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  1. #1
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    Advice please - noobie needs help

    I have a Specialized Cross Trail Elite, riding about 15 to 20 miles a day or more often and I'm having pain in my hands. I am also having an issue slipping forward on the saddle unless I ride with my arms straight/locked out. I have listed some other questions below, if someone can advise me I'd be very grateful.

    1. The front shock seems to be too springy especially when climbing. It was set by the LBS for my weight I presume but didn't pay attention. Which way do I adjust it for more pressure? Right or left?

    2. I added Specialized ergo grips because I was getting hand pain but I'm still getting it. I've adjusted the grip angle up and down but can't get comfortable. It seems like the grips are too short for my X large hands as the outer pad part of my hand extends past the grip end a bit. Is there a bar end that I could add to give me additional hand positions?

    3. I have X large hands and the position of the gear shifters seem to be too close to my hands so I have to contort them a bit to shift properly. Can I simply move the shifters in a bit or would the shifter cables need to be adjusted?

    4. I tend to slip forward on the saddle after a few miles and I'm sure that puts more pressure on my hands so I tipped the saddle front up a bit and moved it forward a bit and that seemed to help. I noticed that when I lock my arms out I stay perfectly on the saddle but I was told that I should have my arms slightly bent and let my core hold me in position. Maybe if the bar was raised I would be in a more upright position and thereby put less forward pressure on my hands????

    Thanks so much for any and all advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    It seems that the hand situation and slipping forward in the saddle should be corrected by adjusting the tilt of the saddle - nose up ever so slightly more than you've already done. I'd go with only 2-3mm changes until I got it right. I would only consider raising the bar after I had fiddled with the saddle a bit more. My experience has been that raising the bars does more to relieve neck and shoulder discomfort than hand discomfort. In terms of your #3 question. Go ahead an move 'em. You can always put them back if it doesn't work. Sorry I have no thoughts about # 1 (never had shocks on any bike) or #2 question. Good luck.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  3. #3
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    Noobie,

    From your description there central issue that revolves around how your bike fits you. Your hands going numb is due to pressing a nerve usually caused by too much weight on them. Slipping forward on the seat could be the nose of your saddle pointing too far down or the seat too high. From what you say, I'm betting your handlebar stem is too short and you are compensating by pushing with your hands against the handlebars. You could experiment a long time on your own but a more prudent method is to have someone with experience look at your position on the bike. You need to get more weight into your legs, off your hands, and a more relaxed position on the saddle. Go back to your LBS and see if he can situate you better on your bike.

  4. #4
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edster63 View Post
    I have a Specialized Cross Trail Elite, riding about 15 to 20 miles a day or more often and I'm having pain in my hands. I am also having an issue slipping forward on the saddle unless I ride with my arms straight/locked out. I have listed some other questions below, if someone can advise me I'd be very grateful.

    1. The front shock seems to be too springy especially when climbing. It was set by the LBS for my weight I presume but didn't pay attention. Which way do I adjust it for more pressure? Right or left?

    2. I added Specialized ergo grips because I was getting hand pain but I'm still getting it. I've adjusted the grip angle up and down but can't get comfortable. It seems like the grips are too short for my X large hands as the outer pad part of my hand extends past the grip end a bit. Is there a bar end that I could add to give me additional hand positions?

    3. I have X large hands and the position of the gear shifters seem to be too close to my hands so I have to contort them a bit to shift properly. Can I simply move the shifters in a bit or would the shifter cables need to be adjusted?

    4. I tend to slip forward on the saddle after a few miles and I'm sure that puts more pressure on my hands so I tipped the saddle front up a bit and moved it forward a bit and that seemed to help. I noticed that when I lock my arms out I stay perfectly on the saddle but I was told that I should have my arms slightly bent and let my core hold me in position. Maybe if the bar was raised I would be in a more upright position and thereby put less forward pressure on my hands????

    Thanks so much for any and all advice.
    1. You could always experiment. Try turning it to the right and see if that makes it stiffer or softer. Notice how much you turn it so you will know how far to turn it back if you went the wrong way.

    2. Yes, there are bar ends that you can add. Ask your LBS about them.

    3. You should be able to adjust the position of the shifters a little without needing to adjust the cables.

    4. I think everyone has this problem at first. As your core muscles strengthen, they will be more able to support you. Exercises might help.

    Your LBS should work with you to help you get everything set up and adjusted properly to fit you better.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  5. #5
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post

    2. Yes, there are bar ends that you can add. Ask your LBS about them.
    I recommend them highly for anyone with straight bars.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  6. #6
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    Thanks Folks,

    Got a flat yesterday so I made my trek to the LBS and they moved my shifters, moved my grips, added some Specialized bar ends and fixed the flat. Got the tiniest stone shard right in the middle of the flat part of my rear tire. We decided to order two new tires with Kevlar reinforcement and a couple of heavier gauge tubes which should hold up to any stones or so I was told. Its pouring out so I don't get to test out the new hand grip positions till tomorrow. Oh they threw in a brandy spankin new water bottle so I'm a happy camper Thanks for the advice, I'll get this bikin thing down in a bit...........

  7. #7
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Good.

    Be sure you know how to fix a flat, if you aren't sure.

    You are not always close to a LBS, or they might be closed.

    I'm sure you know to carry a tube, patch kit, pump or CO2, tire levers, multi-tool, how to use them.

    Good luck.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  8. #8
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    It's easy for us to look at your problems and come up with a fix. Some of which sounds were done at the LBS. Only problem is that every body is different. The hand problem may just be a fit problem or it may be that you have a medical hand problem. That normally only comes in after many years of pounding the road on a bike so don't worry there.

    The other problem is that you are new to cycling. The body has to adjust and you will have to adjust the bike to get over "Some" of the problems that we would realise are a simple adjustment. So good luck but any more hand problems and get back to the LBS. Sounds as though they are helpfull. Don't know if they will be much use on the next pain of Butt ache (Unless you are lucky- this will rear its head)

    And on those Flats. Get the kit- Spare tube- patch kit- tyre levers and a pump and learn how to use them. You will be needing the skill shortly.
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  9. #9
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    edster,

    From your stated location you must be close to me (Sacandaga?) - I am NE of Schenectady.
    Which bike shop are you going to and where are you riding?
    Do you know about the Mohawk Hudson Cycling Club?
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  10. #10
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    Hey there neighbor. I'm only a few miles from you up Fish House Road and accross to Cty Rt 14 or Crooked Street. Use Blue Sky in Saratoga. No I'm new to cycling but would be very interested in meeting some local people.

    And folks thanks for the repair kit advice, I'm planning on taking a free basic maint. seminar at the LBS shortly and will gear up for future flats. But I'm hoping the changeover to kevlar and heavier tubes will limit future greasy hands lol!

  11. #11
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edster63 View Post
    And folks thanks for the repair kit advice, I'm planning on taking a free basic maint. seminar at the LBS shortly and will gear up for future flats. But I'm hoping the changeover to kevlar and heavier tubes will limit future greasy hands lol!

    Don't count on it.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  12. #12
    Senior Member doghouse's Avatar
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    I was actually able to reduce the weight on my hands by moving my saddle to the rear.

    I read somewhere to prove this;stand in the center of the floor, extend your arms straight out, bend at the waist reaching forward (not downward) as you bend. If your butt does not go backwards, you fall on your hands.

    Had to get a shorter stem, but it worked for me. Might be worth a try.
    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax
    and get used to the idea." -Robert A. Heinlein

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    er those kevlar tires can go flat too.

    HI,
    I carry two tubes a patch kit , a small tool kit, and a co2/manual air pump,
    I bought some rather tough gatorskins tires not a problem for about 6 mos and then a little shroud
    of glass was trapped in a crack in the road and my wheel pressure was enought to start it into the tire, it then worked its way into the tube.
    when I pulled it out it was a minature arrow head really small really sharp.
    I changed the tube after removing the shroud of glass(very important to remove item that puntures tire before re assembly). I really needed to be able to repair my bike I was on the down side of a 30 mile ride.
    I do have a cell phone but they aren't that great unless you have friends with trucks..
    Doug

  14. #14
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    Since I switched to the Specialized Armidillos which sounds like they are putting
    on your bike--I have only had 1 flat in a year-somhow a piece of metal worked its
    way through --let me know how your bars work out--I get some numbness in my hands
    sometimes ,too

  15. #15
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edster63 View Post
    Hey there neighbor. I'm only a few miles from you up Fish House Road and accross to Cty Rt 14 or Crooked Street. Use Blue Sky in Saratoga. No I'm new to cycling but would be very interested in meeting some local people.

    And folks thanks for the repair kit advice, I'm planning on taking a free basic maint. seminar at the LBS shortly and will gear up for future flats. But I'm hoping the changeover to kevlar and heavier tubes will limit future greasy hands lol!
    Yep - know about where you are. Lots of great roads over there.

    If you are interested in doing rides with the local club here is thier web site - you don't need to be a member. http://webmhcc.org/rn/index.php

    Blue Sky seems to be a good shop - never bought from them though, been in the shop several times. I am close to Plaines so I usually try them first. Though if you want a real good shop go to Adirondack Bicycles, Bill Lewis - he is the most knowledgable and a one man shop.

    Hope to see you out there.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  16. #16
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    You won't want to hear this, but often the solution to too much pressure on your hands is to strengthen your core muscles so that they can help support your upper body and keep the weight off your hands.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Don't count on it.
    I won't

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by alentric View Post
    Since I switched to the Specialized Armidillos which sounds like they are putting
    on your bike--I have only had 1 flat in a year-somhow a piece of metal worked its
    way through --let me know how your bars work out--I get some numbness in my hands
    sometimes ,too
    So here goes - moved the shifters/brakes inwards which gave me more room to spread my hand over the grips. Added Specialized bar ends (brush bars I believe) and tilted the grips (Spec. Ergo grips) so as not to cock my wrists and I'm getting no numbness now. Its nice to have an alternative to rest my hands every once in awhile. Hope this helps.........

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    Yep - know about where you are. Lots of great roads over there.

    If you are interested in doing rides with the local club here is thier web site - you don't need to be a member. http://webmhcc.org/rn/index.php

    Blue Sky seems to be a good shop - never bought from them though, been in the shop several times. I am close to Plaines so I usually try them first. Though if you want a real good shop go to Adirondack Bicycles, Bill Lewis - he is the most knowledgable and a one man shop.

    Hope to see you out there.
    Thanks for the info. I'll check Adirondack Bill out soon.............

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    You won't want to hear this, but often the solution to too much pressure on your hands is to strengthen your core muscles so that they can help support your upper body and keep the weight off your hands.
    BluesDawg - your not the first one to tell me that and I agree its a problem. Last crunch I did was that bag of Wise potato chips I had with lunch

    By the way I'm a big Jeff Healy fan. Are you into his music or am I barkin up the wrong tree bout your handle?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by doghouse View Post
    I was actually able to reduce the weight on my hands by moving my saddle to the rear.

    I read somewhere to prove this;stand in the center of the floor, extend your arms straight out, bend at the waist reaching forward (not downward) as you bend. If your butt does not go backwards, you fall on your hands.

    Had to get a shorter stem, but it worked for me. Might be worth a try.
    Hey I tried that and it seems to help. Thanks!

  22. #22
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    hello Edster 63 I think most //your rideing alot /second there are few cut and dried solutions to bike comfort If ya dont like it change it till you do. I wish you hadnt started with a fancy front fork I dont use one[i dont like them] and It gives a different feel to the terrain I mountain bike a lot /but its not at a pro level that a spring front fork makes sence/try to find shifters you like that could be some of the wrist problem but I think its the way your sitting the bike and most of the ti8me//after a while your going to know and see the problem/make sure you ride other bikes when you can.Kenneth

  23. #23
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edster63 View Post
    BluesDawg - your not the first one to tell me that and I agree its a problem. Last crunch I did was that bag of Wise potato chips I had with lunch

    By the way I'm a big Jeff Healy fan. Are you into his music or am I barkin up the wrong tree bout your handle?
    Sure. Blind guy who played slide guitar laying in his lap like a steel guitar. I have a couple of his CDs and I saw him play once back around 1990 when he had a hit with John Hiatt's "Angel Eyes". Played in the movie "Roadhouse" as the house band in the bar where Patrick Swayze was a bouncer.
    Sadly, he died of cancer last year.

    That blind dude could really see the light!
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  24. #24
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Did you get advice on the front shocks? The adjustment you were making may have just been the rebound. To adjust the compression, air needs to be added with a HP pump. Your LBS can do this for you or the pumps cost about $30.

  25. #25
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    Did you get advice on the front shocks? The adjustment you were making may have just been the rebound. To adjust the compression, air needs to be added with a HP pump. Your LBS can do this for you or the pumps cost about $30.
    I don't think the Crosstrail Elite comes with an air fork. I'm sure it is a coil spring with a preload adjustment.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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