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  1. #1
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    What bike to buy

    Riding about 250 miles per month on a 29er and old Trek carbon road bike, right now predominately the 29er, as I stay off of the roads while the snowbirds are in town (Scottsdale). Want to get a new bike, my 29er was strictly entry level and my road bike was fairly expensive when I bought it but its 15 years old. My goals are really exercise, continued weight loss (down about 25 pounds) and builidng endurance. I lift at least three days a week, fairly heavy as I don't want to lose all my muscle at my age, 62. I've looked at straight bar road bikes, Specialized, and normal road bikes, but am also considering an upgrade to the 29er. I love the fit, feel and control of the 29er, but can't see trying to ride a 35 pound mountain bike 70 miles. (My only real goal is to do the Tour de Scottsdale this year, 70 miles I believe). As you can see I'm totally confused as to direction to take and bike to buy. Anyone have any thoughts other than to tell me to make up my mind before I go looking?

  2. #2
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    i really can't recommend a perfect bike for you but i suggest riding am many bikes as you can before making your choice.
    you might want to look into "century" type road bikes, giant defy, specialized roubaix, cannondale synapse, trek pilot with 25mm or larger tires on them.
    i just turned 50 last month, started riding for better health 4 years ago. i started on a old steel hybrid and 15 bikes and 4 years later i ended up on a 08 specialized roubaix elite. i like the roubaix so much i just upgraded to a 2012 roubaix, i have read they much are smoother than my 08.
    i am a body repair guy by trade so i bought, fixed up, test rode bikes until i found something i liked.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Only one person can answer this and that is you. You have to get out to the shops and test ride- then test a few more and then find another shop and test some of theirs. Not only the different makes but the different types within those makes.

    So what Budget and what use are you going to put the bike to-(Trails- road or even offroad- or a mixture)


    You say you are looking to do a 70 mile tour so My suggestion is a Road bike. At this stage I would say a bike with a higher head tube than the out and out racing geometry bikes and after you have tested a few you may agree or differ. Material and I reckon it is a choice between Aluminium or C.F. as good steel frames are not readily available and they may not be as light as you would like. But even within those materials- the ride can be like chalk and cheese.

    Then there is the LBS (Local Bike Store) Don't mean the bike round the corner as the right LBS for you may be quite a few miles away. You will know when you find it.

    But bikes-- Not many bad bikes within the main manufacturers but depending on your budget- you should be able to aim for a bike that weighs in around 20lbs- has a groupset of 105 or better and have wheels that are better than the "Average" inhouse original fitment wheels. Plenty of bikes to choose from And I would not discount some of the upper market names from that list.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #4
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Obviously a case for n+2

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I recommend going to a Bike shop, and letting them show and tell you about options..

    The wooses move there, to get away from the weather , and so are off the roads up here.

    some win-win in that..

  6. #6
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrt2you View Post
    i really can't recommend a perfect bike ....
    I would only amend that to read:
    I really can't recommend a perfect bike, because there isn't any such thing!

    Every bike is designed for some purpose and it does that better than other things. Sure, you can try using your 29'r as a road bike and it will do it -- but not as well as the road bike. (and vice-versa).

    Or, you could modernize and upgrade either the 29'r or the road bike with the latest performance components -- but I have the feeling that you still wouldn't have quite what you're thinking of...

    So, why not consider something that could complement both the 29'r as well as the road bike? Perhaps a hybrid or tourer? Or, I am thinking that a Cyclo-cross might do that 70 miles really quickly...

    Perhaps a Trek Cronus?
    http://s7d4.scene7.com/is/image/Trek...0,0&iccEmbed=0
    Last edited by GeorgeBMac; 12-25-12 at 01:58 PM.
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  7. #7
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    A road bike is what you want for TdS, at least if you want to stick with one of the (many) packs and finish at a decent time. I second the recommendation for a reasonably relaxed geometry, smooth riding "century bike". Take a ride on a Roubaix, and you'll see why.

    Remember that one of the advantages of drop bars is that you have a variety of hand positions, which helps combat fatigue.

    I'd also suggest doing some group rides leading up to TdS, perhaps even one of the "training rides" that are held as the event approaches. Being comfortable in a group will increase your comfort on the ride, allowing you to get the benefit of drafting to speed you along and save energy. "Like" the TdS Facebook page, and you will get periodic updates from the organizer, and notifications of the training rides.

    TdS is a well run and challenging ride - have fun!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  8. #8
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    Thank you all for the feedback. I am thinking about spending about $2k for my next bike and would use it primarily on the road in preparation for the 70 mile ride. I've looked at lots of bikes in straight bar road and hybrid models. Have not considered a Cyclo-cross but will do some research on that option. Thank you.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    On the Cyclocross. They ride well on rough trails and even offroad in the summer----Or winter if you are hardcore---far better than a road bike would. I am an EX mountain biker and I was thinking of a CX bike to supplement my road bikes. As a supplement it would serve a purpose but as my main Road bike it would not be the best choice.

    The Specialised Roubaix is a favourite bike for quite a few and not just on 50+. Can be set up to give a more relaxed body position with the bars a bit higher to save the back if that is a problem. Must be others with the same geometry and others within the Specialised range that would also be suitable for you. Gearing is one thing to look at and you do sound as though you have some fitness about you. Compact/Standard double cranks or triple crank is the main option on gearing and the choice is down to how steep your hills are and how fit you are.

    The best bet is still the LBS for advice but most of us will stress that finding the right LBS is the difficult part. They will offer you the options and advise you on them and that advice should be aimed at you and not what they have in stock and want to shift.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  10. #10
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Stapfam (and it seems like I always do)... Plus a number of other posts are pushing towards a road bike...

    But my hesitation is that you already have a CF road bike.

    Aside from being old (which we all seem to be around here anyway!), What's wrong with it?
    ... Fit, Components, Ugly color?

    If it's fit perhaps a good LBS could help (new seat, seat post, stem, bars, etc...)
    If it's components, again a good LBS could bring it up to speed -- and probably give you a higher end bike at a lower cost than a new one).
    If it's an ugly color -- just tell them it was donated by some homeless guy and you didn't want to hurt his feelings....
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  11. #11
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    FWIW, you can ride a mtn bike with smooth tires (slicks) 70 miles. I've done a century on one. Over two high Colorado passes. Whether you want to or not is a different question.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  12. #12
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Hey OP

    Exercise,,that means time ON the saddle not doing your privates any good all the while
    looking down at your front tire or straining your neck to look ahead and leaning on your wrists,,,

    How about time 'IN' the saddle, 100% pain free,
    how about after every ride you think, "I could do that again right now"

    Some of us don't feel the need to fit in, to conform, to endure pain to look like everyone else,
    and some of us just don't know about these extremly comfortable bikes yet,,,,

    Come over to the recumbent side, sit and lean back into an easy chair like mine and ride all you like...

    Some of us know,,,,

    HPIM0867.jpgme_on_bike.jpgTridentRiverNoFlag.jpg
    Last edited by osco53; 12-25-12 at 06:54 PM.
    Scott Aspect 940 29er, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  13. #13
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    edit

    Get a 29er mountain bike that is an upgrade from what you have. This fall I discovered just how excellent it can be on the road with the correct tires. The next bike I get will be a hard tail 29 rigged for touring or day rides and set up with drop bars. They really are the best platform for an all-rounder bike.
    Check out habcycles.com. Picked up a road frame from them this past spring and absolutely love it. Will be getting another one in the above described model sometime in the near future.
    Last edited by TiHabanero; 12-25-12 at 08:50 PM. Reason: typo

  14. #14
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
    Get a 29er mountain bike that is an upgrade from what you have. This fall I discovered just how excellent it can be on the road with the correct tires. The next bike I get will be a hard tail 29 rigged for touring or day rides and set up with drop bars. They really are the best platform for an all-rounder bike.
    Check out habcycles.com. Picked up a road frame from them this past spring and absolutely love it. Will be getting another one in the above described model sometime in the near future.
    That sounds very much like a cyclocross...
    ... But you may not be able to fit a road type tire on a 29're wheel because the rim is built wide to hold a mountain bike type tire.
    ... But a 29're wheel is really just another 700x?? wheel built to hold a wide tire. The cyclocross bikes mostly use the same 700 diameter wheel but with a narrower rim to hold a narrower tire.
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  15. #15
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Be careful adding drop bars to a hardtail MTB frame designed for flat bars. Few allow both high enough handlebars and short enough reach because they have longer top tubes than a similarly sized drop bar bike.. The Salsa Fargo is a rare exception as it is designed for drop bars.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Do you have any friends who bicycle? If so, buy a bike that's similar in style to what they have. It'll be more fun.

  17. #17
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    Come over to the recumbent side, sit and lean back into an easy chair like mine and ride all you like...
    The OP specifically said his goal was to ride the Tour de Scottsdale (TdS). That's about 1,000 cyclists in a mass start, which breaks up over the course of the ride into a great many smaller packs and solo riders. 'bents are not famous for how well they fit into rides of this type, though I suppose you could just take it solo once the pack broke up. I've a seen a few in other Arizona events, but FWIW, never this one. It includes about 2,500' of climbing, which isn't that much, but enough to likely cause a novice 'bent rider some issues. The ride does include a 9 mile downhill stretch that would be fun on a 'bent, but then it's also fun to pace line that area.

    This is one of those rides that for some people is a casual ride at a leisurely pace, and for others, a race. The first finishers complete it in about 2.5 hours.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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