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New/ oldie on a mission

Old 03-13-20, 09:02 PM
  #1  
Lman
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New/ oldie on a mission

At 62 I've returned to bicycle riding. Haven't been on a bicycle 46 years. I found this REI Co op cty 1.3 at a pawn shop in primo low mile shape to ride on a Greenbelt behind my house. For starts I'm doing 20 mile rides , and would like to work my way up to 62+ miles by the time they complete the Greenway that will eventually circle San Antonio Tx.
Now asking for opinions.....I'm learning the importance of cadence. Right now I'm at about 64 rpm at the crank....the Alfine 8 speed is geared a little low, but then again I'm wondering with my slow cadence perhaps I don't need higher gearing. I've been told that there have been people who have used the Shimano alfine 8 internal geared hub to tour with.....what say you ? The bike is belt drive so changing the drive cogs could give me higher gearing, but at a cost. For now should I just try to work on increasing my cadence speed?
Thank you in advance for sharing your experience !






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Old 03-14-20, 06:02 AM
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At 68 yrs old, I've been a returneder about 10 years now. Time in the saddle will help with cadence. We have some lovely long trails here in the Philly area but all of em come with headwinds, free of charge. An hour or so straight into a headwind will "learn ya up" about cadence. I've also benefitted from indoor cycling thru the winter. I keep some good tunes on the CD player while I ride and stare out the window. On my stationary I tend to mimic the pace of the music. If the bluegrass is fast my cadence goes up. If the Trad is winding out then cadence approaches 90rpm. Good training and building muscle memory. On my rollers life is just better at higher cadence. Smoother and less crashing.

Outside, on trails, I wear ear buds with a long list of acoustic music. I'm often able to mimic cadence there too. Helps a bit. Think of those NASCAR or Indy cars - higher RPM means more power, further up the torque curve. Winner winner, chicken dinner. Good for you too.
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Old 03-14-20, 07:31 AM
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It seems to me that cadence varies by person--people seem to have a natural cadence. Mine tends to be faster than most. This means I'm in a lower gear than if I were to pedal slower and still go the same speed. Being in a lower gear is better for your knees. This is the main reason I don't mash.

If you decide to tour, you'll need like 27 gears if you carry any equipment, especially the granny gears. Plus you need the difference between each gear to be small, like how a truck is geared. If you stay in the flats, that bike should be fine, however.
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Old 03-14-20, 07:54 AM
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As you get more fit you will speed up. I wouldn't change gearing on that bike. Just ride it as much as you can. Finding some hills will help improve your fitness.

I had a Shimano Nexus 8 and liked it a lot. I wouldn't hesitate to tour or take longer rides with it.

As you get more experienced your needs / wants will change. You will figure out what works for you and in time will buy a new bike which meets your needs at that time.

Btw-as you get a little more comfortable riding, you might want to adjust those butterfly bars and seat. Just Google how to position them for best use.

Nice bike. Good luck!

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Old 03-14-20, 08:47 AM
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Tourist in MSN
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Nothing wrong with a cadence of 64 if you are out for a relaxed ride. When i am out on an exercise ride for between one and two hours, I am generally between 72 and 78. Bike touring when I am riding all day, usually upper 60s to mid 70s, but late in the afternoon when I have been riding all day down to the mid 60s. A relaxed ride with friends, mid 60s.

A friend of mine bought a bike like yours for commuting. I asked him why he bought a belt drive bike with an internally geared hub and he said he walked into a bike shop and said he wanted the closest thing to a maintenance free bike that they had, that is what they sold to him. It is a nice bike, but belt drive bikes are hard to change the gearing on because you not only need a new belt but a new sprocket and maybe new chainring, plus you would need to have the belt tension adjusted which would probably be a labor charge at a bike shop.

Touring is a broad category that ranges from hauling your camping gear on the bike to only taking a spare set of clothes and a tooth brush as you bike from motel to motel which is often called credit card touring. If you were going to carry much weight, you probably would be happier with a different bike that had wider gearing. Imagine climbing a hill with an 8 percent grade, you want a pretty low gear for that. I think you should keep riding this bike and if you want to do some touring later, consider a different bike for that at that time. And you could certainly keep this one for trips to the grocery store if you bought another.
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Old 03-14-20, 09:19 AM
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Starting out with 20 mile rides is pretty aggressive on its own. Picking up the cadence for periods of time on those rides can help with the conditioning.
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Old 03-14-20, 10:21 AM
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Happy Feet
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Just work on riding right now, don't worry about the bike. It looks quite nice actually. People tour on everything from penny farthings to carbon fiber road bikes - there is no one design to do it.

Over time you will find the limits of your bike, if it has any, but until then it's just saddle time.
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Old 03-14-20, 08:05 PM
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Congratulations for getting back in the game. Nice quality bike, I love IGH hubs too.
It's hard to judge what you're doing riding when you said nothing about what speed in what gear. I would expect gear 6 at 15 to 19 mph on the flats, would be good. I had a SA 5w for a few years, it flew down the road. GIs were 45 to 115. It did 45 mph. LOL I guess my cadence went from 65 to 75 on the flat. My heart jumps to 120 I think, when doing long miles.

The bike setup looks totally weird, you must be 6'2" or something. I hope that was the biggest size bike. Was it setup to put your feet down flatter than usual?? The pedals look silly skinny, how do they get a proper bearing in there?? Also the front fender might be better if it was moved behind the fork. Just make sure there is still 5" ground clearance for going off square curbs.

As for touring, a low GI of around 30 to 100 is average with an 8 speed. Could be that yours is 28 to 92 or something. Every 1" lower takes 4" off the top. You can do LOTS with that bike, especially in Texas. FAR less likely to pop spokes. I saw the blog of one guy who did 12,300 miles on 3 continents, with a Nexus 7 coaster brake, on a girl frame yet. His GI was only 31 to 75 I think. He had a front dyno hub for lights, indispensable IMO. Mine is a SA XL-FDD drum brake with 24,000 miles and going.... I have a Rohloff14 with 21 to 114 GI, it's fabulous. . You could build up a second wheel with one later ... at the cost of nearly your whole bike. LOL
I have done 2 tours total of 8,100 miles at 60 and 64 yo.

Whether or not you later take apart your hub and put oil or ATF inside, should be considered.

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Old 03-14-20, 10:30 PM
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That is one sweet looking bicycle. I bet that saddle is ultra comfortable. ?

How long have you been back bicycling? Over time one of two things will happen. #1 . your cadence will increase #2 . your stamina will increase even though your cadence stays the same. Sometimes in exercising it's best to "make haste, SLOWLY".

I'd ride the bike for a few months at least to determine what needs aren't being met. Changing the rear cog to a bigger one will give you overall lower gearing as would changing the chainring to a smaller one.

Do you plan to tour on it? Some people tour on bicycles that they push up hills when the hills are too steep for the gearing the bicycle has. Many of those people like the break in the riding and the fact that they can take in the scenery more too.

Cheers
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Old 03-15-20, 01:22 AM
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i would be concerned about the saddle. from the photo, it appears the nose is tilted up.
proper placement would be level or tilted slightly down at the front.

is that just an optical delusion?
or on purpose? you feel the saddle is too far forward?
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Old 03-15-20, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
That is one sweet looking bicycle. I bet that saddle is ultra comfortable. ?

How long have you been back bicycling? Over time one of two things will happen. #1 . your cadence will increase #2 . your stamina will increase even though your cadence stays the same. Sometimes in exercising it's best to "make haste, SLOWLY".

I'd ride the bike for a few months at least to determine what needs aren't being met. Changing the rear cog to a bigger one will give you overall lower gearing as would changing the chainring to a smaller one.

Do you plan to tour on it? Some people tour on bicycles that they push up hills when the hills are too steep for the gearing the bicycle has. Many of those people like the break in the riding and the fact that they can take in the scenery more too.

Cheers
I am one of those people whom jumps off and walks on steep hills, because of gearing and I also have a dog in a trailer on board. It does not worry me to do this, it gives me a bit of a break. Have changed my gearing to 46 - 30, and 11 -34, it is not that great for steep hills, but I just love my bike. When it breaks and or wears out, I will replace it with a Vivente. I am also 60, am reasonably fit, but I don't like flogging myself just to ride a steep hill. Walking is OK. EDIT: On another note I really like that bike, it has everything I would want in a light touring rig. We don't get access to REI's over here, but I would get one new or used I I could from the states, and shipping was not expensive, especially one in your configuration.

Last edited by ricrunner; 03-15-20 at 03:22 AM. Reason: Mistake
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Old 03-15-20, 05:41 AM
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Just a comment about your ride distance. I'm also 62 and I routinely ride 62 mile days, which happens to be a metric century (100 km). I plan to continue to ride my age in miles well into my 70s, hopefully into my 80s.
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Old 03-15-20, 08:00 AM
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Easy to start ...ehh

Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
i would be concerned about the saddle. from the photo, it appears the nose is tilted up.
proper placement would be level or tilted slightly down at the front.
That's the first thing I noticed!!! Betting that'll be causing intense numbness.

20 miles to start??? After 46 years of not cycling. Don't know what your fitness level is but muscles used biking aren't the same as any other activity.(Skating maybe the exception.)

Over exerting yourself from the onset will likely lead to you taking a bath when you sell that bike back to the pawn shop.

Advice I got from a real old timer(25 years ago) when I returned to cycling(was in my mid 30's) after 10 years out of the saddle,
was to ride 10 minutes on the first day then stop(no matter how good you felt), 20 minutes the second day,30 the third,etc.
By the end of the week you'll be pedaling for an hour ,riding a total distance of 8 to 14 miles.
After a couple of weeks you'll know if the cycling thing is for you.
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Old 03-16-20, 06:49 AM
  #14  
Lman
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Congratulations for getting back in the game. Nice quality bike, I love IGH hubs too.
It's hard to judge what you're doing riding when you said nothing about what speed in what gear. I would expect gear 6 at 15 to 19 mph on the flats, would be good. I had a SA 5w for a few years, it flew down the road. GIs were 45 to 115. It did 45 mph. LOL I guess my cadence went from 65 to 75 on the flat. My heart jumps to 120 I think, when doing long miles.

The bike setup looks totally weird, you must be 6'2" or something. I hope that was the biggest size bike. Was it setup to put your feet down flatter than usual?? The pedals look silly skinny, how do they get a proper bearing in there?? Also the front fender might be better if it was moved behind the fork. Just make sure there is still 5" ground clearance for going off square curbs.

As for touring, a low GI of around 30 to 100 is average with an 8 speed. Could be that yours is 28 to 92 or something. Every 1" lower takes 4" off the top. You can do LOTS with that bike, especially in Texas. FAR less likely to pop spokes. I saw the blog of one guy who did 12,300 miles on 3 continents, with a Nexus 7 coaster brake, on a girl frame yet. His GI was only 31 to 75 I think. He had a front dyno hub for lights, indispensable IMO. Mine is a SA XL-FDD drum brake with 24,000 miles and going.... I have a Rohloff14 with 21 to 114 GI, it's fabulous. . You could build up a second wheel with one later ... at the cost of nearly your whole bike. LOL
I have done 2 tours total of 8,100 miles at 60 and 64 yo.

Whether or not you later take apart your hub and put oil or ATF inside, should be considered.
Well I am 6'2" exactly, and the bike is an XL frame.
I set it up for full upright riding as my wrist /handswere starting to go numb on me. I installed a kick back seat post and butterfly bars, b33 saddle which I love. The bike is quite comfy for my ol body.
Must work on cadence.....need more time away from work so I can ride more☺️🚴🚵.
Thanxs for you insight
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Old 03-16-20, 11:11 PM
  #15  
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I may be outdated with this, but when I was racing, our coach always insisted on a high cadence (80-90 rpm) because it puts less strain on the muscles and leg joints with quicker recovery. Imagine with an italian accent: "you legs must be like elastic"
Touring, I like to keep it 65-75 on flats and faster it on inclines
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