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  1. #1
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    50+ Bike Preference?

    So, not a poll, but I often wonder whether there are other 50+ers who find they in fact prefer using an mtb with road tires as their 'all round' bike? I know there's a couple, but ... ? I think it's a kind of odd thing, but I find that I do. Since I re-started riding four years ago (going into my fifth full season, averaging now around 4000kms/yr., a mix of commuting, longer fitness rides on weekends, with some lightish smooth trail riding thrown into the mix), I've been telling myself (and been told by others) 'get/you need a road bike/road-based hybrid' etc. etc. I went so far as to start a thread on this a couple of months ago/got some very good responses. Well, I keep 'trying' (over the past couple of years I've test ridden road bikes (all out, touring, flat bar, hybrid) extensively, borrowed a couple for extended periods, and so on. In other words, in a sense others, and my 'head', tell me to do this -- BUT for whatever reason, I find that I am overall more comfortable, feel more 'secure/stable/in control', and am in fact for practical purposes able to move just as quickly, with no more or less fatigue, on my h/t with 1.5" slicks.
    I know this really simply comes down to personal preference etc., but was just curious whether anyone else's experience parallels my own - I think it's a sign of the addictive power of cycling, combined with the fun of participating in this forum community. Cheers.

  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I ride mountain bikes by preference, but that is also because I ride them offroad. I do have a couple of road bikes- or could have if I ever bothered to get them up to Ridable condition, But road rides are done on the MTB and it has to be a road ride of over 30 miles for me to change to slick tyres.

    Will agree that a road based bike would appear to be better on the roads. But the sturdiness- robustness and build quality of a mountain bike suits me better than a road bike. Mind you- if I were to do more road riding I might change my mind.
    Last edited by stapfam; 02-18-06 at 12:39 PM.
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  3. #3
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    I only came into cycling two years ago before that my last time on a bike was 35+ years ago doing my paper route on a 50 pound shwinn. I played competitive tennis until I blew out my wrist and then took up ice skating of all things. But the rink got crowded and I hated running so on a lark I bought a $60 kmart special mountain bike. I road that for a while but got tired of being passed by little kids and Grandma, so I bought a Trek Hybrid, got tired of being passed by Grandpa and 12 year olds so I asked around and got a 20 year old aluminum Trek with oval crankset. Now I could keep up with most Grandpa's and I was addicted ! unfortunately the bike shook like BB King playing guitar. I was bitten by the "Lance factor" and loved the Medone team paint job and my new found cycling friend said tittanium was the way to go! Of course that sealed it for the carbon fiber Medone ! 5,000 miles later I chase down the occasional teen or thirty something but still get passed by those flying in shape Grandpa's. I guess when it comes down to it, I want to go fast at least as fast as I can train my self and not be slowed down by the bike. It was the best purchase in my life !!! ( Not to mention the cool jerseys!!!) Now if it will stop raining for a couple hours I can get back on it instead of typing about it...127 miles this week..want 150 !!!

  4. #4
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Why just have one bike?

    Two is better. Three is even better. Or more - the more the merrier.

    I use my mtn bike with slicks a lot, especially in the winter months, when I dress in warm regular clothes and take a lot of "errand" trips, instead of "duding up."

    But, it is a REAL pleasure to get out one of the road bikes and go for a spin. Just a great change. I go a heck of a lot faster, and it is just an amazingly different riding experience. I do have one of the roadies fixed up as a "utility" bike with a rack and panniers.

    So, the answer is, GET BOTH kinds of bikes and more.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 02-18-06 at 11:40 AM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  5. #5
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - my riding buddy (68 years young) started out on a comfort bike w/Kenda Kross tires... he 'upgraded' to Nashbar 26x1.25 slicks and has since been tearing up the roads (and kicks my butt, too!)

    :-)

    - i started on a comfort bike but my main rides are now a nice road machine and a cyclocross bike (the comfort bike has been relegated for use by house guests)

    - the way i see it, one's choice of bike(s) depends on:

    1. fitness level
    2. funds
    3. road surface preferences

  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    I ride mountain bikes by preference, but that is also because I ride them offroad. I do have a couple of road bikes- or could have if I ever bothered to get them up to Ridable condition, But road rides are done on the MTB and it has to be a road ride of over 30 miles for me to change to slick tyres.

    Will agree that a road based bike would appear to be better on the roads. But the sturdiness- robustness and build quality of a mountain bike suits me better than a road bike. Mind you- if I were to do more road riding I might change my mind.
    I'm the opposite of stapfam. I have a mountain bike that I haven't ridden since Father's Day last June. If I had to limit myself to one bike, it would be my road bike.

    Do whatever you think is best for you.

  7. #7
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    I bought a Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra. Mountain bike frame with road rims and tires. I also bought MTB rims and tires for off-road stuff. I love it.
    CityRocksWoods: I ride, therefore, I am.

  8. #8
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    My three bikes are all road. Just got back from a tour in Chile and Argentina using rental hybrid and mountain bikes. Getting back on a road bike felt so-o-o-o good. I doubt if I ever own anything but a road bike. I'm 63.

    Al

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    As we get older, a lot of us don't "flex" as well as we did before, and the cookie cutter "bike fit" gurus don't have formulas that work for us anymore. They have started making more "road" bikes with a shorter distance from seat to handlebars, so we feel more comfortable. The mountain or comfort bikes already feel this way in their normal configuration. I have a "road" bike like this, and the use of my son's hardtail mountain bike if I want.
    Some of us also opt for bikes with more comfortable seating.
    Last edited by Dchiefransom; 02-08-09 at 10:41 AM.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Still riding road bikes at age 73; just over 100 miles this week.

  11. #11
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badger1
    I know this really simply comes down to personal preference etc., but was just curious whether anyone else's experience parallels my own - I think it's a sign of the addictive power of cycling, combined with the fun of participating in this forum community. Cheers.
    I'm 64 and started on a Specialized Crossroad comfort. I kept putting narrower and narrower tires on it to help me go faster on paved surfaces. I now ride a Jamis Coda Comp hybrid which I love a lot. I'm about 15-20% faster (and longer) than on the comfort.

    Did you ever notice how folks who prefer comforts or hybrids or mtb usually tell others to do whatever feels right to them, but so many of the roadies insist that a road bike is the only thing worth riding. Why do you suppose that is?????

    Tim

  12. #12
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Did you ever notice how folks who prefer comforts or hybrids or mtb usually tell others to do whatever feels right to them, but so many of the roadies insist that a road bike is the only thing worth riding. Why do you suppose that is?????
    Well, I didn't (and don't) insist upon only a road bike. I think any bike is good, and there are different bikes for different purposes. But, I would suggest that:

    Many of us have

    1. Ridden Mtn Bikes

    2. Ridden Hybrids

    3. Ridden road bikes

    and have reached a conclusion based upon our experiences?

    Could that be the answer?

    I have never had much experience with a recumbent, but I am definitely NOT opposed to trying one to see how I like it. If I had an extra $1,000 or so I would put one in the stable.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  13. #13
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Well, I didn't (and don't) insist upon only a road bike. I think any bike is good, and there are different bikes for different purposes. But, I would suggest that:
    Ah, but DnvrFox, you are the tolerent exception--as are most folks on the 50+. If you go one some of the other forums, you will find us non-roadies risk being flamed if we suggest that a non-road bike might be a reasonable choice for some riders.

  14. #14
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlc20010
    Ah, but DnvrFox, you are the tolerent exception--as are most folks on the 50+. If you go one some of the other forums, you will find us non-roadies risk being flamed if we suggest that a non-road bike might be a reasonable choice for some riders.
    You should probably frequent the recreational & family forum, which is loaded with hybrid users! (several years ago, that forum was my idea!)

    Sorry, I thought your response was to the previous posts in this thread.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  15. #15
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I have a MTB, a Road Bike and a Time Trial bike. I use the Road Bike for riding on the road and the MTB for off road and family recreational riding on the road down at the coast. I started with the MTB on the road but just don't think I could go back. It just feels so much better to be on the road bike when on the road.

    I don't commute so I'm not sure which one I'd use if I did. Knowing me I'd probably wind up with a fourth bike.....heck, I'm now toying with going with a compact crank on my road bike and buying an additional road bike geared just for the mountains. Is that sick or what???? Everytime I get another bike I tell myself (and others) this is all I'll ever need.

  16. #16
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Well, I just started last June, and I love my MTB. I have had NO problems adjusting to the saddle, the handlebars, or anything else. At 800 miles I replaced the knobbies with slicks, and that felt great. I've got about 1,600 miles or so on the bike now, and other than it being a bit heavier than I would prefer, it's serving me well.

    That's not to say I wouldn't love to get something like Trek's 7.6, pretty much a road bike with flatbars, but until my lottery ticket comes up a winner, I'm be happy with what I've got.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  17. #17
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    I have a MTB set up for trails, an older MTB set up for multi use paths, and a hybrid that I use for exercise and local trips. I just purchased an older, mid-quality road bike. This last bike is the closest I've ever had to a real road bike, and I really like it. Unfortunately, my neck doesn't, so I'll have to modify it. As has been said before, why limit yourself to one style of bike, especially if you're willing to work with used equipment that cuts expenses.
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  18. #18
    jcm
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    Ride what you like and morph it as you go if need be. I love my old Trek 830 with 1.5 Armadillos and north Road bars. However, I will say that since buying a used 520 two weeks ago, my riding has both increased in mileage and frequency.
    For all the good rugged features of the 830, it is alot heavier than the 520. Thus, I get tired faster. The 520 is truly a bike to grow into for me. It has much of the strength of an MB with the road handling of a roadie. Soon, I'll see how it feels with a different set of bars and a B-67 saddle. I probably wouldn't mind having Ovaltec chainrings on it for better hill work under touring loads - but the simple stuff first...

    EDIT: I never used the 830 off-road except lightly for a few months when it was new. It has been my primary all-purpose bike.

  19. #19
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    Summary time:

    Ride a bike because you like it.

    Ride as many different bikes as you can afford or borrow.

    Ride what makes you happy.

    Ride your bike!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlc20010
    Did you ever notice how folks who prefer comforts or hybrids or mtb usually tell others to do whatever feels right to them, but so many of the roadies insist that a road bike is the only thing worth riding. Why do you suppose that is?????
    If somebody asks for opinions and some roady's opinion is that a road bike is the only thing worth riding, how do you think they should respond?

  21. #21
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlc20010
    Did you ever notice how folks who prefer comforts or hybrids or mtb usually tell others to do whatever feels right to them, but so many of the roadies insist that a road bike is the only thing worth riding. Why do you suppose that is?????
    Yes. I have noticed. But in the name of self moderation I will keep my opinion about the value of roadie "attitude" driven advice to myself.

  22. #22
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm
    Ride what you like and morph it as you go if need be. .
    +1.........I have an 87 upright (morally as well as geometrically) racer which has gone through iterations of Mavic, Superbe Pro, Shimano 600, 105 and now Veloce (thank you parts bins and budget friendly ebay). I've had fun with every shifting system known to man (except those Suntour triggers and GripShift). My selling that bike is about as likely as DnvrFox leaving his wife. Then there's the RB-T which has been drop-barred, moustache barred, flat barred. Then there are tires. The Riv. Romulus is still pristine...but not for long!

    My point: There is so much variety to cycling (I owned a Rans medium wheel based recumbent for a year) that to get overly stuffy or zealous about one style of bike is to miss other aspects of riding pleasure. Whether down on the aero bar or heads up puttering along in street shoes drinking in the sights.....I wouldn't willingly miss any of it.

    In my case, and for bikers on a budget, altering one's ride even a little can expand your cycling experience and help you find what is most suitable for your riding Self.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  23. #23
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    Hmmm -- lots of interesting responses, as one would expect; as I said originally, was (really!) just curious, primarily because I find my own experience/thought processes so odd! The general tenor here -- ride what you like -- is, of course, the obvious response. On the other hand, my original post was prompted by the fact that so many (bike shops, other riders I've encountered, forum users) say, or imply, that there's something 'wrong' with riding a roadified atb; oh well! Now, if only I can find the money for a Giant XTC carbon frame w/Pace carbon fork -- the ULTIMATE Fred F. Frankenbike bike!!! Love this forum!

  24. #24
    Florida to Oregon in 2007 lighthorse@eart's Avatar
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    I have had a lot of people ask me what kind of bike that they should get to ride. My response is always that any bike will do. Certainly if one plans on riding off road then an MTB or hybrid is required.
    If you get on your bike and ride for one hour or 1.5 hours or 2 hours then you are getting good exercise. If you make those rides on an MTB with big knobby tires carrying a lot of weight then you will probably go a shorter distance than if you had ridden a lightweight road bike putting out the same level of effort for the same amount of time.
    For me it came down to distance covered in the time alloted to train. I rode my Trek 7500 hybrid for several thousand miles and loved it. Then I got a road bike and found myself covering more miles for the same effort. Since I wanted to tour long distances then I drifted into the world of road bikes. Now listen carefully, I did not say that it was easier to cover the longer miles. I am still putting out the same level of effort over a given time. I just end up going farther. Or in Greg LeMond's terms, "It never gets easier, you only go faster."

    And I do still ride the 7500, mostly when it is raining/wet. And I still enjoy it.
    lighthorse
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  25. #25
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Since what you own & ride is a very personal choice I'll share my
    choices as a matter of record.

    Bike#1..Schwinn World Tourist with shimano Front freewheel system.
    This is my everyday utility bike that due to the FF is ideal in town.
    My wife calls it my "Pimp mobile" due to all the stuff I have on it.

    Bike#2 Bridgestone mixte framed Carmel model city bike. I use this one
    for fun rides or if we have a guest to ride with us. Old but smooth as glass
    with 6 gears for town use.

    Bike#3 Sanwa touring bike. Very well made bike that I converted to a trails
    bike to ride the local bike trails to the Mississippi. This bike was a find still in
    the box as NOS. I changed tires,bars and moved the shifters up to the
    bars. Came out really nice.

    Bike#4 Worksman PAV trike. I've wanted this trike for a long time and finally
    broke down and bought one. This is my "Cadillac" due the way it rides. It's a
    heavy trike which goes a long way towards the butter smooth ride. It's not
    very fast but it's not supposed to be. This trike is for lazy rides on trails or
    country roads in supreme comforts. I plan on installing a sound system this
    spring to listen to tunes and old time radio shows as I tootle along the local
    rural roads this summer.


    Please note that all of these bikes are lugged steel framed older bikes with the
    trike being steel also. None of the aluminum junk pedeled today.

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