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Old 05-08-12, 11:36 AM   #1
alxklo
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Buying advice for young guy getting older

I'll be 36 in a couple of months and have begun to experience some symptoms of my age that are not exactly daily biking friendly (note, I live in Chicago). Obviously can't do anything about the cold, but I am curious if anyone can offer advice about a good, simple, sturdy bike that will be a reliable commuter and good for the occasional 30 mile ride, by a guy with bad knees and an arthritic back?

At present I have an '83 Schwinn Traveler (made into single speed, love the way it rides, fear for my safety on it), a 70s Continental (tad heavy for the knees), and an SE draft that is way too small. Looking to ditch the Draft, and either buy or build something to get me through the next five years.

Many thanks to all.
Alex
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Old 05-08-12, 11:47 AM   #2
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I'm not an expert, but if I had back issues, I would probably look into recumbents.
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Old 05-08-12, 11:59 AM   #3
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36 with arthritis kicking in ,are you under a Dr's Care in treating this?

Drop by your favorite Bike shop and test ride new bikes.

Step 1 , pick a favorite bike shop ..

Recumbents are nice, but are hard to get into elevators
and narrow landing entrances of apartments.

If you are out of the central city core in the 'Burbs with a garage,
then parking it is simpler.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-08-12 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 05-08-12, 12:20 PM   #4
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I’m also no expert but I wanted a road like bike coming from the older bikes like the Traveler but for my style and commuting the newer road bikes seemed racier than I needed. The hybrids came closer to my needs and I made a hybrid kind of out of an old style high end mountain bike (KHS) I put road tires, fenders, riser bars etc on it. Upright and low gearing had racks and basket. I still liked the drop bars on the older bikes but wanted lower gearing and steel frame and I came across a touring bike and fell in love with that style bike for my needs. The one I found used was a Windsor Tourist they are an internet bike. I find commuting and touring and older bones lend itself to this type of bike and you can adapt it to lots of problems. Easy to add fenders and racks. More forgiving geometry but with a triple crank and mountain gears in the back. A bike like this comes with all the modern touches like STI indexing shifting you can add cross brakes if you want. Not a race bike and a few pounds heavier than some of the fiber or aluminum bikes but just an easy bike to ride once fitted.

You should get lots of ideas and everyone has a different take on what works for them. I have a light Cannondale with a double but nine times out of ten I grab the tour bike to ride with the triple and a place to stuff all my things I bring along.
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Old 05-08-12, 12:32 PM   #5
Nightshade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alxklo View Post
I'll be 36 in a couple of months and have begun to experience some symptoms of my age that are not exactly daily biking friendly (note, I live in Chicago). Obviously can't do anything about the cold, but I am curious if anyone can offer advice about a good, simple, sturdy bike that will be a reliable commuter and good for the occasional 30 mile ride, by a guy with bad knees and an arthritic back?

At present I have an '83 Schwinn Traveler (made into single speed, love the way it rides, fear for my safety on it), a 70s Continental (tad heavy for the knees), and an SE draft that is way too small. Looking to ditch the Draft, and either buy or build something to get me through the next five years

Many thanks to all.
Alex
You have a bike you like already. All you have to do is change the drive train to a set up that you like add commuter features you want and go!!
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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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 05-08-12, 12:44 PM   #6
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I would think that in Chicago land, the Flats, all you would need would be a single speed.

Why do you fear for your safety on the Schwinn Traveler?

At any rate, other than the Schwinn Madison, a single speed, currently on sale at Nashbar, I'd strongly recommend the Jamis Satellite Comp, to satisfy your cycling needs.

The Schwinn Madison ~ $280
www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_540608_-1__200783

The Jamis Satellite Comp ~ $1000
www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/satellite/12_satellitecomp.html

Last edited by SlimRider; 05-08-12 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 05-08-12, 12:49 PM   #7
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I don't see how, in a relatively flat environment, any bike should be too heavy for the kness. The issue for knees is not the weight of the bike, but the choice of gearing.
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Old 05-08-12, 01:18 PM   #8
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Fitting say an 8 speed IG Hub to replace the single speed ,
and setting up the sprocket ratio to put the range the hub operates in
should give you the variety of gear ratios
to keep from pushing too hard on too big a gear ratio.

head wind tail wind or somewhere in between.
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