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Old 05-12-11, 07:40 PM   #1
RobE30 
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Project wife bike revisted

Ok, project wife bike was a success! I built up a Mondia Discovery for my wife and she is now in love with cycling. After a few rides, we got the saddle height straightened out, switched from 37 Pasellas to 32 Pasellas (rolls a bit quicker for her) and friction shifting is not too terrible for her (although I'm installing a HG fw when I'm done here). The issue she is having is that her hands get numb and tingly after a few miles. The bars she is using are old Raleigh Sports bars that are flipped and she is using Specialized Body Geometry grips http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A...b1JI8lbirrmmR3

I think she doesn't have enough room on the bars to allow for hand position changes. What other bars would be a good replacement for the current bars? Also, what type of gloves dampen vibrations well etc? We did rotate the bars up and also rotated the grips (and rode with each different setting) to try to alleviate pinched nerves.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:08 PM   #2
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how's her posture on the bike? is she hunching her back?

Are her bars like northroads bars?
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Old 05-12-11, 08:51 PM   #3
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I'll check posture tomorrow. The bars are like northroad bars I guess. Here is a picture
http://www.flickr.com/photos/5944886...57626139275298

I was considering getting a set of Nashbar Moustache bars but I'm thinking they are a bit too wide.... If they don't work for her, I'll use them on my Free Spirit rebirth
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Old 05-12-11, 08:59 PM   #4
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I'm partial to the bend that the Lady Sports have on them. More open -almost like a cross between the North Road and a modern Cross Bike bend.
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Old 05-12-11, 10:23 PM   #5
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flip the bars up. I commuted with my bars like that for a bit and it hurt my wrists too. If you want a slight drop position maybe try lauterwasser bars.

if that's no good maybe try the nitto dove.
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Old 05-12-11, 11:11 PM   #6
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flip the bars up. I commuted with my bars like that for a bit and it hurt my wrists too. If you want a slight drop position maybe try lauterwasser bars.

if that's no good maybe try the nitto dove.

Look at the saddle height though. Those are still well above. Personally, I'd put a shorter stem on it and slam it and then flip the bars up. Just my aesthetic preference. If that really is her seat height I suspect reach is your issue.
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Old 05-13-11, 05:42 AM   #7
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Is she really that short? (The seat is as low as it will go.) I agree with cyclotoine, if that's her correct seat height she must have an un-comfortable reach. Also, make sure she's close to knee-over-pedal axle when the cranks are at 3-9 o'clock (adjust this by moving seat forward or back).
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Old 05-13-11, 06:11 AM   #8
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I get numb hands when I put too much weight or pressure on them. Usually, this means the bars are too low or the reach is too great. I agree with others: install a stem with shorter reach and/or flip the bars up. Check the saddle position. If it's too far aft, you might be able to shorten the reach by moving the saddle forward a bit. Also, you might try pointing the nose of the saddle up a little. If the nose points too far down, it can cause one to slide forward, putting additional pressure on the hands to maintain saddle position. Judging from the photo, this could be an issue.
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Old 05-13-11, 08:04 AM   #9
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Currently the seat is 1" higher than the picture shows. I really don't think I can get a shorter stem than what is on there.... Maybe the 55mm SR I have floating around. I'll move the seat nose up a bit and slide it forward a little and report back. We are doing another 20 mile ride in a few minutes, so we shall see how the adjustments made.

Yes, she is quite short, 5' to be exact and it has been a nightmare trying to find her a bike that fits her.
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Old 05-13-11, 08:17 AM   #10
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What is a project wife? Is that one that you take on on a trial basis before you actually decide to get definitively married? In which states is such a status valid? Would a pre-nup modify this status?
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Old 05-13-11, 10:55 AM   #11
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Project Wife

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What is a project wife? Is that one that you take on on a trial basis before you actually decide to get definitively married? In which states is such a status valid? Would a pre-nup modify this status?
Good luck on the bars. My wife uses Nitto Randonneurs at roughly the same height as the saddle. Plenty of hand variations, and it allows her to ride in the drops when there's headwind or time to be made up.

As for project wife... I always introduce mine (of 28 years) as "my first wife". She elbows me in the ribs... Ribbing is okay as long as everyone agrees that it's so.

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Old 05-13-11, 11:23 AM   #12
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What is a project wife? Is that one that you take on on a trial basis before you actually decide to get definitively married? In which states is such a status valid? Would a pre-nup modify this status?
i thought he was building up a bike to be his wife

seriously though, i had major wrist pain until i got bar ends on my mtb. make sure your wife is comfortable riding in lots of hand positions and encourage her to change them up often.

pay attention to how she normally holds the bars.. if her wrists are tilted at all it can cause inflammation
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Old 05-13-11, 11:47 AM   #13
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If reach is the issue you might consider VO Porteur bars. I run mine as shown (I cut about an inch off the ends), which of course allows multiple positions, but you could use inverse levers and grips if you wanted to. It looks to me like the hand position would be pretty similar to what you have but with less reach.
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Old 05-13-11, 06:23 PM   #14
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I'll check posture tomorrow. The bars are like northroad bars I guess. Here is a picture
http://www.flickr.com/photos/5944886...57626139275298

I was considering getting a set of Nashbar Moustache bars but I'm thinking they are a bit too wide.... If they don't work for her, I'll use them on my Free Spirit rebirth
If thats the actual bike and she is getting full extension on her legs then the bike is too big for her. The distance from the seat to the bars is too much and it causes her to have to put a lot of weight on her hands to suport herself. Moving the seat forward actually will make it worse as it will mover her CG forward. Hold the bike and have her sit on it in a riding position. If the position is correct she should be able lift her hands off the bars without pushing off. Move the seat back and see if it improves.
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Old 05-13-11, 11:42 PM   #15
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Both the weight distribution and hand position arguments sound right to me. You don't want too much weight on the bars, nor do you want her stuck in one hand position. Certainly don't want both problems.

Nashbar moustache? I'd advise against it. They're steel and very stiff. Steel makes them affordable and bulletproof, but they're not comfy. I rode those bars for 3 yrs on my frankenbike commuter, and found that I had to increase tire size to compensate for the bars' stiffness. Even at the most outboard hand position, they don't "give" like aluminum. It looks like her current bars don't, either, which probably isn't helping.

Hand position: I once rode a 2-day 150 miler on a MTB with rock-hard slick tires and only one hand position. It was no fun at all. Numbness? You betcha. Leave the single-position bars for the urban hipsters, and make sure your wife has at least 2-3 good hand positions. And by good I mean significantly different, e.g. hands parallel to top tube and hands perpendicular to top tube.

(That's another area where I didn't like the Nashbar moustache -- the forward bends were too round for me, after years of anatomic drops, and I found myself more resting my hands there than gripping. Only the outboard position on the straight part of the bars is really comfortable to grab.)

Finally, if she's only 5' and is in love with cycling, try finding a dealer that sells women-specific bikes. As far as I know, Terry is still highly regarded. They've got a number of bikes built on smaller wheels that should fit much better. They're not cheap (not titanium roadie expensive, either, at least not all of them), but I think that might be your best bet for something she could really enjoy. Folding bikes with even smaller wheels (like Dahon's) have the potential to fit better, too, but if I recall correctly, those tend not to offer different sizes, so I expect they would all have the same reach problem as her current bike.

Good luck.
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