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  1. #1
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    51 year old newbie

    Hey Folks,

    Am catching a new fever I think. I want a bike only not sure what to get...Hybrid...or...Mtn Bike...or...Comfort Bike. At my age comfort is very importance especially after sitting behind a desk for the last 30 years. I once had a really nice Schwinn 10 speed when I lived in South Florida but have not owned a bike for some 25 years. I do have a nice stationary recumbant exercise cycle that I use to keep some level of fitness but havent used it regularly.

    Curretly based on reading only I like the Gary Fisher Dual Sport 129, Trek 7700, Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra and the Cannondale Road Warrior 1000 HeadShok. I basically think I want comfort, versatility and performance in that order. Lockout front shocks make sense to me as an engineer even tho some say you dont need the extra weight. I dont think weight is going to be a problem for me.

    I envision that I will ride mostly on pavement with an occational excursion off road. Of course if it were comfortable to ride off road or say on an old cobblestone road then I would use it more for that. But if I were on a road bike I would be stuck riding only on smooth pavement. I really dont want to limit myself to one style of riding. Variety is the spice of life for me.

    So buy 3 bikes? That is what I usually do. Buy one of each then the bases are covered. But, I am retired for the most part and cant afford my usual level of consumerism.

    Any ideas from the biker community are much appreciated.
    Thank you guy's for any input you may have.

    Stan

  2. #2
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    Hi Stan,

    I just got my first bike in 20+ years last Sunday, so you're not hearing the voice of experience here, just another newbie. My wife and I are in our early 40's and haven't biked in years. We bought comfort bikes (she got a Giant Cypress and I got a Specialized Crossroads). 21 speeds, bigger wheels but not huge like mountain bikes, and shocks in the seatpost and front fork.

    We didn't want to spend a lot, and thought we wanted one bike that we could use everywhere--going on errands (she bought a basket for the front handlebars), riding around town, and going on nice dirt paths along the lakes.

    Anyways, I was worried that we wouldn't be able to go on longer bike rides using this type of bike. But yesterday, after owning our bikes for less than a week, we went on a 20-mile ride that included street and dirt paths. And we're both overweight.

    Bill

  3. #3
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I started at age 58 (I am 64, almost 65 now) with a Specialized Mtn Bike, on which I quickly mounted slicks (smooth tires).

    Within a year I had a road bike (Lemond Buenos Aires), which I still use. Recently I bought a cheap, new - $295 - (but I really love it) road bike just to keep in the back of my car for after work rides on the way home, and I use it as a trainer in the winter.

    I just love riding my road bikes, I now have 8,000 miles on the Mtn Bike, 7500 on the Lemond and about 1,000 or so on the new roadie.

    Road bikes are quite comfortable if adjusted properly for your body. I just went through a refit on my Lemond to get it tuned up to my "just a little bit older" body.

    Good luck. Aslo, my wife just bought a Trek 7300 hybrid, as she just never adjusted to her Cannondale road bike.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  4. #4
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Hi Stan and welcome to BikeForums.
    I'm 59 (NOT retired) and have two road bikes. I just can't get comfortable on a mtn bike.

  5. #5
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    Hi Stan!

    I'm 43 and 2 years past a double achilles tendon complete separation repair. Last year, I rode two MS150 bike charity events and have cycled about 100 miles per week during the past spring, fall, and summer. I did most training at 5'7" and 194 lbs. That is about 40 lbs overweight. I am now 172 lbs and dropping. You can do anything you want.

    I ride a trek 7700FX. I am looking for a road bike, but not desparately so! The trek 7700FX is a dream. I ride trails and I ride roads- best of both worlds. I am not looking to set any records with my speed on roads nor am I trying any EvilKnieval log jumping stunts on my trail rides. But I sure enjoy watching my buddies (i ride with 7 or 8 other guys from my church) have to choose whether they will ride their road bike or their mountain bike each weekend and evening ride we take! I know what bike I'll ride! My trek 7700FX!

  6. #6
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    I'm 62 and ride a Peugeot hybrid with 28 mm wide tires and no suspension. I think a bike with drop handle bars with 28 or 32 mm tires would be best because the multiple hand positions provides the maximum riding comfort. These tires would give sufficient shock absorbtion for dirt trails, but not for dried strewam beds.

  7. #7
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    If you are serious, about some distance riding I would eliminate the idea of buying one bike for all purpose (the hybrid). My preference would be to get the road bike, and there has been alot of discussion on this site about the best low end road bikes. Then pick up a second for off road it you are still interested. If you try to buy an all purpose bike you will be purchasing a second real soon. May as well do it right the first time

  8. #8
    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    I'm 51 so i know where your at. Get a road bike because after a year or so you'll wish you would have,belive me. Not a bad idea to get 25's on it instead of 23's for tires to start. Bike shop should change ithem out. You might think about steel or ti frame or carbon because our bones at 50 dont like the stiffer ride of alum,i know. Remember,you dont need to ride in the drops just because you'll have them. My back doesnt like them much.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  9. #9
    Desert tortise lsits's Avatar
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    Hi Stan,

    Welcome to the forums. I'm 48 and have both a hybrid (Trek 7300) and a flat bar road bike (Ibex 4400). I got the bug around last years' Tour de France. I do most of my riding on the road bike (around 90%) This month I have ridden over 500 miles and all of it was on the road bike.

    One thing you might want to check into is a recumbent bike. I don't own one and haven't ridden one, but I have talked to a few owners who say that they are very comfortable. I'm not sure about off-road though.
    Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. - Bob Seger

  10. #10
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    I have a recumbent and an upright. Like them both in different ways. The upright is faster and affords me a better workout. The recumbent is more of a pleasure bike as it is so comfortable to just ride on and on. I ride every day and pretty much switch back and forth each day. I'm 52 working and post ankle surgery and by-pass.

  11. #11
    Senior Member badger_biker's Avatar
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    Welcome Stan,

    I just turned 50 and ride pretty exclusively on roads or trails. I would think unless you have good places nearby to off road, or will stay under 30 miles per ride, something in the comfort bike style would work well for you. I just picked up a comfort bike (Specialized Sequoia as a birthday present) and really like the ride with the carbon fork and stays. Although I have an old mountain bike in addition to my road bikes, I never ride the thing. Just seems too heavy and slow and lacks the hand positions. I'll use my touring bike with 38c tires for gravel and non-paved trails, and that works great.

    Best advice is to find a good lbs that offers a variety and do some test riding. I think the length of rides you anticipate will have as much to do with your choice as the conditions of the terrain/road. Good luck.
    Bob

  12. #12
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    The ONLY thing you really need to know, is that biking shorts really do help!

    And if you feel spandex is just wrong..., get the baggy shorts, I did.
    Joat
    aka D. Babcock
    My bike aint fancy, but I can pedal all day.

  13. #13
    'Bent Brian
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    Greetings! I too have ridden several different types of bikes over the years. If an all purpose bike will work for you then go for it. I have a 13 year old Trek 1000 aluminum road bike and have just recently purchased a Rans Tailwind recumbent. I like the recumbent so much that I'm going to sell the Trek (or let it gather dust). Rans did make a suspended 'bent called the Vivo, and there are probaby other suspended 'bents out there suitable for all but the singletracks. Unless you are planning to enter some competitions where 'bents are forbidden then that would be my first choice. In my opinion I think with a little conditioning 'bents can climb and you will definately be faster riding into a headwind. Even after a week and 50 miles of riding my speeds are matching what they were on the Trek (which I broke out and rode for about a month before getting the Rans) and the 'ol body doesn't complain any more! What is more odd is that the bent weighs more than the DF but I just don't feel it when riding. I'm an electronics engineer by trade and switching to a 'bent seemed logical and natural. I ride mostly paved roads as a commuter. Good luck with whatever bike you decide to buy.

    'bent Brian

  14. #14
    'Bent Brian
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    Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention I just turned 53 this spring!

    'bent Brian

  15. #15
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    I don't have much to add, but I just wanted to say welcome to the forums and to biking! I just joined these forums too and, while I've been riding a long time, I haven't ridden a lot for a number of years now, but I hope to more soon. (I'm 50 and have a road bike and a very old beat-up mountain bike. I second the idea of starting with a road bike.)

  16. #16
    'Bent Brian
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    Quote Originally Posted by markjay
    I don't have much to add, but I just wanted to say welcome to the forums and to biking! I just joined these forums too and, while I've been riding a long time, I haven't ridden a lot for a number of years now, but I hope to more soon. (I'm 50 and have a road bike and a very old beat-up mountain bike. I second the idea of starting with a road bike.)
    Why don't you get a recumbent? You body will thank you. They are just as fast as a road bike and even faster when you are fighting headwinds and especially down hill.

    'bent Brian

  17. #17
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    Late 50s, single, retired guy here. Reintroduced to biking thru a good friend.And have been badly bitten by the bug for which there is no cure.
    Am heading to Europe in Mid July for several months of riding wherever I want to go
    Then moving from So Florida where there are no hills, cept the bridges over the Intracoastal, to California to do some serious riding.
    Plan to do SF to Baja when I move there
    Had double bypass a few years ago and went into a gym for therapy and never stopped working out. Do yoga also which is a whole other dimension
    Haven't had so much adrenaline flowing in a long long time
    When I told my cardiologist what I planned to do he was amazed and after the tests were returned he said he had never seen such a turn around in any other patients
    Told me I had taken at least ten years off my age
    I plan to spend a few days in Paris,watching the sunsets and drinking fine wine, and never look back
    Best advice I ever had was to."do it and never look back".

  18. #18
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travelinguyrt

    Then moving from So Florida where there are no hills, cept the bridges over the Intracoastal, to California to do some serious riding.
    Congrats on your medical turn-around, and welcome.

    You got it right. Hills are your friends. Have fun in Europe.

    Got to go out and ride!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-04-04 at 07:54 AM.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  19. #19
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    Hey there. I'm a new guy to this forum. I wanted to add that I'm 55, have been commuting for 2 years, 17 miles one way, and have started going both ways. What I wanted to mention is that I have a 2004 Giant Cypress SX. It has great componets but the straight bars are wreaking havoc on my hands. Have tried many ways of correcting this except for drop-down bars. My recommendation would be to try a cyclocross bike especially if you want to ride some dirt roads - nothing hairy. I have been looking at the Bianchi Axis, Fuji Cross and K2 Enemy. I understand these to be fun riding, sturdy commuter or light touring bikes. Keep riding.

    Rooker

  20. #20
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    I basically think I want comfort, versatility and performance in that order.

    Stan,

    Head over to a reputable bike shop and check out cross bikes. These bikes are basically road bikes with bigger tires. Fuji, Trek, Bianchi and Lemond are some companies that make cross bikes. Specialized also make a model called Sequoia that may fit your needs. One drawback is that they tend to be high priced, > $1,000. Good luck.

    LuisB

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