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Old 03-20-10, 07:34 AM   #1
TromboneAl
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Buy Mountain Bike for my Sister

My older sister (66) bikes a little bit. The problem is that her driveway is about half a mile of somewhat hilly, potholed dirt road. This is her bike,

GailsBike 001.jpg

which, for her at least, doesn't work well on that driveway.

So, to ride, she has to load the bike onto her car, which she is less likely to do.

I thought perhaps I'd buy her a used mountain bike, fix it up for her, and surprise her with it, so she could ride right from her house. Good idea?

I'm a roadie and know nothing about mountain bikes. Any suggestions on what to look for? I'm guessing that fit isn't as critical as with a road bike, and I'll look for something that has a range of saddle heights that includes the height of her current saddle.
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Old 03-20-10, 07:40 AM   #2
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Al, I think fit is critical on a mountain bike as well. For her, I would suggest getting something as light as possible and run light tires. If you're going to use knobbies, look for some under 500 grams. If you're going to use slicks, they will be a lot lighter.
If it's a 32 pound tank, it's not going to be as fun to ride as a 22 pound bike.
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Old 03-20-10, 10:24 AM   #3
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Look for a trek 800 series- Specy Hardrock- Kona Anything---in fact just look for any bike that will fit her. Unfortunately it may be a bit on the heavy side- especially if it has front suspension.

If it is her path down to a road then wide slicks would suffice- something like a 1.5 or larger but wide knobblies would probably be what come with the bike.

Anything you do pick up is going to be heavy- unless you strike lucky- but the triple crankset would assist on the hilly bits.
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Old 03-20-10, 04:50 PM   #4
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Fit still matters on a MTB. They are heavier than road bikes, but the gearing is lower. If speed is not a priority, it will still be fun to ride.

Can she put wider tires on the Peugeot?
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Old 03-20-10, 05:17 PM   #5
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Can she put wider tires on the Peugeot?
That's a good idea, but wouldn't a mountain bike still be a lot more stable? She's in reasonable shape, but not that experienced as a cyclist.
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Old 03-20-10, 05:57 PM   #6
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Of course you'll take her shopping with you so as to ensure the proper fit. Like was said earlier, older Trek 800 series is a pretty solid bike (I don't know about newer models). I beat the crap out of my 1988 Trek 820 and it just keeps on a-rollin'.

I doubt that any suspension is needed though that is really up to your sister. Knobbies will just slow her down and turn her away from riding due to too much rolling resistance and that funky feling when turning sharply on hard surfaces such as concrete or blacktop. I've been using these tires on my Trek and I'll replace them with the same (if I ever wear them out). http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...5_10000_200518
They are usually readily available through several sources.

Good Hunting!!

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Old 03-31-10, 12:50 PM   #7
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Well, I got her a bike from Craigslist for $35 and fixed it up. I know, I know, it's a department store bike. But I explained to her that the bike is just to show her that it could work to ride on her driveway, and that if she likes it, she should invest in a better bike. She seems quite happy with it.





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Old 03-31-10, 06:36 PM   #8
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Lucky Gal!

Is that the original seatpost? It almost looks like it might be overextended. Is there a mark indicating maximum extension point on the seatpost?

I'm sure the bike will serve her well. The tires look hungry enough to chew up the driveway yet gentle enough to easily roll down the highway. Good job!!
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Old 03-31-10, 06:45 PM   #9
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Is that the original seatpost? It almost looks like it might be overextended. Is there a mark indicating maximum extension point on the seatpost?
I don't know about original, but it has plenty of extension to spare. The Max line is well below where I have it in the photo, and in the photo it's adjusted for me -- sister is smaller. But I agree it looks really long.
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Old 04-01-10, 02:36 AM   #10
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If you check out the height of the seat tube with the height of the top of the headset, (nice to have the lines on the garage door) you will notice that this frame is very very low at that point. That would make the long seat post a natural part of the design. While it's probably not a place for a carbon or triple butted racing post...... it will work fine for it's intended purpose.

I hope she enjoys the bike and eventually ventures out further than the end of the driveway.
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Old 04-01-10, 03:31 AM   #11
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Ooops! My bad!!

Nice bike!
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Old 04-01-10, 04:52 AM   #12
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Nice job Al. In addition to helping solve a problem, you've got your sister headed down the N+1 road!
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