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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 09-05-09, 05:13 PM   #1
Fastbikeman
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type of bike the 65 + use for touring

I have reached the magic age of 65 and now want to buy a touring bike as i want to do the C&O and Alleganey Bike trails and others. so now I am wondering what is the favorite touring bike of those over 65.

Also what speed do you tour at and what are the best components for the bike.

Thanks
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Old 09-05-09, 05:44 PM   #2
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Well, you have to define what you mean by "touring". Here's some possibilities:

1. You start off at home or a parking lot somewhere. You ride for awhile and return to the same place. You take only enough stuff to fix a flat tire and don't ride if it looks like rain. You weren't raceing anybody so you must have been touring.

2. You have a friend drive their car with your "stuff" to the next overnight town. You take only your wallet and a rain jacket on the bike with you.

3. You pack a tent and all of your camping equipment onto your bike and ride off across country.

I'd likely use a different bike and travel at a different average speed for each one of those.
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Old 09-05-09, 07:25 PM   #3
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john,

I have a khs tr101 which has a triple crank and 700x32 tires. this has been a great touring bike and though a bit heavy is comfortable and durable.
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Old 09-05-09, 08:51 PM   #4
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There's only one logical choice for 65+ touring: a TourEasy.

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Old 09-05-09, 09:31 PM   #5
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Surly LHT with fairly standard components. My wheels are fairly heavily built (40 spoke rear wheel) because I prefer riding to repairing. At age 72, my rig will waft me and my gear anywhere from 50 to 100 miles a day, depending upon circumstances.

This is basically the same bike that I have had since I was fifty or so. There is nothing magic about turning 65. Get whatever bike works for you.
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Old 09-05-09, 09:57 PM   #6
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If I am flying to the start of the tour, I ride my Bike Friday Air Glide. It folds into a suitcase and flies as checked luggage. It has an Ultegra triple in front and the low gear in back is a 32.
If I am driving to the start, I ride a Specialized Roubaix Comp. Very comfortable and low geared as well, a triple with a 34 in back.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
There's only one logical choice for 65+ touring: a TourEasy.

+1
Carry what you can and pull the rest in a trailer.
Any speed faster than STOP is good.




(though I'm only 58. beard not a requirement but I like it and no, it didn't come with the bike)
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Old 09-06-09, 07:33 AM   #8
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If you're talking about multi-day loaded touring, I have an old Cannondale touring bike that works great. It's comfortable and will accept front and rear panniers, as well as 3 bottle cages. It has a long wheelbase and slack geometry.
I use bar end friction shifters and a mountain bike crank (an old one with 48,38,28 rings). I use different wheels and cassettes depending on the ride.
With the lighter wheels it is about 24 pounds so it's light enough for just riding around. Several other companies make similar bikes.
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Old 09-06-09, 08:02 AM   #9
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+1 on the old Cannondale, I have a 1988 ST400 set up the same way and also a 2005 T800. I mainly use the T800 for extended tours, but have also taken the ST400 on some with a wheel change. I find them to be great all around bikes. The Trek 520 is also a bike to look at, I sold a older model last year and you can still find some around for a good price.
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Old 09-06-09, 08:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Fastbikeman View Post
I have reached the magic age of 65 and now want to buy a touring bike as i want to do the C&O and Alleganey Bike trails and others. so now I am wondering what is the favorite touring bike of those over 65.

Also what speed do you tour at and what are the best components for the bike.

Thanks
I'm four months behind you, and I can't even imagine a better all-around bike than my Atlantis (www.rivbike.com). I bought it five years ago to tide me over until I retired, when I was going to get a full Rivendell custom (a huge expense for us, but something I've planned for years). The Atlantis has been so good, for everything from "fast" (to me) day rides to full-on touring and even dirt fire roads, that it's probably the last bike I'll buy.
Biggest advantage to me is room for big tires. I weigh 240, and my other bikes are pretty much limited to nothing larger than 28mm. After trying 35s and 37s, I can't believe I rode so long on that skinny rubber. For touring, I'd made that my first consideration. Geometry is also important, but anything sold as a touring bike will be in the ballpark there. Don't worry about frame angles of 72 degrees parallel (or so) making the bike sluggish. The Atlantis (and Riv's other, cheaper models) is stable but nimble, a really good tourer without being a slug for other uses.

Last edited by Velo Dog; 09-06-09 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 09-06-09, 08:56 AM   #11
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I've always thought I'd enjoy credit card touring where you spend nights in a motel. I've done my camping thing when backpacking in the SE and canoe tripping in Canada. So I bought a cyclocross titanium frame-set and built a road bike/tourer.

It weighs about 24-25 lbs with a luggage rack and 25 mm tires. It's my all purpose road bike. Some cyclocross frames are provided with rack/fender attachments. Mine happens to be an Airborne Carpe Diem.

Back when Airborne was in business they maintained a forum site. There were people posting touring stories with this particular bike that included going across the country camping (different fork with attachments for a rack) and one guy who went something like 1200 miles using the motel approach who averaged over 100 miles/day.

One of the advantages of building or modifying your bike is that you choose the gearing and modify it as you see the need. My basic set up is 22/36/46 rings with a 12-27 cassette. In about 15 minutes I can change out the cassette to 12/34 or 11/32. In about a half hour I can change the rings.

Ti has the comfort of a well designed steel frame if not a little more, a little stronger, lighter and of course no corrosion.

Al
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Old 09-06-09, 01:07 PM   #12
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For the past couple years my wife and I have done credit card tours that range from two days to two weeks long. Last year I decided I needed something more suitable than a hybrid for the longer trips.

After a lot of researching and analyzing I settled on a Surly LHT like this one ( http://www.surlybikes.com/lht_comp.html ) and changed the following:
I wanted a more upright riding position and flat bars. I changed to flat bars with bar ends, and raised them with a 3 inch stem raiser. The barcon shifters were mounted on the flat bars with Paul's Thumbies.

I wanted a lower granny gear. The small chain ring was replaced with a 24 rather than 26 tooth ring. The chain rings are now 48/36/24

We ride some gravel roads, so I changed to a more general surface tire ... 26 x 1.75 Continental Travel Contacts replaced the stock 26 X 1.50 WTB Slickasaurus

I added a Topeak rear rack and an Old Man Mountain AC Low rider front rack and Arkel bags.
Here it is, bagged out on a recent trip.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0790-1.jpg (102.7 KB, 33 views)

Last edited by Recycle; 09-06-09 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 09-06-09, 02:32 PM   #13
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Right now it is my Burley Hudson. Good bike and the components are good stuff. Too bad they are no longer being made. I am convinced that if I get whacked by a vehicle, the bike is going to be just fine, it is a tank. But, since I am only 63, maybe I will want an old man's bike to tour on by the time I reach 65.
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Old 09-06-09, 02:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastbikeman View Post
I have reached the magic age of 65 and now want to buy a touring bike as i want to do the C&O and Alleganey Bike trails and others.
As you can see in this thread already, there are a lot of different bikes folks use.

You mentioned the C&O trail in particular - I've never done it, but from what I've read the trail can be muddy / bumpy some parts of the year. I believe I've read that for that trail in particular you should make sure that you've got a bike that can accept wider (at least 32c or 35c) tires.

The topic of "what bike to use on the C&O" comes up frequently on the touring forum, and I believe the consensus is any fairly rugged touring bike (Surly Long Haul Trucker, Trek 520, etc. etc. - there are many) that can fit 32c+ tires will do it.
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Old 09-08-09, 06:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
I'm four months behind you, and I can't even imagine a better all-around bike than my Atlantis (www.rivbike.com). I bought it five years ago to tide me over until I retired, when I was going to get a full Rivendell custom (a huge expense for us, but something I've planned for years). The Atlantis has been so good, for everything from "fast" (to me) day rides to full-on touring and even dirt fire roads, that it's probably the last bike I'll buy.
Biggest advantage to me is room for big tires. I weigh 240, and my other bikes are pretty much limited to nothing larger than 28mm. After trying 35s and 37s, I can't believe I rode so long on that skinny rubber. For touring, I'd made that my first consideration. Geometry is also important, but anything sold as a touring bike will be in the ballpark there. Don't worry about frame angles of 72 degrees parallel (or so) making the bike sluggish. The Atlantis (and Riv's other, cheaper models) is stable but nimble, a really good tourer without being a slug for other uses.
+1 I have a Riv Bleriot it is a great all around bike... a nimble Buick Electa 225. Do a lot of research before you part with your $$$$.
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Old 09-08-09, 09:05 PM   #16
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I am 63 and ride a 2007 REI Safari for touring. Sometimes with panniers and sometimes with a BOB trailer. I often do the Oregon coast route or put together an Eastern Oregon gravel road ramble. I think gearing is key as well as keeping my BMI under 23.
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