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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 06-25-07, 02:18 PM   #1
BenyBen
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Steelwool north star - Sizing questions

So I went to test ride a steelwool northstar this weekend and I LOVED the ride. The only problem I found with it was that when I had my hands on the drop bars, I found it really awkward to reach for the shifters and brakes (had to force my fingers up from where they naturally wanted to rest).

About 10 minutes into the ride my wrists also felt a bit of pressure whenever I braked, which may get painful after a long ride. When I mentioned this to the lad at the bike shop, he said that it's normal, and that the normal riding position for comfort should be on top of the drop bars... Was he BS'ing me? I've seen countless people riding road bikes while using the drop bars...

I think the frame was a 54cm, and that perhaps I should be riding a 52. Would that change anything?

I have also done a test ride of the Rocky mountain sherpa 30, which was JUST the right size it seems, and riding on the drop bars felt natural. The reason I'm trying to go for the steelwool is that it is significantly less expensive, and will look less appealing to thieves....

Any comments?

Edit: Is there any way to change a message title

Last edited by BenyBen; 06-25-07 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Wrong title
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Old 06-25-07, 04:06 PM   #2
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It sounds to me like a sizing issue. Perhaps you were too stretched out on the Northstar, so your weight was shifted forward, and too much was on your arms. Like you say, the Rocky Mtn felt better all around, and you were comfortable in the drops. What size was the Rocky? Maybe you can get the Steelwool in that size (that is a sweet bike!) It seems as though your weight balance was good there.

On a properly fit bike, the right set of drop bars should be comfortable all over... in the hooks, in the drops, on the hoods, the shoulders, and even on top when the situation presents itself. The beauty of drop bars is that you can move your hands around, and won't be stuck in an awkward position for an extended time period. You may, of course find that you prefer certain positions more than others, but you shouldn't be have unusable positions on your bars. What the bike shop employee was likely referring to is that many people find that the shoulders/hoods are a comfortable place for an extended period of time.
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Old 06-25-07, 04:12 PM   #3
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well you can try changing the angle of your drop bars to maybe suite you better, or maybe even change to bar end (bar-con) shifters which would force you to get used to changing hand positions and making it less stressful on your wrists / fingers because you train yourself to shift.

If you are looking for a cross frame the suggestion across all of the 'frame sizing' (do a search for it in the cyclocros forums) mention specifically that you should generally look for a frame about 1-2 cm smaller than you are normally used to.

Also you may either want to get a fork with a longer steerer or raise the stem position (if you can) so that you are positioned better. If you don't feel comfortable doing something then that's usually the first indication that you are doing it improperly.

If you want something 'less-appealing' to theives, you can spray paint your bike, ask your bike store if the model comes in a flat finish, put a pannier rack on it... generally little things to make it ugly, but at the same time not to devalue your bike.

I haven't tried either of the bikes that you have mentionned but I usually go with how I (like you said yourself) FEEL about the situation.

So far I have not found a way to change the thread title so I would say no.

edit: hahhaha sup justin !
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Old 07-20-07, 05:23 PM   #4
BenyBen
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So, I finally got the bike! It was actually on sale for 1200$ CAD.

So Far I really enjoy the bike. The gentlemen fitted the bike to me. I'm a bit stiff since I'm not used to the position that much, but I think the bike is a good fit so far.

The ride is so enjoyable. Steel feels so sturdy! I'm excited!

Here's the obligatory picture




and more here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10292916@N07/?saved=1
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Old 07-21-07, 04:21 AM   #5
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The oversize BB with the eccentric cups is the most ingenious thing I've seen. Love the color, my bike is almost the same shade of blue. Good luck, I see you got a different model that the OP. Does it fit better?

Tim
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Old 07-22-07, 07:50 AM   #6
BenyBen
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The model is the same, just different color. I got properly fitted to the bike, and the more I've been riding the bike, the more comfortable it is.

It's a great ride.
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