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  1. #1
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    Newbie with a Specialized Langster and some mod questions

    Just getting used to this great bike, it's been a very long time since I've biked. My first shock was how light and quick this bike is, guess I rode pretty much junk before. What I'm convinced I have to do though for safety and comfort starts with replacing the drop bars with either straight or slightly elevated, and putting brake levers where I can reach them quickly.
    I was on the Jenson.com site recently and found these:

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...Handlebar.aspx

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...Lever+Set.aspx

    Obviously they're not top grade choices though I doubt my riding style will be that demanding for awhile. But do these choices appear to work well for what I'm after? A slightly more upright riding position and quick access to the brakes. I'm doing the work myself, so any mistakes will have only one eejit to blame.
    Also, the rear hub has some side-to-side play when in the frame, not a lot, but some. The mounting nuts are tight holding the wheel, and I've been searching for an exploded type drawing of how that hub is put together...bearings...whatever that might need replacement. Or maybe not, perhaps a little 'play' in there is normal?
    This is certainly a long first post, sorry, but I saw this statement while Googling Langsters; is this guys' statement valid and something I should look at? Being a stone rookie, I've no idea what a spider is for example.

    Nevertheless weight is not an issue - what is far, FAR more important than that is the chainline. It is WRONG as you get it, and the first thing you should do is to put the chainring _inside_ the spider, not outside (might need to get a smaller one than the stock 48t, I use a 46t and it's okay). Your reward will be a much smoother experience....

    Thanks for the help! IMG_4045.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Riding on the hoods will put you more upright than in the drops and still give you braking ability. If you want to get more upright at times but still have the option of drops when you want them, you can add interrupter levers in addition to your existing levers. They mount on the top of the bars and allow you to brake from a very upright position. If you want to go flat bar, that is also an option but I'd recommend against it as it limits hand positions.

    The side to side play in the rear hub is most likely just an adjustment. You'll need cone wrenches to adjust. Do it soon so you don't trash your bearings, cones or races.

    RE: the quote, look at your chain line to see if it is straight (chainring and cog lined up). The recommendation in the quote is to mount it to the other side of the spider (the part on the crank where the ring mounts).

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the help CaCycling. Now the quote makes sense, and mine appears to be lined up correctly. I can see reasons for using those interrupter levers, especially in traffic, but since I doubt I'd ever use the brakes mounted on the drop bars I'll likely get that slight riser bar and brakes to fit. We've got some lousy weather starting tomorrow, so I think I'd better look now at that rear hub. I'll find a source on it, shouldn't be too bad. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Here is the Park Tools info on adjusting cup & cone hubs (which I'm assuming you have - doubt they are cartridge bearings):
    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...and-adjustment
    (Scroll down to find info on solid axles if that's what you have)
    Last edited by CACycling; 12-28-10 at 04:52 PM.

  5. #5
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    That's a good site, Thanks. Looking forward to this - Hava Good New Year!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I guess I'll point out the obvious, bikes are the way they are because the way they are works. They aren't that way to make it uncomfortable, difficult, or dangerous. If it didn't work, they'd be different. That's not to say they'll work for everybody, but drop bars with integrated shifters and brakes work for the large majority of experienced riders. Once you get some experience and get used to it, you'll probably find it works for you too.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    If you're not one to ride in the drops and find that even riding with your hands wrapped around the hoods so you can arc your fingers down and back to apply the brakes then may I suggest bullhorn bars with bar end levers. This combo works superbly on my own single speed Redline 925. If found that it gives me a nice crouch but not too far over and is very comfy. They look like this setup;



    925-thumb_800.jpg

    And if you find that riding hands forward is still too much and you tend to ride with your hands in on the cross portion right at the stem then shame on you. With your hands in close like that you don't have the same degree of control in a steering emergency. I ride that way only when I'm on my own with no risks around me. But on the road or when approaching cross streets or groups of pedestrians with dogs or kids the hands go back onto the outer bullhorn forward arms with my fingers ready on the levers. THis gives me both instant braking as well as the best possible control of my steering. For that reason the interrupter levers in close to the stem strike me as excuses to ride improperly and I frankly have no use for them. If you even THINK you're getting CLOSE to a situation that will require split second action then your hands belong out on the hoods or horns or in the drops. Anywhere but in by the stem where the interrupter levers live.

    If it's a case of you just are not comfy leaning that far forward at this point then get a riser stem but go with proper bars. As you ride more you'll get more flexible and find that you WANT to lean into the wind more. Then you can swap back to a lower stem all at once or in stages that suit you.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  8. #8
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    You will need hand grips for the new handlebars. As well as getting a mountainbike handlebar with a little rise in it, you could choose a shorter handlebar stem with a rise in it too.

    Welcome to the passion of cycling. By that I mean, "Even when your bike is working good enough, there are still changes you would like to make."
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  9. #9
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    I'm going to second bullhorns, or else leaving the drop bars alone. As you grow more comfortable with cycling, you'll find the additional hand positions of drop bars or bullhorns to be a huge advantage.

  10. #10
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    Thanks BCRider - I looked at a few examples of those 'bullhorns' and they may do the job, and you're right, I was tending to rest on the center portion of the drop bars for comfort, a very bad habit I can see and would make for poor control in emergencies. And I could easily see those interrupter brakes, if one is not careful, encouraging this habit for a newbie. Obviously I need more time on the bike to get more comfortable. I'm probably also having some 'skill/habit transfer' issues, having spent so many years on motorcycles where seating position and access instantly to the controls is so critical.

    skilsaw - All in all I'm convinced that a slight bar riser, or 'bullhorns', and more convenient brake access not positioned like interrupters is what I'll need. Why not make this learning period safe and comfortable? After that, if my back still complains I'll look at a shorter raised angle stem. And Gawd are you right about endless add-ons and changes, 'farkling' a motorcycle is an endless and expensive joy.

    Thanks for all the help guys, going get into the rear hub today to see what's going on there - Hava Goody!

  11. #11
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    Here are a couple of good articles on hubs:

    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...djustable-type
    http://sheldonbrown.com/cone-adjustment.html

    From your description, it sounds like you just need to tighten down the cones a little bit, so there's no play. This can involve a lot of little adjustments, but it's easy enough. Good luck!

    EDIT: Whoops, CACycling already posted the Park Tool link!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyDunlop View Post
    I'm going to second bullhorns, or else leaving the drop bars alone. As you grow more comfortable with cycling, you'll find the additional hand positions of drop bars or bullhorns to be a huge advantage.
    Thanks FuzzyDunlop for the link also, and you're right, the more time I get on the seat I'll get better sense of what I can do. Looking forward to the hub adjustment though I'm sure it'll be tricky. But if I screw it up I can always buy a new one, eh?

  13. #13
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    I doubt you'll screw it up so badly that you'll need to buy a new one. Let us know how it goes.

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