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Late Bloomer Addicted and Trying to Figure It All Out

Old 11-15-15, 12:51 AM
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Late Bloomer Addicted and Trying to Figure It All Out

Most of you here already know my story but here is a synopsis.

I will turn 44 in December, I'm 5'2" and 110lbs.

I began on 8/10/15. I decided I wanted to get some sunshine and a little exercise and got on my daughter's tiny bike and rode .84 miles and realized that it was killing my knees. I went to Walmart and bought a Huffy Cranbrook Cruiser came home and rode another 2 miles around the neighborhood. I was so amazed that I rode that far. That is where it all began.

I rode 737 miles on that cruiser, including 54 miles in the Hills of Oklahoma Tour with elevation gain of 2217ft in 5 hours 22 minutes. Brutal but I loved it.

October 8th I bought an 80s mixte road bike. To date I have put 584 miles on her.

I now find my competitive self aspiring to go further. I am trying to figure out training/recovery plans, sports nutrition and basic mechanics. What started out as a simple ride has become a whirlwind of questions, discoveries and elation.

Since I've joined this forum I have found support and advice that has helped in so many ways.

I strive to do my first Century at the Hotter n'Hell 100 this summer. A lot of this goal stems from sentimental reasons. I grew up hearing about this since I was a kid and spent a good portion of my childhood in this area.

I had thought that my main interest was more in the realm of endurance rides/tours but in the last couple of days I have found that I get a bit high on pushing for time and speed. After doing some skill drills and pushing myself in some heavy winds, I seem to ride in a different way than before. Whether I get to the point that I can succeed at this... only time will tell. I realize I have a long journey ahead of me and have a hell of a lot to learn.

Friday I did a (for me) a quick 16 miles in 1 hour 17 minutes. This was the first time I broke 14mph average (max 20.6mph.) I did fast before this ride and felt absolutely great!

Saturday I did 36 miles in 2:32 hours. Average of 12.8mph / max 21.7 - 28mph winds. I had oatmeal and a protein shake about an hour before and I felt the difference. For the first hour I was doubting myself, felt weak... but just kept pushing. About the last 10 miles I caught my second wind and felt really good on the finish. Granted I had a tail wind (aside from a few crosswinds.)

I realize these are some really slow speeds but for me they are improvement. I am chomping at the bit to get a new bike to see if it really make a difference or if it's just me. Patience is a virtue I guess.

Last edited by YogaKat; 11-15-15 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 11-15-15, 02:45 AM
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I guess a few of us have noticed your newness and enthusiasm. Here's a couple of initial thoughts.

Forget about training plans for a while. You've only had a bike with gears for just over a month, and you only learned how to use the full range of those gears last week. From this post it's clear that you're still discovering how to handle the bike and feel comfortable on moderately long rides. Just keep doing that, tinkering with the fit (we've talked about saddle height) and getting to the point that cornering, shifting into the right gear at the appropriate time, getting out of the saddle sometimes when climbing, etc. feels like second nature. Go out with a group and get used to riding with others around you. While doing all that you'll be spending time on the bike and getting your body ready to "train" if that's what you want to do. Think of your current stage as preparing to train, rather than having a training plan, and expect that stage to last another month/500 miles or so.

Assuming you don't have money to burn, don't be in a desperate hurry to get the new road bike. Yes, a new lighter bike with a modern groupset is going to offer some mechanical advantages, but it isn't going to turn you into a racer overnight. Only you are going to do that, it's going to take time, and you can get fit and accustomed to long days on the bike on the Bridgestone. And spending a bit of time learning about what fits you, what's available for your budget etc. will help ensure that when you do buy something it'll be the right thing. We all suffer from upgradeitis here, but it makes sense to try and buy something that will keep you happy for a few months at least. In particular, make sure you know enough so that when making the purchase you are completely confident you're getting something that fits.

Come back in a month and start talking training plans, would be my advice. You have a long time to prepare for your hotter'n' hell 100, far more time than you need, there's nothing specific beyond riding lots that you need to be doing at this stage. However you sound like you share this forum's obsession with data, so that advice may not be satisfying. You're using Strava so I guess you are tracking your rides using a smartphone? You might want to think about getting a heart rate monitor (HRM) and learning how to use it. Ultimately you might want to train with a powermeter, but that's not an option on the Bridgestone and a HRM will at least give you a metric you can use to plan training when you do start to plan. I'm the only dinosaur on this forum who still trains with HR so I could give you some help with the basics. No need to spend a fortune on HRMs, have a look online at what's available. I emphasise that it isn't necessary at this stage, but I can sense your impatience to be getting on with things.

Finally, with regard to nutrition, don't obsess over "sports nutrition", just make sure you eat right. That means eating enough (8 hours a week on the bike isn't negligible) and eating stuff that is nutritionally dense. If you aren't used to making sure you get plenty of protein, get used to it now. You've seen the debate about what "plenty" means in the training and nutrition forum. Lots of fruit and green vegetables, especially the latter. We can get into more details once you get more serious. For now make sure you are eating healthily, and eat something containing protein very soon after finishing a substantial ride. And get plenty of sleep. When I first got back on the bike after a mid-life hiatus the first thing I noticed was that I needed 30-60 minutes per night more sleep.

Keep asking. It must be obvious even to a newb that I bear no resemblance to a coach, but there's something to be said for experience and plenty of more knowledgeable people in here.
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Old 11-15-15, 08:27 AM
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Currently what I've been doing is riding on the weekdays between one to two hours (unless life or work gets in the way) then either Saturday or Sunday a longer ride depending on how long I can get away from the house that day. I did get in a group ride last weekend with the local club and had a great time and will try to do so more although the season is winding down for the club with winter on the horizon.

I am curious to see how I deal with winter when it gets here. It's still unseasonably warm but they have been talking about the first freeze lately. I've been lucky to have such nice weather this late in the year as it is. I plan on continuing my rides throughout and working on my cold weather wear. I'm a very cold natured person and have been surprised that I was able to ride on the few days that were in the mid 50s comfortably. Long fingered gloves and moisture wicking layers with a light jacket do wonders I have found. When it starts dropping to freezing will be an interesting test for me. On the flip side I do pretty well in temps in the 100s (as they were when I first started out.)

Upgradeitis really is a symptom of riding isn't it! It does make more sense to take my time so that do get the right bike than wasting my money on something that I regret purchasing. I do have to periodically have remind myself of this (or "get reminded" by someone.)

I started out on MapMyRide. It was the first app I found when I went out on the first less than a mile ride on my daughter's bike. I have a friend that posts his MMR rides on that popular social media site that I'm beginning to forget the name of since I joined BF. I thought it would be fun to do the same and look what I got myself into. Haha

MMR has my entire riding history since day one so I still run it along with Strava which I joined on October 10th. Plus I have a couple of friends that live about an hour away that are on MMR and won't move over to Strava. We have challenges periodically which are a lot of fun and push us to ride more. I do have a bit of an obsession with data. I'm in accounting and addicted to spreadsheets so that may 'account' for some of this.

I have a Garmin Edge 520 on my Amazon wish list along with a compatible heart rate monitor and a speed/cadence sensor. (My family insists on wishlists for the holidays.)

I have really started looking at what I am eating lately and how it affects me. I learned from the nutrition thread that there are some standards that stay consistent but every metabolism is different. I suppose it will just take some time and observation on how my diet works for me personally. Recently I have changed up my breakfast to include a coffee, biscotti and oatmeal (rather than a coffee, biscotti and a protein shake.) Before I started riding it was just coffee and a biscotti.

I have dumped the microwave burritos or one simple salad for lunch and now adding salmon with rice, spinach salad with tomatoes and feta cheese with a croissant or leftovers from the previous night's dinner (plus a protein shake if I rode that day.) My protein shake also includes a banana, peanut butter and milk. I've also been working on rotating more of a variety of proteins into my dinners rather than steak most of the time. And I'm trying to get more veggie snackables set up for easy grazing throughout the day.

Interesting point on sleep. Typically I am in bed by 10 to 11pm and wake around 4 to 5am. I practice yoga at that time, then at 6am it's time to wake the kiddo to get ready for school. On occasions that I stay up later I will end of sleeping until 6am when my alarm goes off. I have noticed over the last couple of weeks that by the time I am off work at 5pm I am exhausted and fall into a nap for about an hour.
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Old 11-15-15, 10:42 AM
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Unsurprisingly, I know little about Oklahoma winters, but according to Wikipedia they aren't too severe, so you should be able to ride year-round. Avoid riding in icy conditions. Cold is easier to deal with. If you layer your clothing sensibly and wear decent gloves (two pairs, sometimes) you can ride in very cold weather. Here's an old-school winter training tip. Put your stockinged foot into a plastic bag before putting your shoe on. Remarkably effective at keeping the heat in. Not exactly a fashionable look, but hey - who's watching?
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Old 11-15-15, 11:03 AM
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I would make sure you have a substitute cardio workout for winter days when riding just won't work. In-gym elliptical cardio machines are a good bet, plus some basic workouts on the weight machines. Aim for at least three times a week. Add walking, which you can do in just about any weather. Ride the bike when weather is nice.

For next season, work up to occasional rides of 50 to 70 miles. If you can go that length, you can do a 100 miles. If you can't get up to those distances, maybe aim for the HHH "metric century" (100 km, or about 62 miles) instead, and plan on the 100 mile length the year after.
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Old 11-15-15, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by yooperbiker
I would make sure you have a substitute cardio workout for winter days when riding just won't work. In-gym elliptical cardio machines are a good bet, plus some basic workouts on the weight machines. Aim for at least three times a week. Add walking, which you can do in just about any weather. Ride the bike when weather is nice.
Agree with most of this except the last sentence. Being a fair weather rider is not a recipe for effective training.

And if one is going to the gym, one may as well use a stationary bike rather than an elliptical trainer.

For next season, work up to occasional rides of 50 to 70 miles. If you can go that length, you can do a 100 miles. If you can't get up to those distances, maybe aim for the HHH "metric century" (100 km, or about 62 miles) instead, and plan on the 100 mile length the year after.
She'll have no trouble with the distances. Further is easy. Further and faster is what is hard.
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Old 11-15-15, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by yooperbiker
I would make sure you have a substitute cardio workout for winter days when riding just won't work. In-gym elliptical cardio machines are a good bet, plus some basic workouts on the weight machines. Aim for at least three times a week. Add walking, which you can do in just about any weather. Ride the bike when weather is nice.

For next season, work up to occasional rides of 50 to 70 miles. If you can go that length, you can do a 100 miles. If you can't get up to those distances, maybe aim for the HHH "metric century" (100 km, or about 62 miles) instead, and plan on the 100 mile length the year after.
Riding in the winter is one of my goals with the exception of when the ice hits which it usually inevitable in Oklahoma. I feel that there is a lot to be learned by accommodating for tough conditions. My husband has a stationary bike with programmable courses for the icy days. I would love to get into Zwift but not sure that is in my budget. I am also planning on adding some basic weight training which is something that I enjoy immensely but haven't done in some time.

So far my longest occasional ride outside of the HOOT tour was 40 miles and that was on my cruiser. I do think I will get at least close (if not all the way) to 100 miles before HHH gets here, especially after spring comes back.

@chasm54 Good tip on keeping the feet dry and warm. I also saw some socks at the LBS that sound similar to what you explained. I got over worrying about fashion after the first month when I was wearing tank tops to get more of a tan. From now it will be sunscreen rather than going for that sun worshiper look. Why work on my health when just exposing myself to more risk of skin cancer.

Yes, Oklahoma is mild in comparison to more of the northern states. We do tend to have at least one ferocious ice storm per year though. Mainly we specialize in tornadoes and unpredictable spur of the moment weather changes.

Last edited by YogaKat; 11-15-15 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 11-15-15, 04:00 PM
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I have a question about comfort. The saddle that came with the Bridgestone was almost impossible to sit on comfortably so I changed it out for a memory foam saddle. It made a huge difference. I still notice that around mile 15 the chafing starts in and I wear bike shorts/pants when I ride. I also have been getting blisters and achy hands even though I change my hand position frequently.

Is this something that I'm doing wrong or just something that I will get used to. Thinking of doing this for 100 miles almost makes me consider riding the cruiser... almost.

I realize I sound like I'm complaining but I will continue to ride despite discomfort. I just figure why not eliminate it if possible?
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Old 11-15-15, 04:30 PM
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Chafing is not normal. Either the saddle is wrong for you, or it is wrongly positioned, or the bike is not set up properly for you. And ignoring discomfort would be foolish, you'd just injure yourself.

I don't really know what you mean by a "memory foam" saddle. Saddles should have minimal padding. If they are too soft you will sink into them instead of perching on them, and chafing/soft tissue pressure will result. They also need to be wide enough at the rear to bear the weight on your sitbones: if they aren't your weight will be borne by the nose of the saddle - unpleasant.

The fact that you're getting saddle pain and hand pain leads me to suspect you're poorly positioned on the bike, with far too much weight on your hands. Try moving the saddle forward so that the reach to the handlebar is less. If It is too great you'll slide forward onto the nose and lean on your hands to compensate. Bad idea all round.

Edit. Also make sure the saddle is level rather than nose down. The latter will also cause you to put too much weight on your hands

Last edited by chasm54; 11-15-15 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 11-15-15, 07:52 PM
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Yogakat, there are many women's specific saddles out there. I'd suggest looking at them and trying some. I use an "Adamo Prologue" on my road bikes ("Adamo TT" on my TT bike), which has an unusual design in that it is split from the nose to sit bones area. The Cobb saddle designs are very similar. I was a dissatisfied cyclist until I started riding the Adamo. I'd ridden some decent saddles up until then, but none of them offered me the totally pain free hours on the bike that the Adamo has. As Chasm said, chaffing is bad - indicative of fit and maybe clothing, as well. You need to address that.

I can't add to what Chasm said about your hands. It is a fit issue. Address that, too.

Patience Young Jedi! We all want it now, but it does take time. Enjoy the "ride", every minute of it! You're getting there, and your enthusiasm is wonderful!
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Old 11-15-15, 07:56 PM
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I should add this. As you get further along in cycling, and perhaps racing, you're going to learn about the Pain Cave. It's a fact of life for serious cyclists. You can't have saddle interjecting itself in the Pain Cave, the Pain Cave requires much focus and anything else hurting physically will hold you back. I'm not a climber, but I climb so much better then I used to now that I have a saddle that doesn't tear me up while I'm trying to get up a hill.
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Old 11-15-15, 09:12 PM
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@YogaKat, I have 3 different types of saddles on my bikes

I have the most padding on the saddle on my endurance bike, which is a Selle Italia Diva. Its still not tons of padding, but I need a little more padding on very long rides. I find the nose a little too wide though. I don't love the saddle but obviously it works for 200 mile rides so its not exactly terrible.

My back up road bike is intended for shorter distances and that bike has the Selle Italia Lady on it. Very little padding on that saddle. I actually like it way better, but after 50+ miles, especially if there's a lot of climbing, I start to feel the pressure in my sit bones. So this saddle for me is just mainly for shorter rides. I could probably go up to 100 miles on it, but I'd swap out saddles if I was going longer than that.

My TT bike is my shortest distance bike and has a totally different position, your contact points for the saddle are completely different. I have the Cobb 55 on that one, which is a short-nosed split saddle with very little padding, very similar to the Adamo that @sarals describes. People use these saddles on road bikes as well, they are not just for TT bikes.

Is also worth knowing the bike shorts/bibs are not all the same. Different chamois work for me with different saddles/distances. I can wear almost anything on rides of 50 miles or less. But I'll only wear certain chamois on long rides and yet other ones on the TT bike.

A lot of this stuff is trial and error. You get a lot of ideas/input by talking to other cyclists and people in bike shops and in my case from my fitter. Make sure you're conversing with people who have the same goals/cycling interests as you do. It takes time to work through it all.
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Old 11-16-15, 07:17 AM
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This is really good news to me. I know that pain is involved in a lot of sports and was hoping this wasn't part of that. It may sound naive but I really wasn't sure if this was something that would go away with time. The one tour I did was pretty painful but not in this way. It was more of a healthy pain.

It appears in the first day of getting my Bridgestone I was so used to the cruiser seat that I tried to duplicate it with an over sized saddle and mistakenly set it in the lowest position possible then learned more about saddle height.

I have noticed that I do have a hard time reaching all the way up to the front corners on the top of the handlebars comfortably. Here we go back to fit again. I got rid of the knee pain and traded it in for other pains. I am learning a lot through this and happy about that.

When I do finally get my new bike with a professional fit I will be in cycling nirvana. In the meantime I am grateful to learn by trial and error to really put things in perspective.

A bit of a moot point since it looks like it's time for a different saddle but there may be more information to be gained so I'm posting some pics of what I am currently working with. Knowing what I know now, I am thinking of putting the original saddle back on and adjusting accordingly to see what kind of difference this makes in the meantime.


This is the saddle that came with the bike. Viscount 2282




This is the memory foam saddle that I have on my bike now.




This is where it is currently situated.




This is a picture of where I now have my saddle height (which is slightly higher than in the next picture.)




Here is a picture of me riding and showing how I am indeed riding on the nose. (A little hard to tell due to my extra shirt around my waist.)












Last edited by YogaKat; 11-16-15 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 11-16-15, 09:29 AM
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It's hard to tell with certainty from the photo about your fit, but. I think you could stand to raise your saddle slightly. You don't want to go so high as to straighten your knee when the pedals are all the way down, your knee should be bent. Keep in mind that you'll have to move the saddle forward slightly, too, as you go up with it.
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Old 11-16-15, 09:31 AM
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Late Bloomer Addicted and Trying to Figure It All Out

As for your saddles. We're all different. I know I wouldn't be able to tolerate any of the saddles you have. Hard, wide nose, no slot in the middle. Yikes. WS saddles generally have a narrower nose and a depression or slot running the length of them. The Specialized Oura, Selle Italia, Adamo, Cobb...they're some of the saddles that are either designed specifically for women or are nice to women. Now, a good saddle is not inexpensive, but you find one that works and you keep it, moving it from one bike to the next as you progress. Yes, saddles wear out, so you will have to replace them at some point.

Cycling can be complex, yes. The chase is part of the passion. You definitely have passion!
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Old 11-16-15, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by sarals
As for your saddles. We're all different. I know I wouldn't be able to tolerate any of the saddles you have. Hard, wide nose, no slot in the middle. Yikes. WS saddles generally have a narrower nose and a depression or slot running the length of them. The Specialized Oura, Selle Italia, Adamo, Cobb...they're some of the saddles that are either designed specifically for women or are nice to women. Now, a good saddle is not inexpensive, but you find one that works and you keep it, moving it from one bike to the next as you progress. Yes, saddles wear out, so you will have to replace them at some point.

Cycling can be complex, yes. The chase is part of the passion. You definitely have passion!
I have been looking at the saddles mentioned by you and Heathpack and they do appear to be much more lady friendly. I also noticed that although not cheap they seem to be less expensive than I expected. Well worth the money for comfort when I find the right one for me.

Side note, I changed my user title due to one of your previous posts. I love the Young Jedi reference and appreciate the comment.
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Old 11-16-15, 10:16 AM
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@YogaKat, that saddle is definitely nose-down. That makes it very likely you'll slide forward and sit on the nose, and then have to push back on the bars. Personally I ride with a saddle that is s fractionally (a millimetre or two, no more) nose up. That is counter-intuitive, because one would expect it to press the nose into the perineum, but in fact it serves to keep my sitbones back and resting on the wide part of the saddle. Level it off, move it as far forward as the rails will allow (you have a few mm to spare) and adjust from there.
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Old 11-16-15, 12:09 PM
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The two best places to spend money on a bike are a fit and the saddle. Both change be game changers.

A lot of shops have test saddles, and some mail order places do 100% returns. Remember that saddles can be different heights so always measure to make sure you're not adding or subtracting. You'll sit in different spots on different saddles so measuring from the stem to the nose of the saddle doesn't always produce the same sitting position. A little bit of tilt one direction or another can make a huge difference as well, don't be shy about tilting things up and down and seeing what feels right.
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Old 11-16-15, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex
The two best places to spend money on a bike are a fit and the saddle. Both change be game changers.

A lot of shops have test saddles, and some mail order places do 100% returns. Remember that saddles can be different heights so always measure to make sure you're not adding or subtracting. You'll sit in different spots on different saddles so measuring from the stem to the nose of the saddle doesn't always produce the same sitting position. A little bit of tilt one direction or another can make a huge difference as well, don't be shy about tilting things up and down and seeing what feels right.
And as Chas pointed out, don't ride with the saddle nose down! I'd bet that's part of your hand discomfort, there.
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Old 11-16-15, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex
The two best places to spend money on a bike are a fit and the saddle. Both change be game changers.

A lot of shops have test saddles, and some mail order places do 100% returns. Remember that saddles can be different heights so always measure to make sure you're not adding or subtracting. You'll sit in different spots on different saddles so measuring from the stem to the nose of the saddle doesn't always produce the same sitting position. A little bit of tilt one direction or another can make a huge difference as well, don't be shy about tilting things up and down and seeing what feels right.
Good information to have. I was wondering how I could test them out.

@sarals Looking at it now it's as obvious as can be. I'm so glad I asked about this.

@chasm54 Just a side note. I tried your suggestion of plastic bags between the socks and shoes and it worked like a charm in the rain today.
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Old 11-16-15, 12:55 PM
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I'm now looking at your photos on my computer and not my phone. Here's an idea to try. You said you were having a bit of an issue with reach to the brake levers? Well, the brake perches are mounted very high on your bars, causing the levers to angle away from your hands. Short of removing the bar tape and moving them, try tilting your handlebars down, so that the bottom of the drop is almost level. That will serve to bring the brake levers in a little. You might like the feel of the bars with drops being level, I know I do. However, this is important - just because something works for one person, it doesn't mean it's right for you. But, it's worth a try.

Ex and Chas would agree on this - only make one change at a time to the bike, ride it and see how it feels, adjust, ride again, and then move on to another change. For instance, you can raise or lower your handlebars by adjusting the stem up or down - but don't make a saddle height change and fool with your bars, too! Talk about getting things really messed up.... Voice of Experience!

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Old 11-16-15, 10:32 PM
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First adjustment. Tonight I worked on adjusting the saddle. I moved it as far forward as mechanically possible and raised it a bit. I haven't had a chance to try it out aside from sitting on it in the living room after adjustments. I does seem that I am further up on the handlebars although the saddle itself is problematic in it's design. I cannot seem to find any way to get the nose raised to level the back, it seems that back is simply built higher than the nose. I will take a test ride tomorrow to see if this helps until I get a new one.

Here is where I am at after tonight's adjustments.

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Old 11-17-15, 12:19 AM
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One of those nights that I can't sleep. I decided to try the saddle from my daughter's bike. Still high in the back. Just experimenting around.

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Old 11-17-15, 08:04 AM
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Nice kitty!

Your saddle bags are scaring me.

The bag you have attached on the down tube inside the rear triangle is a safety hazard - if that slips down into your wheel it could jam up and lock up the rear wheel - likely crash. It's slipped down in the picture of you riding.

The bag you have in front of your head tube doesn't belong there either. You've attached the stem, which rotates when you turn, to the head tube, which does not. Possibly dangerous.

One bag for flat-fixing stuff should be enough storage space. The bag should be under the saddle, attached in the manner intended by the manufacturer. You can take that rear reflector off if it's in the way.

For saddle angle - the saddle attachment point should rotate - loosen the bolt and the u-shaped lower part of the clamp should be able to rotate. If it doesn't it might be seized/rusted. Maybe add some WD40 or other lube and tap on the nose of the saddle to loosen it up.
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Old 11-17-15, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by valygrl
Nice kitty!

He only poses when I'm not trying to take a picture of him, otherwise he scampers off when I pull out the camera.

Your saddle bags are scaring me.

Right! I'm glad you brought this up, it is something that needs to be taken care of.

The bag you have attached on the down tube inside the rear triangle is a safety hazard - if that slips down into your wheel it could jam up and lock up the rear wheel - likely crash. It's slipped down in the picture of you riding.

I thought I had it zip tied tight enough but finding that it's slipping down. Contains my multi-tool, levers and patch kit. I will move it to my saddle bag.

The bag you have in front of your head tube doesn't belong there either. You've attached the stem, which rotates when you turn, to the head tube, which does not. Possibly dangerous.

One bag for flat-fixing stuff should be enough storage space. The bag should be under the saddle, attached in the manner intended by the manufacturer. You can take that rear reflector off if it's in the way.

I've been meaning to do this. Better today than later. When I had my seat all the way down there was no possible way to attach it under. Now that there is more room, it's time to move it. Yes, the reflector has been a challenge for space under the saddle.

For saddle angle - the saddle attachment point should rotate - loosen the bolt and the u-shaped lower part of the clamp should be able to rotate. If it doesn't it might be seized/rusted. Maybe add some WD40 or other lube and tap on the nose of the saddle to loosen it up.
With this older Mixte do I have the same mount that you are talking about? This is what I'm working with in regards to attachment point.



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