Home Chat General Chat

Me and my MTB

Ok, so my goal for this London Od has always been to finish the race. I am doing it for a charity close to my heart and signed up b/c they asked me. Well, as the training regime continues and I read more posts on here I feel I'm getting sucked into this whole triathlon business and would actually like to post a 'respectable' time. Last night I was looking at the bike porn and started feeling really anxious, like I needed a new bike right then and there. I started searching on the dreaded ebay and other sites just to get an idea of what road bikes are out there, how much, etc. I can't believe it came to this so soon, my poor old MTB. I love my old Gary Fisher Tassajara. He has really served me well. It cost a fair bit when I bought it, an upgrade from my steel frame specialized, and has decent components. I love how it shifts and really just like my bike, but yes, it is a mtb. I have always just planned to put road tyres on it, have been training on my very nobbly ones so far and whilst it might be good for training it is really really slow going!

So today I thought I'd venture to some local bike shops b/c I am ill-booo- and can't train. Let me say I know nothing at all about bikes, I can't service a bike and am not mechanical at all. Also, I am easily suckered into buying kit. I generally avoid outdoor shops at all costs b/c I cannot walk out without a huge receipt for kit I had not planned to buy, or could afford! I was only recently duped by a good looking man who convinced me, a climber of many years, that I needed to buy these climbing shoes that I knew were way too small for me and I ended up having to return them a week later, I am gullible.

I went to the first place and told them my dilemma of not having money really to spend on a road bike, I didn't know about road bikes, and that I was doing a triathlon for charity, not because I'm a professional triathlete. The one guy seemed to understand, had a look on his computer if there were any cheap ones in stock and got his manager. His 'manager' was much younger and told me I really couldn't do triathlons on a mountain bike and definitely needed to upgrade. He happened to have an 09 Specialised TriCross that was returned b/c it wasn't the right size (alarm bells?) and that I could have it 'best price' for £350, marked down form 900. He also said I should not buy a second-hand bike ever (aside from this one of course-only been used twice) b/c it would probably be the wrong size and need so much doing to it the savings would not be worth it. I told him I'd think on it and left feeling a little dejected.

Went to the second place and got a much better vibe really. The guy seemed more clued up and wasn't as focused on trying to flog some expensive bike to me. Told me if I wasn't sure I'd stick with triathlons after the event that I should definitely get some road tyres and leave the racer til I was sure. They had some really nice bikes too I must say, so he could have tried the high-pressure sales approach, but didn't. He explained the differences between the types of bikes and told me how they'd fit one for me if I decided to later and said, when I asked, that second-hand bikes were not necessarily a bad buy as long as I knew what size I needed.

So, to make a very long story short, I'm feeling better about my old mtb again. I know he won't look much at a race and I'll be that one on the mtb you pass. I don't mind, just give me a wave, if I stick with this maybe next time I'll be on a flashy bike too!


  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Pimp up your MTB with some road tyres and see if you like Tri!

    If you do then maybe look at some packages for starters. TriUK do one and it saves you 200 quids or so!
  • willieverfinishwillieverfinish Posts: 1,381
    Great post.

    I'll be there screaming you on - I can promise you'll pedal faster and harder everytime you think about why your doing what your doing. Christ knows I appreciate where your coming from.

    You have shown courage and determination that should make you very proud and the charity your doing this for is going to benefit from your sheer hard work.

    I think this is the start of your Tri "career" and I bet you any money you'll be entewring many more races in the future.,

    I'd love to stand alongside you at a mass start one day. Watch this space. :)

  • Cheryl6162Cheryl6162 Posts: 356
    There's nothing wrong at all about sticking with the bike you love. I love my Giant hybrid but decided I really could do with a lighter bike if I am to stick with triathlon. I bought myself a really nice secondhand Trek Equinox 7 women specific tri bike and she is great.

    But she is very different from my Giant.

    I am still getting used to the whole bar end gear business, which is tricky to say the least. I rode her in the sprint at the weekend, after putting my new curved arm extentions on the night before (very kindly given to me by ProfileDesign free of charge and shipped over, again free, from the states). I have to say that I would've gone faster on my hybrid because of the amount of time I spent faffing with the gears or being in the wrong gear. I was also too scared to let it go too fast downhill in case it wobbled and I fell off! This wouldn't have been a problem on my Giant as I know her inside out.

    So the moral of my story is; stick with what you know as it will serve you best, at least until you have bonded properly with a new machine
  • JuniacroodeJuniacroode Posts: 51
    Sweeeet Conehead! I'm really looking forward to the cycle stuff on Sunday. I hope to be able to get some tips about bike maintenance, as you will see my poor bike isn't exactly glistening!

    Ben, you'll actually be able to stroll alongside the route beside me when I'm biking, so wear your walking shoes :) I think you might be right about future investments though....I can't see me wanting to let all this new found knowledge and what I hope to be a decent standard of fitness go to waste!

    I can totally understand what you are saying too, Cheryl. I got on one of the bikes and said to the guy 'you know, I don't even know how the gears work!'. I felt a bit dumb saying it but, well, I've never ridden a bike like that. And as you said about worrying about falling off on the downhills, man those wheels look so skinny, I believe I'd have some serious accidents!

    I'm just pleased I didn't allow myself to be caught in the moment like I usually am in kit-purchasing experiences!
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    junia, i think once you stick some road tyres on your MTB you'll be surprised at the difference. I put some on my hybrid which didn't have the big knobbly tires to start but instantly there was a difference. I think you are doing your tri for a really good reason and cause, and if you decide to stick to it (which i think you might) then you might want to look at upgrading. I would say it certainly isn't worth buying a whole new bike just for one race. Or the next bike in that first shop could have been your 'only used once' bike...

  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    P.S as a fellow, guillible kit junkie well done on not buying a lovely looking shiny bike just because it was available. This is a skill i am yet to fully master
  • gomiboygomiboy Posts: 59
    Bike porn is great...

    But if all you're aiming for is a finish with a respectable time in an OD, work hard on swimming and running and use your mountain bike.

    BTW - manager-guy in the first shop was lying to you. There's nothing wrong with a 2nd-hand bike as long as you treat it like a second-hand car - make sure you get a good one, with low miles, good service record, that's been treated well and it'll be fine and you won't take the depreciation hit of a new car. Having to do all kinds of tuning stuff, or getting one that's the wrong size, or whatever, you can just as easily do with a brand-new bike. If you're buying second-hand, just make sure you get the frame size right.
  • JonhinioJonhinio Posts: 289
    Go on to this website's front page, and on the left you'll see a downloadable beginners guide. In there you'll find an article about getting your MTB ready for a triathlon.
  • gavinrigg06gavinrigg06 Posts: 176
    I guess the feelings weren't there with the Trek then Cheryl ?? D-I-V-O-R-C-E
  • Cheryl6162Cheryl6162 Posts: 356
    I guess the feelings weren't there with the Trek then Cheryl ?? D-I-V-O-R-C-E

    No, <sob> wasted so much energy swearing at it this morning that I could've gone 10mph faster just on hot air alone.

    And you know what they say about a poor workman always blaming his tools..........!!
Sign In or Register to comment.