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Old 09-17-04, 03:39 PM   #1
dagomike
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61 Years old & taking up biking. Need help on choosing a bike

Hi all,

Iv'e been lurking here quite awhile. Iv'e learned a lot, thanks to the knowledgable folks here. Iv'e read a lot on the net & here, but i'm still not sure whats right for me. I intend to do most of my riding on a local paved bike path. It's a beautiful path that goe's about 40 miles, through 2 county parks & a state park. There are gently sloping hills (nothing very steep). It winds arround 2 scenic lakes.
I'm 5'11" and shrinking (LOL). I can spend about $1200. I would like a UNcomplicated bike. But I like quality. Minimal gears, disk brakes, no suspension, maybe a carbon fork. Would a quality BMX type pedal & a Brooks B66 saddle. I have a 29" inseam, so stepover could be a issue. I'm leaning toward a Hybrid or a roadbike with flat bars.
Any thoughts on a good ride? I'm a little flexable on the price.

Thanks, Mike
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Old 09-17-04, 04:58 PM   #2
Nightshade
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An ideal bike for your riding is any crusier type bike WITH
A SHIMANO NEXUS 7 OR 8 SPEED HUB. Basied on your ride
discription the ballon tired nexus 7/8 speed is as trouble
free as you'll find anywhere and it won't cost no $1200 either.
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Old 09-17-04, 06:01 PM   #3
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Mike,

Welcome to the forums.

Do a search of hybrid here. I think you'll find that most people who buy a hybrid bike replace it with a drop handlebar road bike within a year or so.

Unless you have serious back problems that would forever prevent you from riding one, I'd say start with a road bike.

Lots for good choices for under $1200 too and your timing is perfect.
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Old 09-17-04, 06:19 PM   #4
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Standover height is the least consideration of a road bike fit. I also have a 29" inseam (pants inseam, not bike fit inseam) and am 5'11.5" I ride about a 55-56 cm. I have little SO height, and it causes no concern. Much more important is the top tube length for your longer upper body. Certain bikes have longer top tubes. I ride a Lemond, which has favorable geometry for folks like us.

Please don't let your being 61 be of any consideration in your choice of bike. There is no reason to buy an "old-person" bike at age 61. It is pretty much psychological.

I would either get a less expensive bike ($300) and see how I liked biking, or I would get a real road bike.
- and you can get a really good one for $1,200.00

In my own situation, I bought a mtn bike at age 58 (first serious bike ever) for $300, rode it a year - about 3,000 miles - including Ride the Rockies in Colorado, and decided, after being passed "on your left" by one too many road bikes, to buy a road bike when I was 59. I have ridden the road bike about 9,000 miles, for a total of over 18,000 miles since I turned 58. I am almost 65 now.

Lots of folks in this forum are in their 60's, riding road bikes, racing, touring, commuting. Don't let folks tell you that you are "elderly," and don't start to feel elderly. I haven't shrunk much yet!

If you haven't already, please see the personal 50+ biking stories and the 50+ survey at:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...608#post595608

Who Is 50 And Over? Forum?

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Old 09-18-04, 04:46 AM   #5
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A hub gear cruiser style bike is good for getting around town, but you seem to have larger ambitions, and you will probably find that you are capable of some serious distance riding after a bit of practice. A flat bar, touring style road bike would seem ideal. The Specialized Sirrius model is a fine example, with a quality lightweight frame, plenty of clearance for wide tyres, luggage rack and fender fittings, a sensible set of gear ratios and a good carbon fork.
For sizing, you should ensure a comfortable reach to the bars. Most modern bikes have plenty of standover clearance. A good bike shop will help you pick the right size, but beware trying to offload the size they happen to have, rather then a slightly larger/smaller one. The first step is to pick your bike shop.
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Old 09-18-04, 06:05 AM   #6
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I'll be 60 in a few months and you can see my bikes below.
Age doesn't limit you to a hybrid or comfort bike.
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Old 09-18-04, 08:21 AM   #7
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I'm 59 and have recently rediscovered bicycling in an effort to stay (get) in shape. I have learned 3 great truths: first is that although flat bars and big seats are popular with the more senior set and appear to be more comfortable - thay are not! The traditional road bars give you alternate positions for your hands, which also automatically changes the position of your butt on the saddle, thus making longer times on the bike more enjoyable; second, wider tires are much more comfortable and, for normal riding, do not make the bike any slower or harder to pedal. The third AND MOST IMPORTANT TRUTH is buy your bike at a good local bike shop and have them fit the bike to you properly (you may have to pay for this service). They will swap out parts and fit the bike properly to your body. It will make an incredible difference in comfort and peddling efficiency. Good luck, you have many many years of cycling enjoyment ahead of you.

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Old 09-18-04, 08:39 AM   #8
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Thanks to all for the quick response. Great stuff. (what a great Forum).

I'm going to a LBS today that sells LeMond, Bianchi, and Specialized. I'll probably come back with info overload. LOL

What do you think of BMX style pedals? I really don't want to wear cycling shoes because I would be taking frequent walks. Also am unsure of myself in clipless right now. I can always change later. How about flat bars with bar ends? (perhaps Cane Creek). Also considering a Brooks leather saddle.

Probably will end up with a Le Mond (maybe Blue Sky) or a Sequioa. But not sure yet.

Regards, Mike

Last edited by dagomike; 09-18-04 at 08:47 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-18-04, 09:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagomike
Thanks to all for the quick response. Great stuff. (what a great Forum).

I'm going to a LBS today that sells LeMond, Bianchi, and Specialized. I'll probably come back with info overload. LOL

What do you think of BMX style pedals? I really don't want to wear cycling shoes because I would be taking frequent walks. Also am unsure of myself in clipless right now. I can always change later. How about flat bars with bar ends? (perhaps Cane Creek). Also considering a Brooks leather saddle.

Probably will end up with a Le Mond (maybe Blue Sky) or a Sequioa. But not sure yet.

Regards, Mike
I am not sure what you mean by "BMX" style pedals - sorry. I guess this dates me!

I guess I would start with platform pedals, possibly toe clips and change to cleats when I felt ok.

I started with cleats (clipless) myself, but had ridden toe clips on my mtn bike.

I fail to see an advantage of a flat bar over regular road bars. You can certainly ride the road bars on the "bars" - which is what I do most of the time. Seems to me this would be about the same as flat bars, yet I have the option of riding the hoods or the drops when I want. There are also some brake lever adapters that you can operate from the bars, if you want. One of things things vital on long distance riding is a variety of hand positions - to relieve and prevent numbness in your hands. I don't believe flat bars would help much in this regard.

I have my bars set pretty high on a longer stem - very non-aggressive geometry. My neck gest a bit sore if I use a more aggressive stance.

Incidentally, mtn bike cycling shoes - which are perfectly adaptable to a road bike, are easy to walk in. I currently use SPD sandals which are wonderful, and also easy to walk in. You REALLY want a cycling shoe because of it very stiff sole to prevent hot spots on your feet.

Good luck!

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Old 09-20-04, 10:58 AM   #10
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Mike You should check the specialized Sirrus models. there are 4 of them, They come with 28c tires, but I put on 23 c and they work great. I am 76, and can't use drops anymore, but I ride 200-300 miles every week, and I put on short stubby bar ends to get the extra hand position. This is my 2nd sirrus (12,000 miles on on 1st one, so gave to my grandson. ) the new models have carbon forks and seat tube.
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Old 09-20-04, 12:15 PM   #11
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If you want a traditional platform pedal, the MKS Sylvian is the best value one. It is much lighter than a BMX model, and can take toe clips. I use them a lot.
Trail shoes have soles which are stiffer then tennis/running shoes and are a good choice for cycling/walking.
Brooks saddles are good but the unsprung models, such as B17 are much lighter and very comfortable.

The drop-bar/flar bar debate is on-going. I think Sirrus style flat bar road bikes are a marketing response to newbies who are put off by the athletic appearance of drops. Specialized also make a drop-bar light touring bike, the Sequoia, which is less capable on unsurfaced roads (due to tyre clearance rather than the bar shape), but has more alternate hand positions for long distance riding. Their top model even has a nifty set of brake levers for riding on the top part of the bars. I'm not a salesman for Specialized, but they do seem to have addressed this segment of the market (sporty but not racing), better than most of their competitors.
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Old 09-20-04, 02:14 PM   #12
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A friend of mine took up cycling at around your age a couple of years ago. He has recently purchased a Trek 1800C and loves it. It's affordable and has great components on it. Give it a look see at:

http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2004/road/1800c.jsp

Cheers
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Old 09-20-04, 03:43 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the help.

I'm still looking. there's a lot of advice to check out.

In the mean time I have a 1988 Trek 820 that was hanging in the garage for yhe last 15 yrs. It has a CroMo frame & fork with the old Shimano BioPace. It's only got 20 to 30 miles on it. I took it to my LBS. The mechanic said it was in great shape (under the 15 yrs of dust). I'm putting on a straight bar with CaneCreek grips and Bar ends. All new cables, 2 new tires, and I ordered a Honey Brooks B17 for it. It's getting a complete lub, and ajustmints. Total cost--$275. I'll shoot a pic when I get it back next week.


That will get me on road while I'm looking. It will later become my backup bike.

PS, There a womans Trek 820 (same shape), hanging out there too. Hmmmmmmm

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Old 09-20-04, 04:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagomike
Thanks for all the help.

I'm still looking. there's a lot of advice to check out.

In the mean time I have a 1988 Trek 820 thats been hanging in the garage for15 yrs. It,s CroMo frame & fork with the old Shimano BioPace. It' only got 20 30 miles on it. I took it to my LBS. The mechanic said it was in great shape (under the 15 yr. dust). I'm putting on a straight bar with CaneCreek grips and Bar ends. All new cables, 2 new tires, and I ordered a Honey Brooks B17 for it. It's getting a complete lub, and ajustmints. Total cost--$275. I'll shoot a pic when I get it back next week.


That will get me on road while I'm looking. It will later become my backup bike.

PS, There a womans Trek 820 (same shape), hanging out there too. Hmmmmmmm
EXCELLENT!

Ride for awhile before being in too big of a hurry to get another bike. After say 3,000 miles, you will have a much better idea of what kind of rider you are and of what kind you might like to be. Then you can make your next bike purchase as a really informed consumer.

Be sure they mount a computer!

Have fun riding. I went out today and just banged around on my mtn bike. Took some back trails and roads, didn't go very far, didn't go very fast, and had a jolly good time!
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Old 09-22-04, 09:06 PM   #15
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We just got into cycling and my husband is 63--i'm just a young chick of 47! We bought Electra Townie 8's. They have an internal hub and are super comfortable to ride. We feel like we could ride all day and not tire out. They don't go very fast at top speed, but that was okay for us.
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Old 09-23-04, 06:47 AM   #16
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Congrats on getting back into cycling! Don't rule out recumbents either. They are fun, fast, very comfortable, and you don't have very far to fall either. I would rather take a spill on my 'bent than on my road bike any day. You can get a pretty decent one for $1200 or less.

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Old 09-23-04, 07:17 AM   #17
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I am 74 and riding a Giant Revive. I think the Revive is just the bike for older people. It is very comfortable. The bike is what they call semi-recumbent. I also have a Klein road bike and a Sugar3 mtb but they are not suitable for old people. The standard 8 speed Revive is very good for fun riding.
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Old 09-23-04, 08:26 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ruchai
I am 74 and riding a Giant Revive. I think the Revive is just the bike for older people. It is very comfortable. The bike is what they call semi-recumbent. I also have a Klein road bike and a Sugar3 mtb but they are not suitable for old people. The standard 8 speed Revive is very good for fun riding.

I am 62 I went from a road bike a few years back to a Hybrid. In July I bought a Giant Revive DX. I now have 700 miles on it and I love it, no more sore shoulders and hands going numb. It certainly is comfortable and fun to ride. It did take me a few days to get used to it however.

I had to change a rear tube yesterday and that isn't an easy job but it will be much easier the next time. I now have a Kevlar liner and a heavier slime tube in the rear wheel and will do the same in the front next.

That's it for now as I've got to go biking.

Paul
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