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Old 04-18-08, 05:04 AM
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driftwork
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Body position? Rats! My wrists hurt!

I just bought myself a mountain bike.

A MERIDA Matts HFS 3000-V

http://www2.merida-bikes.com/en_INT/Bikes.Detail.13

I'm a total noob to mountain-biking.

Most of what I do here in Taiwan is ride up paved hills with some big inclines and then ride down broken-paved / sometimes gravel / sometimes dirt track roads to get to the bottom of the mountains.

I'm only now figuring out all of the things related to body position and the bike to be comfortable.

With the original set-up, I was always feeling that I was sliding back on my saddle when climbing up steep inclines. So, I reversed my stem so that the angle is now about 90 degrees bent. This has made it way easier to climb up steep grades without feeling like I'm sliding back.

The problem is, when I get back into the city, my body position puts loads of pressure on my wrists.

I've replaced the original handle-bar grips with some grips that are supposed to keep my wrists straighter but I'm still having a lot of pain.

Questions:

#1 Should I reverse the stem back again and thereby re-correcting my body position so I'm not so hunched over and forward. This might make it harder to climb steep grades but it might also put the weight back on my saddle where it is supposed to be???

#2 Should I get some different handle-bars. I'm using the straight-bars that came with the bike. Some people I've talked to say that they are great for climbing but lousy for a more upright body position in the city. Is there some sort of compromise I can make?

#3 I eventually want to use this bike for a tour in Japan this summer. I'm hoping to arrange things on it so that I can switch it from being primarily a mountain bike to something of a tour bike. I'll get some 'Old Man Mountain' racks so I can put panniers on it and get a more comfortable B-17 saddle. Are there any other additions that would make a mountain bike into a touring bike I should be thinking about?

Also, I hope folks won't just recommend that I 'go in to see a bike shop professional' to answer my questions. Taiwan has a serious lack of them.


Thanks very much in advance for any ideas.
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