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Old 04-29-07, 08:49 AM   #1
Guy Retreau
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Raleigh Five-Twenty: Wrist Aches

Spring came early to Sweden this year and I had the opportunity to squeeze in 200km of some of the most beautiful countryside ever at the conclusion of a business trip. Now my wrists hurt like never before. Being the retreau guy and too proud to ride anything other than steel, what would you recommend to soften up the front end? The thought of a suspension system is weighty and also out of character for the way I ride. Best thing I've come up with so far is moving up to a 28mm tire and letting the sidewalls take more of the punishment.

the bike:
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne...025@N00&size=o

And just one of my many discoveries:
http://www.hargsbruk.se/hargsbruk/galleri.htm
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Old 04-29-07, 10:26 AM   #2
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Looking at your photo, the angle of the levers ( wrt. your wrists ) looks bad.
Have you tried angling them down 30 degrees, so your fingers are inline with your arms.
Or mount the levers onto drop bars. Similarly,Bar ends like cane creek or ergons might help ( if you want to stick to flat bars)
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Old 04-29-07, 11:00 AM   #3
Guy Retreau
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CameraMan thanks for your suggestion. I have tried mild adjustments to the levers and hoods. The current configuration feels almost as good as my regular road bike, but not as wide. Underneath all that wrapped tape is a steel french city bar. The levers are mounted on the bend to give greater clearance for squeezing the levers. I may switch to some different type of hooded lever that can be mounted out beyond the bend. This would allow the handlebar to bend and flex, and absorb energy, over a longer length of the tube. I'm thinking Mafac.
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Old 04-29-07, 02:09 PM   #4
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I can't tell by looking at your photo, but if you are not using foam bar tape, I would change that first. Also you can add a gel foam strip that runs under your bar tape and makes things much smoother. Hope that helps.
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Old 04-30-07, 02:58 AM   #5
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I'd say get some gel mitts/gloves to go with the bar tape. It might be you're putting too much weight on the bars and could do with raising the bars up an inch or so. I found this to be the case on my fixie roadbike and found just an inch made such a difference. Lastly- if getting suspension forks makes you groan, you could consider the idea of softening up the front end just a little with a Pantour suspension hub.
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Old 04-30-07, 05:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Retreau
CameraMan thanks for your suggestion. I have tried mild adjustments to the levers and hoods. The current configuration feels almost as good as my regular road bike, but not as wide.
I'm not sure you understood what CameraMan's suggestion was. The brake lever plane should be angled downwards so that your wrists are straight when your fingers are on the levers. Compare the pictures below

http://bp3.blogger.com/_3wdm20Vny2c/...akes-right.jpg

http://bp0.blogger.com/_3wdm20Vny2c/...1600-h/brakes-
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Old 04-30-07, 05:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraMan
Looking at your photo, the angle of the levers ( wrt. your wrists ) looks bad.
Have you tried angling them down 30 degrees, so your fingers are inline with your arms.
Or mount the levers onto drop bars. Similarly,Bar ends like cane creek or ergons might help ( if you want to stick to flat bars)
I agree with CameraMan, I tried the "flat bar" thing on one of my roadies, same thing...wrists were killing me. Rather than solve the problem I changed back to drop bars with their multiple choice of hand positions and the wrist problem disappeared. I found flat bars are great for zippin' round town or short rides but lacked pulling power in sprints on Saturday morning bunch ride hit outs and sheer agony on 160+ kms rides.
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Old 04-30-07, 10:34 AM   #8
Guy Retreau
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On the lever position: I like riding on top of them with hoods, road style. if I twist them down as you suggest, I loose that feeling and a good deal of reach. The equivalent top tube dimension of the Twenty is very short and I had a time finding a 150mm stem to give me the same reach as my road bike.
Nevertheless, all of you have given me plenty to consider. I found a good deal of advice already listed in the distinguished gentlemen's forum (50+ forum) search terms: wrist(s) & pain. I'm committed to getting to the core of this and getting some of the weight off my hands, putting some of the bend back into my elbows, and diverting road shock away from my wrists whether it be an expensive hub. extra foam on bar wrap/gloves, and changing to 28-520 touring tyre.

I just want to get it right. The Twenty exhibits far too nice a ride to hurt the day after. Saturday near Stockholm I blasted by a fellow on a brand new carbon DeRosa and wearing the latest attire along with his buddies in similar fashion. Here I am on my dumpster travel bike, they think I am just a crazy American, Then after 60+ kilometers of riding with them and pacing them on every hill, they start to ask me about how long I've been riding and where did I ever find such an unusual machine. It all made for good fun until the following morning. My legs didn't hurt, just my wrists. Next adventure this won't happen.

Regards to all, thanks for the advice. -Guy
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Old 04-30-07, 12:48 PM   #9
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Another alternative would be to find an old Girvin Flex-stem. It is a suspension stem that should fit your bike. I don't know what the availablity is in Europe, but there is one for sale on ebay right now.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Retro-Girvin-MTB...QQcmdZViewItem

I think they stopped making them in the mid-1990s. You used to be able to get them for $15 to $20 USD. They have a hinge and a elastomer puck for the supension.

Last edited by Pine Cone; 05-01-07 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 04-30-07, 11:19 PM   #10
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Why not get a longer handlebar stem? The bars look low relative to to the seat, bearing in mind that the distance between the bars and the seat is shorter on a r20 frame than a conventional road bike, putting more weight on your wrists, and less weight on a locked elbow.
We need to see a picture of you upon the bike to really make a considered call?

On a similar note, has anyone experienced lower back pain from a r20.
I'm thinking the position of the bottom bracket being further forward relative to the hips than a regulat road bike, coupled with a road bike upper body stance, means the back is bent more??? Am i correct here or is it my kidneys? I'm really just trying to save the 60 bucks it costs to go to the doctor ;-)
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Old 05-01-07, 02:44 PM   #11
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Looking at your pic again Guy I think the zero cost experimental plan could be to take off your stem, flip it 180 and see if it helps - the rise - or in your case fall of the stem is about 10 maybe so doing that is going to raise your bars by maybe - ooh - 2 inches. Yes you'll lose a teeny bit of 'cockpit' length but I'm sure you'd feel some benefit from it. You could also maybe consider shorter cranks which would let you lower the seat by a fraction - every little helps - and in my experience unless you're a track racer you really don't want to travel any distance with the bars lower than the saddle.

[edit] It could also be worth trying out some other bars - nitto moustache or maybe some more curvy 'north road' bars - flipped naturally.

Last edited by LittlePixel; 05-01-07 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 05-01-07, 03:40 PM   #12
Guy Retreau
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Here is the plan:

1. deeper sidewall tires
http://www.calhouncycle.com/productc...&idproduct=853
2. Flip the stem and redistribute the spacers on the threadless steertube for a net height increase
3. move the seat fwd on the rails15~20 mm to get knee over the pedal spindle when at 3 O'clock position.
4. Look for on-one Midge drop bars as seen on page13 on the "Name Your Bike" thread.
5. Work up an accurate table of measurements comparing the fit of my road bike vs. the Five-Twenty.
6. Ride some hard miles, take some photos, and evaluate.

I'm letting all of you know so you can put this thread to bed and allow me a chance to take some action. Will come back with a similarly title after I've have news to share. Again - thanks for the shared interest.

Time to ride, Guy
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Old 05-01-07, 06:39 PM   #13
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Midge bars can be got in UK here (name is a riff on a cartoon show called 'Mary Mungo and Midge' from the 70s). Not sure how that helps in Tampa but it's a lead right. Good luck with the mods! It may not look quite as cool but form must follow function in the end...
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Old 05-04-07, 03:38 PM   #14
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pain in the wrists

For one thing all your weight is going on your wrists.Try some moustache or pullback handlebars and raise them up level with your saddle.
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Old 05-04-07, 05:04 PM   #15
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I think it is worth understanding why you get wrist pain. My guess is, you have too much weight on your hands compared to your roadie.

Some of the possibilities are:

1. Looking at your bike, the saddle seems to be angled just a little down. I think this could be THE reason for lots of wrist pressure. A saddle's seating contact point really really needs to be level so you don't tend to slide forward. A way to test this is to roll along and lift your hands off the bard without taking too much compensating with the legs. This will very quickly show if you are tending to slide forward.

2. If the saddle is positioned to far forward, the balance provided by the legs is gone. You must be able, in your riding position, to just lift yourself half an inch off the saddle, pedals horizontal, with no force on the hands, that they are able to be realesed from the bar. Too far forward, and your body will tend to fall forwards on the hands. Too far back, and you will tend to pull up on the bar in that experiment.

So I think item 5 in your own list should be item 1. But fist check saddle tilt - you will be astonished how much difference that simple little thing can make.
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Old 05-10-07, 04:35 PM   #16
Guy Retreau
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Retreau
The plan:
1. deeper sidewall tires
http://www.calhouncycle.com/productc...&idproduct=853
2. Flip the stem and redistribute the spacers on the threadless steertube for a net height increase
3. move the seat fwd on the rails15~20 mm to get knee over the pedal spindle when at 3 O'clock position.
4. Look for on-one Midge drop bars as seen on page13 on the "Name Your Bike" thread.
5. Work up an accurate table of measurements comparing the fit of my road bike vs. the Five-Twenty.
6. Ride some hard miles, take some photos, and evaluate.
Well here is the status:
Item 5 complete. photo's attached
Item 2 complete. this really helps. Flat bars are now equivalent to being on the top of the drops.
Item 3 complete. Saddle to BB and knee to spindle relationship duplicated on both bikes.
Item 1 Tires ordered. Optioned for online special found on Odyssey Red Racer 24x1-1/8 (ISO 520)
Item 6 Long distance miles to evaluate endurance and overall ergonomics of the changes. Well, no I've put a good number of miles into the road bike and evaluated the natural form of the lower arm and wrist in nearly all the dropbar positions. At no time does the angle between the lower arm and wrists exceed 15~20 degrees. If this same relationship can't be maintained with flatbars, then it will be back to drops.

Overall, I expect a much improved ride. Thank you all for participating. G.R.
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