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Old 04-05-09, 07:40 PM   #1
mlau
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I'm thinking of selling my Swift, what next?

On the way back from Church, I found that my wrists were a bit uncomfortable from the road buzz on my Swift.

I still love my bike, mind you, and so does everyone who's tried it (including four guys and two girls who I'd just met). It's fast, elegant, and it's really light (one rider thought it was 14 lbs). In fact, it handles so nicely, that I overshot my destination by six blocks because I was having too much fun.

It's just that I'm really nervous when it comes to possible damage to my wrists, back, hands, etc (I'll be graduating in a couple months as a dentist).

Am I just being paranoid? Should I get another bike, or am I just being silly?

-Matt

ps. I'm thinking of visitting Japan sometime in August or September for vacation.
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Old 04-05-09, 07:54 PM   #2
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1. Get a BF Speeding Tikit
2. Get a professional bike fitting. The way your saddle is tilted down it puts too much pressure on your arms, hands, wrists, etc.
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Old 04-05-09, 08:05 PM   #3
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Yep, the nose of your seat is pointing down forcing your body to put more weight on your wrists than necessary. Raise the nose of your seat a tiny bit and then see how your hands/wrists feel.
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Old 04-05-09, 08:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlau View Post
On the way back from Church, I found that my wrists were a bit uncomfortable from the road buzz on my Swift.

I still love my bike, mind you, and so does everyone who's tried it (including four guys and two girls who I'd just met). It's fast, elegant, and it's really light (one rider thought it was 14 lbs). In fact, it handles so nicely, that I overshot my destination by six blocks because I was having too much fun.

It's just that I'm really nervous when it comes to possible damage to my wrists, back, hands, etc (I'll be graduating in a couple months as a dentist).

Am I just being paranoid? Should I get another bike, or am I just being silly?

-Matt

ps. I'm thinking of visitting Japan sometime in August or September for vacation.
If you're that fragile then maybe you shouldn't be riding at all.
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Old 04-05-09, 08:22 PM   #5
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I found the Swift to have too much road buzz. However, ditching a bike because your wrists were sore after one short ride (if that's an accurate reading of your situation) sounds like a bit of an overreaction.

I'd try a few basic things first, like:
• Fizik Bar Gels
• cushier bar tape (again, Fizik)
• cushier tires
• change hand position more frequently

If truly desperate:
• carbon bars
• carbon stem
• double wrap your bars

If that still doesn't work out, then I'd look into a Bike Friday. You could pick up a folder with suspension as well, but most folders like that will be on the slow side.

By the way, from what I understand it takes a lot of work to do permanent damage to your hands and wrists; a lot of the fear over repetitive stress injury is exaggerated. Obviously you don't want to suffer, but it is unlikely you will jeopardize your career because one or two bike rides caused a little soreness.

P.S. get a real saddle.
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Old 04-05-09, 09:11 PM   #6
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How about trying a bike with suspension? I have a Dahon SmoothHound with front suspension, or a Moulton TSR with dual suspension that you can try. That way you can see if a different bike will make a difference.

I'm in Half Moon Bay. If you're interested in trying out these bikes, please PM me and we can set something up.

PS: I also have a number of other folders that you're welcome to try also
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Old 04-05-09, 10:21 PM   #7
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Nice looking Swift!

I also live in SF and used to have a Swift. Given the incredibly poor roads here, I eventually ditched it partially because I felt the ride was harsh (and partially because my dad really wanted it, partly the large fold). Can't say I don't sometimes wish I'd kept it though...

You could try fitting tires with a larger volume, like Schwalbe Big Apples, which have a far better ride and are still quite fast (have them on my recumbent). Or you could try running your existing tires (Marathon Racers?) at the lower end of the pressure range. Any perceived increase in rolling resistance is mostly imagination...

EDIT: I saw in the Swift thread you're already running Big Apples. Try lowering the pressure some more

I'd agree with others that your saddle setup looks iffy. Tilted forward like that will definitely put more weight on your arms, wrist & hands. Maybe you'd be more comfortable if you lowered the seatpost a little and set the saddle level? Otherwise, find a saddle that fits you better.

When I realized the error of my ways and wanted another folding bike, I bought a Birdy. I'm really happy with it - it's fast and very comfortable. But I think if I lived somewhere with better roads I might have bought another Xootr as they are cheaper and probably have a slight edge on speed.

Last edited by yangmusa; 04-05-09 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 04-06-09, 08:29 AM   #8
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Mlau, along with leveling the seat, you could even just try adjusting your bars/hoods up so that your resting wrist angle is changed a little. Road buzz is annoying, but may be more so for you if your wrists are at a bad tilt. Also, keep cockpit length in mind--you can mess with the stem length and even different handlebars (moustache?) to dial it in better, fwiw. But this may, of course, be a good excuse to get in touch with Bike Friday! I would think their lineup is the equivalent of a dentist having access to the most ergonomically designed dentists' chairs.

Good luck with graduation! Congrats.
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Old 04-06-09, 08:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlau View Post
Am I just being paranoid? Should I get another bike, or am I just being silly?
Try going to a professional fitter first. Or if that is not going to happen, tinkering with your fit to alleviate the wrist pressure.
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Old 04-06-09, 08:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
How about trying a bike with suspension? I have a Dahon SmoothHound with front suspension, or a Moulton TSR with dual suspension that you can try. That way you can see if a different bike will make a difference.

I'm in Half Moon Bay. If you're interested in trying out these bikes, please PM me and we can set something up.

PS: I also have a number of other folders that you're welcome to try also
I agree with Crunchie.. a nicely working suspension for small wheelers makes a world of difference on longer rides .. the bike I am currently using the most for the majority of my riding not involving the weekly high speed runs is a Pacific Reach Trekking/City bike.. these are great bikes not often considered.


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Old 04-06-09, 12:06 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

I'm pretty sure that I'm over-reacting to a little buzz. I'll be adjusting the saddle, lowering the pressure, getting some more tape to doublewrap, adjust the angle of the bars, and work on some more core exercises.

I'm just a bit paranoid because of a couple things:
1. Mom's an ergonomist, and has told me about the risks of repeated exposure to vibration to my hands.
2. I'd had fascitis of the wrists from using my laptop too much last year (successfully resolved)
3. Since I'm pretty much a dentist already, my hands are my livelihood--so being super-ridiculously cautious is probably not a bad thing.

It could also be that I'm looking for an excuse to get a Bianchi Fretta this summer.

-matt

ps. Bruce, thanks for the offer, but I'll have to wait until after I graduate. Too many things before I can reward myself with another bike.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlau View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions.

I'm pretty sure that I'm over-reacting to a little buzz. I'll be adjusting the saddle, lowering the pressure, getting some more tape to doublewrap, adjust the angle of the bars, and work on some more core exercises.

I'm just a bit paranoid because of a couple things:
1. Mom's an ergonomist, and has told me about the risks of repeated exposure to vibration to my hands.
2. I'd had fascitis of the wrists from using my laptop too much last year (successfully resolved)
3. Since I'm pretty much a dentist already, my hands are my livelihood--so being super-ridiculously cautious is probably not a bad thing.

It could also be that I'm looking for an excuse to get a Bianchi Fretta this summer.

-matt

ps. Bruce, thanks for the offer, but I'll have to wait until after I graduate. Too many things before I can reward myself with another bike.
While I generally think that Bicycling Magazine is filled with fluff, a few months ago they did publish a set of stability oriented core exercises that I found helpful.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:56 PM   #13
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What about balloon-tires, like f.e. Schwalbe Big Apples? These kind of tires can help if your bike lacks suspension. Just an idea...
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Old 04-06-09, 02:10 PM   #14
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Before you sell

Before you sell your Swift you might try the following. Change your handlebars and use Ergon grips, they give more comfort and spread the pressure points. Also in a more upright position you can distribute the weight between your hands and your tush. That being said you might want to change the saddle to a Brooks B67.

Bob
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Old 04-06-09, 02:23 PM   #15
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I would also advise the ergon grips. I used to get numbness in my little fingers after long rides on my Hammerhead 5. The ergon grips with the little stubby bar ends eliminated that (though they took a while to "dial in").

On a related note I find my R20 with 50mm wide big apples at 30-40 psi has less road buzz than my front suspension Hammerhead 5 with marathon racers at 60-70psi. The Hammerhead's suspension it does take the sting out of the road irregularities but still seems to let a distinct "buzz" through.

The big apples take almost all the buzz out and they seem to roll pretty well too (at least as well as I can tell between the two bikes)
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Old 04-06-09, 04:32 PM   #16
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Ergon grips are for flat bars, not drop bars like he's using.

Having used both, I'd say Fizik Bar Gels are as good if not better than the Ergons, as they soak up vibrations in multiple hand positions (hoods, drops, tops).
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Old 04-06-09, 07:25 PM   #17
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if the fold isn't as important, then consider adding some bolt-on aero-bars. This would allow you to rest your hands by putting the weight on your forearms.
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Old 04-06-09, 10:08 PM   #18
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Schwalbe Big Apple tires will help, if you don't have them already. Very squishy and yet still surprisingly low rolling resistance.
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Old 04-07-09, 10:24 PM   #19
mlau
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

I've adjusted the seat and the handlebars. I'm waiting for the new handbar tape from Nashbar, and a Brooks Champion (my splurge).

I may still end up selling my bike when I graduate. But I won't do any testing of any other bikes until I finish my next written test next Tuesday (I may try a Birdy at Noe Valley Cyclery). If it's as good as Jur says it is, I may still sell my Swift even after this thing's resolved (which it probably will be)--not because of physical concern, so much as fickle desire to reward myself after finishing this program.

I have big apples, but the shop owner recommended that I inflate them to 80 psi. I think that this is part of the problem. I'll drop them back to 35.

Bruce, I might take you up on your offer after I find some board patients.

-matt

ps. If any of you are in the SF area and are interested in a possible free filling or deep cleaning, PM me. I'm looking for patients for my Western Regional Exams.
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Old 04-07-09, 11:25 PM   #20
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+1 on the Pacific Reach.

Mine's the trekking version. Great bikes, great gearing, great ride, OK fold.
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Old 04-11-09, 12:22 AM   #21
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+1 on the bike fitting.

From the pictures, your stem looks like it's too long for you to get a comfortable position. Play with an adjustable stem if you can borrow one. The recommendation on the Swift thread for a long stem doesn't apply when you switch to a drop bar since that already increases your reach by a bunch. The problem will be more exacerbated using moustache bars.
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Old 04-11-09, 01:44 AM   #22
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INHO the Swift is not the problem, but your bike fit and how used you are to it.

Bike fit ensures that the bike fits your body size, and is set up correctly for the type of rider you are currently.

"Beginners" ie say infrequent riding, and in the 1st year, a more upright stance is often preferred. Handlebars are often set up slightly above saddle level.

"Intermediate" ie riding more often, and after a year or so, or middle aged, a level stance is often the preference. Saddle is same level as handlebars, as one is now more used to crouching lower. Riding in the drops is OK for shortish stretches before some neck discomfort may set it.

"Advanced" after some years of riding often, and perhaps racing sometimes or often, bars are slightly lower than saddle level, as one is now very used to crouching lower. Riding for stretches in the drops is fairly easy although some neck stiffness may still result.

Wrist condition improves all the time.

Now on to bike fit. Read
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

Basically,
saddle level,
fore-aft correct,
height correct
and handlebar in the comfort zone.

All of the above are inter-related.
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Old 04-11-09, 08:49 AM   #23
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GREAT read on bike fitting Jur! - Thanks for sharing.

And for the record, I'd fall into category "Intermediate".
I spent just over a year on a more upright Dahon Mu, and in retrospect, that was probably a good thing. It kept me comfy & hooked on cycling, and lead me to my Swift!

Since switching to my Swift about 2months ago, I went through the 'stiff neck' & tingly wrists phase w/the longer reach & lower bars.(Bullhorns) But I did get what I was after - I was able to exert MUCH more power onto the pedals than w/my Mu, plus not have to struggle as much in headwinds. However, I wasn't gonna hurt myself for it though, so I bumped my bars up a few cm's, and made sure I altered my hand positions every so often..After two weeks, I lowered the bar back down again, and feel I've been conditioned plenty. No issues at all and I'm still able to enjoy the benefits of the 'swifter' ride.

So from experience w/the Swift, I'd definitely say work on the fitting too.
Oh, for what its worth, I've got a single wrap on my bar, and use gel-inserted gloves every time I ride.

Hope you work out your ride okay.
Rgds,
K.
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Old 04-11-09, 04:18 PM   #24
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There are definitely some good suggestions here. Mlau, I wish you luck in making it as comfortable a ride as possible, but if you consider selling again, please send me a message .
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Old 04-11-09, 04:45 PM   #25
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pantour hub?
or stop worrying and just enjoy it as it is?
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