General Cycling Discussion - Can you explain this?
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After 10 years of riding my 5 speed raleigh road bike I went ahead and bought a brand new 2004 specialized sequoia sport.
I love my old bike. I put high handle bars on it that allowed me to sit up almost straight. While I know this position goes against everything I know about bike position, I have loved it. I ride my bike everyday in new York City and have even rode in two centuries and several long tours. Over the last two weeks I have riddden my old bike between 30-50 miles a day in preperation for an upcoming century. People are always surprised when they see me do these rides on this old bike. I am not fast on my rides. At best I average about 14 miles an hour.
I bought the new one because I started to notice much inefficiencies with my bike as I tried to take hills. I also wanted to have the experience of a differnt bike after 10 years. And since I'm doing another century in a few weeks I thought it would be fun to have a more efficient bike.
Well I have had my new bike for 3 days and have put about 40 miles on it.
The quick conclusion is that I'm not in love. My biggest 2 complaints are as follows. First, I spend a lot of time looking at asphalt as opposed to my suuroundings. Second, and most importantly, my lower back really hurt after riding. I don't know if that is a function of not being used to leaning over, or if my muscles are just not developed yet.
Anyway, yesterday I was going on a 50 mile ride and I decided to take my old bike. The ride was a breeze.
So I am still up in the air as to whether this was a smart purchase.
If you have any thougts I'd like to hear them, particularly about the back pain.
08-30-03, 08:42 AM
This is a flat bar sports bike right??
How far below the saddle are the bars? If the flat bars are in a low stretched out position, you can raise them. You may need to alter some spacers on the headset, or replace the stem. A decent bike shop should allow you to replace the stem on a new bike to get a good position.
Make sure your saddle is positioned correctly before you alter the bars.
Actually, the bike has drop bars. Also, there is an adjustable head set, and I have it as high as it will go. I'm going to the bike shop on Monday to see if they need to add an extension.
08-30-03, 02:24 PM
Another possibility is a shorter stem with a greater angle number. This would bring the bar higher and closer in to you.
08-30-03, 09:54 PM
your back is probably not straight. did they fit the bike when you bought it? if not, you should get it properly fitted to your legs and bod.
see if you can give the bike back and get credit for something else.
My solution to that problem was to get a touring bike. Even there the top tube was long compared to the older bikes. So it has a short, steep stem. But it got me my upright riding position.
08-30-03, 11:25 PM
You do need to get used to it. If you went out and did anything new for an hour or two you would get sore(Even sitting on the couch in an odd position).
You can get a stem riser, put one on a bike last week.
08-30-03, 11:50 PM
you have to get used to the position drops put you in... it took me about 4 weeks after getting my first bike with drops to actually be able to say that i'm used to riding the bike... before that, i couldn't even ride for 10 miles being on the drops all the time... or else my back will get sore... another thing to try is to keep your back straight... most of the Internet tips i have read suggest to keep your back curved to help absorb shocks... but i find that it feels a lot better if you keep your back straight imagining that you're trying to touch your stomach to the top bar... also, try to bend enough so that your elbows are well bent...
08-31-03, 01:45 PM
Why did you buy a bike so different from what you were riding (besides the limitation of gears and bike age).
A mountain bike woulda given you the gears you seek or even a modern hybrid.
If you wanted to change to a roadie then I agree with others that this is a position you will need to get use to and also to go back and make sure the shop fits you proper.
If you wanted to stay upright then I'd take the bike back and get a hybrid and talk to the shop about possibly puting riser bars on it to get you even closer to your original position. Modern hybrids should use Nexave 9-speed components and if you go with the Mega-9 sized gears you will be able to climb a wall!
Well I went out and did another 30 miles. I must report that my back felt a lot better this time. I know this probably sounds dumb, but I think I need to learn how to ride this bike. I notic ethat if I really get my weight forward it's easier to ride. Anyway, it's been a fun experience.
Any tips on how to in drop bars. assume I know nothing.
As to getting a hybrid, I will consider it but I'm not done giveing the drop bars a shot.
09-12-03, 11:19 PM
Getting your seat and handlebar position set up for your body is vital. Most people don't ride full time in the drops. You can ride with your hands on the top bar, on the brake hoods, on the sides. You could also raise that stem to the max so that you are more upright and comfortable. Tilt the brake hoods up so that you have somewhere comfortable to rest your hands. Actually, a drop bar gives you more of a variety of positions than a flat bar like on a hybrid. Also, good padded gloves can make you more comfortable.
Don't get the hybrid!
Give those drops a chance to kick in. My hands are KILLING me from doing long rides on my hybrid, even when I installed the bar ends. There's just not enough variety for hand positions with straight handlebars.
It sounds like you just need to get used to your new bike, that's all. I have plans on getting a road bike also, and before I start riding it, I'm going to take some classes on how to ride a bike from the League of American Cyclists or something like that- I really do think I need to learn how to shift properly, how to hold myself on the bike, how to handle curbs and breaks in the pavement, etc. I think you really do have to learn how to ride a road bike when coming from another type of bike.
Hang in there- looks like the more time you spend on the bike, the more you will become comfortable with the bike.
Keep riding the new one. Droppped bars give you a variety of choices of position, which is why they're popular with long distance tourists. Chili Dog's advice is good.
However, it is an unusual postion compared with anything you've done before so it takes some getting used to.
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