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Last time on a bike I was 14, now 57

Old 04-03-21, 07:27 PM
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AlbygPa
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Last time on a bike I was 14, now 57

I am looking to get back into riding at 57. I will be on fairly groomed flat paths. Some lower back issues nothing major. I would like some pointers on what to look for in buying a bike. I will go used to see if I stick with it or not. I am looking for excercise so stability and ease of use is more important then being light and aerodynamic. Thanks in advance for your comments.
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Old 04-03-21, 07:57 PM
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I got into biking at the same age last year. If you're riding in the street or on bike trails, you're probably interested in a hybrid type bike with flat handlebars. I purchased a new Trek FX3 last year. Of the major brands, the trek fx series, Specialized Sirrus, and Giant Escape are the sportier hybrid models, and they each have models considered a "comfort" bike that will sit a little more upright. All the major brands will be comparable in terms of quality for similar $$s. Dig around in their websites and you can get an idea of features in each model and info on sizing. Most important is to get something that fits. If you're like me, you'll really like biking and end up wishing you'd bought a road bike. Good luck in your search.
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Old 04-03-21, 09:50 PM
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I'd recommend going into your local bike shop and let them help you out. I agree with the above - hybrid bikes (flat handlebar, upright riding position) is likely your best bet. Your LBS will make sure you get the right size and will do a basic fit.

(I realize you're hoping for a used bike but that's a challenge right now... and you run the risk of buying something that doesn't fit, which would put a serious damper on how much you enjoy riding.)

Last edited by Greiselman; 04-03-21 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Didn't fully read OP's post... DOH
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Old 04-04-21, 03:05 PM
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thank you. What do you mean by fit? I am 5 10" 160lbs if that matters
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Old 04-04-21, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by AlbygPa View Post
thank you. What do you mean by fit? I am 5 10" 160lbs if that matters
different frame sizes shorties have shorter frames long legs have larger frames otherwise a short guy couldn't reach the pedals on a tall persons bike.
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Old 04-04-21, 04:26 PM
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I'll echo others and say a hybrid that fits you and you enjoy riding is the way to go. Most name brands have at least two types of hybrids - a more upright with wider tires and one that looks more like a road bike with a flat handle bar. They might be advertised as city/hybrid/fitness/urban/commuter (checking Trek and Giant and that's what I find at their websites).

Even if you buy used at least looking at what bike manufactures are currently selling can give you a good idea of what to look for. My wife got a Trek Verve 2 in 2019 and it's a fairly basic bike. It's now slaved to our smart trainer but I found it a perfectly cromulent bike. It did what it was supposed to do. Yeah, it had mechanical and not hydraulic brakes, it's heavy, it has a basic 3x7 drive train. But it works and isn't a pile of junk.
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Old 04-04-21, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by AlbygPa View Post
thank you. What do you mean by fit? I am 5 10" 160lbs if that matters
Think of it like buying a pair of pants. You can buy jeans, sweats, or dress pants. New or used. You can spend $25 or $200. But you wouldn't buy pants that don't fit.

About anything decent that fits will be a good start. Hit the LBS first.
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Old 04-04-21, 06:42 PM
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Bad news: At the advent of COVID & social distancing & a bit of lockdown, folks sought a healthy activity. Thus began the great bike boom of 2020.

Your LBS might be 1) empty 2) picked over 3) backordered.

Used bike prices are up on ebay, CL, fbook market & the like.

Good news: you never forget how!
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Old 04-04-21, 07:19 PM
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From my experience, the bike you want now may not be the bike you want a year from now, if you discover you like to ride. When I started riding three years ago (at age 67, having not ridden a bike in 40 years), I bought a flat bar bike with a more upright riding position that seemed appropriate for an old guy. It took me a few months to really feel comfortable on it, but eventually I wanted drop bars and a few other luxuries (carbon frame, utlegra groupset). After 20 months of riding my original bike, I bought the bike I'm using now. When I bought my first bike I never would have imagined spending as much as I did on my second, but being a novice, I really didn't know what I wanted when I started looking. I think my first bike was a good one, but I just outgrew it as I became more comfortable riding. So you might think about getting a comfortable bike now to start, with the thought that if you take to it, you'll want a different bike next year. That's what happened to me, anyway.
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Old 04-04-21, 07:29 PM
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Dollar constraints?
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Old 04-04-21, 08:05 PM
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Isn't it great to feel 14 again?

I've been riding again for 7 years, starting at 49. Every time I get on my bike, I feel like a kid again. I just love it, sometimes even more when it starts raining in the middle of a ride. Screw it! I'm out here having fun!
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Old 04-04-21, 08:17 PM
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It will all com back to you quickly. Just pace yourself.
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Old 04-04-21, 11:32 PM
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I think the bike itself is less significant than your overall conditioning and where and how you find yourself using your bicycle. My recommendation is to acquire ANY bike and just ride it around for awhile. Every time that you ride, make a mental list of what you like and what you don't like about the bike. That mental list will make you a smarter shopper when you go to look for your next bike.
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Old 04-04-21, 11:58 PM
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Here is the kind of bike that will be trouble free. And SIMPLE to ride. Shift up or down, NOTHING to think about. IMO, it's far better to have a multi-purpose bike that can carry stuff and groceries, maybe commute also. Modern MTBs are pretty useless one trick ponies.
>>> brooklynbicycleco.com/collections/commuter-bikes/products/driggs-7

This isn't perfect, a paddle shifter is far better, and a Sturmey Archer drum brake front hub would work far better and for 30,000 miles easily.
The Nexus 7 speed is very smooth. Later I will see how it does on the highway compared to my SA 5w. With the same 44/ 22T cogs, they are very similar overall. The 7 closer spaced gears are much better for most people and situations. 34 to 84 GI. Easily good enough for most hills. One Australian guy actually used this on a girl frame alu bike to tour half the world, 12,330 miles.

Here is my new but discontinued Simcoe Roadster, it came with the Nexus 7i and roller brakes < these suck IMO. It was 36 lbs as bought. I knew I would change the wheels out, when I bought it for the frame basically.
I have since put my SA drum brake hub wheels on it, with a XL-RD5w.
With these I have done over 2 dozen 100 - 133 mile day rides. FABULOUS. It has had finicky shifting from time to time, that I learned to disassemble. I've had 36 mm tires most of my life, including two 4,000 mile tours with my superior Rohloff14 speed hub. I was using a way higher gear span with the 5 speed, 46 to 117GI. I did all those rides on a 73 lb tour bike last summer.

I am 67 now, never used drop bars or rode a light CF bike .... or a hellmet. LOL
I am 5'8" and have always had 23"/ 58 cm frames. This Simcoe is 57 cm with a 1 cm TT slope. Perfect size I like, also your size, not a 56 cm. The new bikes with 6"+ TT slope are totally nuts.
Nevermind the weight weenies. Even if you get one later, these IGH bikes will still be fun to ride.
I fear NOTHING riding this on the 66 mph freeway/ highways here. Get a good mirror too, far safer than any hellmet.



vvv With the SA XL-RD5w and XL-FDD dyno drum for powering lights, not installed yet. 38.5 lbs now, will be likely 41 when finished changes.


My custom tour heavyweight, with the SA XL-RD5w here.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 05-19-21 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 04-05-21, 12:15 AM
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Try a bike rental if you have one nearby. They should be getting back to business. Sometimes they have older models for sale.
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Old 04-05-21, 01:46 AM
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Hey, if you're 5ft-10 and 160 pounds today in 2021, that means you are physically fit and it will be easy for you to get on basically any bicycle and ride just like you could at age 14 back in 1978. My suggestion is to just find something-anything, it shouldn't be expensive, and Initially Ride That Bike UNTIL YOU CAN DETERMINE MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU'D REALLY LIKE. Don't worry about if the bike is an old bike, or an inexpensive new or recent Wallyworld or Tar-Jay bike. JUST FIND AN INEXPENSIVE BIKE THAT YOU THINK SHOULD FIT YOUR SIZE AND BE COMFORTABLE ENOUGH....................Get out and RIDE as much a possible, BUT I HIGHLY SUGGEST THAT INITIALLY YOU FIND A CLOSED-COURSE, SUCH AS PAVED ROADS WITHIN A LARGE PUBLIC PARK WHERE speed limit is 20mph or less AND THERE IS VERY LITTLE AUTOMOBILE TRAFFIC OTHER THAN RANGERS & PARK VISITORS. If you cannot find such a place in your town, then you should develop a game-plan of devising a route or circle pattern among 35mph or LESS residential streets where traffic is less and folks don't exceed the speed limit by 10+ mph. A LOT HAS CHANGED SINCE 1978. Drivers are far more distracted!!! In 1978, drivers only were distracted when removing and replacing an eight-track tape, or dropping cigarette ashes in the ashtray or outta the window, or lighting a new cigarette.....................yeah plenty of folks had CB radios back in 1978 but nobody used their CB radios while in the city..........it was always on the Interstate or the highways......unless you lived out in the sticks with Cooter and Uncle Jessie, Rosco, Bo & Luke, Ennis, and Daisy out in Hazzard County. EVERY VEHICLE HAS A/C NOW, so when it is warm outside, above 70F and sunny, most everyone will have the windows up and the A/C on so they do not hear any outside sounds. Vehicles today have better higher wattage factory sound systems than the best possible aftermkt system in 1978. What constitutes as music these days is louder within the vehicle, so they won't hear ambulance/police/fire sirens which aren't as loud as they were in the 1970's. Lookout because todays SUBURBAN sits higher above the road than the OLDS 98/CADILLAC/BUICK 225/LINCOLN/FORD LTD of the 1970's which though longer and slightly wider, had the driver positioned more at eye level to the bike rider than todays higher sitting large SUV's.
There were more drunk drivers on the roads in the Seventies as the drinking age was 18, and there were no harsh laws concerning DUI or multiple DUI in most states before the eighties. Still todays drivers are more of a menace to bicycle riders. They aren't generally any worse than the worst of any generation, but they simply are more in their own closed-in world and simply don't pay attention, choosing to constantly thumb buttons on their phone while driving!

Just Do It! Find a low-cost bicycle. Get Riding. Have Fun. Then based on your findings, likes and dislikes, make your own determination of what you want in a bicycle..................once you determine that, then seek and find that "good" bicycle for you. The Pandemic has largely disrupted the supply of new local bike store bikes. People have been seeking bicycles of any type since the Pandemic and the lockdowns hit in early 2020. Due to this, many ancient old bikes gathering dust in barns, sheds, garages, basements and attics have been returned to roadworthy status. Really??? How hard is it to install new tires, tubes, and brake pads and maybe cables if needed to some old Murray made FREE SPIRIT, Varsity-Collegiate-Suburban-Continental, Breeze-Speedster, ROSS, AMF, COLUMBIA, HUFFY, K-mart ALL-PRO, Montgomery Wards, JC Penney, Western-Auto, OTASCO, Firestone, Coast-To-Coast Hardware, Gambles, JM Fields, or anything like what may have roamed the streets back when you last rode a bicycle........ A bicycle is a bicycle. A cheapie basic bicycle will do the job until you can obtain something very nice and new! A low cost new Wal-mart/Target bicycle will be more than acceptable to get you started again, assuming you can locate one in stock. You do have to check closely that said Wallyworld/Tar-Jay bicycle is properly assembled, or assemble it yourself after ordering it online from them. Get the inexpensive cheapie first. Don't let folks tell you that all of the Wallyworld/Tar-Jay stuff is absolute junk. Some are decent basic bicycles. They are not what you'd want if you want to compete in triathlons or ride with the A-group ride with local serious seasoned riders. GET SOMETHING Inexpensive ,old or new. Find your likes/dislikes after riding a bit. Then Proceed In Your Search For That "GOOD" Bike.
BE CERTAIN TO BUY A NEW HELMET, and Wear It Every Time That You Get On The Bicycle! Even the least expensive new helmets are fine, if they fit your head size.
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Old 04-05-21, 07:44 AM
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I was JUST THINKING that what this thread lacked was commentary on the prevalence of air conditioning in the modern automobile!
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Old 04-05-21, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by AlbygPa View Post
I am looking to get back into riding at 57............................................. I would like some pointers on what to look for in buying a bike................................................ Thanks in advance for your comments.
When looking for a bike, keep in mind that the bike that fits your riding style and you current riding abilities may not be the bike you want a few years from now. So don't go out looking for your ultimate bike that might leave you thinking it's the only bike for you.

Actual useful tips? Well IMO 23 pounds is a heavy road bike. But to get you started back, those will be good enough. Don't buy odd-ball stuff that you can't find parts for easily. Vintage bikes are very attractive aesthetically, but some a money pit when things aren't in perfect working order when you buy them. Whatever you get, your butt will get sore for several weeks.

I got started back riding a little sooner than you. I'm 63 now and so far I'm on my fourth bike in the last 12 years. It's my first brand new bike in quite some time, but I don't intend for it to be my last new bike.
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Old 04-05-21, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Random11 View Post
From my experience, the bike you want now may not be the bike you want a year from now, if you discover you like to ride. When I started riding three years ago (at age 67, having not ridden a bike in 40 years), I bought a flat bar bike with a more upright riding position that seemed appropriate for an old guy. It took me a few months to really feel comfortable on it, but eventually I wanted drop bars and a few other luxuries (carbon frame, utlegra groupset). After 20 months of riding my original bike, I bought the bike I'm using now. When I bought my first bike I never would have imagined spending as much as I did on my second, but being a novice, I really didn't know what I wanted when I started looking. I think my first bike was a good one, but I just outgrew it as I became more comfortable riding. So you might think about getting a comfortable bike now to start, with the thought that if you take to it, you'll want a different bike next year. That's what happened to me, anyway.
This is very much like my experience. At 59 I refreshed an early 90's rigid hybrid and started riding for exercise never thinking about any distances, speed, or anything other than getting in an hour or two of riding 3-4 days a week. After a while, I found myself exploring some new roads and going farther and farther and decided to try a road bike. Found one used and the rides just got longer and longer. A little over a year ago, I got a nice bonus and picked up my current bike and got professionally fitted and did my first century last year and another not too long after that. If someone told me when I started riding that I would ride a hundred miles one day, I would have said they were nuts.

Just start riding anything you can get your hands on and see where it takes you.
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