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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    8

    Want to start Riding but feeling a bit overwhelmed and defeated.

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    Hi Everyone!!

    I am so excited to find this forum. I have been researching and read through the forum. Ok, here is my story, lol. My husband started cycling about 4 yrs ago. He started with an Trek FX and then went to a Fuji road bike. Anyway, now that my kids are older and I have a 12 year old that can babysit. I really want to get into biking. Hubby is gone quite a bit, he works in the oil rigs. So I will be doing some/most riding on my own. Long story short, he took me out to look at bikes. Well, I haven't ridden a bike since probably Jr. High. My first and only bike what a red boys bike with no gear and the brakes were in the pedals. Lets say the test drive on the road bike wasnt pretty. I nearly crashed though I was able to slowed down in time. I kind freaked and totally forgot to squeeze the brakes. I came off that bike shaking but i refuse to give it up. I then tested the FX and i felt more stable on it. But my husband and mine concern is i will outgrow the FX quickly. He knows me well and know once I start, I will want to do distance and rides. But since I never really learn to ride a "big Kid" bike. Would it be a better idea for me to get a box store bike so I can get my "riding legs" back, I could then handed down to my daughter. I am 5 foot and we were thinking to get me a 24 inch that she can have. Then I could get the road bike. The other option is to get an FX bike, and ride that for atleast for a year and then get a road bike? Last but not least, just put on my big girl panties and get the road bike and try to ride it as much as I can when he is in town and hope I will get the hang of it, so I can start with the short bike trails and slowly gain the mileage??

    All insight, encouragement and thoughts are welcome!! I really want to start biking but the start of it seems to overwhelming.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301
    First of all, welcome!

    Just my .02, but if I were in your situation I'd get the road bike. You'd be surprised how quickly you'll get used to it and why waste the money? At least that's what I'd say if it were me When we got our road bikes last Sept I hadn't been on one since I was a teenager (I'm now 43.) At first I was extremely wobbly, but truly it doesn't take long until you start feeling at home. If you have a subdivision you can practice there or take it to the school parking lot while school is out and practice there.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    452
    Only you can decide what's comfortable for you. That said, I "outgrew" my Trek FX (nice bike btw) in about a month, and sold it to a co-worker for a significant loss to get a road bike. I'm wondering if you know anyone who has a FXish bike, or even a cruiser type, you can borrow for a couple weeks, just to get going, build your confidence, and then make a decision. You might even be able to find a cheap one on Craig's List. Better than investing in a road bike you're too afraid to ride.

    Oh....and welcome!
    2013 Kirk Frameworks JK Special/Selle Anatomica
    2012 Gunnar Sport/Brooks B17
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    My general feeling about that kind of thing is that it's silly to buy something because it's something you might want in some potential future. Get what you want and what makes you comfortable NOW.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    My general feeling about that kind of thing is that it's silly to buy something because it's something you might want in some potential future. Get what you want and what makes you comfortable NOW.
    I agree, but I read the OP's post as saying that she really wanted the road bike, but was afraid of it. If you really want the FX or a Walmart type bike, or whatever, you should get that.

    My own experience is that I got the entry level bike and then a month and a half later, like murielalex, I sold it for half of what I paid originally and upgraded.

    If you think you'd be happier with the FX you definitely should get it, but if it's a matter of being afraid of the bike I truly think you can quickly learn.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    perpetual traveler
    Posts
    1,267
    If your daughter is going to need a bike I see nothing wrong with practicing on what she will ride before you get a bike. How tall is your daughter? She might fit a bike with 26 inch wheels. I sold my Trek 800 mountain bike, with a very small 13 inch frame but with 26 inch wheels, to parents who bought it for their pre-teen daughter who was probably only about 4'9".

    One thing to keep in mind is that people who post on bike forums tend to be avid cyclists and lean towards bikes that are used for a lot of riding. There are a whole lot of people who are completely happy on hybrids or even mountain bikes that they ride like hybrids. For example, my spouse likes to ride but maybe 10 to 15 miles max in a day. He rides a hybrid and a mountain bike. He isn't interested in a road bike.

    It may be hard to know where you end up. Unfortunately, sometimes the first bike you get is the bike that tells you what your second bike should be. I guess my bottom line is the same as Oak's. Buy what you want to ride now. Not what you might want someday. Not what your husband thinks you might want.

    Good luck in your search!
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
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    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    238
    Welcome Ojo...

    I'll tell you my story I hadn't ridden a bike since i was a teenager. One summer (as an adult) I bought a big box comfort bike. After riding a few weeks, I wished I had a bike that could go faster. THe next summer i bought an FX. Based on my goals, the sales guy strongly suggested a road bike. However, I REFUSED to even sit on one....not me, no way, no how will I ever ride a road bike! I rode the FX for a summer, and was able to keep up roadies, but definitely in the slower groups. At the end of that summer, I decided I wanted a a road bike and then bought one

    Now, with all of that being said, I'm not sure I would have felt comfortable right away on the road bike instead of the FX, but i think if i would have adapted just fine.

    If you get a road bike, you should have someone spend some time giving you a lesson on how to use it. I never had a geared bike as a kid, and barely knew how to work the big box bike. I actually watched a lot of you tube videos and read articles on line to learn how to shift. (I didn't really have anyone to ride with at that time.)

    Is budget a factor for you? If not, you could get an FX (or similar) now, and then keep it for light trail riding, knocking around town kind of riding in the future, if you upgrade to a road bike.

    Could you rent a road bike for a day to see how you feel on it?

    Good luck in your search! Lots of folks post this exact same dilemma when starting out....
    Last edited by Penny4; 07-10-2013 at 07:05 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Whitmore Lake, Michigan
    Posts
    920
    Welcome!

    Only you can decide ultimately, however you're looking for opinions so this is my take. You haven't ridden in a while and seem a little tentative about the road bike from your test ride. Yes, you just might get real relaxed soon on one or you may be afraid of it and end up not riding because of that. You have a daughter who you said will need a bike. Depending on your pocketbook, you could get a new bike that she can end up using if you need to move up, or you can get a craigslist bike and if you want to upgrade in a couple of months you can post it back on craigslist and probably won't lose a dime on the deal if you shop smart. If you end up really getting into cycling you'll want a better bike at some point and at that time deal with a local bike shop and invest in a good quality bike. Until you know if you're going to like it it's kind of a crap shoot and it could get expensive. Money's no object? Go for the moon out of the chute.

    Beware, this is an addictive sport!
    Bike Writer

    http://pedaltohealth.blogspot.com/

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    Specalized Expedition Sport Low-Entry 2011

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    8
    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. Its true I had the whole intention to get a road bike. After having my life flash before my eyes, i just got scared.

    Getting a rental bike is an option. My daughter is 52" and half, so roughly 4 foot 4 1/2. So that might be a very good possibility, lol
    I have been reading alot of the threads about people getting the hang of it more quickly then I imagined. I really want to do cycling for the endurance and miles. Which is why i am weary of the FX.

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. Its exactly what I needed. I will let you all know how it plays out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Writer View Post
    Welcome!

    Only you can decide ultimately, however you're looking for opinions so this is my take. You haven't ridden in a while and seem a little tentative about the road bike from your test ride. Yes, you just might get real relaxed soon on one or you may be afraid of it and end up not riding because of that. You have a daughter who you said will need a bike. Depending on your pocketbook, you could get a new bike that she can end up using if you need to move up, or you can get a craigslist bike and if you want to upgrade in a couple of months you can post it back on craigslist and probably won't lose a dime on the deal if you shop smart. If you end up really getting into cycling you'll want a better bike at some point and at that time deal with a local bike shop and invest in a good quality bike. Until you know if you're going to like it it's kind of a crap shoot and it could get expensive. Money's no object? Go for the moon out of the chute.

    Beware, this is an addictive sport!
    I am married to a pretty big addict. He hasnt written in a year and just getting back. He got out of the USMC and we have been transitioning to civilian life.
    I have a really funny feeling, I will totally get addicted.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    Welcome to TE, Ojoscafes!

    My advice: I'm with goldfinch on this. If you're getting your daughter a bike, there's no reason you can't use the one she's getting to learn how to ride a bike again. I will say that this forum does tend to skew "roadie" to some degree, and there's nothing wrong with flat-bar road bikes/fitness hybrids/whatever they're calling them now. If you think you'll want to do distance in the future, get your daughter a bike, then get the roadie, or a nicer FX. Are you planning on riding with your husband?

    I got into cycling after not having ridden a bike for ten years, and the last bike I had was the single-speed with a coaster brake that I had as a kid. I learned to ride again by borrowing a friend's mountain bike. I was planning to get Giant's equivalent of the FX, but since the people I thought I'd be riding with had road bikes, I decided to go ahead and get the Avail. Yes, the first few rides were...interesting, to say the least, but I'm glad I bought the road bike.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

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    Saving for the next one...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Owlie View Post
    Welcome to TE, Ojoscafes!

    My advice: I'm with goldfinch on this. If you're getting your daughter a bike, there's no reason you can't use the one she's getting to learn how to ride a bike again. I will say that this forum does tend to skew "roadie" to some degree, and there's nothing wrong with flat-bar road bikes/fitness hybrids/whatever they're calling them now. If you think you'll want to do distance in the future, get your daughter a bike, then get the roadie, or a nicer FX. Are you planning on riding with your husband?

    I got into cycling after not having ridden a bike for ten years, and the last bike I had was the single-speed with a coaster brake that I had as a kid. I learned to ride again by borrowing a friend's mountain bike. I was planning to get Giant's equivalent of the FX, but since the people I thought I'd be riding with had road bikes, I decided to go ahead and get the Avail. Yes, the first few rides were...interesting, to say the least, but I'm glad I bought the road bike.
    Yes, the ultimate thing is for my husband and I to ride together. The hope is to do charity group rides and stuff like that.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Quote Originally Posted by ojoscafes View Post
    I am married to a pretty big addict. He hasnt written in a year and just getting back. He got out of the USMC and we have been transitioning to civilian life.
    I have a really funny feeling, I will totally get addicted.
    My first bike as an adult was a mountain bike, though I rode it more on paved trails than on dirt. I rode some pretty long distances on it and then decided to get a road bike so I could ride centuries. I remember feeling very unstable on the narrow road bike tires the first couple of times that I rode it, but I adjusted quickly. I still have the mountain bike, though I don't use it much. But it's a nice change of pace to ride it from time to time.

    Whatever bike you decide to start with, just go at your own pace while you get accustomed to it. The advice to start at a school parking lot or quiet street is good. Take your time getting a feel for the bike and getting used to the shifting. You'll be up and riding in no time.

    Thanks to your husband for his service, and to your family. Semper Fi!

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
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    Gone but not forgotten:
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    859
    I was sort of in your situation. I rode a "10 speed" Schwinn Le Tour (drop bar, gears, etc) from age 13 to 23, then essentially little to no riding (mostly on the wrong kinds of bikes for me) until about 2 years ago. I bought a Trek FX 7.3 and LOVED IT. I put probably 2,000 miles on in 10 months. However I wanted more hand positions and decided I wanted steel, so 10 months after buying the FX, I bought a Surly Cross Check and never looked back. So many more hand positions available with drop bars, etc. I ride with platform pedals with no interest in clipless pedals, so if you go straight for a road bike you might want do get some cheap platforms until you get comfortable with everythng else, then switch to clipless if that's your ultimate goal. I think it's better not to try to learn too many different things at once, however everyone is different.
    I will say that the FX is a great bike and if you got it first, nothing wrong with saving it for an "errand" bike or such - fenders, racks, a bell, etc. This would be a totally different set up than you'd have on a traditional road bike which won't have room/eyelets for fenders, racks, etc.

    So...you could easily go either way. Have fun!
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work" - Thomas Edison

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    I started on a mountain bike with slick tires, after not riding much for years... I had both 5 and 10 speed road bikes that would now be considered classics, but I didn't ride them a lot. First year, I rode 800 miles on that mountain bike. Second year, in Sept., DH took me to buy a road bike. The shop tried to steer me to a flat bar roadie, but I knew better and bought an entry level Cannondale with drop bars. I had it a year and upgraded to a Trek carbon bike. That was 13 years ago and I now have a carbon road bike and a titanium custom road bike that I have a rack on, good for both road riding and casual stuff. I am so glad I didn't get the flat bar road bike that the shop was pushing on me. I had no trouble adjusting to the road bike and I am not that coordinated.
    Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a flat bar road bike. I had a Jamis Coda, like Murienn speaks of, for 4 years, as an errand/around town bike. I loved it. I sold it when I bought my custom bike, but eventually, I will get some kind of around town bike like it.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
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    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

 

 

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