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Looking for a start point on a new bike, unsure which way to go.

Old 03-31-21, 08:23 PM
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While I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting on things to settle out, what are some decent online part/supply/accessory outlets? I can always drive myself insane and endanger the financials looking at extra toys for my toys. Already crossing my mind It'd be a good idea to look into a helmet and at least basic safety lighting. Got street lights in the neighborhood and most places I'm likely to ride but people around here act like they were born in the UK and can't keep straight which side of the road is theirs. Luckily on that front I rode motorcycles for years and am quite firmly entrenched in the "safety is all on me, treat those 4(+) wheeled menaces like they're deliberately hunting me" mindset.
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Old 04-01-21, 02:04 PM
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I've used Jenson USA for parts and competitive cyclist (I think) for my smart trainer. Got my bike rack and bike covers at REI. I've also used each of the three LBS for random stuff.

Oh, and I bought my Garmin SPD power meter pedals from an archery website. Go figure.
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Old 04-01-21, 04:17 PM
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The bike that seems sensible and comfortable for two miles once every couple weeks is different from the bike you would be comfortable riding twenty or more miles per week. Which category will you be in? Or would you get into the 100+ miles per week category?

I'd just look for a used Cannondale Quick in the 3 to 5 model range, CX if you want front suspension, or not CX if you want regular forks. If not that bike, an equivalent bike from any of the other major manufacturers. It probably comes stock with some 700x38c tires, but I've run my Quick CX3 with 32mm Continental GP4Season tires (slicks), and 40mm WTB Nano tires (sort of knobby). The bike is very solid, and I think is designed to support a rider over 300 pounds, or right around there. I'm under 200, and it's still a great bike. I've taken it on rides up to 35 miles. For general road riding I prefer my Synapse. But for rough surface, or road commuting, or just tooling around with my kids on family rides, the Quick is ideal.

You'll pay 400-600 for a used one in good condition, about 5 years old. Then spend $100 on the tires and pedals you want.
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Old 04-01-21, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by daoswald View Post
The bike that seems sensible and comfortable for two miles once every couple weeks is different from the bike you would be comfortable riding twenty or more miles per week. Which category will you be in? Or would you get into the 100+ miles per week category?.
Oh, I'm definitely in the 2-5 miles per week (probably in short bursts) category once I get wheels and get rolling. Might go up from there, might not but decidedly starting at the lightweight fair weather casual level and easing in. 20+ might be a possibility over time, 100+ is unlikely but not completely impossible. Mostly cruises around the neighborhood, short errands, and such until I get back into stride and reevaluate.
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Old 04-01-21, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
While I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting on things to settle out, what are some decent online part/supply/accessory outlets? I can always drive myself insane and endanger the financials looking at extra toys for my toys.
I'd suggest you preserve some sanity and actually get a bike before you spend much time looking at accessories and geegaws.
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Old 04-01-21, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I'd suggest you preserve some sanity and actually get a bike before you spend much time looking at accessories and geegaws.
Sound advice, which I'll probably ignore. There will indeed be gewgaw hunting of some sort to pass the time, the only question is which hobby it'll be for in what order. Tomorrow holds a trip to Lowes and then some minor glue-and-screw work on the cabinet to my newly acquired bass amp, then that dangerous boredom starts to creep in.

But I'm good at the discipline to comparison window shop without getting too itchy once I get settled into a routine.

As for sanity, that ship went the way of the Titanic loooooong ago.
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Old 04-05-21, 04:38 PM
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Alright, home stretch time. Gub'mint says my money should turn up Wednesday which is now officially shopping day. I'm comparisoning between
Save Up to 60% Off Comfort Bikes | Bike Path Bikes | Windsor Dover 1 from bikesdirect.com
Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Front Suspension Gravity Basecamp X4

I'm seeing mostly the same thing with minor details- 26x1.75 rims on the x7 vs 26x1.5 on the x4, 26x2.5 tires vs 26x2.1 with a more universal/off-road tread. I like the larger tires, how large could I go with the 1.5 rims looking down the road?
7 speed vs 8 speed, if I read the spec right they're both freewheels rather than cassettes but I don't see stressing them enough for strength to be a real issue, but the 8 appears to have 1 tooth less on the smallest sprocket.
OTOH the 8 speed looks to have a 36 tooth chainwheel with a 44 tooth on the 7 speed- my mindset is that going for more street cruiser type use, the 44 might suit better as I'm not needing mountain climbing torque. (?)
The x4 has a suspension fork while the x7 doesn't- entirely negligible from my perspective, pros/cons? Long-term maintenance/durability issues?
Brakes appear to be Tektro vs Power, which I've no background to evaluate beyond assuming both sufficient for my uses. If they stop the thing, I'm good.
Same with the derailleurs/shifters, Shimano something-or-others on the x7 vs SRAM such-and-such on the x4.

And not insignificant- probably the silly thing nagging me more than any other- the x7 is down to my choice of white, white, or white while the x4 appears to have a slew of colors available. Fact is if I find I can throw the same 26x2.5 tires on the x4's 1.5 in rims later that would probably tip me to the x4 hands down just to get an orange or blue. Yeah, I'm that persnickety.

So, thoughts? Compliments? Kibitzing? Sheldon-esque harangues at the silly old n00b having fun wrong by buying something not optimized for someone else's intended riding style?
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Old 04-06-21, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
Alright, home stretch time. Gub'mint says my money should turn up Wednesday which is now officially shopping day. I'm comparisoning between
Save Up to 60% Off Comfort Bikes | Bike Path Bikes | Windsor Dover 1 from bikesdirect.com
Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Front Suspension Gravity Basecamp X4

I'm seeing mostly the same thing with minor details- 26x1.75 rims on the x7 vs 26x1.5 on the x4, 26x2.5 tires vs 26x2.1 with a more universal/off-road tread. I like the larger tires, how large could I go with the 1.5 rims looking down the road?
7 speed vs 8 speed, if I read the spec right they're both freewheels rather than cassettes but I don't see stressing them enough for strength to be a real issue, but the 8 appears to have 1 tooth less on the smallest sprocket.
OTOH the 8 speed looks to have a 36 tooth chainwheel with a 44 tooth on the 7 speed- my mindset is that going for more street cruiser type use, the 44 might suit better as I'm not needing mountain climbing torque. (?)
The x4 has a suspension fork while the x7 doesn't- entirely negligible from my perspective, pros/cons? Long-term maintenance/durability issues?
Brakes appear to be Tektro vs Power, which I've no background to evaluate beyond assuming both sufficient for my uses. If they stop the thing, I'm good.
Same with the derailleurs/shifters, Shimano something-or-others on the x7 vs SRAM such-and-such on the x4.

And not insignificant- probably the silly thing nagging me more than any other- the x7 is down to my choice of white, white, or white while the x4 appears to have a slew of colors available. Fact is if I find I can throw the same 26x2.5 tires on the x4's 1.5 in rims later that would probably tip me to the x4 hands down just to get an orange or blue. Yeah, I'm that persnickety.

So, thoughts? Compliments? Kibitzing? Sheldon-esque harangues at the silly old n00b having fun wrong by buying something not optimized for someone else's intended riding style?
1. Tire tread. Unless you actually go off road, you want a smooth tread. Knobbies are horrible on pavement, and you will curse them every time you go out for a ride.
2. 7 v. 8 speed. I am surprised anyone makes an 9 speed with a freewheel, but if that is what they say, I guess such a thing exists.
3. Suspension fork on a $300 bike? A big no for me. Just added weight, reduced performance, and future repairs as it is something that can break, and cheap suspension forks are not that great.
4. Tektro brakes are pretty standard. By reputation, pretty decent. OEM on a lot of name brand bikes. Never heard of Power brand brakes, which makes me a little suspicious.
5. Shimano vs. SRAM. Both are good. Some prefer Shimano, others SRAM. At this price point, probably a horse a piece.
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Old 04-06-21, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
1. Tire tread. Unless you actually go off road, you want a smooth tread. Knobbies are horrible on pavement, and you will curse them every time you go out for a ride.
Alright then- with the bloody astoundingly obvious that I already knew out of the way, how about the part you ignored which I was actually asking about? Was it incidental or deliberate that you found way to provide almost completely zero useful information while answering a question that was not asked? Is that your superpower?

"I like the larger tires, how large could I go with the 1.5 rims looking down the road?"

As in, could I ditch the knobbies that, believe it or not, I actually know are not the greatest on pavement and in the process switch to the same size as I'm liking on the other model, or did you just want to stick with the Sheldon-level "having fun wrong" shtick? And yes, I realize tires cost money, I realize I'd have to do some work, I realize this isn't necessarily optimal.
To save us both some less than minor annoyance: Ignore the tread pattern. Ignore what you want to ride. Humor the dim witted n00b- how large, eyeing the 2.5 inch tires on the one as desired, would be feasible on the 1.5 inch rims on the other? You know, like I actually alluded to in the previous post when I said: "Fact is if I find I can throw the same 26x2.5 tires on the x4's 1.5 in rims later that would probably tip me"

Can anyone here actually answer that question for me? Perhaps without the condescension and talking down as a bonus, hmm?
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Old 04-06-21, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
Alright then- with the bloody astoundingly obvious that I already knew out of the way, how about the part you ignored which I was actually asking about? Was it incidental or deliberate that you found way to provide almost completely zero useful information while answering a question that was not asked? Is that your superpower?

"I like the larger tires, how large could I go with the 1.5 rims looking down the road?"

As in, could I ditch the knobbies that, believe it or not, I actually know are not the greatest on pavement and in the process switch to the same size as I'm liking on the other model, or did you just want to stick with the Sheldon-level "having fun wrong" shtick? And yes, I realize tires cost money, I realize I'd have to do some work, I realize this isn't necessarily optimal.
To save us both some less than minor annoyance: Ignore the tread pattern. Ignore what you want to ride. Humor the dim witted n00b- how large, eyeing the 2.5 inch tires on the one as desired, would be feasible on the 1.5 inch rims on the other? You know, like I actually alluded to in the previous post when I said: "Fact is if I find I can throw the same 26x2.5 tires on the x4's 1.5 in rims later that would probably tip me"

Can anyone here actually answer that question for me? Perhaps without the condescension and talking down as a bonus, hmm?
It depends on the clearance of the dropouts and the brakes. There may not be room to mount a larger tire. I doubt anybody can know that from the available information.
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Old 04-06-21, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
It depends on the clearance of the dropouts and the brakes. There may not be room to mount a larger tire. I doubt anybody can know that from the available information.
Fair enough, and far more to the point than simply not addressing the situation. Thanks.

What with inventory dropping, by tomorrow when it's order placing time the decision could be made for me by availability anyway, who knows? If so and worse come to worst, if that suspension fork turns out to be a dud and blows out that's just something to change out. Can't be any worse than all the dial indicator fumbling to set pinion depth, contact area, and runout setting up a ring and pinion in a 9 inch Ford rear end.

But ultimately this final stage decision is still "where's my start point" with a long view toward what's possibly/likely going to get changed later to suit, whether tires and/or rims on one or something else on the other. Either looks like something (again, with my intended uses) that'll suffice to begin with and then it's a "go from there" thing.
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Old 04-06-21, 08:53 PM
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Id recommend getting a reasonable bike that roughly fits your specs first, then just maintain it.

when i read passages describing dialysis equipment and diabetic specific footwear, my first thought was

”Dont overthink this one guy - just get a reasonable bike and devote some time to riding it, as opposed to tinkering with it. Yourehealth will thank you eventually”

but seriously, tinker with your music gear and 1911’s - by all means — butjust buy a bike to ride and keep it simple
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Old 04-07-21, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Id recommend getting a reasonable bike that roughly fits your specs first, then just maintain it.
when i read passages describing dialysis equipment and diabetic specific footwear, my first thought was
”Dont overthink this one guy - just get a reasonable bike and devote some time to riding it, as opposed to tinkering with it. Yourehealth will thank you eventually”
but seriously, tinker with your music gear and 1911’s - by all means — butjust buy a bike to ride and keep it simple
This is in fact the overall plan, with a caveat or two- overthinking things is my thing and has been for decades. The home dialysis contributes to that in that 10 hours a day tied up with a 20 foot leash makes for time to do some epic overthinking even after I take a chunk out for sleeping. As for my health, that's an amusing one- if you can ignore the masterfully controlled diabetes (diet and activity keep insulin use to 3-5 shots over a 3 month period) and terminal (if untreated) kidney failure, I'm as healthy as a racehorse. (Yeah I know, right?)

But "Get and ride" is the main plan, I'm just amusing myself until the plan is implemented for the most part. With en eye toward "what can I do down the road," to be sure, but get going it the prime motivation. Get a way to get out and move while reducing foot stress somewhat over my previous regimen of walking no less than 2 miles a day that the foot issues put a crimp in.

EDIT: Well ain't that a bite in the butt. BikesDirect insists on using PayPal to process their billing. PayPal's had some issue for a couple of months with my cardholder, resulting in my card being declined if I try to use it through PayPal but it works if I go direct to the merchant. After 40 minutes of frustration it's become clear that there's no way to go to BikesDirect directly. So looks like they just lost a sale, I'm back to walking, and screw cycling anyway. Ah well.

'Bye.
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Old 04-08-21, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post

EDIT: Well ain't that a bite in the butt. BikesDirect insists on using PayPal to process their billing. PayPal's had some issue for a couple of months with my cardholder, resulting in my card being declined if I try to use it through PayPal but it works if I go direct to the merchant. After 40 minutes of frustration it's become clear that there's no way to go to BikesDirect directly. So looks like they just lost a sale, I'm back to walking, and screw cycling anyway. Ah well.

'Bye.

Rats - Another attempt at health and wellness foiled by PayPal! The fiends!!

take it easy bud, grey skies will turn blue again soon
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Old 04-08-21, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Rats - Another attempt at health and wellness foiled by PayPal! The fiends!!

take it easy bud, grey skies will turn blue again soon
Turns out 'twas not PayPal that were the culprit, my card's issuer went ape. Had to set up and move to another bank to sort the mess out. It'll get there, just another roadblock to reroute around.

"It's like my grandma Nana Roseannadanna used to say- if it's not one thing, it's another!"
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Old 04-15-21, 08:27 AM
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Alright, trigger's been pulled and my new shiny white Dover Windsor X7 is ordered from Bikes Direct. Should ship in a few days and be headed this way.
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Old 04-21-21, 06:08 AM
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Cue the old song (and Heinz ketchup jingle) "Anticipation." Morning email dump shows bicycle, LeZyne MacRo floor drive pump, and Kryptonite lock/cable combo all on (various) trucks for delivery today.

The current pending issue is keeping that Mini 12mm U-lock/cable handy. Been nosing around various bags/carriers, just looking for something (at the moment) to keep said lock with the bike. Holding on choice as I nose through listings for brackets and bags and such to find something that suits the need. Otherwise it's just waiting for things to get here and get into the fun part. (And then riding the thing too. )
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Old 04-22-21, 09:54 AM
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Assembly went fine, couple of adjustments and fine-tuning the derailleur, brakes are great. Wow, after 30+ years I was as wobbly as a first-time child. A lot of muscles involved that are still being rebuilt. And the frame height is fine, but that 400mm seatpost has got to go. It's bottomed out and still well too far up, got a 300mm ordered. And for not being a fan of white, dang but this thing looks good. Also quite impressed with the indexed shifting- that wasn't even a thing last time I was on one, outside of the absurd high-end finicky hobbyist rides. Once the new post arrives and I can get that seat down to where stopping isn't an invitation to injury, I'll get back to it.
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Old 04-22-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
Assembly went fine, couple of adjustments and fine-tuning the derailleur, brakes are great. Wow, after 30+ years I was as wobbly as a first-time child. A lot of muscles involved that are still being rebuilt. And the frame height is fine, but that 400mm seatpost has got to go. It's bottomed out and still well too far up, got a 300mm ordered. And for not being a fan of white, dang but this thing looks good. Also quite impressed with the indexed shifting- that wasn't even a thing last time I was on one, outside of the absurd high-end finicky hobbyist rides. Once the new post arrives and I can get that seat down to where stopping isn't an invitation to injury, I'll get back to it.
I doubt the seatpost is too far up. If your feet can almost fully extend on the downstroke, you should be good. If it is so high up your feet can't even reach the pedal on the downstroke, then the seatpost is too long. If the seat is so low you can put both of your feet flat on the ground while seated, then your seatpost is too low.
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Old 04-22-21, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I doubt the seatpost is too far up. If your feet can almost fully extend on the downstroke, you should be good. If it is so high up your feet can't even reach the pedal on the downstroke, then the seatpost is too long. If the seat is so low you can put both of your feet flat on the ground while seated, then your seatpost is too low.
I like to use the "109% of inseam" method as a starting point for saddle height. First check after that is the "can I keep my heel on the pedal" thing.
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Old 04-22-21, 12:58 PM
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Remove each wheel and turn the hub by grasping the axle between your index finger and thumb. Feel any side-to-side play? Likely no. Feel gritty resistance? Likely yes. Now you can google "bicycle hub cone adjustment", and you're off to the races...

With the two dozen or more BikesDirect bikes I've built, the bearing pre-load is too tight with half of the hubs. Rear hub is trickier. If you get to that one and need help, ask here.

Good luck.
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Old 04-22-21, 02:59 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I doubt the seatpost is too far up. If your feet can almost fully extend on the downstroke, you should be good. If it is so high up your feet can't even reach the pedal on the downstroke, then the seatpost is too long. If the seat is so low you can put both of your feet flat on the ground while seated, then your seatpost is too low.
How about if standing flatfooted straddling the frame, which comes a good 1.5 inches shy of crotch contact, the point of the level saddle is poking me about halfway between my belt and my shoulder blades? As in can't reach the ground from the seat, period, and can barely touch the pedals on downstroke bottom dead center? Can't complete a downstroke without stretching and nearly ballerina-pointing. I'm pretty sure that's a bit on the high side. And even if it's proper, then proper just doesn't work for me and is in fact hazardous to my safety.

I've already fallen over from not being able to get a foot on the deck while stopping once. A 300mm post will get me low enough to avoid that, while still allowing enough upward adjustment to get things right if 10 cm below current is too low- but this current setup is, plain flat out, too blasted high. And the lowest a 300mm will go is still high enough (maybe just barely) that double flatfoot on the seat won't be possible. Shift sideways and get one down, probably. At least low enough to not skin any more knees rolling sideways from a failed stop.
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Old 04-22-21, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by John Valuk View Post
I like to use the "109% of inseam" method as a starting point for saddle height. First check after that is the "can I keep my heel on the pedal" thing.
I can just barely manage to keep semi-solid ball of the foot contact with the pedal at bottom of downstroke. Heel is completely out of the question.
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Old 04-22-21, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Shay Howe View Post
How about if standing flatfooted straddling the frame, which comes a good 1.5 inches shy of crotch contact, the point of the level saddle is poking me about halfway between my belt and my shoulder blades? As in can't reach the ground from the seat, period, and can barely touch the pedals on downstroke bottom dead center? Can't complete a downstroke without stretching and nearly ballerina-pointing. I'm pretty sure that's a bit on the high side. And even if it's proper, then proper just doesn't work for me and is in fact hazardous to my safety.

I've already fallen over from not being able to get a foot on the deck while stopping once. A 300mm post will get me low enough to avoid that, while still allowing enough upward adjustment to get things right if 10 cm below current is too low- but this current setup is, plain flat out, too blasted high. And the lowest a 300mm will go is still high enough (maybe just barely) that double flatfoot on the seat won't be possible. Shift sideways and get one down, probably. At least low enough to not skin any more knees rolling sideways from a failed stop.
A picture is worth 1,000 words, so if you can get someone to take a picture of you riding your bike, I am sure members of this forum can say right off if it is too high, or about right. I cannot get both feet on the ground from the saddle, and pretty much never have except on bikes that were too small for me. 1 1/2" inches of clearance from the top bar to the crotch is fine, maybe even generous..
If you can keep the ball of the foot on the pedal while riding, that sounds about right to me. On the downstroke, you want to have your foot very slightly bent, but at full extension. And when coming to a stop, get used to sliding off the seat so you can get a foot down and not lose your balance.
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Old 04-22-21, 03:58 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
. And when coming to a stop, get used to sliding off the seat so you can get a foot down and not lose your balance.
Perusing back through this thread will reveal (re-reveal?) my recovery from massive illness and muscle loss a couple of years ago. I'm going to do what works for me and keeps me safe, and if it doesn't fit Lance freaking Armstrong's regimen Lance can suck it. I don't know how to make this any plainer.
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