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bluemeanie
06-24-2005, 17:21
Hi all. I have been told I have been told by my doc to lay off of running for awhile (heel spurs). He said I could ride a bike if I wanted, though. I bought a shiny mountain bike a couple of years ago, but I had not owned one since I was a kid, and had never owned one I needed to shift.

Turns out i sucked at it, and kept throwing the chain. Can someone give me a little rudimentary instruction, some tips, or point me to a "cycling for dummies" kind of website?

Thanks much.
Blue

California Jack
06-24-2005, 20:33
Are you sure your bike is set up and adjusted properly? It shouldn't be that difficult.

garythenuke
06-24-2005, 21:20
Blue,
Welcome back from the road:) You may consider taking your bike to the local shop. If you are throwing the chain so much, it is likely a misadjusted rear derraillure(sp). Barring that, your rear wheel could be loose or misaligned. I would not want to tell you how to adjust your shifting as it is a bit of an art in and of itself. Most bike shops will do a quickie tune up for thirty bucks or so. Just don't let them talk you into too much stuff. Truing the wheels, adjusting the shifting and lubing the chain and cables should be all you need if it has been mostly sitting around.

Good luck,
Gary

garythenuke
06-24-2005, 21:22
BTW, in my persuit of old school fitness, I changed my Ibis SS mountain bike to a single speed last year. Now I do not have to shift^5

Gary

bluemeanie
06-25-2005, 17:06
Thanks guys. I will give it another go after mounting the more comfy saddle I just bought. If the prob continues, I'll take it by the bike shop and see about getting it tuned up.

Gary, old school still appeals, I may go single-speed myself.

BCR
06-26-2005, 02:19
If you're dropping the chain to the bottom bracket it is probably the front derailleur that is adjusted wrong.

Take it to a shop. If you don't know how to adjust it properly it can be VERY frustrating and confusing.

If you're handy, you can try picking up a maintenance book and teach yourself.

Timotheous46
07-17-2005, 14:59
Now if you want a real comfortable seat try one of these.

http://wizwheelz.com/

bluemeanie
07-17-2005, 18:05
I've looked at a recumbent or two, but at present, I'll be sticking with a conventional bike. I did put a nice cloud 9 seat and the boys are thanking me.

Sunwolf Enemy
07-18-2005, 00:09
You don't suck. You're just out of practice. :)

Your best bet is to make friends at the local bike shop. Take the bike in and tell 'em what's goin on. They *should* take a look at it and adjust it for free. If they don't, find another bike shop.

It's definitely the derailleur, front or back. Does the chain come off the front chainrings or the back sprocket? Does the chain skip when you're riding?

A note about saddles:

As with a mattress, soft and cushy isn't necessarily better. When you ride, the vast majority of your weight rests on two small spots, one on either side of your butt. The key is to find a saddle with proper support on those pressure points. Contrary to what may seem obvious, big, broad, cushy saddles can be unbelievably uncomfy, especially on long rides due to lack of support on those two small spots as well as not allowing proper air flow down around that area of the body.

There's a reason most racing bike seats, both road and mountain, are so narrow. Because racers are usually on the bike for many hours at a time, they need something that'll support them where it counts, while providing proper air flow. Weight is also a consideration for racers, but that's mostly addressed in materials. If you haven't ridden in a while, the first week or two of riding with a proper saddle will be uncomfy because the muscles surrounding the pressure points in question won't be used to supporting your body in that position. But if you give it a chance, I guarantee you'll be *much* happier with a hard, narrow, supportive saddle in the long run.

bluemeanie
07-18-2005, 09:51
Thanks SunwolfEnemy. I did retain my old seat, so if I experience any trouble I can put it right back on.

I have been shifting better lately, no chain troubles at all. And I have found a good local bike shop. I bought my gel seat and a bike from him, and had him do some repairs on one of the kids' older bikes.

I don't like just going in and picking a merchant's brain and walking out without spending a dime, and to this guy's credit he has never tried to talk me into spending more than I needed to, so I think his shop will be a good fit.

Sunwolf Enemy
07-18-2005, 16:53
I don't like just going in and picking a merchant's brain and walking out without spending a dime, and to this guy's credit he has never tried to talk me into spending more than I needed to, so I think his shop will be a good fit.

True, but bike shops (good ones anyway), like gun shops, are special. They make most of their money on repeat customers. If you're just getting into cycling (or re-getting into it), they're going to realize you're not going to want to commit to a ton of cash. You're going to want to spend as little as you can to try out the sport so you can make a decision on whether or not you want to continue. And they'll realize you're going to need quite a bit of info before you spend *any* serious money. They'll also know that the easier and less stressful they can make the introductory process, the more likely you'll not only pursue the sport long-term, but frequent them as a long-term customer.

I look at it this way--the merchant is the one competing for my business. I can go anywhere I want. He/she has to prove to me that he/she is deserving of my loyalty. If the bike shop shares the same outlook and treats me right, I'm loyal to a fault. But when I walk in off the street for the first time, I have no responsibility to them whatsoever.

Vic303
07-28-2005, 15:23
Have your LBS do a safety tuneup on your bike. Should run about 30$ and they'll make sure everything is working properly.

Get some spandex padded bike shorts. You will be happier that way. Jerseys are a nice addition too. Helmets are a necessity, as are the half-fingered (fingerless) gloves. It will save your hands from roadrash in a crash.

Ride lots, but start out slow. Drink water. WAterbottles work, as does a hydration pack. If you plan to ride at dusk or night GOOD headlights & tail lights are a MUST!!!

FOLLOW THE TRAFFIC RULES (ie: don't run stop signs...).

Have fun!

BLS439
08-15-2005, 19:28
www.mtbr.com

--BLS439

bluemeanie
08-16-2005, 11:36
Sorry, I havent been back to check in awhile, but I see that I've gotten more good advice, some of which I've already followed. My bike had me riding in a pretty painful posture. I thought a pair of gloves would releive the pain in my wrists and hands, but I had a hunch that it wasn't set up properly for me, so I borught my bike along when I went to the shop.

I got a new zoom adjustable stem and some instruction on how to install it myself, along with a post-install asessment since the shop owner has more wrench work than he can handle anyway.

I had already made an attempt at some tough local trails, and the possibility of a big, nasty crash seemed a little more real, so I bought a helmet along with my new gloves and some gel-padded shorts that are making the riding experience much, much easier. The whole pile came with a discount that has rivalled some online sellers.

So, I'm safely getting some serious cardio without running, which is helping my heel spurs to heal, and life is good.

bluemeanie
08-16-2005, 11:41
Originally posted by BLS439
www.mtbr.com

--BLS439 Checked out the site and found a review of the trail I like to ride. May add some pics and "beginner's perspective" to it after I've explored it some more.

Vic303
08-16-2005, 20:19
+1 on the helmet/gloves/shorts. It will also add to your safety. Consider some protective sunglasses (think shooting lenses) if you ride trails to keep branches from your eyes.