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Looking to buy likely my last bike - advice sought

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Looking to buy likely my last bike - advice sought

Old 09-23-23, 09:07 PM
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Looking to buy likely my last bike - advice sought

At 58.5, I'm in a position to rearrange my bicycle situation and am in need of some advice as I've been riding mostly recreationally on my Jamis Coda with my wife and teen for a few years and am no longer "up" on that's current in the bike world. I'll be a brief as I can.

Selling: Jamis Aurora, `1973 or 4 Fuji S10S, 1978 Fuji S12S and MAYBE a Jamis Coda.
Me: Clydesdale, heart in good shape, back suffering from disc issues from an auto accident that also broke 3 vertebrae in my neck, knees that are going to have to be replaced in a few years.

Goal: Find a stiff bike, stiffness like a steel touring frame that is NOT a drop bar bike. The handle bars on the Coda with a tall stem really feel good. OR modify/upgrade the 2019 Coda into a better version of itself. The issue there is that I don't thing the Coda would ever make a good gravel path bike. Do NOT want a battery involved bike. Really need ride comfort but because the doc said I have two basic exercise choices, bike or swim, and I chose bike, I need a cycle that will give me quality exercise without "breaking" my back.

Considerations: Fat tires are more comfortable for my spine, but not so much so that they are a hard need, and the weight of that kind of bike makes the decision difficult. Honestly, I think that whole question (fat/heavy vs thinner/lighter) is about a wash for me.

I've looked at the Kona Sutra LTD, Surly Ogre and Surly Bridge Club but am not tied to any course of action. As this will hopefully be the bike that takes me to retirement and beyond, even Rivendell would even be a consideration. They aren't doing custom orders though, they're backed up 2 years at present and I can't wait that long.

Recommendations?
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Old 09-24-23, 06:57 AM
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Interesting, bike or swim. ņt 84, I bike and swim. They compliment each other very nicely. Throw in a few resistance exercises, and some stretching and some walking, and you have a good fitness program. As far as your bikes, I sincerely doubt this is your last bike at 59 years old. I'll leave it to the experts on this group to advise you further. You are not old at 59. I started biking at 59. I weighed 247 at one time, and weigh 158 now. 158 is better.

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Old 09-24-23, 08:12 AM
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I won't comment of a specific bicycle model, but if you like bigger tires than 'roadie' sizes, try to find something that will take the 700 x 35 size - nice balance between narrow, hi-pressure road tires and those soft 'balloon' tires with lower pressures. 35s are common tires, run at about 65 psi. Touring bikes would be the type I'd think of (like your Jamis Aurora), and most tourers can also fit slightly larger tires (700 x 40s available at my LBS) for more 'cushy comfort'. If drop bars are not to your liking anymore, consider modifying a tour bike with flat MTB or lo-rise BMX-style handlebars (they go from 2" - 6" rise, IIRC). I put a shorter stem with 4" rise BMX bars on one of my bikes the combo works great (the frame was a little small to begin with).
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Old 09-24-23, 08:24 AM
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What kind of riding are you going to use it for? Sounds like off road? Maybe paved and off road? Would you consider a hardtail mountain or maybe even a (gasp) full suspension bike?
You say you like the bar up high. How high? Higher than the saddle?

I ride a stiff road bike most of the time but when my back is sore I can ride my full suspension mountain bike anywhere and it doesn't bother my back at all.

I'm 69 and am considering new bikes all the time. Too bad I don't have a lot of cash to throw around.
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Old 09-24-23, 08:26 AM
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What about a recumbent? Not a trike, but two wheelers. There are some like the Barchetta CA3 that are 700c and keep you up where traffic can see you. With 700c wheels the drive line should feel familiar. I don't know how they would work with your specific neck and spine situation, but they may be worth a look.
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Old 09-24-23, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Bearonabike
...58.5...Clydesdale...back suffering from disc issues from an auto accident that also broke 3 vertebrae in my neck, knees that are going to have to be replaced...Goal: Find a stiff bike, stiffness like a steel touring frame that is NOT a drop bar bike....gravel path bike...Really need ride comfort...I need a cycle that will give me quality exercise without "breaking" my back...Fat tires are more comfortable for my spine...weight of that kind of bike makes the decision difficult...
Looking at the above there is nothing clear to me. I like skidder's suggestion. At 73 my back, knees and hands arthritis keeps me off gravel paths and on roads exclusively with 28 and 30cm tires and I just got a frame that looks to take 32cm for for a smoother ride.
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Old 09-24-23, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gobicycling
Interesting, bike or swim. ņt 84, I bike and swim. They compliment each other very nicely. Throw in a few resistance exercises, and some stretching and some walking, and you have a good fitness program. As far as your bikes, I sincerely doubt this is your last bike at 59 years old. I'll leave it to the experts on this group to advise you further. You are not old at 59. I started biking at 59. I weighed 247 at one time, and weigh 158 now. 158 is better.
Swimming is not something I am against but where I live, pools are not really common. Going to a gym with a pool would mean having to put up with a facility that uses LOTS and LOTS of chlorine. Do-able but not appealing to me. I do have the equipment to do resistance exercises and my wife and I use them, but they don't get the heart rate up and what I need is to get the heart rate up. While the bike may not be my last, I want to approach it that way. I used to rebuild bikes and have owned probably a few dozen. I'm not one to want or need a new bike every few years. I've had one of the Fuji's I love since I got back into biking many years ago. My goal here is to reduce (uncomplicate) my life into a single bike, one that I can wrench myself, take care of, and be sure that it will be serviceable for 15-20 years, making me 79 or so when I look at it being spent and requiring replacement.
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Old 09-24-23, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bearonabike
Swimming is not something I am against but where I live, pools are not really common. Going to a gym with a pool would mean having to put up with a facility that uses LOTS and LOTS of chlorine. Do-able but not appealing
I'm very fortunate in that they use ultraviolet light instead of chlorine at our pools. This means that folks who've been allergic to chlorine can now swim. Too bad your pool does not have that. Thanks for the response, sounds like you're doing great. Welcome.
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Old 09-24-23, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
What kind of riding are you going to use it for? Sounds like off road? Maybe paved and off road? Would you consider a hardtail mountain or maybe even a (gasp) full suspension bike?
You say you like the bar up high. How high? Higher than the saddle?

I ride a stiff road bike most of the time but when my back is sore I can ride my full suspension mountain bike anywhere and it doesn't bother my back at all.

I'm 69 and am considering new bikes all the time. Too bad I don't have a lot of cash to throw around.
Never have been into mountain biking but I live in NE Alabama, road bikes here are a license to die. Most of what I see is 2 opposing lanes, no shoulder and a 6' drop into a ditch. That puts me driving to designated pike paths in nearby areas or looking at gravel path riding, which I am not against. That is really the reason why I've discounted my Jamis Aurora and maybe the Coda. Given the geometry, I don't think it would accommodate a tire that makes gravel path really enjoyable. It may be for 90% of the ride, but the bike needs to accommodate 100% of the ride, including areas where the path is a little less "maintained".

As for handle bars, my Coda is set to 3" above my saddle height and that is comfortable.

A suspension bike could be a consideration if there is a frame that has more of the feel of the road or hybrid bicycle. My experience on a mountain bike goes back maybe 15 years. I recall, they are shorter bicycles out of necessity and for me, the longer frame makes a more enjoyable ride. I bought one at a garage sale (trek 820 if memory serves) that was probably a late 90s bike. Put maybe 100 miles on it and put it in my garage sale. Haven't looked at that type of bike since. I really liked the gearing as I'm more of a masher than a spinner and wouldn't be against an off-road frame if I could use components to get what I am after.
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Old 09-24-23, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG
What about a recumbent? Not a trike, but two wheelers. There are some like the Barchetta CA3 that are 700c and keep you up where traffic can see you. With 700c wheels the drive line should feel familiar. I don't know how they would work with your specific neck and spine situation, but they may be worth a look.
Will look into this, thanks. I understand that the muscles used are a little different. How are they at keeping you fit?
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Old 09-24-23, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bearonabike
Will look into this, thanks. I understand that the muscles used are a little different. How are they at keeping you fit?
I have very limited experience with recumbents... But the ones with 700 C wheels felt more natural. As far as fitness, cardio is cardio and I don't know about the muscles.
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Old 09-24-23, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG
I have very limited experience with recumbents... But the ones with 700 C wheels felt more natural. As far as fitness, cardio is cardio and I don't know about the muscles.
Big wheel recumbents are deceptively low looking. Keep in mind they were invented in The Netherlands, home to some of the tallest people in the world. Saki has 26" wheels and at 5'10" I am on tiptoes at stops. I invented these to cope. And this is only a mid-racer, the real highracers (700C) have seats ~4" higher and I thought you had to be Dutch to flat-foot stops and starts. I also don't think they do well anywhere except the (wide) open road. I tried a rail trail type path once and the tight turns and uneven surface made it a very unpleasant outing.
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Old 09-24-23, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Bearonabike
Will look into this, thanks. I understand that the muscles used are a little different. How are they at keeping you fit?
I have maybe 40k miles on a recumbent.

Leg and glute workout, no upper body or core. Cardo of course, depending on level of effort. You can be very fast on a bent, climbing aside.

I went bent due to low back injuries. It's easy on the body, in terms of saddle, hand, back, and neck.

Downside is you'll be a bit of an outsider among cyclists.
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Old 09-25-23, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Bearonabike
Never have been into mountain biking but I live in NE Alabama, road bikes here are a license to die. Most of what I see is 2 opposing lanes, no shoulder and a 6' drop into a ditch. That puts me driving to designated pike paths in nearby areas or looking at gravel path riding, which I am not against. That is really the reason why I've discounted my Jamis Aurora and maybe the Coda. Given the geometry, I don't think it would accommodate a tire that makes gravel path really enjoyable. It may be for 90% of the ride, but the bike needs to accommodate 100% of the ride, including areas where the path is a little less "maintained".

As for handle bars, my Coda is set to 3" above my saddle height and that is comfortable.

A suspension bike could be a consideration if there is a frame that has more of the feel of the road or hybrid bicycle. My experience on a mountain bike goes back maybe 15 years. I recall, they are shorter bicycles out of necessity and for me, the longer frame makes a more enjoyable ride. I bought one at a garage sale (trek 820 if memory serves) that was probably a late 90s bike. Put maybe 100 miles on it and put it in my garage sale. Haven't looked at that type of bike since. I really liked the gearing as I'm more of a masher than a spinner and wouldn't be against an off-road frame if I could use components to get what I am after.
Here is what I ride. Typical late 80s MTB, fitted with touring bars. A strong welded steel frame. The wheelbase isnít particularly short, and I like that. The touring bars allow a very good reach without having to get too high.

Iím running single speed but all these bikes came as 3x something. Set it up as a 1x with a thumb shifter and I think you would do well. Iím running Continental Race King Protection tires and they are fabulous for gravel and ordinary bike paths.




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Old 09-25-23, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Bearonabike
Never have been into mountain biking but I live in NE Alabama, road bikes here are a license to die. Most of what I see is 2 opposing lanes, no shoulder and a 6' drop into a ditch. That puts me driving to designated pike paths in nearby areas or looking at gravel path riding, which I am not against. That is really the reason why I've discounted my Jamis Aurora and maybe the Coda. Given the geometry, I don't think it would accommodate a tire that makes gravel path really enjoyable. It may be for 90% of the ride, but the bike needs to accommodate 100% of the ride, including areas where the path is a little less "maintained".
Where did you move from when you went to Alabama? You've described a lot of the roads I've ridden in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, etc., as well as Alabama. And yet, few of those roads qualify as death traps, mostly because the traffic density is low enough that cagers can drive around me 95% of the time without even slowing down. And out in the country most drivers understand that they need to get on a interstate if they're not going to slow down. Except the traffic jams on the interstates that shut it down for hours at a time. Then they're better off slowing down for the one bicyclist they may see every other week.

I hope you're ready to do a lot of driving to ride your new bike. IIRC from visiting family in the area, the longest bike path/MUP is on the south side of Huntsville, about 4 miles long. You could go over to Natchez Trace, but that meets your description of the average country road (except the ditches rarely exceed 18"). It's two hours' drive south to the Chief Ladiga trail. And the gravel roads tend to be a mile or two connecting those paved roads.

That leaves you with mountain bike trails or an indoor trainer. (I hear you can get a good deal on a Peloton!) One of the cardiologists in the practice I use was scared off his road bike and (loudly and longly) proclaimed he'd be riding a mountain bike from now on. A dozen years later on, he broke his hip and had two knees replaced.

Personally, I like riding rural roads better.
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Old 09-25-23, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bearonabike
Will look into this, thanks. I understand that the muscles used are a little different. How are they at keeping you fit?
I don't think a recumbent is ideal for off road stuff. I think you might want to look into a flat bar gravel bike. There are about a zillion different "gravel" bikes on the market but you can probably find one that fits your needs.
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Old 09-25-23, 02:25 PM
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I think the Coda will fit a 35c tire. Are you looking for something bigger than that?

Also, why would you need to go custom, if you buy a Rivendell? I thought they quit making custom frames anyway. Are you saying there's a two-year waiting list just on a standard build? Yikes.
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Old 09-25-23, 07:45 PM
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With pending knee replacements, you may want to consider a step-though frame. I started riding again on a Jamis Citizen 1 step-through after my hip replacements. The Jamis Coda S3 Step-Over would be similar to what you have, I imagine. The Trek FX 1,2,3 Stagger models are actually pretty light.

As for Rivendell, several suitable Rivendell bikes are currently available only in Small size. The Clem Complete is currently available in 45cm and 64cm. I like my brother's Clem Smith Jr. - he bought the 64cm frame and had me build it up:



Rivendell Clem Smith Jr.

It's a great 'hop on and go' bike. It is really long though, so not suitable for tricky trails. Great for roads, though, gravel or paved. Now with 35mm Continental Terra-Speed tires. We'll mount 48mm tires on his new wheels when he gets here.

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Old 09-25-23, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
Also, why would you need to go custom, if you buy a Rivendell? I thought they quit making custom frames anyway. Are you saying there's a two-year waiting list just on a standard build? Yikes.
They have frames go on sale every few weeks when a shipment comes in. The Clem completes and most of their frame models are in stock.

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Old 09-25-23, 09:47 PM
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what tires are currently installed on the Coda ? maybe a tire change will be a plus ?

as mentioned above - good chance 35mm tires will fit on your Coda ... if the Coda has linear / V brakes - the tires should just squeeze in ... unfortunately - larger tire will probably not clear

unfortunately you have ruled out drop bar bikes - Jamis Renegade might check many of your boxes but it is a drop bar bike ...

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Old 09-26-23, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by t2p
what tires are currently installed on the Coda ? maybe a tire change will be a plus ?

as mentioned above - good chance 35mm tires will fit on your Coda ... if the Coda has linear / V brakes - the tires should just squeeze in ... unfortunately - larger tire will probably not clear
All current versions of the Coda ship with 700x40C tires.

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Old 09-26-23, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ofajen
All current versions of the Coda ship with 700x40C tires.

Otto
The OP has a 2019, came with 32s. Jamis made major changes to the frame geometry at some point a few years back.
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Old 09-26-23, 11:01 AM
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1x, defaileurs, thru axle, bar-end shifters, tubeless and grim brakes are all a joke on a tour bike.
Mine is far beyond any bike ever built. LOL.
But it is the epitome of just go ride with everlasting efficiency.
>>> Rohloff14 with TRP Spyre cable disc brake. Now has 21,000 miles. Lube once a year, will go a usual 4,000 mile tour with some oil added half way.
With my chain case, the last chain went 4,000 miles, with the original grease. NO weight will deter it, unlike the weak spokes and pawls in corncob hubs.
>>> SA XL-FDD dyno DRUM brake front hub. First one has 32,000 miles. Absolutely nothing to worry about stopping in any conditions.
I love my comfort 80d swept bars made in the 1970s with everlasting plastic grips. Don't use stupid oddball size Raleigh ones.
My steel rack will hold triple the weight the spokes would. LOL. Crash proof.
My first fork was way weak, so it's now got a tandem one. An ABUS folding lock goes behind the seat tube, when I'm not saving weight on a ride. I also take a chain lock for around bigger posts and trees. I take 3 thermos bottles on tour, just for water. The CF holders are essential for them. Juice stays in the plastic bottle.
Some like Pinion drive, just expect it to be slower.

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Old 09-26-23, 01:04 PM
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I would buy a Titanium gravel or road bike that will take tires up to say 35mm. Some road frames will but not all. The frame is good forever although welds can fail but not likely in a decent Ti frame. I would also opt for easy maintenance and make sure it was easy to put new cables and housing on, but really hydraulic brakes are better. R7000 groupset is a great deal and once you get it set then it is up to you.
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Old 09-26-23, 01:40 PM
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re: "likely my last bike"

In 2006 I went shopping for what I was certain would be "likely my last bike"
After much research and test rides etc. I wound up with a lovely Cannondale Synapse Carbon 2 that, as far as I or the sales consultant from the LBS could determine, would outlive me and never be an impediment to my performance goals. And now, 17 years later, that bike is indeed still going strong, gets ridden almost every day, shows no signs of failure or imminent demise, and so easily could have been the last bike I ever bought

...it's just that, since I bought that bike, I've bought four more bikes!

And while any of the bikes I still own (I've already sold off two of the bikes that I subsequently acquired) certainly could be "likely my last bike"...I know they aren't.
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