Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Old Mountain Bikers

Notices
Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Old Mountain Bikers

Old 11-13-19, 08:09 AM
  #1  
spinconn
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: SC
Posts: 123

Bikes: Trek Marlin 7; Giant Roam 4

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 13 Posts
Old Mountain Bikers

There are old pilots and bold pilots but there are no old bold pilots.

Any old mountain bikers out there?

I just took up mountain biking at the age of 70. I don't have much in the way of true MTB trails in my area so mostly ride easy trails of hard pack dirt, grass and gravel. Nothing technical on them. I also ride hiking trails and then get some logs, roots and rocks, but again usually not technical. Sometimes though, I take off down game trails and then I fall, and fairly often.

I usually just got black and blue and scrapes and laughed it off because it was so much fun. I was recently injured enough to have major pain and limitation in one arm and shoulder. It doesn't stop me from biking but I have stopped riding game trails until it heals.

My wife claims that nobody rides off road anymore at my age. I don't intend to quit but it has me curious. Any old mountain bikers out there?

If so, have you tamed down the trails you ride? What kind of off road riding do you do?
spinconn is offline  
Old 11-13-19, 09:35 AM
  #2  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 12,902
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 616 Post(s)
Liked 306 Times in 214 Posts
I'm 65 and I like to ride some technical trails. I don't like to get crazy or take big jumps because I don't want to fall.
big john is offline  
Old 11-13-19, 09:57 AM
  #3  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 24,390

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3560 Post(s)
Liked 584 Times in 419 Posts
I'm 60 & got a used MTB cheap last Fall. it's fun to go where the road bike & hybrid are less appropriate. I've been caught on rougher trails than I wanted to be on. I try to research ahead of time but sometimes I just get caught off guard. I had a cpl surprising falls last year & trying to avoid that. I've got a little issue w/ one shoulder but I have no idea if it's from a fall. I don't really keep track of that too closely, but I'm thinking it might be from a fall. Those narrow trails are tough to ride on, fun to explore, but tough to ride on. I got caught on one last weekend that was so narrow & so deep from erosion I had to walk behind the bike, pushing the saddle & rocking it left & right to keep it on track until I got to a less eroded spot.
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 11-13-19, 12:00 PM
  #4  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 3,870

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1406 Post(s)
Liked 177 Times in 137 Posts
I'm 64, been mt. and road cycling since I was 33. I still mt. bike, mostly in fall thru spring when the temps drop round these part. The trail riding is terrific in fall/winter even when the ground is frozen.

I know my wife questions the mt. biking, especially as I took a hard fall a week or so ago on a really nice single track. Didn't see a stump under the leaves, then caught the h-bar on a tree and was ejected onto the ground. I was moving at a clip as well. Badly bruised lower ribs (maybe cracked, but no difference), bad bruise on inner thigh with a black and blue going from mid calf to mid thigh. I was in LOT of pain last week, getting better this week and will try some easy trail stuff this weekend.

Thing is, it's hard to recognize that my age is a limit, especially when I'm able to handle the not too technical stuff like I have all my life. Getting hurt just takes forever to heal, so I try not to fall. And I DO NOT ride anything technical or in the least bit sketchy, especially when I'm alone. A riding buddy who's 8 years younger, fell a few years back on a solo mt. bike ride, broke 2 vertebrae in his neck. He was able to call 911, it took them 45 minutes to find him, he's lucky it wasn't super cold, he might have died of hypothermia. They had to helicopter him out. I'm unclear how he's able to convince his wife that he's OK to solo, except that he too has been doing this all his life so how to stop now ?.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 11-13-19, 12:16 PM
  #5  
freeranger
Senior Member
 
freeranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,477

Bikes: 06 Lemond Reno, 96 GT Timberline mtn.bike

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 99 Post(s)
Liked 104 Times in 76 Posts
I'll be 69 around Christmas and still mtn.biking on my heavy arsed steel GT. Still riding roots, rocks, stream crossings, mild drops, nothing like the younger generation on dual-susp, but not too awfully tame either. I do find there are sections now tho, that I'll think twice about, maybe even walk, that I used to ride. But I'm still riding and hope to be able to continue for a good long while! Oh, and because I still ride some "iffy" trails, I don't go out there alone.
freeranger is offline  
Old 11-13-19, 12:33 PM
  #6  
curbtender
Senior Member
 
curbtender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, East bay
Posts: 5,994

Bikes: Marinoni, Kestral 200 2002 Trek 5200, KHS Flite, Koga Miyata, Schwinn Spitfire 5, Schwinn Speedster, Mondia Special, Univega Alpina, Miyata team Ti, MB3

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 701 Post(s)
Liked 203 Times in 153 Posts
You have me by a few years. Do it if you like it. A quality shock and disc brake setup will make the ride much safer and enjoyable.
curbtender is offline  
Likes For curbtender:
Old 11-13-19, 12:45 PM
  #7  
wsteve464
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 383
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 107 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 24 Times in 22 Posts
Old Mountain Bikers

Never die they just go down hill.

Sorry couldn't resist. Can't recall where I heard that.

Up to a couple of years ago I used to ride a FS MTB on abandoned fire roads then the fires and rains came. The trails that didn't get closed got bulldozed and were no longer fun to ride.

Loved going downhill on the FS bike it was like flying.
wsteve464 is offline  
Likes For wsteve464:
Old 11-13-19, 05:30 PM
  #8  
spinconn
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: SC
Posts: 123

Bikes: Trek Marlin 7; Giant Roam 4

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 13 Posts
Thank you gentlemen. It is interesting and helpful to hear the individual perspective of each of you. I am glad to hear I am not the only old one out on the trails, though I do seem to be the oldest.

I do feel it is safer than the road biking I used to do. One nice thing about age is the memories I have of quiet, lonely country roads with little to no traffic. Trees hurt less than vehicles when you hit them.
spinconn is offline  
Old 11-13-19, 05:36 PM
  #9  
2cam16
Senior Member
 
2cam16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: San Mateo,Ca.
Posts: 3,161

Bikes: TOO MANY

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 754 Post(s)
Liked 210 Times in 157 Posts
55 and been mtb'ing since the late 80's. Still shredding, jumping, climbing, and dropping in. Fire roads and singletracks on my 26'ers. My FS is down for the count so my main ride is one of my hardtails. Nothing like the younger folk on their 27.5's and 29'ers though. lol I ride road a lot too but nothing beats being up in the hills and mountains on dirt!

IMG_9905 by 2cam16, on Flickr

Last edited by 2cam16; 11-13-19 at 05:42 PM.
2cam16 is offline  
Likes For 2cam16:
Old 11-13-19, 05:38 PM
  #10  
badger1
Senior Member
 
badger1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 4,234
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1090 Post(s)
Liked 153 Times in 103 Posts
Originally Posted by spinconn View Post
Thank you gentlemen. It is interesting and helpful to hear the individual perspective of each of you. I am glad to hear I am not the only old one out on the trails, though I do seem to be the oldest.

I do feel it is safer than the road biking I used to do. One nice thing about age is the memories I have of quiet, lonely country roads with little to no traffic. Trees hurt less than vehicles when you hit them.
Well, you have me beat in the oldie stakes, but only by two years! I still ride mtb as much as I can -- it's my 'first love' in cycling -- but now stay with non-technical singletrack. At 68, I'm skeered to death of getting a broken hip or worse, and simply can't risk a blow to the head given my recent medical history.

Still and yet: given the choice, I'll ride on gravel/dirt/singletrack whenever possible rather than on 'roads'. Fortunately, my 'summer' place affords singletrack and more quite literally out my back door.

badger1 is offline  
Old 11-13-19, 05:50 PM
  #11  
DeceptivelySlow
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 109

Bikes: Two wheels; multiple gears

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Just two days a ago I was wrestling with age vs. risk vs. reward question. I am a bit younger than the OP but this question was still concerning me. I just did my first hardcore mtb ride in about 7 years this past Monday. I went all in and did the most difficult trail which has a long technical decent with little margin for error esp. when riding a hard tail that is prone to endo. The only two people I saw on the trail were less than half my age. Glad I did it but not sure I want to do it again. I am certainly transitioning to the mindset of less technical riding and survive to ride another day. Running into the same issue with snow skiing; definitely taking it slower than I used to.
DeceptivelySlow is offline  
Old 11-13-19, 06:55 PM
  #12  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 12,902
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 616 Post(s)
Liked 306 Times in 214 Posts
I swore off hardtails in 1998. Last year I bought an enduro type bike, 160mm fork and 150mm rear with 27.5x2.8 tires. It really makes rocks and bumps easier and even rough climbs are smoother. The "plus" tires give great traction. The thing is no featherweight @32 pounds but it's a lot of fun to descend on.
Another thing it has is a dropper seatpost. I never had one before but now I am a believer. I will never have another mtb without a dropper. I highly recommend a dropper regardless of the bike you ride.

https://khsbicycles.com/bikes/2018-k...-6600-plus-18/
big john is offline  
Likes For big john:
Old 11-13-19, 07:24 PM
  #13  
spinconn
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: SC
Posts: 123

Bikes: Trek Marlin 7; Giant Roam 4

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by big john View Post
I swore off hardtails in 1998. Last year I bought an enduro type bike, 160mm fork and 150mm rear with 27.5x2.8 tires. It really makes rocks and bumps easier and even rough climbs are smoother. The "plus" tires give great traction. The thing is no featherweight @32 pounds but it's a lot of fun to descend on.
Another thing it has is a dropper seatpost. I never had one before but now I am a believer. I will never have another mtb without a dropper. I highly recommend a dropper regardless of the bike you ride.

https://khsbicycles.com/bikes/2018-k...-6600-plus-18/
I have been toying with the idea of getting a FS bike but have hesitated because I have no expert level trails here, nor any expert level skills. But I do enjoy the comfort of my front suspension even when on relatively smooth dirt so I suspect I would enjoy a FS even though it is not needed for my riding. I have no argument with a comfortable ride.
spinconn is offline  
Old 11-13-19, 07:34 PM
  #14  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 3,870

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1406 Post(s)
Liked 177 Times in 137 Posts
Originally Posted by spinconn View Post
I have been toying with the idea of getting a FS bike but have hesitated because I have no expert level trails here, nor any expert level skills. But I do enjoy the comfort of my front suspension even when on relatively smooth dirt so I suspect I would enjoy a FS even though it is not needed for my riding. I have no argument with a comfortable ride.
I semi retired my 32 lbs ‘04 Stumpjumper FS last year for a Specialized Chisel HT 29’er. Glad I did, but I ride no rocks, no big hills, all dirt with some roots, lots of trees. I love the 26 lbs of bike. It accelerates and climbs better than anything I’ve ridden prior and is just plain fun.

And as note as to how old ?, a well known local guy kept mt. biking till almost90. He only started when he retired from Grumman in his mid 50’s so had some catching up to do. He basically had to stop due to some heart issues as well as the occasional injury that took too long to heal. I hope to last that long.

Last edited by Steve B.; 11-13-19 at 07:37 PM.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 11-13-19, 07:39 PM
  #15  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 12,902
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 616 Post(s)
Liked 306 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by spinconn View Post
I have been toying with the idea of getting a FS bike but have hesitated because I have no expert level trails here, nor any expert level skills. But I do enjoy the comfort of my front suspension even when on relatively smooth dirt so I suspect I would enjoy a FS even though it is not needed for my riding. I have no argument with a comfortable ride.
I think the suspension helps with the lack of skills on rougher trails. I'm sure a hardtail works fine for a lot of the country but here we have lots of loose rocks, holes, and square-edged bumps on a lot of trails. Full squish and fat tires makes it fun.
big john is offline  
Old 11-13-19, 07:51 PM
  #16  
jackb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Missoula, Montana
Posts: 523

Bikes: Trek Domane 5SL Disc; REI Maza,ma; Specialized Langster, Kona, Honzo

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 14 Posts
I'll be 72 next month and am about to buy a mountain. I'll mainly ride hiking trails and dirt tracks, nothing technical. I'm interested in getting away from cars and traffic noise.
jackb is offline  
Likes For jackb:
Old 11-14-19, 04:10 AM
  #17  
DeceptivelySlow
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 109

Bikes: Two wheels; multiple gears

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by big john View Post
I swore off hardtails in 1998. Last year I bought an enduro type bike, 160mm fork and 150mm rear with 27.5x2.8 tires. It really makes rocks and bumps easier and even rough climbs are smoother. The "plus" tires give great traction. The thing is no featherweight @32 pounds but it's a lot of fun to descend on.
Another thing it has is a dropper seatpost. I never had one before but now I am a believer. I will never have another mtb without a dropper. I highly recommend a dropper regardless of the bike you ride.

https://khsbicycles.com/bikes/2018-k...-6600-plus-18/

Nice bike; not sure what a dropper is; I will consult my friend Google for enlightenment. In this neck of the woods, figuratively and literally, the large majority of single track means riding numerous rocks and roots. FS is the way to go I just have not been mountain biking enough to justify it but an FS bike will certainly increase the appeal and help get me out there. I am considering renting one for a day just to give it a try.
DeceptivelySlow is offline  
Old 11-14-19, 09:42 AM
  #18  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,628

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1336 Post(s)
Liked 205 Times in 127 Posts
No more for me. I've broken too much stuff; collarbone twice, both elbows (in the same incident) and lastly my left hip. The hip involved the longest hospital stay but the elbows had longer lasting psychological complications so I'm calling that my worst injury. I'd mention concussions but I haven't always sought medical attention if nothing's been broken so I don't know how many. I liked the comment about no old bold pilots. Your wife is probably right.

I do my riding now on a recumbent trike.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 11-14-19, 10:00 AM
  #19  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 12,902
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 616 Post(s)
Liked 306 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by DeceptivelySlow View Post
Nice bike; not sure what a dropper is; I will consult my friend Google for enlightenment. In this neck of the woods, figuratively and literally, the large majority of single track means riding numerous rocks and roots. FS is the way to go I just have not been mountain biking enough to justify it but an FS bike will certainly increase the appeal and help get me out there. I am considering renting one for a day just to give it a try.
A dropper seatpost. A lever on the handlebar controls the seatpost. Some drop 200mm, some only 85. The most obvious use is when descending, you lower the saddle which lowers your center of gravity which makes steep descents safer and easier.
You can extend the seatpost to your climbing position for smooth climbs or road sections and lower it just a bit for rough climbs. I find it helps keep the front wheel going where I want it to go on rough or technical climbs.
Another thing I have discovered is if I get off the bike on a rough section or climb it's so much easier to get going again if I lower the seat. If I stop someplace where it's hard to swing my leg over the bike, I can lower the seat several inches.
big john is offline  
Likes For big john:
Old 11-14-19, 10:00 AM
  #20  
trailangel
Senior Member
 
trailangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 3,978

Bikes: Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1462 Post(s)
Liked 162 Times in 105 Posts
First MTB was new 1988 Rockhopper.
Now riding FS XC 29'r
trailangel is offline  
Old 11-14-19, 06:35 PM
  #21  
Wileyrat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tucson Az
Posts: 1,444

Bikes: 2015 Ridley Fenix, 1983 Team Fuji, 1985 Novara Strada, 2013 BD Motobecane 650ht, 90 Trek 850

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 267 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 43 Posts
I'm 60, and spend time on my mtn bike, but I don't consider myself old.
Wileyrat is offline  
Likes For Wileyrat:
Old 11-14-19, 07:32 PM
  #22  
thehammerdog
Senior Member
 
thehammerdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NWNJ
Posts: 2,854

Bikes: Road bike is a Carbon Bianchi C2C & Grandis (1980's), Gary Fisher Mt Bike, Trek Tandem & Mongoose SS MTB circa 1992.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 31 Posts
Mt biking is young mans game. I started in 1986 with my cannondale sold off my gary fisher this summer after near death experience in woods.
I used go have mtb ability but fell one to many times .
When u fall and if u ride u will it hurts.
🤡
thehammerdog is offline  
Old 11-14-19, 09:44 PM
  #23  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 12,902
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 616 Post(s)
Liked 306 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
Mt biking is young mans game. I started in 1986 with my cannondale sold off my gary fisher this summer after near death experience in woods.
I used go have mtb ability but fell one to many times .
When u fall and if u ride u will it hurts.
��
I guess we all have to weigh the risk/reward of the things we do. I love road biking and I love mountain biking. I hope I never fall on either one.

I should add that one of the smoothest, most highly skilled mountain bikers I know is over 60.

Last edited by big john; 11-14-19 at 09:48 PM.
big john is offline  
Likes For big john:
Old 11-14-19, 09:52 PM
  #24  
Bigbus
Senior Member
 
Bigbus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Central West Coast
Posts: 446

Bikes: In Flux

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 34 Posts
Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
You have me by a few years. Do it if you like it. A quality shock and disc brake setup will make the ride much safer and enjoyable.
I would just like to add, getting hurt at our age isn't a macho thing anymore like it was when we were in our 20's and indestructible.
Bigbus is offline  
Old 11-14-19, 11:03 PM
  #25  
thehammerdog
Senior Member
 
thehammerdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NWNJ
Posts: 2,854

Bikes: Road bike is a Carbon Bianchi C2C & Grandis (1980's), Gary Fisher Mt Bike, Trek Tandem & Mongoose SS MTB circa 1992.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 31 Posts
Originally Posted by big john View Post
I guess we all have to weigh the risk/reward of the things we do. I love road biking and I love mountain biking. I hope I never fall on either one.

I should add that one of the smoothest, most highly skilled mountain bikers I know is over 60.
Curious where u ride ?
The single track in nwnj can be vicious.
thehammerdog is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.