Bike shopping for 50's rider returning to the fold
After looking at LBS for a comfort style bike or cruiser, have ordered a Giant Simple 7 bike. Mainly will be riding on paved roads or some dirt/gravel. I live in fairly flat country with gentle hills, dirt roads, that are less than a mile near large paved subdivisions. My main goal is to have fun & exercise for health & relaxation.
Any cruiser owners with words of encouragement or training advice? Rosie8
Have ordered a Giant Simple 7, cruiser style bike for recreational rides at leisurely pace. Any owners out there that can give me pointers? The order will take about 2 weeks. In the meantime will keep riding my fitness bike in the garage to build up leg muscles and stay in condition. Any advice for new riders will be appreciated. Plan to ride short distances daily then build up. Mostly want to stay fit and keep blood pressure & weight under control.
Well, we added a rear rack and grocery baskets on my cruiser. The pedals were changed to something more grippy...the plastic ones that came with the bike was too slippery when it or your shoes got wet. Later we replaced the seat for one that allowed long distance riding in more comfort.
Just take your time and enjoy short rides in the beginning. That will help you learn more about your bike and it's characteristics and build up your endurance/fitness levels. You'll find the gears you like to ride in and for most people you will use the middle gears more than the biggest or smallest gear. My S.O. loves to ride my cruiser and go shopping with it. Hopefully you'll find your cruiser just as enjoyable and flexible for most activities and uses. Your LBS should offer free adjustments and you will probably need it when the cables stretch a bit after riding for a month or two. After that, it should be relatively trouble-free and reliable and just require regular maintenance...with the chain cleaning and oiling schedule being the thing you have to do most often.
A cruiser bike is meant to be comfortably low and easy to mount and dismount, but even so, if you plan to ride a lot, make sure the seat is high enough so your knees are almost straight at the bottom of the stroke, or they might start to get sore.
Thanks for the tips Sci-Fi & Cooker. The LBS owner was really great showing me how to tell how high to put the seat, checking for slight bend when using ball of foot versus straight leg when placing heel on pedal, etc. I chose this shop because he took the most time to ask where I'd be riding, conditions of roads, my goals, etc. Very laid back attititude with plenty of customers in and out buying parts, helmets, accessories. Shop is about 10 miles from home. Our weather here is usually pretty nice except for fierce winds in spring. If you get up early enough in am you can usually dodge the worst of it.
Absolutely great decision to get a cruiser bike. I completely rebuilt my very first mountain bike into more of a cruiser/trekker this winter. It rides wonderful and is a nice change of pace from my hard core road bike. Much easier to ride and especially easier and more comfortable to ride at a more relaxed pace. The suitability for dirt roads is also a big plus. Still gives me plenty of exercise too. Bikes are such a great way to get out and about - hope you have a great time!
One or two more things. Might consider buying thorn resistant tubes or heavy duty self sealing tubes, tire liner, and/or puncture resistant tires (probably the best option)...like Specialized Armadillos or Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Although it adds weight, the extra protection may be worth it. Many desert areas are notorious for goathead weeds which will cause a flat.
Since we do have goatheads around here, I already asked the mechanic to put in self seal, thorn resistant tubes. Thanks for the great advice. My dogs are constantly stopping on our walks and lifting a paw so I can remove stickers. If I still have problems I will consider something like the Armadillos or he said they even carry the solid rubber tires. We used to use those out in the desert when we rode as kids - very heavy and no bounce but you never got flats.