Old 04-22-16, 09:05 PM
Me duelen las nalgas
canklecat's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
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Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

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Ditto, those cervical injuries. My C2 is splintered into three pieces from a car wreck 15 years ago. I'll never ride drops or handlebars lower than saddle height again. Even flat bars at saddle height are uncomfortable after a short distance.

I might eventually be able to handle aero bars, but I'll need to be in top notch condition before I'd gain any real advantage. For now, seven months into riding after a 30+ year hiatus, I'm still struggling to regain a fraction of my peak conditioning. But I think the aero bars might eventually be workable because I can lean my forearms across the grips of my upright bars to decrease my profile into the wind, and the stretched out position puts my neck at a less uncomfortable angle than drop bars. However I'd never ride this way in traffic -- my direct vision is limited to the road, and peripheral vision of the road ahead is severely limited.

I started out last year with a comfort hybrid with upright bars, several inches above saddle height. Over the past seven months I've gradually lowered the bars until they wouldn't go any lower. Fortunately the bike has a long quill stem, making it quick and easy to adjust without fussing with spacers.

When I reached the lowest limit, a few weeks ago I flopped and reversed the bars, which now resemble a cross between flopped and reversed North Road bars, and those early 20th century "racing" motorcycle bars.

I began with the grips below saddle height. That was incredibly painful almost immediately. I raised the bars until the grips were saddle height. This was tolerable -- barely -- for about 10 miles.

At the moment I have the bar adjusted so the grips are about an inch and a half above saddle height. This has been comfortable for a few 30 mile casual rides, with an average speed of 12 mph. Meanwhile, it feels more efficient into the wind and climbing hills than the former upright position. So for now I've probably reached a reasonable compromise between comfort and efficiency, given my physical limitations.

The rest is down to conditioning. I'll have to face the fact that to improve my average speed significantly I'll need to work on my overall aerobic conditioning, since that's where I have room for improvement. The neck limitation isn't gonna change.

Last edited by canklecat; 04-22-16 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Ficks tie-pohs
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