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Old 04-16-09, 08:42 PM   #1
nekohime
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I don't feel as safe on my big bike

Is this weird?

I guess it's mostly because of the more upright position on the foldies versus drops on my mixte (being on the drops freaks me out when riding fast, so I ride on the hoods and corners most of the time), but a lot of it is also handling. I don't feel like I can handle the mixte as well as the small-wheeled bikes. It's not as responsive and lively, and I feel like I'm gonna go over the bars on every bad pothole I can't swerve away from. I know a lot of it is fit, which is why I'm gonna try a different bar/stem setup that will give me a more upright position when I have the funds--maybe nitto dove bars or similar plus taller stem. Perhaps it's also the skinny wheels vs. fat wheels of the smaller bikes.

Do any of you feel the same way about your big bikes? Any advice for getting more comfy on my mixte?
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Old 04-16-09, 11:45 PM   #2
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not weird at all. big wheel bikes are not as manueverable when compared to a small wheel bike. I actually had friends of mine ride one of my folding bikes and complain its too responsive !

I ride the sidewalks on occasion were i feel the roads is too busy and unsafe and by doing so it requires quick maneuvering to avoid sign posts, benches, trees, and the fire hydrant my friends with big wheels coundn't keep up. big wheels are best for going far fast in a hurry !

drop bars is mainly to avoid wind resistance but its a pain in the neck.. literaly... and yes the nitto dove bar is also on my shopping list as well the nitto moustache is way out of my budget[$85]

maybe the upgright nittos by itself will work on your mixte framed bike the stem can be adjusted up a bit if there's still room.

putting good quality tires and tubes of good supple rubber is a good investment like Continental or Schwalbe. You will definitely feel the difference on how it rides. I rate the wal-mart bike tires are the worst

what tire width do you have now on the Mixte ? maybe the one you have now is too narrow
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Old 04-17-09, 06:33 AM   #3
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I'm not sure it's as much "weird" as it is "personal preference." An aggressive riding position is not right for everyone.

For some uses, particularly urban environments, the more responsive handling of a small-wheeled bike is advantageous. In others, such as rough or dirt roads and on long rides, it's not beneficial. More stability means less effort expended on controlling the bike, better ability to ride one-handed, and less chance of losing control with an impact.


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I ride the sidewalks on occasion were i feel the roads is too busy and unsafe and by doing so it requires quick maneuvering to avoid sign posts, benches, trees, and the fire hydrant my friends with big wheels coundn't keep up.
Just on a side note, riding on sidewalks is actually a pretty bad idea; it's not even allowed in some circumstances. E.g. cyclists often get ticketed for riding on the sidwalks in New York City. If you're regularly riding on sidewalks, you may be better off finding a different route.


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drop bars is mainly to avoid wind resistance but its a pain in the neck.. literaly...
Again, that's preference, fit and fitness. These days I vastly prefer the default hand position of drop bars (in the hoods) than what you get with a flat bar; and how upright or bent over you are has to do with the bike's geometry, not its bar shape.
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Old 04-17-09, 07:03 AM   #4
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Whenever you change bikes for one that handles differently it feels dangerous. I have always noticed this long before I ever rode a small wheeled bike. When I first got on my Merc, it felt very weird, but I soon adapted.

Of course if a bike does not fit you right, no amount of time in the saddle will make it feel good. Drop bars were a pain on a long ride even when I was a youngster. I hate them nowadays. Having to crank the neck back at a stupid angle and keep it there for hours on end is the kind of torture that should be outlawed.
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Old 04-17-09, 08:24 AM   #5
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Virginia law says that riding on the sidewalk is okay, unless restricted by local ordinance. Alexandria says that riding on the sidewalk is illegal unless the sidewalk is part of a marked mixed use path or trail. As for the other jurisdictions that I might ride through, Fairfax, Arlington and DC, who knows - there ain't no sign that says, "Welcome to DC - Stay off the sidewalk.". Guess I'd better stay off.
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Old 04-17-09, 08:51 AM   #6
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Looks like it depends on where you are in DC: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post.cgi?id=885

I just find that bikes are way too fast to mix with pedestrians, except on mutliple-use paths that are explicitly designed for a mix of non-motorized vehicles. Sidewalks 'round here are too crowded for bikes.
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Old 04-17-09, 09:13 AM   #7
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I'm also thinking of replacing the bars on my Centurion road bike. I never use the drops. Thinking of getting these: http://www.jitensha.com/eng/flatbar05.html Soma has some bars similar to moustache for a lot less:http://store.somafab.com/flriswandmob.html At this time I have replaced the straight bars on my flyby with these:http://www.velo-orange.com/milanbar.html only $19 plus shipping. They give me a more natural hand position and don't interfere with the fold.
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Old 04-17-09, 09:23 AM   #8
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I used to ride a Dawooe shuttle most of the time, when I ocassionally rode my mountian bike it felt ridiculous, like an aircraft carrier going down the high street !
I guess it is what you get used to.
Its strange we can get used to using loads of differnet types of bikes, even crap ones ! That "getting used to it", idea could save alot of money.
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Old 04-17-09, 09:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by nekohime View Post
Is this weird?

I guess it's mostly because of the more upright position on the foldies versus drops on my mixte (being on the drops freaks me out when riding fast, so I ride on the hoods and corners most of the time), but a lot of it is also handling. I don't feel like I can handle the mixte as well as the small-wheeled bikes. It's not as responsive and lively, and I feel like I'm gonna go over the bars on every bad pothole I can't swerve away from. I know a lot of it is fit, which is why I'm gonna try a different bar/stem setup that will give me a more upright position when I have the funds--maybe nitto dove bars or similar plus taller stem. Perhaps it's also the skinny wheels vs. fat wheels of the smaller bikes.

Do any of you feel the same way about your big bikes? Any advice for getting more comfy on my mixte?
Not really. You are just experiencing a "transitional" feeling every time you change to a different size, gearing, or even make of a vehicle, whether it has an engine or not. I had it when I bought my old clang & banging fenders/chainguard protected Phillips (upright position with an internal hub gearing system) compared to my previous road drop position bikes. You are feeling it even more with riding a new Brompton, a Kent, a previous Piccolo (don't forget that one), and possibly other bikes you had physical contact with recently. In my own case, I experienced vast improvement in my enjoyment of cycling when I drifted away from my old now sold road bikes. If you like your mixte bike, perhaps some changes are to be considered. How about replacing the handlebars/stem to a more upright position? Or adding a bit wider tires? Perhaps even a new saddle? Think about some things that can transfer over to your larger wheeled bike. But do keep in mind that the basic bike itself or the like cannot be changed. A large wheel size will stay large.

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Originally Posted by EM42 View Post
not weird at all. big wheel bikes are not as manueverable when compared to a small wheel bike. I actually had friends of mine ride one of my folding bikes and complain its too responsive !

I ride the sidewalks on occasion were i feel the roads is too busy and unsafe and by doing so it requires quick maneuvering to avoid sign posts, benches, trees, and the fire hydrant my friends with big wheels coundn't keep up. big wheels are best for going far fast in a hurry !

drop bars is mainly to avoid wind resistance but its a pain in the neck.. literaly... and yes the nitto dove bar is also on my shopping list as well the nitto moustache is way out of my budget[$85]

maybe the upgright nittos by itself will work on your mixte framed bike the stem can be adjusted up a bit if there's still room.

putting good quality tires and tubes of good supple rubber is a good investment like Continental or Schwalbe. You will definitely feel the difference on how it rides. I rate the wal-mart bike tires are the worst

what tire width do you have now on the Mixte ? maybe the one you have now is too narrow

I only tackle sidewalks when there is no other option available to me. I prefer to use alternative routes or transit whenever possible even if it is not illegal to ride on sidewalks. I hate to upset pedestrians. But the most danger I ever experienced on a bike was an collision between me and a car on a sidewalk! Driveways are very dangerous and to be avoided at all costs when on a wheeled vehicle. A pedestrian is moving at a snail's pace and can stop at a moment's notice. Wheels cannot have that quickness of stopping no matter how good the brakes (if any) are used.

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I'm not sure it's as much "weird" as it is "personal preference." An aggressive riding position is not right for everyone.

For some uses, particularly urban environments, the more responsive handling of a small-wheeled bike is advantageous. In others, such as rough or dirt roads and on long rides, it's not beneficial. More stability means less effort expended on controlling the bike, better ability to ride one-handed, and less chance of losing control with an impact.
Agreed as far as personal preference on riding position choices are concerned. But I still feel more secure with my little bikes for the not perfect roads that surround my residence. I never had an accident with any of my folders for over 5 years.

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Just on a side note, riding on sidewalks is actually a pretty bad idea; it's not even allowed in some circumstances. E.g. cyclists often get ticketed for riding on the sidwalks in New York City. If you're regularly riding on sidewalks, you may be better off finding a different route.
+1

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Again, that's preference, fit and fitness. These days I vastly prefer the default hand position of drop bars (in the hoods) than what you get with a flat bar; and how upright or bent over you are has to do with the bike's geometry, not its bar shape.
I have considered purchasing trekking bars for a multi-position hand placement on my own bikes. I nixed the idea as I like to have my hands near the brakes at all time. I don't like to ride more than 2 hours straight in saddle at a time anyway.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 04-17-09 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 04-17-09, 10:49 AM   #10
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I'm most comfortable on my Brompton, the bars feel so wiiiide on my hybrid now, and my tourer just feels enormous, like a train. It's the first bike I've had with drop bars, and I can't seem to get comfortable on it. I can't use the brake properly from the hoods, only the drops, which are very uncomfortable.
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Old 04-17-09, 03:05 PM   #11
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I love drop bars and a great number of my bikes have them including my P20 folder... they are really nice when you like to get low and aero or have to deal with stiff headwinds.

Drop bars offer a lot of hand positions so I can ride fairly upright and the quick adjustability of the folder means that it can go from a having a touring / commuting set up to a very aggressive position in seconds by dropping the bars just a little more.

It also feels far more stable with drops than it did with it's risers and the handling ability is stellar.
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Old 04-17-09, 06:42 PM   #12
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Ah, I guess it's different riding styles then. I hate the drops with a passion, and don't need to be *that* low for avoiding wind resistance, but need to use them because I feel unsafe using the "safety" levers. I actually prefer aero or tt-bars, but the mixte would look horrifying with those, and she's my pretty town-bike so no ugly stuff is going on her EVER.

I have 27x 1 1/4 Kendas on right now--maybe a fatter tire would help? Stem is definitely too low, so I'm changing that out...maybe with a taller stem I'd like the drops better, but it's doubtful.
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Old 04-18-09, 05:44 AM   #13
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I find the postion comfortable shown on my Mezzo. These are racing drops turned upside down by 90 decrees and chopped. ie Not fully upside down,almost full lenght improvised low profiles like the Downtube sports. The bars on the mezzo are cut down much shorter and do not have the same low profile( by around 3 inches), and lack about 3-4 inches forward reach compaired to the standard way of turning droppes into low profile bars as shown on the downtube.( not sure how obvious this is from the photo).

I find this a good comprise that does not interfer as much with the fold that the set up on the Downtube does. The mezzo rides higher and not as far forward, so you might prefer this handlebar mod more. I do not, but i altered the Mezzo bars to get a comprimise between folding compactness rather than postioning or out and out preformance concerns.

I find the brakes work well from the hoods or the drops (koolstops and teflon cables all round).I tend to use the hoods more.I use them for uphill and slower town riding and the drops for faster riding or downhills.
Hope this may be of some use. ps I got both the bars for 5.
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Old 04-18-09, 10:58 AM   #14
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Those ^^ are exactly the sort of bars that feel most comfortable to me. They're rather ugly on a mixte though.
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Old 04-18-09, 12:08 PM   #15
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looks aren't everything!
Sorry I keep forgetting you are female, and have a different aesthetic proirities!
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Old 04-18-09, 12:43 PM   #16
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looks aren't everything!
Sorry I keep forgetting you are female, and have a different aesthetic proirities!
Well, for my every-day commuting bikes, comfort is definitely the priority. I don't care if I uglify my brommie to get the best fit (is it possible to uglify the brommie? Probably not.), but Charlotte is just my once-a-week grocery-getter/weekend pootle-and-pose bike, so looks take precedence, but comfort is a close second.
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Old 04-18-09, 03:43 PM   #17
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(is it possible to uglify the brommie? Probably not
No, its not, because;
1) It was never pretty in the first place.
2) It is so pretty, it is impossible to ulgify (delete as applicable)
Is "ulgify" a word,probably not.
I have checked this, its not( a recognized word). Need thread to spread the new word "ulgify", excellent!
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Old 04-18-09, 04:25 PM   #18
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No, its not, because;
1) It was never pretty in the first place.
2) It is so pretty, it is impossible to ulgify (delete as applicable)
Is "ulgify" a word,probably not.
I have checked this, its not( a recognized word). Need thread to spread the new word "ulgify", excellent!
Actually, I think uglify was a word Lewis Carroll used in Alice in Wonderland...googling...

Ah, yes, I was right.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rgs/alice-IX.html
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`I've been to a day-school, too,' said Alice; `you needn't be so proud as all that.'

`With extras?' asked the Mock Turtle a little anxiously.

`Yes,' said Alice, `we learned French and music.'

`And washing?' said the Mock Turtle.

`Certainly not!' said Alice indignantly.

`Ah! then yours wasn't a really good school,' said the Mock Turtle in a tone of great relief. `Now at ours they had at the end of the bill, "French, music, and washing--extra."'

`You couldn't have wanted it much,' said Alice; `living at the bottom of the sea.'

`I couldn't afford to learn it.' said the Mock Turtle with a sigh. `I only took the regular course.'

`What was that?' inquired Alice.

`Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; `and then the different branches of Arithmetic-- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'

`I never heard of "Uglification,"' Alice ventured to say. `What is it?'

The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. `What! Never heard of uglifying!' it exclaimed. `You know what to beautify is, I suppose?'

`Yes,' said Alice doubtfully: `it means--to--make--anything--prettier.'

`Well, then,' the Gryphon went on, `if you don't know what to uglify is, you are a simpleton.'
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