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So I've decided to give cycling one more try, despite my bad experience with my last road bike. Since Maddie has now been officially "bent" there's a mountain bike up for grabs which I am considering taking ownership of. I mainly want this for cross training, not any kind of serious off roading at this point and will be riding predominantly on the road and packed gravel trails near where we live. It's currently got the knobby tires it came with on it and I am wondering, should I switch them off for a pair of slicks or something a little more hybrid-oriented considering where I will be riding?

Also, she said the seat sucks so I'd like to upgrade to something a little more comfy, any thoughts? As far as I know it's a relatively beginnery type bike so I don't want to put a ton of money into it like I did with the road bike, only to find that I don't like riding this one either. We're taking it in for a tune up this weekend--is there anything else that I might need to do to it to make it less of a "dirt/rocks bike" and more of an all purpose type bike?

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Leave the tires and the saddle is a personal thing. What the old owner thinks is a bad saddle you may love.
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Are the current tires knobby? If they are, you'll get some serious rode buzz from them. Go for slicks or semi-slicks.
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Get slicks. Try the saddle first, then you can change if you like.
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I haven't seen the bike yet, will do that tomorrow. But she says yes, they are the original knobbys. Will slicks be OK on packed gravel? My running trail is going to be my primary riding place since it's about a 40 mile or more loop including a hilly piece that goes up part of Spring Mountain.
What are semi-slicks? I assume they have more tread than a regular slick but are less bumpy than a knobby? Sorry, I know NADA about mountain bikes except that people do crazy things on them.
My other thinking about the slicks is that supposing I ever get it into my head to do a sprint tri I know I can finish one on a mountain bike, although obviously I won't be anywhere near competitive, which is fine, so I'd need to get them for that anyway, right?
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Yes, slick are fine on packed gravel.

semi-slicks are smooth on top and have some tracktion/nobbies on the side for occasional loose stuff.
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I recommend semi-slicks (hybrid) tires and a good relationship with your local bike shop (LBS). As far as the seat goes, that's simply trial and error...and often depends on how the seat is adjusted. Again, see if the LBS can help with the fit. I returned my husband's Serfas seat to his bike and got my own (women's). First ride was a thirty-miler and it was not a problem. Not a sleek racing seat, but it doesn't make me feel I should file harrassment charges against my bike. :P
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Hey, that looks mighty comfy! I'll have to check that out. Pretty reasonable too. Thanks!
Airless tires....hmmm.......
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Well, I am now the proud owner of a slightly used but well cared for and pretty darn comfy mountain bike! :banana: After a few minor handlebar and seat adjustments, it fits perfectly, WAY better than that expensive road bike I bought two years ago and it's at the bike shop getting tuned up etc.....to be picked up Friday. No doubt my Labor Day weekend will be spent putting rubber to the road. I'm already eyeing up possible commuting routes to work for the fall ;) I can't believe the difference in comfort-not just the fact that this bike is more upright, I always HATED the slumped over posture of the road ride, but I got on that baby and just wanted to boogie.....and this will something to do just for fun, no worries about speed and nonsense like that. :banana:

The tires weren't super heavy duty knobby so I left them on for now and will try it out with them on the gravel trail and the paved part to see if it's OK, then decide whether to get slicks or not. He has them at a decent price but said he thought I'd be OK with what I have. I looked for that Serfas seat but he only had the mens, so I forget what kind I got, but since this is not a racing bike, I went for comfort. This one looks to be pretty good. Wonder if I could do the MS150 next year on that puppy.......with different tires, of course!

WHEEEEE!!!!!!! Maybe I don't have to hate cycling after all!!!! :fubby:
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WWWOOOO HOOOOOOO Genie. congrats. personally i would go wit all around tires, the city commuters wille be most likely a better fit.

The knobbies will be much slower, more vibrating and more of a spary on wet ground.

Might also think about some toe clips for the time being, metal pedals, not resins. with a toe clip so you can get a more full leg workout but not have the risk of not being able to unclip.
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Congrats on the new ride! :thumbsup:

One tire that I've had good luck with is Specialized's Nimbus Armadillo - they've got some tread (more like a street motorcycle tire) for decent traction in the wet, and they've lived up the manufacturer's claim of being darn near flat-proof, despite my running over broken glass, nails, etc.
They are a little tough to mount, so that might be a job for your LBS.

Terry was one of the first companies to start pushing the idea of bikes & components designed for women, IIRC - you might want to see if the LBS carries their seats.
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:banana:

We'll make a triathlete out of you yet.
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Congrats on the new ride. Best of luck with it
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Sounds like quite a deal. Glad you are so happy and excited about biking.
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I'm considering it....next year...just for fun. Maybe one little sprint..... ;) ;)
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