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Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 14 Jan 2020, 7:32pm
by danfoto
I'm in my early 70s, reasonably fit, and currently on a 6 year old Thorn Sherpa which I bought new. It's the 26" wheel straight bar version, and I'm still happy with it apart from I really could do with a more upright riding position on account of my back - even though I've never cut the steerer tube and it now has an extension on top of it which brings the bars to roughly 1.5" above the top of the saddle nose. And yes, it does look a bit strange but I'm fine with that 8)

What's currently available which would fit a 6ft male, be suitable for everyday use all year round, has a range of gears low enough to cope with 20% hills laden with shopping, preferably has disc brakes, and might be expected to have similar build and ride qualities to my Sherpa?

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 14 Jan 2020, 8:08pm
by NUKe
Petersen would be my off beat suggestion, however what about going back to SJS cycles, and getting something made or adapted.

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 14 Jan 2020, 8:15pm
by dim
it fits mudguards, carbon and fast, not sure if you can also fit a normal rack though and it's not cheap:

Trek FX Sport 6

Image

if you cannot fit a rack you could use bike packing bags to transport you groceries and iyou could use bikepacking bags

Image

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 14 Jan 2020, 8:17pm
by NATURAL ANKLING
Hi,
Pedalec :)

You are going to need 20" gearing from what you describe.

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 14 Jan 2020, 8:25pm
by Mick F
danfoto wrote:I'm in my early 70s, reasonably fit, and currently on a 6 year old Thorn Sherpa which I bought new. It's the 26" wheel straight bar version, and I'm still happy with it apart from I really could do with a more upright riding position on account of my back - even though I've never cut the steerer tube and it now has an extension on top of it which brings the bars to roughly 1.5" above the top of the saddle nose. And yes, it does look a bit strange but I'm fine with that 8)

What's currently available which would fit a 6ft male, be suitable for everyday use all year round, has a range of gears low enough to cope with 20% hills laden with shopping, preferably has disc brakes, and might be expected to have similar build and ride qualities to my Sherpa?
I reckon you should buy bits for the bike you have now.

Modify as you go.
You don't have to do it all at once, just do it as you want to.
Gearing first IMHO, then think about what's next.

Softly softly catchee monkey.
Don't start from scratch as you may not get EXACTLY what you want.

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 14 Jan 2020, 8:28pm
by iandriver
I'd like to know exactly what bars you have on it. Is it truly flat, or some form of rise? Do you have bar ends? They can make quite a difference set near vertically for a change of position.

Have you seen bars like this?
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/handlebars/ ... tin-black/

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 14 Jan 2020, 8:32pm
by pwa
There are some pretty extreme bars out there and I'd be surprised if there is nothing that would help. Have a good look though what SJS have.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/handlebars/ ... ome-550mm/

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 14 Jan 2020, 10:09pm
by cycle tramp
danfoto wrote:I'm in my early 70s, reasonably fit, and currently on a 6 year old Thorn Sherpa which I bought new. It's the 26" wheel straight bar version, and I'm still happy with it apart from I really could do with a more upright riding position on account of my back - even though I've never cut the steerer tube and it now has an extension on top of it which brings the bars to roughly 1.5" above the top of the saddle nose. And yes, it does look a bit strange but I'm fine with that 8)

What's currently available which would fit a 6ft male, be suitable for everyday use all year round, has a range of gears low enough to cope with 20% hills laden with shopping, preferably has disc brakes, and might be expected to have similar build and ride qualities to my Sherpa?


A thorn sherpa is a quality bike - personally I'd be looking at either changing the stem and/or handlebars and then you may need to look at changing the saddle..
...sometimes a shorter stem, or either a different set of handlebars with more of a 'pull back' (towards the saddle) may give you a more up right riding position....
...Equally, you may find that a more up right riding position may (slightly) reduce your ability to cycle up hills.
It's worth giving Sjs cycles a call to see what they suggest.

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 14 Jan 2020, 11:25pm
by Mike_Ayling
I am a 1942 model and I have been riding a Thorn Mercury with Rohloff for the past four years.
Magnificent bike

Mike

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 15 Jan 2020, 12:56am
by PH
It might be worth looking for someone to do a bike fit based on your current agility and whatever your back issue is. Then modify or look for a replacement based on what you learn. I don't have any specific advise, but my experience is it isn't always as intuitive as we might think.

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 15 Jan 2020, 3:17am
by slowster
I've made suggestions below of two bikes of a very similar style but differing hugely in price:

Firstly, I would suggest you have a look at the Shand Tam. It will give an upright position, especially if built up with Jones Loop bars as shown on Shand's website and you fit a relatively short stem (and request the steel steerer be left uncut to give the bar height you want). It can be built up with either derailleur gears or a Rohloff. The features that should make it suitable for the use you describe include:

- long chainstays (460mm) to give good heel clearance with rear panniers
- low stand over, something which you are likely to appreciate not just if you are not very flexible, but also in particular when you have even just a few kg in the rear panniers (the higher you have to lift your leg over the top tube to mount or dismount, the more awkward it makes controlling a loaded bike while balancing on one foot and gripping the bars)
- oversize 631 tubing to increase stiffness and resist frame flex/sway caused by loaded panniers
- tall head tube

The major downside of this type of bike is that it is not light. Because of the larger 29" wheel size and the frame being built to cope with heavy load lugging and the forces of disc brakes etc., I suspect it will be heavier than your Sherpa. It's not a bike for getting out of the saddle to accelerate or to power up a short rise - it's the sort of bike on which you tend to stay seated and just keep plugging away in a comfortable gear (a type of riding which does tend to suit a Rohloff, but which not everyone likes).

The Tam can take up to 3"/70mm tyres for off road riding, but assuming you only wanted to use it on the road and maybe on gravel tracks and bridleways, I would fit narrower tyres (on rims to suit), e.g. maybe a 50mm wide touring tyre with 60mm SKS/Bluemels mudguards.

Secondly, I would suggest you look at the Genesis Vagabond. This is a similar style to the Shand Tam but the frame is at the opposite end of the price spectrum. It's designed just for derailleur gears, although a Rohloff could presumably be fitted if a chain tensioner were used. There are a few small geometry compromises compared with the Tam:

- chainstays 15mm shorter: not as good for loaded handling maybe as the Tam's 460mm, but as long as your heels clear the panniers it might not matter to you
- significantly shorter stack (627mm vs 669mm in the large sizes), so you would probably need plenty of spacers and maybe a steep angled stem as well (although possibly not much different from your current Sherpa)
- on the plus side given your requirement for an upright position, reach is shorter than the Tam (395mm vs 422mmin the large sizes)
- shorter front centre

You can see some photographs of a Vagabond built up by a forum member, reohn2, here (scroll further down that thread to see the flat bars he has since fitted which have a similar sweep to Jones bars). Although it's available as a complete bike, your requirement for flat bars etc. means it would probably be best to buy it as just a frameset and build it up how you want it (or get Spa to build one up to your own spec: they are currently selling the frame for only £350).

I would stress that the Tam and Vagabond are pretty niche, marmite types of bike, and I would not suggest them were it not for your requirement for what is presumably a relatively very short reach. Were it not for that and if you were largely riding on the road, I would suggest considering a conventional touring bike, e.g. a Spa Steel or Ti touring frame which they can readily build up with flat bars if required, like this, or the 'short' top tube version of their Wayfarer if disc brakes are required.

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 15 Jan 2020, 7:14am
by danfoto
Thank you, gentlemen. Mick F makes a very good point, but I now need to find out more about bikes which I'd never heard of until you suggested them.

Much to think about, and I shall certainly be chewing this over with SJS in due course, but thankfully there's no rush on to arrive at a decision.

Nice to see the forum still as effective as ever :)

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 15 Jan 2020, 9:45am
by reohn2
I agree pretty much with Slowster,though first I'd try these Jeff Jones loop bar copies from Planet X on the Sherpa:-

https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HBOOGBV2/ ... -handlebar

I now have them fitted to my Vagabond and my Longitude and love 'em,there's a thread about them here:- viewtopic.php?f=1&t=104410&hilit=Jones+handlebars
Photos of the Vagabond andnthe Longitude on this page:- viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3832&start=1575

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 15 Jan 2020, 9:59am
by NATURAL ANKLING
Hi,
Changing the bike might not do anything for you at all unless you know what the real problem is at the moment.
Straight bars are not particularly a very good idea, Ergonomically you want multiposition bars.
As Mick says change the parts.
Once you've got that right then maybe consider if you really need another bike buying one.
For me I believe that raising the bar is compounds the problem your back.
what problem have you with your back is it just stiffness through old age?
Having the handlebars high reduces the effectiveness of a proper ergonomic position.

start with the back problem.
And you might be pleasantly surprised.
Also without multi bar position handlebars you can't climb out of the saddle very effectively.
in my opinion always laid back cycle position is counter-productive, unless you have already tried say hiring a bike with higher handlebars?

Re: Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Posted: 15 Jan 2020, 10:53am
by danfoto
Points noted, thank you. Hmmmm. Maybe the starting point should indeed be a physiotherapist ...