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another newb needing help with bike selection

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another newb needing help with bike selection

Old 05-20-11, 08:33 PM
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Question another newb needing help with bike selection

Hello, Great forum with lots of helpful info!

I'm a 55 year-old female. Heavy, 5'5" & 190 lbs. I have rheumatoid arthritis. The areas most severely affected are my hands, feet, and spine. Lived in Germany for over 20 years & returned to the states 10 years ago. Used to ride my old 10-speed everywhere. Rode it daily to store & work. On weekends we'd hit the trails and often ride for 2 -4 hours. I've let my self get out of shape and haven't biked at all in years. My daughter who's 35 still rides & and we both miss the fun we used to have together on our bikes. I plan on riding in my neighborhood on a regular basis and joining my daughter on the local greenways at least once a week. I don't plan on doing off-road, but would like a bike that could handle gravel, dirt paths, and the occasional curb. I would like to work towards riding the Silver Comet & Chief Ladiga trails. Hope that's not too much info just wanted to help you help me.

I've visited 4 bike shops. I haven't ridden any bikes yet. I plan on starting test rides tomorrow. 2 of the shops didn't have the bikes I'm interested in in my size. Also because of the arthritis I live in birkenstocks and had to go buy a pair of sneakers. I'm hoping to get some tips as what to look for while testing bikes. The last time I bought a bike you either bought a Schwinn or took what Sears or Walmart carried. It's totally different now. So, help please.

Right now I'm considering several women's hybrid bicycles. They are -
Scott Sportster 30
Scott Sportster 55
Specialized Ariel Disc
Specialized Ariel Sport Disc
Trek 7100 WSD

I would appreciate any words of wisdom. I would also love to hear suggestions for modifications I could make for greater comfort on long rides - like the grips that will allow me to change hand positions more often.

Thanks in advance for your help.

"There is but one true test of what you want in life - It lies in what you have"

Last edited by bett; 05-20-11 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 05-21-11, 06:36 AM
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G,day Bett I suggest the bike to get for where your at with cycling and your health issues would be a bike aimed at comfort and riding should be just about being active when it suits you or willing and able.
So from the bikes you've listed I suggest the Ariel or 7100 WSD. I would love to recommend the scott as I have a top of the line P1 but you need to ride them and decide what you like.
Also look for the best stock standard bike with no thought of changing anything then when you start riding just change what needs changing to make it more comfortable you.
Cycling should be about enjoyment and getting active dont worry about always looking for a higher level.
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Old 05-21-11, 06:56 AM
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try a bike like the one I use to have, it's prolly one of the easiest ones to ride and most comfortable too.

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Old 05-21-11, 09:58 AM
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I agree with the others that you should be comfortable. Definitely get a bike that puts you in a comfortable riding position. That maybe an upright position. A more forward leaning position will put less weight on your back theoretically but more weight on your hands. I don't know about your specific concerns with the arthritis. Since you have back problems, you should consider a suspension seatpost.

I have some problems with my feet, making most shoes uncomfortable. It might be possible to ride in your Birkenstocks, I ride in Crocs sometimes for shorter rides. A very comfortable option is bike specific sandals. Mine click into my pedals creating the feeling that my bare feet are strapped to big foot-shaped pedals. Even more comfortable with socks, but you lose the riding barefoot sensation.

Those are some long trails you're talking about riding, but because they are rail trails, not hilly. Looks like fun.
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