Thursday, March 13, 2008

An unlikely century bike?

Good evening everyone! I'm looking for some insight here as I've run up against a wall of sorts.

The predicament: I am going to do my first century (the Minnesota Ironman, April 27th) and I only have one bike, a 1996 Gary Fisher Marlin. A solid frame mountain bike, heavy and not really "suited" for riding 100 miles on. The other problem, I'm stingy and quite indecisive.

I've spent the better part of two days thinking about what I can do to my bike to make it more "distance friendly". To date, the most miles at one time was Duluth to Two Harbors and back, right around 50 miles. It was no problem but another 50 on top of that could be a different story.

So far I've looked into the following:

If I were to get all this, I may as well buy a new bike. I'm trying to figure what I need (if anything) what will and won't work with my bike (headset, handlebars, grip shifts, etc...) and what makes no sense.

So far I'm thinking of just getting the Areobars and for sure, the tires. Can anyone lend any advice on my situation?

If you're not aware, I've been biking all year so I'm pretty confident I can make it, but I want some more hand positions and a way to deal with a strong headwind.

Please lend me some advice!



Doug said...

Don't think you have to spend money to ride 100 miles. If your bike works for one 50 miler, it will work for two back to back 50 milers. Or five 20 milers. One summer, 15 years ago, I was unemployed. All I did was ride my bike. I averaged 50 miles a day for the entire summer. I had no money. I did it on my hand me down Rockhopper (which is now my Xtracycle) with straight bars and the knobby off road tires it came with. I also did a century on it that summer.

My advice, I'd get the new tires. And I can give you my Ergon grips I have laying around. That is if you don't mind a few scratches on one of the grips from a fall I had.

bikingbrady said...

I agree with Doug. You can do it on any bike. If you are racing for time, that's another issue. If you are just doing it, ANY bike can get you there. If it's all road riding, a simple thing like bar ends on a mountain bike will give you more hand positions to go along with your slicks.

Biking Duluth said...

Thanks guys- I pretty much figured the same, but my main concern (other then getting tires) was hand positions. Doug, do your ergons have the bar ends?
Thanks again.

Doug said...

Yes, just like the picture in the link.

Ike said...

I wanted to add one thing... eat eat eat! Ok, maybe you didn't need that but for me breaking that 80mile mark and still feeling good wasn't about the bike. It was all about the kcals.

"Learning to eat" allowed me to ride 160 miles immediately after multiple failures on 70-100mile training rides when just getting into long distance riding. oh, the times that.....