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bad bike or that out of shape?

Old 02-21-17, 02:57 PM
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nyxela
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bad bike or that out of shape?

I use to be in good shape. and im explaining this so you get an idea of just how bad i got. lol
But my septum got shattered and i had boen shards lodged into my sinus cavity above my nose so i was constantly sick, too sick for surgery, spent SEVERAL months almost a year inside a room due to severe allergies worsening my condition. they were giving me shots in my BUTT (OW) of anti biotics xD it was awful

anyways so i literally lost all my muscle and became as weak as ive ever been. i thought 10 lbs was really heavy with one hand!

so i afterwards i spent almost a year just getting back to working, doing normal thing you know.

over my college winter break i started working out HARD CORE!! Smiley Very Happy

not just like, 15 min or 30 min here or there, i do 30 min on my ellipictal 6 days of the week, and do 20 min minimum of pilates or yoga a few times a week and 50 sit ups every other day and ive stuck to it,

i got a bike for the summer thinking wuhu this will be so easy!!! i use to love biking when i was a kid i practicly lived on my bike

i got on it tho and omg... i feel like it goes too slow? like.. i dont cover as much ground as i should for my revolutions on the pedals. and its hard! it has 21 gears, is a kent HZR i think with the white and teal wheels. wasnt expensive, but ive spent so much buying exercise equipment, and just bought a car so just wanted an OK bike for this summer you know, nothing professional

is cycling when you first start just that hard? this last week ive gotten to the point i feel peppy enough to do an hour on the ellipical in one day, i think i did that twice last week. (doing a half hour the other 4 days ofc)

and ive been really improving on my muscle mass and such im currently 5'9 and 193 lbs so not like im super fat or anything still weak tho..

not sure if i got a bum bike, or if im just that out of shape, i thought a few go arounds of my block (which is pretty hilly ill admit, small town in iowa) was really... realllllly hard...

i ordered it online, assembled it, and put grease on the chain. so im starting to think its just me, i use to really love biking, any suggestions on making it easier? maybe i need to start out on more flat trails but idk i just feel like it was tooooo hard for what little ground i covered. i under stand shifting lower for if it feels too hard and i did have it on lowest settings going up a hill and ended up walking the bike last ten feet. it was really embarressing Smiley Sad kids ride bikes all the time! grrr
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Old 02-21-17, 03:20 PM
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It is likely a bit of both. Cycling uses different muscles which you probably still need to build up. It doesn't help that you have a mountain bike for riding on the road.

Walmart doesn't sell the best bikes, but as you already have one, just ride it. If you catch the cycling bug, save some money for a nicer bike.
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Old 02-21-17, 03:25 PM
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what type of bike should i invest in for next summer then for pavement rides/small town roads with the occasional gravel road for cutting thru areas? i havent biked since i was a kid so its been over a decade but i remember i use to love spending practically my entire days just riding around town completely happy lol

i do live jut a couple blocks from a gravel road, would the gravel be easier to bike on with this one?
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Old 02-21-17, 03:29 PM
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Bike riding up hills is a LOT more difficult than stationary workouts. Just pace yourself & keep at it.
Check that your tires are pumped up (60 psi or so for that bike), and the brakes aren't rubbing.
You could swap tires to a bit narrower, and slick tread, which may be a tiny bit faster, and give smoother ride.
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Old 02-21-17, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by nyxela View Post
what type of bike should i invest in for next summer then for pavement rides/small town roads with the occasional gravel road for cutting thru areas? i havent biked since i was a kid so its been over a decade but i remember i use to love spending practically my entire days just riding around town completely happy lol

i do live jut a couple blocks from a gravel road, would the gravel be easier to bike on with this one?
That bike is fine for roads & gravel. If you plan to ride 100% roads, you could get a road bike.

Ride what you have until you're sure you're going to stick with it long enough to upgrade.
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Old 02-21-17, 03:54 PM
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Give yourself time to recover. Regardless of our previous conditioning a traumatic injury or illness can set us back. Just keep plugging away and you'll get it back.

I was very fit and athletic throughout my teens and 20s. Even after I stopped exercising and participating in sports regularly I was still in good condition and had plenty of strength and stamina through my 40s. But a car wreck in 2001 broke my back and neck and took over a decade to recover.

When I resumed cycling in 2015 after 30+ years away my first ride was only one mile before I became exhausted and literally flopped onto the grass at the roadside. A city bus happened to be approaching. The driver stopped, scooped me and my bike up and took us home.

For the first several weeks I struggled to ride three miles, stopping every 400 yards to catch my breath. It took almost two months before I was fit enough to ride 10 miles, and I still had to stop often to rest. After that I felt like I'd plateaued for months, not making any progress. But I kept riding 3-4 times a week, a few miles at a time.

After six months I was finally able to ride up to 20 miles at a time. A few months later I pushed myself to 60 miles, still resting every 10 miles or so. But that experience made it possible to ride 20 miles continuously without resting. And so on.

Yeah, the bike matters some. I started out on a bike pretty similar to yours, a low end heavy comfort hybrid. But the first thing I did was take it to the local bike shop for a safety check and tune up. It helped a bit. After that I learned to do more of my own maintenance, repairs and parts replacements. I still ride that bike, mostly for errands.

I added a lighter weight mountain bike, which feels much faster but isn't really -- I average 12 mph on the heavy comfort hybrid, 14 mph on the lighter bike. So it's mostly conditioning and perception.

Just take it a day at a time, one ride at a time, and enjoy it for itself without unrealistic expectations. Ride, walk, or at least stretch even on days when your body is aching or feels like crawling back into bed. You'll get there.
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Old 02-21-17, 04:33 PM
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I hope you weren't educated in Iowa.
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Old 02-21-17, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by nyxela View Post
is cycling when you first start just that hard?
Yes.

this last week ive gotten to the point i feel peppy enough to do an hour on the ellipical in one day, i think i did that twice last week. (doing a half hour the other 4 days ofc)
Cycling uses different muscles, where the issue is aerobic endurance not strength.

i ordered it online, assembled it, and put grease on the chain. so im starting to think its just me, i use to really love biking, any suggestions on making it easier?
Once a week ride as hard as you can for 7-10 minutes, rest 50-100% of that, and repeat twice. Shorter intervals focus too much on your creatine phosphate systems and don't let you rack up enough duration. Longer you can't work hard enough for optimal impact on VO2max and your lactate threshold.

Otherwise ride at a conversational pace where you don't feel lactic acid in your legs.

Add 10% to your total time riding every week, except take an easy week every 3-4 (more likely to be 3 if you're over 40).

One day, ride twice as far as your usual ride.

Aim for at least 10 hours a week, like 1.5 hours Monday through Friday and 3-4 hours Saturday.

Do your hard ride when you're freshest, probably Monday.


i just feel like it was tooooo hard for what little ground i covered. i under stand shifting lower for if it feels too hard and i did have it on lowest settings going up a hill and ended up walking the bike last ten feet.
Pedal slower.

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Old 02-21-17, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nyxela View Post
what type of bike should i invest in for next summer then for pavement rides/small town roads with the occasional gravel road for cutting thru areas?
A drop bar gravel grinder, adventure, or cyclocross bike with moderately wide slick tires.
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Old 02-21-17, 04:47 PM
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I'm sure that putting "grease" on the chain instead of chain lube probably did not help.
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Old 02-21-17, 05:27 PM
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Your bicycle choice will depend a bit on how far you're riding. Type of riding.

If you are riding 5-10 miles a day for exercise and errands, then the Kent will be just fine.

If you're planning on riding 50 to 100 miles a day on weekends, then look for something more suitable.

Time in the saddle will help.
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Old 02-21-17, 05:32 PM
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Wal mart has nobody that tunes up bikes, they just get them ready to sell.

drop it by a proper bike shop for a safety check and gears, brakes bearing adjustment..

You may offer to pay in advance, some shops don't do that work on those bikes,

because the owner abandons their bike
if they don't want to pay the bill for the shop modest labor fee..





....

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Old 02-21-17, 06:06 PM
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No, it's hopeless ... cycling only gets worse and worse ... we all hate it, around here.

Truly, that is a terrible bike, at least for what you want it for, and not much good for anything else (IMO) except what you are going to use it for, which is getting your cycling muscles back in shape.

Ride it and understand that it is inherently an inefficient machine ... it is heavy, its suspension fork eats up some of your effort, the fat tires eat up some more. That's okay, because all you really need to do is get a cycling workout, and any bike which fits will work for that. In fact, heavy and inefficient means you will getting more of a workout covering the same ground.

First thing, make sure the tires are pumped up to the suggested maximum for street use. Second, make sure the seat is the right height and set back the right amount. Third, just ride that sucker.

it will cost about $500 --$700 minimum for a decent new road bike---the kind that you will ride for distance, at speed, getting both a muscular and an aerobic workout, and having a ton of fun too. Since you seem to know a little about bikes, you can safely order off the internet once you know your size, which could save some cash ... and depending where you live you could also check local shops and also Craigslist for good used bikes.

Katsup is right: bicycling uses specific muscles and uses the whole body in specific ways. Training on an elliptical (something I like to do myself) doesn't prepare you for cycling ... even exercise bikes are a poor substitute.

Also, hills are a particular strain on a new cyclist (and an old cyclist, I must say.) On an elliptical or even a flat road on a bicycle you can hit that steady state of exertion where you can't go any faster but don't need to slow down. A hill doubles the effort, because all of a sudden you are not just rolling along on wheels and bearings, pushing the air aside---suddenly you are carrying 195 pounds of you plus 35 pounds of bike while trying to jog along. it is the difference between going jogging for a couple miles and picking up a buddy in a fireman's carry and doing that same couple miles jog.

I'd say you are probably doing fine, and after your body adapts, you will really start to see some gains.

When you get enough cash together, ask here about good cheap road bikes .... you will get lots of advice and even some good advice.
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Old 02-21-17, 06:46 PM
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I was an avid cyclist and runner. Then I took a 15 years hiatus. When I returned to cycling I could barely manage 10 miles...this for a man who rode centuries on hillybterrain. After my first return ride I went home and had a good cry, despairing that I would never ride again.

Thhen I told myself, "F this nonsense, HTFU and get back on the bike."

Now I feel badly if I cannot do at least 5,000 miles in one year.

It doesn't take 15 years to lose your fitness. You can lose a lot in just one month.

Just ride and the miles will get easier.

Good luck and be safe!
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Old 02-21-17, 10:00 PM
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Old 02-21-17, 10:07 PM
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The OP's bike should suffice to help whip them back in shape, but wouldn't be my first choice for centuries

As for a couple of comments to ensure the tires are properly inflated goes- +1. Just don't make the newbie mistake I made of thinking that the compressor at your local c-store will do the trick .
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Old 02-22-17, 01:41 AM
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I bought a cheap Walmart bike to "get back into biking" and it was a big mistake. Total POS, heavy and awkward feeling. It amplified my feeling of being out of shape and not used to biking.

Then I spent months debating whether to buy a "good bike". After all, you don't want to be a prima donna throwing money instead of work at the problem. But every time I rode that miserable POS Walmart bike I loathed the very idea of cycling. No amount of fiddling with it helped, the bike was horrible.

So I went a bit overboard and bought two low-midrange road bikes, a steel one and a CF one, each with slightly different geometry. First time out on the steel bike I put in five miles, going up some pretty steep hills, negotiating curbs etc (urban riding). Within minutes I felt good on the bike and could concentrate on riding. I really felt good mentally, and sore as hell physically! Now I ride nearly every day. My goal is to ride with others (with a neighbor/cyclist or maybe even a group ride), and not feel like a total putz. Soon I hope.

I'm actually glad I bought two (used, so maybe the price of one good new bike). One is more zippy and the other is more forgiving. I call the zippy one my "challenge bike" and now use it for shorter, more physically intense rides. It's like a sport bike and the other is a Harley.

Moral of the story: get a decent bike that fits you, has good mechanicals and doesn't weigh a ton and a half. My steel bike weighs around 20 lb and the plastic one weighs maybe 17-18, so not bleeding edge race tech. But they feel light as a feather to me. I can carry either one over my shoulder easily. Working on them is a pleasure since the mechanicals are well-made/well-sorted and everything's properly adjustable.

I took the Walmart bike to the curb and put a sign on it, "Take it, it works". Now I can concentrate on bike riding.
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Old 02-22-17, 03:37 AM
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Almost the same boat as you.

I wanted to get back into cycling and my wife, bless her heart, bought me a Walmart bike for Christmas a couple years ago. You can still see them, I forget the maker. But it is a big black cruiser called "Onyx"

It wasn't super terrible, but it did show how bad out of shape to biking I was. That small fixed crank on it drove me nuts. I would spin that thing a million miles per hour and old ladies on walkers would pass me on the sidewalk flipping me off.

Decided to get a "good" bike. Long story short, it saved my life. Struggled to ride it and didn't feel right. Ended up with a triple heart bypass.

That was last July.now here I am a couple months back into riding. At first, on the good bike, I could barely get a mile. But I kept at it. Last night I got 7 and half. Would have done more, but it got really dark.

My point, keep working at it, don't give up. Maybe invest in a better bike, but know, it too will be tough to ride. But over time, you will start to build back up to it. I'very off and on back since November. Started really putting in the saddle time end of January and steeped up just this month,even this week. Gone out and did just over 5 miles Sunday evening, Monday evening and the 7.5ish last night.

Oh, and air up those tires! Mine needed air my first 2 miles lap, stopped and topped it off, what a difference!!!!
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Old 02-22-17, 07:13 AM
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Even the cheapest heavy bike can help you get back into shape. I would just ride what you have, build up my endurance and strength until the love for riding comes back and then think about getting a better bike and doing longer rides.
When I started riding last year, I knew nothing about bikes and bought what I thought was a good bike from Walmart. I rode that bike a lot, never knowing what a heavy pile of junk it was, but it made me stronger and gave me endurance. I even went on group rides with it and struggled to keep up, but didn't get dropped.
Moral here, it is the rider much more so than the bike. Hang in there and keep riding whatever it is that you have. The results will come with each ride. Good luck
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Old 02-22-17, 08:27 AM
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That bike is heavy, about 40 pounds, so yes going up a hard hill it's like carrying an extra 15-20 pounds compared to other bikes. Don't feel bad about walking the hard part.

But, it's not as bad as all that for your use right now, which I'm assuming is getting into cycling shape, recreational rides and maybe getting around town on it. Cycling IS that hard starting out for a lot of us, including myself, and your other fitness doesn't really transfer over. But if you stick with it as consistently as you did with your rehab workouts it gets a lot easier pretty soon. Your bike will work for that, just don't compare your speeds to roadies who will have a big advantage over you.
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Old 02-22-17, 08:35 AM
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I had been commuting in hilly Colorado Springs for 18 years when a neck issue took me off the bike for a year. I was able to begin walking and jogging for three or four months before riding again and it still took me six months before I was back to where I was muscle and hill-climbing wise.

I also used to swim a mile a morning in my 20s. After two years away from swimming I did 50 yards and it felt like someone had kicked me in my shoulders. I literally couldn;t climb out of the pool.
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Old 02-22-17, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
I'm sure that putting "grease" on the chain instead of chain lube probably did not help.
What is the best chain lube? *ducks & runs out*
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Old 02-22-17, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
What is the best chain lube? *ducks & runs out*
Depends on how you fold your shorts ... assuming of course, that your socks are the right color.
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Old 02-22-17, 10:42 AM
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After I went to college, and started working, i barely do workout, and I don't really like the idea of a gym, so at 28, I decided I need to start exercising, so i took up biking (also partly getting ready for the 5-boro Bike Tour in NYC this year). Started biking about 2 months ago, and at first, I HAD to walk up the Queensboro Bridge in NYC, and the dull soreness on my calf would last days. Now, each time I go through that bridge, it is less and less of a challenge. I only ride about 40 miles a week on various terrains in NYC, so I think you just have to keep at it.


Also, about bike... I think new bike won't necessary help you get back in shape faster, but it definitely is a motivation factor (at least for me). When i got a new bike, I try to ride it every chance I get, it's like a kid getting new toys! Good luck!
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Old 02-22-17, 10:25 PM
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Gotta say, Don't inflate the tires to '60 psi or so' before you read the tire. It might say "Max inflation 40 PSI"!
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