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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 03-07-14, 09:43 AM   #1
MikeRides
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Bike Mods

I ride a city/trail hybrid (see signature). My original thought last winter was to trade it in before spring for a performance hybrid (or a road bike) but I've decided to ride another year or two before officially justifying a new bike. Since getting it last April, I've kept it stock, only adding a bike computer, rear rack, and a water bottle holder. What are some useful mods I can add to it?

I ride on the roads 80% of the time. The other 20% takes place on an unpaved, hard-packed stone rail trail. The bike came with 700c x 35 tires, I've thought about changing them out for 28s for better road resistance. Is this too small to continue riding unpaved rail trails? Also would this be noticeably better on pavement?

I've also thought about getting a pair of Ergon GP5 bar end grips for my upcoming long distance (50-100 mile) rides. Anyone have these? Do they make a difference on long rides?

One last thing, is it ideal to put clipless pedals on a hybrid bike? Locally, I've only seen them on road bikes, usually hybrid bikes only have flat/platform pedals. I often wonder if my feet are positioned correctly on the pedals, plus if my shoes are wet/sandy they tend to slip easily, and think clipless would help remedy these problems

Last edited by MikeRides; 03-07-14 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 03-07-14, 09:49 AM   #2
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I switched to 28 and like them! Didn't feel much difference I rolling but my turning felt more controlled.mi also have clipless pedals, And love them. I bought the dual platform type with flat on one side and spd on the other. I also add bar ends and found them a nice and cheaper alternative to the ergons.


only other big change was went with a heavy duty rear wheel with 12ga spokes.

Edit:
We have the same bike!
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Old 03-07-14, 10:17 AM   #3
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Go with the 28's. They should be wide enough for most rail trails. Although I still use my mountain bike when on non-pavement if I can. I have gone with Ergon grips for a while now. They are great. Currently has GP 3 on my Escape RX Composite.
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Old 03-07-14, 10:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by IAMAMRA View Post
I switched to 28 and like them! Didn't feel much difference I rolling but my turning felt more controlled.mi also have clipless pedals, And love them. I bought the dual platform type with flat on one side and spd on the other. I also add bar ends and found them a nice and cheaper alternative to the ergons.


only other big change was went with a heavy duty rear wheel with 12ga spokes.

Edit:
We have the same bike!
Nice to see another Detour 4.5 owner on these boards. The owner of the LBS I go to said they sold 4 of them last spring, but I haven't seen a single one on the local trails/streets.

My current tires are still going strong even after 1200 miles of heavy use. But I don't want to wait until they go completely bald. My bike shop mechanic recommended continental 32s but they dont sseem like they'd be much lighter than the 35s so I was going to look into 28s

Could you send me a link to the dual platform/clipless pedals you have? That seems like something I'd go for, in case I ever need to jump on and go.

I'm not set on the Ergon GP5s yet, I'm still shopping around but my LBS has a pair on clearance for around $35 which seemed like a good deal.
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Old 03-07-14, 11:16 AM   #5
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biggest thing that makes a difference on long rides would be bike shorts, shoes, grips/bar tape aka touching points. If you can't think of anything to upgrade, get more clothes, better quality ones over more of them.

If your butt isn't complaining, don't then complicate things w/ a new saddle. Take care of the clothes like hang drying them and they will last well into your new bike purchase.

Ergon grips works well when you finally get the angle correct. I'd look into bar ends first, different hand position is what you need for longer ride not comfy version of one grip.
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Old 03-07-14, 11:53 AM   #6
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http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-A53...ess+dual+sided
This is Katrina..though now I have some kitty litter panniers instead of the saddle bags
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Old 03-07-14, 04:03 PM   #7
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http://www.amazon.com/Zefal-Cristoph...4059970&sr=1-4
http://www.amazon.com/Velo-Orange-Ch...059970&sr=1-17

I was thinking of trying some half clips
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Old 03-07-14, 05:09 PM   #8
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I would suggest going with the duel sided pedals. I just put a set on my mtb/commuter and it really makes a difference. They are easy to clip in and our of and if I'm at a stop but need to get up to speed quickly but can't find the pedal with the cleat I can just lay it down on the platform side then clip in once I'm going. Very practical.
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Old 03-07-14, 05:41 PM   #9
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I have the ergon grips and they are awesome !!
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Old 03-10-14, 12:36 AM   #10
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You won't gain much with the ergons, the handles on the detour are I similar and adding bar ends makes it very similar.
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Old 03-10-14, 03:44 AM   #11
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I have Ergon GR2s and Shimano A530 pedals on my all around bike and like both very much. As for the tires, you'll be surprised how little you will gain going from 35mm to 28mm (in the same or very similar model) for paved riding. Not knocking 28s and have used them extensively in the past. You will get a little improvement in handling but a bit more road vibration and less cushion on bumps. Don't expect huge decreases in rolling resistance or big increases in speed. On a well packed trail you won't notice a big difference, but if you get into loose or soft stuff, you'll notice a decrease in performance with the 28s. I started gravel grinding last year and ran 40mm Schwalbes my first season. This year I'm running Specialized 38s and really wouldn't want any less tire on the mixed surfaces around here. Even the 40s aren't as slow on pavement as you might think as long as you keep the pressure up.

If you are riding primarily on pavement with only occassional good unpaved trails, then 28s will work great for you. If you value the cushion of the fatter tires and ride mixed surfaces frequently, I'd stick with 32s or 35s. IMHO, I wouldn't swap out good 35s for 28s for the minimal increase in performance.

That said, if you are swapping from a heavy basic wire-bead trail tire to a higher quality road tire, the difference in construction, weight and tread pattern might make more of a difference than actual tire width.
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Old 03-10-14, 09:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRides View Post

I've also thought about getting a pair of Ergon GP5 bar end grips for my upcoming long distance (50-100 mile) rides. Anyone have these? Do they make a difference on long rides?

One last thing, is it ideal to put clipless pedals on a hybrid bike? Locally, I've only seen them on road bikes, usually hybrid bikes only have flat/platform pedals. I often wonder if my feet are positioned correctly on the pedals, plus if my shoes are wet/sandy they tend to slip easily, and think clipless would help remedy these problems
I have Ergon's on my MTB, and love them. I'm just MUCH more comfortable, for any road riding, with them -- and for a long time, my MTB was on 38mm slicks as a road bike. (Note: mine are the Ergon's with the bar ends, allowing me to get different positions as jsigone referenced. It's THIS that makes the difference to me. )

As to clipped pedals, I think I'd be lost without them on any bicycle. I just don't feel as stable when I'm not locked in.

Last edited by expatbrit; 03-10-14 at 10:10 AM. Reason: Edited to add about the bar ends in the grips
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Old 03-10-14, 10:16 AM   #13
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I love the Ergons... I only stopped using them after my room mate's bunnies tried to eat them. Rather than replace, I converted to drop-bar (personal preference). The increased number of hand positions from the Ergons is nice for a 60ish mile ride.

I like 28s for road and crushed limestone. They are less optimal on crushed gravel like the C&O towpath. I would stick with 32 or wider unless you are mostly riding on pavement. Overall, 28 is my preferred all around size.

Clipping in is confidence inspiring. You feel connected to your bike, which will improve your riding. Once you get used to clipping in and out, you'll never want to go back. Just be sure to take the mountain bike SPD approach since you can actually walk around in the shoes. I use the Shimano a530 and love it.
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Old 03-10-14, 12:01 PM   #14
MikeRides
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAMAMRA View Post
You won't gain much with the ergons, the handles on the detour are I similar and adding bar ends makes it very similar.
Yeah, I realized that soon after making this post. I'm just gonna get a pair of bar ends for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
If you are riding primarily on pavement with only occassional good unpaved trails, then 28s will work great for you. If you value the cushion of the fatter tires and ride mixed surfaces frequently, I'd stick with 32s or 35s. IMHO, I wouldn't swap out good 35s for 28s for the minimal increase in performance.
I do ride on pavement more than the unpaved rail trail, but I was figuring 32s wouldn't show any performance difference as the 35s so I was going to make it worth my while and swap out for 28s (the smallest my rims can handle). This change won't happen any time soon though, I anticipate my current tires to survive this upcoming season..

I've decided the key modifications I'm doing this year are the bar ends and pedals. Thanks everyone for your suggestions/advice
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Old 03-11-14, 07:44 AM   #15
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+1 on the Velo-Orange half clips. They work well and look sharp.
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