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Do I need to go back to a hybrid?

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Do I need to go back to a hybrid?

Old 03-22-22, 07:21 AM
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robertj298
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Do I need to go back to a hybrid?

I have 5 beautiful vintage road bikes that I love. Maybe it's too soon in the season to tell
but yesterday I did my first loner ride of the season. Took a trail 14 miles up had lunch
then 14 miles back .I was on my Univega Gran Turismo. I was whipped and sore when
I was done. Not soo much in the legs but in the upper body. Shoulders ,arms and hands.
I'll give it a chance but am wondering if a hybrid bike would alleviate some of this?
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Old 03-22-22, 07:31 AM
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Or just get back on the bike and get in shape.
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Old 03-22-22, 07:45 AM
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robertj298
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Or just get back on the bike and get in shape.
You're probably right but at 68 years old each year gets a little harder
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Old 03-22-22, 07:49 AM
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I'd give a taller stem a try. But if you do decide to try out flat bar bikes, there are a lot of great vintage mountain bikes that can be nicely repurposed to ride on trails and gravel with smooth tires. Although I mainly ride road bikes, I'm a big fan of vintage MTBs.
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Old 03-22-22, 08:43 AM
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big john
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
You're probably right but at 68 years old each year gets a little harder
I am also 68 and I run the bar about 1 inch below the saddle. I also work on not leaning hard on the bar while riding and try to keep my elbows bent. Lately I have been working a little more on trying to support myself with the core muscles. I also ride year round because there is no winter here.
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Old 03-22-22, 08:55 AM
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First 'loner' ride of the year at 28 miles. On a trail. You can ride those vintage drop bar bikes. It is only March.
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Old 03-22-22, 09:55 AM
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How much upper body workout do you get in the other things you do daily?

While there are some in the road biking forum that think one doesn't need any upper body strength to ride a bike or that simply riding will keep you strong enough, I don't think that's true. I'm trying to get into the habit of doing some upper body exercises to keep me limber and keep a better muscle tone.

It isn't easy though as all my life I've never needed to exercise as I use to have a very active life. But that's no more and I spend more time doing very little. My fingers seem to have good muscle tone though! <grin>

If the other bikes fit you well before, and nothing has changed but you just got older, then they should fit you now. Changing your position with another bike might help, but possibly only temporarily if you don't do anything to keep you entire body in shape.

Last edited by Iride01; 03-22-22 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 03-22-22, 12:29 PM
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sounds like a robust season opener!

at 60+, watching my parents in their 90s, I think to myself, how can I keep some muscle mass later in life. I do some weight training, year round, but ride my bike more in the fair weather months. I'm hoping I can keep that up

I have 3 bikes, road w/ drop bars, MTB & hybrid. the hybrid is easier & more relaxed to ride. I use it on family vacations or out for a few hours w/ Wifey. sometimes by myself depending on where/ when I'm riding

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Old 03-22-22, 04:04 PM
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I know, especially during the first few rides each season, I have to remind myself to relax my shoulders and bend the elbows. Otherwise, I find that I"m riding with tense shoulders that are trying to reach my ears! You're not doing the same are you?
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Old 03-22-22, 07:14 PM
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I'm in my late 60's and commend you on the 28 miles. Interesting you bring this up. Not sure yet if I'm going to do a stem or handlebar change but its an upcoming project. My only bikes are road bikes and 1 (of 3) of them will be altered this year to a more relaxed option.
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Old 03-22-22, 07:24 PM
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At 52 with some really serious injuries I quite literally feel your pain. That given I almost have 250 miles this month. I suck it up and hope I will round into riding shape sooner rather than later. Stick with it and do what you need to do to stay on two wheels !!
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Old 03-22-22, 10:10 PM
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There is actually no reason to buy a hybrid. Just pick out one of your existing road bikes and convert it to a flat bar bike.

I used an old SR Cannondale that did not have quick steering and converted it.

I used a quill stem to threadless extension, trigger shifters, but thumb shifters will work, cantilever brake levers, and down tube cable stops.

The only downside is limited tire clearance compared to hybrids designed for 35mm tires.

John
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Old 03-23-22, 06:32 AM
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^ What he said.

Pick the bike with good tire clearance and put on some new handlebars. Having a few classic bikes as back-ups is perfect, if you're feeling more flexible go for the dropbars. Road brake compatible levers are inexpensive, as are the handlebar click shifters for 6-9 speed rears.

(I do find it amusing; the lengths we go to make biking comfortable...so we can focus on the hurt of cranking uphill)
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Old 03-23-22, 06:39 AM
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Using those muscles more intensely for the first time of the year is going to cause some pain - like that first work out at the gym or first game of whatever of the season. Some stretching before and after might help.
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Old 03-23-22, 09:04 AM
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Maybe, maybe not. Nothing wrong with them! Since my longest ride in the geezer era, so far, is equal to your first outing, I'd say give it time, but maybe start thinking about an alternate ride. They can be just as fun! It's ok to have both available to choose from.
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Old 03-23-22, 10:02 AM
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It's true, many hybrids are unappealing.. But! There are many cool classic bike to hybrid-style conversions. I agree with others, the first rides of the season are tough. That's often when I try adjusting the bar tilt, height, or saddle position. If anyone has a good-looking classic-to-upright conversion, now may be a good time to show it ...
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Old 03-23-22, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclic_eric View Post
If anyone has a good-looking classic-to-upright conversion, now may be a good time to show it ...
Every bike with drop handlebars has an upright position (on the tops), mid level position (on the hoods), and an aero position (drops). YMMV
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Old 03-23-22, 12:24 PM
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It is a matter of needing to strengthen the upper torso. Light 7-10 lb dumbells and doing planks helps a great deal.

I have dealt with sore hands by wearing gel bike gloves and by increasing the diameter of the handlebars by adding foam backed tape along the horizonal sections so as to have more contact area and a little bit of give. With the tape I make no changes to the sections of the drop bars, only the top where I rest my hands. Important to keep changing the position of ones hands while riding and to have the right bar postion, changing out the stem if need be. Rarely have I not needed to change out the stem with a new bike to get a good fit.
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Old 03-23-22, 01:36 PM
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Maybe you should consider getting fitted for the bike by a pro. Don’t know if your LBS does fittings but I know when I bought my new road bike last year, my LBS spent close to an hour fitting me to the bike. I’m 70 and ride about the same distance as you’re doing. I upgraded from a hybrid that was not fitted and off the shelf which I rode the same distances but no where near as comfortable. Just a thought, I wouldn’t give up on the road bike just yet.
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Old 03-23-22, 05:59 PM
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You don't need to convert to a flat bar to get the bar up higher. You can get a drop bar set up so the top is in the same position a flat bar would be. I wouldn't want to do longer road rides on a flat bar. Drops give you many positions and getting low in the drops makes a headwind easier to deal with. If your bikes are quill stem bikes you can get a tall stem from Nitto and you can get different lengths. Don't forget drop bars are available in short drop short reach and many sizes. Here is a quill stem touring bike I put a tall stem on. Sold the bike last year.

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Old 03-23-22, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Jtmav View Post
Maybe you should consider getting fitted for the bike by a pro. Don’t know if your LBS does fittings but I know when I bought my new road bike last year, my LBS spent close to an hour fitting me to the bike. I’m 70 and ride about the same distance as you’re doing. I upgraded from a hybrid that was not fitted and off the shelf which I rode the same distances but no where near as comfortable. Just a thought, I wouldn’t give up on the road bike just yet.
I wouldn't consider a fitter until you have some miles done and know where you are physically. I'm not saying they can't help, I'm sure they help some people.
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Old 03-23-22, 06:52 PM
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You can find some really nice drop bars that are shallow drop. Those and a taller stem will make a bike feel much more relaxed and easy-going, while still giving you all the positions of a drop bar. But like folks have said above, give it a few more pre-season rides. Basement dumbells or a suspension trainer might help as well.
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Old 03-23-22, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclic_eric View Post
It's true, many hybrids are unappealing.. But! There are many cool classic bike to hybrid-style conversions. I agree with others, the first rides of the season are tough. That's often when I try adjusting the bar tilt, height, or saddle position. If anyone has a good-looking classic-to-upright conversion, now may be a good time to show it ...
Not sure how good it looks, but I really like these upright bars for trail rides and particularly for SS. They provide many good riding positions, just not the same set as drop bars.




Otto
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Old 03-25-22, 09:27 AM
  #24  
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I suppose it looks "cheerfully low end"

Here's one I had many years ago.
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Old 03-25-22, 12:37 PM
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Alleviate some of it? Good grief, getting sore and tired is the whole idea! Keep at it. Do that same ride about every 3rd day for a while. Go from there. Join a gym, too. We should all be hitting the weight room to prevent muscle and bone loss.
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