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Old 09-17-08, 08:29 AM   #1
Raven87
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Hello from a new guy looking for a new bike - recommendations?

Hi, I'm Steve and have been hanging out mostly in the Clydesdale and Recreational forums. I just stumbled across this one and since I'm 54, I knew right away this was a place for me to start reading too!

Like, I said, I'm 54, 6'1 and 315 lbs (definitely a Clydesdale although my wife works me like I'm a draft horse!) and am about to buy a new bike. I've looked at several (I like to research) and like all of them, usually for different reasons.

But I've narrowed my picks down to either a Trek (Navigator or Pure Sport), Cannondale (Comfort 4 or 5 or an Adventure 4 or 5), Specialized Expedition Elite, and the Giant Sedona DX. Right now, the leading candidate is probably the Cannondale Comfort with the others all tied for a close second. It's confusing!

That's because I have a Cannondale M500 mountain bike that has served me well for many years although I have not ridden much for the last ~10-12 years and only recently rediscovered my love of cycling. The M500 is just too painful too ride much anymore due to my knee pain (arthritis) and the fit that puts so much weight on the handlebars. But really, nearly all of this is due to having gotten older and my slow but steady weight gain over the years.

However, I'm losing the weight now and going after it aggressively so the bike will be a big help.

Any recommendations or past experiences to share that would help?
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Old 09-17-08, 08:45 AM   #2
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Welcome! Clyesdales ARE draft horses, right (lol!!)?

I'm a mini-Clyde, 5'5 and 180#, so my concerns are nothing like yours. I do need to work harder on my weight, however.

BUT: my neighbor went out and bought a comfort bike, and has now been riding for three months. She feels back and wrist pain from slouching down in the normal CB upright position. Her boyfriend and I are now trying to get her to at least consider a hybrid-style or "fitness" bike like a Cannondale Road Warrior (just an example), to start to lean her forward. More pedalling power, less saddle pressure, start to stretch out her back, and a lighter, brisker feel while riding.

I'd suggest that moving from a mountain bike to a comfort bike might not be the best choice for you. I would personally not go that way. I can't really say anything about which fitness bike might be best for your weight.

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Old 09-17-08, 10:13 AM   #3
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I have seriously looked at Hybrid bikes as well (Cannondale's Adventure series, Trek's 7000 series, and Giant's Cypress as well as the Specialized Crossroads series.

I like the idea of the Hybrids because they are a closer design to what I have but for me the bottom line is comfort. I need to ride a few more (hope to do so today) and then I'll decide.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 09-17-08, 10:17 AM   #4
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I did consider revamping my M500 with a new seat, post, and bars - perhaps shorter crank arms too - but the other biggest issue is that it is a ~20" frame which for me is now harder to mount/dismount.

The bike just does not fit like it used to. I love that bike and it's a dream to ride. Plus, it's American made where the ones I'm looking at now are all overseas parts but possibly assembled here.

So, my quest continues but I want to buy one soon. The '09's are out so some good buys can be found on the remaining '08's.
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Old 09-17-08, 10:40 AM   #5
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I have a Trek 7300 that I bought in March as a 2007 leftover. With the adjustable stem I could change the riding position to the point that it was almost "comfort bike-ish". I bought it in order to ride a local MUP/rail-trail with m'lady and it has served well for that purpose, and I still love it.

However, I have found myself riding more and more on the road, and recently purchased a road bike...I'm still getting used to the riding position.

I guess what I'm saying is that this bike will be more to help define what kind of riding you enjoy...a sort of starting point. When you are getting back into it, your first bike will definitely not be your last (or only) bike.
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Old 09-17-08, 11:05 AM   #6
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Any recommendations or past experiences to share that would help?
Make sure you get a bike you like to ride. You won't ride a bike you don't like to ride.

Enjoy the ride.
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Old 09-17-08, 11:05 AM   #7
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I went from Mountain bikes to a Giant OCR. That initial change was a shock but I followed the rule of buying bikes and used that 1st road bike to decide what the second road bike was going to be. The OCR was set up with bars level with the saddle and at a distance apart that it felt comfortable. The second one was more stretched out (Longer top tube) and the bars are 3" below the saddle. That is even more comfortable.

Couple of Hybrids that have proved very popular as they are Road bikes with straight Bars. The Giant FCR and the Specialised Sirrus. I would recommend the Specialised to anyone so hunt out a dealership and get test riding.
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Old 09-17-08, 08:01 PM   #8
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I test rode a Jamis Boss Cruiser 7 speed this afternoon. Nice bike, comfortable seating and nice features. I did not like the fact it did not have a quick adjust seat though and the handlebars were a bit cheesy but overall it was nice. Looking at more tomorrow...
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Old 09-17-08, 08:11 PM   #9
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If you like the Specialized Sirrus you must also try a Specialized Sequoia... I'm in love with mine. I thought a flat bar bike would be comfortble, but it's not so. There just aren't enough hand positions.
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Old 09-17-08, 08:29 PM   #10
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You are looking at the right kinds of bikes, IMHO. And you have a nice selection to try. I think you are on the right path.

I would try to "bracket" your preference. The Navigator and Pure are near the extreme of a relaxed/upright seating geometry. The Giant Suede is too. Only thing beyond these are recumbents (which I wouldn't rule out if you haven't tried one).

The standard hybrids, like the Trek 7x00 series and Cannondale Adventure are somewhat relaxed.

Then you have bikes like the Trek FX-series, Specialized Sirrus, and Cannondale Road Warrior which are slightly relaxed from a road bike. If you try one of these and find it uncomfortable/unusable/hard on your hands, then you've gone too far.

I have problems with my hands, probably getting arthritis in my thumbs, and I battle to ride the more aggressive geometries. I have a flat-bar Fuji bike, which is very similar to the Trek FX and Spec Sirrus bikes, and I've had to raise the handlebars twice and am still fiddlin' with it.

But I can ride my recumbent for hours without the slightest pain in my hands. Comfort bikes would be close to the same thing.
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Old 09-17-08, 08:34 PM   #11
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There's a thread running on here somewhere about a guy much like you that found out the hard way that the rider's position is all about finding the sweet spot. He set aside his old seriously aggresive lean forward bike for one that was super sit upright.... and found that his backside hurt like blazes after a few miles. In desparation he pulled out the old "racey" bike only to find out, no surprise here, that his hands hurt after a while. BUT... his backside was fine.

The moral of the story is that you want to share the load between your backside and hands. But for each of us the happy spot will depend on a lot of things with our own personal condition. So keep an open mind on this. And with some careful selection of new parts like riser bars and the right stem and some road slick tires you may well find that the old M500 is just a dandy bike.

Mind you far be it from me to steer you from a shiney new bike... But when you're shopping don't assume that really upright is the way to go.

One other fact that I'm also certain of. If you keep up the riding and ride often enough and far enough per ride that you'll loose weight and at the same time build up a fair amount of new muscle. And as this happens your own personal "sweet spot" for the setup of the bike's cockpit will change a lot. Suddenly a new stem that leans you slightly more forward and you have to reach for will be just the ticket for that hill you're having problems with. And the slight extra tuck will aid your average speed a lot. Stuff like that. And the best part is that it won't hurt any more.

So keep your bike fluid. Don't go for TOO short a frame because it lets you sit up and keeps the bars close in. But don't take what I'm saying as meaning you should just buy a racing bike. Far from it. If you need to reach about 6 inches down and forward to get to the bars that's a nice first step that'll balance your weight on the two contact points so neither has to pay the price.... or rather they'll both scream as loudly at the same time....

Other than that it sure sounds like there's no losers in your list. Just get the one that seems to work the best for you when you're out riding. And I always suggest finding the steepest hill near the bike shop. They ALL feel great just pottering along. A bit of a huff up a hill is what separates the tanks from the Ferrari for you.
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Old 09-18-08, 10:59 AM   #12
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I've found that "comfort" bikes, like Trek or KHS, just to name two, that have an adjustable handlebar riser are great. When my back is a little "off" a bit of raising or lowering does wonders for a days ride. A buddy of mine switched from a road bike to a comfort, with the adjustments, his wrist and shoulder problems disappeared. Good luck
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Old 09-18-08, 11:19 AM   #13
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I've found that "comfort" bikes, like Trek or KHS, just to name two, that have an adjustable handlebar riser are great. When my back is a little "off" a bit of raising or lowering does wonders for a days ride. A buddy of mine switched from a road bike to a comfort, with the adjustments, his wrist and shoulder problems disappeared. Good luck
After the test rides, I am convinced that I want/need at least a Hybrid and most likely a 'Comfort' style. This will not be my last bike I'll buy but it will be what works now while I'm losing weight. When more pounds come off, I'll look at buying something more aggressive (maybe).
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Old 09-18-08, 11:52 AM   #14
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After the test rides, I am convinced that I want/need at least a Hybrid and most likely a 'Comfort' style. This will not be my last bike I'll buy but it will be what works now while I'm losing weight. When more pounds come off, I'll look at buying something more aggressive (maybe).
Bingo!
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Old 09-18-08, 01:16 PM   #15
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Whatever you get, make sure it's not white.

edit: And post a picture of the pie.
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Old 09-18-08, 01:26 PM   #16
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Whatever you get, make sure it's not white.

edit: And post a picture of the pie.
Huh? "Pie"? I'm sure I'm missing something here...
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Old 09-18-08, 02:32 PM   #17
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Huh? "Pie"? I'm sure I'm missing something here...
Definitely are but you will learn many things as you progress your riding with this Forum--

Pie is one of the Basics of riding

N+1 is a surety

Dues are payable on your 4th posting on the Forum- But I feel that the treasurer will be contacting you shortly. If he doesn't- you can send a blank Bankers draft or cheque to dnvrfox and he will sort it for you

And pics are nice.
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Old 09-18-08, 02:35 PM   #18
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I test rode a Jamis Boss Cruiser 7 speed this afternoon. Nice bike, comfortable seating and nice features. I did not like the fact it did not have a quick adjust seat though and the handlebars were a bit cheesy but overall it was nice. Looking at more tomorrow...
Good to see your looking- but don't bother about the quick release on the seat post- Once you have the saddle dialled in- you will not Change its position

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If you like the Specialized Sirrus you must also try a Specialized Sequoia... I'm in love with mine. I thought a flat bar bike would be comfortble, but it's not so. There just aren't enough hand positions.
+1 on checking both the Sirrus and Sequoia. Two good bikes and Road bikes do work.
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Old 09-18-08, 02:53 PM   #19
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Huh? "Pie"? I'm sure I'm missing something here...
The theory is that once you're 50 you only ride a bike if you can have a piece of pie afterwards.

Not teh best strategy for me as an aspiring weight-reducer.

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Old 09-18-08, 08:26 PM   #20
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The theory is that once you're 50 you only ride a bike if you can have a piece of pie afterwards.
Not the best strategy for me as an aspiring weight-reducer.

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Ahh...! I see now. Obviously, at 315 (and dropping), I've eaten a piece of pie or two!
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Old 09-18-08, 11:54 PM   #21
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Forget the pie, I'll stick with beer--so many more varieties
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