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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    5

    Smile New ride, new challenges

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    Hi, I'm new here to the forums and I have a couple questions. I have ridden bikes a long time (since childhood, hehe), but never considered myself a 'cyclist' per say. It was never towards any goal, except to get where I was going. However, recently I moved and a lot of things in my life happened, and I find myself wanting a hobby. I picked up a Trek 7000 in very good condition for $100 on craigslist. I am quite pleased with it. However, I have not had any work or anything done to it...it just rides quite well and nothing squeeks or has broken.

    I find myself riding 10-15 miles at a time for the sheer heck of it. I really like the freedom is gives me for some reason. I have come to the conclusion I would like to ride a century at some point...possibly next spring. I do not plan on riding this bike for the century. Its a hybrid with an aluminum frame, and I cannot imagine being on that bike for several hours. So my questions are these:

    1) Am I out of my mind for wanting to try a century with no long distance cycling experience?
    2) How much am I looking to spend on a decent road bike that will be capable of such a feat?
    3) Is it ok to 'train' (eg: continue doing up to 50mi rides) on the trek? Even if its not a road bike?
    4) Should I invest in clips?
    5) I broke my coccyx (tailbone) 3 years ago, riding has been giving me a lot of pain. Anyone recommend a good seat that would work with the above questions?

    Thanks I know its a lot of questions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Little Egypt
    Posts
    1,867
    Welcome to TE and congratulations on riding again! It sounds like you are headed in the right direction. I would say that most of us here started with a hybrid and moved to a road bike.

    To answer your questions:

    1) No, you are not out of your mind for wanting to do a century. You will have plenty of miles on your legs by next spring.
    2) I've seen people do centuries on mountain bikes--I wouldn't but I've seen it. I think you can get a really nice new road bike for around $1000 that would do anything you would need it to.
    3) Of course, it's ok to continue to "train." Just ride your bike and have fun.
    4) If you are talking clipless pedals, that's a very personal decision. I would recommend you getting them and be comfortable using them before you do your century. You could put them on your hybrid now and learn how to ride in them and switch them to your road bike when you get one.
    5) Saddles are a very personal choice and there are a lot of threads here on TE about them---just do a search. The pain in the tailbone issue is one that should be addressed by someone else. I've not had any experience with that. I will say that may have to do with proper fit and would recommend that you go to a reputable bike shop to buy your road bike and get a proper fitting.

    Keep riding and have fun.
    __________________
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw

    Luna Eclipse/Selle Italia Lady
    Surly Pacer/Terry Butterfly
    Quintana Roo Cd01/Koobi Stratus
    1981 Schwinn Le Tour Tourist
    Jamis Coda Femme

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    220
    I rode several centuries on a hybrid, and was fine (not super fast, but felt good at the end). Like you, I started cycling to have something to do when the weather was nice, and before I new it (all in the course of 3 seasons), I was training for centuries, then buying a road bike, then another road bike, training through the winter indoors, and now racing almost every weekend! Good luck, and most importantly, have fun!

    Clipless pedals. I did several centuries without them, both on my hybrid and then on my first road bike, so I am sure that you could to. However, now, I feel all uncoordinated and clumsy without them, and can't imagine riding those distances not clipped in, so like someone said above, it is a personal decision, but I recommend clipless pedals.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5
    Isn't steel heavy compared to the carbon fibre bikes?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    I want a steel road bike.

    Aluminum is rigid, so when you're out on the road, the metal transmits the vibrations to you. Steel and carbon flex, which disperses the energy, so you don't feel that vibration. Steel flexes a little more that carbon. Yeah, there's a little bit of a weight penalty, but if you're willing to spend the money, you can get very light steel bikes.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Little Egypt
    Posts
    1,867
    Steel is real!!!! I have had aluminum, carbon and steel and steel is my first choice. Besides having sleek, smooth lines, the ride is very, very comfortable. Pretty and comfy!
    __________________
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw

    Luna Eclipse/Selle Italia Lady
    Surly Pacer/Terry Butterfly
    Quintana Roo Cd01/Koobi Stratus
    1981 Schwinn Le Tour Tourist
    Jamis Coda Femme

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,632
    Quote Originally Posted by Alisha View Post
    1) Am I out of my mind for wanting to try a century with no long distance cycling experience?
    Not at all. The first long ride I did was ~70 miles (up from around 25 miles), with some friends, on a whim, not planned and with no food. We were ravenous, thirsty and very sore that afternoon. We all signed up for a century shortly after.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alisha View Post
    2) How much am I looking to spend on a decent road bike that will be capable of such a feat?
    My advice here is to test as many bikes as you can to get the bike possible with the best fit possible for you. Any bike will be capable of a century, including a mountain bike or a hybrid. My 7 year old road bike was $500; now I'm shopping for an upgrade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alisha View Post
    3) Is it ok to 'train' (eg: continue doing up to 50mi rides) on the trek? Even if its not a road bike?
    Absolutely!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alisha View Post
    4) Should I invest in clips?
    Clips are nice because you can pull in addition to pushing the pedals. Once you get used to them, you will feel more secure going downhill. Learning to clip and unclip can be a bit of chore and you can expect to fall at least once in slow motion: lean the bike in one direction while unclipping the opposite foot. Your dignity will be more hurt than anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alisha View Post
    5) I broke my coccyx (tailbone) 3 years ago, riding has been giving me a lot of pain. Anyone recommend a good seat that would work with the above questions?
    This is like the quest for the Holy Grail. When you search the TE forum ad read the posts, you'll realize that the same saddles can be loved or hated by many.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Little Egypt
    Posts
    1,867
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    You ever gonna post a photo of that purple Luna, Bike Chick?

    Just asking
    Here she is! and here's the thread about her http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...highlight=Luna
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Bike Chick; 08-10-2010 at 07:36 PM.
    __________________
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw

    Luna Eclipse/Selle Italia Lady
    Surly Pacer/Terry Butterfly
    Quintana Roo Cd01/Koobi Stratus
    1981 Schwinn Le Tour Tourist
    Jamis Coda Femme

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    291
    I have to put in a good word for aluminum. I know people talk about how it's a stiffer ride, but I don't notice a difference in comfort (though mine does have a carbon fork and rear wheel stay). And I could afford it a pretty good quality aluminum bike with decent components. And I couldn't have afforded a Luna or a carbon bike.

    When you're looking at road bikes, try a variety in your price range, and if your price range includes aluminum, don't be afraid to give those a try, too.

    (How much does proper tire inflation change the feel of a ride compared to steel vs aluminum?)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    My bike's aluminum. It's what I could afford.

    It depends on your susceptibility to road buzz and the roads you ride on. My aluminum road bike doesn't give me a problem on the roads and bike trails back home. It's a bit more of a problem on the roads here (which are ill-maintained), and when I rode the equivalent (unisex model, I think, and a few years older) on chip-seal roads... I now know why they invented carbon fiber.

    There's nothing wrong, per se, with aluminum. Like many other things, frame material is a personal choice. You need to balance performance, comfort, and cost.

    Bike Chick: Beautiful bike!

    Alisha: I know other people have answered your questions, but I sort of want to throw in my two cents:
    1) No, you're not crazy. One of my friends went on a sixty-mile ride with NO cycling experience. (Longest ride before that: Four miles.) Now, that's crazy.
    2) I'm planning on doing a century one day on my $750 (USD) road bike.
    3) A bike's a bike. Riding can't hurt you (unless you overdo it, of course!)
    4) For that distance, I'd want to be clipped in (if you mean clipless). I don't know that I feel more secure on descents (that's something I'm working on), but what I do know is that ability to pull up takes some of the work off my quads, and I was grateful for that during my last really long ride.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    I am one of those who feel the aluminum "road buzz" and it vibrates right up through that carbon fork on my Trek 7.6 (seat stay as well, but that isn't carbon)...my tires are inflated properly I just am one of those who feel that "buzz".

    I love my steel Surly LHT - and it cost the same as my Trek (prior to converting it to flat bars but that doesn't count). Still $1,100 though. It is great for long rides - I met someone on a group ride who put it perfectly - that it is a great "all-day-long bike" and that pretty much covers it. He isn't a speed-demon, but the longer the ride the better I feel on the bike.

    If your Trek is comfortable to you then there is no reason why you cannot ride it for long as you like. You got a great deal on it, for sure, and if you can ride it for 50 miles comfortably then try it for longer rides and see what your body feels like.

    As far as clips are concerned, that is a very personal choice. I tried them in March before I was ready for them and went back to my BMX pedals - and I've no problem with long rides and hills with them. My feet stay on the pedals and so forth. I understand, however, that clipless are more efficient and allow you to go further with less effort since you can power the full pedal stroke and are at least some help in hill climbing. Just saying that you do not HAVE to go that route if you are not comfortable with it. I will try again, in time.

    Welcome to TE!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Little Egypt
    Posts
    1,867
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    You're very lucky Bike Chick. Georgous! And I love purple.

    Someday! (For myself).

    We do get a little overattached to steel The thing about steel is that you may not see one at all if going to a LBS; it's hard to buy if you are not looking. Carbon is the rage, and since OP asked if steel weren't heavier than carbon, that made me think she was considering carbon. Nothing wrong with carbon, but I wish I'd gotten steel instead.
    Thanks, Muirenn! My steel frame weighed under 17 pounds before the pedals. That was the same as my carbon bike. You are right about not finding any in a LBS. I drove 6 hours to find a shop that carried 4 brands of steel bikes. Can you believe they only had 3 carbon bikes in the whole store??? I thought I was in heaven!
    __________________
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw

    Luna Eclipse/Selle Italia Lady
    Surly Pacer/Terry Butterfly
    Quintana Roo Cd01/Koobi Stratus
    1981 Schwinn Le Tour Tourist
    Jamis Coda Femme

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,632
    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Chick View Post
    Thanks, Muirenn! My steel frame weighed under 17 pounds before the pedals. That was the same as my carbon bike. You are right about not finding any in a LBS. I drove 6 hours to find a shop that carried 4 brands of steel bikes. Can you believe they only had 3 carbon bikes in the whole store??? I thought I was in heaven!
    What store was that? Would love to know and be able to test some.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Little Egypt
    Posts
    1,867
    Quote Originally Posted by pll View Post
    What store was that? Would love to know and be able to test some.
    North Central Cyclery in DeKalb. They sell Surly, Salsa, Masi, Trek, Gary Fisher, and Haro. It's a really cool shop. Worth the trip over there.
    __________________
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw

    Luna Eclipse/Selle Italia Lady
    Surly Pacer/Terry Butterfly
    Quintana Roo Cd01/Koobi Stratus
    1981 Schwinn Le Tour Tourist
    Jamis Coda Femme

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,632
    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Chick View Post
    North Central Cyclery in DeKalb. They sell Surly, Salsa, Masi, Trek, Gary Fisher, and Haro. It's a really cool shop. Worth the trip over there.
    Thanks! Will do the pilgrimage after checking out a shop that carries Jamis bikes in Glenview.

 

 

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