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Old 11-04-06, 01:27 PM   #1
George
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Flatbar touring bike

I just rode a Randonee and it just didn't seem to fit.I had the saddle up where my leg was straight and back as far as it would go,but after 5 miles my knees were killing me.Also I had to keep moving my hands every 2 minutes and I just couldn't get comfortable. I got home after the 5 miles and jumped on my FX 7300 and I was in real comfort right away.I was thinking if I moved up in the FX line that may be what I need.I thought I could use the drop bars but I have arthritis and I just can't make it work. Or am I just better off upgrading mine.I hate to think this is as far as I can go,but I should be thankful that I can ride at all.Thanks George
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Old 11-04-06, 01:32 PM   #2
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A lot of answers to your questions could be found here.
http://sheldonbrown.com/beginners/index.html
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Old 11-04-06, 01:44 PM   #3
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There are plenty of things that go into bike fit. If you haven't done so already, you should talk to your LBS about getting a real fit, especially if you're changing from flat bars to drops.

There's nothing wrong with using a flatbar on a tour though, if properly set up. You're not racing here, y'know. However, you ought to do the following:

1) Make sure you have a little bit of bend in your knees when your legs are fully extended.
2) Get bar ends.
3) Get high quality grips, e.g. Ergons.
4) Get high quality gloves, and toss them when the gel is beat.
5) Change hand position frequently while riding.
6) Look into trekking bars, which give you more hand positions than drops + bar-ends.
7) Worst case scenario, look into aero bars, which will take lots of pressure off of your hands. Might compromise your view, though, and not good for group rides.

If you don't go aero, you will likely want a very upright riding position to take pressure off your hands, although this will put it on your twees instead.
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Old 11-04-06, 02:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George McClusky
I just rode a Randonee and it just didn't seem to fit.I had the saddle up where my leg was straight and back as far as it would go,but after 5 miles my knees were killing me.Also I had to keep moving my hands every 2 minutes and I just couldn't get comfortable. I got home after the 5 miles and jumped on my FX 7300 and I was in real comfort right away.I was thinking if I moved up in the FX line that may be what I need.I thought I could use the drop bars but I have arthritis and I just can't make it work. Or am I just better off upgrading mine.I hate to think this is as far as I can go,but I should be thankful that I can ride at all.Thanks George
Part of the design of drop bars is that they distribute some of your weight off your butt and onto your hands. At the same time, they offer multiple hand positions so that the amount of distribution can be modified throughout the ride. This works well for healthy people, but joint damage from RA makes this very hard on hands.

Try this, put down the keyboard and stand up with your hands relaxed at your sides. Now, without turning your wrists raise your aims in front of you. Your hands are probably now extended in a "hand shake" position and 90 degrees off axis from a flat bar hand position. The handle bars that will come closest to putting your hands in this most natural of positions is the old "north road" style. Match those with a suspended seat post or sprung saddle like a Brook B-67 and I think you'll be able to ride with at least as much comfort as you have on your FX. A bike shop will be able to modify an off-the-rack model for a nominal fee or build you an LHT like this.

RA is a nasty disease, but the research is moving very fast so make sure you keep on top of the latest treatments.

Note, I'm not an MD. I just live with an RA patient.
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Old 11-04-06, 02:19 PM   #5
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Thanks everybody,but halfspeed brought up somthing interesting.I just ordered a B17,do you think I would be better off with a B67,Thanks a lot,George
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Old 11-04-06, 02:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George McClusky
Thanks everybody,but halfspeed brought up somthing interesting.I just ordered a B17,do you think I would be better off with a B67,Thanks a lot,George
I would go with the B67 or the Flyer, always beter with springs.
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Old 11-04-06, 02:54 PM   #7
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I guess I'm going to try and make my FX my touring bike.I tried to order the B 67 but I was to late,I'll do it Monday.Thanks again George
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Old 11-04-06, 04:44 PM   #8
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I suggested the B67 because of the weight distribution issue I mentioned. If your hands can't take much of your weight, you're going to ride more upright and have more weight on your backside. The B67 with its wide platform and integrated springs is going to be better in these circumstances.
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Old 11-04-06, 05:22 PM   #9
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After I posted that last message I remember I tried the B67 and I remember it was hitting the back of my legs.I guess I could try it again and if it doesn't work I could try the B17.
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Old 11-04-06, 06:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George McClusky
After I posted that last message I remember I tried the B67 and I remember it was hitting the back of my legs.I guess I could try it again and if it doesn't work I could try the B17.
There is that... I think the Conquest is a B17 with springs. You might want to consider that one.
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Old 11-04-06, 08:17 PM   #11
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I seen pictures of your wifes bike xilios and I see it is a FX 7.2.Did you do any modifications to it,and how does your wife like it.Have you taken it on any long tours.Not real long but a few hundred miles.Thanks George
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Old 11-05-06, 01:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George McClusky
I seen pictures of your wifes bike xilios and I see it is a FX 7.2.Did you do any modifications to it,and how does your wife like it.Have you taken it on any long tours.Not real long but a few hundred miles.Thanks George
My wifes bike is the 7.2 FX WSD, (Woman Specific Design), she has riden it for nearly 5000kms so far this year without any problems. The only problem was with the butterfly bars on her first tour from Holland to Spain, (she had a problem with her shoulders), so we changed it to flat bars with bar ends for our fall tour, and the problem disappeared. As far as saddles go I have the Brooks Champion Flyer and she has the Brooks Champion Flyer S. After trying many other saddles we have found these to be the most comfortable and we can ride for over 8hrs a day, every day without any trouble.
I would also like to add, that all of the advise on adjustments at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/ are a starting point, you still have to go back and finetune the adjustments to fit you, there aren't two people the same.
There is more information on the link below, hope it helps you out some.
cheers
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Old 11-06-06, 01:10 PM   #13
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+1 for a Trekking bar. I love mine.
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Old 11-06-06, 03:11 PM   #14
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I was looking at the trekking bars,but I have a 4" riser on my bike already.Also if I put the trekking bar on I'll have to buy new shifters because the cable will be to short.Thanks anyhow,maybe down the rode I'll get a new bike or do the complete change later.I'm really looking at the Bianchi Strada,but I just dont know yet.
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