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.
mtn. biking 101
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. #76
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    Davy,

    It was a consideration as i had seen one at the local trails.. however when speaking with the owner he did say that he would not suggest it for someone in my condition locally.. as we have alot of uneven ground around here lots of downhills and climbings and he did suggest be being unfit, over weight nad lacking any cardio at all the the bikes weight and agility would hinder me and cause me frustrations and possibly would end up giving up riding.. he suggested going with a 29er and so did the hsop so thats what i ended up with

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    Davy,

    It was a consideration as i had seen one at the local trails.. however when speaking with the owner he did say that he would not suggest it for someone in my condition locally.. as we have alot of uneven ground around here lots of downhills and climbings and he did suggest be being unfit, over weight nad lacking any cardio at all the the bikes weight and agility would hinder me and cause me frustrations and possibly would end up giving up riding.. he suggested going with a 29er and so did the hsop so thats what i ended up with
    Well, he's a spoilsport.

    Your 29er is just fine. I do think you may try a Pugs in the future. You are making progress in the cardio realm. Heck, I did a new trail this weekend, and thought I sounded like a steam engine. I don't mind lying down in the poison ivy to rest once in a while.

  3. #78
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    yea but honesty... and it sucks and is pretty embarrassing to admit it.. i get winded just gear up for the ride ( changing shoes, pulling the bike down ect.. ) yes i know its sad!!!

    I rode recently with a friend who is larger but much better fit than i am and we rode the same trails.. at the end of the ride both our computers said we rode 10.4KM however my total ride time was 1 hour 20 mins and his was 45 mins.. same computer. I know for a fact he was riding up what he suggested where simple climbs using his big gears.. while i did the same climbs in the granny gear and needing to stop and walk often

    Im very embarassed to have let myself get to where i am physically..

  4. #79
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    Completing a couple of races next year is a good goal. Especially the 24-hour race, especially if you do it as a part of a team. I did a 6-hour solo recently... very difficult day on a bike. Especially since the weather sucked and I blew up my drivetrain about halfway through the first lap. MTB endurance races have a really fun vibe, and they're a bit like a mullet - up front, where the fast guys are, it's all business. But there's a party at the back.

    The road race, I'm a bit less enthusiastic about. It's great that they added a sportif category, but if that's people who are already about ready to buy their racing license, train with racers, etc., they'll probably chew you up and spit you out. I think centuries make good goals because a lot of people do them, with some discipline, they're highly achievable, and while some people still try to "win" century rides (not me, of course ) the general vibe is a lot less competitive.

    I think part of the growth of MTB endurance races, gran fondos on- and off-road, and century rides is that people spend hours a week for periods of years getting to the fitness levels in the faster categories, and even 5 on the road is pretty fast. A good winter and a good build cycle are enough to finish an endurance event and feel good about it. But it feels pretty crappy, although it happens to almost everybody at some point, to get dumped off the back of a shorter race. When it's a distance that most most riders exceed in their training rides, training becomes about doing that distance faster and racing becomes about beating people. Longer distances have a different attitude, and since there's no drafting off-road, you also don't have the possibility of getting dumped by the pack and pulled from the race.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    yea but honesty... and it sucks and is pretty embarrassing to admit it.. i get winded just gear up for the ride ( changing shoes, pulling the bike down ect.. ) yes i know its sad!!!

    I rode recently with a friend who is larger but much better fit than i am and we rode the same trails.. at the end of the ride both our computers said we rode 10.4KM however my total ride time was 1 hour 20 mins and his was 45 mins.. same computer. I know for a fact he was riding up what he suggested where simple climbs using his big gears.. while i did the same climbs in the granny gear and needing to stop and walk often

    Im very embarassed to have let myself get to where i am physically..

    I wouldnt be so hard on yourself. You are taking the right steps to help boost your overall fitness.

    Whenever you are having a hard time on the trails, and you have to get off and walk, dont beat yourself up about it.

    Just remember this: "It doesnt matter how slow you go, you are still lapping the person on the couch!"

    Best of luck with your rides

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    I rode recently with a friend who is larger but much better fit than i am and we rode the same trails.. at the end of the ride both our computers said we rode 10.4KM however my total ride time was 1 hour 20 mins and his was 45 mins.. same computer. I know for a fact he was riding up what he suggested where simple climbs using his big gears.. while i did the same climbs in the granny gear and needing to stop and walk often
    Nothing wrong with using the granny or walking, it's part of the game. Lets face it, if you can coast over the hills on the big ring without ever "grannying" or walking you need to find a more challenging route. I'm always on the lookout for new hills to replace the ones I've mastered, I can't "granny" because I ride a singlespeed but I do walk quite a bit.

    Don't get discouraged because someone is faster than you, just think "Hey, I'm still new at this, let's see what's what next year". When I started riding everyone and everything was faster than me. My riding style was best described as some sort of "Tai-chi on a bike", quickly becoming a master of staying upright when almost going backwards. I kid you not, I was outrun by a butterfly, it flew in front of me on a long climb, hung with me for a bit before flying on ahead. A year later I'm still being overtaken every once in a while but not nearly as often and the butterflies gets to eat my dust!

    You can do astonishing things to your cardio and stamina by riding 3-4 times a week for 3 months, not to mention in a year. The trick is to keep it manageable by picking routes you know you can do and adding a little bit of extra each ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    Im very embarassed to have let myself get to where i am physically..
    Be that as it may, but you're taking steps to correct that.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    Im very embarassed to have let myself get to where i am physically..
    you are awesome. don't let anyone tell you otherwise, especially yourself.

  8. #83
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    FWIW, I love my granny gear.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    yea but honesty... and it sucks and is pretty embarrassing to admit it.. i get winded just gear up for the ride ( changing shoes, pulling the bike down ect.. ) yes i know its sad!!!

    I rode recently with a friend who is larger but much better fit than i am and we rode the same trails.. at the end of the ride both our computers said we rode 10.4KM however my total ride time was 1 hour 20 mins and his was 45 mins.. same computer. I know for a fact he was riding up what he suggested where simple climbs using his big gears.. while i did the same climbs in the granny gear and needing to stop and walk often

    Im very embarassed to have let myself get to where i am physically..
    Just be proud of the fact that you are out there riding! It seems like you are enjoying doing it which is just as important. No one is perfect and everyone has made some poor choices in life. I have the utmost respect for you getting out there and trying to make a change for yourself. I think it is awesome. It should be inspiration for everyone, as everyone has room for improvement in their lives.

    There is no shame in using the granny gear or having to walk your bike. I have to do both frequently, the more I ride the less I find I have to do either. Keep on riding!

    Keep up the good work, and update us on your progress.

  10. #85
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    Iím a rider of 12 years and i ma giving up my 2001 GT Avalanche 1.0 for a larger and better ride. I am 6'7" and Iím having trouble finding a bike in the 1100 - 1600 price range. Does anyone have any suggestions on a full suspension?

  11. #86
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    Thanks guys, I guess often i just feel bad for the guys i do ride with.. I mean for them they just never know what they are going to get.. some days i can jump on and ride for 45 mins.. but then i have those days where 10 mins in im just totally spent and done..

    I do have a trainer on order, so as our weather here starts to go south i will be on it...

    My biggest problem is trying to eat right and portioned right.. I mean when the doctor tells me to eat veggies and chicken breast... i don't think he meant 3 chicken breasts and a whole head of broccoli for myself which is what it tends to take to fill me up

  12. #87
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    Drinking lots of water throughout the day can help surpress hunger pains. I have found that feeling hungry and actually being hungry can be a lot different at times.

    Good idea on the trainer. Keeping yourself motivated whilst the weather is bad is key. It's hard to start/stop all the time than it is to keep chipping away at something.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    Thanks guys, I guess often i just feel bad for the guys i do ride with.. I mean for them they just never know what they are going to get.. some days i can jump on and ride for 45 mins.. but then i have those days where 10 mins in im just totally spent and done..

    I do have a trainer on order, so as our weather here starts to go south i will be on it...

    My biggest problem is trying to eat right and portioned right.. I mean when the doctor tells me to eat veggies and chicken breast... i don't think he meant 3 chicken breasts and a whole head of broccoli for myself which is what it tends to take to fill me up

    The trick ( and I have difficulties doing this) is to leave the table a little hungry. I took a personal training course and they always said never jump on a new diet, work your way to it. Slowly cut down on what you eat over a period of 4 weeks, it makes things transition a little easier.

  14. #89
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    Well yet another disappointment

    One of the big issues i have been having is riding attire... I tend to wear a size 3XL Joggers and 5XL shirt.. 5XL tends to be slightly baggy on me and 4XL tends to fight snug.. So i ordered up a 4XL set of riding shorts and well they are tight but tollerable just have to use suspenders to hold them up or they roll down my butt.. lol

    But i have been wearing just standard cotton Tshirts riding and well its not working out.. couple of reasons they tend not to breath so well for me, i sweat and sweat alot so they get really heavy on me and they are not form fitting so i have torn many of them catching them on branches... i actually caught my shirt on one big branch and it yanked me off the bike so i decided to spend the cash and order a jersey..

    Got the Jersey, ordered a 5XL as it was listed "Cut Generously large" so figured knowing cycling jerseys are designed to fit formed.. lol So figured the "Generously Large Cut" would make it fit with some comfort..

    Got it today.. and no such luck!!! Can't move in it This one is made by Falconi? So i just ordered up a Aerotech Designs 6XL jersey hoping for better results, and hoping its not a waste of another $80 bucks.. Iguess not a waste i will fit into it one day


  15. #90
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    Doesn't look 'too' bad. Have you tried sitting on your bike with it on? If it doesn't cut in under your arms, it might be ok. Good to see that you're sticking at it though. Ride strong!

  16. #91
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    Yea i wore it tonight, and went and did a couple of laps around the house.. we have a hydro field in the back yard with a paved path that goes up a decent hill.. i try and ride that every night at least once.. usually by the time i get to the top of the hill my heart rate monitor is going crazy saying its my rate is 180+ so i know I'm working it too hard. But as soon as i grab the bars and try to ride the jersey pulls right up on me and my lower rolls pop out.. lol

  17. #92
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    I think it may not be so much of a shirt size issue than a length issue. The shirt should be form fitting to help wick the sweat away. If you go too big, then you start to feel like you are wearing a tent.
    Hopefully the new shirt is a little longer for you. The downside of ordering stuff off the internet. Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose. I have the same problem with helmet size.

  18. #93
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    Have you tried other moisture wicking shirts or just cycling shirts. I would go to a store that sells football equipment or similar sports and try other shirts that might fit better then cycling shirts. I tend to stay with under armour loose fit and find it is comfortable.

  19. #94
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    yea i have checked a few places and most of them only have up to a 3XL Kind of wanted the cycling jersey as it has the pockets, and my cycling shorts are to tight to keep anything in the pockets.

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    . I know for a fact he was riding up what he suggested where simple climbs using his big gears.. while i did the same climbs in the granny gear and needing to stop and walk often

    Im very embarassed to have let myself get to where i am physically..
    Don't hate on yourself. Being big does not make you a bad person.

    And don't hate on walking and granny gears! Very few people are born able to grind up any incline without practicing and working at it. (at least that's what I tell myself when I'm walking...)

  21. #96
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    Bib shorts stay in place much better.

    If you don't need the pockets in a cycling jersey, you can substitute running tops, general workout tops, etc.

    And, don't worry about holding up your friends. If they don't want to ride with you, they just won't tell you. Seriously, it drives me nuts when I ask one of my friends to go riding with me and he or she freaks out about holding me up, not being able to handle the trails, whatever. I want to (and sometimes do) say that when I want to set a PR or do a high-effort workout, I just don't tell anyone else I'm going.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #97
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    Yea i have been looking at Bib shorts.. lol But my butt and spandex don't really look very appealing.. lol

    But i did order the 6XL jersey and if it fits better then i will look into the bib shorts as i do use the pockets on the shorts that the jersey will replace.

  23. #98
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    IMO, road shorts are better liners than the liners that MTB shorts come with.

    If you don't want to show off your butt, put some shell shorts on over the bib shorts. Actually a good way to get double-duty out of the shells for MTB shorts you already have. It's not so gross to re-wear the shell if you're not re-wearing the liner.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    Yea i have been looking at Bib shorts.. lol But my butt and spandex don't really look very appealing.. lol

    But i did order the 6XL jersey and if it fits better then i will look into the bib shorts as i do use the pockets on the shorts that the jersey will replace.
    I don't look at my own bum when riding.

    If people want to wheel suck then it is up them not to look at my bum.

    What ever you do white lycra shorts a BIG No No

    +1 to shell shorts over the top
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  25. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    Don't get discouraged because someone is faster than you, ...

    You can do astonishing things to your cardio and stamina by riding 3-4 times a week for 3 months, not to mention in a year. ...
    Just remember their will ALWAYS be someone faster than you. You can be slow or fast and there will still be someone faster. Since you are on Strava my suggestion is to find a few local trails and ride them often. Same trails and record all the rides. Set-up some segments on these trails that make sense to you if they don't have them and then just compare your rides each time out. What you will find in that your times will constantly be improving as both your technical skills improve and your fitness level improves. It wil be nice to see "PR" on these rides all the time. At least for me it is a nice way to track my own improvements.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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