Well, hello everyone. This is Newbie Comfy Bear ...
I'm not new to cycling in the strictest sense. I've been riding since I was 4 or 5 years old. Then basically my entire youth through my days as a paperboy and on until I got my drivers license. My single speed cruiser hung in the garage after that until I left for home for the service. I then purchased a nice Peugeot 10sp. road bike in Germany while stationed there and commuted to the base where I served as often as weather permitted, which wasn't very often. The years passed and I was interested in getting fit again and purchased the Fuji Palisade 10sp. racer I still have today. The problem was I couldn't use it to commute because the distances I faced were too great ... but I did ride now and then. I then moved from Maryland to Florida some 10 years ago and tried riding occasionally here but found the experience increasingly uncomfortable and even painful. I'm getting older and have gained close to 75 lbs. Only a few months ago I purchased a Fuji Saratoga 24 with a slight pedal forward configuration. It's a great bike and I enjoy riding it a lot. But here's my problem. I joined a local biker's club and quickly discovered that I had the heaviest and most inefficient bicycle of the group. I quickly learned that I could keep up generally but had to really work unusually hard. My legs are beginning to look like Eric Hyden's and as the weather has gotten cooler I am realizing that I'm starting to fall behind. I just don't have the reserve to pick things up from roughly 12 to perhaps an average of 15 mph. I spoke to several buddies who were astonished that I was able to keep up at all.
So now ... instead of selling my good old Fuji Palisade 10sp. racer, I'm thinking of perhaps modifying it some in a kind of comfort compromise so that I can better keep up with the crowd. This idea was given greater impetus just the other day when I saw this elderly gentleman ride by on his old racer. He was sitting upright with a larger seat and a rather unorthodox set of butterfly handlebars that looked like they were borrowed from a 40 year old kid's bike, you know the kind .. 20 inch wheels, banana seat, with baseball cards clipped to the front forks. LOL Those were the days.
Anyway ... has anyone here done anything similar with their older racer? Perhaps there are other alternatives that will still let me get some mileage out of my Fuji racer? I tried out my old racer again just yesterday and noticed immediately that I had it approaching 20 mph with the same energy that I would have only gotten 15 mph out of the Saratoga. So there is little question that making a few modifications to the racer would do the trick ... sure wind resistance would be worse and things wouldn't be quite as efficient but the butt, palm and back pain at least will be significantly lessened. So I'm willing to try it.
Any advise or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps someone could otherwise point me in the direction of others who might have rigged their beloved old racers in similar more comfy fashion.
Thanks ... Comfy-Bear