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Old 09-18-07, 08:06 PM   #1
southbound123
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Couch potato sprouting legs

Fifty-something couch potato wants to ride 20-25 miles over hill and dale with youthful, energetic son. Would like a bike that can get me up the hills without straining my lower back. If I ride twice a month, that would be great. It might even inspire me to ride more often.

Budget is about $1,300 -$1,500 but not strict.

Suspect I want triple gearing in front, carbon forks and drop handlebars. Is a carbon frame worth paying up for?

Suggestions please.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-18-07, 08:24 PM   #2
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If you only ride twice a month, I don't see how you can accomplish your goal. If that is all you are going to ride, perhaps a bike with an electric assist motor would be good? Otherwise, you are going to be one mighty sore and tired person after that 25 miles, IMHO. Most of us ride several times weekly, and several hundreds of mile per month.

You really need to set yourself up a training/riding schedule and build into the ride with your son.
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Old 09-18-07, 08:32 PM   #3
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Unless you're rolling in money, I think a carbon frame would be overkill for the type of riding you are planning. A triple crank and drop handlebars is a very good idea.
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Old 09-18-07, 08:47 PM   #4
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If twice a month is your goal the bike makes no difference. REALLY. Wheels on the couch would work. If you want to get off the couch it will take 4 rides a week. The four rides a week are not excessive if you want to get in shape enough to ride with your son. When I first started riding the rides were not but 7 to 10 miles each, but it was almost every day. The length of the rides increase as you get in shape. You cannot get in shape to ride 25 by riding twice a month. Enough bad news. Now, about the bike. The first bike makes very little difference because you will change bikes as you get in better shape. Just my experience.
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Old 09-18-07, 09:31 PM   #5
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Cor they're a pack of grumps.

Carbon fibre frames aren't necessary, for anyone really, but if you can afford them, they're nice in a carbony sort of way.

I reckon you'd be wasting your money though for that riding - you'd never use any potential performance gains and so you'd be paying for image only.

25 miles is a long ride for legs that aren't conditioned to it. Cycling uses different muscles to walking and running so even a fit jogger would struggle to leap onto a bike for the first time in years and do 25 miles - his cardio system would do it but his legs would mutiny. So you'll need to build up to those distances ... and build up to the hills too. The more you ride, the better and besides, it's so much fun, why wouldn't you ride more?

Triple crankset is the way to go. You don't 'need' a granny gear until you hit a slope that you just can't get up. Guess what, in my area, there are lots of those. A granny just makes life a lot easier and if you find you're not using it, don't buy one next time. It doesn't cost anything to have it on the bike, just for 'when'.

Drop bars are good, but if you're only an occasional rider, maybe a flat bar bike with bar ends might suit you more thanks to a more comfortable riding position. I personally would go for drops, but I'm a bit more 'full on' with my riding.

Is your son going to want to go mountain biking or on dirt tracks? If so, don't overlook a mountain bike. Very versatile and with slicks, not a lot slower on the road.

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Old 09-18-07, 09:48 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the encouragement

I wish I had the (add your favorite excuse here) to ride four times a week. Perhaps the twice monthly ride will grow on me as my son and I have fun together.

My son is a keeping in shape for a cross country tour this summer, so no off road riding for either of us. Just lots of hills.

So far you've eliminated the carbon frame and kept the triple crankset and drop handlebars. I suspect I want something in a more upright position to relieve lower back strain.

Any thoughts on the Specialized Roubaix Triple (the base model) or the Trek 2100 ? Any other specific suggestions ?
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Old 09-18-07, 09:55 PM   #7
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Specialized Roubaix

That's a name you see a lot around here. Have a browse

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Old 09-18-07, 09:55 PM   #8
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Suggest a used tandem for son + you . . . twice the fun/twice a month.
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Old 09-18-07, 10:10 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the encouragement

I wish I had the (add your favorite excuse here) to ride four times a week. Perhaps the twice monthly ride will grow on me as my son and I have fun together.

My son is a keeping in shape for a cross country tour this summer, so no off road riding for either of us. Just lots of hills.

So far you've eliminated the carbon frame and kept the triple crankset and drop handlebars. I suspect I want something in a more upright position to relieve lower back strain.

Any thoughts on the Specialized Roubaix Triple (the base model) or the Trek 2100 ? Any other specific suggestions ?
I just got dropped by a guy on a Specialized Roubiax. Sigh.
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Old 09-18-07, 10:37 PM   #10
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As one former 20 year couch potato to one of current standing, I say to you: you will die (in a figurative sense) if you think you're going to go out on ANY bike a do what you say you want to do.
25 miles? Dead. Hills? Dead. Keep up with your son? Dead. Ask me how I know. OK, not the "son" part but I had the rest pretty well covered

Lower your scope but, by all, means get off your a** and DO IT. You will thank yourself no end.
I know
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Old 09-18-07, 10:51 PM   #11
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I think I read somewhere that white bikes are faster. I don't
know for sure as I 've never ridden one.
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Old 09-18-07, 11:26 PM   #12
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Salsa’s Casseroll Triple Complete should come in right at your price with a comfortable steel frame, triple crank. But you'd have to wait until January.
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Old 09-19-07, 12:10 AM   #13
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I think I read somewhere that white bikes are faster. I don't
know for sure as I've never ridden one.
Yeah, I heard that too.
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Old 09-19-07, 05:45 AM   #14
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I think I read somewhere that white bikes are faster. I don't
know for sure as I 've never ridden one.
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
Yeah, I heard that too.
If I spray my bikes a white color, what percentage of increase in speed will I attain?
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Old 09-19-07, 05:52 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by southbound123 View Post
So far you've eliminated the carbon frame and kept the triple crankset and drop handlebars. I suspect I want something in a more upright position to relieve lower back strain.
Not necessarily.

For me, the "stretch" of the traditional roadie position relieves back strain. If I am having back pains, one of the best things I can do is to go for a ride on the roadie. YMMV. But, it is a position one must get "used to." I wouldn't recommend it for just starting out every now and then.

When I started riding at 58yo, I remember one day when I called my wife on the cell phone and bragged to her that I had just ridden 15 miles - my longest ride. I was so proud - and that was after several weeks of regular riding.
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Old 09-19-07, 06:09 AM   #16
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If I spray my bikes a white color, what percentage of increase in speed will I attain?
Can't answer that one but the guy at the bike shop said I would get at least 1 mph increase in speed with my new water cages that match the lettering on my bike
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Old 09-19-07, 06:17 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the encouragement

So far you've eliminated the carbon frame and kept the triple crankset and drop handlebars. I suspect I want something in a more upright position to relieve lower back strain.

Any thoughts on the Specialized Roubaix Triple (the base model) or the Trek 2100 ? Any other specific suggestions ?
The Trek 2100 has some favorable reviews -
http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/la...5_5668crx.aspx

If you decide on flat handlebars you might want to look at the Trek FX series bikes or something similar in another brand....I just happen to own 3 Treks so I'm a little biased

I've had lower back problems since a childhood accident but find the drop handlebars are more comfortable for me to ride. With the drop handlebars I get a more stretched out position, can change hand positions more and road vibration seems to be more distributed to the legs and arms and not the lower back. Try both types and see which is more comfortable for you.
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Old 09-19-07, 12:00 PM   #18
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Suggest a used tandem for son + you . . . twice the fun/twice a month.
Us Tandem riders will try and get others onto these things but Once you get used to a little riding on a solo= Then They are a fantastic ride.

Have to agree about the twice a month not being enough and 25 miles may be too much at first. Weekends and you must have some free time- Try and get some every weekend if you can and do just enough miles to say you know it. Then up the milage on following rides. Then try and get out midweek if posiible.

I can only get out weekends on a regular basis but still try for a couple of Evening rides of about 20 miles each time after work.
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