Intro...sorry if this is a repeat. Computer glitches!
By way of introduction, I'm not 50 til later this year...but my spouse is, so I hope I qualify for this forum under the same rules that apply to couples under AARP
I'm just getting back into recreational cycling after years of moving around and changing bikes a couple times according to needs. One of the few things I hung onto through all the moves is a 1980's Shogun Samurai "racing" type; still works and fits perfectly, and best of all, can be picked up and carried with 2 fingers, which is great for those aging body parts I won't normally admit to. (I don't dare talk about that because we have relatives in their late 50's and 60's living overseas who regularly do bike camping trips through the mountains of France, Switzerland and Spain as light recreation. Obviously I've got to step it up and get back into shape - no excuses!)
So I'm back at the bike shops again, looking for a bike that can be reasonably be used on pavement, dirt roads, and rustic woods paths.
Can I please ask you folks for your thoughts on a good serviceable bike under $500?
I liked the fit of the Raleigh Venture, with the idea of upgrading components if/as necessary.
I don't need all the bells and whistles, just good reliable stuff.
The Venture 3.0/4.0 comes stock with Shimano C50 front derailleurs, Shimano Altus/Acera rear derailleurs, and Shimano Revo 7/EZ Fire 50 shifters. For anyone interested, the link is http://www.raleighusa.com/depts.asp?deptid=6. I'm not really keen on the one-click-at-a-time shifters (EZ Fire). Thoughts on this equipment or good upgrades?
At the under $500 price point there are drive train issues to be avoided. As you already have a road bike that is usable you might want to approach the general purpose bike from a slightly different perspective. You can take a full bore hardtail mountain bike and do a lot of things with it with little more than a change of tires.
For example, the Jamis Cross Country 3.0 retails for under $500 but has a Shimano Deore 9 speed drive train that will probably serve you better than the 7 speed on the Raleigh.
By the way, welcome to the +50 forum. You will find more common sense here then most other places..................or not...
Sorry, just found your other post. Its more fun to have 2 sets of advice going at the same time. Forget what I said about common sense.
GF Wahoo '05, Trek T1000 '04, Lemond Buenos Aires '07
My first bike of the modern era was a Gary Fisher Wahoo which sold for about $375. It is a perfectly decent "road bike" for the type of biking you describe, once you take off the knobbies and put on slicks. I use 26X1.5 IRC's and they never give me any trouble.
Of course I made some modifications for off-road usage: intalled a Thudbuster (wonderful invention), put a new fork on it, and put new knobbies on it (Panaracers), all of which improve it's off-road handling but wouldn't affect road handling, except maybe the Thudbuster.
As far as grip shifters vs. trigger shifters, its just a matter of preference. You don't see brifters on those types of bikes until you pay about 3 times as much for the bike.
If you are truely interested in Grip shifters, then the price point becomes an issue. Beware of all SRAM Grip shifter units under the level of X.7 (stick to x.7, x.9 or x.0). The quality of SRAM components is outstanding at this level but not so good at lower levels.
Incidently, the Shimano rear trigger shifter will shift up to 3 gears per push of the trigger. They will only come back at one per though.
Thanks to all of you. I'm making lots of notes and can tell there's a ton more research to do before I make a final choice. Also have to find a few more bike shops, as the one nearest me only carries Raleighs and Schwinns in my price range. Without asking for some upgrades during assembly the component choices are limited. One of my friends bought an Iron Horse there several years ago, but they don't carry that brand anymore either. I'll have a good look around this weekend and let y'all know the outcome!