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There Must Be Something Wrong With Me Because...

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There Must Be Something Wrong With Me Because...

Old 05-05-20, 07:17 PM
  #26  
Attilio
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Thanks for the replies.

I took three ~1h rides today, two with the drop bars and one with my flat bar. I like flat bar *WAY* better but I love how the Warbird pedals so I am going to give it one more shot. One of my rides was by the bike shop and he suggested an inexpensive fix by adding a different stem with a steeper angle that holds the bar a little more rear and higher, as well as getting a bar with more angled drops that were 52cm wide, the biggest he has. This is all told a $80 change including labor so in the greater scheme of things a cheap and easy fix. I am willing to try this out and he promised a bit of a "fitment" session as well though he did a brief one.

As it is I nearly fell over. I just can't control the bike with the current drop bar setup. I don't think I am doing anything wrong, but I am very positive that the way the bike is set up is obviously not working for me as a nice bike like that should be fun, and not so hard to control.

In a perfect world where I had more money I would get a premium frame that is responsive and fun to ride and get all the hydraulic and "nice" components but borrow a bit and get wide mountain bike flat handlebars with hydraulic brake levers or some such but I have entered such rabbit holes in the past and been thoroughly vaccinated against such custom type jobs.

Last edited by Attilio; 05-05-20 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 05-05-20, 09:23 PM
  #27  
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Attilio , it really sounds like you would benefit from a proper bike fitting. Hopefully your mechanic will be able to resolve your issues. Good luck, and keep us updated!
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Old 05-06-20, 03:53 AM
  #28  
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Yes at 6'4" and 180ish pounds I have long since gotten used to the fact that the world is not my size. It was more of an issue when I was younger like in the 90's before all this globalization and everything right away the way you want. I remember fitting in cars used to be a bit of a problem but the last 10-15 years have seen automobiles improve dramatically. The obesity epidemic has also made it hard(er) to find clothes in some way as anything my size is also very plus size for very overweight people but again everything is so mass produced and in quality too that finding something that long and thin has become much easier.

Through life I have made a habit of just adapting myself to the existing situation rather than trying to find a better alternative. The handful of times I tried to customize things I found it's always a lot of work and the learning curve offputting in terms of time and money thrown out the window. I think my bike shop is onto something. For that little money and effort I think it's worth it because my warbird drop bar is absolutely not fitting. When I use the drops I can't even keep my head high enough to see forward so there must be something wrong!
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Old 05-06-20, 07:57 AM
  #29  
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What size Warbird did you get?
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Old 05-06-20, 10:32 AM
  #30  
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It just seems to me that when you are all hunched down in the drops, you simply can not breath as well.
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Old 05-06-20, 10:42 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Gotta call TROLL on this OP-thread

To paraphrase the OP's premise.."I hate folks that post they hate some well-loved piece of equipment as all it does is create a big dust cloud and everyone leaves without the slightest change in their position"

If you don't like drop bars..don't use them..was that so hard?

..waste of time and good electrons
Sometimes I wonder if our mods aren't starting some of these threads, just to increase site traffic. Nahhh! People have probably said that about some of my threads, before I learned what a bad idea starting threads in general here usually is, and quit starting them unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 05-06-20, 10:48 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Gotta call TROLL on this OP-thread
Yep.

If you don't like drop bars..don't use them..was that so hard?
The OP owes you $0.25.
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Old 05-06-20, 11:59 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Attilio View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I took three ~1h rides today, two with the drop bars and one with my flat bar. I like flat bar *WAY* better but I love how the Warbird pedals so I am going to give it one more shot. One of my rides was by the bike shop and he suggested an inexpensive fix by adding a different stem with a steeper angle that holds the bar a little more rear and higher, as well as getting a bar with more angled drops that were 52cm wide, the biggest he has. This is all told a $80 change including labor so in the greater scheme of things a cheap and easy fix. I am willing to try this out and he promised a bit of a "fitment" session as well though he did a brief one.

As it is I nearly fell over. I just can't control the bike with the current drop bar setup. I don't think I am doing anything wrong, but I am very positive that the way the bike is set up is obviously not working for me as a nice bike like that should be fun, and not so hard to control.

In a perfect world where I had more money I would get a premium frame that is responsive and fun to ride and get all the hydraulic and "nice" components but borrow a bit and get wide mountain bike flat handlebars with hydraulic brake levers or some such but I have entered such rabbit holes in the past and been thoroughly vaccinated against such custom type jobs.
I'm not getting it - what is the control issue you're having? Why are you almost falling over?
(Not asking rhetorically- trying to understand, actually, cause personally I've been riding a flat bar road bike lately not because I don't like drop bars, but because I wanted wider bars than the narrow vintage ones I had, and I'm still unsure whether I did the right thing or not... )
but anyway, what can't you do on these bars? And how do you typically ride: hands on the hoods gives you the max width and keeps hand in place for shift/brake- does that hand position just feel weird to you cause you're used to having hands flat, palms-down?

[Also, what do you mean in a perfect world... you have a Salsa Journeyman AND a Salsa Warbird?? I'd be thrilled! ]
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Old 05-06-20, 12:25 PM
  #34  
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I like drop bars. The thing is, I never ride in the drops! I'm always on the hoods.
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Old 05-06-20, 01:28 PM
  #35  
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Gloves are a good idea IMO.

If you take a spill, can make the difference between dusting off and carrying on,

and nursing painful and slow healing wounds.
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Old 05-06-20, 05:58 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Charliekeet View Post
I'm not getting it - what is the control issue you're having? Why are you almost falling over?

(Not asking rhetorically- trying to understand, actually, cause personally I've been riding a flat bar road bike lately not because I don't like drop bars, but because I wanted wider bars than the narrow vintage ones I had, and I'm still unsure whether I did the right thing or not... )

but anyway, what can't you do on these bars? And how do you typically ride: hands on the hoods gives you the max width and keeps hand in place for shift/brake- does that hand position just feel weird to you cause you're used to having hands flat, palms-down?


[Also, what do you mean in a perfect world... you have a Salsa Journeyman AND a Salsa Warbird?? I'd be thrilled! ]

The problems are several. The first is that I am tall at 6'4" and don't care for the bent over position. Back hurts, neck hurts, shoulder hurts, wrists hurt and I can't pedal as efficiently. Biking should be fun and all I can think of is how I am uncomfortable, that sucks!

The other is that I feel like I cannot brake, shift or turn as easily as I can on a flat bar because the flat bar everything is within reach of my fingers. I am relatively new to "new world" bikes but I dislike the shifters on the drop bar because it's like pulling the brakes and they are basically one lever, not intuitive and very easy to mis-shift. My hands and fingers can only be positioned to do one and I have to ancitipate so I need to keep my speeds a lot lower due to this reaction time limitation the drop bar forces on me.

All the positions on the drop bar as configured are very uncomfortable regardless but the drop is worse for me. Hoods make me numb. Center/whatever position is a nonstarter because bike is even more difficult to steer precisely and there is no easy access to brakes.

In a perfect world I'd put the Journeyman's flat bar on the Warbird but I know you can't do that as there are incompatibility issues and I'd be spending a lot of money and effort to make a "frankenbike" that's not really built for flat bar angles. I went down a few rabbit holes like that as a younger and more naive man, no more. So I will try a more angled and longer stem along with Salsa's widest and most angled drop bar at 52cm. If that doesn't work I will sell my Warbird and wait until the economy recovers to get a more high performance flat bar hybrid.

Last edited by Attilio; 05-06-20 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 05-06-20, 09:13 PM
  #37  
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It seems the "control issue" the OP is having is the OP is such an excellent & skilled cyclist that he shifts, brakes, & steers simultaneously while travelling at high speed over potholes...all while sitting in a bolt-upright like on a Dutchie.

His flat bars allow him to do that with out the need for countersteering & drop bars do not.

All this time, I've been doing it wrong. Who knew?

Imma go convert my ape hangers, my Northroads, my drop bars all to flats like my mountain bike now.
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Old 05-06-20, 09:15 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Attilio View Post
The problems are several. The first is that I am tall at 6'4" and don't care for the bent over position. Back hurts, neck hurts, shoulder hurts, wrists hurt and I can't pedal as efficiently. Biking should be fun and all I can think of is how I am uncomfortable, that sucks!

The other is that I feel like I cannot brake, shift or turn as easily as I can on a flat bar because the flat bar everything is within reach of my fingers. I am relatively new to "new world" bikes but I dislike the shifters on the drop bar because it's like pulling the brakes and they are basically one lever, not intuitive and very easy to mis-shift. My hands and fingers can only be positioned to do one and I have to ancitipate so I need to keep my speeds a lot lower due to this reaction time limitation the drop bar forces on me.

All the positions on the drop bar as configured are very uncomfortable regardless but the drop is worse for me. Hoods make me numb. Center/whatever position is a nonstarter because bike is even more difficult to steer precisely and there is no easy access to brakes.

In a perfect world I'd put the Journeyman's flat bar on the Warbird but I know you can't do that as there are incompatibility issues and I'd be spending a lot of money and effort to make a "frankenbike" that's not really built for flat bar angles. I went down a few rabbit holes like that as a younger and more naive man, no more. So I will try a more angled and longer stem along with Salsa's widest and most angled drop bar at 52cm. If that doesn't work I will sell my Warbird and wait until the economy recovers to get a more high performance flat bar hybrid.
Im no expert, but based on your 1st paragraph there, yeah, like others have said it sounds like thereís more than just a type-of-bar issue to be sorted. Good news is that means maybe drop bars are not intrinsically problematic for you!

Re: controls, Iím sure thereís some prodigious racer here who can say why itís necessary to brake and shift at the same time, but Iíve never wished I could. Maybe I donít ride fast enough for it to matter.

Somebody mentioned gloves; I agree! Make a big deal to me, re:grip & helping re: numbness.
good luck w the component swaps; sounds like youíre doing it the right way.
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Old 05-06-20, 09:28 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Charliekeet View Post

Re: controls, Iím sure thereís some prodigious racer here who can say why itís necessary to brake and shift at the same time, but Iíve never wished I could. Maybe I donít ride fast enough for it to matter.
I'm no racer nor am I an expert but I do usually brake and shift when coming up to a stop sign or traffic light so I'm not in a big gear when it comes time to move again. Can't seem to recall if I just use the front brake when doing that though? I'll have to pay closer attention tomorrow.
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Old 05-07-20, 03:05 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
It seems the "control issue" the OP is having is the OP is such an excellent & skilled cyclist that he shifts, brakes, & steers simultaneously while travelling at high speed over potholes...all while sitting in a bolt-upright like on a Dutchie.

His flat bars allow him to do that with out the need for countersteering & drop bars do not.

All this time, I've been doing it wrong. Who knew?

Imma go convert my ape hangers, my Northroads, my drop bars all to flats like my mountain bike now.
Your sarcasm is out of place here - on flat bar setup with hydraulic brakes that allow for one-finger braking, paired with thumb/thumb trigger shifters where you can use thumb for shifting both up and down, it is not only possible but very convenient even. I do it all the time.
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Old 05-07-20, 06:27 AM
  #41  
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I think if anyone read through my replies it would be obvious that I am not an excellent cyclist just that I ride varied terrain, public roads, a park that may or may not be full of people but at the same time has some pretty nice varied terrain that can at times be taken quickly and is lots of fun. However given the unpredictable nature of where I bike it's hard to anticipate controls so I like to be ready to shift or brake as quickly as possible if car(s), people, children, potholes, sand, dogs/pets appear where they shouldn't be along with the quickly changing terrain which is very hilly making for a wide range of speeds. Add to this that I am very tall, stiff and clumsy and uncomfortable because despite being very active and in good shape, that's how my body is and there's nothing I can do to change that. With the setup it's not about high skill or dodging targets or professional level bike handling. It's that the setup doesn't work for me at all from either a control or comfort point of view.


I am not telling anyone that you are doing it wrong but if the haters had actually read my post I am asking about what I could be doing wrong or more importantly what I could be doing different to make the bike work better for me. If you wish to misinterpret my genuine request for honest advice that's your problem; while I may certainly be doing something wrong with the bike, or the bike itself is not fitted properly, I am sure I did nothing wrong by honestly verbalizing an issue here and appreciate the thoughtful replies, especially recommending a bike fitting. I am looking forward to the Salsa Cowchipper 52cm and a more angled, taller stem as after reading the nice replies I discussed them and my options with the owner of the bike shop. So thank you for the nice suggestions. All told it's an $85 fix including his labor as he is selling me the parts, cheap and easy. I like this "modification" because it doesn't involve changing the bike at all and the functionality, controls, brakes everything remains true to the factory spec, just the position is changed to something more comfortable and useable for me.


On that regard I am very optimistic because the owner also let me ride one of his mountain bikes that is set up with the same type of wide bar with a raised stem. It's not as large (I have a 59 which is XXL I believe) as my size so he raised the seat and let me try it. While I still prefer the flat bar "feel", I felt like I could interact with traffic, up/downhills, patches of sand, dodging potholes, pedestrians, cars trying to park, getting on and off a sidewalk near his shop almost as well as with a flat bar which means in my properly sized bike I will have something that is workable. If it feels comfortable and workable then I can practice and progress which is something I haven't been able to do the last 3 months with my current setup, that's all.
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Old 05-07-20, 06:28 AM
  #42  
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Oh and one last thing regarding the desire for race like, professional style lightning reflexes one nasty poster mentioned.

In these varied conditions I also go on family rides and the wife and kids are inexperienced so I have to be able to quickly react and navigate them in traffic as well, another challenge/distraction that requires the setup to be as quickly controllable and needing less concentration and anticipation as possible.
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Old 05-07-20, 10:35 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
Your sarcasm is out of place here - on flat bar setup with hydraulic brakes that allow for one-finger braking, paired with thumb/thumb trigger shifters where you can use thumb for shifting both up and down, it is not only possible but very convenient even. I do it all the time.
You are right. I was intending sarcasm. You are right to call me on it.

The salient point here is the OP claims that drop bars do not allow shifting, braking, & steering while being "in control." The OP blames the equipment.

I do not blame my equipment when I feel a little weird wishing I could both brake & hold on while ridng down 15% grade washboard on a rigid at 25 mph & I'm wishing for a nice fat secure set of hoods to hold on to. No. It's how the mountainbike is made & nobody starts a thread about it or about how it's the mountainbike handlebars that suck. That is just putting skillset on display to everyone.

Bob Ross once said: With enough time & enough skill, I do believe you could paint the Mona Lisa with a 2 inch brush.
Some people make it look easy & the OP is frustrated he's doesn't feel ease.

Lots of people with drop bars do not seem to have the OP's issue with shifting, braking, cornering, or going over bumbs.

"control" & "hyper aware" are words that keep coming up throughout this thread. The feeling of stress, insecurity, & anxiety have been adequetly expressed. This thread is not about handlebars.

That being said. I am glad the OP has consulted the LBS and maybe has found a different handlebar & stem that may make him feel more comfortable. Maybe then he can develop his skillset.
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Old 05-07-20, 04:33 PM
  #44  
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That's your preference, no worries. But, this being the internet, we can't just let this go.
  • Anyone who disagrees with you, or me, or anyone is an assclown.
  • You're not wrong, but I'm always right.
  • No real cyclist would use flat bars.
  • Flat bars are for hybrid bike weenies.

Did I miss any? Kidding, of course...
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Old 05-07-20, 06:48 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
That's your preference, no worries. But, this being the internet, we can't just let this go.
  • Anyone who disagrees with you, or me, or anyone is an assclown.
  • You're not wrong, but I'm always right.
  • No real cyclist would use flat bars.
  • Flat bars are for hybrid bike weenies.

Did I miss any? Kidding, of course...
You've pretty much nailed it. The only addition I would suggest is this: 'Those who prefer flat bars for road cycling are 'newbies' who don't know any better'." This is very important. Teh Biek Forms hive-mind has long since made this determination, and it is important that we all recognize and validate this objective 'truth'.
That aside, spot on.
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Old 05-07-20, 07:10 PM
  #46  
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In order of preference I like riding on the hoods the most by a long shot. Feels more natural to have your hands in that position. Easy to climb, easy to go 20+. Easy to shift, easy to brake.

tie for drop bars and flat bars.
Drop bars if going fast and will not need brakes, shifters etc...
Anything bumpy that resembles gravel/mountain bike trail flat bars.
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Old 05-07-20, 08:20 PM
  #47  
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I definitely agree partially that it's a lack of skillset on my part. The problem is that despite trying different things or practicing more I am not progressing and the biggest objective issue I am having is discomfort.

For example a friend of mine recently died and his widow gave us his Jamis. It has drop bars but it's a medium and way to small for me at 6'4". My 11 year old is 5'5" and he loves it. Once I was made aware the bars might be too low I notice that with that bike, despite the fact that it's a few sizes smaller than my Warbird, the bars ride higher than on the much larger 59/XXL! My son also doesn't look as bent over as I am on the Warbird either because my bars are so low and the seat so high that I can barely see the road if I use the drops, yes, you got it, I have to strain my neck all the way up to see the road. Something is definitely wrong.

So agreed, my skillset is not that great and I will be the first to admit it. But I have been trying and sticking with it and at this point if the equipment is not fitting I have reached a glass ceiling. I didn't feel this way 1-2 months ago but I do now because my skillset is growing and I cannot perform to what I can do because the equipment basically is uncomfortable and it HURTS!

The Warbird is a very fast bike and I am in good shape. I can go 25mph on it at least some of the time, even more on the downhill thanks to the steep gearing and I live at the very top of the 2nd highest hill in the state. I have a GPS speedometer/odometer that tells me. And our roads in New England are terrible, many flat out say they are like gravel roads. The local bike shop has a reputation for "pushing" hybrid and gravel bikes but the roads truly are that bad. I'll tell you one other thing: you don't see road bikes around from November until May.

Last edited by Attilio; 05-07-20 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 05-07-20, 08:35 PM
  #48  
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[QUOTE=Attilio;21455956]... I hate drop bars.

What I find that I prefer with a flat bar is that you can shift up, down, steer, keep straight/stable and brake all at the same time without having to change hand position .............

Join the club. Ditch the drop bars.



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Old 05-08-20, 04:42 AM
  #49  
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It sure does sound like the OP has a bike fit problem. It'd be really helpful if he'd get a good side on image taken (get someone else to take the image) with him on the bike in the position or positions he's having trouble with. Then the experts here could help him with any fit problems.

Cheers
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Old 05-08-20, 05:03 AM
  #50  
solman
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NJ
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Bikes: Trek 720 Hybrid, Trek FXS-5

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I would say to have the Warbird sized to your best advantage. Seat height, stem length and rise etc. Then give it a real chance to get accustomed to it. If it still doesn't work for you then so be it. I don't think its often practical to change a drop bar bike to a flat bar setup. Sell it or perhaps keep it for your son. Then go buy a flatbar road bike if that's your preference.
I am in my 60's and looking at a Trek FX bike myself. I have a Bianchi drop bar bike from the 90's but I find now it's no longer a good fit for me. I will wait until the stores reopen to look at the Trek and make sure it is fitted properly and I find it comfortable before I buy.
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