What Bicycle To Buy Aged 66

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What Bicycle To Buy Aged 66

s130

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So I'm wondering if there are any others who have had a similar decision to make.

I'll skip the rare medical condition that means my feet and hands blister with the smallest amount of friction / sheer force but it is a factor that meant I was on a bike from a very young age to get from A to B with minimal blistering / pain etc. I carried on cycling till around 1979 and as I lived in Belgium needless to say biking was a culture. I was also the first person on the DoE award scheme to ever do a cycling tour/expedition in Europe.

For sports swimming was my forte and until Covid was a regular masters swimmer doing 130 lengths (2 miles) in around 50 minutes (fast) or 60 minutes (slow), so better than two MPH.

Since Covid I'm not comfortable with public swimming pools and no open water/lakes to swim on. Open air Lido would be probably acceptable (not found one near yet).

So I'm seriously thinking of getting back on a bike again and this is where the decision/choice is challenging me.

You can put bikes into 3 basic categories. Road, Mountain, Hybrid. I'll rule mountain bikes out as they are not suitable for longer distance road work. That leaves Road and Hybrid.

So with road, thin high pressure tyres, lighter weight and drop handle bar position one can go (as I used to all those years ago) fast and long but you at 66 potentially have a less comfortable ride and less opportunity to take in the country views.

With hybrid you basically have the road bike but with wider tyres, straight handle bars and the more upright riding position.

Of course there is the option to initially go hybrid, see how one gets on, and possibly later on change the wheels?, certainly tyres and handlebars.

Has anyone done similar as in getting back on a bike after so many years or is still an keen cyclist (not competition/road race) and has some advice or decision points to offer?
 

Gary Johnston

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So I'm wondering if there are any others who have had a similar decision to make.

I'll skip the rare medical condition that means my feet and hands blister with the smallest amount of friction / sheer force but it is a factor that meant I was on a bike from a very young age to get from A to B with minimal blistering / pain etc. I carried on cycling till around 1979 and as I lived in Belgium needless to say biking was a culture. I was also the first person on the DoE award scheme to ever do a cycling tour/expedition in Europe.

For sports swimming was my forte and until Covid was a regular masters swimmer doing 130 lengths (2 miles) in around 50 minutes (fast) or 60 minutes (slow), so better than two MPH.

Since Covid I'm not comfortable with public swimming pools and no open water/lakes to swim on. Open air Lido would be probably acceptable (not found one near yet).

So I'm seriously thinking of getting back on a bike again and this is where the decision/choice is challenging me.

You can put bikes into 3 basic categories. Road, Mountain, Hybrid. I'll rule mountain bikes out as they are not suitable for longer distance road work. That leaves Road and Hybrid.

So with road, thin high pressure tyres, lighter weight and drop handle bar position one can go (as I used to all those years ago) fast and long but you at 66 potentially have a less comfortable ride and less opportunity to take in the country views.

With hybrid you basically have the road bike but with wider tyres, straight handle bars and the more upright riding position.

Of course there is the option to initially go hybrid, see how one gets on, and possibly later on change the wheels?, certainly tyres and handlebars.

Has anyone done similar as in getting back on a bike after so many years or is still an keen cyclist (not competition/road race) and has some advice or decision points to offer?
An Italian CARERA is a good recomendation recommendation
 

The Panda Nut

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So I'm wondering if there are any others who have had a similar decision to make.

I'll skip the rare medical condition that means my feet and hands blister with the smallest amount of friction / sheer force but it is a factor that meant I was on a bike from a very young age to get from A to B with minimal blistering / pain etc. I carried on cycling till around 1979 and as I lived in Belgium needless to say biking was a culture. I was also the first person on the DoE award scheme to ever do a cycling tour/expedition in Europe.

For sports swimming was my forte and until Covid was a regular masters swimmer doing 130 lengths (2 miles) in around 50 minutes (fast) or 60 minutes (slow), so better than two MPH.

Since Covid I'm not comfortable with public swimming pools and no open water/lakes to swim on. Open air Lido would be probably acceptable (not found one near yet).

So I'm seriously thinking of getting back on a bike again and this is where the decision/choice is challenging me.

You can put bikes into 3 basic categories. Road, Mountain, Hybrid. I'll rule mountain bikes out as they are not suitable for longer distance road work. That leaves Road and Hybrid.

So with road, thin high pressure tyres, lighter weight and drop handle bar position one can go (as I used to all those years ago) fast and long but you at 66 potentially have a less comfortable ride and less opportunity to take in the country views.

With hybrid you basically have the road bike but with wider tyres, straight handle bars and the more upright riding position.

Of course there is the option to initially go hybrid, see how one gets on, and possibly later on change the wheels?, certainly tyres and handlebars.

Has anyone done similar as in getting back on a bike after so many years or is still an keen cyclist (not competition/road race) and has some advice or decision points to offer?
A Fiat Panda Maraketch?

An elecrically assited bike for a bit of future proofing? Plenty of gears too.

I have an American bike its apparently a beach bum style. I still find it easy to ride. Having long legs I want something that allows the legs to be straight at the bottom of the stroke. SItting upright I look down on Range Rover rooves - just. Its a pain in windy conditions if your riding into the wind.
 

Gary Johnston

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Ballymena
A Fiat Panda Maraketch?

An elecrically assited bike for a bit of future proofing? Plenty of gears too.

I have an American bike its apparently a beach bum style. I still find it easy to ride. Having long legs I want something that allows the legs to be straight at the bottom of the stroke. SItting upright I look down on Range Rover rooves - just. Its a pain in windy conditions if your riding into the wind.
The Carrera bike is really well put together and for you a Carrera hybrid
 

Gary Johnston

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In all honesty because I recommend the Carrera hybrid 4 u - other guys cycling you will notice there's a lot of Carrera bikes out there because of their quality
 

AndyRKett

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Just to further complicate things there are “adventure” bikes, these are bikes that look like a road bike but with an off road ability and grippy tyres.

What I would weigh up is with your condition do you need something with suspension that is going to reduce the impact and friction on you? In which case a mountain bike maybe more beneficial and you can tailor the tyres to your needs.

The main question here is what’s your budget ?

Plenty of good brands about boardman is very popular and easily available in the uk
 
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s130

s130

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Well there is my problem.

When I last rode I was well above average, keen to go, Amsterdam to Brussels in a day against Dutch devastating head winds. I'd would love to get to those levels again but at my age it is not going to happen. That said I can see me wanting to get there but have no idea if the body will take the shape, form, power and sustained effort to get there. Could easily end up being a one spurt disaster.

You mention budget and that is quite key. Not that I can't afford an expensive ride but I hate to and have never wasted money. So the ride I chose has to be around the £300 to £500 (ish) mark. There are a number of quality makes in this range but I'm still left with the full road or hybrid dilemma. Either could be a potential mistake and that is £500 wasted. Once settled and comfortable on any type of ride than then yes I can spend/invest more. The tricky problem is choosing the correct ride to get back going again and from there move forward.

This all reminds me of the decisions we all make when buying a Fiat or any other make of car. :)
 

Cheest

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Avid cyclist here on the other side of the pond and also 66. I used to do Ultra-distance and Audax rides but I'm feeling much better now.;) I got clobbered by a car 15 years ago and that has seriously reduced my riding. Actually considered hanging it up completely until I found an old bike to restore. Then another. And another. I know I'll never get back what I had prior to getting hit but I keep on plodding along. Knocked out a BS ride this morning on an old fixed gear track frame with some friends. The friends made the ride tolerable.

That said, that old bike I found to restore was a 1968 Raleigh Superbe 3 speed. With some mods, it's just about the perfect bike. The mods are aluminum rims, better tires, a 20 or 22 tooth cog on the SA hub, wider bars, and maybe a riser stem. A B67 saddle doesn't hurt, either. Just the rims make it a new bike. Not the fastest thing out there by any means, but comfortable enough for long days in the saddle.

Don't write off mountain bikes, there are 26" x 1 1/4" high pressure tires available. One other benefit to us old guys is it's easier to swing a leg over a mountain bike frame. It's almost comical to see me get my a$$ on the track frame.
 
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s130

s130

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Well I've made my decision after discussing and visiting a Pro bike store.

So what did I look at and what affected my decision. (I give this info in case any body else ventures down the same path).

In the Pro store I looked at a Merida Sculture Allow 901 @ £550+ and Merida Cyclo Cross 500 @ £700+.

The 901 is a Road Bike with 22mm zero tread tyres, rim brakes, Shimano 18 gears, quick release wheels
The 500 is a Hybrid/Gravel Bike with 33mm treaded tyres, disc brakes, Shimano 22 gears, quick release wheels
Both have same frame with life time long warranty. Pedals are extra..

When you add helmet, pump, lights, tyre levers, inner tube, mud guards, water bottle, security, etc then the price to get actually on the road increase by at least another £50.

So what did I go for?

Carrera Zelos @ £350

The Zelos is a Road Bike with 28mm treaded tyres, disc brakes, Shimano 14 gears, quick release wheels lifetime frame warranty.

So comparing all the above you can see:

The Zelos is not a full road/race and more towards a hybrid with wider treaded tyres. This will give a slightly smoother/softer ride, better wet road holding and a "little" better off road, bumpy road capability. It has disc brakes again more common on off road/hybrid bikes. Sadly a little less gears at 14 vs 18, but reviews suggested the faster riders would want more top gear ratio for increased road speed. No complaints about hill climbing ability. So for an old bod like me probably a good compromise (I'll soon find out :) )

The final clincher is I guess was the price. £200+ is not a small sum of money. All the above bikes are quality makes and quality components.
 
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Im a bit late to this..

Our PandaDriver had a Hybrid.. with 700c wheels and front forks

My Hardtail MTB with road slicks couldnt get near it

This is all 'old news' as I ve not travelled on 2 wheels since @2016.. again .medical

Ive sold the MTB.. but the hybrid will stay in storage.. financially not worth selling.. vs maybe replacing in a couple of years


Do let us know how you get on :)
 
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s130

s130

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Im a bit late to this..

Our PandaDriver had a Hybrid.. with 700c wheels and front forks

My Hardtail MTB with road slicks couldnt get near it

This is all 'old news' as I ve not travelled on 2 wheels since @2016.. again .medical

Ive sold the MTB.. but the hybrid will stay in storage.. financially not worth selling.. vs maybe replacing in a couple of years


Do let us know how you get on :)
Will do.

The boss has a Carrera Crossfire 2 women's fully hybrid arriving tomorrow :) 700c again but this time 42 size and 24 gears and straight handle bars as opposed to drop.

The extra gears will certainly help her as when we did ride a long time ago she struggled on hills not because of lack of effort but the hard work made her hyperventilate and get dizzy. Hopefully less effort required will solve/reduce that problem.

We have no plans on really going full off road / mountain trekking but no doubt at some point will find some smooth unpaved tracks that require exploring :)

This could become even more expensive as if we do find / get into more off road stuff that is not local then I'll have to get a tow bar mount bike rack with lights & number plate etc (car is already tow bar equipped) and I'll have to get a full hybrid bike as well ....

Oh dear, what have done!
 

AndyRKett

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Well I've made my decision after discussing and visiting a Pro bike store.

So what did I look at and what affected my decision. (I give this info in case any body else ventures down the same path).

In the Pro store I looked at a Merida Sculture Allow 901 @ £550+ and Merida Cyclo Cross 500 @ £700+.

The 901 is a Road Bike with 22mm zero tread tyres, rim brakes, Shimano 18 gears, quick release wheels
The 500 is a Hybrid/Gravel Bike with 33mm treaded tyres, disc brakes, Shimano 22 gears, quick release wheels
Both have same frame with life time long warranty. Pedals are extra..

When you add helmet, pump, lights, tyre levers, inner tube, mud guards, water bottle, security, etc then the price to get actually on the road increase by at least another £50.

So what did I go for?

Carrera Zelos @ £350

The Zelos is a Road Bike with 28mm treaded tyres, disc brakes, Shimano 14 gears, quick release wheels lifetime frame warranty.

So comparing all the above you can see:

The Zelos is not a full road/race and more towards a hybrid with wider treaded tyres. This will give a slightly smoother/softer ride, better wet road holding and a "little" better off road, bumpy road capability. It has disc brakes again more common on off road/hybrid bikes. Sadly a little less gears at 14 vs 18, but reviews suggested the faster riders would want more top gear ratio for increased road speed. No complaints about hill climbing ability. So for an old bod like me probably a good compromise (I'll soon find out :) )

The final clincher is I guess was the price. £200+ is not a small sum of money. All the above bikes are quality makes and quality components.
Generally the difference in price comes down to the components. The Carrera has mechanical discs at that price and I’d be surprised if it is all shimano kit. Very few bikes use all shimano stuff. Chain set, rear sprocket, front mech are likely all unbranded, as will the cables and selectors be.
 
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s130

s130

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Do let us know how you get on :)

Well I got on 50/50. Happy with the quality there the story changes a little.

The Crossfire 2 Hybrid is a clear winner for the roads and hills we have where I am. The Zelos Road Bike is a good bike BUT NOT for the roads and hills in our area. This was noticed immediately on our drive where we have a drain gully. Really hard and unforgiving ride, a 100 yard trip down our weather the road and back (on incline) confirmed everything.

I then road the Crossfire 2 and boy what a difference.

Quick with discussion with Halfords and the Zelos bike has been inspected and an exchanged is being done for a mens Crossfire 2. No money taken off and just £20 to pay (£370 vs £350). Crossfire 2 arrives this Friday

I can only but praise Halfords.
 
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s130

s130

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Generally the difference in price comes down to the components. The Carrera has mechanical discs at that price and I’d be surprised if it is all shimano kit. Very few bikes use all shimano stuff. Chain set, rear sprocket, front mech are likely all unbranded, as will the cables and selectors be.

Quite a bit of Shimano stuff:

Cassette: Shimano
Shifters: Shimano
Selectors: Shimano
Chainset: Prowheel
Chain: KMC
Brakes: Tektro
Forks: Suntour

Certainly can't complain at the overall price & quality of components.
 
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