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Old 07-28-08, 01:57 PM   #1
smoke59
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Touring On Mountain Bike

Hey all. Been wanting to begin touring with my Specialized Hardrock. I really begin to get sore after riding 30+ miles. Less than that Im good. Any suggestions or setup reccomendations for this bike for more comfort and for more miles. I am 6'2" 350#s of pure man. I do ride often. 4-5 times/week 15 mi. under an hour and like to do long slower rides on Sun. but would love to be more comfortable going further on this bike. Thanks
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Old 07-28-08, 02:06 PM   #2
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Might be worth experimenting with a few saddle shapes/sizes, to find one that suits you? Other tricks that can make for a more comfortable ride:

1) Make sure the saddle is at the right height - when sitting on the saddle, your leg should be straight when your heel is on the pedal. Then, when you pedal with the ball of your foot, there will still be a very slight bend in your leg to save your pelvis from rolling on the saddle. Too much bend and you'll kill your knees.

2) Make sure the bars are at a comfortable height. Some folk like to lean forwards with loads of weight on their wrists, but if you're a big guy you might prefer a more upright position.

3) Add some bar-ends to the handlebars, and get a good pair of gel-padded gloves - allows you to constantly switch hand position and prevent numbness & tingling in the fingers.

(apologies if you knew all this already!)
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Old 07-28-08, 02:08 PM   #3
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If your butt is getting sore swap in a more appropriate saddle [brooks, selle anatomica, etc..] If your shoulder/neck is getting sore raise your bars and perhaps move them closer to you. If your hands get sore swap in a different bar [trekking, drop bars, etc..]

Work on the worst offender first and then keep going until you are happy.
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Old 07-28-08, 02:15 PM   #4
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And, Ergo Grips, sure helped my hands. Took quite a bit of adjusting to find the sweet spot, but they worked. Also, I just made the plunge to clipless, and bike shorts. The clipless is a real help to me, and the shorts have extended my pain free saddle time.

Won't be long and the neighbors will be talking about that whacky neighbor on his bike ------ LOL
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Old 07-28-08, 04:04 PM   #5
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Buy a touring bike that fits you. You said you like biking regularly, so buy a bike to suit your needs. I used a mid-90s mtn bike as a touring bike last summer. It was less than comfortable. I wish I had just bought a touring bike before my trip. Maybe even look into getting a recumbent.
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Old 07-28-08, 06:34 PM   #6
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Good advice up there about fixing whats wrong first before giving up. I toured alot on a mountain bike and loved it. Good gloves, proper weight distribution, and a nice comfy seat help. I swapped my narrow mtb seat for a plush comfortable one and it made a huge difference.
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Old 07-28-08, 06:50 PM   #7
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I don't know your situation but often folks buy mountain bikes a bit small (often very small) compared to comparable road or hybrid bikes. I suppose MTB riders think smaller frames make for more mobility/agility while riding technical trails. Unfortunately such a fit seldom works well for longer touring rides. The suggestions above seem well given -- reach (bar to saddle distance), stem height, type of saddle, and saddle tilt will be key factors to examine.
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Old 07-28-08, 07:20 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies. The bike is 21 inch. It fits me well. Just want more comfort. As for touring bike, what about my weight at 350#s?
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Old 07-28-08, 07:28 PM   #9
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With that weight on the wheels, along with your luggage, the spokes will be under a lot of stress and would probably be the first thing to pop at the most inconvenient time. You could get new wheels built with 36 spokes (instead of the normal 32), and have them built in a 'triple-cross' pattern for maximum strength.

Good luck! Enjoy the tour.
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Old 07-29-08, 12:50 AM   #10
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Where are you getting sore?

Neck and shoulders: slide the seat back (more leverage to support the body) and/or raise the bars
Back: slide the seat back (or sometimes forward), adjust the seat height, adjust the seat tilt
Knees: adjust saddle height

An expert fitting would help. Even just asking someone at the local shop to look at you might help. If you tell everyone where you live, I'm sure someone here can recommend a good shop.

Or, if you want to continue self-medication, try here: http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?...s11-07#Optimal. Click the link that says "have a look at this article".
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Old 07-29-08, 01:10 AM   #11
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I used to tour on a late 1980s mountain bike and I loved it. The bike game me the freedom to go on trails and loose surface roads as well as on pavement. The bike was quite comfortable. I had added bar ends and I was careful to get a good gel saddle. Also, the old school mountain bikes are built solid, have good gearing and can handle significant loads.

Sheldon Brown has a good article on pain and cycling. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/pain.html
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Old 07-30-08, 11:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke59 View Post
Thanks for all the replies. The bike is 21 inch. It fits me well. Just want more comfort. As for touring bike, what about my weight at 350#s?
I'm still wondering exactly what is getting sore.

Regarding your weight, it seems to me that the potential problem might be broken spokes on the rear wheel. Get a wheel with as many spokes as possible, and have it built by someone who knows what they're doing. I weigh 205 lbs. and have a 36 spoke rear wheel. If I weighed as much as you I might go for 40 spokes or more, like a tandem wheel. I don't know much about tandem wheels on mountain bikes, but I know they have tandems designed for off-road, so they must make them.

Peter White Cycles builds wheels and guarantees them. You could call them. If you have a good mechanic at your local bike shop, talk to him/her and pick his/her brain. Also check out Sheldon Brown's website. I think he has an article on building strong wheels.

A touring bike is supposed to be built strong, so the frame and other components should be able to handle your weight.

Another possibility is touring with a trailer. Then the weight of your luggage is carried all or in part by the trailer.
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Old 07-31-08, 12:40 PM   #13
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I've had three Hard Rocks. I love them. Built like a brick s**thouse. Toured on two of them through steep mountain passes, 20-mile 9% dirt grades, asphalt, mud, railroad ballast, etc. My current one was dropped off my car rack twice at 65 mph and dragged down the road. The two incidents resulted in 3 bent rims, two of which I was able to straighten. Only other damage was to pedals.

I'm significantly lighter than you (160) so I'm not sure about the weight issues. A trailer sounds like a good idea to minimize the weight on the 36-spoke wheels. I toured on the standard seat which wasn't real comfortable but not bad enough to bother me too much. While touring I usually take more breaks than I do just recreational riding, which helps a lot. I'm never in a hurry. If the fit is right a good seat will probably get you going.

The reason I've had 3 is, the first was stolen, the second was swept away in a swollen river (long story), and the third I still have.
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Old 07-31-08, 08:41 PM   #14
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Go back where you bought it and tell them they forgot to put a Milano on it,,,,,,,thats MILANO, thats Big guy seat that feels good.

Brick Sh__t House is right on the money,,, LOVE to pull my Nashbar Trailer, just went on a trip earlier this month, most fun in my life.

I used to be 260 but now I'm only 217.. mines a 23

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