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

what do you think?

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.

what do you think?

Old 06-08-22, 11:50 AM
  #1  
rck
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
rck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: monroe (sw) wi
Posts: 1,341

Bikes: cannondale 400st, dean el diente, specialized hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
what do you think?

I've been riding road and rail trails for a long time. Lately I've been watching a lot of single track and mtb videos and I find it quite appealing. Living in sw wi there is not a lot of single track available but there is some. Keep thinking about a hard tail and the likelihood of breaking a hip trying to learn a new style of riding at 71 with a bad back and crap knees. Crazy thinking?
rck is offline  
Old 06-08-22, 12:05 PM
  #2  
nomadmax 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 2,105
Mentioned: 93 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 959 Post(s)
Liked 1,417 Times in 686 Posts
Only YOU can accurately judge your tolerance for risk.
__________________
nomadmax is offline  
Likes For nomadmax:
Old 06-08-22, 04:34 PM
  #3  
t2p
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: USA
Posts: 533

Bikes: Cannondale - Gary Fisher - Litespeed - Schwinn Paramount - Schwinn (lugged steel) - Trek OCLV

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked 170 Times in 124 Posts
single track can be a blast and my guess is you would enjoy

might depend on the areas where you can ride - start easy and progress from there

maybe start with a combination of dirt roads and some easy trails


areas you might want to limit or avoid - and / or push through :

> rocks - some scattered rocks might not be an issue - but extremely rocky areas / rock gardens can be a real challenge
> extreme climbs and descents
> extreme mud
> winter riding with frozen ground / snow / ice
> tree crossings - small trees not too much of an issue but larger trees can be a real challenge (dismount and lift / carry bike over)
> exposed roots - most times not much of an issue but larger roots can be a challenge especially when wet (and more-so if you cannot square up to them)
> extreme rutted sections can be a challenge

probably more I cannot think of at this time
t2p is offline  
Old 06-08-22, 06:43 PM
  #4  
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Posts: 21,071

Bikes: 1959 Capo Modell Campagnolo; 1960 Capo Sieger (2); 1962 Carlton Franco Suisse; 1970 Peugeot UO-8; 1982 Bianchi Campione d'Italia; 1988 Schwinn Project KOM-10;

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1183 Post(s)
Liked 763 Times in 526 Posts
Originally Posted by rck View Post
I've been riding road and rail trails for a long time. Lately I've been watching a lot of single track and mtb videos and I find it quite appealing. Living in sw wi there is not a lot of single track available but there is some. Keep thinking about a hard tail and the likelihood of breaking a hip trying to learn a new style of riding at 71 with a bad back and crap knees. Crazy thinking?
That would be crazy for me, but I have always been coordination-challenged. I love going offroad, but multitrack trails and dirt roads are more my speed.
__________________
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline  
Old 06-09-22, 04:18 AM
  #5  
delbiker1 
Mother Nature's Son
 
delbiker1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sussex County, Delaware
Posts: 2,507

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: 660 Post(s)
Liked 941 Times in 546 Posts
I have chronic spinal issues and love riding bikes. Personally, I would not even attempt to do that. But I have had 4 surgeries and have numerous discs that are not in very good shape. I do get sore knees with a lot of clicking and creaking, so I would not subject them to that abuse either. I have no idea what shape your body is in, but in reality, only you can decide. Anyone you could borrow a bike from to give the single track a try? If yes, I would try that on relatively low impact single track to see how you feel. Progress from there if all is good.
delbiker1 is offline  
Old 06-09-22, 05:59 AM
  #6  
Kai Winters
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northern NY...Brownville
Posts: 2,075

Bikes: Specialized Aethos

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
Liked 97 Times in 59 Posts
Ride within your handling abilities and you may be fine...always look down the trail to prepare for difficult sections, wet roots, baby heads, etc...if you wait until you are on top of them it is likely too late.
Kai Winters is offline  
Old 06-09-22, 08:32 AM
  #7  
rck
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
rck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: monroe (sw) wi
Posts: 1,341

Bikes: cannondale 400st, dean el diente, specialized hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Thanks for responses. I suspect borrowing one or finding a used bike may be the route I take. The single track available here is not too technical, so I'm thinking doable. On the other hand if I'm laying on the ground with a broken hip, my definition of technical may change.
rck is offline  
Old 06-09-22, 08:44 AM
  #8  
ClydeClydeson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,422
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 487 Post(s)
Liked 741 Times in 431 Posts
The main skill to learn is maintaining momentum- a bicycle without a rider will coast through surprisingly rough terrain without any help, it is the rider who often interferes and causes the bike to stall and fall over. And unless you are doing high-speed downhills, the primary hazard is slow speed falls when you can't keep the bike rolling.
ClydeClydeson is offline  
Old 06-09-22, 08:46 AM
  #9  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 27,437

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4577 Post(s)
Liked 2,242 Times in 1,528 Posts
I didn't start crashing until I got a mountain bike. in my early 60s, so I think I can keep going a cpl more years. less crashing would be nice
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 06-09-22, 08:56 AM
  #10  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 5,701

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

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2361 Post(s)
Liked 1,175 Times in 665 Posts
You would want to be riding single track that does not have an abundance of difficult technical features that require skill and stamina to ride. The Trail Forks app often shows a lot of the single track in a particular region and often times is color coded as to difficulty levels. Yellow and green tend to be easier (as I recall). I'm only a few years behind you, have been mt. biking 33 years, but have stopped riding trails with technical features as I no longer want to get hurt in a fall, takes a lot longer to heal and my wife is tired of dealing with an injured husband doing something stupid.

I pretty much do all my mt. biking in fall and early winter (before we get persistent snow cover), when road riding is too cold. We can mt. bike down to 15-20 degrees comfortably, not moving as quick (8-10 mph avg,) are not out as long, and less wind in wooded areas. I transition to mostly road in spring and summer to avoid ticks and poison ivy.

Last edited by Steve B.; 06-09-22 at 09:02 AM.
Steve B. is offline  
Likes For Steve B.:
Old 06-09-22, 09:41 AM
  #11  
Ogsarg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Hollister, CA (not the surf town)
Posts: 1,549

Bikes: 2019 Specialized Roubaix Comp Di2, 2009 Roubaix, early 90's Giant Iguana

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 576 Post(s)
Liked 1,001 Times in 424 Posts
Anyone considering a mountain bike at 70+ is obviously in good shape but it would be a good idea to consider that old bones aren't young bones and if you look at the outcome for seniors who break hips it's shockingly bad. I know in my case, I used to ride motorcycles and gave it up after a serious crash. I've thought about mountain biking but have decided against it mainly due to the injuries that some friends have had.
Ogsarg is online now  
Old 06-09-22, 09:07 PM
  #12  
Classtime 
Senior Member
 
Classtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 3,424

Bikes: 82 Medici, 2011 Richard Sachs, 2011 Milwaukee Road

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1329 Post(s)
Liked 817 Times in 515 Posts
If you need to drive to the trail, I say skip it. And if there is only one trail nearby, skip it.
__________________
I don't do: disks, tubeless, e-shifting, or bead head nymphs.
Classtime is offline  
Old 06-20-22, 09:13 AM
  #13  
rsbob 
Sniveling Weasel
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 2,664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 961 Post(s)
Liked 1,784 Times in 1,021 Posts
I started mountain bike riding in my 50s after 30 years of road. I found it to be great fun and required a far amount of new skills. I liken road bike riding to cross country skiing where mountain bikes are like downhill skiing requiring your full attention, moving your weight and constantly thinking ahead.

If you ride within your comfort level and keep to ;beginner trails (blue) which are not technical, you should be fine. If you find a part of the trail which might make you uncomfortable, it is no crime to get off the bike and walk it over that section and then get back on again. I have done that many times and even more now that I am approaching 70.

I wouldn’t worry about breaking bones unless you have balance issues already.
__________________
Immoderate Cyclist “No regerts”



rsbob is offline  
Old 06-20-22, 01:26 PM
  #14  
GamblerGORD53
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Elevation 666m Edmonton Canada
Posts: 2,007

Bikes: 2013 Custom SA5w / Rohloff Tourster

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 933 Post(s)
Liked 160 Times in 130 Posts
Dumb dumb dumb idea. Go find a paved road with scenery.
10 years ago I had a little slide because of springtime sand on the street. I figured it would be ok to use the side of my knee to break the fall.
Wrong. It cracked the top of the leg bone. Didn't need a doctor but it was sore to touch for a month.
GamblerGORD53 is offline  
Old 06-20-22, 02:52 PM
  #15  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 19,868
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4816 Post(s)
Liked 4,234 Times in 2,278 Posts
I'm 68, been riding off road bicycles for 30+ years and off road motorcycles for 10 years before that. I think it's great fun and has the advantage of no cars. Also, wind and weather is much less a factor than on the road.

If you're going to try it, start easy and get used to the feeling of the bike moving around. You can't just ride like a road bike, you need to learn the techniques and practice. If you're riding dirt roads and smooth trails, any bike will work. If you want to do anything technical or ride with any speed, I recommend a full suspension bike.

A rear suspension is easier on your back, will track the ground better, and will save you from your mistakes. Also, the rear brake works better with suspension.
I have what is known as an "enduro" style bike. 160mm fork with 150mm rear travel. It's 32 pounds and a bit of a chore to climb long hills with, but it's so much fun to descend on. If I could just get a new bike now I would go for a shorter (120-130mm travel) lighter bike. I've tried to tone down the risk in the last couple years and I have no problem getting off and walking a section.

No form of bicycling is completely safe but my worst crash was on the road bike on a bike path.

Here is my KHS.
big john is online now  
Old 06-20-22, 03:05 PM
  #16  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 19,868
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4816 Post(s)
Liked 4,234 Times in 2,278 Posts
Mountain bike group rides are a blast!

We did a shuttle ride and the van took us up to 9200 feet and we rode back down. We brought lunch and took pictures and it was so fun.

I'm on the right and in the center is a friend who is 71 and she is an excellent mountain biker.
big john is online now  
Old 06-20-22, 03:15 PM
  #17  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 19,868
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4816 Post(s)
Liked 4,234 Times in 2,278 Posts
I used to go to Lake Tahoe but haven't been there in years. Awesome trails up there!
big john is online now  
Old 06-21-22, 01:12 PM
  #18  
70sSanO
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 5,058

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1657 Post(s)
Liked 1,689 Times in 1,058 Posts
Here is my take on your situation. I started mountain biking at 61. I rode a lot of different trails crashed, got up, kept riding, and continued to push myself. I was also surfing so balance wasn’t an issue.

I can say that the amount of skills needed to do somewhat technical runs is off the charts. Even with decades of riding a road bike it is a completely different animal. The best I could get to was low intermediate. It is still a blast.

Mountain biking can be done at 71, but if you started 40 or 50 years earlier it will be a lot easier since you have established skills.

There are some similarities with surfing in that having decades behind me, I can still get out there at 70, but it might be different if I was just starting out at that age.

And like mountain biking there will be situations where you have to just go for it as being timid will only put you in a bad situation. That is the toughest part, putting the pedal down because hitting the brakes will only lead to injury.

John

Last edited by 70sSanO; 06-21-22 at 01:25 PM.
70sSanO is offline  
Old 06-21-22, 05:02 PM
  #19  
t2p
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: USA
Posts: 533

Bikes: Cannondale - Gary Fisher - Litespeed - Schwinn Paramount - Schwinn (lugged steel) - Trek OCLV

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked 170 Times in 124 Posts
Originally Posted by big john View Post
I'm 68, been riding off road bicycles for 30+ years and off road motorcycles for 10 years before that. I think it's great fun and has the advantage of no cars. Also, wind and weather is much less a factor than on the road.

If you're going to try it, start easy and get used to the feeling of the bike moving around. You can't just ride like a road bike, you need to learn the techniques and practice. If you're riding dirt roads and smooth trails, any bike will work. If you want to do anything technical or ride with any speed, I recommend a full suspension bike.

A rear suspension is easier on your back, will track the ground better, and will save you from your mistakes. Also, the rear brake works better with suspension.
I have what is known as an "enduro" style bike. 160mm fork with 150mm rear travel. It's 32 pounds and a bit of a chore to climb long hills with, but it's so much fun to descend on. If I could just get a new bike now I would go for a shorter (120-130mm travel) lighter bike. I've tried to tone down the risk in the last couple years and I have no problem getting off and walking a section.

No form of bicycling is completely safe but my worst crash was on the road bike on a bike path.

Here is my KHS.
sweet looking KHS ! and with 160 / 150 mm susp travel !

I can recall installing a 'long travel' kit on a Judy XC fork - to increase the travel to 80mm lol ... in the rear had 60-80 mm travel (?)

and this was living large - after forks with 60 mm of travel - and before this it was often just a rigid fork and a 2.2 Ritchey Z Max lol
t2p is offline  
Old 06-21-22, 05:32 PM
  #20  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 19,868
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4816 Post(s)
Liked 4,234 Times in 2,278 Posts
Originally Posted by t2p View Post
sweet looking KHS ! and with 160 / 150 mm susp travel !

I can recall installing a 'long travel' kit on a Judy XC fork - to increase the travel to 80mm lol ... in the rear had 60-80 mm travel (?)

and this was living large - after forks with 60 mm of travel - and before this it was often just a rigid fork and a 2.2 Ritchey Z Max lol
I had one of those Rock Shox forks with the little hole like a basketball where you put air into it. Later got a Manitou elastomer fork and I put a spring and damper kit in it.
I think it was 80mm and the Rock Shox fork was 63mm.

My first rear suspension bike was a 1998 K2 with a Girvin fork and Noleen shocks front and rear. Yes, the fork had a little shock and linkage on it. I put the older Manitou fork on it after the Noleen blew up. When the rear Noleen went bad I bought a custom air shock from Risse Racing. I had a lot of fun on that bike. The frame broke after 10 years.
Then I got my first KHS and rode it for 10 more years. It was 100mm on both ends but my LBS gave me a 130mm fork for it.
big john is online now  
Old 06-21-22, 05:43 PM
  #21  
t2p
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: USA
Posts: 533

Bikes: Cannondale - Gary Fisher - Litespeed - Schwinn Paramount - Schwinn (lugged steel) - Trek OCLV

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked 170 Times in 124 Posts
good stuff !

this thread is motivating me to get back on the trails - if I lived near rck I would be tempted to hook up with him to find some good (and easy lol) single track !
t2p is offline  
Old 06-21-22, 06:09 PM
  #22  
jppe
Let's do a Century
 
jppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 8,252

Bikes: Cervelo R3 Disc, Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace, Cannondle Tandem/Ultegra, Lynskey GR260 Ultegra

Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 621 Post(s)
Liked 818 Times in 381 Posts
RCK, No! No! No!

That’s all I have to say.
__________________
Ride your Ride!!
jppe is offline  
Old 06-22-22, 01:09 PM
  #23  
rck
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
rck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: monroe (sw) wi
Posts: 1,341

Bikes: cannondale 400st, dean el diente, specialized hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Big John-Nice pics and makes the thought more appealing. Down side is there is no biking like that in sw wi. Closest single track is 30 miles away. It does seem somewhat counterproductive to drive in order to bike, not that I haven't done so before and will likely do once again.

jppe-I suspect that I will bow to your superior wisdom. One of those rare times that I will let my brain decide rather than my heart. I must be getting old!
rck is offline  
Old 06-22-22, 04:05 PM
  #24  
t2p
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: USA
Posts: 533

Bikes: Cannondale - Gary Fisher - Litespeed - Schwinn Paramount - Schwinn (lugged steel) - Trek OCLV

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked 170 Times in 124 Posts
yikes - I don't know which is worse

no close single track (really ?)

or allowing brain rather than heart
t2p is offline  
Old 06-22-22, 04:08 PM
  #25  
t2p
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: USA
Posts: 533

Bikes: Cannondale - Gary Fisher - Litespeed - Schwinn Paramount - Schwinn (lugged steel) - Trek OCLV

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked 170 Times in 124 Posts
if you do decide to give it a try - and find something / somewhere to ride off road

maybe you can first find an inexpensive MTB - even something old / vintage / rigid ... just to give it a try

( and make sure the bike is sized properly - often a smaller size bike is recommended for off road use )
t2p 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 © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.