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Will my bike always be a "beginners bike"?

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Will my bike always be a "beginners bike"?

Old 03-15-21, 11:51 AM
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KingoftheNorth
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Will my bike always be a "beginners bike"?

About two years ago I came to this forum with a quandry. I wanted to get into cycling but wasn't prepared to pay what the major bike shops were asking and didn't want to go with a "big box" bso either.


The advice I was given here was that there was a third option - look for something used but good. Thank you for the advice.


I did exactly that, bought myself a good used XCR. I thought It had all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a new big ticket bike (air suspension fork, Shimano 27 speed gear system, triple chainring Shimsno crankset, alloy disk hubs with Wienmann rims, hydraulic disc breaks).


Since I got it I upgraded the bike to a hydraulic fork, suspension seat post and carbon fibre wheelset, besides giving it a good paint job etc.


Today I went into a cycle club Id like to join. They took one look at my bike and described it as a "beginners bike" and assumed I wanted to join the beginners section of the club. I also met some of the clubs execs and they all had BIG ticket bikes.


I had hoped that with the original bike and the modifications I made, I wouldn't have to buy a new bike, (unless I wanted to take part in some serious ultra marathons - which I don't atm).


Does my bike really have to cost $$$$$ to be a serious cyclist?
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Old 03-15-21, 12:03 PM
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find a new club
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Old 03-15-21, 12:05 PM
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There is no such thing as a "beginners bike," but there are beginner cyclists.

Go on whichever ride the cycling club folks suggest, and see how you do. If you belong in a different group, it'll be apparent.
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Old 03-15-21, 12:07 PM
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If you can't take the flak, then you do need to find another club or group.

Were they giving you flak and refused to take you in their fold and find out how well you can keep up with them? Or was it just friendly flak that you took offense to?
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Old 03-15-21, 12:09 PM
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So you created a second Bikeforums profile?
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Old 03-15-21, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
So you created a second Bikeforums profile?
In those two years my email addresses have changed and I haven't posted here since.
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Old 03-15-21, 12:21 PM
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KingoftheNorth
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
There is no such thing as a "beginners bike," but there are beginner cyclists.

Go on whichever ride the cycling club folks suggest, and see how you do. If you belong in a different group, it'll be apparent.
Look I started cycling later in life but I do it several times a werk (both road and trail) and paid for professional coaching. This year I got a job nearer to home and cycle to work and back daily. I often cycle the route the main club uses by myself, that's how I know about them (so I don't think it's a question of my ability) but I was looking for a social element.
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Old 03-15-21, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by KingoftheNorth View Post
Look I started cycling later in life but I do it several times a werk (both road and trail) and paid for professional coaching. This year I got a job nearer to home and cycle to work and back daily. I often cycle the route the main club uses by myself, that's how I know about them (so I don't think it's a question of my ability) but I was looking for a social element.
Lighten up, Francis. I wasn't calling you a beginner. I was affirming that your ability matters far more than your bike.
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Old 03-15-21, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by KingoftheNorth View Post
About two years ago I came to this forum with a quandry. I wanted to get into cycling but wasn't prepared to pay what the major bike shops were asking and didn't want to go with a "big box" bso either.


The advice I was given here was that there was a third option - look for something used but good. Thank you for the advice.


I did exactly that, bought myself a good used XCR. I thought It had all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a new big ticket bike (air suspension fork, Shimano 27 speed gear system, triple chainring Shimsno crankset, alloy disk hubs with Wienmann rims, hydraulic disc breaks).


Since I got it I upgraded the bike to a hydraulic fork, suspension seat post and carbon fibre wheelset, besides giving it a good paint job etc.


Today I went into a cycle club Id like to join. They took one look at my bike and described it as a "beginners bike" and assumed I wanted to join the beginners section of the club. I also met some of the clubs execs and they all had BIG ticket bikes.


I had hoped that with the original bike and the modifications I made, I wouldn't have to buy a new bike, (unless I wanted to take part in some serious ultra marathons - which I don't atm).


Does my bike really have to cost $$$$$ to be a serious cyclist?
Recent threads like:
Will my bike always be a beginners' bike?
Does my bike make me a pariah?
Do I really have to spend a lot on my bike?
Are they all gonna laugh at me? etc etc...

OK, so my opinion as to your question is NO, your bike does NOT really have to cost $$$$$ to make you a serious cyclist! If you're serious about your riding, and enjoy doing it more and improving, you ARE a serious cyclist!
That's it! The answer is NO - you CAN call yourself a serious cyclist even though you do not have a bike that cost $$$$$. There will always be someone with a pricier, more up-to-date bike than you.

AND, if you are joining a club where you can ride with them fine, but they tell you that you must leave BECAUSE your bike did not cost $$$$$, then good - you don't want them. Join a different club.
Or don't join ANY cycling club! Sorry, but I still do not understand why people voluntarily join things where they will be made to feel inadequate. One can find that for free in many aspects of life!
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Old 03-15-21, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If you can't take the flak, then you do need to find another club or group.

Were they giving you flak and refused to take you in their fold and find out how well you can keep up with them? Or was it just friendly flak that you took offense to?
They called my bile a beginners bike and then proceeded to tell me just what their bike's cost. I didn't ask about their bikes, frankly I just wasn't interested. How is that of any concern unless they were being snarky
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Old 03-15-21, 12:30 PM
  #11  
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Doesn't matter what type, racing is a rich mans sport. But if you can show them that you can keep up they will shut up. In fact it will infuriate some of them that their $7000 wonder machine isn't giving them enough of a edge to blow past you.

When I started BMX racing again. They made me start on the kiddie line. Even though I had years of years of riding bitd and have tons of experience. They needed to safety gauge my riding abilities. So I sucked up the embarrassment and did two runs like that. In no time at all I was approved to ride at the gate.

Just suck it and pay your dues. They will move you up once they see your talent.

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Old 03-15-21, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Charliekeet View Post
OK, so my opinion as to your question is NO, your bike does NOT really have to cost $$$$$ to make you a serious cyclist! If you're serious about your riding, and enjoy doing it more and improving, you ARE a serious cyclist!
That's it! The answer is NO - you CAN call yourself a serious cyclist even though you do not have a bike that cost $$$$$. There will always be someone with a pricier, more up-to-date bike than you.

AND, if you are joining a club where you can ride with them fine, but they tell you that you must leave BECAUSE your bike did not cost $$$$$, then good - you don't want them. Join a different club.
Or don't join ANY cycling club! Sorry, but I still do not understand why people voluntarily join things where they will be made to feel inadequate. One can find that for free in many aspects of life!
Thank you for the affirmation.

Perhaps we need to ask why then the cyclists with $$$$ insist on telling people what they cost?

Frankly I really don't care what their bikes cost because Im quite happy with my own.
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Old 03-15-21, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by KingoftheNorth View Post
Look I started cycling later in life but I do it several times a werk (both road and trail) and paid for professional coaching. This year I got a job nearer to home and cycle to work and back daily. I often cycle the route the main club uses by myself, that's how I know about them (so I don't think it's a question of my ability) but I was looking for a social element.
I'm not sure which XCR you're talking about, but it sounds like it's a full suspension mountain bike. You're commuting on singletrack? If you are, that's a pretty sweet deal! If you're commuting on pavement or gravel, I can think of a few reasons why the club would place you in the 'beginner' rides. Are you trying to join a road cycling club on a full sus MTB, or is this some kind of gravel/fire road club? (SO MANY QUESTIONS!) While it's true that exceptional XC riders can keep up with average sportful rides on a full sus triple MTB, it's definitely not easy when the road/gravel bike has road gearing and typical MTB and touring triples will have a smaller big ring. Unless you're that exceptional rider, you won't be with the A/B ride. If this is an MTB club (are mtb club rides a thing?) then your bike handling should speak for itself.

BTW, 2 accounts is a forum no-no.
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Old 03-15-21, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Go on whichever ride the cycling club folks suggest, and see how you do. If you belong in a different group, it'll be apparent.
Indeed - even with the logs of solo rides hypothetically showing the athletic capability to match the pace of one of the faster groups, there mere act of riding in a group is a skill all by itself.

Go on the invited ride and if it's relaxed in terms of effort spend it talking with folks.

Originally Posted by KingoftheNorth
I was looking for a social element.


One of the things to realize is that unless you're in a group very well matched for goals, riding in a group can often end up more about the social aspect than the ride itself; until you're in a very well tuned dynamic, don't expect a group ride to be as meaningful a ride as a solo one.

Last edited by UniChris; 03-15-21 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 03-15-21, 12:38 PM
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Still, it just sounds like you can't handle flak.

Did they say you couldn't play with them.
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Old 03-15-21, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I'm not sure which XCR you're talking about, but it sounds like it's a full suspension mountain bike. You're commuting on singletrack? If you are, that's a pretty sweet deal! If you're commuting on pavement or gravel, I can think of a few reasons why the club would place you in the 'beginner' rides. Are you trying to join a road cycling club on a full sus MTB, or is this some kind of gravel/fire road club? (SO MANY QUESTIONS!) While it's true that exceptional XC riders can keep up with average sportful rides on a full sus triple MTB, it's definitely not easy when the road/gravel bike has road gearing and typical MTB and touring triples will have a smaller big ring. Unless you're that exceptional rider, you won't be with the A/B ride. If this is an MTB club (are mtb club rides a thing?) then your bike handling should speak for itself.

BTW, 2 accounts is a forum no-no.
Yeah, that's what I was confused by. Almost seemed like he was trying to join a road club with a FS MTB.
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Old 03-15-21, 12:45 PM
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Cyclists aren't defined by their gear (except in their own minds) - a beginner can splurge on the latest CF ubervelo and all the gear and just be a very well-equipped beginner, while a seasoned veteran on a steel 7sp with a rear rack, a dork disk and DT shifting can go out and smoke the group. The bike doesn't make the cyclist. That being said, gear is the first thing that people see, and unfortunately, until your performance tells them different, gear is often used as a proxy for cycling chops. If you're showing up at a road-centric club on what sounds like an MTB or hybrid (I don't know what an "XCR" is, but a suspension fork and seat post are suggestive), the roadies with their high-zoot gear aren't going to take you seriously. Is it fair? No. But it is what it is. Either (1) upgrade your bike, (2) go out and demolish the beginners group, then be "promoted" to a group commensurate with your abilities, or (3) tell those judgmental feckers to piss up a rope and go enjoy some solo riding - or any combination thereof.
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Old 03-15-21, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by KingoftheNorth View Post
About two years ago I came to this forum with a quandry. I wanted to get into cycling but wasn't prepared to pay what the major bike shops were asking and didn't want to go with a "big box" bso either...I did exactly that, bought myself a good used XCR...
Can you post a link where an as-specified original XCR is shown? I can't tell whether you're proposing to ride a mountain bike with a mountain biking club, or whether you're trying to use a mountain bike to ride with a group of road riders. It sounds like you spent quite a bit upgrading and changing your bike. Forks and wheelsets aren't cheap. Isn't an air suspension fork better than a "hydraulic" fork anyway?
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Old 03-15-21, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Yeah, that's what I was confused by. Almost seemed like he was trying to join a road club with a FS MTB.
That is what I am picturing too. Around here, nearly every kid and teenager rides a mountain bike of some sort.... And the established road riders don't.
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Old 03-15-21, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by KingoftheNorth View Post
In those two years my email addresses have changed and I haven't posted here since.
Don't understand what that has to do with anything. I have changed email addresses during my more than 10 year membership and have not had to create a new account in order to post.
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Old 03-15-21, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
That is what I am picturing too. Around here, nearly every kid and teenager rides a mountain bike of some sort.... And the established road riders don't.
We've got a high school kid around here who sometimes shows up to local group road rides on his MTB...and then proceeds to ride in the mix with the strongest riders of the group. When he shows up on his road bike, everyone suffers. He's a freakin' beast.

I don't think the OP is a rider like that.
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Old 03-15-21, 01:44 PM
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So are you going on a ride?

After your first ride it will be evident what ride you should be on.

Don't overthink this.

And don't worry about your bike.
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Old 03-15-21, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by KingoftheNorth View Post
They called my bile a beginners bike and then proceeded to tell me just what their bike's cost. I didn't ask about their bikes, frankly I just wasn't interested. How is that of any concern unless they were being snarky
1- I cant imagine wanting to join a group that is unwelcoming. Your version of events makes the club sound unwelcoming and quite materialistic driven. Some like that, but i dont so I wouldnt want to join.
2- your bike is very clearly an older style mountain bike with upgraded components. is the club you want to join a road riding club or mountain bike club?
- if its a road club, then your bike is illfitted for how the club rides so maybe they think you dont know any better(do you know better?) and need to be in the beginner group.
- if its a mountain bike club, then your bike is older technology and they may think you dont know any better(do you know better?) and need to be in the beginner group.

MTB tech changes by the year. Its the fast fashion of cycling- just rotate new popular trends out by the season and basically declare all prior design to be poorly thought out. An MTB that is 6 years old will have wildly different geometry and feel than a new model. That doesnt mean an older bike is worthless, but it could explain why the people you spoke with think you may not be as capable as you feel you are.


Go ride with the group and see how it goes. If you are too good for the beginners, then move up.
Or dont ride with them.

Really all I care about is finding out if this is a road or dirt club. Details man!
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Old 03-15-21, 02:10 PM
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I once showed up for a mountain bike group ride as a newbie with my $400 Bikes Direct MTB and platform pedals. No one said a word about the bike but they assigned a rider to "hang back" with me. After about an hour and a half of riding off road a front of dark clouds started moving in so we jumped on the road and hammered it back to the shop. I'll admit I thought I was going to have to drop out a few times but somehow I was able to keep up the entire time. Afterwards one of the regulars told me I did pretty good on "that" bike, and that I'd really be smoking once I got some clipless pedals.

So yeah, it's mostly about performance, but riders can't help but look at your bike. And if you're new to them, they have no idea of how skillful or fast you are.
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Old 03-15-21, 02:11 PM
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I call BS on at least some of this. OP shows up for a ride, was told which group to ride with and then didn't ride? If he did show up for a road ride on an MTB I can see folks making assumptions about his ability to keep up. He could put those assumption to rest within a few miles if they were wrong. Personally I'm a pretty low budget cyclist but most of the folks I ride with are not. In the 15 or so years I've been with this club I've never had anyone say anything disparaging about my humble bikes.
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