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Old 09-20-08, 01:44 PM   #1
stvbck
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Returning to biking, new bike suggestions?

Hi to all

I have recently put my old '61 Schwinn Panther paperbike back on the road after many years in storage and as a result am now enthusiastic about riding again. The one speed Schwinn of course does not like to go up hills, of which there are many where I live.

I have been researching new bikes online and would appreciate advice on a bike with the following requirements:

1. Comfort. Must have an upright stance and compatible with street clothes. No lycra.

2. Versatility. Will be ridden 75% of the time on bike paths or streets, but also would like the capability of gravel and dirt roads, such as forest service roads, fire roads, etc.

3. Simplicity. Would prefer an internal geared hub, or only a rear derailleur, but this may not be compatible with item 4.

4. Gearing, specifically a low enough gear to climb steep paved roads and negotiate dirt roads.

5. Price, preferably under $500.

I am not interested in speed, going up a ski lift and riding back down a trail, or any type of "technical" riding. I would like to be able to carry some gear, such as a cooler and fishing pole, and prefer wide (at least 1.75") tires.

As of now, I am looking at the Giant Sedona or Schwinn Sierra as possibilities.

Thanks for the help!

Here's a picture of the Schwinn, for a little nostalgia:

Last edited by stvbck; 09-20-08 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 09-20-08, 02:16 PM   #2
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You could look at the Specialized Globe line they are in the price range, upright seating and have models with cassette gears or internal gears.
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Old 09-20-08, 02:55 PM   #3
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If you have hills you need gears and looking at your wish list on the NEW bike- The Sedona or bikes like it will be your best bet. But before you commit too hard- Test out the Hybrid bikes aswell.
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Old 09-21-08, 09:19 PM   #4
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I wanted all the things you stated. I'm very happy with my KHS TC-150. It's a comfort with an adjustable handlebar riser which suits my back, some days up some down. Check it out,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


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Old 09-22-08, 11:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info, I think I'm on the right track.

Greenport, I like the picture of your KHS, particularly the rack and kickstand, which are the first things I would add when I get a bike.

Right now I'm primarily looking at the Giant Sedona DX or Jamis Explorer 2. My LBS stocks Jamis, and the next step is to rent one for a day and try it out.

Thanks again,
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Old 09-22-08, 11:42 AM   #6
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I had a Schwinn Corvette with 3 speed when I had my paper route back in the late 50s. I bought a Trek Navigator 2.0 about 2 months ago and love it. It looks a lot like the KHS pictured above. I think I paid $360 for it.
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Old 09-22-08, 03:00 PM   #7
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You could add a SRAM Pentasport five speed hub to the Panther.

Hub: under $125 on your charge card. Pride of ownership: priceless.

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Old 09-23-08, 09:25 AM   #8
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You could add a SRAM Pentasport five speed hub to the Panther.

Hub: under $125 on your charge card. Pride of ownership: priceless.

tcs
I like that idea. The Panther looks great.
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Old 09-29-08, 09:22 AM   #9
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5 speed hub

Actually, I have been looking into converting the Panther into a 3-speed. Sturmey Archer, Shimano, and SRAM all make 3-speed hubs with coaster brakes, which would make that bike a lot more versatile. For awhile I had a Schwinn Racer with the AW hub.

I will need to research the specs to see what fits that bike, and decide if I really want to try to rebuild the wheel. I have found the excellent instructions on wheel rebuilding from Sheldon Brown. I'll look into the 5-speed SRAM hub too.

Meanwhile, I did rent a Navigator 2.0 for a day, and tried it out on pavement, gravel, and steep (paved) coastal roads. This is definately the type of bike I'm looking for. I'm waiting for the '09 Jamis Explorers to come in to my LBS, and am very interested in the '09 Explorer 3, which has a Nexus 8 speed internal gear hub. From my test ride, the Nexus has all the gear range I need for what I want to do.
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Old 09-29-08, 09:37 AM   #10
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You might consider checking Craigslist every day for bikes that meet your criteria. Based on the picture of your Schwinn, I'd guess that you enjoy fixing up and cleaning up bikes.
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Old 09-29-08, 10:12 AM   #11
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3. Simplicity. Would prefer an internal geared hub, or only a rear derailleur, but this may not be compatible with item 4.

4. Gearing, specifically a low enough gear to climb steep paved roads and negotiate dirt roads.
A derailleur system with triple rings in front is no more complicated to ride than what you're proposing. Nearly all of your shifting would be using the rear gears. The front is to select a range, and you wouldn't be changing ranges frequently. In any case, modern twist-grip or trigger shifters are so easy to use, that multiple gears don't really add any difficulty. A typical mountain bike set-up gives you about a 6:1 over-all range of gears, with the rear providing 3:1, and the front 2:1.
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Old 09-29-08, 10:48 AM   #12
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I haven't shopped for bicycles in many years so I offer little help for you in terms of specific bicycle models or "deals."

However, I thought I'd add a few comments reflecting my observations about "comfortable" bikes and bike-fit learned from the many years that I labored in the bicycle industry.

You are correct in understanding that relative handlebar-grip height to relative saddle height is very important to a any given cyclist's comfort. And similarly, you eventually mention you prefer large tires as a means - I suppose - of adding a more comfortable ride-quality while bicycling on rougher surfaces.

In the picture you post, your vintage "paper-boy" bike sports a large padded saddle. I am assuming you might wish to use a similar saddle on any new bicycle as well.

My experience with many "born-again" cyclists suggests that when shopping for a "new-fangled" bicycle they often fail to realize that they may be overstating their required level of comfort and needlessly sacrificing much of any increases in modern bicycling performance technologies.

Perhaps, your bicycle purchase analysis should include the possibility that your priorities could change. Any discussions with sales staff might include how and if the tires, saddle and bicycle fit can be modified should you become more interested in "getting there" and less interested in a perfectly comfortable ride.

Often people find that cycling becomes "more comfortable" the more they do it.
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Old 10-04-08, 07:35 PM   #13
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Thanks again to all for the input. Richard, you are exact with your analysis and I understand that in the future my attitudes towards bikes may change, but for now a "comfort bike" is the best route get into "born-again" cycling.

Cycling is indeed more comfortable the more they do it, I am now averaging 15 miles a day on the old Schwinn, wishing for a low gear so I would not have to stand up and pump going uphill, and a high gear so I could go faster without pedaling out on the flats. BTW, the "gear inches" on the Schwinn is 61, which is equivalent to 6th or 7th gear on the middle chainring of the bike I rented.

After riding my brother's Trek 7000 mountain bike (with clip in pedals), which I found efficient but immediately uncomfortable, I've decided to buy a Jamis Explorer 2.0. Many bikes are in this category, but I wish to patronize my LBS, which hopefully will have this bike in stock soon. The Explorer 3.0 exceeds my budget, plus I need funds for accessories.

Converting the Schwinn into a 3 speed or 5 speed is on the list of desired toys and projects.

Now it's off to fix the latest loud noise that developed on today's ride with the Panther. Probably should have not ridden it across all those ruts in the field..........
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Old 10-05-08, 03:34 AM   #14
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Maybe you need to keep an eye out for another Scwhinn classic with more gears? Collegiates and Suburbans come to mind. Your Panther looks great. Stop by the Classic and Vintage sub forum. They have all kinds of ideas and will be very helpful if you convert it to a multi-internal geared hub.
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Old 10-05-08, 10:04 AM   #15
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Maybe you need to keep an eye out for another Scwhinn classic with more gears? Collegiates and Suburbans come to mind. Your Panther looks great. Stop by the Classic and Vintage sub forum. They have all kinds of ideas and will be very helpful if you convert it to a multi-internal geared hub.

Oh my gosh!! That photo nearly took my breath away. What a beautiful bike.
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