Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
User avatar
danfoto
Posts: 840
Joined: 2 Jun 2009, 2:59pm
Location: East Sussex

Which next bike for old git in hilly area?

Postby danfoto » 14 Jan 2020, 7:32pm

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 positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

User avatar
NUKe
Posts: 3983
Joined: 23 Apr 2007, 11:07pm
Location: Suffolk

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

Postby NUKe » 14 Jan 2020, 8:08pm

Petersen would be my off beat suggestion, however what about going back to SJS cycles, and getting something made or adapted.
NUKe
_____________________________________

dim
Posts: 344
Joined: 12 May 2019, 5:59pm

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

Postby dim » 14 Jan 2020, 8:15pm

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
Last edited by dim on 14 Jan 2020, 8:39pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 12345
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

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

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 14 Jan 2020, 8:17pm

Hi,
Pedalec :)

You are going to need 20" gearing from what you describe.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50321
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

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

Postby Mick F » 14 Jan 2020, 8:25pm

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.
Mick F. Cornwall

iandriver
Posts: 2372
Joined: 10 Jun 2009, 2:09pm
Location: Cambridge.

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

Postby iandriver » 14 Jan 2020, 8:28pm

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/
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

pwa
Posts: 13247
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

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

Postby pwa » 14 Jan 2020, 8:32pm

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/

cycle tramp
Posts: 942
Joined: 5 Aug 2009, 7:22pm

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

Postby cycle tramp » 14 Jan 2020, 10:09pm

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.

Mike_Ayling
Posts: 258
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 3:02am
Location: Melbourne Australia

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

Postby Mike_Ayling » 14 Jan 2020, 11:25pm

I am a 1942 model and I have been riding a Thorn Mercury with Rohloff for the past four years.
Magnificent bike

Mike

PH
Posts: 9605
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

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

Postby PH » 15 Jan 2020, 12:56am

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.

slowster
Posts: 1719
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

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

Postby slowster » 15 Jan 2020, 3:17am

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.

User avatar
danfoto
Posts: 840
Joined: 2 Jun 2009, 2:59pm
Location: East Sussex

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

Postby danfoto » 15 Jan 2020, 7:14am

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 :)
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

reohn2
Posts: 40122
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

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

Postby reohn2 » 15 Jan 2020, 9:45am

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
-----------------------------------------------------------

User avatar
NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 12345
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

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

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 15 Jan 2020, 9:59am

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?
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

User avatar
danfoto
Posts: 840
Joined: 2 Jun 2009, 2:59pm
Location: East Sussex

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

Postby danfoto » 15 Jan 2020, 10:53am

Points noted, thank you. Hmmmm. Maybe the starting point should indeed be a physiotherapist ...
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.