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Slow ride

Old 11-16-23, 11:09 PM
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Slow ride

Hello,

I'm thinking about getting a bike. I have heart problems, need to exercise, and biking a few hours a week seems a lot more interesting than my boring exercise classes.

My neighborhood is unusual. One mile from downtown, heavy traffic, a few hills, deer, fox, ducks, coyotes, a creek, old railroad right-of-ways, shut-down factories, acres and acres of empty land.

If I go slow, can an ordinary bike handle a few rough spots? I wouldn't mind getting off and walking it up or down when necessary.
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Old 11-17-23, 08:50 AM
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An ordinary bike should handle that fine. I would define ordinary in this case as a hybrid bike - flat or riser bars, relatively upright riding posture, at least some gears, maybe a front suspension fork? Don't know that a cruiser or road bike would be ideal, maybe even a basic MTB?
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Old 11-17-23, 09:19 AM
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Yes, almost any bike can handle your terrain. Agreeing with Justa above, finding a comfortable bike is most important. The bike needs to fit you and have wider tires than our old 10 speeds.

This is a good forum with decent folks, and you can get a ton of help here. That being said, a good local bike shop would be super.
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Old 11-17-23, 09:58 AM
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A gravel bike could be a good compromise. Or a hybrid if you prefer flat bars and a more upright position.
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Old 11-17-23, 10:31 AM
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The "old railroad rights of way" clicked for me. What are we talking about here? Crossing one on a road (with or without rails?), or a rails-to-trails conversion? What's the surface like? One near me is pretty much horses and walkers only; they didn't do anything but pull up the rails and ties, and we're left with 2" ballast gravel. For something like that, I'd be looking at big, fat, wide tires -- 2" MTB tires and 2" gravel is pretty rough. On the other end of the spectrum, some rails-to-trails are paved with concrete or asphalt -- you can ride that on any bike. In between you have smaller gravel, packed down, and on these, you have to make a judgment call.
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Old 11-17-23, 08:49 PM
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Get yourself some Foghat. That will help you to slow ride and take it easy.
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Old 11-17-23, 08:58 PM
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Based on your post it is likely that after a couple of rides the bike you buy will wind up in a garage, shed, etc. gathering dust.
So if you must buy a bike buy a cheap one at a yard sale...considering how often you will ride it it will work fine and when it sits unused at least you won't be out much money.
Likely your medical people have told you to make changes in your lifestyle but since you're 'bored' by exercise class it is likely the advice won't be taken very seriously...
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Old 11-17-23, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Kai Winters
Likely your medical people have told you to make changes in your lifestyle but since you're 'bored' by exercise class it is likely the advice won't be taken very seriously...
Perhaps not. IMHO, the best exercise is the exercise one will enjoy doing. I know for me riding a bike beats the hell out of an exercise class.

I do agree with not spending a lot of money on a bike until it is determined that this is indeed the exercise the OP will do.
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Old 11-18-23, 07:38 AM
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I would encourage any form of riding as long as you can do so safely. I would visit some bike shops, go to several. If one listens and makes recommendations that take into account your concerns, then support them. Being outside is important. Getting the right equipment and clothing allows you to ride in most any type of conditions. Riding slow is lets you live in the present. It gives you time to think. Like a fly-fishing customer once said, his primary goal was to go, if he caught fish. If he caught fish he considered it a bonus,
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Old 11-18-23, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Leftclique
Hello,

I'm thinking about getting a bike. I have heart problems, need to exercise, and biking a few hours a week seems a lot more interesting than my boring exercise classes.

My neighborhood is unusual. One mile from downtown, heavy traffic, a few hills, deer, fox, ducks, coyotes, a creek, old railroad right-of-ways, shut-down factories, acres and acres of empty land.

If I go slow, can an ordinary bike handle a few rough spots? I wouldn't mind getting off and walking it up or down when necessary.
An older rigid mountain bike can handle about anything. A hybrid would work. A flat bar gravel bike, a touring bike, or even a road bike will do.

Any idea on budget?
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Old 11-18-23, 09:50 AM
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agreed
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Old 11-18-23, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Leftclique
Hello,

I'm thinking about getting a bike. I have heart problems, need to exercise, and biking a few hours a week seems a lot more interesting than my boring exercise classes.

My neighborhood is unusual. One mile from downtown, heavy traffic, a few hills, deer, fox, ducks, coyotes, a creek, old railroad right-of-ways, shut-down factories, acres and acres of empty land.

If I go slow, can an ordinary bike handle a few rough spots? I wouldn't mind getting off and walking it up or down when necessary.
We don't know what you mean by "ordinary" bike, but anything that is in good enough condition to be safe is an excellent place to start. Do the brakes work? Are the tires inflated? The chain isn't rusted to hell? OK then, get yourself a helmet (doesn't have to be fancy, but it's probably best to get a newish one rather than relying on something that's been aging in your garage for a decade), and go out and ride.
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Old 11-18-23, 09:26 PM
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When I started road cycling again at 50, the first three bikes I bought were 80s 10 or 12 speed road bikes, costing $100-$200 each. The 2nd and 3rd bikes were each a little better, lighter, and more correctly sized and equipped for the riding I was doing. After a few years and the 3rd bike, I purchased my perfect new bike which I still have and ride 23 years later. That worked very well for me.
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Old 11-18-23, 09:33 PM
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“Slow ride…take it easy”….

Your bike should be just fine.
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Old 11-18-23, 09:48 PM
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To be clear, you don't need a NEW bike for this. Older and inexpensive bikes should be fine (with caveats that I posted already - in good enough condition to be safe)
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Old 11-19-23, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan

To be clear, you don't need a NEW bike for this. Older and inexpensive bikes should be fine (with caveats that I posted already - in good enough condition to be safe)
Depends.

I got this cheap hybrid, after a hiatus, and it was by far the worst bike I ever had.

Next year, I got a good bike, and cut an hour off the ride to Ft Popham. That's an hour off 16 miles...

Back in the 1970s, during the Bike Boom, Consumer Reports said that below a certain price, a bike wasn't going to be fun, and wouldn't get ridden. But above that point, you would find excuses to go ride. Nowadays, if you go much under a grand...

https://www.thegeekycyclist.com/best...es-under-1000/

Lastly, he could consider an ebike. I know it's a lot of money, but it's what I had to do after my cancer to be able to ride. He also should consider getting a bike rack, so he can get to where the riding is nice..
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Old 11-19-23, 09:06 AM
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I always ride slow, but I keep riding. That’s all that counts to me. lol.
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Old 11-19-23, 09:20 AM
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If you just need to get some exercise maybe start out by going out for a half-hour of walking each day? Going when traffic is light on the roads to minimize traffic noise. As for a bicycle you could use a beach cruiser-style bike for some slow riding, no need for anything fancy. If you have hills in your area you could get one with multiple gears. Also learn to fix flats and change tires on a bike, they are part of riding a bicycle. You can minimize flats by using puncture-resistant tires (cost a little more but worth it to me).
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Old 11-19-23, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by late
Depends.

I got this cheap hybrid, after a hiatus, and it was by far the worst bike I ever had.

Next year, I got a good bike, and cut an hour off the ride to Ft Popham. That's an hour off 16 miles...

Back in the 1970s, during the Bike Boom, Consumer Reports said that below a certain price, a bike wasn't going to be fun, and wouldn't get ridden. But above that point, you would find excuses to go ride. Nowadays, if you go much under a grand...

https://www.thegeekycyclist.com/best...es-under-1000/

Lastly, he could consider an ebike. I know it's a lot of money, but it's what I had to do after my cancer to be able to ride. He also should consider getting a bike rack, so he can get to where the riding is nice..
Disagree. Not everybody needs to go over a significant price point to have a bike that you can enjoy riding.
Your anecdote about your personal experience doesn't lead to generalization.

More specifically to the OP's post, we have here somebody who wants to begin riding. IMHO, the encouragement should be of the type - yes, just get a bike and ride- not, no don't do it unless you first fork over a pile of cash.

In fact, your story proves my point. You got a lousy bike at first, but that was enough so that you kept riding and replaced it with a better bike. The key was that you started riding, not the quality of your bike.
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Old 11-19-23, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan

Disagree. Not everybody needs to go over a significant price point to have a bike that you can enjoy riding.
Your anecdote about your personal experience doesn't lead to generalization.

More specifically to the OP's post, we have here somebody who wants to begin riding. IMHO, the encouragement should be of the type - yes, just get a bike and ride- not, no don't do it unless you first fork over a pile of cash.

In fact, your story proves my point. You got a lousy bike at first, but that was enough so that you kept riding and replaced it with a better bike. The key was that you started riding, not the quality of your bike.
My point was from Consumer Reports...

Before my hiatus, I rode decent bikes, Cannondale, Bridgestone.

My opinion, which I didn't say, is that you are buying a new way of living. One that will let you enjoy life more, and better. 2 or 3 grand for that is cheap. Dirt cheap, if you consider the cost of a lot of medical procedures that come about from a sedentary lifestyle.

So, if I was offering my opinion, spend $3k on a decent ebike. My wife has the Trek that costs about that much.
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Old 11-19-23, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by late
My point was from Consumer Reports...

Before my hiatus, I rode decent bikes, Cannondale, Bridgestone.

My opinion, which I didn't say, is that you are buying a new way of living. One that will let you enjoy life more, and better. 2 or 3 grand for that is cheap. Dirt cheap, if you consider the cost of a lot of medical procedures that come about from a sedentary lifestyle.

So, if I was offering my opinion, spend $3k on a decent ebike. My wife has the Trek that costs about that much.
You know, one's perspective on this changes. When I returned to riding in 2009, I bought an entry level steel road bike for $550. I thought that that was a fortune, and if you had insisted to me at the time that I needed to spend $2-3 k for an activity which I wasnt sure I would continue to pursue, I wouldn't have bought a bike at all. Soon after, I was hooked and bought a better bike.

The important point, in my opinion, is to make the threshold for entry low, so that people get started. After that, n+1 will be there for all those who get hooked.

Last edited by Hermes; 11-19-23 at 01:03 PM. Reason: Clean up
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Old 11-19-23, 12:16 PM
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Actually, the difficulty of getting wives riding adds to my argument. If he wants her to come along, he's going to have to provide her with something she wants to ride. I can tell you that's not always an easy thing to do.

Last edited by Hermes; 11-19-23 at 01:04 PM. Reason: Clean up
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Old 11-19-23, 01:07 PM
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We have done some cleanup. I-Like-To-Bike please leave the thread. We have a new member looking for advice and we do not need your trolling / disruption without adding any value. Thank you.
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Old 11-19-23, 01:13 PM
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Leftclique Welcome to bike forums. We are sorry for having to disrupt your thread with edits. Please carry on.
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Old 11-21-23, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Leftclique
Hello,

I'm thinking about getting a bike. I have heart problems, need to exercise, and biking a few hours a week seems a lot more interesting than my boring exercise classes.

My neighborhood is unusual. One mile from downtown, heavy traffic, a few hills, deer, fox, ducks, coyotes, a creek, old railroad right-of-ways, shut-down factories, acres and acres of empty land.

If I go slow, can an ordinary bike handle a few rough spots? I wouldn't mind getting off and walking it up or down when necessary.
some ppl get the bug for cycling & get addicted. some not so much. give it a try, it is quite fun & interesting & rarely boring
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