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  1. #1
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    I think I bought the wrong bikes!!!

    Last week I bought my sons (9 and 11) and myself new bikes at a local bike shop. I told the salesman that we mostly ride on the roads around our house which are some gravel but mostly asphalt. I also told him we wanted to start doing long tours together as a family. He sold me a comfort bike (Giant Sedona DX) and my boys mountain bikes (Giant Rincon and Trek 3900). I don't think it is his fault but mine for not being more specific on how much time we plan to spend on the road. Can I chance the tires on my boys' bikes so they have an easier time on asphalt or are we stuck until I can save up money for road bikes? For some reason, now that we have these new bikes, they never want to go on gravel anymore!!! I do like the comfort of the Sedona but it is very hard to ride standing up and because I am sitting up so high, I feel like a sail catching the wind! Any help would be VERY appreciated as I am freaking out that I spent money on the wrong kind of bikes.

  2. #2
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Yes you can change the tires on the kid bikes. Take the bikes back to the store and tell them your problem. They can make minor adjustments to the riding position like changing the stem and seatpost. Most stores will give you credit for swapping out parts.

  3. #3
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan
    Yes you can change the tires on the kid bikes. Take the bikes back to the store and tell them your problem. They can make minor adjustments to the riding position like changing the stem and seatpost. Most stores will give you credit for swapping out parts.

    Very true.

    There are tires for mountain bikes that will give you quite a speed boost.
    If you fill your to the maximum and check the pressure before each ride that will help too. If you
    have not been riding for a long time you all will get stronger as time goes on just by riding more.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    For yourself, you bought a bike that is suited to leisurely reiding and it sounds like you want to be a bit more aggressive and aerodynamic. It might not be too late to take it back, but if not, you can do a bit to speed it up.

    Just like your kids you can opt for slicker, skinnier tires. Also, for efficient road riding the handlebars should be about the same height as the seat to make you more aerodynamic. There are two possible ways to lower the handlebars. The stem might be lowered a bit in the steering tube if it's not already at the lowest height; and, you have an adjustable stem that allows you to swing the handlebars forward and down. The first choice is preferable, because the second choice might make the handlebars uncomfortably far forward to reach.
    It may seen counterintuitive, but when you lower the handlebars, you might need to slide your seat slightly backwards on it's rails. That puts more of the weight of your torso on your legs than on your wrists.

    Hope some of these ideas help.

  5. #5
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    If there is no damage to the bikes and you have only had them a week you may be able to exchange them. Let the store know that the bike(s) do not fit the riding style you are doing.

    You are right about the comfort style bike seating. They are much more old English, baskets and skirts style. Maybe you do want a traditional road bike. Only you know your boys. Yours would be the exception to the rule if they did not want to go to off road! The tire switch will hopefully give them the efficiency you are looking for. If bike position is also an issue, bar ends can help. If they really know the position they want, a different stem could also help.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Riding is Praying Shorty's Avatar
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    A Giant Sedona, what a bummer. Those things are clunkers. Still, I think the last poster is right, if the bike is too clunky you might be able to exchange it, especially if you intend to spend more money, not less. Give it a shot, but be understanding, small bike shops have a slim profit margin. Maybe you want a light hybrid with no front suspension?

  7. #7
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    Get a Specialized Sirrus, these are pretty fast bikes, yet straight handlebars. I use mine for my town bike. LOVE IT.

  8. #8
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    I'm finding I may be in a similar situation. I bought a Specialized Rockhopper at the end of March, and I love it - the only thing is, I really think I need to swap the knobby tires out for either semi-slicks or straight slicks as I very rarely go off of asphault. (I cut the occasional corner through grass, but that's about as wild as I get.)

    I had bought the Rockhopper because I was worried that whatever bike I got wouldn't support my weight - I wanted to make double-sure I got a bike that was as sturdy as could be. I figured if it was a bike made for jumps and whatnot, it could probably handle a bit of extra baggage.

    So in summary, I still love my bike - don't get me wrong - but I almost wish that I had saved money a little longer and gone with either the Sirrus or a more hybrid-type bike. I'm hoping that swapping the tires to a slicker type will help quite a bit. At a month and a half out, it's much too late to think about a return anyhow. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it. =)

    Tire swap, within the next two weeks or so!

  9. #9
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    You were right!

    Thanks to everyone who responded to my problem. I went back to the bike shop yesterday and they are taking back my bike and I am getting a road bike. I am also going to swap out tires for the kids. So take heart anyone who gets home and finds they goofed- it may not be too late to fix it!

  10. #10
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    sounds like a nice bike shop.

  11. #11
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitroblonde
    Thanks to everyone who responded to my problem. I went back to the bike shop yesterday and they are taking back my bike and I am getting a road bike.
    That's great. Don't go too far the other way and get one you're not going to be happy with either. Touring bikes and cyclocross bikes are road designs that can handle some offroad use. Tour bikes do require you to adapt to a forward leaning, aerodynamic posture, but not as aggressive as road racing bikes, and they have enough space in the forks and stays to allow slightly fatter tires if you want to ride on dirt and gravel. Road bikes with the dropped handlebars offer more hand positions than a flat handlebar bike, so you can switch positions from time to time and get less hand and arm fatigue on really long rides.

    Some road-oriented hybrids with 700 cm wheels are a lot faster on pavement than the first bike you got, but are still ok for dirt, and they offer the slightly more upright position for visibility and maneuverability like a mountain or comfort bike. However the flat handlebar doesn't offer varying hand positions.

  12. #12
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    nitroblonde, you came to the right place, asked the right question, did the right thing, and lucked out with a great bike shop.

    may you enjoy many years of happy riding!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Hambone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitroblonde
    Thanks to everyone who responded to my problem. I went back to the bike shop yesterday and they are taking back my bike and I am getting a road bike. I am also going to swap out tires for the kids. So take heart anyone who gets home and finds they goofed- it may not be too late to fix it!
    You should name the shop. That kind of business person needs to be recognized and patronized!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Hambone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamester
    I'm finding I may be in a similar situation. I bought a Specialized Rockhopper at the end of March, and I love it - the only thing is, I really think I need to swap the knobby tires out for either semi-slicks or straight slicks as I very rarely go off of asphault. (I cut the occasional corner through grass, but that's about as wild as I get.)

    I had bought the Rockhopper because I was worried that whatever bike I got wouldn't support my weight - I wanted to make double-sure I got a bike that was as sturdy as could be. I figured if it was a bike made for jumps and whatnot, it could probably handle a bit of extra baggage.

    So in summary, I still love my bike - don't get me wrong - but I almost wish that I had saved money a little longer and gone with either the Sirrus or a more hybrid-type bike. I'm hoping that swapping the tires to a slicker type will help quite a bit. At a month and a half out, it's much too late to think about a return anyhow. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it. =)

    Tire swap, within the next two weeks or so!
    When I moved to NYC I was riding my Rockhopper on the road a lot. I switched out the knobbies for slicks and that was good. Then I replaced the rear cassette (smaller teeth counts) and the chainrings (larger). This gave me greater mechanical advantage and the ability to hit higher speeds on the roads.

    Luckily, I'm handy and did this myself. I rode this for several years and enjoyed it greatly. (But I love my road bike now!)

    FYI: the part you really need to think about on the bike vis-a-vis your weight is the wheel. (And maybe the seatpost -- if you are riding really hard.)

    Even skinny road wheels that are well built and maintained will support most people. I'm down from 350+to around 290#. My road wheels are still true. (And I have a cobblestone section of road on my commute.)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I have some mountain bikes that I've converted for street use. I also have road bikes, but the mountain bikes are better suited to casual riding with my wife and daughter.

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...8014369opcapm#
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...68014369jHohCP
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...68014369Nffapq
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...68014369QQAdCs

  16. #16
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    I've went ahead and switched the tires to Armadillo Nimbus's, and that seems to help a bit. I got a rear rack and a bag to go on it, so that helps with carrying "stuff". I'll start researching rear cassettes and chainrings, but have no problem admitting I know nothing yet, lol.

    Thanks for the advice!

    Dirtdrop - thanks for the pictures - they give me faith that what I'm trying to do *IS* possible! =)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker
    Don't go too far the other way and get one you're not going to be happy with either. Touring bikes and cyclocross bikes are road designs that can handle some offroad use.
    Pay attention to this.
    Most road bikes are race bikes, they have tyre clearance for 25mm and NO fittings for fenders or luggage rack. Std gearing is quite high so they do not like being ridden slowly on rough ground.
    A more practical road bike have better tyre clearance (I would suggest 32mm as a max), threaded eyelets for rack and fenders and medium gearing for all round use.

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