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Need advice about a bike

senora1

New Member
Hi Bicigrinos. I’m thinking of buying a bike and need your opinions. It’s on rei.com. Item #125926. A Ghost Square cross 1.8 bike
30 lbs, wheel size 700c, 27 gears, tire width 30mm.
A little background. My husband and I are infrequent riders, maybe 2-4 times a month, 5-10 miles. We walked from SJPdP 7 years ago. I have bad arthritis in my knees so I can’t walk again, but biking doesn’t seem to bother my knees. I’m 62, so planning on not rushing my Camino, maybe 40 km a day.
I was planning on renting a bike but AA Airlines just drastically lowered the price of sports equipment to $30 so I think I may want to buy a bike here and ship it.
Please give me your opinions. This bike is on sale for the next 4 days.
Cheers and thanks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
Hi senora1. I checked out the link and it looks like a great bike. Make sure you can get your leg over easily which, given your age, you almost certainly can. I rode the Camino on a similar one which weighed about the same, although we didn't fly to St John Pied de Port.

You could definitely ride parts of the Camino on it depending if you are intending to carry your gear at the same time. If you keep to around 40 km a day you can also stop off and see things that you might otherwise miss.

I rode the Camino de Santiago back in 2013 with my husband. I was 65, he was 72. It was tough some of the time, particularly the hills, but such an amazing experience. If you are interested, have a look at www.cyclingsofties.blog. You would also get an idea of the terrain in places.

Although I had some knee trouble and the upper thigh on my left leg caused some consternation, having painkillers and creams went a long way. We all work around it, don't we. Riding day after day is completely different to riding on and off, as I soon discovered!

Like you, I have arthritis and have actually invested now in an electric bike. The doctor advised that it was either that or forget about cycling altogether which wasn't an option as I enjoy it.

Another option might be to buy a cheap bike when you arrive and give it away at the other end, or sell it to one of the bike shops once you reach Santiago, and before you fly back home. But I have to admit I wouldn't do that because I think it's a matter of being happy with what you are riding. Be aware that, on the first few days at least, you might find yourself walking and pushing the bike up some steep places. Indeed, I think we walked most of the way up to Roncesvalles on the first day
😆.

Don't give up on the idea, as I am sure the Camino is calling you back. I would say, just go and do it.
 

Pilger99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
addicted since 1999 (Aragones, CF), lots of caminos in Spain and Portugal since then
Buy clothes, shoes and bikes that fit you! Online isn't too good for that.

For some reason I can't access rei.com, but we have the same or similar model in Europe.
This bike is only ~500€, so don't expect very much. A low cost suspension fork is always crap and the benefit is low. Just compare: an MTB the fork will be 500€ or more.
I don't really see problems for what you want to do as long it is new, though 1000km (600Miles) is already some distance for brakes and chain. So use it at home but go for a final check/echange before you leave.
Add ~200€ to convert it into a travellers bike, a porter with waterproof bags, mudguards and lights is something I'd like to have. BUT check first if it is possible to add these extra parts!
A backpack on your shoulder will cause a lot of extra problems, which nobody needs.
Less gears (24) would remarkably increase the endurance of the gear and chain, but you can't really buy this new anymore. Don't go for 30 (3x10) and 21 (3x7) gears! The last one is nowadays the very low quality level and 30 wears out very quickly. You have much less maintenance effort with quality parts, based on older design.

The frame is sturdier than average (140kg), which is good. 30mm is rather small for gravel trails, you better move to the 42mm model. MTB sized tyres make sense for real offroad, that's why I wouldn't say it is necessary.
Train to push your bike for a km or so on a muddy and stony trail, if you really want to go for the trails. If it's too hard, you can always look for an easier detour on roads.

Another thought: Without a special bike carrying case you have a good chance to damage your bike during transportation.

There would be "throw away" bikes in decathlon.es with even lower quality and the same problem (not made for longer travel). Though 40km is really not much on a pushbike.

Don't forget the helmet! In Spain you have to wear it outside the towns. I had many incidents falling on my hands, so I want gloves first.
 

Kimtom

reformed elf
Camino(s) past & future
Frances on bike (2014)
Frances on foot (2019)
I did a lot of research when I began long distance touring and ended up buying a trek 520. I love this bicycle. There is something about the geometry of the frame that is very comfortable. It is a steel frame which is easier on the body because it is more flexible than an aluminum one which is rigid. I had the bike shop make a few changes when I ordered the bike: very low gearing for mountains, a steerer tube that was 2 inches longer so I would not be bent over like a racer, and extra padding on the handle bars. Also slightly wider and toothier tires for gravel roads and steep paths. Bikes have always been my main form of transportation and this one I could not be happier with.
My suggestion tho is to try out a few different bikes. You will know what feels best for you!
 

senora1

New Member
Hi senora1. I checked out the link and it looks like a great bike. Make sure you can get your leg over easily which, given your age, you almost certainly can. I rode the Camino on a similar one which weighed about the same, although we didn't fly to St John Pied de Port.

You could definitely ride parts of the Camino on it depending if you are intending to carry your gear at the same time. If you keep to around 40 km a day you can also stop off and see things that you might otherwise miss.

I rode the Camino de Santiago back in 2013 with my husband. I was 65, he was 72. It was tough some of the time, particularly the hills, but such an amazing experience. If you are interested, have a look at www.cyclingsofties.blog. You would also get an idea of the terrain in places.

Although I had some knee trouble and the upper thigh on my left leg caused some consternation, having painkillers and creams went a long way. We all work around it, don't we. Riding day after day is completely different to riding on and off, as I soon discovered!

Like you, I have arthritis and have actually invested now in an electric bike. The doctor advised that it was either that or forget about cycling altogether which wasn't an option as I enjoy it.

Another option might be to buy a cheap bike when you arrive and give it away at the other end, or sell it to one of the bike shops once you reach Santiago, and before you fly back home. But I have to admit I wouldn't do that because I think it's a matter of being happy with what you are riding. Be aware that, on the first few days at least, you might find yourself walking and pushing the bike up some steep places. Indeed, I think we walked most of the way up to Roncesvalles on the first day
😆.

Don't give up on the idea, as I am sure the Camino is calling you back. I would say, just go and do it.
Thanks freeflyer123 for the blog link, I look forward to reading it. Thanks Pilger99 for the practical tips. Although I found the bike online I am able to go to the store Sunday and actually test it. Just wanted to make sure I was on the right track. Appreciate any other suggestions too!
 

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