Friday, February 09, 2007

Fresh Snow

It's snowing again, which is fine. Alot of the snow has settled and melted and turns ugly. Fresh snow looks whiter, prettier.

Bike Boy and I are home sick today. He sounds like someone who has been smoking for 50+ years. I don't sound as bad as he does.

I have been riding the Zing daily, except for yesterday to give my lungs a break. Drop bars are WAY different. I have only been on a road bike with drop bars 2 times before, for very short rides.

The weight on my hands/elbows bothers me a bit. I wonder if I am in a "break-in" period for my hands/wrists/ I just weak in these spots and I will toughen up and be more comfortable or if the levers need some repositioning or maybe am I just not made for drop bars? After about 15 minutes, I have to sit fully upright to rest my hands/wrists to feel ok again. I did rotate the bars up about a 1/4 inch, which helped a little.

1 thing I have noticed about the road bike's lower upper-body positioning is the ability to pedal harder/stronger than in the more upright position of my other bikes. Interesting.


Jeff said...

I did some measuring on my bike. The handlebars near the stem are actually closer than my MTB bars. And of course out on the hoods of the road bars, it is a farther reach than my MTB bars. I keep an eye out on the group rides too, to see where everyone is putting there hands. People are in the drops on the descents, big headwinds, and sprints. For the most part though, people are resting there hands in the more upright position...near the stem or around the first curve in the bar. I use the hoods in stop and go traffic situations where you need the brakes quickly. The hoods are also handy for standing while climbing. Just some of my observations so far...

steve said...

I'll echo Jeff's comments - I keep my hands around the stem most of the time in traffic (and I have Tektro RX2.0 cyclocross brake levers on there - very handy, they even have a barrel adjuster on them!), on the hoods when I'm just cruising, and down in the drops when I want to go fast - either downhill or just really pushing it on the flats.

It took me some time tinkering with the handlebar height before it got comfortable for me; I have a slipped disc that's healing, albeit very slowly, so bending down too far isn't a great idea. I've noticed a lot of other riders have their handlebars way down in comparison to their seat height, which seems to be "the roadie way", if your bike is set up the same way perhaps ramping the handlebar up would help? By eyeball, my handlebars look about 2 inches lower than the seat, to give you an idea.

George said...

Lots of smart riders read your blog.

Have your son or husband take a side profile picture of you "riding" your bike and post it.

I'm sure someone way smarter then me will be able to tell if you are positioned correctly....

Michelle said...

I will be going to the bike shop tomorrow to get the hoods moved to the right spot and hopefully a taller stem. Bike Guy says my posture is "weird" on a road bike. I don't know if has to do with my shoulder rebuild as my arm just doesn't move or sit the way it used to. There is just too much weight on my hands right now. I will take a before and after picture of my bike set up.

shawnkielty said...

I think your saddle may be too far back -- Which would put you too far forward on the bars. I am surprised the shop didn't set that up for you.

So -- if I have this right -- you should have your saddle in a place where you can ride with no hands -- you can sit balanced on it and pedal, control the bike and steer. When you're in the drops, your front axle should be out of sight directly behind the tops of your bars.

If you can't extend your legs all the way when your seated in the saddle it will be hard for you to stretch on the bike (you shouldn't quite have to extend to pedal, but be able to when you're not pedalling), it means your saddle isn't high enough.

Like Steve -- my body doesn't bend that well in the middle -- so my bars are a bit higher than the "roadie way."

When I am in the down position -- it's when I am pushing in a big way -- meaning, I am active on the pedals and up off the seat a bit, and relaxed slightly on the bars. If I ever have a lot of weight on my arms, the roads here would kill me.

Make it comfortable for you, if you can figure that out. George's idea is a good one ... but there are at least two different opinions on setting it up.

Karen Travels said...

Just discovered your blog - love it! And I really like this pic- the sky is such a strange color in it!

Michelle said...

Hi Shawn, when I 1st picked up the bike, I had already been there for about 5 hrs and it was closing time. Bike Guy did the real roadie fit, but it turns out that's just too much on my wrist and shoulder. Sooo back it went to the shop. My seat is good, I did have to raise it about a 1/2 inch once I got the new cleats on my shoes. The end of my knee, when the pedal is at 3 and 9 position intersects with the pedal axle and my leg is at full extention when the heel is on the pedal. I have no back pain at all, it's all in my left wrist and right shoulder, old injuries from when I was young and made of steel - now I'm old and made of alloy ;)

Hi Karen, I'm glad you like my blog! Yes, the sky was pretty interesting that day. Nice contrast with the snow.