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Hey all,

I've been biking for about a year, and I'm still learning the ins and outs of the types of bikes, what kinds are good for what paths, etc. I typically ride limestone trails; my usual haunt is Waterfall Glen in Burr Ridge/Darien, IL (I will send some photos to update the listing.), an excellent 9.3 mile trail that I still can't seem to finish.

That's my problem -- my endurance. I work out about 3x a week, either biking or at the gym, but I can't seem to go for even moderate distances without needing to stop for breathers. Typically, I do about 3 miles of the trail, then take a break, then turn around and head back. I usually need at least one more stop on the way back, just because I get winded or my legs/behind start absolutely killing me. I am not a particularly large guy (5'9" 145), so I don't think it's my weight that could be a significant issue.

My only bike is a circa 1988 Peugeot Orient Express with entirely stock parts on it. It has a pretty heavy steel frame, and I am wondering if the heaviness of the bike would significantly impact my endurance. I would love a new bike (suggestions always welcome), but I probably won't be able to afford one until the summer is over.

So does bike weight significantly affect your endurance? Or am I just being a wimp? Or do most normal bikers need to stop for breathers, and I'm just not noticing them?

Feel free to be cruel and/or kind.
 

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Ride on
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Good question. I remember a 20 mile ride with a guy that had a 50 lb freeride bike. We stopped a lot for various reasons, probably on the order of every 3 miles or so, and he had to walk his bike a few times at the top of a long or steep climb. But he finished the ride nonetheless.

There are only a few people I ride with that don't stop every so often, and they have been riding (and sometimes racing) for years. I remember back in high school when I first started riding I had a steel rigid bike (just like everyone else). I went on a ride with a group of more experienced riders. I was off the back most of the time, and every time I caught up with them they would take off again. Which meant they got lots of rest and I didn't :( But I finished the ride.

I guess my point is that it takes lots of riding to build up the endurance required to forego rest stops, and that you can overcome the weight of your bike if you keep at it. Sometimes you have to push yourself a bit if you want to improve your endurance. And even though a really heavy bike does require more energy when climbing you can overcome this by training harder.
 

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No good in rock gardens..
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Hmmm, that is a pretty old bike.

It's likely 30 odd pounds, with a heavy wheelset and high gearing, and it's hardly set up for vigorous trail riding - look at it compared to a modern hardtail to see what I mean.

That said, the best way to get better on your bike, is to ride it more, and focus on areas where you are weakest. If you suck on climbs - seek them out. One way to get better quickly is to hook up with someone who is faster and/or a better and more skilled rider. That will get you out of your comfort zone and you will see some deveopment. It's no good however going out with someone who so much better that you just get flogged - that can be demoralising.

I'm assuming your health is good otherwise - if your iron is low you will find you get puffed and tire real quick and generally feel lethargic.
 

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i think it takes a lot of training. can t run a marathon with 2 months of training. hell, my friend can bench like 250 and hes only 130 lbs. drives me crazy, but then he been working out for 10 yrs. it takes time.......................train by riding longer and longer each time or steeper hills each time. set goals.
 

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bike?

I know Im still a newbie. But just tryin to help. If yer interested in a new hardtail that wont kill the wallet maybe take a look at the Gary Fisher advance ($300 at LBS here) Or Specialized Hardrock Sport ($320 locally) GT Avalanche 3.0 ($299 on performancebike.com) Or maybe a lower end trek as well. You get the idea. I picked up my '05 trek 3900 for $270 with free service for 3 yrs and love it. I test rode all of the before mentioned bikes as well and with them all being similar in price they were equally similar in components etc. All rode better then what you are riding now and for me the difference was worth every penny spent. Just my .02
Tim
:thumbsup:
 

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Rigid vs FS

I got back into riding several months ago and I have been riding an old rigid stumpjumper that I bought about 20+ years ago. I wanted to start riding the rougher trail sections at my local park so I decided to go for a FS bike and want a major difference! I can ride two to three times longer on the fs bike and feel much less stress than I did riding the rigid bike. I am quite suprised how much less fatigue I experince in my back and legs after riding the fs. Both bikes weigh about the same also.
 
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