15-20 years ago I was cycling and in good shape. I'm now 35 and getting back in with bad knees, stiff back, rotated hip, and on the verge of a double hernia. Somewhere along the way I picked up an extra lumbar and 2 extra ribs.
I am looking at purchasing a Cannondale RoadWarrior 1000, and hoping the LBS will order it so I can test ride it. If I like it I'll buy it but I know better than to buy it sight unseen. The compact geometry frame seems a smart pick since I'm not a racer and I've got skeletal nightmares.
AAAaaaanyway...here are some topics where I could use some input. My main concern is that I'm going to have a bad/painful experience on the bike and get discouraged, so I'm trying to prepare myself.
1) Anyone have any experience migrating from a traditional geometry to something like Cannondale's Sport Road frames?
2) Eventually I'm going to get silly and try to go fast. Is a compact frame like this really that prohibitive or is it just not COMPETITIVE? I don't care about being faster than John Doe, but I wanna get my groove on now and then.
3) After knee surgery eons ago, the doctor "put my leg back on wrong." I went into surgery with both my feet pointing forward, I came out with my right foot pointing about 20 degrees to the right. I'm thinking the clipless pedals are no good for me because I can't have that foot held straight without discomfort. Am I right? (I'd rather start off with the clips/straps anyway, but thought I'd ask)
4) What basic bike maintenance books would you recommend? I'd like to learn how to true my wheels, adjust brakes, and general stuff like that. Nothing overly heavy.
5) The Terry Liberator Y Gel Touring saddle seems the smart starting choice for me. Anyone like/dislike the Terry saddles?
6) The orthopedic docs don't forecast longevity for knees lacking cartilage. One day I may need knee replacement surgery. Questions: A) Anyone ever cycle after having a knee replaced? B) Anyone actually manage to strengthen/heal defective knees through cycling C) Anyone found knee problems get much worse with cycling?
I'm not trying to foreshadow doom and gloom, but I'm trying to keep my eyes wide open before I spend money, time, and energy in the hobby. I want to be realistic. Any replies are GREATLY appreciated.