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First Ride In Years and First Trail Ride

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First Ride In Years and First Trail Ride

Old 09-30-19, 12:33 PM
  #1  
1saxman
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First Ride In Years and First Trail Ride

A pal suggested we take a little ride in the State Park since we're both retired - nothing too strenuous, you know. LOL. Fortunately I had my 1992 Trek 930 Singletrack overhauled in '16 but its just been gathering dust since. I did brush it off but didn't even take it around the block before loading it up and heading to the park.
Bottom line, I'm very out of shape but the bike was great and I definitely made it for the whole ten-mile trail with lots of ups and downs. I was huffing and puffing going up the grades but I never got off the bike. We did stop a few times on crests to drink water.
During the overhaul I had the original larger tires swapped out for some more narrow ones thinking I would ride it only on the streets. Those tires are not making it on these trails so I will be ordering some knobbies later today. It got hairy a few times on the downhills when I hit the sandy/graveley patches. I was also riding the brakes to keep the speeds down for that reason so I couldn't fully enjoy the downhills.
My legs were a little rubbery right after the ride but now I'm ready for more already. My seat seems to have weathered the storm too and I really am not feeling anything unusual. In fact, my wrists don't hurt and neither does my neck - in the past my neck would bother me from holding my head up. I have no idea why its better now but it seems to be. I'm also using my Shimano mountain bike shoes with no cleats but I do use the clips with loose straps. I used to have trouble with toe numbness but I think the Shimano shoes must be helping with that.
As great as the Trek was today, I can still definitely understand the allure of at least shocks on the fork for these trails, but I won't be making any changes to the little singletrack except for the tires. Maybe I'll just get a whole new bike. I'm fortunate in that unlike 40 years ago, I can now buy a bike without going into debt. First though, I'll see how it goes with the new tires - I think it'll probably be okay.

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Old 09-30-19, 01:12 PM
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Off-road riding is fun, isn't it! Until you decide if you want to invest in a new mtn.bike, with at least front susp., try running your tires around 15 lbs. less that the max.psi rating. While it won't feel as good as susp,(of course), it may slightly ease some of the jarring.
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Old 09-30-19, 03:42 PM
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Ride that bike like you stole it ! I might buy a new bike but I would never sell that Trek if you do I believe that you would regret it.
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Old 09-30-19, 03:54 PM
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Good job. Welcome back to riding. I started back up a few months ago only being able to do a couple of miles. Now I ride 10 miles. It'll come back to you.
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Old 10-01-19, 05:38 AM
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I have an old Trek 850 in the same color. That bike served me well riding trails in the Northwest back in the 90's, but not so well in the Az desert. It's been replaced by bikes more suited to the dirt riding I do now, but I just can't get seem to get rid of it.
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Old 10-01-19, 06:37 PM
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I ride either rail trails, single track or on the road. I say that I'm 1 year into this after a 25 year break from bike riding. It's a calendar year but really only a few months of actual riding.

Anyway I do very little single track. Most of my riding is rail trail or road and since road is so convenient that is what I do during the week. I have a 8 mile loop that has a number of fairly large hills, the entire 8 miles has 900-1000 feet of climbing depending on the exact route. I rode it today after a week off from riding and no problems. The thing is even 2 months ago I couldn't ride the whole thing without walking up at least 1 hill but now no problems. 61 years old.

Up until a few weeks ago my trail/single track bike was my Trek 4500 which is actually a hybred. I use that for anything other than road. My road bike is my 1986 Asian steel bike I did a few upgrades but nothing radical. I purchased a $300 Craigs List Cannondale that is now my main road bike. My classic steel will be my back up road bike, my wife's old mid 80s bike will become my rail trail bike. So I have 4 bikes now all with different applications.

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Old 10-09-19, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 257 roberts View Post
Ride that bike like you stole it ! I might buy a new bike but I would never sell that Trek if you do I believe that you would regret it.
The reason I like it so much is that by pure chance it turned out to be the exact perfect size for me and I didn't have to change a single thing from the previous owner who was just my height. I think its a 16.5". Plus it has the indexed thumb shifters with separate upshift and downshift levers. For some reason I bought bikes before this that were too big for me - a 21" Trek 'loaded touring' bike (420T) and an 18.5" Bridgestone Comp MB2. They both were very ridable but for example the Bridgestone was too tall to be used off road by a guy my height, and the Trek road bike probably could have been a 19" and I would have been more comfortable with it.
I hate to admit this but today I started to put the new tires on it and could not get the smaller ones off the rims! I must have changed bike tires a hundred times over the years on every kind of bike. Even using steel spoons I could not get that third spoon set to really start getting the tire over the rim, and I bent my one aluminum spoon. I might be stubborn, but with the next attack on the trail slated for tomorrow morning, I knew what I had to do. Fortunately, a new full-service bike shop has recently opened only six miles from me so I rushed the wheels/tires/tubes down there. While there, I also have to admit I was brazenly ogling a beautiful road bike just my size (53). Its very dangerous going to the bike shop!
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Old 10-09-19, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 1saxman View Post
The reason I like it so much is that by pure chance it turned out to be the exact perfect size for me and I didn't have to change a single thing from the previous owner who was just my height. I think its a 16.5". Plus it has the indexed thumb shifters with separate upshift and downshift levers. For some reason I bought bikes before this that were too big for me - a 21" Trek 'loaded touring' bike (420T) and an 18.5" Bridgestone Comp MB2. They both were very ridable but for example the Bridgestone was too tall to be used off road by a guy my height, and the Trek road bike probably could have been a 19" and I would have been more comfortable with it.
I hate to admit this but today I started to put the new tires on it and could not get the smaller ones off the rims! I must have changed bike tires a hundred times over the years on every kind of bike. Even using steel spoons I could not get that third spoon set to really start getting the tire over the rim, and I bent my one aluminum spoon. I might be stubborn, but with the next attack on the trail slated for tomorrow morning, I knew what I had to do. Fortunately, a new full-service bike shop has recently opened only six miles from me so I rushed the wheels/tires/tubes down there. While there, I also have to admit I was brazenly ogling a beautiful road bike just my size (53). Its very dangerous going to the bike shop!
Extremely dangerous.
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Old 10-09-19, 07:42 PM
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Well. Now I don't feel bad about taking it to the shop. A young man there of about 300 pounds and looking strong took AN HOUR to get those Kendas off my rims using the large shop tire spoons. There is no way in hell I ever could have done it with my little 'tool kit' spoons. I would have had to use a cutter on the beads and I'm not even sure that was possible. He had never seen anything like it and I sure hadn't. In any event, I think this calls for an 'after' picture. The bike sure has an attitude now.
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Old 10-10-19, 07:24 AM
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wow, beefy!
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Old 10-10-19, 10:04 AM
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Well done!
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Old 10-10-19, 05:43 PM
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The tires worked better than hoped. Total control through the soft sandy spots and everywhere else, and they don't feel heavy. I also appreciated the little bounce in them at 30 psi which acts like shocks/springs. I did take some tumbles today at slow speeds, mostly related to the toe clips and not being able to get my leg out to catch the fall. The clips and straps come off tomorrow.
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Old 10-10-19, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 1saxman View Post
The tires worked better than hoped. Total control through the soft sandy spots and everywhere else, and they don't feel heavy. I also appreciated the little bounce in them at 30 psi which acts like shocks/springs. I did take some tumbles today at slow speeds, mostly related to the toe clips and not being able to get my leg out to catch the fall. The clips and straps come off tomorrow.
Yeah...I am now on the platform pedals. For me they work great and I have the confidence that I need. When I was first mountain biking in the 90s, I had clips and shoes. I hated them. Even though I practiced and never had a crash related to them, I still was never comfortable with them.
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Old 10-15-19, 11:43 AM
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I took off the clips ands rode the bare pedals, which went well, but just didn't like the bare pedal feel. So, I went scrounging in my bin of old bike stuff and came up with the pair of platform pedals I used years ago on my road bike when I was having trouble with numbness in the feet. Shimano PD-T100, an aluminum frame with a plastic insert. These I liked, and if I'm ever tempted again, maybe on another road bike, they take clips.

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Old 10-15-19, 11:54 AM
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Also, those three falls I took last Thursday are still haunting me - back pain. so I'm trying to get on the bike at least once a day for at least 30 min. to basically re-learn how to ride, get used to these pedals and hone my road skills. It seems to help the back which is a muscle-pull issue I'm sure. I must have hurt my hands a little too and on Friday, the day after, I could hardly ride at all because of hand pain but I got my half-hour in. Also rode yesterday and am getting ready to go out now.
This has all been a real eye opener for me - I thought I could just jump on the bike and take off like I did that first day but that was a fluke. Then crashing three times on the next ride, when I had never dropped a bike before, along with the soreness and recovery from that. Still, it felt good yesterday and I'm looking forward to today. I think my greatest problem now is neck pain from looking up. This and the hands will ultimately force me to go to a more upright bike if I can't improve through training.
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Old 10-15-19, 07:33 PM
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Hey, I did 45 minutes with much less neck/hand pain and I love the pedals! I actually could have easily done an hour but kept having trouble with the gears. I finally decided the boys that did the overhaul on this bike a few years ago really messed up the Shimano SIS system. Remember, I didn't really use the bike after the overhaul so I was thinking it was just me on the gears.
From the first trail ride the other week to today, the gears have been messed up which contributed to two of my crashes - couldn't grab a gear and lost my momentum, falling over because my feet were trapped in the clips. I finally put it on the repair clamp and checked them out - it isn't me, the rear derailleur is definitely out of whack. I messed with it but couldn't really do much for it - so I threw it on the truck and took it to the shop!
I'm kind of ashamed of that since I used to fix this kind of problem for others but after so long away from biking I just don't remember what to do, plus I never saw a Shimano SIS two-lever system before. I think they'll get it right without too much trouble. I had fixed the downshifting which was the main problem just by tightening up the front cable adjustment but then was not able to get it into granny gear, so that's when I decided to let somebody else worry about it.
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Old 10-30-19, 09:34 PM
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Okay, lots of changes. I changed the tires out again, now using a smaller tire (1.95) with a plain center for pavement and knobbies on the sides. This is because I am concentrating on a paved trail now that runs for 50 miles between Williamsburg and Richmond. This trail is beautiful and parallels Route 5, a Virginia By-Way. Along with a riding buddy, we are working up our stamina two miles at a time. Our first ride was 14 miles and our second was 16. We're doing one of these every week with individual riding as much as possible. The Trek is actually great for this with the harder tires and the flat pedals. The bike shop did adjust the gears perfectly and it is a pleasure to ride on this kind of trail. I actually had bought a new bike for this purpose but I ended up not liking it so now I'm trying to sell it. If I can't sell it I guess I'll see if I can trade it for something. The only problem with using the Trek for this is my neck still bothers me with the lower bars. The other bike is a hybrid with spring fork which throws the riding position more upright. I like that but the bike is heavier and needs a lower gear - it has a Shimano 8-spd geared hub. I thought about modifying it but decided to just get rid of it and get something else.
Meanwhile I can still use the Trek on unpaved trails with these tires. In changing the tires this time, which I was able to do myself, I came to the conclusion that the Trek wheels are somehow oversized, because it is murder trying to get tires off and on it. I know the rims are 26" because it had 26" tires on it originally and the specs for the bike call out 26" wheels. I have put many tires on bicycles over many years but I've never seen anything like this. I'm definitely going to buy some pro tire spoons for next time because using the small 'tool kit' spoons on this bike is rough.
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Old 10-31-19, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
wow, beefy!
I had a Trek 930. IIRC, 1992 vintage. While I only went "real" mountain biking once, I otherwise abused and neglected the hell out of that thing and it rarely complained. Never even replaced the tires in the 13 or so years that I owned it. Worked on maybe twice in its life. Once because I rode through some streets that were so flooded that the BB was under water. Dent in the top tube. Pretty much everything on the bike was original when I put it out in the trash while I was cleaning out my mom's house in preparation for sale. Someone walked off with it in about 2 hrs., as I knew they would. I sometimes wonder how much more that thing endured.
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Old 10-31-19, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Pretty much everything on the bike was original when I put it out in the trash while I was cleaning out my mom's house in preparation for sale. Someone walked off with it in about 2 hrs., as I knew they would. I sometimes wonder how much more that thing endured.
that's how I got my first MTB, was on a giant pile of black plastic garbage bags outside a Harvard dorm in the spring. some kid tortured it & chucked it. just my kinda thing - turned into a commuter!
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Old 12-25-19, 06:59 PM
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Okay, still at it, and since we're having a mild winter so far, we've been able to go at least once a week, 14 to 18 miles each. The Trek is pretty much the same except those little Shimano platforms are just too much trouble - every time I take my foot off a pedal, like at a stop, I have to search for the correct side of the pedal. So, I bought a cheap pair of basic plastic pedals and had the best ride so far - should have done this long ago. I still have that other bike I bought and I have decided to 'throw good money after bad' and make a few mods to it so I can start using it. Its a hybrid 'comfort' bike with spring fork, a Shimano Nexus 8-speed hub and Shimano juice brakes. The main thing is the low gear is not low enough, so I need to put a slightly smaller chainring on it. There's plenty of high gear in it so I'm not worried about spinning out. I'll also replace the 27.5 x 2.2 tires with some 1.5s and do a few other things to possibly lighten it a little but that spring fork and Shimano hub are heavy. Guess I'll just have to get used to it because I really did love the fork and the incredible brakes the one time I rode it. Some parts of the trail have rough bridge approaches, rough washboards from root intrusion (they're repairing them) and other jolts which the fork soaked up beautifully. The Trek is a boneshaker on those spots. Having the geared hub instead of derailleurs is pretty cool and you can shift while stopped.
Actually, I'm going to put the narrower tires on first to see if the reduced overall diameter results in enough of an improvement in the low gear. It will make some difference but I doubt it will be noticeable.
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