Wow - I am VERY out of shape. Help?



DaveInPA

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Mar 12, 2010
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I didn't realize how out of shape I am until I got a bike. Rode 10 miles the other day and could only make it 4 miles today until my legs felt like they were full of concrete and I couldn't go on any more.

I'm obviously way more out of shape than I thought. :eek:

Are there any exercises off the bike you guys recommend or do I just need to keep riding and eventually my body will get used to biking?
 

steve

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Aug 12, 2001
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DaveInPA said:
Are there any exercises off the bike you guys recommend or do I just need to keep riding and eventually my body will get used to biking?

Just keep riding, your body will adapt and you'll be riding much further before you know it.
 

tonyzackery

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Dec 23, 2006
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Steve is correct. Very simple.
And remember - it NEVER gets any easier, you just get faster and/or go longer...
 

DaveInPA

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Mar 12, 2010
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Another thing is that I got a Gary Fisher Kaitai instead of the Trek 7.3 FX I was planning on buying. I'm thinking that was a mistake. The Fisher is heavy and I really don't need a suspension fork, although it does have lockout to make it stiff.

I'm thinking I should exchange the Fisher for either the 7.3 FX or a 1.1. I really don't see myself riding off road and I think the lighter bike made for the road would be better?
 

tonyzackery

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Dec 23, 2006
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DaveInPA said:
Another thing is that I got a Gary Fisher Kaitai instead of the Trek 7.3 FX I was planning on buying. I'm thinking that was a mistake. The Fisher is heavy and I really don't need a suspension fork, although it does have lockout to make it stiff.

I'm thinking I should exchange the Fisher for either the 7.3 FX or a 1.1. I really don't see myself riding off road and I think the lighter bike made for the road would be better?

LOL! Most definitely a "road" bike will allow you to cycle further and faster than trying to be a "roadie" on a trail bike...
 

DaveInPA

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Mar 12, 2010
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tonyzackery said:
LOL! Most definitely a "road" bike will allow you to cycle further and faster than trying to be a "roadie" on a trail bike...

Would you recommend the 7.3FX or the 1.1?
 

tonyzackery

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Dec 23, 2006
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DaveInPA said:
Would you recommend the 7.3FX or the 1.1?

It appears your choices are trail bikes. I'm not familiar with the Trek suspension bikes. Nonetheless, I understand some models have suspension lockouts if you feel the need get on the road, but that's really 'fitting a square peg in a round hole', IMO. Try looking at a hybrid - something with a flat bar and no suspension if you think you'll do most of your future riding on the road.

edit. Go for the 1.1. Just checked an image and because it's a road bike you'll be MUCH happier riding it on the road than 7.3.
 

DaveInPA

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Mar 12, 2010
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tonyzackery said:
It appears your choices are trail bikes. I'm not familiar with the Trek suspension bikes. Nonetheless, I understand some models have suspension lockouts if you feel the need get on the road, but that's really 'fitting a square peg in a round hole', IMO. Try looking at a hybrid - something with a flat bar and no suspension if you think you'll do most of your future riding on the road.

edit. Go for the 1.1. Just checked an image and because it's a road bike you'll be MUCH happier riding it on the road than 7.3.

The 7.3 is a flat bar road bike. No suspension, and the same 700 x 32 tires as the 1.1. As far as I can tell the primary difference between the two is that the 1.1 has drop bars.
 

tonyzackery

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DaveInPA said:
The 7.3 is a flat bar road bike. No suspension, and the same 700 x 32 tires as the 1.1. As far as I can tell the primary difference between the two is that the 1.1 has drop bars.

1.1 all the way...if your intention is to become a roadie. If you're now cycling strictly to get back into some reasonable shape and sometimes go for a longish ride every now and then, then the 7.3 will probably suit you better because of the less aggressive (more upright) riding position. Of course, I don't profess to be an expert on other's preferences...ymmv.
 

DaveInPA

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Mar 12, 2010
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tonyzackery said:
1.1 all the way...if your intention is to become a roadie. If you're now cycling strictly to get back into some reasonable shape and sometimes go for a longish ride every now and then, then the 7.3 will probably suit you better because of the less aggressive (more upright) riding position. Of course, I don't profess to be an expert on other's preferences...ymmv.

Would it be possible to do a stem adjustment on the 1.1 to make it a little bit more upright for now until I work myself into decent shape and then put it back down? I just don't want the 7.3 FX to end up being a "stop gap" bike, if that makes sense.
 

64Paramount

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Jul 25, 2009
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Yep, your local bike shop should be able to raise the handlebar stem (or replace it with a taller one if needed ) to get you a little more upright until you get used to the road bike position.

And riding your bicycle will get easier as you ride more. But, it won't happen overnight. Just keep riding; you've got to get through the initial "this is really painful" period.

Hang in there....keep riding!
 

tonyzackery

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Dec 23, 2006
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DaveInPA said:
Would it be possible to do a stem adjustment on the 1.1 to make it a little bit more upright for now until I work myself into decent shape and then put it back down? I just don't want the 7.3 FX to end up being a "stop gap" bike, if that makes sense.

Absolutely. Your LBS should be able to hook you up with a stem that will get you in the position you want at present. There are even adjustable stems on the market too. As your fitness and level of endurance increase, you could adjust the stem to a more aggressive (negative degrees) angle for, perhaps, shorter rides and move the stem more positive for longer rides were you'd want more comfort.
 

dhk2

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Aug 8, 2006
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Don't forget about flexibility and core strength; they are both needed to ride a road bike comfortably in the traditional race position and to prevent future back injuries. If you're not already doing some flexibility and strength work, suggest you start. Just 10 minutes a day of basic stretching and back/abs work will pay dividends.
 

CalicoCat

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Jan 10, 2010
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DaveInPA said:
Another thing is that I got a Gary Fisher Kaitai instead of the Trek 7.3 FX I was planning on buying. I'm thinking that was a mistake. The Fisher is heavy and I really don't need a suspension fork, although it does have lockout to make it stiff.

I'm thinking I should exchange the Fisher for either the 7.3 FX or a 1.1. I really don't see myself riding off road and I think the lighter bike made for the road would be better?

Well, to some extent I am going to reiterate things that everyone else said. I do think that in the long run you will be happier with the road bike. However, even a roadie likes to hit the trails for a change of scenery every now and then, and your current bike will let you do that. Also, if you are just looking to get fit and aren't planning to race or even do any fast paced club rides you can definitely achieve that goal with your current bike (either on the road or the trails). Like everyone else has said, just keep riding and you'll get better. The great thing about being a newbie is that you will see improvements very quickly!
 

DaveInPA

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Mar 12, 2010
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CalicoCat said:
Well, to some extent I am going to reiterate things that everyone else said. I do think that in the long run you will be happier with the road bike. However, even a roadie likes to hit the trails for a change of scenery every now and then, and your current bike will let you do that. Also, if you are just looking to get fit and aren't planning to race or even do any fast paced club rides you can definitely achieve that goal with your current bike (either on the road or the trails). Like everyone else has said, just keep riding and you'll get better. The great thing about being a newbie is that you will see improvements very quickly!

I really think I would be happier with a road bike AND a mountain bike. I'm going to the LBS today to return the Fisher and get most likely the Trek 1.1

I'll get a MTB later.
 

DaveInPA

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Mar 12, 2010
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dhk2 said:
Don't forget about flexibility and core strength; they are both needed to ride a road bike comfortably in the traditional race position and to prevent future back injuries. If you're not already doing some flexibility and strength work, suggest you start. Just 10 minutes a day of basic stretching and back/abs work will pay dividends.

Any particular stretches/exercises you can recommend for me?
 

Doctor Morbius

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DaveInPA, for what it's worth I enjoy riding an MTB with street tires on pavement. They're great for riding over curbs and such to get away from cars, dogs, pedestrians or anything else that might get in the way.

As far as your first 10 miler, it sounds like you did too much too soon, which is easy to do. I just did the same thing myself on my first ride (also 10 miles) in a couple of years. I'm not too sore though and plan to ride the same distance, albeit slower, tomorrow.
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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DaveInPA said:
Any particular stretches/exercises you can recommend for me?

It all depends on any problems you may have. If you're limber you'll likely not need stretches. However, if you notice that exercise leads to tightness and pain then (a) you'll want to find out why that is to resolve the issue and (b) stretch appropriately to alieviate any discomfort you may have.

Don't go looking for problems - any problem worth fixing will present itself in no uncertain terms.;)

If your goal is to just ride and have fun then do just that.
 

heiderb

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Apr 14, 2010
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Just keep riding. You should see quick improvement if you ride 3-5 days per week and ride 1-2 hours per day. Stay away from big gears for a few weeks. Stick to lower gears (70"-75") and ride at a good steady pace, 80-90 rpms.
 

banim

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Apr 16, 2010
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go on man regular riding will make it more easier for you to adopt a good shape

thanks