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Old 03-14-14, 08:57 AM   #1
dakref
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New old guy

Greetings. I just joined this forum and looking for answers to many questions about bicycling. I am 70 with bad knees that need to be replaced, but I'm still playing softball with braces just fine and ride a recumbent exercise bike with no problem. My wife (only 58) and I are riding the old Fuji Tahoes we bought about 23 years ago. We have not ridden for about 2 years and are getting back into it now for exercise. We have a major state bike trail through our town and ride the country roads around our home. We want to upgrade or modernize our bikes, but have no clue what we're really looking at when we go to bike shops. We don't know Shimano from Sun Tour and every dealer has their own agenda about what the best bikes would be for us. Most dealers around here seem to be pushing the Trek line, like the Neko SL or FX. One guy offered up a Fuji Absolute 1.0 at a "great price" (900), but obviously we have no clue about that at all. So how can we intelligently proceed?
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Old 03-14-14, 09:17 AM   #2
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You're my hero, cradle robber. I'm a new member of the bad knees club.

My advice is to forget brand names at this point. What's most important is getting the right kind of bike for the kind of riding you intend to do. That might well be a hybrid like the Fuji Absolute 1.0 (which looks pretty sweet), but you should check out some others (BTW, you can get that bike for about $600 on line, so you can probably do better than $900 from your LBS (that's "local bike shop"). And I'd advise making the purchase at an LBS, as a good one is like a good car mechanic ... very nice to have.

FWIW, with respect to that Trek ... I'm not at all a fan of bikes intended for road use having shock absorbing forks (like an MTB). Unless you plan to do a lot of off-pavement riding, that's a lot of weight for nothing.

What kind of riding to do you intend to do? What kind of distances and on what kind of surfaces?
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Old 03-14-14, 09:23 AM   #3
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And how many miles, how often? What is your current athleticism, both you? What kinds of bikes do you like? Have you found a good, helpful, knowledgeable bike shop? With lots of stock? How concerned are they with getting the bike to fit correctly?
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Old 03-14-14, 01:28 PM   #4
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Distance will increase as we get used to it again. Will be riding on mostly country roads and crushed limestone bike trails.

At one shop we were met immediately by a "bike Fitter" . A thousand bikes in the place, but he was only interested in getting my wife on a Trek Neko SL WSD. I asked about other bikes, but just got some conversation about the owner opening another shop in town and will be a "destination" bike shop that people far and wide will flock to. But 3 out of 4 shops wanted to sell Trek.
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Old 03-14-14, 02:16 PM   #5
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Just one thought against the N+1 (or 2, in this case). Perhaps if the Tahoes are performing adequately, they'll buy plenty of riding time while you sort through the collective knowledge here, and at your local shops.

I just think an MTB is the one bike I have to have because of the extreme weather and less than ideal road condition where I live. YMMV. They'd make great limestone trail bikes for you now, while you decide on your next step. I have a skinny tired, too fast, lightweight also, and it's my preferred ride, but when the chips are down the MTB gets the call for the day. Remember, around here it's "N+1" not "N-1+1".
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Old 03-14-14, 02:28 PM   #6
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Old 03-14-14, 02:54 PM   #7
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You ride a recumbent exercise bike comfortably, why not consider a recumbent bike? They come in 3 wheels, and 2 wheels. They all have back support, and can cruise at a decent speed and distance. They run from 20 lb speedsters to heavier and slower ones. They also can have a neck rest, and put no pressure on wrists, shoulders and neck. The seats are way more comfortable, and have full back support.



If you'd rather have a bike than a trike, there are all kinds of different configurations for 2 wheelers, for racing, touring, comfort riding, riding with upright bikes, whatever you want.




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Old 03-14-14, 02:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by North Coast Joe View Post
Just one thought against the N+1 (or 2, in this case). Perhaps if the Tahoes are performing adequately, they'll buy plenty of riding time while you sort through the collective knowledge here, and at your local shops.

I just think an MTB is the one bike I have to have because of the extreme weather and less than ideal road condition where I live. YMMV. They'd make great limestone trail bikes for you now, while you decide on your next step. I have a skinny tired, too fast, lightweight also, and it's my preferred ride, but when the chips are down the MTB gets the call for the day. Remember, around here it's "N+1" not "N-1+1".
If you decide to go this route for the time being, there are any number of street tread or no tread 1.25-1.50 26" tires available that will make road riding less of a chore than with typical MTB tires. (Don't know what tires you are currently using.)
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Old 03-15-14, 08:13 PM   #9
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I agree with the Idea if your present bikes are in 'ridable' condition, use them as you look for what you think you want OR if they fit you...why not fix them up to your liking. The recumbent idea is something to look at too, but I am predijuce since i ride comfortable on my "lounge chair on wheels". Good luck in your lookikng
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Old 03-15-14, 08:24 PM   #10
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I agree with the Idea if your present bikes are in 'ridable' condition, use them as you look for what you think you want OR if they fit you...why not fix them up to your liking. The recumbent idea is something to look at too, but I am predijuce since i ride comfortable on my "lounge chair on wheels". Good luck in your lookikng
I agree with both of these points. If your happy with what your riding, keep riding it.

If you wanna sit on your sofa and get some exercise too, get a 'bent.
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Old 03-17-14, 07:04 AM   #11
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Ride what you have ask fellow riders about what they ride, test ride at your dealers, the more you ride the better you can decide what you want.
My 2 cents worth, you don't need a suspension bike, you will just be hauling around extra weight.
I am three months shy of 70 with arthritis and bicycling is my therapy, both physical and mental.
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Old 03-17-14, 07:31 AM   #12
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Welcome to the forums. Some good advice here already. I'll add just a few things. First, if you go the route of riding what you have and taking your time to sort things out, you may want to get the bikes checked over at a shop to make sure everything is running OK. In response to your comment about not knowing Shimano from Sun Tour, almost all of today's equipment is functional at a level we could only dream about 25 years ago. Finally, in addition to shopping for bikes, you should be thinking about shopping for the bike shop as equally important. Sales people who listen instead of pushing their agenda are worth their weight in gold. With that said, sometimes shop personnel can be good listeners if you make it clear that you want them to be so. My favorite shop was not so in the beginning. It wasn't until I said, "Look I don't need you to sell me on something. I need you to listen very closely to the questions I have before answering." This go the shop owner's attention, and he same out onto the floor and, along with the sales person, walked me through options based on my questions. Bike shops operate on a pretty thin profit margin, and if they see you as a potential long term customer, they should be working to hear what you say, and not pushing product. If they don't, perhaps you need to find another shop. In my area there are several bike shops that allow folks to rent bikes. This is one way to get a bit of a longer demo period on different styles of bikes before buying.

Regardless of which direction you go right now, enjoy the ride!
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Old 03-24-14, 06:35 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the advice. We are going to ride what we've got and not rush into buying something right now. We'll just enjoy shopping and gather information right now.
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Old 03-24-14, 07:20 AM   #14
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Being fully bent myself, I too would suggest a recumbent bike or a trike. Probably the trike especially for your wife. My wife and a lot of others that I have read about on bike forums seem to really like trikes.
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Old 03-24-14, 07:21 AM   #15
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But 3 out of 4 shops wanted to sell Trek.
I'm not in the industry but I seem to recall Trek's business model rewards bike shops with better terms and costs the more Trek (Trek, Fisher, Bontrager, Electra) bikes and branded stuff they move. Trek offers a full range of quality goods, but don't hesitate to advocate for yourself.

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We are going to ride what we've got and not rush into buying something right now.
Does everything spin freely? (We're talking about 23 year old grease, right?) Cables actuate smoothly? Brake pads not hard and tires/tubes not dry rotted? <-- All this is pretty easy to take care of. Clean and oil the chain and enjoy cycling!
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