Here is what I ride presently (I'm the topic creator): http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Clyde-Bike-Fit
Re. REI, yes, I've owned one, and it was a very good bike for the cost. These days I build my own frames so rarely see any reason to buy one "over the counter" but I still am impressed by the quality and sensible functionality of REI's offerings, especially for the price. In your shoes I would strongly consider them.
I'm going to disagree (sorta) with everyone who said that the bike was too small.
Everyone sees the first photo and thinks "wow, that looks so wrong that it's almost funny" and they are correct.
What everyone fails to consider is that you were fitted for an upright position on a flat bar bike, and you are trying to get into a road bike like aero position without changing the equipment. If I get on my MTB and try to get in the posture from pic#1, I'll look funny too (I'll even be able to touch my knees with my elbows while pedaling. I can't do this on a road bike no matter how hard I try.) It does not mean that my MTB is too small. It means that it's a MTB and not a road bike. (As a point of reference, if I bend all the way forward on my MTB, I'll touch the bars with my chin. How about you?)
If you want to make your posture more aero without looking ridiculous, flip the stem, remove some spacers from under the stem, and I think that you can move the saddle back a little bit.
I agree, trying to get an aero position on an upright bike is going to make the bike look too small. But I think it was at least a little too small. It's hard for bike shops to fit most people because they really don't like a high performance position.
I'll still maintain that his bike is way too small. My first impression was that he posted pictures of himself on his daughter's bike as a joke. I mean, I may be old and grumpy, but come on, have we really gotten to the point that grown men are riding around on 45 cm frames?
Would you say that the bike is way too small in this pic?
Last edited by hamster; 04-28-13 at 11:01 AM.
For partisan balance:
This bike does look a bit bigger, though it could be intentional (it's a full mountain bike and it should be less upright than Trek FX).
Last edited by hamster; 04-28-13 at 03:31 PM.
Interesting turn in the topic.
I personally feel more comfortable in a "less upright" position.
I always thought Bush looked ok on his bike. It's a little tricky to judge someone's position from a mtb. He always seemed to be pretty serious about his riding, I bet he got some input on his position from people that know what they are doing.
An upright position is fine for a couple miles on flat ground. But it holds you back on longer rides. I dropped my stem 1" a couple of years ago, it really made riding a lot easier. Also improved nerve issues with my hands. There is a reason for the traditional cycling position, it's not just for Lance wannabes
Last edited by unterhausen; 04-28-13 at 05:27 PM.
Not much experience as a rando, but I've ridden my current bike enough to have some idea what bothers me on the longer rides. 200K is a long time to think!
You may want to keep an eye out for used bikes in your area before sinking too much money in your rando dream bike. Bikes are very personal, and I guarantee that no matter which bike you start with, you'll find something that bothers you over the course of a brevet.
I do think you're going to want to go into it with a drop bar road bike, however instead of the comfort/hybrid that you're on now.
just a small note to the OP -
IF you're looking to buy a new bike that fits better with drop bars,
a road bike frame that takes long-reach caliper brakes provides a rider - especially a long distance rider - much versatility in setup with very little downside, except slightly limited brake choice and inability to keep a uniform gruppo. It's also how classic road bikes were specc'd until the Lemond era and the arrival of short reach brakes for the racer set.
Yesterday, riding on a quick county tootle on classic width 1 1/8" tires (28c) I noted once again how much i enjoy the chipseal smoothing, pothole eating abilities of riding a little wider tire.
Last edited by Bekologist; 04-29-13 at 04:08 AM.
I realize this bike might be a bit out of your comfort zone re: budget. In another forum, however, someone pointed out to a bike that I had never seen before: the All-City Space Horse. I studied the geometry. It seems awfully close to the classic randonneur geometry. Maybe the only thing I would change immediately is the tires -- from 35mm to high quality 32mm tires. It might also benefit from a little lower gearing, but I could live with it as is. Overall, I think it's VERY well spec'd.
Last edited by Chris Pringle; 04-29-13 at 09:40 AM.
A good rando bike is a bike you can sit on for two days and nights and still like it. After that, the rest is details. Fenders are great, but nowadays there are some quite good options for essentially full fenders that will work even on a race bike with tight clearance (Crud Racers or Raceblade Longs, for example). You need to carry your stuff, but there's a huge variety of bags, packs, racks, mounts, and so on that will work with almost any bike even if it's not purpose-built for carrying stuff. The same is true for mounts for lighting, dyno hubs, etc. Gearing is important, but there are lots of ways of changing it after-market too if you decide you need to. For that matter, it's not even that hard to just change temporarily for specific rides if you decide you need to.
But in general, a rando bike should be like a jack of all trades, not so much an extreme in any one direction. Long distances are much more about keeping a steady pace, so weight matters a whole lot less than it does in racing where instant acceleration is king, so you don't need to go looking for the lightest thing ever. But it does add up, and it does matter some because you still have to haul it up a lot of hills, so you don't necessarily want the most overbuilt touring bike, either.
In the US, there's a certain strain of "rando orthodoxy" that preaches steel frames, wide tires, low trail forks, etc. But that isn't even representative of what people actually show up with on American brevets, let alone in other places. When I was riding brevets in Germany, almost everyone rode a regular off-the-shelf road bike with 23mm tires. I kept getting asked why I chose a steel frame and such wide (25mm!) tires. Most of them didn't even have fenders, even though it rains on their rides plenty.
A lot of people's rando bikes are really more of a work in progress than something they expect to be The Right Thing out of the box, especially if they're just getting started riding longer distances. You'll have to figure out what your own personal balance is going to be between carrying everything you could possibly need and keeping the load as light as possible. You'll have to figure out what your own needs and preferences are for gearing. It comes down more to personal taste in randonneuring than in racing because in racing you have the singular goals of maximizing power and efficiency. In randonneuring you can afford to sacrifice some of that for the sake of comfort or fun or mental laziness or whatever, if you choose to.
Go on test rides, and buy a bike you love to ride, that feels great and fits well and makes you want to sit on it all day. You can make the rest of the details work out.
The bike you have is set-up/sized for an upright riding position (that is, casual, short distance rides). For that, it (probably) sn't too small.
If you are interested in long distance riding, a less upright position will (typically) be preferrable. For that, the bike you have appears to be too short.
It can take some time to get used to a less upright position.
Last edited by njkayaker; 04-29-13 at 11:58 AM.
It's a big jump to consider 200k+ rides from 25 mile ones.
As a rough hint, I'd suggest looking at an "endurance" geometry road bike that can take 25 mm tires (28 mm if possible). That sort of bike would work fine for longer distances (300k rides, for example). And on that fits you!
(Given that you posted to the "clyde" forum, you might be better off using 25 mm tires rather than the fairly standard 23 mm ones. You'll be more comfortable and reduce the likelihood of having wheel problems.)
And work up to 65 mile rides and a century or two (at the end of the season).
Also, if there's one available, I would seek-out a local bicycle club.
The problem you are going to run into here is being overwhelmed by people's different preferences when the biggest thing you need to be doing is riding (longer rides). With more experience, you'll have a better idea of what you prefer and know more to be able to figure out how to get that.
Last edited by njkayaker; 04-29-13 at 12:21 PM.
A normalish endurance road bike will let you go quite a long distance "down that road".
You really don't need an "exotic" randonee bike to do 200k (or 300k) as long as what you have is comfortable.
With more experience/conditioning, you will likely have very different opinions about what is going to work for you.
(Heck, if you loose weight, what you might choose could be different!)
You might not want to work at getting your "lifetime" bike now. It's more important to be riding (longer distances).
Last edited by njkayaker; 04-29-13 at 12:35 PM.
One of the hardest rides I ever did was 25 mostly flat miles on a flat bar mountain bike. I was so wasted that I had to call for a lift.
After that I went and bought a basic aluminum road bike with drop bars. I was quickly able to ramp up to 60 miles (at the time, I knew very little about nutrition and that, plus the lack of time, was the limiting factor.) When I picked up riding again last year after a long break, I didn't even bother to ramp up. It went like this (spaced 3 days apart): 25 miles, 30 miles, 100 miles.