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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    New mountain bike rider. A few questions

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    Hello everyone,

    Im 35yrs old and not had a bike since I was about 12 years old.

    Im a very large lady and have recently started to diet. I also wanted to up my fitness. I hate gyms. So myself and my husband at the weekend bought 2nd hand mountain bikes. We didnt want to spend much in case we dont enjoy it. I know lots of people on here will have expensive bikes so please dont judge.

    We will be mainly riding 50% on the road and 50% on wooded areas.
    I bought a Carrera Vengeance mountain bike which is in excellent condition as the previous owner only rode it about 10 miles. I got it for 80. It retails as new for about 320.

    Ive been on it twice, very short rides because im so overweight and so unfit so I want to do things slowly. At the moment I can only ride on flat paths because Im too unfit to ride up even the smallest of slopes, will that get better in time?

    Also I feel like the bones that run at each side of my lady bits between my lady bits ro my bum are KILLING me! They feel soooo bruised. Are they called sit bones? The bike has the seat which comes as standard, maybe I need a new one?

    Thank you so much for reading my post. So glad I found a ladies forum!
    I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Here is my bike



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Traveling Nomad
    Hi Danielle, and welcome to the forum! :-)

    Yes, if you ride consistently, you will certainly become stronger and more able to tackle hills. One thing that beginning riders sometimes forget is to to learn to use your gears and then use them. I see so many struggling up hills in far too tough a gear. To go up a hill, you need to shift into progressively easier gears so that you can keep your cadence (pedaling speed) up fairly high. When you do that, you should be able to get up most slopes once you build up enough cardio conditioning to do so. With the low gearing on mountain bikes, your legs should be fine, but your heart/lungs will limit you until you gain conditioning. It's also no sin to walk when the going gets too tough!

    As for the saddle, give it a little time. When you first start riding, or start back after a break, your sitbones are going to be sore and tender. Your soft tissue will become much more tolerant over time. If it didn't, not many people would stick with cycling! But the break-in period for a saddle can take a few weeks. If the saddle is really wrong for you and things don't improve, then you should consider a new saddle. For me, I need a saddle with a cutout and found that the Selle Italia Diva Gel Flo works the best for me. It has a large cutout and is medium-firm. Beware squishy, soft, wide saddles that seem like they would be super comfortable. They tend to be the worst over time for causing chafing and other issues.

    Also very important is to invest in some good bike shorts that fit you well and have a good chammy liner with padding. I am partial to the Sugoi brand, but everyone has their preferences. If you feel uncomfortable wearing skin-tight bike shorts (as they should fit), you can wear them under a loose pair of shorts, but don't wear underwear or you will chafe your lady bits. They are made to be worn commando!

    I hope these tips help. Keep us posted on how you are doing, and congratulations for taking charge of your health!

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Welcome to the forum, Danielle. This forum is one of the few I've found where I can share my love of bicycling with other gals. It's a great resource.

    I'm about as hardcore as it gets with the mountain biking, but, tempting though it may be, I am not going to launch into a tutorial on mountain biking. Just know that - if and whenever - you have a good resource, here, should you decide that kind of biking is for you. Several us of us mountain bike, but most of us road bike, too.

    I'll echo the advice given, so far. Go slow, give it time before making any big decisions on equipment and, yes, that includes the seat. We all have to go through that saddle sore stage when beginning.

    If weight is an issue, especially important to go slow. A little riding each day is better than going on big rides, several times a week. You need to make riding enjoyable to keep motivation up. Turning it into a distance marathon, right out of the gate, will make it tough to stay motivated. Short, pleasant rides also make it easier to fit riding into your diet regimen, too. Strength and wind will come, but give it time.

    If your bike fits you reasonably well and everything works, properly, it will do, for now. This is not the time to go techno or talk shop on bike models. This is the time to get out and ride and enjoy. As you gain experience and accumulate miles, you'll develop preferences.

    By all means, give us feedback as you ride and share your thoughts. That's what we do, here.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    To me mtb is all about a diy learning by doing approach. I tried reading some books but they all seemed lackluster in comparison to the experience you gather going on an actual ride.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Quote Originally Posted by bikeranna View Post
    To me mtb is all about a diy learning by doing approach. I tried reading some books but they all seemed lackluster in comparison to the experience you gather going on an actual ride.
    I have an addition to my last comment:
    What actually help me with learning how to properly ride a bmx, was researching in forums designated to MTB / BMX. I profited a lot from the accumulated experiences in forums like that, when i first started riding and it that way today. I can recommend it to everyone who wants good start to this sport.



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