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  1. #1
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    Looking to start Cycling with my Dad

    Hello everyone! I'm brand new to the site and came across it looking for some answers and suggestions. I'm assuming a road bike is what I'm looking for.

    So my father has been putting on weight. He travels a lot for work, sometimes weeks at a time (excluding weekends), but he actually works from home. He's been 250 for the longest I can remember and has quite the gut (seems a little larger now). He's ~6'1, in his mid 50s.

    I want to get him exercising this summer. And biking seems to be the best way to go about it. We used to bike pretty often as a family over 10 years ago when I was younger so I know this can work.

    I've been browsing the site, mostly some stickies, and see the term Clydesdale. What things would I need to look into for a bike for him.

    I want to make it an activity for us to do this summer. But I'd need a bike and so would he. And I'm looking into the possibility of biking to my full time job this summer (on nice days). It's 11-12 miles one way. I've always been athletic, I used to run in middle school/high school but injured my knee. 2 years of on-and-off-running later and I still have pain, even after starting to lift weights regularly. It's another reason I'm looking into this whole biking thing. I miss the sport of running but am not sure how often I can participate with the heavy impact. I'm also interested in starting cardio as well. There is nothing that tops having an efficient body . I really do miss it.

    I really don't have much knowledge of bikes, which is why I'm here. The only bikes I've ever owned are mountain bikes (mostly from dept. stores. But my last bike was a Kawasaki that I absolutely loved). I've always been hard on my bikes. Never really took care of them. But I'm in my 20s now and haven't used the Kawasaki in maybe 4 years and it's a lost cause.

    After having said all of this, my idea of a budget is 2-300 dollars per bike. Is this reasonable at all? I think I'd be looking into new bikes for both of us. There are a handful of shops around me.

    My thoughts/ideas are all over the place. This is really the first time I've thought about it and am just putting it down in writing now. If anyone can point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated. I hope some of you have made it this far in my wall of text!

    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    Great idea, but your budget isn't realistic (even for used).
    "The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

    '14 Cannondale Synapse (carbon) - '04 Bianchi Imola (steel) - '99 Gary Fisher Big Sur (mtn)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtrain View Post
    Great idea, but your budget isn't realistic (even for used). Whj
    What do road bikes usually go for in specialty stores?

    e/ You can disregard the budget for now. I'm sure if I pitch the idea to him (which would probably be smarter than just going out and buying two bikes out of nowhere), that he wouldn't let me pay for his bike.

  4. #4
    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssnova12 View Post
    What do road bikes usually go for in specialty stores?
    Go in and check out a shop. I don't want to damper a great idea. Probably need to double (used) or triple (new) your budget - and little less for hybrids.
    "The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

    '14 Cannondale Synapse (carbon) - '04 Bianchi Imola (steel) - '99 Gary Fisher Big Sur (mtn)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtrain View Post
    Go in and check out a shop. I don't want to damper a great idea. Probably need to double (used) or triple (new) your budget - and little less for hybrids.
    Alright I guess that's really the only way. I'll check out a few stores this weekend as well as get some info from the owners/clerks. Thanks

  6. #6
    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    Are you in a large enough metro area to have an active craigslist and/or bike co-op?
    "The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

    '14 Cannondale Synapse (carbon) - '04 Bianchi Imola (steel) - '99 Gary Fisher Big Sur (mtn)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtrain View Post
    Are you in a large enough metro area to have an active craigslist and/or bike co-op?
    Yes there are a 2 craigslists that I can probably consider myself to be near. And I just looked up bike co-op and apparently there is a "Bike Library" within walking distance from where I am right now at school. It looks a little sketchy from what I've seen. The website is all messed up/in a different language...

    e/ I found another one about 20 minutes south of where I am. How can I use one of these to my advantage?
    Last edited by ssnova12; 04-25-14 at 04:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    Where I live, you can easily get a decent ridable hybrid or even older road bike on CL for $200-300. I'm in Los Angeles so there is a big market obviously but it's worth checking your local listings. I'm getting ready to sell my wife's Marin hybrid. Nice bike, hardly ridden, nice condition and I'll be surprised if I can get more then $150 on CL for it here.

    Some of the big box sporting good stores like Sports Authority also sell decent enough hybrids for around $300. Not great bikes but probably more then enough for what we are talking about here. And even better deals on line from bikesdirect or nashbar but I wouldn't necessarily suggest that in this case since you need to do some assembly and have some pre existing bike knowledge if you go that route
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    Where I live, you can easily get a decent ridable hybrid or even older road bike on CL for $200-300. I'm in Los Angeles so there is a big market obviously but it's worth checking your local listings. I'm getting ready to sell my wife's Marin hybrid. Nice bike, hardly ridden, nice condition and I'll be surprised if I can get more then $150 on CL for it here.

    Some of the big box sporting good stores like Sports Authority also sell decent enough hybrids for around $300. Not great bikes but probably more then enough for what we are talking about here. And even better deals on line from bikesdirect or nashbar but I wouldn't necessarily suggest that in this case since you need to do some assembly and have some pre existing bike knowledge if you go that route
    Yeah I'm not looking for maximum performance. Mostly just to use a bike for exercise and utility to potentially save money. All I've ever known was dept. store mountain bikes. That Kawasaki I think was sent away for but I got a lot of use out of it an beat the crap out of it. Literally the week I got my license to drive, usage of the bike plummeted. Funny how that happens. Maybe I will look into hybrids. And if I have to learn things to save some money then so be it. I'm studying to be a mechanical engineer so it can't be that bad

  10. #10
    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    You (and/or your dad) could ride a bike like this for a long ways. It's only $150 (on Portland, OR C-List) and just shown as an example:


    My first bike was a Trek 1000 (road), that was about 4 years old and only cost me $275.
    "The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

    '14 Cannondale Synapse (carbon) - '04 Bianchi Imola (steel) - '99 Gary Fisher Big Sur (mtn)

  11. #11
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    I have no doubt that you can great bikes for 200-300 dollars. It might be a challenge to find new ones at that price, but probably doable. I sometimes see good new hybrid or entry level mountain bikes at close to the $300.00 mark at places like performance bicycle (just an example, you might have to shop around your area, look for sales etc.). I believe $300.00 is just about the point where you can start getting into entry level, yet quality bicycles. Used, without a doubt you can, though you might be well served to find a friend who knows about bicycles to help you look on Craigslist and such. Cycling absolutely does not have to be an expensive sport/hobby.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by turky lurkey View Post
    I have no doubt that you can great bikes for 200-300 dollars. It might be a challenge to find new ones at that price, but probably doable. I sometimes see good new hybrid or entry level mountain bikes at close to the $300.00 mark at places like performance bicycle (just an example, you might have to shop around your area, look for sales etc.). I believe $300.00 is just about the point where you can start getting into entry level, yet quality bicycles. Used, without a doubt you can, though you might be well served to find a friend who knows about bicycles to help you look on Craigslist and such. Cycling absolutely does not have to be an expensive sport/hobby.
    Right, it would be mostly casual. But I do have a friend who is trying to get me to join the Triathlon team at school. He's out of his mind. I actually saw his bicycle today, it was a really nice bike. So I'll speak with him about all this as well. Trying to maybe get to a shop or two tomorrow early in the morning. Thanks

    But I do have some specific questions I'd like to ask here.

    When it comes to brakes and gears, is it all preference or is there one better than the other?
    For brakes - disc?
    For gears - is more better?

    And I don't think I would mind what suspension I had. But I'm pretty sure my dad would, probably full suspension. I'm assuming those go for more?

  13. #13
    Senior Member mcmoose's Avatar
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    You should be able to find something like a Trek 7.2 in good shape on CL for around $300. That's a nice "entry-level" hybrid and will serve you well as you become (re)acquainted with cycling. As turky said, it's best to take a bike-savvy friend along when you check out the bike. One advantage of buying used is that the seller often includes a number of accessories (water bottle cages, lights, lock, etc.) that can really add up when you buy a new bike.

    Hope you and your dad hit the road soon! What a great Father's Day gift you're giving him.

  14. #14
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    If you know how to assemble a bike, I'd consider a Motobecane from BikesDirect. They have some great bikes at great prices, that are very versatile. Ready for fenders and racks, with enough cleance for 25/28mm tires, go gravel, or offroad a bit when the road is boring. I'm considering getting one myself, affordable and lots of versatility. Would be an excellent commuter bike, Maybe Motobecane Mirage or Windsor Wellington 3.0.
    Last edited by zymphad; 04-26-14 at 12:03 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssnova12 View Post
    Right, it would be mostly casual. But I do have a friend who is trying to get me to join the Triathlon team at school. He's out of his mind. I actually saw his bicycle today, it was a really nice bike. So I'll speak with him about all this as well. Trying to maybe get to a shop or two tomorrow early in the morning. Thanks

    But I do have some specific questions I'd like to ask here.

    When it comes to brakes and gears, is it all preference or is there one better than the other?
    For brakes - disc?
    For gears - is more better?

    And I don't think I would mind what suspension I had. But I'm pretty sure my dad would, probably full suspension. I'm assuming those go for more?
    Well I'm not an expert, especially on newer bikes, as I mostly ride older road bikes, but I'll try to answer your questions. The brakes will likely depend on what what type of bike you buy. I think most new mountain bikes and possibly many new hybrids as well, come with disk brakes, though I am not sure if the most entry level ones will have them. Most road bikes old or new will have rim brakes. I wouldn't focus too much on what type of brakes you want at your budget, I would first decide which type of bike you want, road, hybrid or mountain bike and look for all around quality rather than specific brake type. As for gears, that depends on the type of terrain you will be riding. If you plan to ride in the hills a lot you might want bikes with some low gears (hybrids and mountain bikes usually always have low gears, road bikes sometimes do) I don't think the number of gears is very important, though you do want a range of them. If you buy older bikes it's possible that they might only have 10-18 gear options, and that might be fine.

    Since you are talking about suspension, maybe mountain bikes are the best option. And since you are keeping your budget down, if you get more into cycling and you decide you want to get a road bike later maybe you could still afford it. A full suspension bike will almost always be more expensive than an older rigid bike or one with a basic front suspension fork. There are some cheap full suspension bikes available at places like Walmart, but I don't recommend those, they will be very heavy and probably poorly built. Older mountain bikes can usually be found really cheaply if you are patient and they can make good all around bikes. There are often new, entry level ones available at reasonable prices as well.

    I like your plan. Cycling is something I have found I can do with my Dad as well, I don't live in the same town as him, but every time I visit or he visits we go for a couple bike rides. I know he really enjoys that and I do as well.
    Last edited by turky lurkey; 04-26-14 at 07:17 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Motolegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
    If you know how to assemble a bike, I'd consider a Motobecane from BikesDirect. They have some great bikes at great prices, that are very versatile. Ready for fenders and racks, with enough cleance for 25/28mm tires, go gravel, or offroad a bit when the road is boring. I'm considering getting one myself, affordable and lots of versatility. Would be an excellent commuter bike, Maybe Motobecane Mirage or Windsor Wellington 3.0.
    Beat me to it! These bikes are a great value, and aren't that tough to assemble.
    What, me drive?

  17. #17
    Squeaky Bottom Bracket uluchay's Avatar
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    This will probably do the job for you:

    7.0 FX - Trek Bicycle

    it's 419$ new so if you do a little research maybe you can find a good deal on a second hand. This is a good option if you want to make occasional leisure rides with your dad.

    You have also mentioned that you want to commute, for that you will need to ride a little faster, which means you'll be a little out of your comfort zone, you'll have to push hard on traffic lights and even run out of breath if you're running a little late for work. For this purpose you might consider a proper entry level road bike.

    Because of your knee problem, you have to be very careful choosing the right size bike. A bad fit will only increase your pain.

    I would say consider a road bike for yourself and a hybrid for your dad. This way you can split your budget like 450/150 or 500/100. See how your dad feels about the idea. If you want to be competitive father-son roadies you should consider both road bikes. If you're dad is not that into it, anything should do the job for him.

  18. #18
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    Is your dad on board with the idea ? If so, make it a team project to find bikes. If you are talking him into it, then you may not get past a couple of rides before his bikes collects dust.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  19. #19
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssnova12 View Post
    Right, it would be mostly casual. But I do have a friend who is trying to get me to join the Triathlon team at school. He's out of his mind. I actually saw his bicycle today, it was a really nice bike. So I'll speak with him about all this as well. Trying to maybe get to a shop or two tomorrow early in the morning. Thanks

    But I do have some specific questions I'd like to ask here.

    When it comes to brakes and gears, is it all preference or is there one better than the other?
    For brakes - disc?
    For gears - is more better?

    And I don't think I would mind what suspension I had. But I'm pretty sure my dad would, probably full suspension. I'm assuming those go for more?
    If you plan to ride on roads or paved trails, you don't need a bike with full suspension. That adds weight, and expense. Some hybrids come with suspension seatposts and forks. IMO, you should avoid those.

    If ride quality is an issue, consider going with 28c tires or larger.

  20. #20
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uluchay View Post
    This will probably do the job for you:

    7.0 FX - Trek Bicycle

    it's 419$ new so if you do a little research maybe you can find a good deal on a second hand. This is a good option if you want to make occasional leisure rides with your dad.

    You have also mentioned that you want to commute, for that you will need to ride a little faster, which means you'll be a little out of your comfort zone, you'll have to push hard on traffic lights and even run out of breath if you're running a little late for work. For this purpose you might consider a proper entry level road bike.

    Because of your knee problem, you have to be very careful choosing the right size bike. A bad fit will only increase your pain.

    I would say consider a road bike for yourself and a hybrid for your dad. This way you can split your budget like 450/150 or 500/100. See how your dad feels about the idea. If you want to be competitive father-son roadies you should consider both road bikes. If you're dad is not that into it, anything should do the job for him.
    IMO, that Trek is the minimum you should look for, though frankly, there are better options that will stand up to regular riding than those entry level Tourney components on the Trek. IMO, the FX 7.2 is a better choice.

    For the same money, the Giant Escape 2 is a much better bike, if it fits your Dad. If funds are tight, the lower Spec Escape 3 now retails for only $330. Escape 2 (2014) | Giant Bicycles | United States

  21. #21
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    If you plan to ride on roads or paved trails, you don't need a bike with full suspension. That adds weight, and expense. Some hybrids come with suspension seatposts and forks. IMO, you should avoid those.

    If ride quality is an issue, consider going with 28c tires or larger.
    Yup, suspension is just annoying unless you are jumping over rocks.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  22. #22
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    Is your dad on board with the idea ? If so, make it a team project to find bikes. If you are talking him into it, then you may not get past a couple of rides before his bikes collects dust.
    Emphatically this^^^. My attempts at getting one a bike to begin cycling has not been good. They need to want it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    Is your dad on board with the idea ? If so, make it a team project to find bikes. If you are talking him into it, then you may not get past a couple of rides before his bikes collects dust.
    He absolutely needs to be in on this. For this to take, you need to commit in 3 ways. Financially, time wise, and suffering wise.

    Financially: Set a realistic budget. This includes budgeting for not just bikes but also accessories. 2 new entry level hybrids will cost you around $450 to $500 a piece. You can go a little lower, but if you plan on riding these bikes regularly, IMO, that is about as low as you want to go. But you could easily stretch this budget out to $700 or $800 if you want road bikes or upgraded hybrids.

    Or you could look for some decent used bikes and try to save a few bucks up front. But this might take time, and perhaps you will have to spend more money on repairs and maintenance on a used bike as opposed to new. And if you know little about bikes, your chances of making a mistake are greater going used than if you just get a quality new bike.

    So what accessories do you need and which are optional?
    Eye protection, Helmet, floor pump, spare tubes/patch kit, tire levers, and portable inflation system, hydration system. are necessary, not optional.

    Shorts/bibs, shoes/clipless pedals, jersey are optional, but highly recommended if you plan on riding a lot.

    Lock, trunk rack, computer, lighting are other things many people eventually get.

    Time: You need to set aside enough time for riding for it to make a difference fitness wise. 1 to 2 hours a day, 4 times a week, maybe? 2 times a week if your Dad also does some other physical activity 2 to 4 times a week, like weights, running, swimming or yoga. My point is, if your goal is to get in shape, an hour or two once a week won't cut it.

    Suffering: This is something people don't always count on. Getting dialed in on your bike will take a few weeks or consistent riding at least, and maybe some tinkering with the fit, and if you stop riding, you go through it all over again. IMO, too many give up on riding because their first couple of rides have them feeling less comfortable than relaxing on a recliner.

    And even after biking becomes more pleasurable, every ride contains the possibility of at least a modicum of suffering, like a tough climb, a stiff headwind, hot or cold or rainy conditions.
    Last edited by MRT2; 04-26-14 at 09:54 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member goenrdoug's Avatar
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    Where are you in the world? How tall are you and Dad? We could probably point out a few decent candidates on your local Craigslist(s)

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    Ok great there's a lot of info here. What are the things you look at when you suggest a bike or price range? And because of my dad's weight, what other things do I need to look into in a bike?

    And I don't think he'd give up. I think it might be the only activity that he would consider/wouldn't mind doing. He knows he has to do something other than pulling these ridiculous 2 day fasts every now and then... I'll bring it up sometime this week, see what he has to say. I think he'll be more than willing. He isn't new to fitness, he's just been lethargic for well over a decade now.

    It seems like at my budget, I could afford a good secondhand bike rather than a very low end brand new bike. Do bike shops sell used cycles? Or would I have to stick to craigslist and other mediums of the like?


    Quote Originally Posted by goenrdoug View Post
    Where are you in the world? How tall are you and Dad? We could probably point out a few decent candidates on your local Craigslist(s)

    Could probably use Central Jersey or Jersey Shore lists. I'm a whopping 5'7 and my Dad is 6'1.

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