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49 year young woman Never learned to ride

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49 year young woman Never learned to ride

Old 08-17-13, 09:22 AM
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naejam
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49 year young woman Never learned to ride

Hello all!
I would like to make a fool of myself on my block and learn how to ride . I was wondering if a bike such as, Nirve or Huffy would be easier to learn to ride for a beginner?
Thank you in advance for any responses.
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Old 08-17-13, 09:35 AM
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Lighter in weight is better.

1. Take off the pedals and lower the seat so that you can rest both feet on the ground.
2. Just push the bike around with your feet until you get the feel for balance.
3. When you can coast comfortably for some distance, put the pedals back on and pedal away.
4. Bit-by-bit, raise the seat until you have only a slight bend in your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
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Old 08-17-13, 09:48 AM
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I will try this today after work with my husband's bike. I was just wondering if there was a specific brand of bike that might be easier for newbies.
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Old 08-17-13, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by naejam View Post
I will try this today after work with my husband's bike. I was just wondering if there was a specific brand of bike that might be easier for newbies.
I don't see any brand being easier for beginners than any other.
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Old 08-17-13, 10:02 AM
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Thank you guys
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Old 08-17-13, 10:56 AM
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Actually, you go too cheap and you may hate bikes.
Kind of killing the "bad" messenger.
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Old 08-17-13, 11:46 AM
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What would you consider "too cheap", price wise and brand?
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Old 08-17-13, 11:52 AM
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For those Unsure about their balance and would be feeling better if they can put feet down easily ,

There are crank forward frame designs , such as these http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...e/pure_lowstep

these are a Quality bicycle, and the company and dealer stand behind them after the sale,,


Nirve is a good line of cruiser style bikes .. though the stopping will be a bit tippy toe

since the angle of the seat to the pedals is a bit more upright ,

and for best knee health the seat height should not be kept too low.

Crank forward will offer a good leg extension, but still have the foot , flat on the ground, at stops.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-17-13 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 08-17-13, 12:04 PM
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1---Welcome to BF!
2---For a "starter" bike... Those $100-ish bikes from WalMart, etc are usually so inefficient and uncomfortable that they're just punishing to ride. There's a good chance one of those would give you such negative experiences that it might turn you off to cycling. Do yourself a favor and go to a LBS. They should get you fitted to something that's appropriate for your size, needs and budget. Good luck with it.
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Old 08-17-13, 01:01 PM
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By the way LBS refers to the "Local Bike Shop". I would suggest a lower end hybrid type bike. Trek,Specialized,Cannondale,Giant,Fuji,Raleigh,Jamis,Scott and Felt are just some fine quality bikes to look for. Get the Yellow pages out and let you're fingers do the walking. Or just Goggle bike dealers in you're area.

Performance REI and several other national chain stores have some real good deals on bikes. Just don't get overwhelmed with bike selection. If you see something you like or catches you're eye. Let us know about it. There's lotsa fine folks here who would be glad to give you opinions and help.

BTW figure around 400$ for a good quality bike that will work well as a starter bike. Go to a bike shop and get fitted. What we mean is real bikes(not Wally world specials) come in quite a few sizes. There is no one size fits all. You need to at least know what range of frame sizes will fit you. A too large or too small bike is a nightmare waiting to happen. So find you're size. It usually goes off the inseam (crotch to floor while standing back to back in a doorway. Standing flat footed in you're stocking feet).

After finding a size range don't forget Craig's List. This is a good option for a very low budget. Find something and report back here. We'll get you fixed up.

Best of luck starting out. You'll find it more enjoyable than any other form of exercise. It hardly feels like it is. Good luck and good hunting.

Mark Shuman
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Old 08-17-13, 01:22 PM
  #11  
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I was just thinking after reading this brave lady's post (and kudos to her for wanting to ride). How would you tell someone how to ride a bike? I just barely remember my dad teaching me by running along beside me till I got my balance. But kids are different than adults. Kids learn by falling a few times till they get the hang of it. Adults don't like to fall and want instructions. So how do you ride a bike? I have no idea how I just do.
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Old 08-17-13, 02:20 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by TXsailor View Post
So how do you ride a bike? I have no idea how I just do.
You steer into the fall. I.e. if you start to lean just a bit to the left then you steer in that direction to again bring your center of gravity over the line between the contact points of your tires so you remain upright. Fortunately this becomes intuitive very quickly so we constantly make slight steering corrections to remain balanced without thinking about it.

The advice given previously on starting without pedals and a very low seat is good for teaching both kids and adults and is unlikely to result in any falls for either group. I've found an empty parking lot (company lot on weekends, church lot during the week) to be ideal for learning. These usually have a very slight slope for drainage that will let the learner coast downhill at about walking speed. Just practice pushing yourself along and taking longer and longer strides between putting a foot down as you gain a sense of balance. Once you can coast for some distance then practice some gentle turns. Only after you have good enough balance to coast and turn easily should the pedals be reinstalled - but still keep the seat low initially as you learn to balance while also pedaling. Finally incrementally start raising the seat to a more normal level as you get more comfortable and confident on the bike.
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Old 08-17-13, 06:45 PM
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This is an excellent "how-to" video:

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Old 08-17-13, 06:50 PM
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Just noticed that the bike the lady is riding was likely purchased at REI for perhaps $300-400. A bit pricey but certainly not a King's ransom.
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Old 08-17-13, 06:59 PM
  #15  
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What a nice video!
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Old 08-17-13, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Lighter in weight is better.

1. Take off the pedals and lower the seat so that you can rest both feet on the ground.
2. Just push the bike around with your feet until you get the feel for balance.
3. When you can coast comfortably for some distance, put the pedals back on and pedal away.
4. Bit-by-bit, raise the seat until you have only a slight bend in your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
Yes, try this approach - it works !
have helped half a dozen adults, who didn't learn to ride as a kid, get comfortable riding - they felt like kids again after learning to ride. If you are thinking about your own bike, consider an entry level flat bar road bike
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Old 08-17-13, 08:16 PM
  #17  
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You can learn to balance a bike on ANY bike that will fit you and allows you to reach the ground easily.

If you wish to enjoy cycling learn how to use the gears correctly and buy a bike that works well and is easy to pedal. You will do far better trying to find a reasonably priced used bike at a real bike shop than buying a cheap, poorly assembled, poorly made and overly heavy bike that are sold at mass merchandisers. Lots of them look pretty spiffy and are equipped with exotic suspensions that work poorly and add even more weight to an already obese bike. I see a lot of these at local garage sales. They often look brand new because the owners just found them too hard to pedal. BTW, a sure sign of a bike to run away from is any bike that has wheels attached with nuts instead of quick release levers or has what is know as a one-piece-crank (the part where the pedals attach).
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Old 08-18-13, 01:07 AM
  #18  
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If you happen to live near an REI, they sometimes offer classes on bike riding for adult beginners. The League of American Bicyclists also offers classes. You may even find a certified bike instructor for private lessons.

And, as others have said, get a good quality bike, new or used, rather than buying from a big box store. If you can find a good bike shop that puts your interests ahead of just trying to sell you whatever they happen to have in stock, their advice can be invaluable.
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Old 08-18-13, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by naejam View Post
. . . I was just wondering if there was a specific brand of bike that might be easier for newbies.
Pinarello Dogma.

If you cannot afford that, anything with two wheels, a crank, chain, seat and brakes will work. You don't even need one of those gear shtfty thingies, but if it is hilly where you live you will probably want one to learn how to use later.
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Old 08-18-13, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Lighter in weight is better.

1. Take off the pedals and lower the seat so that you can rest both feet on the ground.
2. Just push the bike around with your feet until you get the feel for balance.
3. When you can coast comfortably for some distance, put the pedals back on and pedal away.
4. Bit-by-bit, raise the seat until you have only a slight bend in your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
A wide tired bike such as a mountain bike would be best for this.
Ask some women from a local bike club for help.
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Old 08-18-13, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
If you cannot afford that, anything with two wheels, a crank, chain, seat and brakes will work. You don't even need one of those gear shtfty thingies, but if it is hilly where you live you will probably want one to learn how to use later.
+1
When I decided I wanted to try bicycling again at 50 y.o., I had rarely ridden since I was a child. I didn't wanted to invest any money until I decided if biking was something I really liked. I bought a little (too little) single gear bike for $50 from a guy selling used bikes at the side of the road. I road that for about 4 months and decided I loved biking and needed a bike that actually fit me. I then bought a Fuji hybrid from an end of season bike sale at a Boardwalk rental shop for $180.

After a year on that, my BIL realized I was dedicated and gave me his unused Trek road bike. I only purchased a decent bike myslf after that one was stolen. I've bought two more bikes since. I don't know how comfortable I would have been starting out on a road bike.

My feeling is, don't waste a great deal of money, but don't invest too much, until you are sure you like biking and which type of cycling you're really interested in.
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Old 08-19-13, 05:23 AM
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Post #8 , the crank forward design, is the best answer to the question...
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Old 08-20-13, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Post #8 , the crank forward design, is the best answer to the question...
Hi,

Only if you have no intention of being anything more than a casual cyclist.

If longer term ambitions are more serious a normal well fitting bikes
saddle can be set much lower than optimum for feet on the ground
initially, worked up to ball and toe on the ground quickly, and then
if taking cycling quite seriously, longer distances, up to optimum.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 09-03-13, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Hi,

Only if you have no intention of being anything more than a casual cyclist.

If longer term ambitions are more serious a normal well fitting bikes
saddle can be set much lower than optimum for feet on the ground
initially, worked up to ball and toe on the ground quickly, and then
if taking cycling quite seriously, longer distances, up to optimum.

rgds, sreten.
Hi,

I learnt to ride a bike only this year at the age of 62. My trials and tribulations are posted elsehere on these forums. I intend to update these some time as I think for wobbly elders there is a lot more after the very first experiences than "put the saddle up and pedal away." When I conquered the basics I needed a decent bike of my own. I read bikeforums extensively and used other info on the web. I was greatly concerned that to cycle "properly" the seat had to be raised so high that even a tippy-toe contact with the ground was a no-no and that one had to learn an acrobatic form of mounting and dismounting. This is shown beautifully in a Sheldon Brown video clip of a young girl, but this is not the sort of thing a senior learns to do. Of course there will be huge numbers of older people who do this as they have done for years, but starting this late in life?! Interestingly as a newbie cyclist I watch others avidly - and a clear majority have the saddle low enough to reach the ground while remaining seated. So they are inefficient and risk knee pain. I decided the only solution if I was to be a regular, if not "serious" cyclist was a crank forward. So I am now the happy rider of an Electra Townie 21D. My legs are nearly straight at the end of a peddle stroke, but I start and stop with a ball and toe stance, firmly seated in the saddle. I have found this better than a completely flat foot position. I understand the alleged disadvantage with hill climbing (which I do find challenging) but the "advantage" of being able to stand on the pedals is of no help to someone too scared to do this.

I would be interested to know what sreten and other experts think is the better of two evils - a correctly adjusted crank forward or a sub-optimal conventional frame?

Frank
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Old 09-03-13, 02:45 PM
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Well, I'm no expert but I often don't shy away from voicing an opinion.

The Townie is wonderful, especially if you ride it.

My wife owns one, and I've taken it out on singletrack. I saw my son pop a wheelie on it once.

The one problem with that design is that it puts all your weight on your keister. That's not really a problem unless you spend major time in the saddle. Then your low back may start to ache.

It's also a bit heavy and I'd hate to have to drag it up a bunch of hills, although I drag an even heavier recumbent up hills all the time and it doesn't hurt too much.

So, ride it and enjoy it and don't let anyone talk you out of it.
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