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  1. #1
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    Road bike for 57 year old

    I've finally decided to replace my 18-year old 12 speed Fuji Sagres with a new bike. My average ride is 25-30 somewhat hilly miles, but I like to do longer day trips as well. Want to spend around $1,000 and like the Specialized Allez Elite or Lemonde Tourmalet, but my LBS said I should avoid such "racing" style bikes and look at something like the Specialized Sequoia instead. I am exceptionally strong, fit and flexible for my age--I work out with kids less than half my age and seem to be fitter than most of them. I am not bragging but this is important in choosing my new bike. I also like what I've read about the Giant OCR 1 but am concerned about its heaviness and bigger tires.

    I start my serious looking and testing today and would greatly appreciate any input on your own experiences or opinions on specific bikes.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    It sounds like your LBS doesn't want to sell you the bikes you really want. Could that possibly be because they have lots of Sequoia's in stock and have trouble getting the others? I know some of the shops have received their full allotment of 05's already. I ride a Lemond Buenos Aires which is also a "racing" geometry bike. I am several years older than you and I think the "racing" style helps keep me fit and flexible. I think I would be looking for another shop. If I'm not mistaken, I think the Tourmalet is the exact same geometry as my BA just in aluminum instead of steel/carbon.

  3. #3
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Go with your gut feeling and get the bike YOU want. I did.
    See the pics below.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Your LBS sounds like an idiot! I started riding a year ago at the age of 64, and purchased a Sequoia Elite for the things you mention. I quickly discovered that the bike was too conservative for me, and graduated to a Roubaix Pro, and some months later purchased a very aggressively setup Guru (on which I broke the state age group record for the 5K time trial, and currently have the top age group time in the nation for the 10K). I guess I get all riled up when I see posts on the 50+ forum that relegate us to the geriatric heap. Tell that to the guy who I outsprinted at 36.9 mph the other day with a cross wind!

    In our club, we have a contingent of 60-69 year olds that include the current world 500 meter sprint champion, a 60 year old ex pro who just took second overall in a large crit, a world and national champion, a national champion, and numerous state champions. Did I mention our 91 year-old ex two time Olympian ('32 & '36), 10 time national open champion, and member of the cycling hall of fame? In his mid 70's, he was winning the club sprints against young cat 1 & 2 racers. At 91, he can be seen daily traversing the streets of St. Petersburg at 22 mph. Tell your LBS that the world is changing in regards to aging. If he doesn't believe, I would like to ride with him the next time he comes to Florida, and let him see if he can hold the wheel of this young 65 year old!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  5. #5
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Not sure what you mean about thicker tires on the OCR1. I traded an OCR1 in for a Specialized Roubaix. Wheels and tires certainly weren't part of the reason. Did your LBS put non-stock tires on the OCR1 maybe?
    Just Peddlin' Around

  6. #6
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    Go to several bike shops and try several types of bikes until you find one that fits and you like.
    Joe
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  7. #7
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    If he doesn't believe, I would like to ride with him the next time he comes to Florida, and let him see if he can hold the wheel of this young 65 year old!
    Why aren't you at Natz?
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  8. #8
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    Hey Skydiver69,
    Just wanted to let you know how much hope your posting gave me tonight. I am 50 and just started back in bike riding for fitness. Will be commuting daily, but only a couple miles each way. My son and I ride about 5 miles a day as well. Nothing compared to you, but hey I have 19 years to work up to it

  9. #9
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    Oh, just for introdocution. I own a 2000 schwin comfort bike, and a trek 7500. The 7500 went to colleage and I hope it is getting a good education. Was looking at a trek 7500fx, but have been bitten by the bianchi bug. Really like the volpe, it suits my style for now, im not a racer, but love all the bike paths here in Des Moines, Iowa usa and have dreams of going touring with folks in the future.

  10. #10
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE
    Why aren't you at Natz?
    It was too much of a logistical hassle to get to Utah. John Sinibaldi just got back, and of course won the 85+ group. Attached is a picture of John Sinibaldi - age 91 - that I received from his son this very morning. It was taken at the nationals yesterday. The guy with him is 84 years old - they used to race together. This is what we want to be when we grow up.

    BTW, I tried to sign up for the worlds in Edmonton, Alberta the end of July, but they told me that applications closed May 20th.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  11. #11
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    Well, I'm a few years younger (54), but I bought a Cannondale R600 last year, and I really like it.

    One thing that I'd suggest (and I'll bet that SkyDiver will concur) is that getting a good fit is more important than minor geometry differences. It's important to be comfortable whether you're on a racing machine or a balloon tire cruiser, so spend the time and money on getting a great fit with someone who's really knowledgeable, and be prepared to make minor adjustments (saddles, stems, bars, etc.) that will aid in that regard. It can make the difference between enthusiastic comfort and stashing the bike in the garage because it's painful to ride.

    Take your time, and try out as many bikes (and at as many shops) as you can. To some extent, you will need to do some riding before you really know what your dream setup is, but you are at the point where you are going to learn a tremendous amount; try to be patient. Personally, I've learned a lot in these forums as well, although you do need to take the advice with a grain of salt at times .

  12. #12
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzy_cyclist
    Well, I'm a few years younger (54), but I bought a Cannondale R600 last year, and I really like it.

    One thing that I'd suggest (and I'll bet that SkyDiver will concur) is that getting a good fit is more important than minor geometry differences. It's important to be comfortable whether you're on a racing machine or a balloon tire cruiser, so spend the time and money on getting a great fit with someone who's really knowledgeable, and be prepared to make minor adjustments (saddles, stems, bars, etc.) that will aid in that regard. It can make the difference between enthusiastic comfort and stashing the bike in the garage because it's painful to ride.

    Take your time, and try out as many bikes (and at as many shops) as you can. To some extent, you will need to do some riding before you really know what your dream setup is, but you are at the point where you are going to learn a tremendous amount; try to be patient. Personally, I've learned a lot in these forums as well, although you do need to take the advice with a grain of salt at times .
    Amen on the fit. I am a big proponent of professional fitting. Here in St. Petersburg, we have Florida Bicycle Sports, and people fly in from all over the country to be fit by them. One of the owners, Brian, has worked in the wind tunnel that Lance uses, and is an ex national class competitor. One of my Christmas presents was for a professional fitting by them. It took two hours, and video was extensively used. The results were phenomenal. Prior to the fitting, I was suffering intermittent knee pain. Starting the day after the fitting, I never had pain again. They went so far as to place a small shim under one of my cleats to make up for a minor leg length discrepancy - a very common thing. My bike had been fitted by the selling LBS, and they were not even close. The seat was raised (very specific leg angle on leg extension), and brought forward, the handlebars where changed considerably, and we put on a new stem, etc., etc. The most surprising aspect of the fitting was that I thought with the more aggressive position on the bike, I would be less comfortable. The opposite was the case. Not only was I more comfortable, and pain free, but I was demonstratively able to generate more power on the bike, and I started winning sprints on our club rides. Their attitude, BTW, is that the initial fitting is the starting point, and they charge nothing for "tweaks." Most of us evolve on the bike to the ability to ride comfortably in a more aggressive position.

    When I purchased my time trial bike from them, we went through the fitting procedure again, but this time as I put some time on the bike, I didn't feel quite right. This was surprising considering that the bike was custom built for me by Guru. I came back for another hour of tweaking, and when I left that time, the bike fit like a glove, and I was able to race it very successfully the first time out.

    There is a gal that I ride with that has done the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii. She is a very accomplished athlete, but was suffering constant knee pain. She was fitted by them, and the pain was gone.

    In conclusion, a professional bike fitting, especially for us old farts, is probably one of the best cycling investments one can make.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  13. #13
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    Well - I'm 59 (as of this am) & finally decided to replace my 15 yr old Kuwahara racing road bike, since my "bones" couldn't take the jarring any more. After spending a month trying various bikes (road & others) I settled on the Specialized Sequoia about a month ago - & could not be happier.
    - it's a road bike
    - it's light
    - it goes like s*&^^%
    - it is very comfortable with the carbon fork & absorption material in the fork - and the great seat post.

    So far, I can't see a downside to it............
    Doug
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=Navy]

  14. #14
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Boufford
    Well - I'm 59 (as of this am) & finally decided to replace my 15 yr old Kuwahara racing road bike, since my "bones" couldn't take the jarring any more. After spending a month trying various bikes (road & others) I settled on the Specialized Sequoia about a month ago - & could not be happier.
    - it's a road bike
    - it's light
    - it goes like s*&^^%
    - it is very comfortable with the carbon fork & absorption material in the fork - and the great seat post.

    So far, I can't see a downside to it............
    Doug
    Doug, the Sequoia is a fantastic bike. They can go quite fast (I've had mine up to 36.9 on the flats), and they are about the most comfortable bike on the planet in the road bike category. I have three bikes, but ride the Sequoia once a week even though I have the Roubaix Pro, and a Guru chron 'alu. Enjoy it!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  15. #15
    Senior Member terrors's Avatar
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    good picture that skydive has of john sinibaldi. last week i picked up a couple of 'Biking' magazines from the local library i was a little ticked when i got home and found they were from 2004 but in one of them i believe it was JUly /04 was a wonderful and well written article about sinibaldi, an amazing man nicknamed 'The Legend'. he really is something to aspire to .

  16. #16
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrors
    good picture that skydive has of john sinibaldi. last week i picked up a couple of 'Biking' magazines from the local library i was a little ticked when i got home and found they were from 2004 but in one of them i believe it was JUly /04 was a wonderful and well written article about sinibaldi, an amazing man nicknamed 'The Legend'. he really is something to aspire to .
    terrors: I see John about every day, and I ride daily with his son, John Jr. - an incredible cyclist in his own right. You might be interested in an email I received from John Jr. that he sent to his riding buddies on his return from the nationals with his dad on Tuesday:
    To all - just got back from Utah - where my father won his 18th National Age Group Championship as a competitive cyclist! The course was actually out at Antelope Island - hilly, windy and hot. He did very well, finishing the course with a smile on his face and to the cheers of all present. At the awards ceremony he received a standing ovation - both for his age (the oldest competitor licensed by the United States Cycling Federation, by over 10 years, at 91 years old), and for his lifetime of achievements in the sport of cycling, which include: 18 national age group championships, Olympic cyclist in 1932 and 1936 (Los Angeles and Berlin, Germany), holder of the national 100 kilometer individual time trial record of 2 hours 25 minutes that stood for over 50 years, and inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1997 - where the likes of Major Taylor, Jackie Simes, John Howard and Greg LeMond are also inducted.

    A recent book by Roy Wallack, Ride for Life, has a 9-page interview with my father. Roy calls him "The Grand Old Man of American Cycling", and apparently that moniker stuck - as the announcers kept coming back to him by that tagline throughout the event. Most of the cycling community has simply called him "The Legend" for years - also an apt name.

    At 91, he still rides quite fast - but the hilly course in Utah took its toll. Still, his overall performance was excellent considering his age, the course, and the heat. (Most time trials - a race against the clock instead of a mass-start road race - are held on relatively flat courses). Plus, he was scheduled to start the race at 3 pm in the afternoon - when it was sunny, hot, and extremely dry. Even so, he did very well - and the national cycling community embraced his ageless enthusiasm and spirit.

    We are back home now - where he is tending his garden (neglected for the four days we were away) and riding with his friends and family once again. Back to the routine - 30-40 miles a day, five days a week, 7,000+ miles a year - and he'll be 92 in October. Not too shabby!

    Sorry if some of you get these pictures as attachments - some Internet Service Providers automatically take them from the body of the email and make them into attachments. They've all been scanned with the latest Norton Anti-Virus software. The gentleman with my father is Robert Bergen, from California - a relatively young 80 years old. They raced against each other back in the late 1930's. The woman with my father is Barbara Buchan, an elite athlete in her youth who survived a horrific accident and now competes as a disabled athlete. She is the current World and National champion for her category, and actually beat some of the able-bodied women at this year's national cycling championships! The black and white picture is of my father on the SS Manhattan on his way to Nazi Germany for the 1936 Olympics. He's the muscular guy standing on the right side of the picture.

    By the way, if some of you are wondering, he won his first bicycle race in 1928 at the ripe old age of 15. To put that in perspective:

    In 1928, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig teamed to help the Yankees win the World Series. Joe Dimaggio was just entering high school. The stock market was riding high - a year before the big crash of 1929. 1928 was one year after Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Bing Crosby wasn't even a radio star, let alone a movie star. Nancy Drew had yet to solve her first mystery. Television was totally experimental - and was installed in three (3) homes. Photo flash bulbs hadn't replaced flash powder. The Star Spangled Banner wasn't our national anthem yet (that didn't occur until 1931). Walt Disney just finished Steamboat Willie, the first "talkie" animated movie (and gave us Mickey Mouse at the same time).

    In 1932, when he participated in his first Olympics, Radio City Music Hall had just opened in New York. Jack Benny was just starting out. Charles Lindbergh's baby was kidnapped. King Kong had yet to climb the Empire State Building (for the first time...). Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party were just coming into power. Franklin D. Roosevelt hadn't done his first fireside chat. In one year, the first drive-in movie theatre would open in Camden, NJ.

    in 1936, when he was over in Berlin, Germany - at what became known as the Hitler Olympics - he hob-nobbed with Jesse Owens (even talking Owens into taking a ride on his bicycle for the press!) Agatha Christie had published "Orient Express" only the year before. Margaret Mitchell finishes "Gone with the Wind". Life Magazine publishes its first issue.

    Long story short, my father has seen more history than most - and remembers just about all of it (nothing wrong with his memory at all!) Needless to say, we're all very proud of him - as a cyclist, and as a human being.

    John Sinibaldi, Jr.

    PS: His secret to long life? Eat your vegetables. Work in the garden. Listen to classical music. Walk barefoot whenever possible. Avoid TV as much as you can. Read the paper front to back every day, and work the crossword puzzle. Eat red meat sparingly. Don't smoke. Hug all the girls at every opportunity. And ride your bike like crazy.

    I have also attached one of the pictures that came attached to the above email showing John and the 1936 Olympic team heading to Germany for the Olympics!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  17. #17
    Senior Member terrors's Avatar
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    skydive, thanks for the biography and letter from john jr. what a thrill for him and his family. it is hard to imagine. i have just started road biking at the age of 62 (63) this year. can't get my head around another 30 years of doing it. it must be wonderful. my wife wanted to read the article (she is a writer and i have also gotten her to start riding outside). this year in my second year of retirement i took some provincial accredited courses and became a certified fitness instructor (bcrpa) and also have been teaching a couple of indoor cycling classes (spin) a week. that is what got me on the road i believed i needed real experience and i am hooked. oh, after reading the article my wife said " there you see, EAT YOUR VEGTABLES "

  18. #18
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrors
    skydive, thanks for the biography and letter from john jr. what a thrill for him and his family. it is hard to imagine. i have just started road biking at the age of 62 (63) this year. can't get my head around another 30 years of doing it. it must be wonderful. my wife wanted to read the article (she is a writer and i have also gotten her to start riding outside). this year in my second year of retirement i took some provincial accredited courses and became a certified fitness instructor (bcrpa) and also have been teaching a couple of indoor cycling classes (spin) a week. that is what got me on the road i believed i needed real experience and i am hooked. oh, after reading the article my wife said " there you see, EAT YOUR VEGTABLES "
    Yes, I ate a second helping of veggies myself tonight. I wish you could meet the man in person - he is my hero. He has a very strong handshake, and he is poetry in motion on the bike. We were going down the road one day at 22 mph, and I found myself drafting on a 91 year old, very special man. It sounds like you have broken the code for retirement activities. I think that is great about the bcrpa, and spinning classes! I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but I am a 65 year-old retired airline pilot, and I have always been a fitness nut. My triathlete fiance got me into riding last June, and I fell in love with it, and now am an avid cycle competitor. It's fun to have a 41 pulse and about 5% body fat at the age of 65!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  19. #19
    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH
    Go with your gut feeling and get the bike YOU want. I did.
    See the pics below.

    I like the ad on your site where you work....
    http://www.atlantabike.org/99X_Bike_PSA.mp3

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