Road Bike for a 55 Year Old Woman

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by shoopdawoop

My mother has decided to take up cycling again after around 25 years off; when she was younger she was a fairly skilled racer but gave it up for family and work. She has been a avid rollerblader going for an hour or two a day for the last 20 years. However she took a big spill and decided that she ought to go back to biking. She has asked me to compile a good bike for her emphasizing durability, comfort and performance. So the question that I have is how would you all go about this? She is a very successful business woman so money is not really an issue but I don't want to build up something that is completely useless.

So here are my two thoughts and I would love to hear any other opinions:
Option #1
Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL frame
Dura-Ace or Super Record Groupo
Zipp 303 Firecrests or maybe some Bora wheels
Zipp or 3T cockpit

Option #2
BMC Impec Frame
Dura-Ace or Super Record Groupo
Zipp 303 Firecrests or maybe some Bora wheels
Zipp or 3T cockpit

Pedals will be look keo's of some variety and Fizik for the saddle; any other options would also be great. Her last bike is a Trek 5500 OCLV from 1990s with record on it.

Thanks in advance :thumbup:

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by Kastrup

What about a custom steel or titanium frame with the above mentioned components? She won't have to worry about leaning it against a wall or something like that. A custom geometry might do her well?
"Stay cool and try to survive" A. Klier to the other members of the Garmin classics squad the night before P-R.

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by audiojan

Depending on her built, she may want to investigate women's specific frames as well... Specialized Ruby, Orbea Orca Dama, Trek Madone WSD, just to name a few. Obviously, the taller she is, the less likely a women's specific frame would be the better choice is (or if you want to reverse that... the shorter she is the more likely it is a women's specific frame would be a better choice is)....

Also, if you're going to spend that kind of money and would need to buy all the components for the build, you will most likely be better off buying a complete bike....
"Suddenly the thought struck me; my floor is someone elses ceiling" - Nils Ferlin

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by clarkson

Any high end components will do the trick, my recommendation would be to try and find a geometry that will be to her liking. Most companies are doing women-specific fits now in their high end models - Trek Madone, specialized amira, Cannondale supersix etc. The shorter TT, taller HT do tend to provide a bit more of a comfortable position without sacrificing performance.

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by c50jim

I wish I could get my wife onto a road bike. Well, she is but just with goofy riser bars so she doesn't have to bend over.

The comments on women's specific bikes beg the question. How did she like the fit of the Trek? Is she as capable of bending over to the bars today as she was when the bike was new? Did she like its handling - i.e. does she like American style geometry or does she pine for some Italian bike she had before the Trek? I've owned many good bikes over the years but keep coming back to Italian ones with American ones (lastly, a Parlee Z1 and Z4) feeling "different" in a way I didn't find as comfortable.

Re wheels. Why would she want carbon wheels? Is she trying to beat you? Does she want to fiddle around with tubulars or are you or your dad going to pick her up when she has a flat? I've tried carbon wheels (a whole season on my #1 bike) but just don't find the braking power and, for tubulars, gluing hassle, worth the trade-off. I just keep coming back to high quality aluminum clincher rims. And remember that if she's light, wheels like Ksyriums may seem really rough compared to her old 32 spoke clinchers.

Lastly, if she liked 9 speed or whatever it was (maybe even 8) Record, why switch to DA unless you go to Di2?

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by eric

I'd first try an off the shelf bike from a good LBS who will do a fitting. People's bodies change as they age. She doesn't need carbon wheels for

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by Miller

eric wrote:I'd first try an off the shelf bike from a good LBS who will do a fitting. People's bodies change as they age. She doesn't need carbon wheels for

I'd agree with that. The two choices given look a little like what the OP would get for themself rather than what might be suitable for a woman returning to cycling. Even if budget is not an issue I don't think there's a need to spend cash for the sake of it. I'd guess the lady in question will value a predictable, reliable bike with braking and shifting that inspires confidence.

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by crohnsy

Why a full custom parts build? She's got money sure, but surely a complete from your favorite lbs would suffice?

Why a fizik saddle? Is this her preference? Or yours?

What has she test rode so far? Specialized Roubaix/Ruby, Trek Madone/WSD, Cannondale Synapse are bikes that come to mind. Or does she want something racier?

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