back in the saddle at 51
New to this forum. Looking at age fifty-one to start riding again. Haven't ridden since college. Had a cheap racing style bike and think I would be comfortable on that kind of thing again. Have a 9-year-old son who lives on his bike so I would like to ride with him. He, however, would put me on a mountain or BMX bike just to watch me kill myself. I expect I would start out just riding in our little town of four hundred people and move on to riding on local paved backroads. Budget's about $300. Any suggestions on style, brand, model, etc. would be much appreciated. Thanks, Tom
I am 51 and also have a 9 year old son that loves to ride. (My 13 year old son is a reluctant rider. )
I have two bikes: an 19-year-old old road bike and 10-year-old low end MTB that has been converted to commuter service. My 9 year old son likes to ride distances (longest ride = 47 miles) so we ride together on some of the local rail trails where I ride my commuter bike. It isn't too bad of a speed mismatch then. We also commute often (with the reluctant teenager) as their school is on the way to my work.
For $300 bucks you can buy used to get decent bang for your buck, especially if you are handy with bike repair/maintainence. You might even be able to get a serviceable used road and MTB for that with careful shopping.
For about 300 plus a bit more you can get a hybrid that might serve your needs for some time.
Originally Posted by tmk
The recreational forum has extensive discussions on various hybrids. You might want to review them there. This is from one of our local shops where they have hybrids as low as $269.
"Trek 7200 FX
Trek's 7200 FX blends a nearly effortless ride with plentiful comfort to make cycling a breeze. Its Alpha FX aluminum frame is light, strong and agile for great handling. And its relaxed upright riding position keeps you smiling even on long rides. Plus, you'll love the easy-pedaling 24-speed drivetrain."
Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-23-05 at 06:31 PM.
Time for a change.
Watch out for 9 year olds- they are fitter and faster and have more endurance than you think.
Originally Posted by tmk
For $300 you are not going to get a great bike if buying new, but secondhand from a shop or even local papers for something cheaper that you may even be able to haggle with over the price.
Any type of bike initially will be fine, but more important is the fit. Make certain you can get comfortable on the bike, and if possible get one a bit on the small side. Then in a years time, when you are really into biking you can pass on your bike to your son, and then buy the bike that you really want.
Get A Life - Get A Bike
You could probably find a good used bike on eBay or similar. A used bike would probably get you more bang for your buck. Keep in mind your fitness level when choosing a bike. A road bike, with a more aggressive riding position will be harder on your back, neck and shoulders initially. Many manufacturers are now making bikes that have a more upright geometry (Specialized Sequoia comes to mind) that are more comfortable for a lot of people, myself included. I occasionaly see those on eBay for around $400. That's a bit more than your budget, but they are nice bikes.
Originally Posted by tmk
With any bike, it's important to do some research, get the right size bike for you, take your time and get everything adjusted properly, and don't ride beyond your abilities.
Also, don't forget to make sure the 9 year old's brakes are rubbing when you go out for the first few rides
If you have just a little knowledge, I'd recommend buying used. I've gotten some really nice road bikes over the last 12 or 15 years for way less than half their new price, though that's gotten harder as road riding has become more popular (10 years ago you could hardly give away a roadie here--nobody wanted anything but mountain bikes).
You might also check thrift shops like the Salvation Army, Good Will or whatever you have in your area. Most of the stuff they have is junk, but I bought my wife a Centurion Le Mans, a decent (@$1000) roadie from the late '80s or early '90s, for $25 a few weeks ago. I had to do a few hours work on it, mainly tune-up stuff, but it was still a steal.
Welcome back Tom, Welcome back....
You're going to be riding on the road, so get a road bike they are lighter and easier to push than any other bike. They also offer 3 riding positions: 1) same as hybrid bike, 2) about an inch lower, and 3) real low for flying down hills. Even if you don't use the 3rd the first 2 are great for eliminating/minimizing problems with numb body parts.
You didn't say where you lived, but there are often good used bikes around. That said, there's nothing like riding a new bike. Fit is most important. Go to some local bike shops, ask lots of questions, check out sheldon brown for glossary of bike jargon, and ride a bunch for at least 5 minutes. Pretty quickly you'll find out what you like and don't like. If you are considering buying a bike, go back a different day for another test ride. It's amazing how the same body on the same bike can give somewhat different rides.
Have fun. Let you kid show off and help you get a bike, but don't let him talk you into a mtn or bmx bike because that is what he wants.
If your son really wants to ride with you and the places he likes to ride will take you off road, then you will need a MTB. Don't even try to convince him that riding together is best done only on the road.
Originally Posted by tmk
And let him lead the ride. Don;t even think about missin this. Some of the best memories I have are ridin the 'devil ditches' with my son.
Kill yourself? Only if YOU do something stupid.
For $200 you should be able to find a nice, 'previously owned' MTB, relatively modern and well made. Then you can spend a few bucks on getting Dual Purpose tires that are designed to run well on pavement and still have tire lugs that will allow you to ride even in soft dirt of loose sand on off road trails. MTBs go quite well on-road, especially when they have a good motor.
I often see "used" or "ebay" bikes suggested as a possibility for those returning to riding.
The problem I see is that likely a neophyte/returning rider does not have the knowledge or skills to discriminate between a good deal and a lousy one.
1. Wear and tear on the bike, especially the chain, chain ring and cassette. How would one know how worn these components are unless one had experience in evaluating them? And to replace all of these will boost the price way up. It has been my experience that they will act as a one-horse-shay, all wearing down together and seeming to function. However, when a new chain is placed on the worn cassette and chain ring (and even the der), then the chain will jump between gears and other not so great stuff, and the entire drive chain will need replacing.
Unless the person buying the stuff is a bike mechanic, that can be a major event.
2. Fit. How in the world can someone with little experience have a clue about fit when buying a bike off of ebay? Now, I bought a roadie off of ebay a couple of years ago, but that was after I had been properly fitted for another bike, had tens of thousands of miles on my bikes, and had just a clue about the size I needed - and it worked great for me. But I don't see how a newbie could do that.
3. A LBS will size, service and adjust a new bike, repair things that were inappropriately mounted, adjust for cable stretch, etc. And a $360 new Trek 7200 FX or similar bike will provide years of useful service.
I currently have as one of my bikes a Specialized HR with about 10,000 miles on it that has been going strong for 7 years now - and it set me back $300. Yes, I had some repairs, but nothing major.
The only used bike I would get would be one refurbished or inspected by a good dealer.
Anyway, those are my thoughts.
Humvee of bikes =Worksman
To me the easiest bike to ride for fun for an "adult" just returning
is still the good ol' 3 speed hub bike. There really isn't much to
go wrong with them and if you are lucky enough to find a decent
english made ( or old Chicago made Schwinn ) 3 speed you'll have
a real workhorse bike to use for utility use even if you graduate
to a more advanced bike.
All that said whatever you do decide.......Keep it super simple
at first so you don't spoil the fun learning to ride a complex bike.
I restarted at your age (last year). Bought an older Specialized Allez (carbon) off the net. Nice bike, enough to get me going again. After 18 months and 10 000 km, I'm onto my third .. each slightly more upmarket than the previous! Yep, got the bug! My wife after muttering about wanting to get in on the action has bought herself a beautiful older steel Colnago for €350. (we're in Europe).
There are bikes out there, it just depends on what you want. I wouldn't automatically rule out a racing-type frame if you're used to them. It took me a month to get going, but after that the only limitations have been my fitness, which is improving. But as others have said, fit is very important .. especially with less flexible/forgiving bodies. You need someone to check you out, but if you wanted to get some ideas, there's a good online fit system at competitivecyclist.com.