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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 08-07-16, 10:21 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by ButchA View Post
Here's a question that might have been asked before, or maybe not...

Since we are all over 50 in this forum, do any of you have a current, high tech, carbon frame, road bike? Or are some of you like me, and keep things simple, C&V, and a little "old school" style?

I'm not acting all funny towards the latest, greatest, Cannondale/Specialized/Cervelo/Trek/whatever flavor/etc... I mean, I have ridden a few in a LBS, and to be honest and with sort of a confession: They scared the $*#& out of me! Way too quick, too snappy and twitchy, and most importantly - I felt like I was going to topple over the handlebars!

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! Maybe that was an idiotic statement, maybe not...

I see the "younger crowd" with the high tech road bikes, all decked out in a full kit, and they're out there hauling butt. That's cool... Have a great time, dude... I'll catch up to you eventually...

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.
My most current bike is a 2005 Mondonico steel racy bike with Campy 10 speed indexing. It's comfortable because of good size, good fitting, great parts, a great frame (ELOS!), and carefully not overinflating the tires.

My least current is a 1980 Masi racy bike with original Campagnolo Nuovo Record friction shifting. I don't ride it so much because it really is too small. I've always had trouble setting it up comfy, but when I ride it it rather flies -the bike is so my faster and I am! Next is a 1984 Trek 610 I actually bought new, and which has had many incarnations and variations. I also have an early Mondonico set up with Campy 10 speed triple, my main ride until I crashed on it.

Your comments about handling, twitchiness and feeling like you're going over the handlebars: I think you have been looking at bikes set up at the LBS for the store floor, rather than for you. I think both come from the handlebars being too low for you, and too much weight on the handlebars. I've been a victim of these issues for years.

Your Fuji is a good fit, comfortable for you. When you check out newer bikes, see if they are amenable to being matched to your Fuji.

Last edited by Road Fan; 08-07-16 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 08-07-16, 10:37 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Your Fuji is a good fit, comfortable for you. When you check out newer bikes, see if it is amenable to being matched to your Fuji.
Thanks... Even though my C&V '85 Fuji is a 25" frame (college kid from the Craigslist ad last year, stood 6'3") and I'm 6'0". It's just a hair too big, but I can easily stretch out and be comfortable for miles and miles. In all honesty, I really should have a C&V 23" frame or a newer 58/59cm bike frame.

One of the very reputable LBS's in town helped me out tremendously last year right after I rushed out to pick up the old Fuji from the college kid. The LBS measured me, measured the bike, stood back looking at both me and the old Fuji and went, "Hmmm... We can make this work... It'll be very close, but you'll be okay..." And they lowered the bars a touch, lowered the seat a touch, made sure my legs were straight at the bottom, double checked the angle of my back, etc... -- FREE of charge! All because one of the bike techs freaked out over my Fuji and I remember the comment, "1985 Fuji? Seriously? Dude, that's as old as me!!" Shhhhhh, kid... Don't me feel old!!
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Old 08-07-16, 10:50 AM
  #53  
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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
Nothing to do with "flashy garb" it has all to do with health and safety.
Chaffing, irritations will become saddle soars and infections in these sensitive areas are incredibly painful and dangerous!
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Old 08-07-16, 10:56 AM
  #54  
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Nothing wrong with old school, you just need to find a few more that fit your needs.
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Old 08-07-16, 11:00 AM
  #55  
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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


I like your comment about straddling both worlds. I do the same. Sad that it has to be such two different worlds. I showed up at a club ride once in jeans and on my Omafiets. Got lots of not very positive comments from people. Kept up just fine (much to some folks chagrin I think) and had a good time. The two different worlds is mostly just a US thing. You don't see it elsewhere.

Sadly I was informed later that I'd not be allowed on any further rides without a helmet.
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Old 08-07-16, 01:38 PM
  #56  
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Clubs have liability issues if they don't post and enforce a must-have-a-helmet rule.
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Old 08-07-16, 02:01 PM
  #57  
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I never understand the idea of making a point of not fitting in and being surprised when the reaction is less than positive. I attended my first few club rides in MTB pants and tee shirt, once I decided I like the activity I bought a lycra kit on sale at Performance. What's the big deal about fitting in?
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Old 08-07-16, 02:23 PM
  #58  
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Our club doesn't seem to care about people fitting in. We're just there to ride and drink beer together. But you have to wear a helmet.
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Old 08-07-16, 04:24 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by ButchA View Post
Thanks... Even though my C&V '85 Fuji is a 25" frame (college kid from the Craigslist ad last year, stood 6'3") and I'm 6'0". It's just a hair too big, but I can easily stretch out and be comfortable for miles and miles. In all honesty, I really should have a C&V 23" frame or a newer 58/59cm bike frame.

One of the very reputable LBS's in town helped me out tremendously last year right after I rushed out to pick up the old Fuji from the college kid. The LBS measured me, measured the bike, stood back looking at both me and the old Fuji and went, "Hmmm... We can make this work... It'll be very close, but you'll be okay..." And they lowered the bars a touch, lowered the seat a touch, made sure my legs were straight at the bottom, double checked the angle of my back, etc... -- FREE of charge! All because one of the bike techs freaked out over my Fuji and I remember the comment, "1985 Fuji? Seriously? Dude, that's as old as me!!" Shhhhhh, kid... Don't me feel old!!
Sizing and fitting are two different things. When they decided to try to get your Fuji to work for you, they were deciding it is in the range of "your size." When they went through and adjusted the contact points (saddle, bars, et cetera) they were performing a basic fitting. It sounds like they are real old school, since most shops used to competently do that basic setup before sending you out the door with a bicycle and less $$ in your pocket. I think this basic stiff is not so competently done, these days.

Essentially a bike is in the range of "your size" if it is possible to get you a good fitting with that frame. The fitting is more basic than the sizing, since for a given type of riding (i.e. for road riding for fun), all your bikes should have nearly the same fitting. But the size numbers can be rather different. Size is excessively oversimplified since it just uses one number, for which nearly nobody knows what it really means. Even worse is "small, medium, large."
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Old 08-07-16, 05:06 PM
  #60  
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Plus, this all really has nothing to do with age, it's just about getting a bike to work right for you.
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Old 08-07-16, 05:20 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Sizing and fitting are two different things. When they decided to try to get your Fuji to work for you, they were deciding it is in the range of "your size." When they went through and adjusted the contact points (saddle, bars, et cetera) they were performing a basic fitting. It sounds like they are real old school, since most shops used to competently do that basic setup before sending you out the door with a bicycle and less $$ in your pocket. I think this basic stiff is not so competently done, these days.

Essentially a bike is in the range of "your size" if it is possible to get you a good fitting with that frame. The fitting is more basic than the sizing, since for a given type of riding (i.e. for road riding for fun), all your bikes should have nearly the same fitting. But the size numbers can be rather different. Size is excessively oversimplified since it just uses one number, for which nearly nobody knows what it really means. Even worse is "small, medium, large."
I remember in the "old" days they made you stand over the top tube and lift the bike. If you could get both wheels off of the ground and not become a tenor then it was the right size. they then adjusted the saddle and tried to get the reach right, tried to get the nose flat and the seat post in the right position. But for me the biggest thing was the top tube. I have short arms and different companies felt better than others in the same size.
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Old 08-07-16, 05:41 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by VNA View Post
Nothing to do with "flashy garb" it has all to do with health and safety.
Chaffing, irritations will become saddle soars and infections in these sensitive areas are incredibly painful and dangerous!
i suppose you shave your legs too.
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Old 08-07-16, 06:19 PM
  #63  
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Nothing wrong with old school, and if you have an older steel frame bike that works for you no reason to change.

However, there are some modern-er bikes that have some advantages for the aging/achey crowd. You speak of "race-type bikes" - but this is a trend I see changing quickly. Even just 5 years ago, most road bikes were tour-type racing bikes, or cheapened versions of racing bikes.

In the past couple of years, there's been an explosion of road bikes better suited to folks with more aches and pains or less intense fitness level.

One of the leaders in this trend is Volagi; I bought mine 3 years ago because it was the only bike like this on the market. Now I see more and more of the big bike companies making Volagi-esque bikes. Volagi Cycles | Endurance Bicycles and Components
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Old 08-07-16, 06:47 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post


I like your comment about straddling both worlds. I do the same. Sad that it has to be such two different worlds. I showed up at a club ride once in jeans and on my Omafiets. Got lots of not very positive comments from people. Kept up just fine (much to some folks chagrin I think) and had a good time. The two different worlds is mostly just a US thing. You don't see it elsewhere.

Sadly I was informed later that I'd not be allowed on any further rides without a helmet.
Where was this club ride? It had to be pretty flat. I have a friend that has one and has to push it up just about any climb over 4 percent. The ones I have seen I would struggle to lift off of the ground. Maybe with a 8 speed IGH it would be doable. I have to admit I have never tried one.
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Old 08-07-16, 07:10 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by ButchA View Post
Here's a question that might have been asked before, or maybe not...

Since we are all over 50 in this forum, do any of you have a current, high tech, carbon frame, road bike? Or are some of you like me, and keep things simple, C&V, and a little "old school" style?

I'm not acting all funny towards the latest, greatest, Cannondale/Specialized/Cervelo/Trek/whatever flavor/etc... I mean, I have ridden a few in a LBS, and to be honest and with sort of a confession: They scared the $*#& out of me! Way too quick, too snappy and twitchy, and most importantly - I felt like I was going to topple over the handlebars!

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! Maybe that was an idiotic statement, maybe not...

I see the "younger crowd" with the high tech road bikes, all decked out in a full kit, and they're out there hauling butt. That's cool... Have a great time, dude... I'll catch up to you eventually...

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.
Pushin mid-60s here, never raced, but have been riding road bikes since 1972 or 3 or so.

I have a modern carbon fiber Felt Z frame with Sram Red components, Ritchey carbon fiber parts, and decent alloy wheels. I love it.

I have an 80s steel frame Sannino frame outfitted with 90s era Campy downtube shifters, with matching derailleurs, brakes, levers, etc. and current aluminum other parts and nice wheels.

The steel bike is "quicker" and more "twitchy" than the carbon fiber bike - it's just built that way. They're both great.
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Old 08-07-16, 07:54 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by ButchA View Post
Can an older guy actually comfortably ride a race style bike like that?
If one could comfortably ride the then current generation of racing bike in competition in one's 20's, 30's, 40's and '50's it's no great feat to keep on riding a modern CF machine after retirement in one's 60's.
With modern wide range gearing the same challenging routes that I rode >35 years ago are doable today w/ no drama although at a much lower speed riding solo on a well fitted properly geared modern-ish machine.

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Old 08-07-16, 08:01 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by FXjohn View Post
i suppose you shave your legs too.
I will never shave my legs, nor will I ever go on a club-type ride wearing jeans.
Years ago there was a guy who rode with our club and he frequently wore jeans. He did o.k. which surprised a lot of us, but I can only imagine the discomfort of climbing mountains on a hot day wearing hot jeans.

Nobody in my club cares what anyone else wears.
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Old 08-07-16, 09:00 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I will never shave my legs, nor will I ever go on a club-type ride wearing jeans.
Years ago there was a guy who rode with our club and he frequently wore jeans. He did o.k. which surprised a lot of us, but I can only imagine the discomfort of climbing mountains on a hot day wearing hot jeans.

Nobody in my club cares what anyone else wears.

I believe most clubs don't care what people wear. Well except most clubs require a helmet, at lest everyone I have been part of. But other than that as long as the person doing the ride feels comfortable with the pace and doesn't mind getting dropped in the city limit sign sprints, till they learn what they are, they are fine.
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Old 08-07-16, 09:47 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Clubs have liability issues if they don't post and enforce a must-have-a-helmet rule.
A local club with a falling membership has a mandatory helmet rule. When the then-secretary of the board questioned the rule, he was told it was a condition of the insurance through the League of American Bicyclists. He looked up the policy. There was no requirement that the riders wear helmets for full coverage through LAB. The "helmets are needed for liability" turns out to be a myth.

Now, if you go walking about, be sure to wear a helmet since that puts you at over twice the risk of traumatic brain injury as riding a bike. Oh, and being in a car makes your risk 12% greater than being on a bike, per hour of activity. Added bonus: motor vehicle helmets are designed and built for the actual impacts you are likely to encounter, unlike cycling helmets which are designed for very low-speed impacts not involving things like cars.
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Old 08-08-16, 09:06 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
I never understand the idea of making a point of not fitting in and being surprised when the reaction is less than positive. I attended my first few club rides in MTB pants and tee shirt, once I decided I like the activity I bought a lycra kit on sale at Performance. What's the big deal about fitting in?
No problem with people choosing to fit in. I usually do so myself. My point above was judgementalism against people who don't fit in for stupid reasons like what they wear for a 15 mph club ride or because they don't adhere to the rules.

I'd actually been on the same ride a couple of times previously wearing 'kit' and on a CF road bike. In each case I was viewed as a newbie but the reception and treatment was dramatically different based purely on what I was wearing and the bike I was riding.

Last edited by CrankyOne; 08-08-16 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 08-08-16, 09:24 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by FXjohn View Post
i suppose you shave your legs too.
Again: it has nothing to do with chaffing, irritations that will become saddle soars and infections in these sensitive areas are incredibly painful and dangerous!
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Old 08-08-16, 11:26 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
No problem with people choosing to fit in. I usually do so myself. My point above was judgementalism against people who don't fit in for stupid reasons like what they wear for a 15 mph club ride or because they don't adhere to the rules.

I'd actually been on the same ride a couple of times previously wearing 'kit' and on a CF road bike. In each case I was viewed as a newbie but the reception and treatment was dramatically different based purely on what I was wearing and the bike I was riding.
I may be lacking understanding of your experience, the people I ride with aren't rude like that. OTOH, when I decide to join a group, I choose to fit in rather than making a statement that I'm above them. I wouldn't ride a Yamaha twin to a Harley club ride and be surprised when someone comments. It may make sense to get a Harley or find a Yamaha club. Maybe there's a jeans riding club you can join or better yet, start it!

One important point: before I turned 15 I learned nobody is really watching me or cares what I'm doing. Perceived slights are usually rooted in self-consciousness.
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Old 08-08-16, 12:38 PM
  #73  
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Of course there's nothing wrong with keeping things old school. Vintage is even more popular now than 10+ years ago. But part of cycling when you're older is keeping in shape, maintaining youthful vigor and hopefully, outlook. In other words, staying in the present, appreciating new things- and not getting set in your ways and stuck in the past.

I worked my way into more modern gear from vintage by trying new stuff, upgrading, learning about the new tech and picking what worked for me. In my area, and in the club I rode with for a couple of years, many of the riders are older, and they all have modern bikes & spandex.
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Old 08-08-16, 12:48 PM
  #74  
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I didn't know that my Nashbar had an old-school look until someone asked if it was vintage. I figured "traditional" but if so, I suppose it projects the image of the grizzled older guy on the old style bike, who's been riding forever ... which isn't actually true in my case but OK.

Why, is it all that different in ride with a CF, sloping top tube bike? And a cm shorter chain-stay?
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Old 08-08-16, 12:56 PM
  #75  
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I like bikes...all of them...
there are 3 folks posting in this thread so far that I see are older than I am... and they have some really sweet rides...
all of mine are midrange bikes...
3 are CF with ultegra groups..
the 4th is a steel aerocomp that I put ultegra on...what ever makes you feel good, go for it.
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