I last cycled regularly about 12 years ago on an old steel Bridgestone, lever-shifting, 12-speed road bike.
Today, I bought a 2000 Specialized Hardrock. 21". 3 cogs at the crank, 7 in the back. Bone stock. 26"Ø wheels, knobby tires, straight handlebars, grip shifters, shimano acera front derailleur, shimano alivio rear derailleur. No shocks anywhere.
I decided to go with a mountain bike so that I wouldn't kill myself riding over grass/curbs/squirrels. Also, I figured an older, used, hardtail mountain bike would have the same tech as a modern hybrid.
Anyways, my riding will be 95% street/road. I live on a street with frequent bike-traffic. I put 5 relatively hilly miles on the bike today and almost blew a gasket on a rather long hill climb. I don't think I like the straight handlebars much.
These are my questions:
1. Am I setting myself up for eventual failure with my current (non-road bike) set-up? I purchased some road tires today, but I don't plan to mount them until I get a spare set of wheels.
2. Will I like a non-straight handle-bar better?
3. I plan to ride with my roommate (also new to cycling), who purchased a used $800 Giant roadbike.
4. Will you guys promise to come kick my @55 if I ever start wearing tight spandex?
The prospect of paddle shifters on a road bike did seem appealing, but I decided that I didn't want to spend more than $200 on a bicycle.
1. You are not setting yourself up by buying a mountain-bike. But if you're trying to keep up with a roomie on a roadbike, you'll probably fall behind at some point.
2. I much prefer riser bars, or at least non-riser bars that have some backsweep to them. I typically run risers bars with a much shorter stem than what you are likely to have on your bike. On one bike I'm running risers with a 60mm stem. I'm running nothing longer than 80mm right now.