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Old 10-24-14, 12:39 PM
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FireFeature
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Greetings from Kansas City!

Hi Everyone,

My name is Eric, and I'm relatively new to the sport of cycling. I live in Overland Park, KS, which is part of the greater metropolitan KC area, and we have some great running/biking trails that go through the adjoining counties and I absolutely love riding on them. I currently have a Diamondback hybrid bike, which I use for short (15-30 mile) rides on the trails throughout the area. It was a cheap $350 bike, but it has been fine for what I've done so far.

Recently, I've had a budding interest in getting into cycling more seriously. I've been researching road bikes quite a bit, and trying to decide what to get and what my ultimate goals will be, as that may contribute to the decision on which road bike suits my needs. I originally got the hybrid to ride the trails for the purpose of fitness. I run and bike to stay in shape, but this year have really started to look forward to my rides as I've become more thankful that I'm able to enjoy the weather and scenery while zipping along on my bike. It's become less of something I have to do, and more of something I get to do. My wife runs and cycles too, but we both like to run alone, and we like to cycle together - so it's kind of nice in that regard as well.

Goals:

1. Have fun! If I'm having fun doing something, then I'm enthusiastic about it, and that enthusiasm translates into energy, motivation, and the like. I think it's paramount that I keep things in perspective and do this for fun, and if it ever gets to the point where it becomes tedious, it'll probably be time for something new.

2. Proper fundamentals and technique. One of the main reasons I do so much research before committing myself (buying a road bike, gear, planning my goals, etc.) is because I'm a stickler for trying to learn proper fundamentals and build on those. I hate having to rewire my system because I was too indolent to get the basics down before moving on to more advanced techniques. I have a desire to understand what I'm doing, so that I can make sound decisions as I progress. I suppose this is the main reason I registered to this site.

3. Knowledge. Getting my fundamentals down requires information I don't possess. I'm here to learn, and I'm a sponge! I hope to learn from all of you. I hope to be able to apply that knowledge to the technique I develop as I embark on this journey.

4. Fitness. I'm not sure if I want to ride for distance, speed, or train for a triathlon or something. Probably in the long run, I'm going to try to challenge myself with distance, as one of the best things for me currently is being able to enjoy nature while I'm out in it. But it is important to me that cycling contribute first and foremost to my health and fitness.

So, given these goals that I have, I have essentially just been reading up on how to get started with road biking. I know I'll obviously need a bike, and I've been looking around and reading as much as I can. I actually snapped my derailleur on my hybrid and took it into Bikesource to have it replaced, and looked around at their bikes there. They carry any different number of Specialized bikes, ranging from the mid-$500 range, all they way to around $10k. I've also been looking on places like Bikesdirect.com, and even considering buying a used road bike by looking around on Craigslist.

I see that the general consensus seems to be, "don' trust sizing charts, go get fitted for a bike based on your body, flexibility, etc.," but I would like to keep the option of buying a used bike or bike from an online retailer open. I'm about 5'9 3/4", and my standing clearance is around 32.25". From everything I've been reading, a 55c standard frame and 170mm crank size would be about the right fit for me, but I understand there are plenty of variations and other factors that play into it as well. I did read that it's generally easier to go down a size for people that are in-between a size than it is to go up. But those are the types of things I hope to learn here.

After I get a bike, I've got to figure out the best place to start riding. I do see people riding road bikes on the trails I mentioned, but with quite a few turns, some occasional cracks and bumps in the trail surface, and occasionally some congestion, I'm not sure if this is ideal. Riding on the road does scare me a bit, because there aren't many bike lanes directly around where I live, and people drive like maniacs! I may want to take my bike to some less busy areas to start riding on the street, but I definitely need to learn the do's and don't's of riding on busy streets.

Anyway, thanks for reading this, and it's good to be here. I hope to learn a lot from you all.

Thanks,
Eric
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Old 10-24-14, 01:14 PM
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FBOATSB 
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Welcome to Bike Forums. You'll find all the info and other peoples opinions you could ever want in all the subforums. Post often!
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Old 10-24-14, 01:47 PM
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Juha
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Cheers Eric, welcome to BF.

You can always take your current hybrid to local roads, to get an idea of how if feels riding with other traffic.

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Old 10-24-14, 05:49 PM
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cb400bill
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Welcome to Bike Forums, Eric!
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Old 10-24-14, 11:20 PM
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FireFeature
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Thanks all! I appreciate the welcome, and the tip on testing out road riding on my hybrid. I'll definitely give that a try!
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Old 10-25-14, 09:34 AM
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Lanceoldstrong
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Originally Posted by FireFeature View Post
...After I get a bike, I've got to figure out the best place to start riding. I do see people riding road bikes on the trails I mentioned, but with quite a few turns, some occasional cracks and bumps in the trail surface, and occasionally some congestion, I'm not sure if this is ideal. Riding on the road does scare me a bit, because there aren't many bike lanes directly around where I live, and people drive like maniacs! I may want to take my bike to some less busy areas to start riding on the street, but I definitely need to learn the do's and don't's of riding on busy streets....

Anyway, thanks for reading this, and it's good to be here. I hope to learn a lot from you all.

Thanks,
Eric
A great place to start riding to: Arthur Bryants, and this looks like a great route. 25 miles round trip.
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Over...39.0914829!3e1

I also suggest a great cycling specific routing website:
Map Bike Rides with Elevation Profiles, Analyze Cycling Performance, Train Better. Ride With GPS

Have adventures, have fun.
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Old 10-25-14, 09:48 AM
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Welcome, Eric.
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