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Over 50 with modern road bikes?

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Over 50 with modern road bikes?

Old 08-06-16, 05:07 PM
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Genetics, physiology, conditioning. There is a lot of variation in human skin just as in other parts of the body. Some have "tough hides" others "crepe-like" skin.

Comfort and safety first, then appearance, is probably the best rule - going to mean different things to different people.
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Old 08-06-16, 05:10 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Each person is different. One doesn't need all the flashy garb to ride a bike.

I'm heading out on a 100+ mile ride tomorrow...
yep, wearing JEANS
that's pretty impressive
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Old 08-06-16, 05:12 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by ButchA View Post
...

My main question: Is there anything wrong with keeping things "old school"? I don't see myself parting ways with my C&V '85 Fuji road bike. Granted, yes, it's 31 years old, quad butted steel tubing, downtube shifters, etc... but it is built solid and will just keep on keepin' on.
To my mind there's nothin' at all wrong with sticking with that/what you have if it best suits your purpose.
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Old 08-06-16, 05:30 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Ages 83 and 81 . . . still riding our full carbon fiber tandem with 'only' 45,000+ miles on it.
You 2 are amazing. Here's to another 10 Years on that Tandem.
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Old 08-06-16, 05:37 PM
  #30  
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I'd keep the Fuji while adding a disc brake gravel bike with fenders for soggy Seattle days.

I keep a few vintage bikes and a few modern bikes. No reason to pick one over the other.





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Old 08-06-16, 05:58 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Extra care because of rider weight? Or the ability of rider to handle the bike?

Extra care in not smacking anything into the frame, always tightening parts with a torque wrench (especially the stem on steerer and seatpost clamp). How you do maintenance you must not clamp the top tube, if you clamp a carbon seatpost you have to be careful not to damage it, in transporting the bike you have to either lay it down or use a rack that clamps on the wheels and not the frame. That sort of stuff.


I am not worried about the weight on the Fact CF frame as much as my wheels, which are alloy.
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Old 08-06-16, 06:01 PM
  #32  
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50 was a decade ago. Current road bike is a CF Scott Addict. Still have a handful of my old steel bikes including a couple of 1970's Raleigh Pro's, a couple of Panasonic's, etc. Once or twice a year we do a vintage day complete with toeclips and cleated shoes. Downtube shifters seem amazingly strange now.

This is what I ride every day though:

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Old 08-06-16, 06:02 PM
  #33  
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I see guys in my area in their 60s-70s tearing it up on the road. They're good enough to justify their carbon frame bikes. And it's their money.

Me, I might be able to justify the Trek 1 series entry level road bikes. Tried one recently, liked it. At low to mid 20 lbs it's a third lighter than my hybrid.

But for the moment I'm shopping craigslist for a sub-$500 steel or aluminum road bike. I'd probably never be fast enough to justify anything more.
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Old 08-06-16, 06:02 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by DaveQ24 View Post
IMHO it is irrelevant whether we in the older group can keep up with 20 somethings in ability, with or without high end or high tech gear - it's the ability to keep ahead of age-related disorders and decline that counts. There are people in their 60s confined to nursing home beds due to bad lifestyle choices. $500 or $5000 or $10000 - whatever it takes for you personally - is a bargain compared to $8000 plus a month to rot in a nursing home.
Agree 100%
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Old 08-06-16, 07:36 PM
  #35  
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OP is 55? Frigin kidding or what? At 55 I was tearing up the dirt on my KTM 250 exc, adding kites to my kiteboarding quiver and buying my first of many C.F. road bikes. Now at 67 I am still riding motorcycles, (no longer kiteboarding) and advidly riding either my 16lb Pinarello or my Specialized Tarmac.

Because of more time and hopefully more money I prefer to ride the most bike ( by my definition) I can afford and a nice light C.F. road bike is my choice. These years are our best time, might as well enjoy it.

Many of our inmates pull off really impressive rides well into their 70s. Not sayin but 55 sounds so young these days.

Last edited by bykemike; 08-06-16 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 08-06-16, 07:37 PM
  #36  
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I'll be 55 soon and I'm still riding my 1979 Sekini 10 speed racer every day.
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Old 08-06-16, 07:54 PM
  #37  
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Hey, Butch! Why are you on such a modern bike at your advanced age? Shame on you!

My bike is my original road bike, which I received new, from my Uncle Sid, in 1961. I was 13. It's a Follis, steel, of course, built in Lyon, France. I still ride it. Frame, forks bars, stem, front Der., brakes are all original. Wheels, cranks, rear D, saddle and seat post are of more recent vintage.

The bike I ride the most, though, is my Trek Emonda SLR. Yeah, if you rode it you might break it. You can ride my Follis, though. ;-)

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Old 08-06-16, 08:30 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by ButchA View Post
Can an older guy actually comfortably ride a race style bike like that? I just know that at 55, 6'0" and 212 lbs, I would be a nervous wreck riding a $5000 CF road bike with all the bells and whistles. It might break in two under my weight!
About to turn 51 here, 6'1", 190lbs (235 before I started riding 3 years ago.) My bike isn't CF, but it is brand new, light fast, with race geometry:



I think the old steel bikes look fantastic, but I can't afford a bunch of road bikes.

My bike is very comfortable, and it only cost $1,550.
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Old 08-06-16, 08:45 PM
  #39  
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The conveyance is simply a matter of personal choice. Just ride! As you do, your needs and tastes may change, and when they do, start shopping.

For the record, I have a CF bike. I only bought it in anticipation of a 500 mile endurance ride over rough roads. Otherwise, I'd probably be riding my old Al Schwinn.
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Old 08-06-16, 08:54 PM
  #40  
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I'm 71 and weigh close to OP. First road bike 2012 Scott CR1 with 105, upgraded wheels to Mavic aluminum. Total cost about $2,800. Served me well for two years and put about 9,000 miles on it. Still use it for shorter rides (under 50 miles).

As got faster, joined a group but was getting dropped. So now have 2015 Cervelo R5 with Zipp wheels total cost $10,000. Fully insured and no danger of anything breaking except my Strava records.

Having a nice bike like the Cervelo has allowed me to focus on the engine by using a coach, getting a power meter and mixing up my riding. Point is my focus is on me and riding without thinking about the bike.

We all know it's 90% or so about the person. Having carbon fiber with nice wheels helps--never thinking about needing to upgrade or changing bikes is freeing.

YMMV so just do whatever brings out the best in you!
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Old 08-06-16, 10:14 PM
  #41  
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Thanks for all the great replies everyone!!!

Earlier this evening (in spite of the delay from downpouring rain) my sister and I did the annual Anthem Moonlight Ride here in Richmond, Virginia. Sometimes my brother-in-law rides (only the 8 mile section though), and I have yet to convince my wife to get out and ride it.

Anthem Moonlight Ride - Bike Ride in Richmond

It starts at "The Diamond" aka the Richmond Flying Squirrels double-A baseball team's stadium, and is a load of fun for all, young and old alike.

Tonight they had to delay it by one hour, as it literally POURED with lightning strikes around! Then they announced that everyone had to only do the "half moon" course - 8 miles, instead of the "full moon" course.

I saw people on such a wide variety of bikes. Old touring bikes with stem shifters, hybrids, mountain bikes, the latest CF race bikes, and even a few recumbents as well! Heck, there was a college kid riding a Unicycle too!

A lot of people noticed my '85 Fuji and commented that they remember that style and how nice it looks, etc... I struck up a conversation with a guy older than me (in his 60's) who had a french touring bike named LeJeune or something like that. All original since 1972, and he bought it right after he came home from Vietnam, and has had it ever since. Cool guy too!

People continue to keep old bikes going strong and other opt for newer CF style frames, and it's all good. As long as we are out there riding, and looking to @zonatandem for inspiration!

Edit: As seen in the photos below, I am standing with my '85 Fuji earlier in the evening as people were arriving. I always wear my custom made t-shirt with my Masonic Lodge's name on it, along with the Square, Compasses, and "G" symbol. The black shorts are very loose fitting and very comfortable, even though they look a little baggy. In the other photo, you can see the nasty sky as it started raining and everyone was running back to their vehicles in the parking lot, as the rain increased and thunder and lightning rolled through.
Attached Images
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MoonlightRide2016.jpg (97.4 KB, 722 views)
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MoonlightRide2016.Storm.jpg (95.9 KB, 722 views)

Last edited by ButchA; 08-06-16 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Added details about the photos...
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Old 08-06-16, 10:44 PM
  #42  
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I'm 62 and I usually ride a Seven.


Sometimes I ride a steel Gunnar from 2006.
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Old 08-06-16, 10:45 PM
  #43  
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Of the local group rides I've participated in the past few months the type of bike would have mattered on only one, and even then just barely. Most group rides adjust to suit the pace of the slower rides, usually 10-12 mph. The bike is irrelevant. I've seen folks on barely functional box store mountain bikes and ill fitting tandems keep pace nicely.

The only faster group ride I've attended naturally divided itself up over the first couple of miles into three basic groups of fast moderate and slowpoke riders. Now, on that ride, sure, a lighter bike might have helped me a bit. That route is hilly and occasionally windy. I ride it a lot on my hybrid and it's a good workout.

There are some local group rides that are fast and not no-drop, but I'd never be fit enough for those. I wouldn't mind tagging along on some of the moderately paced groups of folks closer to my age, and a lighter road bike would probably help a bit. But I wouldn't need a high end carbon frame bike for that. Anything in the low to mid 20s would be fine.

Last edited by canklecat; 08-06-16 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 08-07-16, 04:32 AM
  #44  
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no way I'd ride 10-12 mph, unless they were some strong dating prospects
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Old 08-07-16, 05:20 AM
  #45  
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A bicycle is forever for me. Too sentimental to think of giving one up, each of mine has associated great memories of highlights of my past. But I also enjoy new and tech. So I keep the older ones functional and maintained and add to n + 1 as the desire hits.

I've never regretted having a positive addiction, cycling, which is also a passion.
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Old 08-07-16, 07:55 AM
  #46  
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I'm just the opposite. Bicycles, like cars and motorcycles, are just things, tools to use. I like to replace them when the mood strikes me and have no emotional involvement in things.

If I had plenty of money, I would get some new bikes right away. I have given away old bikes and sold others cheap.
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Old 08-07-16, 09:25 AM
  #47  
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Just picked up a 2016 Giant Defy Pro 0... all carbon-y and Dura-Ace'd out. Nice comfortable ride, easy on the back, and accelerates like a missile.
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Old 08-07-16, 09:53 AM
  #48  
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I'm riding a 22 lb steel 531 frame/fork from 1978 I built up with Tiagra/105 components bought used off ebay. Total cost was ~$400 and I can keep up with the fast "B" group no problem.

If I had the cash, I'd buy a Lug Licker Special from Waterford with the latest Ultegra. But I don't so I enjoy the hell out of my existing bike.
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Old 08-07-16, 10:15 AM
  #49  
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If I had the technical ability, primary limitation, and time, secondary limitation, I would build my own custom bike from the frame up. But that is far above my pay grade as even an amateur bicycle mechanic.
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Old 08-07-16, 10:19 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Beach Bob View Post
Just picked up a 2016 Giant Defy Pro 0... all carbon-y and Dura-Ace'd out. Nice comfortable ride, easy on the back, and accelerates like a missile.
That's cool....

If/When I ever decide to get with the times and buy something new, I would want something like this:
  • Alum or Steel frame.
  • 9 sp, 10 sp, 11 sp cassette -- no preference.
  • Comfortable ride -- I can't see myself racing with aerobars or the bars themselves slammed down on the steering tube and my seatpost way up in the air.
  • Toe clips -- sorry, I won't go clipless. Ain't gonna happen.
  • No twitchy type of ride. Something laid back and relaxed, where you can enjoy the scenery as you ride by.
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