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Old guy getting back into bikes

Old 04-26-21, 03:11 PM
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ScottJ175
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Old guy getting back into bikes

I rode a single speed youth bike LOTS when I was a kid. It was my primary source of freedom. Mostly on old two track behind my house which was slowly getting reclaimed by nature.


I lost interest once I got old enough to drive and have been a major gearhead since I was 14. I did make a brief attempt to get back into bikes when I was in college at Auburn University because I lived off campus, my car was getting unreliable and bikes seemed very popular. I bought some 10 speed that I can remember nothing about used for $100 (late 1980s) and rode it a little. It turned out to be much more work than I expected and it came to an end one evening when I attempted the trick I'd seen lots of other folks do of paralleling a curb then hopping upwards onto the sidewalk. I didn't clear the curb, had a barrel roll crash and dislocated my shoulder. I wound up fixing my car situation and eventually gave the bike away.


Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I'm 52 with a 15 year old son and 13 year old daughter. My son expresses some interest in mountain biking around a friend of mine. My friend says "Oh I have a bike just rusting and gathering dust in my shed. It's yours if you want it." I'm supportive because it's the first outdoor thing my son has actually expressed interest in. We get the bike and it's a Wallyworld Mongoose full suspension. While that unfolded I also started scouring Facebook Marketplace for a used bike for myself to support him. I knew I wanted a hardtail and aluminum rather than steel and was hoping to come in under $300. I wound up getting a 2013 Diamondback Response XE (small 16" because I'm only 5'7.5" with a sawed off 30" inseam) that was originally sold through Dick's. I know it's entry level but I only paid $250 which is what they seem to averaging on the used market and I figure I'll have the urge to upgrade.


My wife is also interested in riding for her health but not anything mountain bikey. Hardpack gravel at the most. We want our daughter to ride but she never learned to without training wheels and we're trying to teach her now but she's being rather stubborn. We initially found a used early 2000s Specialized Vita XS for my wife. It was being sold as a comfort bike but it has very skinny and smooth road bike looking tires to me. My wife has been using it to try and get our daughter going (with little success) and a few days ago my wife found an ad for a used Schwinn GTX3 hybrid that she really liked because it had more of a touring tire and it was her favorite color of purple. So now she technically has two bikes unless we can get my daughter past her "I can't do it" stubbornness. It feels silly having just bought a used MTB weeks ago but I find myself eyeing vintage Trek fixed fork mountain bikes to throw some touring tires on and use when riding milder stuff with my wife.


My son and I tried our first single track this past Saturday. Unfortunately what I thought was an easy trail turned out to be the high end of intermediate and it was right after a rain so the wet rocks, roots and bridges made it even more difficult. We covered a mile but probably were walking the bikes about half that. I definitely need more practice and getting into shape.


Haven't really explored other sections of the site yet. I welcome pointers to sections that might interest me the most. I was going to attach some photos but discovered I need 10 posts to do that.

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Old 04-26-21, 08:25 PM
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I realized I left out one part of the story. This past December my wife and I went to Gulf State Park for our 25th wedding anniversary. We discovered they have free to use bikes in the park so we decided to try them out. First time either of us had been on bikes since our 20s and we were impressed we managed 7.5 miles.
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Old 04-26-21, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottJ175 View Post
I realized I left out one part of the story. This past December my wife and I went to Gulf State Park for our 25th wedding anniversary. We discovered they have free to use bikes in the park so we decided to try them out. First time either of us had been on bikes since our 20s and we were impressed we managed 7.5 miles.


Hey man - congratulations on the wedding anniversary and the child pulling you back into cycling !
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Old 04-26-21, 08:45 PM
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Welcome back!
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Old 04-26-21, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Hey man - congratulations on the wedding anniversary and the child pulling you back into cycling !
Thanks. Anything to get him outside and away from the video games. My primary other hobbies are shooting sports and cars and his interest has been limited and I'm not going to be "that parent" who pushes.

If this holds his interest then we'll really dive in hard. I probably need to be thinking about getting him a good bike sooner rather than later because that Wal-Mart Mongoose probably won't hold up long.
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Old 04-27-21, 08:24 AM
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So...I've been doing a little lurking. I notice there are some.....differences of opinion about older bikes like mine. I tend to like keeping older things like my 1996 Miata alive rather than jumping to the latest and greatest whatever. It also seems my idea of what mountain biking is has changed over the years as well. I'm not terribly interested in blazing fast downhills and getting air over jumps. I just want to ride trails but not necessarily stick to hardpack.

So is there a forum section that caters to older folks who like to tinker with older gear and are into a more sedate style of trail riding?
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Old 04-27-21, 09:03 AM
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Welcome, I'm a sort-of newbie here, too, in a similar position as you. When I decided that I wanted to get back into gentle off-roading and started looking at these forums again, it was a little surprising how much things have changed.

I will say that I went full in and bought a new mountain bike this year, and it's a dream to ride on the trails. I have apologized to my 2003 Kona that I loved so dearly and rode so much, it was great in the day, but man, no comparison.
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Old 05-02-21, 08:24 PM
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Scott, give a fat bike a try. The tires are the "suspension" and a 1X drivetrain keeps things simple. Mine has been a blast off road and is forgiving as I build my trail and mechanic skills.
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Old 05-04-21, 06:35 PM
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I finally have my 10 posts so I can do links. Here's some pictures of me and my eldest with our bikes for those interested. https://bikeforums.net/g/album/21248167
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Old 05-04-21, 06:56 PM
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Huh??? - Calls himself an Old Guy at 52...

Hey man... This is going to be fun!!!!!
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Old 05-04-21, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Huh??? - Calls himself an Old Guy at 52...
"It's not the years. It's the mileage." --Indiana Jones

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Old 05-04-21, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottJ175 View Post
"It's not the years. It's the mileage." --Indiana Jones

Understood... Allot of us are more beat up than we look... Ha
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