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My First Road Bike: and I need help

 
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 05:50 pm
So I just traded in my old hybrid bike for a nice shiny new road bike. So far so good but I have a few fitting questions about saddle position and height. Any roadies out there that can give me a hand?
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 4,354 • Replies: 28
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:13 pm
@jpinMilwaukee,
Infrablue, dagmaraka, and martybarker are the resident roadies.

I sometimes ride the touring bike, which is somewhat similar to a road bike. Mostly, I'm on a Giant Cypress SX, which is a hybrid. With that disclaimer, ask away.

All your adjustments start with the pedal to seat distance, though. At the bottom of the stroke, which is slightly before actual bottom center, your leg should be almost fully extended. Never so far that you are locking out the joint, though.

0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:15 pm
@jpinMilwaukee,
You might also try

http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=152 They even have a roadie forum.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:22 pm
@jpinMilwaukee,
When sitting on the saddle, and your leg is extended all the way down with the ball of your foot just over the pedal axle, your leg should be just slightly bent, almost extended. That ensures that you get a full stretch of the leg muscles, and relieves the pressure that can build up in the knee when you don't extend the leg sufficiently.

For the most efficient pedaling, you should consider clip-in pedals and cleated shoes. It allows for much faster pedaling cadences. It's better to spin a lower gear, than to grind a bigger one.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:22 pm
Find Dasha, er, dagmaraka
0 Replies
 
jpinMilwaukee
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:27 pm
Well first off, how much weight should you have on your hands? My wrists start hurting shortly after I start riding and I think it is because I have to much pressure on my hands

I think I have the height right, but I'm not sure of the fore/aft. If I move it forward it just plain hurts to sit on, and if I move it back, I feel like I'm leaning to far forward and and my wrists start hurting again.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:30 pm
@InfraBlue,
Just to add confusion, those clip in pedals are called "clipless". If you go this route, JP, get a few weeks experience with your pedals and your new bike where you are not in traffic. The first two days I used them, I fell off once per day.
jpinMilwaukee
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:34 pm
@roger,
I actually have the clipless pedals and love them. I've heard that they are hard to get used to, but I've had no problems at all so far (knock on wood).
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:40 pm
@jpinMilwaukee,
jpinMilwaukee wrote:

Well first off, how much weight should you have on your hands? My wrists start hurting shortly after I start riding and I think it is because I have to much pressure on my hands


Yeah, you shouldn't have wrist pain.

Quote:
I think I have the height right, but I'm not sure of the fore/aft. If I move it forward it just plain hurts to sit on, and if I move it back, I feel like I'm leaning to far forward and and my wrists start hurting again.


The saddle on a road bike - especially if it's a sporty one - is downright painful when you aren't used to it. Get some bike shorts (with outer layer, try mountain biking shorts, not as funny looking lol) and see if that helps. The fact that it's a little painful isn't necessary a sign that things are wrong.

A professional fitting never hurts. You may need to raise your seat higher, I know it sounds funny but it helps in many cases.

Anyway, good for you! What kind of bike did you get?

Cheers
Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:42 pm
@jpinMilwaukee,
jpinMilwaukee wrote:

I actually have the clipless pedals and love them. I've heard that they are hard to get used to, but I've had no problems at all so far (knock on wood).


You WILL fall over with them. Everybody does. Not when you are moving fast, but when you stop and your weight is just a little off - usually in front of ladies.

Also, make sure you alternate which foot you clip out; if you do one all the time (I tend to use my right foot) when you come to a stop, you will wear one cleat out MUCH faster than the other one. That always sucks.

Cycloptichorn
jpinMilwaukee
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:48 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
The nice thing about being happily married is you don't mind so much when you fall over in front of the ladies any more Smile

I went with the Novara Strada: http://www.rei.com/product/776881 from REI

It is their private line so got a lot of higher priced upgrades for a lot less dough.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:52 pm
@jpinMilwaukee,
Okay, the saddle is the right height. Seat adjustments are a witch, but ideally, it should be set up so that when you coast with the pedals horizontal, the front of your knee is somewhere between the front of the pedal and its center.

Seat adjustments affect everything else, so get that first. Almost forgot, the saddle should be very nearly level. If you have a Brooks, maybe a scoosh nose up.

For the handle bars on a road bike, they should be level with, or below the level of the seat. Level with the seat shouldn't put much load on the arms, even though your body is maybe 45 degrees from vertical. Remember, most roadies spend most of the time on the brake hoods or the flats. The drops mostly come into play for headwinds and max power.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:54 pm
@roger,
I never use my drops, even downhill. Just ride the horns.

I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get a Bullhorn handlebar, save weight.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 06:55 pm
@jpinMilwaukee,
Oh, hey! My touring bike is a Novra Randonee. That's the one I was riding when my bike got into an altercation with a car. You really do unclip when you collide, but I no longer consider it my lucky bike.

Good to see you back on the boards, by the way.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 07:11 pm
Ironically, I ride almost exclusively on the drops. For me it's the most comfortable position. I'll get on the break hoods and the top bar every once in a while to change position and stretch. Riding on the top bar is the best position when you're going up a hill. It allows you to put more weight behind your pedal stroke.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 07:14 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:

Ironically, I ride almost exclusively on the drops. For me it's the most comfortable position. I'll get on the break hoods and the top bar every once in a while to change position and stretch. Riding on the top bar is the best position when you're going up a hill. It allows you to put more weight behind your pedal stroke.


I actively pull UP on the handlebar while going uphill. Really crank it.

Damn, I need to go for a ride, been a while

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 07:15 pm
@InfraBlue,
I'm very tempted by what I hear about the On One Midge bar. They say it's intended to be ridden in the drops all the time. Big investment for something I might not like, though.
jpinMilwaukee
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 07:16 pm
@roger,
I like the Novara so far. It had better components then the comparable trek bike but cost about $150 less.

Good to be back. I got burnt out for a little while there, but have been poking my head in now and then just to see what everyone was up too.

Thanks for the tips too. I raised the seat a little and move the saddle back a little and think it might work better. Good tip on releasing w/ alternating feet too, Cyc. I have been trying to do each foot, but just so I knew how to get out with each one and hadn't thought about wearing one cleat out over the other.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 07:19 pm
@roger,
I had thought that those were for MTB only, didn't think they came in a road size stem. Will take another look at 'em.

Cycloptichorn
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 07:30 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
They are sized for road bikes. Should anyone be interested, the old WTB Dirtdrop bar worked with mountain bikes. I don't know if it's still in production, or not.
0 Replies
 
 

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