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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Researching bikes for my dad...

    As some of you know, my mother passed recently and my 86-year-old dad is thinking about getting a bike, which would be his first in decades. He lives in Florida in a mobile home community which has a paved road which circumnavigates the community (a distance of about 1.5 miles). I'm pretty sure that's where he intends to do most of his biking, if not all of it.

    He is in remarkably good health after working through some heart/kidney issues, but he has a history of dizzy spells which concern me. I tried to interest him in a three-wheeler, but he wants a two-wheeler (a "real" bike, he says).

    If you have links to something you think might be suitable, I'd really appreciate it to kickstart my research. Since I live on the opposite coast, all I can do is look for good possibilities and send him the information.

    If he gets a two-wheeler, I'd think he'd be best served by a bike that he can sit on with his feet planted on the street. I've seen models like this but I'm not up to speed on what's available.

    I don't think he'd have the patience to buy used through Craigslist. I want him on a new, reliable machine.

    So -- got any ideas?
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  2. #2
    Retro-guy
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    Electra makes some interesting bikes. I suppose they are cruiser-style, in terms of the frame and fat tires, etc. But various models use different gearing arrangements. Their frames are designed with the seat set well back from the crank, so that you get decent leg extension during pedaling, while still being able to put your feet flat on the ground when stopped.

    If you think your dad would be better off avoiding derraileurs, Shimano makes a form of automatic transmission (Nexus 3-speed hub), that is used in the Giant Suede model, as well as the Trek Lime model. I don't know too much about these, other than the fact that they are intended as bikes that make it easy to get into bike-riding.

    Actually, in looking at the Trek web site, I don't see any mention of the Lime model, other than in 2009 archives. So maybe it was discontinued. But the Giant Suede model showed up:

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...gx/3910/36606/
    Last edited by rschleicher; 01-26-10 at 01:33 PM.

  3. #3
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    A step-thru or folder with a low frame would be easy to mount. I dont think dizzy spells would be a problem on a 2 wheeler provided they dont come on suddenly. Easy fire trigger shifters dont need the strength of grip that twist shifters require. Modern derailler systems are easy to work and allow for finding a comfortable pedalling pace whatever the conditions.

  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Consider asking him what he wants, and have him start test riding......

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  5. #5
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Consider asking him what he wants, and have him start test riding......
    I did. All he knows is he wants a 2-wheeler, and after that, he has no idea. He's 86 and hasn't cycled for decades. I will suggest he visit the local bike shop but I'd like to give him some ideas of bikes to look at first. He loves surfing the net, so that would be fun for him to do. Unfortunately, I can't be with him when he goes shopping. He's on his own...
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  6. #6
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    There are a number of "flat foot" bikes out there. Electra makes several variations. Trek has their Pure model. The Giant Suede is another. Technically the best are the RANS crank forwards, but those are pricey and I don't think are quite as stable as the Electra and Trek models.

    Some examples from Trek:
    21-speed with hand brakes, step-through:
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...esportlowstep/

    21-speed with hand brakes, men's bike:
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ure/puresport/

    3-speed with coaster brake, step-through:
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...deluxelowstep/

    Electra:
    8-speed internal hub with hand brakes, men's bike:
    http://willybikes.com/product/electr...-8-51799-1.htm

    8-speed internal hub with hand brakes, step-through:
    http://willybikes.com/product/electr...-8-51800-1.htm

    21-speed with hand brakes, men's bike:
    http://willybikes.com/product/electr...21-51780-1.htm

    21-speed with hand brakes, step-through:
    http://willybikes.com/product/electr...21-51783-1.htm

    3-speed with coaster brake and front hand brake: step-through:
    http://willybikes.com/product/electr...-3-51795-1.htm

    7-speed (derailleur) with hand brakes, men's design:
    http://willybikes.com/product/electr...7d-51786-1.htm

    This is the Electra page from one of my local bike shops where you can see all of the above and more:
    http://willybikes.com/product-list/e...53/?startRow=1

  7. #7
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Tom,

    I can't thank you enough. That was a wonderful collection of links.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Sounds like a very cool Dad ... here are a few suggestions ...
    Cruiser, Comfort or Hybrid ... all will work fine and can be shipped direct.

    Three Speed Beach Cruiser 2009 Mango Toucan $395.95
    Three Speed shifting, Lightweight Aluminum Frame, CrMo Fork (Coaster Brake+ Front V-Brake)
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/Mango/toucan3.htm



    Shimano /SRAM 21Speed Comfort/Hybrid 2009 Gravity Dutch $269.95
    Suspension Seatpost, Comfy Front Shock Adjustable Stem, Light Aluminum Frame (Black fenders)
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...grav_dutch.htm




    Shimano Acera 21Spd Hybrid+Lockout 2009 Motobecane Elite FS $349.95
    Suspension Seatpost, Comfy Adjustable Front Shock + LockOut Adjustable Stem, Aluminum Frame
    http://bikesdirect.com/products/moto...litefs_IX2.htm

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  9. #9
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    A good alternative might be a semi-recumbant like the Rans Fusion:
    http://www.ransbikes.com/Fusion10.htm
    RansFusion.jpg
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  10. #10
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Day6 also makes semi-recumbants: http://day6bicycles.com/
    Their Journey is a seven speed. They also have a 21 speed.
    JourneyBlack.jpg
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  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Is he absolutely opposed to trikes, or just to the typical "little old lady" trikes? Have him take a look at Catrike, Greenspeed, ICE, etc., just in case.

    Catrike: http://www.catrike.com
    Greenspeed: http://www.greenspeed.com.au/
    ICE: http://www.icetrikes.co.uk/
    Terra Trike: http://www.terratrike.com/

    I've got a Sun Ez-Tad SX and my wife's got an ICE QNT; we have a great time on the bike trails with them. The one thing I'd watch out for is whether or not he can get in and out of the seat easily; some of the tadpole trikes have really low seats.

    They're also faster than he may think; I've had my trike up to 32+ mph on level ground (once, for not quite a mile - normal cruising speed for me is closer to 10 or 11 mph).
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  12. #12
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Well, I've written my dad with some suggested bikes from the above links, and also advised him the best thing is to find an LBS he can trust to help him sort it out. Thanks again everyone for all the suggestions. Have to admit, some of those 'bents look mighty tempting to me! Now I shall wait and see if he follows through and goes to an LBS. We'll see. I told him if he gets a bike, I'll come back to Florida soon and ride with him. I can borrow my brother-in-law's Giant. Wouldn't that be a hoot?
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  13. #13
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    If he is interested in a trike, I think a high-position delta trike would be far easier for him than a low-riding tadpole. The Trek Pure comes in a trike format. And the Sun EZ trikes are easy to ride.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...retrikedeluxe/
    http://www.sunbicycles.com/products.php?cl1=ADULT+TRIKE
    http://www.sunbicycles.com/product_d...&cl1=RECUMBENT
    http://www.sunbicycles.com/product_d...&cl1=RECUMBENT

    If he lives in an urban environment, those tadpoles are scary to ride in traffic. Wouldn't catch me on one in a city or suburb.

    I like the idea of a high-position trike. If'n I were 80+, that's probably what I would be riding. Heck, I've considered the Greenspeed Anura already. Test rode one and liked it.
    http://www.greenspeed.com.au/anura_main.html

    Oh, and I second the Day6 recommendation. Those are easy to ride, comfortable bikes. They can be pretty heavy, but if you don't have to pick it up to move it, it's a nice, stable bike.
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 01-27-10 at 01:08 PM.
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  14. #14
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    If your Dad doesn't want any wussy bikes, yet would like something that balances well, may I suggest this.



    http://www.atomiczombie.com/
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  15. #15
    Senior Moment bikegeek57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    If your Dad doesn't want any wussy bikes, yet would like something that balances well, may I suggest this.
    that would be hilarious. am laughing as I write. yeah!

  16. #16
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    Why not ask your dad to register on "Bike Forums"? He can ask and get research references directly.

  17. #17
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Well, my Dad found his new bike! Actually, I found it on Craigslist and sent him the link. He tried it out yesterday and loved it. Fifty bucks, a one speed cruiser he can mount easily, with peddle brakes. He loves it, and it's perfect for riding around his mobile home park.

    I've already challenged him to a race next time I'm in Melbourne.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    I've already challenged him to a race next time I'm in Melbourne.
    Yeah, and I notice that you got him a blue bike rather than a fast, white one.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    Well, my Dad found his new bike! Actually, I found it on Craigslist and sent him the link. He tried it out yesterday and loved it. Fifty bucks, a one speed cruiser he can mount easily, with peddle brakes. He loves it, and it's perfect for riding around his mobile home park.

    I've already challenged him to a race next time I'm in Melbourne.
    Looks like a great ride. A Symphony of Simplicity and yet a Barrel of Fun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Yeah, and I notice that you got him a blue bike rather than a fast, white one.
    Yeah, but the tires are white!
    Last edited by cranky old dude; 01-31-10 at 02:43 PM. Reason: spelin

  20. #20
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    Yeah, but the tires are white!
    That's a good point. I hadn't noticed that. He might eat the Deege's lunch!

  21. #21
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I'd better not tell him to flip the stem, add some clipless, and get rid of that kickstand!
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  22. #22
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    I'd better not tell him to flip the stem, add some clipless, and get rid of that kickstand!
    Congrats on the new ride for your Dad.

    Tell him to call it a SS fixie ... the chicks dig it!
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