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Getting back into riding

Old 12-27-11, 05:46 PM
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Getting back into riding

I currently have 2 bikes: a '94 Specialized Hard Rock FS, and a '99 Trek 730. Both are cro-moly and have pretty entry level components. Neither really suit my riding in 2011 though.
I'm married now and my wife likes riding the crushed gravel trails near our home at least once a week. The Specialized is a little too aggressive and the Trek gets scary if we come across any kind of loose gravel. I also ride with some friends both on and off road and find that the Trek is too slow and upright while the Specialized is just not very good on the road.
A trip to the local bike shop for some ski gear led me to start looking into a new bike. They first showed me some cyclocross bikes, but I fear that it would be way too fast on the road for rides with the wife and just not right on the gravel paths. This took me to the "29er". They sell Cannondale and I liked what they have to offer: basically a mountain bike with tires suitable for road or trail or even a tame single track path.
I plan on doing some longer rides this year like Pedal to the Point and some other touring style charity rides of 40-80 miles.
So I'm looking for suggestions on what to buy, or what to upgrade/change on what I have.
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Old 12-30-11, 10:45 PM
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Moved from Recreational & Family to General Cycling. I think you'll get more responses in this forum.
Originally Posted by Xerum 525 View Post
Now get on your cheap bike and give me a double century. You walking can of Crisco!!

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Old 12-30-11, 11:09 PM
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its not about the bike. you could ride fast or slow on any of them.
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Old 12-30-11, 11:23 PM
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Tell us what your friends are riding?
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Old 12-31-11, 12:16 AM
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Skip all the entry level steps and get to the real stuff. Get road bikes and do a few organized rides.
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Old 12-31-11, 04:00 AM
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IMO, either of those bikes should be able to do gravel, the Specialized having the edge. Let some air out of the tires, and it won't be as twitchy on the gravel. Bring a pump, and put more in when you get back to the roads.

Skinnier tires and some drop bars for the Trek would speed it up for the group rides.
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
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Old 01-02-12, 09:52 PM
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Darn. Wish I saw this in RecFam! Love to support that corner of things. Usually pretty quiet though..

Any way...

I ride with my wife. I tow my toddler in a seat or trailer. I ride on the street and on the bike path and on the easy kind of MTB trails (BTW, a "29er" IS a full-on MTB to do your worst on). I have been riding again for about three years now, I recon. I used all of the possible comutations of the above situations to buy a whole bunch of stuff. Let me save you some time and trouble

Get a cross bike.

If you are doing enthusiast level riding in ANY of those situations a cross bike will take care of you just fine. If you really get into and one way of riding you might need a MTB (which you have) or a road bike (ditto). For any thing else a cross bike can not be beat for comfort, durability, speed, or utility. I finally bought one a month ago and it is every thing that I ever heard any one rant about cross bikes being and more.

*edit: Sorry. You have a Trek 730! Looks to me that you already HAVE a bike capable of every thing that you mentioned. The "29er" of it's day. If you just want to get a new bike then get whatever blows your skirt up the highest. After all, it;s the bike that you LIKE the most that you will RIDE the most!
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Old 01-03-12, 07:42 AM
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+1 on a cyclocross bike if you want a new bike. I've had that on my radar for months now, as there are some commuting routes I'd like to alternate into my routine that have segments with crushed rocks, gravel, etc. I already have a road bike, MTB and hybrid. The MTB or hybrid could handle the off road portion ok but then they wouldn't do as well on the road section, and I much prefer drop bars in general. If the bike is "too fast" for rides with the wife, then just ride it slower. Or put it in a too-low gear and spin more. Or put a weight on it.

A friend of mine recently got his first decent bike and I convinced him to get a cross bike, and he loves it. I got to ride it a bit too.

29ers are MTBs. You could get a hardtail and put on thinner less aggressive tires and lockout the front shocks (if they can be locked out) but it won't have the advantages of less weight and drop bars that a cyclocross would and in any case it sounds like your Specialized already has your MTB needs covered.

Last edited by idc; 01-03-12 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 01-03-12, 11:45 AM
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I use my full suspension mountain bike when riding with my wife on her Townie. It's a lot easier to go slower and stay with her pace than if I used my BMC Racemaster road bike.

You also mentioned 40-80 mile charity rides. For rides like those, I'd use either my BMC or drop-bar Bianchi commuter (basically a cyclocross bike) for the variety of hand positions available on the drop bars.

You've got the slow bike already, so I'd say to seriously consider the cyclocross bike (or a road bike, for that matter) to add to your stable. Keep the Hardrock and get rid of the 730 (IMO) so you don't take up any more space at home, if necessary.
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Old 01-15-12, 06:32 PM
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So it sounds to me like you and I are in the exact same position. Our circumstances are identical, cept I only have one bike and it is and old MTB. I am looking to get a new cyclocross bike also. It just seems more versitile and from what I have been told by some lbs if you want you can change the chain ring and cassette to match the gearing of a road bike and then swap out the tires and even the wheelset for more road like ones. This would make it essentially a slightly heavy (2-5 pounds or so) road bike. Personally after doing research I like the 2012 Specialized tricross w/disc brakes or the Specialized Crux w/discs. IF anyone here know more about what kind of mods can be done and cant be done please post as this will likely benefit asoduk and myself.
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Old 01-15-12, 08:26 PM
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I'd probably buy a 'cross bike, but that's because I want one anyway. If it's too fast, pedal slower.
As another post said, the 730 will already do everything you want, maybe with a tire change. I've had one for years and used it for everything from fire trails to centuries.

Last edited by Velo Dog; 01-15-12 at 08:30 PM.
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