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  1. #1
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    My '89 Panasonic DX4000

    First off lemme say that I am not a road biker and do not ride road bikes because of my weight and size at the moment, but I am working on that while riding my mountain bike. The problem I have with riding a road bike is my hands. I get extensive pain in both my hands and wrists when riding this bike because I have a lot of upper body weight I am trying to hold up and working on losing. It's not the improper size of the bike because it's a 54CM road bike and I am 6' tall, but 245 lbs.

    Here is this almost perfect condition Panasonic beauty............







    My first long ride got me 7 miles until I got a flat...............



    As I get in better shape I plan on installing new tires and tubes and will start riding it again. The bike currently has 700cx25 tires on it with the original Araya rims. What tires do you suggest for a heavy guy who rides on mostly back, mostly paved or chip and tar roads?
    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

  2. #2
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Thete's a "Clydesdale" forum here for guys over 200 lbs. You might find some good firsthand experience there too.

    Get a seat bag, with 2 tubes and tires levers. Also get a pump or CO2 system, then when you flat next time, fix it and keep going.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  3. #3
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Beautiful bike. Might be a tad small for ya. I ride a 54 and I'm 5'7".
    Might try a taller stem, like a Technomic, to get your hands higher. It'll reduce weight on hands.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  4. #4
    Senior Member clydeosaur's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree, the frame sounds too small. I'm a little taller than you and tried for year to make a 56 fit. I was able to go a total of 30 miles. However, it was a painful 30 miles for the rear & wrists/shoulders. Once I went to a 61 (got fitted) my problems went away. I do at least 1 50+ mile ride a week and am never uncomfortable.

  5. #5
    Senior Member goenrdoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    Beautiful bike. Might be a tad small for ya. I ride a 54 and I'm 5'7".
    Might try a taller stem, like a Technomic, to get your hands higher. It'll reduce weight on hands.
    +1 to this. I'm 5'11" on a 58. Additionally, consider some cycling gloves with gel inserts in the palms. I use some Pearl Izumi ones and they help with hand pain, sweat, snot, etc. (Wash them frequently.)

    Another thing to think about is keeping your hands moving. If you find yourself with your hands (or ass, for that matter) in the same place for more than a couple of miles, move them to a different position. Stand up on the pedals for 10-20 seconds. Put your hands on the tops of the bars for a little while. Try them out down in the drops. It makes all the difference, IMO, even if you try some other position for even a very short time.

    Your wheels look fine -- and the large number of spokes ought to keep them alive for a while. I'd just see about getting spare tubes, maybe some tougher tires if those are truly worn out. I have continental gp 4000's on my bike, but see the other current thread for debate on the subject of those. Flats happen, it's not necessarily the tire's fault. Just carry a tube (or two?) and a small pump (and/or some CO2) and you'll be good.

    Congrats on making the leap to road. I started riding my mtb around 275 lbs and got into road riding around 245 lbs and am now down to 215 and feeling great!

  6. #6
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    I'm 5'11 and I ride a 54 quite comfortably. Everyone has different proportions

    Secondly , OP is not that big. Probably will get better info on tires/wheels etc in the Clydes forum but don't get discouraged. I have a coworker who is about 5'10 250-260 and he rides a carbon fiber bike with 700x23 tires and hasn't had any problems with flats or messing up his wheels. I have Araya rims on my 89 Centurion and I would imagine they could hold someone twice your size. Maybe some heavy duty tires like Gatorskins or something might be good and more importantly keeping them properly inflated and checking the pressure before each and every ride. And as was already stated get some tubes, levers and a pump or co2 to carry with you and learn to use them.
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  7. #7
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    Are you sure that's a 54cm? 54cm is my size and I haven't seen many 54cm bikes with a headtube that long. Anyway, the taller stem idea is a good one.

  8. #8
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by likebike23 View Post
    Are you sure that's a 54cm? 54cm is my size and I haven't seen many 54cm bikes with a headtube that long. Anyway, the taller stem idea is a good one.
    I was told it was a 53cm from the seller, so maybe I should measure it. BRB............
    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

  9. #9
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    CORRECTION!

    I went out and measured the bike from the center of the crank to the top of where the seatpost goes in and it is a 58cm bike! Plus the seat post will go way up, but not the bars.
    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

  10. #10
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    I'm 5'11 and I ride a 54 quite comfortably. Everyone has different proportions

    Secondly , OP is not that big. Probably will get better info on tires/wheels etc in the Clydes forum but don't get discouraged. I have a coworker who is about 5'10 250-260 and he rides a carbon fiber bike with 700x23 tires and hasn't had any problems with flats or messing up his wheels. I have Araya rims on my 89 Centurion and I would imagine they could hold someone twice your size. Maybe some heavy duty tires like Gatorskins or something might be good and more importantly keeping them properly inflated and checking the pressure before each and every ride. And as was already stated get some tubes, levers and a pump or co2 to carry with you and learn to use them.
    54cm with a horiz. Top tube or sloping/swoop top tube?

    54cm classic steel usually has some pretty low bars when a standard stem is used.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    54cm with a horiz. Top tube or sloping/swoop top tube?

    54cm classic steel usually has some pretty low bars when a standard stem is used.
    54 CAAD9 which has a 545mm effective top tube with 120mm stem

    my 80s steel road has a 55cm top tube. I think the quill stem is about 90mm
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  12. #12
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
    CORRECTION!

    I went out a.nd measured the bike from the center of the crank to the top of where the seatpost goes in and it is a 58cm bike! Plus the seat post will go way up, but not the bars.
    It's probably a 56 measured c-to-c. Good eye likebike23. Definitely too much HT for a 54
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  13. #13
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    54 CAAD9 which has a 545mm effective top tube with 120mm stem

    my 80s steel road has a 55cm top tube. I think the quill stem is about 90mm
    Ok. Now if you wanted bars about the same height as the saddle you could get a positive rise stem for the CAAD9. Or a Technomic for the steelie. CAAD9 has pretty near horiz top tube, shortish HT, so bars are prob. Pretty low unless mega spacers.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 06-10-14 at 08:40 PM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  14. #14
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    Beautiful bike. Might be a tad small for ya. I ride a 54 and I'm 5'7".
    Might try a taller stem, like a Technomic, to get your hands higher. It'll reduce weight on hands.
    Quote Originally Posted by clydeosaur View Post
    Yes, I agree, the frame sounds too small. I'm a little taller than you and tried for year to make a 56 fit. I was able to go a total of 30 miles. However, it was a painful 30 miles for the rear & wrists/shoulders. Once I went to a 61 (got fitted) my problems went away. I do at least 1 50+ mile ride a week and am never uncomfortable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
    I was told it was a 53cm from the seller, so maybe I should measure it. BRB............
    maybe it's the angle but it does look small for you.

  15. #15
    In the wind mercator's Avatar
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    Looking at the setup, I'd say you need to start dialing in the fit to improve your comfort. Really, this is just moving the saddle and bars small amounts to get the right position on the bike.
    You could start with this fit calculator to get you in the right ballpark.
    I expect that bike will handle 28mm tires, which do help on the chipseal. I have some of these that ride pretty nice and last a fairly long time.

  16. #16
    Senior Member clydeosaur's Avatar
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    58 sounds more like it. Time to start to work with you fit. The frame looked big for a 54, but hard to say. Seat angle can make a huge difference on your hands, as well as stem length. Typically, you'd want to get your seat positioned properly, then worry about the stem / bars to adjust your reach. Don't go huge on adjustments. Just a bit at a time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
    I was told it was a 53cm from the seller, so maybe I should measure it. BRB............
    Never trust a measurement from a seller, my experience is that they are wrong most of the time. Having cruised craigslist several times a day for years , you learn to identify the approximate size just by looking. I was thinking that bike was 57cm. Anyway, the closer you can get your bar's height to your saddle height, the less weight will be on your hands. I like the way you angled your bars also, it is very intuitive on your part. The ramps of the bars are ~horizontal going into the lever hoods, which makes a comfortable place to rest your hands. If getting a new stem, you need to know what the clamp area diameter of your bars is and match the stem to that. I'm guessing 25.4mm based on the vintage of the bike. Also, if you get a long quill stem like the Nitto technomic, you may need a longer extension than the current stem to maintain the reach. The reason is that the higher you go with the stem, the more aft the bars will be due to the angle of the frame's headtube.

  18. #18
    Senior Member goenrdoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
    CORRECTION!
    ...
    it is a 58cm bike!
    Perfect! Then I suggest getting out there and riding it and slowly dialing in your fit, as others are suggesting.

    I wouldn't think too much about part replacement unless you can find an appropriate stem readily/cheaply.

    Remember to keep things moving (hands, stand up once in a while) and get appropriate shorts/gloves and you'll ease your comfort issues slowly by a combination of those efforts and your ever-increasing fitness.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    Beautiful bike. Might be a tad small for ya. I ride a 54 and I'm 5'7".
    Might try a taller stem, like a Technomic, to get your hands higher. It'll reduce weight on hands.
    Definitely too small. I ride a 54 and at 6" tall he's better off on a 56-58. I had a 55 but I felt too stretched out on it. A small bike is OK though if it fits like a glove but if one is feeling cramped, one definitely should go a size up.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
    CORRECTION!

    I went out and measured the bike from the center of the crank to the top of where the seatpost goes in and it is a 58cm bike! Plus the seat post will go way up, but not the bars.
    Then it fits right for someone of your height and weight! Get a Technomic stem if you want to raise the bars to a more comfortable position.

  21. #21
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    Sweet ride dude. Gotta love some vintage steel, it'll hold up and it's versatile. Good thing it's a 58cm, 54 would be too small for your size. Yep you can get a replacement stem for not too much cash that will let you raise the bars, there's the Nitto Technomic and for an option that won't go quite that high, but higher than a typical quill stem, there's the Soma Sutro. Sutro Quill Stem | SOMA Fabrications I put one on my steel ride of the same era as your Panasonic. Raising your stem will take some pressure off your hands and also your neck. If you start riding more and get into better shape you can always lower it later.

    I'm guessing you can fit some 28mm tires in that frame, that's one advantage of older steel bikes, they give you a little more clearance than the modern racy bikes have. At your weight and on the surfaces you're riding, that would make a lot of sense. Not going to slow you down, but will add to your comfort. Get something with a little flat protection built in, like a Continental Gatorskin or equivalent. You should be prepared to change a flat on the roadside, but no harm in reducing your chances.

    Your saddle looks pretty bargain bin, but if it's not bothering you, don't worry about for now.

    Enjoy!

  22. #22
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    That mullet tho...

  23. #23
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    Did not want to dig this older thread up, but I have not done anything with this bike since I started riding it and quit because of discomfort. I been riding my mountain bike daily though and getting in better shape.

    Today, I aired up the tires and took it for a 7 mile ride and I was still getting some hand pain, but not like before. I was going to sell it, but decided to keep it and will ride it again after I get in better shape. I will take the suggestion to get 700x28 tires to replace these original 700x23 tires that keep going flat.
    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

  24. #24
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
    Did not want to dig this older thread up, but I have not done anything with this bike since I started riding it and quit because of discomfort. I been riding my mountain bike daily though and getting in better shape.

    Today, I aired up the tires and took it for a 7 mile ride and I was still getting some hand pain, but not like before. I was going to sell it, but decided to keep it and will ride it again after I get in better shape. I will take the suggestion to get 700x28 tires to replace these original 700x23 tires that keep going flat.
    Hey Johnny, bear with me on this.

    I have a 1988 Panasonic DX4000. Loved it, however found that it was uncomfortable as well and mine was a 56TT. Then I learnt that the bars are not supposed to be tilted backwards like that. Instead the lower part of the bars or "drops" are supposed to be in line with the top tube. That brings the reach lower but closer to you. This may apply a bit more pressure on the hands but surprisingly enough, it's in a way that actually feels more comfortable. Kind of like laying over it. At 5'11" (my height) i'd consider a 54cm a bit small but very feasible.

    These bikes are not the most comfortable bikes in the world by any means. Being from that era you are actually supposed to stay in the drops for most of the time since the shifters are on the downtubes. It also gives you great leverage for breaking, more control and better aero. Give it a try and come back to us. I think you will be surprised.

    Here is an example with my lotus. This one I almost sold thinking it was too big with a 57cm TT. Take a close look at the bars. Believe it or not, on the second pic it was much more comfy. I did the same on the Panasonic.

    Uncomfortable


    Comfortable
    Cat 6 going on PRO....

  25. #25
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    I tried giving this bike a chance and rode it the last several days. I still get major hand and wrist pain and numbness and I am apparently not built to ride a road bike or my core is not strong enough or whatever. I brought the bike into the house and cleaned it up like new again. This is a beautiful bike..............



    This morning I put a "For Sale" sign on it and put it in the front yard. 20 minutes later it was sold. I was going to try and double my money with the sale, but the young kid pulled up in a beat up Ford and his daily commuter Next MTB was in the back. The poor old bike was pretty worn out. He said he rides 10 miles a day to work on his bike and I could tell by the bald tires. It looked like he took care of it even though it was a big box bike. I sold the bike for what I paid for it and I know the bike will be used and cared for.

    I will not really miss my Panasonic since I love my Reflex MTB.............

    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

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