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OK, I give up.

Old 08-26-18, 09:50 AM
  #1  
JLDickmon
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OK, I give up.

I'll start with the backstory..
In May of 2012, I had two stents put in. Although I never had any symptoms, my cardiologist said I was within 90 days of having a major heart attack, possibly even fatal. I was 50 years old, exactly the same age as my Dad was when he had his first of three (didn't kill him, though. He died 39 years later of end-stage dimentia)
So.. as part of my cardiac rehab, I bought a bike. The Talus listed in my details. Rode it until it got hot, then a few times that fall when it cooled back off.
Never did put many miles on it, as I couldn't seem to get comfortable on it, no matter what I did. I changed seats, seat position, stems, wider handlebars, grips.. nothing seemed to help. The hardtail beat me up, and I quickly developed numbness in my hands.
FFWD to this year. I tossed in the towel in that bike, and started picking up used SuperV's & Ravens (hoping that a GOOD front end and a rear suspension would help.
Although they took some fiddling, seats, etc., I got where my butt could stand more than 30 minutes in the saddle.
But the numbness in my hands persists. I changed the grips three our four times, thought I had it licked when I put Serfas Pro-Flo's on the Raven 700, only to have the numbness return after an hour or so on the bike.. more handlebars, stems, etc.
I'm throwing in the towel on these bikes. I just cannot get rid of the numbness.

I've finally come to the realization that I need a sprung-seat beach cruiser, to ride in a more upright position.
(I should also note that I started loosing weight, 50lbs so far, and starting a coached strength training program last December)
But.. I just can NOT get over the mental image of my Dad riding his five-speed Huffy wearing his Judge Smail's hat, looking like he needed to be carrying a garbage bag and picking up bottles alongside the road to feed his golf habit.
I obviously carry too much weight high on my body (I still tip in at 245 after loosing 50 lbs) to ride in a more aggressive position, ie mtb or roadie/gravel bike, but at the same time, I hate to give up my granny-low gearing on the mtb's.. the MUP I ride on has this one particular hill that's a full 800 foot climb in the run of half-a-mile, and you get to do it three times (up the hill, along the crest, down the hill and back up to the terminus).
Same thing if I ride the roads near my house.. if I go north, my street ends a quarter-mile north of the driveway, then it's 800 feet down the hill to the lake and township park.. East, south, west, it's the same decent to either the river, or across two creeks that feed into it, one of which flows out of the aforementioned lake. We won't even begin to discuss the safety factor of riding a bike slower than a walk, on a hill, on a roads with NO shoulders, and traffic from the greenhouse workers smoking meth, drinking coffee, and texting while driving as they arrive or depart from work..

The heck am I supposed to do? Build a custom? I could do it, but I'd have to cash flow the build.. not gonna happen in 30 days.. probably not for six to eight months given my income and cost of components. And if I DO go that route, do I use a cruiser frame? Roadie frame? Back to a hybrid?

I do own one other bike, a medium frame C'Dale F2000.. nice groupset except for the shifters, which I bought replacements for. (Nasty-a** Sachs twisties that have broken locks, so they needed to go anyway). I suppose I could put a sprung seat on it, and change the stem and bars..

I'm at a loss, and frankly, ready to chuck all five bikes and get an Airdyne, and sit and watch M*A*S*H dvd's..

Last edited by JLDickmon; 08-26-18 at 10:10 AM. Reason: gramerz
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Old 08-26-18, 11:38 AM
  #2  
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anyone else have any ideas?

Swept bars? Haven't tried them yet..

Giant Cypress? Sedona?
Fuji Crosstown?
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Old 08-26-18, 11:51 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
I'll start with the backstory..
In May of 2012, I had two stents put in. Although I never had any symptoms, my cardiologist said I was within 90 days of having a major heart attack, possibly even fatal. I was 50 years old, exactly the same age as my Dad was when he had his first of three (didn't kill him, though. He died 39 years later of end-stage dimentia)
So.. as part of my cardiac rehab, I bought a bike. The Talus listed in my details. Rode it until it got hot, then a few times that fall when it cooled back off.
Never did put many miles on it, as I couldn't seem to get comfortable on it, no matter what I did. I changed seats, seat position, stems, wider handlebars, grips.. nothing seemed to help. The hardtail beat me up, and I quickly developed numbness in my hands.
FFWD to this year. I tossed in the towel in that bike, and started picking up used SuperV's & Ravens (hoping that a GOOD front end and a rear suspension would help.
Although they took some fiddling, seats, etc., I got where my butt could stand more than 30 minutes in the saddle.
But the numbness in my hands persists. I changed the grips three our four times, thought I had it licked when I put Serfas Pro-Flo's on the Raven 700, only to have the numbness return after an hour or so on the bike.. more handlebars, stems, etc.
I'm throwing in the towel on these bikes. I just cannot get rid of the numbness.

I've finally come to the realization that I need a sprung-seat beach cruiser, to ride in a more upright position.
(I should also note that I started loosing weight, 50lbs so far, and starting a coached strength training program last December)
But.. I just can NOT get over the mental image of my Dad riding his five-speed Huffy wearing his Judge Smail's hat, looking like he needed to be carrying a garbage bag and picking up bottles alongside the road to feed his golf habit.
I obviously carry too much weight high on my body (I still tip in at 245 after loosing 50 lbs) to ride in a more aggressive position, ie mtb or roadie/gravel bike, but at the same time, I hate to give up my granny-low gearing on the mtb's.. the MUP I ride on has this one particular hill that's a full 800 foot climb in the run of half-a-mile, and you get to do it three times (up the hill, along the crest, down the hill and back up to the terminus).
Same thing if I ride the roads near my house.. if I go north, my street ends a quarter-mile north of the driveway, then it's 800 feet down the hill to the lake and township park.. East, south, west, it's the same decent to either the river, or across two creeks that feed into it, one of which flows out of the aforementioned lake. We won't even begin to discuss the safety factor of riding a bike slower than a walk, on a hill, on a roads with NO shoulders, and traffic from the greenhouse workers smoking meth, drinking coffee, and texting while driving as they arrive or depart from work..

The heck am I supposed to do? Build a custom? I could do it, but I'd have to cash flow the build.. not gonna happen in 30 days.. probably not for six to eight months given my income and cost of components. And if I DO go that route, do I use a cruiser frame? Roadie frame? Back to a hybrid?

I do own one other bike, a medium frame C'Dale F2000.. nice groupset except for the shifters, which I bought replacements for. (Nasty-a** Sachs twisties that have broken locks, so they needed to go anyway). I suppose I could put a sprung seat on it, and change the stem and bars..

I'm at a loss, and frankly, ready to chuck all five bikes and get an Airdyne, and sit and watch M*A*S*H dvd's..
First, have a friend take some pics of you on the bike from the side. Normal riding position. Take a couple of pics from various side angles.

Second, take those pics and this post and move it to the Fitting sub forum. If anyone here can possible help steer you in the right direction they will be found in the Fitting forum. I'd offer some help, but without pics I'd only be guessing. Heck, *with* pics is still a guess, but an educated one. Good luck.


-Kedosto
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Old 08-26-18, 12:53 PM
  #4  
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Have you had a bike fit? No just changing things by yourself but under the guidance of someone who can guide you given your bike, and your physical abilities/limitations? A bike fit can get rid of many problems, is not expensive, and does not mean that you will have to invest $$$.

My first bike fit was free with the bike, and we adjusted the seat height, stem length, and angle. I went back a month later and increased the stem length at no cost. I had another bike fit this year, about US$50, increased the stem length, decreased the stem angle, and they just swapped parts at no extra cost.

Often times it is the little things that take the fun out of cycling. I lost weight and my cycling short got loose which caused pain; got new tighter kit, and pain went away.

Hand numbness is often due to posture, or not being relaxed enough. I had hand numbness, force myself to relax and drop my shoulders and numbness went away.
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Old 08-26-18, 02:06 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
I'll start with the backstory..
In May of 2012, I had two stents put in. Although I never had any symptoms, my cardiologist said I was within 90 days of having a major heart attack, possibly even fatal. I was 50 years old, exactly the same age as my Dad was when he had his first of three (didn't kill him, though. He died 39 years later of end-stage dimentia)
So.. as part of my cardiac rehab, I bought a bike. The Talus listed in my details. Rode it until it got hot, then a few times that fall when it cooled back off.
Never did put many miles on it, as I couldn't seem to get comfortable on it, no matter what I did. I changed seats, seat position, stems, wider handlebars, grips.. nothing seemed to help. The hardtail beat me up, and I quickly developed numbness in my hands.
FFWD to this year. I tossed in the towel in that bike, and started picking up used SuperV's & Ravens (hoping that a GOOD front end and a rear suspension would help.
Although they took some fiddling, seats, etc., I got where my butt could stand more than 30 minutes in the saddle.
But the numbness in my hands persists. I changed the grips three our four times, thought I had it licked when I put Serfas Pro-Flo's on the Raven 700, only to have the numbness return after an hour or so on the bike.. more handlebars, stems, etc.
I'm throwing in the towel on these bikes. I just cannot get rid of the numbness.

I've finally come to the realization that I need a sprung-seat beach cruiser, to ride in a more upright position.
(I should also note that I started loosing weight, 50lbs so far, and starting a coached strength training program last December)
But.. I just can NOT get over the mental image of my Dad riding his five-speed Huffy wearing his Judge Smail's hat, looking like he needed to be carrying a garbage bag and picking up bottles alongside the road to feed his golf habit.
I obviously carry too much weight high on my body (I still tip in at 245 after loosing 50 lbs) to ride in a more aggressive position, ie mtb or roadie/gravel bike, but at the same time, I hate to give up my granny-low gearing on the mtb's.. the MUP I ride on has this one particular hill that's a full 800 foot climb in the run of half-a-mile, and you get to do it three times (up the hill, along the crest, down the hill and back up to the terminus).
Same thing if I ride the roads near my house.. if I go north, my street ends a quarter-mile north of the driveway, then it's 800 feet down the hill to the lake and township park.. East, south, west, it's the same decent to either the river, or across two creeks that feed into it, one of which flows out of the aforementioned lake. We won't even begin to discuss the safety factor of riding a bike slower than a walk, on a hill, on a roads with NO shoulders, and traffic from the greenhouse workers smoking meth, drinking coffee, and texting while driving as they arrive or depart from work..

The heck am I supposed to do? Build a custom? I could do it, but I'd have to cash flow the build.. not gonna happen in 30 days.. probably not for six to eight months given my income and cost of components. And if I DO go that route, do I use a cruiser frame? Roadie frame? Back to a hybrid?

I do own one other bike, a medium frame C'Dale F2000.. nice groupset except for the shifters, which I bought replacements for. (Nasty-a** Sachs twisties that have broken locks, so they needed to go anyway). I suppose I could put a sprung seat on it, and change the stem and bars..

I'm at a loss, and frankly, ready to chuck all five bikes and get an Airdyne, and sit and watch M*A*S*H dvd's..
There is no shame in a cruiser.



Have a ball! I'm 52 and over 250 myself.
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Last edited by Rollfast; 08-26-18 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 08-26-18, 03:27 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
We won't even begin to discuss the safety factor of riding a bike slower than a walk, on a hill, on a roads with NO shoulders, and traffic
I agree, that is risky. Rehabbing shoulder

It's great to see your commitment to your health. I hope you get this worked out.

Last edited by rseeker; 08-26-18 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 08-26-18, 03:57 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
anyone else have any ideas?

Swept bars? Haven't tried them yet..

Giant Cypress? Sedona?
Fuji Crosstown?
A beach cruiser is better than nothing when comes to improving cardiovascular health, but mountain biking is FAR less boring. I did not go the beach cruiser route because I'm certain that the next step after that is a recumbant, followed by a tricycle. No thanks. That's the point where I check into the nursing home.

As I aged, I morphed to a full-suspension fatbike (Farley EX8), which is modified with a stem/bar combo that let's me sit more upright and be comfortable. Saddle is an Ergon SMC-4 sized specifically for me. I can honk that thing all day on our local singletrack without discomfort. As to the numb hands...I had an endoscopic carpal tunnel release a few months ago which fixed the numb-hand problem. In that hand, anyway. Going to have the other hand fixed in a month or two.
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Old 08-26-18, 07:05 PM
  #8  
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What about using a set of BMX handlebars? It would most likely mean having to extend cables, but those are a relatively cheap and inexpensive.
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Old 08-26-18, 07:58 PM
  #9  
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Look at the Jones H-bar. it gives you 5 positions and one of those (the very far back) is like a comfort bike (that is also the one for downhill, to have weight further back to avoid overrolls). Depending on mood, you can use the bike as a comfort bike, or get in the other positions.
Switching around is very good, there is no single perfect hand position.
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Old 08-27-18, 08:06 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by PatrickR400 View Post

Hand numbness is often due to posture, or not being relaxed enough. I had hand numbness, force myself to relax and drop my shoulders and numbness went away.
After my SIL followed me on a 25 miler, he said I needed to ride a wider bar..
My daughter (SIL's wife) followed me a few weekends ago.. rare treat I get to ride with my married daughter.. she suggested a change in seat angle.. rolling my hips back.. that position is hard on my junk.. I can hold it for a while.. but not very long..
Yeah. Let's get a fitting..
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Old 08-28-18, 12:48 AM
  #11  
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I don't know if this will help at all, but I started keeping a list of handlebar types with an eye toward building up Bike 2.0. (I'm still on my starter bike, but eventually I'll use that up.)

Several of these have already been suggested, like the H-bars. Anyway, maybe you'll see something useful in here.

I stopped adding to the list when I realized just how many different types there are. I'm never going to discover them all.

- drop bars (trad racing bars, trad 10-speed bars)

- flared-out-to-the-side drop bars

- gull-wing (cruiser) bars
--- perhaps aka longhorn bars?
--- perhaps aka sparrow bars?
--- perhaps aka dove bars: https://www.bikeforums.net/13197031-post2933.html

- straight bar (trad mountain biking bar)

- straight bar with V stem (bullmoose?)

- straightish bar upswept or backswept

- trekking bars (butterfly?)

- bullhorn bars

- brahma bars (same as bullhorn?)

- H-bar (open cut) https://www.jonesbikes.com/h-bar/

- H-bar (closed loop) https://www.jonesbikes.com/h-bar/

- tiny H bars? https://www.bikeforums.net/13322200-post3051.html

- round sweep pista type bars (???) maybe this: https://images.jensonusa.com/large/hb...________42.jpg

- attachments: bar ends and/or drop ends and/or aero bars
--- aero bars can be a pair of separate bars that go out, or a single bar that goes out and loops back
--- Cannondale XYZ barends https://www.bikeforums.net/12621039-post2251.html

- surly moloko These Bars ? or These Bars?

- surly open bar https://www.jensonusa.com/Surly-Open-Bar-Handlebar

- velo orange crazy bars These Bars ? or These Bars?

- soma condor bars
--- Pictures of your loaded rigs?
--- Pictures of your loaded rigs?

- moloko bars
--- Finally ! My Moloko Bar Has Arrived !
--- down toward the end: Crazy Bars vs. Surly Moloko Bars https://www.cyclingabout.com/velo-or...zy-bar-review/

- mustache bars

- ITM Synergic Hemo Butterfly/Trekking Bars
--- when to cut a new steerer
--- when to cut a new steerer

- Velo Orange Casey's Crazy Bar
--- https://www.velovitality.co.uk/produ...ey-s-crazy-bar
--- https://www.cyclingabout.com/velo-or...zy-bar-review/

- Titec H-Bars

Last edited by rseeker; 08-28-18 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 08-28-18, 07:52 AM
  #12  
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I’ll just put my preference out there since no one strongly endorsed it yet - get a drop bar road bike! No need for it to be less comfortable than a hybrid or mountain bike. Just get one that fits you now comfortably and hopefully they can help you get one that will still fit you once you lose some weight/become more fit +/or more limber. The drop bars give you more hand positions to alternate between. This greatly improves hand comfort. The lack of shocks of any kind makes for a more efficient, lighter bike. Less fatiguing I would think as your energy is being channeled into forward movement.

You up can still get low gears on a drop bar road bike. I love triple crank options and you can still find a few new triples (Sora or Tiagra) on stock road bikes. You can also go used and find some sweet deals in 105, or Ultegra triple group bikes that others are rejecting.

As as for the saddle, I would say stray away from sprung options. The idea is not to sit on it so much as perch on it. Standing out of the saddle to coast with straightened legs at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position every so often can work wonders to revive a sore butt.

Don’t give up. You have a definite challenge ahead of you with your difficult local terrain. At least you have identified the route that you wish to own - you know about gearing already so what’s next? It might also be worth mentioning the importance of practicing climbing on a regular basis. Deep breathing - like yoga breathing while climbing produces relaxation and lowers the heart rate. Rhythmic climbing alternating brief standing episodes with calm seated episodes helps to.

Also, you are using clipless pedals, yes? Just checking because if you’re not then you are stacking the deck in favor of being less successful. Good luck!
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Old 08-28-18, 08:17 AM
  #13  
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I'm a big guy like you and have a large torso (now at 210 down from 252) so riding a drop bar bike is like doing a pushup for a very long time. What I did was to put aero bars on it. You see them a lot in triathlons. You rest your forearms on them and it takes a lot of the stress off your upper body. I use these

And, I put risers so they are not so low. Now I can ride for a long time without my arms and upper body giving out way before my legs.
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Old 08-28-18, 08:55 AM
  #14  
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Ive been there, 30 minutes of yoga every morning followed by 20 push ups every other day has been a big help for me. Remember that one guy that said "Its not the bike".
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Old 08-28-18, 10:50 AM
  #15  
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Ever tried a recumbent?
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Old 08-28-18, 11:20 AM
  #16  
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I'm baffled, I started this year at 257 and I'm down to 220 now. Did I get a sore ass along the way... Yes
Did I experience a little numbing in my hands after awhile.... Yes.
I think it's important to adjust hand position.
My guess is that your whole bike is out of whack. Go back to basics and start at the seat. Get the right height and for and aft position. Then and only then can you look at reach.
I think the advice about pictures and the fitting section of this forum is really good advice.
If you get everything adjusted right , then maybe just maybe you need to read rule #5 ... I don't mean this in a rude or insulting way. I have told it to myself on more than one occasion. There's going to be discomfort along the way, and you have to put in the miles and the time to get rid of it. Now don't get me wrong there is a difference between pain and discomfort, only you can be the judge of that.
If the immediate area you live in only offers huge hills, then haul your bike elsewhere and ride.
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Old 08-28-18, 11:40 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
I’ll just put my preference out there since no one strongly endorsed it yet - get a drop bar road bike! No need for it to be less comfortable than a hybrid or mountain bike. Just get one that fits you now comfortably and hopefully they can help you get one that will still fit you once you lose some weight/become more fit +/or more limber. The drop bars give you more hand positions to alternate between. This greatly improves hand comfort. The lack of shocks of any kind makes for a more efficient, lighter bike. Less fatiguing I would think as your energy is being channeled into forward movement.

You up can still get low gears on a drop bar road bike. I love triple crank options and you can still find a few new triples (Sora or Tiagra) on stock road bikes. You can also go used and find some sweet deals in 105, or Ultegra triple group bikes that others are rejecting.

As as for the saddle, I would say stray away from sprung options. The idea is not to sit on it so much as perch on it. Standing out of the saddle to coast with straightened legs at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position every so often can work wonders to revive a sore butt.

Don’t give up. You have a definite challenge ahead of you with your difficult local terrain. At least you have identified the route that you wish to own - you know about gearing already so what’s next? It might also be worth mentioning the importance of practicing climbing on a regular basis. Deep breathing - like yoga breathing while climbing produces relaxation and lowers the heart rate. Rhythmic climbing alternating brief standing episodes with calm seated episodes helps to.

Also, you are using clipless pedals, yes? Just checking because if you’re not then you are stacking the deck in favor of being less successful. Good luck!
+1
also big plus on fitting simple things make a big difference

and if not this....i suggest staying away from flat bars....imho they are terrible ergonomically, at least they cause me pain every time I try riding flat bars. . If nothing else, get bars that put our palms parallel to your body get bars or at least get good bar ends like the ergon or cane creek ergo

I am 256 or so (6') and ride a road bike mostly I have no problem with position......I do find that as I lose more getting lower and into the bars is easier
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(looking for Torpado Super light 56,57 or so)

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Old 08-28-18, 02:34 PM
  #18  
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When I began cycling again I started with a flat bar bike, my weight at that time was 314 lbs. With the flat bars I always ended up with hand numbness. As a result of that I didn't ride enough to do myself any good. Research led me to the conclusion that there was nothing to be done in regards to flat bars as their major fault lies in that there is only one available hand position. I put a set of Jones Loop bars on the bike but although they offer a couple of different positions for the hands it became quickly apparent that was no solution either.

I finally picked up a cheap Schwinn World Sport road bike and during the rebuild installed brifters and a Nitto Noodle handlebar to give me lots of real estate for my hands. Long story short problem 98% solved. I am down 75 lbs to 239 as my riding time increased significantly. When I reached 250 lbs I gave myself a reward of a Giant Anyroad Advanced and a basic bike fitting. The taller headtube of the Anyroad gives me a more upright riding position and I couldn't be happier. I do still greatly enjoy riding my 1986 Schwinn Passage and occassionally will still take out the World Sport out for a spin. A bonus to starting with used bikes is that you can end up with a stable of good bikes for every type of riding you want.

As someone in a similar 'position' as yourself these would be my recommendations -
-Get on a bike with drop bars. Could be a road bike but you'd probably be more comfortable on what are marketed as gravel bikes as they allow for a less aero riding position than a traditional road bike.
-Look for something with a triple crankset or a 50/34 compact double. A decent older steel bike can be retrofitted with a triple fairly simply but usually requires front and rear derailleur changes as well.
-Most importantly when you get a drop bar bike get a good fitting. My basic fitting with the new bike was very helpful and I entend on getting an in depth fitting when time allows as I still have saddle issues when rides go beyond 25 or so miles.

I wish that I had gotten a drop bar bike a lot sooner than I did as I have more $ invested in my flat bar bikes than all my drop bar bikes combined including the Anyroad.
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Old 08-28-18, 04:02 PM
  #19  
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Assuming your heart is healthy enough for regular riding I see nothing in your OP that should keep you off the bike other than your own fears. Assuming you can figure out the hand numbness which may go away once you put in some miles.
245lbs is nothing and will not affect what type bike you decide to ride.
The road can be a scary place.
If you canít get over that you should maybe consider another activity.
If you can get over it I suggest you buy a cheap hybrid and just ride it right out of the box.
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Old 08-29-18, 09:46 PM
  #20  
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Your riding issues sound similar to what I was experiencing before I found and purchased my Rans Dynamik crank forward. The saddle soreness and wrist pain / numbness were gone overnight. That was over 8 years and 25k (mostly commuting) miles ago, and I still look forward to every ride.
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Old 08-30-18, 07:51 AM
  #21  
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I appreciate everyone's input.. as soon as I get my pads & shoes on, I'm headed to a fitting.
I'll post before and after pics of the bike when I get back and note what changes were made.
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Old 08-30-18, 10:22 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
I appreciate everyone's input.. as soon as I get my pads & shoes on, I'm headed to a fitting.
I'll post before and after pics of the bike when I get back and note what changes were made.
I can't wait to see what you come up with.
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Old 08-30-18, 10:49 AM
  #23  
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Well, not really that.. we ordered a set of 2&1/2" riser bars.. they didn't have any with the proper diameter to fit my stem (go figure.. 20 year old Cannondale Raven w/ Fatty Headshok)..

Last edited by JLDickmon; 09-08-18 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 08-30-18, 11:13 AM
  #24  
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Most of us on here, have gone through this sorts of stages your experiencing. The smartest thing you did was to post here,before doing something you might have regretted

As everyone have mentioned, best thing is to go down to your LBS and get fitted by a professional.

The one thing is not to give up. Good Luck
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Old 08-30-18, 11:36 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
and if not this....i suggest staying away from flat bars....imho they are terrible ergonomically, at least they cause me pain every time I try riding flat bars.
As someone who rides a flat bar hybrid, I totally agree. If I didn't have my bar ends to give me extra hand positions I'd absolutely hate riding long distances on my bike. Part of the problem is also my shoulders start aching a bit if I don't change my hand position often. Before I had the bar ends, this was my major complaint about long rides.
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