1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Isn't riding always easier than walking?

    Admittedly, I do walk my bike (aka hike-a-bike) on super steep, maybe technical sections that I cannot handle. Or that's obviously NOT a trail, like with unknown ground cover, shrubs, streams, etc.

    But I notice when some riders can't make it up a gradual hill, they walk it.

    Why?

    Doesn't it take more energy to walk than to ride on any given terrain or grade, notwithstanding the above-mentioned "obstacles?" And even more energy pushing alongside a bike?

    In other words, if you can balance it, why not stay on the bike?

    [When I'm exhausted, I've been known to ride my bike uphill SLOWER than people walking]

  2. #2
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    Because, often, they need to get their heart rate down and walking enables them to do that.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  3. #3
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    Isn't riding always easier than walking?

    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Because, often, they need to get their heart rate down and walking enables them to do that.
    Yup, have seen a 30bpm lower heart rate walking than riding on the same grade moving at the same speed. Also uses slightly different muscles.
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  4. #4
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    ^ X2 on the different muscles. If i've been riding a few hr I might choose to walk up a steep hill rather than bike just to get some other muscles involved and give me a rest. I agree with you though, it's faster and easier to bike up em the majority of the time.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    They ran out of gears because they read about how awesome 1x10 was on MTBR and have way too big a chainring.

    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    If I choose to walk instead of ride up a section it is because I have determined that I am tired and walking is easier than riding.

  7. #7
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    If you have the energy to walk, you have the energy to ride.

    BUT

    You can stop walking without falling or having to expend the energy on an uphill track stand. Also slow speed riding over a technical section can be very challenging.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    They ran out of gears because they read about how awesome 1x10 was on MTBR and have way too big a chainring.


    LOL exactly!. Rep worthy.

  9. #9
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    Re: Isn't riding always easier than walking?

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    They ran out of gears because they read about how awesome 1x10 was on MTBR and have way too big a chainring.

    Ill second that, im happy with 26/38 but ill spin out at about 42 kph on downhill sections

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  10. #10
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    Interesting replies! The entire topic can also be asked:

    1. How slow can you ride your bike?

    2. How steep a grade can you still maintain an easy slow pace?

    I think both are worthy skills.

  11. #11
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    Re: Isn't riding always easier than walking?

    You should try buying a couple of cassettes for the rear wheel and finding what suits you, I went with 26/38 front and 11/36 rear after taking advice from mtbr then found I would have been better off with 26/38 front 11/32 rear or maybe even 36 front 11/36 rear..ill change my mind next week on those two.

    Im glad I didn't listen to the single speed mob though

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  12. #12
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    I just did a ride on my Flat bar road bike on a route where, when I first got my FBRB, I had to walk a certain hill after riding half-way in the bike's lowest gear, 34x25. After training and riding the hill for six months on my FBRB, I am able to do the hill in 50x21 in a third of the time it took to walk or spin up the hill.

    There's no shame in walking. Keep riding and push bigger gears and next time you might not need to walk.

    It's like doing pushups. For many adults, maybe they can do 15 or 20 pushups before going to their knees and can do another 15 or 20 before they burn out. Do that for a couple weeks and you can knock out 30 before burning out. Do that for a while and you can knock out 100.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by manbat View Post
    You should try buying a couple of cassettes for the rear...
    or better yet,

    buy a couple of extra wheels for the rear...

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    There's no shame in walking...
    That's what racers do.

    In a race, sometimes it's FASTER to get off that stupid two-wheeled thing and HIKE up that friggin dirt hill dragging the stupid two-wheeled thang.

    Who cares when it's only about clocking a good time.

  15. #15
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    Sometimes, when you're several hours into a race and the option is to either spin in granny and keep your heart rate at 190, puke and quit, or walk up, let your heart rate come down a bit, get back on at the top, and go.

    I did an XTerra yesterday and, in the trail run portion, I chose to march up the hills instead of run up them. This allowed me to keep my Heart Rate in check.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    I did an XTerra yesterday and...
    This is why all beginners (to mountain biking) should do an XTerra.

    Perfect forum to expound on it. ;-)

  17. #17
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    I had to hike a bike a few times today on the 5mile xc loop. Lost traction on the accents in some awesome soft Cali trail sand. And sometimes the leg muscles just give out
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidass View Post
    This is why all beginners (to mountain biking) should do an XTerra.

    Perfect forum to expound on it. ;-)
    And troll #4 gets a bite. The point is, as a racer, you need to make decisions as to when it is best to use energy that will increase your heart rate and when to conserve it. Walking your bike allows one to conserve it. Just as marching up a hill instead of running could be viewed by some as whimping out. When you are spent, you are spent. It's a lot faster to recover from 185 than 195.

    When I read your first post, I contemplated replying because it looked like an obvious troll. But, then I thought it could be a legit question from someone sincerely wanting advice as to when it would actually be a good time to walk.

    I see your little winkey face and now realize it is the former. Good day sir.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  19. #19
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    What is considered steep, long, and steep and long?

    Last week I did a paved road 4 times on 4 days. It was 0.8 miles at 6%. I rode each time. Each time I got faster by a few seconds and at the very end, where it leveled a bit, I was able to accelerate. However, I am sure that if there had been another 100 yards of climbing, I would not have made it.

    Since we are on the topic of walking steep sections, what is the consensus on steep, long, and steep and long?

    Don't say it is subjective or an individual thing. I'm seeking a general consensus.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    And troll #4 gets a bite... Good day sir.
    Hmmm. Troll. A large fictitious creature that lives under a bridge?

    An answer (or question) that you vehemently disagree with?

    An off topic non sequitur comment about racing?

    Don't chew off more than you can swallow.

    The actual point is, regardless of whether you're a racer or a beginner reading this beginner forum, the leg muscles that power a bicycle could be or should be or would be stronger than the muscles that power your hiking while pushing a 30 pound bike.

    Yeah sometimes I wish I could proudly lie down on the dirt and just ROLL my body forward uphhill to maintain progression, to hell with the bike.

    But then no troll would bite me -- none that would cry from poor reading comprehension anyway. Have a good day!

  21. #21
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    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidass View Post
    Doesn't it take more energy to walk than to ride on any given terrain or grade, notwithstanding the above-mentioned "obstacles?" And even more energy pushing alongside a bike?

    In other words, if you can balance it, why not stay on the bike?
    I use to think the same until I started doing longer races and getting cramps. Earlier this year I was in a race next to a guy and there was a really steep section coming up. He was in front of me and said, I'm going to walk this so I don't cramp up, you can ride past. I foolishly rode it and got cramp right at the top. He walked up it, jumped on his bike and raced on when I was stuck nursing a camp.

    Last weekend I had a similar section in a race. On the first lap I cleared it. Second lap after 6.5k of climbing, 4+ hours in the saddle and really hot weather I just walked it to avoid cramping. Also I'm a stronger runner than rider, so its actually easier for me and I like the break. Everyone is different.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbco1975 View Post
    I use to think the same until I started doing longer races and getting cramps. Earlier this year I was in a race next to a guy and there was a really steep section coming up. He was in front of me and said, I'm going to walk this so I don't cramp up, you can ride past. I foolishly rode it and got cramp right at the top. He walked up it, jumped on his bike and raced on when I was stuck nursing a camp.

    ...

    Everyone is different.
    This is probably the best reply so far. And it's a good point -- cramp avoidance.

    Although I'm merely a weekend warrior, I often push it 'til almost cramping. I make little adjustments here and there, also in diet, and I get better and better. But always at the limit, when I absolutely have to get off the bike, I don't.

    I just stop.

    Because when I get off and use my walking muscles AND my upper body muscles to drag along the bike, I'm expending even more energy than ever. I've done that before, and it's worse than suffering cramps.

    So after a pause, a rest, a motionless standstill just taking in air, I magically find the burst to start again from speed zero.

    This, of course, is notwithstanding the "obstacles" originally mentioned (such as too steep to climb regardless).

    Yeah everybody is different. I didn't know so many racers enjoy this beginners' forum.

  24. #24
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    We enjoy helping people with answers to questions they haven't already answered in their heads. You obviously posted to make a point - or to validate your actions - not to learn from people with more experience than yourself.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidass View Post
    Admittedly, I do walk my bike (aka hike-a-bike) on super steep, maybe technical sections that I cannot handle. Or that's obviously NOT a trail, like with unknown ground cover, shrubs, streams, etc.

    But I notice when some riders can't make it up a gradual hill, they walk it.

    Why?

    Doesn't it take more energy to walk than to ride on any given terrain or grade, notwithstanding the above-mentioned "obstacles?" And even more energy pushing alongside a bike?

    In other words, if you can balance it, why not stay on the bike?

    [When I'm exhausted, I've been known to ride my bike uphill SLOWER than people walking]
    Because, for whatever reason works for them, they choose to.

    We're all riders, but we don't all have the same fitness, tolerance of risk, skill level, skillset, or determination. It's not always about what is more efficient, and not everybody feels like they have to always do what is more efficient for themselves, let alone others observing them. Maybe they are struggling that day, for any number of reasons, and it's easier for them to take frequent breaks when walking than it is to dismount/stop, and then get going again. They might possibly have their own particular physical limitations that make it easier for them to walk, or riding would aggravate their condition so much that it would prevent them from riding at all if they insisted on riding up that hill. Incredibly, many riders don't give a frog's fat arse about racing, personal records, etc.

    Unless they ask , I assume that they just want to do what they want to do, and do it in the manner they want to do it, and not have someone tell them they are doing it wrong.

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