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Discussion Starter #1
how do I improve my over all speed.
so I have a 21 speed mountain bike and I normally start out in ( don't know the correct terms) in the 2( front) and 3 ( rear) then i work my way down to 2-7 and then down to 3-1 and can keep a good pace at 3-3. but when anything that remotely looks like a hill I'm back to 2-3 and work my way down to 1 and then it seems like 1-3 has been a good combo for climbing hills as long as nothing gets in my way but if i have to slow or stop mid hill well that's that i'm walking to the top. Which make me feel kind of stupid.. as I've said I'm a big girl with no knees and very self concsious about climbing hills. and the lack of ability there of. I just want to be able to hold a steady speed and not walk have to walk over anything bigger than an over pass bridge?
but anyway there are times I feel as if I can't peddle any faster to get more speed? any way somthing is out of wack .. is it just timing? balance? or what? I try to not "push" my down leg up but rather bring it up with the peddle my self thinking that might help build some non existance muscles???

I read the post about sprinting haha yeah not even close to that yet. I'm doing good to get my feet on the peddals from a dead stop on the frist try let alone take off like a race horse. I've gotten to where I time intersections so I dont have to stop ( yep waiting on that first running a red light, stop sign ticket) because with my bad knees if the peddle is not in the correct position I'm not hitting it and I wobble a bit and have to start over to take off. but once I'm going all is good. I have just a little over 90 degree roation in my right knee so yeah takes some warming up. so there is no way clips on the peddals are for me anytime soon.

anyway all i want to be able to do is ride 50 + miles not fall over dead at the end and go up hill without climbing on my hands and knees.
did 5.5 miles yesterday and have done almost 7 so far but will go out for more once it cools down have a great evening guys :) and once again all suggetions are most welcome
 

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YAY BAIKS!
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The biggest thing is a lighter bike like a hybrid. A lot of people jump right to the skinny tired road bike as their next bike but I wouldn't do that. The cheaper solution would be to get some new tires for the mountain bike which are street tires and not nobbies. But really the biggest thing is just a matter of riding. The more you ride the stronger your legs will get, the longer you'll be able to ride.
 

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The biggest thing that will improve your overall speed is to simply continue to ride. As your leg muscles get stronger and your endurance level increases from riding you will see improvements. I use an application on my android phone to log each of my rides and it will tell me distance, avg speed, calories burned, etc, but you could do the same thing with a reasonably inexpensive bike computer. It always gives me encouragement when I see avg speed slowly go up and my distance increase. I have concrete evidence that my riding ability is improving.

As far as being embarrassed about having to sometimes push your bike up hills... it happens. On my ride this morning I was climbing a pretty good sized hill and close to the top was a guy pushing a bike that easily cost two or three times what mine did. He could have been on mile 100 and simply worn out, or a noob with lots of money to spend, either way sometimes you gotta get off and push. I gave no thought to it, it's just something that happens. It was 91 degrees with 90 percent humidity.
 

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Mom if you have over rotation of the right knee, there is something wrong with the bike fit. Bike fit with your knee history is extremely important. The saddle not only moves up and down, but forward and back. The knee should never be bent more than 90 degrees and you shouldn't have to feel like its over extending at any point in the rotation.

Do a search on bike fit, and there are some good diagrams to help you see how the body should line up and fit on the bike. Too long on an ill fitting bike is almost a guaranteed problem waiting to happen. You won't need to go to the extremes racers do. They often have scans, body measurements taken, bikes custom made for their specific body, and everything optimized for performance for their body and bike. Yet a good fit will make the rides more comfortable, fun and far less likely to cause an injury.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ok.. no don't want to race I just want to keep up and go a looooooooong way. I don't want to be at the head of the pack I just want to be in the pack.
yes I shall look up bike fits.. as i'm sure that may have something I was thinking this morning if a longer wheel base would help but I didn't know what that would be with the position of the peddles.. I always thought the down leg should be stright down pretty much and be able to stand flat footed over the bike. but yes i'll go check to see how I go about fitting the bike.. the handle bars are up as far as they will go so can't do much with them till I can replace them I figure instad of buying a new bike I shall just replace parts till i have a nice bike on a cheap frame lol..

so can I get street tires to fit my moutian wheels or do i need to buy new wheels also?
 

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You can get street tires for the mountain bike without new wheels. You just need to change the tires and tubes. The tubes are sized based on the tires and have a range of tire sizes for that particular tube. A tube for a wide tires is too big for a more street suitable tire. If you don't know how to change the tire, tell them and see if they will teach you. Sooner or later its a skill you will need.

As far as fit, you want to make sure your knee is at a 90 deg angle with the pedals are at 9 and 3 oclock. If the knee is forward of the pedal, it doesn't work out well. (yes I have been there, done that and you should see the seatpost on my road bike) As far as the saddle height, you don't want the body shifting to reach the bottom of the pedal stroke. Just a little adjustment makes for HUGE differences in comfort.

With a mountain bike there probably isn't a practical way to adjust handle bars in a bike of that price range, but you can help sometimes with different grips and cycling gloves that are padded.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yes I've raised the bars all the way up I think. I bought gloves and hand grips are next as my hands go numb after about 3 miles. I don't think the seat is high enough i'll look at it tomrrow as I don't think my leg straches enough when the peddle is down. I think I've lossed my knee up a bit and it may bend a bit more. I looked at how to size and adjust the bike. I will see if i can move the seat back and up some. and I have to do something with my hands as they get to hurting so bad. use to be my hind end that hurt so bad but I got a new seat and bike shorts and that helped sooo much. now if I can get my hands pain free I'll be estatic it's hard to work on endurance and speed when I have to slow down and give my hands a rest every couple of miles.
and I also worry if i get my seat to high I won't be able to get back on it quickly at stop lights and intersections? I know more practice. so much I've never gave any though to. haha
 

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Sounds like spending a few bucks and just having the local bike shop fit you will be worth the money. If it hurts you aren't going to keep up on it.
 

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Yep took me a bit of trail and error to get my bike set up just right. Now she is set the way I like it. as far as riding farther and faster that just takes time riding riding and more riding. Heck I could hardly go a couple miles without being winded a couple years ago now I blow off 15 or better no problem. As Nigal said may not be a bad deal having someone at a shop take a look at your bike see if it's set up right. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just got done taking another look at it and yes I can move the seat back some which i'll be doing before I go any where later but not sure if i want it higher just moving it back may give me the extra length I need. and I'm sure I'll have to have it looked at.
and I'm going to adjust the front derailer again as it hits when its on 3. but it's hot and i'm waiting :)
 

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Increase your miles. Ignore the weather - the wind was a factor of mine years ago when I was first starting out - but it's the "what hurts you, makes you tougher" syndrome. Just keep pushing it. And as you increase your miles and look at that computer, you will be more stoked.

I've been car-free for probably 18 years - and I commute year round (yep - in the winter in upstate NY I run studded tires - and yes on the really bad days I take a bus to work - why be more foolish than I already am, hehe) and I do off road and I do long distance on my roadie (just have to ride out about 20 miles to get out of this darn city to get to the lovely rolling roads in the sticks).

So yes, keep pushing the miles - it will feel good and you will enjoy them. Have fun. :)
 
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