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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-20-07, 09:51 AM   #1
biggieou
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New Bike problems/questions

I purchased a Specialized Crossroads Elite yesterday from my LBS.
Today I rode close to 4 miles and yes to many of you I understand
that is nothing, but baby steps first.
Impressions after first ride:
Pros:
Shifting is excellent
Bike rides smooth, floats over bumps
Stops on a dime, I actually almost wiped out because
of this
Now the cons:
Suspension is too soft, but I can adjust it
Brakes stop on a dime
My left hand started to go numb, not sure why
I also might need a different seat as some other
things went numb that are not suppose to

Overall on a scale of 1-5, 5 being excellent, I would
rate the experience a 3, but only because it was my
first time, I was in alot of pain when I got off
because of that seat and I dont see an adjustment for
the tip of it to move down.

What should I do? The LBS said I needed the XL frame, so I dont think I'm stretched out on the bike. Would moving the brake levers down relieve the strain in my left wrist?

I wish I was still a kid when I could hop on any bike and not have trouble riding it all day!
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Old 04-20-07, 11:13 AM   #2
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Congratulations on the new bike! Baby steps are a great way to start It can take a few rides to get your bike set up just right, but you should be able to take it back to the LBS, tell them what the problem is, and have them adjust it right quick for you. You can watch what they do and learn the skills for maintaining your steed.

If you do want to do it yourself, here's some tips:

The saddle: There is a hex bolt on the bottom of the saddle (actually on the bottom of the top of the seat post), it will probably take a 5mm hex key to loosen. Once you have that loose, you'll be able to move the saddle forwards, back, and tilt it. Try setting your saddle perfectly horizontal, and then tweak the tilt until it feels right. This is something unique to the individual; you'll really need to take the hex key with you on a ride and stop every once in a while to work until you get it right. The saddle it comes with is not the finest in the world, but it's probably more than adequate for what you're doing.

Once you get your saddle set, it still might take a little while before it's completely comfortable. Your legs are not used to supporting your weight on a bicycle yet; as they get stronger, you'll put less and less weight on your rear, and you'll also be breaking in the saddle and molding it to you. Don't ignore an uncomfortable saddle because of this, but it's wise to recognize that this process will be going on. So you might get a little numbness for a while, but it probably won't cause any real damage; if it really worries you, talk to your LBS about anatomical saddles: they deal with this all the time, so there's nothing to be embarrassed about.

For your brakes, you may be able to loosen them up a bit with hardly any work. Where the cable emerges from your brake levers, it should also pass through a little twisty knob thing. Turn this clockwise to shorten the length of your brake cable lines and loosen them up a bit. If this is screwed in all the way, take it to your LBS to have them loosened. Your cables will also stretch over time, making this less of a concern. Every time you fiddle with the brakes, though, they take a little getting used to.

For your hand, you might want to try biking gloves? Handlebars are never comfortable to hold barehanded, but I doubt you're putting too much weight on your hands with that upright of a posture, and the first sign of that would be sore elbows or upper back. You may be holding too tight: familiarity will take care of this; it also might mean your hands and arms need to be a little stronger: riding is, again, the best way to get over that.

If there's anything else, just let us know, and have fun riding!
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Old 04-20-07, 01:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the encouraging words. I will try the seat adjustment. I am handy with tools so I should be able to get it adjusted, I was just concerned as it was a shock to have certain areas literally numb.
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Old 04-20-07, 02:47 PM   #4
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Your post reminded me so much of my first 50+ ride after a 30+ year hiatus from cycling. There is little to add technically to what DLV advised you. That was a polite, thoughtful, informative post.

As you build up time and miles on the bike, keep chatting with the folks at the LBS, and other riders. You'll get dialed in eventually, either because of changes in your physiology or tweaks to the equipment advised by others.

As far as numbness goes; I find I read far fewer pages than I used to before the legs go numb during my morning library visits as well. I guess 50+ and 200+ are just large numbers which have certain characteristics for all of us.
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Old 04-20-07, 03:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by webist
I guess 50+ and 200+ are just large numbers which have certain characteristics for all of us.
+ a bunch.
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Old 04-20-07, 03:05 PM   #6
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Well done! And good concise evaluation of that experience, too.

I will address the 'numbness in nether parts' issue:

1) I went through several kinds of padded shorts before I found the 'right' ones to wear. (see my post on cycling shorts from today). Some riders claim never to wear them but that has not been my experience at all, regardless of what kind of bike I ride.

2) standing on the pedals every 10-15 minutes during a ride for a quarter or half minute helps me a lot in terms of relieving the pressure and restoring circulation

3) ride the saddle you have for awhile, tweak & tweak again the seat position as recommended above, and if issue persists you may join the heavenly chorus singing in search of the 'perfect saddle' - an unending quest for many of us. I've got 4 in my garage right now from the past 2.5 years riding & 2 different bikes, saddles that just wouldn't work for me. Now have the 5th mounted and only 25 miles on it (3 rides' worth) so judgment is reserved for a few more miles. Nowadays for me the numbness is less of an issue than saddle sores
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Old 04-20-07, 07:16 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the great posts guys! It's really good to know that I'm not the only one with issues. I adjusted my seat and now the point is pointing slightly down in the front, perhaps a hair too far forward as I kind of feel like I slide forward in the seat, but it is much more comfortable then the other way. I figure a few more tweaks and hopefully I will be ok!
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Old 04-20-07, 08:21 PM   #8
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Does the crossroads have a flat bar? If so you my want something with a little bit of sweep to put your wrists in a more natural postion.
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Old 04-21-07, 07:14 PM   #9
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I will assume your Crossroads is sililar to my wife's 06. There is a lot of adjustment that can be done to the riding position. I'd spend some time back at your LBS discussing your issues. In the end, learn how to make all the adjustments on your own. Most all can be done with a 5 and 6 millimeter Allen wrench, or better yet one of those "y" type hex wrenches. Have the LBS tighten your seat suspension (bottom of seatpost as mentioned above) most all the way up
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Old 04-21-07, 07:20 PM   #10
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Just checked the Specialized page, bike is like my wife's. There is a lot of adjustment with the bars as I had thought. There is no reason you shouldn't be able to get the fit right with a little tweaking.
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Old 04-21-07, 07:35 PM   #11
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I have a Crossroads Sport I rode 22 miles today. I changed the seat out for a Specialized BG Plus. It is a little harder but I have no numbness with it. I have a little over 100 miles on the bike(the day I got it, it snowed). I use Specialized BG Gel gloves and they take away most of the hand numbing. Go through a little pain till you get the bike suited to your body. Enjoy
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Old 04-22-07, 07:28 AM   #12
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The normal adjustment period will see the uncomfortable effects slowly fade as your body adjusts to the cycling experience. I would make small adjustments to items that concern you at this point and just try to ride more often and see how you adapt/feel at the end of the day.

The LBS should be able to check if your on-bike position needs any adjustment until you become familiar with what works for you.

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Old 04-23-07, 08:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggieou
My left hand started to go numb, not sure why
A bit to add: on Saturday, my wife and I went for a ride on our flat-bar tandem, and lo and behold, my right hand went numb! I immediately thought of your problem, and kept thinking about it while I attached bar ends. This gives me more hand positions, and I should have done it before we left.

Bar ends are much cheaper than a new handlebar, and (if installed correctly) make your bike look leaner, meaner, and more serious. They also give me a better position on uphills, and switching to your bar ends from time to time will keep your hands from falling asleep.
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