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Older Road Bike Riders?

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

Older Road Bike Riders?

Old 11-15-21, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood
There are a couple of things that help me keep on riding at 80. Compact doubles : I have a 44-30 in front, and am thinking of going to 42-28. Another is the availability of wide, supple 650B x42mm tires. They are fast enough on smooth pavement, and great on dirt roads or paths or our crappy roads. The comfort and cushioning effect of wide tires is really helpful. I still ride drop bars, Nitto Noodles for the most part, but now I'm beginning to like the Randonneur bend on one of my bikes.
Wider Tires can be Safer. I crashed when my 700 x 23 tire got into a crack.
Fred "The Real Fred"

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Old 12-22-21, 04:23 PM
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I'm 73 and I'm still riding the essentially the same road bike I bought 18 years ago. I've noticed it's getting harder, but I'm not ready for an e-bike yet.
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Old 12-22-21, 07:37 PM
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Agree with Ironwood, up a few posts, on gearing. At 76, my '99 Trek 5200 triple has a low gear of 26 X 30. I'm hoping I don't have to go any lower for a long time. I seldom need that low gear, but sometimes I do. On our tandem, it's a 24 X 40 and we use it. I have drop bars and slammed stems on all my bikes, doesn't seem to be a problem, however I have short legs and there's a limit to how short a headtube can be, so I have less than 10 cm drop on all my bikes. I strength train year 'round which really helps.
Results matter
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Old 12-22-21, 08:08 PM
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I have been making the transition to wider tires and have found that I am more comfortable on them. I have also made some fit changes on a couple of my bikes. I am using a shorter stem, handlebar a bit higher and seat post a bit lower. I also have been lowering the gearing on a few bikes. My heavy market/errand bike now has 46-38 in front, with an 11-32 in the rear. Another casual rider, not so heavy, has a 48-36 with 12-28. It is very flat where I live, but a lot of wind. I still like to kick up the pace at times, but I am a more laid back, slower rider that stops more often now. I don't pay that much attention to the actual speed anymore.
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Old 12-23-21, 01:32 PM
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I'm 75. These are the bikes I ride. I am very comfortable with the position. FWIW they are both 54-55 frame and 54-55 virtual TT.

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Old 12-24-21, 07:01 AM
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From this 70 year old's ride yesterday:

Keep the chain tight!

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Old 12-24-21, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr
From this 70 year old's ride yesterday:
I know a guy you'd enjoy meeting. He's riding here in a neck brace following surgery.

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Old 12-26-21, 08:27 AM
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At 67 I discovered the comfort and view of a recumbent bike. My DF road bike and mountain bike never turned a wheel again. Six years later I added a trike. As I say comfort and view are paramount for me. I ride either the bike or the trike depending on the ride at hand.

All of this was after I thot I had picked a bike at 50 something that would last the rest of my life. It was a touring bike with a front triple that I thot I could resort to in my old age. As I posted before, that was 3 bikes and a trike ago. Right now I would love to have an Azub TiFly 26. In my estimation it is at the top of the heap for trikes. But I need to win some money to buy it. That is unless some well heeled person would like to get one for me. It is what I would like to be riding when at the age of 102 they fine me pull off to the side of the bike path cooling out. I had a manager that was a golfer, and he keeled over out on the golf course doing what he liked to do, so I hope to go the same way.

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Old 12-28-21, 03:15 PM
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I'll be 60 in a few weeks and can't imagine riding anything but a drop-bar road bike. That being said, I've lost interest in my carbon racing bike. I still enjoy two older steel racing bikes, for rides of a couple of hours or less, but I find myself riding my Black Mountain road bike more and more often. With a taller stack and wider tires it's more comfortable, and that counts for more and more all the time. I could see going for something like a Defy or a Roubaix at some point.
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Old 12-31-21, 09:40 AM
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At 67, this has been an interesting topic for me to read. While I'm still riding a Cervelo R3 as well as a Specialized Roubaix, I've been wondering when the time will come when I'm no longer able to ride the drops. I've also had back issues since my 20s, but for whatever reason cycling seems to strengthen my core back muscles enough so that riding in the drops has yet to become an issue. While I no longer slam my stems like I did in my younger years, I still only need to raise my bars by two or three centimeters (maybe four on some bikes) to be comfortable. I'm sure this won't last forever, but if I can get another good 10 or 15 years of riding in, I'd be pretty content with that!
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Old 12-31-21, 10:22 AM
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People race into their 70s, ride Grand Fondos, tour cross country, and generally do the same things younger riders do. if you enjoy riding a road bike, by all means, ride a road bike! If you find that in a mere 10 or 15 years you don't like it as much, they'll still be making other bikes then.

Formerly fastest rider in the grupetto, currently slowest guy in the peloton

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Old 12-31-21, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
68 here. All my bikes are drop bar road bikes. (60% fix gears.) I set my bikes up to be all day comfortable in the drops. How far I can reach depends on how much I've been riding. I love the old quill stems because raising and lowering them is so easy. (Well greased and done often.) Also ride (roughly in descending order) the hoods, right behind the hoods, the tops and the curves. Well, one of my fix gears has pista drops and the hoods set very low. I use the hoods only for out of the saddle climbing and behind them more.

I plan to keep on doing this as long as I can; just raising the bars, maybe a new stem or three. Figure I can go to a full upright position when they figure out this wind thing but as long as I have to deal with it, I'll stick to drop bars.
Similar for me but only 61.

I continue riding road bike and have others for days Im feeling less flexible and/or energetic.
I recommend strength and flexibility to keep on drop riding.
I also realized I need to do more of the yoga stretches that I got away from.
Child pose is great for loosening up the back for cycling the drops.
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Old 04-21-22, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ofajen
I moved away from road riding in about 1993 due to growing safety concerns. By then we had a rail trail along the river and now our town has a lot more trails in the area, so there are great riding options that don’t include much road riding, if any.

I’m now 58 and, in theory, I could just ride my vintage MTB with touring bars, but I still have a vintage road bike with drop bars. I think I will keep riding that for as long as it is comfortable, partly just for the variety. I’m still very flexible so I can ride bars at about whatever height I want, but I don’t take them more than 2” below the saddle, while the touring bars are about level.

i agree with you on the road riding. its frightful out there, too many folks now looking at their phones instead of the road. like you, we have some nice greenways that i use almost 100 % of the time. in fact, on one i've logged over 12,000 miles on it. ride on!
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Old 04-22-22, 11:24 AM
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I'm 74 and have three road bikes with drop handlebars. I ride all three and all is comfortable. Over the years I have raised my bars so that they are at the level of my saddle, which I find very comfortable. Everyone is different, so as you age your body may require different position to insure comfort. The important thing is to just keep riding.
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Old 04-22-22, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jdogg111
i agree with you on the road riding. its frightful out there, too many folks now looking at their phones instead of the road. like you, we have some nice greenways that i use almost 100 % of the time. in fact, on one i've logged over 12,000 miles on it. ride on!
I took my single speed “road” bike out today for probably the first time since late last year. I rode the touring bar MTB all winter when there wasn’t ice on the trails.

Anyway, I was trying to keep the HR under control despite the high winds and the drop bars help a lot on a single speed.

Since I haven’t ridden the drops much lately, I have the tops about 1” below the saddle height. It was mostly comfortable but I think I had the bar angled a bit too much. I like the drops angled up at 10 degrees.

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