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  1. #1
    Senior Member EmSV650's Avatar
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    bars and standing on pedals

    hello, a couple of questions. And new to these forums, btw. GREAT info!
    Am getting back into riding.
    Am overweight and out of shape. Yet I hate taking things slow.
    MY brain still thinks I'm a kid - like the kid that rode allll the time, cuz thats just what one did, back then.
    I'm 46, when I was a kid we spent all our waking hours outside of school, on our bikes.
    I'm sure many of you all know what I mean.
    But sheesh! I am so WEAK now.
    DId my first ride last night and it KICKED my butt. Just a 20 minute ride and I was ready to collapse when I got back.
    When I started riding another time about 5 years ago, I had low straight bars put on my Trek 800, because I had it in my head I like the lower position. ANd it did agree with me, and I left them. Now, starting up again, they seem way wrong and are killing my hands. I threw the original bars out.
    Question: are there bar-ends that extend "up" and "out"? that will incorporate a "rise" as part of the aternative position?
    I've looked around a bit and haven't seen any like this.

    Also, whoa I must be a whale...I can't stand up on the pedals and "pump" anymore!

    Do you all do this?
    I remember in the kid days, we rode that way all the time. Is it really just a kid thing?

    Anyway, my main thing is I need to get a bit stronger before this gets "fun" again...but was wondering if I'm going to have to buy all new bars? or if there is a bar-end or add on type thing that could provide an alternative, while keeping these flat bars.
    How about a taller "stem"? Do people do that?

    Thanks a bunch,
    Em
    funky old Trek 800
    Tampa FL

  2. #2
    I sing the body electric
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    maybe posting a pic of your setup would help just to give people an idea of what you've got going and what you could do

  3. #3
    Senior Member EmSV650's Avatar
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    hi, and thanks for the idea. But really - its just a bone stock older Trek 800 Antelope except with flat bars. The rest is "factory".
    thanks tho...
    will have to see about getting a pic.

    Em

  4. #4
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Sure, you can raise the stem. Depending on what kind you have, you either buy a taller stem (if you have a "threaded" stem) or you buy a stem extender (if you have a "threadless" stem). I bought a stem extender, it was like $15 or so, not too bad.

    Bar ends can be mounted however you want 'em, mine are angled slightly upward (20 degrees maybe?). You could angle 'em up more if you wanted. They just clamp to the ends of your handlebars.

    Standing isn't just a kid thing, but it does take more effort than you might be used to. My main advice is take it slow. If a 20 minute ride killed you, try a 10 minute ride once a day for a week before doing your next 20 minute ride. It's better to ease into it and keep going, than to overload yourself early on and give up.

    Oh also the improper handlebar position may make standing harder, because it may be difficult to balance on the pedals and hold the handlebars. I'd fix the handlebars before worrying about anything else.

  5. #5
    Senior Member EmSV650's Avatar
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    hi Jeff, ok, thanks..that all makes lots of sense. I think I will take the bike to my local bike shop and see what input they have on the bar situation.
    Cool inner-city bike shop - actually, a good excuse to take myself down there.
    Am so used to ordering things from the internet nowadays that I've lost touch with local businesses (of many kinds).
    But I think this would be a good opp. to support my local guy.
    Em

  6. #6
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    You bet. Just make sure to spend your money there if you take his time... don't get his suggestions and then go order 'em online because you can save $5.

    I'm always in favor of supporting the local guy, as long as it's really a local guy (I don't lose any sleep over pricing things in walmart then ordering online).

  7. #7
    I sing the body electric
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    there are also riser handle bars in the idea kids bmx bike handle bars

  8. #8
    Senior Member EmSV650's Avatar
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    Hi Jeff, I agree with you 100% about if I take up the guy's time, then I need to buy from him, when I do buy.
    That's like, in the world of my *other* passion, motorcycling, one often hears the suggestion online, that you can try different helmets on at a local shop to determine fit and which suits your head best and all, but then order it online, discounted, for way less. But to me, that's just WRONG!
    And I've been pretty vocal about it!

    So, I'm looking forward to my journey down there this weekend.
    Today's ride was a bit easier and better. I found out my tire pressure was way down. Filled them to almost 60 lbs and that helped alot. Need to buy a better pressure guage. And yeah, new bars...how mortifying to realize, and ADMIT that my thighs hit my fat gut on the upstroke.
    yikes!
    but I'm geeked about this, in general.
    And what a great forum this is! I plan to become a "contributing member" very soon.
    thx again!
    Em

  9. #9
    Senior Member EmSV650's Avatar
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    thx Celephaiz! great idea!
    Em

  10. #10
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmSV650
    hello, a couple of questions. And new to these forums, btw. GREAT info!
    Am getting back into riding.
    Am overweight and out of shape. Yet I hate taking things slow.
    MY brain still thinks I'm a kid - like the kid that rode allll the time, cuz thats just what one did, back then.
    I'm 46, when I was a kid we spent all our waking hours outside of school, on our bikes.
    I'm sure many of you all know what I mean.
    But sheesh! I am so WEAK now.
    DId my first ride last night and it KICKED my butt. Just a 20 minute ride and I was ready to collapse when I got back.
    When I started riding another time about 5 years ago, I had low straight bars put on my Trek 800, because I had it in my head I like the lower position. ANd it did agree with me, and I left them. Now, starting up again, they seem way wrong and are killing my hands. I threw the original bars out.
    Question: are there bar-ends that extend "up" and "out"? that will incorporate a "rise" as part of the aternative position?
    I've looked around a bit and haven't seen any like this.

    Also, whoa I must be a whale...I can't stand up on the pedals and "pump" anymore!

    Do you all do this?
    I remember in the kid days, we rode that way all the time. Is it really just a kid thing?

    Anyway, my main thing is I need to get a bit stronger before this gets "fun" again...but was wondering if I'm going to have to buy all new bars? or if there is a bar-end or add on type thing that could provide an alternative, while keeping these flat bars.
    How about a taller "stem"? Do people do that?

    Thanks a bunch,
    Em
    funky old Trek 800
    Tampa FL

    I'm not gonna repeat what Jeff wrote, which was sound advice. What I am gonna tell you, as a fellow 46 yr old who grew up on a bicycle, no worries, it will come back. For now take it easy and enjoy the ride, pushing your self just a little more each time. If you have a nice bike path or MUP, ride it, enjoy the scenery, including the cute gals (or guys, if you are a gal, I have assumed wrong way too many times in here). I'll catch hell from some for suggesting this, but get yourself an MP3 player and some sport headphones. Nothing like gliding on your bike on a beautiful day with some good rock (or whatever you like) to get into a rythym with and make you feel like one with the bike. If you are a good automobile driver, you will benefit from a rearview mirror to keep you aware of what is coming up behind you, since your hearing will be somewhat impaired, unless you do the one earpiece thing which I never got into. We drive or cars jamming to tunes blasting way high all the time, the key is to use your other senses to always be aware of what is going on around you. I often wonder if the anti-music crowd would also ban deaf people from riding. ;-)

    With miles, your fitness level will increase. Start off flat and increase your distance, then once you can do 20 miles on the flats with no great strain, start working hills into your routine. Trust me, you can do it. My GF is 43 and she has progressed from the same point you are in May (though she was not overweight, but still out of shape) to completing her first century in September, to our now weekly routine of 2-3 20-30 mile rides after work and 60-150 miles on the weekends. She now climbs hills better than me, and has surprised a few decked out roadies when she passed and dropped them. You can do it too, I have no doubt. After all, we grew up on these things and you know what they say...it's just like riding a bike!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Senior Member EmSV650's Avatar
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    hey there Chip! I think I was just reading some of your comments in another thread. Maybe the "what makes a real cyclist" thread? Good stuff...that thread had me laughing.
    Anyway, thanks for the advice and congrats to your GF on the great progress she made, and on doing her Century. I can only dream at this point of having the strength for that.
    As for the music thing, I *do* want to try it..but I think I need to wait a bit and get a few more rides under my belt, and hopefull sort out my handlebar situation first. Cuz right now I'm feeling a bit squirelly due to the bars - even with no headphones/earbuds.
    However! I just got an iPod a couple/few weeks ago and *am* looking to use it. Its gotten quite addictive - having my "tunes" with me.
    So, are you saying some folks DO use rearview mirrors on their bikes? Have to admit I hadn't even thought of that. I'm pretty used to doing "headchecks" anyway (turning my head to look).
    BTW, I am female person...on some forums I've been known to go by "Aunty Em" to clarify...

    so anyway, nice to meet you....and thx again!
    Em

  12. #12
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmSV650
    hey there Chip! I think I was just reading some of your comments in another thread. Maybe the "what makes a real cyclist" thread? Good stuff...that thread had me laughing.
    Anyway, thanks for the advice and congrats to your GF on the great progress she made, and on doing her Century. I can only dream at this point of having the strength for that.
    As for the music thing, I *do* want to try it..but I think I need to wait a bit and get a few more rides under my belt, and hopefull sort out my handlebar situation first. Cuz right now I'm feeling a bit squirelly due to the bars - even with no headphones/earbuds.
    However! I just got an iPod a couple/few weeks ago and *am* looking to use it. Its gotten quite addictive - having my "tunes" with me.
    So, are you saying some folks DO use rearview mirrors on their bikes? Have to admit I hadn't even thought of that. I'm pretty used to doing "headchecks" anyway (turning my head to look).
    BTW, I am female person...on some forums I've been known to go by "Aunty Em" to clarify...

    so anyway, nice to meet you....and thx again!
    Em

    Nice to meet you too, Em. Using Aunty Em you might want to get a basket for your bike, and your little dog too! (oh wait that was the witch) Are you in Kansas by any chance? Yeah I know, them comments are probably so old and lame to you by now. (My Mom's name is Emily)

    I find a mirror to be very useful. I can get a look at what is going on behind me without taking my full attention off of what is in front of me. Of course I still always give a look before making a move, the mirror is not a substitute for a good look. I prefer a glasses-mounted mirror like the Third Eye, but I don't always wear glasses and end up losing them all the time too, so I have a mirror mounted on my drop bars, just below my hoods. It doesn't vibrate around like the velcro hood-mounted types.

    Again, best thing to build strength is to ride. Don't push to hard too fast. Don't worry, standing will come back as your legs get stronger. As far as your bars, ask your LBS if they can raise the stem or even flip it (works in some cases), or give you a stem extender or even a different stem. An adjustable stem is another option, but seems to be frowned upon by all them 'real cyclists'. They are a bit heavier and tend to creak. Bottom line, fix the root problem, which is you bars, then add the bar ends to complement them and give you a greater variety of hand positions.

    FYI, my GF never dreamed even as recently as July that she could ever do a century or ride like we do now. She tries to tell people she had a good coach, but it was all her...I just tried to make it fun. That, my dear, is the key. Have fun and everything else will come much easier. Good luck!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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