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Old 03-22-05, 04:38 PM   #1
Terex
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Ergonomic Aids (for bikes)

Attended bike show here in NJ last weekend. Handled a really nice pair of FSA K-Wing Aero Carbon Handlebars. They are really expensive and may not accomodate bike computer too well, but boy do they feel nice. Before shelling out big bucks for carbon ergo handlebars, I may try the ergo padding - has anyone tried that stuff? I believe Specialized supplies an ergo wrap on some of their bikes.

I was wondering, this being the 50+ forum and all, what ergonomic add-ons have people found useful/comfortable while riding. I'm not looking for a discussion on 'bents or "comfort" bikes, just parts or enhancements to standard road or mtn bikes that people have found really useful.

Also, if anyone has used the FSA K-Wings, I'd appreciate a review. Thanks!
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Old 03-22-05, 06:02 PM   #2
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Besides raising my bars last year, I ride totally "stock."
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Old 03-22-05, 06:24 PM   #3
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I'm pretty stock as well Dnvr but let's see about these thoughts:

I guess my Look Pedals with the Q factor adjustment would qualify for an ergonomic adjustment so let's put those on the list. Also, I've been experimenting with different saddles and keep coming back to my Max Flite Trans Am. I've tried two different carbon saddles (including the SLR Gel) but those things are so stiff they wind up jarring these old bones pretty badly. I've dropped the air pressure a little in my front tire and seem to have a much more comfortable, enjoyable ride. I use a 44 cm handlebar which is much more comfortable for me than the 42's. And lastly, my 12-27 cassette along with my triple (52-42-30) allows me to spin up some of the steeper slopes without blowing out my legs!

In an "anti-ergo" adjustment I actually lowered my handlebars a little more to where I now have a little over 4" of difference in height between my handlebars and the saddle. I did a 80+ mile Sunday and it felt pretty good-even in the drops.....
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Old 03-22-05, 07:26 PM   #4
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Hi,
see if you can't find a Ritchey BioMax bar, and see how it feels.
I have the $60 version, and it absorbs a certain amount of road shock in addition to being comfier than most bars. I have the SPecialized Bar Phat, but I haven't tried it yet. I used another pad lst year, and while I didn't care for that particular product, I am sold on the idea.

I have a Brooks that has springs, that helps. Larger tires (at a lower pressure) help. Raising the bars helps (Google "Rasie dat stem"). I REALLY like Grip Shapes ( http://www.offthefront.com/sports.htm ). I used 2 pair last year, I may put three pair on my bars this year!
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Old 03-22-05, 08:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ippe
I'm pretty stock as well Dnvr but let's see about these thoughts:
Okay, I confess. I did have a smaller chain ring installed on my triple many years ago. As I remember I either went from 32 to 30 or 30 t0 28. Can't recall, but it was for Colorado hills.
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Old 03-23-05, 10:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terex
Attended bike show here in NJ last weekend. Handled a really nice pair of FSA K-Wing Aero Carbon Handlebars. They are really expensive and may not accomodate bike computer too well, but boy do they feel nice. Before shelling out big bucks for carbon ergo handlebars, I may try the ergo padding - has anyone tried that stuff? I believe Specialized supplies an ergo wrap on some of their bikes.

I was wondering, this being the 50+ forum and all, what ergonomic add-ons have people found useful/comfortable while riding. I'm not looking for a discussion on 'bents or "comfort" bikes, just parts or enhancements to standard road or mtn bikes that people have found really useful.

Also, if anyone has used the FSA K-Wings, I'd appreciate a review. Thanks!
I ride mostly a fixed gear bike with drop handlebars. I got tired of having to move to the drop position to brake, so, at the suggestion of a local mechanic who specializes in fixed gear bicycles I installed in-line brakes. What a difference they make. Unlike the old "suicide brake levers" of the 80s, the in-line brakes work every bit as well as the regular brakes. In fact, I like the in-line levers so much I put another pair on a road bike I keep at work to ride at lunchtime. They run about $20-$25 and are easy to install.

Jim
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Old 03-23-05, 10:58 AM   #7
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No experience with the K-Wings. Sorry. I'll say that the flat areas look like they'd be more carpal-tunnel friendly than plain round bars; but IME once you start down the ergo path, you've already arrived at the other end (you just don't know it yet.) But I'll say it here just because sooner or later somebody will. You don't need ergonomic aids if you have an ergonomic bike. With apologies to the original author for my manglement of the following:
1. I love my lightweight responsive upright and have no pain when riding
2. Aerobars so I can take the weight off my hands more
3. padded tape
4. extra padding in the gloves
5. Raise the bars
6. Fat foam handlebar tape
7. ...with two layers of foam pipe insulation over the top...
8. sell that bike, get recumbent. Problem solved.

YMMV, but that's the route I took, including all the intermediate stops. I hope the K-Wings work for you, they're a lot cheaper than a recumbent.
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Old 03-23-05, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terex

I was wondering, this being the 50+ forum and all, what ergonomic add-ons have people found useful/comfortable while riding. I'm not looking for a discussion on 'bents or "comfort" bikes, just parts or enhancements to standard road or mtn bikes that people have found really useful.
I have never found any improvement to a bike that does not cost a bit more than the norm.

I always spend a bit more on a saddle to get that extra comfort. I will pay a bit,or a lot, extra for that part that will be strong enough but lose a few ounces of unnecessary weight. I spend a fortune on wheels that have that little better rolling capability, but they then last a lot longer. And I will always be tempted by those adverts that will help me climb hills a bit faster. (Never taken the offer up but I do look at the parts on offer)

Basically though, all I have is a good mountain bike that works, It has over the years been improved to suit my comfort needs, but it is still nothing special.
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Old 03-23-05, 02:52 PM   #9
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Good, thoughtful replies. Keep 'em coming. I've not experienced any discomfort on my stock Trek 2300 since purchase last fall (55 mi longest ride, 900 total mi). I've got fairly big hands, and my stock handle bar just feels too skinny for long-term comfort. I also realize some comfort items decrease efficiency. I've been riding 100 psi and a couple of people have advised me to run a bit higher, which I may. Also, when the weather improves, I'll start using my new Shimano carbon shoes. Hopefully the improvement in efficiency won't come with a significant discomfort price tag.

Also, I noted last night when reading latest edition of Outside magazine that the K-Wings were promenently featured on a new Cannondale in their bike review article.
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Old 03-23-05, 04:46 PM   #10
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I made three ergonomic changes on my Bianchi:
1) I replaced the original Modolo brake levers with Shimano aeros, which fit my hands much better and provide 15 percent more leverage.
2) I replaced the first owner's narrow padded vinyl Marin saddle, the only saddle that has ever pained my parineum, with a SERFAS ARC, which is almost as comfortable as my trusty old Brooks Pro.
3) I replaced the 6-speed 13-23 freewheel with a 7-speed 13-26, giving me a new 43.6-inch bailout grannie gear. I rarely use it, but it is reassuring to know it is there for one of the 15 to 20 percent climbs I occasionally encounter. Without it, my low is 49.3 gear-inches, which would be typical on a Tour de France bike.
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Old 11-09-05, 09:32 PM   #11
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I ride a recumbent which is way more ergo going in. Then I had the handlebars cut and rewelded so the grips match my wrist angle. I use 3/4 in. thick foam pipe insulation over the hand grips. This holds up well because little weight is carried by the hands on a recumbent. By the way, changing the wrist angle on the h-bars made a big difference, bk
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Old 11-09-05, 09:55 PM   #12
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Since bkaapcke resurrected the thread, I'll add one more comfort possibility. In recumbent circles, one thing to do for absorbing road shock is a Pantour hub. From what I've seen the rear ones don't hold up, but the front ones are pretty good. They provide about a half inch of shock absorbsion via elastomers. Has anybody tried one on an upright?
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