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pooks
04-05-2007, 05:44 AM
In the MRI thread the question was raised whether a townie was sufficient for hard riding. I'd like to know more about that. What would you consider hard riding, re: a Townie?

I have a hybrid but it looks so much like a Townie that I wonder what it would really be classified and if that should effect my expectations as to what I can do on her. I'm fitting her for utility riding but I'd like to be able to do some longer rides, too. 30-40 miles?

http://planetpooks.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/dyna.jpg

KnottedYet
04-05-2007, 05:48 AM
I'd say try some longer rides and see how it goes.

Everyone is different. I've come to the conclusion that if the bike works for you, ride it!

(I did centuries on a bike that other folks told me shouldn't have been doing long rides on. I was happy and I felt good, so there you have it!)

Think of those guys who do long rides (like the STP) on fixies. Now, I could never do that. If it works for them, who am I to judge?

I always get a kick out of pics of your bike, Pooks! When my brain finally gets the message that there is NO CHAIN, it's startling! I think your bike is very cool. :D

mimitabby
04-05-2007, 06:16 AM
and then there's Kit that just did 100 miles on a mountain bike. As long as you are happy with and comfortable with your bike, honestly, it can do anything you want it to.
ON THE OTHER HAND, if you get bike lust, buy a bike that is made for the kind of riding you hope to do.

Grog
04-05-2007, 07:43 AM
I'm the one who raised questions about the Townies. However I think I meant "cruisers" more than townies per se. I always get those confused because I'm enamoured with all those beautiful Electra bikes!!!

This being said, what I meant was that I'm not sure "comfort" bike are a good choice to do "power" workouts. This has nothing to do with distance, I'm sure you can ride for days on any bike as long as it's a good fit. However if the goal is to, for example, practice powering up hills, or doing fast intervals at really high cadence,

This is based on nothing but intuition, and I would have liked someone who knows a lot more than me about bikes to respond to this. I'm just thinking that these bikes are meant for "comfort", not for "speed", and that they are fit accordingly on their users. But honestly don't make too much of this. As Knot says, if it works for you, don't worry about it. If you start having pains, check your fit.

Offthegrid
04-05-2007, 09:10 AM
When my brain finally gets the message that there is NO CHAIN, it's startling! I think your bike is very cool. :D

OK, I give up. How does this bike work?

I have a hybrid type bike I got for commuting. I just wanted something inexpensive that I wouldn't be heartbroken if it got stolen. It is a LOT toughter to ride than my road bike. But if I stick with commuting I'll upgrade.

I guess my point is that you can build up to doing the mileage on these types of bikes. But it will be easier to go farther and faster on a road bike.

BleeckerSt_Girl
04-05-2007, 10:00 AM
It's not "just" distance, but also the size and number of hills you want to do will effect your choice of bike for the job. Gearing is just as much of a factor as weight, comfort, distance, etc. Unless you live in a really flat area- in which case a single speed is fine for everything.

mimitabby
04-05-2007, 10:03 AM
exactly OTG

I get on my Worksman bike and I can't go 15 mph without a most extraordinary effort. If I ride at about 9mph I am getting a darn good workout.
If i had to power that thing up a hill, it would be really really tough.
How is that NOT a workout? how is that NOT getting me stronger?
Let's face it, it's more fun to get on my Bianchi and zip around at 14mph without much effort, but I'd be a fool to suggest that a heavy one speed bike is not a valuable tool for getting fit.

Grog
04-05-2007, 10:55 AM
Wait, Pooks' bike is not a one-speed.

The gears are in the hub (or hiding somewhere else). (!!!)

Unfortunately I can't explain to you how it works.

My point about the comfort bikes is not that they're heavy or anything. It's about the geometry of those bikes and the position they put you in, and how this position may (or may not) be compatible with recruiting your strongest muscles for effort (either for going up numerous steep hills fast or training at a high cadence).

My concern is not about the bike not providing a workout, quite the opposite. I also have two hybrid bikes and they sure make me work harder than my road bike!! I'm just concerned about the effects on joints and on the back of repeated muscular efforts on a bike of that geometry.

But I will say it again, if pooks (and whoever) is feeling fine on their bike, and have no issues whatsoever, then there is nothing to worry about. If someone starts having knee, hips or back issues, then I wonder if the bike (and its fit) corresponds to the use they make of it.

And it's not about hybrids in general but about the so-called "comfort" bikes which have a very specific, very upright position.

mimitabby
04-05-2007, 10:58 AM
Well, even better that they are not heavy bikes (but some ladies write in who do have heavier 1 speeds) so maybe the position isn't optimum. She'll still get a workout. I sit pretty upright on my road bike. my handlebars are higher than my seat.
I think you're right about the fast cadence stuff. I try to do that on my worksman and it is very very hard to do.

RoadRaven
04-05-2007, 11:31 AM
In the MRI thread the question was raised whether a townie was sufficient for hard riding. I'd like to know more about that. What would you consider hard riding, re: a Townie?

Can someone please explain/define "hard riding" for me??
:)

maillotpois
04-05-2007, 12:23 PM
Great question, RR!!

My bet: For 10 responses you'll have 10 different answers.

pooks
04-05-2007, 12:30 PM
Okay, so what is the difference between a townie and a cruiser?

I do not speak bicycle. I dabble in it a bit, but the language still eludes me.

SouthernBelle
04-05-2007, 01:01 PM
Okay, so what is the difference between a townie and a cruiser?

I do not speak bicycle. I dabble in it a bit, but the language still eludes me.


I think townie is a brand name of Electra for one it's cruisers. For our purposes there's probably not a real difference.

Grog
04-05-2007, 01:49 PM
Okay, so what is the difference between a townie and a cruiser?

I do not speak bicycle. I dabble in it a bit, but the language still eludes me.

I believe Townie is a brand name of Electra Bikes. It basically corresponds to the more generic "Comfort Hybrids" category. They are somewhat compact and give you an upright position. Your bike, Pooks, looks like a comfort hybrid to me. They have usually three speeds and often more.

Cruisers are usually lower, longer bikes. Often they only have one speed and coaster brakes, many have three speeds, but seldom do they have more than that. If I'm not mistaken, some motorcycles are also called cruisers, usually those with the very "forward" front wheel.

Kitsune06
04-05-2007, 01:55 PM
and then there's Kit that just did 100 miles on a mountain bike. As long as you are happy with and comfortable with your bike, honestly, it can do anything you want it to.
ON THE OTHER HAND, if you get bike lust, buy a bike that is made for the kind of riding you hope to do.

:o it was 100 km.... :o

but I really appreciate the faith you have in me :D ;)

I think if it's comfortable, do it. ...if it's not *made* for the purpose, then try it yourself a few times before the event to make sure you'll be comfortable.

teigyr
04-05-2007, 02:21 PM
I did many centuries on a mountain bike! You can do whatever you tell yourself you can do. I was actually averaging 15-something too. To be honest, my average actually went down when I switched to the road bike but I think it was because I wasn't used to that type of bike.

So ride what works for you! I honestly didn't mind the long rides on the mountain bike. I did put road tires on it though, I would recommend that at least.

Geonz
04-05-2007, 03:15 PM
I do fairly long rides on heavy bikes... but I worked up to it. Those first metrics on the Giant - at the end of the season - were pretty long & hard... but still fun. Big thing was I wasn't trying to keep up with anybody - our little group was tooling along at 11-12 mph. Rest stops every 10-11 miles.
For me, that was pretty "hard riding" - and there are generally large groups of folks doing exactly that same thing at any of the long club rides.
ON the other hand, lighter bikes *are* easier and faster to get going over long miles.
On the third hand, those heavier bikes are **great** for training - when I've been haulin' around the big bikes then those rides on the Trek are sweet.
I think, too, that Townies have a specific geometry so you can put your feet down... and yea, I would want to try it on short and medium and sort of long rides before I took it long just to k now I won't have a killer backache at the end (or chafing or whatever).

Luna
04-05-2007, 04:20 PM
Just a note, My townie electra is a 21 speed.:D

Luna
04-05-2007, 04:25 PM
I also want to say that I felt stronger each time I rode the bike and I went up this incline 2 times prior to this 3rd that I think really torqued my back. I was on a mountain bike prior and it killed my back and shoulders after one ride. So the townie felt good for many rides. But I push too. I get strong and ride out at 14-15mph for a steady 6-7 miles, and I have only been riding bikes for about 5 months. I really think i pushed too hard too quick. I had back problems prior to biking it just seems to be aggrivated. sigh.

pooks
04-05-2007, 07:22 PM
This is all very informative. Thanks for all the answers.

My bike is HEAVY -- almost 40 pounds, loaded! And yes, when I go up a hill, I work HARD. (Of course that has nothing to do with fifty extra pounds I'm carrying on my body, does it?)

I'm beginning to see that I can justify the idea of having two bikes. Heh.

SouthernBelle
04-06-2007, 04:19 AM
Pooks,

I think you can totally justify 2 bikes. Just use for different purposes.

Kano
04-06-2007, 03:54 PM
This is all very informative. Thanks for all the answers.

My bike is HEAVY -- almost 40 pounds, loaded! And yes, when I go up a hill, I work HARD. (Of course that has nothing to do with fifty extra pounds I'm carrying on my body, does it?)

I'm beginning to see that I can justify the idea of having two bikes. Heh.

Oh Heck yes, Pooks! You certainly can justify a second bike!

I've got my heavy comfort-beast, and will surely ride it now and again, probably put the "dirt tires" back on it one of these days, for when DH really REALLLY wants to go on the dirt trails, and I be a nice wife and suffer through them (even though they terrify me!) but I'm finding that I LOVE the feel of my new roadie! She makes one heckuva difference, I think!

DH does tease me a bit -- he says I was riding better on the old one, but you know, I'm getting the feel of this one, learning how she handles and all, along with staying behind him, cuz then I know where he is, cuz sometimes, he makes quite an obstacle of himself!

Karen in Boise

farrellcollie
04-07-2007, 07:57 AM
I have a 40lb or so hybrid that I now use for commuting and light trails but it used to be my only bike. I rode up to 50 miles on it without incident - just a lot slower than my road bike pals. I now have a road bike - 19lbs - and am quicker - but I did not mind riding my hybrid longer distances .

northstar
04-09-2007, 05:22 AM
I have a hybrid and a road bike too. The longest ride I ever did on the hybrid was about 50 miles...it was fun then, but on the road bike, those miles just fly by. I didn't feel a bit guilty keeping it when I got my road bike because the hybrid is perfect for loading up and running errands around town, something my road bike would not be well suited for. DH didn't even give me any grief about it. :) Can't imagine my little road bike locked up at the rack at the supermarket...I'd probably want to bring it in the store with me instead!

pooks
04-09-2007, 05:27 AM
I think that's what I'll be doing, too. My only prob is -- I have nowhere to put the bikes we have now. (My bike is in the living room; I'm looking at it as I type. My husband's is in the middle bedroom because he hasn't used it recently. Gack.

I've got to figure out a better way of handling this! But we are so crowded in our house and urrrrrgh. That would be the primary reason my husband would complain. Heck, if cycling were his hobby instead of mine and he wasn't putting his bike in the middle bedroom and leaving it in the living room because it was easier, I'd be chewing him a new orifice!

mimitabby
04-09-2007, 06:36 AM
Pooks, this is even worse:
My DH had a garage built. There are no cars in our garage. But where are the bikes? they sit in our office area. There is PLENTY OF SPACE in the garage. :confused:

Geonz
04-09-2007, 06:39 AM
Figure out how to address the space problem, and realize that a lighter bike is easier to store, too. It's still a bike but it's liftable and you could even pop the wheel off if you found the right corner in your abode. Think creatively! Maybe there's a rack that can go in that middle room that can handle all three bikes!
40 pounds *loaded* isn't over the top ... but it is holding you back a bit. My Xtra is 39 pounds unloaded and I have taken it on week-long tours that included a century, and had a pleasant time riding with the folks who cruise at 14-16 mph. However, I prefer the aluminum bike for that Saturday metric or riding with the faster guys (except at the beginning of the season when they're out of shape ... I *think* it's easier on their egos ;) :rolleyes: ;) )

pooks
04-10-2007, 11:22 AM
I think having a bike that doesn't fit is a bigger problem for me than having a bike that is heavy. Oh yeah, going up hills is harder, I'm sure. But when I need to lose a lot of weight, myself, it's probably kind of silly to begrudge my bike a few pounds, isn't it?

Kano
04-10-2007, 03:23 PM
I think having a bike that doesn't fit is a bigger problem for me than having a bike that is heavy. Oh yeah, going up hills is harder, I'm sure. But when I need to lose a lot of weight, myself, it's probably kind of silly to begrudge my bike a few pounds, isn't it?

Pooks, I sure agree with you -- and I don't begrudge my comfort beast it's many pounds either, but oh MY the difference my new blue bike makes! The other day, one of his friends was asking about its weight -- which had me thinking I should weigh it when we got home, but still haven't done. We joked to him that it weighs "air" -- it feels like picking up a feather! I'm astonished that there can be so much difference, and I'm astonished at the difference in my ability with it!

I'll warn you, though, Pooks -- it DOES feel different to ride in this new position!

Karen in Boise

pooks
04-10-2007, 04:10 PM
Do you ever get on your hybrid any more?

KnottedYet
04-10-2007, 09:40 PM
I ride my hybrid for "utility" purposes and for commuting and for rain. (it's aluminum)

I love my hybrid nearly as much as I love my road bike. They are different bikes, and excell at different functions.

Today I rode my hybrid (Kona Dew) to and from work. On the way home I stopped at the grocery store to buy a beer. They let me bring the bike into the store. There is something about a hybrid that just makes folks friendly. It's also easier to commute around here with a hybrid. And if my Kona got stolen or damaged, I wouldn't have as much of a panic attack as I would if it happened to my Waterford. And I don't feel l have to baby my hybrid at all. And I'm willing to lend the hybrid out to folks who need a bike.

It's good to have a zoom-zoom bike and a utility bike.

"do I ever get on my hybrid anymore?" Well, I'd say I get on the hybrid more often, but the mileage is probably a tiny bit higher on my roadie. (8 mile commutes 4 days a week on the hybrid, and 35 mile weekend rides on my roadie)

pooks
04-11-2007, 04:07 AM
I think whether or not I keep both bikes is dependent upon which new bike I buy. If I go for a lighter-weight aluminum/carbon combo that's a true road bike, I'll probably keep my hybrid. But the more I ride her, the more I think that if I get a bike that truly fits and is comfortable, I probably won't want to ride the hybrid much at all.

Which takes it out of the "do I want/need two bikes" category. Because yes, I'd love to have a utility bike separate from a road bike, but if I'm not going to want to ride it, that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

mimitabby
04-11-2007, 06:32 AM
For me it's a little different. My road bike is campy and my hybrid is shimano.
So It took me MONTHS to get used to the shifting/gearing of my bianchi road bike, and when I got back on the hybrid, it was a nightmare!
It's too bad, because I like the bike and it's very comfy, but I'm almost to the point after a YEAR of riding where I am really feeling comfortable with my gears and shifting. (I never quite got there on the hybrid btw) So when I go back,
it :confused: messes with me.
My new bike will have the same kind of gears as my Bianchi, with slightly different ratios.

So, bottom line, I'm probably only going to ride 1 bike. but if i had to ride two, I'd rather they had the same kinds of gears on them!

pooks
04-11-2007, 07:59 AM
I think a lot of my decision will be determined by what kind of bike I end up buying.