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Old 09-06-2017, 07:23 AM   #15
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...So I wonder can I even find a smaller chain ring and can I even take the one I have off? Is this a practical way to go? How low do I go?....

If your Mongoose is anything like the 7 speed one on Amazon the front chainring is really small already. How many teeth does your chainring (front) and the largest cog in the back have? I helped a friend change his large rear cog to one a little larger. It gave him a little more low end for the hills. The derailleur can be limiting factor here. If you went to a bike shop for this they might even have take off parts to help you for next to nothing.

I did find this gear calculator that might help you.
Bicycle Gear Calculator

Good luck!
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:25 PM   #16
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The Mongoose you are riding is a portion of the problem... Its heavy and made to ridden off road and in pretty loose materials. I don't intend to imply that you can't ride it anywhere you choose, but for your expressed interest of getting up hills easier, its not the best tool or even a decent tool for the job. Kinda like using a pair of channel locks as a hammer... it works, but a hammer is so much more efficient for pounding on stuff

You mentioned "ape hangers", also a significant factor in going up hills. Sitting bolt upright and trying to forcefully pedal is nearly impossible; and it wears out your legs really fast because you are using all leg muscle to do the work.

About bike fit, no you don't "NEED" a bike that fits... unless you want to go up hills more comfortably and ride longer and enjoy the ride.

As far as the "fancy bike shop" Oz Cycles is in Lake Ozark according to a Google search; 15 miles by road maybe. They are Trek dealers, take a look at this bike

45c tires, which are pretty fat, but not fat tires. 28 tooth small ring in the front and 32 teeth big ring in the rear, gives you the ratio to pedal right up nearly anything. Decent components, not a bad bike. MSRP is right at your max.

Why a bike shop you ask... well the kids (mostly) that work in bike shops, at least know the basics about bikes. There will be somebody there who has an idea of how they should fit and what might work. The bikes they sell will have been assembled by somebody that likely knows something about what they are doing and has had some training on the shifting and braking systems. If you are anything like me... the ONLY reason to go up a hill is to come down. On the way down some hills I have hit documented speeds over 55mph. At those speeds, I don't need brakes, but I do want to know that my bike was put together by somebody that has a clue, rather than a mechanical assembler in a Walmart stockroom. Oh and that part that you mentioned about lacking time and money to keep trying to find the right bike.



As a pretty standard disclaimer... I have zero knowledge of Oz Cycles and don't even ride a Trek.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:18 PM   #17
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When looking for a bike, research is good no doubt. But as others have said find a few bike shops and go ride them. Let them know what your looking for and what your budget is. Ask them to show you some in and around your price point so you can ride and compare side-by-side.

Good for you and your DW to commit to riding bikes and getting exercise. A more efficient and comfortable bike is important, but you are still the motor. It takes time and consistent riding to see improvements. Bottom line is to have fun!
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Old 09-24-2017, 02:38 PM   #18
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Ditch the Goose. As stated, go to a local bike shop or REI. Sounds like a hybrid is the style of bike that would be best. I bought my wife a Cannondale Quick. I think it is a good bike for the money and it suits paved trails and packed dirt “rails to trails” riding.

“State of the art Walmart Mongoose”? Time for a new bike, FAST.
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:28 AM   #19
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Trikes

Used to ride mountain bikes a lot; however, back, sholders, and wrists started hurting so we changed to reculmbent trikes.
Advantage: Sitting comfortably in a lounge chair,full power since you are doing hack squats instead of posting, lessened wind cross section,excellent up hill, etc. And - can take a comfortable nap at rest breaks.
Disadvantage: Cost, low visibility to folks in cars, not that great in sand and gravel unless fat tires are installed, harder to transport.
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Old 09-28-2017, 07:37 PM   #20
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For consideration... all bikes will weigh 40.2 lbs. A bike weighing on .2 lb will require a 40 lb lock/chain. A 40 lb bike will require a 0.2 lb chain. .
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:52 PM   #21
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Homeless: sounds like you are in TX. Welcome to try my new sub $300 bike for a day. Currently Near Camp Verde, TX till 10/22 and then west Houston till 12/3. PM if interested.
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:10 AM   #22
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Matfam1's advice is about the best on this post. I have two bikes one similar to your Mongoose and A Felt wich is a road bike with skinny tires and gears. I use one around the campground and the other when we go on long rides
There is a world of difference between the two bikes
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:05 AM   #23
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There are a bunch of factors that must be considered when looking for a bike that is decent for climbing. The newer bikes have gone to what is known as a compact crank. The number of gears has actually gone down (two sprockets on the front rather than three) but the range, the most important factor in gearing, has stayed the same or increased. Part of this has to do with the development of the 10 and 11 speed rear cassettes. Another important factor is the amount the frame flexes when peddling up a hill. This is where a more expensive bike makes a huge difference. The lateral (side to side) flex is a absolute energy waster. Your peddling power is wasted by flexing the frame rather than making the back wheel turn. All of these issues can be explained by a knowledgeable sales person which you will not find at Walmart. These comments are about the bike. The single biggest thing you can do overall is reduce weight. I weigh 220 so needless to say I am very slow up hills.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:26 AM   #24
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I had forgotten about this post. I hate to leave a post hanging! We wound up going to a real bike shop and bought two Trek hybrid bikes. I had a little adjusting to the idea I felt too big for my bike but now I have discover there is a real difference. We still don't know much about bikes but we now can peddle up steep hills. Its still work but it is possible with these bikes. Ours have three rings and nine speed cassettes. Paid around $500 each. Thanks for the comments.

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Old 04-29-2018, 02:33 PM   #25
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I just went through this decision myself. I was a semi-hard core mountain biker back in the early 90's. Had some unrelated back issues and hung it up. My vintage 1990 Giant ATX 770 MB is still hanging in the garage. A few years ago I bought a decent bike for DW that we haul in back of the F150. She has been bugging me to get one so we can ride together. especially on our upcoming 2 month trip to CO.

I was determined not to get caught up in the $$$ mania. Did a lot of reading, visited several bike shops. Of course things had changed a lot since the 90's. I knew the number of gears had increased drastically, but the trend now seems to be going the other way. Many of the high end bikes started offering only one sprocket up front in a 1 x 11 configuration. No gear shifter on the left handle bar at all. You lose a gear or two on the low end and hig end, but most people don't need all those gears. That technology has now trickled down to the lower priced bikes as well. I decided on a high-low level bike called a Diamondback Overdrive Pro. It is a hardtail and has an aluminum frame. I tried one out at a shop in town. I'm a "buy local" person, but I legitimately saved over 30% on the same bike from a very reputable dealer on the internet. Can't wait to get it on some mountain trails. We won't be doing anything too hard core. Probably easy trails and forest roads.

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Old 04-29-2018, 05:07 PM   #26
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My Bike has 18 speeds 3 gears on teh pedal and 6 on the rear wheel

Skinny tires are generally easier to pump up a hill than fat tires. (Exception for soft dirt/sand)

I push it up hills though.. Not as young as I was when my bike was my car and this unit is what. around 27 years old i'm remembering right, It's an old timer too. I keep it up with lubrication, cables and the occasional weld job.
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:29 PM   #27
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My Bike has 18 speeds 3 gears on teh pedal and 6 on the rear wheel

Skinny tires are generally easier to pump up a hill than fat tires. (Exception for soft dirt/sand)

I push it up hills though.. Not as young as I was when my bike was my car and this unit is what. around 27 years old i'm remembering right, It's an old timer too. I keep it up with lubrication, cables and the occasional weld job.
Much better on the hills. 
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:00 PM   #28
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Wow! About 50 lbs and 28 years since I last participated, makes mountain biking a little more challenging. I'm determined, but feel heavy and clumsy, so far. I am going to continue to chug along with it. Hope it improves soon.
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