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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 07-11-08, 06:03 PM   #1
chewybrian 
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Picking a bike for Dad

I am not in the fifty plus crowd, but my Dad is. He is 67, and in fairly good shape. I have convinced him of the benefits of riding, and he has asked me to pick out a bike for him.

Are there any considerations for the bike appropriate for the age group? He will ride on trails and streets, presumably 10 miles or less. He wants both comfort and speed. I am tempted to pick out a hard tail MTB/hybrid, because that is what I know and love. What is your objective choice in the $500 range, new or used? thanks.
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Old 07-11-08, 06:28 PM   #2
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When you say trails do you mean off road trails or Rails to Trails? If he is going to be riding on rail trails or very light off road I would suggest a performance type hybrid with no front shock and somewhat skinny tires like maybe 28's that he can put 80 to 90 lbs of air in. Here is one that might be good http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes..._path/fx/72fx/. Do you have a LBS close by that you like? That would be a good place to start out by taking him there and letting him ride a few and see what feels good to him.
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Old 07-11-08, 06:35 PM   #3
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You will get a lot of good advice here - consider it carefully.
My warning though - get "Dad" enrolled in this forum and pretty soon he'll be kicking you butt just like he did years ago
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Old 07-11-08, 06:46 PM   #4
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When you say trails do you mean off road trails or Rails to Trails? If he is going to be riding on rail trails or very light off road I would suggest a performance type hybrid with no front shock and somewhat skinny tires like maybe 28's that he can put 80 to 90 lbs of air in. Here is one that might be good http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes..._path/fx/72fx/. Do you have a LBS close by that you like? That would be a good place to start out by taking him there and letting him ride a few and see what feels good to him.
I can also recommend the Trek FX series bikes. I have a friend in her early 70's that purchased one last year and she's been very satisfied with it. She previously rode a heavier hybrid and says she feels she can ride farther on the FX and not be tired.
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Old 07-11-08, 06:54 PM   #5
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Have your dad choose the bike.

There are lots of us in our 60's and 70's who ride quite a bit on road bikes and the like. Not that your dad necessarily wants to or should, but don't limit what he can do or achieve by pre-conceived notions about the limitations of age. All is possible.

Some of us race, ride across the country in 28 days, do organized rides of hundreds of miles.

I am 68 years old, approaching 69. Currently I ride about 150 miles per week. I also swim several hours per week and lift heavy weights, and do a fair amount of walking. I ride a Lemond Buenos Aires (road bike), a Windsor Leeds (road bike with panniers) and a mtn bike.

Generally, folks start with what they consider to be a more "gentle" bike, but, in my experience on this forum, many, many folks, after about a year, upgrade to a relaxed geometry road bike.

Good luck to your dad. Have him drop by the forum. Also, there is a "beginners" sticky at the top of the forum threads.
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Old 07-11-08, 08:35 PM   #6
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Your dad needs to be part of the picking, but for what you describe, I think something along the lines of a used rigid MTB would be a good place to start. Low investment, gets him started and see where his desires go from there.
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Old 07-12-08, 07:57 AM   #7
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Sounds like he is in the same boat I'm in. I just settled on a Specialized Crosstrail as a do it all bike for just that kind of stuff. It will cost a little more than 500, but after a 10 mile test ride, I fell in love with it on the local paved bike trails. It would also be very adequate for trails that are chipped, or smooth dirt.I plan to use it for grocery runs as well. Goes up straight walls all by itself, and still has high enuf gearing to go fast when I want to. I get to pick it up this morning.

I do a 22 to 30 mile loop every morning, and really look forward to it every day......
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Old 07-12-08, 09:40 AM   #8
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+1 on dad choosing the bike. A few dozen test riding gigs would be great father and son activity.

You might -- always humble suggestion only -- also consider a recumbent. This old guy might be riding a conventional bike a few hundred miles a year. With a bent it's a few thousand.
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Old 07-12-08, 12:49 PM   #9
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remember, whatever he buys, he will immediately fall into the 'n+1' mode, so it really doesn't matter what he gets--within 3 months (especially if he starts reading here) he will be just like DG was--looking for a new ride

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Old 07-12-08, 12:54 PM   #10
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I would buy him a good used rigid mountain bike or hybrid. If he gets into riding, he will likely move up to another bike regardless.
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Old 07-13-08, 07:00 AM   #11
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Thanks all. I am back where I started (hardtail hybrid), only I feel good about it now. I just hope he catches the bug. If I could turn him to the 'dark side' of golf, then maybe he will stick with the bike, too. thanks.
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Old 07-13-08, 07:08 AM   #12
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Thanks all. I am back where I started (hardtail hybrid), only I feel good about it now. I just hope he catches the bug. If I could turn him to the 'dark side' of golf, then maybe he will stick with the bike, too. thanks.
You can't go yet - where not done with you!
You must report back on how dad is doing and you must get him to sign up and introduce him so we can't pester his sorry rear into a biking maniac
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Old 07-13-08, 02:52 PM   #13
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Thanks all. I am back where I started (hardtail hybrid), only I feel good about it now. I just hope he catches the bug. If I could turn him to the 'dark side' of golf, then maybe he will stick with the bike, too. thanks.
Buy him the bike you really want and in your size and colour- Then if he doesn't like it- You have a spare bike that fits.

Initially- the best bike for an older rider would be a mountain bike/ Hybrid- but The mountain bikes will be heavy- have forks like po-go sticks that will take energy away from the riding(Unless it is an expensive bike) and have tyres that will drag on every surface they come across- that includes rough ground aswell. A hybrid is "Normally" lighter-Can have the same range of lower gears as the mountain bikes- and have tyres that will work on All surfaces except wet grass and dirt. Several types and grades of hybrids so choose carefully. Just make certain it fits and get a test ride to confirm that it is comfortable and works.

The other side of Dad not liking cycling- is that he will really get into it and realise that like most of us- His first bike is not what he should have got. So the first bike only serves to tell you what the 2nd bike will be.
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