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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 02-01-12, 03:23 PM   #26
Seve
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The brakes may simply need to be adjusted if you have to be in the drops to apply that much leverage to safely stop?
It really shouldn't take that much at all to effectively engage the brakes.
If they are Shimano, check to see if the quick-release is engaged?

As the others have noted it could just be a fit issue, because, while riding most of the resistance is coming from your wind profile and I have to think that your hybrid would place you in a much more upright riding position and therefore a larger wind profile. In theory, this should make it harder to achieve the same speed with your hybrid vs your road bike?

This is a place to start for assessing your current bike setup, it doesn't mean it's a panacea, but it has worked for many if you are interested. (Ignore that it specifies a particular saddle type)http://cobbcycling.com/cart/V-Flow_M...b_installation

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Old 02-01-12, 03:35 PM   #27
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So check fitting and gearing, are you comfortable jamming corners on skinny tires? I guessing the tires on the road bike are much smaller. Maybe try to split the difference?
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Old 02-01-12, 04:41 PM   #28
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I keep telling you people those things are evil!!
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Old 02-01-12, 05:37 PM   #29
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I don't really have much of a stomach - I'm just really, really inflexible. Hoods are comfortable generally, it's just braking on them that I hate because it feels like I can't get enough leverage on the brake levers....
Take it back to the shop and tell them what the problem is. In addition to changing the pads, there are adjustments that can be made to the brakes themselves. I had a problem with braking on my new touring bike last summer - it seemed to take a huge amount of force - and when I took it back to the shop they did an adjustment to make it easier. I can't remember if it was the levers or the cantilever arms that were tweaked, but after that I no longer needed crushing gorilla size hands to come to a stop. I think it was some kind of spring tension that was changed.
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Old 02-01-12, 05:37 PM   #30
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could you post a picture of how your bike is setup, a side view would be nice.
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Old 02-01-12, 06:43 PM   #31
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I ride a number of different bikes w/different geometries. But what I try to keep the same is the pedal width. I can always shift seat up/down forward and back to get proper extension. But being a Clyde and being forced to pedal with my legs over narrow pedals is very painful and makes me weak. So I try to make sure all my bikes have similar Q factor and pedal width. I'm certainly not as wide as some folks, so if I'm having issues with Q-factor, I think others are too. And there is a myth with many folks in bike shops that low-Q factor (narrow crank width) makes for me efficient pedaling. That may be true for a tiny European or Colombian dude who wears that polka dot jersey. But Clydes are wider and need wider foot spacing.

I suspect the clipless pedals, low-Q crank on the CAAD are your problem. My clunker road bike with 700x28C tires averages 18 mph just sitting on the bike. I can easily ride with a column at 21mph. My SS/fixie, if I can get it up to speed, can average 17 mph and not break a sweat, and if I push hard, I might do 19-20 mph. My fat tire 26 x 1.9 slick commuter averages only 15 mph in cruise mode and I gotta pedal constantly to keep it moving. Just from the physics, the narrower, higher pressure tires means lower rolling resistance and more speed. So if you're struggling on the CAAD, there is a high likelihood, something is biometrically not-fitting and so you can't apply normal power.

But I did just work on a bike recently for a kid where the hubs were so tight, I'd spin them and the wheel would rotate for just 5 seconds and stop. Front and rear. He was finish last on some bike rides I was organizing for my son's Boy Scout Troop. I tuned up the bike and overhauled hubs and BB. He finished the last 32.4 mile ride in the first group; not 40 minutes behind. What a difference a tune up makes. So check that too.
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Old 02-01-12, 07:52 PM   #32
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Yes - I'm always in the small ring except downhill. I feel like I'm always pedaling too hard in the big ring - and the bike is noisy in it too so I tend to avoid it.

For brakes, I fixed them myself to some degree. They are a sliver away from the rim (not touching, I was careful) and very even. From the bike shop, 1/4" gap on one side and slightly touching on the other and I felt like I needed to toss an anchor to stop. It stops REAL hard from drops. I do plan on getting salmon pads.


I"ll put the bike on my trainer tonight and get a couple shots.

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Old 02-01-12, 08:19 PM   #33
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I don't know what year your new bike is, but if you have 105 5700 levers (where both brake and shift cables are under the bar tape), they are not perfectly compatible with tektro or older caliper brakes. They will result in squishy brake feeling with any brakes other than the 105 5700, ultegra 6700, and whatever the new Dura-Ace brake # is. The brakes I just mentioned are totally incompatible with older brake levers, which I did not find out til I bought a set.

I don't know why bike manufacturers put this combo on new bikes (oh wait its cheaper), but they are eroding the new riders confidence in their brakes.
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Old 02-01-12, 09:39 PM   #34
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Tektro R580 brakes are on it.

Last edited by The_DK; 02-01-12 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 02-01-12, 09:58 PM   #35
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Pads may help, but you may want to consider investing in 5700 brakes. Got mine from Ribble for less than $70. Still trying to find a use for the set I got, and may buy some 5700 levers to work with them.

And I absolutely encourage you to spend time in your big ring. Even if you cross chain big big at first, it gets easier and speed comes.
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Old 02-02-12, 12:38 AM   #36
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All right. I'll start with dedicating some time in the big ring, since that's the least expensive option to try first.
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Old 02-02-12, 02:57 AM   #37
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What is the gearing on your chainring and cassette?
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Old 02-02-12, 07:20 AM   #38
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It's a 50/34, cogset 105 5700, 12-27, 10-speed
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Old 02-02-12, 05:12 PM   #39
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Not to hog the responses, but I would guess the being slower is largely in how you are riding and what gear you are selecting. Riding the road bike should not feel easier than the hybrid, you should work just as hard on both, with the net result of potentially being faster on the road bike. Put it on the big ring, and forget you have a little one unless the hills get crazy. Gradually work to increase your cadence. Lots of folks will tell you 90+, but if you are averaging high 70's low 80's it is a good spot and don't beat yourself up. You will find that speed goes up with less perceived leg exertion, and you feel the aerobic and cardio portion of cycling more.

This probably sounds daunting. Over the summer, I decided to big ring (53T) my usual weekend rides, which are just shy of 60 miles, with something like 2500 ft of climbing, and not use my small ring except in desperation. First couple weekends was tough, and then it got easier, and I found myself more and more down the cassette with each ride. You adapt quickly.
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Old 02-02-12, 06:42 PM   #40
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Not to hog the responses, but I would guess the being slower is largely in how you are riding and what gear you are selecting. Riding the road bike should not feel easier than the hybrid, you should work just as hard on both, with the net result of potentially being faster on the road bike. Put it on the big ring, and forget you have a little one unless the hills get crazy. Gradually work to increase your cadence. Lots of folks will tell you 90+, but if you are averaging high 70's low 80's it is a good spot and don't beat yourself up. You will find that speed goes up with less perceived leg exertion, and you feel the aerobic and cardio portion of cycling more.

This probably sounds daunting. Over the summer, I decided to big ring (53T) my usual weekend rides, which are just shy of 60 miles, with something like 2500 ft of climbing, and not use my small ring except in desperation. First couple weekends was tough, and then it got easier, and I found myself more and more down the cassette with each ride. You adapt quickly.
Can't.

I am riding in the flats this winter. I've never been out of the small ring. But I am getting faster.

Some of you folks generate a lot of power.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:36 PM   #41
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The big ring is pretty tolerable, generally, but I cant' stand the card-in-the-spokes sound all the gears make when I'm in 50 up front (issue the LBS says is normal, that's another story...)

Got the Koolstops. Like them a LOT better. Combining them with tilting the seat nose up a bit increased braking significantly. The koolstops hiss though, weird.
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Old 02-03-12, 10:12 AM   #42
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My road bike is faster on the flats, but about the same on hills.

I attribute this to being more aerodynamic, and the fact that the number 1 limiting factor on hills is my weight, not the bikes.
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Old 02-04-12, 03:10 AM   #43
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Can't.

I am riding in the flats this winter. I've never been out of the small ring. But I am getting faster.

Some of you folks generate a lot of power.
Cant shouldnt be a word that is allowed on these forums.
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Old 02-04-12, 05:53 AM   #44
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Is the clicking from the Large Chainring when you're in 1st or 2nd largest sprocket in the rear? If so this is somewhat normal. This comes from the chain rubbing against the front derailleur cage. One can get out of that by doing a trim shift. On your left brifter as you shift you'll hear (mainly feel) a light click before the louder click. The light click is a half shift and will move the cage partially over for chain clearance but not enough to move the chain onto the different chainring. On my 105 levers it's fairly easy to trim the small chainring to get an extra gear. Trimming the large chainring to get an extra gear is much more subtle and I rarely do it. I don't ride for long periods of time while trimmed as it means I'm somewhat cross chained ( chainline not parallel to direction of travel). This causes extra wear to chain and wastes energy.
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Old 02-04-12, 12:28 PM   #45
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Cant shouldnt be a word that is allowed on these forums.
But right now I can't ride in the big ring and still maintain a reasonable cadence. Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 02-04-12, 02:45 PM   #46
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But right now I can't ride in the big ring and still maintain a reasonable cadence. Nothing wrong with that.
Totally nothing wrong with that, if it works for you. But here is what confuses me: using the OP's gearing as an example, 50/34 crank and 12-27 Shimano 5700 cassette. Mr Google says that is 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 24, 27 for individual cogs. If someone can't use their big ring with this gearing, it means they only have 4 usable gear combo's (34-27, 34-24, 34-21, and 34-19), because the fifth easiest gear would require the big ring (50-27). And since they can't push the big combo, they would not have the strength to use the other smaller six cogs even with the 34.

I don"t mean to sound sarcastic, it is just that in most of the cases that I have ridden with folks who small ring only, they will take the cassette down til it grates, and protest they can't use the big, where they could have jumped into it long before.

Good way to build leg strength is to do some sustained intervals at high load low cadence effort (like 50 cadence). Don't do it to peg your heart rate, do it for a 5 minute sustained< then easy high cadence for 3-5 min, then repeat once or twice. If all you ever do is spin on flat ground with high cadence, you won't really build leg strength.

No criticism meant, only warm and helpful thoughts
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Old 02-05-12, 12:59 AM   #47
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Totally nothing wrong with that, if it works for you. But here is what confuses me: using the OP's gearing as an example, 50/34 crank and 12-27 Shimano 5700 cassette. Mr Google says that is 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 24, 27 for individual cogs. If someone can't use their big ring with this gearing, it means they only have 4 usable gear combo's (34-27, 34-24, 34-21, and 34-19), because the fifth easiest gear would require the big ring (50-27). And since they can't push the big combo, they would not have the strength to use the other smaller six cogs even with the 34.

I don"t mean to sound sarcastic, it is just that in most of the cases that I have ridden with folks who small ring only, they will take the cassette down til it grates, and protest they can't use the big, where they could have jumped into it long before.

Good way to build leg strength is to do some sustained intervals at high load low cadence effort (like 50 cadence). Don't do it to peg your heart rate, do it for a 5 minute sustained< then easy high cadence for 3-5 min, then repeat once or twice. If all you ever do is spin on flat ground with high cadence, you won't really build leg strength.

No criticism meant, only warm and helpful thoughts
Heh, exactly. The big chain ring is mostly psychological. There is some difference in the way the power delivery feels because of the chain wrap on the big ring, but as far as physical effort, and pedals per foot traveled...its all the same.

Its almost like the kid who refuses to ride his bike without training wheels, even though 90% of the time, his training wheels are bent out of the way, and not even touching the ground. Some people need a crutch i guess.
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Old 02-05-12, 09:32 AM   #48
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Totally nothing wrong with that, if it works for you. But here is what confuses me: using the OP's gearing as an example, 50/34 crank and 12-27 Shimano 5700 cassette. Mr Google says that is 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 24, 27 for individual cogs. If someone can't use their big ring with this gearing, it means they only have 4 usable gear combo's (34-27, 34-24, 34-21, and 34-19), because the fifth easiest gear would require the big ring (50-27). And since they can't push the big combo, they would not have the strength to use the other smaller six cogs even with the 34.

I don"t mean to sound sarcastic, it is just that in most of the cases that I have ridden with folks who small ring only, they will take the cassette down til it grates, and protest they can't use the big, where they could have jumped into it long before.

Good way to build leg strength is to do some sustained intervals at high load low cadence effort (like 50 cadence). Don't do it to peg your heart rate, do it for a 5 minute sustained< then easy high cadence for 3-5 min, then repeat once or twice. If all you ever do is spin on flat ground with high cadence, you won't really build leg strength.

No criticism meant, only warm and helpful thoughts
Your post is helpful. I used the big ring fairly frequently when I am in hilly country. But here on the flats I rarely end up changing gears and have been in the small ring all the time. I spin fast and that is natural to me. That said, on my hybrid bike I will shift up and stand to pedal at times, especially to get going or get my speed up. I am more confident on that bike as I have ridden it many more miles. I am confused a bit about high gear low cadence training that you talked about in your last paragraph. For some reason I thought that was hard on the knees so I've never really done that for any extended periods of time.

Sorry if I am hijacking this thread but I also want to get stronger and faster.

Last edited by goldfinch; 02-05-12 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 02-05-12, 11:29 AM   #49
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It is hard on your knees if you mash all the time. But tons of spinning with no load on the pedals doesn't necessarily make your legs stronger. I am no expert, but in using a bunch of training videos this "winter" on the trainer, a not uncommon exercise is a "muscle tensioning" interval, which is meant to increase leg strength. The premise is to peddle steadily at 50 rpm for 5 minutes, at a resistance that is difficult but can be maintained for the full 5 minutes, essentially trying to replicate a long slow incline. Don't set the resistance so hard, or if on the road, the speed so high, that you peg your heart rate anaerobic. The purpose is to ride under load and not build lactic acid to the point where you burn out. After the 5 slow minutes, kick to an easier gear and spin for 5 minutes with low load, and then repeat the process.

You said earlier that a lot of us ride with more power than others, and that is absolutely true. I am by no means trying to make it sound easy, so the gear I might say is a hard effort for me may be out of reach for you. But the training principles remain the same, and I can say I have definitely seen improvement in leg strength and climbing speeds from intentionally pushing harder gears at intelligent times.

And definitely don't make your knees hurt! I have hurt my knees hiking and the problems are very difficult to get rid of. Usually, I wouldn't expect a little hard effort to do damage, and I would expect you to acclimate to it as well. But I have no medical background to confirm that.
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Old 02-05-12, 08:24 PM   #50
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It is hard on your knees if you mash all the time. But tons of spinning with no load on the pedals doesn't necessarily make your legs stronger. I am no expert, but in using a bunch of training videos this "winter" on the trainer, a not uncommon exercise is a "muscle tensioning" interval, which is meant to increase leg strength. The premise is to peddle steadily at 50 rpm for 5 minutes, at a resistance that is difficult but can be maintained for the full 5 minutes, essentially trying to replicate a long slow incline. Don't set the resistance so hard, or if on the road, the speed so high, that you peg your heart rate anaerobic. The purpose is to ride under load and not build lactic acid to the point where you burn out. After the 5 slow minutes, kick to an easier gear and spin for 5 minutes with low load, and then repeat the process.

You said earlier that a lot of us ride with more power than others, and that is absolutely true. I am by no means trying to make it sound easy, so the gear I might say is a hard effort for me may be out of reach for you. But the training principles remain the same, and I can say I have definitely seen improvement in leg strength and climbing speeds from intentionally pushing harder gears at intelligent times.

And definitely don't make your knees hurt! I have hurt my knees hiking and the problems are very difficult to get rid of. Usually, I wouldn't expect a little hard effort to do damage, and I would expect you to acclimate to it as well. But I have no medical background to confirm that.
Thank you Roll, I'll give this a try. The only things I've been doing to strengthen my legs is a couple of days a week I do squats and some other weight bearing exercises, plus I have started running twice a week, but I'm only up to a mile per run. I haven't been walking as much as usual and should pick that up again.
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