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Unicorn Bike

Old 12-07-19, 08:36 AM
  #1  
spinconn
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Unicorn Bike

I am searching for a bike that does not exist, at least as far as I can tell.

My wife has committed me to help her sister buy a bike. She will ride it on paved bike paths. Judging by how she walks and moves in general, it will not be fast riding. She does not appear to be in shape or at all athletic. Oh yes, almost forgot, she is 72 years old.

Easy right? Just show her some cruisers and comfort bikes to try. Well, that will not work because she insists, absolutely insists, on . . . wait for it . . .

DROP BARS!

She wants to stay within $1,000. I believe she will kill herself on a road bike. She needs stability and comfort, and lots of both. She will not consider a recumbent or trike.

I am no expert on frame geometry but my guess is it will not be as simple as putting drop bars on a comfort/cruiser bike.

I never rode one but I am wondering if a gravel bike might be the way to go.

Any suggestions?
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Old 12-07-19, 08:48 AM
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If it's not a surprise gift, get the sister to a bike shop and do a test ride to see if she can handle the bike ok. That would be the starting point. Or use another bike from a friend or family member. You don't have to tell her that it's a test to she if she can ride well, just say you're going to see what she would like.

Last edited by 2manybikes; 12-07-19 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 12-07-19, 09:05 AM
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If you are willing to jump through enough hoops, you can put drop bars on anything. I've put them on hybrids and mountain bikes so I imagine you can put them on a cruiser. With the right stem and bar combination she may even be able to reach the bars. Having said that, it would be best to have her involved in selecting a properly fitting bike and riding it to help assure her comfort level.
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Old 12-07-19, 10:08 AM
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All sorts of options:

Eg. Ribble Endurance AL or 725 models?
https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribbl...mano-tiagra-1/
https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-endurance-al/
https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-endurance-725/

random google search on drop bar city bikes
https://bikesdirect.com/primalstuff.htm#road
https://www.bikesonline.com/polygon-...disc-road-bike

Last edited by Sy Reene; 12-07-19 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 12-07-19, 10:39 AM
  #5  
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A lot of shops have a trainer sitting off in a corner somewhere. Before I spent a dime on a bike for a 72 yo who “does not appear to be in shape or at all athletic” I’d have her show me a solid 20 minutes on a drop bar bike on a trainer. Uninterrupted. Only then do we consider buying a bicycle. If she can’t handle it but insists, a Specialized Roll is where I’d start looking.


-Kedosto
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Old 12-07-19, 11:45 AM
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There are a lot of good options in the gravel/adventure/etc. category. I'd start by finding something with really wide tire clearance and high stack.

If she can handle a test ride on something like that, mod the thing with an adjustable or super-upright angled stem. Result: comfort bike that looks like a road bike.
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Old 12-07-19, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
There are a lot of good options in the gravel/adventure/etc. category. I'd start by finding something with really wide tire clearance and high stack.

If she can handle a test ride on something like that, mod the thing with an adjustable or super-upright angled stem. Result: comfort bike that looks like a road bike.
Call it the Badass Barcalounger.
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Old 12-07-19, 01:49 PM
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Unicorn is above an 8 hot but below a 2 crazy

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Old 12-07-19, 01:51 PM
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26er bmx

https://www.the-house.com/qseblckf26...SABEgKJ__D_BwE

drop bars. Tell her no damn way.
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Old 12-07-19, 04:17 PM
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Tell her ordinary bars are called High Drops and are the latest thing.😉😀😉
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Old 12-07-19, 04:49 PM
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Thank you folks, some wonderful ideas to help me. I especially like the idea of telling her "no damn way". I'll introduce her to the different bikes suggested and see what I can get her to test ride.
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Old 12-07-19, 10:19 PM
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Sounds like a gravel bikes are a good place to start looking.
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Old 12-08-19, 08:16 AM
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How much cycling experience in her past and more importantly - in the last 20-30 years. If no recent riding experience then an Electra. Electra = feet on the ground at stops with the crank forward position.


If it were me and an out of shape, 72 year old with no cycling experience wanted a bike recommendation, i’d tell them to get an indoor cycling trainer for that first riding experience.

Last edited by Wildwood; 12-08-19 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 12-09-19, 05:31 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
How much cycling experience in her past and more importantly - in the last 20-30 years. If no recent riding experience then an Electra. Electra = feet on the ground at stops with the crank forward position.


If it were me and an out of shape, 72 year old with no cycling experience wanted a bike recommendation, i’d tell them to get an indoor cycling trainer for that first riding experience.

I totally disagree with the trainer advice. If someone is picking up the bicycle, it's probably because it's a form of exercise that can be fun.
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Old 12-09-19, 07:34 AM
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Balancing, pedaling, turning and stopping a bicycle is not a natural activity for a non-cyclist.

For a 72yo who hasn't ridden in decades (maybe, never?) the best technique for long term success is an easy introduction and injury prevention during learning.
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Old 12-09-19, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Balancing, pedaling, turning and stopping a bicycle is not a natural activity for a non-cyclist.

For a 72yo who hasn't ridden in decades (maybe, never?) the best technique for long term success is an easy introduction and injury prevention during learning.

Nothing in the OP suggests that this is a person who has never ridden, and I doubt seriously that such a person would express a preference for drop bars.

You do understand that riding a bike is the go-to example of a skill that people never lose? I thought this was bad advice when I read it, now that I see the reasoning behind it, it's even worse. If she feels up to riding, saying stuff like do it indoors first is just likely to discourage her. No one's telling her to go bombing down a 10% grade on a highway, starting by riding in a park or around a lake should be plenty safe.

I've known plenty of people who've started riding after decades, none of them ever started by doing a trainer first, and none of them injured themselves, found it difficult to balance or stop the bike, or remember how to pedal. They did have to be taught how to work gears, and they had to build endurance.
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Old 12-09-19, 08:56 AM
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Just go to a bike shop and let her try a more upright drop bar gravel bike. If she still wants it then that is exactly what she should get.

Remember, with all the current “gravel” offerings out there, “drop bars” does not have to equal “road racing”.
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Old 12-09-19, 09:48 AM
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yeah, OP never stated sis-in-law's prior cycling experience. i assumed little to none.
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Old 12-09-19, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
yeah, OP never stated sis-in-law's prior cycling experience. i assumed little to none.
Unlike probably most skills, there's a world of difference between little and none when it comes to riding bikes. Barring some catastrophic health event, once you learn how to balance and steer a bike, that knowledge stays with you throughout your life with or without practice. It's the prime example of a "non-perishable skill."

Sorry to push back on you so hard, but from what I've seen, the reason a lot of people trying to increase their physical activity choose cycling is because being outside moving around is actually its own incentive.

Getting back to the OP, my first suggestion would be to ask her why she wants drop bars. She might actually have a good reason. Flat bar hand positions aren't good for everybody.
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Old 12-09-19, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
Unicorn is above an 8 hot but below a 2 crazy

That's a dude!!
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Old 12-09-19, 11:18 AM
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cycling is not an autonomic response - like breathing, blinking, heartbeat, salivating over bikes, etc.

more like walking (but harder) - if you never learned you probably don't have the skills to execute without the possibility of falling.

Fact: A bicycle is not as stable as a wheelchair.
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Old 12-09-19, 11:25 AM
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@spinconn - How much prior biking experience does s-i-l have?
Ride any bikes since turning 14?
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Old 12-09-19, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
That's a dude!!
could be
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Old 12-09-19, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
if you never learned you probably don't have the skills to execute without the possibility of falling.

Fact: A bicycle is not as stable as a wheelchair.
The two parts of your post that were correct--like I said, there's a world of difference between having never ridden and used to ride a long time ago. I take it as a given that the OP is smart enough to know that teaching a 72 year old how to ride a bike is difficult enough that he would have mentioned that this was part of what he was expected to do.

You are aware of the expression "like riding a bicycle", right? Once learned, balancing a bike does not have to be relearned even if you haven't done it in decades. And BTW, steering a bike is a lot easier than steering a wheelchair.
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Old 12-09-19, 12:42 PM
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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?
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