What kind of bicycle to purchase?

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Chuck T
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What kind of bicycle to purchase?

Post by Chuck T » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:43 pm

My doctor has recommended that I ride a bicycle for daily exercise. I am in my mid sixties, haven't ridden a bike for a number of years, and live in an area that is relatively flat ( and the roads are safe).

I went to Target to look at bikes and realized there a number of different types; some mountain bikes, cruisers, etc. What kind should I purchase for plain old personal exercise? Any help you can provide is appreciated. Thanks.
Chuck | Past Performance Is Just That - bob | For info on the SC LowCountry & Savannah GA Area Bogleheads contact me at chucktanner46@gmail.com

teacher_in_tx
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Re: What kind of bicycle to purchase?

Post by teacher_in_tx » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:53 pm

Chuck T wrote:My doctor has recommended that I ride a bicycle for daily exercise. I am in my mid sixties, haven't ridden a bike for a number of years, and live in an area that is relatively flat ( and the roads are safe).

I went to Target to look at bikes and realized there a number of different types; some mountain bikes, cruisers, etc. What kind should I purchase for plain old personal exercise? Any help you can provide is appreciated. Thanks.
Hmm, I have generally used either mountain bikes or road bikes. The road bikes tend to be for paved road use only. Mountain bikes can be used on both, but they often feel "slow" on paved roads (as compared to road bikes).

All that said, I would visit a local bicycle shop rather than Target. Sometimes you pay a bit more at local shops, but the brands tend to be higher quality, and the employee knowledge is generally far superior.

-mike

livesoft
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Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:58 pm

Tough call. I would not buy a bike from Target, but I would buy a bike from a general Sporting Goods store with a bike department or a bike shop or mail order. I ride a high-end road bike almost daily for sport, but also have a so-called "commuter bike" with upright handlebars, fenders, a kickstand, and tires that are halfway between thin racing tires and fat mountain bike tires that I ride often to work.

My standard recommendation is to find a bike without any steel parts, so frame, handlebars, stem, seat post, crank, pedals, gears, rims, etc are all alloy, so they will not rust. The chain and the freewheel can be steel. Expect to pay at least $400.

Here's some links:
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10 ... 00__200348

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Su ... -1__400001
Last edited by livesoft on Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nisiprius
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Post by nisiprius » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:00 pm

1) You may find more help on www.bikeforums.net.

2) Be prepared to spend $500-$700. That's kind of the going rate for an adult bike that isn't cheap-and-cheesy. I paid $200 for the first bike I bought after grad school. Big mistake. The derailleur was unreliable, the range of gears didn't go l low enough, it wasn't a good fit for me, it just felt kind of lousy to ride so I didn't ride it much.

3) Your "local bike shop" (often abbreviated LBS) deserves your patronage. I imagine the specialty stores like L. L. Bean or EMS that clearly have what is an actual bike shop within the store are OK, but you want to be sure your bike has been unpacked and set up by a bike mechanic, and that there's someone who can adjust it if by any chance it hasn't been properly set up.

4) I currently have a Jamis Commuter III with a nine-speed hub and I like it a lot.

5) There is a genre of bike now called a "comfort bike." Consider asking about them when you go in the store. "Comfort bikes" generally have wide seats, are designed to be ridden in an upright position, and are often low to the ground so that you can put both feet on the ground when you stop. Roadies may tell you that a thin, razor-sharp seat and dropped handlebars that make you bend way over are really much more comfortable when you get used to them; don't believe 'em.

6) If not a "comfort bike," try asking about a "commuter bike."
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Lee Saage
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Post by Lee Saage » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:23 pm

I'll echo the suggestion to buy quality. I am about your age and my wife and I bought, respectively, a Trek and Cannondale multi-track bicycle. This was several years ago and they may be called something else or for all I know may have disappeared from the market. But the multi-track is essentially a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. It has a more upright riding position and fatter tires than a road bike but is lighter than a mountain bike.

The Trek and Cannondale are pretty good quality for general use. A good bike should be tuned at least once a year. When tuned properly, our bikes are a joy to ride. Shifting is positive and consistent, the ride is quiet and everything is in good alignment. We bought ours from a local bike shop (although we did negotiate a pretty good discount from list price). The same shop did annual tune ups helped us keep these bikes in top form. Good fun and good exercise.

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DiscoBunny1979
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Post by DiscoBunny1979 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:53 pm

My favorite bike has been the GT Tequesta, which I bought way back in 1994! My piece of advice would be to go to a bike shop that only sells bikes. Compare different models and see which ones are appealing to you.

One important thing is the size of the bike and how you feel riding it. A bike shop that only sells bikes is practically the only place you'll be able to take the bike outside and give it a test drive. The seat for instance - how the seat is made and how it is positioned on the bike is important. If the seat is expensive, it most likely can be removed by a clamp mechansim that might also adjust the height. This detail is an important thing on a bike because if you lock up the bike somewhere, you can take the seat with you. Therefore, chances are no one will attempt to steal your bike without a seat. On the other hand, seats do get stolen if they can't take the rest of your bike.

Another thing to consider is the style of handle bars. Many Mountain bikes today are sold with a straight bar style handle bar. However, if you're into longer road trips, then a curved style, like what was available on my GT might be better because you can put your hands and upper body into different positions.

My type of bike, more of a touring bike, can be used for both off road and paved roads. It was important for me to have a bike that can be used in all types of situations. For instance, if you're riding down the road and a driver in the car forces you off the pavement onto dirt.

Even if you're on flat ground, it's also important to have a lot of choices when it comes to shifting into gears. Some roads that you thought were "flat" might actually be long hilly sections in which your legs might appreciate more gear selections.

My bike in 1994 cost about $500 if I remember correctly. I would suspect that I would be spending about $500 - $1000 dollars for a similar bike today (or even more) . . . because I like fancy.

cailuong
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Post by cailuong » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:03 pm

How about a stationary bike? Station it outside your house, like on a driveway. You get your exercise but don't have to deal with busted tires or smoke inhalation from car exhaust.

ClaireTN
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Post by ClaireTN » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:06 pm

I like the brand Giant. They make good bikes, pretty affordable too. You'll need to go to a bike shop to look at one. I'm pretty sure they don't sell in Target.

Also, you might want to look into something called a hybrid or cross bike. The tire width will be somewhere between a mountain bike and a road bike. They are made so that you can sit relatively upright too. It's a nice style if you want to tool around comfortably and don't care if you are going as fast as possible (road bike) or going off-road much (mountain bike).

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fishnskiguy
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Post by fishnskiguy » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:24 pm

I own two bikes: a high end (about $2,800 at an end of season special) road bike and a medium end (about $1,500 at peak season) hard tail mountain bike. I'm 67 years old.

My mountain bike is hands down my go to bike. The road bike is like a Ferrari. Runs great, but not nearly as robust as my mountain bike. If I rode my road bike 50 miles every other day like I do my mountain bike, tires would last one season, whereas I get three years on the rear tire on the mountain bike, then put the front tire on the back and get three more years on it.

Now it just so happens that we just returned from Bryce Canyon NP yesterday. Day before yesterday I rented a low end (think $300) mountain bike and rode the 40 mile out and back from Bryce Canyon City (7600 ft.) to the end of the park (9100 ft.) and back. The rental bike was the same brand as mine (Specialized) but the difference was absolutely stunning. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about my more expensive bike works better.

By all means buy from a bike shop. they really will put you on the right bike. As mentioned above, a hybrid, also called a cross trainer, may be perfect for you.

Two tips: insist on standard old fashioned pedals to start with, then in a few weeks or months after you have gotten used to the bike, shift over to clip less pedals set for minimum release effort- they are sooooo much more efficient. Second, while I agree with Nisiprius that a road bike is simple not very comfortable when set up correctly, you do not want to be too upright. When the seat is set up correctly such that your legs are almost straight at the bottom of the stroke, you want the handle bars at the same height, or maybe an inch higher, at most, than the seat.

Finally, I think you will enjoy biking much more than walking or running down there in the SC Low Country. For the same amount of effort, biking generates much more cooling breeze which you will appreciate.

Chris
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ThinkingRunner
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Re: What kind of bicycle to purchase?

Post by ThinkingRunner » Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:00 pm

Chuck T wrote:My doctor has recommended that I ride a bicycle for daily exercise. I am in my mid sixties, haven't ridden a bike for a number of years, and live in an area that is relatively flat ( and the roads are safe).

I went to Target to look at bikes and realized there a number of different types; some mountain bikes, cruisers, etc. What kind should I purchase for plain old personal exercise? Any help you can provide is appreciated. Thanks.
I'd avoid Target and buy from a local bike store (LBS). However, there's no reason to shell out big bucks if you're just starting off and only plan to ride recreationally.

I started biking earlier this year and got a Trek 7.1FX hybrid bike from the LBS for $400. I've been commuting to work on it almost everyday and have even taken it on a 350+ mile multi-day ride without any issues (haven't even had a flat yet, knock on wood).

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/71fx/

It's primarily intended for road use, but will work on even trails as well.

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nisiprius
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Post by nisiprius » Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:19 pm

DiscoBunny1979 wrote:One important thing is the size of the bike and how you feel riding it. A bike shop that only sells bikes is practically the only place you'll be able to take the bike outside and give it a test drive.
That's really important. When I was shopping for my last bike, I actually took a total of four bikes out for test rides, maybe half an hour each time. I made sure to include some hills. Very revealing and the last bike I tried just felt "right" in a way that was hard to describe.

One of the places I went was EMS. Their bike department looked smaller than a real bike shop, but it did look like a bike shop--had a mechanic and so forth, and they had one of the bikes I wanted to try, and they took it for granted that people would want to test-ride them.

I would not dream of buying a bike without test-riding it.
Last edited by nisiprius on Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dcd
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Post by dcd » Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:19 pm

I'm about your age and I'm riding a Jamis Citizen 3, a hybrid. I can no longer ride a road bike without discomfort in my upper back and the hybrid feels real good. Not as fast as a road bike but the workout can be very effective. I wear a heart rate monitor and I can achieve heart rates as high as I desire.
I paid around $500 for the bike and feel it was money well spent. I used to only bike when I couldn't run but when I start running again(plantar fasciitis injury) in a few weeks I'm going to alternate days between the bike and running.
Denny

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Toons
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Post by Toons » Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:25 pm

I purchased 2 hybrid bikes from Walmart about a month ago(spouse and me) total about 300 dollars.No complaints nice quality .I priced bikes at a bike specialty shop , better quality, prices....500-700 per bike,,didn't feel the need to spend that much per bike....Save money live better :D :D

JohnM
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Post by JohnM » Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:35 pm

I agree with everyone who has said visit a local bike shop. They will have knowledgeable sales folks who can help you pick the right bike, helmet, etc. and make sure it fits you correctly. There are also a few good forums online where you can read and pick up some basic knowledge to help ask the right questions.

You don't have to spend tons of money to get good service and decent quality. Most of the major brands (Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc.) will have entry level bikes in the $300 - $500 range. If you think you will be riding often going up a level or two and spending a couple of hundred more may be a good long term decision.

Also, most local bike shops in my area give you one free "tune up" a few months after you buy the bike. They can adjust everything after it gets broken in. I also take mine back in every year or two for a tune-up which is very reasonable $. I have a specialized mountain bike and enjoy riding the trails in the local area but as others have mentioned it is not as efficient on the road.

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Murray Boyd
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Re: What kind of bicycle to purchase?

Post by Murray Boyd » Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:51 pm

Chuck T wrote:My doctor has recommended that I ride a bicycle for daily exercise. I am in my mid sixties, haven't ridden a bike for a number of years, and live in an area that is relatively flat ( and the roads are safe).

I went to Target to look at bikes and realized there a number of different types; some mountain bikes, cruisers, etc. What kind should I purchase for plain old personal exercise? Any help you can provide is appreciated. Thanks.
Since nobody else has mentioned it yet, how about a Dutch bike? The Dutch ride more than anyone else in the world (30%+ trips by bike, compared to 1% for America) and they choose Dutch bikes. Bicycling is so much more fun when you're sitting up straight (and not hunched over, neck straining, wrists bearing your weight, etc). Sure, they're slow, but it's not like you're in a hurry to get somewhere fast.

Image

You can even wear a suit! (Thanks to the chain case and fenders)

Some bike links:

http://hembrow.blogspot.com/2009/01/ana ... cycle.html

http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/p/bicycl ... ryday.html

http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/p/budget-options.html

cyclegirl
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Buy a hybrid.

Post by cyclegirl » Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:31 pm

I ride a Trek road bike, but I started out on a mountain bike. The tires on it were too big and slow so I bought a hybrid and rode it for years. They are the in-between of the others and tires are mid range. Make sure they fit you to the bike and go back as often as needed for a comfortable ride. One more thing, bike riding is a non weight bearing activity so do some walking or light weight lifting to compensate for that.

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BigFoot48
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Post by BigFoot48 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:14 pm

My wife and I decided two years ago to start bike riding again after 30 years. We went to about 8 bike shops to learn what we could about current bicycle technology, and ended up buying two Giant Cypress hybrid bikes. They have a mid-sized tire, upright seating and handle bar, and 21 speeds, and cost about $380 each. We ordered models that had a frame size appropriate for her at 5'4" and me at 6'4".

We now have ridden over 2,300 miles, just around the neighborhood and bike paths, and we have a bike rack we put on either the back of our car or the back of our travel trailer for taking the bikes with us. We road 17 miles around the south rim of the Grand Canyon just last week.

It's fun. You see stuff you normally wouldn't. (Helped rescue a desert tortoise in the neighborhood.), and you save your feet for more important stuff!

We keep wondering why we waited until 60 to do it!
Retired | Two-time in top-10 in Bogleheads S&P500 contest; 12-time loser

Chuck T
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Post by Chuck T » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:14 pm

Thanks all. Can someone elaborate on what a hybrid bike is? A couple of posters have referenced them. Thanks
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Chuck T
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Post by Chuck T » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:17 pm

I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond to my post. There are a couple of bike shops in my area. I will read through this thread again and visit the bike shops for further guidance. Enjoy the remainder of your holiday weekend.

I greatly appreciate the links.
Last edited by Chuck T on Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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yobria
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Post by yobria » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:18 pm

Buy a decent quality bike, not from Target. Hybrid is good.

http://bikesdirect.com/products/motobec ... fs_IX2.htm

Nick

livesoft
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Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:19 pm

A hybrid bike is the same as a "comfort" bike or the commuter bike I wrote about. It is a hybrid of a road bike and a mountain bike. It is halfway between a road bike and a mountain bike. It is not an electric bike.

gkaplan
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Post by gkaplan » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:34 pm

What's the difference between a "commuter" bike and a "comfort" bike?

Thanks.
Gordon

livesoft
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Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:39 pm

I don't think there is a difference unless you count fenders. I like the fenders even when it's not raining because there are often puddles left for quite some time after a rain or errant lawn watering.

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Post by gkaplan » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:41 pm

Thanks for the quick response, livesoft.
Gordon

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Post by ClaireTN » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:48 pm

livesoft wrote:A hybrid bike is the same as a "comfort" bike or the commuter bike I wrote about. It is a hybrid of a road bike and a mountain bike. It is halfway between a road bike and a mountain bike. It is not an electric bike.
I don't think the terms are completely interchangeable. My mom has a comfort bike with a big comfortable seat and all, but it is very basic (only one gear!), and you wouldn't want to ride more than 10 miles or so on it. It's heavy too. Sometimes they are also called cruisers. I think "cross bike" is probably the best terminology for what the OP needs.

retcaveman
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Post by retcaveman » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:52 pm

A hybrid bike is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike. As such, it is sometimes called a "cross bike."

My DW and I are in our early 60's and do a fair amount of biking. We just crossed 2,000 miles for this year. We currently own six Trek bikes: 2 mtn, 2 road and 2 hybrids. Since retiring, I spent two seasons working for our local bike shop.

The kind of bike you purchase depends on how you plan to use it ie distance, type of surfaces eg dirt, paved, roads, trails or off-road. Cruisers and comfort bikes generally have wider tires (very stable but harder to keep rolling) are heavier and are put together (geometry) that allows the rider to remain more upright vs leaning forward. These are generally used on shorter rides.

Hybrids are a step closer to a road bike (lighter with narrower tires) but still allow for a more relaxed ride. These would be used for longer rides, maybe 10-20 miles but of course can be used for any distance.
While not wanting to get too detailed, there are two kinds of hybrids: comfort hybrids which usually have a wider/softer seat, shock absorbers on the front fork and a little suspension seat post to absorb bumps. Fitness hybrids are a little more agressive ie a little more forward leaning, may have smooth vs treaded tires, no shocks a stiffer frame and a narrower seat.

Mountain bikes are more rugged with fatter knobby tires for off-road terrain. These are popular bikes but can be difficult to ride on hard surfaces for long distances. They are sometimes called "coffee grinders" or "stump pullers." There are two kinds of these as well: hard tails which have shock absorbers on the front fork and "full suspension" bikes which have a shock for the back end as well as shocks on the front. Unless you are definitely planning to ride a lot on dirt or sand/gravel, I would not suggest a mountain bike.

Lastly, there are road bikes which are lighter, more aggressive geometry (lean forward) with narrow tires, small seats, lots of gears. These are made for speed and distance - you can go farther faster easier with a road bike. The narrow tires offer very little road resistance. These are also quite a bit more expensive (think at least $1k on up).

Depending upon the kind of riding you plan to do, I would guess you would want to look at hybrids and/or maybe comfort bikes. As previously mentioned, you should be able to get one of these for $400-500. In the Trek line, I would suggest something like a 7200 comfort hybrid or a 7.2 Fx fitness hybrid. In the comfort line, maybe a Navigator.

While I never owned one, several friends own Giants and I believe they offer a good value for the money.

I would also suggest you go to at least a couple of bike stores. Get their advice/recommendations and test ride several different models. A good dealer should allow and in fact encourage you to take them for a test ride. I would not buy from a discount store. We used to have people come in with bikes from discount stores that could not be repaired.

Biking is great fun and good exercise. It lets you cover a greater distance than walking, is easier on your joints and allows you to easily carry on a conversation. Start out with shorter rides and build up to longer/greater distances. Like anything, the more you do it, the stronger you will get. And that pain under your butt will go away after a while.

One last thought, you may want to ask around to see if there is a local bike club that offers "recreational rides." We rode with our local bike club and it really helped us to learn about bikes and how to ride safely.

Good luck.
"The wants of mortals are containers that can never be filled." (Socrates)

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Post by GammaPoint » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:49 am

My mom got her first bike about 9 months ago. She got a hybrid because it felt more comfortable to her than a standard road bike. She's looking into getting a road bike now so that she can keep up with her friends that have them, but she thought her hybrid was a great bike to begin with.

I also think that a local bike shop is probably the way to go. The feel of a quality bike is totally different than that of a cheap, Target/Walmart/etc. bike. And if a more comfortable bike makes you ride more, then the health benefits of it will blow the extra cost out of the water.

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Post by infecto » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:56 am

If you only need a comfort bike with no gears then you will probably be satisfied with a $100 special at walmart/target. If you continue to ride and find that the comfort bike is too slow for you, then upgrade to something a little pricier.

Now if you are getting a geared bike to begin with, I would stay away from most of the target/walmart specials unless you know how to easily repair bikes.

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Post by nisiprius » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:22 am

I object to the concept that a "comfort bike" has no gears. I'm not quite sure where that came from. My previous bike was a Giant Revive LX, billed as a comfort bike, which it was in every sense of the word, and it had a 21 speeds--a 7-speed derailleur and 3-speed internal hub.

The things I've seen billed as "comfort bikes" were not cheap. Not $100 cheap anyway.

I thought the Electra Townies were typical examples of the genre.

I'm not quite sure what the universe of things called comfort bikes, but many--I thought most--had gears.
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yellowjacket
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Exercie nd biking

Post by yellowjacket » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:51 am

I am 67, retired, and also under doctors instructions to bike. I am moving to the South Carolina Low Country this month from coastal Florida where I ride 8 to 10 miles 4 to 5 days per week for exercise. My Electra Townie 8d has suited me well for more than a year. It provide a more upright position and allows your feet to be on the ground while your sitting on the seat. I am today in Charleston wher for the last few days I have rode the island beaches and back streets for my daily excursions. I will be relocating to a subdivision with 10 miles of paved bike paths and will use my bike rack on the car to continue to visit the beaches as the seasons allow. I had a Walmart bike for 10 years, but it would not stand up to the daily 10 mile use. I very much enjoy the smoother operation of the Electra and recommend you look at it and several others of similar type, some available at slightly less expense.

Good biking!
YellowJacket

infecto
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Post by infecto » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:55 am

nisiprius wrote:I object to the concept that a "comfort bike" has no gears. I'm not quite sure where that came from. My previous bike was a Giant Revive LX, billed as a comfort bike, which it was in every sense of the word, and it had a 21 speeds--a 7-speed derailleur and 3-speed internal hub.

The things I've seen billed as "comfort bikes" were not cheap. Not $100 cheap anyway.

I thought the Electra Townies were typical examples of the genre.

I'm not quite sure what the universe of things called comfort bikes, but many--I thought most--had gears.
Ok, lets call them cruisers than. I mostly think riding position when I am describing a bike. So I put cruisers and any other bike with an upright position within the universe of comfort. To slightly correct my previous statement I was going for not having multiple gears, so lets call it a fixie. If the OP is truly riding in a flat area it might not be necessary to to have more than a SS. If that is the case, there is little need to spend much money on it. Worse case scenario the wheel bearings need to be repacked after a few hundred miles or maybe better (metal) pedals. For $80-100 its not a bad deal to see how much one even rides.

If the area does have enough inclines that the OP will need gears to feel comfortable, I agree that getting a bike at a local shop is a great idea. But I would caution to do your research before purchasing because a number of shops operate more like a car lot than a friendly local bike store.

On another note I read somewhere above about not getting steel. This is slightly one sided. Steel flexes more than aluminum and generally provides a slightly more comfortable ride. It can rust but with proper maintenance it should not.


I ride ~100+miles a week and build my own bikes (just finished my new long haul trucker), so I have a bit of bias. ;)

With whatever you choose I hope you enjoy riding. Its a fun hobby.

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jeh
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Post by jeh » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:55 am

I love my Electra Townie. I have the 21-speed version and never dreamed I would buy a bike for $400 but I don't regret it at all and its 4 years later. Better than spending $100 on a bike I can't stand to ride (for me its the cheaper bikes' pressure on the wrists). I have taken my Townie "off-road" successfully but it was very gentle trails.

Do take the time (and money) to go to a bike shop and find what you really like. I don't think it takes thousands but probably more than mass-retailer prices. Good luck :D

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Re: Exercie nd biking

Post by infecto » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:56 am

yellowjacket wrote:I am 67, retired, and also under doctors instructions to bike. I am moving to the South Carolina Low Country this month from coastal Florida where I ride 8 to 10 miles 4 to 5 days per week for exercise. My Electra Townie 8d has suited me well for more than a year. It provide a more upright position and allows your feet to be on the ground while your sitting on the seat. I am today in Charleston wher for the last few days I have rode the island beaches and back streets for my daily excursions. I will be relocating to a subdivision with 10 miles of paved bike paths and will use my bike rack on the car to continue to visit the beaches as the seasons allow. I had a Walmart bike for 10 years, but it would not stand up to the daily 10 mile use. I very much enjoy the smoother operation of the Electra and recommend you look at it and several others of similar type, some available at slightly less expense.

Good biking!
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Post by Clumsum » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:48 am

I ride a Cannondale Adventure 1000 comfort bike and really like it. I have had it for 3-4 years. I ride enough I am considering getting a road bike. You can pick up a used bike fairly cheap on ebay. I brought mine, almost new for 1/2 price. Research and find what you want and what size you need first. I would be hesitant to spend too much money until you know if you will actually ride it or not.

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Post by max12377 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:04 am

I have to also recommend you check out a Townie. I was all ready to grab a hybrid but changed my mind at the last minute. Glad I did. I ride for comfort and exercise, not necessarily for speed. :lol:

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Post by superlight » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:04 am

I'm a regular cyclist, and ride a $3K [Santa Cruz] superlight most of the time.

I'm going to say that there is nothing wrong with starting on a Target bike. If you ride it enough to break it, it will have served its purpose. THEN you can move up to the $500 plus you need for a less breakable bike.

I see under "mens bikes" that Target has a Men’s Schwinn 700C Trail Way Hybrid Bike for $229. Nothing wrong with that, especially as you are learning your preferences.

I'd say go "mountain" or "hybrid" depending on how dirt-or-road oriented you feel. If you want to do dirt roads sometimes, mountain. Mostly roads and bike trails, hybrid.
Last edited by superlight on Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by superlight » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:06 am

By the way, my bike cost justification formula:

ride cost = bike cost / ride count
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Post by superlight » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:35 am

BTW, I notice that you can get reviews for some of the Target bikes over at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Men-92s-Schwinn-7 ... B000KZ1G7Q
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

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Post by nisiprius » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:06 am

infecto wrote:
nisiprius wrote:I object to the concept that a "comfort bike" has no gears.... The things I've seen billed as "comfort bikes" were not cheap. Not $100 cheap anyway.... I thought the Electra Townies were typical examples of the genre.
Ok, lets call them cruisers than. I mostly think riding position when I am describing a bike. So I put cruisers and any other bike with an upright position within the universe of comfort.
Oh, to me a "cruiser" is something completely different. Rode my first one as a rental last year. I didn't even think of it as a "comfort bike." It reminded me of an vintage 1950s Schwinn of the kind the kids in my neighbor rode, except for the snobs who had "English bikes" with 3-speed Sturmey-Archer hubs. I don't quite get the appeal of "cruisers."
Last edited by nisiprius on Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by SP-diceman » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:06 am

Wow, who knew bike riding was this complex?
Even a little bit of snobbery.

(I ride the Carnivore 4000, $5500 (and not a penny less) at the finest biking establishments,
has its own Juice Bar, George Forman Grill, and a Hammock for impromptu napping,
I demand quality and I get quality, failure is not an option)

Remember your youth?
Probably spent most of your waking hours on a bike.
Remember how "natural" it was?

Remember the 20 inch bike?
(remember the banana seat and handle bar extensions so you looked like Peter Fonda in "Easy Rider")
Remember the top of the line (the "10 speed")?
Remember the "odd" neighbor. (they owned a Schwinn)?
Remember when "maintenance" was putting air in a slowly leaking tire?
Remember the "Sans Brakes" bike. (Fred Flintstone breaking optional)?
Remember the heavy duty Sears bike (we called it "The Tank")?
Remember when loose wheels, seats, handle bars, chains, didn't matter?
Remember when friends were over and all you could get was a "girls bike"?
Remember when low or no air in the tires was "cool"?
Remember when no fenders and mud was a good combination?
Remember when you just started peddling and didn't know where you were going?
Of course, the greatest omission of all, playing cards in spokes.

I haven't ridden a bike in more than 20 years.
(relatives have a tandem bike, not sure that counts)
Thought about it on and off.
While I'm not saying you should be what you were as a kid,
Barring any physical ailments,
I would hope that I could re-live some of the loose, carefree, fun
and not turn it into an "adult production number".

Seems like things you had fun with as a kid just get "Adultified".



Thanks
SP-diceman

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Post by nisiprius » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:13 am

SP-diceman wrote:Remember the "odd" neighbor. (they owned a Schwinn)?
!!! As you'll see from my post above, in my day and my town it was just the reverse. Schwinns were the "normal" bike--the bike equivalent of the Chevrolets with tailfins.
Remember when "maintenance" was putting air in a slowly leaking tire? Remember when loose wheels, seats, handle bars, chains, didn't matter?
"He said: 'This front wheel wobbles.'

I said: 'It doesn't if you don't wobble it.'"--Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men on The Bummel
Of course, the greatest omission of all, playing cards in spokes.
My parents would never let me do it. Now that I'm grown-up, I don't think I have the nerve.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Post by infecto » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:43 am

nisiprius wrote:Oh, to me a "cruiser" is something completely different. Rode my first one as a rental last year. I didn't even think of it as a "comfort bike." It reminded me of an vintage 1950s Schwinn of the kind the kids in my neighbor rode, except for the snobs who had "English bikes" with 3-speed Sturmey-Archer hubs. I don't quite get the appeal of "cruisers."
Its all the same in my book....they all have upright riding positions. Road bikes (aggressive position), hybrids (cross between upright and aggressive), and comfort (upright).

When you live near the ocean they are everywhere. Nothing wrong with them either. Its flat here so a fixie works great, even for those that are not in great shape. If you are doing less than 5-10 miles it should be comfortable too.

I am not advocating them for any special appeal but the fact that they cheap and generally sturdy. With so few parts there is not much but the bare basics to go wrong and at $70 its a decent deal.

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Post by superlight » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:51 am

FWIW, a cruiser is a one-speed with coaster brakes. It's all you need for lazy flatland commutes. I'm sure it's healthy to ride, but if you are optimizing for health, gears help you tune your effort.
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Post by superlight » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:54 am

I don't quite get the appeal of "cruisers."
They are standard in my beach town. I'm sure it's part "signaling" in economists' terms. That is "I'm on my way to the beach." Or "I'm not on this thing because I don't have a car." Plus, they are perceived to be more common and less theft targets.

I had a friend back in the day who maintained you needed a certain amount of rust to be really cool. I doubt that's true today, but who knows.
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Post by magicmom » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:25 pm

I have ridden my $88 beach cruiser for over 10 years. Not a hard core rider just casual rides around town.

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Post by Ping Pong » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:08 pm

I would recommend you don't get a bike with a suspension fork. They make the bike heavier and use up valuable energy, especially when climbing hills..

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Post by p14175 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:49 pm

I used to ride a mountain bike, but switched to a recumbent because I got tired of my hands going to sleep and I just could not find the right combination of handle bar and seat that was comfortable.

I bought a Catrike Pocket (tadpole recumbent). It's a zippy little thing.
http://www.catrike.com/catrike_pocket.html

I hurt my left knee earlier this year and had to stop riding for a bit. I hope to be back on it soon!

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Post by superlight » Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:03 pm

magicmom wrote:I have ridden my $88 beach cruiser for over 10 years. Not a hard core rider just casual rides around town.
Can't beat that ;-)
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Post by tinscale » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:25 pm

In my opinion:

If you just want to ride around the block a couple of times or cruise around the neighborhood, all you need is a single speed coaster brake bike like you had when you were a kid. You can get one for $90 at a department store, or spend more and get a better version of the same thing, at a bike shop. This is what 4-5 posters are recommending.

If you want to bike any more than that, compete, or ride off-road, then you a looking at $400+ like the other 97% of the posters are saying.

The more complicated the bike, the more adjustments and maintenance required.

Lastly, why not look for a used one on craigslist or you local thrift shops. Get a bike lock if you plan on leaving it unattended for any length of time anywhere but home.

I'm still casually riding my 1984 Schwinn Woodlands 21-speed mountain bike, but would replace it with the single speed coaster brake version.

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Post by fishndoc » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:37 pm

I agree with buying quality, otherwise you may not stay with the exercises. However, if the price tag for a new quality bike is a problem, look around and learn what brands you like, and then watch on craigslist.

I found a used but-like-new GT a few years back for $200. The best price I could find on line for the same model was over $600. Used bikes, at least at the low to mid price range, seem to depreciate pretty severely (and you don't even need a carfax).
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