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  1. #1
    Did U Trek 2day? Ga. boy's Avatar
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    Making a FX faster

    So it is not as extreme as some of these treads but I am thinking about modding my bike to make it as fast as it can be ( for what it is)
    I have a Trek FX series bike and I would like it to be able to keep pace with road bikes. I know that I could just buy a road bike but I really like the stance of the FX. I will be adding areo bars soon to fight wind and whatnot but I an wondering what I could do.
    I have heard that the cassette is different and the sprocket as well. The road bikes have more teeth?
    What would I need to change on the bkke to get it up to speed? I am hoping for a 18mph average where as my current average is about 15. Thanks for any suggestions. Oh and please inlcude links if you are recommending parts.

  2. #2
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    Which FX do you have? I myself have a 7200FX, kept most of it stock for the last few years i've owned it, I did swap out my handlebar to drop bars with friction shifters. Prolly read this before, but improving the engine > improving the bike. I get dropped by old guys on MTBs sometimes

  3. #3
    BAM! theextremist04's Avatar
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    Go buy a road bike- your hybrid will always be a hybrid no matter what you do to it, and always slower than a road bike.

  4. #4
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    The 7200 is no longer produced as an FX series bike by Trek. And the 7000-series are closer to mountain-bikes than to road bikes. Hybrids swing on a pendulum regards which of the two, mountain or road, they are more closer to. The current FX-series are closer to road as to their handling and response.

    I utterly customized my own 7.5 FX over the last year. Not to make it more like either a road or mountain bike - I did this to make it the best hybrid it could be. Not knowing which FX you have, I can tell you partially what I did. First off I built it new wheels - much tougher wheels that are more able to take dirt and gravel and road. I used Mavic A719 rims and laced it up 3X to Shimano Ultegra 32H hubs. And I used Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy 700 X 27C tires. These wheels fly on pavement, and don't go out of true on extended dirt trails and gravel trails - unlike their stock toy-wheels. And I replaced the drivetrain with Shimano Ultegra triple with external-bearings. It flies alright.

    Many other modifications were made until I was satisfied that it is the best a hybrid can hope to be. The only stock parts are the frame/fork, the headset, and the handlebars. Not knowing how far you want to go - I'll leave it there. Except to say that their frames are well worthy of customization.

    I get sick and tired of people saying to buy a road bike instead. I have a customized PUCH A-D road-bike with Campy where it counts. It is not a hybrid. Why do people always assume hybrid-fans really want a road-bike? They are different animals. And my hybrid can go places only a fool would take a carbon whatszit.
    Last edited by Panthers007; 07-29-09 at 08:41 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

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    If you get aerobars, you should get fitted to them so that your torso, shoulder, elbow and neck angles are right when you're using them. A fitter can determine such a fit.

    Road bikes usually have closer-ratioed cassettes. You don't say what "spread" your bike has, e.g. how many cogs the cassette has. Road bikes usually have a 12-23 or 12-25 cassette whereas hybrids often will have a 11-32 or 11-34 cassette. Find out what you have.

    Then there's tires. Generally, for a given width and pressure, more supple, higher thread count tires roll faster and with a better ride quality than harder, lower thread count tires. Find out what you have.

    I'm not sure what you mean by liking the "stance" of your FX. Do you mean your fit? Or the appearance of the bike?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member droobieinop's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with that trek model, however, I have an old trek 750 that I bought in '95.
    The first thing I did was swap out the flat bar and mtb stem for drops and barcons.

    This of course did nothing for my speed. That didn't change 'till I changed out my stx compact cranks for a 42/52. It now rolls like a tank on 35's, but it'll handle 23's just fine.

    And I can keep 18+ no prob. I do have a road bike for that though.

    My advise, get a road bike. Upgrading a hybrid will cost you almost as much, depending on what you need.

    Then again, if you love the frame and can afford the upgrades, go for it.
    "change is the only constant"

  7. #7
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    You people just don't get it, do you? The OP wrote: " I know that I could just buy a road bike but I really like the stance of the FX." He doesn't want a road-bike. He wants a faster and more responsive HYBRID. All the roadie-yahoo's out there need to wake up and realize that a HYBRID isn't a road-bike, and he could buy a road-bike if he wanted to. Do any of you have a HYBRID, as well as a road-bike? I'm guessing you do not. Well - I DO!

    HYBRIDS have many loyal fans. We know what they are. We bought them for just this reason. A Hybrid has a fun and nimble ride characteristic to hybrids. Wanting to kick it up a notch doesn't mean "wannabee-roadie." I did. I fully customized mine - which I intended from the outset. I had a great deal of fun doing such. It cost money - that part of the price-tag in the field of customizing a bicycle. ANY bicycle.

    Go borrow a hybrid and take it out for a ride. Maybe then you'll get it.

    Geesh!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  8. #8
    BAM! theextremist04's Avatar
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    Yes, I know what a hybrid is and yes, I have ridden one. But the OP is also asking for a 3mph average speed increase, which you can't get by new tires and a new crank/cassette by itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by thirdin77
    If you get aerobars, you should get fitted to them so that your torso, shoulder, elbow and neck angles are right when you're using them. A fitter can determine such a fit.
    And this probably isn't true. Good aerobar position depends from person to person, but all 90 degree angles sounds fairly uncomfortable to me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member droobieinop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theextremist04 View Post
    Yes, I know what a hybrid is and yes, I have ridden one. But the OP is also asking for a 3mph average speed increase, which you can't get by new tires and a new crank/cassette by itself.
    How so?
    What more is there?
    The chain?

    As I believe I said above, I replaced my 22/32/44 with a 42/52, which increased my max gear from 95-118 gear inches. This gives me three more gears higher than my previous big gear, even with my 15 yo 7speed 12-21.

    What sold me on my hybrid was that it had full touring braze-ons, excludung a third bottle mount, at maybe half the cost. It just took years to understand the gearing issues that I had, and others (ie. shop people, including those I worked for) discouraged me from changing anything having to do with the crankset. Nobody said anything about not being able to get a bigger ring for the cranks, nobody suggested that I get a whole new crankset and possible bottom bracket.

    Fast forward to Oct. of last year, when I built up my first fixie, that is when (in a moment of clarity) I realized that I could easily swap out my crankset. Now I have a fast and fun commuter/tourer/cx bike.
    "change is the only constant"

  10. #10
    Ceci n'est pas un vélo. mtclifford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ga. boy View Post
    What would I need to change on the bkke to get it up to speed?
    I would suggest working on the engine. 18 ave is not impossible on a stock FX bike on pavement. I can ave close to that with mine carrying two racks, panniers, and 40 pounds of groceries. You always get more out of working on your legs than working on your bike imo.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by theextremist04 View Post
    And this probably isn't true. Good aerobar position depends from person to person, but all 90 degree angles sounds fairly uncomfortable to me.
    So should he or shouldn't he get fitted? Any advice to give or just disagreement?
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  12. #12
    Did U Trek 2day? Ga. boy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies,
    Sorry if I left out any info. I have a Trek FX 7.3
    All the components are stock as far as the drive train ( so to speak) are concerned.
    The reason I chose this bike? I told my LBS exactly what I was looking for. I needed a bike that was good on the road and off of it and this one fit the bill pretty good. The cost of the bike also left me in a position to do some upgrading. If I would have wanted a road bike, I would have bought one. Hell I could have gotten a custom built Madone 6 series if I wanted. However it would have just pissed me off once the road turned to dirt or gravel. See I am in Ga and I like photography. Sometimes the pictures I want are not on the nice paved path, they are off the beaten one. Also I am looking for 1 bike that can do a fair to millin job of handling it all. Now the question is how do I make the FX faster. Not why did I buy it instead of a road bike, not can it be faster than a road bike. Simply how can I make it faster.
    I also like the stance of the FX. By that I mean I like the way that I sit on it. It is not nearly as aggressive as a road bike and it allows me to constantly look around for good photos without hurting my neck.
    I have come to understand that changing the cassette can help as well as changing the front assembly. However for me to look at these parts is kind of useless at this point because I do not know what I am looking at.
    I know that the more I ride the better the engine will get. However you need to consider the fact that I never mentioned how many hills I climb, what the grade of them are or anything else. So do not insult the engine . What sparked my curiosity about all of this is that I was at the LBS and the man there was telling me that with all things being equal ( engine wise) a road bike is faster than a FX. Yet a FX can be made pretty close to the speed of a road bike with some mods. Well come on what makes it so? Yes the frames can be lighter and the tires are narrower. These are things that I know I an not going to change. But that is not the only difference, right? So help me out a little. Teach me something without telling me I bought the wrong bike.
    Last edited by Ga. boy; 07-30-09 at 01:12 PM.

  13. #13
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    Probably the best thing to learn here is compromise; the way a bike is set up and ridden entails compromising one thing for another.

    Road bikes are set up to emphasize pedaling efficiency, aerodynamic efficiency, acceleration and steering responsivenes, etc while they compromise durability, versatility, comfort, hauling capacity, etc. Pedalign efficiency comes mostly through running narrow, higher-pressure tires, aerodynamic efficiency- the greatest determinant of speed at any pedaling effort- comes through your minimizing your body's frontal area by being in more of a skier's tuck than in a beach cruiser posture. Acceleration response is had thorugh rotational stiffness as well as vertical stiffness; when you stand on the pedals to accelerate, the bike's frame flexes very little and transmits that pedaling power more quickly through the rear wheel. They achieve steering responsiveness through a short wheelbase and a vertical, sensitive-to-input steering angle.

    Your bike is set up to make the opposite compromises; it's set up to give its rider a more upright posture, which itself is the biggest compromise to aerodynamics and therefore speed at a given pedaling effort. You say you like the bike's stance and that's fine but sitting more upright, therefore allowing you to turn your head and see your surroundings more easily, is what is slowing you down the most. When you sit upright, your upper body acts as a sail, catching the wind, which slows you down.

    Your bike gives you a more comfortable ride offroad with its wider, lower-presure tires but those tires add rolling resistance when you're on pavement.

    What you don't seem to accept is that the very aspects that you like about your bike are those which make your bike slower at your current pedaling effort.

    If you're unwilling to change your posture or stance, you're unwilling to go faster at your current effort so pedal harder and faster and your bike will go faster.
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    And please, next time, break your post up into paragraphs rather than being one large lump of text.
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  15. #15
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Ga.boy - ignore the malcontents. I average around 18mph on my custom-hybrid. So it's possible to do. Only drawback is the expense. But it sounds like you've got that covered. Hybrids are really great for what you describe. I know some great trails that offer fantastic views - that are off-limits for the roadie crew.

    By the way, I have a Cateye Strada Wireless computer on my hybrid. Those are very good to watch your progress with as you work on customizing your 7.3. I wish I'd bought the 7.3 instead of the 7.5 FX. The frames are identical.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  16. #16
    BAM! theextremist04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
    Your bike is set up to make the opposite compromises; it's set up to give its rider a more upright posture, which itself is the biggest compromise to aerodynamics and therefore speed at a given pedaling effort. You say you like the bike's stance and that's fine but sitting more upright, therefore allowing you to turn your head and see your surroundings more easily, is what is slowing you down the most. When you sit upright, your upper body acts as a sail, catching the wind, which slows you down.
    That's a lot of what I was thinking- and as for whether he should get fit or not, I'd say no, but it may just be that when I think of fits I think of high-dollar bikes, usually not hybrids. But I'm thinking of it from the view of a guy who used to work in a shop that did some fairly high end sales.

  17. #17
    Did U Trek 2day? Ga. boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    Ga.boy - ignore the malcontents. I average around 18mph on my custom-hybrid. So it's possible to do. Only drawback is the expense. But it sounds like you've got that covered. Hybrids are really great for what you describe. I know some great trails that offer fantastic views - that are off-limits for the roadie crew.

    By the way, I have a Cateye Strada Wireless computer on my hybrid. Those are very good to watch your progress with as you work on customizing your 7.3. I wish I'd bought the 7.3 instead of the 7.5 FX. The frames are identical.

    Yeah I thought about getting the 7.5 but then I started to think about how much stuff I was actually going to keep on it and I decided to get the 7.3. That and I am 6'2" and about 200 lbs so I was uncertain if those wheels would properly support me on rougher trails.
    I was thinking about a crank like this one
    I have no idea what rear cassette to get or if it even effects much. I was hoping for some good answers. However it seems as if the thread is attracting English teachers and road bike salesmen.

    When I got the bike I bought the grip bars for the end of my handle bars, a rack, front and rear lights and the man threw in a free Sigma bike computer. It tells me how fast I am going, my trip time, my max speed, average speed, total mileage, ride time and total time. It is really cool.

    I guess that some people do not understand the feeling one can get from altering something into a better version of itself. To me it is at the moment of completion that I feel like it is truly mine. It was purchased and then altered into the perfect machine for my needs and by my own hands. I like to think that manufactures make a good product for everyone, yet some people make it into the perfect product for themselves. Lets face it, who knows you better than you.

  18. #18
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    Here's my last post to this thread.

    How is anyone here being an English teacher?

    As well, I made an effort to answer yoru question about what makes a road bike different than a hybrid and it looks like you totally ignored my post.

    Why ask questions if you're just going to get defensive and then ramble about why you like your bike or how you feel about it?

    There are people who ask qeustions because they want to learn somethign and you're not one of them.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member droobieinop's Avatar
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    From what I see of the bike you purchased you should be in good shape.
    The chainrings are probly fine with the 28/38/48 you should be able to get a max speed of 28 mph @ 80 rpms, what more do you need?

    A problem that you may be encountering, besides the aerodynamic issues of exceeding 15 mph, is a lack of middle gears on the 11-32 8 speed. For example, my 15 yo road bike has a str8 8 12-19 with a 42/53 and I rarely go above my 53x15.

    Go here http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/ to figure out your gearing and cadence. I have had a few comps and where as I did/do like my cateye strada wireless, it wasn't untill I got my V2c (with cadence) that I was really able to check my progress.
    "change is the only constant"

  20. #20
    Did U Trek 2day? Ga. boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
    Here's my last post to this thread.

    How is anyone here being an English teacher?

    As well, I made an effort to answer yoru question about what makes a road bike different than a hybrid and it looks like you totally ignored my post.

    Why ask questions if you're just going to get defensive and then ramble about why you like your bike or how you feel about it?

    There are people who ask qeustions because they want to learn somethign and you're not one of them.

    What the hell? Seriously are you nutts? You asked me to state what I meant by I like the stance, Did I not answer that? You asked about my rear cassette and I posted a link that had the full specs of my bike and let everyone know it is all stock. You made a comment about the aerodynamics of a hybrid making my body like a sail but I had already mentioned the aero bars so when speed was of the essence or when air is harsh a more aggressive stance is possible. You mentioned wider low pressure tires slowing me down. Personally I do not know a lot about bikes but to me 700x32 at 110 PSI is small and high pressure, however I did look into a set of 700x27 tires like another poster said they exchanged theirs for. Sorry that I do not quote and reply to every post. As for saying that I posted a thread and I am not trying to learn from it who are you to make that call. Are you here with me? Do you really think that I started this post to have something to do? I have a lot more of a life than that and I have a lot better things that I can do other than start pointless threads on forums. Most of these post here have sent me on a extensive online searches that I have learned a lot from. I did not realize that I needed to post my every thought. I think you need to relax, it is just a forum.

  21. #21
    Did U Trek 2day? Ga. boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by droobieinop View Post
    From what I see of the bike you purchased you should be in good shape.
    The chainrings are probly fine with the 28/38/48 you should be able to get a max speed of 28 mph @ 80 rpms, what more do you need?

    A problem that you may be encountering, besides the aerodynamic issues of exceeding 15 mph, is a lack of middle gears on the 11-32 8 speed. For example, my 15 yo road bike has a str8 8 12-19 with a 42/53 and I rarely go above my 53x15.

    Go here http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/ to figure out your gearing and cadence. I have had a few comps and where as I did/do like my cateye strada wireless, it wasn't untill I got my V2c (with cadence) that I was really able to check my progress.

    Thanks for the link. All of these numbers can be a little confusing for someone that has no idea what they mean. That calculator really helps put it in perspective. So far the max speed I have been able to get on my bike is 33mph but that was not a pace I think I could keep up for long. I am going to play with that site for a bit and see what type of combinations would yield faster results at a candance that is easier to maintain.

  22. #22
    Senior Member KOTA's Avatar
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    Is this
    Alt Bike Culture...[Subscribe] [New Thread] [Search]

    Chopped, dropped, stretched, lifted, and otherwise cut up and put back together. The art and science of choppers, cruisers, lowriders and the vast world of mutant bicycles.
    .
    .You guys have gotta build one of those^^^^^^. Because when you build one, it just feels good and everyone gets along.

  23. #23
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Ga.boy - one thing comes to mind. The grips on my once-7.5 were horrible. Numbness, prickling and fire-ants. Yech! So I swapped those out for these:

    http://www.treefortbikes.com/97_3332...h-Bar-End.html

    Night v. Day. Even the seemingly little things can be a great asset to increasing stamina and speed.

    (I must remember to take my little Canon digital A1000 IS Powershot and do that run on the old railroad trestle that goes over 4 miles into the middle of a cove in Lake Champlain. Like to see a roadie on carbon try this! )
    Last edited by Panthers007; 07-30-09 at 10:43 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  24. #24
    Senior Member droobieinop's Avatar
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    glad I could help with the link
    I don't know where you are in ga, but I'm thinking 33 was going downhill, not that I don't think its possible on the flat. Although it takes 100 rpms which can be very difficult solo and in a big gear.

    btw, I'd forgotten about/dismissed your thoughts of an aerobar, but, not that I'd think it comfortable, you could try to do a TT bar set up with bull horns and clamp-ons. You might have issues with putting your brifters on and having room for the aeros though.




    *and I too, was kinda wondering why this was here, but I thought I'd play along and try to help out... ...is there a section for hybrids?
    "change is the only constant"

  25. #25
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    "*and I too, was kinda wondering why this was here, but I thought I'd play along and try to help out... ...is there a section for hybrids? "

    Not really. Seems even the powers-that-be here haven't figured out we exist yet. I wish there were. As stands, we have to post wherever it seems most appropriate for the content. If I see this escalating into a how-to nuts & bolts thread, we should move it to bike-mechanics.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

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