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

Who's been cycling the longest and what was your first road bike?

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.

Who's been cycling the longest and what was your first road bike?

Old 04-29-21, 03:28 AM
  #1  
Lazyass
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minas Ithil
Posts: 9,335
Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2430 Post(s)
Liked 628 Times in 388 Posts
Who's been cycling the longest and what was your first road bike?

It won't be me by any means but I'm 53. My first road bike was an '84 Peugeot PX10L that my uncle gave me in June '87. I'm just curious who takes the Bike Forums label as the most experienced rider and what bikes you real old timers started on. I'm not talking about your first bike as a kid, but your first real road bike. Probably some cool ones.
Lazyass is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 04:02 AM
  #2  
nomadmax 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 2,152
Mentioned: 93 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 984 Post(s)
Liked 1,467 Times in 709 Posts
Get ready for the contest.

I predict in less than one page there will be a guy who says he delivered telegraph messages by bike. Right after that will be a guy who delivered messages on stone tablets. Itís like my grandpa used to say, "the first liar doesn't stand a chance".
__________________
nomadmax is offline  
Likes For nomadmax:
Old 04-29-21, 04:26 AM
  #3  
fujidon
Junior Member
 
fujidon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central NJ
Posts: 149

Bikes: Fuji Pro, Raleigh Team, touring bike, hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 44 Posts
My first real road bike was a Schwinn Varsity. I bought it with my paper route money and went everywhere on that heavy 10-speed. That was in 1968, so 53 years ago.

I'm sure that's easily beaten.
fujidon is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 06:20 AM
  #4  
Kabuki12
Senior Member
 
Kabuki12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Ventura County ,California
Posts: 2,649

Bikes: 71 Stella,72 Mondia Special,72 ItalVega Grand Rallye, 73 Windsor Pro,75 Colnago Super,76 Kabuki DF,77 Raleigh Comp.GS,78 Raleigh Pro,80 Moto Gran Sprint,82 Medici Pro Strada

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 629 Post(s)
Liked 1,433 Times in 843 Posts
At 66 I am not going to be that guy. Like fujidon I had a Varsity in the late sixties , although I rode that bike everywhere, I really didn’t know what cycling was all about until the mid seventies when I got my first racer. That is when “riding a bike “ became cycling . I started venturing out regularly and by 1976 I parked my car for a number of years and rode that racer as transportation. My wife and I lived on a sailboat and had nice bikes for getting around . We didn’t drive for two to three years, cycling to work and back as well as just about everything else. Occasionally taking a bus , but back then public transportation wasn’t that good in Oxnard, California.
Kabuki12 is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 06:51 AM
  #5  
johnnyace 
Le savonnier
 
johnnyace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,702

Bikes: I can count 'em on one hand

Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 727 Post(s)
Liked 579 Times in 264 Posts
I've had more than one person look at me incredulously when they ask me how long I've been cycling, and I tell them "since I was 5 years old." I will be 55 in July. Aside from a couple of weeks of downtime once when I had a bicycle stolen and therefore had to find a suitable replacement, I have been cycling since. I don't really remember my first real road bike, I think it was some Sears Freestyle model, but the first road bike I raced was an 80s Raleigh sport-touring model, don't remember which. I remember removing all the non-essentials (kickstand, reflectors, safety levers) and moving the shifters from the stem to the downtube. I was able to hold my own on club rides with guys riding their DeRosa and Colnago bikes.

Probably not the longest, but 50 years of almost uninterrupted cycling ain't too bad.
johnnyace is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 07:31 AM
  #6  
Deal4Fuji
minimalist cyclist
 
Deal4Fuji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,593

Bikes: yes please

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1009 Post(s)
Liked 1,168 Times in 747 Posts
Originally Posted by fujidon View Post
My first real road bike was a Schwinn Varsity. I bought it with my paper route money and went everywhere on that heavy 10-speed. That was in 1968, so 53 years ago.

I'm sure that's easily beaten.
I'm not in the running, but since I just made some pics after cleaning up my 1st bike I'm joining in. I fully expected to get a Schwinn Varsity as my 1st bike-store bike in the early 80's, but the bike shop salesman made me aware of Japanese bikes that sold for about the same, were 10 lbs lighter, and the big sales feature - was made in a taller frame than the Schwinn's. I bought an 27" '82 Fuji Supreme and I still have it and the paperwork. I wish I had reached out to more cyclists back then, but basically I rode for transportation and solo recreational rides. I gradually got out of cycling as busy work-life, golfing, and daughters playing travel sports took up my weekends. After becoming empty nesters I got back in a big way in 2014 and found how much fun it is to share the riding experience both with family and a supportive local group. I still always wanted an old school Schwinn from having Schwinn-envy growing up, and found a great deal on a '75 Continental that I ride often.

Deal4Fuji is offline  
Likes For Deal4Fuji:
Old 04-29-21, 08:00 AM
  #7  
VegasTriker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sin City, Nevada
Posts: 2,732

Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 490 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 188 Times in 146 Posts
My first road bike was a Fiorelli 10 speed Italian racing bike purchased second hand in 1967. It weighed 29 pounds and had lower level Campignolo components. Sure was a step up from my previous bike, a Schwine 3 speed. I kept it until the mid 1970s when I lost the bike off the back of my car when I failed to secure it to the rack. By that time it was my winter bike, replaced by a Motobecane Le Champion road bike.
VegasTriker is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 08:14 AM
  #8  
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,322

Bikes: 2018 Cannondale CAADX 105 SE, 2016 Richard Sachs, 2010 Carl Strong, 2006 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 866 Post(s)
Liked 695 Times in 380 Posts
I'm sure it's not me, but fwiw I've been riding since 1967. My first bike was a Murray Meteor Flite U-42 exacty like the red 24" model in this ad:

Bob Ross is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 08:42 AM
  #9  
delbiker1 
Mother Nature's Son
 
delbiker1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sussex County, Delaware
Posts: 2,610

Bikes: Early 90's Ochsner road, 2006 Schwinn SS DBX, 2014 Orbea Avant MD30, 2004 Airborne Zeppelin TI, 2003 Lemond Poprad, 1989? Fuji Ace, 2001 Lemond Tourmalet, 2014? Soma Smoothie

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 693 Post(s)
Liked 1,011 Times in 593 Posts
Another that is not in the mix for the oldest, but surely getting up there. My first real roadbike, 10 speed with drop bar, was a Motobecane, I think 1972. However years before that, I had a Phillips 3 speed that I bought with paper route money. That really would be considered a road bike. It was very durable and I beat it up with doing the paper route, trail riding, and doing jumps and tricks. Still one of my favorites.
delbiker1 is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 08:53 AM
  #10  
rydabent
Senior Member
 
rydabent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lincoln Ne
Posts: 9,621

Bikes: RANS Stratus TerraTrike Tour II

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2992 Post(s)
Liked 934 Times in 554 Posts
I have been cycling for 74 years. My first road bike was a bike from Coast to Coast hardware store with 24 inch wheels. I was small for my age.
rydabent is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 09:01 AM
  #11  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 19,613

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 169 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5530 Post(s)
Liked 2,489 Times in 1,600 Posts
Replacements for my first 2 bikes

I certainly have not been riding the longest. My first bike was a small green Robin Hood 3 speed that my parents got me in the late 60s and which I rode to grade school. I remember being jealous of all the cool kids who had sting rays. I rode that Robin Hood everywhere and used it to go fishing with it as well. I fixed my first flat using my mother's spoons to pry off the tire. The flat got fixed which made me happy but my Mom was none too happy since I bent her spoons.

My parents sold the green Robin Hood when we moved. But then I found this black Robin Hood from 1969. I don't ride it as much as that old green one but it gets used.

My first road bike was a Nishiki 10 speed with "rattrap" pedals and "safety" levers. I rode that bike everywere. I learned how to wrench on it since I took it apart and rebuilt it. A few years back I found this Sekine SHS 271 which is a nicer bike than that Nishiki with forged suntour drop outs and a chrome moly frame but it does have safety levers, . Riding that bike is a blast from my high school past for sure.


bikemig is offline  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 04-29-21, 09:18 AM
  #12  
Riveting
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Posts: 1,221

Bikes: '13 Diamondback Hybrid Commuter, '17 Spec Roubaix Di2, '17 Spec Camber 29'er, '19 CDale Topstone Gravel

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 589 Post(s)
Liked 444 Times in 260 Posts
While in Jr High in the mid to late 80's, I worked at a bike shop in Rhode Island and got an at-cost deal on a new Shogun (something similar to the one below, but not exactly). It was my pride and joy. But I hadn't fully grown by that point and grew out of the small frame size within a couple years, and didn't get another road bike until 30 yrs later.

Riveting is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 09:51 AM
  #13  
davester
Senior Member
 
davester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Berkeley CA
Posts: 2,348

Bikes: 1981 Ron Cooper, 1974 Cinelli Speciale Corsa, 2000 Gary Fisher Sugar 1, 1986 Miyata 710, 1982 Raleigh "International"

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 827 Post(s)
Liked 881 Times in 371 Posts
When I lived in England I used to commute 2 miles each way to school on my bike (a Phillips single-speed, similar to a Raleigh Superbe but without the gearing) starting in 1965. After emigrating to the US I purchased a Huffy 3-speed to start my paper route with and when I finally saved enough money I bought a brand spanking new 1968 Raleigh Record 10-speed. I absolutely loved that bike and kept it through my freshman year at UC Berkeley (1972-73), using it for many long trips. After that, a long succession of more capable machines were traded up for (Holdsworth, Paramount, Raleigh International, Ron Cooper...).
davester is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 11:48 AM
  #14  
johnnyace 
Le savonnier
 
johnnyace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,702

Bikes: I can count 'em on one hand

Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 727 Post(s)
Liked 579 Times in 264 Posts
Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I have been cycling for 74 years.
I'd say we have a contender!
johnnyace is offline  
Likes For johnnyace:
Old 04-29-21, 02:20 PM
  #15  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 18,653

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3471 Post(s)
Liked 1,464 Times in 1,064 Posts
I started riding in 1952. In '53-'56 I rode to school and back from our Alaska homestead. I saved money from my paper route and bought a JC Higgins 3-speed in 1957. I bought my first real road bike (used) in '63, a '61 full-Campy Legnano with half-step gearing, clips and straps. Rode my first solo century in '63 or '64 around Cayuga Lake. That was a wonderful bike. I rode it until I had to go in the Army.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:
Old 04-29-21, 02:35 PM
  #16  
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,322

Bikes: 2018 Cannondale CAADX 105 SE, 2016 Richard Sachs, 2010 Carl Strong, 2006 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 866 Post(s)
Liked 695 Times in 380 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
a '61 full-Campy Legnano with half-step gearing
For us young-uns who were still in diapers in 1961, can you elaborate on what you mean by "half-step gearing"? I've never heard that expression before. Thanks.
Bob Ross is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 04:01 PM
  #17  
philbob57
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chicago North Shore
Posts: 2,148

Bikes: frankenbike based on MKM frame

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 654 Post(s)
Liked 478 Times in 299 Posts
I started at 6 in 1950, but that wasn't a road bike. I had a Raleigh Sports 3 speed 'English racer' around 1955, but it got stolen around '57. My first adult bike was a Sears 5-speed that was trashed by thief and needed replacement, followed by an 'Astra', I think. - I know it was a Gitane brand with bolted on wheels, but I'm not sure of the brand - in 1972. That was too big for me, but it took me the 5 miles from my home to Lane Hall in Ann Arbor and back in less time than driving, parking off campus, and walking to campus took. I took several long breaks from biking, so I haven't been biking the longest, either.
philbob57 is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 05:00 PM
  #18  
JehD
Full Member
 
JehD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 336

Bikes: 1981 Bertin C34 - 2020 Electra Cruiser 7D - 2021 Mongoose Dolomite ALX

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 110 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 84 Posts
I started when I was 6 in 1972. I had an assortment of Schwinns as a kid including a 25 YO (early 50s) cruiser type for delivering papers. My parents got me a 5spd Schwinn but I bought a used Varsity when I was 15 as my first
"10 spd" in IIRC 1981 or so.
JehD is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 08:17 PM
  #19  
Random11
Full Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: North Florida
Posts: 387

Bikes: 2019 Specialized Diverge, 2021 Cervelo Caledonia

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 200 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 267 Times in 136 Posts
In 1977 I took a new job and lived in an apartment about 3 miles away from where I worked, so I bought a 10-speed Rampar to commute by bike. The next year I moved much closer to my job and started walking to work, and didn't ride a bike again for 40 years.
Random11 is offline  
Old 04-29-21, 08:30 PM
  #20  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,342

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, Focus Mares AL, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6, 1987 Centurion SS/FG.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 675 Post(s)
Liked 1,527 Times in 783 Posts
In '71 at 11 I was hit by a car while riding my brother's generic sting-ray. Out of that deal, much to my brother's chagrin, I got a new Sears Free Spirit 10-speed. My parents' logic, as far as I can tell, is that I was riding my brother's bike because I didn't have one of my own.

It's debatable if that's a real road bike, but it had gears and drop bars, and it was the first bike to take me out of the neighborhoods. It was on that bike I learned there was a world out there away from the family, and it was good. I've ridden since.

Later I skipped over the Varsity and went straight to a Continental, but by then I was already a cyclist.
downtube42 is offline  
Likes For downtube42:
Old 04-29-21, 08:57 PM
  #21  
davester
Senior Member
 
davester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Berkeley CA
Posts: 2,348

Bikes: 1981 Ron Cooper, 1974 Cinelli Speciale Corsa, 2000 Gary Fisher Sugar 1, 1986 Miyata 710, 1982 Raleigh "International"

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 827 Post(s)
Liked 881 Times in 371 Posts
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
For us young-uns who were still in diapers in 1961, can you elaborate on what you mean by "half-step gearing"? I've never heard that expression before. Thanks.
Half step means that the big jumps in gear ratios are between the rear cogs and small jumps are between the chainrings. This is the opposite of modern bikes. For this to happen, the jump between chainrings is half the percentage jump (hence half-step) between rear cogs. This method eliminates duplicate gearing, which is a problem when you only have 8 or 10 usable gears. Half-step gearing was pretty common all the way into the late-80s. Modern bikes have lots of duplicate gears but nobody cares because there are so many of them. For example, Shifting from the large to the 2nd larges cog might result in a 10% change in gear ratio. If instead you leave the chain on the largest cog but instead shift from the small to the large chainring the gear ratio only changes by 5%.
davester is offline  
Likes For davester:
Old 04-30-21, 07:22 AM
  #22  
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,322

Bikes: 2018 Cannondale CAADX 105 SE, 2016 Richard Sachs, 2010 Carl Strong, 2006 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 866 Post(s)
Liked 695 Times in 380 Posts
Originally Posted by davester View Post
Half step means... [snip]
Fascinating. Can you give an example of the typical cog and chainring tooth-counts one would find on a bike like this? Thanks.
Bob Ross is offline  
Old 04-30-21, 09:22 AM
  #23  
davester
Senior Member
 
davester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Berkeley CA
Posts: 2,348

Bikes: 1981 Ron Cooper, 1974 Cinelli Speciale Corsa, 2000 Gary Fisher Sugar 1, 1986 Miyata 710, 1982 Raleigh "International"

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 827 Post(s)
Liked 881 Times in 371 Posts
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Fascinating. Can you give an example of the typical cog and chainring tooth-counts one would find on a bike like this? Thanks.
Sure. My 1974 Cinelli is set up with a 32-24-20-16-13 freewheel with 47-42 chainrings. As you can see from this gear chart, that is a perfect half-step: https://ritzelrechner.de/?GR=DERS&KB...&DV=gearInches
Note that when I picked it up it was running a very different half-step (28-14 and 52-47) but I needed lower gears for the hills around here.
davester is offline  
Likes For davester:
Old 04-30-21, 09:28 AM
  #24  
locolobo13 
Senior Member
 
locolobo13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Phx, AZ
Posts: 2,026

Bikes: Trek Mtn Bike

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Liked 1,860 Times in 613 Posts
Started riding at 6 yrs in '62. My first road bike was a Schwinn Varsity that I purchased myself from my paper route in 70-72. Was really proud of that bike. By the 80s everybody's asking why I'm still riding that old clunker.
locolobo13 is offline  
Likes For locolobo13:
Old 04-30-21, 10:58 AM
  #25  
deacon mark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,885

Bikes: Habanero Titanium Team Nuevo

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 357 Post(s)
Liked 154 Times in 104 Posts
I won't come close but bought a Royce Union sometime in the early 1970's I was around 10 years old. Anyone heard of a Royce Union? I remember it was white and I thought it was so cool. My next real encounter with dedicated riding was a Schwinn Traveler 12 speed from around 1990 bought used. It was a great bike really and kind of wish I had it to compare to todays stuff. I never used clip in pedals until 2009 and finally since then pretty much a bike freak and mechanic.
deacon mark is offline  
Likes For deacon mark:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.