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Old 01-16-11, 06:59 PM   #1
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Relaxed geometry road bike

I am considering replacing my hybrid; I need more options for hand positions on long rides and a more streamline profile for rides in heavy wind. I'm 66, nearly a Clydesdale and have about a grand to spend. I would like a relaxed geometry road bike that could take 28 or even 32 mm wide tires. Any suggestions?
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Old 01-16-11, 08:04 PM   #2
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the Bianchi Volpe should answer your needs http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/gran-fondo/volpe/

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Old 01-16-11, 08:42 PM   #3
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I am considering replacing my hybrid; I need more options for hand positions on long rides and a more streamline profile for rides in heavy wind. I'm 66, nearly a Clydesdale and have about a grand to spend. I would like a relaxed geometry road bike that could take 28 or even 32 mm wide tires. Any suggestions?
One word "Cruiser". And it won't cost you a grand either.

Check out this thread for the more relaxed riding style......
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ier-quot-forum
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 01-16-11, 10:01 PM   #4
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One word "Cruiser"
How does a "Cruiser" offers more options for hand positions on long rides and a more streamline profile for rides in heavy wind?
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Old 01-16-11, 10:02 PM   #5
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I think that a touring bike fits the bill. Drop bars provide plenty of hand positions. Designed to be comfortable for long rides. Some can be had for about $1000 and they will take 32 mm tires or larger.

look at the sticky on the touring site.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...dated-30-July*

A touring bike with drop bars will also give you an aero profile when on the drops. Made to carry a load.
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Old 01-17-11, 12:55 PM   #6
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Converted mountain bike w/ slicks? I've got drops on mine and it is by far my most comfortable ride. Cro-mo and hi-ten non-suspension frames are all over the place for 50-75 bucks. A weekend or two, and some handpicked parts builds a nice ride.
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Old 01-17-11, 01:09 PM   #7
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How about something like the Specialized Spectar:



Has relaxed geometry like the Specialized Roubaix which is one of the most comfortable road bikes I've ever ridden.
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Old 01-17-11, 03:43 PM   #8
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Why the "Relaxed" geometry? Take it you are looking for a bike that will keep you more upright rather than a full race geometry where you will be riding with your head between your knees.

If you are currently riding a hybrid with straight bars- then the change to a road bike could take some adjusting to. I changed from MTB's 4 years ago and it took me a full year to sort that first bike and get my body adapted to riding it.

There are plenty of bikes that could be suitable- and all will take your weight. Adaptions to bar height can be easily made and the LBS should be able to arrange that for you- similarly the LBS can advise on tyre width. My concern would be with the wheels. At $1,000 you are going to get a stock wheel that does not always take Clyde weight for long. Think about upgrading the wheels to a "Stronger" version at the time of purchase.

One I can definitely recommend is the Bianchi Volpe.And the specialised Roubaix-And the Giant Defy- and probaly lots more but before choosing a bike- Select your LBS first. Get the right shop and you will get the right bike and the service to go with it. Unfortunately- Finding the "Good" LBS is the biggest problem.
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Old 01-17-11, 08:17 PM   #9
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I'm bike shopping - well, daydreaming - right now, and to my surprise, one of the bikes that consistently gets rave reviews for comfort is the Cannondale Synapse Alloy. I was not prepared to look at aluminum bikes at all because the two that I've owned in my life have both been disappointments, but I'm definitely going to test ride one when the snow melts.
(I suppose the Synapse carbon is also very comfortable, but I want fender eyelets.)
I've heard good things about the Soma steel bikes, too. The Smoothie and ES both have reputations for being comfortable all-day bikes, but since they sell them as frames a test ride wouldn't be possible.
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Old 01-17-11, 09:20 PM   #10
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http://www.masibikes.com/steel/randonneur/

Masi Randonneur comes in at $1090 retail. Relaxed geo. Long wheelbase. Long chainstay. Comes with 32c tires.
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Old 01-17-11, 10:14 PM   #11
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How does a "Cruiser" offers more options for hand positions on long rides and a more streamline profile for rides in heavy wind?
Hand position & streamline are a job of the bars so choose wisely. Also the OP is is 66 yrs old! I'm 65 yrs old and I know that drops are a no no anymore so I doubt that a 66 yr old man really wants to ride drops all the time!

Besides, heavy winds on a bike are b!tch to push against no matter what posture the rider is in. Might as well ride slower on a cruiser and enjoy the ride!!
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 01-18-11, 01:39 PM   #12
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Hand position & streamline are a job of the bars so choose wisely. Also the OP is is 66 yrs old! I'm 65 yrs old and I know that drops are a no no anymore so I doubt that a 66 yr old man really wants to ride drops all the time!

Besides, heavy winds on a bike are b!tch to push against no matter what posture the rider is in. Might as well ride slower on a cruiser and enjoy the ride!!
I like your "If it doesn't work for me then it will not work for anybody else" attitude. You are real helpful.
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Old 01-18-11, 02:16 PM   #13
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Hand position & streamline are a job of the bars so choose wisely. Also the OP is is 66 yrs old! I'm 65 yrs old and I know that drops are a no no anymore so I doubt that a 66 yr old man really wants to ride drops all the time!

Besides, heavy winds on a bike are b!tch to push against no matter what posture the rider is in. Might as well ride slower on a cruiser and enjoy the ride!!
I'd guess from your response that you don't have any actual experience riding a properly fitted bike with drop bars. Regardless of age, there is less strain on the lower back, better aerodynamics, etc. Cruisers are not made to spend any significant amount of time in the saddle.
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Old 01-18-11, 02:31 PM   #14
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Right. Just because the "drops" are there doesn't mean your hands need be welded into them. In fact, the standard riding position on a roadster is "on the hoods".

The standard wisdom is... Hands on the brake hoods for normal cruising around (check out Le Tour riders in the peloton sometime) hands on top of the bar for climbing, and drops only for wind-cheating, sprinting, or something like that.
I'm 65, and ride in complete comfort on my roadster. (Which is, BTW, a long-wheelbase, "relaxed" geometry Euro roadster of considerable vintage.)
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Old 01-18-11, 05:07 PM   #15
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I like your "If it doesn't work for me then it will not work for anybody else" attitude. You are real helpful.
It's called "Options" to add diversity to the discussion, dude.

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I'd guess from your response that you don't have any actual experience riding a properly fitted bike with drop bars. Regardless of age, there is less strain on the lower back, better aerodynamics, etc. Cruisers are not made to spend any significant amount of time in the saddle.
I've spent plenty of time in drops in my younger days. At 65 the damn things are a pain in the back,arms, & shoulders for most older folk's.
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 01-18-11, 06:55 PM   #16
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It's called "Options" to add diversity to the discussion, dude.
How can a cruiser be considered an option when it doesn't offer anything the original poster was looking for, dude.

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I've spent plenty of time in drops in my younger days. At 65 the damn things are a pain in the back,arms, & shoulders for most older folk's.
Speak for yourself, dude. I ride with plenty of riders in my local club who are 60+ on road bikes.
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Old 01-18-11, 08:28 PM   #17
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My husband is 73 and has drop bars on all his bikes, including his newish carbon fiber road bike, and the 'cross bike that he replaced his mountain bike with. It's all about the correct fit and setup. And, of course, he isn't down in the drops the whole time, that's what cushioned rubber brake hoods are for. Professional racers couldn't last for hours and hours in the saddle for multi-day stage races if they were hurting the whole time. They originated the design of drop bars precisely because they were on the bike for such long periods of time.
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Old 01-18-11, 09:18 PM   #18
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I'm a big fan of the Pacer from Surly. Currently running 25's, but can easily go much wider. I built it from the frame up with some stuff I had laying around, but I think their complete bike is right around $1100. It is easily my favorite bike in my stable, I can just pedal it for hours.

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Old 01-18-11, 11:00 PM   #19
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Another vote for keeping drop bars in the mix. I'm 65 and started riding about two years ago. Our tandem and my single both have drops. I prefer the tandem position which is a bit less aggressive, but I'm ok doing 100k on my single. I would definitely want a fit where I could adapt to the drops for those headwind situations.

Regarding wheels - the BF Clyde breakpoint is 200 lbs. If your not much above this figure I would expect a bike in the $1000 range to have adequate wheels. My Giant OCR1 has the original 20/24 spoke setup and has been fine for 4000 miles with 25 mm tires. I'd prefer 28mm just so I could use the same tires as the tandem. Whatever you buy stick with the stock wheels unless the LBS is giving you a killer deal on an upgrade. And find an LBS that is really interested in steering you to a great cycling experience, not hawking their latest sale special.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:57 PM   #20
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I've heard good things about the Soma steel bikes, too. The Smoothie and ES both have reputations for being comfortable all-day bikes, but since they sell them as frames a test ride wouldn't be possible.
I built up a Smoothie in Sept. and it's about the nicest riding bike I've owned, certainly as nice a ride as any of my 11 other road bikes over the past 22 years. Not relaxed geometry, very much a road bike, not a Rivendell 72/72 kind of bike. That said, it's very stable and predictable, still has clearance for fenders with a 25mm tire, or a 28mm without, plus rear rack eyelets. A supported multi-day tour kind of bike, which is why I bought it. I considered the Smoothie ES, which has a longer chainstay, but couldn't get the frame size with the fork options I wanted. I bought the Smoothie direct from Salsa, white frame with a steel white fork. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54042690@N02/5002049302/

Note to be careful on the Salsa Stanyon, which is a great looking bike, as it has a very short head tube that can create issues trying to get the h-bar at seat height. Just FYI.

Highly recommend their bikes.

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Old 01-19-11, 07:34 PM   #21
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Since you're in Tampa, there should be lots of LBS with bikes to try out. The important thing is finding a bike with a tall head tube which makes more difference to upright comfort than does seat and head tube angles. The second thing to look for is longer seat stays (which does affect seat tube geometry).

Try several bikes on test rides and see what feels best for you.
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