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Help making my Bianchi Volpe more club-ride-worthy?

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Help making my Bianchi Volpe more club-ride-worthy?

Old 06-09-11, 08:09 PM
  #1  
happa95
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Help making my Bianchi Volpe more club-ride-worthy?

Hey guys. I'm about to embark on my first club ride this weekend with a club called La Grange. It's supposed to be a pretty fast ride with somewhere between 40 and 100 people and it's around 30 miles, with a decent amount of climbing. Anyways, I just finished my first century, the LA River Ride on my Bianchi Volpe and during the ride, I was distinctly aware that my riding position is not very aerodynamic; my seat's 1-2 inches BELOW the bars. Anyways, here's a picture of the bike:

https://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/249/dsc00767c.jpg/

The seat's actually about half an inch to an inch lower than that now and I replaced the tires with 25mm slicks.
Also, here's a picture of me on the bike:

https://www.photocrazy.com/freepicdow...52627300be.jpg

I'm not sure if I should get a different stem, if I should flip the stem, or whatever else. Any help would be appreciated!

Btw, I would have embedded the pictures directly, but they kept on coming out too big.
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Old 06-09-11, 08:11 PM
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Why are you changing it? Does it not fit the way it is?

I wouldn't change anything right before a major ride.
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Old 06-09-11, 08:13 PM
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happa95
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I'm just worried that such an upright position may prove to be a disadvantage.
EDIT: btw, I wouldn't necessarily call it a major ride. It's their club ride that recurs every sunday. I'm hoping to keep up but if I get dropped, I figure I'll just keep showing up until I don't.
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Old 06-09-11, 08:17 PM
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Your arms are too stiff in that picture. Bend your elbows and get a bit lower.
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Old 06-09-11, 08:19 PM
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happa95
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To be fair, that was mile 96 of my first time ever going over 40 miles. I'll definitely remember to bend my elbows the next time I ride, though.
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Old 06-09-11, 08:22 PM
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Flipping that crazy stem will drop you quite a bit at once. Does the bike fit you?
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Old 06-09-11, 08:26 PM
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I *think* it fits me pretty well. I'm pretty comfortable on it and nothing really hurt after the century, aside from a few sunburns. This is my first bike, though, so I don't really have much in terms of comparison. I'm also definitely open to buying a new stem.
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Old 06-09-11, 08:41 PM
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just looking at your 2nd pic, i'd say the bike may be too big for you. it's kinda hard to tell but it looks like your right leg is nearly fully locked out, and you're still having to reach quite a bit for the pedal. can the saddle be lowered any more than it already is? have you been fitted at a bike shop or just adjusted everything yourself?

and you might try a new stem, you can get a decent one for about $25-$30. looks like you'll need something fairly short, maybe 70-80mm. you can always try flipping your current stem though, that will lower your bars quite a bit given the steep angle of the stem.
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Old 06-09-11, 08:45 PM
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Here's another pic if it helps: https://www.photocrazy.com/freepicdow...80129817a9.jpg

I'm really hoping it's not too big; it's a 49cm bike, which means I'd have to go into the eensy, 650c wheel sizes. Btw, I haven't gotten it fitted yet. I'd really like to but they're not cheap and I'm predictably low on cash.
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Old 06-09-11, 09:39 PM
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You did a century? Cool. Your bike fitting must be fairly OK, then.

On the club ride, you can sit in the draft behind other riders, and your upright position won't be a problem. Try some changes after the ride:

------

It's easy to move the spacers from under your stem to the top of the stem. That will lower the bars about an inch, not too drastic a change. Or you could just move some of the spacers, for even less of a change.

Your stem has too steep an angle to flip, since it would be pointing way down. There might not be room for the front cantilever brake cable hanger! It might be worth a try! Rotate the bars upward at the same time. Perhaps a new cable hanger would help, similar to this one for a 1 inch steerer.

(Later, you may want to try a new stem at the local bike shop, one with a shallower angle. There's different angles and lengths available.) Even different bars. I really like the shallow drops on the FSA Omega bars. Those compact bars could take a slightly longer stem.

After you move the spacers and try out a ride, then you could try rotating the bars up slightly, so your wrists would be straighter on the hoods. Just a small change can make a big difference, so experiment a little at a time. You could also unwrap the bar tape and try moving the shifters up or down on the bar. Again, try small changes at a time.

After any changes are to be permanent, it's possible to cut the steerer tube shorter, to get rid of the extra spacers above the stem. But then, it's impossible to change back later, or when you want to sell the bike.

-----
To move the spacers, see the Park Tool headset page, then scroll down to Headset Adjustment - Threadless Type

In summary:
The stem's two bolts holding the steerer tube are loosened. The top cap is removed. Move the spacers above the stem. You can't discard any spacers, use all of them.
To reassemble:
The top cap is lightly tightened, to take the play out of the bearings. The stem is lined up with the tire, and it's two bolts are tightened securely to hold everything together.

-----
If the seat is too high, the rider rocks his hips while pedaling. I get my seat roughly correct when my heel is barely on the pedal when its extended in a line with the seat tube. Then I adjust it from there. Even a quarter inch change is noticeable.

Last edited by rm -rf; 06-09-11 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 06-09-11, 09:52 PM
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^^^ read the above post. as stated i would try to remove some spacers under the stem first. that will also increase reach though. also as pointed out bend your arms slightly. this will help you become more aero and also help soak up the bumps. you want to also roll your hips forward. it looks like you are sitting upright. honestly i would suggest you get fitted. its really hard to fit someone over the web.
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Old 06-09-11, 11:32 PM
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Cool bike!!!!! don't change a thing. Just keep up and pull a bit. If you rode this bike 100 miles with little pain it is a good fit.
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Old 06-10-11, 12:34 AM
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faster legs.
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Old 06-10-11, 05:05 AM
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First, if you made it through a century with the bike that way, don't mess with it.

Second, if you've never done that club's ride, show up early and tell the ride leader it's your first time. S/He can fill you in on group signals and habits that everyone else knows, and will let the group know that you're the new guy. (Even if you're a woman, you're still the New Guy.) Also, be aware that you're going to have to earn their trust that you won't be squirrelly in close quarters.

Third, get that bike fitted to you better. You're about as aero as I am, but I'm a 59 year old guy with an old lower back injury. You should be able to get lower, and the suggestions about moving spacers around are an easy, cheap way to find out. My guess is that the bike really is too big for you, but it works now, so I wouldn't go crazy quite yet.

Enjoy the ride!
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Old 06-10-11, 06:10 AM
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How comfortable are you riding in the drops? No point in lowering the bars if you're not comfortable or used to that position.

I'd try the club ride while riding in the drops first before I did something like flipping the stem or removing spacers. If you do start lowering the front end, make small changes, ride a few times to get used to lower position and then decide whether you want to drop again.
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Old 06-10-11, 07:59 AM
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I'd get a fitting. Your arms look like their pushing your shoulders up into your neck. That generally means that you'd benefit from lowering the stem to increase your reach. You'd be a lot more comfortable with this once you start bending your elbows more. Plenty of people come into our shop ready to give up or looking for a new bike because their neck, shoulders and arms are killing them after a ride. When we get them on a bike to look at them, they often look similar to your postition.
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Old 06-10-11, 05:26 PM
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Thanks for the help guys. Lots of useful information/suggestions in all these posts. Hopefully, I'll be able to convince my parents that a bike fit is necessary for my health and well being but we'll see.
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Old 06-10-11, 06:18 PM
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Just curious happa95:

It's kinda hard to tell from those pictures. But how old are you?

Reason I ask is I think you may have some size yet to come into.

Congrats on the one hundred.
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Old 06-10-11, 07:38 PM
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ufff
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Old 06-11-11, 09:46 AM
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Be safe and just ride!
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Old 06-11-11, 10:23 AM
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30 miles?

FLIP IT! (maybe get a 7 or 8 Deg stem...)
then you'll be able to better bend your elbows, as you should
if your seat position is good, the lower bar will be good
BTW, lookin good! have a great ride!
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