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  1. #1
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    What are you riding?

    I am 60 years old 5'9" and weight in at 172 and have been riding a Trek 7.5 FX for the last 7 years. I try to get in 16 miles a day. Here lately I am in need of speed and would like to get a road bike. I would appreciate to hear from you and what you are riding. I would like to stay with a flat bar but the more I read the more I am beginning to understanding you can get used to the drop bar. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    tsl
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    I'm 54, 5'-10" and 175 lbs.

    I love road bikes.

    I started six years ago with a bike path hybrid and before a year was out, I had my first road bike. Now I have four.

    Road bike integrated brake/shift levers are such the cat's meow that I can't conceive of ever going back to flat bars. Upshift, downshift, and brake all from the fingertips without needing to move my hands at all. Just tickle the lever with a finger a bit.

    Drop bars can be intimidating, particularly if you have flexibility issues. I have a bit of arthritis in my upper spine. It took me 3 weeks or so of daily riding to get my shoulder and neck muscles in shape for the drop bars, due to the different position. My spine hasn't been an issue.

    Many riders in our demographic prefer a bike with a slightly "relaxed" front end position. Two examples are the Specialized Roubaix and the Cannondale Synapse. Trek makes many models in two different front end fits, and change the names of them every year, but it's worth a trip to your Trek store. The phrase "relaxed front-end geometry" will get you there. If you don't have flexibility issues, then your choices are much wider.

    I'm on a budget, so three of my four bikes I bought second-hand. I also have a strong preference for the aesthetic of traditional road bike frames, so that also puts me in the second-hand market.

    Most sellers either haven't a clue as to the size of the bike they're selling, or they quote manufacturer "sizes" which aren't consistent between brands or frame styles. After measuring my bike, I take a tape measure with me knowing that anything with an effective top tube length of 565mm ±5mm (22¼" ±¼") would fit with appropriate adjustments to the saddle and bars.

    Those are generalities from my experience. You can count on many others to chime in here as well.

    And welcome to 50+!
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  3. #3
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    If you need speed than you need a road bike with drops. They are actually very comfortable. Ride some til you find one you like. I have a Cervelo S3, love it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I am 56, 4'11" tall and 110 pounds and have been riding any more than tooling around only since this past spring. I started with a comfort bike that was too big. I was very uncomfortable on rides over 3 or 4 miles. I bought my Cannondale hybrid and it was the first bike in my life that actually fit me. I rode a lot when I was a kid, always on bikes that were too big. I learned to ride a bike standing up because I could not reach the pedals if I sat on the seat!

    I rode the hybrid for about a 1000 miles. I ended up putting slicks on it to do a 50 mile charity ride. Basically, I was trying to make my hybrid into a road bike when it is not a road bike. The ride felt harsh and somewhat uncomfortable. So, I bought a Trek Madone. It feels light and fast compared to the Cannondale. I really like the drop bars because of the ease of shifting and most importantly, the different options for hand positions. I like being able to move around.

    I converted my hybrid into a quasi-mountain bike and gear hauler. I put on knobby tires which I run at a fairly low pressure. Now I love both bikes, each used for different types of riding.
    Every living thing is a GMO.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    When we're not riding our daVinci tandem I ride a road bike. Just replaced my Giant OCR 1 with a Volagi. I'm 66 y/o, 6', 200 lbs. The Volagi is a 57cm which is suitable for my longer legs/shorter torso; I was just too stretched out on a 60cm. There is a bit of drop, but I'm finding the bike very comfortable and the ride over our increasingly terrible roads is great (CF frame/fork, CF handlebars). I did find on the daVinci that CF handlebars made a big difference on chip seal. BTW, I love the disc brakes at my weight and with some of the long downhills we have.
    Rick T
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    daVinci Joint Venture

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Full road bike with drop handlebars seems to be the way to go but I started off on Mountain bikes and when I did change----I had problems. First of all get the size right. Too large a frame will cause problems but so can a frame that is too small. In changing from the upright position of an MTB- I went one size too small and it did cause problems. Back ache and I did the usual trick of raising the bars. THAT DOES NOT WORK FOR EVERYONE. I found out later that the longer lower position is better for me.

    But I could not get into the drop position. 10seconds and I was in agony. Had to use the drops for downhills to be able to cover the brakes properly but it was not comfortable. So I practised on the ride getting into the drops. On the flat and I was down. Gradually the pain got less but it did take a while to ride with my head between my knees. This was on one of the "comfort" frames in a Giant OCR but that bike was never really comfortable.

    1 year on and I had outgrown the capabilities of the OCR and test rides and shopping got me a full race spec lightweight aluminium frame and forks to build up. The shop built it and set it up-with the bars 4" below the saddle. Had my doubts but that bike is comfortable. Correct size frame and correctly set up for my body that had adjusted to road riding.

    On sizing--I am the same as TSL. Top tube length is the critical measurement- Not frame size. I use a 535 and 5mm either way is comfortable but no more. In fact on my 3rd road bike I did not look at any measurements except T.T. length and sorted the bike from there. The mere fact that it was another race geometry frame and the bars have inched themselves down to 4" below the saddle is co-incidental. + the fact that I test rode that frame before I bought it.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Nothing but road bikes here. My latest is a single speed Specialized Langster. If you want a good workout, a single speed can't be beat. It really has two speeds, in the saddle and out. A twenty mile ride, which is my usual distance with some good hills give me all the exercise I need. When I want to tackle longer distances with some really steep hills, I'm on a 2004 Trek 2300. I also ride a 2010 Novara Randonee touring bike when I go to the store or just want to cruise around at a leisurely speed. I do have a mountain bike, but it's from my working days when I used to commute. I rarely ride it. I love road bikes.
    Trek 2300
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  8. #8
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Road bikes or a cyclocross bike for me 100 percent. IMO you cannot beat drop bars for comfort, even if you aren't in the drops very often. I'm 63.
    Last edited by billydonn; 12-11-11 at 10:06 AM.

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member jjames1452's Avatar
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    In the winter in Ohio. A tank. A mid 80's Le tour with heavy wheels. I figure if I wreck I should have something substantial.

  10. #10
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    72 years old, too short or too fat - have 2 road bikes, you don't need to use the "drops" much at all, if you don't want to. Age is not a factor.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  11. #11
    Man of constant sorrow Dudelsack's Avatar
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    In a Fair and Just universe I would be riding this:



    In the real world I'm riding this:



    I might put some Zipp wheels on the Giro, get a fairing, and wear a skin suit and an aero helmet.

    It might help.
    Possunt quia posse videntur. St. Dudel: Epic is stupid that you get away with.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    When we're not riding our daVinci tandem I ride a road bike. Just replaced my Giant OCR 1 with a Volagi. I'm 66 y/o, 6', 200 lbs. The Volagi is a 57cm which is suitable for my longer legs/shorter torso; I was just too stretched out on a 60cm. There is a bit of drop, but I'm finding the bike very comfortable and the ride over our increasingly terrible roads is great (CF frame/fork, CF handlebars). I did find on the daVinci that CF handlebars made a big difference on chip seal. BTW, I love the disc brakes at my weight and with some of the long downhills we have.
    I just got a Volagi last week and I'm really liking it. It won't replace my Seven custom build but with fenders and the discs it makes a great off season bike. Since New England is getting more rain these days and the high end Italian components on my Seven are adverse to road grit, I anticipate using the Volagi a lot. The 130mm rear disc hub scared me a bit when I first heard about the bike but since it came out another hub maker is making a disc hub with that spacing so no worries. Nice bike!

  13. #13
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    a Volagi
    Quote Originally Posted by gear View Post
    I just got a Volagi last week
    I don't want to hijack the thread, so maybe you could reply in a new one.

    I'm interested to hear a review of the Volagi. I've been riding a disc-brake road bike for several years now, so that's not a biggie to me. What I'd like to hear about is the ride and handling. The geometry seems about right to me, but I'm wondering if the frame design lives up to the hype, or if it's similar enough to other carbon bikes that its quirkiness doesn't matter.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  14. #14
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Age 60 - All road bikes:
    Independent Fabrication Titanium Crown Jewel
    Colnago Master XL
    Specialized S-Works Roubaix
    Trek Gary Fisher Lane
    1980s Specialized Sirrus
    Jamis Eclipse
    Habanero Titainum Team Issue

    To me the key factor in picking a bike is if the cockpit (seat, top tube, bars -both drop & reach, stem, head tube height etc.) is correct for the type of riding. Flat bars and drop bars can both work. However, all mine are dropbars, because it gives me more choices in body position while on the bike. Let me give you three examples of what I mean by different cockpits:

    1. The Indy Fab is my go fast - all day bike. Hence, it is built for all day comfort at a reasonable cruising speed. The head tube is a bit higher and the reach is a medium reach compared to my other bikes.

    2. The Colnago is my go fast - short ride bike. The cockpit on this has me stretched out and in a much more aerodynamic position. After about two hours, I've typically had enough and want something a bit less aero.

    3. The Trek Gary Fisher Lane is my commuting bike. It has the shortest cockpit and keeps me in the most upright position, something I find very useful when navigating in heavy commuter traffic.
    Last edited by NOS88; 12-13-11 at 01:11 PM.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  15. #15
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    I got my first bike back in 3rd grade with a trek 220 mountain bike i didnt ride it too often until last year at this point the bike was way too small for me so i upgraded to my dads old bike a schwinn impact mountain bike it was one of the roughest rides i had ever had two weeks ago i finally got the bike that i have now a gt gtr series 3 road bike with drop bars shimano tiagra components if you really plan on getting into cycling i recommend a road bike you wont regret it btw i am 16 5'11" and 170 lbs so you would probably be on a 56cm frame

  16. #16
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I don't want to hijack the thread, so maybe you could reply in a new one.

    I'm interested to hear a review of the Volagi. I've been riding a disc-brake road bike for several years now, so that's not a biggie to me. What I'd like to hear about is the ride and handling. The geometry seems about right to me, but I'm wondering if the frame design lives up to the hype, or if it's similar enough to other carbon bikes that its quirkiness doesn't matter.
    I would compare its ride to a Specialized Roubaix (sp?). It's comfortable, light and stable in corners. Unless your into racing (you'd want a more aggressive position for racing), this bike does it all. At 17lbs I see no penalty with the discs only positives. And I love that it is all ready for fenders, no Mcguyvering necessary.

  17. #17
    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    Welcome 'Gpaw44'. We are about the same height only I'm built more like quasimoto without the hump. If you dont have any limited mobility I think a road bike would be great for you. I'm 55 and have been riding road bikes exclusively since the 70's. Drop bars are your friend, as you have more options for hand placement than simple flat bars. Even for people who do have back problems, a correct fitting road bike can actually help as your back will be flatter and you will be more centered on the bike.

    Another thing too is you dont have to ride in the drops. The drops are an option if you really want to crank on it and get aerodynamic for some real speed, otherwise most of us just ride the top bar, or the hoods for general cruising. With the many hand positions drop bars offer they will give your hands a needed break that will make your riding much more enjoyable.

    As to what I am riding, I have two road bikes, both with drop bars. One is a classic Tommasini with Columbus SL and the other is a Centurian Elite RS with Tange-2 and Shimano 600. The Tommasini is all campy Chorus/Record mix and is my 'grail' bike. I love them both.

    Last edited by Wino Ryder; 12-11-11 at 12:49 PM.
    ~ "I like the way the brake cables come out of the top of the levers and loop around to the brake calipers!...I like those downtube shifters too!...No no no, don't take 'em off, don't take 'em off,...leave 'em on, leave 'em on! - Thats right baby!!

    ~BF - Steel Club Member #00051

  18. #18
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    I would recommend you think about a cyclocross bike. You can put road tires on it and ride the snot out of it on the road, or go off-road with the CX tires. There are several CX bike available for a good price out there - under $1K - with 105 shifters. Mine was my only bike till I bought a road bike last October - put many road miles, commute miles, and actually some cyclocross miles on the rig.

    The geometry is a bit more relaxed than the aggressive road bikes - I have ridden several metric and an imperial century on it. If climbing is an issue, then get a different cassette mounted to give you some lower gearing. I commute on my cross bike now and use it for winter riding on the road, and plan to purchase another for (egads!) actual cross racing. VERY versatile bikes, and fulfill the road riding job very, very well for most of us earthlings.
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

  19. #19
    Still spinnin'..... Stealthammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gpaw44 View Post
    I am 60 years old 5'9" and weight in at 172 and have been riding a Trek 7.5 FX for the last 7 years. I try to get in 16 miles a day. Here lately I am in need of speed and would like to get a road bike. I would appreciate to hear from you and what you are riding. I would like to stay with a flat bar but the more I read the more I am beginning to understanding you can get used to the drop bar. Thanks in advance.
    Salsa Campion (aluminum road frame with a carbon fork and full Shimano 105 group)
    Pake FG/SS (fixie)
    Fisher Opie (aluminum Mountain bike setup for freeriding and urban assaults
    Redline Monocog 29er (SS mountain bike)
    Serrota T-Max (steel mountain bike frame with XTR drivetrain and carbon everything else)
    Santana Arriva Tandem (currently in rebuild phase)
    Whatever I happen to have picked up to rebuild then pass on down the road....)


    I am 55 years old and have been riding road bikes since I was ten. I love bikes, any bikes, and have been carfree for 23 out of the past 28 years, and I ride daily. Currently I am riding the fixie or the Serrota on clear days and the Opie when conditions are questionable.

    I build and modify bikes for friends and friends of friends all the time and your post reminded me of a bike that I modified for a friend who wanted to do sprint triathalons but she had bought a Specialized hybrid (essentially a road bike with flat bars and slightly wider tires) and didn't want to buy a second bike. We set her up with 700c road tires, modified gearing, and bar ends and a "tri-type" center handlebar extension (she can put drops on later and effectively have a relaxed road bike). She was extremely happy and competitive in local events. What this experience proved to both of us was that no matter what you start with, you can make changes slowly that are more in line with whatever your current needs are. No need to shuffle through several bikes on your way to what works best for you, just make small adjustments as you progress. Ride Safe.
    Last edited by Stealthammer; 12-11-11 at 03:12 PM.
    Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....

    “The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.” - Albert Einstein

    “We all know that light travels faster than sound. That's why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak.” - Albert Einstein

  20. #20
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    I did my first century on a mountain bike, a '85 Ross rigid (all MTBs were rigid then!) that weighed 35 lbs. My road bike's frame had broken and I was already signed up. Even though I was in my 20s my back and shoulders hurt so much afterwards that I vowed no more riding flat bar bikes on the road. After a few hours the inability to change position becomes torture. I spend the second half of the ride desperately trying to find a different position.

    When riding a MTB off road flat bars are not a problem because you are always moving around on the bike to handle the terrain. At one point I converted the Ross to drop bars- for MTB you set them up higher and closer than you would for road riding because you want to us the drops when descending or in technical terrain.

    Drop bars don't make you faster- lower (and narrower) bars do. It's aerodynamics. Lower bars mean you have less frontal area. Narrower bars move your hands in, reducing frontal area more. You could build a bike with low narrow flat bars and get the same effect. But it'd suck to ride far because you would not have any alternate positions.

    If you want to ride farther in comfort, get a bike with drop bars, set to an appropriate height for you.

    I mostly ride carbon road race bikes now but I also have MTBs and trials bikes.

  21. #21
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gpaw44 View Post
    I am 60 years old 5'9" and weight in at 172 and have been riding a Trek 7.5 FX for the last 7 years. I try to get in 16 miles a day. Here lately I am in need of speed and would like to get a road bike. I would appreciate to hear from you and what you are riding. I would like to stay with a flat bar but the more I read the more I am beginning to understanding you can get used to the drop bar. Thanks in advance.
    You're just a kid. You NEED a road bike.

    I started riding when I was 55. This was my first bike. Loved it.
    Then in 2001 I bought this. I really love it. I have ~35,000 miles on it so far.
    I'll be 67 next week and bought this for an early birthday/Christmas present in October.
    All my other bikes I've had since 1999/2000 have been road bikes or cyclocross bike, all with drop bars.

    Now head over to the bike shop and look for a nice road for yourself.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  22. #22
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimferm95 View Post
    I got my first bike back in 3rd grade with a trek 220 mountain bike i didnt ride it too often until last year at this point the bike was way too small for me so i upgraded to my dads old bike a schwinn impact mountain bike it was one of the roughest rides i had ever had two weeks ago i finally got the bike that i have now a gt gtr series 3 road bike with drop bars shimano tiagra components if you really plan on getting into cycling i recommend a road bike you wont regret it btw i am 16 5'11" and 170 lbs so you would probably be on a 56cm frame
    Looky there, a 16 year old in the 50+ forum.
    I ride a Gunnar Sport on the road. It has a tall headtube so I can run an uncut steerer without too many spacers. I'm 57 and I like to ride in the mountains.


  23. #23
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    I am 71, and I am on 2 wheels, at least 6 days a week, if not 7. With my gas guzzling F150 being commandeered by my wife, I am on two wheels all the time, and loving it. Some days I take the motorcycle

    http://www.cehoward.net/GSXRRAW63_01.JPG
    somedays I take one of my 7 or 8 bikes...lately it has been centurions for my choice of commute weapon..

    http://www.cehoward.net/mast310.jpg

    And this is what I don't ride any more, the gas guzzler...

    http://www.cehoward.net/commy41.jpg
    2001 Raleigh R700
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    1995 Klein Quantum
    1989 Cannondale Black Lightning
    1988 Centurion Expert Ironman
    1989 Centurion Master Ironman
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    1985 Raleigh Prestige
    1985 Raleigh Competition
    1985 Raleigh Grand Prix #1
    1985 Raleigh Grand Prix #2 (project #1)
    1985 Raleigh Super Course (project #4)
    1979 Raleigh Competition GS-1

    2007 Suzuki GSX R1K (commuter)
    http://www.cehoward.net/pretty.jpg
    73,Old,Dirty,&Fast

  24. #24
    Semper Fi qcpmsame's Avatar
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    I'll reinforce the road bike selection with drop bars. Please go to a good local bicycle store (LBS) and get fitted even if you are going used for your purchase. having a bicycle that you are properly fitting will make your riding more enjoyable. Get a frame that is sized in not only seat tube, top tube and stand over height and a stem that is the correct length and drop for you and the bars need to be the correct width. Depending on your weight and riding choices the wheel construction will be a factor in your choice and price of the bicycle. Get wheels light enough yet strong enough for your style and weight.

    I ride a Cannondale R500 with drops and a 36h Shimano RSX hubs and Mavic rimmed wheelset and 700CX25 tires. I am 6'-1" and 239 lbs so I am definitely a clydesdale. Best of luck in making your choice.

    Bill
    Philippians 4:13

  25. #25
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Burlington ON, Canada
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    '11 Cannondale Synapsese 5 105
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    I'll reinforce the road bike selection with drop bars. Please go to a good local bicycle store (LBS) and get fitted even if you are going used for your purchase. having a bicycle that you are properly fitting will make your riding more enjoyable. Get a frame that is sized in not only seat tube, top tube and stand over height and a stem that is the correct length and drop for you and the bars need to be the correct width. Depending on your weight and riding choices the wheel construction will be a factor in your choice and price of the bicycle. Get wheels light enough yet strong enough for your style and weight.

    I ride a Cannondale R500 with drops and a 36h Shimano RSX hubs and Mavic rimmed wheelset and 700CX25 tires. I am 6'-1" and 239 lbs so I am definitely a clydesdale. Best of luck in making your choice.

    Bill
    All good points here. I am 50 yrs old, 6'1" and 210-215lbs and have only ridden drop bar road bikes and will not ride anything else as long as i am physically able. Tje variety of hand positions alone will make riding more enjoyable. I cannot add anything to what has already been said in this thread, other than to answer your question.....here is what I am riding.

    Cheers,

    Brian J
    Fellow members. I am riding in The 2014 Ride to Conquer Cancer
    I am starting to raise $2500 to support the wonderful work done at The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Please support this great organization.

    Please help me by donating so that I can ride. Please go to my link at www.conquercancer.ca/goto/Brian_Johnson . I would greatly appreciate it.

    Bless You All.

    Brian J.

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