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Best bike for older riders

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Best bike for older riders

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Old 01-03-15, 06:33 PM
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Snayskii
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Best bike for older riders

Hi everyone!
I have been lurking at this forum trying to find a bike for my wife and I. I have learned that there are some very serious riders here as well as some not so much, but you all know your stuff.

I would like to know what bike you would recommend for a couple that would be occasional riders. We will be using them during camping trips, maybe weekends, light usage. I don't want to spend a lot of money for something we won't be using a lot. I have seen some cruisers at some of the box stores selling for a couple hundred bucks, the Schwinn Sanctuary 7 caught my eye. I was wondering if anyone had any information on this bike, or one like it.

Any information would be appreciated.

Herman Snay
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Old 01-03-15, 07:39 PM
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Welcome to the 50+ Forum, Herman, glad that you've stopped in. One thing to offer, avoid the Bike Shaped Objects (BSO in BF speak) from those box stores, please. These are almost totally poorly built, and assembled, better offerings from the local bicycle stores (LBS) or even used in many cases.Look for some others riding in your area to pick there brains about their bicycles and the local scene.

Lots of choices out for you and the wife, depending on your needs, riding type, and your budget. Listen to the advice here from those that come after me, lots of highly experienced people here that can offer you some ideas.

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Old 01-03-15, 07:48 PM
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If just starting out, I would recommend Giant bikes for you. The Cypress models are a good place to start. Cypress DX (2015) | Giant Bicycles | United States
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Old 01-03-15, 07:55 PM
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If you're willing to spend a few hundred on a bike, you're better off going to a bike shop. That way someone will actually build the bike right and fit the bike for you. Whoever put the bike together in a big box store will not know what he or she is doing and no one will fit the bike for you.
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Old 01-03-15, 08:00 PM
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My son worked for a number of years, while in high school and college, selling bikes from kids to race bikes. I'm in the process of selecting a 2nd bike for relaxed local riding when i'm not on my road bike. He suggested the Trek FX line. They have flat handle bars and quality components. Prices range from $400-$2000, so there's a bike in you price range. Just decide on how much you want to spend and the features you like.

FX - Trek Bicycle
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Old 01-03-15, 08:43 PM
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Caution about big box store bikes - they are usually poorly made and built - their cheapness will haunt you.
if you live in an area with a bike co-op, suggest a visit (both of you), ask them the same question as you posted. They can probably connect you with reasonable, good fitting bikes - not much more expense than big box stores.
Otherwise, try a small local bike shop, one in which the owner is likely to help you. Suggest you look at a flat bar road bike, Specialized Sirrus line is an example.
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Old 01-03-15, 08:55 PM
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I missed the Big Box comment... avoid them.

My neighbor bought a small bike for his grandson to ride when visiting. The kid got about 100 feet on the sidewalk and the handle bars came off and the kid crashed. Luckily he had a helmet I gave him that used to be my son's.

The store had someone assemble the bike that didn't know how to tighten any of the major parts.

It won't cost more at a LBS and you'll get one that fits and is assembled by someone who does it all the time.

Make sure you buy a helmet and have it fitted correctly.
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Old 01-03-15, 09:34 PM
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Anyone know of a reputable bike shop or coop that won't let you test ride their bikes? Herman, that's another reason to avoid the big box. Good luck!
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Old 01-03-15, 10:55 PM
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The best bike for any rider, regardless of age, is the one that you'll be sure to ride on a regular basis. Shop around, ride a variety of bikes, and make your choice.
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Old 01-03-15, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Snayskii View Post
We will be using them during camping trips, maybe weekends, light usage. I don't want to spend a lot of money for something we won't be using a lot. Any information would be appreciated.
Who knows. If you buy something that is enjoyable to ride you just might find yourselves riding more than you ever thought. Based on your usage description, I recommend spending $10 and reading the following:

http://www.amazon.com/Just-Ride-Radi.../dp/0761155589

Matt
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Old 01-03-15, 11:54 PM
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I ride nothing but department store bikes (50+ here, no colon)

Anyhow, the best answer to that question is a bike that fits the best and will be comfortable and enjoyable to ride. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get that.

The advantage that the department stores have is she can try out the bike and if it doesn't work out, you can return it. The disadvantage is you have to make the adjustments yourself.

The advantage of spending more at an LBS is perhaps you can get a bike that fits her better and will be properly adjusted out the door.
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Old 01-04-15, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
I ride nothing but department store bikes (50+ here, no colon)

Anyhow, the best answer to that question is a bike that fits the best and will be comfortable and enjoyable to ride. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get that.

The advantage that the department stores have is she can try out the bike and if it doesn't work out, you can return it. The disadvantage is you have to make the adjustments yourself.

The advantage of spending more at an LBS is perhaps you can get a bike that fits her better and will be properly adjusted out the door.
Our $100.00 Magna 7speed aluminum hybrids were purchased at Target in 2003. We have used them while camping and I use mine for grocery shopping/enjoyment when home. I, 64yo, have also taken mine out on local bike club rides where we averaged 20mph for 40 mile rides, yes an A ride group. You can buy, try and return a BB store bike if you are not happy with it. You can also check to make sure everything is tight before you ride. You can also take a BB store bike to the LBS and have them check it over.

Just sayin' that one need not $pend uber buck$ to start riding. I already had my Paramount for serious road riding so the Magna filled the "beat it to death with few worries about taking really good care of it" side of me. Just sayin'....
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Old 01-04-15, 07:19 AM
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I've been messing with bikes for a long time. I've worked in several different bike shops and even owned my own bike shop for a time. In spite of all that experience, I don't know how to advise somebody about buying a first bike.

You see, there's probably way more choices than you are imagining. There's fat tires and skinny tires, handlebars that hold your wrists at different angles, bikes that let you keep both feet flat on the ground, and even bikes that let you sit back like in a chaise lounge (my current favorite see my avatar). Where you ride, how you ride, how far you ride and how you plan to transport and store your bike may make any of them either a wonderful choice or a terrible choice. If you don't want to think about it that much, that's a choice too.

I've advised several first time bike shoppers to just get any bike and ride it around for awhile. Keep a mental list of the things that you like and the things that you hate (there will always be some of both). When you go to pick out your good bike, try to maximize the things that you love and minimize the things that you hate.
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Old 01-04-15, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I've been messing with bikes for a long time. I've worked in several different bike shops and even owned my own bike shop for a time. In spite of all that experience, I don't know how to advise somebody about buying a first bike.

You see, there's probably way more choices than you are imagining. There's fat tires and skinny tires, handlebars that hold your wrists at different angles, bikes that let you keep both feet flat on the ground, and even bikes that let you sit back like in a chaise lounge (my current favorite see my avatar). Where you ride, how you ride, how far you ride and how you plan to transport and store your bike may make any of them either a wonderful choice or a terrible choice. If you don't want to think about it that much, that's a choice too.

I've advised several first time bike shoppers to just get any bike and ride it around for awhile. Keep a mental list of the things that you like and the things that you hate (there will always be some of both). When you go to pick out your good bike, try to maximize the things that you love and minimize the things that you hate.
+1 When I first started back riding about ten years ago I got a cheapish flat bar bike and extended the handle bars higher assuming I would need a more upright position. I enjoyed riding, started taking bike touring trips, and joined 50+. As I read various comments here I decided to try drop bars because of the comments about multiple hand positions increasing comfort. Next try was a cyclocross bike with drop bars and 32 cm tires which I liked a lot and rode for 8 years and continuing. Last entry was a custom steel sport touring bike that I like even more. Despite the improvements, I suspect there is something out there that would be a perfect answer but that I will probably never encounter. It is like snow skis - the options are overwhelming and the differences are often subtle and take time to absorb. Many of us are just not sensitive enough and patient enough to figure out what is best. Nevertheless we can still thoroughly enjoy riding while keeping our eyes open for N+1.
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Old 01-04-15, 08:00 AM
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Outside the box:

Dahon Boardwalk D8
Electra Townie
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Old 01-04-15, 11:20 AM
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Only thing remaining from the old USA Schwinn Company is the Name , it was sold off. Now its applied at the lowest cost place to make them .
One problem in Box store bikes, is the person taking them out of the box was not trained to be much of a Bike Mechanic.

A number of older buyers like the crank Forward designs , because they are able to stop Flat Footed ..

Trek Pure is one such Type Pure - Trek Bicycle

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Old 01-04-15, 12:19 PM
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Like Hillridereast, I would also recommend the Giant Cypress. I have one
with 38mm tires. Upright handlebars, great construction and I just don't
know of a better bike in the $330 range, barely more than the department
store bikes.
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Old 01-04-15, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRiderEast View Post
If just starting out, I would recommend Giant bikes for you. The Cypress models are a good place to start. Cypress DX (2015) | Giant Bicycles | United States
I agree with all the posters who said to avoid big box stores. Go to a reputable bike store. I also agree with looking at the Giant Cypress. It is a great bike for what you want.
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Old 01-04-15, 07:03 PM
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Buy the one that will make you want to ride more.

Try them all!
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Old 01-04-15, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I've been messing with bikes for a long time. I've worked in several different bike shops and even owned my own bike shop for a time. In spite of all that experience, I don't know how to advise somebody about buying a first bike.

You see, there's probably way more choices than you are imagining. There's fat tires and skinny tires, handlebars that hold your wrists at different angles, bikes that let you keep both feet flat on the ground, and even bikes that let you sit back like in a chaise lounge (my current favorite see my avatar). Where you ride, how you ride, how far you ride and how you plan to transport and store your bike may make any of them either a wonderful choice or a terrible choice. If you don't want to think about it that much, that's a choice too.

I've advised several first time bike shoppers to just get any bike and ride it around for awhile. Keep a mental list of the things that you like and the things that you hate (there will always be some of both). When you go to pick out your good bike, try to maximize the things that you love and minimize the things that you hate.
Pretty good post here for a brand new cyclist. You probably won't know what bike would best suit your needs until riding for awhile. So one option is to go cheap on the 1st bike and get it right for yourself on the second. Or you might get lucky and be content with your carefully chosen first choice but want an additional purpose bike for yourself as well.
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Old 01-04-15, 10:39 PM
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My favorite bike, a major manufacturer 26" MTB hard-tail, was selected by the LBS owner based on my wife's description of me and how I ride (all road bikes prior). I don't ride big miles (2000 a year + 500-600). The MTB is always my go-to bike for any weather, road, mixed trails, base training, and errands, etc. and most important...when my back acts up. I've big smooth 45psi slicks on it, perfect for our park paved trails, occasionally covered in a dusting of sand and easy riding...important for me. I can swap on the knobbies (or not) for the logging roads. It's hurky & tough. I abuse the crap out of it, clean it up, roll on. With pedals, head light, fenders, speedo, fat slicks, I've probably $750-800 total invested and worth every cent for the lower blood pressure, muscle tone, zen-thing. I'll be 60 very soon and so glad I got back into cycling after a decade and half off.
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Old 01-04-15, 10:52 PM
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I only know of one bike shop that has a measuring thing you stand against it take your height inside leg etc, & works out your size, another point in question as I've known several of my friends buy buys off the shelf then find the handle bar stem & saddle are wrong, its amazing the difference in lenght of different saddle rails, so regardless of price find out what is your size & reach.
Depending on your riding style again is the type & width of handlebars it makes so much difference, & the difference in even handlebar grips some are thin & round, while others are much better palm shaped & have gel inserts.
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Old 01-04-15, 11:53 PM
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Sometimes I think that age is the least relevant aspect of choosing a bike - your intent, expectations, and personality might be more important in your selection. To wit, I am a 67-year old who has four bikes (well, I'm building one right now): a cyclocross bike, a vintage steel-frame road bike, and two mountain bikes. I started mountain biking when I was 65 and love it. I now have the bikes I feel I need, but none of them really has anything to do with my age. I suggest you think about how you will use them (as you have started to do already), check out the types of surfaces on which you will mostly be riding, and test ride a few bikes. You might find that a cruiser is perfect for you, but you might also determine that a 29er or a more aggressive hybrid might be a better choice. I work at an REI store and find that the test ride is crucial for someone looking for a bike. Definitely find a shop or store that is going to help you determine what might be best - it's difficult to do the selection on your own unless you are really well-versed in bikes.

Have fun looking!
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Old 01-05-15, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by VNA View Post
Buy the one that will make you want to ride more.

Try them all!
Got this when I was 70 y/o

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Old 01-05-15, 12:05 AM
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Got this at 71 y/o

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