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50yo starting biking(8 posts)

50yo starting bikinggeba5
May 17, 2002 5:47 AM
@50 starting biking for conditioning due to increasing knee/foot pains with running. Dusted off + riding 30+year old Bianchi but looking for new bike(willing to spend up to $1400.
I am 6'/185pounds and expect to bike 3-4/wk with at least one 40+mile ride during weekend.
Any help/advise appreciated with:
Aluminum vs steel - aware alum stiffer; with my "older" and wearing joints, etc is this best to avoid?; does weight factor in?; does carbon fork help?
Brands - went to one bike store where they sold Fugi(the dealer recommended Roubaix); another store sold Bianchi(Veloce recommended); REI has K2 Mod3.0 and Novara Trionfo both with carbon fork AND stays for <$1400
May 17, 2002 6:00 AM
The three most important issues in a new bike are fit, fit, fit... Fit will affect the feel of the bike much more than differences between steel and aluminum/carbon combos. A good $100 (or so) to spend is on a professional bike fitter to find out just what bike dimensions are right for you...

Enjoy your new bike and let us know how it goes...
re: 50yo starting bikingraboboy
May 17, 2002 6:54 AM
It is also important to take a ride. Take each one out for a half hour or so to get a good feel for how it feels & handles. Those are 3 decent bikes that will last you many miles.
re:a simple plandzrider
May 17, 2002 7:07 AM
1. Buy shorts and a helmet if you don't have them. A helmet is a necessity and nothing adds more to the enjoyment of cycling for under $50 than bike shorts except a nice butt to follow.

2. Wear your shorts and bring your helmet (enhances your credibility) to a few bike shops and test ride bikes you can afford. Pay most attention to fit and comfort. Try not to get hung up on frame material and component groups. You're in a price range where anything you try will work fine for you.

3. Make the best deal you can on the bike you like riding most. It may be easier to get a shop to save you money on gloves, bottles/cages, seat bag, patch kit, pump, and other useful stuff than to drive down the price of the bike.

4. Ride your bike! The value is best measured by miles per dollar.
re:a simple planraboboy
May 17, 2002 7:16 AM
If you wait to buy the helmet & shorts the shop will give you a deal on that, too. It seems pretty standard that any shop you buy from will give you 5%-15% off anything else you buy from them when you get the bike. They will have loaner helmets to give you for test rides.
re: 50yo starting bikingMe Dot Org
May 17, 2002 8:00 AM
I'm 51, and rediscovered riding when I was 49. I also have knee problems.

I agree with the sentiment that FIT is more important than any componentry. If the bike doesn't fit, don't buy it.

Take several bikes in your price range for a test ride of at least 10 minutes. Try to take a corner fast, mash the pedals, take a hill. How does it feel?

2 years ago I started with a Bianchi Veloce and loved it. Unfortunately I crashed it and bent the frame -- :-(. A little heavier than an aluminum bike, but a comfortable ride. There are a lot of good bikes in the $1400 range, however.

Although I like steel, all preferences are subjective. Don't discount aluminum. Whatever material you choose, a carbon fork will probably help the ride.

I also agree with the recommendation to get shorts and a helmet. My other suggestion: Buy a good floor pump (a Torelli or a Silca). It's difficult to inflate tires to greater than 100 p.s.i. with a frame pump. A good floor pump is the cheapest thing that will make you go faster.

If you are new to clipless pedals, and especially if you have knee problems, I would recommend Speedplay frogs. They are the easiest pedals to clip/unclip, and Speedplays 'float' (the ability to rotate your heel relative to the pedal) makes them the kindest pedal to knees.

Best of luck...
From one five-oh to another.RoyGBiv
May 17, 2002 9:23 AM
Welcome aboard and maybe, like me, you'll soon realize that you wish you'd done this 25 years ago.
I can vouch for the chromolly (sp?) steel Colnago Master X-Light, decked out with Ultegra and shod with Kysrium Elite wheels.. But don't take my word for it - some of us like Fords, others swear by Chevs. Like the others have pointed out, bike fit is very important and test drives are essential.
If I could do it over again, I would have waited - even if it meant a couple of months - for the proper size bike to be ordered, rather than taking the 1-cm-too-big bike that seemed to tickle my fancy in the store. I was new to road bikes and wasn't sure what to look for or feel while on test drives. The more bikes you try, the more you'll begin to sense what's right for you.
Shorts, helmet, floor pump, carbon fork, are all good advice. An odo is handy if you're an information freak, but lately I pay more attention to the heart rate monitor.
In hindsight, researching the bike purchase was a lot of fun. Hope you can enjoy the process, too.

Some Web sites to consider:
re: 50yo starting bikingPjkad
May 17, 2002 4:00 PM
51 years old here. One suggestion on fit. As you get back into cycling, your flexibility is less now than it will be after a while. Especially, if you pay attention to stretching which is important for us old folks. So work a while on your current bike and get the flexibility that will come. Then get fit for your new bike. The result will be better.