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Old 12-30-05, 05:10 AM   #1
warrenroadie
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New Bike for Senior Roadie

An older friend of mine asked for advice on a new road bike yesterday. He wanted to know what type of road bike frame material he should purchase. My friend is 62 years old, weighs about 160 lbs and rides 1500 miles on road and 2000 miles on a trainer each year in the last five years I've ridden with him. He only oils chain and puts air in tires. Everything else goes to the LBS. His last purchase was in the 90's, its was a Trek 600 (steel frame) I think. Anyway price on purchase really doesn't matter. I never ridden carbon fiber so I can give my opinion on ride quality. I do ride Ti and Aluminum and gave him my pros and cons on each. I want him to get a bike he will be happy with until he no longer can ride on road with comfort. Please let me know what ya'll think.
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Old 12-30-05, 05:24 AM   #2
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It's probably a personal choice but I really prefer Carbon because of the ride comfort. I can ride a lot more miles on carbon without feeling as tired from all the road noise. If not a carbon frame and fork, I'd at least look and test ride bikes with carbon forks and seat stays and probably a carbon seat post. He might find the miles increasing out on the road if the bike is that comfortable.

There are a lot to choose from out there these days so enjoy the shopping.
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Old 12-30-05, 06:31 AM   #3
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Sheldon would argue that it is not the material but the design and construction that makes the most difference.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html


Quote:
Aluminum frames have a harsh ride?

Titanium frames are soft and whippy?

Steel frames go soft with age, but they have a nicer ride quality?

England's Queen Elizabeth is a kingpin of the international drug trade?

All of the above statements are equally false. There is an amazing amount of folkloric "conventional wisdom" about bicycle frames and materials that is widely disseminated, but has no basis in fact.

The reality is that you can make a good bike frame out of any of these metals, with any desired riding qualities, by selecting appropriate tubing diamters, wall thicknesses and frame geometry.
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I want him to get a bike he will be happy with until he no longer can ride on road with comfort.
What the heck does that mean?

Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-30-05 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 12-30-05, 09:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Sheldon would argue that it is not the material but the design and construction that makes the most difference.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html
Yep, Sheldon is (as usual) correct. I would suggest your friend (if possible) take a couple of test rides. And if he is of a mind, he might try a recumbent. Some people on here swear by them (although I can't get used to the look). FWIW, I've had two steel, two aluminum and one titanium bike. I loved each of them.

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Old 12-30-05, 09:34 AM   #5
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I'm 61 and I like Ti (click in my sig to see my road bike ).
I've never ridden carbon. If I ever get another bike I'll definitely consider carbon.
Since $$$ is not a problem, tell your friend to look at Ti (Litespeed, Merlin, or Seven) and carbon. How about a custom bike?
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Old 12-30-05, 11:28 AM   #6
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If money isn't an issue, and from what you wrote, its not, then get the bike that fits his riding habits. If he already rides like an old man and doesn't really push himself, doesn't ever get off the saddle and attacks the inclines for a minute or so, doesn't reach speeds over 25 mph just for the hell of it, is a constant complainer about little aches and pains, then ...so what.
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Old 12-30-05, 12:22 PM   #7
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Come on! Carbon fiber, aluminum and titanium bikes are out there for the idiot that thinks he can buy higher performance instead of training it in.

Your friend needs a nice steel bike from Torelli or some such.

http://www.torelli.com/torelli/countach.html

You expect a 62 year old man to want a Giant TCR?
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Old 12-30-05, 01:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclintom
Come on! Carbon fiber, aluminum and titanium bikes are out there for the idiot that thinks he can buy higher performance instead of training it in.

Your friend needs a nice steel bike from Torelli or some such.

http://www.torelli.com/torelli/countach.html

You expect a 62 year old man to want a Giant TCR?
Why not? Looks good to me. But then, I am not 62, I am 66, so I guess the question doesn't apply.


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Old 12-30-05, 02:57 PM   #9
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Old 12-30-05, 03:03 PM   #10
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Let's not buy a bike based on formal age so much as on physical needs, heartfelt aspirations, and what "feels good". When asked that confusing and devilish question about frame material, maybe a good answer is, "Let's go out and test ride a variety and see what YOU and your butt think." Personally, I think Sheldon is right on, although his article was really addressing bikes for loaded touring. It is hard to separate our own real perceptions from marketing hype, what we're "spozed" to think, and the zealous testimonials of other riders who tend to think whatever they bought is hot.

Many riders here ride cf Roubaix's but I notice knowledgable OldCrank is having his new bike built up with Reynolds 531 (like, wasn't that bling some decades ago?). Best let the 62 year old do some test rides and talk about him impressions after.

*** Must admit, I did light up with all the possibilities when I read that cost was unlimited. Older riders may lose some of their fast twitch, but sometimes make up for it with buffed pocket books.
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Old 12-30-05, 10:30 PM   #11
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I really think he should look at the Trek Pilot Series. I Love my Medone ...but I would have bought the Pilot if they would have had one to fit me. If Price is no object I would recommend the cf Pilot with full Dura Ace ! The DA is just for the bling value but when you worked and saved and invested all your life you deserve a little BLING!!!
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Old 12-30-05, 11:03 PM   #12
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I'm odd man out on recommendations, but I'd send him to try out a Bacchetta "Aero" recumbent. He may fall in love...
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