Need help finding two parts.
Hey folks. I'm new, and hoping that someone can point me in the direction of two things.
I just got a mountain bike after many years of not riding - it's just an entry-level Del Sol, nothing special. I upgraded the bottom bracket and crank to a set that cost about half what the bike cost, cause I weigh about 350 and I killed the crank on the last bike I bought.
Which leads me to the other parts I need: being at this weight (I need the exercise fairly badly, and my treadmill was driving me crazy with monotony), my seat is, shall we say, less than satisfactory (can you say saddle sores?), and my riding style is not standard - my heels point inward to a great degree. So what I need to know is, where do I find the absolute widest set of pedals that can be had (price is no object here), and what is the best seat for a guy like me?
I'm thinking that the seat needs to be pretty wide at the back, with a goodly amount of surface area to contact, thus spreading the weight distribution as widely as possible, and more importantly, it needs to have springs on the bottom. I've seen such seats on some of the Schwinnesque reissues being sold lately, so this shouldn't be too hard to find, seems to me. My current seat is gel-based, and I'm sure it's heavenly for people about half my size, but at the moment it feels like a concrete post.
For the pedals, I'm thinking that in the world of chopper bikes there's probably a set of especially wide ones being made by someone that I could probably adapt to my bike, but I wouldn't even know where to start looking. To give you an idea, my current set is about 4.5 inches wide - this doesn't seem overly narrow to me, I'm just not built for standard stuff at the moment. I was thinking, alternately, that there might be a way to add a spacer in between the pedals and crankarms to put them an extra 1/2-1 inch out, which would probably be about perfect. I'm still pretty new at this, though, so I really have no idea what's out there, and when I went back to the shop where I got the bike, they seemed to be more amused at the problems I'm having than interested in trying to help me solve them. They were quite clear on the terms, though - anything custom-ordered had to be paid in full ahead of time, with no returns. Thanks guys.
Anyways, even a pointer to a well-supplied online retailer, with full specs for their gear or a helpful staff who answer emails would help at this point. It's not that the bike is unusable, but these two things would greatly enhance my cycling experience, which in turn would help me get off my arse more often and for longer periods. Thanks folk.
Saddles are a very personal thing so it's going to be hard for someone to recommend the right one for you. You really do have to try out a bunch. Also, the widest cushiest saddle might not actually be the best. In general they're the worst. What you want from a saddle is ones that will properly support your sitbones. For this to happen, the shape of the saddle is important and will be different from person to person. A cushy gel-like saddle in actuality can cause more discomfort for longer periods of riding as the cushy portion will displace under the rider's weight and begin to protrude into your butt in all the wrong places while your sitbones receive no support whatsoever. Another thing to keep in mind is how long you've been riding. If you've just returned to cycling after a long hiatus or are simply new to cycling, your nerve endings in your behind will be fairly sensitive for the first few rides. Eventually, they will deaden and you won't feel the discomfort so it's best you just rack up some mileage and give it some time at this point.
Originally Posted by JTode
Are you having a problem with the platform not being wide enough to accomodate your feet or are you having a problem with your legs being positioned too close to the cranks? If it's the former, then you may want to look at some platform pedals such as the Speedplay Drilliums or the Crank Brothers 5050. Note that those pedals are fairly pricey and if you don't like the profiles, there are also plenty of similar products out there. Just do a search for something like DH or freeride platform pedals. If it's the latter problem and you're having trouble with foot positioning then you can certainly get pedal spindle extenders such as the ones from Knee Saver.
Originally Posted by JTode
Pedal Spindle Extenders - precisely what I need. Thank you! (now, why aren't the supposedly knowledgeable staff at the bike shop aware of these?)
The seat, I agree, will be a tougher one. While I agree that I definitely need to build up some callous/rhinoceros skin where arse meets seat, I nonetheless will never find this seat in the least bit comfortable, and at the moment I am not at all fit enough to spend most of my time riding. It's great exercise, but I'd prefer that it not also be a test of my pain threshold's endurance to go riding for half an hour. Gel seemed like a brilliant idea when I first encountered it, but at the moment it seems not so hot - the giving nature of it, it seems to me, means that the hardest parts of the posterior, particularly on a heavy person, are going to end up getting the hardest parts of the seat, as the gel compresses. Maybe there's more to the physics of gel of which I am unaware, but my experience with it has nonetheless been uniformly bad.
Whatever the case, thanks again for the pointer to the extenders - they're perfect for my problem.
One thing I always advise heavier riders to do is to pay close attention to their wheels. Bike frames can generally handle a pretty high amount of weight but the wheels and rims can pose some limitations. If you start breaking a lot of spokes, you'll want to investigate having a tougher wheel built up. My recommendation would be Sun Rhyno or RhynoLite series rims with at least 36-hole three-cross lacing in the rear and 32-hole two-cross lacing in the front. Also, make sure the wheel is properly stress-relieved and the spokes have received the proper amount of tension. If you buy prebuilt factory wheelsets, you'll most likely want to have a good local wheelbuilder go over it before you mount it on your bike and start riding with it.