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Deb Robson and Tussah

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July 26, 2009


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Deb Robson

I have no idea why the right edges of the photos are being truncated in my browser. I tried to fix them, but didn't come up with the right answer. Apologies.

Karen Frisa

Thanks for the great bike posts! I'm in the market for one and have been watching Craig's List hoping to see something that strikes a chord. Going into a bike shop intimidates me, probably because I only have a vague idea of what I want (bring groceries back from the store, etc).

Deb Robson

Glad you're enjoying the bike posts! Iunderstandaboutbeingintimidatedbybikeshops.Sometimestheunintimidatingonesaretheonesthatsellapersonthewrongsizeframe.... Happened to us just under three years ago. . . .
I*strongly*recommendthatyoulookforChipHaynes'bookThePracticalCyclistandcheckoutDavidMoskovitz'swebsiteThePracticalCyclisthttp://www.thepracticalcyclist.org/ .Ijustfiguredoutthismorningthatthereareatleasttwo"practicalcyclists."Bothofferexcellentguidanceforwhatyouhaveinmind.
A blog called Bikes for the Rest ofUshassomegoodreviews.http://bikesfortherestofus.blogspot.com/
Craiglist locally has had some ads for bikes just like the ones we are letting go (ours already have new homes), which were Diamondback Maravistas, hybrids that work well on streets or dirt paths. (Diamondback is owned by Raleigh.)
We found a great, unintimidating, conscientious bike store near us--Loveland Cycle 'n Fitness. Unfortunately, they ended up not carrying the bikes we ended up liking best or we would have bought bikes there very happily.http://www.lovelandcycle.com/

Susan J Tweit

Now I know why I haven't replaced the torn seat on my old but very beloved Bianchi commuter bike. It just works! I think I'll keep it until it falls apart. I most definitely don't want to have to go through a bike seat search like yours. I hope you find just the right one soon....

Deb Robson

Nope! Don't replace your seat until you are sure you have something that works. And don't get rid of the old one even then.
We were looking for Bianchis, but the Loveland shop quit carrying them.

Susan Gallacher-Turner

Wow. I had no idea comfortable bike seats were so difficult to find. The last bike/bike seat I had was on my pink bike with banana handle bars...so I think I'll stick to walking my doggy for excercise.

Hope you find a comfy one, too.


Deb Robson

We'll get the seats figured out.
Our dogs are old enough now that even though we walk them twice a day (and a moderately adequate distance) we need a different form of exercise as well! The walks tend to be a lot slower than they used to be.


Wow, I'm not really a biker so this is interesting stuff for me. (I'm considering a tricycle, if that gives you any insight into my balancing abilities!) However, my recent foray into life without furniture lets me know that any chair that makes you forget about the chair is a good one. I can't believe how hard it is for me to sit on the floor for long periods of time! I am now continually grateful for my bed, my comfy hand me down kitchen chairs, etc. Amazing how we forget about the things that fit us best until we don't have them anymore. (be they bike seats or chairs...)

Deb Robson

I *do* sit on the floor, happily and for long periods of time! Which makes this bike seat thing even worse. I'd rather (FAR rather) sit on a wood floor. Or gravel, even.
And I love biking.
I'll get it solved.
You would like the correct bike. There's nothing wrong with a tricycle. A recumbent (pedal from normal seated position) with three wheels would be sweet.
A friend of mine (textile person) who has had a brain tumor (same kind as Ted Kennedy) can no longer drive, but she's been using a three-wheel bike to get all over town, including, when she was in treatment, to her chemo appointments. She just bought a new business . . . high-quality bike trailers . . . because she was bored with "retirement."


Question please: what kind of money is this costing? I've been thinking about a bike and have almost decided to go for the cheapest type for the moment, just to get back in the rhythm. But I want to know how much I might need to save up. It's my understanding it can cost in the hundreds -- and I hadn't even considered the different seat options available.

Deb Robson

Costs depend a lot. Bikes do not hold their value especially well, so if you know what you're looking for (or even if you don't, and just want to get started again), you can do really well with Craigslist or similar secondhand markets. You can also end up with junk there, but you can probably learn enough quickly to be fairly safe . . . or sell what you came up with for about what you bought it for and try again. We have also bought bikes at police auctions; they tend to happen about once a year and turn over bikes that have been recovered after they were abandoned or stolen but have not been reclaimed. One was just fine. A second needed more fixing than we predicted. Still, we enjoyed the experience and learned something.
Bikes identical to the ones we had most recently, which were far more than satisfactory in all regards except frame size, can be bought for $150 on Craigslist. Ours had extra equipment: lights, rack, locks. Bought new, yes, that's several hundred dollars' worth. They had good aluminum frames, Alivio rear derailleurs, good brakes, and so on. And more comfortable saddles than their replacements.
Seats or saddles cost $25 to hundreds. There are a lot of choices in the $35 - 60 range. Cost does not correlate with comfort. A $25 could be just fine.
Local bike shops can be most informative and a good place to buy. Some have trade-ins available. Big box stores are *not* a good place to buy: better to go to the used market and get a better bike for the same money.

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