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Old 01-28-09, 11:27 AM   #1
whbrown99
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Old-out of shape and overweight looking for a new bike

I currently have an older hybrid bike but due to age, stiffness and overweight, I'm having trouble mounting it. About the only way I can get on it is to lay it down and step over it. I am currently looking for a new hybrid with a lower cross bar. I'm thinging TREX 7100 or 7200. My size would be 17.5". Could use some help from anyone having the same problems.

Thanks
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Old 01-28-09, 11:47 AM   #2
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Even if you get a new bike with a lower top tube, you should consider an exercise program focusing on flexibility/range of motion.
Not sure that age, by itself, figures into your issues, unless you are 50+++.
Have you looked into crank-forward bikes, such as Electra?
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Old 01-28-09, 12:41 PM   #3
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Think mixte!
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Old 01-28-09, 12:58 PM   #4
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Age and overweight is not a problem- Most of us here have that but the stiffness is something you could sort out. A few gentle stretching exercises will help to get mobility back into an aging body. Nothing drastic- but a few knee bends- torso twisting and arm stretches should help. Done daily and in a few weeks- you would notice the difference- If it doesn't work- then look at a Compact frame bike- but you still have to get the butt on the saddle.
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Old 01-28-09, 01:08 PM   #5
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Even if you get a new bike with a lower top tube, you should consider an exercise program focusing on flexibility/range of motion.
I recently started a yoga class and this has helped tremendously with flexibility. Simple stretches should be just a helpful.
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Old 01-28-09, 01:36 PM   #6
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Thanks all, we'll work on the stretching. Gotta stop the aging process b/4 its too late.
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Old 01-28-09, 01:53 PM   #7
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Curious, if you don't mind, what is your age? (Betcha, no matter what it is, people here could come up with some inspiring, motivational stories "age-appropriate".)

P.S. "Too late" may not be until you inhale your last breath. But later is worse than sooner because it just gets harder. Welcome!

To twist G. Lemond's words about training: "You don't get younger, you just get slower at slowing down."

Last edited by Velo Fellow; 01-28-09 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 01-28-09, 02:08 PM   #8
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Curious, if you don't mind, what is your age? (Betcha, no matter what it is, people here could come up with some inspiring, motivational stories "age-appropriate".)

P.S. "Too late" may not be until you inhale your last breath. But later is worse than sooner because it just gets harder. Welcome!

To twist G. Lemond's words about riding: "You don't get younger, you just get slower at slowing down."
Hit 69 this summer. Feel great, just out of shape. Doin' the treadmill and got to get ridin' again.
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Old 01-28-09, 02:30 PM   #9
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The old bike's just fine . . .
Get the rider in shape. Best excersie: push away from the table and skip the beer!
Am 76 and have no such issues (yet); still pedalin 100+ miles a week.
Pedal on!
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Old 01-28-09, 02:53 PM   #10
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There's always this solution:



Top bar height something like 20-22 inches. A bit more expensive than a Trek7100, though.
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Old 01-28-09, 02:55 PM   #11
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Best excersie: push away from the table and skip the beer!
That's getting a bit radical isn't it?

My mum and dad are in their 70s and just took up Tai Chi for some daft reason - my dad is pretty much your traditionalist. However, they're loving it and both have reported big benefits.

If you're looking at bikes, some these days have lower seats and further forward cranks so you can sit on the seat with your feet flat on the ground - I know you didn't mention that as a problem but they might be worth looking at if you're finding the taller bikes a bit difficult (there's been some discussion of them on here recently).

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Old 01-28-09, 04:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whbrown99 View Post
I am currently looking for a new hybrid with a lower cross bar.
There's the Sun Cycles Streamway series - that's about as low as a crossbar can get. 1, 3, 7 and 24 speed versions.

HTH,
tcs

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Old 01-28-09, 05:56 PM   #13
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A thought....good, personal anatomic fit on the bike is important-- lowering the seat beyond what truly fits your body (to make mounting easier) would stress your knees and your lower back. Whatever bike you end up with, make sure it is fit to you and not you to the bike.

** I know this is obvious, but sometimes we all forget.
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Old 01-28-09, 06:07 PM   #14
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Or something like
http://www.catrike.com/road.htm
or
http://www.greenspeed.com.au/
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Old 01-28-09, 06:29 PM   #15
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It's possible that after only a few weeks of stretching or exercising, you could get to the point that you could get your leg over the bike. So perhaps that shouldn't be an important criterion for purchasing.
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Old 01-28-09, 06:43 PM   #16
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There is nothing wrong with leaning a bike over to swing a leg over the top tube, as long as the bike fits once you are astride it.

I have RA, and the range of motion for my hips and back can change by the hour. There are some times when I have to tilt the bike to where the pedal almost touches the ground to get on or off.

For me, the problem is not one of getting a leg over the top tube, but of getting it over the seat. I would have the same problem with a cranks forward bike. Once on the bike, range of motion ceases to be an issue..

If whbrown99 is having the same kind of problem, a bike with a lower or steeply slanted top tube won't help at all. Just tilt the bike to get on and off. After a while range of motion may get better.
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Old 01-28-09, 06:55 PM   #17
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A lower top tube won't help your problem unless it's so low that the bike is really a step-through. If you can't lift your leg high enough to clear the saddle with the bike upright, you'll still have to "lay it down and step over it", even with a sloping top tube. With a step-through, you can omit the "lay it down" part. Which Trek 7200 are you thinking of?

This...



Or this...
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Old 01-28-09, 07:29 PM   #18
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A lower top tube won't help your problem unless it's so low that the bike is really a step-through. If you can't lift your leg high enough to clear the saddle with the bike upright, you'll still have to "lay it down and step over it", even with a sloping top tube. With a step-through, you can omit the "lay it down" part. Which Trek 7200 are you thinking of?

This...



Or this...
I was thinking of the one on the top. I haven't visited the bike shop though to try a fit.
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Old 01-28-09, 08:39 PM   #19
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Overweight? Exercise by itself will NOT help you lose weight. It WILL make you hungrier. And that will take you back to where you start - overweight.

Here's my two cents:

To lose weight, so that you CAN exercise, eat fruit, eat vegetables. Eat fish, eat poultry, and eat meat. And eat lots of all of that, because fruits and veggies and protein have far less calories than the processed foods you should not be eating. And find a source - fish oil, e.g. - for Omega 3.

Cut down on dessert. It's probably impossible to cut it out completely, but cut down. Cut down on bread, pasta, pizza and cheese. It's impossible to cut it out completely, but cut down. These are processed foods, they all taste good, but they are all bad for you.

You need to exercise, not to lose weight, but to become fit enough to ride your bike. I say purchase the most expensive bike you can afford, and let that be part of your motivation to ride again. And it's perfectly acceptable to lay down or slant a bike to mount it.

Eat healthy foods, cut down/cut out processed foods, and you won't have to worry much about portion control. You'll lose weight, exercise will be easier, and you will loosen up those joints.
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Old 01-28-09, 08:46 PM   #20
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That'll preach, brother.
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Old 01-28-09, 10:05 PM   #21
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Overweight? Exercise by itself will NOT help you lose weight.
True...sorta. Exercise probably won't do it by itself, because it takes lots of exercise to lose weight. But exercise helps. It does burn calories, and it convinces your body to burn fat rather than muscle when you cut back on your food intake.

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To lose weight, so that you CAN exercise, eat fruit, eat vegetables. Eat fish, eat poultry, and eat meat. And eat lots of all of that
False. To lose weight, eat less. Losing weight is basically simple: Burn more calories than you take in. Your body will use its reserves to make up the difference.
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Old 01-29-09, 07:51 AM   #22
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Its also important to not eat late, meaning after 07:00pm. Try to have all your eating over with by 06:30pm or so. Around 08:00pm, mix a large tablespoon of Metamucil and 8oz of water, drink it down real quickly without stopping. Then follow that up with another 5 to 8oz of water. You will find that you will pee a lot, do #2 really really good, and you will lose weight. I have practiced this routine since around 1988 and it works, it really works. Add regular exercise to the mix and you are on your way. Another clue is take the advice of what one had to say previously, "push away from the table". Pigging out is out. Be truthful to yourself, you know when you are guilty as a hog.

Since you are going to look so good now, you might as well treat your skin to a present too. Soap up your face, get your hands all wet and warm with hot water, add salt to your hands and rub it in gently on your face. Do this regulary prior to going to bed for a month, and your face skin will look younger and healthier. I promise.

You welcome,
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Old 01-29-09, 09:23 AM   #23
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Overweight? Exercise by itself will NOT help you lose weight. It WILL make you hungrier. And that will take you back to where you start - overweight.

Here's my two cents:

To lose weight, so that you CAN exercise, eat fruit, eat vegetables. Eat fish, eat poultry, and eat meat. And eat lots of all of that, because fruits and veggies and protein have far less calories than the processed foods you should not be eating. And find a source - fish oil, e.g. - for Omega 3.

Cut down on dessert. It's probably impossible to cut it out completely, but cut down. Cut down on bread, pasta, pizza and cheese. It's impossible to cut it out completely, but cut down. These are processed foods, they all taste good, but they are all bad for you.

You need to exercise, not to lose weight, but to become fit enough to ride your bike. I say purchase the most expensive bike you can afford, and let that be part of your motivation to ride again. And it's perfectly acceptable to lay down or slant a bike to mount it.

Eat healthy foods, cut down/cut out processed foods, and you won't have to worry much about portion control. You'll lose weight, exercise will be easier, and you will loosen up those joints.
I did EXACTLY what icyclist said above, and I lost 65 pounds in four months - from 222 to 157, my college days weight. And it's been a year now with no change. I literally cut out all breads, pasta, added sugar, all processed foods, cut out 100% all fast food (still won't eat it) and inappropriate restaurant food. Sugar is the enemy for me. And Splenda is my friend ;~). I read somewhere that eating one piece of white bread is equivalent to consuming 12 teaspoons of sugar (gluclose)! Never again.

I really didn't restrict myself on portions of protein or veggies at all - in fact, I have eaten more eggs in the last 12 months than I have in my prior 52 years, and I love them. I watched fruit...no tropical varieties or at least very minimal amounts because of fructose content. Fruits became dessert. Despite my massive increase in protein consumption, my cholesterol went from 235 to 186, my "good" cholesterol numbers increased incredibly to better than normal range and my "bad" cholesterol decreased massively to better than normal range. Triglycerides normalized, BP normalized. Doctor says I'm the poster boy for diet and exercise - best compliment I could ever get.

I feel so thankful that I've finally woken up. Mind over matter.

The best part is that as I've gotten healthier and reduced my weight, my brain has cleared, I feel like a twenty-something again physically, my fitness level has soared, and now I'm addicted to the road ;~).

Give me a hill to climb and I'm a happy man. My rides are a Trek Pilot 5.0 (wow, what a great machine!), Trek 1500, Trek 1000 for the trainer, and Trek 7300 for the slush and trails.

Ah, this is my first post so thanks for all of the advice that I've sucked up here over the last few months. Really, really helpful. You guys are the best.
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Old 01-29-09, 09:26 AM   #24
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...oh yeah, and I ride to eat. I love shoo-fly pie and I allow myself that luxury. Only costs a couple of miles ;~).
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Old 02-16-09, 11:34 AM   #25
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I did purchase a Giant Cypress DX Saturday and it fit well and rides nice. Bike size is medium so I still have to slant it a bit but seems to be no problem. Working on the diet, tuna, veggies and fruit - no bread at all. We're gonna wip this thing. Thanks for all of your words of encouragement.

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