My first post...
I'm about to enter the world of bicycles at the age of 54. I have not really ridden much since I was a kid other than taking turns on my kids bikes this last year. My two wheel experience has been on BMW motor cycles and did many "millenium" days on it. I'm now looking forward to doing a century with me as the motor. I have not yet chosen my bike. A big consideration for me is my troublesome neck. I cannot compress it by canting it back so I suppose I need to get set up with hybred or something similar. I will likely buy a Trek due to choosing the LBS first. I first thought I needed a 7300 or 7500 but after reading so much on this board questioning the ability of these to go long distance, I'm wondering if I need to look at a FX instead. I'll be most appreciative for all suggestions.
PS...I'm going to be involved in a ride of aprox. 500 miles in a 6 or 7 day span next July so I'm already training but I know my selection of the right bike is critical.
With your neck problem, you might give some thought to a recumbent. Msny folks with neck problems go this route.
There si a recumbent forum on BFN - go there and ask around a bit.
What ride will you be doing in July?
My neck is no problem really, as long as I keep my head in line with my spine and don't compress it. I had no problem riding 1000 mile days on my motorcycles but could not have done it on a sport bike...need the more upright position. The ride I'll be on is called the "Tour Des Trees". It's an annual fund raising event leading up to the "International Society of Arborculture" international conference. It's in a different location each year. last yr they road the Nachez Trace Parkway. Next yr its in Hawaii. This yr it's in Twin Cities so that's where the ride will conclude. Other than that, the route is unknown at this time. I love training for things so I'm really excited about getting in peak condition for that. I'm also an avid hiker and will be climbing 14ers in Colorado in June as we do each year so I'm be combining the training for each.
Hi hawkijohn! Welcome to the forum!
If my neck were an issue, I'd look at recumbent bikes. You sit upright with a backrest AND a headrest on many models. They're actually faster AND more comfortable than the traditional bikes. I favor Bacchetta and Turner brands, although Rans and other makes are also popular. I don't own a recumbent yet, myself - still looking. Happy shopping!
Let me add my welcome as well.
I too have a few neck issues.
I ride a 7500fx and really like the more upright position, and the lower gears for Tennessee hills. Because I am riding longer distances and prefer additional hand positions, I have converted the straight bars to drop bars and added an adjustable stem.
With that said, the fx's are nice, but don't over look the Trek Pilot series as well. I wish they had been available in 2003.
And again, welcome aboard.
Concerning your neck problem:
I had the problem during long distance rides. What helped was a triathlon bar. You can support your elbows and in consequence your whole torso, which relieves the neck, too.
For 70 mile days I think that I'd consider the Trek Pilot series or a similar roadbike that has a tall head tube. After about 20 minutes I'm looking for a different hand position or at least a way to rotate my wrists.
I'll second the suggestion for a recumbent. You can get an upright that has a more ... upright seating position, but there are tradeoffs in speed/efficiency and comfort. As with uprights, recumbents have different speed potentials based on the aero position of the rider. My first bent was similar in speed to my old Trek1000.
As you can see, the seating position is about like being in a lawn chair. No neck strain, no pressure on the hands, and no sore butt. I did lots of centuries on this bike, and at the time it was responsible for several PRs on century rides. I think the fairing made the difference in that respect. My new one is more reclined, and as a result is *much* faster, but not everyone's necks can take the extreme riding position.
I was at my LBS just this morning and took a long look at the various Pilot series bikes. We get just a little better conditions and I will be trying them out. I've pretty much ruled out a bike with shocks due to lost efficiency when climbing and added weight. I'm not familiar with the type of shifting mechanism found on the Pilot. Dealer said I'd pick it un in no time. Any encouragement on that? Looks a little intimidating. How does it work exactly?
It depends on which Pilot model you are looking at, but all work similarly by pushing various levers on the brake hoods or brake handles down or sideways.
The shifters and derailleurs range from Sora on the 1.0 to Dura Ace on the 5.9. Sora shifters work with 8 speed rears, while the others with 9 and 10 speed rears. The materials used and weight, or lack there of, dramatically effect the price.
I had thumb shifters on my 7500fx (it's an 8 speed rear) that were changed to Sora's when I added the drop bars. It took me about 2 rides to get used to the change. I like these new shifters better than anything we had as kids!
For what it is worth, my other bike is a 1973 Schwinn 10 speed Super Sport.
Hope this helps. Bill
TNX Bill. I wasn't planning to spend this kind of money, but I'm looking pretty seriously at the Pilot 2.1 s.p.a. which has the Shimano 105 STI 10 speed and Ultegra derailleurs. I think this will be the one I test ride first anyway. I could go with the standard 2.1 but for a couple hundred more, you get quite a bit. Funny how I learned a whole new language in a week of research and added $1000 to the price of what I may buy. I really do want to get it right the first time however.
I think your Pilot choices are excellent. And about the investment, nothing worse than buying something and then 6 months later wishing you had bought better. It's kinda like buying a tackle box...get at least one size more than you need. You'll fill it up!
Below is a link to a picture of what I wound up with:
Now I just need to change the 700x35 tires to 27's and I will be very close to the 1.0. But I get to keep those granny gears for Tennessee. They don't call us hillbillies for nuthin'!
I fell in love with your state when wife and I motorcycled through there on a couple occasions several yrs back following rides thru Blue Ridge Parkway. I'd love to get down and ride the Natches Trace one of these times!
That is too funny about the Trace.
My boss is a bike fanatic and was a major influence in me getting back on in 2003. The first real ride (30 to 30 miles) I did was with him on the Trace in late March that year.
I had hauled my bike over to Franklin and we had both taken the afternoon off. It was about 55 degrees and pouring rain. But we were there and off we went in full rain gear and on the Trace hills.
35 mph downhill in the rain! And I had the brakes squeezed a little! Took me 20 minutes to come back up that hill! But I never quit pushing the pedals. Lee came back twice looking for me it took so long. But then he climbs hills like I eat ice cream.
Dodge was having a Viper run that day too and they were all around us...mabe 40 to 65 of them in groups of 3 to 5. Those cars were gorgeous!
Send me a PM sometime and if we can hook up, we will ride aways over there. Bill