Author Topic: Complete newb, TA in 2014  (Read 2890 times)

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Offline PeteJack

Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2013, 12:40:26 pm »
Quote
In my opinion, indoor riding on a trainer is of value, but that value is very limited. Get that bike outside as much as possible. Outdoor riding is much, much better training for your trip.
I second that. Spinning classes and the like just don't prepare you for e.g. long climbs, there's a psychological element to it plus gear selection, in/out of saddle technique etc. that you can only learn by actually doing long climbs.

Good advice somebody gave me: when climbing use a gear lower than you think you need. Sounds daft but it works for me

Offline MrBent

Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2013, 03:07:57 pm »
+1 Novara Safari.  I've got a friend with one, and he really likes it.

I'm curious:  Why do you write off recumbents?  Good used ones can be had for the price range you're talking about.  Saddle sores, sore wrists/hands/neck will be a thing of the past.   I'd do a little more homework first.  I wouldn't have done two 3+ month rides now without one. 

Here's a good resource: http://bentrideronline.com/

Whatever you ride, have a great trip!  It's one of the best things I've done in my life.


Scott

Offline Rick.in.AZ

Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2013, 12:21:16 am »
for what it's worth I have a 16 year old? REI Randonee.  I used it to do Portland to SF 15 years ago, and plan to do the TA with it next summer.  There were a couple of hills where the 25 inch low wasn't enough, and I swapped the 26 granny ring for a 24 a couple years back to give a 23.  That will be borderline for the TA I think but OK.  And of course some components have worn out and have been replaced over the years, but it's a good steel frame. It sits outside at work about 4 days a week, and the paint is cooked from the AZ sun, but it still rides just fine.

Guess the point is, get a good solid mid range bike and it will last you for years.  Expensive frequently means ultra light which means fragile.  Cheap means poor quality which means quick wear out.  In the case of mine, the only significant "non-wear" item to break was the STI brake/shift levers.  Replaced with straight brake levers and down tube shifters and never looked back.

Only thing I need do before the TA is grease, new cassette, chain, tires (worn from commuting), and seat (16 years old, sun cooked).

Now I did spend a bunch on a new tent, sleeping bag, pad, new Panniers....

Offline furtigan

Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2013, 08:09:41 am »
Thanks to everyone for the insights.  All have been helpful.

I'm curious:  Why do you write off recumbents?
Without going back to the sites I looked at, I know one thing I thought about was maintenence --  I'll be taking a bike maintenance class at my local shop, but I'll be starting from almost zero knowledge (I haven't owned a bike since I was 14).  from what I've heard, most small-town bike shops don't handle recumbants, so if you break a part in the middle of nowhere, you're on you're own.

One concern I do have is my back.  If riding this fall/winter/spring causes backache, I may have to rethink.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2013, 12:04:06 pm »
One concern I do have is my back. If riding this fall/winter/spring causes backache, I may have to rethink.
Note that some back pain for a while when increasing your mileage is normal. For most people, it goes away. You'd want to be in the recumbent market if it didn't. Do core exercises to help prevent back pain.

Offline Rick.in.AZ

Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2013, 12:09:53 am »
my experience may not be normal, but cycling HELPS my back.  If I go to long off the bike, my lower back hurts.  Riding fixes it.

When I did the pacific coast, I had just finished a 5 week family trip in the minivan.  My back hurt so bad I wasn't sure I could do the 2 1/2 hour airplane trip to Portland to the start.  I was really worried that I'd be in trouble, but after 2 days, not a trace of pain.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2013, 04:21:01 pm »
Without going back to the sites I looked at, I know one thing I thought about was maintenence --  I'll be taking a bike maintenance class at my local shop, but I'll be starting from almost zero knowledge

If you start with a bike in good condition, everything adjusted and tuned to perfection, then you can almost forget about working on the bike during a summer long trip.  Barring any accidents.  Riding a bike does not cause a bike to stop working.  If a bike works, it will keep working while you use it.  Oddly, not using a bike might cause it to stop working quicker than using it.  So start with a bike in good working order, and it will work OK for a tour.  I ride every week with people who do not work on their own bikes, they take them to bike shop mechanics, and they do fine.  Being a bike mechanic is not required to ride a bike.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2013, 08:46:33 pm »
Without going back to the sites I looked at, I know one thing I thought about was maintenence --  I'll be taking a bike maintenance class at my local shop, but I'll be starting from almost zero knowledge

If you start with a bike in good condition, everything adjusted and tuned to perfection, then you can almost forget about working on the bike during a summer long trip.

I agree to the tune of about 75%.  The other 25% includes fixing a flat tire (betcha'll get to do that!).  You'll need to understand how your brakes work, so you can take up the slack caused by wear -- unless you find a bike shop every couple weeks to check it for you -- and watch the brake pads so you can get them replaced if/when necessary.  It's also a good idea to know how to fix a broken spoke (hint: get a FiberFix), and at least roughly true the result until you can find a good bike shop to get it just right.

Building a bike up from the frame can be fun, too, but as Russ notes, it's not usually necessary.