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Old 06-01-13, 06:14 PM
  #1  
trainchaser
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noobies checking in...

Hello,

We are Janice and Lorne Miller from Victoria BC. We just got back into cycling after a ten year hiatus and can really feel the results of our first three rides. Nothing like giving a workout to your aging muscles to give a lift to your overall well being. My wife is tickled pink with her new hybrid with 700c tires and step through frame, she put a cute basket on it and it fits her to a tea. But I realize after just three rides that I made a mistake in the bike I bought for myself and have already narrowed in on what I will buy to replace it. I bought a Specialized Expedition for myself based on the recommendations of the salesgirl at a local LBS, but it just doesn't seem to work that well for me, it was recommended on the basis of how much I weigh and the fact I'm "an old guy" who weighs 235 lbs. She thought the comfort bike would be a good choice for me. My previous bike was a Trek 800 Sport and I thought after listening to her that it might be good to try a more upright position, but I find that the very upright position and forward crank of the Expedition seems to inhibit my ability to get maximum efficiency out of the bike. So I'm looking at a Specialized Crosstrail instead, haven't figured out which one yet, and I may get them to put a bar with a bit of a rise on it and get bar ends to allow a change of position. I had these on my Trek and they made a lot of difference when you were out riding for the day.

Any thoughts from the rest of you are welcomed and very appreciated.

cheers,

the Millers

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Old 06-01-13, 06:24 PM
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Victoria is a very pretty place, I was just there a few weeks ago. Red Fish Blue Fish had an excellent Salmon Fish & Chips. Stayed in the Empress for the week, road the clipper to/from Seattle.

The cross trail looks good but would get it without the shocks unless you plan on some moderate trail riding.

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Old 06-01-13, 07:58 PM
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Welcome from a fellow Canuckian. Been quite a few years since I was on the island last, but I used to go there frequently at one time.
Beautiful part of the world.
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Old 06-01-13, 08:32 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

Shopping for others is fun.

If its in your budget I'd look at this: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...ortdisccompact

I'd set it up so the handlebars are above the saddle level somehow, but that's just me. This bike would do anything you asked it to.
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Old 06-01-13, 08:37 PM
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First, welcome. Glad you both are riding. In terms of the salesgirl selling you a bike, can you take it back and inform her that the recommendation was off?
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Old 06-02-13, 06:12 AM
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Hi Trainchasers, welcome to the 50+ asylum from another clydesdale. I'll second NOS reply, the shop should be there to listen to you and your needs/goals for your cycling. The CX bike Dudel suggested might be a good choice for you, don't rule out the drop bars and the abundance of positions they offer you. I have two spinal fusions and titanium hardware at L4-L5, L5-S1 and I can use every bar position just fine. You can get various stem angles and vary the spacers on the steering tube so that the bar height suits your abilities. If you are set on a hybrid type go for the one that fits you the best and insist that the dealer do a complete fitting of the bike. Best wishes on finding the right bike, its out there waiting to be enjoyed by you, riding with the wife has been a joy for us too.

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Old 06-02-13, 07:22 AM
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73 yo here, and use drop bars on a couple of bikes. Don't disregard the possibility. For most of us, the stretched-out position is actually good for our backs - and you can raise the bars as you might like, including longer stems with different angles. As I have gotten - err - "older" - I have made adjustments in drop bar height and angle.

But, I also have a mtn bike with regular bars and bar ends. That works for me as well.

From your post, I would wager a sum of money that it will not be too long before you get a road bike or similar. It is called n+1

Anyway, welcome to the 50+ forum.

Keep us informed about your purchases, posts pictures of your bikes, and we love ride reports (especially with pictures).

And have your wife join in also.
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Old 06-02-13, 08:20 AM
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trainchaser
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Hi all, and thanks for the input. Where we live we are surrounded by a fantastic bike trail system, well over 75 miles of trails that were all at one time railroads. Here's a link where you can see it: http://www.gallopinggoosetrail.com/m...rections.html#
The combination is really best suited for hybrids or light MTB's, a full out MTB would be serious overkill as would a full road bike. You've got a mix of crushed granite or dirt paths, paved sections, and a few areas where the route coincides with a residential road. There are hilly spots where the old rail right of way has been altered to rise up to or drop down to cross sections of paved road or local highway. We've been out on several sections of this trail system and I can tell you that the bike I've been using, the base model Expedition with it's single chain ring and 7 sprocket cassette, is seriously challenged in gear availability. So I've been looking at either a Specialized Crosstrail or Crossroads. The Crosstrail leans more towards a true hybrid whereas the Crossroads is a true comfort bike. Most manufacturers make a bike like the Crosstrail, the frame is more upright, with flat bars, 700c wheels and mixed terrain tires. I know there are lots of road bike aficionados on these forums, but I don't see us heading in that direction.

Thanks again for all the input, now you can see what we're trying to do more clearly.

cheers,

the Millers
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Old 06-02-13, 08:41 AM
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Exactly why you should consider a cross bike. Put wide treaded tires on it and you're good to go.

I don't own one, BTW, but if I were to get a new bike it would be something like Bluedawg's gravel grinder. He rides that thing everywhere.
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Old 06-02-13, 09:21 AM
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I too ride a cyclocross bike on trails and rail trails as an MTB is overkilll. They aren't for everyone though and I have mine set up for a reasonably agressive riding position. It can easily be changed for a more upright position. On rougher trails, the vibration can be fatiguing on the hands so a front suspension bike may be a nice compromise for you.

I for one dont care for the Crossroad. It is far too upright. The Cross trail is a great allrounder although the front suspension isn't great. It works well, it is just a little higher maintenance that some of the higher end forks. The biggest complaint is the hydraulic lockouts fail to work but that isn't a big deal.

If I wasn't a cyclocross racing type, I would most likely look at a Crosstrail.

Here is my ride in rail trail configuration, the bottle holders and frame pump go away for racing.

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Old 06-02-13, 11:22 AM
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First off you should know that your 235 is nothing. It isn't an issue even if you wanted to buy a high end carbon fiber race bike. I got my Roubaix when I weighed around 260. No problem. Didn't even get a set of different wheels. Sales people see anyone older than them as "too old" for riding any kind of serious bike and tend to steer us toward comfort bikes. It's understandable but often wrong.
Having said that, if you can, I'd suggest returning the bike and asking if you can exchange it. If you like the idea of the cyclocross type bike that would be perfect. A hard tail mtn bike would also be great. Cyclocross bikes are very flexible in terms of their use.
Personally, if you get a nice cross type bike, and if her cross is a little sporty you'll both have a lot of fun and be able to take your bikes to some fun rides beyond just slow bike path riding. Ideally both your bikes will be comparable in terms of how light/fast they are. When I think of step-through bikes I envision U shaped, heavy comfort bikes but perhaps it's a "mixte" type bike that she has. In any case, I agree with cyclinfool. Don't bother with shocks unless you're going to hammer some hills. Enjoy.
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Old 06-02-13, 01:31 PM
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I agree, forget the shocks. My first reentry into the world of bikes after 20 tears was a Trek D.S.8.3 with lockout shocks. The shocks aren't necessary and the lockout is a poor compromise at least on the lower end models like my DS 8.3.I quickly moved to dedicated road bike with 25c slicks and have been comfortable riding gravel roads and trails with it. That said I recently added a Salsa Vaya with a very more upright geometry, drop bars and the capacity for much larger tires which with more air and less pressure gives me plenty of built in shock absorption. I also found that with the hybrid flat bars and Ergon bar ends I'm not nearly as comfortable as with my drop bar bikes which for me offer a much more natural arm and hand feel. I'll be selling the hybrid DS as the Vaya does everything the hybrid does with way more comfort.
Happy trails and welcome to the forum!
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Old 06-05-13, 04:39 PM
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Welcome newbies and +1 to the idea of a cyclocross bike. They are amazingly versatile bikes. Buying the hybrid, you got a hosing but the salesperson might have been well-intentioned.
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Old 06-05-13, 11:15 PM
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Hi everyone,

...thanks for all the opinions, it is appreciated when one is just getting back in the game after a ten year hiatus. Well, I went to one of the best stores in our neck of the woods and had a great sales guy/bike mechanic spend several hours pointing out the various pros and cons of several types I was considering. They let me try demo models out which prove quite fortuitous as they are located right near one of the trails that we'll be regularly riding. I tried a cyclocross, an MTB lite and another hybrid model along with the one I ended up getting. After looking, asking, thinking, going home and checking the net out, heading back to the store and asking further questions and trying a few more bikes out, I ended up getting a medium sized frame Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc. This bike fits me to a tee, something that I couldn't obtain in some of the others I tried, the body position feels great with the seat adjusted for proper height and fore and aft position. The stock handle bars will be just fine and I find the Shimano rapid fire shift system easier to use than the grip shift on some of the other bikes I tried. As I mentioned earlier, I prefer a front shock, and this one has a lock out feature that can be easily switched on the fly for when riding the smooth stuff. I asked a lot of questions regarding this feature and the guys in the shop were of the belief that it's a good feature that is very popular with riders of all ages. One thing that will take some getting used to is the hydraulic disc brakes, they definitely have a different feel and certainly bring the bike to a quick stop. The color is what I'd refer to as stealthy, it's black, titanium and charcoal, certainly not one of the bright "steal me" colors that are available on some bikes.
The difference in feel and handling between this and the expedition I rode for a couple weeks is phenomenal! I took it out for a ride this afternoon and can truly say I'll be enjoying my new ride...!!

cheers,

Lorne Miller

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Old 06-05-13, 11:26 PM
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Us older persons starting riding do seem to be put into a category of requiring a good steady solid reliable bike. Why I don't know as they seem to be heavyish- and not performance minded. And at my age I need all the assistance from a better quality bike to help me ride.
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Old 06-06-13, 03:59 AM
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Good choice LM. I hope you have plenty of enjoyable miles ahead with the new bike.
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Old 06-06-13, 05:50 AM
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Congratulations. It is extremely important to be very happy with the bike one chooses. A bike that yells out to you "Ride me!"

You will be very happy.
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Old 06-06-13, 05:56 AM
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+1, if the bike makes you feel like riding and you enjoy the rides, you win. I hope you both enjoy riding as much as I do/have and get even a few of the health and fitness benefits I have received. Noe, post some pics and a first ride report. BTW, has anyone explained the ground rules for the 50+ forum? Pie in specific!

Bill
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Old 06-06-13, 07:17 AM
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on getting back into riding. Hope you are also visiting the Clydesdale forum.
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