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Olpran brand bikes?

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Old 04-25-09, 02:20 PM
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Nighteyez
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Olpran brand bikes?

Hello all,

I am new to this site, and this is only my second post (after my post in the introduction forum). I just turned 51 this month, and just recently found out I can still ride a bike. I suffered a knee injury in 1998 (due to a car accident) that will not let my right knee bend more than 60 degrees. So I just thought I could not ride a bike and never tried until about a month ago, when I tried riding a friend's full suspension MTB (a Next bike). I found that I can pedal with my left leg if I take my right foot off the pedal while I do,and then put it back on the pedal for balance. I know it is not the quickest way to get around but it still beats the heck out of walking.

Anyway, I bought a Mongoose XR-75 from Walmart (because it was cheap) and am now having second thoughts. I am still within the 90 day return period and have been checking with a couple of LBS's in the area as well as ebay for an upgrade. My funds are very limited, and spending $500 for a bike is a bit of a strain. I know that is considered entry level, but I am hoping to find a decent bike for about half that. I have found a bike on ebay called Olpran, and it is being sold by Crosslake Sales. They claim it is not a department store quality bike, but I have never heard of that brand before. I was just wondering if anyone knew anything about these bikes? It is located here http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...%3DI%26otn%3D2 I don't want to return the Mongoose, and pay double the price if this bike is just another department store quality bike.

Currently, I only ride the Mongoose 2 to 4 miles a week on the weekends when the buses don't run late. Mostly on surface streets, but sometimes down a dirt alley, or alongside rail road tracks. I originally thought a full suspension bike was ideal for the comfortable ride it would give, however, I have been doing some research and am finding out it is not the most efficient when it comes to pedaling. Since my pedaling efficiency is already hampered by my knee injury, I have decided to go with a hardtail MTB bike. This one looks to have much better components than the Mongoose I have, and it is something I can afford. Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 04-25-09, 04:03 PM
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Definitely return the Mongoose to Wal-Mart.

Never heard of that other brand. And your hesitation strongly suggests you're not experienced enough to really know what kind of bike will suit you.

For this reason, and because fit is paramount no matter what kind of bike you get, the only way to proceed is to find a good local bike shop (LBS in Bike Forum parlance) who will let you try out different kinds of bikes and help you with a good fit. Do NOT buy a bike sight unseen online. Only experienced riders who really know their fit, bike brands, & riding style can do that & not risk wasting their money.

Many here have been where you are now. And each person probably got a different kind of bike to suit him or her. There is no one answer.

One such fellow who posted recently got a Trek Pure Sport. Reading his post may be helpful. Not because you should get a Trek Pure Sport, but because he took the time to try things out with a helpful bike shop and got the best bike for him and described the process well. His handle is Randy55 I think. Click the "Search This Forum" link at the top of the 50+ forum page and try both his name or "Trek Pure Sport".

Oh, and a caution: Certain people here seem to think that a specific color of bike is the be-all and end-all. Ignore the White Bike Supremacists.

Also, a lot of us are smart-alecks. But usually in a nice way.
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Old 04-25-09, 06:21 PM
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Wot's wrong with white bikes, I pass them all the time?

Man, that leg injury is doing it the hard way.

On the leg angle. You can't do anything about how far the seat is from the pedals however, by going for a shorter crank (the funny thing the pedal screws into), your leg will have less angle at the top of the stroke. The shorter you go, the higher the pressure you need to apply but the flip side is that the shorter cranks allow you to spin the pedals more easily. Yes, you can go a lot shorter than the 170mm most bike shops know about. I suggest you sit down with a bike shop that's willing to listen to you and to work through this problem (finding such an lbs is the first problem, most just want to sell floor stock). I don't know if you can get cranks short enough to suit you but it's the first thing I'd be trying. From there, a light, flat bar road bike would be my suggestion but it's up to what you prefer after trying a few bikes.

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Old 04-25-09, 07:21 PM
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I wonder if in his special case a shorter crank on one side only would work? I know it sounds weird... but I'm just sayin....
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Old 04-26-09, 12:59 AM
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It is not the ideal way to ride a bike I can assure you. I rode bikes as a kid, and went from a 20 inch banana seat bike to a 26 inch Huffy 10 speed back in the 70's. I even bought a rode bike after I returned from the military and rode that. I loved bicycling. I had that bike setup the way I wanted it, and had the necessary tools, spare tubes, chain links etc tucked away in my seat bag. And when I had the accident, I just gave everything away figuring my bike riding days were over.

I have thought of getting a bike I can add an electric motor to, but don't have the funds for that. I like the MTB style of bikes, and am hoping I can get one that I am comfortable with. I know a road bike would be the better choice for my current commute, but I prefer the MTB style bike. I am 6'0" tall and 280 lbs, and want something that can handle my weight. I don't want a thin framed skinny tired bike. I have wondered about getting a smaller crank on just the right side and keeping the stock size crank on the left. I don't know if this is possible, or even if it would work if it were to be possible. I can check with the LBS in the area. I have already visted two of the three and have my eye on a bike at each one. Maybe I can see if they can come up with any suggestions to help my situation.

Now that I know I can ride a bike, I want to start riding it more and more, and maybe work my right knee enough to be able to pedal a full 360 degrees again. A smaller crank would be a step in the right direction. I have also thought about raising the seat higher, but don't want to make it so I have a problem pedaling with my left leg, or getting it so high that I have trouble getting on or off the bike.
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Old 04-26-09, 01:16 AM
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Oh, forgot to mention this, but whatever bike I do decide on, it will be blue, as that is the color of the two I am looking at. A Specialized Rockhopper or a DiamondBack Response Sport. Both are 2008 models, so they are discounted, the Rockhopper is $514, and the DB is $490. I am leaning towards the DB solely because it has disc brakes on it. They both are the same color and they both are 19 inch frames with decent components on them. I have not yet checked the 3rd LBS in the area, so I may find something there I like better. My friend bought a 3 wheeler from the 3rd LBS last April, and she has had no problems with it at all. So I would like to check them before I make a final decision, especially now that I am not going to look online for a bike. (Do like that Olpran though. Just wish I could be sure it was not another department store junk quality bike) Anyway, no white bikes for me!
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Old 04-26-09, 08:06 AM
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Disc brakes are overkill for "normal" riding on streets and bike paths. Don't decide on that basis.
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Old 04-26-09, 10:03 AM
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Howdy, I purchased a "Jamis Trail-X 3.0" just a few months ago and for the $500 I paid for it, I feel I got a very exceptional entry level MTB. If you have a shop in your area that sells Jamis bikes, it would be worth your time and trouble to ride one. This bike has disc brakes and if you do like we did and put on a "different type of tire" (Serfas Vermin), which has a "more road tire top and a MTB knobby sidewall", it will give you a lot less "rolling reistance" on asphalt/concrete but still handle some easy singletrack dirt too.

I too looked at the Specialized MTB in that $500-600 range but really feel I got a better over all package with the Jamis Trail-X 3.0 MTB. BTW, it does come in a "baby blue" color and a "gray", which I bought being that I'm color-blind anyway
The BEST thing is like all stated, BUY from a local bicycle shop, (LBS) and make sure they will "work" with you to make the bike FIT you a good as possible. FYI, YMMV

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Old 04-27-09, 09:48 PM
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Okay, I will have to retract one of the statements I made earlier. The one about "No white bikes for me". I was off work today, and decided to go to a different LBS in the area. (I thought there were only 3 but it turns out there are a lot more, but I don't have the time or desire to go to all of them) It is a mile or so north of the LBS were my friend bought her trike. They sell Trek, Gary Fisher, Cervelo, and KHS.

I was looking at an all black Gary Fisher MTB for $368, but after talking to a salesman (Ben) there, and explaining my situation, he directed me to an all black Trek Navigator 2.0 for $499. He also pointed out a KHS TC 150, that was a 2008 model. Black is my favorite color so I took the Trek out for a spin in the parking lot first. It was a lot smoother ride than the Mongoose, and much easier to pedal. The frame was bigger than I expected too, but Ben told me that on comfort bikes you can go with a larger frame than you would on an MTB.

So then I tried the KHS. It looked way too big for me upon first inspection, with the handlebars arched up higher than the seat. However, it was easy to get on, and I was totally surprised by how easy it was to pedal. It was smoother than the Trek and seemed to just glide along effortlessly. And the seat was the most comfortable thing I had ever sat on. I was in an almost upright riding position which made it easier for me to pedal, although still not able to pedal 360 degrees with my right leg. Since the KHS was a steel green and white color, and the Trek was all back I wanted the Trek. So I took it for another spin to try and convince myself I liked it more. However, I felt a little cramped on the Trek compared to the KHS, and although it was comfortable, the KHS was better. It had a larger frame, and longer top tube, and it just fit me better than the Trek.

I had also thought about trying the Gary Fisher MTB too, but decided against it figuring it would ride similar to the Mongoose. I expected the price of the KHS to be at or near that of the Trek, but when Ben checked his computer he told me that because it is last year's model, it was selling for only $289. With tax it comes out to $315. I was shocked I could get a good quality bike for such a low amount. Low being a relative term here as I have never paid $300 for a bike in my life. The only downside to this bike is that because it is a 2008 and the only one they have left, I don't get to choose the color. It is what they call Steel Green and white. If I want the steel blue one, I have to pay the 2009 price of $439 plus tax. So I will kind of sort of have a white bike, or partially white anyway.

Since I did not plan on buying a bike today, I did not have the funds available. I had not yet returned the Mongoose, as I had thought I would not be able to get a bike for at least another month. So, I left a small deposit on the KHS and immediately went home to de-personalize the Mongoose and return it. (Take off the lights, gel seat cover, lock etc) I wanted to remove the puncture resistant Slime filled tubes I installed on it, but could not get the things to deflate So, I will just have to buy some more when I get the KHS. I will be picking it up tomorrow after work, and will ask them about the tubes. According to the KHS website, this bike comes with puncture resistant tires, but I don't know if they include the puncture resistant tubes or not.

I wanted an MTB bike, because I like that style of bike, but to be totally honest, I was wanting it because I envisioned my knee getting better with time as I rode more miles. But I should wait to see if that happens first, before buying a MTB. This KHS looks goofy to me, but the comfort and ease of pedaling it gives is more important at this point. If the knee does get better and I find I can pedal up hills with no problems, then I can always buy a MTB style bike later. Another thing I like about this bike is the light weight. The Mongoose was always a problem loading and unloading off the bike racks on the city buses. This one should be a piece of cake to lift.

Anyway, I want to thank all who offered advice. I am glad I followed it and went to an LBS to test ride a few before picking one. This bike has a lifetime warranty on the frame, and lifetime service from the LBS (covers everything except flats, and accidents). Can't get that from an online purchase. Thanks again guys, and I'll post a pic when I get it home tomorrow.
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Old 04-28-09, 05:51 AM
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Ther is a guy on the forums who is over 80 and rides 2,000+ miles per year with one leg. I can't remember his handle, and he does not participate on the 50+ forum. He is a former engineer (aerospace or something like that) and I believe he lives in the Pasadena, CA, area.

My point being that all sorts of folks successfully ride bikes, and so will you.

Have fun.
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Old 04-28-09, 03:36 PM
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KHS are excellent quality bikes, and I'm sure you will get many years of fun riding out of your new bike! And you may get used to the color after awhile . . .

Rick / OCRR
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Old 04-28-09, 03:46 PM
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A short crank for your stiff leg would be an option, but short cranks on both sides would let you increase the saddle height a bit, for even less flex in the afflicted leg. The tradeoff is an obvious sacrifice of torque, which you can compensate with lower gearing, and a loss of pedal stroke power, for which you cannot compensate.
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Old 04-28-09, 05:16 PM
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I had not heard of KHS until 2 days ago, but then there are a lot of bike companies out there now that I have not heard of. I am told they are good bikes, so I am sure I will enjoy this one. Yeah, getting a shorter crankset is something I want to look into. I totally forgot to ask Ben about them today when I picked up the bike. I was too excited I guess. As for the color, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it is a very dark blue, dark gray, and light gray. WHen I checked the KHS website, they should a green and white one, and I just assummed that is the one I rode yesterday. However, that is a 2009 model, and mine is 2008. Still I rode it twice, you would think I would have noticed the color of it. The only white on it is the KHS lettering and that of the model.

I know I will be very happy with this bike. I will definitely take it out for a spin before I need it this weekend. I still can't get over how light it is compared to the Mongoose. I will put the lights, and seat cover on it soon, and if there is enough light left, will take it out tonight. I am glad I bought from a LBS instead of exchanging the Mongoose for another dept store junk bike.



It looks black in the photo, but it is a very dark blue.
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Old 04-28-09, 05:18 PM
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Forgot to mention, they gave me a free water bottle and cage with the purchase. Of course, the water bottle has the store's logo on it, so I guess I will be advertising for them now
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Old 04-28-09, 05:20 PM
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Thanks for sharing the picture.

You are going to have fun!!

Keep us informed, please.
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Old 05-08-09, 01:23 AM
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Hmm, lost the image. Here it is again.



Got my blinkie light installed on the back, and the LED headlight which you can barely see amongst all the cables. Even added anodized blue aluminum valve stem caps just to be different.
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Old 05-08-09, 07:09 AM
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Jim, enjoy your new ride and post some of your experiences for all to share.
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Old 05-08-09, 09:42 AM
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Nice bike and great success story! Too bad about the color, though...
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Old 05-09-09, 07:41 AM
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Yes, thanks for sharing...I am coming in late on the story but, as I read the beginning, I kept thinking...if he rides, his knee might get better...so was glad to see your optimisim on being able to do the full pedal stroke. enjoy...........
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