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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning. </SPAN>

Just moved to San Diego from Illinois and, as a welcoming gift some fine San Diegan broke into a dead bolted bike storage locker, cut the lock and stole my Road Bike. Luckily, insurance is going to cover most of the loss. With that being said, I was thinking of using the insurance money to switch from road biking to mountain biking – as San Diego drivers seem overly aggressive and the area is naturally very ‘mountainous’. </SPAN>

I was just wondering if I could get some input and some feed back from the community in terms of pros and cons of the area/trails etc – and, perhaps if you own a road bike as well, your preferences. </SPAN>

I’ve never owned a mountain bike before and all of my experiences with road bikes have been in Illinois, a very flat and boring state. So, please talk to me like I don’t know what’s going on – because, that is pretty accurate. </SPAN>
 

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Depending on what part of the county you live in there are a number of great trails to ride MTB on out here in SD.

Sorry to hear about your bike getting stolen, but jerks live everywhere.

Check out mountainbikebill.com for a ton of great info on many of the local trails.

Stop into a local bike shop to get more info on the best kind of bike to meet your skill.

And welcome to town!
 

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As a rider who enjoys both road and mountain, I would recommend getting another road bike with your insurance money as you already know and enjoy road cycling and presumably have the gear for it.

I would test ride mountain bikes like the previous person said. Keep in mind that you'd probably have to buy additional gear specifically for a mountain bike. But if you've already purchased a road bike, you wouldn't feel the need to rush out and buy some mountain bike.

There are a lot of routes to ride a road bike in San Diego without getting trampled by cars. I personally like riding in the eastern portion outside of the actual city of San Diego. There are hilly routes with limited traffic lights and some have bike lanes.

My two cents. Good luck and welcome to San Diego!
 

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A mtb, preferably a 29er, if it firs, would be my suggestion for road AND trail bike. Many of our 'bike lanes' are full of pot holes, cracks, glass, and a road bike requires all of your attention be paid to the road surface to avoid a possible crash. This of course leaves less attention to be paoid to the cars on the road, etc....

I'm traveling at around 5 mph slower on my mtb than on my road bike, but even that works out in terms of safety. A bit slower= more time to be aware of surroundings, etc. When I ride rhough downtown, I can just bomb the potholes, the train tracks, etc.

And if I was in a hurry, I'd drive.
 

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A mtb, preferably a 29er, if it firs, would be my suggestion for road AND trail bike. Many of our 'bike lanes' are full of pot holes, cracks, glass, and a road bike requires all of your attention be paid to the road surface to avoid a possible crash. This of course leaves less attention to be paoid to the cars on the road, etc....

I'm traveling at around 5 mph slower on my mtb than on my road bike, but even that works out in terms of safety. A bit slower= more time to be aware of surroundings, etc. When I ride rhough downtown, I can just bomb the potholes, the train tracks, etc.

And if I was in a hurry, I'd drive.
I have to second Old Ray on this. Depending on what municipality you are in, many of our roads are in quite poor condition. I commute daily and I must say that for the most part the drivers I encounter are quite courteous. There are ofcourse the distracted drivers which is a big problem. There are some that have a real contempt for roadies though. Go with an MTB. You can ride it anywhere with better control.
 

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Southern California drivers in general are aggressive and unsafe where road riding is concerned.

Mountain biking is a means of escaping that. You'll appreciate the sound of nature as opposed to the sounds of civilization. It's hilly so you'll get a great workout.

Sorry about the stolen bike.
 

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Sounds like a perfect fit for a disk brake cyclocross bike
We don't see many 'cross bikes out on the trails here, at least not more than once or twice.

They are just not that fun when it comes to skittering those skinny tires across loose-over-hardpack/embedded rock surfaces. We have a buddy with a 'cross bike who rides with us on occasion. On smooth, maintained pavement he could ride 22-26 mph, leaving us behind at 18-20 mph, but on the trails I'd watch his rear wheel just skitter our to the edge of a turn, and often slide off.

He doesn't ride with us on the 'trail' part of our urban/trail rides anymore.

He waits on the road for us to get our trail-miles in, then joins us for the bomb home through downtown. He has to watch out a lot, though, because downtowns' streets have very poorly maintained pavement.

Oh...and for the OP in San Diego you can literally get away with murder if you are in a car and kill a cyclist. They almost never cite the driver for anything. The cops here think that if you are riding a bike on the road, your 'asking for it'. They do everything possible to absolve the driver. That's just the way it's always been here in America's Finest City.
 

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A nice compromise between a CX and MTB would be a 29er hardtail or full rigid with fast rolling tires like WTB Nanoraptors.

If the O.P. wants something more like a road bike geo & drop bars but wants to be able to do more off road than just groomed fire roads, maybe a "monster-cross" config is the ticket. I'm not aware of too many frames that take tires approaching 1.75-2", but one is the Origin8 CX700 like in this thread.
 

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A nice compromise between a CX and MTB would be a 29er hardtail or full rigid with fast rolling tires like WTB Nanoraptors.

If the O.P. wants something more like a road bike geo & drop bars but wants to be able to do more off road than just groomed fire roads, maybe a "monster-cross" config is the ticket. I'm not aware of too many frames that take tires approaching 1.75-2", but one is the Origin8 CX700 like in this thread.
That thread is interesting, I like that kind of setup....its' like what I built a Jamis Dragon frame into, only with flat bars. But even with the 35c tires I put on the 700c rims (The frame would fit up to a 42c 'cross tire and still have a bit of seatstay bridge clearance) I can't just bomb it through some of the paved streets here in San Diego the way I do my FS 29er....and those worst sections of pavement I tend to ride after dark, making it even sketchier....

That's why I'm staying with the mtb for the street riding, with a few exceptions when I'm riding in an area that does have decent pavement, like around UCSD and UTC. I'm just tired of dodging cracks, pot holes, broken glass, etc.

I'll take the 3-5 mph speed penalty, happily, because this way I have a lot less to worry about from the roads' perspective.
 

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Whatever you do, don't become a shuttler...they are thee worst 'kind' of mtber!

I am still trying to break KOP of his DH-only habits....there is not much time left!

Oh yeah, what everybody else said is true.

Since you're a noob to mtb, probably safe to stay to beginner/intermediate trails like Lake Miramar, Los Penasquitos, Mission Trails, Lake Murray and the like for at least 6-12 months. When you're ready to graduate to actual mountain-type mountains, head east, young man...I know some guy from the 1800's had a famous saying along those lines, but that's the wrong direction for today's hifalutin mtbers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for all the feedback.

I tried out a few configurations and found my short stocky stature didn’t accommodate the bike well at all – I felt wobbly and unsteady. So, I went with a recommendation and picked up a Marin Mount Vision. Also, I am going with platform pedals instead of clip-ons. Although I am more accustomed to clip-ons, the only time I thought I was going to die when riding was directly attributed to the clip-on pedals and some ******* backing up at a stop sign instead of moving forward after I clipped in – if it wasn’t for some girl screaming at him to stop, he would have crushed me.

Anyways. Looking forward to getting out there and shedding some blood, so if you see a short stocky guy bleeding, laughing and smiling – it’s probably me! If you have any quick, critical advice I am all ears.

And, thanks again.
 
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