail and so you might do with the 17 if your legs are long and your reach equally long. QUOTE]

    I am 5'10" and I really like the Hardrock in a 15" size. I had one for a while and sold it. I may buy one of the new '09 models. If I do I'll get another 15.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  13. #13
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post

    I am 5'10" and I really like the Hardrock in a 15" size. I had one for a while and sold it. I may buy one of the new '09 models. If I do I'll get another 15.
    So the bike would really be too big for someone 5'4" - correct?
    ______________________________________________________________

    Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to letsgooutside.org and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.

  14. #14
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCIpam View Post
    So the bike would really be too big for someone 5'4" - correct?
    It all depends on what you want to do with it. It most likely would but unless you get on a few and ride them you won't know.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  15. #15
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=mtnbiker66;7212834]
    Quote Originally Posted by BCIpam View Post
    YES! I am 5'8" and I ride a 17". The hardrock is a nice hardtail and so you might do with the 17 if your legs are long and your reach equally long. QUOTE]

    I am 5'10" and I really like the Hardrock in a 15" size. I had one for a while and sold it. I may buy one of the new '09 models. If I do I'll get another 15.
    I'm curious to know what your inseam is. I get you're looking for a smallish bike but I'm curious to know if you're all legs or all torso (or in between).
    First Class Jerk

  16. #16
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=santiago;7213656]
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post

    I'm curious to know what your inseam is. I get you're looking for a smallish bike but I'm curious to know if you're all legs or all torso (or in between).
    Are you just wanting to check me out?
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  17. #17
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=mtnbiker66;7213785]
    Quote Originally Posted by santiago View Post

    Are you just wanting to check me out?
    My, you do get around, eh? lol

    No seriously, I'm 5'9 and am curious about fitting on a smaller bike.
    First Class Jerk

  18. #18
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=santiago;7213847]
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post

    My, you do get around, eh? lol

    No seriously, I'm 5'9 and am curious about fitting on a smaller bike.
    I'd say you would do fine on a nice tricycle.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  19. #19
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=mtnbiker66;7214013]
    Quote Originally Posted by santiago View Post

    I'd say you would do fine on a nice tricycle.
    I can see why your bromances don't last long.
    First Class Jerk

  20. #20
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    You'd be fine if it's not too technical. Hell with the seat so low, you have nothing to worry about going down steep hills.

  21. #21
    unofficial roadie DirtPedalerB's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=santiago;7213847]
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post

    My, you do get around, eh? lol

    No seriously, I'm 5'9 and am curious about fitting on a smaller bike.
    I'm 5'9 and tried a 15 inch bike, the model I tried had a ton of toe overlap that I found annoying.

    I have a 17 inch hardtail, which is kind of cramped, but probably the proper fit.

    I currently ride a large trek fuel. which I like with a 75mm stem.

    I have a 32-33 inch cycling inseam.
    I only pedal uphill.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for all your replies.

    I'm not really sure what I'm gonna do. I might just try and fix the brakes on my old crap mountain bike, and take it out for my first ride at the state park, just to see if I enjoy it.

    If I enjoy it and decide I want to get into mountain biking, I wouldn't mind saving up $300-$400 to get a decent bike.


    My other option would be to rent a bike. What do you guys think of a Trek 3700? This local bike shops rents those for 5 hours for $20...

  23. #23
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Renting a bike sounds like a good idea.
    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

  24. #24
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    Too bad you're not around here...I'd toss you mine for the day.

    Any friends that ride?
    "It is not the critic who counts."

  25. #25
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    Nope, none of my friends really ride unfortunately. That's kinda one of my problems right now. I'm still friends with the same people I've been friends with since, like, junior high. Now I'm a senior, and my interests/hobbies have totally changed. I need to find a way to meet more adventurous people who will climb/mountain bike/ with me. haha

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