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  1. #1
    Senior Member trek830's Avatar
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    Need suggestions; Dad wanting a bike

    Well dad is what I guess would be called a Clydesdale (5'8" 249 pounds) he's been walking for fitness for the last year and is getting bored of it. He's talked about getting a bike for a while, I have done well in steering him away from the mega-mart junk. He just wants something comfortable (IE: multi speed cruiser) to ride around the paved path by his house.

    We went out today to the LBS, and the shop in the next town, I can not say I'm very impressed by what I've seen and can't whole heartily recommend anything to him. I'm hoping someone can give me some further suggestions.
    - First bike at the LBS was a Giant 2008 7 speed cruiser Aluminum frame ($350). Dad asked me to try it as it was a very busy plaza and he hasn't rode in at least 20 years. I personally couldn't find a comfortable gear to pedal in, the OEM tires I almost whipped out turning around, I ran over a couple leaves Ultimately I couldn't recommended it, it's been sitting outside so it had rust on the stem, and the cassette looks like it's been ridden quit a bit.

    - Second Bike, second shop: Electra forward pedaling?(I've never herd of this before) aluminum frame. For a 7 speed cruiser, at $500 I feel that's just way to much money. As for the ride: This bike, the gearing was much better, each gear I went in was comfortable. The brakes I got into a disagreement with the seller. They more then squealed they sounded like a fog horn, I asked if the toe was correct and if they could possibly change the pads out. They said the most they would do is File the pads down and that should help. Sorry for that kind of change I would expect a bit more friendliness, and help.

    It's been a long time since I've shopped for any kind of bike, but I don't remember comfort bikes costing this much and getting so little in return. Everything on each of these bikes was pretty unimpressive, does anyone have any recommendations for brands? The one bike shop said they can order a Sun Cruiser or another Electra if we if find something more suited for dad.

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trek830 View Post
    Well dad is what I guess would be called a Clydesdale (5'8" 249 pounds)
    Ask the folks in the Clydesdale forum for suggestions.

    I'd recommend a hybrid rather than a cruiser or pedal-forward design bike.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  3. #3
    Senior Member trek830's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    Ask the folks in the Clydesdale forum for suggestions.

    I'd recommend a hybrid rather than a cruiser or pedal-forward design bike.
    Thanks for the suggestion, that was my suggestion as well but he wants a higher rise handle bar and sitting up right. Most hybrids I've seen seem to have a setup like my mountain bike, with the flat bar and 0 degree rise. The couple I ran into today also all had front suspension as well, seems impossible to find rigid forks anymore.

  4. #4
    Senior Member teacherbill's Avatar
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    I vote for the recumbent of almost any type....
    Bill from Sebastian

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    "Pain is only temporary. Quitting is forever." Lance Armstrong

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by trek830 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion, that was my suggestion as well but he wants a higher rise handle bar and sitting up right. Most hybrids I've seen seem to have a setup like my mountain bike, with the flat bar and 0 degree rise. The couple I ran into today also all had front suspension as well, seems impossible to find rigid forks anymore.
    I was looking for a hybrid to recommend over Christmas for a family member.

    He went for a Trek FX 7.1, which has a riser bar, 15 degree stem and rigid forks.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trek830 View Post
    It's been a long time since I've shopped for any kind of bike, but I don't remember comfort bikes costing this much and getting so little in return. Everything on each of these bikes was pretty unimpressive,
    I'm afraid that "unimpressive" is pretty much what $500 gets you these days. Bike and component prices have taken big jumps in each of the previous two years. Not that $500 bikes are junk. Far from it. But the component levels at that price point are merely what I'd term "serviceable".

    The pedal-forward design you mention is a common sight these days. It lets you put your feet flat on the ground while still having a reasonable reach to the pedals. I think of pedal-forward bikes as the bikes to ride if you just want to cruise the neighborhood and say "hi" to your neighbors as you go by. The design might work for your friend if the paved path he plans to ride is fairly flat.

    As far as brands go, I'd probably steer your friend towards the mainstream of Giant, Trek, Gary Fisher, Specialized, Kona.

    Specialized makes a bike called the Crosstrail that is designed as a burlier-than-most hybrid. Kona has a model called the Dew. Trek and Gary Fisher both offer similar, hybrid designs.

    Good luck. I don't blame your friend at being bored from walking. I'm the same way. He'll cover much more ground on a bike, see more, and hopefully have more fun.

  7. #7
    Senior Member trek830's Avatar
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    Thanks for the recommendations, I would really like to steer him towards a Trek, I just didn't come across any at either of the 2 shops. I'm going to check out the other town, in the other direction. I was looking on Trek's site and they have a Pedal forward model called the Pure. If he is sold on pedal forward than maybe that the model to go to. I've had a good 16 years on my Trek, and recently rebuilt it just to hang out to it for another 16 years

  8. #8
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
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    Check out this link for a sub $400 Jamis "Sport Comfort Bike",
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...explorer1.html

    It's got the higher bars and adjustable stem, large comfort seat, suspension seat post and should work well for "rail-trail", bike path riding, JMHO. They have a Explorer 2 which has a bit better componets for under $450 and a Explorer 3 that has the 8 speed Nexus "Internal Hub" if you don't want Dad to have to mess weil "derailers", We've both gotten Jamis MTB's and we are REALLY happy with them FYI, YMMV.
    Last edited by bjjoondo; 03-21-09 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Adding more information!
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
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  9. #9
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    Trek's Pure is a very nice ride. It and the Giant Suede, both have suspension, higher adjustable handlebars, gears, pedal forward design, etc. See if you can have him test ride one of these models.

    I ride a Suede, step through model, 7 gears, and can do small hills with not much trouble. Here in AZ we have major winds!! which need gears to survive. I ride through slippery gravel, dirt, sand, etc. as well as paved roads and the bike does fine. Have had it 2 years, replaced the tires because of goat head thorn problems. Still love to ride it. Have over 2000 miles so far. My age - late 50's.

  10. #10
    Senior Member trek830's Avatar
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    Thanks all again for the suggestion just wanted to update this thread.

    I been sick for a few days so I wasn't able to go down with dad to the other bike shop, he did decide on the Trek Pure. He liked the idea of the cycle computer, after seeing my bike and decided to get one. I was surprised the shop didn't give him much of a discount for buying accessories, I remember when I purchased my last bike, I was given a water bottle and cage (nothing great but a nice gesture), and some pretty good discounts at the time of purchase. They at least installed the computer for free and gave him a $2 discount to get the larger screen Trek computer as opposed to the smaller screen model, so $26 plus tax installed. I think I have a cage around here somewhere I can give him. Also they sold him on White lightning without telling him the chain needs to be cleaned before applying.. I really don't think he needs white lightning for a cruiser.

    I plan to go on a ride with him later if the weather holds up, looking pretty cloudy right now though.
    Last edited by trek830; 03-24-09 at 01:35 PM.

  11. #11
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    How about Trek FX7.1? I have tried it before and I have to say it's pretty good with the Shimano gears. Although it's more than your budget.

  12. #12
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Have your dad drop by the 50+ forum. Lots of supportive folks there, and a special thread for newbies. Many of us started biking after 50, including myself at 58, 11 years ago.

    For the 50+ 'newbie' rider
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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