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  1. #1
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    Giant TCR SL2 possible upgrades for comfort.

    In need of some advice.

    I'm somewhat new to riding. I went to my LBS to purchase my first bike. With recommendations from the salesman I purchase the Giant TCR SL2. Overall, I think the bike is great, itís very responsive, fast, and nice looking. My first summer on the bike I road approx 10-20 miles at a clip. I thought minor back pain and fatigue in my arms due to vibrations was a normal occurrence or something I had to get used to. Fast forward to my third season on my bike. I am still experiencing these issues and I really can't ride over 20 miles without discomfort. It really was not until I rode my friends Specialized Roubaix SL4 that I found out not all bikes have vibrations issues.


    For my question, is there anything I can do to limit the vibration in my arms without buying a new bike? Would handlebars make a difference or should I just start saving for a Trek Domane or a Specialized Roubaix?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Or A Recumbent , if you want Comfort .. loose the ass-hatchet saddle entirely..

  3. #3
    Senior Member alcjphil's Avatar
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    If you are having issues with harsh road feel, the very first thing I would look at is tire pressure,after that tire width. The first costs nothing, the second, a new set of tires. Many riders pump their tires up to the maximum the tire is rated for when they really need far less. Unless you are a heavy rider, you may not need that much pressure. Some tires also ride more harshly than others, particularly tires designed for extra puncture protection. As an example, I weigh about 160 pounds and ride 700 x 25 tires at about 90 psi. I have no issues whatever with ride harshness

  4. #4
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    What part of your arms are hurting? Shoulders, arm muscles, or hands? I get sore shoulders when my fit is wrong, and there's too much weight on my arms. I have the shifter hoods angled upwards a little, so my whole palm has even pressure on it. I see some riders shaking their arms and hands after an hour or so, to relieve their hands.

    I get a sore lower back when I do long, very steep climbs. I'm pushing hard at a very low cadence, and pulling on the bars. That strains my lower back--I need more core exercises. No back problems on long rides if the hills are under 8% grade.

    Proper tires and pressure has way more effect on road vibrations than frames and bars. The more expensive road tires are worth it, because they are more flexible to soak up the roughness of the road, and they have more traction in fast corners. The usual example here in BF are Continental GP4000 tires. They have reasonable cut protection, a pretty long life, and are fast.

    At 175 pounds, with 25c tires, I use 100 to 105 psi in the back, and 85-90 in the front. With 23c tires, I was at 95 front, 110 rear. (And with my new, extra wide 25mm width rims and 23c tires, 80 front and 92 back..smooth!)

    How far did you ride your friend's Roubaix? A real test of at least an hour? What tires and pressures did it have?
    Last edited by rm -rf; 05-11-15 at 12:51 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice.

    I will definitely try reducing pressure. I typically use 110psi in both tires. I am 155lbs so I doubt I need that much air after reading your reviews.

    I also never got a proper fitting on my bike. I was going to get one this season but was scared to waste the money. That might be a second option after tire pressure and would be much cheaper than buying a new bike.

    I am currently using stock tires but I did not purchase Gator skins but haven’t switched over yet. Good idea or bad to use them?

    My fatigue is usually in my hands and forearms, never really in my shoulders. I do suffer from chronic lower back pain like most people, but fortunately it hasn't been that bad as of late riding. I have been doing more core exercises in the gym. In addition, I only rode my friend’s bike for about 5 miles and I believe his tires were around 100 psi. According to you, it wasn't nearly long enough, I was just amazed on how smooth the ride was.

  6. #6
    Senior Member alcjphil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RP2763 View Post
    Thanks for the advice.

    I will definitely try reducing pressure. I typically use 110psi in both tires. I am 155lbs so I doubt I need that much air after reading your reviews.

    I also never got a proper fitting on my bike. I was going to get one this season but was scared to waste the money. That might be a second option after tire pressure and would be much cheaper than buying a new bike.

    I am currently using stock tires but I did not purchase Gator skins but haven’t switched over yet. Good idea or bad to use them?

    My fatigue is usually in my hands and forearms, never really in my shoulders. I do suffer from chronic lower back pain like most people, but fortunately it hasn't been that bad as of late riding. I have been doing more core exercises in the gym. In addition, I only rode my friend’s bike for about 5 miles and I believe his tires were around 100 psi. According to you, it wasn't nearly long enough, I was just amazed on how smooth the ride was.
    If your friend's tires were 10 psi softer than yours, you should start there. A tire with a more supple construction in a wider width could work wonders. If you have been riding the stock tires for a couple of years you may be due for new ones anyway. Gator skins are good tires but if you haven't been having problems with flats you might opt for a more supple tire.

  7. #7
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    Another old vibration remedy is rewrapping your handlebars with a few pieces of the old padded tape on the drops, if you use them. It adds about 1/4" of padding that's not visible and was immediately helpful for me.

  8. #8
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Instead of hands on the hoods, if you are often moving your hands back an inch or so behind the hoods, it might be a fitting problem you could fix yourself. You might have too long a stem, or the hoods are clamped at the wrong point in the curve of the bars.

    Also, a saddle that's tilted slightly toward the front can put extra pressure on your arms. I sight the saddle angle against a window frame to see if it's level. From that starting point, very slight tilts can be good for some riders. If you keep pushing back onto the saddle while riding, try tilting the front slightly upward.

    Slight changes in saddle tilt and postion, or a 10mm change in stem length, can make a big difference.

  9. #9
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    thank everyone for all the ideas. I'm off tomorrow so I'll get to try some ideas out.

    Thanks again

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