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Trying to get back into riding after well over a decade, frustrated

Old 12-16-15, 10:34 AM
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Well the bike came in over the weekend and I put it together, but am out of town for the holidays and won't have a chance to ride it.
The bike was real easy to put together. It seems like they spend a lot of time on the rear of the bike, which was perfect and kind of do a half job on the front. That's fine with me since the front is easy. Had to reconnect the front brake and adjust busy about everything on it. Other than that, I just tightened a few things and that was it.

Fit seems really good too as far as the height goes. I know some were worried I was going way too small, but with the seat post just over halfway up, I could barely touch the ground. Had to lower the seat actually because I was having to bend at the ankles to peddle.

So far the quality seems pretty unbelievable since it's only about 100 more than some department store bikes I've had.
The derailleur and shifters are Claris, which some reviews said were no name, so maybe they upgraded?
I will report back after riding but so far I'm very happy with it.
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Old 12-16-15, 11:06 AM
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I was off bicycles for fifty years before I got back into it two years ago. I had no idea what I wanted or what would suit me. I'm wary of Walmart bikes so I went to my LBS, and was fortunate to find some really good guys, there, a family business since 1979. I, too, prefer the upright position so I bought a cruiser. Several months later I found the wheels were not that great so I upgraded them. As time went by I added fenders (for wet riding), a computer and rack. I've ridden 3,737 miles in exactly twelve months, so it's proven itself to me. Recently, I bought a fat bike from the same LBS. I love the 7-speed derailleur on my cruiser but the fat bike came with a 3-speed hub gear. The bike came with a lug welded on to take a derailleur so I had the shop customize it for me. The cruiser was $299. The fat bike $799 as it stood, then another $100 for the custom gears). Both bikes are made by 'Sun'. Obviously not top of the line but better than Walmart, and backed up by one-year warranties by the LBS. You can always upgrade components on a bike, such as a gel saddle, better handle grips etc.
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Old 12-16-15, 03:02 PM
  #103  
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Even entry level bikes can ride quite nicely if everything is properly adjusted. Lot's of people may tell you otherwise, but that doesnt make it untrue. Today's manufacturing techniques and material sciences have really done wonders for bikes among many other things. If someone wants to spend a fortune on a bike, there's nothing wrong with that of course, but it's not necessary to spend a lot to get a nice riding bike.
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Old 12-18-15, 10:02 AM
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A lot has been said in this thread already so all I will add is I have had fatter tires on my last couple bikes and probably won't go any smaller than a 32 anymore.
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Old 12-24-15, 12:32 PM
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Update: I got out and ride the bike. It worked great until the chain snapped!
I'm not sure if it was installed incorrectly, or what, but it appears that a pin came out and the link got bent.
I went to the LBS and they didn't sell links, so I bought the most expensive chain they had, which was an SRAM PC850 with a master link.
Should I try to get BD to send me a spare chain, or just forget it?

Anyhow the bike rides great otherwise. Totally blows away anything I've ever owned. It also seems to shift even more smoothly with this new chain. I'll not sure if the chain with the master link was the best choice, but it's what I'm used to and takes no special tools, so I went with it.
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Old 12-25-15, 08:32 AM
  #106  
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My 2 cents in regards to Bikes Direct.. Bought from them twice and found their bikes to be really nice. Had a Motobecane Mirage with a steel frame and indexed downtube shifters that I really liked, ($350) but sadly got totalled in a crash. The other one is a Motobecane Mirage S ($400) that features Shimano STI Tourney 7 speed shifting. I like it very much. Flipped the stem for a more comfortable ride. Did have to replace the stock tires as they didn't last long, like 500 miles.

The bang for the buck is pretty impressive. Have been mulling over some of their higher end offerings.
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Old 12-25-15, 11:58 AM
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I am also just getting back since Oct 2015 I am 56 and do enjoy. I did buy a walmart schwinn admiral which was discontinued and rode it a while. I was told by this site. when you buy a walmart, target, sports places that are not all about bikes, they have part time employees with little experience. so when you buy one ride it a while then do as I was told, took it to a bike shop and for minium bucks ,riding as a new and great shape. the bike shop told me the only thing wrong is part time employees that put it together. they are good bikes for the bucks.. I have 2 a road schwinn admiral 7 speed and a mountain genesis V2100 21 speed ,both do what I want until the finances are where I can buy a true bike from a bike store. I am looking at a trek road about 747.00 - 1700.00 range or a trek mountain. but until then I love my schwinn and genesis

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Old 12-25-15, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
Update: I got out and ride the bike. It worked great until the chain snapped!
I'm not sure if it was installed incorrectly, or what, but it appears that a pin came out and the link got bent.
I went to the LBS and they didn't sell links, so I bought the most expensive chain they had, which was an SRAM PC850 with a master link.
Should I try to get BD to send me a spare chain, or just forget it?

Anyhow the bike rides great otherwise. Totally blows away anything I've ever owned. It also seems to shift even more smoothly with this new chain. I'll not sure if the chain with the master link was the best choice, but it's what I'm used to and takes no special tools, so I went with it.
OP, which Bikes Direct ride did you get? I don't think it would be a bad idea to shoot them an e mail about the chain issue. What do you have to lose? In my experience they have been great with questions and concerns. Keep us updated!
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Old 12-25-15, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
So WTF am I supposed to do with my 400 dollar budget? If buying a 400 dollar road bike is a waste of money, why wouldn't it make sense to only waste 150 dollars at wal mart instead of 400 dollars online?
I'm 6'4", a couple of years ago I got a Giant Cypress DX size L bought new at a bike shop for about $400, it was a previous year's model. I found later I could have actually gotten it even less expensively. Have had 0 complaints with it. I was also looking at a Cannondale that had what looked like a pretty neat quick-adjust handlebar but was about $100 more. Since then I've read that the Giant has a more desirable cassette (the axle/hub).

Be aware that as with anything the bike itself isn't the last expense. Decent lock, helmet, light, mirror, tools, upgraded all but flatproof tires, spare tubes, repair stuff & a Co2 nozzle, digital pressure gauge, bike repair stand, spoke wrench are some of the additional items I've gotten. Next I plan to either buy or make a truing stand. There are endless how to videos on Youtube, probably next to nothing you can't learn to do yourself.
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Old 01-04-16, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Motolegs
OP, which Bikes Direct ride did you get? I don't think it would be a bad idea to shoot them an e mail about the chain issue. What do you have to lose? In my experience they have been great with questions and concerns. Keep us updated!
Sorry it's been a while, I was enjoying the holidays.

I bought the Gravity FB model(flat bar road bike) for 319. I'm very impressed so far. When I compare it to other bikes it seems like it is comparable to maybe a 500-600 dollar name brand bike.

I want to thank everyone again I feel like I was steered in the right direction.
So far I have taken the bike on about 5 long rides and have put 94 miles on it since buying the bike computer.
After the first 18 mile ride, I went out and bought some pearl izumi cycling shorts lol...I also went ahead and picked up some arm warmers, leg warmers, SS jersey, under armor, novara headwind riding pants, a convertible jacket/vest and some wool socks.

The wheels seem like they are starting to get a bit out of true after putting the first 100 miles on it. I supposed this is normal break-in? About when should I go to get the trued? They aren't noticeable at all when riding the bike right now.
I think I can adjust the derailleurs myself. I already adjusted the height on the front because I was having issues. The rest seems easy enough to figure out and it is still shifting like new.
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Old 01-04-16, 12:57 PM
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Oh and one more question...I feel like I am going super slow. I know the upright riding position is a factor because I can really feel it when there is a headwind, but still...
I am averaging 13mph on my 20 mile rides. (last one was 26 miles done in exactly 2 hours) Is that about normal for a beginner, or should I be pushing myself harder? Riding 5 days a week, about how long until I should see some improvements?
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Old 01-09-16, 10:55 PM
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You may be over training. Do you give yourself rest days or just take the weekend off? If you're going the same speed about that you started at don't worry. It takes a few months to get conditioned.

Also check to make sure your wheels are spinning freely as is your crank. Maybe something is dragging. 13mph isn't bad at all for this style of bike when you're a beginner unless you're on totally flat terrain.
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Old 01-10-16, 01:44 AM
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13 isn't too bad for just getting back into it. Make sure you're eating before the ride, drinking about 1 bottle of water per hour and not over-training yourself. Biking is fun! But if you try to ride hard every single day you'll burn out.

Last thing, you should try to keep it in a gear where your legs are spinning 90 or so rpm. It will start to feel really good once you've got the cardio built up.

Post a pic!
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Old 01-10-16, 06:04 AM
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Dude, if you can average 13 mph for two hours after just starting back you are sailing along. It took me several months to do 30 miles in two hours, and I was exceedingly proud---and it was an effort--and all pretty much flat roads. You are doing fine.
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Old 01-10-16, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
Oh and one more question...I feel like I am going super slow. I know the upright riding position is a factor because I can really feel it when there is a headwind, but still...
I am averaging 13mph on my 20 mile rides. (last one was 26 miles done in exactly 2 hours) Is that about normal for a beginner, or should I be pushing myself harder? Riding 5 days a week, about how long until I should see some improvements?
13mph isnt bad - definitely not super slow. It really comes down to whatever pace you enjoy riding. If you're trying to build strength just keeping bumping up the speed over time. Personally I choose very hilly routes for my rides, really builds strength and endurance. I enjoy the challenge of climbing them too. I dont think I'd want to do a ride on all flats..
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Old 01-10-16, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89
I dont think I'd want to do a ride on all flats..
If you ever have to move to Oklahoma, you can give me your bikes. You won't want them.
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Old 01-10-16, 01:14 PM
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Add Florida to that list. But we have beautiful ocean views.
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Old 01-10-16, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
If you ever have to move to Oklahoma, you can give me your bikes. You won't want them.
Fair enough, lol. I should've said that given a choice, I prefer hilly areas. The real problem with flats for me though is that I become a slacker on them, just dont ride hard enough. Hills force me to really focus on the burn.
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Old 01-10-16, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by yuoil
You may be over training. Do you give yourself rest days or just take the weekend off? If you're going the same speed about that you started at don't worry. It takes a few months to get conditioned.
.
Depends on the weather. So far it's been something like 3 days of 10-20 mile rides, one day off, then another 1-2 rides fort he rest of the week.




Originally Posted by Tulok
13 isn't too bad for just getting back into it. Make sure you're eating before the ride, drinking about 1 bottle of water per hour and not over-training yourself. Biking is fun! But if you try to ride hard every single day you'll burn out.

Last thing, you should try to keep it in a gear where your legs are spinning 90 or so rpm. It will start to feel really good once you've got the cardio built up.

Post a pic!
Yeah I was reading about cadence and after keeping it in a lower gear, I've upped the average to 13.5-14mph.

Pics:


lol

Originally Posted by Maelochs
Dude, if you can average 13 mph for two hours after just starting back you are sailing along. It took me several months to do 30 miles in two hours, and I was exceedingly proud---and it was an effort--and all pretty much flat roads. You are doing fine.
Originally Posted by exmechanic89
13mph isnt bad - definitely not super slow. It really comes down to whatever pace you enjoy riding. If you're trying to build strength just keeping bumping up the speed over time. Personally I choose very hilly routes for my rides, really builds strength and endurance. I enjoy the challenge of climbing them too. I dont think I'd want to do a ride on all flats..
Thanks for the encouragement guys. I would like to get to where I can cruise at a good 17+mph for an hour or so on flat ground within maybe a year. Is this a realistic goal?
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Old 01-10-16, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
Thanks for the encouragement guys. I would like to get to where I can cruise at a good 17+mph for an hour or so on flat ground within maybe a year. Is this a realistic goal?
Nice pics in the man cave.

And sure, I dont see why you couldnt reach that goal. I would really encourage you to ride hills regularily too if available. They really build strength/endurance. I ride them as fast as it takes to make my legs really burn.
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Old 01-10-16, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnyvincent
Depends on the weather. So far it's been something like 3 days of 10-20 mile rides, one day off, then another 1-2 rides fort he rest of the week.






Yeah I was reading about cadence and after keeping it in a lower gear, I've upped the average to 13.5-14mph.
...

Thanks for the encouragement guys. I would like to get to where I can cruise at a good 17+mph for an hour or so on flat ground within maybe a year. Is this a realistic goal?
The the yellow looks cool, and the frame shape looks nice!


its possible! I usually just try to do the same routes and over time note where I've been getting faster. Sometimes I want to be able to do one section better so I'll focus on that type of training. Other times I want to be faster on the flats so I'll do lots of flats.

The best part is enjoying the ride, not the overall speed! As long as you're not huffing and puffing at the sight of a slight grade you're probably in better shape than 99% of Americans.
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