ok, just wanted to ask for some opinions here.
my dad is 59 and pretty athletic/sporty, but he's been having some knee problems recently. his big sport is volleyball and he goes to nationals (indoor and outdoor) every year. he has been to the doctor and is now trying some supplements (glucosamine + something i don't know) and MIGHT consider some surgery if it doesn't improve in a few months. but i have suggested he start biking for 2 reasons:
1) biking is good for the knees and will maybe help strengthen his knees without causing any damage (like jumping in volleyball does) -- maybe it could help negate the need for surgery.
2) since he can't play volleyball or run much right now, it seems like it would be a good low-impact way to stay in shape and keep fit.
ok, so now he needs a bike. the question is what to buy? he will probably get something used and basic for $100-250 (he's kind of thrifty)...
i think he'll be mostly doing "rec" riding on the country roads by where he lives, although i suppose it's possible he could get into it and maybe ride a century or something. so mostly paved roads, EXCEPT the driveway to his house is about 1/4 mile gravel, so the bike has to be able to handle that... there are moderate hills around, but nothing too huge, so gearings not really an issue.
1) old road bike:
+ IF he ever got "serious" would be most appropriate
- maybe not the best on his back?
- not the best for the gravel driveway - could use wider tires though
+ probably the best value for the money with older road bikes usually being high quality/condition
+ comfortable position
+ decent for gravel driveway
- IF he got really into it, he might have to upgrade
+ good on gravel
- i think he'll be riding mostly on the road
- since he probably won't be riding many trails, maybe not much sense