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  #1  
Old August 5th 04, 02:58 PM
Peter Clinch
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Default more bike advice needed

Purple wrote:

The bikes were great on the Manifold but they struggled badly on the other
two trails, especially on the parts where the paths were surfaced with very
small stones almost like sand, most memorable was the stretch between
Hartington and Parsley Hay on the Tissington, the bikes seemed to slow to a
crawl.


This is about tyres rather than the bike, particularly. Anything is
crap to a degree on this sort of thing, though MTB knobblies will be
/less/ crap than the alternatives.

Coming back from Parsley Hay to Tissington village was a steady 10 mile
downhill stretch over quite rocky ground which was amazing fun, I hadn't
felt so exhilarated since I did abseiling a couple of years ago. The only
problem was because the wheels of the Xroads aren't as bulky as a MTB and
they have rigid forks it was a very very jerky ride, as a result of which I
now have suspected Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in my right hand which came on the
evening after the ride.


You won't eliminate this without some sort of suspension, but if you can
take the leap of faith to holding the bars /very/ loosely, effectively
just guiding them and preventing the steering jacknifing rather than
leaning on them, you'll suffer significantly less. Also a pair of gel
padded mitts will help a lot, and are good for longer road rides too.

After doing that ride though I can see myself getting into that style of off
road cycling in a big way, both on stony and muddy ground but the Xroads is
definitely not up to the challenge.


Try some cyclo-cross tyres on it: these are designed to cope with mud
and will fit the 700c wheels you have on the Crossroads. The bike
probably /will/ cope if fitted with suitable tyres. It wasn't /that/
long ago that almost all MTBs were rigid, and the super-low gears are
only usually an issue on the more savage climbs encountered, which is
actually on a minority of MTB trails.

I have spoken to my LBS and explained the situation and they have agreed to
part-ex my five week old Xroads for a MTB.


Problem then becomes that an MTB isn't that great on the road... you'll
need a change of tyres again, but the riding position won't be quite as
nice for your wrists, the suspension will reduce the efficiency on the
road (it's designed to soak up big bumps, rather than lots of small,
regular ones) and the gears will be rather on the low side.

But I am now torn between part-exing the Xroads for a MTB or just buying a
MTB as a second bike.


For now I'd try some cyclo-cross tyres and see how they do, and if it's
not enough for what you want to do /then/ look at an MTB. An MTB is
better for off road, no doubts, but you may be able to do what you want
for now on what you've got, given mud tyres.

But these bikes would seem like overkill when my partner is at work and I am
pulling the trailer on my bike along tarmaced cycle paths and roads (which I
am now getting more confident riding on).


If you haven't bought "Cyclecraft" by John Franklin yet, get a copy.
*Very* good advice for road riding.

But they would be fantastic when we go to the Peaks, which we can do most
weekends if the weather is suitable


Don't forget it'll be easy to hire an MTB in the Peaks.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

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  #2  
Old August 5th 04, 03:13 PM
Purple
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Posts: n/a
Default more bike advice needed

Hi again

I don't know if anyone remembers me but I was asking about five weeks ago
for a recommendation for a suitable bike for myself.

I hadn't been on a bike for ten years so was completely unsure as to which
sort I needed. My criteria five weeks ago was a light easy to ride bike that
could handle very good country paths and cycle paths and that could have a
child trailer attached. I couldn't see myself at the time doing anything
more strenuous than a mild forest path.

In the end I chose a Specialised Crossroads.

Once I got the bike home, despite spending the first half an hour wobbling
and falling off, it only took about two rides to get my confidence back
completely, I just fell totally in love with cycling.

As those of you who remember me will know I was adamant I didn't want to do
any road cycling so I just cycled down the cycle path which was virtually
next to my house for two miles until it came to a long dark tunnel under a
railway line before turning around and cycling home.

I didn't want to go through the tunnel as once you entered it was completely
black and I have a phobia of walking around in dark places where I can't
see. But this suited me fine as the distance from home to the tunnel and
back was more than long enough while my confidence and fitness was building
up.

After I got a bike my partner decided he wanted one and also chose a Xroads
on the recommendation of the staff in our LBS.

With my partner cycling with me I felt confident to venture further than the
tunnel on the cycle path. It was only then that we found out that the cycle
path ceased to be tarmac and became a loose stony surface which was hard
work to get through as the stones would ping off the wheels and would knock
them which made steering hard going.

We had previously thought that the cycle path was tarmaced (sp?) along its
whole route, it wasn't until we had bikes that we found it wasn't. If we had
known we wouldn't have gone for the Xroads.

Anyway, we both enjoy cycling so much now that we took our bikes with us on
our recent holiday in the Peaks where we did the Tissington, High Peak and
Manifold trails.

The bikes were great on the Manifold but they struggled badly on the other
two trails, especially on the parts where the paths were surfaced with very
small stones almost like sand, most memorable was the stretch between
Hartington and Parsley Hay on the Tissington, the bikes seemed to slow to a
crawl.

Coming back from Parsley Hay to Tissington village was a steady 10 mile
downhill stretch over quite rocky ground which was amazing fun, I hadn't
felt so exhilarated since I did abseiling a couple of years ago. The only
problem was because the wheels of the Xroads aren't as bulky as a MTB and
they have rigid forks it was a very very jerky ride, as a result of which I
now have suspected Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in my right hand which came on the
evening after the ride.

My partner went a lot slower as the trailer was on his bike though he said
he suffered from bad pins and needles in his hands after the ride.

After doing that ride though I can see myself getting into that style of off
road cycling in a big way, both on stony and muddy ground but the Xroads is
definitely not up to the challenge.

I have spoken to my LBS and explained the situation and they have agreed to
part-ex my five week old Xroads for a MTB.

But I am now torn between part-exing the Xroads for a MTB or just buying a
MTB as a second bike.

I am not keen on the very hunched forward riding position of a lot of MTBs,
I love the upright riding position of the Xroads. I could buy a Trek
Navigator 100 for 199.99 or 100 from an ex cycle hire shop which is a
comfort bike with an upright riding position and MTB suspension and wheels.
I tried riding one of these from Middleton Top to Parsley Hay on the High
Peak Trail and covered the 23 mile distance in 2.5 hours, with the added
comfort of front and seat suspension I flew along leaving other cyclists in
my dust, though I did need to take it easy for two days after as my legs
stiffened up completely as a result. I was on my own for this ride, my
partner and daughter were sightseeing in Bakewell, I wouldn't be able to go
so fast if they were with me as the trailer slows things down a lot.

Or I could look for a good second hand MTB 300

If I chose this option I would still have the Xroads which is still the
perfect bike for the sort of riding I do when I have got the trailer on my
bike.

If I part-exed the Xroads I could afford something like the Trek 4500-03
which seems a good bike for off and on road, Specialised Hardrock 03,
Specialised Rockhopper 03, Trek 6500 or the Ridgeback Tempest, which all
seem like good bikes for when I want to indulge my new found love of off
road cycling for when I am on my own without the trailer.

But these bikes would seem like overkill when my partner is at work and I am
pulling the trailer on my bike along tarmaced cycle paths and roads (which I
am now getting more confident riding on).

But they would be fantastic when we go to the Peaks, which we can do most
weekends if the weather is suitable, when it is my partners turn to look
after our daughter and I can either meet up with an off road cycle group or
hit one of the big, ie High Peak, trails on my own. What I mean is we can
spend the Saturday as a family cycling and then I would cycle on my own on
the Sunday and the next weekend we go to the Peaks my partner could spend a
day cycling on his own.

Also, as I work from home I could cycle off road during the day when my
daughter is at school. I am not nervous about being a solo female cyclist.

There are off road MTB courses that are run near me and also guided MTB off
road groups that I would be interested in joining depending on childcare.

So at the end of this rather long saga I am looking for yet more advice
about which would be the best option to take. To trade in my Xroads and get
a half decent MTB that will last me years or to have the best of both worlds
and get a MTB style comfort bike that can easily do the big trails in the
Peaks?

Ok, you can now go and lay down to give your eyes a rest after reading all
that and don't forget the stiff drink you've earned it ?;o)

Fran


  #3  
Old August 5th 04, 04:35 PM
Simon Brooke
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default more bike advice needed

in message , Purple
') wrote:

Hi again

I don't know if anyone remembers me but I was asking about five weeks
ago for a recommendation for a suitable bike for myself.

The bikes were great on the Manifold but they struggled badly on the
other two trails, especially on the parts where the paths were
surfaced with very small stones almost like sand, most memorable was
the stretch between Hartington and Parsley Hay on the Tissington, the
bikes seemed to slow to a crawl.

Coming back from Parsley Hay to Tissington village was a steady 10
mile downhill stretch over quite rocky ground which was amazing fun, I
hadn't felt so exhilarated since I did abseiling a couple of years
ago. The only problem was because the wheels of the Xroads aren't as
bulky as a MTB and they have rigid forks it was a very very jerky
ride, as a result of which I now have suspected Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
in my right hand which came on the evening after the ride.

After doing that ride though I can see myself getting into that style
of off road cycling in a big way, both on stony and muddy ground but
the Xroads is definitely not up to the challenge.

I have spoken to my LBS and explained the situation and they have
agreed to part-ex my five week old Xroads for a MTB.

But I am now torn between part-exing the Xroads for a MTB or just
buying a MTB as a second bike.

I am not keen on the very hunched forward riding position of a lot of
MTBs, I love the upright riding position of the Xroads.


OK, I've carefully snipped the bits that seemed to me critical in this,
but to recap:

* You started off very nervous and unsure and wanted a nice safe bike
for nice safe trails (which is fine).
* You went out and did some real offroad stuff and found it's a real
buzz (who wouldn't)
* You now wonder whether you've outgrown your nice safe bike.
* But you're still looking at limiting compromises which you will
outgrow in a few weeks riding.

My advice, for what it's worth:

* Don't trade in your hybrid - at least not yet. It is, after all, a
good bike for pulling the sprogtrailer around on cyclepaths near home,
and that's a good thing to have.
* Get some more experience of proper mountain bikes - hire them, or get
test rides.
* Go on a women-only mountain bike course - The Hub at Glentress[1] run
some, for others ask on Singletrack[2].
* Start saving to have a good chunk of money to spend on a good mountain
bike when you are really sure you know what you want.

You think you don't want a 'hunched forward' position now; but I bet if
you bought a compromise bike you'd be in exactly the same situation in
six weeks time, frustrated with its limitations, itching for something
more capable. Develop your skills, develop your confidence, get a feel
of what's available, then decide.

Remember modern mountain bikes are getting increasingly specialised. Do
you want a light cross country machine, or a burly downhiller? Do you
want front suspension only or full suspension? Do you want something
for blasting around the woods for an hour, or something you can
comfortably ride all day? Don't buy anything until you have a feel for
what you enjoy most. Oh, and then you'll want one of these:
URL:http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/04/ce/model-4VN8.html :-)

There are off road MTB courses that are run near me and also guided
MTB off road groups that I would be interested in joining depending on
childcare.


This is good. I'd suggest trying women-only courses at least at first -
you're less likely to get intimidated by testosterone filled lads
showing off.

[1]URL:http://www.thehubintheforest.co.uk/
[2]URL:http://www.singletrackworld.com/forum/list.php?f=2&menu=14

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

;; Usenet: like distance learning without the learning.
  #4  
Old August 5th 04, 05:19 PM
Chris Davies
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default more bike advice needed

On Thu, 05 Aug 2004 14:13:27 GMT, Purple
wrote:
Firstly, welcome to cycling! I hope you have lots of happy experiences on
your bike.

Coming back from Parsley Hay to Tissington village was a steady 10 mile
downhill stretch over quite rocky ground which was amazing fun, I hadn't
felt so exhilarated since I did abseiling a couple of years ago. The only
problem was because the wheels of the Xroads aren't as bulky as a MTB and
they have rigid forks it was a very very jerky ride, as a result of
which I
now have suspected Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in my right hand which came on
the
evening after the ride.

My partner went a lot slower as the trailer was on his bike though he
said
he suffered from bad pins and needles in his hands after the ride.

Are you both wearing gloves? These will help, and will prevent your hands
from looking like a raw hamburgers if you fall off - I wouldn't ever ride
for more than a minute without gloves.

After doing that ride though I can see myself getting into that style of
off
road cycling in a big way, both on stony and muddy ground but the Xroads
is
definitely not up to the challenge.

I have spoken to my LBS and explained the situation and they have agreed
to
part-ex my five week old Xroads for a MTB.

But I am now torn between part-exing the Xroads for a MTB or just buying
a
MTB as a second bike.

I am not keen on the very hunched forward riding position of a lot of
MTBs,
I love the upright riding position of the Xroads. I could buy a Trek
Navigator 100 for 199.99 or 100 from an ex cycle hire shop which is a
comfort bike with an upright riding position and MTB suspension and
wheels.
I tried riding one of these from Middleton Top to Parsley Hay on the High
Peak Trail and covered the 23 mile distance in 2.5 hours, with the added
comfort of front and seat suspension I flew along leaving other cyclists
in
my dust, though I did need to take it easy for two days after as my legs
stiffened up completely as a result. I was on my own for this ride, my
partner and daughter were sightseeing in Bakewell, I wouldn't be able to
go
so fast if they were with me as the trailer slows things down a lot.


There's lots of MTBs with an upright riding position - look at this
Ridgeback:

http://www.ridgeback.co.uk/bikes/200...sID=18&index=0

or the Dawes Saratoga:

http://www.dawescycles.com/

remember you could also use a more upright stem, available from any bike
shop and to fit any bike. This one raises the stem higher - see at:

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/?ProductID=5360013095

But remember you might find your preferences change as you get more into
cycling - further forward riding position = better weight distribution
between front & rear wheels, less weight on bum and better shock
absorbtion (your spine is compressed when you hit a bump riding if you are
sat bolt upright). It's just that you have to get used to it.

Or I could look for a good second hand MTB 300


There's some superb bikes available secondhand for 300 - look at ebay.
Remember that many decent MTBs live a hard life, though, and it's possible
to buy a lemon. There was a chap at my LBS the other day whose frame which
he had just bought secondhand snapped on the downtube, curiously just
underneath where it was covered by a sticker. Coincidence? There's a
possibility of this with the ex-hire Trek. If you want one of them,
remember to get it checked out - it's reasonable to ask for a sale subject
to an inspection by an independent bike mechanic.


If I chose this option I would still have the Xroads which is still the
perfect bike for the sort of riding I do when I have got the trailer on
my
bike.

If I part-exed the Xroads I could afford something like the Trek 4500-03
which seems a good bike for off and on road, Specialised Hardrock 03,
Specialised Rockhopper 03, Trek 6500 or the Ridgeback Tempest, which all
seem like good bikes for when I want to indulge my new found love of off
road cycling for when I am on my own without the trailer.


I think people will write songs about the Tempest one day - what a bike!
You will find it incredibly low down if you don't get a riser stem,
though, and the Maxxis Xenith slick tyres are awful on slippery surfaces
or gravel. It's most at home blowing off massive lines of cars in traffic
jams. (-;

But these bikes would seem like overkill when my partner is at work and
I am
pulling the trailer on my bike along tarmaced cycle paths and roads
(which I
am now getting more confident riding on).

But they would be fantastic when we go to the Peaks, which we can do most
weekends if the weather is suitable, when it is my partners turn to look
after our daughter and I can either meet up with an off road cycle group
or
hit one of the big, ie High Peak, trails on my own. What I mean is we can
spend the Saturday as a family cycling and then I would cycle on my own
on
the Sunday and the next weekend we go to the Peaks my partner could
spend a
day cycling on his own.


I have several bikes which I adore, but intellectually, if I was only
going to have one, it would be a mountain bike. Why? They can do
absolutely anything - if it can survive offroading, it's more than capable
of towing a trailer. Who cares if it isn't that fast on the road?

If you feel like you want both then fine, but from what you've written you
seem more attracted to offroading.

Let us know how you get on.

Chris

--
|C|H|R|I|S|@|F|A|S|T|M|A|I|L|.|F|M|
 




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