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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 08-08-16, 01:12 PM
  #76  
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Well, @ButchA , I'll be the bearer of bad news. Yes, you would really appreciate a modern bike. But this will be after you take that 6'2" 212# down to about 180#. Then, all bikes will feel like rockets. Keep riding...
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Old 08-08-16, 01:19 PM
  #77  
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180# is what I weighted during my years in the Coast Guard. After I retired and settled into a second career, I looked in the mirror and noticed my hair getting gray and my waistline expanding. What happened?!?
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Old 08-08-16, 01:36 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by ButchA View Post
What happened?!?


I ask the same question. I guess life happened.
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Old 08-08-16, 02:02 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Well, @ButchA , I'll be the bearer of bad news. Yes, you would really appreciate a modern bike. But this will be after you take that 6'2" 212# down to about 180#. Then, all bikes will feel like rockets. Keep riding...
True, when I dropped from 246lbs down to 165lbs, it seem my bikes got lighter and faster...and they did not make me feel wore out near as quickly...
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Old 08-08-16, 02:52 PM
  #80  
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I'm 69 and have a modern road bike and I love it - and it's steel!

It's a Genesis Equilibrium, sloping top tube and carbon fork and rides beautifully.

I've tried carbon, and it was OK, but I don't race so cutting a couple of minutes on my typical 25 mile rides doesn't mean anything to me.

If you enjoy riding a bike it's the right bike, no matter what it's made of.
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Old 08-08-16, 03:52 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
True, when I dropped from 246lbs down to 165lbs, it seem my bikes got lighter and faster...and they did not make me feel wore out near as quickly...
This is precisely where all discussions on bike "upgrades" need to go. The engines aren't nearly efficient enough...
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Old 08-08-16, 05:04 PM
  #82  
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I'm 70 and riding new steel...Guru w/SRAM Red.
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Old 08-08-16, 05:06 PM
  #83  
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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.
Excellent.
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Old 08-08-16, 05:18 PM
  #84  
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58, 192 lbs (down from 212 a few years ago, could stand to lose another 20); I have both old-school and new-school.

Old school Marinoni Special:



New school: Marinoni CF (Columbus Genius frame)

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Old 08-08-16, 05:24 PM
  #85  
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As long as you're out there riding it's all good no matter what your sitting on. That being said, when I made the transition from running to cycling about 10 yrs ago I didn't think twice about being too old for a CF road bike. I was going to go with a relaxed geometry bike like a Defy but after talking with the salesman about what kind of riding I planned on doing and checking my flexibility he felt that with a proper fit I would be happier on a bike with more aggressive geometry like a TCR. He was correct but you can't underestimate the importance of a good fit.
Two years ago when I retired at 62 I gave myself a retirement gift of my dream bike. I purchased a Pinarello Dogma F8 with DA Di2 and Zipp 303's. Yea I know it's more bike than I need or deserve but I never get tired of swinging my leg over her.
IMO vintage bikes are a lot like vintage cars. Beautiful to look at and admire but driving/riding them leaves a lot to be desired.
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Old 08-08-16, 07:20 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by TCR Rider View Post
IMO vintage bikes are a lot like vintage cars. Beautiful to look at and admire but driving/riding them leaves a lot to be desired.
I can't say that about my vintage Marinoni. Yes, it is heavier than my CF Marinoni by about 6 lbs, or my for-sale CF Cervelo by about 5 lbs, but it is still a dream to ride and still reliable other than normal wear-and-tear stuff. It helps that it is a custom-fit frame, but at 23 years of age I still love riding it.

The only thing about it that I dislike is that it does not have a compact crank. For that reason I tend to use it more on the flats. It remains my go-to bike for centuries, which I do about once a year and did a few weeks ago for this year. I tried to replicate its fit on my new CF Marinoni, and my LBS (also my son! He owns 1/3 of a bike shop) did a superb job and I think we achieved it, so the vintage one may take more of a back-up role (or to ride just for old-time's sake), but it's still a great ride.
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Old 08-08-16, 09:27 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Well, @ButchA , I'll be the bearer of bad news. Yes, you would really appreciate a modern bike. But this will be after you take that 6'2" 212# down to about 180#. Then, all bikes will feel like rockets. Keep riding...
This is the same old argument that keeps coming up over and over. A modern bike makes improvements regardless of weight. Sure losing weight and training gets you faster and stronger quicker. But the improvement from the bike is still there.

It's like people are saying someone doesn't deserve a nice quick bike until they earn it. It doesn't make sense.

In fact many people get even more motivated to train harder with a new bike.
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Old 08-08-16, 10:29 PM
  #88  
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^ This. A new bike always motivates me, especially if it is high tech. And I can use all the motivation I can get at my age. I don't have a problem with not being able to take full advantage of the bike - it pushes me. Below Diverge Fact 10 CF, hydro disc brakes, SRAM Force 1x (a nice departure from Shimano Ultegra). Love it. Still enjoy my Al Felt cyclocross too.


The past couple of years I have had health difficulties and got really out of shape. This new bike has motivated me and I am now at the same performance prior to my health issue.


But I also completely understand nostalgia and steel is real.


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Old 08-09-16, 02:25 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
This is the same old argument that keeps coming up over and over. ....

It's like people are saying someone doesn't deserve a nice quick bike until they earn it. It doesn't make sense.

In fact many people get even more motivated to train harder with a new bike.
I see that on here, not so much in 50 and Over - I guess maturity helps. Some older threads I've read reveal the ugly side of some forum dwellers ... C'est la vie.

I guess the uber-competitive, club riding, racing guys have their pecking order and want to keep it. To me, who has never raced, except with myself, and am not going too ... it all seems immature and silly.

Sorry, a bike fundamentally is a consumer good, not something awarded on competitive ability like an Ivy League admission or a JD degree. IMHO.

I like to look at other people's bikes if it's a nice color or has nice features - admiration not jealousy.

The only time other cyclists upset me is when I see someone doing something really unsafe, such as kids riding after dark with no lights and no helmet.

I agree ... A new bike is a great motivation. I'm just over 50, but I see it does get harder with age, things go wrong with the body ... Do whatever it takes to keep moving forward. In my job, I see a lot of hospital and nursing home patients ... nursing homes ... The stuff of nightmares to end up in one. If cycling ... Cheap or expensive, 2017 or 1983 model, keeps someone out of the clutches of that miserable fate ... Do It!

Ok, climbing down from my soapbox now, back to your regular programming
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Old 08-09-16, 04:51 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post

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.
If I had learned this lesson when I was 15 life would have been easier. A good lesson way beyond bikes.
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Old 08-09-16, 05:23 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by DaveQ24 View Post
I see that on here, not so much in 50 and Over - I guess maturity helps. Some older threads I've read reveal the ugly side of some forum dwellers ... C'est la vie.

I guess the uber-competitive, club riding, racing guys have their pecking order and want to keep it. To me, who has never raced, except with myself, and am not going too ... it all seems immature and silly.

Sorry, a bike fundamentally is a consumer good, not something awarded on competitive ability like an Ivy League admission or a JD degree.


Since I'm the one who triggered this departure from the OP's question, I'll address the comment. My input (#76) was that @ButchA would indeed enjoy a more modern bike. They are different from mid-80s low-mid range steel bikes like his Fuji. And the differences are mostly pleasant, but they're subtle only.


My input to him was that he would likely enjoy them less at his present weight. Not that he somehow isn't worthy (a silly notion) or that he'd be imperceptive (likely not), but that his performance would benefit from weight loss. His climbing would be more sprightly, weight and balance would be better, ability to regulate heat would improve, along with all of the other benefits that come with better fitness, which we could list definitively.


There's nothing about *maturity* for it. Perspective, yes. Sometimes the truth isn't pleasant. This is probably something that his GP has already discussed with him. Especially important as we pass through our 30s (much less our 50s), the excess weight must come off, along with death to the lifestyle choices that the weight represents... IMHO

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 08-09-16 at 06:15 AM. Reason: reference number
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Old 08-09-16, 07:19 AM
  #92  
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Some great looking bikes and inspiring stories in this thread! I am more of bike touring guy than a road racer but I do appreciate looking at all the high end bikes. I recently bought a very nice touring bike, custom powder-coated to match my nice pickup truck, and some high-end additions. Some young punk (actually my son-in-law that I do actually love) asked me why I spent that much of my hard-earned retirement money on a bicycle, I simply answered "because I can!"

Maybe he thought I was leaving money to my kids when I die . . . fat chance!
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Old 08-09-16, 07:31 AM
  #93  
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I appreciate @Phil_gretz comments and understand what he was getting at. While I truly enjoy my C&V '85 Fuji, a newer more modern Fuji, such as the Fuji Roubaix 1.5 (MSRP $1050) would be sweet. The only thing I would do, based on the photo below, is lower seat down - almost level with the top of the stem. I like a relaxing, somewhat upright type of ride. No need to be crouched down all aerodynamic... I want to enjoy the ride, enjoy the breeze, and enjoy the scenery as I ride by.

https://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/roubaix-153

Also, what Phil was getting at, was that, yes, I used to be 180# when I was in the Coast Guard. But how many years ago was that? I've been retired for decades now (joined right after high school in 1979). Bicycling will keep me fit and trim (I hope!) and I look to other more seasoned veterans for advice and inspiration.

To get a little personal... My dad (R.I.P. Pop ) passed away at 80 years old back in 2002. Yeah, as you can see, at 55, I'm the "baby of the family" and the only boy (four older sisters). After my dad retired from IBM in 1977, that was it... He just, ...stopped, you know what I mean? No exercise, no anything, other than piddle around in his workshop. Fast forward to early 2002, and he soon developed congestive heart failure. He was in the hospital, out of the hospital, back in the hospital, etc... over and over... On that fateful day back in May of 2002, my oldest sister Karen (a retired head nurse from an ICU in a major hospital in NY) kept tabs day after day, night after night, with the nurses and doctors from the hospital my dad was in. Karen would relay updates to the rest of us. Anyway, we all got the call that my dad took a turn for the worst. I told my family that I was the closest and could be down there quicker then anyone else. So, as I tore off down the interstate, I remember my cell phone (an old Qualcomm - from back in the day) ringing... I answered it, and it was Karen and she was crying... I knew right away... I obviously got extremely upset and remember saying, "Karen... NO!!!"... Karen replied, "Yes..." All I remember from that point on was pulling over on the interstate, getting out of my truck, looking skyward and screaming, "God... Why?!?" and grabbing my cellphone and throwing down it as hard as I could at the pavement, shattering it into a million pieces. I got back into my truck, leaned forward on my arms on the steering wheel, and...well... I just lost it... My dad was all I had, you know?

Anyway, sorry to make such a depressing post, but as you can see, I decided that I would NEVER be inactive as I grew older. I will continue to ride bicycles, go walking, hiking, jogging, etc... and hopefully never get congestive heart failure or high blood pressure.

Thank you all again, and for letting me get that off my chest...

Last edited by ButchA; 08-09-16 at 07:48 AM. Reason: fixed a typo
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Old 08-09-16, 07:44 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by ButchA View Post
. . . Thank you all again, and for letting me get that off my chest...
Thanks for sharing, and not too far off from my own story . . . and the reason I am back on my bike as I start my retirement years.

My family worries that I will get killed out biking by a crazy driver, and I might, but it's a risk I will take. According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center in 2014 there were 726 bicyclists killed in the US, but to put that in perspective there were about 610,000 people in the US that died of heart disease. I'm willing to take my chances on the bike instead of my couch!
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Old 08-09-16, 08:37 AM
  #95  
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Thanks for posting again, @ButchA, I lost my dad in '93 and my older brother in '14. Dad was 69 and brother was 59. Neither had the inclination or capacity to take care to exercise and eat right. Sad...
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Old 08-09-16, 08:53 AM
  #96  
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My first impression of modern carbon bikes was not good. I test-rode a TREK Domane and it did not seem responsive enough. I am glad I tried it, because I was thinking of taking my chances on a Scott CR1 Elite. Now that I hear the stories about older carbon forks failing, that is the deal-breaker.
Sounds like you have a nice bike. Consider a welded alloy fork for it if you want to drop a couple pounds.
My next bikes (if I buy any) will be vintage framesets from Bertin and maybe Lotus.
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Old 08-09-16, 08:55 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by wished View Post
Thanks for sharing, and not too far off from my own story . . . and the reason I am back on my bike as I start my retirement years.

My family worries that I will get killed out biking by a crazy driver, and I might, but it's a risk I will take. According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center in 2014 there were 726 bicyclists killed in the US, but to put that in perspective there were about 610,000 people in the US that died of heart disease. I'm willing to take my chances on the bike instead of my couch!
Yea, my Dad found himself with only one lung (the other collapsed to treat TB back when he returned from WWII in the Pacific). He was also a 2 pack a day smoker all his life and did little exercise. He died of a massive heart attack at 68 ... maybe a year after he retired.

With regard to the dangers of cycling, my daughter keeps telling me:

"Dad, you need to make it long enough to walk me down the aisle. Wheelchairs and canes don't count ... I want you to walk me down the aisle."

I've always thought she was kidding, but after the recent (and horrible) death of a local cyclist courtesy of a moving van, I got to thinking how whatever risks I take aren't just my risks ... they are risks my family takes along with me. So I asked her ... "You're kidding, right?"

She said no. She really does worry about me.

So I think we're all walking a bit of a tightrope between the long inevitable decline that results from a sedentary lifestyle and the sudden death that may result from cycling. Statistically, I think the active lifestyle is the better choice.

But even if it weren't, I'd do the same. For me, it's not just about how long I live. It's all about how I live while I'm still alive, and I won't give any of this up until I have to.
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Old 08-09-16, 09:17 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Thanks for posting again, @ButchA, I lost my dad in '93 and my older brother in '14. Dad was 69 and brother was 59. Neither had the inclination or capacity to take care to exercise and eat right. Sad...
Thanks @Phil_gretz !! I appreciate it... I guess since we are all over 50 in this thread, we should strive to stay healthy and in shape as best we can!

I'm still 212, but got down to 205 before summer. And then a flare up of sciatica that sidelined me for a while. I will get down to an even 200# somehow, someway...

Now, if I could only find strawberry ice cream that doesn't contain any calories, I'd be all set!
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Old 08-09-16, 10:34 AM
  #99  
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Lowering the seat to get an upright position would make for unhappy legs. An adjustable or high-rise stem is better.

One of the benefits of modern bikes is that with integrated shifters, you don't have to take your hand off the bar to shift,

arguably making the ride more stable and secure, especially in traffic.


The older active folks that I'm around don't talk about their age

you have to pry it out of them, or see it on the double century finishing roster etc. that they are well into their 70s.
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Old 08-09-16, 12:31 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Lowering the seat to get an upright position would make for unhappy legs. An adjustable or high-rise stem is better.

One of the benefits of modern bikes is that with integrated shifters, you don't have to take your hand off the bar to shift,

arguably making the ride more stable and secure, especially in traffic.


The older active folks that I'm around don't talk about their age

you have to pry it out of them, or see it on the double century finishing roster etc. that they are well into their 70s.
Hmmmm... Take a look at my C&V 1985 Fuji. Look closely at the seat height, handlebars and stem, and see how close they are in relation to one another. The bottom of the seat is just about the same height as the top of the bars. Then again, we're going back 31 years in technology. The old Fuji weighs in around 24 pounds, quad butted steel tubing, Suntour components, etc... To me, it is a very comfortable ride, even if it is built like a tank. It would take a few rides to get the hang of STI shifters, and adjust to a very lightweight bike at like 16 or 17 pounds if that.
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