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Old 06-08-07, 06:34 PM   #1
ges74
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Starter bike for 70 y.o. mom

Hi,
My mom, who is a tiny little (5'0") Asian woman 70 years of age, wants to buy a bike ostensibly so she can keep me company while I bike around. This means that we both go out on a paved trail, and she rides along at her pace while I forge ahead and double back a bunch of times. She hasn't ridden a bike since she was a child.

I would like to know - which bikes should she look at?

I am worried about her possibly falling over and breaking bones and otherwise hurting herself.
Should I get training wheels? "Stability" wheels? A trike? Are there any trikes out there that are collapsible so that you can put them on a bike rack? Are there any "folding" training wheels for ease of transport?
Which bike types are easiest to maneuver with handlebars - comfort hybrid/mountain bike? Beach cruiser?

I think she should probably sit upright so she doesn't strain her back - am I correct in this?
I also think she should get a "girls" bike so she doesn't have to raise her leg so high to clear the tube.

I thank you in advance for your advice. I'm sure there are other points I should consider; would appreciate hearing about those, too.

Sincerely,
GES
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Old 06-08-07, 07:19 PM   #2
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We have a few trikes in our neighborhood, with older ladies and they seem to do very well.
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Old 06-08-07, 07:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ges74
Hi,
My mom, who is a tiny little (5'0") Asian woman 70 years of age, wants to buy a bike ostensibly so she can keep me company while I bike around. This means that we both go out on a paved trail, and she rides along at her pace while I forge ahead and double back a bunch of times. She hasn't ridden a bike since she was a child.

I would like to know - which bikes should she look at?

I am worried about her possibly falling over and breaking bones and otherwise hurting herself.
Should I get training wheels? "Stability" wheels? A trike? Are there any trikes out there that are collapsible so that you can put them on a bike rack? Are there any "folding" training wheels for ease of transport?
Which bike types are easiest to maneuver with handlebars - comfort hybrid/mountain bike? Beach cruiser?

I think she should probably sit upright so she doesn't strain her back - am I correct in this?
I also think she should get a "girls" bike so she doesn't have to raise her leg so high to clear the tube.

I thank you in advance for your advice. I'm sure there are other points I should consider; would appreciate hearing about those, too.

Sincerely,
GES
You might take a look at bikes similar to the Electra Townie with the flat-foot technology. It allows the rider to have both feet on the ground while seated on the bike. I bought one for my daughter who has a slight balance problem and didn't like getting up and down on the saddle when starting and stopping. It's made riding a bike much safer for her.
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Old 06-08-07, 08:58 PM   #4
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My wife is 69 and started riding about 8 years ago, after some poor experiences as a child.

She really loves the stability and surness of her Specialized Hardrock (entry level) mtn bike - she likes it better than he Specialized.

At first, you might want to lower the seat, and then gradually raise it as your mom gets more comfortable
.

Tell your mom my wife has ridden thousands of miles, and continues to ride even after a total knee replacement.

Good luck to your mom.

She will be fine. We don't break as easily as some folks think we do.
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Old 06-13-07, 07:13 PM   #5
ges74
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Thx to all of you 4 ur replies. :)

Thanks to all of you for your replies.
GES
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Old 06-13-07, 09:28 PM   #6
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My wife is a tiny Caucasian woman 4' 10 3/4" tall and only 72 years old and rides on a carbon fiber tandem with me . . . has been doing that for over 200 thousand miles.
Suggestion: get a tandem so mom does not have to worry about keeping up, steering, shifting, balance, etc. Go get 'em mom!!!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 06-14-07, 11:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by zonatandem
My wife is a tiny Caucasian woman 4' 10 3/4" tall and only 72 years old and rides on a carbon fiber tandem with me . . . has been doing that for over 200 thousand miles.
Suggestion: get a tandem so mom does not have to worry about keeping up, steering, shifting, balance, etc. Go get 'em mom!!!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
Great idea. I tandemed with our three daughters since they were three or four years old. Ride together and visit at the same time. Happy trails !!!!!!!
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Old 06-14-07, 11:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ges74
My mom, who is a tiny little woman 70 years of age, wants to buy a bike...
She hasn't ridden a bike since she was a child.
I am worried about her possibly falling over and breaking bones and otherwise hurting herself.
I'm in the field of working with seniors and their children. Why in the world would you consider putting a 70 yo woman who hasn't ridden since she was a child on a bike or trike? Maybe a tandem stoker, maybe -but the chance of over-exerting her is high, especially if she were to try to keep up with you, or failed to admit to her fatigue/pain. If she hasn't been exercising with any regularity, talk to her Dr. about heart attack, stroke, etc. and her exertion limits.

For most seniors, just walking where the surface is smooth and predictable is the best exercise. It is weight bearing, can be cardio-vascular, minimizes the chance of a fall (over bike riding or roller skating or other wheeled activities), increases the chances for conversation and socialization, requires no special balancing skills, etc. Instead of going for a bike ride where she can't keep up with you, go for a walk TOGETHER.

Did she ever swim? Water exercises are great for seniors as well.
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Old 06-15-07, 04:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildwood
I'm in the field of working with seniors and their children. Why in the world would you consider putting a 70 yo woman who hasn't ridden since she was a child on a bike or trike? Maybe a tandem stoker, maybe -but the chance of over-exerting her is high, especially if she were to try to keep up with you, or failed to admit to her fatigue/pain. If she hasn't been exercising with any regularity, talk to her Dr. about heart attack, stroke, etc. and her exertion limits.

For most seniors, just walking where the surface is smooth and predictable is the best exercise. It is weight bearing, can be cardio-vascular, minimizes the chance of a fall (over bike riding or roller skating or other wheeled activities), increases the chances for conversation and socialization, requires no special balancing skills, etc. Instead of going for a bike ride where she can't keep up with you, go for a walk TOGETHER.

Did she ever swim? Water exercises are great for seniors as well.
Man, if my wife had believed you, we wouldn't have two bikes in the garage for her regular use, even with a total knee replacement. I regularly lead "senior" bicycle rides with members of our church and others. We have folks from 65-84yo who ride bikes excellently, and no, they aren't regular riders like I am.

70 is young unless you think it is old!

Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-15-07 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 06-15-07, 10:31 PM   #10
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I like the idea of something like the Electra Townie, with the pedals forward of the saddle. A 65-yo friend of mine just bought one, and he's riding to work, 16 miles round trip, two or three days a week. Easy to put a foot down when you stop.
You might look at a folder, too, like a Downtube (www.downtube.com) or dahon. I have a Downtube for a backup/vacation/city bike, and it's not bad for the $350 or so it cost.
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Old 06-15-07, 11:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
70 is young unless you think it is old!
70 year old bike riders are very common, I support that & expect to be riding road bikes at that age myself. Do you think it's a good idea to put someone that age on a bike that hasn't ridden one since they were a child?

Many years ago, I encouraged my mom at about age 65 to try a step-through balloon tire cruiser (she hadn't ridden a bike in 50 years). She crashed, at low speed, into the side of the garage because she couldn't turn and apply the coaster brake at the same time and then forgot to put her feet down. She was unhurt but so rattled as to be intimidated.

"As easy as a child riding a bike" does not apply to all seniors. Especially on a MUP with runners, kids, dogs, other riders. ges74 and his mom have to make the final choice. Let us know how it goes, we'd love to hear a success story and have another candidate for the 70+ forum.

Last edited by Wildwood; 06-16-07 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 07-11-07, 12:37 PM   #12
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Definitely look at the "flat foot" bikes, Electra Townie, Giant Revive, Giant Suede, Trek Sole....these bikes allow the rider to put their feet down flat footed...I think that is very important to an older rider not used to riding. If she has knee problems, the Townie and the Revive designs are definitely worth looking at. I have a Townie 21 because I have very bad knees, but on this bike, I can go, go, go and go...I love it. Good luck.
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