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  1. #1
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    Are there any Athenas out there?

    I am wondering, after reading many of these posts, if there are any Athenas who post.
    I am a 67 year old Athena who wants to get back to riding after over 20 years. I would really love to know if there are any other women who post on this forum.
    I need to get a bike and I am thinking of looking on Craig's list. I would love to get some advice on a good type or make of road bike or touring bike. I owned a Raleigh back in the day. Actually bought it in 1972. It was a great bike, I rode it from the northern end of Vancouver Island down the island and then down the west coast to San Francisco and back to Gilroy, CA where I lived at the time. It was a wonderful road trip, but I pretty much gave up riding after that except for a few day trips. I haven't ridden since about 1992, so I am really behind the times as to bikes and bicycle equipment in general.
    Any suggestions you might have for this older Athena (6' 245 lbs.) would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Sure, there are lots of us. We might not post quite as often as the guys, but we're definitely here.

  3. #3
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I post all the time. I am 57 years old, was a beginner rider a year ago. I started as an Athena and dropped the weight. Nice to see another woman here.

    Because you are so much taller than I am I might not have a lot of suggestions for you on bikes. One touring bike that many seem to like is the long haul trucker made by Surly, but that may be difficult to find used. Do you figure on hauling stuff on your bike? What kind of budget do you have?

    If you don't figure on carrying a bunch of stuff, there are so many options on road bikes that it can be daunting. You are tall enough that it might be unclear whether a women's specific design will fit you better than a unisex or men's design. Do you think that you are very long legged as compared to your torso?
    Last edited by goldfinch; 04-22-12 at 08:06 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Catlikeone's Avatar
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    Athena lurker here but quite a few boys know me, hiya


    As someone that's done the CL thing- wait, wait, wait. Watch your market, may be awhile as ladies bikes in my area at least are seldom but you can find a quality rig. I'd suggest a combo of stalking CL, Team estrogen forum, women's clubs in your area as the more experienced ladies are always unloading for the newest pony.

    I highly doubt you'll need a WSD bike at your height but do try. Personally, at 5'3" I don't dig the hype on that after over a year of serious riding even though two of my three are WSD.

    Welcome, it's nice to have more estrogen in here.
    There are no hard women, only weak men. - Raquel Welch

  5. #5
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    Hi Peach,
    I am 5'11. I just bought a road bike this year, a Trek Lexa SLX 58'. THis is a Women's Specific Design road bike. I tried the Trek 2.1 (men's version of the Lexa SLX) in a 58 also, but it felt too stretched out for me. I think the Lexa has a more relaxed geometry, so you sit a tad bit more upright than the 2.1. I was fortunate that my LBS had a 58 in stock for me to test ride. So far, I love the Lexa. You might also try flat bar bikes, such as the Trek FX.
    I tried a few other brands, Specialized, Fuji, etc, but they didn't have WSD's models in my size, so they kept putting me on men's/unisex bikes. I have long legs, but proportionally shorter torso, so I was struggling on the men's bikes.
    Not sure how well you will do on CL as WSD's in the right size for you might be harder to find, although you may not need a WSD.
    I'd suggest going to a few local bike stores and doing some test rides to see what you feel comfortable on.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Oh yes, Athena here. 55 years old, 5'6" and carrying about 60 extra pounds. Have been back on the bike since June 2008. At that time I was riding my 30-year-old Schwinn 10-speed road bike but it did not fit very well. 5 months later I knew what I needed to change and bought a nice new road bike after shopping at 3 of the local bike stores. 3+ years later I am still fine-tuning my ride. My implication is that you too may find that the bike you buy now may not be the bike you want to ride in 6 months.

    I always bought men's bikes until I got the WSD bike in 2008 and found that it suited my short torso/long arms and legs nicely. I do have some toe overlap issues, handlebars are a little too narrow but much better than the old 10-speed. I like the short-drop bars, I never was comfortable on the old 10-speed riding on the hoods.

    I bought a "backup bike" new this year, also WSD. I've found that I am very dialed into my other bike and minor differences are very noticeable / knee pain. I changed out the stock gearing, stem, handlebars, saddle. I got rid of the stock "interruptor" brake levers. It was nice working this through the LBS without having to make the changes piecemeal.

    I like getting my bikes from the local bike store where you can do a lot of test riding and have assistance getting the fit issues worked out. Some of the component swaps have been zero or low cost.

    BTW, if you haven't asked for access to the Women's Cycling forum, you can PM the moderators and request it.

  7. #7
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    I'm 5'-8" and have never had the chance to try a WSD as the shops here only carry them in small sizes. I got a good fit on my Rocky Mountain Sherpa touring bike (size 51cm) right off the rack, and recently tried a Look 566 in size 53cm that only needed a slightly shorter stem to be perfect.
    The classic sport tourer of the 70s isn't so common any more, but the Salsa Casserole, Soma ES, and Jamis Satellite (comes in a wsd version as well) are some current examples. Touring bikes are rarer but still made by many manufacturers. The touring forum is a good place for suggestions.
    Many people now ride 'cross bikes, they seem to be the new sport tourers. You can put fat tires on them for touring and rough roads, or skinny tires for road riding.
    Last edited by Rhodabike; 04-22-12 at 09:29 PM.

  8. #8
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    I'm an eighteen year old Athena with her first bike since she was five on layaway. No bike suggestions, just wanted to say I'm here.

  9. #9
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    47 year old Athena here. 5'7" and have more than 75 lbs I want to shed. Got a WSD Trek FX last summer. Two weeks ago I added a Trek 3.1 Madone with SRAM Apex (not the WSD tho as the men's 52cm fit me best). Welcome!
    http://www.tofighthiv.org/site/TR/Events/AIDSLifeCycleCenter?px=2914622&pg=personal&fr_id=1770

  10. #10
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    I'm here. I'm with the others in terms of no bike suggestions...the one I just got is 42cm. But I am enjoying the riding.

  11. #11
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    It's a lot easier to customize a bike's reach fit than it used to be, with those new stems with the bolted plate in the front. It used to be you had to unwrap the handlebar tape, remove one brake lever, and carefully slide the handlebar out of the current stem (usually scratching the bar up more than you wanted to) before replacing the stem and going through the whole process in reverse. Now you can just unbolt the front plate of the stem, pop the whole handlebar out without removing anything from it, and try a different length stem within minutes.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    You should be able to get the "entry level" Lexa for somewhere in the $600-$700 range. Let the LBS fine tune the fitting. Craig's List is a crap shoot. IMO you're better off buying new and warrantied. Don't let anyone tell you that there's anything "wrong" with 2300/Sora components. And in any event, since the Lexa frames are the same except for the top of the line version, you can always upgrade your drive train down the road. If you want to, that is.

  13. #13
    Senior Member jeneralist's Avatar
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    Another 'Theena here: 5'8", 185 lbs, down from 255. Got my first "serious" bike at the local bike shop -- it was on sale, it fit, it was a sturdy and rugged "urban" bike (Cannondale Adventure 400). Last year I bought a touring bike (1983 Trek 620) via Craigslist -- turns out the seller was another Bike Forums regular, over in the Classic/Vintage section!

    I agree with mprelaw that Craigslist is a crapshoot. Since part of what I wanted was the experience of maintaining and upgrading the bike, it worked out well for me.

    It looks like you're posting from San Francisco -- there must be a gazillion bike shops in that city, all with bikes geared to handle hills. My recommendation would be to post at the 50+ forum or the regional forum to see if anyone can recommend a shop not far from you that will work with a new, older rider to find something that fits.
    - Jeneralist

    See video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv4CrEEg_N4 to see me in the Outrageous Outfit Challenge for the MS Society; or go straight to http://goo.gl/bALZDg to donate

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kazzy's Avatar
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    I'm an occasional lurker and don't post much, but I am here and I am an Athena. I ride a Novara Safari touring bike (2006 model) and I love it. It has a triple and trekking bars and disc brakes (which I Love, love, love!). I was in REI the other day looking at the newer model Safaris and they didn't have the disc brakes. If you're going the Craig's List route make sure you try lots of bikes and have a good idea of what you want and the sizing you need before you buy. I bought a bike off of Ebay once and it really wasn't a good fit and I didn't feel stable on it. Ride before you buy!

  15. #15
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    Thank you all for your replies. I think you gave me some very good advice, now I just have to bite the bullet and begin the adventure again. I think I am going to really enjoy this forum. You all seem to have a wealth of information I will be needing over the next few months as I slowly get back into a sport I used to love! I know for one thing I have to get to the LBS and start looking. I don't even have a clue as to the size of the bike I need, much less all this talk about changing out stems, etc. Everything seems to have changed except the fact we are still talking about a 2 wheeled vehicle! Time for some major self-education! Thanks again, I will be checking out this thread and the forum often. Also thin I will take your advice and join a couple of other forums.

  16. #16
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    59. 5'4".
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
    '07 Giant Cypress WSD "Radagast the Beige-and-Black" * '97 (?) Bianchi Premio "Orion" * '09 Trek Allant "The Black Pearl"

  17. #17
    Senior Member kc0yef's Avatar
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    My Wife is 200lbs and 6'2"
    riding

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