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  1. #1
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    Looking for bike purchase advice (getting back ofter 20 yrs)

    Wife and I are approaching 50, house is getting empty and we would like to start riding to A) lose some weight, B) build some endurance, C) enjoy the local (within state) scenery.

    Pleasure riding I guess you would call it---mostly on paved roads,,,possibly venturing onto a hard pack rock/gravel from time to time,,,,not many hills in Northern MN---as in mountain biking kind of stuff, some slopes yes but not mountain biking.

    Last bike which we find uncomfortable were 1981 Schwinn Travelers ----the leaning forward part is no longer comfortable (could that be the beer belly?). And the tiny tires don't work well unless on a perfect asphalt road with no cracks/voids.

    We looked a Walmart---anything from $89-350---but we don't know alot about what to look for. We did test ride some TREK brand at a local resort that uses them to loan out to guest and learned some likes/dislikes----we certainly like the sitting "up" position better, also found it seems like the "wheelbase" changes on certain models and we like the long wheelbase better.

    We feel (compared to the current Schwinn Travelers) that sitting up is a plus, which requires higher handlebars, we need a decently "wide" seat for our already "padded" butts, not sure but I read the length of the arms on the pedals comes into play here also.

    We are looking for suggestions on how to pick a "right bike" for getting back into this.

    An option we have is any TREK for 40% off MSRP, this could help alot---as far as budget, certainly under a grand each--and we will keep it high enough to be comfortable.

    If this is in the wrong forum please move it---and thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

    Dan

    P.S. Add to this the brakes,,,,should (for our use) we care much about disk brakes as opposed to the old fashion squeeze the wheel type?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acs55812 View Post
    We are looking for suggestions on how to pick a "right bike" for getting back into this.
    Shop for a bike shop first. Spiral out from your home and visit every bike shop until you find one that has people with whom you feel comfortable. People are more important than hardware.

    Tell them exactly what you told us. Try out a few bikes until you find ones that "feel" right. Do that and you'll never go wrong.

  3. #3
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Northern MN? Solveg, are you paying attention?

    Trek makes a number of bikes similar to what you describe. The most popular are the Navigator and 7000-series bikes. The Navigator has a very upright riding position and cushy seat. Very popular amongst the 50+ crowd on the bike trails. The 7000-series is a bit less cushy, while still having a mostly upright riding position. A little lighter and faster, a little more oriented to riding further distances. While these bikes are usually disdained on biking forums, I see people riding them for 40+ mile trail rides all the time. I have a 7600 and it is very comfortable.

    I'd say you'd want to go to a Trek dealership, which has a large'ish inventory and try out something like a Navigator 2.0 or a Trek 7000 or 7100. Oh, and with a 40% discount, you could go up to the Nav 3.0 or Trek 7200/7300.

    Also there are several "Erik's Bike Shops" around Minnesota that carry Specialized and Raleigh, which also offer bikes like you are looking for. Such as a Specialized Crossroads Sport or Expedition Sport. Or try out a Specialized Globe.
    http://www.eriksbikeshop.com/app/pol...inder.htm#foot
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 06-22-08 at 02:29 PM.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Padded butts!!! Does that mean that you think you are overweight?

    Trek at that discount sounds good but like Retro- Talk to the shop.

    Reason for asking about the overweight bit. 200lbs plus and wheels will take a hammering. The shop will advise but ensure you get strong wheels. These normally come on the higher spec bikes and not the basic versions. And to get a better value bike- Go for rigid forks. You won't need suspension on the types of trail you will be riding.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    It isn't easy to find rigid forks on $200-$300 bikes. Almost all of them have suspension forks. Some of the Raleigh's don't. And the Specialized Globe that I mentioned above.

    The Trek 7300 has a simplified suspension, which is lighter and only meant to absorb small bumps and road vibration. It's nice, Trek borrowed the design from Klein. It's like a small rubber shock absorber built into the head tube. Much lighter weight than a full shock. List on the 7300 is $550, but if you can get it at 40% off, then that's a very good deal at $330.

    Most people like suspension forks. When I talk to 50+'ers on rail trails they rave over how the suspension forks make their rides smoother. Nearly all of them tell me that they wouldn't have a bike without them.

    And you know what ... they do make the riding smoother. I ride both on trails and the ride is much less bumpy with suspension, even though it really isn't needed to absorb serious bumps.

    But they aren't needed on paved surfaces ... especially if you are running on larger tires, like the common 1.5" to 2" comfort bike tires.
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 06-22-08 at 02:39 PM.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  6. #6
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    A couple years ago I bought a Trek 7300FX which I use for commuting. It's what is called a hybrid making it good for on and off pavement. I put on fenders and a rack for the commute.

  7. #7
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    Go to your local bike shops. They will get you started on the right bike. Also if you keep riding be prepared to upgrade by Christmas. You will you know. 8>)

  8. #8
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    As others have said, a good bike shop can help a lot. But beware of the small bike shop with limited inventory. Some of those will try to sell you what they have in stock vs putting you on the best bike for the money you can afford. I've been in both types of shops. Those that are willing to say that they don't have the bike that would be best or in the right size, and others that are bent on making the sale and will tell you that "they can make it fit."

    A friend of mine lives in eastern Washington and wanted a comfortable bike to ride in town. His local bike shop recommended what they had in stock, which I didn't think was what might be best for him. I talked him into driving up to Spokane and he found a bike that he liked much better.

    So if they have a limited inventory and nothing feels just right to you, don't just go with the best fit available.

    I sure wish I had a 40% Trek discount. There are some great deals out there with that in hand.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  9. #9
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    I wouldn't recommend a drop handlebar road bike for you, but there's a happy medium between that and a so-called comfort bike. You want to be comfortable on pleasure, recreational rides, but you also don't want to push a sluggish bike if you don't have to (remember that even on level ground, wind is just like riding uphill). I always say, whatever you want to ride, you may as well get all the performance you can out of the effort you put into it. What they would sell you as a "comfortable" bike would not usually be very comfortable for more than a few short miles. I would highly recommend staying away from Walmart and that kind of thing, and going to a real bike shop (or sports shop that has a big bike department) and start looking at some bikes they call "hybrids". These are bikes that are slightly more performance-oriented than cheap mountain bikes and comfort bikes. Still just as comfortable if not more, but better all round performance. These bikes can be reasonably efficient on paved surfaces (not in the same league as a real road bike, but way better than a comfort bike or even what they call an expedition bike), but you can also easily tackle established trails in the woods or wherever. You can basically ride these bikes just about anywhere. The advantage for you is that like the comfort bike, they have flat handlebars and they can be set high. Later, as you get more fit, you might want to have them a bit lower, and these bikes allow that.

  10. #10
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    We ordered 2 7500's (got 2008 models) yesterday and just beat the price increase from what I see in some forum news!

    Can't wait to get them---any idea how much work to set these up ourselves? (as in how assembled are they for shipping?)

  11. #11
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acs55812 View Post
    We ordered 2 7500's (got 2008 models) yesterday and just beat the price increase from what I see in some forum news!

    Can't wait to get them---any idea how much work to set these up ourselves? (as in how assembled are they for shipping?)
    First, contratulations on your new bikes, I'm sure you're going to like them!

    If you bought them from a bike shop the assembly, checkout, adjustment, and fitting to your body should all be taken care of by the shop. If you bought the bikes from Walmart or such, you probably are best off building them yourself. For my slow pace I'd allow a day each.

    Some technology has changed in 20 years, so maintainance, while still very straightforward, is a little different.

  12. #12
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    Skip the Wallyworld bikes. I like some of the bikes in the Jamis Street lineup. Here is a link http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...eet/index.html

  13. #13
    hubgears BB49's Avatar
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    Read some of Sheldon Brown's articles at Harris Bike website.
    Have very low gearing. Gearing can usually be lowered on any bike by a shop.
    You may want about 20 gear-inches, or less, on the low end.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Catweazle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acs55812 View Post
    P.S. Add to this the brakes,,,,should (for our use) we care much about disk brakes as opposed to the old fashion squeeze the wheel type?

    Even if you get an entry level bike from a bike shop, rather than a Wally-world bike, those 'squeeze' brakes will be more than adequate for what you need. On the cheap chainstore bikes the quality of brake pads, and the quality of the wheel rims don't make for good grip. But any half-decent bike does a lot better.


    The disk brakes on a chainstore bike won't pull you up as well as the standard brakes on a bike shop bike. It's as simple as that. You shouldn't really be needing to look at disk brakes until and unless you carrying lots of luggage and probably towing a trailer

  15. #15
    Old Newbie cllvt's Avatar
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    New Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by acs55812 View Post
    We ordered 2 7500's (got 2008 models) yesterday and just beat the price increase from what I see in some forum news!

    Can't wait to get them---any idea how much work to set these up ourselves? (as in how assembled are they for shipping?)
    I am sure it depends on where you ordered them a bit. I have purchased one bike on-line. I had to put ...

    1) Front wheel back on
    2) put the handlebar on
    3) I may have had to put on the seat, can't remember

    It actually took longer to carefully unpack/unwrap the bike than actually assemble it. The shifting and brakes etc., were set-up pretty decent, but as any new bike after a few rides and new cables streching, etc. it needed some minor tweaks.

    Congrats!
    Chris

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind" - Dr. Suess

  16. #16
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acs55812 View Post
    We ordered 2 7500's (got 2008 models) yesterday and just beat the price increase from what I see in some forum news!

    Can't wait to get them---any idea how much work to set these up ourselves? (as in how assembled are they for shipping?)
    From a bike shop, they should come completely assembled and adjusted. Also, the usual standard from a bike shop is at least one free adjustment after you've ridden the bike for a month or two.

  17. #17
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    The Trek 7500 is a nice bike. When I wrote earlier that the 7300 would be a good deal with your 40% discount, I didn't think you were going to spend as much as two 7500s would cost. The 7500 has quality parts, easy gearing, comfortable riding position, adjustable stem to put the handlebars where you want them, and nice comfy 700x35 tires.

    They are putting a better saddle on it than they used to. So it may work out for you. But don't be too surprised if you need to change it.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  18. #18
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I don't like having to read between the lines (a little help here, OP?), but it seems that there must be some kind of deal at work where they are able to order the bikes unassembled at a discount. Hope you're not falling for a scam.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  19. #19
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    Where my Daughter works they loan bikes out to customers of that business, they are a dealer to get better pricing since they buy a few new bikes each year (I am being somewhat vague in this because I am not sure if they are supposed to compete with the LBS by selling to employees)---thats where the 40% comes in and I am assuming I will be doing the assembly. Not a scam, but not sure if they are crossing the line by doing me a favor.

    I pretty much plan on a new seat for better comfort.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acs55812 View Post
    Where my Daughter works they loan bikes out to customers of that business, they are a dealer to get better pricing since they buy a few new bikes each year (I am being somewhat vague in this because I am not sure if they are supposed to compete with the LBS by selling to employees)---thats where the 40% comes in and I am assuming I will be doing the assembly. Not a scam, but not sure if they are crossing the line by doing me a favor.

    I pretty much plan on a new seat for better comfort.
    It sounds like you'll be on your own for assembly, adjustment, tune-up, and support. Use the resources of Bike Forums for information. There are a lot of really knowledgeable people here.

  21. #21
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    Cannondale adventure

    I have had a cannondale adventure for the last three years. It's grown on me.
    It is set up for commuting with a rear rack and bell wire baskets on each side of the rear rack.
    Also use one of the baskets to put a one gallon water jug in if riding with others who have no water storage to speak of.

    Looks like Erik's sells these for around $400.

    Good luck.

  22. #22
    Senior Member RoMad's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your new bikes. Those are great bikes and you should enjoy them. I bought a new Lemond in the box a couple of years ago and it was very easy to put together. (Lemond and Trek are owned by the same company). All I had to do was carefully unwrap everything and untie the parts that were tied to the frame, then put the front wheel on, the handlebars and pedals and that was pretty much it as far as I remember. The gears, chain and all the stuff I was worried about was already on it. Mine came with no pedals, I'm not sure if yours will have them or not. On the seat subject, good luck with the stock seat. Iv'e had two bikes that came with Bontrager seats and did not like either of them but the seat is a very unique to every individual thing. When you get them if you get stuck with anything just post it here and someone will be able to help you.

  23. #23
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    I wanted something to pedal around the 55 plus commuinity we moved into so I bought a Cannondale Comfort 5 today. 66 years old and haven't been on a bike in years. Seems just fine for now.

  24. #24
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    If you are comfortable with sizing, you can save a lot of money buying used, through Craigs List or similar. I bought my Trek 950 for $75 on C/L. Although it is a mountain bike, with the right tires, it is good on road, on the trail or whatever. I am currently setting it up as a touring bike.

    The older rigid framed mountain bikes are very durable and very adaptable. Mine is a lugged steel frame bike.

  25. #25
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    $75 for a decent condition Trek 950 is a very good deal.. I've seen them go for $300+.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

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