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Any ex dirt bike/motocross riders have advice?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Any ex dirt bike/motocross riders have advice?

Old 11-25-16, 07:39 PM
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IbeInNC
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Any ex dirt bike/motocross riders have advice?

Does anyone have advice for a 39 year old coming out of the dirt bike/motocross world? Over the past few years my time for enjoying my beloved two wheeled noise makers has dwindled down to a few times a year. Upon realizing that I am now only dreaming of the wind in my face more often than it actually taking place, I have considered the world of road cycling.

I need some advice as to what bike I should be looking at. Should I go for new, or test the waters with used? I am not brand loyal at this point so who or what brand should I steer clear of? I have a local bike shop a few miles from my house that pushes Treks. Should I focus on the components and not necessarily the "brand" of the bike? I am a firm believer in buying quality and maintaining equipment, but don't need a $5,000.00 bike at this point...
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Old 11-26-16, 07:55 AM
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I think that I can offer you some advice, as I held a Pro/Am license in MX, SX and WERA in my younger years. Your MX experiences will make you a natural at mtb riding and you should even enjoy the bumps, jumps and natural challenges of the trails. Mtb riding is like riding enduro bikes without the motor.

Road bike riding is very different from mtb riding (I ride both). Road rides are more linear in power output were mtb rides are more HIIT, but both will burn about the same calories per hour. I try to go out for two hours at a time.

About bikes, Trek makes some good bikes, as do many other manufacturers. Test ride a few and even try to rent some. A good dealer will let you go for a "real" ride, rather than just around the parking lot. A good bike fit is worth it's weight in gold and riding buddies help make the experience more fun. Also, their are some good deals on Craigslist for used bikes that might be a good alternative to a new bike.

Since you are familiar with dirt bikes, you already know that this is a high maintenance sport and the bikes need a lot of care and parts will break. Prevention at home is better than carrying the bike "out there" or calling for a family member to come rescue you.

Good luck with your decision and ride often.
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Old 11-26-16, 08:53 AM
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I'd suggest a cheap, 2nd hand MTB. Then see what kind of riding you actually end up doing, and that will tell you what kind of bike you really need - road, hybrid, MTB, CX, or a trekking. In my city, about 200$ buys you a decent 2nd hand bike. You won't loose much money selling it on later, when you decide what kind of bike suits you best.

I rode road motorbikes only.

You might find these links useful:

Which bicycle to buy

Buying a second hand bicycle - Cycle Gremlin
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Old 11-26-16, 10:11 AM
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Former off road rider that's found road cycling to be my passion. I did MTB way back when but getting out on the road and ridding for a couple hours is fantastic way to unplug.


I grew up ridding the YZ,PE and KDX's

Half of the enjoyment of cycling is the tinkering that is done in the garage, my relaxation.
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Old 11-26-16, 01:24 PM
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These two videos got me to look at Giant's TCR.
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Old 11-26-16, 02:47 PM
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My advise is just remember you are no longer wearing leathers, pads and a real hemet but you can go as fast as you dare.
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Old 11-26-16, 08:30 PM
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Ahh yes. District 11 MX (Southern Ohio)

As a MX racer, you probably have a tendency to show up with the pro pit setup, and lots of mods to the motor, suspension, tires, even graphics. In cycling that's not really needed. Even a lower end bike is race ready right out of the box. What DOES matter in road cycling is fit fit fit. And that not only depends on a lot of variables, but it will also change as your fitness and flexibility develop.

Smart money says to buy a cost effective road bike, entry-level-ish.... but 105 / Rival minimum component level.

Then work on fitness and fit, and learn the bike the fit and what you like and don't like as you put miles on it.

Over time, test ride different bikes when the opportunity presents itself, each time focusing on "what is different about this bike, why is it different, and is it better or worse". Try out different wheelsets, same mentality.

Eventually, you'll know what bike you want and what components and fit, and at what price level, at which point you can decide what to buy and whether to get new or used.
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Old 11-26-16, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
Smart money says to buy a cost effective road bike, entry-level-ish.... but 105 / Rival minimum component level.
Oh god, make it stop.
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Old 11-26-16, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
Oh god, make it stop.
So obviously you have nothing useful to contribute but still wanted to get a little attention? Like a 5 year old? Feel better now? So you can go back to your room and leave the grown folk talk?
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Old 11-26-16, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
So obviously you have nothing useful to contribute but still wanted to get a little attention? Like a 5 year old? Feel better now? So you can go back to your room and leave the grown folk talk?
It just hurts my brain to read stuff like your quoted comment. That's all. I'll PM you next time you say something of that sort if you'd prefer.

My useful contribution: OP, 105 is nice. You'll do just fine on anything from Tiagra down to Claris, though. Don't feel like you need to spend more to get great shifting. Shimano delivers at all levels. You get less weight, more cogs, and a little more refinement as you jump up levels, but until you know you are sold on road cycling, I'd highly recommend spending less to start than a 105-equipped bike will cost you. It can always become your bad weather bike when you 'upgrade.'
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Old 11-26-16, 09:38 PM
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I think that coming from a MX background, what you really want is competition. I drove SCCA (road racing cars) for 15 years. Then the kids came. I missed that races, the wrenching, the travel. But what I really missed was the competition. I tried golf. That didn't do it. I tried skeet and competition rifle shooting. That didn't do it. I found road riding. That did it. I do maybe two or three races a year, but it feeds my need. Strava really helps. It will take a year or two to become anywhere near "competitive", but you will see gains and that will sustain you. I raced MTB cross country during college before the car racing, so maybe that made getting back on a bike more attractive to me, bit I find road riding so much fun. You have a local bike shop. They probably have group rides. Get in on those. Even if you get killed, you'll still feel the camaraderie you felt racing MX. You'll still be able to wrench a little bit. You'll be able to travel to a race or a ride every now and then. If it comes down to MTB or road, I find that local MTB rides end up being just rides. Road rides always have an element of "beating the next guy ahead of you".
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Old 11-26-16, 09:47 PM
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Also, I ride a Trek Madone 4.5. $1700 out the door. Not cheap, but not crazy expensive either. I could buy a $10,000 bike and probably wouldn't enjoy riding any more that I do now. On the other hand, if I'd purchased a $700 bike, I might have been frustrated with crappy components. Get a good bike, If you have local shop, buy new from them.
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Old 11-27-16, 07:39 AM
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Thanks for all of the replies! They truly are appreciated!

One of the main reasons I am considering road cycling is the fact that I can throw a leg over a bike and immediately begin enjoying the "ride" at my doorstep. This "ride" is something that has always fed my soul while mounted atop my combustion powered two wheelers. It has always been a great stress reliever for me. Hell, I'm one of those guys that can find the "ride" nirvana while atop my riding mower! Problem is, riding opportunities are becoming less and less as life has become busier (que violins)... Roads are everywhere! Trails/tracks, not so much.

As far as what bike and what components, I am a firm believer in pay it now or pay it later. I don't mind spending a little bit now to avoid something that may hold me back later. I'm looking to jump in the pool for no more than a $1,000.00 (including all gear, shoes, etc). I know myself well enough to admit that I will become obsessed with this new venture and will probably be selling this first bike (or buying another to pair with it) within a year. That being said, I am leaning towards purchasing used with an emphasis on the resell value.
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Old 11-27-16, 08:31 AM
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A 1k budget means entry level bike, since helmet, shoes, and kit will take $300 easily. See if you can do 1.5k all in.

I grew up in the desert on MX. Then rode sportbikes for years and have owned over 2 dozen.

Sold the last one and never looked back after rediscovered similar "speed" and greater challenge on road bikes.

Watch out for cars.

Max out your uninsured motorist coverage.
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Old 11-27-16, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
It just hurts my brain to read stuff like your quoted comment. That's all. I'll PM you next time you say something of that sort if you'd prefer.

My useful contribution: OP, 105 is nice. You'll do just fine on anything from Tiagra down to Claris, though. Don't feel like you need to spend more to get great shifting. Shimano delivers at all levels. You get less weight, more cogs, and a little more refinement as you jump up levels, but until you know you are sold on road cycling, I'd highly recommend spending less to start than a 105-equipped bike will cost you. It can always become your bad weather bike when you 'upgrade.'
+1

3x8 speed Claris might be the best option for a novice! Both cheap, easy climbing gear and will work fine even if not 100% tuned, unlike the more speed stuff.
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Old 12-10-16, 05:03 PM
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Thanks for all of your advice! Based on the research I've done so far, I decided to pull the trigger on this Cannondale. I think I did Ok at $325.00. Thoughts?

[IMG]<a href="http://s1197.photobucket.com/user/jbh10/media/cd1.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa421/jbh10/cd1.jpg" border="0" alt="CD1 photo cd1.jpg"/></a>[/IMG]
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Old 12-11-16, 07:06 AM
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Thanks for all the advice! I decided to pick up a used 2003 Cannondale R1000 CAAD7. It has a mix of Ultegra and 105 components. I feel like I did ok at $325.00?

Now I need to get "geared up". Any suggestions on shoes, pedals, helmet, etc? In the dirt bike world you always dress for the crash...


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Old 12-11-16, 07:13 AM
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Nice find on your bike. Be prepared to spend probably the same on the gear. Nashbar is having a 30% sale today.
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Old 12-11-16, 07:25 AM
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Sounds like a good choice if it is in decent shape. Ride for a year or two and you'll know what you want, though you are unlikely to find it for $1000 if you buy new. Learn to wrench. As mentioned, your motor bike experience could be useful in mtn biking, not so much on the road. You may find that using your own legs instead of the throttle changes the game considerably.
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Old 12-11-16, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by IbeInNC View Post
Thanks for all of the replies! They truly are appreciated!

One of the main reasons I am considering road cycling is the fact that I can throw a leg over a bike and immediately begin enjoying the "ride" at my doorstep. This "ride" is something that has always fed my soul while mounted atop my combustion powered two wheelers. It has always been a great stress reliever for me. Hell, I'm one of those guys that can find the "ride" nirvana while atop my riding mower! Problem is, riding opportunities are becoming less and less as life has become busier (que violins)... Roads are everywhere! Trails/tracks, not so much.
this is exactly what i love about road riding, after road racing, teaching road racing, hare scrambles, and trail riding: there is no longer the loading up, driving to the place, unloading, (riding), then loading up, driving home, unloading, cleaning the bike, and with offroad, fixing all the stuff I broke, now I just walk out to the garage, and get on my road bike (or gravel bike) and as i leave the garage i am doing the thing i want to do, without the extra 4-5 hours additional work.

you're getting good advice here, and you should also be able to get similarly good advice at your local bike shop, just shop around a bit till you find a shop where the staff treats you right, and has a decent selection.
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Old 12-11-16, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by motorthings View Post
this is exactly what i love about road riding, after road racing, teaching road racing, hare scrambles, and trail riding: there is no longer the loading up, driving to the place, unloading, (riding), then loading up, driving home, unloading, cleaning the bike, and with offroad, fixing all the stuff I broke, now I just walk out to the garage, and get on my road bike (or gravel bike) and as i leave the garage i am doing the thing i want to do, without the extra 4-5 hours additional work.

you're getting good advice here, and you should also be able to get similarly good advice at your local bike shop, just shop around a bit till you find a shop where the staff treats you right, and has a decent selection.


My thoughts/hopes exactly!
Thanks
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Old 12-11-16, 09:34 AM
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Well, there's one major disconcerting thing when transitioning from motorcycles to road bicycles.

On motorcycles all your risks are laid out in front of you, if you go down, you really can only blame yourself. On a road bicycle, depending upon where you live/ride, your biggest risk are behind you - sometimes it can feel like being a tortoise in an elephant stampede.
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Old 12-11-16, 11:11 AM
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No road bike from any of the major manufacturers will ever 'hold you back.'
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Old 12-11-16, 11:12 AM
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Going used is generally a good idea but fit might be an issue.
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Old 12-11-16, 11:29 AM
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It has been decades since I was on a dirt bike or in a motocross race, but I think the only thing from that world that applies is knowing how to hit the ground.

For road bikes, if you're looking at entry-level bikes neither the brand nor level of components should be that big of a factor. That's meaning basic level bikes of course, not the mass produced sporting goods store type which are a step or two lower quality than you'll want. Most entry level bikes have similar components, or even the same, generally around the Shimano Sora or Tiagra level which are more than adequate.
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