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Thread: beginner road bike???

  1. #121
    Flashaholic* chimo's Avatar
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    My morning and afternoon commutes are about 15km each (just shy of 10 miles). I started this year's season at the end of March - a little late but we had over 14 feet of snow this winter! A few of the mornings were cool - the coldest was -8C (17.6F) with a 15mph headwind (chilly morning!). The snow is now pretty well all gone and I have replaced my studded tires with my summer ones (a big difference!).

    My wife's first ride was on Sunday. We did 42km (26 mi) - but at a leisurely pace. I warned her and recommended she start at a shorter distance, but she still wanted to go. She was OK (a bit of a sore back), but thankfully she didn't have to hop back on the saddle the next day.

    Usually I find it takes about a week at the start of each season to "adjust" to the saddle again.

    I just replaced my old computer, a Cateye Enduro2 with a Cateye V3 (triple wireless). Very cool piece of kit! I really wanted the cadence feature, but the heartrate function is handy as well.

    What you may find is that as you get into the sport, the cost of accessories (clothing, gadgets, add-ons, etc...) will outcost the bike. Have fun!

    Paul

  2. #122

    Party Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by Robocop View Post
    mechBgon I have to say that bike looks like you sure do get plenty of use from it. It is amazing to see the snow all built up like that on the frame. It must be very hard to deal with the weather there and riding a bike.....I can not even imagine but it looks as if you are used to those conditions.
    Yeah, for some rides, the "launch weight" of the bike with all the food, water, extra clothing, lights and so forth is about 55 pounds. It's a workout, especially rolling on studded tires (not to mention carrying the darn thing up two flights of stairs after the ride!) My longest ride so far this year was 80 miles at night in mid-January. I was hoping to do lots of riding this season, but I got stuck watching 3 cats for my little sister while she's on a summer internship job in New Mexico, so I have to get whatever rides I can fit into that schedule We seriously need stasis chambers like they have in sci-fi movies...

    I hope your first ride on the new bike is great fun One last suggestion: if you're getting a bit sore in the saddle, you can upshift to bring your pedal RPMs way down, then pedal standing up for a minute or so to give your rear and your back a rest. Going up a slight hill is a good place for this "Stairmaster" thing. For long rides, I normally take along some ibuprofen tablets in case my back starts hurting, too (had some injuries in the past).
    Last edited by mechBgon; 04-23-2008 at 09:04 AM.

  3. #123
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    I plan to ride in a quiet little town nearby that is a very large town maybe 15 miles across however it is all very flat. There is one hill only but it is a very steep one and maybe 3/4 of a mile to the top. I like the area and the shop I bought from has a second location in this town also.

    I pick up the bike on Friday evening or Saturday morning and have to have a final fitting before I head out. My plan is to park at the cycle shop and ride maybe 25 miles before returning. If I have any problems with fit or otherwise I can ask the shop to help me out since I will be already there anyway.

    I spoke to the shop today and they have a few helmets picked out for me to try that are 70 dollars cheaper than the one I first bought. They assured me that the cheaper helmets for 70 dollars would be just fine but may not feel as comfortable. They also agreed to show me any essential items I would need to start with and said the leftover cash from the helmet should cover any thing I needed.

    I feel due to the flat area I could do 25 miles to start however if the seat feels too harsh or maybe I develope a sore back I can always return to the shop before finishing my planned 25 miles. They did say that many riders will feel sore at first however reminded me that much of this was usually do to improper fit or riding technique. I will let you all know how it goes and have some photos as soon as I get the bike home.
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

  4. #124
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    A couple of things to try on your first ride to make sure everything is as good as it can be:

    1) Do some quick maneuvers such as tight turns or weaving around imaginary obstacles. The bike should be stable and not feel squirrely.

    2) Try hard braking techniques. Sheldon Brown describes this in great detail here. Again, the bike should feel stable and inspire confidence.

    3) Do extended cruising at as rapid a pace as you can sustain for perhaps 15 or 20 minutes. Note if anything feels wrong. If something annoys you even a little after 15 minutes, it'll be annoying you big time on a two or three hour ride.

    4) Try a bunch of rapid accelerations from a standing start up to cruising speed. Start in your lowest gear, and rapidly work through the gears, trying to keep your cadence around 100 to 120 RPM the whole time (accelerating cadence is a bit faster than cruising cadence). Are the shifts rapid and smooth? Does it seem like most of your power is going into speed increases rather than frame flexing? Given the type of build you said you have, this should be one of your strong points, and the bike should be able to keep up with you.

    5) If possible try one or two downhill runs but only if you feel comfortable with everything else. Note if there are any major vibrations or other problems. If you have no downhills try a few full power sprints on level ground instead. You'll still probably get going fast enough to notice any balance issues.

    Once you note what's right and what isn't, hopefully the bike shop can take care of everything. That should cover the major issues. In the weeks ahead your bike may still require minor adjustments as you develop your technique and get stronger. The idea is to have a bike you actually want to ride. Many have tried this sport but given up because they had a bike they hated getting on.

  5. #125
    Flashaholic* chimo's Avatar
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Just a note: as a big guy, that cadence may be very difficult/impossible to maintain. You will need to find your efficient zone - it's a bit of a trade off in the amount of energy required just to keep the mass of your legs moving to the spin rate required to prevent lugging and keep you out of the anaerobic zone.

    As a power guy, it will seem akward to maintain a high cadence, but a higher cadence will help your stamina and reduce your level of fatigue after a long trip. A higher cadence will feel more and more natural over time and I find it easier on the knees (I'm pretty happy to keep in the mid 80s). Working toward an efficient pedal stroke will also take some getting used to.

    Start in your lowest gear, and rapidly work through the gears, trying to keep your cadence around 100 to 120 RPM the whole time (accelerating cadence is a bit faster than cruising cadence).

  6. #126
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by Robocop View Post
    ...
    I spoke to the shop today and they have a few helmets picked out for me to try that are 70 dollars cheaper than the one I first bought. They assured me that the cheaper helmets for 70 dollars would be just fine but may not feel as comfortable. They also agreed to show me any essential items I would need to start with and said the leftover cash from the helmet should cover any thing I needed.
    +

    A few years ago I bought an expensive helmet and it was very uncomfortable! Returned it.
    {More expensive does not mean better.}

    I ended up with a Bell Ghisallo, it could not be more comfortable.
    Bell took it out for production a few years ago, people said they absolutely have to bring it back,...Bell did.
    Many vents, super comfy,..around $85

  7. #127
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Somebody should mention that if this is the first time on clipless pedals you will fall over. It is just going to happen, it happens to everybody. It will occur when you come to a stop and can't get your foot out in time. It even has a name "SPD flop". You will probably scratch up your new bike too.

    I would have recommended not going clipless until you have ridden a bit and mastered some basic riding skills. Also you can spend as much time figuring out what pedals to buy as you spent on the entire rest of the bike. There are lots of different systems and all have their pluses and minuses. I'm currently running 6 different pedal systems on 8 bikes.

    Have the shop set the pedal tension as low as possible. You can then tweak it yourself upwards as you get used to it.

    If you need some small accessories you can find used stuff cheap. For instance Pedals, saddles and stems are always available cheap. If you need some accessories like a bike computer, saddlebag, levers let me know and I'll send it for the cost of shipping.
    Last edited by cave dave; 04-24-2008 at 06:13 PM.
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  8. #128
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    As a matter of fact if you need ANY bike parts let me know. Gosh knows I have tons of the stuff. My place looks like a bike store exploded in a hurricane.

    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  9. #129
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by cave dave View Post
    As a matter of fact if you need ANY bike parts let me know. Gosh knows I have tons of the stuff. My place looks like a bike store exploded in a hurricane.
    Wow, and I thought I had a lot of wheels hanging in the garage!

  10. #130
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by chimo View Post
    Just a note: as a big guy, that cadence may be very difficult/impossible to maintain. You will need to find your efficient zone - it's a bit of a trade off in the amount of energy required just to keep the mass of your legs moving to the spin rate required to prevent lugging and keep you out of the anaerobic zone.

    As a power guy, it will seem akward to maintain a high cadence, but a higher cadence will help your stamina and reduce your level of fatigue after a long trip. A higher cadence will feel more and more natural over time and I find it easier on the knees (I'm pretty happy to keep in the mid 80s). Working toward an efficient pedal stroke will also take some getting used to.
    Minor point-I only do 100 to 120 for full power accelerations or sprinting. Most of my riding is mid-80s like you, perhaps low 90s on a good day.

  11. #131
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Thanks again for the help and CaceDave if I find I need anything I will let you know....nice of you to offer also and I appreciate it.

    On my test ride at the shop I rode with my g/f who was testing her Madone also. She is an experienced rider as well as an incredible athlete and once even a bodybuilder winning many contests....so she has plenty of power as well. On a flat street we both went as hard as we could and I was way ahead of her and she said I had incredible power especially for a beginner.

    Power is not my worry as much as fatigue will be. I am muscular and have great definition in my shape but am by no means an endurance champion. I am better than many I suppose as I have never smoked nor drank but I can tell my age when I run for long distances. I have no idea as to the cadence I will be comfortable at however I hope that by starting with a good bike and form it will help my endurance.

    The bike is in my living room now and tomorrow or maybe Saturday for sure I will be off to the races. The pedals kind of freak me out as it is odd to have the feeling of being stuck to the bike. I tried the clip in pedals on my g/f bike and it was hard to get used to but I did not fall. I made sure to release my feet way before I planned to stop just to be sure.

    I had no idea the tension was adjustable and I hope the pair I got have that feature. I do not remember the brand but the pedals and clips were 100 dollars so I am sure they are decent.

    I am missing a pair of gloves as my last item to pick up and had thought about riding without them for the first day. I am not sure how important gloves are to comfort however my hands are very tough from years of training with weights.....do I really need a pair of riding gloves?
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

  12. #132
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Gloves make riding more comfortable. And like your helmet are valuable in a crash. Road rash on the hands suck.

    Do you have some weight lifting gloves? You can use those for now.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    I found better comfort with Hunter Orange jersey gloves over biking gloves. But I have a bit of upper body mass that tends to bear down on gloved hands and the padded ones don't work as well for moi.

    I finally started riding again after breaking my arm quite spectacularly in a head over the handlebar wreck. The rim was not saved but the old steel frame diamondback didn't seem to suffer any lasting effects. The local bike shop mechanic had a similar flip over without broken bones but a busted up fork. Clunky steel rules
    Last edited by Pellidon; 04-25-2008 at 02:47 PM.
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  14. #134
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    I can't remember if anybody posted this link.
    Valuable reading here:

    Articles For New Cyclists
    by Sheldon "Been There" Brown
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  15. #135
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    13 miles today before the rain came with a top speed of 38.7 mph...I enjoyed myself very much but holy smoke is my butt sore....not to mention one other very important part. Those seats are not made for comfort however I did have a nice ride. Finally got a few photos just to give you an idea.....and I never did fall with those clip in pedals and I actually liked them once I got used to them.








    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

  16. #136
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Robocop, glad to hear you enjoyed your first ride - 38.7mph... cooool. Speed's addictive when you know you're the engine isn't it? With regards to sore or numb "important parts", if you are referring to one's "nether regions" you should be able to avoid that with the right adjustments for all but the longest rides.

    As a general rule the "sit-bones" of you pelvis (otherwise known as the bony parts of your butt) should be supported by your saddle. If that is not the case (if you are sitting too far forward on the saddle for example) then the soft tissue in between takes all the pressure. If even the widest part of the saddle doesn't fit your sit-bones you probably need to try a different saddle. If the saddle is the right size, shift it forwards for backwards as necessary and adjust the tilt as well to see what suits you best and allows you to sit on that sweet spot of the saddle. Remember to do so in small increments - small changes can often make a huge difference. Also remember that doing so can affect the distance to the pedals so you may have to make corresponding adjustments to the saddle height as well. Just mark the current position of everything before you start to make it easy to return everything to its previous state. Also, if your handlebars are too low relative to your saddle or the stem is too long it could cause you to lean forwards more and/or rotate your pelvis downwards to allow you to reach the bars thereby placing more pressure on your groin.

    Some other tips
    - softer saddle padding isn't always better. Soft, thick padding can bunch up and press against soft, sensitive tissue. The saddles with a cutout in the middle can help but sometimes the edge of the cutout can chafe, especially if there are seams along that area so look out for that.
    - tilting your saddle to far downward to the point where your sliding off the seat can cause your shorts to pull against your pelvis and cutoff circulation making which is just as bad. It will also force you to support more of your weight with your arms making them tire easily and affect your steering control.
    - during rides it's a good idea to stand and pedal occasionally (you may need to shift up a gear or two) to relieve the pressure and to give stretch out the rest of your muscles a little.

  17. #137

    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Also, there is simply some break-in time for one's behind, so allow for that too

    Looks like you got a set of the new-generation Shimano 105 pedals that have the stainless-steel wear plate. That's a nice pick for a durable road pedal at a good price.

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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    After several miles of riding I drove back to the shop to make one last adjustment.....the only real problem I had was my fingers going numb a little and I realized I was holding all of my weight with my wrists as I kept sliding forward on the saddle. It was almost as if the saddle was actually not level and slightly tilted forward. The adjustments were made however a huge rain storm prevented me from testing the new settings. I plan to go out again next weekend.

    I could see myself learning to really enjoy riding and honestly these days it looks like a good form of transportation to nearby locations as gas is very high these days. I did like the feeling of being able to pedal anywhere within 20 miles or so and all I need is nearby anyway.

    The biggest fear I had all day was other traffic. It seems as if everyone is in such a hurry and I hugged the outermost section of roadway however there were still many cars that got very close. The sidewalks in this one area are horrible and full of step ups and many times I was shocked at just how easy it was to lose control of this bike. The tires are very thin and hard due to the 120 psi rating so rough terrain is not something I wish to test. I have heard stories of rude or even dangerous motorists however now I see just how bad it could be at times. And this was a quiet little town so I can only imagine a congested city full of higher speed traffic.

    All in all I enjoyed it and believe it or not I am not really very sore at all. I have a little pain in my calves and for some reason the outer edges of my ankles and a little to the edges of my feet. My g/f mentioned some type of lotion type friction reducer that men and women use to prevent chaffing and I plan to try this next time.

    I found a nice fitting helmet for cheaper and used the credit left over for extra tubes, an under the seat carry bag, Co2 cartriges, nylon tire tools, socks, and I decided to get a better computer and went with the CatEye Strada. The 10 dollar Schwinn worked but it was a sloppy mount with clearance issues. The Strada was smaller and more professionally mounted and it really came in handy to have all the valuable information.

    At higher speeds I really noticed the ability of this bike. It was very unforgiving as far as steering and I had to really watch any stray movements. It almost did feel like I was on rails and I could tell the bike was very lite and wanted to go where I pointed it. many times while pedaling and trying to talk I took my eyes away from what I was doing. I quickly realized the bike was off course and it is just really sensative to movement.

    The biggest suprise of the day really was what I learned about drafting. My g/f explained a bigger rider at high speed could actually pull a smaller rider if the smaller rider remained very close to the rear of the bigger rider. I tried an experiment where I rode up front and it was harder to do by myself however when I let her take the lead and I rode behing her it was much easier to pedal and even she was able to pull me with her draft.....I can only imaging what it would be like if I had several riders in front of me pulling me in their wake.

    All in all it was a fun day and next Saturday we have a course mapped out to do 25 miles. We drove it tonight by car and it is mostly flat with the exception of 2 bigger hills. The hills I did today were hard at first and I had to learn how to use the gears as well as to sit back on the seat and let my bigger leg muscles pull me to the top. Man were my legs pumped after those hills but I made it. The best thing for me was I had no knee pain and mostly no real pain in general so my initial fit must be pretty well done.
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

  19. #139
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    MechBon the pedals are Shimano 105 and at first I thought they would be a problem. I never knew the tension was adjustable until I did my last fitting and with a small adjustment they were very easy to clip in as well as clip out. I also bought Shimano shoes and the shop guys made various adjustments to the clip positions placing them just under the balls of my feet. Once I learned to use my hamstrings to pull as well as my quads to push pedaling became very more effective.

    I have much to learn however the first thing I learned was the value of a good shop and staff. As this first ride was actually fun and not too painful I feel I will continue to enjoy it and I have the shop to thank for all of their patience and time.
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Muscle soreness and soreness at the pressure point at the sit bones is normal. Numbness anywhere is not good and will require adjustment changes and possibly component changes. Knee pain is also not good and changes in the shoe, cleat adjustment and tilt can make a big difference here.

    The stock saddle looks like an ass hatchet and if it continues to cause numbness after adjustment ask to try something different. Most shops have a bin full of take-off saddles you can try out. Finding a good saddle is the hardest part of cycling. Every single person is different and so what works fine for one person may not work at all for another. Price and weight are of little importance if you are impotent after riding. If you do find one that works out great for you buy a couple extras as it will go out of production next year.

    It sounds like you got a good shop! This time of year is bad time for bike buying because the shops are so busy that most don't have or take the time to give the personal attention you seem to be receiving.

    This is my personal opinion here, based on just looking at the bike and your mention of numbness in the hands, but I think that bike is too small for you. I'd have to see a side view of you on the bike to make a better assessment. What size bike did you get, the 53?

    The problem is bike shops used fit systems designed for professional riders. People who have been conditioning their bodies for years to lean over in an aero crouch. As a new rider you will want a handlebar height that is no more than 1" or 2" below the saddle height. Can you take a tape measure and measure saddle and bar height from floor to ground for me? Top of bar near stem and top of saddle in middle.

    You might also consider an adjustable stem which will help you get the fit dialed in.
    http://www.lickbike.com/productpage....B='1185-12'
    Last edited by cave dave; 04-27-2008 at 07:37 AM.
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Note: You will need to pump up the tires before ever single ride! Otherwise you risk getting pinch flats and or damaging the rims. As a new rider I would suggest getting the biggest tires that will fit in the frame. It takes a bit of time to learn how to "float" over potholes.
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  22. #142
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    +

    Robo, nice looking bike!!

    You don't need to change anything with your bars.
    Sounds like your bike shop is dedicated in helping you, so the frame size is correct.
    {Compact frames only look smaller}

    The body needs time to adapt to this new cycling thing, you will get soreness.
    If your hands get numb, use different riding positions on your bars (there are a few to use) and also try to get circulation in hands when you have a safe stretch of road.
    One good thing in cycling is, your always getting better..

    You may want to consider tilting the nose of your saddle down approx. 1/16~1/8" to make it a bit more level, or slightly below level.
    Saddle position takes many tries to get perfect.

    I ride 23 size tires in my area that has less than ideal roads,
    and I find 108 ~ 110 psi a good balance of grip, comfort and predictability of handling.

    In time you will learn how to ride 'light' on your bike. This is something that's tricky to explain, but has great meaning.
    Last edited by orbital; 04-27-2008 at 08:50 AM. Reason: add

  23. #143
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    here's a tool you don't see everyday... a Cunningham stem adjustment tool. back from WTB days, when all Richey/Fisher Mt bikes were fillet braised by hand.


  24. #144

    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by cy View Post
    here's a tool you don't see everyday... a Cunningham stem adjustment tool. back from WTB days, when all Richey/Fisher Mt bikes were fillet braised by hand.

    Actually, I *do* see one every day

    +1 on everyone having their own taste in seats. No one can believe I like my classic Flite Carbon Evolution, which has no padding at all (just a glossy, flexy carbon-fiber shell on titanium rails), but it works for me, whereas my buddies and most of our roadie customers liked the Specialized Toupe where I used to work, and I didn't like it at all

    However, it's likely that even your "perfect" saddle will not feel comfortable if you're still getting accustomed to riding, so do plan on some break-in time for your butt itself. I sometimes compare it to flossing your teeth... if you historically haven't flossed your teeth, then your gums will not enjoy the first week of flossing daily at all, no matter what type of dental floss you're using. But you get over that. So by all means, try various saddles, but don't expect any of them to be the "silver bullet" that eliminates the need for your body to get accustomed to riding.

    Regarding the traffic situation:

    (1) as I mentioned before, a helmet-mounted rearview mirror can be really nice to have. Being attached to the helmet, you can sweep your view all over the place, too. I might add that it's also handy for riding with your group. You can see if someone drops off the back due to fatigue or a mechanical, you can see if someone's trying to sneak up and outsprint you to a customary sprint objective... and so forth.

    (2) I'm a proponent of daytime-visible lights to help people notice you better. You might consider a Planet Bike SuperFlash taillight, aimed dead level, with lithium AAA's for maximum punch. They're not too big or bulky, and the new Stealth model would look especially trick on your black/white bike. Clear lens/optic, red LEDs.

    Last edited by mechBgon; 04-27-2008 at 01:06 PM.

  25. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    ...you don't need to change anything with your bars.
    Sounds like your bike shop is dedicated in helping you, so the frame size is correct...
    Ya! And Surefire is better than Fenix,

    Robo,
    There are very few definitives in life or in cycling. There are however vast differences of opinion in the "proper" way to fit a bike. The only way to really find out is to ride a lot and find out for yourself.

    It's a life long adventure, that is for sure!
    Last edited by cave dave; 04-27-2008 at 12:40 PM.
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    robo, I'm with cave dave. your bike is sized with smallest frame and still get you into correct road position.

    note your seat and bar is aprox. level with each other. this is called bar drop. road racers typically ride with a 2-3 inch drop, depending upon rider preference. some riders ride with a higher drop at first of season until you get a few miles on.

    cycle tourist ride with a higher drop to put your shoulder in a more upwards position. then you need to be aware of reach. the classic test for bar reach is... after making sure you butt is seated in resting position. with both hands on brake hoods. you bar should cover front axle. some do these test on handle bar drops.

    if you look down and bar is way forward of front axle. then you are stretched too far forward. you bar stem would then need to be shorted. this is where an adjustable stem really comes in handy.

    best to do these tests with your bike mounted on a bike trainer/stand.

    test for aprox. correct seat hight is place your heel on pedal. then pedal backwards. you should be able to pedal backwards while barely touching pedal. note some pedal will not work this way due to different heights. but you get the idea.

    with your pedals in level or horizontal position. run a plumb bob line to center of pedal axle to your knee cap. correct position is right behind knee cap.

    next up is pedal float, which should be toe neutral at first until you figure out what is normal for you. toe in or out. newer pedals are more forgiving in amount of float. this is shown on a special pedals with rods that move showing toe in/out as you rotate 360 degrees.

    time mountain bike pedals are the best for float and positive release.

    these are a few of the points covered in a pro-bike fit kit. typically this is done on a fully adjustable non-rideable bike frame with your pedal/shoes mounted. then final dimensions transposed on to your bike with what ever new parts needed to duplicate angles from fit kit.

    almost forgot to ask... what size tires did the shop start you out on?

    if you have a 20mm tire... that's way too skinny to start out with (a good way to crash) min ridable width is 700c x 25mm, which is what I ride. 28mm would be better to start off with.

  27. #147
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    The bar reach test where you obscure the hub with the bars is complete bunk. There are a variety of body positions where this is possible. It also doesn't take frame geometry into account. A bike with a slacker head angle or less trail will have a longer front center (aka the hub will be further forward). This rule is especial bad for womens bikes which always have a longer front center.

    Knee over Pedal (KOP) is a good place to start but this also is a myth of fit. Kieth Bontrager had a really good article on this called "The myth of KOPs". It used to be on the web but I can't seem to google it now. All his bike bunk articles got pulled off the web when he was bought by Trek.

    *EDIT* Ahh, found it a Sheldon's site of course:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/kops.html
    Last edited by cave dave; 04-27-2008 at 05:19 PM.
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  28. #148
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    +

    Robo, just from looking at the side view of your bike, it looks as if your bike shop got you very close to what you need,

    The reason I say this, the saddle height in relation to bar setup height looks to give you a fairly balanced position on your bike.
    Modern compact frame geometry (like yours), can look deceivingly small.

    If you feel you need lower bars, flip the stem...Keep in mind, this will shift your balance point forward, increasing weight onto your hands even more.

    cave dave said he thinks your bike is too small, I really can't see how a larger & longer frame will help any hand numbness.
    You may want to consider stem length, plus or minus 1cm in a stem can make a real difference.

    Really, there is no reason to think your bike is off much at all.
    After a few hundred miles on your new bike, with some minor tweaks to saddle and bar setup, you'll most likely think all this is trivial.

    ENJOY YOUR RIDE!!

    ~ By the way, I have a 2000 Bianchi Alloro (57cm) in old school geometry.

  29. #149
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    cave dave, hmmmm this is getting interesting... the knee over center of pedal is how I've always set bikes up. it's worked for thousands of miles and used by thousands of folks... so I would not call it bunk.

    from bontarger article link

    "In my experiences so far, I've found that most riders are suitably positioned with a seat angle that falls between 72 and 74 1/2 degrees. What is important is that I have not noticed any specific correlation between seat angle and my customers' femur bone length. I am reasonably certain that none exists. Still, it is easy to see how the KOPS method can get by. It usually puts the rider in the range of correct fit"

    how ever I'm always open to new ideas...there very well be a better way.

    I ride a F-40 recumbent where traditional set up is not possible. but one cannot stand up on a recumbent. so it's hard to compare with standard pedaling.

    very interest article by bontrager....

  30. #150
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    +

    Robo, just from looking at the side view of your bike, it looks as if your bike shop got you very close to what you need,
    ...
    Modern compact frame geometry (like yours), can look deceivingly small.

    ....

    cave dave said he thinks your bike is too small, I really can't see how a larger & longer frame will help any hand numbness....
    Its pretty darn difficult to look at a just the bike and tell anything about it, that is why I asked for more info. Ideally I'd go for a ride with robo. Maybe he can make it to FCW-3?

    I wasn't even looking at the compact frame, I was looking at the bar to saddle height. I even rotated the image and plotted a line, but actual measurement will help. I was also taking into account Robo's age (39) and physique. My recommendations would be different for a limber 20 yr old. I'm 38 and rode a much lower bar in my 20s, and I'm no newbie to cycling.



    Comparing the specs of a 53cm to a 55cm Lemond the headtube is 1.9cm longer and the real effective toptube is ~ 1.7 cm longer. The stems are the same size. With the same setup the bars will be 1.9cm higher and 1.7 cm further from the saddle. Since raising the bars also brings them back the overall effect is a shorter reach to the bars; therefore, Robo will be leaned over less and there will be less pressure on his hands (helping with the numbing). Increasing the frame size also reduces toe clip overlap (a problem on smaller frames). With the compact frame standover will not be an issue. Frames smaller than 55cm almost always have less than ideal geometry because of constraints imposed by the wheel size. The larger frame will weigh more though.

    The numbness could also be be caused by the tilt of the bars. They look good in the pic but sometimes just a degree or two makes a huge difference.

    There really are a variety of ways to fit a frame and I ride everything from a 53cm to a 58cm all in comfort.

    In the grand scheme of things all this really doesn't matter though because in 2 yrs either robos bike will be forgotten in the garage or he will have traded it in for something else.
    Last edited by cave dave; 04-27-2008 at 06:34 PM.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

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