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Old 07-14-09, 12:27 PM   #1
michaelpri
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Help please

I just found this forum and it looks like there are quite a few very knowledgeable people on it so I thought that I would join and hopefully obtain some valuable information.

My wife and I are both 60 and just starting to ride since being in our teens.

At this point my anticipation is that we will be riding paved trails and city stuff- nothing really "off road" unless it is a dirt trail.

I have uncovered one of my sons old bikes, a Schwinn Sprint 10 speed in the basement and my wife was trying an old mountain bike. She found it too hard to pedal-- possibly the knobby tires-or what ever. In any event, we found a used Diamondback outlook at a store over the weekend in excellent shape and they changed the tires to some type of semi slick tire. It seems to ride much easier, however, the tires "look" small. They are 26 in but actually measure 25" across diaganally. She is not sure about the bike. They also had a Giant Hybrid -entry level' (new) but it was quite a bit more-- twice the price.

Questions- would the Diamondback be a good bike for a year or so to make sure she is going to continue with this and then get a better bike or should I look for a better one now? This one just looks small, but it fits her well-- I just want riding to be easy for her. I also have a Schwinn World, but she doesn't like the narrow tires and forward lean.

Since I dion't want to spend a great deal on bikes now, am I better to take the Schwinn Sprint in for a tune and adjustments, and tires- since they are dry as crackers-- about 100.00 or should I look for a used bike for myself as well? I have ridden the Schwinn about 4 miles so far-- a couple of times-- I can tell it is dryed up-- stands to reason. If a different bike- what kind.

Also, what kind of luck have you had with bike racks? I want toi get a 2" receiver hitch type. I have seen the Thule type and Yakima and the Saris looks good. I have never used one so I am not sure what is additional hype or really necessary.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-14-09, 12:35 PM   #2
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If the bike fits- and it can be pedalled- buy it.

The first bike is never the one you stay with so that first bike has to be ridable. If it doesn't fit-too hard to ride- hurts the back after 5 minutes and it will be sold next year and not replaced.

Same on the bike for you.

Once you have got fit(ter)- got over the butt ache- done your first 25 mile trip and THEN found that the bikes aren't really suitable- decide what you do want and go and look for new bikes.
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Old 07-14-09, 01:10 PM   #3
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You need to give bicycling a fair chance.

That means a decent, well-fitting bike - it doesn't have to be real expensive - but one that you sort of fall-in-love with.

If you are new, and don't know what you are doing, I would not recommend buying a used bike unless you have a friend who is knowledgeable. Also, visit some local bike shops and see what is available. My daughter-in-law just bought a cruiser bike with a basket and loves it - 7 speed internal hub.

If you were just learning to eat Mexican food, and I gave you a plate of used, old cold, poorly prepared food, you would quickly determine that Mexican food was not for you.

same with bicycling.
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Old 07-14-09, 01:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelpri View Post
It seems to ride much easier, however, the tires "look" small. They are 26 in but actually measure 25" across diaganally.
Read this --> http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html
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Old 07-14-09, 01:26 PM   #5
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That information on the tires is great.

I am just wondering though, (since I really do not know) wouldn't a larger tire be easier to roll? It's just that these tires on the Diamondback look so small especially next to a 10 speed-- and the Hybrids seem to have the 700 (something) tires. It makes sense that they would be easier-- but I can always be wrong. It might be the size of the cranks as well. I just really want this to be an easy bike for my wife to peddle. I am hoping that the Diamondback is a fairly good quality bike.

I am also wondering if investing 100.00 in the olsd Sprint is smart-- I guess I will need a better seat as well- the original is very hard.
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Old 07-14-09, 01:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelpri View Post
the tires "look" small. They are 26 in but actually measure 25" across diaganally.
That's normal. Think about it, the wheel would measure differently for different widths of tire, and would only be a true 26" with ONE width, which IIRC is 26x1.9". I'm guessing your wife's tires are marked 26x1.5 or thereabouts. For road use, I consider anything over 1 1/4 to be "fat." I sometimes run a 26x1 on the back of my recumbent; same rim but with the skinny tire the overall wheel only measures a bit over 24" tall.
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Old 07-14-09, 01:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelpri View Post
Also, what kind of luck have you had with bike racks? I want toi get a 2" receiver hitch type. I have seen the Thule type and Yakima and the Saris looks good. I have never used one so I am not sure what is additional hype or really necessary.

Thanks in advance.
Bike racks for your car are essential unless you never drive them anywhere or unless you have a cargo space big enough but those you mention probably cost more than the bikes you're considering.

All newcomers don't want to spend too much money before they find out if they're going to like cycling long term. You don't have to spend a lot of money on new bikes but it's really easy to throw away too much on old bikes that you'll never be happy with - so proceed with caution.
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Old 07-14-09, 01:58 PM   #8
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The tires actually say 26 x 38 32-- is that correct?
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Old 07-14-09, 02:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by michaelpri View Post
I am also wondering if investing 100.00 in the olsd Sprint is smart-- I guess I will need a better seat as well- the original is very hard.
Most bike seats that the folks on this forum use are "hard." I don't know if your bike seat is especially hard due to age, or if it has always been that way.

The reason for a hard seat is that, on longer rides, you want your weight supported on your "sit bones" - your ischial (sp?) tuberosities. You don't want a lot of flesh in contact with a seat, as it will rub and cause sores, etc.

For shorter rides, it likely makes little difference.

Sometimes finding a seat that you like and fits you takes some time and effort.
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Old 07-14-09, 02:35 PM   #10
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Larger wheels roll a little easier, but not so much that you would notice it in casual riding. If the tires are smooth enough to roll freely, they should be just fine.

You can spend quite a bit on bike racks, but the Bell hitch racks sold at Walmart and similar stores for around $100 will do a fine job of carrying your bikes around. That's what I have.
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