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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So as I start to near a comfortable weight and as time has gone on since February I've lost 48 lbs, getting better on the climbs, and am considering on trying the road riding ordeal. I must admit (you roadies will curse me for this) but I've never been into the road/spandex thing, but as I get more into the training aspect of our beloved sport, I'm beginning to see the need and want.

I've pretty much been conquering all the front range trails within 40 min or so of Superior, but finding a want to start riding on the road, possibly at night out by where I live near Marshal Mesa. If I were to pick up a cheap road bike to see if I would even enjoy it, what would you guys suggest? I've been using a really cheap Ironhorse mtn bike with kenda street tires, but I feel like a total choad out there getting passed by all you roadies in amazing shape looking like your training for the tour de france. I want to start getting more efficient, going longer distances, burning more calories, and becoming more fit. I'd like to stay away from the expensive road bikes for now, so would the giant OCR be suffice? If so, how do you size yourself up for a road bike? I know the mtn bike scene relatively well, and ride a giant reign x that I lightened up for the trail, so I'm not sure if the road bike is the right thing for me or if I should maybe look at a 29er with street tread? If any of you locals can point me in the right direction for educating myself on this area of our sport that I'm not familiar with at all, I'd really appreciate it.

Oh and if you see a chubby guy out there with baggies, show some love and wave, you pro like guys are rather intimidating so a friendly smile is nice to see for those of us who are newbs in this arena.

Late,
Josh
 
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Get a used bike off craigslist or at the sports recycler. No need to pay a lot of money when you're unsure of what you want. Just like MTB's you'll soon want to upgrade or change frame styles from a racing to a touring geometry once you get an idea of what you want.

If you don't want to just go test drive one... ...for sizing, everyone has a different method; inseam(convert to centimeters ) * .65 for seat tube length (most common sizing). If your MTB fits, look for the virtual top tube measure (VTT) on the website or try to measure the distance between the where the centers of your seat tube and head tube would be on a horizontal plane. That would give you an approximate size of your top tube. Again, these are just to get you in the ballpark.

FWIW, I just parted out my wife's road bike and built up a cross bike for her. Cross bikes are great, especially entry level ones with rack/fender eyelets. I can throw skinny tires on for the MS150 or with semi-slicks, she can go tear up the smooth stuff by Marshall Mesa.
 

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Another vote for getting a road bike... A road bike has significant advantages over a converted bike:

1) Reduced weight
2) Reduced rolling resistance
3) Most economic rider position (for going fast)
4) Gearing optimized for road (longer gears)

You'll feel the difference most on level to declining roads. That is when you pedal on your converted steed while the roadies just cruise along - or lose you in an instant.

Fit is relatively easy: Measure as describe by Josh and sit on the bike.When you put the heal on the pedal and put the pedal down your knee should be almost straight - just like on the MTB. Adjust the seatpost. Similarily, in normal riding stance move the pedals to parallel to ground. Front of knee should be above the pedal axles. Same as on the MTB.

Put the hands on the controls - not the drops - but relaxed riding position hands are somewhere on the top of the bar. There should be about a 90 dgree angle between your torso and the arms.

Many beginners have way too much weight onthe arms. Ideally you hold the torso with the abs, not the arms. Obviously this gets way harder if you are stretched out too far.

Are you using clipless? If not.. get started. Otherwise the roadies will continue to drop you forever.

Not wearing lycra is ok. All you need to do is to pass the monkeys wearing it. Make sure to approach stealthily, sit on the their rear wheel for a minute to catch your breath and then pass them effortlessly using the momentum gained by drafting. Smile, don't pant. The message is clear and devastating. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kaba Klaus said:
Not wearing lycra is ok. All you need to do is to pass the monkeys wearing it. Make sure to approach stealthily, sit on the their rear wheel for a minute to catch your breath and then pass them effortlessly using the momentum gained by drafting. Smile, don't pant. The message is clear and devastating. Have fun!
lol...too funny! You're up in Ft. Collins right? I might be moving up that way towards the end of the summer if I can find work as that's where my GF lives. How's the trail riding up there? Seems like a lot of great roads to ride on as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Walt Disney's Frozen Head said:
I should clarify that by "cross" I mean cyclocross not one of those commuter bikes with elastomer suspension forks.
I think those are called hybrids.

I'm 5ft 8 inches, 30 inch inseem or so. I'll have to just go get fitted for one so I can then browse for a cyclecross bike. Any suggested models to look for, or any models to look up to see what I'm looking for? I just visited the giant website, seems like road bikes are as sub-categorized as mountain bikes :skep:
 

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Not wearing lycra is ok. All you need to do is to pass the monkeys wearing it. Make sure to approach stealthily, sit on the their rear wheel for a minute to catch your breath and then pass them effortlessly using the momentum gained by drafting. Smile, don't pant. The message is clear and devastating.

Funny how many people on this forum talk about this, but when I'm on my road bike it never happens. Actually the only time anyone on a mountain bike passed me on my road bike was climbing from Vail to Vail pass and it was Jay Henry, and he was wearing Lycra. Feel free to wear whatever you want though.

OH yeah, the OT.... If a new bike is in your budget, get a road bike. Used ones can be picked up from all kinds of places quite reasonably. $500-$800 will get you a decent used bike. Just make sure it fits, a poorly fitting bike will sour you to long road rides quickly. Road riding and mountain biking compliment each other in the types of fitness and skills gains that they will give you.
 

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Kaba Klaus said:
Not wearing lycra is ok. All you need to do is to pass the monkeys wearing it. Make sure to approach stealthily, sit on the their rear wheel for a minute to catch your breath and then pass them effortlessly using the momentum gained by drafting. Smile, don't pant. The message is clear and devastating. Have fun!
Oh man, nothing rocks more than zipping by a spandex pack with my t-shirt and baggy mtb shorts flapping the breeze...if only I could make that happen more often. :bluefrown:

Seriously, I never knew how much road bikes rock until I got one. The amount of power you can push through the pedals is just sick. I put a lot of miles on a mountain bike with slick tires, and there is just something different about gliding around on skinny tires. You feel all stealth and stuff. You ride faster and further. In my opinion, the workout is generally better than the MTB because you tend to ride more consistently.

The other nice thing--even if you buy new: $1000 gets you a hell of a lot.
 

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Consider this another vote for getting a road bike! If you were just looking at commuting I might suggest a rigid MTB converted, but it sounds like you're really interested in road riding and a true road bike will be better for you by far. They're just so much more efficient and comfortable over the long haul. And not to mention FAST - with every pedal stroke you just GO, it's pretty nifty!

I think a Giant OCR is one of the best deals in road bikes going, you really get a nice bike for pretty little dough, and it will do more than just "suffice". A friend of mine just picked up on this year and she just finished day one of the MS 150 on it today and plans to ride RAGBRAI (a ride across Iowa) on it with me later this summer. She found a last year's OCR 1 at a great price (just under $1K) and LOVES it, and componentry-wise she's set up pretty well and doesn't really need to upgrade anything unless it gets broken. It's a solid bike!

Oh, and I don't know if anyone else caught this, but if you lost nearly 50 lbs in a few months from riding, that my friend is awesome as crap! Congrats!
 
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