> Clue number 1 for me: Mountain Bike pedals only go "down" not up.
You would think so, but a 'real' (i.e., quality,) MTB will still have
clipless pedals- they even make boots with a recessed cleat for MTB riders.
I'd know-- so many of my friends do MTB riding that I lost count. =)
Because this is a first tri, if you don't get a new (road) bike, you may
want to look into toe clips. These are relatively cheap (a lot can be found
for <$10) and give you the ability to pull up at least a little, making your
pedal stroke rounder and more effecient.
> >Re hand numbness, it could be that :
> >- your (short) bike frame forces you to lean heavily on the handlebar
> >- you often keep the same hand position on the handlebar
> >or a combination of all these.
> I need a real bike for this, don't I?
Again, you would think so, wouldn't you? Even though your handlebars don't
have a *** grip the whole way through, you can move your hands closer
together and further apart- even on sections of the handlebar that don't
have a grip. It may not make too much of a difference, but it's better than
nothing. Also make sure you aren't gripping the bars to hard.
> I have to make a decision - how much am I going to keep biking?
> I've known for years that biking does something good for my knees. If
> I start getting knee pain from running, I'd go out for a 2 mile bike
> ride and the next day the knees would be fine.
> I'm a runner at heart, but even I have to admit that the wear and tear
> (except for my hands) is far less.
You've got the general idea of buying a bike- a 'real' road bike will
probably cost upwards of 600USD (at least). If you plan to ride it often,
you might want to go ahead and get one. You'll have to make a commitment
though- spending up to $900 on a good entry-level bike (and then accessories
and proper clothing) isn't something you want to drop real quick.
If you're going to do it for triathlon, I suggest you finish at least one
before you buy.
> I may try to see if I can borrow a bike.
While this may seem like a good idea, it may not be all that great. Someone
else's bike probably won't be adjusted to fit you, and it may not even be
the right size. This could make you very VERY uncomfortable during the ride.
Not to mention being bad on your back and joints.