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  1. #1
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    Starting to consider ditching 'track' geometry, help?

    The more I ride my Soma, the more I'm feeling my sore hands and wrists. This is after I have it set up to be relatively plush by track bike standards: steel frame, 28mm tires, less than 2" drop saddle-to-stem, and fizik gel handlebar pads. The bike is slightly too small (I should have gotten the 61cm), so a bigger frame might help, but I'm wondering if the geometry itself is too much for me.

    The seatpost itself is pretty set back - a Miche Supertype, I measured it and it's 2.5cm or so. How much of that is just over-correcting for such a steep seat tube angle? Wouldn't I have less weight on my hands - and have a much less punishing ride - if I were on a 72.5 degree seat tube instead of a 75 degree one? Is track geometry so much further forward than road that I'm really fighting against the intended purpose of the frame?

    My other ride is a MTB, so the ride position is so different I can't really make any correlation, except that I can do 20+ mile 3hr+ rides and my wrists hurt less than 10 miles around the city on the fix. So, I'm hoping someone with lots of road and track bike miles to weigh in.

    PS, other details: I'm a big guy (6'-3" 250), and I'm considering a Milwaukee Orange One or an Il Pompino.

  2. #2
    Ho-Jahm Hocam's Avatar
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    You're hands/wrists hurt because you're putting too much weight on your bars. With a comfortable setup you're back should be at 45 degrees or more with the top tube. You can try raising/shorting your stem before just ditching the geometry. If your knees feel good don't change anything with the saddle.

    I thought this would be about toe overlap..

    Edit: Also your arms could be over extended.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    Yep, track frames feel really great when you get out there on the smooth road and you are zipping around, dodging cars, doing track stands..whatever. But when you want to do a real ride, there's just no way around it...road geometry is better. Thats why road frames have road geometry. I love my Bareknuckle, but I'll use a road oriented frame for century rides, thank you. The Bareknuckle really exaggerates the bumps compared to my other frames. I don't know much about the Pompino, but the Milwaukee should suit you fine for long and/or rough road rides. Your are definately going to notice the difference with any ss/fg frame with roadish geometry.

  4. #4
    (((Fully Awake))) Serendipper's Avatar
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    I have a roadbike with a loooong top tube and really rakish fork for long rides. A track bike for going i circles, or short city hops.

    There is no way around it...track bikes suck at touring!

    Here is my solution:

  5. #5
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Look at the size of that dork disk!

    I got the San Jose after deciding the track geometry just wasn't that practical for my riding style and needs. Plus I like the idea of brakes and maybe adding a rack or fenders.

  6. #6
    right foot, left foot...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipper
    I have a roadbike with a loooong top tube and really rakish fork for long rides. A track bike for going i circles, or short city hops.

    There is no way around it...track bikes suck at touring!

    Here is my solution:

    how do you sit on that saddle???

  7. #7
    (((Fully Awake))) Serendipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwind
    how do you sit on that saddle???
    It's an ancient Brooks. In case you've never ridden on one, consider the fact that it molds to one's buttocks. You want to level a nicely broken in Brooks by the bottom, not top of the saddle.

    Really the most comfortable perch I own. (Thanks again Red Riding Hood in Philly!)
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  8. #8
    not actually Nickatina andre nickatina's Avatar
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    Yeah, sounds like you could consider adjusting / ditching the stem or getting handlebars that extend out farther.

  9. #9
    (((Fully Awake))) Serendipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre nickatina
    Yeah, sounds like you could consider adjusting / ditching the stem or getting handlebars that extend out farther.
    Why? The top tube is quite long (hard to tell in the pic).

    It's a very old bike, Andre. The fit is perfect. The seat will not go back any furthur in the seatpost. That's the way they were set up back in the day. It's an awesome bike, really.
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  10. #10
    not actually Nickatina andre nickatina's Avatar
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    No, you got me wrong Serendipper. I was talking to the thread starter, not you. Your bike is fine!

  11. #11
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    I'm assuming that he is talking to the OP
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  12. #12
    (((Fully Awake))) Serendipper's Avatar
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    D'oh!

  13. #13
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    Great replies so far, thanks. You're helping me make up my mind.

    Yeah, sounds like you could consider adjusting / ditching the stem or getting handlebars that extend out farther.
    I already have 45mm of spacers, so going higher is a bit sketchy on the frame.

    Also, if the issue is too much weight on my hands, how would putting me more forward on the bike help? I thought that would put more of my body weight forward and increase the pressure on my hands. Or... am I missing something?

  14. #14
    King of the Hipsters
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    Track geometry refers to a steep head tube angle (74-75 degrees), a smaller amount of rake (think bend in the track forks - my Pista has 28mm of rake and most road bikes have 40 or more mm's of rake), short wheelbase and a high bottom bracket (less likelihood of pedal strike).

    I weigh 235 all up and stand 6'2", with most of my height in my torso (short legs).

    I ride a Pista one size too small in order to make sure I can safely straddle my frame.

    I bought about five cheap stems looking for the right angle and length for me.

    My current super-light and expensive stem rises six degrees and meaures 90mm.

    I have seat post with a 35mm set back, which puts me a little more on the rear wheel and, with the short stem, a little less on the front wheel.

    Finding the right seat post and saddle position took the most experimentation.

    I now ride with a non-padded saddle and forget the saddle even exists.

    I have no wrist or palm pain.

    Oh, and I ride with bullhorns at the same angle as my stem.

    It took me a year of constant experimentation and thought to arrive at this fit.

    I love the handling my frameset's "track geometry" gives me.

    If and when I have Mercian build me a custom frame, I will use my present frameset geometry as the starting point.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rallen's Avatar
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    this is interesting b/c I have the same issue with my hands getting sore and my triceps getting tired. I was thinking my bike was too big, but if your having the same issue with a bike that's too small.... hmmm...

    want to trade? I've got a 62 cm angus.

  16. #16
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    have you considered putting risers on the bike? hand and wrist pain is not unique to track geometry. it may be a contributing factor but it's worth trying some modifications first. if all else fails, that milwaukee seems like a pretty sweet ride!

  17. #17
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    I have seat post with a 35mm set back, which puts me a little more on the rear wheel and, with the short stem, a little less on the front wheel.
    Where did you get a clyde-friendly 35mm setback seat post? Hook me up! Brand?

    have you considered putting risers on the bike?
    Thought about it, but I like the different positions on my ergo road bars. I like to go for occasional 20-30 mile rides on the coast, and sometimes the drops come in handy for nasty headwinds.

  18. #18
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    schnee
    is your saddle level for starters? a lot of times, a forward tipped saddle can cause wrist pain for some riders.

    I love my Il Pompino - the difference geometry is easily felt and the spacing on current frame model is 120mm, meaning you can still use your 120mm spaced wheelset (if that is what you had). the headtube is 1 1/8 t-less, which will allow you to adjust the bar height with more options than a threaded 1" design allows (without using an adapter). the frame is really adaptable in itself too as you can throw tires up to 35mm in the frame with no issue. Brake holes and mounts too.

    I am glad I made the switch. After selling off the stable, I was able to get 3 bikes that work the way I need them too. My knees are not having the whole "go for 10 years fixed" crap I was feeding myself.

    Last year, I discovered the 1990s!
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  19. #19
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    is your saddle level for starters? a lot of times, a forward tipped saddle can cause wrist pain for some riders.
    Level, if not slightly nose-up. I've played around with that adjustment a lot, and I've had it tilted too far both ways before.

    I already have a threadless setup - Thompson Elite X2 w/ shim - so that'll go over to a new frame just fine.

    Sad thing is, I looked at the Pompino more, and even if they do say to go one size up further than normal, I think their largest size is too small for me too. Their site says for 6' to 6'-4", but judging from the size of the cockpit, I'm not so sure... looks like I have to do some number-crunching on the frame.

    Edit: the Il Pompino head tube is 167mm, which is 3mm shorter than my current frame, and I run 45mm of spacers already. Even if they say it's for up to 6'-4" riders, how does that reconcile? I wouldn't be gaining anything with handlebar height and/or stem spacers... am I missing something? Is the fork longer compared to a track frame?

    I think I'm going for a cyclocross-ish frame regardless, the flexibility in tire sizes is too cool. Thanks for the tips.
    Last edited by schnee; 01-15-07 at 03:34 PM.

  20. #20
    Lurker for Life yonderboy's Avatar
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    I assume you're riding the 59cm Rush? The Pompino has the same toptube length (minus a few mm) in their 57cm frame. If you put more seatpost sticking out, you'd probably have about the same fit. We all know positive-rise stems are uncool. But, if you're worried about running so many spacers, just flip the stem over. Being comfortable is 10x more important than being cool.

    I'm 6'3" and ride a 59cm Soma. I have a 100mm stem set at -6deg with road bars and a regular setback seatpost. This bike does double-duty for road training and track riding. During the winter I put a lot of road miles in on the fixed gear. I don't like doing more than a couple hours on the road, due to the steep angles.

  21. #21
    Blue Light Special kmart's Avatar
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    Flip it
    Don't worry about what the cool kids say.

  22. #22
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    Stem is already flipped. The bars are high.

  23. #23
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    Well, after doing a ton of research, I figured out the XL Il Pompino will put the bars ~30mm higher than they are now, so I can either push the bars higher safely, or remove spacers. The geometry will push me back further, and I can use nice fat tires. The cockpit length will be the same, if not slightly longer, than my current bike.

    And then... guess what I found... close-out on the Il Pompino with 120mm spacing on the UK site. Frame's on sale for 99₤, forks for 25₤, so I pulled the trigger. So, brand new frame and fork for less than $300. Supposedly the sale ended last night, but the values are still up on the site, and it was the last XL, so hopefully they'll honor it. (Cross your fingers)
    Last edited by schnee; 01-16-07 at 12:15 AM.

  24. #24
    huaraches es amor bikeage's Avatar
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    what do you plan to do with the Soma Rush frame and fork?
    Al pueblo de México, a los pueblos y gobiernos del mundo, hermanos, nosotros nacimos de la noche, en ella vivimos, muriremos en ella, pero la luz sera mañana para los más, para todos aquellos que hoy lloran en la noche, para quien se niegue el día, para todos la luz, para todos todo.

  25. #25
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    Sell them.

    If anyone's interested, PM me. I'll sell them with the Chris King headset and all the black and/or silver headset spacers you'll ever need.

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