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Old 07-16-09, 04:29 PM   #1
twray
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Thanks for the good advice, another question.

Thanks for all the great advice in my previous thread, "60 year old needs bike advice". Taking all the advice into account I have decided to go with a road bike.

Now I would appreciate any suggestions on a road bike in the $1000.00 range that has a lower gearing than a more standard racing gear set.

Thanks again.

Tom
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Old 07-16-09, 04:51 PM   #2
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Have you visited any bikes shops to see what brands they carry and which bikes seem interesting to you? Every major bicycle manufacturer makes good bikes within your price range. You should go to every bike shop near you and ask questions. It is probably more important that you pick the right shop than which brand of bike you choose.
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Old 07-16-09, 05:22 PM   #3
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+1 on the bike shop being an important choice.

At your price range, you can afford to find a decent frame that fits you well and then modify gearing as needed for your hills as initial fitness. As the hills flatten -- and they will -- you can gear higher.
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Old 07-16-09, 06:16 PM   #4
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+1 again. There are a lot of manufacturers who make very similar bikes. I look for a shop where they spend as much time with the occasional rider as they do with the racer, and one of the first things they should talk about is proper fit. Ask how they do a fitting. It should be a bit involved: they should have tools for measuring you. "Stand over the frame" is not good enough.

Good luck! The fun part is test-riding to your heart's content.
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Old 07-16-09, 06:31 PM   #5
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+1 on fit being #1. You might want to look at a triple crankset. The small ring will give you plenty of low end but you'll still have the big ring to aspire to.
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Old 07-16-09, 07:16 PM   #6
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Just let the bike shop advise you. Get a triple, reduce the lowest gear from a 30 tooth to 28 tooth. Your choice on whether to run with 12-27 or 11-34 on the rear. It's a trade off between having a really low gear and having smooth transitions between gears.
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Old 07-16-09, 07:21 PM   #7
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I am 62 and bought a 2004 Cannondale road bike after I retired 7 years ago. I had done a reasonable amount of road cycling with friends throughout my younger years. I got it a my LBS and it had a triple crank. At the moment, I almost didn't buy the triple because my younger year macho nearly took hold of me. Reality kicked in and I have never been sorry I got the triple. I live in a realatively hilly area and there is no way I would make it up some up my local hills without the rear 26. In fact, I wish I had a 27!

Over the last few years, I use the small chain-ring less and less, but I never look up ahead and see a hill that I know I don't have the ability to climb. I may go at it slow, but I know I can mash my way up!

I am 6' and 200. I DO WISH I had spent more time regarding the frame size. I have a 58 cm which is fine for my height, but I have a shorter trunk in relation to my torso and I had to eventually get an adjustable stem because I was leaning to far forward and my arms and shoulders would get real sore after 30 miles or so. So the bottom line is I say make sure you go to a LBS that will take the time to make sure you get fit properly and don't be afraid to tell them about any anomilies about your body, etc. etc. I like the ones with young "kids" because they all know the latest tips, tricks and sizing methods and they love to talk cycling! Anyway, just my opinion. Good Luck
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Old 07-17-09, 12:06 PM   #8
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Now I would appreciate any suggestions on a road bike in the $1000.00 range that has a lower gearing than a more standard racing gear set.

Thanks again.

Tom
So what would you class as lower than standard racing gearing?

Race gearing is a double crankset with 52/42 gearing and variations of it up to 54/42. There is a compcat double that can be had in 50/34 and this is lower or even a triple can be had with 50/39/30.

The cassette is anotherway of altering the gearing and as "Most" bikes will be 10 speed- this can start at 11/23 and alter to as much as 12/27. There is an aftermarket cassette to be had to give 11/34 but this is expensive and not a good alternative.

So for low gearing then a triple with 50/39/30 and a cassette with 12/27 are the Normal low gearing setups. For even the sluggards amongst us- for a road bike that is low enough. And I do regard myself as a sluggard that just climbs steep hills occasionally. But even I prefer to use the compact Crankset with 50/34 rings and a 12/27 cassette. Good enough for all my steep hills.

But the inner crank ring can be changed to a 28 or 26 or even the complete crankset can be changed to give ridiculously low gearing if an MTB set were fitted to give 44/32/22 rings.

So how low do you want to go?
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Old 07-18-09, 05:40 PM   #9
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Have you visited any bikes shops to see what brands they carry and which bikes seem interesting to you? Every major bicycle manufacturer makes good bikes within your price range. You should go to every bike shop near you and ask questions. It is probably more important that you pick the right shop than which brand of bike you choose.
This is true, but don't expect them to divine what you want, or even to be eager to find it for you when you explain. I'm known at all our local shops (I've ridden here for more than 30 years, and bought from most of them), but when I had roughly the same criteria you did--low gears, set up for comfort rather than speed, something I could stay on all day--I practically had to hold the employees by the ears and say, "Listen: I want a triple crank, 24 tooth granny and room for big tires, and if it's not 64 or 65 cm, please don't show it to me." EVERYBODY tried to convince me I could ride a 60 or 62, and almost everyone tried to tell me I didn't need a triple (I'm in my 60s and there are 7500-foot passes all around; even if I don't need it, I WANT it, and it's my money). I had cash in hand and wanted to buy locally, but i got so frustrated I ended up buying an Atlantis frame from Rivendell and building it myself. I spent a little more than I planned and sent the money out of town, but the bike is perfect.
Keep looking until somebody finds what you want. You might look at a cyclocross bike or hybrid, maybe with "roadier" tires for more speed if you want that.
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Old 07-18-09, 08:48 PM   #10
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Same advice from a LBS

Velo Dog,

I went to a LBS to look at a Cannondale Synapse 5, it is offered in both compact and triple. Everyone in the bike shop said not to get the triple crankset, it would not shift properly, and I would not need that low of a gear.

Well, I rented a Synapse 5 with a compact crankset and I had to use the lowest gear to climb what I thought were only moderate hills. I rode 2 days about 4-5 miles each day. Now I know no matter which road bike I get it will have a triple crankset. Your description of recommendations were accurate, I got the same advice.

Now I hope my butt and neck can get use to a road bike.

Tom
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Old 07-19-09, 12:23 AM   #11
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You will improve with riding but if those hills are a struggle now- then get a triple. They are not difficult on changing and if it is- then all it needs is a "Sensible" mechanic to sort it. I say get a triple- but there are two forms of triple gearing.

52/42/30 and 50/39/30. I use the lower geared form and find it better on closeness of gears- and have absolutely no problem on changing.

Only way to improve the butt-neck and shoulders and that is to ride. Included shoulders as getting in the drops for long spells will take some training. That is if the back will bend that low initially.
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Old 07-19-09, 05:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Have you visited any bikes shops to see what brands they carry and which bikes seem interesting to you? Every major bicycle manufacturer makes good bikes within your price range. You should go to every bike shop near you and ask questions. It is probably more important that you pick the right shop than which brand of bike you choose.
That's what I think too. Don't shop for a bike, shop for a bike shop. When you find the right one, you'll know it. The people are way more important than the hardware. Listen to their advice and you'll never go wrong.
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Old 07-19-09, 05:59 PM   #13
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Velo Dog,

I went to a LBS to look at a Cannondale Synapse 5, it is offered in both compact and triple. Everyone in the bike shop said not to get the triple crankset, it would not shift properly, and I would not need that low of a gear.

Well, I rented a Synapse 5 with a compact crankset and I had to use the lowest gear to climb what I thought were only moderate hills. I rode 2 days about 4-5 miles each day. Now I know no matter which road bike I get it will have a triple crankset. Your description of recommendations were accurate, I got the same advice.

Now I hope my butt and neck can get use to a road bike.

Tom
Too bad your results on LBS's were not great. They do tend to follow the masses. However, they are correct - a triple will not be as smooth as a double but with a little experience and adjustments it will work just fine. Also - your ability to ride steeper hills will improve. Buy what you think will suit you best, hills are still hard even with a triple but if you don't get one you will be cursing when you run out of low gears. If you do buy one you will be convinced you need to build your strength when you run out of gears.
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Old 07-19-09, 06:58 PM   #14
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However, they are correct - a triple will not be as smooth as a double.
I'm going to disagree with that statement.

My wife and I just completed a week long tour in Wisconsin on our triple equipped tandem. If anything, tandems should shift less smoothly due to the longer shift cables. Ours shifted into any of the three rings every time it was bidden without complaint.

Triples shift just fine. If you think that you'd benefit from the triple's wider range gearing, tell your bike shop to special order you a triple equipped bike. You don't have to make them happy by buying what they want to sell. It's their job to make you happy by selling you what you want.
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Old 07-19-09, 08:52 PM   #15
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For starters you might take a look at Trek, Giant and Fuji.
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Old 07-19-09, 09:00 PM   #16
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I am 62 and bought a 2004 Cannondale road bike after I retired 7 years ago.
How did you find a 2004 model 7 years ago?
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Old 07-19-09, 10:56 PM   #17
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I ride a triple with a 12-27 cassette, who cares what the younger ones think!
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Old 07-19-09, 11:02 PM   #18
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I ride a triple with a 12-27 cassette, who cares what the younger ones think!
I have a similar set-up, and on long rides in the mountains I hear the younger ones say, "I wish I had a triple today."
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Old 07-20-09, 01:54 PM   #19
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I ride a triple with a 12-27 cassette, who cares what the younger ones think!
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I have a similar set-up, and on long rides in the mountains I hear the younger ones say, "I wish I had a triple today."
Have 12/27 on the triple and the compact double. I put the triple on for the mountains but on our local hills of 10 to 12% and the occasional 15- I prefer the compact. Once the leg strength comes up (Which does not take long) 34/27 is no more difficult than 30/27- but it is faster.

I find that when the hill gets steep- I always find my self in the lowest gear. Up to 10% and the middle ring of the triple- a 39- gets used so 39/27 is ok. But above 10 and I find the granny.

But for the Mountains- I am setting up the 9 spd FCR with a compact 50/34 and an MTB cassette of 11/34. My 9 spd 34/34 beats your 10 spd 30/27 anyday--But it will be slower
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Old 07-20-09, 02:19 PM   #20
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However, they are correct - a triple will not be as smooth as a double
Why not? My experience is that triples shift just as well as doubles, often smoother than compact doubles.
Triple front derailleurs are harder to set up, but when the setup is right, the shifting is great.
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