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Need help, bike came, can't ride it!

Old 09-03-16, 09:59 PM
  #201  
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Originally Posted by cargomama View Post
What you say about the gears is entirely valid. It is a big concern of mine, I am friends with a bike mechanic at a LBS (he doesn't know campy that well or nuances of fitting etc. but he is very helpful within his knowledge-base) and want to discuss my options with him. I think the brifters are history, I just don't like them, any major gearing change would be something that would really take some time to consider. I'm insistent nothing should ruin the ability of the bike to go back to how it was originally.

I think downtube shifters would be great, and probably pretty easy to do. Our frames are so small, the DT shifters are just under the bars and a bit inward. Quite easy to reach. I was worried about them at first but i loved them once i tried them! May be a cheaper option than bar-ends, I think.
Plus, you could get smaller (or WSD) brake levers for your smaller hands.
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Old 09-03-16, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cargomama View Post
I have a serious cyclist friend who has had a professional fitting, I should ask him about it and see if it seems wise to try.
My "brifters" are the first gen Campy carbon levers (1997 and earlier), I agree...I know people love them but they are not. for. me. They just aren't. I'm glad to hear about the pad adjustment, I think my friend mentioned that as well...I have noticed that when they are angled up I can brake far more effectively, but yeah, they're not for me.
The general adjustment is to angle the hoods up a bit but it makes it more difficult to access the levers from the drops. The springs, etc. in the body are also stronger making it even more difficult for the smaller hand to use. I stayed away from Campy until 1999 when the body was smaller and thinner and the springs required less pressure...a huge difference from previous models.
Shimano stuff is generally more forgiving to smaller hands though the low end Shimano brifters on my cross bike are long making it impossible to shift from the drops...oh well, not a big deal.

You may want to talk to some certified fitters to at least discuss your needs and the bikes inability to meet them...they can give free advice and will generally give a brief "look over" also at no cost to give you options and choices...but they have to know what they are doing or you will be no better off.

Here is what my 49cm c to t looks like. My inseam is 27 1/2".
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Old 09-04-16, 10:06 AM
  #203  
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Originally Posted by cargomama View Post
... he generally recommended me away from something like the Long Haul Trucker because he felt it would be "overbuilt" for me specifically (ETA to clarify, I'm also a lightweight and I explained to him what I wanted, I'm sure he has nothing against the LHT) , that is a large reason why I did not go the touring route (though I know the LHT and touring bikes are obviously not all the same), as I specifically wanted a very responsive ride. Mercy did I get it with this bike, whew!
Thanks for this, that is encouraging.
Doesn't sound like there's any danger of you up and buying a LHT, but I'll reinforce the opinion. I owned one a few years ago. It was solid, comfortable, and was very stable and predictable. If I had truly been looking for a touring bike, it might have been something I could live with. What I was looking for was a more nimble all-day rider, and the weight, and unresponsiveness caused me to trade it away after a year of trying to get it to be what I wanted. It was simply a poor choice for what I wanted. We live, we learn... better if we don't learn the hard way, but at least there's learning.
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Old 09-04-16, 08:05 PM
  #204  
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Originally Posted by Steve Whitlatch View Post
There are a lot of things to get used to with this bike. Tightening your upper body muscles ,shoulders, arms and hands is the wrong thing to do. Core muscles should hold you up, not your hands. Bend your elbows, relax the upper body and ride it. Power flows from your stomach and legs, not your arms and hands. It takes time to build the core muscles and endurance as you are not used to using them.

Edit: To clarify, I am constantly reminding myself not to lock my shoulders and quit resting on my hands. More so for me on long rides. When my hands get sore or numb, its not my fit, I locked my elbows and am resting on the bars. Shoulder pain, locked my shoulders. Fatigue sets in and I have to remind myself that I just need to relax and use proper form. Happens less and less now.
Ok I did notice myself definitely locking my shoulders and elbows, I tried bending the elbows for a bit and it felt funny, can you elaborate what proper form would be for me (for comfort, safety and handling, not necessarily speed performance)? I really want to try it.
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Old 09-04-16, 08:10 PM
  #205  
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
This is a constructive thread in many areas and excellent for the C&V forum. I don't care what you ride but if you don't find a happy medium of comfort, you won't enjoy it.

Another to consider, tires.

I'm sure many of us here have been asked by others why we ride an old steel bike. There's many but one answer might be about the ride qualities vs. modern aluminum or cf frames. Not always the case but since it was brought up, most any bike can be transformed or significantly changed with tires. Most new bikes come with cheaper, lower grade rubber. I'll guarantee if you swap to a high grade tire, it'll make a difference.

The same could be said for our beloved vintage steeds. The OP may not have the luxury assortment of bikes or wheels with a range of 700c tires to swap, but crucial to get up to speed about it.

Road surface imperfections from miniscule to large takes a toll on a body and it all starts with the tires. Like a choice of saddle, this is going to take some investment and time. Bite the wallet and go for it. If you don't like the tires, re-sell and try another brand / type / size, etc..

Clocking miles in on a regular basis is going to tell you many things, not to base from others opinions. I've read many idiotic tire opinions by those who've only based it on tire construction or 'heard' about from someone else. (A sample are tubular - clincher tires for clincher rim only. Comically, the negativity mostly comes from those whom never ridden them, let alone purchased.)

Fortunately, tire technology has vastly improved with an incredible amount of choices. That might be the only issue and leading to confusion, but its still worth it. There's also the general consensus you pay for what you get.
The current tires I'm sure were good for their time, I can't remember the make but I do recall they say "made by hand" on them...the original owner didn't spare much expense. That said I think they're 25's and definitely past their prime (tiny cracks etc.) so I ordered some panaracer ruffy tuffys in 28 from my LBS. Is 28 wide enough to get a good cushion from them? That is the widest I can go. My LBS also pumped the tires hard but I think that must be why it's more jarring now than my very first ride which was definitely more enjoyable.
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Old 09-04-16, 08:20 PM
  #206  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post



By Jove, she's got it.
And faster translates to easier & longer rides.
Congrats. Now work on aero.
edit: and yours is red = faster than mine.
HAHAHAHA, that is a natural advantage I suppose
I can't believe the speed, it's incredible...and the handling is so sprightly and responsive, it's almost scary...I can hardly believe how crazy fast it is. Hills are a joke, it climbs like it's doing it for me! No one could ever say this bike isn't fast, mercy.

It's beginning to be more exciting to me to ride it (as opposed to scary and sheer misery), I'm still not convinced I can handle it but I'm definitely more and more intrigued, I've never ridden a bike so...exquisite is all I can think of. May or may not end up working out but I'm totally learning going through this process.
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Old 09-04-16, 08:25 PM
  #207  
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Originally Posted by Hardrock23 View Post
Thats too bad it cant be returned! Im sure it will sell easily though. Im glad to hear there was improvement though! Thats great!

I took some pics of my hand on my bars today and added in comparison pics of my new bar and 2 old bars to show size difference. My new bar is, as i mentioned previously, very similar to the Soma (Both are 75mm & 130mm). Also, i have to agree with a previous comment about tire size, and suggest trying a 28 if theyll fit, and also to lower the tire pressure a bit to make the ride less harsh. My 28's max out at 85 PSI, but thats way too harsh for me...I run the front at 65psi and the rear at 70psi, sometimes 75. Much smoother!

Last pic is obviously the new bars, 40cm. The adapter and stem arent pretty, but its needed for now :/
This is great...thank you! I definitely think the new bars are the same direction I need to go, the anatomic ones you had remind me of the 3T ones that were on there originally. I'm also really interested to hear what you say about the downtime shifters, I was afraid they might be too far away but I shift so rarely anyway maybe it wouldn't matter. I hadn't considered our bikes are so much smaller they would be closer (I remember a tall friend on an old giant road bike scared to use her shifters for a while). I have seen on eBay some pretty pantograph DeRosa campy downtime shifter levers too...is it safe to assume they would be compatible?
Oh, thank you for the tire pressures, I'm planning to tell the LBS those exact numbers when they change the tires and see how they are!

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Old 09-04-16, 08:29 PM
  #208  
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
LOL -- I've read every page

It must be the "DeRosa Phenomenon" -- Involve a beautiful machine like that and middle aged bike geeks pay attention !

I just sent my DeRosa frameset to my LBS to build it -- but everytime I walked past the bare frameset in my garage, -- I sub consciously sucked in my gut a little --- just like a chubby guy walking past a gal at the beach does
This is fantastic
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Old 09-04-16, 08:37 PM
  #209  
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Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
The general adjustment is to angle the hoods up a bit but it makes it more difficult to access the levers from the drops. The springs, etc. in the body are also stronger making it even more difficult for the smaller hand to use. I stayed away from Campy until 1999 when the body was smaller and thinner and the springs required less pressure...a huge difference from previous models.
Shimano stuff is generally more forgiving to smaller hands though the low end Shimano brifters on my cross bike are long making it impossible to shift from the drops...oh well, not a big deal.

Here is what my 49cm c to t looks like. My inseam is 27 1/2".
Yeah, mine are definitely the older Campy that are bigger, I've read people love the "action" on them but they're just too much of a strain for me, do you mind my asking what the bar is that you're using? Is it the Soma highway 1?

Also, where is everyone finding their frame pumps? The original owner sent me a silver frame pump (made in Italy, naturally) but it's so long I can't come close to getting it to fit, must have gone on a different bike. I would like to find one though, preferably kinda classic looking I suppose.
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Old 09-04-16, 08:41 PM
  #210  
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Doesn't sound like there's any danger of you up and buying a LHT, but I'll reinforce the opinion. I owned one a few years ago. It was solid, comfortable, and was very stable and predictable. If I had truly been looking for a touring bike, it might have been something I could live with. What I was looking for was a more nimble all-day rider, and the weight, and unresponsiveness caused me to trade it away after a year of trying to get it to be what I wanted. It was simply a poor choice for what I wanted. We live, we learn... better if we don't learn the hard way, but at least there's learning.
This is exactly what I want, nimble all-day rider. That's the perfect way to describe it.

Question, is it the tubing choice, the geometry or something else that would make the LHT a heavy and unresponsive ride? (just curious).
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Old 09-04-16, 09:08 PM
  #211  
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Where is your pain when you ride this bike?
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Old 09-04-16, 09:11 PM
  #212  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Where is your pain when you ride this bike?
The only pain has been in my hands (though my rides have all been extremely short, most under 1/4 mile) and it started out unbearably intense (and lasting hours after in some cases). My third ride my hands were "nerve buzzing" so badly I just could not ride it any more.

A technomic stem has helped, now the hand pain is more ache/sore with red marks but nothing like it was originally thank God. I have gone near 3 miles on the new stem and while sore and not necessarily comfortable, there were no lasting effects after the ride.
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Old 09-04-16, 09:27 PM
  #213  
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I'm still puzzled. Can you have someone take a picture of you on the bike, taken from the side?

Which positions are you using on the handlebars?
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Old 09-04-16, 09:48 PM
  #214  
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Originally Posted by cargomama View Post
Yeah, mine are definitely the older Campy that are bigger, I've read people love the "action" on them but they're just too much of a strain for me, do you mind my asking what the bar is that you're using? Is it the Soma highway 1?

Also, where is everyone finding their frame pumps? The original owner sent me a silver frame pump (made in Italy, naturally) but it's so long I can't come close to getting it to fit, must have gone on a different bike. I would like to find one though, preferably kinda classic looking I suppose.
My handlebars are the Easton EC90 42cm and the pump is a Blackburn carbon fiber pump that fits perfectly. I'm not sure it is still available as it is 15+ years old.
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Old 09-04-16, 09:54 PM
  #215  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I'm still puzzled. Can you have someone take a picture of you on the bike, taken from the side?

Which positions are you using on the handlebars?
I agree. I'd love to see how she sits the bike. Something is not right. Having such pain in 1/4 mile is so wrong. We don't know anything about her fitness, riding experience ie how long on a bike or much else for that matter. Unfortunately she is also buying stuff based on recommendations that may not be helpful until her riding position is evaluated, whether the bike is the correct size, etc. It's like calling a doctor for an on the phone diagnosis based on what the caller is saying...so many things can and will go wrong.
I hope she goes to someone that knows what they are doing and can help her in person...riding is no fun when you are always in pain.
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Old 09-04-16, 10:03 PM
  #216  
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Originally Posted by cargomama View Post
Ok I did notice myself definitely locking my shoulders and elbows, I tried bending the elbows for a bit and it felt funny, can you elaborate what proper form would be for me (for comfort, safety and handling, not necessarily speed performance)? I really want to try it.
Light grip on the hoods, no need to hold on for dear life unless there are bumps. Slight bend in the elbows to help absorb road shock and vibration rather than send it through your torso. Keep most of your weight off of your hands. The bars are for balance and steering. You will do these things but try not to. When your hands hurt, this is why. Try not letting your hands hurt. When they do, stop doing what makes your hands hurt. Relax, have fun. The bike will practically ride itself.
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Old 09-04-16, 10:07 PM
  #217  
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Originally Posted by cargomama View Post
This is great...thank you! I definitely think the new bars are the same direction I need to go, the anatomic ones you had remind me of the 3T ones that were on there originally. I'm also really interested to hear what you say about the downtime shifters, I was afraid they might be too far away but I shift so rarely anyway maybe it wouldn't matter. I hadn't considered our bikes are so much smaller they would be closer (I remember a tall friend on an old giant road bike scared to use her shifters for a while). I have seen on eBay some pretty pantograph DeRosa campy downtime shifter levers too...is it safe to assume they would be compatible?
Oh, thank you for the tire pressures, I'm planning to tell the LBS those exact numbers when they change the tires and see how they are!

Well, think of it this way - your water bottle is further down and more under you. If you can reach that while riding, the downtube shifters should be easy to reach. Mine are 7.5 inches from the end of my bars and my water bottle cage is 15 inches from my bar end. Yours are likely the same since i believe our frames are the same size. I tend to think down tube shifters are further away on larger bikes, but then again, maybe the riders longer arms make up for that? I dont know of course lol

You'll need to ask others if the ones you found are compatible though...my knowledge there is very limited. As far as i know, there are ones that sit on (wrap around) the down tube, and ones like mine that have a mount on the tube. Yours are likely the second, but im not looking at the photo of your bike right now (edit; maybe not). For the gears, Iv read that friction downtube shifters can be used for any gear range (whether that includes all brands, IDK, but assuming it does). Mine are friction and indexed (friction front, indexed & friction options for rear).

You can play around with the PSI to find a sweet spot. Im pretty light so i can go lower, even to the 50s, but i dont know how low would be too low and dont want to cause flats lol I keep the psi as high as i can to where its still smooth.
Your bars do look quite similar to the Modolo Anatomic ones i had. They had a comfy hook/drop section because of the flat parts, but the reach and drop were too much. I couldnt use the hoods at all with those. The new bar is pretty flat on top (unlike the anatomic) and my levers are positioned to continue out from the end of the flat part. They are easy to reach and comfy to use in the hooks as well; no compromises had to be made with these bars.

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Old 09-05-16, 05:25 AM
  #218  
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Originally Posted by cargomama View Post
This is exactly what I want, nimble all-day rider. That's the perfect way to describe it.

Question, is it the tubing choice, the geometry or something else that would make the LHT a heavy and unresponsive ride? (just curious).
The LHT uses a relatively heavy gauge, unbutted, chrome-moly tubing, so it is largely the tubing. I used a triple crankset, and made my wheels using "bulletproof" Sun CR-18 rims ("not the lightest" is a bit of an understatement). Throw in a rear rack, mud guards, Brooks saddle, a well-stocked trunk bag and two water bottles, and it was over 40 pounds.

The unresponsiveness was largely a function of the geometry. It has a rather long wheelbase - something that is helpful when loaded out as a tourer, as you don't want your rear pannier clipping your heel as you toodle along. This would have been an excellent choice for riding on relatively flat terrain - especially with a load. In fact, I did find it a useful bike on rail-trail excursions with the Scout Troop, but when I attempted a rather sadistic, 200K randonneur route with lots of climbing, its warts were rather uncomfortably exposed.
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Old 09-05-16, 06:14 AM
  #219  
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Yeah, the LHT is typical of modern touring bikes, and they are built like 2 1/2 ton trucks. This is true for the LHT's competition as well: the REI Randonee, Trek 520, etc. They are basically mountain bike frames built with the assumption that the rider might be 250+ lbs and carry 100lb of gear.

Classic touring bikes of the past were not like this. They were typically the same tubesets as a race bike - perhaps a slightly heavier gauge here and there. The differences were in the longer wheelbase, slacker angles, a slightly lower BB, a slightly shorter top tube, and the usual braze ons for racks etc. Probably the main difference functionally was the longer wheelbase, which alone is largely irrelevant as far as performance and responsiveness. You could have raced one and it would have made precious little difference. In fact, my old '68 Peugeot PX10 racing bike has nearly exactly the same geometry as my 2016 Mercian touring bike.
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Old 09-05-16, 06:19 AM
  #220  
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Originally Posted by cargomama View Post
I really love all the differing opinions, it just goes to show how people care
Probably. Most of us just want to spout off and sound competent.
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Old 09-05-16, 06:38 AM
  #221  
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As mentioned above, I have an image of a 'death grip' and total tenseness trying to restrain this race horse so that it doesn't bolt. Relax handgrip and give the bike a little freedom, some trust, it will do right by you
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Old 09-05-16, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed. View Post
As mentioned above, I have an image of a 'death grip' and total tenseness trying to restrain this race horse so that it doesn't bolt. Relax handgrip and give the bike a little freedom, some trust, it will do right by you
Yeah, maybe. Try putting your palms on the tops or the ramps with your fingers open, just as an experiment.

It's amazing how popular this thread is.
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Old 09-05-16, 08:10 AM
  #223  
texaspandj
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
It's amazing how popular this thread is.
I think had this been a gas pipe clunker, the first and only response would have been get a bike that fits.
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Old 09-05-16, 09:50 AM
  #224  
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Cargomomma, can you offer up a bit of background on your riding history on your other bikes, like how far you would ride, how often and how fast?

Depending on your fitness level, 1/4 mile sprints can wipe you out fast. Sometimes people (like me) have high expectations of getting a race bike and riding with the fast riders instantly. Reality is it is 95% the rider. It takes time and effort to build up to high speed distance riding. It has taken me 3 years to get to were I can keep up with the fast riders.
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Old 09-05-16, 09:57 AM
  #225  
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Probably. Most of us just want to spout off and sound competent.
Guilty as charged!

Cargomama, I'm also wondering if you're defaulting to a locked-elbows riding posture. I'm a fat guy riding a Cannondale road bike, and despite a semi-dialed-in fit I find that I have to keep "reminding" myself not to lock elbows lest my hands go numb. (I think my abysmal lack of core-muscle tone is the culprit, but I could be mistaken.)
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