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      10-10-2016, 09:20 PM   #23
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      10-12-2016, 03:23 PM   #24
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Test drove a Trek FX 3 today. The local bike shop only sells Treks, so I'm limited on what I can test. The bike shop in Champaign, about an hour north of here, has Giant frames, so I could check those out, too. But this FX 3 is in about the same price range and was pretty smooth and easy to ride. The seat sucked, and that's a common complaint with this model, but that can be changed easily enough.

Are Treks more or less the equivalents of Giants? Considering models in the same price range, of course. I would think there's an advantage to having a local bike shop for support and these guys get good reviews for customer service.
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      10-16-2016, 05:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
Test drove a Trek FX 3 today. The local bike shop only sells Treks, so I'm limited on what I can test. The bike shop in Champaign, about an hour north of here, has Giant frames, so I could check those out, too. But this FX 3 is in about the same price range and was pretty smooth and easy to ride. The seat sucked, and that's a common complaint with this model, but that can be changed easily enough.

Are Treks more or less the equivalents of Giants? Considering models in the same price range, of course. I would think there's an advantage to having a local bike shop for support and these guys get good reviews for customer service.
I have a trek mountain bike, it's good quality, I doubt you would be sorry with the purchase, however, I've never had a Giant, but as Tonka said he knows tall guys who ride Giants, (sorry could not resist)
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      10-16-2016, 10:51 PM   #26
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Test drove a Trek FX 3 today. The local bike shop only sells Treks, so I'm limited on what I can test. The bike shop in Champaign, about an hour north of here, has Giant frames, so I could check those out, too. But this FX 3 is in about the same price range and was pretty smooth and easy to ride. The seat sucked, and that's a common complaint with this model, but that can be changed easily enough.

Are Treks more or less the equivalents of Giants? Considering models in the same price range, of course. I would think there's an advantage to having a local bike shop for support and these guys get good reviews for customer service.
No doubt Trek makes good bikes. Though, i would encourage you to ride some other bikes before making a purchase.

Don't worry about service at the LBS. They'll be happy to work on any brand bike you bring them.
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      10-16-2016, 11:01 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mr Tonka View Post
No doubt Trek makes good bikes. Though, i would encourage you to ride some other bikes before making a purchase.

Don't worry about service at the LBS. They'll be happy to work on any brand bike you bring them.
I've decided to hold off until spring anyway. We're about to start the season of pitch dark at 4:30PM, so there won't be much time for riding. I'll make use of the extra time to try out a Giant frame.
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      10-17-2016, 10:11 AM   #28
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I've decided to hold off until spring anyway. We're about to start the season of pitch dark at 4:30PM, so there won't be much time for riding. I'll make use of the extra time to try out a Giant frame.
Giant makes great bikes too, but don't forget to check out some other company brands.

Cannondale CAADX Tiagra is a bike that's getting a lot of attention for is value.
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      10-18-2016, 02:06 AM   #29
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+1 on the cross bike

I didn't ready all the posts thoroughly so this may have already been mentioned. You will want to work on cadence. Higher cadence is easier on the knees and will help keep you in an aerobic training zone instead of anaerobic. This is much easier with clip-less pedals. My first were with mountain bike shoes, easier to walk in, and Speedplay frog pedals. They are very easy to get into and out of (no resistance rotating your heal outwards). Flat pedals are really only good for a boardwalk cruise. Start with the flat, and you will likely see that after you are comfortable on your new bike that you may want a better connection to the pedals.
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      10-24-2016, 07:59 PM   #30
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Clipless pedals are the only way to go. I have them on my hybrid and road bike. I have owned 6 Treks, great bikes with lots of different models to choose from.
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      10-26-2016, 01:54 PM   #31
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Quote:
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Shoes & pedals..... i personalty can't imagine pedaling a bike on flats in sneakers. One of the underestimated benefits from clip pedals is that it keeps you're joints in the same place when pedaling. This can help keep your, knee, ankle and hips in line thus reducing chance of injury. Keep an open mind when it comes to pedals and shoes.

...

Back to Gear: If you're going to be on a CX bike for 60 - 120 min at a time, a decent chamois short should be on your list. And so you don't have to ask, no undies with those shorts.

If you're riding on the streets with cars, a bright tail light is a must and a reasonable forward flashing head light is helpful. Being visible to the drivers is the goal.
This shoe-pedal info is very important. It's also of note that you can suffer from arch damage is you don't use a shoe with a rigid sole. Bike shoes allow you to you drive into the pedals without stressing the foot arch.

Additionally, having clips allows you to use muscles through the full motion of the pedaling. This is not only more efficient, but it targets additional muscle groups. If you don't use clips or other pedal retention, you are focusing a majority of movement on your quads, with a little bit on the glutes. If you use clips, you can work the hams, calves and hips, thus getting you better results for conditioning.

Chammies are a must. Your balls and thighs will thank you.

If you want to track your progress or stay in a certain threshold, getting a fitness app that ties into a heart rate monitor (Polar, Garmin, etc) is ideal. A heart rate monitor by itself is still of significant benefit.

Visibility is important, and along with lighting comes bright or retro-reflective clothing. You want to be physically noticed. You also need to learn riding etiquette. As a bike you have to follow road driving laws, as well as be aware of bike etiquette with how you are supposed to be have around other people, bikes and cars. At the end of the day, remember that while you may have the right of way over a car, that doesn't mean you disregard common sense and safety. In a car vs bike, the car wins every time in a crash. Same as a motorcycle. It's other people's responsibility to see you, but it's your responsibility to be seen and not ride like a douche. Not that you would, I'm just saying..
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      10-26-2016, 02:23 PM   #32
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This shoe-pedal info is very important. It's also of note that you can suffer from arch damage is you don't use a shoe with a rigid sole. Bike shoes allow you to you drive into the pedals without stressing the foot arch.

Additionally, having clips allows you to use muscles through the full motion of the pedaling. This is not only more efficient, but it targets additional muscle groups. If you don't use clips or other pedal retention, you are focusing a majority of movement on your quads, with a little bit on the glutes. If you use clips, you can work the hams, calves and hips, thus getting you better results for conditioning.

Chammies are a must. Your balls and thighs will thank you.

If you want to track your progress or stay in a certain threshold, getting a fitness app that ties into a heart rate monitor (Polar, Garmin, etc) is ideal. A heart rate monitor by itself is still of significant benefit.

Visibility is important, and along with lighting comes bright or retro-reflective clothing. You want to be physically noticed. You also need to learn riding etiquette. As a bike you have to follow road driving laws, as well as be aware of bike etiquette with how you are supposed to be have around other people, bikes and cars. At the end of the day, remember that while you may have the right of way over a car, that doesn't mean you disregard common sense and safety. In a car vs bike, the car wins every time in a crash. Same as a motorcycle. It's other people's responsibility to see you, but it's your responsibility to be seen and not ride like a douche. Not that you would, I'm just saying..
My E46 gun subforum brethren??
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      11-16-2016, 10:27 PM   #33
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biking 10 miles is nothing since you coast most of time. i can hop on a gym stationary and pull a mile sprint in 3 minutes and 43 seconds. the bike doesn't stop once you stop pedaling.
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      11-17-2016, 12:30 AM   #34
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biking 10 miles is nothing since you coast most of time. i can hop on a gym stationary and pull a mile sprint in 3 minutes and 43 seconds. the bike doesn't stop once you stop pedaling.
Not everyone coasts when on a bike. This is from a recent ride, orange is pedal cadence which averaged 94rpm over the whole ride and that average includes the coasting time.

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      11-18-2016, 03:50 AM   #35
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My E46 gun subforum brethren??
Yuppers. I bike a lot in the warmer months for work.
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      04-23-2017, 01:31 PM   #36
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Finally got a bike (Trek Verve 2) and took it out for its maiden ride today (my first ride in 30 years as well). Some lessons learned the hard way:

1. NEVER, ever, ever go riding without water. I was parched after a mile and suffered the rest of the ride. I have a bottle and holder, I just hadn't got around to washing it out. Big mistake.

2. Don't overestimate your fitness level. I'm more out of shape than I thought. Which leads me to my next lesson...

3. Don't underestimate hills. My ride route today included two fairly steep hills. Even in very low gear, they were killer. Mostly with breathing. In 1st or 2nd gear you're still pedaling like crazy to keep forward motion. My aerobic stamina is much worse than I had thought. Oy.

4. A strong headwind (20MPH today) will kick your butt almost as bad as hills.

All-in-all, though, it was an enjoyable ride. I can see getting hooked on this. I just need to get back in better shape, but that will come with time, I guess.
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      04-23-2017, 01:38 PM   #37
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Not everyone coasts when on a bike. This is from a recent ride, orange is pedal cadence which averaged 94rpm over the whole ride and that average includes the coasting time.
This is where I need work. I have to learn to work the gears better to maintain a more constant pedal cadence.
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      04-23-2017, 10:13 PM   #38
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Finally got a bike (Trek Verve 2) and took it out for its maiden ride today (my first ride in 30 years as well). Some lessons learned the hard way:

1. NEVER, ever, ever go riding without water. I was parched after a mile and suffered the rest of the ride. I have a bottle and holder, I just hadn't got around to washing it out. Big mistake.

2. Don't overestimate your fitness level. I'm more out of shape than I thought. Which leads me to my next lesson...

3. Don't underestimate hills. My ride route today included two fairly steep hills. Even in very low gear, they were killer. Mostly with breathing. In 1st or 2nd gear you're still pedaling like crazy to keep forward motion. My aerobic stamina is much worse than I had thought. Oy.

4. A strong headwind (20MPH today) will kick your butt almost as bad as hills.

All-in-all, though, it was an enjoyable ride. I can see getting hooked on this. I just need to get back in better shape, but that will come with time, I guess.
Nice! Glad you settled on one. Those lessons are often overlooked by new riders. The rest of the people look at them as impossible to overcome obstacles. Seems like you're not discouraged by them which is great.

1. Rule of thumb is 5oz every 15 min while riding. Get a 20-25oz bottle. Figure one bottle per hour. Your fluid requirements increase with effort. When you add in a head wind or hills to your ride, increase you fluid consumption. Often overlooked when riding is food. If you're going to be riding for more than 30 min, bring an energy bar or snack of sorts. Figure on consuming 300 calories of mainly carbs and fat per hour of riding. Honey Singer makes these little waffles that travel really well. But a snack sized ziplock with a hand full of your favorite nuts works just as well.

2. Your fitness level will come back quickly.

3. There is a reason "climber" is a cyclist classification. People who are good at it are generally in tip top shape and very fast. Keep doing them. They pay dividends when it comes to increasing your fitness. They are essentially forced intervals and intervals really whips your ass into shape.

4. FL doesn't have many hills but we have wind. So a stiff headwind is referred to as a FL hill around here. Unlike the hills though, you can hide from the wind. On a windy day, wear tighter clothes and make yourself as small as possible with your riding position. Or, if you're riding with a buddy, take turns drafting each other for a rest.

Try and ride for 30 to 45 min twice a week for the next 5 weeks. Then up your time to 45-60min or increase your frequency to 3 rides a week for the next 4 weeks. Then try and stick to 3 rides a week but make one of them 90 min or so while knocking the other two back to 45 min. If you're still riding and somewhat following that, you'll be in tune enough to make some changes/increases from there. That constancy over the next 10 weeks or so will really show through in your fitness level.


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This is where I need work. I have to learn to work the gears better to maintain a more constant pedal cadence.
There are loads of tools to help with this. You can get cadence and speed sensors to mount on your bike, get a HR monitor to monitor your cardio gains. These sensors will pair up with smartphone apps via bluetooth. Or you can pick up a GPS enabled garmin cycling computer. Doing this really allows you to track your data. I'm kind of a data geek, i don't live by it, but i love pouring over data and see the increase i'm making.

These garmin sensors are small and have worked flawlessly for me and everyone i know who uses them.

https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Bike-S.../dp/B00JM6DKUA

You can get both speed and cadence for $60 or just the cadence for $40. Strava is a free smartphone app which uses your phones for map tracking which also gives you speed data via GPS. The sensors will connect to the phone app and you'll have all your data in Strava. I personally use Garmin Connect for my primary data storage as it's a little more in depth than Free strava. Garmin connect is also free but i think you need to have a garmin device in order to link to Garmin connect.

Strava is essentially Facebook for cycling & running. We can connect and see each others activities, etc... kind of cool.

I don't know about you, but when i started cycling i did not feel wonderful after riding. After a few months though, light headedness gave way to feeling fantastic for several hours after riding. Hope you stick with it!
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      04-23-2017, 10:43 PM   #39
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Congrats on joining the psyco-cyclist club. Bet your taint is a little sore too. That goes away pretty quick. My bit of advice (other than shoes and pedals ) is learn to breathe through your nose and mouth at the same time. It takes practice, but once you have it riding hard is a lot easier. Plus you won't get light headed at the top of the climb. Another tip on hills is pedal over the top and keep pedaling and increasing gears on the back side. The beginner will coast after the top, if you keep pedaling your body will recover faster. Have fun and just get out there and ride.
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      04-23-2017, 10:50 PM   #40
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^^^Great info.

I felt good after riding. In fact I wanted to go back out, but I had to mow the lawn, so chores came first. But I got seriously winded a few times, especially on the hills. I was probably foolish to include two fairly serious hills on my first ride, but I live on a ridgeline, so I'll have to deal with hills on just about any ride. Even the short 3.5 mile ride to work includes one long hill.

We have a perfectly flat trail here that's a converted railroad bed. I need to start making use of that so I can concentrate on technique and familiarizing myself with the bike. It's 12 miles end-to-end and there are numerous points near me where I can access it.

I tried using my iPhone for nav today, but the screen just isn't bright enough. So I may look into the Garmin devices. I really don't need the nav around here since I know this area, but the tracking and data would be useful. What I'd like is some way for my wife to follow along online so if she needs to come get me for any reason (a flat tire or a fall or whatever), she'll know where I'm at.

And yeah, my butt got sore even with padded shorts, but the local dealer where I bought the bike said the same thing, it'll get better. And if it doesn't, he's offered to swap out the saddle until I find one I like. I need to go back to see him this week as he has a rear rack and bag to install.

I'm looking forward to making this a daily (or near-daily) ritual. Despite the few hard lessons today, I really enjoyed the ride. I think sticking to flatter ground for a while will help increase the enjoyment factor.
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      04-24-2017, 01:43 PM   #41
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Here's the hill between my house and the office. First shot is looking downhill into the valley below from the halfway point. Second shot is looking uphill. The uphill part shallows out a bit at this point, but it continues up for a few hundred yards past the bend. Start to finish is about 2000 ft in length and I'm guessing about a 200-250 ft gain in elevation. Maybe a tad more. This is going to take some getting used to.

I see the highest point in FL is 345 ft, so yeah, you don't have to deal with hills like this, Mr. T.
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      04-24-2017, 02:15 PM   #42
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That's great! Over the course of a year i lost about 55 pounds and while that felt great. It doesn't really compare to how great I feel having a high level of cardio fitness.

I started out using a Garmin Fenix 3 as a fitness tracking watch and cycling computer. I really has all the cycling computer you'd want.... if you have the desire to use a fitness tracker as well. (steps, sleep, smart phone notifications, etc...)

But i recently switched to an Edge 520 and like it much better as a cycling device. Easier to read screen, easier to mount, more data on one screen, etc... My wife has an Edge 1000 and after using both, i think the edge 1000 is a bit of overkill. Larger screen and what not, but other than that, there isn't much difference in terms of data collection and options if you're not going to use it for navigation.

I've actually never used anything but my phone for ride nav. However, in about a month we're taking a trip to Hotel Domestique in SC for a cycling weekend. They have gamins sitting out on the front desk with preplanned routes in them every morning. Will be trying that soon.

The Edge 25 looks like a compact bare bones cycling device that has all the connectivity you'd need.

Once you get data in Garmin connect (or comparable website/app) you'll be able to connect that data to several other useful apps. My data initially goes into Garmin Connect, then it gets sent to MyfitnessPal to log my calories to my food logs. It also goes to Strava because it's a much larger digital riding community which most of my friends use. Since i was initially focused on weight loss, i have an Aria scale reporting weight data to a Fitbit app which is also connected to Garmin and strava. .....it's a tangled web, but seems to work flawlessly in regards to connectivity.

Rails to trails is a fantastic network of bike trails that continues to grow. Much more abundant in the NE and midwest than down here.

If you have an iPhone (EDIT: they have cases for other phones too) this is a great mounting option. https://www.quadlockcase.com I used this on all my bikes. I don't like to carry my phone in my jersey pocket and it's totally stable in this mount. I don't mind the using the case every day either.
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      04-24-2017, 02:55 PM   #43
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Quote:
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Here's the hill between my house and the office. First shot is looking downhill into the valley below from the halfway point. Second shot is looking uphill. The uphill part shallows out a bit at this point, but it continues up for a few hundred yards past the bend. Start to finish is about 2000 ft in length and I'm guessing about a 200-250 ft gain in elevation. Maybe a tad more. This is going to take some getting used to.

I see the highest point in FL is 312 ft, so yeah, you don't have to deal with hills like this, Mr. T.
We've got some hills just north of my house in San Antonio / Brooksville area. This is an elevation profile of one of my rides out there. That's over a 54 mile span with a total gain of 2641 ft.






While i was at it, i took some screenshots to show you the main data points you get with a Garmin device and Garmin Connect. Data below is from the ride posted above.

One thing that isn't obvious are the small grey icon circles under the picture of the Garmin device used to record this data. That's the pieces of gear i assigned to this ride. It's pretty handy when you want to keep track of how many miles you've put on certain things. I have all of my bib shorts in there to keep track of usage along with wheels, pedals, shoes, bike components, etc.... It's also useful to set times for maintenance and replacement of certain wear items. Everything else is pretty self explanatory. One of the things that changed with an update that i don't get is the Time vs Moving time. I get elapsed time (this one was much longer because the wife went down with a flat so we hung out until someone picked her up) but i don't get the difference between Time and Moving Time.

I swear, i won't get a commission if you guy a garmin. But i wish someone would have explained a lot of this to me early on so i could have saved a few hundred bucks buying the right computer first.






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      04-24-2017, 03:15 PM   #44
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I thought you were in FL?

Quote:
FL doesn't have many hills but we have wind. So a stiff headwind is referred to as a FL hill around here.
Or do you live in both places?

Thanks for the info on the Garmin. I was thinking about one and maybe grabbing the rear light/radar thing (Varia) to warn of cars coming up from behind. I have a mirror that works well enough, but if I'm not looking at it a car can still sneak up on me. The Varia works with the Edge 520. I'm going to check out that mount for the iPhone as well. The one I bought is ok, but I'm not thrilled with the mounting.
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