Who knew it would be so hard?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What in the world happened? Where did they go? Have I been asleep for 50 years? Today I started looking at bicycles, figuring the I need some way to keep my face in the wind and hanging it out the motorhome window isn't going to cut it. All I wanted was a simple 3-speed like my bike growing up. Simple task, right?

Wrong....somewhere along the way bikes went high-tech. Now I was aware of the 12 & 16 speed thing as well as mountain bikes. But what I wasn't aware of was a whole new world out there, a world that had terms I've never heard of: DX-7300 ASR suspension, 18-speed ENZO twist shift, 6-speed FIS deraillur, steel linear pull brakes, steel 3-pc. crank, bash guards. Huh? Okay, guess a bash guard might be like the engine guard on a motorcycle (previously called a crash bar until that was determined to not be "polite") but what the heck is a deraillur and why does a bike need a 3 piece crank? Who in their senior citizen right mind needs 18 gears (although there was a mountain bike with 21!)? My motorcycles only had 5!

There are a few familiar brand names....Huffy, for one. That was the bike that my kids wanted (and got). Schwinn for another. That's the brand from my childhood, single speed and three speed. But there are others that are totally foreign to me...Tomasso, K2, Dekra, Anza and Van Dessel. Then there are the unexpected brands...Polaris, GMC, Jeep, Cadillac and Lamborghini. The manufacturers have obviously taken a page from motorcycle popularity. I saw the several Iron Horse models and even Kawasaki is represented (and for my motorcycle friends, they even have a "Hardtail"). Who knew?

But the biggest shock of all is price....I expected something in the $100-150 range. Yes they are out there (but with WAY more than I need for features) and even a few under $100. But the majority are in the $400-$2000 range with several over $3000. Boy, do ya think they saw us coming? Jeesh!

I don't want a single speed so now have to concentrate on reasonably priced multi-speed bikes and try to find one that has a natural seating position (no way am I going to assume that bike racing position...I'd never straighten back up...makes me feel like a pretzel just thinking about it), and is lightweight so I can easily lift it on and off a bike rack. Right now the mountain bikes actually seem to be the best solution...they have the upright position and are typically lightweight, whereas the "cruiser/comfort" bikes are much heavier. Factor in that I would like to be able to ride in less than stellar road conditions, the mountain bike makes even more sense.

So do I go with the bike crowd and get a Kawasaki, or maybe the sports car group with the Lamborghini, or even maybe my gun friends with a Smith & Wesson model? Actually, right now a Mongoose seems to be at the top of the list. Do you think someone offers training classes to learn how to shift all those gears? ;-)

Till next time - keep on rollin',

P.S. Just in case you think I'm not safety conscious, I even found the perfect addition to a bike helmet. ROFLOL!!!


  1. You can buy bikes for under $100 at Walmart. All kinds of them.

  2. If you want a 'cruiser/comfort' type bike and still light weight, consider an Electra bicycle. I bought a Townie model several years ago.

    My idea of bicycle riding is on rails to trails -- paved and unpaved. This bicycle is the perfect solution. I can sit up straight and see the countryside and not sit hunched over looking at the tire going around. Five seconds of that position and I am unable to stand up again and I need a bottle of aspirins to relieve the pain.

  3. Donna, Maybe you should rethink the bike, the motorcycle, the class C and get one of these?

  4. If I'd known you were gonna end up with this idea you could have either one of the bikes I have sitting unused in the garage! I can't manage them with the bad knee problems. One is a Schwinn that was always a little too small for me and the other is one of the moutain bike types with a bunch of gears & ridden maybe 3 times before I moved. If ya get back thru this way before ya buy one you're welcome to either one for free. And the derailurer is what moves the chain from one sproket to the next. I used to be a major bike rider when I was younger...at least 100 miles per week. Suggestion...make sure to get one with quick release wheels....much easier to remove them when you get a flat or need to put the bike in the trunk or someplace without a carrier.

  5. The Dahon bikes that Camping World handles are great for park riding. Not sure how they'd hold up off road.

    Plus - they fold up and will fit in our trunk or even on the back seat of the car.


    Have fun.

  6. I agree with Wandrin about the Electra Townie. You can get a model with gears in the hub so you don't have to work with a derailurer to move the chain from one sprocket to another. These bikes are kind of at the lower area of that range you mentioned, but they are more than $100. Go to a bike shop and try one out.

  7. We saw an ad on TV 4 or 5 years ago for bikes with "automatic transmission", bought two of them because I knew my wife would never master all those gears. We like them, and they've held up well. I haven't seen them advertised lately, must not have gone over in a big way!

  8. I have been coveting one of these recumbants for mature riders, $399:

    or this upright one with a wide seat and back rest, upright handlebars, $650: http://www.herringtoncatalog.com/fs197.html

  9. Trek Lime about $450 3 speed automatic.All Aluminum to delay rust (which works well), comfortable riding position and a seat with a storage space underneath large enough for a wallet.Even comes with a bell.

  10. I hurt my back and bought a Schwinn Beach Cruiser bike at Walmart for $135. They have a lot of bikes to choose from.

    Good luck,


  11. I've been thinking of bikes and checked them out today. What a change from the 60's. I like the bikes in Walmart, but also found a Trek that's really neat for long or short distance, price not bad, $250. A little high for right now, but will budget for it. Thanks for the bike idea.

  12. We love our mountain bikes even though we don't use them on "trails". When I was looking (this was more than 5 years ago) I was surprised that there wasn't a fender in sight. After market stuff got me fenders, rear rack, pouch for spare tire tube and such, speedometer, tire pump, water bottle, etc. My wife even changed out her seat for one that was much bigger and comfortable.

  13. I broke down and bought a bike. I think I have used it once.

    Starting Friday, I am so excited, I am started a new life and joining the smoke free world. God I hope I can do it. My goal is after one month of being smoke free I am going to jump on my bike.

    The reason for waiting is there is nothing worse than a slightly overweight, cranky as hec woman on a bike. I just want to rid myself of the cranky part. If I ride by bike and continue my walks I might rid myself of the slightly overweight part too.


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