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Unicorn Bike

Old 12-09-19, 12:50 PM
  #26  
Wildwood
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
And BTW, steering a bike is a lot easier than steering a wheelchair.
.....depending upon pilot's experience and vehicular speed.
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Old 12-09-19, 01:08 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
One shouldn't believe everything one hears.
Especially, old wives' tales, irrelevant to 72yo seniors.
Expressions like 'you never forget...' came about when life expectancy was less than 72.

Shirley, no one believes cycling is an autonomic response! Hopefully there's consensus on that point as well. Maybe 3 agrees?

I've seen many people pick up a bike after decades of never sitting on one. It comes back to you immediately, and 72 isn't that old these days. Never once have I ever heard anyone say they had to relearn it as if they had never ridden before.

I've taught a few children how to ride a bike. Never once have I had to explain to them how to steer, and there's no way you could perform the myriad microadjustments to balance and steering on even the simplest of maneuvers if you had to consciously think them through.

Even if you were right that these things need to be relearned, putting someone on a trainer in which those skills aren't used strikes me as some remarkably silly advice.

Anyway, I've had enough of this. Enjoy the rest of your day.
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Old 12-09-19, 01:27 PM
  #28  
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Would love to hear which bike is selected
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Old 12-09-19, 01:27 PM
  #29  
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Drop bar mixte?

https://charleston.craigslist.org/bi...028166327.html
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Old 12-09-19, 04:23 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
@spinconn - How much prior biking experience does s-i-l have?
Ride any bikes since turning 14?
She used to ride her bike around the neighborhood as a kid. She has not been active as an adult in sports or exercise other than walking. She lives in a retirement community with a large and active bike club and many other non affiliated cyclists. They ride everything from Dogmas to recumbents. She thinks the old ladies who ride road bikes look cool. I agree, but to my eye they also look like accomplished riders who were probably pretty good before they were old.

I just came back to cycling this summer after 40 years away. I used to be a roadie so I bought a Roubaix. I must admit I was a bit shakey the first day or two and that particular bike is not known as being particularly twitchy. I love drop bars on the right bikes but they are not for everyone.

It took me a long time to get my wife to ride. She is a nurse with many sad stories of older ladies who fell and broke a hip and she was scared to try to ride at her age. I finally bought her a Jamis Hudson, a comfort bike with an upright position, big tires, a big, cushy seat and comfortable geometry. She loves it. Friday she took her longest ride yet, 18 miles and had a big ass grin on her face the entire time. Now her sister wants to join in on the fun.

I call it a unicorn because I want to steer her to something that can be reasonably comfortable and safe with drop bars, and also be OK when (not if) she realizes that we need to replace the drop bars. Not saying she is stubborn but no way will she go with a bike without drop bars to start. No way I am even taking her to the lbs until she at least tries my wife's bike.

Next time I'm marrying a girl with no siblings.
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Old 12-09-19, 04:49 PM
  #31  
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Steer her toward a bike like Electra, which has the 'crank forward' geometry, which allows for putting your feet on the ground easily from the seated position. These style bikes don't have drop bars because the seating is more upright and not forward leaning toward the bars.

As recommended by @FiftySix mixte can be drop bar and classy.
Here's one of my winter projects for a new wife's bike. Meaning new bike for the wife.
Cost projected to be $150.
Before adding racks in pretty stainless/chromed with needed feminine baskets and/or skirt guards.

Drop bars, Nitto technomic stem, low seat for more stable stops.

hmmm where is that pic?
Saddle height set for me, 73 inches tall

Purchased almost complete from a Forum member.

edit:
after the bike selection then she’ll not find a comfortable saddle.

and by having lots of group riders, she will soon need/want carbon fiber frame with disc brakes, road suspension, electronic shifting, headlight/taillight blinkers, etc (these things would be good for a second bike, if she gets HOT on cycling. )

then comes the clothing issue.

i know many of these senior bike clubs.

Last edited by Wildwood; 12-09-19 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 12-09-19, 05:40 PM
  #32  
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I rode for years as a young man, took a 20+ year hiatus with work, and got back into it pre-retirement. Other than asking myself why I had ever stopped, there was NO learning curve as I used my old bike. My wife started at 50+ years. She rode as a kid, but never on a multi-speed bike. I put her on my old Peugeot U-08 to see if she would like it, and she went to town scheduling long rides with girlfriends and did some group fun raiser rides. After a year she wanted a new bike (I quickly agreed as I did not want to hunt for vintage French parts), and she got a Bianchi road bike. Remember that was at 50+.

She is now 70 and still riding the Bianchi and recently tried a friends upright and said it made her back so sore and the hills so bad, that she would never go upright. I (at 66) now have some back issues (old discs) and upright would be painful, but when stretched forward, after a ride I feel great for days after. We both are drops fans and I have found the the newer bars (and brifters) are even better with the different ergonomics that remind me a bit of vintage randonneur bars for hand placement flexibility.

Let her try some bikes and pick and choose, but I would recommend she go to a shop that is not going to force her into a bike that demands a modern race position with a compact frame and use the more traditional French fit. I find many 'gravel bikes' tend to be more relaxed and might fit the bill, but a used older touring focused bike may work also. I would also say go for a minimum of 32mm tire clearance on whatever you get. You can always go narrower, but never larger if the frame is too tight.


EDIT: That wonderful AD mixte pictured above is great and a bit older than I meant, but would be a more than decent choice.

Last edited by Bill in VA; 12-09-19 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 12-09-19, 06:00 PM
  #33  
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Don't steer her anywhere but to a bike shop.

Put her on a bike and let hr see what She thinks. hr opinion sort of matters, right?

yeah, she could fall in the parking lot and permanently injure herself. She could also fall in the bathtub. Put her on a bike and see what she thinks.

We are all here trying to figure out the theory with no experimental data. Do the experiment, get the data. hey ... almost anyone can ride a bike. It might take a little practice but we all learned.

maybe she will scare herself and decide on a trike ... or maybe she will decide she wants it enough to learn it, and will be happy for the rest of her life riding a drop-bar road bike.

At 72, I think we can safely assume that she is an adult, and responsible for her own choices, no?
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Old 12-10-19, 12:55 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by spinconn View Post
She used to ride her bike around the neighborhood as a kid. She has not been active as an adult in sports or exercise other than walking. She lives in a retirement community with a large and active bike club and many other non affiliated cyclists. They ride everything from Dogmas to recumbents. She thinks the old ladies who ride road bikes look cool. I agree, but to my eye they also look like accomplished riders who were probably pretty good before they were old.

I just came back to cycling this summer after 40 years away. I used to be a roadie so I bought a Roubaix. I must admit I was a bit shakey the first day or two and that particular bike is not known as being particularly twitchy. I love drop bars on the right bikes but they are not for everyone.

It took me a long time to get my wife to ride. She is a nurse with many sad stories of older ladies who fell and broke a hip and she was scared to try to ride at her age. I finally bought her a Jamis Hudson, a comfort bike with an upright position, big tires, a big, cushy seat and comfortable geometry. She loves it. Friday she took her longest ride yet, 18 miles and had a big ass grin on her face the entire time. Now her sister wants to join in on the fun.

I call it a unicorn because I want to steer her to something that can be reasonably comfortable and safe with drop bars, and also be OK when (not if) she realizes that we need to replace the drop bars. Not saying she is stubborn but no way will she go with a bike without drop bars to start. No way I am even taking her to the lbs until she at least tries my wife's bike.

Next time I'm marrying a girl with no siblings.
My only. quibble is with the "when (not if)." Riding the hoods on the kinds of bikes being described really isn't that different from riding a flat bar, and our expectations of what other people will find comfortable are often wrong.
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Old 12-10-19, 09:49 AM
  #35  
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listen and you will find the unicorns
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Old 12-10-19, 12:29 PM
  #36  
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My wife is 70 and uses/insists on drop bars. She has her stem about 6 cm below saddle. She rides the drops far more than the tops. The request is not impossible.

OTOH I recently spent a lot of time setting up an old Peugeot PR10 for an able bodied man in his late 50s who really wanted that bike. On test ride it was immediately apparent there was just no way he was flexible enough to operate drop bars. He settled for a fancier hybrid.

I maintain a bike for a 72 year old lady who really loves to ride and has always been a rider. But the Witcomb had not been used in a lot of years and there were hip mobility issues. The final on that was a Biria. If you don't know the brand the stepover is lower than the bottom bracket. And then we switched to 150mm cranks which immediately doubled or triple how much the bike got used. The seriously hard one with her was getting the saddle lower. Saddle came down maybe 3 inches against huge resistance. Much safer that way and once the mental obstacle was conquered, again, the bike got used much more. And the bike feels fast because light wheels and René Herse tires. So a 72 year old with many health problems who'd had a gap of some years who now rides almost every day.

No sense in prescribing a bike on this one. Be patient. Listen. Try stuff. Be ready to try a lot of stuff. Be ready to do a lot of wrenching. Do not begin with a $1000 bike.

First line in OPs post is probably correct. The perfect bike probably does not exist. But it can be created.
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Old 12-10-19, 01:33 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
My wife is 70 and uses/insists on drop bars. She has her stem about 6 cm below saddle. She rides the drops far more than the tops. The request is not impossible.

OTOH I recently spent a lot of time setting up an old Peugeot PR10 for an able bodied man in his late 50s who really wanted that bike. On test ride it was immediately apparent there was just no way he was flexible enough to operate drop bars. He settled for a fancier hybrid.

I maintain a bike for a 72 year old lady who really loves to ride and has always been a rider. But the Witcomb had not been used in a lot of years and there were hip mobility issues. The final on that was a Biria. If you don't know the brand the stepover is lower than the bottom bracket. And then we switched to 150mm cranks which immediately doubled or triple how much the bike got used. The seriously hard one with her was getting the saddle lower. Saddle came down maybe 3 inches against huge resistance. Much safer that way and once the mental obstacle was conquered, again, the bike got used much more. And the bike feels fast because light wheels and René Herse tires. So a 72 year old with many health problems who'd had a gap of some years who now rides almost every day.

No sense in prescribing a bike on this one. Be patient. Listen. Try stuff. Be ready to try a lot of stuff. Be ready to do a lot of wrenching. Do not begin with a $1000 bike.

First line in OPs post is probably correct. The perfect bike probably does not exist. But it can be created.
Great post!

I'm a strict adherent of the "try stuff" method of bike selection. Those are some great examples of people finding they like something they weren't thinking of and ending up not being able to ride the things they thought would work. I also think that people are just guessing about the amount and type of riding they're going to do when they come back to riding after a very long time. When I came back to it about 4 years ago, I thought I'd be maxing out at about 30 miles per ride, and I've done 5 times that several times this year. I'm also a not very flexible man in my late 50s, and surprised myself by transitioning to drop bars almost exclusively for the first time in several decades. Turns out I'm just flexible enough to ride the drops in or out of the saddle. Who knew?

Just googled the Biria--what a nifty piece of engineering!
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Old 12-10-19, 01:58 PM
  #38  
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The Biria is nifty in every way. They got a bad start and a bad rep with an initial batch of frames with incurable alignment issues. Easy to imagine that jigging up that frame first time there could be some issues. That was about 15 years ago. Bad first impression is a real problem. The frames have been very straight and all details sharp for quite a while.

Also they are more normal than you would expect. For example when I did the 150mm crank on my old friend's bike it was a basic Origin8 crank and the only thing to do was try and see. I could not figure out how to measure anything on that strange frame. The new crank bolted up on the OEM spindle and chainline was perfect. Most things on that bike are like that. It works.
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Old 12-11-19, 09:45 AM
  #39  
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I second this. The Steel 725 is a GREAT road bike
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Old 12-17-19, 10:59 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Would love to hear which bike is selected


She tried my wife's Jamis Hudson Step Through and I took her on a 30 minute ride on a rails trail and on quiet streets. She loved it and so we went to the LBS today. I suggested she try every bike she liked the looks of, regardless of the type of bars. She ended up ordering a yellow Jamis Hudson Step Through. Thanks for all the help.
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Old 12-17-19, 11:45 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by spinconn View Post
She tried my wife's Jamis Hudson Step Through and I took her on a 30 minute ride on a rails trail and on quiet streets. She loved it and so we went to the LBS today. I suggested she try every bike she liked the looks of, regardless of the type of bars. She ended up ordering a yellow Jamis Hudson Step Through. Thanks for all the help.

Update appreciated. Looks a good choice. Just wondering how much pressure required to pull both brakes with single lever?

If she buys a CF drop bar road bike and full lycra kit within a year, blame it on those Crazy Boomer Cyclists and please let us know.
MOJO at work.

Congrats to a 72yo newbie cyclist. May she ride every day with a smile!
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Old 12-17-19, 11:51 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by spinconn View Post
She tried my wife's Jamis Hudson Step Through and I took her on a 30 minute ride on a rails trail and on quiet streets. She loved it and so we went to the LBS today. I suggested she try every bike she liked the looks of, regardless of the type of bars. She ended up ordering a yellow Jamis Hudson Step Through. Thanks for all the help.

My understanding is that the mint green is better for beginners than the yellow. (BF quibble humor).

When it comes to choosing a bike, a test ride is worth a million words of discussion.
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Old 12-17-19, 12:39 PM
  #43  
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Funny thing is she said she didn't care about the color, but most of her time deliberating over the bike was trying to decide between green, purple and yellow.

The single brake requires very little pressure. I like the choice of how much front and/or rear brake to apply in each situation but if you just want to make a smooth quick stop this single brake system works well. I don't understand exactly how the "self modulating" feature of the system works. I don't see a component I can point to and say that's the "self modulating unit" but it works.
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