Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Spencer, IN
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    689
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Bike choice for double century

    I'm doing a 212-mile ride on Sunday, and am having trouble deciding which of my bikes to take.

    I have a Trek 5200 (carbon fiber racing bike) set up in a fairly aggressive riding position. I did Calvin's Challenge on this bike earlier this year... and although I was thrilled with my finishing position, my butt and my back paid the price. I was really sore the last four hours of that ride. I also used the Trek to do the Ride Across Indiana, and again, I finished well, but was really sore. I have tried many different saddles on this bike, and have come to the conclusion that racing bikes just aren't made for comfort, no matter what saddle is used.

    I also have a Surly Long Haul Trucker, set up as a commuter. It has drop bars with a moderate position - slight drop from saddle to hoods. It has 28-cm tires, and a Brooks B-17. Unfortunately, with rack and fenders it weighs just under 30-lbs. But it is all-day comfortable.

    Sunday's double century will be at a light to moderate pace (average speed 18-20mph), since the speed of the group will be restricted to that of the slowest rider. The first half will be fairly hilly, and the terrain will become flat in the second half when we start across the plains of Northern Indiana. We will have SAG support every 50-miles.

    Which bike would you take? The weight and "touring" gear ratios of the Surly concern me. And the lack of comfort aboard the Trek 5200 is a problem.

    Someday, I'm going to get a Marinoni sport touring bike... but that's years ahead.
    Last edited by matthew_deaner; 08-03-07 at 06:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Ho-Jahm Hocam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    4,228
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'll be very impressed if you can keep the 18-20 mph pace for 212 miles, and if you do that will put you at around 11 or 12 hours of riding, sounds like a lot for a race bike.

    I'd say strip the racks and fenders (if there's no rain in the forecast) off the surly and don't worry about the rest of the weight as half of the ride is flat.
    Race-o-meter:
    Broken until next season

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    My Bikes
    ANT Club Racer, 2004 Trek 520
    Posts
    1,117
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_deaner View Post
    I also have a Surly Long Haul Trucker, set up as a commuter. It has drop bars with a moderate position - slight drop from saddle to hoods. It has 28-cm tires, and a Brooks B-17. Unfortunately, with rack and fenders it weighs just under 30-lbs. But it is all-day comfortable.

    Sunday's double century will be at a light to moderate pace (average speed 18-20mph), since the speed of the group will be restricted to that of the slowest rider. The first half will be fairly hilly, and the terrain will become flat in the second half when we start across the plains of Northern Indiana.
    can you define 'fairly hilly'? as Hocam said, the weight on the Surly LHT will only be a penalty on the climbs. Once you get into the flats, it's all about pacelining and there won't be much of a difference between the LHT and a regular road bike in that scenario. assuming a decent sized seat bag and good weather, you won't need the rack and fenders at all.

    can you raise the handlebars on the Trek? flip your stem in reverse (assuming that it's already been 'flipped' for a more aero position) ? that might address your back issues and some of your butt issues. perhaps also move the Brooks to the Trek?

  4. #4
    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    612
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd say definitely take the trek but get some better shorts and get it professionally fitted.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Spencer, IN
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    689
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
    can you define 'fairly hilly'?
    Yes - I expect 50-75 feet of elevation per mile for the first 100-miles or so. We're starting in Southern Indiana and are going north. In general, and with some exceptions, Indiana becomes mostly flat about 45-miles south of Indianapolis, and almost dead flat north of Indy.

    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
    can you raise the handlebars on the Trek? flip your stem in reverse (assuming that it's already been 'flipped' for a more aero position) ? that might address your back issues and some of your butt issues. perhaps also move the Brooks to the Trek?
    When I first started road biking (about a year ago), the stem was flipped up, and the steerer was uncut. As I got used to the riding position and strengthened my core via weight training, I kept lowering the handlebars to get a more aero position. I got the steerer cut last month when I thought that I reached my ideal handlebar height.
    Most of the rides I do are about 2-4 hours long, and the Trek is great for those rides. I feel little or no discomfort. It's the long rides that kill me, especially on flat terrain when I don't move my butt around on the saddle as much. Ideally, I would have two bikes, one for distance riding, and one for short and fast training rides and races... as it stands right now, the Trek is set up for shorter rides. Your comment about flipping the stem back up is a good idea... I may try that. The Brooks B-17 will not work on the Trek due to increased perrineal pressure from the aero riding position. I have a Brooks Pro that might do the job... but honestly I'm worried about doing a saddle change this late before the ride. We're leaving tomorrow.

    Thanks for your help.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Spencer, IN
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    689
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hocam View Post
    I'll be very impressed if you can keep the 18-20 mph pace for 212 miles, and if you do that will put you at around 11 or 12 hours of riding, sounds like a lot for a race bike.
    That pace isn't too far off from other long-distance rides I've done this year. I averaged 19.35mph on a 216-mile ultra event this spring, and averaged 23.1mph for a 160-mile ride in mid-July. We knocked off the first 100-miles of the July ride in 4-hours, 16-minutes. But I will be with some slower riders for this double-century, so maybe I should have said 17-18 for the average speed...

  7. #7
    Ho-Jahm Hocam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    4,228
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm impressed.

    Hopefully I'll get to that point in a year or two.
    Race-o-meter:
    Broken until next season

  8. #8
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Lakeside, CA
    Posts
    967
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_deaner View Post
    That pace isn't too far off from other long-distance rides I've done this year. I averaged 19.35mph on a 216-mile ultra event this spring, and averaged 23.1mph for a 160-mile ride in mid-July. We knocked off the first 100-miles of the July ride in 4-hours, 16-minutes. But I will be with some slower riders for this double-century, so maybe I should have said 17-18 for the average speed...
    Well, you saw the results from Calvin's, the choice is obvious. Why delay the inevitable, ok, yeah I have an LHT also, but for distance I'll take a Bacchetta over anything else. Oh, the CA is available as a 700c bike. Judging from your current stable, I'd say take the LHT though, unless you like pain.
    Last edited by markw; 08-04-07 at 01:35 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Spencer, IN
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    689
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    Well, you saw the results from Calvin's, the choice is obvious. Why delay the inevitable, ok, yeah I have an LHT also, but for distance I'll take a Bacchetta over anything else. Oh, the CA is available as a 700c bike. Judging from your current stable, I'd say take the LHT though, unless you like pain.
    Thanks... based in part on all the comments, and in part on dread over spending 14-hours on a low-positioned racing bike, I decided to take the LHT.

    I was at Calvin's Challenge and I saw you guys on your Bacchetta recumbents. Man, you guys were fast. I tried riding with your group for a while, but couldn't hold that pace. I ended up drafting off of Danny Chew, Larry Fitz, and a couple of other riders, and generally felt like a loser and a wheelsucker for the short time I was with your group.

    I doubt I'll ever own a recumbant though... the drawbacks outweigh the benefits at my current age (30) and type of riding (lots of hills). But maybe I'll change my mind as my body ages...

  10. #10
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    My Bikes
    Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid
    Posts
    10,566
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_deaner View Post
    Thanks... based in part on all the comments, and in part on dread over spending 14-hours on a low-positioned racing bike, I decided to take the LHT.

    I was at Calvin's Challenge and I saw you guys on your Bacchetta recumbents. Man, you guys were fast. I tried riding with your group for a while, but couldn't hold that pace. I ended up drafting off of Danny Chew, Larry Fitz, and a couple of other riders, and generally felt like a loser and a wheelsucker for the short time I was with your group.

    I doubt I'll ever own a recumbant though... the drawbacks outweigh the benefits at my current age (30) and type of riding (lots of hills). But maybe I'll change my mind as my body ages...
    If I were in your shoes, I would have gone with the racing bike. However, it sounds like the adjustments need to be tweaked. Very minor adjustment problems can cause lots of pain.

    The aero advantage of a highracer is huge, so don't feel like a wheelsucker. My highracer is signficantly faster than my racing bike except when I'm on extended climbs. However, don't discount a highracer for climbing. Some of them are quite light (mine's 21 lbs) and with a triple crank (I don't recommend a double unless your hills are relatively short), a slightly wider cassette (I run 12/27, but many people run 11/32), and 650 wheels, you have gears that let you spin where you'd have to stand on a racing bike.

    Although bents are associated with older riders, I think they're good for anyone. The problem is that they're expensive so many younger riders can't afford them.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    48
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Too late for my 2 cents, but I would like to hear about the ride and your thoughts on how the two bikes differ. I own a Trek Pilot as well as a Cannodale touring bike and have had similar thoughts for 100+ mile rides.

  12. #12
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Lakeside, CA
    Posts
    967
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_deaner View Post
    Thanks... based in part on all the comments, and in part on dread over spending 14-hours on a low-positioned racing bike, I decided to take the LHT.

    I was at Calvin's Challenge and I saw you guys on your Bacchetta recumbents. Man, you guys were fast. I tried riding with your group for a while, but couldn't hold that pace. I ended up drafting off of Danny Chew, Larry Fitz, and a couple of other riders, and generally felt like a loser and a wheelsucker for the short time I was with your group.

    I doubt I'll ever own a recumbant though... the drawbacks outweigh the benefits at my current age (30) and type of riding (lots of hills). But maybe I'll change my mind as my body ages...
    I regularly pass people climbing on my recumbent. In RAAM this year, the first TS was 3000 feet higher than the start, and both recumbent teams came through at the same time, with only 2 other teams in front of them. There are light sub 20lb bents out there, and I've come to the conclusion that if you can't climb on a regular bike, you won't be able to climb on a bent either. I've also seen light guys like Jim Kern and Michael Wolfe fly up climbs. The ONLY thing that you really can't do is stand, so you gear down and spin. I'm riding one in socal with hills everywhere, and have no problems keeping with the groups. You have to admit, there's something cool about an all carbon recumbent on 404's.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Spencer, IN
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    689
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    I regularly pass people climbing on my recumbent. In RAAM this year, the first TS was 3000 feet higher than the start, and both recumbent teams came through at the same time, with only 2 other teams in front of them. There are light sub 20lb bents out there, and I've come to the conclusion that if you can't climb on a regular bike, you won't be able to climb on a bent either. I've also seen light guys like Jim Kern and Michael Wolfe fly up climbs. The ONLY thing that you really can't do is stand, so you gear down and spin. I'm riding one in socal with hills everywhere, and have no problems keeping with the groups. You have to admit, there's something cool about an all carbon recumbent on 404's.
    Maybe it's not fair or well deserved, but recumbants have a reputation for being heavy and for being poor bikes for climbing. I have noticed that recumbant riders generally don't climb well during organized centuries; etc in hilly terrain. Maybe this is in part due to recumbants being a less mature segment of the biking industry, and many of the earlier models were heavy and poorly engineered... I'm just guessing.

    I talked with one recumbant trike rider about this after a particularly hilly century... he said that it is more difficult to engage your glutes on a recumbant due to the riding position. He also felt that there was a disadvantage in not being able to stand.

    Another recumbant turn-off for me is the effect that recumbants have on pacelines. You can't catch much draft off of them because they are so low, so recumbants generally hang out at the back of pacelines or form pacelines together when there are recumbant riders of similar abilities. I love being able to fall into many different available pacelines during large events with my "regular", upright bike. And I enjoy the group/team aspect of working in a paceline. I feel like I'd be giving that up with a recumbant.

    Still - there is no denying that recumbants are fast... more aero and faster than traditional bikes. I'm sure recumbants are more comfortable, though I've never tried one. And those Bachetta recumbants sure are cool looking, especially with their deep-section carbon wheels. I had no idea that they were that light... 21lbs! I may get one someday for distance riding when my budget will accommodate it. I may simply physically require a recumbant to compete in distance events later in life because I have sculliosis (my spine is twisted to the right, causing back pain).

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Spencer, IN
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    689
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by daleb116 View Post
    Too late for my 2 cents, but I would like to hear about the ride and your thoughts on how the two bikes differ. I own a Trek Pilot as well as a Cannodale touring bike and have had similar thoughts for 100+ mile rides.
    Well... after all of this agonizing over which bike to take, I ended up taking the Trek 5200 for logistical reasons. I had my Trek stored at my girlfriend's house, near the departure point where the group was leaving in two vans. I had my LHT stored where I live, 20-miles away. On short noticed, I volunteered to lead a 70-mile club ride the day before this double-century. So, in order to take my LHT to the departure point for the double century, I would have had to have left it on my roof rack all day while I led the club ride on my tandem (with my 10-year old son as stoker). I was afraid the LHT would get stolen out of the parking lot... so I simply left it locked in my garage and, with much trepidation, used the Trek.

    I had a lot of time to ponder racing vs. distance vs. touring fit differences during this double century... with bike fit, it seems like you can't have everything. Here is my 2-cents...
    - A bike set up for distance riding generally has a slightly larger frame, not too much handlebar drop, has a comfy saddle, and is vertically compliant. Steel "sport touring"/"traditional" geometry bikes are common.
    - A bike set up for racing generally has a smaller frame and more constraining geometry, high saddle position relative to the bars, and a narrow saddle to allow for semi-comfortable riding when in the drops. Frames are usually optomized for stiffness rather than comfort.
    - Touring bikes also normally have a larger frame than racing bikes, and the geometry is optomized for comfort. Brooks saddles are common... they're the gold standard for comfort in a more upright riding position. Saddle and bars are often level, and the frames are somewhat laterally stiff for carrying loads, but are engineered to be vertically compliant for comfort.

    Of the above, I have two of the three... a bike for touring and a bike for racing. I need to get a distance bike for rides longer than 12-hours. It seems like your Pilot falls into the "distance" bike category. The geometry is somewhere between touring and racing, and that bike has a fairly tall head tube, so the handlebars probably aren't very low.

    About the ride... we left from Bloomington, IN on Saturday at 4:00, and traveled to Lawrenceburg, IN. Lawrenceburg is in southeastern Indiana is right on the point where Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky come together. Our goal was to ride all the way up Indiana to Michigan, with the ride terminating at the Michigan border north of Clear Lake, IN. This was a small charity ride called RUIN (Ride Up INdiana... like a more extreme version of the popular Ride Across INdiana, or RAIN). The length of the route was 211-miles, most of it flat to rolling terrain. We had two vans of riders. Both vans were used as SAG vehicles during the ride.

    We thought it was going to be hot yesterday... but the weather forecast was totally wrong. It ended up being overcast and 85 most of the day, with occasional rain showers. The weather made for some good times... everyone in the group finished with an average speed above 18mph. The riders didn't stay together as I expected... instead, through much of the ride, riders split into two groups (a lead group and a larger, "normal" group). The SAG met us every 30-miles and we regrouped at these points. I am glad that there were two riding groups because I actually ended up spending only about 11-hours, 20-minutes on my Trek. That wasn't so bad... it was the possibility of spending 14+ hours on that bike at slow speeds that was scaring me. I think we stopped too long and too much and I kept stiffening up, and I was sore from the 70 hilly miles I rode on the tandem the day before, so I really can't say that I performed up to my potential, but I'm happy with my time and the ride was a fantastic and memorable experience.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    48
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You started in Lawrenceberg? I am impressed. That is right on the river and between the hills and the traffic you must have had some fun starting out. What was the route? Oh, and congrats. That sounds like quite a ride. And an excellent means of seeing much of the state with more of a variety of terrain than the RAIN. Thanks for the feedback. I did the RAIN on the Trek with no problems. After a recent metric on the touring bike I was reminded of the comfort factor, but the two are very close.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Spencer, IN
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    689
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by daleb116 View Post
    You started in Lawrenceberg? I am impressed. That is right on the river and between the hills and the traffic you must have had some fun starting out. What was the route? Oh, and congrats. That sounds like quite a ride. And an excellent means of seeing much of the state with more of a variety of terrain than the RAIN. Thanks for the feedback. I did the RAIN on the Trek with no problems. After a recent metric on the touring bike I was reminded of the comfort factor, but the two are very close.
    Here is the route on Bikely:
    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...p-Indiana-RUIN

    There were a lot of hills north of Lawrenceburg, but I'm used to riding in the Bloomington, Indiana area, which is much more hilly, so the hills didn't seem too bad. There is a long hill on highway #1 just as you're leaving Lawrenceburg that is totally out of character for Indiana. It's about 4-miles long and continuous, with a light to moderate grade. Most of the hills in Indiana (at least, where it is hilly) are short and steep. It definitely was a new experience.

    Route #1 out of Lawrenceburg had a lot of traffic, and the road had little or no shoulder. And it started raining right after we left town, so the conditions were sort of hazardous. The rain didn't last long and traffic was light for the rest of the route.

    The RAIN ride was short on good scenery, wasn't it? Indiana is so boring through the center of the state... like an endless plane of corn fields.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •