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Old 04-05-05, 06:11 PM   #1
angrystan
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Something for my Dad.

Just how bad are those Hi-ten cruisers labeled Schwinn at Target? Wheels, tires, general mechanics, etc.?

My Dad is 66, living alone and miserably retired. He's been hinting at getting a bike to putter around the neighborhood. The style, riding position and lines of a particular "Schwinn Jaguar" is attracting him, and checking out the sample in the store it doesn't, superficially, appear too bad for a guy who isn't going to be riding over the road or tackling the trails. He hasn't ridden a bike with regularity since he left college.

I'd like some advice considering that if I were to buy and assemble this myself (adding fenders, rear flasher, bell and maybe one of those flags if I can find one locally) it would be an investment of about $170 ready to roll. I don't know if I can talk him into a helmet which I swear by ...

I welcome comments or alternative, similarly-priced bikes suitable for this application.
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Old 04-05-05, 06:20 PM   #2
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As long as you assemble it yourself, or have a competnet bike shop do it for you, I don't really see a problem. Make sure to check for grease in the hubs, dept. store bikes are notorious for being shipped with no grease in the hubs. It will be heavy (30-40#), but I'm sure that your dad will like it.

Also check: www.electrabike.com and www.breezerbikes.com (rhymes with geezer ) for other similary styled bikes. These bikes are more expensive, though...
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Old 04-05-05, 06:34 PM   #3
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If that's what you can afford without breaking your bank it's just fine. If you spent more and body aches or whatever kept your dad off the bike it might make him feel bad.

Of course, he'll like it even more if you occasionally go ride the neighborhood with him. Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 04-05-05, 06:43 PM   #4
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Consider some of the comfort bikes that are available at your local bike shop. You don't have to drop big time money either. This type of bike is designed and marketed to people your dad's age and situation. (new rider)

The bike will be very upright and comfortable and also have a suspended seat post. My name is Ranger because i bought a Schwinn Ranger from Target about 19 months ago. I took it back to Target and got a refund because i could tell i needed a better bike. I then went to the LBS and bought a Trek 4300 for a couple hundred $ more. 9000 miles later, i am having a blast and am in great shape. I now have a new hobby that i am obviously obsessed with.

If I would have kept the bike from Target i would have likely quit by now. It was very suspect in terms of quality. It also was too small for me. Those bikes come in one size, whereas you get multiple sizes at the LBS.

A couple hundred bucks might be chump change if your dad takes to riding and reaps the many rewards it can offer.
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Old 04-06-05, 04:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
Consider some of the comfort bikes that are available at your local bike shop.
I was thinking the Sun Cruisers and even the low-end Electra bikes were a little overpriced for an experiment of sorts, but I don't want Pop to either ride with, say, bad brakes, or as he would do, re-engineer the thing.
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Originally Posted by Ranger
The bike will be very upright and comfortable and also have a suspended seat post. My name is Ranger because i bought a Schwinn Ranger from Target about 19 months ago. I took it back to Target and got a refund because i could tell i needed a better bike.

If I would have kept the bike from Target i would have likely quit by now. It was very suspect in terms of quality. It also was too small for me. Those bikes come in one size, whereas you get multiple sizes at the LBS.
Oddly, that one-size-fits-few bike size is just about right for me, and I think I know exactly what I'm going to look like in thirty year 'cause he lives in the next zip code, so that, is not so critical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
A couple hundred bucks might be chump change if your dad takes to riding and reaps the many rewards it can offer.
I think I will take your advice and drag Pop over to the LBS and see what does anything for him.
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Old 04-06-05, 05:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonshot
If that's what you can afford without breaking your bank it's just fine. If you spent more and body aches or whatever kept your dad off the bike it might make him feel bad.

Of course, he'll like it even more if you occasionally go ride the neighborhood with him. Let us know how it turns out.
Riding with him, and just getting him out of the house a little more is certainly part of the plan. I have friends who are into records from the mid-sixties and they've bonded with him over his hi-fi and jazz since he moved into town a few years ago. No one will tell me the whole story, but the old man went with them to a "gentleman's club" and they got thrown out. I don't want that kind of fire to die out.
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Old 04-06-05, 06:16 PM   #7
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I have seen elderly men, riding much worse bikes than schwinn cruisers.Also they are much easier to polish than a car.I have seen 7 speed cruisers at sports authority he might want some gears .I am trying to get my dad to ride.
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Old 04-06-05, 06:29 PM   #8
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Find a store that has Fuji, buy a Cape May or Sanibel for 180-210 and feel much better about it than if he were to ride a department store bike. I also believe you can get Hampton Cruisers in that price range. If he wants gears I'd look at a Fuji Regis for the same price or maybe a Giant Sedona or Cypress ST for about 20 more bucks.
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Old 04-06-05, 07:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrystan
I'd like some advice considering that if I were to buy and assemble this myself (adding fenders, rear flasher, bell and maybe one of those flags if I can find one locally) it would be an investment of about $170 ready to roll. I don't know if I can talk him into a helmet which I swear by ...
I bought my 65 year old Father a Raleigh Mountain bike from the LBS last year. He loves the "looks" and I even convinced him that he "looks" really cool with a helmet on his head. At first he thought he would rather ride without a helmet, but not only did I express the importance to him but he sees that "all of the bikers wear them" and he certainly wants to look like he knows what he is doing. We picked out a helmet together and he wears it EVERY TIME.

As far as the bike goes - the Raleigh Mountain bike worked out great. The bike shop fitted him to it and he was out the door with a cost to me of under $200. He has been very comfortable on it and can use it on the road or the trails and he gets all of the perks of adjustments/tune ups/ discounts/ etc at the LBS.

Don't know much about the bikes you are asking about - this is just my experience. Good Luck.
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Old 04-06-05, 07:50 PM   #10
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While the temptation to be a frugal spendthrift is a concern for some, just ask yourself-"did Dad sacrifice for me while I was growing up? How many times? How much did he spend on me? Over how many years?"
And you want to save $??????????
How important is your father's health?
Do you want him around to go riding?

Get down to your LBS and spend a modest amount on a beginner's bike. Support the people locally who service your parts and service needs. Ride with your Dad on the weekends to help him get used to riding again. And PLEASE don't forget to buy him a good helmet!!! And gloves! Chances are, he'll enjoy spending time with his offspring, and it will keep him out of trouble in the "gentleman's clubs!"
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Old 04-17-05, 03:57 PM   #11
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Well, I thought I'd tell you guys how it all went down.

Basically Dad made all the decisions based on his scanning the Internet, catching up on the latest and greatest bike tech, safety issues which have changed considerably since 1967.

We went around the city Saturday afternoon and landed in a shop I didn't know was there, but where the proprietor and Dad made a connection of sorts. That is, it was the one place which handled a series of bikes he wanted to look into and didn't treat him like a precious relic. Have you seen Sin City yet? The character Marv from Sin City, that's pretty much my Dad.

Anyway, at the end of the day he wound up with a Raliegh Retroglide NX4 with the addition of front and rear flashers, a front basket in addition to the rack on the back which comes with the package and a green safety flag ... I hadn't seen those flags in years. We had to go down the street to another shop to find a helmet which suited him and wound up with a BMX helmet in matte gray. He rode the bike home about six miles and had the time of his life.

Much like when I got my first "good" bike in years a while back. Today we rode down to the big city park nearby where I was reminded of his special appreciation for "co-eds". I really don't know why I bother worrying about him.
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Old 04-17-05, 04:13 PM   #12
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You're the man, Stan! Next year it's Ride for the Roses.
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Old 04-17-05, 04:21 PM   #13
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You're the man, Stan! Next year it's Ride for the Roses.
I don't think I'll be ready for the Ride for the Roses any time soon, but I have an odd feeling the old man will be, on that bike, that helmet and in a flannel shirt and jeans!
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Old 04-17-05, 04:24 PM   #14
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That is FANTASTIC--your quite the son and I'm sure the two of you will enjoy your time together again. Your dad might just surprise you and take to cycling so much he can out do you (just about). You know how much there is to enjoy in cycling and I'm sure he will rediscover all of it too and it will probably bring back some great memories for both of you.
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Old 04-17-05, 04:33 PM   #15
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That is FANTASTIC--your quite the son and I'm sure the two of you will enjoy your time together again. Your dad might just surprise you and take to cycling so much he can out do you (just about). You know how much there is to enjoy in cycling and I'm sure he will rediscover all of it too and it will probably bring back some great memories for both of you.
Something I probably should have made clear: I wanted to buy him a bike and see how it goes. He quickly became convinced that he should have a bike for both a little exercise and to get out into the fresh air once in a while. The price of gas has something to do with it, too. For him, I think it's more princple than anything else.

He had a nice little nest egg going before the 90's which may have tripled during that decade and he got out at exactly the right time. I keep forgetting about that because he lives very, very modestly.

He bought the bike. It's all his doing, really. Even though he consulted me and I encouraged him I was just a bystander for the whole operation ... or maybe he needed somebody to drive his car home.
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Old 04-17-05, 04:53 PM   #16
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Good job, Stan. You got him on a decent bike... which will give you peace of mind that you wouldn't get from a Wally World bike. If he's anything like my dad, he will work at it until he's strong enough to outrun you.
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Old 04-17-05, 05:01 PM   #17
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Very nice!

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Old 04-17-05, 05:39 PM   #18
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Yep. It's decidedly not "one o' them GD moon-unit bikes". I tested it too, and found it surprisingly nimble and light, particularly considering the old and heavy look. I must give it to Pop that the front basket really completes the look.
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Old 04-17-05, 05:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrystan
Yep. It's decidedly not "one o' them GD moon-unit bikes". I tested it too, and found it surprisingly nimble and light, particularly considering the old and heavy look. I must give it to Pop that the front basket really completes the look.
Looking at this picture of the bike I'm going to have to go over and figure out how he mounted the basket around that evil fork spring ...
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Old 04-17-05, 05:50 PM   #20
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A Father's day present..Wish I had a dad I could do this for...Congratulations...It might very well perk up his life..I see like clubs of older retired guys- that is what they do with their free days...BIke down for breakfast or whatever..and best gift as mentioned earlier.. ride with him some..that is a better gift than the bike itself....
I do agree with the comment ..Comfort bikes are not all that more expensive...Comfort seems the right choice for older riders.
I have seen lots of adequate comfort bikes on sale , for under $350...
I'd get him the wide saddles, fairly high handlebars...18 gears..Best if index shifting...Maybe you have to time to assemble your own bike...and you are comfortable with this..
do please talk him into a helmet...You will not feel good should he get hurt...gloves are a good idea too..
Wish I had a Dad to do this for..If only I could. I would.
oh yah..I would put on a mirror too.
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