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  1. #1
    rae
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    Is it because it's not white?

    I came to BF looking for advice (as many have) about choosing a new bike last fall, since I was riding more and running less; but before I had shopped an awful lot ( ignoring all the collected wisdom) I jumped at a great deal for a like-new black Trek Pilot 1.0 that I thought would be my size (a size that I had tried out in store).

    After taking it for a fitting, (& the guy thought I might have gone a size smaller) and several short rides, I went out yesterday & rode the Johnstown rail-trail (28 miles round trip) which has been a frequent ride for me on my cheap Target bike.
    At first, I really noticed how much lighter and faster the bike was. But it wasn't long before things began nagging at me, that never bothered me before. On the cheap bike, my biggest complaints (besides its weight) were that it was just too far of a stretch to the handlebars, & the sole hand position. (oh, and the balky shifting ...)

    Now, on the Trek drop bars, I couldn't seem to be very comfortable with my hands anywhere, I had an ache behind my shoulderblade, the bike felt too small, & boy did I feel every little jolt! My toe had a close encounter with the wheel on a sharp turn, too. It was difficult to stand & pedal, & trying made my knee hurt--my knees have never hurt biking before! I wasn't extraordinarily tired at the end, just about what I aimed for,--and I would have been very tired on the cheap bike-- but I was just plain uncomfortable.

    I am hoping that I just need to get used to the different geometry of this bike,& the different handlebars, & get into a bit more riding shape.
    Tomorrow is supposed to be good weather again, so I will do another of the local paths & see how it feels.
    Really, though, I don't remember my old chromoly tourer being nearly as rough a ride, even though this has a carbon fork etc.

  2. #2
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I know of what you speak.

    But outside of recommending a nice, lighter weight hybrid or flat-bar bike, I don't have any advice for you. I can say that not all bikes that have aluminum frames and carbon forks have the same road feel. Altogether I think I rode about 30 different drop-bar and flat-bar road bikes / fitness hybrids and I experienced a wide range of how smoothly they rode and damped out surface vibration. The best being far better than the worst.

    Yen has posted that it took her a few rides to make the adjustment from a hybrid to a road bike.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  3. #3
    rae
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    I had those rubber vibration absorbers made for lawnmower handles instead of bar tape on my last bike, mostly to bring the grip a little closer, but maybe they made a difference in comfort too. I'm going to try them on the Trek tomorrow.
    Yen's experience gives me hope & I'll keep trying.

    Did you ever ride a Jamis Coda? I think that was my favorite of the bikes that I test rode before I bought this, & it was a hybrid, I believe. I had wondered about the flat bars for long rides, though.

  4. #4
    Yen
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    When we bought our road bikes, the fitter said it will take a few hundred miles to adjust to the new position after riding hybrids. For us, a few hundred miles would be 10-15 rides. The day after my 3rd ride, a major event occurred in my life that quickly rearranged my priorities. I didn't ride for two weeks after that. On my next ride, 2 weeks later, my thoughts were not on the bike itself, rather on just getting out in some sunlight and enjoying the ride and contemplating the previous two weeks. And I think that's when it clicked. I think that by NOT thinking about how the bike felt, and just relaxing my arms, shoulders and back, I adjusted to the new bike. That ride was the turning point, and now the bike fits like a glove.

    That said, I didn't experience most of the complaints you mentioned -- the bike is my size, I just needed to adjust to the new posture. I have some neck, wrist, and hand issues that I thought would be serious problems on this type of bike, but they aren't.

    Give it a few more rides before you make the final determination whether or not it's the right bike for you. I do hope it is though, just give it a chance. I felt very awkward at first and didn't like it (deep dark secret being revealed) until the 4th ride.
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  5. #5
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rae View Post

    Did you ever ride a Jamis Coda? I think that was my favorite of the bikes that I test rode before I bought this, & it was a hybrid, I believe. I had wondered about the flat bars for long rides, though.
    I've ridden the Jamis Coda Comp and Coda Elite models. They were nice bikes that had a lot going for them - good components, steel frames, and could be adjusted for fit. Their ride smoothness was middle of the pack, better than several but not as smooth as the Fuji I ended up purchasing. In fact the #1 reason why I went for the Fuji over the Coda Elite was the ride feel. I would have liked to have riden the Coda with 700x32 tires, as I'm sure that would have smoothed it out a little.

    I didn't ride a Pilot 1.0, but did ride the 1.2 and 2.1. I thought they were amongst the most comfortable road bikes I tested.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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    Rae, is it possible you were squeezing the bars in a death grip? It's easy to do if you're on a different bike and apprehensive. Try a lighter grip with your hands.

    With the tighter frame geometry of a road bike, toe overlap with the front wheel is common. You will get used to it, and remember it only occurs at very slow (walking) speeds. At cycling speeds you lean into a turn.

    It's going to take a bit of getting used to...assuming the bike fits you.
    Last edited by Louis; 05-24-08 at 11:23 PM.

  7. #7
    rae
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    thanks, Yen.

    I have a neck injury also & it did not (thankfully) bother me, so that is a very good thing.

    It does just seem to feel quite different & I can see that it may take time to adjust.
    Funny how it feels small to me, yet the fitter thought I could take the next size down.. That's the difference in geometry, plus being used to a bike that really was probably a little large, I guess.

  8. #8
    rae
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Rae, is it possible you were squeezing the bars in a death grip? It's easy to do if you're on a different bike and apprehensive. Try a lighter grip with your hands.

    With the tighter frame geometry of a road bike, toe overlap with the front wheel is common. You will get used to it, and remember it only occurs at very slow (walking) speeds. At cycling speeds you lean into a turn.

    It's going to take a bit of getting used to...assuming the bike fits you.
    I don't think I was holding too hard--I have a tendency to just rest in position instead of holding or at least hooking a finger, which is a good way to have a crash, isn't it, so I have to remind myself to "get a grip!"

    It was a slow turn, at that, at the end of the path. I'll watch out for it now.

    Now, size, that is the question--although the fitter seemed to think it would do, & everything seems to line up as it should. Only time will tell. Certainly points up the difference between a test ride in an alley & a few parking lots vs. a good long pedal.

    Tom, you mentioned the tires, & these are narrow--could they make so much difference?

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    2 years ago I changed from mountain bikes to road bikes. Took a few rides to sort out the ride position and I lenghthened the stretch and raised the bars with a new stem. That put the ride position about right with the bars level with the saddle. Still took about 6 months before The body got comfortable on the bike though. That was when I realised that Road riding was not that bad.

    It will take time for the body to adjust and also take time to sort the bike. You have to work different muscles- and that neck ache does take some exercising to get rid off. Funnily enough you haven'yt mentioned pins and needles in the hands so something is set up right.

    Give it some time to adjust but get pics posted of you on the bike to see if the bike is the right size.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    When I lived where there were nearby rail-trails (sure miss them now!), the best bike I found to ride them was my mtn bike, but I would switch from a knobby trail tire to a smoother tire. Could be that the old bike had larger volume, lower pressure tires, whereas a street bike will have low volume, high pressure tires, so you will feel more feedback from the trail. If riding a rail trail, might try running the tire pressure a bit below the max, maybe try 5-10 lbs. less pressure than max, and see if that helps. Or, pick up an inexpensive used hybrid or used mtn.bike for the rail-trail, and use the road bike on road only. N + 1 rule may apply here!

  11. #11
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Rae, some of us have spent a great deal of time figuring out what works for us. I've tried different saddles, bars, bar tape, and different positioning of the bars and saddle. I've also raised my bar position over the years and tried different bikes. I think it's possible, at least for me, to be quite comfortable on a road bike even on the worst roads around here.
    Remember, everyone won't fit the same, and just because someone says something should work, it might not. Take your time, and try things to make your ride more comfortable. If you think the bars should be higher, for example, borrow an adjustable stem and try it.
    On the other hand, if the top tube is too long, you are going to be too stretched out and you'll never feel right.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'd try a few more rides before I started to tweek how you fit on the bike.

    Measure the distance from the saddle to the ground and the top of your handlebars to the ground. A lot of racer types don't pay too much attention to that measurement but it's a key measurement to me. If the handlebars are more than an inch or two below the saddle, I can never get comfortable.

    You may eventually need to get a longer or higher handlebar stem but I'd give the default set up a few more rides before spending any money.

  13. #13
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    The tires can make a huge difference on transmitting road surface vibration. That's why I had my stock 700x28's swapped out for 700x32's at my time of purchase. I also went with a tire that had a good reputation for having a smooth ride vs those that have ultimate puncture protection or performance. I run them at around 80-85 psi.

    At least your bike should have come with 700x28 and not some super skinny 700x23 or so. You may not be able to run anything larger than this as most road bikes don't have the fork clearance for larger tires.

    If you are running them at 120 psi and the ride is too rough, then I'd try 100 to see if that helped.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    When I was younger I kept the bars 4 inches below the saddle, now I like them less than 2 inches below the saddle. I have seen people with the bars several inches above the saddle.
    When you are in riding position, you should be able to take all weight off of your hands and support yourself with your core muscles. If you're putting too much weight on your hands it will cause problems.
    As for tires, everyone (nearly) in our 500 member road club uses 23mm tires. It's all I use, even on my last short tour. I don't think you need to use bigger tires unless you are on gravel or dirt. Do run 100 psi.

  15. #15
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I switched to 23mm tires from my previous norm 28mm on my road bike. I have not noticed much difference in comfort, if any. At 200 lbs rider weight, I run 100 psi and have had good luck so far avoiding the dreaded snake bite. I would think a lighter rider could get by with lower pressure and more compliance.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  16. #16
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    When I load my wife's hybrid into the back of the van, I immediately notice how much larger it is than her mtn bike, or my mtn bike, or my road bike or her previous road bike.

    Those things are just huge. I don't know the type of Target bike you have, but I wonder if it isn't just basically huge, also, giving you the imporession, in comparison, of the smallness of the road bike.

    Is the path you were riding gravel or paved or what? You didn't say, but if it was gravel it probably is not a good place for a road bike. You likely stated this, and I missed it.

    Are your elbows relaxed with a slight bend?

    Anyway, give it some time - you are using different muscles.

    Good luck!
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  17. #17
    rae
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
    Or, pick up an inexpensive used hybrid or used mtn.bike for the rail-trail, and use the road bike on road only. N + 1 rule may apply here!
    Now, there's a happy thought!

    It is a paved trail, as are most of them. There is one that extends past the end of the paved that is sand/crushed limestone, and I would need a wider tire for it. Mine are 28, & you are right, TB, larger tires would not fit.

    DenverFox, that old bike is a "Magna" "mountain bike"--13 or so years old. Built more for comfort leisure riding than trail, though, I would guess. It is a "mens" model & definitely bigger than I would buy for myself. I won it in a raffle, that's how I came to ride it. But it only really bothered me when I started riding longer distances.

    I did not get to ride today, after all, but intend to try tomorrow before the storms come in.
    I will try to get a picture--since I never posted one before (but when I got the bike I didn't have a camera, either). Now that good weather is here, and I have a few time-stealers dealt with, I will get out and start letting the bike break me in--wait, that should be the other way round.

  18. #18
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I would give it a few more rides before doing anything drastic. Going from a Magna mountain bike to a Trek Pilot 1.0 is quite a leap. You are jumping over several classes of bikes. If you could do that without a hitch, I would have been shocked.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  19. #19
    Yen
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    rae - after you ride it more, if you're still not comfortable you might go out and ride several other bikes in a size you think is better for you and see how you feel on them. Try to find an LBS that will loan a bike for a day or a weekend (or, better, a week) which our LBS was happy to do (ask for referrals in your regional forum). That will give you a taste of different bikes and a much better field by which to compare the fit on your Trek, since it sounds like you purchased it hastily, jumping at a great deal as you said.

    I bought my Giant hybrid the same way. I rode a few bikes but jumped at this nice bike on sale, knowing it was too big for me. I said that if I decided it was too big, then Hubby could take it and I'd get a different bike for me. Well, he got his own, and the rest is history. And now I'm on a road bike that is smaller and there's no question it is my size, after having ridden many more bikes since then.

    Keep trying, don't give up -- the right bike is out there somewhere, and it might already be in your own garage.
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  20. #20
    don't ask me i am a mess
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    When we bought our road bikes, the fitter said it will take a few hundred miles to adjust to the new position after riding hybrids. For us, a few hundred miles would be 10-15 rides. The day after my 3rd ride, a major event occurred in my life that quickly rearranged my priorities. I didn't ride for two weeks after that. On my next ride, 2 weeks later, my thoughts were not on the bike itself, rather on just getting out in some sunlight and enjoying the ride and contemplating the previous two weeks. And I think that's when it clicked. I think that by NOT thinking about how the bike felt, and just relaxing my arms, shoulders and back, I adjusted to the new bike. That ride was the turning point, and now the bike fits like a glove.

    That said, I didn't experience most of the complaints you mentioned -- the bike is my size, I just needed to adjust to the new posture. I have some neck, wrist, and hand issues that I thought would be serious problems on this type of bike, but they aren't.

    Give it a few more rides before you make the final determination whether or not it's the right bike for you. I do hope it is though, just give it a chance. I felt very awkward at first and didn't like it (deep dark secret being revealed) until the 4th ride.
    good advise imho
    cheers

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