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Older Road Bike Riders?

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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.

Older Road Bike Riders?

Old 10-12-21, 10:07 AM
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Older Road Bike Riders?

Two months ago I bought a Cervelo Caledonia. I'm very happy with the bike, which fits well and is a good match for my regular rides. But one thing I briefly considered before buying is how much longer I'd want to ride a bike like that, or even be able to ride a bike like that. I'm 71, and curious about older riders' experience with road bikes. Are you older than I am and still riding a drop-bar road bike? Did you give up riding a road bike for some reason and turn to something else? I know as I'm asking that everyone's experiences are different and I should just keep riding the bike as long as it suits me. But I'm wondering if I'll still want to ride that bike in 10 years. How about 20 years? How about 30 years, when I'm 101? One thing about buying a bike when you're older is that you really can think that the bike will last you the rest of your life.
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Old 10-12-21, 10:31 AM
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great bike. you'll probably never change it.
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Old 10-12-21, 10:51 AM
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I have my bike(s) with drop bars, I ride my bike with tourist bars more. It takes a level of fitness for drops that I just dont have anymore. Its not about age... it's about what feels good and makes you happy. Ride it while you want to and it doesn't make you feel bad.
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Old 10-12-21, 12:05 PM
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I'll answer for my almost-87 year old father who doesn't do computers (other than the one on his handlebar :-). He's still riding his Trek road bike but is finally realizing that a trike for next season might be in order. His last major ride was the last year of CANDISC in 2017 when he was 82. He didn't ride all the 400+ miles in the seven days, but as much as he could on the Trek. The next summer he was going to do the follow on CaNDak ride, but alas, a hernia surgery four weeks before the ride ended that. And he's been content to sit out subsequent rides, preferring to just do his routes around home.
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Old 10-12-21, 12:25 PM
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at 62 I ride on the road less, on paved trails more. a cpl years ago, near me, a 70yr old was killed in a head on collision on a paved trail w/ another cyclist. go figure ... past few years I've been enjoying dirt trails w/ a MTB, but I started falling off the bike, go figure ... ride on my friend, ride on ...
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Old 10-12-21, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Random11
Two months ago I bought a Cervelo Caledonia. I'm very happy with the bike, which fits well and is a good match for my regular rides. But one thing I briefly considered before buying is how much longer I'd want to ride a bike like that, or even be able to ride a bike like that. I'm 71, and curious about older riders' experience with road bikes. Are you older than I am and still riding a drop-bar road bike? Did you give up riding a road bike for some reason and turn to something else? I know as I'm asking that everyone's experiences are different and I should just keep riding the bike as long as it suits me. But I'm wondering if I'll still want to ride that bike in 10 years. How about 20 years? How about 30 years, when I'm 101? One thing about buying a bike when you're older is that you really can think that the bike will last you the rest of your life.
I'm 73 and still ride my Specialized Roubaix. But I realized that I've become much less flexible. The drop bar setup was for my younger self. (my mind thinks it's 30 but my body says "I don't think so" !) So I added a stem extension,letting me sit more upright. It makes my riding much more comfortable. Not very aerodynamic but I really don't care. I'd rather not have a stiff neck and numb wrists.
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Old 10-12-21, 02:31 PM
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I’m 66, and still ride all my vintage drop bar bikes. Start of the season, neck hurts, wrists hurt, and not down on the drops much. As the miles build up, pain disappears, and on drops more. Gets a little harder every spring, so anticipating the inevitable, built a vintage bike with a more upright position. I find myself riding it more and more, especially when it gets cold.
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Old 10-12-21, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Random11
...Two months ago I bought a Cervelo Caledonia...But I'm wondering if I'll still want to ride that bike in 10 years.
My most recent purchase was a Caledonia 5. I'm 57 and was gonna ask the same question...I guess you answered it for me.
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Old 10-12-21, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73
... Start of the season, neck hurts, wrists hurt, and not down on the drops much. As the miles build up, pain disappears, and on drops more...
Thanks for the reply, Tim. I'm fortunate to live where I can ride year-round. No winter break for me.
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Old 10-12-21, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bici Veloce
My most recent purchase was a Caledonia 5. I'm 57 and was gonna ask the same question...I guess you answered it for me.
Yes, you should be able to enjoy that bike until age 71 at least, if my experience is any guide.
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Old 10-12-21, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Random11
One thing about buying a bike when you're older is that you really can think that the bike will last you the rest of your life.
Also, if it's a bad mistake, you won't regret it for long. If I make it to 80 I'm going to get a big gaudy tattoo that my mom would've hated... although she might still be around.
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Old 10-12-21, 04:29 PM
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I'm 66 and still mostly on my road bike but I'm beginning to think it won't be forever. It just keeps getting a little harder, and the post ride is a lot more achy. But I'll do it as long as I'm able.
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Old 10-12-21, 04:51 PM
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This is why I’ll never sell my vintage MTBs. I’ll ride them when I can’t hack the drops anymore which is hopefully never, 😉. I put the bars around saddle height and I like randonneur bars as the flats are a little higher.
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Old 10-12-21, 05:27 PM
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Don't do drops much, but still moving around on tops, ramps, and hoods at 77. My next move is likely to be a mixte, because I think hip pain and flexibility is a hurdle I'll have to overcome - hurts when I walk, but not when I pedal. My balance is slowly deteriorating, too, so I may have to go to a trike or stop biking entirely some time in the future.
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Old 10-12-21, 07:38 PM
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I bought my Specialized Roubaix when I was 72 and I’m still riding it. It’s a 2012 model and it’s 9 years old. Very nice bike and nice ride as well.
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Old 10-12-21, 08:23 PM
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A couple of years ago I rented a Spec Roubaix in San Francisco and rode all day and I thought it was a great ride, even compared to my own carbon bike. I started looking at them and then realized that I'd never get nearly the use out of it that I've gotten out of bikes in the past, My Kuota is already 16 years old. My Davidson steel is 40+ years old. Even my Trek mtb is 26 years old. If I'd get 5 -10 years out of a new road bike I'd have been lucky at my then age of 64.
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Old 10-12-21, 08:30 PM
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82 next month. Love and ride my 1999 Lemond Buenos Aires. But I no longer use the drops. I will not be buying another bike. I also have the 2006 Specialized mountain bike. I ride this casually and sometimes on single track. I had a recumbent for a while, but I did not like it.
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Old 10-12-21, 09:22 PM
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70 yo
still riding the road
drop handlebars
tires = 20-27mm

expect to be riding these same 18+ roadies
(with some modifications over 10 yrs)

Maybe an ebike for my 80th.

Hoping I don’t have to change what has worked for so long. Making some changes to saddles. I do take it easier on intensity and only around 2500mi this year. Consistency is the key, along with winter cross training.
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Old 10-12-21, 10:20 PM
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Met an 82 YO gent doing a 65 miler around Lake Washington in Seattle still riding drops. While chatting with him at a bakery (where else?!) he told me he had ridden across the US 4 times and couldn’t imagine life without cycling. I was so inspired by him, his age, accomplishments and desire to never stop. Yes it was a drop bar.

At almost 67, I’m still going strong on drops but it took some PT to strengthen neck and shoulders to be pain free.
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Old 10-12-21, 10:42 PM
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I'm only 68. With a bad back, and a few other things that are certainly going to shorten my longevity. I no longer ride on the open road but that is due to vision balance and trafic. I stay on less traveled, kinda beat up back roads. Most of these roads have old torn up asphalt so my bikes have a kinda gravely set up. I use Bull Horn bars cause I can't get into the drops and my stem is high. I still use toe clips but I never tighten them down. I use a 14-34 freewheel and a 46/30 crank. I guess if I was ta look at the bike I am riding 20 years ago I would be surprised. All the adjustments I have made in my riding and equipment have been to keep riding... That's the ticket...

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Old 10-13-21, 05:12 AM
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I'm 70. Bought a new Colnago last Spring. This may not be my last bike, who knows? Just enjoy the time given us and don't worry about what's down the road (no pun intended).
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Old 10-13-21, 06:05 AM
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I'm 73 with Parkinson's. I ride a custom sport touring frame with drop bars. I don't use the drops but like being able to move from the hoods to the tops. I had the bike built for a more upright position than would be standard since my neck get stiff. And, oer the last couple of years I have gone to wider tires and put in a gravel drive train to give me more low end for hills. I am keeping my eye on ebike developments for future purchase. When I go that route I will go more upright with flat bars, possibly a mixte frame. I still like my custom bike and am comfortable mounting and dismounting with a cowboy start and stop. Eventually that will likely become a problem, hence the interest in a mixte frame.
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Old 10-16-21, 09:24 AM
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I am 66 for another week or so. I still ride my vintage road bikes with drop bars . I am down on the drops at least 80% of the time and up on the tops once in a while. It still seems comfy and I really haven't thought about changing to upright ......yet! I bought my Raleigh Competition in 2015 or 2016 from a 78 year old man who bought it new in 1977 and never rode it, I'm not sure why he thought his wife would like it but she hated it so it was basically NOS for me. His International was pretty tired as he made a few trips up and down the state of California and was selling both bikes because he said he kept losing his balance and had to give up cycling. He didn't seem too upset about it. When I asked him about some of his experiences , his eyes sparked with joy and said he has some very good memories of his many miles pedaling along. That's what it's about man! RIDE ON!
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Old 10-16-21, 10:02 AM
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Interesting thread that has me thinking. I'm about a month away from 57 and all my bikes are road bikes. I do most of my riding on the hoods and now I'm trying to think if I rode the drops any more when I was younger. I want to say I've always rode this way so I'm not concerned but if I'm honest with myself I think I did used to ride the drops the majority of the time.

I do know though that when the time comes, I'll build a vintage mixte up with stem shifters and easier to reach bars. I also do not understand why people are critical of those that buy e-bikes, recumbents and trikes. While I love cycling, I dislike the bike snobs and don't consider them cyclists if they can't recognize there is a spectrum of riders.
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Old 10-16-21, 10:27 AM
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It is an interesting question. I’ve pondered that while looking at all my backup parts. I’m almost 70 and thankfully I don’t have flexibility issues at this point that keep me from riding in the drops.

Ironically I am riding more in the drops these days as I try to stave off my ever decreasing speed. For the time being, it is working.

In my experience, there is a definite gut to drops relationship. I do not want to minimize those who have back and flexibility issues, but over the decades of riding, the smaller the gut the lower the drops has proven to be a reliable indicator.

My intention is to ride drop bars for as many years as possible. What I do see on the horizon is having to add some assist to my legs as the same hills seem to have somehow become steeper… lol. I think I have one more gear change left before I do. Of course that also offsets the aero advantage and I’ll probably go back on the hoods.

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