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Could use some opinions

Old 01-27-20, 06:54 AM
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OldJack9211
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Could use some opinions

i have decided to get back into it after many years of not riding. now i am semi-retired and working only 18 hours a week...i have plenty of time. i did alot of mountain biking and alot of road biking for years. since retirement we have moved into a very small town where we had a camp. road bikes are out of the question as the roads are terrible. many logging trucks and frost does a number on the pavement. i want to ride to work, to the store, post office, etc., but also want to ride the several hundred miles of dirt logging roads and discontinued roads in the area. i'm not sure if a hybrid will work on the gravel or if the mountain bike will do the job in town.
my lastest brainstorm is to buy a couple less expensive bikes (200-300 each) and ride them to find out.....then invest in a higher quality bike in the one that does best all around. i am anxious to get started, but we will have snow until at least mid april. thank you for reading a long post.
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Old 01-27-20, 07:29 AM
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Buying a couple cheap bikes to test is a great idea if you can afford that.

An MTB can work anywhere if you swap tires---or have two sets of wheels. Mount slicks on one set and knobs on the other.

I'd worry that a hybrid might not be up to---or designed for---the real off-road stuff.
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Old 01-27-20, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Buying a couple cheap bikes to test is a great idea if you can afford that.

An MTB can work anywhere if you swap tires---or have two sets of wheels. Mount slicks on one set and knobs on the other.

I'd worry that a hybrid might not be up to---or designed for---the real off-road stuff.
thank you.....it's snowmobile season here and i am a part time bartender...hahaha. money season. i have plenty of grandchildren to give the lessor bikes to when i decide.
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Old 01-27-20, 08:28 AM
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I got back into bikes about four years ago at 67 years of age and bought a very well used Schwinn MTB. From there I went to a hybrid, sold that and added a better hybrid,kept the better hybrid and added a drop bar gravel bike. It's a good idea to go the used rout just to make sure you want/can get back into riding. I was sold after only 5 rides and now, at 71, I am all in. Good luck.
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Old 01-27-20, 08:28 AM
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Nuthin' really to add but when I lived in Hawai'i, I had bought a 1997 Trek 6500ZX. The rigid model. I put 1&⅞ road slicks on it & rode it everywhere...Fast-forward to today, I still have a 1997 Trek 6500ZX with a Rockshox Recon fork & 2 inch knobbies & an XTR drivetrain.

So....Plus one to the versitility & utility of an old mountain bike.

On another note: Gravel/cyclocross bikes are (for most) the natural evolution of vintage rigid mountain bikes. One branch of the evolutionary tree went to the full suspension motocross lookin' downhill monsters, the other to faster trail/rough road bikes.

Full suspension motocross lookin' downhill bikes are often way more bike than you need for general purpose single track fun time. I wouldn't bother with one if your goal is to travel a logging road to go grocery shopping. Not the right tool for the job, IMO.

A rigid, or at most a hardtail with a front lockout, or something marketed as a gravel/cross bike would be better suited for your use, I think.
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Old 01-27-20, 08:36 AM
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i thank you guys for your input.....i am 66 now and will not be riding the way i did in my 30's and 40's. i need to find out if my old body will take to it before i invest big bucks.
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Old 01-27-20, 10:21 AM
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A decently-built 1980s-1990s MTB might suit you nicely. Say, something like a Trek 930/950/970, a Miyata Ridge Runner, a Univega Alpina-series MTB, a Specialized StumpJumper/Rockhopper, or similar. Supports 26in tires of reasonable (off-road grade) widths, can handle studded tires for winter weather, and (depending on your luck) can often be found for "a song." Lots of such bikes across the country, if you're willing to pick up the freight charges. Decent enough quality and low enough gearing for rougher terrain, and reasonably easy to swap parts to something more-contemporary or -suitable.

Here's one, over in the Burlington (VT) area: Univega Alpina Sport, 19in frame size, $199/OBO. Ride as-is, or alter the stem/bars/saddle to your preference.

Congrats on getting back into trail biking.

Your area looks fairly "country" ... and beautiful.

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Old 01-27-20, 01:06 PM
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Sounds like a gravel bike would be ideal.
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Old 01-27-20, 01:17 PM
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I think you're in the market for a gravel bike.
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Old 01-27-20, 01:24 PM
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I'm 61, I have both a road and gravel bike. I have both road wheels/tires and gravel wheels/tires for the gravel bike.

The gravel bike with 38mm tubeless tires works well for what I want to do, however I have ridden it a few times on rougher single-track trails. This is tough on my older body, if I were regularly riding these trails I would want a bike with a suspension fork to help absorb the impacts. I'd say you want to consider whether you need suspension and whether you prefer drop or flat bars. Experimenting with a cheap bike sounds like a good plan.
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Old 01-27-20, 01:28 PM
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A lot of old bikes from the late 70s and early 80s can be converted to 650B. A 650Bx42 tire would be good for logging roads and town. The selection of high quality, wider tires has increased in the last few years. And in the last few years, the concept of an "all roads bicycle' has been developed as has the idea of a "gravel bike".
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Old 01-27-20, 04:09 PM
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i thank you all....i would love to go used. problem here is distance. i am 75 miles from the nearest traffic light. 1 hour 45 minutes from a wal-mart. bike shopes are close to 2 1/2 hours away. i am 16 miles from canada and thinking with the exchange rate, i might go there. Clyde1820...that's the attean lookout. and it's breathtaking. but i may be a tad biased !!
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Old 01-27-20, 05:14 PM
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I agree with the gravel bike approach as well. Fine for both road and dirt roads. You can get some pretty easy gearing as well. I built this one so I could add racks......you could add racks for your grocery or store runs.
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Old 01-27-20, 06:48 PM
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You have come to the wrong place. No one here has opinions.
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Old 01-28-20, 08:50 AM
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I have a personal predilection for rigid-frame MTBs from the 80s-90s .... super all-around bikes. However, anything that old with suspension is almost certainly going to need a fork. Try the local rides with a rigid, and if you decide to get a bike with a sprung fork .... a $200-$250 fork on a beat $100 bike is a $600 bike suddenly. Just make sure the fork length and headset sizes are the same.

Just an opinion.
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Old 01-28-20, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by OldJack9211 View Post
i thank you guys for your input.....i am 66 now and will not be riding the way i did in my 30's and 40's. i need to find out if my old body will take to it before i invest big bucks.
You won't know until your third or fourth ride. I am 57 and my first ride of the season is always a huff-and-puff fest. By the 2nd or 3rd, I can do 40-50 miles without a second thought. After a number of years, you may get on the bike four or five times and not be able to make it around the block. Don't be discouraged; you'll be using muscles you haven't used in years.
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Old 01-28-20, 09:28 AM
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If you are shorter, this Cinelli Hobootleg Geo Sangria is a bargain at $640

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XCH6FMD...TF8&th=1&psc=1

It's basically a 650B (27.5") rigid steel mountain bike that is normally $1500.

More info: https://www.cinelli-usa.com/cinelli-...-bike-sangria/

I have a Cinelli Hobootleg touring bike and love it.
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Old 01-28-20, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by OldJack9211 View Post
i thank you all....i would love to go used. problem here is distance. i am 75 miles from the nearest traffic light. 1 hour 45 minutes from a wal-mart. bike shopes are close to 2 1/2 hours away. i am 16 miles from canada and thinking with the exchange rate, i might go there. Clyde1820...that's the attean lookout. and it's breathtaking. but i may be a tad biased !!
I did a five hour road trip from my Dad's house to find a touring bike that worked for me. That was 12 years ago, and the travel time turned out to be a great investment. Go to a decent bike shop to get a decent bike, whether it's north or south of the border. You might want to call up the shop ahead of time to make sure they have a gravel bike near your size before you get in the car.

I'm not a fan of Walmart or other big box store bikes. Look up "Bike Shaped Objects" for some good dissertations on the subject.
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Old 01-28-20, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
You have come to the wrong place. No one here has opinions.
Thanks, Bruce...I almost spit out the tea I was drinking.
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Old 01-28-20, 12:07 PM
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OldJack9211 One thing you may notice "after many years of not riding" is that you may not be able to handle straight bars, or drop bars, or an upright or more forward leaning position. I've been biking 9 miles to work most days since I was 30, in 1992. In my mid-40s I began having issues with the straight-bar mountain bike, and last fall, just shy of my 58th birthday I converted that bike to drop-bars, same as my other two bikes.

I'm just saying, be prepared to change bike styles if your body begins objecting.

And don't forget, recumbent trikes can be a good option if your body rejects straight bars AND drop bars.
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Old 01-28-20, 12:24 PM
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OldJack9211
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
OldJack9211 One thing you may notice "after many years of not riding" is that you may not be able to handle straight bars, or drop bars, or an upright or more forward leaning position. I've been biking 9 miles to work most days since I was 30, in 1992. In my mid-40s I began having issues with the straight-bar mountain bike, and last fall, just shy of my 58th birthday I converted that bike to drop-bars, same as my other two bikes.

I'm just saying, be prepared to change bike styles if your body begins objecting.

And don't forget, recumbent trikes can be a good option if your body rejects straight bars AND drop bars.
i hear you and thanks. no way of knowing how my body will react to this....my head says no problem...go all out, but i'm thinking my body may feel a little less enthused. that's why i was thinbking of a couple cheaper bikes to find out.
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Old 01-28-20, 01:16 PM
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"several hundred miles of dirt logging roads and discontinued roads in the area" sounds like a little bit of heaven! but wonder what those actually look like! two bikes sounds like a good idea
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Old 01-28-20, 01:25 PM
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Make mine another vote for a gravel bike. Works great on all surfaces from cow path to paved road.
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Old 01-28-20, 01:38 PM
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OldJack9211
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
"several hundred miles of dirt logging roads and discontinued roads in the area" sounds like a little bit of heaven! but wonder what those actually look like! two bikes sounds like a good idea
if the roads are currently being used for logging, they are well maintained. muddy in the spring but nice after. depending on how long the discontinued roads have been left untouched determines their condition. even the very old ones are passable by truck. grass growing on them conceals alot of obstacles. easy to trip while walking them bird hunting. i spend alot of time on these roads and am wanting to leave the truck in the driveway. many lakes, streams, and rivers here also to explore.
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Old 01-28-20, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by OldJack9211 View Post
if the roads are currently being used for logging, they are well maintained. muddy in the spring but nice after. depending on how long the discontinued roads have been left untouched determines their condition. even the very old ones are passable by truck. grass growing on them conceals alot of obstacles. easy to trip while walking them bird hunting. i spend alot of time on these roads and am wanting to leave the truck in the driveway. many lakes, streams, and rivers here also to explore.
oh man, that's sweet. it helps to know the area. there's a forest near me that I used to explore in my 4Runners, but due to "misuse" (by others, mostly dirt bikes) they banned motorized recreational exploring. but now I get to go where I want on my bike! the forest down near me has dirt but also some sand. usually is firm enough to ride w/ "dirt" mixed in & lots of pine needles to help make it rideable. some of the logging roads I've explored w/ a 4x4 in NH are quite rough & I always had to keep an eye out for hidden tree stumps that wanted to rip some part of my undercarriage off
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