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  1. #26
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    First off, I never said that tire size didn't affect ride quality. What I said was that it was a crutch for poor fame and wheel choice. Very simply you can do the same with a good compliant frame and wheel choice as you can with big tires. That's hardly radical, it's simple fact.
    Geometry in and of itself does not have a great impact on comfort. How the frame designer puts the materials together does. You can have two frames with exactly the same geometry one very stiff and one very compliant. Just go down to your lbs and ride a couple different "race" geometry bikes. Very similar geometry, very different rides. Same thing with randoneuring and touring frames. Bike fit is important whether you are on a randoneuring frame or a race frame. We're not talking touring here, that's not even long distance riding.



    You've been drinking too much coolaid. I've been over 70mph very comfortably on my "racing" geometry bike. I can take pictures too. That arguement is nuts and it has nothing to do with fatigue over long distances.
    Bizzare perspective. Tires don't affect long distance comfort? Frame design can offer pneumatic trail and soak up road bumps like bibendum, the road drunkard? A lower bottom bracket, slacker angles,bigger tires and longer wheelbase don't offer greater stability on descents?

    What in the world?

    Your perspective is strange, no matter how many miles you've ridden sag in timed events.

    But the bike matters. It's not just the fit. shouldn't a good fitter be able to fit a rider to a saddlehorse? seems a lot of misaimed focus when talking about what makes a good bike for long distances.



    I'd love to see your one handed pictures of you doing even 41 mph.

    I never said that tire size didn't affect ride quality
    but

    has nothing to do with fatigue over long distances.
    I think you've contradicted yourself. too much time in the hot sun under grueling, rough pavement conditions on a skittish bike with skinny tires in a race to be the fastest?

    Before the fit, they've got to make the bike!

    Maybe you'll get one that takes full fenders AND a 32c tire.THAT Wouldn't affect comfort and handling on a dark, rainy night. it's the fit, see.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Bekologist; 01-02-13 at 03:30 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  2. #27
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Just to extend some of the thoughts above- people that are VERY experienced at long distance riding don't all ride the same bikes, the same frame material, the same tires, use the same fit or fitter, carry the same stuff, etc. It's not just minor preference issues, either, but one guy that's ridden a million miles is just convinced that carbon is crap, and the next guy that's ridden a milliion miles is convinced it's the only way to go, and the next million miler is convinced that you're a fool if you're not on a recumbent, etc. It's not like Mr. Experienced and Mr. Newb disagree, there's just no end of different opinions from one experienced guy to the next. Which makes it very frustrating for the newbie trying to figure out the best way to work things.

    For example, I did some asking around in the local rando group. A couple of the most experienced riders don't use fitters, are convinced they're worthless, another one uses only one specific fitter and swears by him, but has more fit problems than anyone, another's kind of in the middle, another's switched to a recumbent. So is a professional fit worthwhile? Heck, I'm 3/4 of the way to my Mondial award and still don't know the answer to that one, and still haven't heard anyone say where I should go to get fitted, if it is worthwhile.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    I agree with everything you said except this little part (the really slow part I'm fine with. ). Mainly because you can be just as comfortable on a race bike as a touring bike if either/both are set up properly. All touring geometry does is allow you a more "stable" platform to carry a load with. The geometry does nothing for comfort. Unless you're talking about being able to carry wine and cheese in your handlebar bag. Then you might be more comfy on a touring bike.
    Actually, I kinda was alluding to wine and cheese (or whatever other comforts a person might enjoy) in the baggage. But the touring bike also tends to include things like clearance for wider tires, fenders (definitely a comfort issue on wet roads) and higher handlebars. So I agree with you to a ceratin extent, but also disagree with you a bit too.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
    I don't really agree with this. I mean I guess I could have figured out my fit eventually, but I spent almost two years on it before finally paying a guy. He diagnosed various stability, flexibility and alignment issues very quickly, and very slowly adjusted my bike to suit. I'm not sure I ever would have gotten things like cleat position/shimming correct on my own.

    Best thing I've ever done for my cycling.
    The cynic in me says "Yeah, you spent a buttload of money on fit so of course you imagine it helped... The guy with the certificate on the wall muttered an incantation, swung a dead cat around, lowered you saddle by 0.3 millimeters, and then said 'two hundred dollars, please' and all your aches magically disappeared. Uh-huh."

    The nice (well, nicer, anyway) guy in me says "Well, you may be an outlier; someone with unusual issues, who lucked into a truly knowledgeable and experienced fit expert who was able to solve real problems with real knowledge. But few cyclists have unusual issues, and perhaps even fewer will be lucky enough to find someone who really knows what to do about them. The great majority of cyclists will be able to sort out their own issues on their own, without having to wade through the the pack of charlatans who make up the majority of today's bike fitters."

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    The cynic in me says "Yeah, you spent a buttload of money on fit so of course you imagine it helped... The guy with the certificate on the wall muttered an incantation, swung a dead cat around, lowered you saddle by 0.3 millimeters, and then said 'two hundred dollars, please' and all your aches magically disappeared. Uh-huh."

    The nice (well, nicer, anyway) guy in me says "Well, you may be an outlier; someone with unusual issues, who lucked into a truly knowledgeable and experienced fit expert who was able to solve real problems with real knowledge. But few cyclists have unusual issues, and perhaps even fewer will be lucky enough to find someone who really knows what to do about them. The great majority of cyclists will be able to sort out their own issues on their own, without having to wade through the the pack of charlatans who make up the majority of today's bike fitters."
    People who recommend a professional fitting often assume that every body will derive the same benefit (or some large benefit) from it. It seems more likely that there are some cyclists who would benefit significantly and some who would not (assuming using an actually-qualified fitter). I don't think anybody has an idea of the relative proportion of these two groups.

    I suspect that nearly all new cyclists benefit from some sort of fitting (not necessarily an involved one).
    Last edited by njkayaker; 01-02-13 at 05:14 PM.

  6. #31
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Bizzare perspective. Tires don't affect long distance comfort? Frame design can offer pneumatic trail and soak up road bumps like bibendum, the road drunkard? A lower bottom bracket, slacker angles,bigger tires and longer wheelbase don't offer greater stability on descents? ....
    Apparently you can't read, but you can repeat yourself.
    Look, I can turn around and take a picture behind me on a 15% climb

    and in the rain while stopping from 40+mph. And this was 2500miles into a 3000mile race. bfd, what does this prove?

    The advantage of long wheelbase and slaker angles comes into play when you are carrying a load on your handlebars or panniers. Otherwise you don't need it.
    Last edited by Homeyba; 01-02-13 at 05:20 PM.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  7. #32
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Actually, I kinda was alluding to wine and cheese (or whatever other comforts a person might enjoy) in the baggage. But the touring bike also tends to include things like clearance for wider tires, fenders (definitely a comfort issue on wet roads) and higher handlebars. So I agree with you to a ceratin extent, but also disagree with you a bit too.
    I think we agree on more than we dissagree but I always enjoy our chats.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  8. #33
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Just to extend some of the thoughts above- people that are VERY experienced at long distance riding don't all ride the same bikes, the same frame material, the same tires, use the same fit or fitter, carry the same stuff, etc. It's not just minor preference issues, either, but one guy that's ridden a million miles is just convinced that carbon is crap, and the next guy that's ridden a milliion miles is convinced it's the only way to go, and the next million miler is convinced that you're a fool if you're not on a recumbent, etc. It's not like Mr. Experienced and Mr. Newb disagree, there's just no end of different opinions from one experienced guy to the next. Which makes it very frustrating for the newbie trying to figure out the best way to work things.

    For example, I did some asking around in the local rando group. A couple of the most experienced riders don't use fitters, are convinced they're worthless, another one uses only one specific fitter and swears by him, but has more fit problems than anyone, another's kind of in the middle, another's switched to a recumbent. So is a professional fit worthwhile? Heck, I'm 3/4 of the way to my Mondial award and still don't know the answer to that one, and still haven't heard anyone say where I should go to get fitted, if it is worthwhile.
    +1
    Enjoy the ride.

  9. #34
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    The cynic in me says "Yeah, you spent a buttload of money on fit so of course you imagine it helped... The guy with the certificate on the wall muttered an incantation, swung a dead cat around, lowered you saddle by 0.3 millimeters, and then said 'two hundred dollars, please' and all your aches magically disappeared. Uh-huh."

    The nice (well, nicer, anyway) guy in me says "Well, you may be an outlier; someone with unusual issues, who lucked into a truly knowledgeable and experienced fit expert who was able to solve real problems with real knowledge. But few cyclists have unusual issues, and perhaps even fewer will be lucky enough to find someone who really knows what to do about them. The great majority of cyclists will be able to sort out their own issues on their own, without having to wade through the the pack of charlatans who make up the majority of today's bike fitters."
    Did he swing the cat clockwise, or counter-clockwise?
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  10. #35
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Apparently you can't read, but you can repeat yourself.
    Look, I can turn around and take a picture behind me on a 15% climb

    and in the rain while stopping from 40+mph. And this was 2500miles into a 3000mile race. bfd, what does this prove?

    The advantage of long wheelbase and slaker angles comes into play when you are carrying a load on your handlebars or panniers. Otherwise you don't need it.
    those are uphill, right? oh, 40mph 30 yards from a stop in the rain? I was asking about one handed pictures you've taken while doing 40mph. not simply ride photos.

    You don't need, but a more comfortable bike (i think you at least agree tires contribute to comfort, right?) that soaks up the potholes and road hazards like bibendum in the dark, has fenders that stay put, and is more stable when you're tired, matters.

    This stuff MATTERS to comfort on a long ride, man.

    In conditions like the second photo, a bike with wide tires and full fenders handles better, has better pavement stick, and is more comfortable-because you're not soaking wet in the chamois, eating road grime while sketched about your tires' contact patch letting loose in the corners!

    Unequivocally. There is no arguing with this statement by the way, unless you're totally louche.

    Maybe you don't need it. Boy, you sound like a real pliant fitter! NOT.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 01-02-13 at 06:05 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  11. #36
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    those are uphill, right? oh, 40mph 30 yards from a stop in the rain?
    Did you read what I wrote??????
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  12. #37
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    yeah, enough to glean your pictures don't show you actually doing forty (anyone can whip out a camera rolling to a stopsign ), and the tangible variables that result in comfort while riding a bike long distance disagree with you.

    In conditions like the second photo, a bike with wide tires and full fenders handles better, has better pavement stick, and is more comfortable-because you're not soaking wet in the chamois, eating road grime while sketched about your tires' contact patch letting loose in the corners!

    These fundamental truths about bicycling are inescapable homeyba, no matter how aero you went 800k in.

    Fit won't fix grime in the chamois
    Last edited by Bekologist; 01-02-13 at 06:17 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  13. #38
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    Bek, what is the longest distance you have ridden in, say, 40 hours? Have you finished a 1200k (750 miles) in less than the 90 hour time limit? Or similar accomplishments? Just curious, because if you are going to dominate a thread like you are this one, it seems like you ought to have a track record to back up your assertions. Otherwise it's not really appropriate to argue with people that do have experience valid in this forum.

  14. #39
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Sorry, I don't spend any time taking pictures of my speedometer. In that second picture it doesn't matter if you had full fenders or not your chamois is going to be soaked to the bone so you better know how to deal with that.
    I don't know what your long distance experience is but I've done four transcontinental races and a boat load of 500mile races and 1200km brevets. Your "fundamental truths" are hardly that.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
    Did he swing the cat clockwise, or counter-clockwise?
    Can't say. They swore me to secrecy during the weekend retreat where I got my certificate.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    Bek, what is the longest distance you have ridden in, say, 40 hours? Have you finished a 1200k (750 miles) in less than the 90 hour time limit? Or similar accomplishments? Just curious, because if you are going to dominate a thread like you are this one, it seems like you ought to have a track record to back up your assertions. Otherwise it's not really appropriate to argue with people that do have experience valid in this forum.
    I'll gently take Bek's side on this one. If, for instance, Miguel Indurain showed up here to offer LD advice, would we give him the old heave-ho because he never did PBP? And if we find somebody with even more LD experience than Homeyba, does that mean that Homeyba is automatically wrong any time he disagrees?

    Or maybe we should just give take everyone's opinion at face value, and make our own judgements...

    <edit> Homey plainly has lots of experience and is worth listening to, even if he is wrong almost all the time. So nobody should think I'm taking sides against him. I'm just not sure that "The guy with the most experience wins the internet" is the best way to approach things...

  17. #42
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    i don't think being a fit guru means you've invalidated fenders, homeyba.

    yes, fit matters. but that's not all there is to comfort on a bike for riding long distances.

    i didn't realize i had to compete in non-competitive events to comment about bike fit for long distance comfort - is this a clique or something? Yes, fit matters. what's dominating this thread is the overly facile suggestion fit is the ONLY thing that matters, unterhausen.

    40 hours? Probably about 500k. 96 hours, about 800k. Because i'm not a RUSA racer. But i had a stove with me the entire time i do plenty of 200ks and the like. Maybe this isn't long distance enough for me to have an opinion about fenders and wide tires adding to comfort and the such on a long distance bike frame.

    YMMV.

    I'll shut up now, so the discussion about fit somehow making high speed wet descents in the dark somehow better if the bike is adjusted properly, not wide tires & mudguards on a more stable bike, can continue unimpeded by reality.

    Carry on.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 01-02-13 at 08:10 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  18. #43
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Can't say. They swore me to secrecy during the weekend retreat where I got my certificate.
    Damn. It's probably dependent on whether you're on the northern or southern hemisphere, too...
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  19. #44
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    I knew I recognized you from that retreat!

  20. #45
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    I'll gently take Bek's side on this one. If, for instance, Miguel Indurain showed up here to offer LD advice, would we give him the old heave-ho because he never did PBP? And if we find somebody with even more LD experience than Homeyba, does that mean that Homeyba is automatically wrong any time he disagrees? ....
    Yeah, he'll probably come here suggesting we all ride 210mm cranks! Seriously though, if you have no experience doing something it really makes no sense offer an opinion on it. 200kms is barely a 5-8hr ride. There are lots of very experienced long distance riders out there and here on this board who have differing opinions to mine. I have no problem with that at all and I respect their experience and opinions, even yours. There is a reason you don't see me over in the road forum telling them how to road race even thou I've raced a couple of them.
    Last edited by Homeyba; 01-02-13 at 09:27 PM.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  21. #46
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    The cynic in me says "Yeah, you spent a buttload of money on fit so of course you imagine it helped... The guy with the certificate on the wall muttered an incantation, swung a dead cat around, lowered you saddle by 0.3 millimeters, and then said 'two hundred dollars, please' and all your aches magically disappeared. Uh-huh."

    The nice (well, nicer, anyway) guy in me says "Well, you may be an outlier; someone with unusual issues, who lucked into a truly knowledgeable and experienced fit expert who was able to solve real problems with real knowledge. But few cyclists have unusual issues, and perhaps even fewer will be lucky enough to find someone who really knows what to do about them. The great majority of cyclists will be able to sort out their own issues on their own, without having to wade through the the pack of charlatans who make up the majority of today's bike fitters."
    Strangely, I read this kind of thing regularly on BF, but whenever I find myself in a paceline or group with people who can actually keep up, they've all had input from a professional fitter at some point in their cycling careers. It's just one of those BF mysteries, kind of like 25mph averages in the commuting forum, I guess. The internet is great!

    Oh, and the fitting was free cuz I bought the frame there.

  22. #47
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    If you set the bar low enough, everyone has "had input from a professional fitter". You just have to include "input" from the kid at Performance, or the Colorado Cyclist webpage. (Which is actually pretty good, BTW...)

    <edit> In all seriousness, my bitterness toward the bike fit gurus stems from my age: I grew up in an era when bike racing was a blue collar kind of sport, with lots of individualists and other "interesting" kinds of people. Bike fit was considered fairly black-and-white: you took a few measurements, did a few calculations, and were then "in the neighborhood". If you needed, you varied a bit from the numbers, just to solve any personal issues. Then you trained like hell, because it was widely acknowledged that that was the only way to win bike races.

    Fast forward a few (I'm not saying how many) decades and bike riding/racing has morphed into a popular "mainstream" sport, with an "expert" waiting at every turn. The idea is that you really can't figure anything out for yourself and that you need the "expert" to help you every step of the way (and, of course, separate you from your money while doing it.) It's the idea that you can't really get anywhere without an "expert", and that you need to spend lots and lots of money for the best bike, the best kit, and the best expert if you expect to perform well that really gets on my nerves.

    Short version:



    Sean Kelly. Arguably the worst position of any pro from the 1980s. Inarguably the top ranked pro for nearly all of that decade. The quintessential hardman who got where he was by riding his ass off - and ignoring the "gurus".

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    IMHO, a good long distance frame is one that you can ride a long distance on and still like it at the end. Generally speaking, while lighter is nice, it isn't as important as in road races or crits because it's about keeping a steady pace (whatever that pace may be) rather than needing maximum acceleration to get into the breakaway or sprint for a prime or whatever. Likewise, while aerodynamics certainly matter, it is less of a priority over comfort than in a road race (even in a road race, the balance between aerodynamics and comfort is different than it is in a time trial).

    Referring back to earlier posts, keep in mind that while fit and geometry are not the same thing, they are definitely related. People think of seat tube angle, for example, as falling under "geometry" because it's listed on the spec sheet, but it really comes down to the relationship of your feet to your butt, which affects the angle of your torso, which might affect your desired handlebar reach, which is related to stem length and weight distribution, which is again related to top tube length and handling, which is related to front end geometry, etc, etc, etc. It's all related.

    And it's also related to technique and body position. Many cyclists benefit from having a professional fit, whatever that means, or even a coach who guides them on better posture and technique at the same time as addressing the fit. Many don't need it, or don't benefit, or don't get the right person. Personally, I've always preferred to fit myself and make gradual tweaks over time and for different things on different bikes. I think there's a lot to be learned from trial and error and experimentation.
    There's also often a lot to be learned from other cyclists. Some issues may be more easily diagnosed by an astute companion you ride next to for six hours than by a fitter in a shop who sees you hop on a trainer for a few minutes. Try and work thinks out logically for yourself, because not everything you hear (especially from other cyclists) even makes any sense and conventional wisdom isn't always correct. But if you have buddies who are especially good riders, pick their brains from time to time.

  24. #49
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    ...<edit> In all seriousness, my bitterness toward the bike fit gurus...
    You probably sit on your porch and yell at the neighbor kids to get off your lawn too. I have no grand argument against what you are saying (because I agree with a lot of it) but the reality is that it puts a number of people in a bad spot. Long distance riding isn't the same as your average 200k and things that don't bug you on a 200k can become major problems on a 600k or 1200k. All you have to do is go ride a 1200k to see. Fit issues are a major cause of DNF's. I am a proponent of the if it ain't broke, don't fix it club. I have a friend who has his seat incredibly high. It makes me uncomfortable to sit behind him and watch his whole body rock with each pedal stroke. He's finished several 1200ks (and DNF'd a few) but there's no way I'd tell him he's doing it wrong because that's what he's used to and it doesn't seem to bother him. On the other hand I've can't even count the number of people I've talked to over the years struggling to alleviate one problem or another. I don't think the just telling them to figure it out on their own is a solution. You and I have the advantage of years of experience many of them don't so what do they do? They go to a fitter or a more experienced friend or they come to the internet for help. Like I said earlier, it isn't rocket science but there is a body of knowledge that is required.
    Last edited by Homeyba; 01-02-13 at 11:20 PM.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  25. #50
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    One of my first jobs, after failing miserably at bike racing, was rent-a-cop, and I did in fact spend a great deal of time yelling at people to get off the lawn. Sadly without an M1 Garand...

    But I guess my point is that if you're "serious" about it you do get onto the internet (or whatever) and bother to learn something about the topic, which you then apply to your own situation. Blindly trusting the local guru - while carefully avoiding any actual knowledge of your own - is just too 21st century for my own sensibilities. YMMV, as always...

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