Sports FAQ
Home / Mountain Biking

Keep my bike?

Bethany12011-08-07 02:17:13 +0000 #1
My first bike a couple of weeks ago was a Specialized Hardrock to go out on the loose gravel roads with my son. He has a Rockhopper 29ner. I thought I would enjoy it, but I'm not. Mostly because I can't ride it very far and it's heavy. Even 4-5 weeks later I'm only good for about 2 miles. One mile or so out and then I have to come back before my body gives out. Gravel, hills, and a heavy bike are not a fun combination as I've discovered.

I started crying after walking it up the hill to come home yesterday. I love the bike but I hate the back roads because I suck at it. I had all these plans on racing through the back roads, jumping and going over stuff and enjoying the dirt but it sucks. I'm too old/out of shape for this. Without having a true place to even use the bike to it's full potential, there's only so much you can do on a back road anyway.

Over the weekend I bought a Specialized Sirrus that I'm enjoying. It's lighter, faster and I made it farther on a real road making it more fun and enjoyable. I got a few miles outside of town before I realized I had better go back. Going down the highway is far more interesting even if you going uphill. I almost wanted to trade both in and go and buy a true road bike today since I get the idea of why you are bent over to ride now.

Road bike I was looking at is a Specialized Dolce. However; I worry that because I've only started riding a bike 5 weeks ago, I don't really know what I want and I'd regret the purchases.

Blueberry2011-08-07 02:31:25 +0000 #2
So is your question whether to keep the Hard Rock or whether to buy the Dolce? I would keep the Hard Rock - build some strength. Ride alone on it (perhaps) - my DH is a LOT stronger than I am on a bike, and it can be frustrating for me. I have to be in the right frame of mind.

Give yourself some time before you buy another bike - unless you can get an awesome trade in. You may find you want a slower/more upright bike for some purposes (groceries?).
Owlie2011-08-07 03:00:28 +0000 #3
You sound like me---you don't take--not failure, exactly--but not living up to your own initial expectations well, do you?

It sounds like you want permission to give up on the Hardrock and go for a road bike. Don't give up on your dreams of riding on back roads just yet. Treat it sort of like interval training. You can only do x miles? Okay, then ride x miles on a regular basis until it becomes easy. Then move on to x+1 miles.

Riding your Sirrus should help with overall fitness too. But I agree with Blueberry--give yourself some time before buying another bike. Do some research, and maybe you'll want to keep the Sirrus for just tootling around. Nothing wrong with that.
spokewench2011-08-07 03:25:08 +0000 #4
I would not quit on either bike yet. If you have only been riding 5 weeks, you are just out of shape and once you feel better and have some miles under you, you will begin to find out what you really want in a bike. Just because you can only go a few miles, that is okay right now, you just don't turn into an "animal" over night!

You are a lucky person. If you just keep going out to ride regularly, you will be amazed at the learning curve your body will make. When you start, and you keep riding regularly, your body will start making an incredible bell curve to feeling better on the bike. Just a little patience and you will be jumping things and riding like you want to!
Crankin2011-08-07 04:04:47 +0000 #5
You know, I felt like that almost the whole time I had my mountain bike. It was a nice FS bike, but I don't think I ever rode more than 7 miles on it. I had one, maybe two seasons where I improved my skills, but since I was always riding my road bike, it stayed in the bike shed most of the time. I ended up walking a lot. My fear kept me from really enjoying the experience,despite the fact, I love being out in the woods.

We used the bikes once last summer on hilly dirt roads in Maine and even that bothered me. It just feels so different than road riding, and after that I was OK with selling the bike. Funny, even though I can do 50-100 mile road rides, I just never "got" the mountain biking, despite really wanting to be a tough dirt girl. The most humiliating riding experience I have ever had was a group mtb ride on the "easy" trails at Great Brook Farm and the Cranberry Bogs in Carlisle.

I would sell the mountain bike, keep riding the Sirrus and after awhile, if you do get a road bike, keep the Sirrus for errands or commuting.

ETA: I did start road riding on a hard tail mountain bike, with slicks. It's aluminum, though, so not really heavy. It was DH's first mountain bike and eventually I used it for an errand bike and it was then given to my son, who used it to commute in the city until he bought a single speed.
channlluv2011-08-07 02:59:13 +0000 #6
When I started riding it was on a 37-lb steel frame Palomar GT mountain bike. I could only (barely) go five miles on a paved bike path. A few weeks later, I was doing ten miles on that path, then fifteen, twenty (it's a five-mile loop), and about two years later, on my 45th birthday, I celebrated with a forty-eight mile ride on that bike on that path (by then I was doing turn-around laps at the four-mile marker). I'd lost about twenty pounds, too, and I looked and felt about fifteen years younger than I did when I started that adventure.

I don't ride as far lately -- I switched to a road bike and I am still working on my endurance with that bent over posture -- but I still get out there. I have ninety pounds yet to lose.

You can do this. Just give yourself some time. If the mountain bike is a comfortable ride for you and it fits your body, try it on the road if it feels faster than the Sirrus. That Sirrus looks like a nice ride, too, though.

Just give yourself time to build up your fitness.

And be sure to have the bikes properly fitted to your body. An ill-fitting bike and cause a lot of body aches and too-soon fatigue.

Good luck!




Other posts in this category