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At What Point do You Transition From Road Bike to Endurance Bike?

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At What Point do You Transition From Road Bike to Endurance Bike?

Old 03-10-21, 06:47 PM
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Bassmanbob
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At What Point do You Transition From Road Bike to Endurance Bike?

I'm a soon to be 56 year-old guy who's always been very tight (inflexible). Even as a thin high school track athlete, I was the guy who could never touch his toes during stretching. I've been riding for 7 years now, most of it on a Cannondale SuperSix EVO 3 road bike or a Trek 520 when I bicycle commute to work. I find that the last few months, when I get off the Cannondale after a 3-6 hour ride, I feel pretty beat up. I do notice that since I've been riding almost exclusively solo since COVID hit us, I find my hands are more frequently off the hoods an on the back curve of the handlebars. When I put them back on the hoods, I feel like I'm stretching a bit. When I ride the Trek 520, I don't feel beat up. Also note that I do 15- 20 minutes of stretching my back and legs every morning.

At what point did you decide to transition from a typical road bike to an endurance bike? What were the factors that made you transition? I'm currently saving for a titanium bike and am trying to decided between a typical road bike or an endurance set up.
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Old 03-10-21, 07:06 PM
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I am pushing 60 and switched to a Roubaix about a year ago partly based on recommendation from my LBS. I wished I had switched ten years earlier, the difference is small enough on the speed side and the advantages to your body far outweigh that. Note I am not a racer, just racing for a Strava KOM or two.

On top of the Roubaix I got wider tires (supple 30mm tires) which I run on the lower side of the pressure range, and that is a big plus on top of the shock absorption of the frame and easier positioning. Lower pressure for me is currently 50 front 65 back for a rider+bike of 180 lbs.

I am also inflexible in some dimensions and have serious back problems. With the Roubaix the only problem I had is some numbness in the hands if I go on a really long ride (for me 1.5 hours or more), and since I bumped the tires up to 30mm I have not had that problem (it could instead be due to getting the wider tires in winter when I am using thick gloves..). I make sure to do some stand-up biking every ten minutes or so to stretch things out.

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Old 03-10-21, 07:24 PM
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Everyone is different.

At 65 I still enjoy my Trek Emonda SLR with a H1 frame.
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Old 03-10-21, 07:38 PM
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I'm 75 and my answer is not while there's breath in my body! Those thoughts are put there by the Devil, to entice you into somnolence so he can have his way with your body. Just say Yes to life!

Once upon a time, we could throw a leg over our bike once a week and do a fun 30 mile ride. For this boy, not any more. I do a series of stretches, followed by a set of pushups almost every morning. When gyms were open, I strength trained once or twice a week. Now I use dumbbells at home. I ride almost every day, some moderate, some hard, but mostly moderate for an hour or two. I ride the same bike I bought 20 years ago, same carbon frame model on which Lance won his first tour. I used to ride with a slammed -17° stem but have eased off to a slammed -6° stem a couple years ago - my fitter said my hip angle was stupid small. Fine. I still ride 23mm tires, no problems.

The main thing is to stay fit and also to have a good fit on the bike - hands light on the bars, relaxed arms and shoulders, straight back. Many people, including me, have found that the trad road bike position, stretched out, some drop, is easier on the back than trying to sit back up. That's in the long run. Aging is OK, getting old, not OK.
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Old 03-10-21, 07:53 PM
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Is it the position or the ride quality that makes you feel beat up? I have a Titanium Seven and it is quite stiff but if I ride on smoother roads it doesn't bother me as much as when I ride on bad roads. I also have a steel bike which is much more forgiving. They are set up with a similar position and similar wheels and tires. If I did get a new bike it would be a similar fit but definitely not the bone jarring stiffness of the Seven. I'm 67 next month, btw.

I would think your Cannondale should be a nice ride. Maybe your position needs tweaking a bit?

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Old 03-11-21, 12:00 AM
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I'm probably a curmudgeon but I only ride vintage steel bikes and I don't typically feel beat up on long rides. I rented a carbon bike a few years back (Cannondale) and couldn't believe how rough it felt. Sure the bottom bracket was stiff but the ride just wasn't very forgiving. It left me wishing for one of my steel bikes.
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Old 03-11-21, 06:46 AM
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Back in the 80's while my teammates "slammed" (we didn't call it that back then) I had my stem set to the max height. I was more comfortable, able to sit on the bike for 8 hours without a pain, and was able to breath much better. Was a workhorse, not a leader, and body position on the bike in crits was perfect for my needs. Ride custom steel now made to accommodate a level saddle height with hbar height using a modern threadless stem, the same position I had in my 20's, and I can still ride all day long without discomfort. Had plans to go custom titanium this year, but am putting that money towards a cross country tour.
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Old 03-11-21, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
I'm a soon to be 56 year-old guy who's always been very tight (inflexible). Even as a thin high school track athlete, I was the guy who could never touch his toes during stretching. I've been riding for 7 years now, most of it on a Cannondale SuperSix EVO 3 road bike or a Trek 520 when I bicycle commute to work. I find that the last few months, when I get off the Cannondale after a 3-6 hour ride, I feel pretty beat up.
It sounds like you’re comparing long rides on the Evo to short commutes on the 520. If you’re doing mostly short rides with long rides on the weekend it could be that you’re just not used to the intensity of the longer ride. For myself, I find how I feel after a long ride is fairly well correlated to the intensity (IF if you have a powermeter) of the ride more so than geometry of the bike or size of tires.
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Old 03-11-21, 07:42 AM
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I bought an endurance bike after a back operation 4 years ago, as part of my efforts to get fit after a few years of pain-enforced sedentary living. In November, I bought a Road Bike and so far in 2021 I’ve ridden it over 1800 miles.

I much prefer riding the road bike vs the endurance bike. But the endurance bike did help me to lose weight and get fit enough to want the more purposeful bike.

I’m 67.
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Old 03-11-21, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by BCAC View Post
I much prefer riding the road bike vs the endurance bike.
I think anyone would prefer a new $10K road bike over an old endurance bike

In the end I think it comes down to how stiff and inflamed your joints are. Like the OP I can't touch my toes and have never been able to, and I was feeling like a board after a long ride on my steel road bike. Along with the geometry the shock absorbance of endurance bikes really helps the joints. That plus some big supple tires and you will be in heaven. I am on 30s and will probably bump to 32s for my next set.
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Old 03-11-21, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I'm 75 and my answer is not while there's breath in my body! Those thoughts are put there by the Devil, to entice you into somnolence so he can have his way with your body. Just say Yes to life!

Once upon a time, we could throw a leg over our bike once a week and do a fun 30 mile ride. For this boy, not any more. I do a series of stretches, followed by a set of pushups almost every morning. When gyms were open, I strength trained once or twice a week. Now I use dumbbells at home. I ride almost every day, some moderate, some hard, but mostly moderate for an hour or two. I ride the same bike I bought 20 years ago, same carbon frame model on which Lance won his first tour. I used to ride with a slammed -17° stem but have eased off to a slammed -6° stem a couple years ago - my fitter said my hip angle was stupid small. Fine. I still ride 23mm tires, no problems.

The main thing is to stay fit and also to have a good fit on the bike - hands light on the bars, relaxed arms and shoulders, straight back. Many people, including me, have found that the trad road bike position, stretched out, some drop, is easier on the back than trying to sit back up. That's in the long run. Aging is OK, getting old, not OK.
CFB, "your hip angle is stupid small"... he expects that at your age your knee either should not be coming up so high, or your torso should be angled more toward the upright? If I get fitted today I think I'll get the same comment. I think my "stem slamming factor" is about the same as it was in my '50s.

For the OP: it sounds to me like your first bike, the Cannondale, has always been either either a centimeter or two too long in reach to the hoods, or your saddle was not in the correct place fore/aft and possible vertically. I don't think there's a "magic fit" with an "endurance bike" versus a ... "sport bike" I would normally say I would match the contact points of your newer bike to those of your older bike, and then see if theres a significant difference. I would first get a good fitting on the Cannondale and pursue it until those problems are rectified, then use what you learn to improve the Trek, or just match the Trek to the 'dale.

I like to match my saddle position to my center of gravity when on the hoods or drops, like a skier's tuck so my weight is balanced over the BB. When riding over bumps or just sketchy road, I want to be able to lift my butt and hands up and down together to contact the bike when it is smooth and float over the bike when it is not. This has a lot to do with whether I feel beat up by the bike. At the same time, the saddle height from the sitbone contact to the BB center or pedal top should allow me to pedal at a decent cadence, minimize hip-rocking (which brings pelvic/perineal abrasion), and ability to push with my glutes if I grasp the hooks hard. Obviously my legs are not so strongly extended that I cannot lift up a little to keep the saddle from kicking me!

When I achieve this position, there is usually very low hand pressure on my hands. If I can also stand to pedal at times, so much the better. The older books and common wisdom do not talk much about measuring from BB center to sitbone contacts, with the notable exceptions of the blogs and website of Steve Hogg and the Phil Burt book "Bike Fit." There may be similar understanding in the Tri world, but i haven't followed them. Talking with the guys in a few shops, I think fitting a tri bike is very exacting. I think they have seen how small variations can measurably affect performance.

After all that saddle position (fore/aft, up/down, pitch up/pitch down, and yaw right/left) is settled at least good enough for an hour on the trainer (it's been winter here in Michigan!), so just ride. Next, I like to see if there is any change in whether your hands can stay out on the hoods or not, which I think was part of your original problem on the 'dale. It may be there is no problem after fixing the saddle setup, but if there is, try a stem that moves the bars 1 cm closer. If your 'dale has a threadless fork, this will be a cheap fix. Don't alter the height, or saddle to bar drop, significantly.

I can't say this strategy will work for you, but it is what I have done and would do again, and I don't have much left in terms of my own fit concerns. Same for Mrs Road Fan, who doesn't want to know what's behind it, but knows finally that if I ask her to pedal for me, an improvement is probably coming. However, she can get aggressive it I seem to be messing with her bike setup!

I got an open "work order" (lol!) to move her saddle (a B-17) back a little bit, but I don't see where I have options to slam it more.

Last edited by Road Fan; 03-11-21 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 03-11-21, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
CFB, "your hip angle is stupid small"... he expects that at your age your knee either should not be coming up so high, or your torso should be angled more toward the upright? If I get fitted today I think I'll get the same comment. I think my "stem slamming factor" is about the same as it was in my '50s.

For the OP: it sounds to me like your first bike, the Cannondale, has always been either either a centimeter or two too long in reach to the hoods, or your saddle was not in the correct place fore/aft and possible vertically. I don't think there's a "magic fit" with an "endurance bike" versus a ... "sport bike" I would normally say I would match the contact points of your newer bike to those of your older bike, and then see if theres a significant difference. I would first get a good fitting on the Cannondale and pursue it until those problems are rectified, then use what you learn to improve the Trek, or just match the Trek to the 'dale.

I like to match my saddle position to my center of gravity when on the hoods or drops, like a skier's tuck so my weight is balanced over the BB. When riding over bumps or just sketchy road, I want to be able to lift my butt and hands up and down together to contact the bike when it is smooth and float over the bike when it is not. This has a lot to do with whether I feel beat up by the bike. At the same time, the saddle height from the sitbone contact to the BB center or pedal top should allow me to pedal at a decent cadence, minimize hip-rocking (which brings pelvic/perineal abrasion), and ability to push with my glutes if I grasp the hooks hard. Obviously my legs are not so strongly extended that I cannot lift up a little to keep the saddle from kicking me!

When I achieve this position, there is usually very low hand pressure on my hands. If I can also stand to pedal at times, so much the better. The older books and common wisdom do not talk much about measuring from BB center to sitbone contacts, with the notable exceptions of the blogs and website of Steve Hogg and the Phil Burt book "Bike Fit." There may be similar understanding in the Tri world, but i haven't followed them. Talking with the guys in a few shops, I think fitting a tri bike is very exacting. I think they have seen how small variations can measurably affect performance.

After all that saddle position (fore/aft, up/down, pitch up/pitch down, and yaw right/left) is settled at least good enough for an hour on the trainer (it's been winter here in Michigan!), so just ride. Next, I like to see if there is any change in whether your hands can stay out on the hoods or not, which I think was part of your original problem on the 'dale. It may be there is no problem after fixing the saddle setup, but if there is, try a stem that moves the bars 1 cm closer. If your 'dale has a threadless fork, this will be a cheap fix. Don't alter the height, or saddle to bar drop, significantly.

I can't say this strategy will work for you, but it is what I have done and would do again, and I don't have much left in terms of my own fit concerns. Same for Mrs Road Fan, who doesn't want to know what's behind it, but knows finally that if I ask her to pedal for me, an improvement is probably coming. However, she can get aggressive it I seem to be messing with her bike setup!

I got an open "work order" (lol!) to move her saddle (a B-17) back a little bit, but I don't see where I have options to slam it more.
Selle Anatomica saddles have longer rails. She's probably worth spending the money on. There's also a Velo Orange post with more setback. I have one but it's fiddly to adjust.

My fitter was right - my thighs were hitting my lower ribs and I don't have huge legs, plus my arm/torso angle was 110°. He moved my hands back 3 cm and the stem up 11°. And then recommended a different set of clip-ons which fastened under the bars instead of on top. That put my torso on the clip-ons down to as low as I can get in the drops. Works fine. That was 2 years ago, the only pro fit I've ever had.
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Old 03-11-21, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
At what point did you decide to transition from a typical road bike to an endurance bike?
The typical road bike is an endurance bike. Endurance bikes encompass frame geometries with an aggressive fit to a relaxed fit. And bikes for people touring with camping equipment for several days or persons just wanting to go 150 miles as quick as they can.

Road bikes are not the only bikes made for use on the road. In fact, most anything that is not specifically a mountain bike is for use on the road. And many even use mountain bikes on the road because they are "cool".

Are you wanting a bike with less stack so you can sit upright more? That may not necessarily help you. You need to find out if there is anything significantly wrong with your fit on one bike vs the other bike. Or perhaps something about the bikes themselves, like one has better gearing for you.
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Old 03-11-21, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
I'm a soon to be 56 year-old guy who's always been very tight (inflexible). Even as a thin high school track athlete, I was the guy who could never touch his toes during stretching. I've been riding for 7 years now, most of it on a Cannondale SuperSix EVO 3 road bike or a Trek 520 when I bicycle commute to work. I find that the last few months, when I get off the Cannondale after a 3-6 hour ride, I feel pretty beat up. I do notice that since I've been riding almost exclusively solo since COVID hit us, I find my hands are more frequently off the hoods an on the back curve of the handlebars. When I put them back on the hoods, I feel like I'm stretching a bit. When I ride the Trek 520, I don't feel beat up. Also note that I do 15- 20 minutes of stretching my back and legs every morning.

At what point did you decide to transition from a typical road bike to an endurance bike? What were the factors that made you transition? I'm currently saving for a titanium bike and am trying to decided between a typical road bike or an endurance set up.
As far as Super 6 versus 520, I think there could be significant differences in their tubing flexibility and their geometries. One big factor in positioning your saddle back and achieving your body balance over the BB is the seat tube angle. With the same saddle, seatpost, and position of the saddle on the rails, the seat tube angle is a key to how far behind the BB your saddle will be. One degree of seat tube angle (ditching a frame with 73 degrees in favor of one with 72 degrees) gets you about another centimeter to work with.This may or may not be enough. You can get a pretty good measurement of seat tube angle with a $10 angle finder with a big dial from hardware stores such as Ace of True Value. Another option if setback is a problem, is to go to a Selle Anatomica saddle which in their original saddle frame has about the longest rails in the industry. Another variable is the setback of the seatpost itself. In my experience the post with the most setback and two-bolt non-ratcheting angle adjustment is the Nitto S-84. It's a little heavy but it helps a lot with setback.

Regarding tubing, I have never owned a frame with the kind of tubing on your Cannondale, nor have I owned any Cannondale, but I have had a few Treks. While some steel-tubed ones remain in the line-up, like the 520, the earlier ones with standard-diameter tubing are inherently more flexible (better shock absorbing) than more modern ones with oversize tubing. You can make a larger diameter tube with the same flexibility as an older traditional 531 or Columbus tube the trade-off is thinner tube walls which are lighter, but more easily damaged if modern alloys are not used. Plus, the place of the 520 in the Trek line-up was as a touring bike, and more recent touring bikes are often heavily built (larger tubes AND thicker walls) to ensure good control and strength with a heavy front and rear load, with the worst case heavy American rider. Probably the most known example is the Surly Long-Haul Trucker. It would not be my choice for a commuter bike, even though I do prefer drop bars nearly all the time.
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Old 03-11-21, 10:37 AM
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You do not transition. You just add to your stable
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Old 03-11-21, 12:56 PM
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I don’t know because at 63 I’m still rocking a Cannondale Criterium Series, which I might add it is the best fitting bike I have every rode. Sprints, climbs, short or longer rides. After most rides everything is left on the road. Next day there is no excess pain. Bike fit is important and starting with an optimum frame is crucial. Don’t try to compensate with stacks, saddles, bars, etc...if it’s not your optimum size it will tear you up on longer rides.
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Old 03-11-21, 01:17 PM
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70 yo 6'1" and ride a range of bike sizes.
58cm (ctc) frame w/ 23mm tires on some days.
59/60cm is the sweetest spot.
61/62cm for early season and easy cruising 'rest' day rides.

Tubular wheels on most bikes, 28/30mm tires make longer days softer.
Stems and bars change based on the variety of top tube lengths.

The benefits of N+1, besides the pleasure of wrenching.

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Old 03-11-21, 04:58 PM
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Are the two bikes in question the same size. Even if they are geometry and tube lengths will make differences between the two. And things that most geometry specs don't show, like stem length, handle bar reach and drop will make a difference. Width of handle bars and length of cranks too.

https://geometrygeeks.bike/bike/cann...evo-2013-2015/

https://geometrygeeks.bike/bike/trek-520-2016-2017/
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Old 03-11-21, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
I think anyone would prefer a new $10K road bike over an old endurance bike

In the end I think it comes down to how stiff and inflamed your joints are. Like the OP I can't touch my toes and have never been able to, and I was feeling like a board after a long ride on my steel road bike. Along with the geometry the shock absorbance of endurance bikes really helps the joints. That plus some big supple tires and you will be in heaven. I am on 30s and will probably bump to 32s for my next set.
Mine didn’t cost THAT much....

I agree with you completely. If there are infirmities or other conditions or heck, if a person just has a preference, ride whatcha like, as often as ya like. It’s all good.
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Old 03-11-21, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
I'm probably a curmudgeon but I only ride vintage steel bikes and I don't typically feel beat up on long rides. I rented a carbon bike a few years back (Cannondale) and couldn't believe how rough it felt. Sure the bottom bracket was stiff but the ride just wasn't very forgiving. It left me wishing for one of my steel bikes.
I was going to say the same thing (except I also have a modern steel bike with geometry similar to Trek's Domane). I've noticed that the (admittedly very small sample size) carbon bikes I have tried out really thrash me by comparison. I am also stiff like a 3 day old corpse.
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Old 03-11-21, 09:10 PM
  #21  
Bassmanbob
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Is it the position or the ride quality that makes you feel beat up? I have a Titanium Seven and it is quite stiff but if I ride on smoother roads it doesn't bother me as much as when I ride on bad roads. I also have a steel bike which is much more forgiving. They are set up with a similar position and similar wheels and tires. If I did get a new bike it would be a similar fit but definitely not the bone jarring stiffness of the Seven. I'm 67 next month, btw.

I would think your Cannondale should be a nice ride. Maybe your position needs tweaking a bit?
I think it is more the lack of shock absorption on a CF bike, but perhaps it is also the position too. I'll have to think about that.
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Old 03-11-21, 09:12 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
It sounds like you’re comparing long rides on the Evo to short commutes on the 520. If you’re doing mostly short rides with long rides on the weekend it could be that you’re just not used to the intensity of the longer ride. For myself, I find how I feel after a long ride is fairly well correlated to the intensity (IF if you have a powermeter) of the ride more so than geometry of the bike or size of tires.
I'm used to the intensity of long rides on my Cannondale CF bike. I have done nine centuries on it and have trained plenty on it too. Yes. Most of my rides on the Trek 520 are shorter, but I've done some long rides on it too. I don't feel beat up after riding that bike for a long ride.
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Old 03-11-21, 09:23 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
CFB, "your hip angle is stupid small"... he expects that at your age your knee either should not be coming up so high, or your torso should be angled more toward the upright? If I get fitted today I think I'll get the same comment. I think my "stem slamming factor" is about the same as it was in my '50s.

For the OP: it sounds to me like your first bike, the Cannondale, has always been either either a centimeter or two too long in reach to the hoods, or your saddle was not in the correct place fore/aft and possible vertically. I don't think there's a "magic fit" with an "endurance bike" versus a ... "sport bike" I would normally say I would match the contact points of your newer bike to those of your older bike, and then see if theres a significant difference. I would first get a good fitting on the Cannondale and pursue it until those problems are rectified, then use what you learn to improve the Trek, or just match the Trek to the 'dale.

I like to match my saddle position to my center of gravity when on the hoods or drops, like a skier's tuck so my weight is balanced over the BB. When riding over bumps or just sketchy road, I want to be able to lift my butt and hands up and down together to contact the bike when it is smooth and float over the bike when it is not. This has a lot to do with whether I feel beat up by the bike. At the same time, the saddle height from the sitbone contact to the BB center or pedal top should allow me to pedal at a decent cadence, minimize hip-rocking (which brings pelvic/perineal abrasion), and ability to push with my glutes if I grasp the hooks hard. Obviously my legs are not so strongly extended that I cannot lift up a little to keep the saddle from kicking me!

When I achieve this position, there is usually very low hand pressure on my hands. If I can also stand to pedal at times, so much the better. The older books and common wisdom do not talk much about measuring from BB center to sitbone contacts, with the notable exceptions of the blogs and website of Steve Hogg and the Phil Burt book "Bike Fit." There may be similar understanding in the Tri world, but i haven't followed them. Talking with the guys in a few shops, I think fitting a tri bike is very exacting. I think they have seen how small variations can measurably affect performance.

After all that saddle position (fore/aft, up/down, pitch up/pitch down, and yaw right/left) is settled at least good enough for an hour on the trainer (it's been winter here in Michigan!), so just ride. Next, I like to see if there is any change in whether your hands can stay out on the hoods or not, which I think was part of your original problem on the 'dale. It may be there is no problem after fixing the saddle setup, but if there is, try a stem that moves the bars 1 cm closer. If your 'dale has a threadless fork, this will be a cheap fix. Don't alter the height, or saddle to bar drop, significantly.

I can't say this strategy will work for you, but it is what I have done and would do again, and I don't have much left in terms of my own fit concerns. Same for Mrs Road Fan, who doesn't want to know what's behind it, but knows finally that if I ask her to pedal for me, an improvement is probably coming. However, she can get aggressive it I seem to be messing with her bike setup!

I got an open "work order" (lol!) to move her saddle (a B-17) back a little bit, but I don't see where I have options to slam it more.
When I have more time, I need to read this again. Thanks.
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Old 03-11-21, 10:24 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
70 yo 6'1" and ride a range of bike sizes.
58cm (ctc) frame w/ 23mm tires on some days.
59/60cm is the sweetest spot.
61/62cm for early season and easy cruising 'rest' day rides.

Tubular wheels on most bikes, 28/30mm tires make longer days softer.
Stems and bars change based on the variety of top tube lengths.

The benefits of N+1, besides the pleasure of wrenching.
Pics to show the range of racy to endurance to comfy.
Smaller frame

A split saddle on this bike allows me a lowered position. Spacers + angled stem get bars up.

This one hits the sweet spot of all day fast rider, 60cm (ctc) frame, 18cm head tube. Hits the sweet spot in other ways, too.

Tall head tube makes the drops a joy.
And below a small framed vintage. in similar pose. and Yes, plenty of stem in headtube.


Last edited by Wildwood; 03-11-21 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 03-11-21, 10:31 PM
  #25  
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I am 60 years young, and switched to an endurance bike 11 years ago. That switch included a carbon frame (Specialised Roubaix). Of course for me going from steel is real to carbon was night and day. I've never looked back. Your mileage may very! Stay safe, and take care.
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