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  1. #1
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    56-year-old wants to get more seriously into cycling . . . Advice needed

    Hello everyone - I've been a runner for about 20 years, am a 56-year-old female and want to get more seriously into cycling. I've been riding my cruiser about 10 miles when I ride and want to purchase a road bike. I'm seriously considering the Cannondale Synapse or the Trek Lexa but am wondering if a hybrid should also be considered. Will it be difficult to transition from a cruiser to a road bike?

    Any advice you can give will be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Get the road bike and have much fun.

    I started road riding when I was 65 y/o

    My road bike at the 9,000 mile mark the first year.
    Ended with 11,200 fun miles.

    http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/h.../9000mione.jpg
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Post in The Fifty Plus Forum for much help.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  4. #4
    BF Avatar Zombie Hunter Jseis's Avatar
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    My suggestion is ti get any decent Lowe priced hybrid, MTB, road bike, or? And ride the snot out of it for a year, then go find the bike that'll fit your style. I ride my MTB on roads, trails, paths, logging roads but what I really want is a durable bike that I can spin up on the road faster than my mtb, but also ride on the many logging roads around here for that side jaunt..so I'm now looking at a cross. I'd love one of each bit I can't afford that many! My next bike will be $$$ and will fit my style.

  5. #5
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    Welcome To Bike Forums, RunnerGirl!

    IMHO as we get older, we tend to appreciate comfort much more than in our youth. No doubt, a hybrid can be much more comfortable to ride when riding short distances. As long as you're riding doesn't exceed say 40 miles round trip, a hybrid should be just fine.

    Generally, hybrids come with wider tires, and that can make all the difference when it comes to comfort. OTOH, hybrids usually come with flat handlebars, and that can be very discomforting on longer treks, due to limited hand positions.

    Perhaps a cyclocross bike would be more to your liking. That way, you get both drop handlebars and the wide tire option.

    Two creature comforts for cyclists....

    I would recommend the following:

    The Trek Steel Cross Lane ~ $1200
    www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/cyclocross/steel_cross/lane/

    The Jamis Quest Femme~ $1825
    www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/quest/12_questf.html

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

    The Schwinn Fastback Comp Womens ~ $1430
    www.schwinnbikes.com/bikes/road/2012-fastback-comp-womens-14314

    * The Quest is a very light bike...
    Last edited by SlimRider; 05-15-12 at 03:03 AM.

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runnergirl2091 View Post

    want to get more seriously into cycling.
    What do you mean by seriously?

    There are bikes in between cruiser and racy.

    Like this...

    http://salsacycles.com/bikes/casseroll/

    or

    http://salsacycles.com/bikes/vaya/

    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

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    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runnergirl2091 View Post
    Hello everyone - I've been a runner for about 20 years, am a 56-year-old female and want to get more seriously into cycling. I've been riding my cruiser about 10 miles when I ride and want to purchase a road bike. I'm seriously considering the Cannondale Synapse or the Trek Lexa but am wondering if a hybrid should also be considered. Will it be difficult to transition from a cruiser to a road bike?

    Any advice you can give will be very much appreciated.
    Okay, here's the advice:

    1) Fit fit fit. Get a bike that fits. Make no compromises here. If you say "fit" and the shop isn't attentive, go elsewhere. They should fuss over getting the fit right.
    2) see 1). Seriously, don't go on until 1 is taken care of.
    3) Ride it. If it makes you smile, buy it.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  8. #8
    Senior Member Werkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runnergirl2091 View Post
    ...I'm seriously considering the Cannondale Synapse or the Trek Lexa but am wondering if a hybrid should also be considered. Will it be difficult to transition from a cruiser to a road bike?...
    I suggest avoiding the bike with an aluminum front fork, so of the two the Synapse looks better to me.

    Hybrid bikes are too much of a compromise and don't do one thing well, especially distance on the road.

    The only difficulty is finding a saddle that works for you in the beginning.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runnergirl2091 View Post
    Hello everyone - I've been a runner for about 20 years, am a 56-year-old female and want to get more seriously into cycling. I've been riding my cruiser about 10 miles when I ride and want to purchase a road bike. I'm seriously considering the Cannondale Synapse or the Trek Lexa but am wondering if a hybrid should also be considered. Will it be difficult to transition from a cruiser to a road bike?

    Any advice you can give will be very much appreciated.

    Many of the things you enjoy about running translate better to a road bike than any other bike I think. HR, pace, zone running hydration and diet, work well for road riding . It is just easier on the Knees. But fit is important. Because you are already into the kind of exercise than lends itself to being a roadie for once I wouldn't say get any old bike and ride it till you know what you want. A hybrid is like wearing a cross training shoe rather than a running shoe. MTBs are like running in hiking boots. They all have their place, hybrids for commuting and MUPs, MTB for hitting the dirt. They can all be used for other things but road bikes are designed for the same type of effort you are already giving to running. Nothing wrong with feeling you need to slow your pace down and take it easy but I noticed your name wasn't "WalkingGirl, or HikingGirl" or "I am getting to old for this girl." Unless you are ready to toss it in and take it easy. If you happen to read running magazines just pick up a cycling magazine and see the simularities. Since you asked for suggestions.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  10. #10
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    I have to recommend a drop bar road bike. The hybrid is good for 10-20 miles rides, commuting, fenders and racks. A drop bar road bike is good for those longer weekend rides. You'll get better advise if you provide your budget. I recently purchased a high end carbon fibre Synapse and I really like the feel of the bike. The Synapse is priced higher than the Lexa, but has better components. I think you want to look for what is called "plush" road bike. The geometry is less aggressive than a race bike. Component wise, they are not much different. Because of a bit of relaxed geometry you might find that you fit a men's bike equally well. WSD bikes are often the same geometry, but with narrower bars, different seat, shorter stem and sometimes smaller brakes. I found that the men's bikes fit me well and the WSD seemed cramped. YMMV. Other bikes that are similar to the two you listed are the Felt Z series and Speciaized Dolce. Jamis bikes are also good looking bikes.

    Fit is most important. Go to some LBS, ride some bikes, compare the feel. Welcome to the world of cycling!
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  11. #11
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    You'll just need to get used to the position on the road bike. Get to a decent bike shop, if you can, and test ride as many as possible. They'll also help you with fitting, which as others have said, is crucial to your comfort and enjoyment.

    As for the specific model, at any given price point there really isn't much to choose between the bikes made by the big brands, it just comes down to what feels and/or looks best to you.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Sangetsu's Avatar
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    I also recommend a road bike. If you want more comfort, you can always swap on 25mm tires to soften the ride. Drop bars offer more options for your riding position, and being able to change positions on longer rides is a nice thing.

    The make of the bike is not really important, so long as it fits well. You should get the best bike that you can afford, but budget some money for quality shorts and shoes.

    Good riding technique (proper pedaling) will make your riding more efficient, there is plenty of advice on this subject elsewhere.

    I used to run when I was younger, I ran to stay fit. But I ride for the pleasure, fitness is just a pleasant side effect.

  13. #13
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    Test ride anything you like the looks of. Then buy what says "take me home."
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
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  14. #14
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    If you have any illusions of ever racing, then get the road bike. The difference in comfort between a hybrid and a road bike is minimal and for higher mileages, hybrids are actually less comfortable. Along with being slower and thus a poor choice for racing. But if comfort is your number one priority, consider a recumbent.

  15. #15
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    Trek Lexa is a nice WSD bike.. women's specific frames
    have different proportions then men's / unisex.. another word for same..
    drop by your friendly local bike shop,
    take a few test rides, on various bikes they have on the floor.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runnergirl2091 View Post
    Hello everyone - I've been a runner for about 20 years, am a 56-year-old female and want to get more seriously into cycling.
    Any advice you can give will be very much appreciated.
    You should use some of your life experiences to make this decission. If someone asked your opinion about getting more serious about running what kind of equipment would you suggest? I would think you would point them to running specific shoes, unless you are one of those few that run barefoot, I take it from your running background when you say getting more serious about cycling you aren't talking about touring or commuting or utility cycling. So as so many have suggested that puts you into road bikes and maybe group rides, though you can be a serious cyclist like a serious runner without belonging to a group. However a good road bike allows you that option just like running can lend it self to 5k, 10k, Triathlons and marathons. And a proper tool to do those things can increase you pleasure in doing them. Cannondale makes some fine equipment as does Trek, Specialized, Giant, Masi, Focus and Jamis. And good equipment can increase your ability in getting serious about cycling.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  17. #17
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    about four years ago my partner was curious about a road bike, every time we went to a bike shop she would rubber neck them. i always said try it out, go for a test ride - she didn't want to "$he had a mtn and a touring bike". well one day, late in the season, there we were picking up a tube - big end of season sale. now you have to try one, i say. alright , she says. so she tries five. it was clear one model fit her better, like it was made for her. but she wanted to think about it, so we went grocery shopping - we just got to the grocery store - she says 'i want that bike'. put the cart away and head back to the bike shop, a little fit tweaking and a different stem - we are headed home with a new road bike. she put thousands of km on it. late last year she got a new cannondale synapse - which is a great fit for her and she rides like the blazes - she says it is better than her broom. work with someone to get a good fit (which may evolve a little over time) - then you may need to tweak it some after riding. on the synapse, changed the saddle after a couple of months. Her other bikes have not been out of the shed since she got the synapse.
    ride long & prosper

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by runnergirl2091 View Post
    Will it be difficult to transition from a cruiser to a road bike?
    For a few rides, the steering on the road bike will feel a little "twitchy". That was my experience in transitioning from a mountain bike, which I rode mostly on the road, to a relaxed geometry road bike, a Fuji Newest. The feeling of "twitchiness" went away pretty quickly.

    Within a couple of years, I bought a Synapse Carbon 5 with similar geometry to the Fuji, and I kept the Fuji as my weekday (after-work rides) bike. The Synapse gets all the weekend and long distance rides. I'm glad I moved to the road bike, and if your experience turns out to be like mine, you'll love the Synapse.

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