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Old 05-07-08, 07:19 AM   #1
flan48
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"Converting" Comfort Bike

Hello all. This is kind of a follow-up to a previous thread.
I had asked for advice vis-a-vis swapping my Raleigh Venture comfort bike to a comfort hybrid. It was pointed out to me that by going to a narrower tire I would notice a difference. I did just that and switched from 26 x 1.95" tires to high pressure (100 psi) 26 x 1.5" slicks. As I posted before this change made an incredible difference.

Just this past Monday I made an additional change: like most comfort bikes the seat post is cushioned in that it can float up and down. Well the amount of "float" is adjustable. So I turned it down all the way to the point where it doesn't move even when putting great downward pressure on it. As the floating seats rob much of the pedaling energy, this change has also made a large difference.

So I think I'll go another year or so with my "new" bike and then consider a flat bar road bike. I do need an upright riding position due to a herniated disc in my lower back (at L4/L5), but I do appreciate some decent performance without struggling with and up every small rise and hill.

Best regards
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Old 05-07-08, 07:56 AM   #2
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Good to hear that the changes worked for you. This will let you ride to a different fittness level before you have to decide on the next bike.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:18 AM   #3
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Good deal. As you become more fit you will get a better idea what kind of riding appeals to you and what kind of bike will work best for you.

One suggestion I would offer is to keep an open mind about the option of a drop bar road bike. It is very possible to set up a bike with drop bars that will work just as well as flat bars for your back, maybe better. That may not be the route you ultimately choose to take, but don't eliminate the option without considering it and testing the possibility.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:44 AM   #4
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I concur w/ BluesDawg.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:00 AM   #5
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You may have already seen this, but over a year ago there was a pretty lengthy thread about herniated disc and ridning. In case you haven't: Herniated Disc - anyone riding with this condition? Surgery?
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Old 05-07-08, 02:02 PM   #6
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Thanks very much for all of your replies.

I am aware of the herniated disc thread, but fortunately, if I do not overdue the bike riding and weight training, I am OK - I do lots of back extension type stretching which helps immensely, along with lots of hamstring and calf stretches.

So far, so good!

Thanks again!
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Old 05-08-08, 07:06 AM   #7
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I would dump the shock seat post and replace with a traditional rigid post. You can find them on ebay or elsewhere all of the time. Should be a very small cost. I did this on my Giant Cypress.
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Old 06-22-08, 11:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Good deal. As you become more fit you will get a better idea what kind of riding appeals to you and what kind of bike will work best for you.

One suggestion I would offer is to keep an open mind about the option of a drop bar road bike. It is very possible to set up a bike with drop bars that will work just as well as flat bars for your back, maybe better. That may not be the route you ultimately choose to take, but don't eliminate the option without considering it and testing the possibility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John E View Post
I concur w/ BluesDawg.
Well, I took your advice and just yesterday picked up my new '08 Giant OCR 3 - only change was I swapped out the pedals wit pedals fro a much, much better, very "grippy" pedal.

The bike is fantastic and very light. Withteh adjustable stem, and second set of brake levers on teh flat part of the handlebars, the riding position is almost the same as my Raleigh Venture comfort bike (for which my LBS gave me $150).

As I posted previously, I had planned on waiting until next year, but what the heck, I did it now!
Best regards
Barry
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Old 06-22-08, 03:24 PM   #9
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My first road bike was an OCR3- just like a lot of other "NEW" to road bike riders. Warning now- I set the bars up to be level with the Saddle and found it to be a good ride. Problem was 6 months in and I found the bike lacked a bit. I almost thought I had made a mistake in going road from MTB. Had a chat with the LBS and a change of wheels came about. They transformed the bike. The stock wheels on the OCR are not the best around. Can't fault the bike in any other way though. EXCEPT----- The OCR with the new wheels made me realise what road biking was all about. And those "High" bars to saddle- They went on the next two bikes. Now ride with my head between my knees and definitely no back ache-which I used to get when I first went to the dark side.

And in case you have forgotten--Pics Please.
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File Type: jpg B3.jpg (54.0 KB, 13 views)
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Old 06-22-08, 05:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
My first road bike was an OCR3- just like a lot of other "NEW" to road bike riders. Warning now- I set the bars up to be level with the Saddle and found it to be a good ride. Problem was 6 months in and I found the bike lacked a bit. I almost thought I had made a mistake in going road from MTB. Had a chat with the LBS and a change of wheels came about. They transformed the bike. The stock wheels on the OCR are not the best around. Can't fault the bike in any other way though. EXCEPT----- The OCR with the new wheels made me realise what road biking was all about. And those "High" bars to saddle- They went on the next two bikes. Now ride with my head between my knees and definitely no back ache-which I used to get when I first went to the dark side.

And in case you have forgotten--Pics Please.
Ok, here is the manufacturer's picture, from their web site - absolutey accurate.

Thanks for your response!
Best regards
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File Type: jpg OCR-3-Brushed-Red[2].jpg (66.2 KB, 14 views)
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Old 06-22-08, 06:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flan48 View Post
Well, I took your advice and just yesterday picked up my new '08 Giant OCR 3 - only change was I swapped out the pedals wit pedals fro a much, much better, very "grippy" pedal.

The bike is fantastic and very light. Withteh adjustable stem, and second set of brake levers on teh flat part of the handlebars, the riding position is almost the same as my Raleigh Venture comfort bike (for which my LBS gave me $150).

As I posted previously, I had planned on waiting until next year, but what the heck, I did it now!
Best regards
Barry
Nice bike, Barry

I also have back problems and have been riding a Trek road bike for the past few years without any major problems. On longer rides I find the drop bars give me several different choices to keep the back from hurting. I especially like the ability to use the drops and give the back a stretch.

Hope you find your road bike as comfortable as I've found mine to be.
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