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  1. #1
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Rode on drops for the first time

    A coworker of mine gave he his old (?) Trek 1200 bike the other day. He used to ride with Pax Velo, but ended up getting another bike he liked more, so this one was just sitting around. It came with just those tiny clipless pedals and it didn't have a seat, but I fixed the seat issue pretty quick with a lucky salvage find. Managed to give it a spin the other night. Let me tell you, I had no idea how different these kinds of bikes are. Drops and a short top tube really scrunch you in weird directions, and those skinny tyres are something else. 700x32c, specifically. And the thing has frame shifters! Totally different skill set, ended up staying in first gear (out of 14) the whole way (which I think has roughly the same ratio as like my regular bike's 5th gear or thereabouts - gotta maths that later). This is also the first time I've ridden a bike with those brake levers mounted perpendicular to the horizon. That was...refreshing.

    I'll see about getting some pics soon. It is a bright neon yellow kind of colour, with what could either be some serious marring or some kind of weird paint pattern.

    I still have the tiny pedals attached, much less than optimal, but I'm in the middle of unpacking from a move so I haven't had a chance to go buy a wrench, new pedals and attach them yet. The thing weighs like less than nothing - first time I picked it up I almost dropped it because I over compensated.

    But yeah, drops. Stoked. Once I get proper pedals, I might try seeing just how fast I can go...

    M.

  2. #2
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Road bikes can be weird at first, but very addicting afterward.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  3. #3
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure that bike has 23mm tires, not 32. But yes, road bikes are fun.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  4. #4
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I am pretty sure that bike has 23mm tires, not 32. But yes, road bikes are fun.
    Yep, you're right. Transposed some numbers there. Skinny skinny. Surprised they didn't get diced on some glass or something.

    M.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    From the perspective of someone who has been riding road bicycles since she was about 11 years old ... this thread made me chuckle.

    I'm amazed how upright mtn bikes are, and how wide and heavy the tires are.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Are you sure this bike is the right size? If you're feeling "scrunched up", it may be too small. Or perhaps you need a longer stem.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    The pedals that are currently on it are the "proper" ones.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    I still have the tiny pedals attached, much less than optimal, but I'm in the middle of unpacking from a move so I haven't had a chance to go buy a wrench, new pedals and attach them yet.

    Once I get proper pedals, I might try seeing just how fast I can go...
    If you post a photo of the pedals, we might be able to tell you want kind of cleats to get so you can use them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    The pedals that are currently on it are the "proper" ones.
    Figure out what kind they are and get some cycling shoes and cleats to ride them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    I actually don't think I can use cleats. This is because I was born with Achilles tendons that do not have the proper length - too short. Subsequently, my shin muscles are very weak and I can't flex my foot upwards away from the ground. Thus, I think pulling upwards during the upstroke would be impossible, and I'd just be dragging my foot downwards as my leg goes up.

    M.

  11. #11
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    The "pulling on the upstroke" benefit is largely overstated. The main reason to have clipless pedals is solid foot retention that you can easily operate with your feet (as opposed to reaching down to tighten/loosen toe clips.)
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  12. #12
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    You might want to have the friend who gave it to you check to make sure you have the seat at the right height and explain the clipless pedal system to you. If you're about the same size, maybe he will even have an old pair of shoes you can try out?

    I think you're wise to stay in one gear until you get used to the bike. I remember the first time I rode a road bike, I was so busy trying to figure out how to shift that I crashed into a brick wall. Years later, when I once again had a bike with down tube shifters, it took a while to relearn the skill. That time I rode off the pavement while concentrating on the gears, but at least I didn't hit a wall. I recommend that you do your practice runs on a quiet trail rather than around car traffic!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    I actually don't think I can use cleats. This is because I was born with Achilles tendons that do not have the proper length - too short. Subsequently, my shin muscles are very weak and I can't flex my foot upwards away from the ground. Thus, I think pulling upwards during the upstroke would be impossible, and I'd just be dragging my foot downwards as my leg goes up.

    M.
    Well then, you might want to go with good old toe clips, although that's another learning curve. Power Grips are another possibility.

    a lot of us transportation riders use BMX type pedals, even on skinny tire bikes. These platform pedals have little teeth to keep feet on the pedals. Two advantages here: cheaper, and you can wear regular (non-cycling) shoes while pedaling. These work great, but you will lose many cool points with the roadies.
    Last edited by Roody; 09-12-13 at 10:05 AM.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    (as opposed to reaching down to tighten/loosen toe clips.)
    Hi,

    I think most who use toeclips just set them and forget them, none
    of the reaching down shenanigans. When racers used them they
    would tighten them for hard climbs, sprints and finishes but have
    them looser most of the time, otherwise they are too uncomfortable.


    rgds, sreten.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    No one use them with cleats anymore, huh?
    http://www.yellowjersey.org/tocleat.html
    That's a 2013 model.

  16. #16
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Well then, you might want to go with good old toe clips, although that's another learning curve. Power Grips are another possibility.

    a lot of us transportation riders use BMX type pedals, even on skinny tire bikes. These platform pedals have little teeth to keep feet on the pedals. Two advantages here: cheaper, and you can wear regular (non-cycling) shoes while pedaling. These work great, but you will lose many cool points with the roadies.
    I think toe clips may have some of the same problems. I'll have to experiment. I might get some cage pedals with good teeth for security. My SO and I are around the same size so we're are both able to use it (she actually thinks it's awesome), so flat pedals means I wouldn't have to get two sets of cleats

    RE scrunching: It's actually a bad choice of words. Not used to the body position, specifically how close over the front wheel I am compared to what I regularly ride and how I have to position my head.

    M.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    That's a zero float slot.. I liked the wider cleat on my old Sidi Cyclocross shoe..
    but better yet is a hourglass slot so angle of fo to pedal can change..

    So I got a sole, custom modified to my need, built up on either side of the slot , and that worked .. for Me.

  18. #18
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    I recommend platform pedals until you are used to the bike.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  19. #19
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    For down tube shifters, just look dead ahead and reach down by feel following the outisides of the tube to find and grab the shifters. it's when you look down that you get unstable. a few rides and you will fimd them easily.

  20. #20
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    I recommend platform pedals until you are used to the bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by kingsqueak View Post
    For down tube shifters, just look dead ahead and reach down by feel following the outisides of the tube to find and grab the shifters. it's when you look down that you get unstable. a few rides and you will fimd them easily.
    Good advice!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  21. #21
    High Plains Luddite
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    M, I enjoyed your post because I recently had the same experience when a friend my size gave me an older road bike. I had what we used to call a "ten speed", which meant road bike back in the early '80s, but haven't been on one since.

    Quote edited to highlight the same experiences I had:

    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    ... those skinny tyres are something else. 700x32c, specifically. This is also the first time [in decades] I've ridden a bike with those brake levers mounted perpendicular to the horizon. That was...refreshing.

    The thing weighs like less than nothing - first time I picked it up I almost dropped it because I over compensated.

    But yeah, drops. Stoked. Once I get proper pedals, I might try seeing just how fast I can go...
    I'm in the same boat. Mine came without any pedals at all and I put on some platforms from another bike just to try it out. Mine will need a full overhaul, I think, and I'm saving my pennies to have that done. Does anyone have an idea of what bike shops charge to completely rebuild a bike - not just a tune-up, but new cables, all bearings repacked, etc.? I imagine it's too variable with whatever's wrong with an individual bike to say for sure. I'm thinking $200-ish. Whether right or wrong, that's my target for savings for this project.

    I'd sure like to find some local bike freak who would do the job for fun and a couple cases of beer.

  22. #22
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Awesome to hear you got a good one too. I just ordered some platforms and a wrench, expecting to toss the pedals on middle of next week. In the meantime my bike attention is on an old 3 speed...

    M.

  23. #23
    High Plains Luddite
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    Post some pics if you get a chance. I'd love to see your freebie. Here's mine. Needs matching tires, handlebar tape, probably new cables, and I suspect a new chain and possibly a cassette since it pops and clangs and clunks in the back if I pedal hard, like going uphill.

    http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...psbc44ca82.jpg

  24. #24
    Senior Member puckett129's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    I actually don't think I can use cleats. This is because I was born with Achilles tendons that do not have the proper length - too short. Subsequently, my shin muscles are very weak and I can't flex my foot upwards away from the ground. Thus, I think pulling upwards during the upstroke would be impossible, and I'd just be dragging my foot downwards as my leg goes up.

    M.
    I've got seriously jacked up feet and ankles... born with bilateral clubbed feet. I've got very limited ankle motion, but it's a non-issue. You will benefit from clipless regardless. You don't really pull up (or flex-up) with your shins in that way. I would at least give them a try. I did and would never go back.

  25. #25
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puckett129 View Post
    I've got seriously jacked up feet and ankles... born with bilateral clubbed feet. I've got very limited ankle motion, but it's a non-issue. You will benefit from clipless regardless. You don't really pull up (or flex-up) with your shins in that way. I would at least give them a try. I did and would never go back.
    Man, I thought I had it rough! Was your club foot corrected?

    On the bright side, I am slowly overcoming some of the deficiencies. I still have ****e range of motion, but I can semi-competently stand and pedal now. A year ago, that was a recipe for disaster.

    M.

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