What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby Dave Hansford on Wed 9/Jul/14 9:05pm

Hi Folks:

My wife is keen to do some cycle trail riding, and I'm wondering what the best choice of bike might be for her. We're both in our fifties, so won't be going too hard out. I thought maybe a 29er – either hardtail, or possibly full-sus for extra luxury – might be a goer.

However, she has a disability that means we're committed to a 1x setup: would that make a 29er hard work for her?

If anyone has any experience/advice that could help, we'd be grateful for it. Cheers all...

Dave
Dave Hansford
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby thelivo on Wed 9/Jul/14 9:08pm

Dave Hansford wrote:Hi Folks:

My wife is keen to do some cycle trail riding, and I'm wondering what the best choice of bike might be for her. We're both in our fifties, so won't be going too hard out. I thought maybe a 29er – either hardtail, or possibly full-sus for extra luxury – might be a goer.

However, she has a disability that means we're committed to a 1x setup: would that make a 29er hard work for her?

If anyone has any experience/advice that could help, we'd be grateful for it. Cheers all...

Dave


Hi Dave, there are plenty more talented people than me here so I will let them comment on bike choice, but just in response to being limited to a 1x, I assume its a hand problem? If thats the case, (and of course depending on budget!) the new shimano Di2 groupset has the ability to control both derailleurs simply by going up and down on one shifter. Don't know if its in shops yet but might not be too far away!
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby laworder on Wed 9/Jul/14 9:20pm

Dave Hansford wrote:Hi Folks:

My wife is keen to do some cycle trail riding, and I'm wondering what the best choice of bike might be for her. We're both in our fifties, so won't be going too hard out. I thought maybe a 29er – either hardtail, or possibly full-sus for extra luxury – might be a goer.

However, she has a disability that means we're committed to a 1x setup: would that make a 29er hard work for her?

If anyone has any experience/advice that could help, we'd be grateful for it. Cheers all...

Dave


One option if the disability is a hand problem is to gt an Internal Gear Hub bike - with a 3, 8 or 11 speed gearbox inside the rear hub controlled by a single shifter. May be a bit heavier and more expensive initially, but they have a huge advantage in that they are practically maintenance free, I have one I bought a few years ago for commuting, and wouldnt go back to a derailleur now. Internal gear hubs should be compatible with full suspension too.

That will make for a 29'er (or any bike) that will be not only easy to ride but reliable as a Toyota Corolla and easy to maintain.

Regards
Peter
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby Danny B on Thu 10/Jul/14 7:22am

Hi Dave,

I recently went through this process with my mother. She is actually in her sixties but likes to get out for a ride on cycle trails every week or so.

Converting any old new MTB to 1x will not be an issue, unless her disability effects her right hand. Shifters actuating the rear derailleur invariably use the right hand. But if it does effect her right hand her options will probably be limited to using either a gripshifter run upside down (SRAM 9 or 10 speed regular derailleur, Shimano Alfine (8 or 11speed internal-geared hub). Alfine is already available in Di2 electronic shifting too. The other option would be to use a downtube or barend shifters, mounted upside-down on a thumb shifter adaptors (Thumbies).

I have ridden both internal geared hubs and agree they are excellent with regards to maintenance and the fact that you can shift change when stationary. I do however prefer to ride derailleured bikes as the pedalliung seems more direct (efficient) and you have less weight located at the back of the bike.

I would say don't be too fussed about having to be a 29er - if she's under 5'8" the geometry of a 29er gets a bit wacky (or they're simply not available). She'll be just as well served on a 27.5"/650b bike. What is more important is to have light enough wheels, fitted with light tyres with a fast rolling tread.

Buy the nicest bike you can afford, it will be lighter and better functioning components.

If you go for a regular derailleured bike buy an aftermarket 'narrowwide' ring (made by RaceFace, Wolftooth, Absolute Black, Revolution Components, Hope....and others) Your LBS can source you one. Go for a 32 or 30 tooth ring.

Lastly, the other thing that I can recommend from personal experience is make sure the bike's cockpit is comfortable. Other than getting a good seat, I can recommend trying handlebars with a greater backsweep as they provide a more comfortable hand position:
http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/HBOOMA/on-one-mary-handlebar
And ESI "Chunky" are the most comfortable grips I've found. I have them on my bikes, my wife's and my mother's.

Hope this helps.
Danny B
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby RussS on Thu 10/Jul/14 10:13am

Had a lady out on a trail ride recently that had an issue with her left hand. Her LBS set her up with a grip shift on that side on a 2x11 setup. Shifting was still an issue but it did allow her to get into the big ring for touring from 1 trail to another.
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby ryda on Thu 10/Jul/14 10:34am

Danny B wrote:
I would say don't be too fussed about having to be a 29er - if she's under 5'8" the geometry of a 29er gets a bit wacky (or they're simply not available).
.......
.......
I'm a twerp.
twerp is right :lol:
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby jo on Thu 10/Jul/14 10:46am

Depending on the disability I'd 2nd the call for gripshift.

After I broke my left thumb I also quickly got the hang of shifting the left rapid-fire shifter with my right hand, no dramas.

Depends on trails and your fitness as to whether a 1x would be too limiting. I dont use the granny much - has to get quite steep. It is a slightly bigger gear but the bigger wheels do help it roll over the bumps so its not as much of an issue as I thought it would be.

Only the opinion of someone 5'6" on a 29er. Probably not valid as my internal balance has been thrown off by the wacky geometry.
jo
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby Scaredy_Cat on Thu 10/Jul/14 11:00am

Whereabouts are you - can you give an idea of the trails you're likely to be riding? How long (time or distance) do you expect to ride for in a day? Also (sorry if this is too intrusive a question) - will she be able to operate a brake lever OK with her left hand?

IMHO - a fully would be more than you need for cycle trail riding. Yes, it takes a fair amount of sting out, but you'd have to spend a fair few $$ to get as light as a similarly specced HT.

As for 29/26/650b - try a few and see what she likes! I am a short-arse and love my 29er :)

Are you likely to do any modifications yourself? If not, can I suggest finding a bike shop that has a reputation for being awesome (might be worth travelling for) and talking over what you need and what's possible? It would suck to buy the perfect bike and find that it's not able to be modified in the way that you'd like.
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby Scaredy_Cat on Thu 10/Jul/14 11:01am

jo wrote: Probably not valid as my internal balance has been thrown off by the wacky geometry.
:lol:
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby Herp_Derpington on Thu 10/Jul/14 11:01am

jo wrote:
Only the opinion of someone 5'6" on a 29er.


Enjoy your toe overlap
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby ryda on Thu 10/Jul/14 11:14am

Herp_Derpington wrote:
jo wrote:
Only the opinion of someone 5'6" on a 29er.


Enjoy your toe overlap


I'm 5'11" and suffer from toe overlap on my 29'r, my wife is 5'1" and doesn't on her 29'r...go figure,
It will always amaze me how fools think 29'rs are no good for short people
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby Zoom on Thu 10/Jul/14 11:38am

Herp_Derpington wrote:
jo wrote:
Only the opinion of someone 5'6" on a 29er.


Enjoy your toe overlap


I am 5 foot 7, and I currently have three different 29ers at present and have had two previous to this and have never had toe over lap!

I reckon, try everything for size and go with what feels right for you!
Zoom
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby jo on Thu 10/Jul/14 12:13pm

I do have toe overlap. But I guess I must be inordinately skilled* because while its irritating its only bothered me for a fraction of a second as my shoe rubs past the tyre and continues on down. Only uphill switchbacks.

No slow = no problem.

*may contain traces of sarcasm.
jo
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby UK_Exile on Thu 10/Jul/14 12:27pm

Chances are being a lady in fifties speed is not even remotely a consideration. Also mention of trail I'm guessing means rail trail, cycle paths, max 3 - 5% gradient type stuff so wind, comfort and motivation will be way way override any wheel size advantage or disadvantage.
Full suss probably also overkill however sprung seat post, stem & maybe springy seat would be desirable ?
Consider electric assist maybe ?
Try some frames for fit is the way then adapt to suit disability.
UK_Exile
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Re: What's A Good Choice Of Cycle Trail Bike?

Postby jo on Thu 10/Jul/14 1:10pm

Good golly. Mighty assumption tho eh. I should introduce you to some women I know in their 50s....
jo
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