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taimur 06-15-10 12:27 AM

Did i screw up?
2 Attachment(s)
I am a casual/amateur bicycle rider who enjoys solo-rides as well as riding with the sunday critical mass groups around town.

I usually ride every alternate day after getting back from work and avoid riding in the dark. Depending on how dark it is i generally end up doing 6-10kms.

On the weekends i get together with a group and on average do 20-30kms. The bike I was riding was kinda old but comfortable. Like my previous bikes it kept my back straight i felt comfortable riding it for long rides.

I had an opportunity to trade up to a relatively old but barely used Mountainbike Cannondale M500 CAAD3 26". I read the reviews and 97% of the previous owners of this bike model had rated it 5/5 for casual/mountain racing etc. So it was a deal i couldnt let go off. I have to point out that where i live, good bikes are tough to get hands on so this was too big to let go. took a test ride, felt very different but light and fast.

Sold my old bike and bought it. One thing that had me concerned was how high the saddle was and how low the handle was. It would probably take some getting used too.

Took it out for the first evening ride yesterday and i was really happy with myself for a while, it is LIGHT FAST smooth! By the time i hit 3 km my findings were getting overshadowed by the fact that my back was killing me (muscular pain). had to take a 10 second stop every km after that to straighten my back out. I have this sinking feeling that i royally screwed up spending a decent amount on this bike :twitchy:. Dont think i can do the weekend 30km run on this bike yet.

I dont have a pic of the one i bought right now so i googled it and am posting an archive pic.
one difference to the archive pic is my M500 bike has a hydraulic saddle bar i will post the pic a bit later..
Other pic is of me on the old bike with the my back in near upright position.

Did i pick the wrong bike? should i get rid of it?? or should i keep at it until i get used to it. I want to be able to continnue doing the weekend 30kms. Eventually longer rides in future.

Metzinger 06-15-10 01:15 AM

Drastic position changes often result in pain. A shorter handlebar stem with some rise will put you in a more upright position.
If you can't get enough rise with that, you may want a steerer extension to clamp the stem to.
Someone at your local bike shop may be able to help you tune your fit.

You have a 'suspension seatpost'.

Kimmitt 06-15-10 02:31 AM

This is a good lesson, tho -- if you don't know if the new thing is going to suit you, it's often worth hedging your bets.

taimur 06-15-10 04:09 AM

This is what i found on amazon UK.

Metzinger 06-15-10 04:26 AM

^Good. But check that stem length/rise first. A short riser stem may be similar price and adequate. The extender should be considered as a last resort, and won't be of much help if you're too stretched out. It's also heavier, and adds more points of potential flex/failure to the system.

taimur 06-15-10 06:54 AM

I am kinda newb which one of these would work for me?
25.4 1 1/8" 17 120mm BlackOur price:11.73 Qty 25.4 1 1/8" - 40 100mm BlackOur price:11.73 Qty 25.4 1 1/8" - 40 130mm BlackOur price:11.73 Qty 25.4 1 1/8" - 40 80mm BlackOur price:11.73 Qty 25.4 1 1/8" 17 120mm SilverOur price:11.73 Qty 25.4 1 1/8" - 40 100mm SilverOur price:11.73 Qty 25.4 1 1/8" - 40 130mm SilverOur price:11.73 Qty 25.4 1 1/8" - 40 80mm Silver

Metzinger 06-15-10 08:15 AM

You're moving in the right direction. 1 1/8" and 25.4mm clamps. Those are correct. 40 is indeed a rise. But the angle and length is dependent on you.
If you don't want to inquire at a shop, try this: sit on the bike (while leaning against a wall) and move your hands off your bars into what seems to be a comfortable position. What's the relative position of your hands to the bars? Directly above? A little closer to you? How far? Measure it. Do the math.
eg: 40 80mm means the stem is 80mm long and angles up from perpendicular to the steerer at 40
Basic trig tells us the bars sit about 6cm forward of the steerer and are 5cm higher than perpendicular to the clamp.

Does this seem right? If so, snap it up. Then you just need to install it, and adjust the headset (details here).

Esteban32696 06-15-10 08:23 AM

&&& that seat is WAY to low !

taimur 06-15-10 09:23 AM


Originally Posted by Metzinger (Post 10965076)
...If you don't want to inquire at a shop......

Thanks for the extremely useful guidance and patience.

Regarding the above part of your post, basically thats the problem. I am located in "Karachi, Pakistan" and there are no shops here that stock Bicycles/Bicycle accessories or anything to do with them. There is only one kind of single-speed-road-Bicycle made here whose design dates back to the 50s. Going to a shop and trying out accessories/parts here is nothing short of a dream :(

What i do is shop of and deliver to brother in London,UK. then some one carries it back for me.

thanks again,


taimur 06-15-10 09:32 AM

3 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Esteban32696 (Post 10965130)
&&& that seat is WAY to low !

thats probably why i was having such a bad time adjusting to this bike. Here is the pic of what i have now.

Attachment 155456Attachment 155457Attachment 155458

Today's ride was better than yesterday, back was sore :cry: but i did 15km+ maybe i will get used to it ...? :eek:

Metzinger 06-15-10 09:36 AM


Originally Posted by taimur
thanks again,

No problem.
Good luck.
Edit: I see those photos now. The existing stem looks like about 120mm and 5 degree or so rise. It may be stamped somewhere on it. It shouldn't be hard to get a much closer position with one of the stems you listed.

taimur 06-15-10 10:00 AM

Whatdo u think of the bike is it good to spend some money on... stem, gear shifter, gear etc... or should i just hold out till i find a slightly newer trek or giant in the next lot of refurbs...

the shifters are revo style and painful to use.

Also if i push peddle hard to accelerare in 4-6 gears, i hear a clunky sound as if chain slipped. ANy idea what that is? do i need to replace something? how can i check?

GamblerGORD53 06-15-10 04:51 PM

What i see here are 2 bikes that are TOO SMALL for you. 120mm stems are goofy. IMO
Also those straight across bars are evily uncomfortable. I used one for too many years somehow.p

powers2b 06-15-10 05:18 PM


Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 (Post 10967941)
What i see here are 2 bikes that are TOO SMALL for you.

Way too small.


taimur 06-16-10 12:39 AM

The silver bike was small, thats why i went for a change. The green Cannondale is much bigger. Where do i check the frame size? At the bottom?

Metzinger 06-16-10 04:46 AM

The above posters know neither the size of your Cannondale nor how tall you are.
Here are a couple of resources to help you with your drivetrain issues. Park Tool Website. Sheldon Brown.
Your bike came in 2" incremental sizes. 14", 16", 18", 20", and 22". Usually marked with a sticker on the seat tube. Measurement often refers to a measurement of the seat tube from the middle of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube or top tube.
But don't get sidetracked by the frame height debate. It's the length of the bike that's more critical.
If you can get the fit right with the proper stem, you'll be fine. Any progress?

taimur 06-16-10 10:28 AM

Thanks for the link, more precisely its this Cannondale from 1996:

I didnt find a sticker but i went out and measured it. The inner tube measures 18" but end to end from top to bottom it seems 20"+ so thats .. 18" frame? i am looking for UK sites that accept international cards and carry the stem riser. Will order it today so i can get it in 12 days time. I have 2 days to oder.. will be done soon.

Can you guide me about the gear/chain/shifters?
1. I cant stand the grip shifters on this thing. Will any kind of shifters work? like Shimano STX 7-speed Rapidfire Shifters or Shimano Acera Mountain Bike Gear & Brakes STi 21 Speed ST-EF29 ? from
2. When i apply force to peddles or try to accelerate with force i occasionally get a jerk on the peddle as though something slipped... could this be a chain fault or bad gears do i need to replace something? I tried the chain symptom checks on this page but found nothing wrong... :( i will try the tests again to see maybe i missed a chain link

AndrewP 06-16-10 01:53 PM

Go to the Park Tools site and meticulously follow through the derailler adjustment instructions. It is tedious, but gives good results. When you are sat on the saddle you should just be able to put your heel on the pedal at thebottom of the stroke with you leg absolutely straight. This will give the right knee bend when you pedal with the front of your foot. If you are not riding through mud or soft sand the bike will be much more comfortable (and faster) if you replace the nobby tires with smooth ones.

jrich179 06-16-10 07:50 PM

before you make the move on the stem purchase, first ensure your saddle height and position are correct. AndrewP above gives a good rule of thumb for getting height correct. For correct fore/aft position, the gauge I've heard most recommended is to make sure, when your right foot is in the 3 o'clock position, your kneecap should be directly above the pedal spindle (more or less around the ball of your foot). Once you're positioned right on the saddle, THEN determine a comfortable handlebar position.

My apologies if you already know all that, but it would suck to order, pay for, and wait around for the stem piece only to find it doesn't fix anything.

If you find you can't achieve the proper saddle position, it may be indicative of a too-small frame, but honestly, I don't/can't see that from what you've shown us. More than anything, your bars do look low / far away.

taimur 06-17-10 12:00 AM

Thanks guys i will try all of the above and post back later (at work now). I personally dont think the frame is small for me. if it was, i wouldnt be so far stretched to hold the handle compared to my previous smaller bike frame (in the picture).

Anything on the shifter question?

Metzinger 06-18-10 04:18 AM

Either of those shifters will work. But the Aceras are combined with brake levers so you'd need to redo the brake cables as well when installing them. I also prefer trigger shifters like these over GripShift ones.
The chain slipping sensation could be a result of a stretched chain, worn cogs, faulty adjustment of derailleur, faulty derailleur, misalignment of derailleur hanger, or a problem within the ratchet mechanism within your freehub.
Measure your chain with a ruler first to determine stretch. Next, take a clear closeup photo of your rear cog teeth from the side and post it here. People on BF cannot resist some good gear photos. :)
After that, you still may need to do some more troubleshooting and website research.

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