New model or old faithful?

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Harptree
Posts: 25
Joined: 3 Jun 2016, 7:38am

New model or old faithful?

Postby Harptree » 27 Aug 2018, 6:20pm

Brain melt going on here! Looking at lots of bike adverts and losing the plot.

I need to get fitter, love cycles (just staring at them even) and am a rubbish cyclist. I am a wimp and easily discouraged. A non-cyclist really. I almost bought an e-bike this year but instead got out my old Giant Seek 3 hybrid as a last hurrah at not succumbing and am now into week 6 of an NHS couch to 30 miles (yes, my husband is trying not to laugh also) training programme. Giant the Hybrid was wimp-fettled two years ago by a very skilled young man in Padiham who added the grandmother of granny gears to its triple arrangement and a big soft saddle and also sorted me out with spd pedals and shoes , painstakingly showing me how to practise etc. but that, embarrassingly, I am still far too scared to use. Shortly after it this it spent a year and half inside in solitary confinement as I lost the willpower/whatever, but its been out again, three times a week, for six weeks now. At 61 years of age, I am still trying to be a cyclist.

This morning Giant the Hybrid got me up some very nasty, previously unmanageable, hills (I live in pennine yorkshire and they are everywhere within 100 yds) on a 6.2 mile ride in wind and rain at a blistering average speed of 5. 5mph as Cateye tells me, and so, fired with enthusiasm, I have immediately started looking for a new bike.

This is because I think Giant the Hybrid is a bit overweight at about 14kg and hence not helping me as much as a new, younger, lighter, sleeker model might. Giant the hybrid is also a bit on the elderly side. (This perception of mine may also be projection, of course.)

I am torn between feeling like a traitor - that Giant the Hybrid has done its stalwart best for me, is just the same as many other new bikes that someone would happily relieve me of cash for and that I should just return to the very skilled young man in Padiham and say 'Can you check Giant is still safe, and can it have some disc brakes (as I spend half my time hanging on the brakes downhill as they look pretty flimsy to me especially in wet - v brakes) and also it is sometimes moody and passive aggressive about whether it will go onto the smallest chainring or not so can it have new..'.etc. I think maybe in this way perhaps good old Giant might be just as good for me as anything else I might buy.

My husband, a complete Land Rover nut but no cycling expert, assures me that old things like Giant the Hybrid (who was old and second hand when I got it) have their bearings worn out and all sorts of other wear problems that mean they do not run as easily as new ones and are therefore likely to be harder to pedal. There are lots of very tempting looking new bikes for sale. The other half of me thinks that a lighter bike, with very, very, granny gear and disc brakes would be the absolute thing and would see me manage a 30 mile ride eventually - oh wow, bees knees.

Me and husband are befuddled. Are bicycles just an assemblage of parts and basically Giant the Hybrid could become just as good as anything else on sale with different new bits attached, like Frankenstein's monster or Lee Majors aka the Bionic Man? Or would parting with cash for a new model open up new worlds of possibility to me, as a cyclist? I read about 'Audax' bikes from proper bike shops, although I have little clue really, and titanium and stuff and drop handlebars and think I would love one of those, but is it just going to be wasted on me?

Any advice from proper cycling people would be gratefully received.

keyboardmonkey
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Location: Yorkshire

Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby keyboardmonkey » 27 Aug 2018, 6:33pm

What is your budget, please?

random37
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Joined: 19 Sep 2008, 4:41pm

Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby random37 » 27 Aug 2018, 6:34pm

Giant the hybrid might be a bit on the heavy side, but that makes not a jot of difference for now. It would make a difference if you were a lycra-clad roadie, but you aren't, yet, and even then the gains are overstated. If you're good enough to go much faster on really expensive lightweight bikes, you probably get them for free from the manufacturers.

Giant the hybrid sounds a bit like he needs a service. When you are doing more miles (you don't ever need to wear lycra, unless you like), you will have a better idea of the sort of machine you want. I suspect you'd enjoy a really good comfy touring bike, but you'll work that out for yourself later.

V-brakes are more than capable of stopping you safely. People have done death-defying downhills on bikes with v-brakes, and most of them are still fine. Discs are better sometimes, but again save your money until you're sure what you want to buy. And gear shifting hasn't improved that much since the nineties. Not enough to justify a new machine anyway.

Brucey
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Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby Brucey » 27 Aug 2018, 6:35pm

you can upgrade/repair to your heart's content, but if you do too much then it can work out more expensive than a new bike would.

Bearings can be adjusted/replaced (the correct hub bearing adjustment is a little bit of free play that just disappears as the QR is tightened; the QR squashes the axle slightly).

A more expensive bike could be maybe ~4kg lighter and this will make a difference for sure, but not a huge difference; 4,kg is liable to be about 5% of the all-up weight of you and your bike, so 5% faster up hills is about the most you might expect to gain that way. The weight will make hardly any difference on the flat.

Some things that will make a big difference are

- better brake blocks and
- better (faster) tyres.

BTW some folk tend to get out and ride more when they have new bike, even though there was nothing wrong per se with the old one; enthusiasm is a funny thing...

But keep it up!

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cyril Haearn
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Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 27 Aug 2018, 6:42pm

You are a cyclist already already :)
Many of us have two or more cycles, that might be your solution
Entertainer, idealist, intellectual, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

Harptree
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Joined: 3 Jun 2016, 7:38am

Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby Harptree » 27 Aug 2018, 6:48pm

Hi - no real thoughts about a budget - just, well, at my age - 'what are you waiting for?', I guess.

Many thanks for all responses about Giant the Hybrid - I will ring up and get it in for a service as suggested.

I suppose I just thought I might be missing out - and not all that much time left to lose or mess about with really, at 61.

Harptree
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Joined: 3 Jun 2016, 7:38am

Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby Harptree » 27 Aug 2018, 6:50pm

sorry - service and possible improvements as suggested!

random37
Posts: 1952
Joined: 19 Sep 2008, 4:41pm

Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby random37 » 27 Aug 2018, 6:53pm

Harptree wrote:I suppose I just thought I might be missing out - and not all that much time left to lose or mess about with really, at 61.


There are cycling clubs where most of the members are in their eighties. You've got ages before they'd let you in!

By all means buy a new bike. Some of them are beautiful. But it won't make it easier to ride, and you might find what you like now isn't what you want when you are doing 50 mile rides on a Sunday.

slowster
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Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby slowster » 27 Aug 2018, 7:23pm

random37 wrote:save your money until you're sure what you want to buy

^ This a thousand times. What screams out from your post is that you've started cycling again, and you feel like you are not getting faster or fitter - at least not as quickly as you want - and you think a new bike might help.

A new bike might help a bit if it motivated you to go for a ride when otherwise you might not, but otherwise it will not make you fitter than riding the Giant.

It's the same for novices in a lot of sports: the improvement in fitness and skill rarely comes as quickly as any of us would like, so people start looking at a new pair of running shoes/golf clubs/tennis racquet/football boots etc. etc.

Instead, you probably just need to be more patient, and enjoy riding at whatever speed you are doing: the fitness gains will come naturally and gradually, probably without you even noticing.

As long as your bike fits you, has low enough gears and working brakes, it will do until you know what you want to get to replace it.

My advice is to throw away the Cateye (or at least take it off your bike), because it encourages people to pay too much attention to their speed and distance ridden.

Just ride. Ride to a nice pub. Ride to a nice cafe. Ride to the shop for a newspaper or a loaf of bread. Just make sure that you enjoy it, because that is what will make you keep doing it and get progressively fitter.

Failing that, if you would really like a new bike, I suggest you contact Spa Cycles and ask them about some test rides. They offer a variety of different types of bike, and you might find that a few rides on their different demonstrator models would help you clarify in your own mind what type of bike you want, e.g. road oriented vs. one that could cope better with tracks and bridleways, drop vs. flat bar etc., lightweight Audax style tourer vs. more traditional style tourer, rim vs disc brakes etc. etc.

Harptree
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Joined: 3 Jun 2016, 7:38am

Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby Harptree » 27 Aug 2018, 9:03pm

Thankyou for all advices.

I'll take a step back and think about what you all have said. Many thanks to all.

nigelnightmare
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Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby nigelnightmare » 28 Aug 2018, 12:00am

As "Brucey" said NEW brake blocks can make the world of difference in braking as the old ones have probably gone hard and have bits stuck in them which wears the rims quicker.

As others have said "just enjoy the ride" and don't worry about getting fitter/faster, just pootle around at your own pace and in 2 to 3 months you'll realise that the hill's are easier, you're going faster and you feel better.

I'm 54 and due to health problems I ride a "recumbent Trike" that weighs well over 25kg (50lb) with the rack & panniers + another 20kg (44lb) of trailer and dog!
So don't fret about the weight of your bike as a heavier one will give you a better workout and get you fitter Quicker!

In the past competitive cyclists training bikes were heavier than their racing/competition ones for that very reason.

I'm basically a fair weather cyclist and this year since May I've lost 1st 4lb and my average speed has now got to double figures (10.2mph) :o without dog and trailer. Though I usually pootle around at 6-8mph.

Downhill is "fun" uphill not so much, BUT when going up I have the knowledge that I'll soon be going back down it (Wheeee)!

Two days ago I went out for a "little!" ride and ended up doing over 34 miles and it felt good. :D

Vorpal
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Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby Vorpal » 28 Aug 2018, 8:01am

What tyres does Giant the Hybrid have? A new set of tyres might make all the difference in how fast your bike feels :)

Other than that, as others have said, enjoy the ride and don't worry too much about going faster. Just gradually extend your distance.

You might find it easier joining social rides in your area. Look for ones that go at the pace of the slowest, are promoted as social, or have an 'easy' ride. I often find that things go a bit easier with someone to chat with, and I go faster without realising it.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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Grarea
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Location: Truro (ish)

Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby Grarea » 28 Aug 2018, 9:36am

Sounds to me like you are doing well.
A lot of great advice being given.
I started back cycling a year ago.
I couldn't believe how weak my legs were.
It takes a while to get the strength back in them.
I was pleased when a mile wasn't a huge effort as it meant i could use it to pop to the shop.
I try and use it for all the short pops somewhere and the short pops have got longer and longer.

When you first start, little differences can make quite a difference as we are not putting out all that much power.
I agree, stick with what you have, get the bearings serviced and lube your chain.

I also changed my tyres and that made quite a difference, it was nice (depending on what you have already)
I rather like having a computer on my bike.
I try and log most of my rides, it has been encouraging seeing the improvement. I am not a slave to it though.

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squeaker
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Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby squeaker » 28 Aug 2018, 10:05am

As someone we're all trying to forget once wrote "It's not about the bike". Just get out and use it (although a check up by a competent mechanic might not go amiss). Forget about the spd pedals and shoes unless you really feel the need - they have their downsides and the 'learning experience' can be painful :roll:
"42"

Grarea
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Location: Truro (ish)

Re: New model or old faithful?

Postby Grarea » 28 Aug 2018, 10:13am

squeaker wrote:As someone we're all trying to forget once wrote "It's not about the bike". Just get out and use it (although a check up by a competent mechanic might not go amiss). Forget about the spd pedals and shoes unless you really feel the need - they have their downsides and the 'learning experience' can be painful :roll:

+1 on that.
(I knew there was something else I meant to type)

I like plastic toe clips with a loose strap.
(Many people have many different preferences on pedals/clips/no clips at all/clipless etc etc)