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  1. #1
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    Considering taking up bicycling--Cannondale T700?

    I am a woman of mature years considering taking up bicycling. I am considering the purchase (for short money) of a decent 1995 Cannondale T700. Eventually, should I enjoy this as much as anticipated, I will purchase a better bicycle more suited to my riding preferences.

    For right now, I am looking for more of a touring style vs. a racing or road style.

    Thoughts? Things to look for or avoid? Naturally, my local bike shop will service the machine, but from what I have researched and read, if the bike is the appropriate size and in reasonable condition, this may be a good entry level machine for me.

  2. #2
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    They are highly regarded touring bikes and worth some money. The frame can be upgraded with all the modern bits you like. You may never buy another bike. Ask over in Classic & Vintage for more details.
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    Being a mature woman is a problem.Most of us are kids in old aging bodies.Hop on a bike and tell us of any problems.We are here to help.Good luck

  4. #4
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    The average citizen would call that a road bike, but yes, the T700 is a classic touring-style bike. If it is in functional condition and you are comfortable on it, sounds like a good starter bike.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamrock View Post
    Being a mature woman is a problem.Most of us are kids in old aging bodies.Hop on a bike and tell us of any problems.We are here to help.Good luck
    She didn't say she is mature. She said she is of mature years. It's never too late to have a happy childhood, as we all know.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    That first bike to get you riding- or back riding- is not that important on style or age. However it should be in good condition- feel comfortable to ride and FIT you. Reason I say that is that all the first bike is there for is to tell you what your second bike will be--Which you have already recognised. One thing you will not be able to get right from the start and that is you. Expect some muscle ache- butt ache and to find some new muscles that you never knew you had.

    Enjoy the bike.
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  7. #7
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Also - there is, [sing]somewhere out there, over the rainbow [/sing], a comfortable saddle for you and for each of us. Somewhat counter-intuitively, it is not a fat padded saddle; those get more awful the more you ride. You just have to keep trying saddles and fine-tuning your riding position until you find The One. Try a Terry or other woman-specific saddle. In the meantime, padded cycling shorts are helpful.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    She didn't say she is mature. She said she is of mature years. It's never too late to have a happy childhood, as we all know.
    Growing old is inevitable. Growing up is optional.

    Actually, with this bike, I want to ensure that it fits my rather petite stature. I am particularly concerned about not making a crash landing on the top bar. Years of step-through bikes will do that, I guess. Then we can move on to saddles, pedals and the like. I will have to purchase pedals if I get this bike. Thoughts? The idea of locking one's shod foot onto a pedal unnerves me. Guess it is all that residual "getting hung up in a stirrup" thing from decades of owning, showing and jumping horses.

    I so appreciate everyone's thoughts, observations and input. Thank you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    When I re-entered cycling I started on a Cannondale T800. It's basically the frame with slightly upgraded components. I put 10s of thousands of miles on that bike with no problems at all. I'd do it all over again if given the chance. BTW, welcome to BF 50+.

    There's no reason you can't start riding with platform pedals until you get more comfortable. They're not that expensive.
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  10. #10
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    How tall are you? Your bike inseam? Do you know what size bike you need?

    When one is on the shorter side - say, below 5' 6" or so - it becomes increasingly hard to find quality used bikes that fit. They are out there but it takes more looking. I learned that when helping a friend who is 5' 1" find a bike that had to be (1) classy (2) very small (3) cheap. On the other hand, quality new bikes are widely available in diminutive sizes. The bike industry has learned that women are an important market.

    I'd use inexpensive platform pedals for a few weeks, then switch to clipless. Clipless pedals offer significant advantages. There are also platform pedals with a SPD binding built in, some are even non-clunky. I understand the fear of being trapped, and you are indeed likely to fall once during the learning curve - almost everyone does - but falls due to forgetting to unclip at stops always happen, by definition, at zero mph, so only pride gets hurt. Unlike a horse, the bike won't go galloping off on its own, dragging its rider by a clipless pedal!
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  11. #11
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    Hello Lioness, I got into cycling six years ago. I started with a cruiser, then a hybrid, and eventually went to a road bike when it was given to me. I can't advise you regarding the Cannondale as I don't know anything about them. I'm almost 5'9" so I can't tell about bikes for small women. I will say that the crossbar has never been an issue, and I've taken a few spills, including going over the handlebars.
    As far as clipless pedals go, I feel the same way as you do. Depending on the type of riding you plan to do, you don't need to go clipless. I've been riding platforms with MTB shoes since I've been riding my road bike and have ridden distances of 75 and 80 miles with no issues. I have a pair, still in the box in my bike room, but have never felt inclined to put them on.
    I agree with the other posters that a fat saddle won't be the most comfortable, but bike shorts for a woman are a must! I have found that the most expensive shorts are not necessarily the most comfortable.
    (Lady Tip: Do NOT wear underwear with bike shorts. The seams and edges of the undies do damage to your body that you don't even want to think about.) Welcome to 50+! I am always happy to see other women post in this forum.

  12. #12
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    Welcome to the forums. A mid 90's Cannondale is a good choice. Six years ago, when I moved from just mountain bikes to add on road biking, it was on a 96' SR500. The T-700 has a chromoly fork and that's good. Avoid bikes that have aluminum forks as they transmit road every bump through the bars to your arms. If you haven't already done so, buy some cycling gloves to help absorb road shock. You'll probably start off with a soft saddle, most folks returning to cycling do. Eventually, you'll want a firmer saddle, but that comes after everything hardens up. Good luck, and keep posting.
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  13. #13
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    Well, I bought it! $200 (can't believe it). It needs at least one new tire and pedals and most certainly a tuneup with perhaps some cabling replaced. But other than that, it is a clean, barely used bike.

    Aside from a helmet and padded bicycling shorts, what else should I consider investing in? I'm rather excited--I am dropping the bike off tomorrow at my local bike shop for the needed repairs.

  14. #14
    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the N+1, we need pics of the new bike. You got a good deal at $200 for a T700. Get yourself a good floor pump, a multi tool and a few bike specific tools and one of the many bike maintenance guides out. I keep Lennard Zinn's, Zen and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, on my work bench for a reference, there are a lot of good ones out now. Park Tool Company's Big Blue Book is another one I have.

    Hope you enjy the new bike, a first ride report would be nice if you would.

    Bill
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    If it fits you will be happy with it. I feel that a tourer is a good choice for a first time adult rider. Later if you want to race you can put a set of racing wheels on it and get after it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    If it fits you will be happy with it. I feel that a tourer is a good choice for a first time adult rider. Later if you want to race you can put a set of racing wheels on it and get after it!
    No racing here. Just want a decent starter bike so that I can start riding and hopefully go on some rides and tours with my significant other, who is a serious and avid touring cyclist. Mackinac Island is a potential destination next summer, and it would be nice to tour the island and be able to keep up with him.

  17. #17
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Good strategy -- that's exactly what I would have done. My bike is a 1997, and I expect to have it for a long time.

    I recommend buying a blinkie light for the rear, even for daytime riding -- it makes you noticeable. PlanetBike Superflash, or Cygolite 2 Watt. My wife likes her cycling gloves.

    You'll want to have all the supplies for fixing a flat on the road (and learn how to do it), plus a floor pump for the garage.

    Make sure your SO knows how to ride with a newby. He should ride at your pace (you go first), and he should frequently say things like "Hey, you look really good on a bicycle!" and "Wow, I'm impressed with you."
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  18. #18
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Great price - seriously!

    What kind of pedals are you getting? You may start with platform pedals but I suggest you consider clipless pedals at some point. There are pedals with SPD bindings on one side and a platform on the other.

    To get:
    - Helmet. Plenty of vents is nice. They all have to pass the same impact tests to get certified, so $40 gets you as much protection as $200.
    - Sunglasses (protect eyes from airborne stuff, and from sun)
    - Flat repair kit (spare tube, tire levers, mini pump, patch kit - $40-ish) and learn how to change a tube.
    - Underseat bag to hold above plus ID, keys, etc. $15-25. You can stuff this in a jersey pocket if you're going to wear a bike jersey, but a bag is more convenient.
    - Red blinky light for seatpost or seatstay or helmet. $15-20.
    - Sounds like you'll be going on fun rides rather than commuting etc, so maybe you don't need a lock - or can have SO carry the lock, better yet? If you do start locking your bike up and walking away, never trust a cable lock (very easily cut), get a decent U-lock. $40+.

    When you get into touring, you will want a way to carry stuff, which usually means racks and panniers. But no need to get that stuff just yet.
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  19. #19
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Oh - post a pic of the bike - we like pictures and a T700 is a pretty machine.
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  20. #20
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    Internet photo.



    You should have many happy miles on the bike.
    I have 10,000 + miles on a T-One.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  21. #21
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    Hi,

    Nice bike ! I'm a fan of fatter tyres on road bikes and have a
    30mm near slick on the back and a 32mm with more tread
    on the front, run with more pressure in the back.

    Investigate your tyre options, can make a big difference.

    The rear gives good rolling as it takes more of the weight,
    the front gives great grip and more suspension than normal.

    rgds, sreten.

  22. #22
    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    Welcome, Lioness! The bike is a good choice at a great price! It might be good to check the stem and bars for proper fit. There's a few very good YouTube tutorials on adjusting the fit, if you have a friend to help you. You want to maximize the number of hand positions with which you are comfortable, even if it means swapping out a stem for a longer or shorter one.
    One thing that I might mention along with all the previous good suggestions is that you should buy a good floor pump - preferably one with a gauge. Proper inflation to a pressure near the recommended maximum will make your ride very much more easy, and may make your ride more enjoyable - with the one caveat that this bike is a stiff one, so you might want to deflate ten or more pounds from the max to make the ride more comfortable. Every week or so, check the pressure and top up as necessary - air does leak out slowly, and the effort needed to go a certain speed will increase. Also, "pinch flats" can come from under-inflated tires.
    The mini-pump is vital to have on the road, but it is less than ideal to use routinely. I think the latter type that many recommend is the Topeak Road Morph pump - you can get one with a gauge.
    Do stop back here - it's a great group of people!

  23. #23
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    My significant other was floored. He looked at the bike and was impressed with condition and purchase price. He also is developing a riding plan for us starting out with my neighborhood, then graduating to the bike paths until he is comfortable with me being out on the road. Works for me--he wants to make sure I am riding properly and have the bike adjusted to fit me before we start logging any road miles.

    We took the bike to his regular local bike shop and it will receive a tune-up, new brake pads, cables and new tires. I'll still be well under my budget of $500! Bike shop said it was a great bike and it should give me many years of enjoyable riding.

    Thanks everyone for the guidance and opinions. It is greatly appreciated, and I'm sure I will be coming back with more questions. I will have the bike in two weeks (they are really busy, and I am out of pocket all next weekend, so that works). I need to pick up a helmet and shoes--any recommendations?

  24. #24
    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Now we will need a first ride report and pics of your choice of post ride PIE!!! Glad that the T700 is working out, I think you will enjoy it and the rides with your S.O., too.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  25. #25
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lioness1961 View Post
    . . .
    We took the bike to his regular local bike shop and it will receive a tune-up, new brake pads, cables and new tires. I'll still be well under my budget of $500! Bike shop said it was a great bike and it should give me many years of enjoyable riding.

    Thanks everyone for the guidance and opinions. It is greatly appreciated, and I'm sure I will be coming back with more questions. I will have the bike in two weeks (they are really busy, and I am out of pocket all next weekend, so that works). I need to pick up a helmet and shoes--any recommendations?
    Please consider giving your local bike shop some of your business and buy the helmet and shoes from them. You can find something for less money online but the shop will make sure that what you buy fits you.

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