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  1. #1
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    Buy new parts or make adjustments until I get back in shape

    Getting back on the bikes after about a 20 year Hiatus. Since I now more closely resemble a fat 'ol fred than the 6'4" 220# road warrior that I used to be, I need to make some adjustments for a while at least. I've taken some short rides (5-10 miles) to start getting my legs back under me and I've found that I cannot find a comfortable position anymore. The main culprits are a huge lack of flexibility, and my now prominent gut. While I used to be quite comfortable riding tops, hoods, or drops on this setup I am now finding that the only marginally comfortable position is palms on the first bend where the top turns forward and starts dropping to the hoods. I cannot comfortably ride the hoods for any length of time at the moment.

    I'm looking for some advice on making the ride reasonably tolerable in the interim between fat and fit. So, Do I make adjusts like rotating the bars so that the hoods are higher, or buy a quill to 1 1/8 threadless stem adapter and a new stem and bars - this may happen anyway once i drop about 40 pounds? How about cut another old set of bars into bull horns as an interim setup? Bike is an 1990ish Cannondale (3.0 or 3.1 - forget which) in 60cm. Current setup is a 135mm Cinelli X/A? stem, the bars are Cinelli 66 I think (going from memory here I know I got them because they were pretty much the widest and deepest I could find). BTW - when considering new bars, I need to account for the fact that my hands are large - XXL gloves are a good to sometimes a bit snug fit.... especially important if I would look at any ergo offerings.

    Bar-to-seat-cannondale-small.jpg
    Last edited by hockeyref; 07-15-13 at 03:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    I recommend chopping and flipping your bars, or cheap used bars
    into bullhorns, and then consider drops when its a real issue.

    rgds, sreten.

    Bubble wrap under the bar tape is good for big hands.
    I used double sided foam tape, two layers in parts,
    with non sticky tape. YMMV.

    Bought the 20" folder at Christmas. The road bike at
    Easter. Took about 200 yards, turning back and going
    out on the folder to realise I didn't get on with drops.

    The bullhorns are way better to ease back into it.
    Last edited by sreten; 07-15-13 at 03:43 PM.

  3. #3
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    I have some old bars and stems that I would be willing to experiment with... Not gonna do it to what's on the bike now. I mentioned hand size because it could be an issue if they are too big to fit the ergo bends on some of the newer bars. I always like the Cinelli cork ribbon.... is it even made anymore?

  4. #4
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    Hi,

    Chop and flip an old pair of bars. I contoured my bars somewhat with
    the foam layers I applied before the tape, which because of the foam,
    it didn't need to be cork or padded, thus cheap and tough plain tape.

    rgds, sreten.

  5. #5
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    Guess I'll be looking in the old parts closet to see what's there.... Ideally I would like to see that I have a shorter reach stem and a pair of drop bars that I can experiment with.... I should have both, but it's been a lot of years since I've inventories the parts.... I know I should have four wheel sets in there too.... two clincher and two tubular...... but they'll all be 7 speed....

    Need to buy some tougher tires too.... Flatted tonight.... The tires I have are not suited for 20 mph on a bike path that's a my of blacktop and crushed limestone....

  6. #6
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    I don't know about chopping and flipping, but I'd suggest a stem with a shorter extension, and perhaps restarting "saddle life" with a Brooks B17. Your flexibility is low and you can't for a little while at least get down to the tops or drops, so adjust the bike to a more upright position. Higher bar placement (Nitto Technomic stem or similar long quill), bar closer to you (shorter extension on stem), saddle better suited to less aero positioning (Brooks B17 or similar).

    One would think clincher wheels are the strongest, but some tubular set ups are very durable even with a Clyde. An excellently built set of sew-up wheels is more durable than a loose-spoked set of clinchers. For some ideas, check the Clydesdale and Athena Forum here on BF.

    If you have a local bike shop (LBS) with a very good wheelbuilder, you can have an old wheelset re-tensioned and trued along with bearing overhaul, and then it will be as good as it can be without total rebuild and replacement. You can buy new replacement spoked wheel-sets pretty cheap, but sometimes they are pretty cheap. If your old wheels are something pretty decent, it's worth it to maintain them.

    For me it's been about 10 years since returning to riding (now 60 yo) and I still have a gut. But my flexibility is improving, lately due to doing yoga the past two years.

    Some of your situation is fit, and some is fitness. If you have a local shop with a good fitter, I'd pay them to set you up on the bike in your current state. As your riding improves, your optimal fit will improve, so the bike will need re-adjusting periodically.

  7. #7
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    RF - A complete refit\rebuild isn't an option financially... I have to make due with what I have. I have thought about rewoking the MTB into more of a Hybrid type ride just because it's better suited to the local trail - but I really hate the gearing on it. You'll probably see me ask a lot of stupid basic questions here on BF (like my thread on sealed square taper BB's) because I'm needing to jar 30 years of memories as well as get caught up on new technology..... The more I read and ask, the more of what I used to know comes back to me. Yes, I have a bike fit issue... It would have been much less an issue 7 months ago.... Knee injury, sitting at a desk, off the ice and limping around for a few months (normally skated 5 days a week), then surgery and rehab, and now back on the bike.... Still haven't started skating again yet and this is the longest I've been off the ice in 30 years. In 6 months I lost 4" of muscle off my thighs and gained 40+ pounds....... of FAT... I WILL GET BACK IN SHAPE!

    A friend gave me several saddles to try.... Gave them a go and then put the old Selle back on and it was literally like an old friend.... yeah, a little bit sore but nothing like trying the new seats.... I've thought about Brooks off and on, just never pulled the trigger..... Could be an option once my butt gets toughened up a bit more. Funny that you mention tubulars.... and wheel building. I made a huge mistake and sold my Park truing stand back in the mid 90's after I got married. I used to have nearly a complete tool set - except for the big stuff like BB\Head tube facing tools, etc... Did all of my own work as well as wrenched for folks in my riding group back in college. I need to dig them out, but I have two sets of tubies that I built\rode back around 1990 as well as at least one if not two sets of clinchers. I always used strong rims laced with DT 15\14\15 or straight 15 x 36 hole for my own wheels and didn't do the weight weenie thing as I was 220 and sub 10% body fat back then. Probably Shimano 600 Ultegra or Mavic hubs - I really don't remember. IIRC they are set up as probably 7 speed so I'll have to switch to friction shifting but they'll all be a drop in swap. I was really thinking more along the lines of 700x28c on my current wheels.

    I'm still feeling out the local shops.... There are a couple pretty good ones in Pittsburgh but that's a 35 mile drive. Another three are really close, one looks to be a basic neighborhood mom and pop. Nice people trying to make it work. One that's well established (was in the same location when I stopped riding in the 1990's. I might compare it to one of the older\ better shops in Pittsburgh. A third shop that is literally a half mile from my house that I didn't know was there. i really don't have a feel for it yet..... Stopped in the other day to look around and it kinda looks like a cross between an REI and an Orvis catalog inside. Small case with some pedals and stems. Small double deck rack of new bikes, didn't notice the brand or the price tags...... If you can't tell, having worked in a few shops over the years as well as wrenching for other folks that I rode with, I probably won't be dropping into a shop and saying "fix it".... Maybe "true these wheels" until I get a new stand and tensiometer..... A fitting is a definite possibility, but I need to get a feel for the shops to trust them...... More likely to happen if I opt for a new bike down the line. As my memory clears, I am remembering more of what I used to know about the set up, fit, and maintenance that was second nature a lifetime ago.... In short, I'm one of those customers that has enough knowledge to be a royal PITA if I'm not careful (add to that, my wife tells me that i have a tendency to be a real A-Hole when I get aggravated. Hence the reason for feeling out and trusting the shop to perform the services the way I ask for them and to the same attention to detail that I would do them).


    Thanks for the feedback... you've given me some ideas and things to ponder!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    I recommend chopping and flipping your bars
    Taking a hacksaw to a set of classic Cinelli bars has to be the most vile "recommendation" yet.

    To the OP's return to cycling:

    Pulling the current bar/stem set-up and going w/ a taller & shorter stem w/ wide drop bars may address your comfort issues as you return to fitness. Nitto makes a very reliable tall stem in the Technomic line which mates well w/ Noodle bars. You won't look like Hinault w/ that set-up
    but it may well get you back on the bike you own comfortably. Might as well replace the brake cables and wind on some fresh Cinelli cork tape.

    http://www.amazon.com/Nitto-Technomi...rds=nitto+stem


    http://www.amazon.com/Nitto-Noodle-2...tto+handlebars

    Pop on a set of 28mm tires on your current wheels and get those miles in.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    Taking a hacksaw to a set of classic Cinelli bars has to be the most vile "recommendation" yet.


    To the OP's return to cycling:

    Pulling the current bar/stem set-up and going w/ a taller & shorter stem w/ wide drop bars may address your comfort issues as you return to fitness. Nitto makes a very reliable tall stem in the Technomic line which mates well w/ Noodle bars. You won't look like Hinault w/ that set-up
    but it may well get you back on the bike you own comfortably. Might as well replace the brake cables and wind on some fresh Cinelli cork tape.

    http://www.amazon.com/Nitto-Technomi...rds=nitto+stem


    http://www.amazon.com/Nitto-Noodle-2...tto+handlebars

    Pop on a set of 28mm tires on your current wheels and get those miles in.


    -Bandera
    Not only NO, but HELL NO! There is no way I would chop my Cinelli bars..... now if I happen to have a old set of really low end Cheapies in my parts closet that would be a possibility.

    Bandera, Yep this is the feel that I am getting..... IIRC, the Cinellis are already as wide as they came (46cm?).... Just trying to figure out how to do it on the cheap! I should still have the old parts that were replaced years ago as my position developed. I should have a couple extra sets of bars as well as several shorter stems.... Easiest change will be a set of cheap 28mm tires.... I really might want to try my tubies again, but that will mean new tires and a clean and glue. And I always hated flatting on a tubie.....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    Taking a hacksaw to a set of classic Cinelli bars has to be the most vile "recommendation" yet.


    -Bandera
    Hi,

    Missing out the following "or cheap used bars into bullhorns" is tedious
    and just allows you to make out you have a point when you don't.

    While its clear my general suggestion "I recommend chopping and
    flipping your bars, or cheap used bars into bullhorns" didn't take
    into account in this case the former is not a good option, the
    general suggestion still has the the best option covered.

    The implication it was a vile "recommendation" is well
    beyond the facts. What is with this site and misquoting
    to make out some-one is wrong when they are not ?

    rgds, sreten.

    I chopped and flipped the bars on my new road bike at Easter.
    But they are steel and essentially worthless so no loss at all.
    Last edited by sreten; 07-16-13 at 01:50 PM.

  11. #11
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    Hi,

    I recommend chopping and flipping your bars, or cheap used bars
    into bullhorns
    Definition of the word "or':
    "Used to indicate an alternative, usually only before the last term of a series: hot or cold; this, that, or the other."
    -freedictionary

    Nothing ambiguous about this "recommendation", you are proposing to either cut the OP's classic Cinelli bars OR some cheap used bars.
    Recommending cutting & flipping #66s is Vile to those of us who use and respect Classic & Vintage cycling equipment, although you do propose an alternate less offensive hacksaw target. I knew that degree in English and those Logic courses would come in handy some day.

    "What is with this site and misquoting
    to make out some-one is wrong when they are not ?"

    No mis-quote above.

    This site has many highly competent riders & fitters who bring decades of real world experience to the subject of optimal bio-mechanical cycling fit,
    they are also in a massive conspiracy to make out someone is wrong.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  12. #12
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    Gentlemen

    No pissing in each others' Wheaties on my thread. I appreciate the input from both of you. I'm one of those who would never chop the classic bars... On the other hand, I can respect those that simply see them as another piece of equipment to be modified as needed as I too have been known to modify stuff on occasion to suit my needs that might make some folks cry.....

    Thank you!
    Last edited by hockeyref; 07-16-13 at 02:48 PM.
    I'm just a worn out black & white striped Clydesdale....

  13. #13
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Hockyref, you sound a lot like me, trying to do it good but cheap (well, mostly cheap) and learning in the process.

    With your hand pain, there are two general ideas. Position the bars for the best-feeling hand position, and reduce the weight your hands are carrying. For the latter, angling your body more upright and shifting your center of gravity a little toward the back of the bike might help. If you can set the saddle perhaps 5 mm back on the seat post, see if that relieves your hands a bit. And to elevate your torso, the shorter reach handle bar stem and taller handlebar stem. There's no sin in having your bars even two inches above your saddle. It's your body that wants comfort, treat it well.

    And check out used Nitto stems on Ebay. You want the Nitto Technomic.
    Last edited by Road Fan; 07-16-13 at 11:05 PM.

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    get a new set of bars, a quill adapter and an adjustable stem and you're set. If you shop around you should be able to do it for around $60-$100. I'd get a 31.8 stem so you have a greater choice of bars. Newer bar styles usually allow you to run the brake hoods more "flat" so you won't have so much of a drop to ride on the hoods. I wouldn't want to ride a bike with the brakes set so low. For now you could move the brakes up and set the stem at the maximum raised point.

  15. #15
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    RF - hand pain = need gloves.... used to ride with Spenco Gel..... Still have them but cannot find them at the moment. Looks like they make a classic with crochet backs that I'm gonna buy.

    Yes, need to raise the bars & stem, and reduce reach for a while.... I'd probably be ok if my knees didn't slam my gut every pedal revolution. Well that and the gut compressing up and restricting the lung capacity..... If\WHEN I lose this damn gut I fully believe that I will return very close to the set up that the bike sits in now...... I just have to get there. Thinking now that it may make more sense to concentrate of using the MTB until I drop some weight. I still need to tweak stuff there, but could easily get by with just a shorter stem (much less hassle to swap out) and If I want to raise it up I have a set of solid forks un-cut that I could replace the X-Vert shock forks with.
    I'm just a worn out black & white striped Clydesdale....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    I knew that degree in English and those Logic courses would come in handy some day.
    -Bandera
    Hi,

    Well that gives you an advantage in advanced pedantry.

    My comment related to anyone in the same boat as the OP
    reading the thread. Its a pity your no expert in ambiguity
    and possible intended meanings. Crap attitude.

    rgds, sreten.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyref View Post
    RF - hand pain = need gloves.... used to ride with Spenco Gel..... Still have them but cannot find them at the moment. Looks like they make a classic with crochet backs that I'm gonna buy.

    Yes, need to raise the bars & stem, and reduce reach for a while.... I'd probably be ok if my knees didn't slam my gut every pedal revolution. Well that and the gut compressing up and restricting the lung capacity..... If\WHEN I lose this damn gut I fully believe that I will return very close to the set up that the bike sits in now...... I just have to get there. Thinking now that it may make more sense to concentrate of using the MTB until I drop some weight. I still need to tweak stuff there, but could easily get by with just a shorter stem (much less hassle to swap out) and If I want to raise it up I have a set of solid forks un-cut that I could replace the X-Vert shock forks with.
    The thigh and gut thing can be improved by getting you a little more upright.

    I also have some spencos I can't find!

  18. #18
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    Hi,

    Cheap / old bars into bullhorns. Review after 6 months.
    Plenty of time long run to work out what suits you.

    rgds, sreten.

  19. #19
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    Looked in the parts closet last night and found some interesting stuff:

    - One set of never laced 36 hole Campagnolo Victory Strada tubulars with Clement tires put on them to stretch - the tires were never glued and look to still be usable some 20+ years later. I saw no cracks, etc so I aired them up. Tread is still soft and supple, but the sidewall rubber is a little gummy and seems to be able to rub off like a pencil eraser... sidewall rubber's very thin, maybe 1mm thick at most. I'm really debating if they might be usable - any thoughts on coating\resealing the sidewall casing? At any rate, it looks like I have rims for a build... Question is what hubs? Do I look for 8 speed, or look to the future and build with a 10\11 speed hub set? Guess that depends on if I ever plan to buy another bike.... What's the availability of 8 speed parts?

    Campytubular.jpg Vittoria.jpg


    - A set of Sun Mistral ML13L clinchers that I laced to 36 hole Miche? hubs. I think I used these hubs 'cuz they were Ok quality and resembled Campy Hubs. Sachs 8 speed 12-24. Panaracer Technova Kevlar 700x 20c tires on them. Tires are getting hard and crunchy along the bead edge... no cracks visible in the tread area. Tires are probably trash because of the sidewall and bead... no tubes in them. Wheels will get cleaned and greased, new tires and tubes, and put back in service.....

    MistralML13L.jpg Panaracer.jpg

    - A set of non-anodized Nisi tubulars (probably from the late 1970's or early 1980's as the sticker next to the Nisi sticker has 1977 on it). I laced these to unknown hubs - might be early Shimano 105's, or maybe just something that the shop had laying around when I needed a set. Has a 12-21 8 speed on it but I couldn't read brand\model, Suntour maybe?. For some odd reason I have the axles and bearings pulled out and said parts are currently MIA. Some investigation will be in order before I return these wheels to service. The rims have old, hard, crunchy orange tubie glue on them so they'll need a good cleaning too..... lot's of nostalgia there.

    NISItubular.jpg

    - Couple sets of old bars. One nondescript steel bar w\o markings - probably a cheapie, one aluminum bar that has an "N" surrounded by a circle of leaves on one side (similar to the Cinelli's but the other side is pretty scratched up and hard to read). They are narrower and a bit smaller than my Cinelli's. The drops are wider\outside of the tops.... Third set is a Sakae aluminum with about the same dimensions width, drop, & shape as my Cinelli's. Two stems - one is a 125mm or 130mm Sakae? FX (IIRC - my Cinelli is a 135mm and it is slightly longer but I didn't measure them). The other is a nondescript aluminum one probably 100mm or so with regular hex heads on the wedge and pinch bolts.

    - several sets of old square tapered spindle cranks.... I didn't look to see what they were. Probably a SunTour, a couple Sugino's, a mid 1980's Shimano 105 (they had Bio-Pace on them but I think I swapped those rings out), maybe an old Deore XT....

    - a set of pedals with toe clips and straps...I think Shimano 105 but didn't look closely at them.

    - I also found several sets of lightweight kevlar bead tires all nicely folded up with the beads getting all hard and sharp.... Tread is ok but they are probably trash due to the bead and sidewall. Makes me want to cry seeing the $$$ going into the trash with these essentially unused tires....

    But, it looks like I have some parts to play with.... I can swap bars and stems to shorten my reach or chop a set of bars into bull horns without any remorse about ruining any classic parts...
    I'm just a worn out black & white striped Clydesdale....

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