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Old 11-26-2012, 06:00 PM
 
150 posts, read 371,871 times
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I know Denver has incredible trails for bike riding, but I ride a road bike and some of what I see on Youtube which I think are metro/urban trails, seem to be gravel or unpaved. Do you think I will need to buy a mountain bike to avail myself of these trails? I currently ride a Trek Madone that's a few years old and lovingly ridden around 100 miles a week. Also, how is the biking in winter? Coming from FL the past 20 years, I am spoiled by a rare few weeks of really cold weather, (we do actually get frost regularly and every 10 years or so, snow in the panhandle.) I tend to ride short sleeves in anything around 50-60, and even lower, I die of heat with a jacket, so I am thinking I will do fine with the right gear. I hear the snow melts fairly fast in Denver too. As for wildlife, we have snakes, alligators, coyotes, wild boar, lots of bugs that sting, etc, and short of a large alligator right in the middle of the trail one day (on the immediate other side of a hump in the road-surprise!) I ignor them and they ignor me, how is riding alone on the Denver trails for critters and the most deadly, humans? I am a 5 foot female BTW, but originally from NY so pretty tough, and ride alone miles into the wilderness parks here and imagine myself invinsible :-)
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
7,969 posts, read 12,869,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stellar View Post
I know Denver has incredible trails for bike riding, but I ride a road bike and some of what I see on Youtube which I think are metro/urban trails, seem to be gravel or unpaved. Do you think I will need to buy a mountain bike to avail myself of these trails? I currently ride a Trek Madone that's a few years old and lovingly ridden around 100 miles a week. Also, how is the biking in winter? Coming from FL the past 20 years, I am spoiled by a rare few weeks of really cold weather, (we do actually get frost regularly and every 10 years or so, snow in the panhandle.) I tend to ride short sleeves in anything around 50-60, and even lower, I die of heat with a jacket, so I am thinking I will do fine with the right gear. I hear the snow melts fairly fast in Denver too. As for wildlife, we have snakes, alligators, coyotes, wild boar, lots of bugs that sting, etc, and short of a large alligator right in the middle of the trail one day (on the immediate other side of a hump in the road-surprise!) I ignor them and they ignor me, how is riding alone on the Denver trails for critters and the most deadly, humans? I am a 5 foot female BTW, but originally from NY so pretty tough, and ride alone miles into the wilderness parks here and imagine myself invinsible :-)
If you're shooting for versatility I'd get a mountain bike. I imagine most urban trails will be passable with a road bike but the mountain bike opens everything up.

Snow does tend to melt fairly quickly, but if we get a large storm most side streets won't get plowed and the snow will have to clear naturally. I also wouldn't count on most trails being covered by snow removal.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:43 PM
 
459 posts, read 753,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stellar View Post
I know Denver has incredible trails for bike riding, but I ride a road bike and some of what I see on Youtube which I think are metro/urban trails, seem to be gravel or unpaved. Do you think I will need to buy a mountain bike to avail myself of these trails? I currently ride a Trek Madone that's a few years old and lovingly ridden around 100 miles a week. Also, how is the biking in winter? Coming from FL the past 20 years, I am spoiled by a rare few weeks of really cold weather, (we do actually get frost regularly and every 10 years or so, snow in the panhandle.) I tend to ride short sleeves in anything around 50-60, and even lower, I die of heat with a jacket, so I am thinking I will do fine with the right gear. I hear the snow melts fairly fast in Denver too. As for wildlife, we have snakes, alligators, coyotes, wild boar, lots of bugs that sting, etc, and short of a large alligator right in the middle of the trail one day (on the immediate other side of a hump in the road-surprise!) I ignor them and they ignor me, how is riding alone on the Denver trails for critters and the most deadly, humans? I am a 5 foot female BTW, but originally from NY so pretty tough, and ride alone miles into the wilderness parks here and imagine myself invinsible :-)
Most of the trails that actually get you somewhere are concrete (Bear Creek, South Platte, Cherry Creek, C-470 etc.) There's a few I can think of that might be useful that are crushed gravel, but there's plenty to do on your road bike without having to purchase a mountain bike. The trails work well both as suburban escape routes to rural roads, or if you just want to stick solely to the trails you can rack up plenty of miles that way as well.

That said I do have two bikes. Not sure where you are moving to in Denver, but if you are living in the center of the city a bike is a very handy form of transportation . I took my old beatup mountain bike and converted it to a cruiser to run errands and whatnot. I also have a Madone and I would never ever ever lock it outside out of view in the city. With the amount of cyclists we have here we do have a lot of bike thefts.

Recreational road biking in the winter is do-able but you have to choose your windows carefully. Pay close attention to the forecasts. Every part of the country says this, but the weather really does change quickly here I have had rides that started in the 60's and ended snowing. Biking at night is considerably colder than at day, and the days are shorter in the winter. So usually I just end up riding on the weekends when I don't ski (like last weekend).

As far as the critters go I have seen some deer, foxes, coyotes on the trails but no major predators, and all of them are more afraid of you. Getting some gnats in your mouth or on your sunglasses is about the only annoyance I have with bugs. We do not have a large population of mosquitoes or flying insects, but almost all of our trails are by creeks so you will see a few.

Last edited by robertgoodman; 11-26-2012 at 07:52 PM..
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:52 PM
 
473 posts, read 783,903 times
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Quote:
Most of the trails that actually get you somewhere are paved (Bear Creek, South Platte, Cherry Creek, C-470 etc.) There's a few I can think of that might be useful that are crushed gravel, but there's plenty to do on your road bike without having to purchase a mountain bike.
Agree with this and everything else, including weather. I exclusively road bike, and ride a lot on sunny winter days, and actually prefer it some to summer heat. But in winter I'm done no later than 4pm.

Also even though the snow melts fast some areas in the shade might have ice, so just be cautious. You end up knowing what to look for ahead, (areas blocked by berms, hills, or buildings to the north.)
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:11 PM
WiW
 
Location: Denver CO
167 posts, read 551,408 times
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Your road bike will be fine. Come here, spend some time riding and then you can decide if you've had enough of the paved trails & need to try out the dirt trails. I ride a lot on the streets too and enjoy it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,998,025 times
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Mountain Bikes are the tops, but no need to get rid of your awesome road bike, either. How else will you enjoy the trip back and forth between Co Springs and Denver in style and speed? ;-)
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:42 PM
 
150 posts, read 371,871 times
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Funny, riders (and mariners) in FL watch the weather just as closely as it also changes in a heartbeat. We are the "lightening capital" of the country and getting caught in a tropical thunder storm is mighty scary, but just as you have developed the gestalt for the ice, I have it for the rain; I generally can just tell when I can keep riding or REALLY need to turn around and haul a*# back.

I have an old Trek Hybrid which I thought about fixing up again, I set it up for picnics type rides, etc, it has a rear rack and pannier, but I rarely use it as I moved up to the Madone and there is no real city in Tampa where I live. I also figure I would not be heart broken if it did get stolen, but I would be crushed if my Madone got lifted. I am going to be doing travel nursing solo so I bought a Freedom Saris 2 hitch bike rack which I can lock to the car and the bike to the rack, but I am really nervous about going in to eat, etc. I rarely go anywhere in Tampa where I need to lock my bike, I never let it leave my side, I actually take it into the restroom at the parks, but I have not figured out how to get it into the port a potty in the remote areas yet, LOL.

As for the bugs in your mouth...in FL it becomes a major protien source.

I may end up buying a cheap mountain bike when I get there on ebay and then sell it when I leave, plus I might just go to San Antonio in January (great bike riding) and then Denver when it is not so cold. Thanks for all the information!
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:32 PM
 
228 posts, read 746,122 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stellar View Post

I may end up buying a cheap mountain bike when I get there on ebay and then sell it when I leave,

ewwww, why go to all that trouble? Craigslist would be more convenient and you can actually test the bike before you buy it.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Earth
4,506 posts, read 6,103,260 times
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Why not a Tri-cross?



I have a Kona Jake....I used to ride the trails in Denver and it was great for speed and multi-surface trails.

I did however have the big chain-ring replaced with a 56t ring though for when I commuted....that way I could maintain a higher speed on the roads.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:11 PM
 
2,918 posts, read 4,402,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stellar View Post
I rarely go anywhere in Tampa where I need to lock my bike, I never let it leave my side, I actually take it into the restroom at the parks, but I have not figured out how to get it into the port a potty in the remote areas yet, LOL.
Port a potties won't be a problem in remote CO. There is the find a tree method or dig a hole and bury it method.
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