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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 07-31-08, 08:33 PM   #1
krazygluon
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update to my brooks problems

Ok, so riding another 20 miler today, I decided my B-17 is definately broken in.

The problem is, my wang will be too if I don't adjust something.

My sit bones are sitting just fine on the saddle, the dimples in the saddle have formed and that's all good and well, but my perineal region isn't feeling so great today.

Do I get it further chopped (I swallow-ized this saddle already) or start looking at cutout saddles?

I know the REI by me has the serfas performance rx, which looks like a decent road saddle with a cutout.

Or is this all about angle and tension in the saddle?
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Old 07-31-08, 08:42 PM   #2
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How is your seat angled?
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Old 07-31-08, 08:47 PM   #3
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What is the relationship of handlebars to seat height?

If set lower, and you are reaching down to the bars, most saddles will require some fine tuning to fit correctly, or use of riding shorts or bibs, with extra padding inbuilt.

It bars are even and the issue is still present, then moving saddle forward ont e rails may provide relief, and not require you to stretch out to the bars.
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Old 08-01-08, 08:04 AM   #4
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Right now: seat is tilted one notch down (toward the pedals) from from level
the seat itself is a bit higher than the handlebars, mainly because despite the LBS telling me this was the right frame size for me, I have to raise it that high just to get proper leg extension to avoid bouncing like a pogo when I spin.

I'm wondering if raising my handlebars to help match the seat would have any effect, because right now in the drops it feels like my wrists are bending a bit uncomfortably.
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Old 08-01-08, 08:17 AM   #5
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The down tilt of the seat, could allow you to slide forward requiring more pressure to hands and arms, causing issues there.

Raising handle bars to even should help.
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Old 08-01-08, 08:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by krazygluon View Post
I'm wondering if raising my handlebars to help match the seat would have any effect, because right now in the drops it feels like my wrists are bending a bit uncomfortably.

I had the same issue. I would finish riding and felt like my crotch had be pounded with a sledge hammer, alsong with a sore back. I raised handle bars with a riser, adjusted the seat, and now I feel great. It is a far more upright position, but is saves myback and my boys grief, so I will take it!

I also make sure to keep my hips rolled forward a bit, so that my weight is borne by my but, and not my crotch.
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Old 08-01-08, 08:55 AM   #7
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The B17 is meant for riders who have their handlebars even or above their seat. If you want them set lower, you might want to look at the Brooks Team Professional.
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Old 08-01-08, 09:55 AM   #8
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Looking at the Bike Frame comment, a Frame size is set on tube height to ground should be shorter than your inseam length, rest of the geometry is for frame feel, seat height is set to pedal at 6 oclock with knee slightly bent and ankle at 90*, for most stem height is set even with seat height, stem offset and bar reach is set to reach length. there are other adjustments (crank length, and seat position in relation to pedals) for fine tuning fit.

Last edited by ctwxlvr; 08-01-08 at 09:57 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 08-01-08, 10:04 AM   #9
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The down tilt of the seat, could allow you to slide forward requiring more pressure to hands and arms, causing issues there.

Raising handle bars to even should help.
And given the slippery nature of the saddle could be causing the "broken in wang" as it were. It's counter-intuitive but try putting the saddle very slightly nose up if you haven't already (I may have missed an earlier thread). This will hopefully help keep your weight off your... "wang".

Also keep an eye out for the Brooks Imperial rumor is that it will be out in October, and is a Brooks saddle with a cutout. There's a sticky on the Classic and Vintage forum of ride reports from BF members who have tested it. Check it out.
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Old 08-01-08, 11:41 AM   #10
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The B17 is meant for riders who have their handlebars even or above their seat. If you want them set lower, you might want to look at the Brooks Team Professional.
That explains why I don't like B17s. I prefer a stretched-out position, with the seat about 1 inch higher than the handlebars. That position fits my body better than a more upright position, and leaning over allows me to add more power and fluidity to my pedal stroke with my hamstrings and gluts. I only have issues related to too much pressure on my hands, if I forget to move my hands around to different positions on a longer ride.

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Old 08-01-08, 12:03 PM   #11
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Ok, this might be more fit for the mechanics section, but is it possible to raise the handlebars without buying anything? I've got a trek pilot 1.2 (read: all the kit from a 1200 with a slightly different frame geometry) or do I have to go find risers.
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Old 08-01-08, 02:35 PM   #12
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Short answer. No. You've got a threadless stem on there meaning that you'll need either a longer steeper angled stem or a threadless stem extender like so...



You should be able to pick one up at your LBS. Looking at images of Trek Pilot bikes they look like they have drop bars. Putting risers on a drop bar bike is crazy expensive because you have to switch out the brifters for flat bar compatible stuff. There are other bar options that are compatible with brifters and stems but not too many, and most of them are designed around regular aero brake levers and bar-end shifters or down-tube shifters... wow information overload.
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Old 08-01-08, 03:04 PM   #13
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I didn't mean riser bars, rather those rings that sit between the stem and the headtube that add height to the bars. My stem already has a bit of an upward angle to it. and getting rid of the drops is out of the question.
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Old 08-01-08, 04:04 PM   #14
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I ride B-17's with a few inches drop from the seat to the handlebars, but I mostly ride on the hoods. I have learned that when I use the drops I need to lift myself off of the saddle to avoid the problem you are describing. Since I mostly use the drops for standing climbs and fast downhills it isn't a problem. I mountain bike a lot, so when I am going downhill on the roadbike it is second nature to level the pedals and get off the back of the saddle.
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Old 08-04-08, 02:00 PM   #15
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Are you wearing padded shorts? There's no need for padding on a brooks.
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Old 08-04-08, 02:08 PM   #16
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Ok slow down. Let's cover some basics.

1. Ok you have the height set close to where you want it, kewl.
2. Adjust the angle so the saddle is level (just a starting point), and again check your saddle height...adjust as needed.
3. Now play with your fore/aft position...we're talking a quarter-inch at a time, no more. I recommend starting by moving the saddle forward...thats the direction that has always been the answer for me when I have problems with taint getting rubbed raw.
4. Make micro adjustments from here on in to angle, height and fore/aft...noting what you are adjusting, and giving it a decent test.

With me, a saddle can be hell, but with just a slight adjustment, it hits the sweet spot. Patience, plus some bag balm and decent shorts, will get you dialed in.


(FYI, my bars are about 1.5-2" lower than my saddle on most of my bikes...it's not about the bars per se, it's about how you are straddled on the saddle.)
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Old 08-05-08, 07:11 AM   #17
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I didn't mean riser bars, rather those rings that sit between the stem and the headtube that add height to the bars. My stem already has a bit of an upward angle to it. and getting rid of the drops is out of the question.
Cool. If you do want to raise the handlebars you'll still need a stem riser (not riser bars) or a new fork with an uncut steerer (cleaner look but $$). You generally only want about 3mm between the top of the stem and the top of the steerer tube, much more and the stem doesn't have much to clamp to, much less and headset pre-load cap can't do it's job. The Park Tool website has detailed guides on servicing headsets and lots of photos. But, in short I wouldn't add spacers to raise your stem/handlebars.
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Old 08-05-08, 09:43 AM   #18
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Re-Update:

I went to REI monday after a 32 mile ride that had limited but not total success in trying to dial in my Brooks.
While looking at saddles, I struck up a conversation with their bike "guy" In as unsalesmanly a manner possible, he tried to talk me into keeping the brooks, and out of buying the riser. It turns out, according to his perpective on it, my bikes handlebars were put on rather slipshod. (read: brifters not really in the right place, bars not at right angle relative to the rest of the frame)

So, I grabbed a Terry Liberator (just to see if the whole anatomic cutout thing had a shot at working, and because it was the hardest thing with a cutout that they had that I could afford) and some bar tape (2 years is about time to re-wrap while adjusting brifter positions)

His handlebar advice was dead on. (he suggested I make sure that the straight part at the bottom of the drops on my bars should point a line directly toward the rear brake bolt-on point, and that my brifters were too close to the top of the bars adn should slope a little more down the bar)
I tried this and after getting the saddle height right on the terry, I was very comfortably in the drops (at least as much as my gut would allow, but no wrist problems like before)

The saddle, well, it was a Liberator Y, not a real road-designed model. The cutout did exactly what it should have in relieving my perineal pressure problems (for 16 miles anyway) but the saddle itself was too soft, too hot and too wide at the nose, so its going back.

In the mean time, I think I've really got to work on restructuring this brooks. I think the year of neglect allowed my lacing to get a little loose, so I'm going to re-lace the side skirts and continue pondering taking a knife to the saddle to "convert" it to an anatomic model. (I've already done some brooks chopping before so yes, I have an idea what I'm getting myself into) What's the worst I could do, ruin a saddle that I'm painfully uncomfortable on?
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Old 08-05-08, 02:15 PM   #19
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I went throught the same pains with my brooks. For me it took getting rid of the padded shorts and getting infinate adjust post. Once dialed in it was a miraculous difference. But I couldn't dial it in with a standard post.
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Old 08-06-08, 09:30 PM   #20
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One issue for guys working on their weight on racing style bikes is compression of wang and nuts. Between supersized abdomen and thighs, and the front of the saddle, the boys get a little crowded down there. Which is why some guys ride with their knees pointing out.

Sometimes you just have to raise the handlebar until you lose another 15 or 20.
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