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Old 09-07-13, 01:20 PM   #1
ozonern
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Just joined this forum; looking for guidance

Hi - I've re-entered biking after a 20+ yrs hiatus.......am riding my son's old (~2002) Trek 4500 alpha, 15". Am in shape - did 38 miles today after a month back at it. I'm trying to figure out what will be best fit and type of bike for me (I'm around 4'11 1/2"), and I've been told by various other bikers it's too big but I kinda really like it. I don't really have any plans on off-roading, but love the thicker tires and frame (used to ride a Cannondale). I feel like I can hang on this one for awhile but the shoe question comes up too (using sneaks). Ideas?
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Old 09-07-13, 01:27 PM   #2
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Welcome to Bike Forums.

One Half Toe clips well for me.



http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...alf-clips.html
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Old 09-07-13, 01:38 PM   #3
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find a really good bike shop, locally owned and run by cycling enthusiasts who know something about bike fit. Go there, have them fit the bike to you, pay for it and then start talking to them about next steps. There is no substitute for a great local bike store.

J.
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Old 09-07-13, 02:20 PM   #4
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Perfect fit will make your distance rides more comfortable and toe clips and straps don't cost much to try out to see if you like having your foot attached. Talk to your Local Bike Shop alright and buy a little something there but take your time picking out a ride. You might change your mind about what you'd like the first few weeks of riding after talking it over at your LBS. This thread has interesting suggestions on bike types:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Recommendation

As does another in here.

And I'd carry a spare tube, patches, pump or CO2, tire spoons and water when riding.

Last edited by Zinger; 09-07-13 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 09-07-13, 05:12 PM   #5
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Get some cycling shoes made for flat pedals, much better for your feet than soft-soled shoes. Some can be used with cleats later, or straps, if you choose.

Next, get a super lightweight road bike with 650b wheels. I have a friend who is 4'10" and she goes fast on her 650b bike.
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Old 09-07-13, 07:01 PM   #6
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You can try the half-clips, that's basically what I rolled when I rode the old Schwinn 10-speed, back in the 70's. Another alternative is http://www.rei.com/product/609173/po...grips-original. They work well, too, and are a good transition if you decide later to gt into clipless.

If you're comfortable on the Trek, stay on it; I'd suggest getting some urban tires for it, though, like http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...ntry-rock-tire. And, I'm guessing, since you did a 38-miler and didn't get off feeling crippled, that it works well for you.
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Old 09-07-13, 08:04 PM   #7
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If you're comfortable on the Trek, stay on it; I'd suggest getting some urban tires for it, though, like http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...ntry-rock-tire. And, I'm guessing, since you did a 38-miler and didn't get off feeling crippled, that it works well for you.
+1 on this advice, though I might even hold off on changing out the tires, unless you need to replace the ones currently on it. Actually I'd hold off on changing anything until you decide what you want to change (not what someone else, especially someone on the webz, thinks you should change).
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Old 09-07-13, 08:11 PM   #8
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I'm 5'2"" and got a used Trek2300 in a 650 wheel size. Works for me with some adjustment.
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Old 09-07-13, 09:43 PM   #9
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Depends on what you want to do and what you feel you need to do it with.
If you like the bike and you can ride it without causing any injuries...saddle to high, etc...and no safety issues...you can control the bike without overstretching, etc. stick with it.
If you are unsure, take the bike to a good local shop and have them evaluate you fit to the bike. Perhaps it would be a better fit with some adjustments and possibly replacing the stem, if too long, etc.
If you are unsure about the bike ask for some alternatives while there and take them for a test ride...who knows you may find a model you feel even better on.

Regarding shoes...difficult question to answer. If you are happy with what you are wearing now and have no foot pains then go with them. If you are unsure you are kind of in a bind because the only way to find out is to buy stuff and try it. Perhaps the half clips or toe clips and straps would be ok but the shoe itself is still going to bend around the pedal and possibly cause physical problems as you continue to ride and ride more often/regularly...time will tell.
I suggest trying a sport riding shoe that accepts SPD cleats. They are inset in the sole allowing for walking but I don't recommend wearing them on hard wood floors...scratches, etc...the soles do bend a bit and are reasonably comfortable for some walking but I don't recommend them for walking in all day.

Good luck and keep us informed.
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Old 09-07-13, 10:04 PM   #10
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Just as an observation--I'm not saying don't use toe clips or clipless or whatever you like--I've done the same 25-mile round trip commute 75-100 times a year for more than 30 years, on almost every combination of bike, tire, shoe and pedal you can imagine. Recumbents, 19mm tires, 41mm tires, sandals, Power Grips, bmx pedals, SPDs...
For years, I kept precise track of nearly every ride, time, speed, flats, how I felt. I looked it all over a year or so ago, and the pedals and even the tires made no difference to speak of. My fastest time, at age 40, was on a low-end '80s Bridgestone mountain bike with 1.5-inch semi-slicks, wearing ancient Bata Biker touring shoes I bought in college in the '70s for ~$15. It's the engine, not the bike.
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Old 09-08-13, 02:07 AM   #11
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It's the engine, not the bike.
+100
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Old 09-08-13, 02:08 PM   #12
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Thanks all for your suggestions - going to stick to this bike through the winter and check out some of the suggestions made here. Bike shoes fit seems problematic right now d/t bone spur (damn it sux getting older), so the softer fit of a sneak may be best bet with a clip. Only reason I want to address this as I'm not able to utilize my hamstrings as effectively without something to pull up on. I'll hit a bike store next weekend!
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Old 09-08-13, 02:33 PM   #13
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Bike shoes fit seems problematic right now d/t bone spur (damn it sux getting older), so the softer fit of a sneak may be best bet with a clip. Only reason I want to address this as I'm not able to utilize my hamstrings as effectively without something to pull up on. I'll hit a bike store next weekend!
Molefoam

Not the thinner Moleskin plus but the thick stuff. You can cut it into rectangles or whatever and use it around the area. I've also got something like this in my heel and also wrap around it with an Ace Bandage to build up the areas around it. Guess I'll find out what it is during my doctors checkup this fall.

Also have a callus where my toeout has caused me to rub on the side of road quilled caged road pedals for decades. I use the Molefoam around that too.

Good luck trying to find the stuff off the internet. All I can find around my place is the thinner stuff which is useless.
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Old 09-08-13, 02:41 PM   #14
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Hi,

Fat proper road tyres are nice if you like going faster, they don't make you any fitter.

I ride my folder with plain pedals and my road bike with toeclips. IMO you can just
as easily live without clips of any sort as live with them. Not a big deal in reality.

Footwear really doesn't matter that much either, something with a stiff sole helps.

Just ride the bike and get your basic adjustments for fit correct, which is basically
proper seat height in the middle of the rails and adjusting the front to suit you.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 09-08-13, 07:35 PM   #15
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Bike 'fit' is a subjective thing, NOT an exact science. Seat tube height, top-tube length, handlebar stem height and length, crank length... For example, I'm only 5'8", but prefer a 23"/58cm frame because of my long-ish leg/arm and short torso length.. Your fit may vary.... My youngest sister is barely 5'0" and rides a 20" frame. Just sayin'...

Tire size (width) and inflation pressure will make a difference in how beat up you feel over a rough road. 700c x 23 @ 110 psi is like riding on a solid tire, whereas the same rim with a 28 or 32 (or wider) tire at a lower psi will feel comfortable, but low pressure tires require more effort to ride per mile.

Even your seat (saddle) preference comes in to play the longer you ride. So does handlebar tape and/or gloves. Or clothes fit in the crotch.

Find what fit works best for you and Enjoy The Ride!!! Your stamina will improve with time.
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Old 09-08-13, 07:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
Perfect fit will make your distance rides more comfortable and toe clips and straps don't cost much to try out to see if you like having your foot attached. Talk to your Local Bike Shop alright and buy a little something there but take your time picking out a ride. You might change your mind about what you'd like the first few weeks of riding after talking it over at your LBS. This thread has interesting suggestions on bike types:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Recommendation

As does another in here.

And I'd carry a spare tube, patches, pump or CO2, tire spoons and water when riding.
+=1 on this. And if you are comfortable with toe clips, then go for clipless pedals and shoes. you won;t be sorry.
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Old 09-08-13, 07:57 PM   #17
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Just as an observation--I'm not saying don't use toe clips or clipless or whatever you like--I've done the same 25-mile round trip commute 75-100 times a year for more than 30 years, on almost every combination of bike, tire, shoe and pedal you can imagine. Recumbents, 19mm tires, 41mm tires, sandals, Power Grips, bmx pedals, SPDs...
For years, I kept precise track of nearly every ride, time, speed, flats, how I felt. I looked it all over a year or so ago, and the pedals and even the tires made no difference to speak of. My fastest time, at age 40, was on a low-end '80s Bridgestone mountain bike with 1.5-inch semi-slicks, wearing ancient Bata Biker touring shoes I bought in college in the '70s for ~$15. It's the engine, not the bike.
Until you get to the point where it is no longer the engine. Or conditioned well enough where the bike makes a difference.
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Old 09-09-13, 01:25 AM   #18
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Until you get to the point where it is no longer the engine. Or conditioned well enough where the bike makes a difference.
At what point would this be.......pro level?

Seriously though, I suppose most people could benefit from a lighter weight bike. Even an aero style bike with wheels to match. But, would the gain be marginal or a significant improvement. It would certainly come with an added cost.
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