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  1. #1
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    Default Need bicycle buying advice for adult rider

    I'm going to buy a bicycle for cruising down my counrty roads just for the added exercise but am confused by all that's out there. I'm retired and just want to pedal and work out. If it matters, my roads are as flat as a pancake.

    The brand i sort of like is "Giant" only because I have seen some used ones advertised for sale and they look beefy and dependable. Some have only one gear with regular handlebars (i like that) and some have many speeds with lean forward racing type handlebars. Don't like that because I'm getting arthritis and bending forward hurts my back. I would ride about 12 miles at a time and I actually would wear a helmet.

    An overly complex bike does not appeal to me because I don't need or want it. The single gear, regular handlebar bicycle sort of appeals to me but I'm not sure if that's a smart idea or not.Those handlebars that let you sit up straight seem like a good idea but maybe I don't know any better.

    Can anyone help me out a bit with advice and opinions?
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

  2. #2
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need bicycle buying advice for adult rider

    You would be better answered on a bicycling forum. We used to bike extensively, but have not really ridden for 10 years or so. Our first bikes in the late 80's were Giant hybrids and we found them to be a good value bicycle. We sold them after a few years and began serious biking utilizing 21 speed tourers. A lot more expensive and faster, however, not necessarily more fun. Value for the investment, Giant used to be one of the best, however, as stated before we no longer bike. Country roads are great fun and great riding. Be very cautious if motorists in your area are not used to seeing bicyclists on the roads. Wear a helmet and bright high visibility clothing and have fun.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need bicycle buying advice for adult rider

    I carried a water pistol with ammonia for problem canines. It worked well for most breeds. Bull terriers were problematic and tenacious.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need bicycle buying advice for adult rider

    I have what is called an urban commuter. It's a heavily built ( but not heavy ) upright style of bike with oversized slicks and 12 speeds. It is fast and stable, and basically unbreakable. Mine is made by Marin. Their new models are as follows;

    www.marinbikes.com/2013/URBAN
    Tim.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need bicycle buying advice for adult rider

    The bikes you see with the dropped handlebars are classified as road bikes. The other style of handlebars are used on mountain and hybrids (flat bars)

    If you are going to ride the roads, I would suggest a hybrid. Mountain bikes are more gravel/fire roads/trails. You can ride them on the roads, but they are slower and heavier.

    Giant, Specialized, Cannondale, and Trek make good products, albeit at that level they are all manufactured in China. If you live near an REI, Novara (REI's inhouse brand) also makes a nice bike, likely made in the same factory as one of the majors.

    Depending upon how much you want to spend, the frame will be all aluminum on the lower end, aluminum with carbon on the mid range, and all carbon for a high end bike. Aluminum is light, but transfers more road vibration than carbon. I would suggest at least a carbon fork if you are going to ride for long periods of time.

    The big difference between the manufacturers is the frame geometry, and you can really only tell this by riding them. For example, a Cannondale has a shorter cockpit than the Specialized, which puts a shorter rider in a more head's up position. You may be taller and prefer a longer reach. Test ride to find out what's comfortable for you. A good bike shop will be able fit it for you so the saddle is the correct height (saves your knees!), and the handle bars are positioned with the right sized stem (the part that connects the bars to the fork/front end.

    I'm a bit of a bike geek (in case you can't tell). Feel free to ask away-you can always PM me if you don't want to post all of your questions here.




    Single speeds are simple, but the problem is the lack of gearing can be problematic. Gearing makes riding much more pleasant. You can use easier gears on hills, harder gears for sprinting/speed. You may think you live in a flat area, but sometimes you run into false grades that have some incline. Keep in mind that gearing can make it easier riding into the wind as well. Riding in windy conditions can actually be as hard as riding hills.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need bicycle buying advice for adult rider

    Hi there sixdogs- I am a pretty avid bicyclist, so I can give you my input in hopes it can help you. Are your country roads pavement or gravel ? Will you ride daily, or multiple times per week? Or just maybe once a month? What ballpark amount are you expecting to spend?
    Regardless of these questions- I would suggest that you look into getting what is referred to as a 'hybrid' bicycle. This simply means that the bike has many of the benefits & features of a road bicyle (the lean forward ones like in Tour de France) HOWEVER is designed with a geometry for comfort and casual riding. It really depends on how much riding you plan to do, and how much quality do you want. You can simply go to Walmart and buy a cheap conventional adult bicycle, and that may be just fine for some. But if you want to have a better experience that will be more conducive to riding more... then get a 'quality' bike. Giant does make good bikes. Do you have a local bike shop that sells Giants? I am more familiar with Trek and Cannondale. Each brand will have numerous models to choose from that are priced for different budgets. With bikes, usually the more you pay- the lighter the bike (yet still retaining strength). I could go on and on... but don't want to overwhelm you. You should try to buy from a local shop if at all possible. You may pay a little more than if you ordered online - but you will want to test ride the bike first, and get a basic fit (they will adjust the bike to fit you. Then after the sale, be able to take the bike to be adjusted if ever needed.
    Here are a couple links that may give you some ideas. These are 4 manufacturers where you can't really go wrong. There are other less expensive brands too.. but you have to be careful you dont end up with a heavy tank with crappy bearings.
    Verve Hybrid - Trek Bicycle
    ADVENTURE - Recreation - Recreation & Urban - Bikes - 2013
    Specialized Bicycle Components
    Cypress LX (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

    Hope that helps.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member KennyG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need bicycle buying advice for adult rider

    The single speed "cruisers" may look like all you need, but if you want to regularly use it for exercise, I would recommend getting a more sophisticated "cross" or "hybrid" bike. This would have more or less upright handlebars but would have typically 21 speeds. With modern bikes, the multiple speed systems are almost foolproof and maintenance free when set up right the first time.

    Why would I recommend this? Because things that are difficult and boring won't be continued. Even if your route is flat, head winds and tail winds will make a huge difference in speed. Going faster is more fun. The big tires may sound like a good idea but 700-28 or 700-32 are much more efficient.

    Biking is great exercise and you may surprise yourself when you get into it. I personally like road bikes with drop bars and skinny tires. My main bike is currently a 16 pound carbon fiber 20 speed bike. I'm in my 60s.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need bicycle buying advice for adult rider

    Giant has hybrids. That means flat bars, sort of wide tires (wider than a bike with dropped bars), and gears. Dash 3 or Rapid 3 might be something you might like. Rapid 3 (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States A single gear sounds appealing if you are strong. If you ride one way to town. Then the way back home has the wind pick up, that one gear might be a bit challenging. Almost every major bike manufacturer has some sort of hybrid at similar price points. I think Giant is the largest bike manufacturer in the world who also makes quality bikes. Some of those Walmart type bikes may be made by some huge manufacturer but they use some really cheasy components that often do not work well. Shifters that are hard to use, brakes that barely slow you down ... Giant, Trek, Specialized and some others like Marin make some nice bikes that work well and have the features you want. Like tractors, you probably want a good bike shop to help you make a good purchase. I know a good Giant and Specialized dealer in my neighborhood which is not particularly helpful for you in Ohio.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need bicycle buying advice for adult rider

    Great advice--thank you all. I'm retired, 6'1" and since I'm looking for exercise I don't mind difficult. I do agree a multi speed is a better way to go and while I wold like to find used I might have to buy new. Here's the simple list off of the Giant website i fould. The three or seven speed is appealing but I'm just looking to find out what I want. Another reason to try to buy used is the depreciation factor since most people probably buy a bike and after 25 miles it gathers dust until sold. I am looking at the hybrid as well from the suggestions so look at the second link too.



    Giant Bicycles | United States

    Cypress LX (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States



    I'll use it probably 6 days a week if the weather is nice and ride for 4 to 12 miles most days. I am on an excercise regimen and must work out so I am committed. I know how to ride country roads and when the infrequent traffic passes I'll just ride into the grass edge. No big deal.

    The roads are in great shape with not even much in the way of cracks, Blacktop, actually macadam roads where tar is laid down and then a layer of gravel that gets pressed in by the traffic. There really are no hills or even grades but I do remember the headwind thing and have canoed a lot in bad climates.

    Oh, Since I'm riding for a given time and distance, i would like a rack on the back and maybe even front to carry things just in case. I'd prob ride at daybreak since I have a whole day of work in front of me.
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need bicycle buying advice for adult rider

    Also... i forgot another point that is important. Check around & look online to see if there are any local bike clubs in your area. I highly recommend the 'group rides'. You will meet all ages and shapes of nice people. They will typically publish a calendar of these rides. Some are regular scheduled weekly rides. Others are ad-hoc rides to different destinations. For example, there is a ride in my area where they go to an orchard to get hot cider donuts. I find it very enjoyable to ride with others as you 'forget' that you are exercising. There are many many folks in our bike club that are in their 60's and 70's. I even met some guys that were in their 80's that were participating in a bike race! (senior olympics). It was great that they were out there on their bikes. The poor guy that won the medal for his age group couldn't hear when they called his name! and when he went up to collect his medal, he needed to be helped onto the podium!

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