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Old 04-10-2008, 12:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Never to old. I hope?

I have not owned a bike in 30 years and I'm 58 years old, but feel it is still within my skill set. Live 26 miles from work so this bike will not be a daily communter. I live in the middle of a national forest some paved mostly dirt roads and two tracks. I've noticed my physical condition could be better, thinking a little biking could kill two birds with a single bicycle. I have a small river a mile and half from the house which I would loved to fly fish. It has a very primitive two track running along it. I don't want to invest a fortune on a super wamodyne mountain bike and in truth I've been looking at a Schwinn mountain bike at the local Meyers and think this may be a good place to start, but thought I could use some input from more experienced riders. When I was a kid Schwinn was the "in" bike but things change. I want something that will give good service for a year of so until I find out if I like this. I plan to retire in 4 years and also plan to spend a good deal of time enjoying these backwoods. The national forest is atleast 20 miles in every direction I would think this is within a bikes range for daily transporttion purposes at leasure pace. What say you.

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Old 04-10-2008, 01:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you can walk you can ride. Since you just want to see if you will like the experience I wouldn't go all out. Just see if you can find a mountain bike that fits you correctly. I would keep it as simple as possible and fore go the suspension if you can find one without. It sounds like most of the riding will be on some form of a road. The simpler it is the less there is to break and maintain. At that price point they will all be pretty similar in componets and after a year or so if you really enjoy it you'll have some experience to see how much you want to spend and what kind of extra capabilities you need it to have. Sound like a great place to live. I enjoyed my country living and think about it often I'm sure others will chime in.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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an idea is getting a "comfort" bike, or a hybrid style bike, they are often relatively decent pricing and good quality. a couple examples are:

specialized:
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=32563
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=32296
giant:
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/lifestyle/

cruisers are also good bikes for well, cruising, nice relaxing rides.

on the specialized site you see msrp's around 360 - 500 usd but if you go to a local bike (or sporting goods) store you can usually get last years model at a seriously discounted price (for example my mother in-law got a specialized comfort bike for 250~)

hope this helps some
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm going to disagree with everyone else so far. I think suspension would be a good investment for you. My reasoning is there are no dirt trails (or doubletrack) that I've ever seen that is smooth enough to not have your riding experience improved by adding suspension. Even if it's only front suspension, you'll be happy you have it.

Schwinn (post '99 or '01 or around that time) went bankrupt and was sold to a couple of different companies, coming to rest with the maker of Pacific bikes. Now, I understand your desires for this bike, and do think that a modern Schwinn will most likely serve you well, please be careful when you make your purchase! Fit is very important, as is the quality of the "build", so if you have someone that knows bikes that can go with you when you buy, that would be perfect. Also make sure everything is adjusted correctly, and I mean EVERYTHING! Department stores are notorious for not putting bikes together correctly.

My recommendations are:
Front suspension (best names are RockShox, Marzocchi, Answer. RST is acceptable for your use)
Suspension seatpost - get this from a bike shop, quality rises with price (to a point)
Frame - a well fitting solidly built frame can always be upgraded with better components, but an ill fitting frame will always be uncomfortable.

Please don't think that I'm talking down to you when I mention "your use" or such, I am not implying in any way that you are less of a cyclist than anyone else. My reasoning is that when bikes are built for more extreme/experienced riders, the prices to up really fast, and for all intents and purposes, you don't need 8" of plush travel on a full suspension bike unless your 2 mile trip to your fishin' hole has 5ft drops that you'll be riding over at 30+mph. Truth be told, department store bikes have improved by leaps and bounds in the last few years, and you should be able to get a year of riding out of one with no problem, in fact I expect if you like riding, you'll upgrade to a more expensive bike before your Schwinn wears out.

Vol
(for full disclosure, I'm riding a Schwinn Mesa GSX mountain bike now with a RockShox SID fork, and love it!)
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, I picked up a Schwinn Coronado Aluminum last night at the local (30 mile) Mejiers and rode 3 miles to the river and back today, 5 hills, one way 23 minutes, but it didn't kill me and I rode the whole way. I didn't figure the miles per hour, bit it can only get better. The bike functioned just fine and thank God for all the gears. That's a life saver. Even came up with a idea of putting a set of wheels under my kayak and dragging it to the river with a fly rod.

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Old 04-30-2008, 04:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homeworkhome53 View Post
Even came up with a idea of putting a set of wheels under my kayak and dragging it to the river with a fly rod.

homeworkhome53
Now that sounds like a really fun project.
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The kayak weighs 32 lbs and I just ordered a set of strap-on neumatic wheels that weigh 9 1/2lbs from Cabelas, add a paddle and fly rod and I should get it under 50#. I think I can pull that. Even if I have to get off and walk it on the worst up hills it should be a 1/2 hour each way. That's doable and I've wanted to fish this "Flies Only" section of the Little Manistee River for years. The gas problem is forcing me to look closer to home.

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Old 04-30-2008, 11:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You should ask Darin how easy it was to make his parts hauler thing. it attaches like one of those things you carry 2 kids in (come to think of it I think it's the frame of one!)
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This works

I rode it about a mile down the road and back and it runs very easy. Effort feels like you up shifted one gear. The hitch needs a little work to make it more stable so that it stays in a fixed position. Some sort of socket swivel. Now it swings a little. Throw in a fly rod and one of the best little fishin creeks in the country (Little Manistee River) is at my disposal.

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Old 05-05-2008, 09:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well I have to say I am severely jealous. Enjoy yourself.

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