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Old 08-10-17, 08:19 AM   #1
jimjim58
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Buying a New Bike, Where to Start?

I'm 59 years old and just started riding again 3 weeks ago. I'm riding a 31 year old Raleigh Technium 440 road bike and would like to buy something new. I don't really plan on any long distance road rides but just ride every morning in my neighborhood for fitness. I average between 15-16 mph and ride 12-14 miles. With so many brands and types to chose from I'm not sure where to start. Is there a preferred brand for our age group?

I'm 6 foot with 34" inseam and weigh 175 lbs.
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Old 08-10-17, 10:33 AM   #2
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You should first decide on the type of bike. A flat bar hybrid is good if you have back problems. A dropbar is good if you're flexibility.

Any of the major brands are safe.

I've owned a few Treks so a FX hybrid or Domane dropbar are safe.
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Old 08-10-17, 11:32 AM   #3
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Fit is the most important criteria, as all the major brands have good entry level bikes, and the only real way to decide if something fits you is to test ride it before you buy. Which is easiest at your local bike shop.

Looking at Craigslist might give you some idea of what other riders in your area are riding. Or at least were riding (haha), but if you don't hanker to get right into bicycle maintenance, the advice and chance to kick the tires, figuratively, at a LBS give you the best chance of getting something that fits and suits you.

Sounds like you are already doing quite well, but as you've just started there's a good chance that your flexibility, strength and interests may change as you progress, so it may not make sense to go for a really expensive bike right off the bat. Any of the entry level bikes from the major brands will likely serve you well for several years, and leave you change for accessories.
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Old 08-10-17, 11:41 AM   #4
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You might bump over the the Classic Vintage subforum.
Classic & Vintage - Bike Forums

I went on a Century ride last weekend. I seem to ride at about the pace of a bunch of other 50+ riders. I will admit that I saw a lot of nice bikes on that ride, but there was also a huge variety of bikes with a lot of brands I've never heard of. Certainly there is no single bike that everyone rides.

12-14 mile rides just hits right on the division where people jump between an upright hybrid for neighborhood rides vs a road bike more optimized for efficiency.

One bike that is worth looking at is the Specialized Roubaix. It is a road bike optimized for comfort. But, they certainly don't come cheap either.

Another option is to take your current bike and add a few modern upgrades. This thread is worth perusing.
Retro roadies- old frames with STI's or Ergos

I'd encourage you to finish out the season with your current bike, then this fall start hitting some of the local sales. Perhaps also swing buy a few of the local bike shops to see what they have on the floor. And, then make a decision on whether to keep your current bike vs upgrading.
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Old 08-10-17, 05:38 PM   #5
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What's your budget? Any road bike - as in dropbar - from the big four is a safe bet: Specialized, Trek, Giant, Cannondale. The sweetspot for a quality vs dollar vs value groupset is Shimano 105. This will probably put it in the ~$1,000 - 1300 range, depending on model.

As the 2018's are now starting to arrive, there good deals on 2017's. Just make sure it fits.
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Old 08-10-17, 07:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
You should first decide on the type of bike. A flat bar hybrid is good if you have back problems. A dropbar is good if you're flexibility.
A drop bar bike set up to fit the rider can be just as good as a flat bar bike for riders with back problems.
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Old 08-10-17, 09:59 PM   #7
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Jim, your question is like asking what kind of car you should buy. It's like asking if there is a preferred brand of cars for people over 50.

Any bike, for 12-14 miles, will work, be it a road bike, mt. bike, hybrid, etc. and you seem to want a utilitarian bike.

If you want a road bike and all you want to do is ride 12-14 miles each morning, and you're comfortable on what you're riding now, then the only true considerstion is the weight of a bike. And for 12-14 miles, the weight of the bike won't matter much.

Compared to more modern bikes, your bike is probably on the heavy side. The more you pay for a new bike, the lighter and fancier the components will be.

So once you know about what you want to pay, test ride some bikes and determine what you like. Find a bike that feels good and that you enjoy looking at. For your size, you can probably fit a variety of sizes (like 55-58cm), especially since bike manufacturers haven't standardized on their listed sizes.

You might decide you don't have to spend a lot, or that you have to spend more than you planned. Just like buying a new car.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjim58 View Post
I'm 59 years old and just started riding again 3 weeks ago. I'm riding a 31 year old Raleigh Technium 440 road bike and would like to buy something new. I don't really plan on any long distance road rides but just ride every morning in my neighborhood for fitness. I average between 15-16 mph and ride 12-14 miles. With so many brands and types to chose from I'm not sure where to start. Is there a preferred brand for our age group?

I'm 6 foot with 34" inseam and weigh 175 lbs.

Last edited by icyclist; 08-10-17 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 08-11-17, 06:15 AM   #8
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I'd say that brand would be my least criteria. You sound to me like a guy who keeps and uses his stuff forever and so wants to buy a reasonably good bike - neither entry level nor break-the-bank dream bike. I agree that there are probably even way more choices than you are anticipating. Here's how I would sort through them:

1. Shop for a bike shop first. There are bigger differences among bike shops than there are among bike brands. Interview a few bike shops in your area. Find somebody who speaks your language and is willing to discuss the plethora of options with you. Close to home is an advantage because they will (or should) be familiar with the good places to ride locally. That might have a big impact on your selection. Loose sand demands a different bike than a paved trail but either can be a good place for riding. Getting the size and the set up right are two things you will be relying on the expertise of the shop to do. Choose wisely. Picking a shop can be harder than picking a bike.

2. Once you have the right shop, most of the alternatives boil down to tire size and riding position. They're not for everybody but don't reject a recumbent out of hand. If you know of a group that you think you'd like to ride with, get a bike like what they have.

3. That's pretty much the drill. Once you have found the right shop, pick a genre and brand of bike at a price point that you are comfortable with and you'll never go wrong.
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Old 08-11-17, 07:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpath View Post
What's your budget? Any road bike - as in dropbar - from the big four is a safe bet: Specialized, Trek, Giant, Cannondale.
No need to limit yourself.

I ride a Colnago.
Other brands might include Bianchi, Raleigh, Look, Canyon, CO-OP, Litespeed, etc. There are a number of small brands that make excellent bikes. And some such as Bike Friday are more specialty oriented, but still solid bicycles.

There are even companies other than Shimano that make major components and groupsets
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Old 08-11-17, 08:26 AM   #10
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No need to limit yourself.

I ride a Colnago.
Other brands might include Bianchi, Raleigh, Look, Canyon, CO-OP, Litespeed, etc. There are a number of small brands that make excellent bikes. And some such as Bike Friday are more specialty oriented, but still solid bicycles.

There are even companies other than Shimano that make major components and groupsets
Seriously? Should we take measurements on our own knowledge of bikes/brands/components ad infinitum ad nauseaum? Or can we try to be helpful to the OP to give them sound - if basic - advice on what's probably available at their LBS to try and test ride?

I have Look and Wilier roadbikes, with both Campy and Shimano groupsets. But guess what...you can't get one in my town unless it's custom-ordered, let alone hoping to have one in the showroom available to test ride. But the "big four"? All day, any day - safe bets. Especially with Shimano 105 or Sram Rival and above.
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Old 08-11-17, 08:42 AM   #11
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I got tired of driving a half-hour to a park where I could ride my mountain bike, so I got a road bike -- a 1984 Trek 660. Nothing wrong with riding an old bike. I'm not some kind of vintage lover, but someone in my homebrewing club had this one and it was well-maintained, so I picked it up and I'm very happy with it. My advice is to just get the Technium serviced and roll with it (assuming it fits).
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Old 08-11-17, 09:08 AM   #12
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My advice is to just get the Technium serviced and roll with it (assuming it fits).
Except that's not what the OP asked:

"I'm riding a 31 year old Raleigh Technium 440 and would like to buy something new."
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Old 08-11-17, 09:33 AM   #13
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First pick a bike shop you like doing business with, then get a bike from them ... many carry multiple brands..

There are huge OEM factories which make several brands for various importers, brand names sell as a commodity ..

so brand preference is like what brand of car is better ... Soon better is an opinion..


One of my friends moved from Here to Cleveland, He said that Bike shop that hired him, has been in the family for, like, 100 years.




...

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Old 08-11-17, 09:50 AM   #14
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I'm 6 foot with 34" inseam: on a road bike, 56, 58 frame

preferred brand for our age group? I don't think so, there are the same considerations as for all other age groups.

The best approach is to decide what kind of riding you'll do, and in the neighborhood for fitness is a start. That's actually a pretty common initial plan but keeping in mind that it usually evolves, what could you see yourself doing? Some longer on the road if not long distance, or some path riding, or utility or commuting. That sort of thing. From that basis decide on the kind of bike, and then on particulars such as the brand. In my opinion.
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Old 08-11-17, 10:19 AM   #15
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What is the problem with the Technium? Make up a list of desired characteristics that overcome the limitations of the present bike, and start shopping.
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Old 08-11-17, 10:21 AM   #16
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2017 Buyer's Guide | VeloNews.com

Velonews Buyers Guide -- for what it's worth.

For the type of riding you state, 15 or so leisurely miles, I would not buy new. Craigslist for used. Something that would take a rear rack.

edit: Get something that puts a smile on your face. For me that would be a classic Masi, DeRosa, Merckx, Concorde, Claude Butler, Rene Herse, Zunow, Eisentraut, Hetchins.

Or a custom Carl Strong, Craig Calfee, mike DeSalvo, DellaSanta, Vanilla Workshop.

might as well make those miles = classic miles

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Old 08-11-17, 11:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjim58 View Post
I'm 59 years old and just started riding again 3 weeks ago. I'm riding a 31 year old Raleigh Technium 440 road bike and would like to buy something new. I don't really plan on any long distance road rides but just ride every morning in my neighborhood for fitness. I average between 15-16 mph and ride 12-14 miles. With so many brands and types to chose from I'm not sure where to start. Is there a preferred brand for our age group?
Sounds like me two years ago. Last bike I bought was mountain bike 30 years ago...

Lots of good advice here. IMO the main thing is to decide what type of riding you will be doing the most and start from there. For me it was the "adventure bike" route. These are the go anywhere, drop bar, bigger tired relaxed fitting bikes. I ride mainly roads but do hit the gravel paths and single track mountain trails often. Fun bike to do these things on. At our age, speed is not the priority but comfort is. That's where these bike shine.

I ended up with a CX bike because I wanted a quick handling bike. I don't need racks or fenders and stuff because its used just for fun and exercise. Frame is not super aggressive and I love my bike. Thinking about N+1 in steel just because...

The fun part is dreaming what kind of bike you want and doing some research on each bike. Then going out and doing a demo is the next step. Find a few bike that you like and report back to us and get some opinions. That alone will drive you nuts but in a fun way...

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Old 08-11-17, 11:39 AM   #18
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I agree with @Retro_Grouch to check out some good local bike shops and try to develop a good relationship with one or two. Then they can help you decide and recheck your bike fit while you're at it. It sounds like you want a basic road bike. I'd go on purpose, ride feel, and price point (in that order). Forget about the brand or what its made of. Test ride a bunch and let us know what you liked (or even didn't like). Good luck in the search.
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Old 08-11-17, 02:39 PM   #19
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Thank you all for the comments and suggestions, I plan to hit some LBS up tomorrow.
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Old 08-11-17, 05:11 PM   #20
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One more bit of advice. Someday you might want to ride beyond the 12-14 miles around the neighborhood. I'm not saying you'll be riding centuries, but keep in mind the possible places where you may be able to ride.

Finding a decent bike that can handle different routes will allow you to expand your biking horizons if you ever want to.

John
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Old 08-11-17, 08:32 PM   #21
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Do yourself a favor and go ride a Cannondale Synapse. If I were looking to replace what I currently ride, the Synapse is the one to fill the shoes. Perfect balance between "endurance" and "road". Some endurance road bikes are too upright, and some are too stiff. The Synapse really is a well balanced machine.
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Old 08-11-17, 09:05 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I'm 6 foot with 34" inseam: on a road bike, 56, 58 frame

preferred brand for our age group? I don't think so, there are the same considerations as for all other age groups.

The best approach is to decide what kind of riding you'll do, and in the neighborhood for fitness is a start. That's actually a pretty common initial plan but keeping in mind that it usually evolves, what could you see yourself doing? Some longer on the road if not long distance, or some path riding, or utility or commuting. That sort of thing. From that basis decide on the kind of bike, and then on particulars such as the brand. In my opinion.
right on in my opinion also
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Old 08-11-17, 09:09 PM   #23
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also, whatever you choose, learn about tires, where the rubber literally meets the road. Tires can be a source of frustration so go ahead and familiarize yourself with continental and schwalbe tires among others. Spend the money and get good durable tires!
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Old 08-12-17, 05:33 AM   #24
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Good luck with whatever you decide, just make sure (generally) of what you want prior to going to the shop. I just bought a new bike recently, and had a great experience in the store. This was because I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I wanted a road bike with 25mm tires. The salesman showed me some other options because that is his job, and that is fine. He quickly learned that I had my mind made up, and that was that. I had no real preference on which brand of bike, but I did have a budget. The salesman was great, and he worked with me to get me onto my new bike. I was able to take the bike on a test ride, and discovered that I needed a shorter handlebar clamp. We took care of that, and now I'm cruising in comfort and style.
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Old 08-12-17, 05:43 PM   #25
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Thank you all for the comments and suggestions, I plan to hit some LBS up tomorrow.
Keep in mind that red bikes are reportedly faster. Apparently, that is common knowledge around here.😎
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