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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just brought my cheap hybrid bike that i bought from target to NYC, making sure i didn't spend too much until i was sure i wanted to get into cycling in the city. it turns out the cycling here is great because i'm right near the palisades. i would like to really get more into it and ride a lot more, especially longer rides, but i feel like my $200 hybrid from target might not be the best to do that. i went out for a hilly 21mi yesterday and i felt like i'd put my bike through a battle, and my body, and i'm in excellent shape. i'm in medical school so the decision to get a real road bike is certainly tough on the budget. is it worth it? will i get injured down the road if i keep riding a bike like this on long rides? are there cheaper bikes out there that are good for beginners but won't drain my budget?
 

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If you hadnt already bought a bike, I would have suggested that you go to a bike shop and get one that's in your budget. Since you already have this hybrid, it totally depends on how soon/fast you want to take it to the next level.

Let me start by saying, if you haven't been cycling, a hilly 21 mile ride will kick you butt!!! It doesn't matter if you're "in shape". Cycling totally uses different muscles and works you body differently than other forms of exercise. I have friends who are in excellent shape, run marathons, and they tire after an 11 mile ride on a road bike because they aren't used to cycling right now. What I'm saying is, don't let the fact that the ride tired you be the reason you upgrade your bike. How long have you had it??

That hybrid is definately heavier than a road bike you may get, but that doesn't make it a "bad" bike. As long as the bike fits you, and you aren't sore because of an incorrect bike fit, it won't injure you. You're in med school, and you work out, so you know the difference between the pain of a good/hard workout, and that of an injury.
In fact, riding this heavy beast around a while will make you a strong rider once you can afford a road bike.

My husband had a hybrid that he rode all over the place - he did organized rides on it in the 30-40 mile range, it was perfect for our trip to South Dakota when we rode 50 miles on the Mickelson Trail (not going to do that on a road bike!); a nice bike for what he was doing. When I started training for triathlons and working at a bike shop as a group ride leader, although he had no problem riding far, he couldn't ride fast. He would get so mad because I would just drop him and be gone! When we rode with friends on road bikes, there was no way he could keep up with us on the hybrid. 2 weeks ago I bought him a road bike, and after 8 months of riding that heavy beast around, he kicks a$$ on the new bike! It's so light and responsive, and his legs are so strong from pushing around the other bike, that this is super easy for him.

So, it all goes back to what you want to do. Don't dismiss your hybrid. As long as you're riding and the bike fits you, you'll be fine, get stronger and faster, and be able to climb hills easier. Considering you're already thinking about upgrading, I wouldn't waste your money on a "low end" road bike just to have one. Sounds like you would quickly out grow that, too :) I know from experience, and bought 3 bikes in a year as I kept "upgrading" into a higher price range - fortunately, my bikes are all used for different purposes. But seriously, I'd wait it out until you can at least afford $800-$1000 for a bike (or more), to get something decent that you'll LOVE. There are some nice carbons out there in the $1200 range (Felt makes a beautiful bike at that price).

Hope this helps!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello, thanks a lot for the advice! It makes a big difference thinking about things from that perspective; that although I am going very slow on my bike, and the hilly rides are much more difficult, ultimately that will make me stronger. It's a relief to hear that I should just improve on this one for awhile, then get a solid bike rather than spend $500 or 600 on an OK one. I'll consider this training, and perhaps save up for a good bike when the time comes. I will definitely take your advice, and the soreness was indeed a good sore, no worries yet :)

Thanks!
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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Yea you young guns want to get there in a hurry, us old guys just hope we can rember the way home when we get there :D. Ride that thing till the wheels fall off, And have fun. :thumbsup:
 

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you may get a little better performance from your bike by going with a higher pressure street tire rated for 90psi or over. You should be able to go 90psi in a 32 or 35's...higher if you went with 25 or 28's.
 

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retromike3
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smaller tires maybe drop bars

I would go with even smaller tires. on my old touring bike I run 28c, there big enough to handle bad roads but you can pump them up to a hundred pounds or more.

After about fifteen miles a hour most of your power is burned up by moving the air out of the way. Drop bars might be a less expensive way of going. On the other hand It may be cheaper to get another bike than to get handle bars,shifters/brakes levers and the work to have it changed over.

You can spend as much money as you want getting a road bike but it wont make you go any faster(although there is the placebo effect) the main thing to do is I.M.H.O just. get out there and ride.

mike
 

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to mednyc

I, like you, was afraid to invest too much into a bike in case I didn't enjoy the sport. I found a nice, used bike (Cannondale) for $800, my husband found a trade-in for $500 (but not quite as nice). They were bikes someone else started on and moved up.

I love my bike and can see the addiction growing! I can also see myself upgrading next year.

A good, used bike is a great starter bike. You can get better components for the money invested.

Good luck!

PS- rode my first 25 mile non-stop ride yesterday. I think I am finally ready for my first group ride!
 

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riding 9w on a hybrid bike is murder. If this is the path you have decided to ride you need a road bike. I am very familiar with this ride and you will enjoy yourself a lot more in a road bike. You don't have to spend a lot of money i would use craigslist to sell your bike and get some money to buy a new one. use the off season to shop for a bike. FYI most of the bike rental places in NYC rent road bikes you can buy one really cheap from them in the next couple of weeks. they get rid of there whole fleet of bikes at the end of every season. if your not sure you can rent a road bike for about $25 and you can ride and feel the difference.
 

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I think that you should try building power and stamina and develop some skills for riding on a hill side. Its nothing like you cannot do it or you need some special bike for every different area. You are not a professional that you can do it in just one go, it will take time and then you can go for a new one.
 

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What about an older Schwinn varsity as a road bike? Is it a decent choice for starting on group rides and rallies? Or would I be shunned?
 

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Rat Biker
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What about an older Schwinn varsity as a road bike? Is it a decent choice for starting on group rides and rallies? Or would I be shunned?
HA you should see the old single speed I ride. I have had the bike for close to 7 years now and have put I would guess god close to a couple thousand miles on it myself alone. I ride the thing all over. and you will laugh it's an old ladies bike seriously. But I have ridden it max distance for one ride was 60 miles round trip so to me the term "real bike" is any bike that has wheels on it it works for me.


As far as what people would say bout your old Schwinn who cares ya know? If it fits you and rides good I would say use it still lots of those old Schwinns around.
 

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Back in the Saddle
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all that really matters is that you are riding, want to continue to ride, and are not experiencing pain associated with injury. I ride a Hybrid 75-100 miles a week in the 15mph range. Is a nice cadence, a safe speed where I ride, and a great workout. I've lost weight this year doing so, which was the initial goal. I continue to ride because I really, really like it.
 

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you may get a little better performance from your bike by going with a higher pressure street tire rated for 90psi or over. You should be able to go 90psi in a 32 or 35's...higher if you went with 25 or 28's.
Tire pressure has only a little do with performance unless the rider is hugely seriously track racing or wants to be like Lance. All you get from a high PSI is a rough ride. All this business about high PSI is a bunch of BS because like most of us, we ride in the real world and not a velodrome.

See any reputable place and you will see that they also agree. My advice: get a good tire and you should be able to pay under 30 bucks each, read the PSI ratings on the side of the tire and put half that high end pressure in each tire...then adjust up or down from there. Getting a flat is a good exercise in learning basic bike mechanics.
 

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HA you should see the old single speed I ride. I have had the bike for close to 7 years now and have put I would guess god close to a couple thousand miles on it myself alone. I ride the thing all over. and you will laugh it's an old ladies bike seriously. But I have ridden it max distance for one ride was 60 miles round trip so to me the term "real bike" is any bike that has wheels on it it works for me.


As far as what people would say bout your old Schwinn who cares ya know? If it fits you and rides good I would say use it still lots of those old Schwinns around.
I've ridden several little old ladies in the past and.....ahhh, wait, sorry I forgot that this is a bicycle forum.....I just left a different one. :eek:
 

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unless you race most riders don't need a high end bike but as you get more into the sport you will find yourself wanting one.
 

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retromike3
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tire inflation

I go the other way when I pump up my tires. since part of the rolling resistance is the deformation of the tire, if you pump up the tire to a higher presser the tire will turn easier. I was told by my old boss at the bike shop you could pump up the tire to twice the presser before it would blow off the rim So I always put an extra twenty pounds or so in my tires and you can feel the difference.

As for a ruff ride I think that has more to do with the super stiff frames they make now. If you go with a super stiff frame and tight head and seat numbers. Add to that a small tire like a 18c your going to have a very uncomfortable ride.

mike
 

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I choose "Little Old Ladies" bikes for the same reason I chose scooters over m/c, ease
of getting on board. Throwing a leg over over a saddle ain't as easy or comfortable as
50 odd years ago!!
Like several other members stated; matters not what or which type bike you ride as long
as it lets you ride happy & safely. You will want to up grade sometime, just human nature. My day dream, old Schwinn cruiser made into geared cruiser 3x7!! Yep, crazy
idea!! Enjoy your rides & be safe!!
 

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GiddyUp
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if you are going to start doing longer, hilly rides I'd suggest you get a road bike. If you're on a tight budget then get a used one, even if it's 10 years old, it should work out better for you than your hybrid. Soreness is part of the game when starting out cycling for 20 miles, your muscles will adjust. Don't spring for the professional bike fit, do some researching online on "bike fit" and you can get pretty close to where your bike needs to be. That is what I did and if you find good advice you can get pretty close and you will have the know-how to tweak your fit until you are able to spring for a professional fit. Look for a nice, used aluminum frame like Cannondale, I'll bet you can find a decent one for $500. Sell your hybrid for cash towards the new one. Just make sure the bike fits you. If you don't know what fits you go to a bike shop and ask them what size you would be so you have a ballpark size to work with, keeping in mind that all bikes from different manufacturers tend to fit a little differently.
 
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