Our Bicycles - Thursday, July 8, 2010

I had a request from one of our blog followers, Sherry B. from Charlottesville, VA. to do a blog on our bicycles.  First let me state that I am no expert on bikes, but, I'll let you know why we picked our Trek Hybrids.

There are basically 4 types of bikes - the road bike, the mountain bike, the hybrid (combination of road & mountain) and the cruiser (what I call a beach bike).

The Road Bike is the fastest and lightest.  It is designed for speed and meant to be riden only on roads.  They have drop handle bars which create a more aerodynamic position on the bike that helps to make you go faster.  So if you have the need for speed, this is the bike.

Road Bike

The Mountain Bike is designed for rough terrain.  It's perfect for mountain trail rides with bumps, hills, quick turns, etc.   It has thicker tires and special suspensions to cushion the jarring shocks that one might incur with rough terrain.  It is a heavier bike which makes it more difficult to ride on roads for long distances.

Mountain Bike

The Cruiser (Beach Bike) has big tires, less gears and is used for easy crusing -- not speed or distance. This bike is all about COMFORT!!

We have Trek FX Hybrids.  Mine is on a 20 inch frame and Nancy's in on a 17.5 inch frame.
 Our Hybrid Bikes

We were "fitted" based on our height, leg length, etc.  We bought the hybrids because we usually ride on roads, but really enjoy "Rails to Trails" paths which can be crushed stone or hard packed dirt as well.  A road bike would not fare well on that type of surface and a mountain bike, while fine on the stone or dirt, would not fare well for just road riding.  The hybrid would meet both our needs as we DO NOT have "The Need for Speed!" We also like the "straight" handle bars versus the drop handle bars (getting a little less flexible with each passing year.) Our bikes have standard 27 gears so you can conquer almost any hill without dying.

We did put "clipless" pedals on the bikes and bought shoes to go with the pedals. (Not sure why they are called clipless when they have clips that you use to anchor your shoe to the pedal???)  They take a little getting use to, but help you both push and pull on each stroke. Our pedals have clips on one side and are flat on the other side. The flat side allows us to ride with regular athletic shoes when we want to ride to a destination and explore on foot.  Not real easy to walk in bike shoes!!

Clip side of peddle

Flat side of peddle

Here are a few pictures of our bikes and shoes.
Bill's Bike
I carry a spare tube and tools in the bag under my seat.  I have a small pump attached to the lower bar. When you ride often enough, it just a matter of time before you will get a flat. So better to be prepared!!

Nancy's Bike   "Blue Streak"
Her bike is just like mine, only a little smaller and it has a NAME! Of course she does not carry a spare tube as she expects me to fix her flat or else bring the car to pick her up!!

Bike shoes - clips hook into pedals

The bottom line of our choice was that we wanted to be able to ride almost everywhere and at times, do some long distance riding in as much comfort at possibleI should also mention that we almost always wear bike shorts (with padding in the appropraite places) for a more comfortable ride.  But more importantly, we NEVER, I repeat, NEVER ride without our helmets.  We've had one accident that resulted in broken bones. We have both fallen while getting use to our clipless pedals and got a few bruises.  However, we have never had a head injury.  Just remember if you ride, you will have an accident at some point.  Bones can be fixed, scraps and scratches will heal, but head and brain injuries are permanent! 
Please wear a helmet!

Like I said in the beginning, I am a biking novice.  Therefore, I found a great bicycle shop, Grand Stand Bicycles, that will help us with anything we need.  Buying from a good bicycle shop rather than a big box store might cost more, but there is a lot to be said for the service and information they will give you.  Shop around, some bike shops can be intimidating as they cater to competitive cyclists.  But keep looking and spend your money where somebody gives you the time and information you need to get the best bike for you.  Have fun and Happy Cycling!!


  1. Great info on the bikes. A Hybrid sounds perfect for me, but can you get one with training wheels? ;c)

  2. Nancy here...
    Yes Paul, you can get training wheels for that new hybrid. Check out this web site: www.stabilizerwheels.com/index.htm
    Just remember to wear your helmet, don't want to do any damage to your special brain! :o)

  3. Nice post on the bikes! Looks like you picked the right ones to fit your style for sure! Heidi and I both have mountain bikes specifically, but we don't do much road riding and the few paved trails we ride on occasion work out okay. Another Van living friend we have keeps a folding recumbent trike with him in his van. It is quite a gadget! Makes the training wheels unnecessary too :)

    -Mike & Heidi
    97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"

  4. This is fabulous Bill. Just what I wanted and more. New Bikes are on our list of must have Full timing equipment and now we know just what to look for and where to look for it. But how much longer will we have to W&%K at those J#B% to pay for all the things I "must have"? LOL thanks again for great information.


  5. Bill is also a gentleman and fixed a flat for me on my first group ride in Murrells Inlet. I rode about 11 more miles when I got home and guess what...another flat. Do you make housecalls?