Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by xkred2 » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 02:01:26


Howdy.

I'm 48, been riding my ancient Bianchi hybrid for fitness (<10 miles, 3-4
times/week), and am finally fed up with the poor fit, poor handling and
weight.  Living as I do in Sonoma County, CA, a great place for bicycling, I
want to be able to work my way up to longer rides, say 25-50 miles a couple
of times a month.  Maybe even a Century some day.

So I've gone shopping.  I began looking at the flat-bar-road/hybrid hybrids,
such as the Specialized Sirrus Comp.  I rode three such bikes and concluded
"Not Bad".  Then I went down the street to the pro shop, and rode a
Specialized Sequoia "Comfort/Road" bike, and finally a LeMond Tourmalet.
The LeMond blew my doors off.  It was so light and nimble I thought it was
simultaneously part of my body and part of the road.

The dilemma is this:  Riding the LeMond was extraordinarily uncomfortable.
I had the shop put on a suspension seat post and this improved matters quite
a bit, but the bike was still no match for the comfort of the Sequoia.
OTOH, the Sequoia--though vastly superior to my current ride--handled like a
blimp compared to the LeMond.   I  realize that a lot of the discomfort has
to do with assuming a new riding position and so forth.  So I'm wondering:

--Does one's body get used to the relative discomfort of road riding, or is
the "hair shirt" aspect permanent, and part of the allure?  The main pain
was in my, how you say, perineum from the jarring ride.  My hands (between
thumb and index finger) also hurt from gripping the handlebars.
--Aside from the seatpost and gel tape (or whatever it's called), are there
any other "old fart" features I could swap into the LeMond to make it more
tolerable?
--I noticed that the LeMond had 700x25 tires while the Specialized had
700x26.  I'm over 200 pounds and was wonder if bumping the tire thickness by
a millimeter might improve comfort and flat-avoidance.
--Bottom line:  "Pure" road bike or "Comfort" road bike, what to do?  Part
of me sez get the LeMond; you'll adapt to the new position and rougher ride.
The other part of me sez; hey man, the LeMond is  your midlife crisis bike.
It'll eat you alive.   You know you'd be better off with the Specialized
Sequoia Soft Sofa.

I must admit that one comment by the guy in the shop has clouded my
judgement.  After first acknowledging that all the guys in the shop were
bike snobs, he said that if I dared showed up at any kind of organized event
riding the Specialized Sequoia, well, there would be upthrust noses.  Not
that!!

Opinions appreciated.   Looking to spend about a grand.

Peter

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by Mike Jacoubowsk » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 02:21:45

Peter:  There are some basic geometry differences between the "Road" &
"Comfort" bikes, but most can be overcome by changing out stems (in other
words, you can usually get a similar position on a "Road" bike that is
considered a feature of the "Comfort" model).

But the biggest different you're probably noticing is in the tires.  I
believe the Specialized tires run a bit wide for their indicated size, and
the tires on the Tourmalet may be the opposite.  So you could be talking two
very different ride characteristics in the tires alone.  My suggestion would
be to try a "Road" bike with 28c tires (if Bontrager, which run a bit
narrower than size would indicate) and see how that goes.

By the way, I'm reluctant to suggest that one gets used to an uncomfortable
position on a bike.  People sometimes avoid trying something entirely
because they assume something will be uncomfortable, and that's a different
story.  But if you get on a bike and it's supposedly set up for you (fit
properly) and doesn't feel good, don't assume it will get better down the
road.  Maybe your ***will do better as you get some miles, but your arms &
shoulders & neck & back... those shouldn't be anything more than minor
irritations, if even that.  There shouldn't be anything about your bike that
keeps you from wanting to ride it... that's the hallmark of the right bike.

--Mike--     Chain Reaction Bicycles
http://SportToday.org/


Quote:
> Howdy.

> I'm 48, been riding my ancient Bianchi hybrid for fitness (<10 miles, 3-4
> times/week), and am finally fed up with the poor fit, poor handling and
> weight.  Living as I do in Sonoma County, CA, a great place for bicycling,
I
> want to be able to work my way up to longer rides, say 25-50 miles a
couple
> of times a month.  Maybe even a Century some day.

> So I've gone shopping.  I began looking at the flat-bar-road/hybrid
hybrids,
> such as the Specialized Sirrus Comp.  I rode three such bikes and
concluded
> "Not Bad".  Then I went down the street to the pro shop, and rode a
> Specialized Sequoia "Comfort/Road" bike, and finally a LeMond Tourmalet.
> The LeMond blew my doors off.  It was so light and nimble I thought it was
> simultaneously part of my body and part of the road.

> The dilemma is this:  Riding the LeMond was extraordinarily uncomfortable.
> I had the shop put on a suspension seat post and this improved matters
quite
> a bit, but the bike was still no match for the comfort of the Sequoia.
> OTOH, the Sequoia--though vastly superior to my current ride--handled like
a
> blimp compared to the LeMond.   I  realize that a lot of the discomfort
has
> to do with assuming a new riding position and so forth.  So I'm wondering:

> --Does one's body get used to the relative discomfort of road riding, or
is
> the "hair shirt" aspect permanent, and part of the allure?  The main pain
> was in my, how you say, perineum from the jarring ride.  My hands (between
> thumb and index finger) also hurt from gripping the handlebars.
> --Aside from the seatpost and gel tape (or whatever it's called), are
there
> any other "old fart" features I could swap into the LeMond to make it more
> tolerable?
> --I noticed that the LeMond had 700x25 tires while the Specialized had
> 700x26.  I'm over 200 pounds and was wonder if bumping the tire thickness
by
> a millimeter might improve comfort and flat-avoidance.
> --Bottom line:  "Pure" road bike or "Comfort" road bike, what to do?  Part
> of me sez get the LeMond; you'll adapt to the new position and rougher
ride.
> The other part of me sez; hey man, the LeMond is  your midlife crisis
bike.
> It'll eat you alive.   You know you'd be better off with the Specialized
> Sequoia Soft Sofa.

> I must admit that one comment by the guy in the shop has clouded my
> judgement.  After first acknowledging that all the guys in the shop were
> bike snobs, he said that if I dared showed up at any kind of organized
event
> riding the Specialized Sequoia, well, there would be upthrust noses.  Not
> that!!

> Opinions appreciated.   Looking to spend about a grand.

> Peter


 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by Ken » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 02:22:10



Quote:
> --Does one's body get used to the relative discomfort of road riding, or
> is the "hair shirt" aspect permanent, and part of the allure?  The main
> pain was in my, how you say, perineum from the jarring ride.  My hands
> (between thumb and index finger) also hurt from gripping the handlebars.

A properly fitted road bike should be comfortable for many hours at a time if
you have good fitness and good flexibility.  Can you bend down and touch your
toes?

You can reduce most of the road shock by wearing padded gloves and padded

moving your hands around and periodically getting you ***off the seat when
you're climbing.

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by David Kerbe » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 02:29:11


says...

...

Quote:
> The dilemma is this:  Riding the LeMond was extraordinarily uncomfortable.
> I had the shop put on a suspension seat post and this improved matters quite
> a bit, but the bike was still no match for the comfort of the Sequoia.
> OTOH, the Sequoia--though vastly superior to my current ride--handled like a
> blimp compared to the LeMond.   I  realize that a lot of the discomfort has
> to do with assuming a new riding position and so forth.  So I'm wondering:

> --Does one's body get used to the relative discomfort of road riding, or is
> the "hair shirt" aspect permanent, and part of the allure?  The main pain
> was in my, how you say, perineum from the jarring ride.  My hands (between
> thumb and index finger) also hurt from gripping the handlebars.
> --Aside from the seatpost and gel tape (or whatever it's called), are there
> any other "old fart" features I could swap into the LeMond to make it more
> tolerable?

A different saddle, as I discuss below.

Quote:
> --I noticed that the LeMond had 700x25 tires while the Specialized had
> 700x26.  I'm over 200 pounds and was wonder if bumping the tire thickness by
> a millimeter might improve comfort and flat-avoidance.

The main difference will be because of any air pressure difference,
not the tire size by itself, and that's easy to change.

Quote:
> --Bottom line:  "Pure" road bike or "Comfort" road bike, what to do?  Part
> of me sez get the LeMond; you'll adapt to the new position and rougher ride.
> The other part of me sez; hey man, the LeMond is  your midlife crisis bike.
> It'll eat you alive.   You know you'd be better off with the Specialized
> Sequoia Soft Sofa.

If you like the handling and fit of the LeMond as much as you implied
above, go with it; that "part of your body" feel is very hard to find,
and when you find a bike like that, you'll never be happy on anything
else.  Then put on the suspension seat post, a different saddle
(you'll probably want that on either bike), and some gel tape.  Make
sure you get some good padded cycling gloves, too.

Quote:
> I must admit that one comment by the guy in the shop has clouded my
> judgement.  After first acknowledging that all the guys in the shop were
> bike snobs, he said that if I dared showed up at any kind of organized event
> riding the Specialized Sequoia, well, there would be upthrust noses.  Not
> that!!

> Opinions appreciated.   Looking to spend about a grand.

I'm 43, so you've only got a little bit on me <GG>

A new saddle with a cutout in the middle makes a *huge* difference in
perineal pressure and the resulting numbness (which you may not have
experienced on a short test ride, but will certainly experience on a
long ride if the pressure bothers you on a short one).  I have a
Specialized BG2 saddle on my Fuji Touring road bike, with 25mm tires
pumped up to 120 psi and no other suspension, and it makes a big
difference.  No numbness at all on rides up to several hours.  On my
older bike, I had an older model Specialized BG saddle, which was
wider and was also nice, but the cutout didn't extend quite as far
forward, and I found that when I was down on the aero bars, it caused
pressure and numbness if I stayed there for long.  As long as I stayed
a little more upright, it was fine.

That said, saddles are hugely personal, and the saddle I swear _by_
may be the one you swear _at_, so try several if they will let you.  

And don't let the snobs get to you.  I showed up at a group ride with
my Fuji Touring in its full winter coat (fenders, rack, light, etc),
and a couple of guys kind of rolled their eyes, but once I showed I
could keep up, they became a lot more friendly (especially the one who
runs a shop carrying Fuji).

--
Dave Kerber
Fight spam:  remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

REAL programmers write self-modifying code.

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by Mike Jacoubowsk » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 02:31:32

Quote:
> A properly fitted road bike should be comfortable for many hours at a time
if
> you have good fitness and good flexibility.  Can you bend down and touch
your
> toes?

I can't come close to touching my toes (unless I try to bounce my way
down!), but can spend hour upon hour comfortably on a road bike.  It's a
myth that you need even "good" flexibility to ride a road bike.

Of course, I'm not trying to emulate George Hincapie, with perhaps a 6" drop
from his seat to his handlebars!  But I'm also not in the Rivendell camp
with chopper-style bars either; at 6' in height, I have about a 2.5 inch
drop from my seat to the bars.

--Mike--     Chain Reaction Bicycles
http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by Benjamin Lewi » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 04:22:03

Quote:

> --Does one's body get used to the relative discomfort of road riding, or
> is the "hair shirt" aspect permanent, and part of the allure?  The main
> pain was in my, how you say, perineum from the jarring ride.  My hands
> (between thumb and index finger) also hurt from gripping the handlebars.

Some discomfort at first is normal, but if it's permanent there is
something wrong.

If you experience pain in your perineum, you likely need a different
saddle.  Your weight should be almost completely on your "sit bones."  You
should also be aware that contrary to popular belief, highly padded saddles
are often more uncomfortable in the long run, since they distribute
pressure to your soft tissues where you definitely don't want it.

Do you wear cycling gloves?  If not, they're cheap, and can make a
significant difference to hand comfort.  They're also good road-rash
insurance, should you ever happen to land palm-first.  (Although I don't
think I've ever gone down this way, so I'm not speaking from experience.)

Quote:
> --Aside from the seatpost and gel tape (or whatever it's called), are
> there any other "old fart" features I could swap into the LeMond to make
> it more tolerable?  --I noticed that the LeMond had 700x25 tires while
> the Specialized had 700x26.  I'm over 200 pounds and was wonder if
> bumping the tire thickness by a millimeter might improve comfort and
> flat-avoidance.

I doubt wider tires will improve flat avoidance, but they can definitely
improve comfort.  You can get away with lower air pressure in fatter tires
without risk of pinch flats.

Quote:
>  --Bottom line: "Pure" road bike or "Comfort" road bike,
> what to do?  Part of me sez get the LeMond; you'll adapt to the new
> position and rougher ride.  The other part of me sez; hey man, the LeMond
> is your midlife crisis bike.  It'll eat you alive.  You know you'd be
> better off with the Specialized Sequoia Soft Sofa.

It's hard to say what will be better for you, but for myself the road bike
is actually more comfortable over long distances because of the wider
variety of hand positions available with drop-bars.  It sounds like you're
not interested in these, but you might consider trying them, with the tops
of the bars raised to saddle level or higher.

--
Benjamin Lewis

Thou hast seen nothing yet.
                -- Miguel de Cervantes

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by David Kerbe » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 04:34:27


says...

...

Quote:
> It's hard to say what will be better for you, but for myself the road bike
> is actually more comfortable over long distances because of the wider
> variety of hand positions available with drop-bars.  It sounds like you're
> not interested in these, but you might consider trying them, with the tops
> of the bars raised to saddle level or higher.

The Sequoiah has drop bars (most models, anyway).  It was the last
finalist to be eliminated when I was deciding on a new bike.

--
Dave Kerber
Fight spam:  remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

REAL programmers write self-modifying code.

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by E. Willso » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 06:15:00

You have been sent a lot of good advice, all of which assumes that the bike is
about the proper size. It may not be. It sounds to me like the bike is simply
the wrong frame size, or not set up correctly for you or both. I would go to
another store and try the same model of bike. It could be that the store is just
trying to fit you on a frame that is the wrong size. If this is the case there
is almost nothing that can make it fit properly. When it fits you will know it.
I have tried to fit myself to frames that are too a  small, and have come to the
conclusion that if a bike does not fit, you will not ride it. It would be better
to buy a TV set that you use, than a Bike that you don't.

Ernie

Quote:

> Howdy.

> I'm 48, been riding my ancient Bianchi hybrid for fitness (<10 miles, 3-4
> times/week), and am finally fed up with the poor fit, poor handling and
> weight.  Living as I do in Sonoma County, CA, a great place for bicycling, I
> want to be able to work my way up to longer rides, say 25-50 miles a couple
> of times a month.  Maybe even a Century some day.

> So I've gone shopping.  I began looking at the flat-bar-road/hybrid hybrids,
> such as the Specialized Sirrus Comp.  I rode three such bikes and concluded
> "Not Bad".  Then I went down the street to the pro shop, and rode a
> Specialized Sequoia "Comfort/Road" bike, and finally a LeMond Tourmalet.
> The LeMond blew my doors off.  It was so light and nimble I thought it was
> simultaneously part of my body and part of the road.

> The dilemma is this:  Riding the LeMond was extraordinarily uncomfortable.
> I had the shop put on a suspension seat post and this improved matters quite
> a bit, but the bike was still no match for the comfort of the Sequoia.
> OTOH, the Sequoia--though vastly superior to my current ride--handled like a
> blimp compared to the LeMond.   I  realize that a lot of the discomfort has
> to do with assuming a new riding position and so forth.  So I'm wondering:

> --Does one's body get used to the relative discomfort of road riding, or is
> the "hair shirt" aspect permanent, and part of the allure?  The main pain
> was in my, how you say, perineum from the jarring ride.  My hands (between
> thumb and index finger) also hurt from gripping the handlebars.
> --Aside from the seatpost and gel tape (or whatever it's called), are there
> any other "old fart" features I could swap into the LeMond to make it more
> tolerable?
> --I noticed that the LeMond had 700x25 tires while the Specialized had
> 700x26.  I'm over 200 pounds and was wonder if bumping the tire thickness by
> a millimeter might improve comfort and flat-avoidance.
> --Bottom line:  "Pure" road bike or "Comfort" road bike, what to do?  Part
> of me sez get the LeMond; you'll adapt to the new position and rougher ride.
> The other part of me sez; hey man, the LeMond is  your midlife crisis bike.
> It'll eat you alive.   You know you'd be better off with the Specialized
> Sequoia Soft Sofa.

> I must admit that one comment by the guy in the shop has clouded my
> judgement.  After first acknowledging that all the guys in the shop were
> bike snobs, he said that if I dared showed up at any kind of organized event
> riding the Specialized Sequoia, well, there would be upthrust noses.  Not
> that!!

> Opinions appreciated.   Looking to spend about a grand.

> Peter

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by Rick Onania » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 06:53:19



Quote:
>I'm 48, been riding my ancient Bianchi hybrid for fitness (<10 miles, 3-4
>times/week), and am finally fed up with the poor fit, poor handling and
>weight.  Living as I do in Sonoma County, CA, a great place for bicycling, I
>want to be able to work my way up to longer rides, say 25-50 miles a couple
>of times a month.  Maybe even a Century some day.

>--Does one's body get used to the relative discomfort of road riding, or is
>the "hair shirt" aspect permanent, and part of the allure?  The main pain

Yes, and yes. A little bit of each. However, you should seek
comfort.

Quote:
>--Aside from the seatpost and gel tape (or whatever it's called), are there
>any other "old fart" features I could swap into the LeMond to make it more
>tolerable?

David Kerber's reply summarizes this nicely.

Quote:
>--I noticed that the LeMond had 700x25 tires while the Specialized had
>700x26.  I'm over 200 pounds and was wonder if bumping the tire thickness by
>a millimeter might improve comfort and flat-avoidance.

Chances are, the tires in question are more than one millimeter
different, due to the measurements being less than accurate. Air
pressure makes a big difference too.

That said, you can get more comfortable tires. I weigh 210 and feel
that my Hutchinson Carbon Comp 700x23 tires are very nice at 125
psi, but I'm half your age.

Beware that the racing bike may not have adequate clearance for
larger tires.

Quote:
>--Bottom line:  "Pure" road bike or "Comfort" road bike, what to do?  Part
>of me sez get the LeMond; you'll adapt to the new position and rougher ride.

Get the LeMond. Adapt the bike to you first, don't adapt you to the
bike. Get the suspension seatpost, and see if you can find a
suspension handlebar stem. Get a different saddle and gel bar tape.
There is also an under-tape product that makes the bars thicker and
more cushioned. Get padded gloves and shorts.

Consider the geometry of the bike, too; if it's too aggressive,
you'll find new discomforts on long rides that you otherwise
wouldn't find.

Quote:
>I must admit that one comment by the guy in the shop has clouded my
>judgement.  After first acknowledging that all the guys in the shop were
>bike snobs, he said that if I dared showed up at any kind of organized event
>riding the Specialized Sequoia, well, there would be upthrust noses.  Not
>that!!

If you can ride with them, their noses will be busy pointing
forward/down. If you can ride faster than them, then fart into their
upthrust noses. ;) However, if _properly_fit_ and made more plush,
the racing bike will be nice.

A sport-touring or lightweight touring bike might be something to
consider, too. Such bikes offer clearance for larger tires, too.

At half your age, I couldn't even go far or long on my racing bike
until I made it fit _me_ by getting a new stem that raised my
handlebar significantly. I had the same hand/perineal pain/numbness
issues that you described.

However, I still have too much weight on my hands and shoulders.
I've bought some Syntace C2 aerobars that look very comfortable; I
can't wait to try them, and see if the radically different
additional position will make the difference.
--
Rick Onanian

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by Rick Onania » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 07:02:34



Quote:
>At half your age, I couldn't even go far or long on my racing bike
>until I made it fit _me_ by getting a new stem that raised my
>handlebar significantly. I had the same hand/perineal pain/numbness
>issues that you described.

Oh yeah, and neck pain from having to crank my head too far back to
be able to see down the road, too.
--
Rick Onanian
 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by xkred2 » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 07:43:57

[Dang, kept replying to the poster only, when I meant to reply to the group.
Maybe this time....Peter]

Ernie,

I appreciate this advice.  My opinion thus far (for what that opinion is
worth) is that these guys are probably the best in town.  The same guy owns
two shops in town, one a "family" shop and one a "pro" shop.   It's the
"pro" shop I'm dealing with.  I've dealt with three sales guys and each one
has been extraordinarily knowledgeable and infinitely patient.   They've
literally spent hours with me already.  They've listened to my concerns and
heard my comments about my body size (long torso, short legs--a body type
which I've read is well-suited to LeMond geometry with its long top tubes).
We've discussed crank lengths vis a vis femur size, clips vs clipless, the
affect of seat and top tube angles on "feel", why geometry specs can be
misleading (because different manufacturers measure from different frame
endpoints, etc.), and on and on.  During all these discussions, a steady
stream of what looked like hard core bike enthusiasts came in and out of the
store for various reasons.

I will say this:  For my test rides, they did not do a full and formal fit.
They used tape measures on me and on the bike, made adjustements only to
seat height and seat front/back position (well, they flipped the handlebars,
too), repeated the process after watching me ride around the parking lot,
then sent me out for my test rides.  When I purchase the bike, I'll get a
full formal fitting (free with bike purchase, 75 bucks otherwise), at which
time we may swap components--like handlebar stems and so forth--and maybe
even move up a frame size in order to get the right fit.  It sounds like a
highly meticulous process.

I have asked repeatedly "Is it possible for a bike to simply be unfit for a
certain body, tweaks and component swaps notwithstanding?"  They said, "Sure
it's possible.  But we know we can fit you to the LeMond.  We can see it's a
good fit.  There's nothing grossly out of whack in how you appear on the
bike."

So I know at this point my fit is a ballpark fit, not a complete one.

If there's anything in the foregoing account which raises red flags in your
mind, please let me know.  And if there's anything I should be requesting or
questioning that I haven't, any advice appreciated.

Again, thanks for your comments.

Peter

P.S.  Re your comment "When it fits, you'll know it."  Ordinarily, I'd
agree. But since the road bike posture is so new and unfamiliar to me, I've
struggled to separate issues of poor fit from issues of simple
unfamiliarity.  That's been at the heart of my indecision here.


Quote:
> You have been sent a lot of good advice, all of which assumes that the
bike is
> about the proper size. It may not be. It sounds to me like the bike is
simply
> the wrong frame size, or not set up correctly for you or both. I would go
to
> another store and try the same model of bike. It could be that the store
is just
> trying to fit you on a frame that is the wrong size. If this is the case
there
> is almost nothing that can make it fit properly. When it fits you will
know it.
> I have tried to fit myself to frames that are too a  small, and have come
to the
> conclusion that if a bike does not fit, you will not ride it. It would be
better
> to buy a TV set that you use, than a Bike that you don't.

> Ernie


> > Howdy.

> > I'm 48, been riding my ancient Bianchi hybrid for fitness (<10 miles,
3-4
> > times/week), and am finally fed up with the poor fit, poor handling and
> > weight.  Living as I do in Sonoma County, CA, a great place for
bicycling, I
> > want to be able to work my way up to longer rides, say 25-50 miles a
couple
> > of times a month.  Maybe even a Century some day.

> > So I've gone shopping.  I began looking at the flat-bar-road/hybrid
hybrids,
> > such as the Specialized Sirrus Comp.  I rode three such bikes and conclu
ded
> > "Not Bad".  Then I went down the street to the pro shop, and rode a
> > Specialized Sequoia "Comfort/Road" bike, and finally a LeMond Tourmalet.
> > The LeMond blew my doors off.  It was so light and nimble I thought it
was
> > simultaneously part of my body and part of the road.

> > The dilemma is this:  Riding the LeMond was extraordinarily
uncomfortable.
> > I had the shop put on a suspension seat post and this improved matters
quite
> > a bit, but the bike was still no match for the comfort of the Sequoia.
> > OTOH, the Sequoia--though vastly superior to my current ride--handled
like a
> > blimp compared to the LeMond.   I  realize that a lot of the discomfort
has
> > to do with assuming a new riding position and so forth.  So I'm
wondering:

> > --Does one's body get used to the relative discomfort of road riding, or
is
> > the "hair shirt" aspect permanent, and part of the allure?  The main
pain
> > was in my, how you say, perineum from the jarring ride.  My hands
(between
> > thumb and index finger) also hurt from gripping the handlebars.
> > --Aside from the seatpost and gel tape (or whatever it's called), are
there
> > any other "old fart" features I could swap into the LeMond to make it
more
> > tolerable?
> > --I noticed that the LeMond had 700x25 tires while the Specialized had
> > 700x26.  I'm over 200 pounds and was wonder if bumping the tire
thickness by
> > a millimeter might improve comfort and flat-avoidance.
> > --Bottom line:  "Pure" road bike or "Comfort" road bike, what to do?
Part
> > of me sez get the LeMond; you'll adapt to the new position and rougher
ride.
> > The other part of me sez; hey man, the LeMond is  your midlife crisis
bike.
> > It'll eat you alive.   You know you'd be better off with the Specialized
> > Sequoia Soft Sofa.

> > I must admit that one comment by the guy in the shop has clouded my
> > judgement.  After first acknowledging that all the guys in the shop were
> > bike snobs, he said that if I dared showed up at any kind of organized
event
> > riding the Specialized Sequoia, well, there would be upthrust noses.
Not
> > that!!

> > Opinions appreciated.   Looking to spend about a grand.

> > Peter

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by xkred2 » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 07:48:52

Funny you should mention that one.  One bike store customer overheard a
conversation I was having with the sales guy and commented that he got a
case of aching eyeballs because instead of craning or lifting his neck to
see down the road, he just rolled his eyes up in the sockets.  It was around
that time that I realized that getting a good fit would take a fair amount
of time and effort!

Peter


Quote:


> >At half your age, I couldn't even go far or long on my racing bike
> >until I made it fit _me_ by getting a new stem that raised my
> >handlebar significantly. I had the same hand/perineal pain/numbness
> >issues that you described.

> Oh yeah, and neck pain from having to crank my head too far back to
> be able to see down the road, too.
> --
> Rick Onanian

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by David Kerbe » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 09:24:51



...

Quote:
> Get the LeMond. Adapt the bike to you first, don't adapt you to the
> bike. Get the suspension seatpost, and see if you can find a
> suspension handlebar stem. Get a different saddle and gel bar tape.

I didn't know there was such a thing as a suspension stem.

Quote:
> There is also an under-tape product that makes the bars thicker and
> more cushioned. Get padded gloves and shorts.

Good point; I had forgotten about the extra handlebar padding.

...

Quote:
> If you can ride with them, their noses will be busy pointing
> forward/down. If you can ride faster than them, then fart into their

Yep.  If you can ride with them, they'll shut up in a hurry.

Quote:
> upthrust noses. ;) However, if _properly_fit_ and made more plush,
> the racing bike will be nice.

> A sport-touring or lightweight touring bike might be something to
> consider, too. Such bikes offer clearance for larger tires, too.

> At half your age, I couldn't even go far or long on my racing bike
> until I made it fit _me_ by getting a new stem that raised my
> handlebar significantly. I had the same hand/perineal pain/numbness
> issues that you described.

> However, I still have too much weight on my hands and shoulders.
> I've bought some Syntace C2 aerobars that look very comfortable; I
> can't wait to try them, and see if the radically different
> additional position will make the difference.

In my case, the height was ok, but I needed to move them back about
1/2" closer to the seat.  Don't leave the shop until you think it's
right, but remember that as you ride more, you may find you need to more
adjusting as your body adapts.

Quote:
> --
> Rick Onanian

--
Dave Kerber
Fight spam:  remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

REAL programmers write self-modifying code.

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by David Kerbe » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 09:33:38


says...

...

Quote:
> I have asked repeatedly "Is it possible for a bike to simply be unfit for a
> certain body, tweaks and component swaps notwithstanding?"  They said, "Sure
> it's possible.  But we know we can fit you to the LeMond.  We can see it's a
> good fit.  There's nothing grossly out of whack in how you appear on the
> bike."

> So I know at this point my fit is a ballpark fit, not a complete one.

> If there's anything in the foregoing account which raises red flags in your
> mind, please let me know.  And if there's anything I should be requesting or
> questioning that I haven't, any advice appreciated.

> Again, thanks for your comments.

Unless they're completely BS'ing you, which seems unlikely given that
you already know something about cycling, that sounds like a green light
rather than a red flag.  Many people will say "shop for the shop, not
the bike", and it looks like you've found a good one.  You got a pretty
good service, getting a basic fit check just for a test ride; many
people don't get more than a standover height check.

...

Quote:
> > > "Not Bad".  Then I went down the street to the pro shop, and rode a
> > > Specialized Sequoia "Comfort/Road" bike, and finally a LeMond Tourmalet.
> > > The LeMond blew my doors off.  It was so light and nimble I thought it
> was
> > > simultaneously part of my body and part of the road.

To me, this sounds like the key to your bike choice.  If the bike fit
was grossly off, it wouldn't handle like that because your weight
distribution and body angles would be all wrong.  It sounds like the
uncomfortable ride was due to it being stiff rather than a bad fit, and  
the stiffness can be fixed with the various components already
discussed.

...

--
Dave Kerber
Fight spam:  remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

REAL programmers write self-modifying code.

 
 
 

Purchase Advice: "Road" vs "Comfort Road"

Post by Ryan Cousinea » Wed, 11 Feb 2004 12:51:30



Quote:

> > --Does one's body get used to the relative discomfort of road riding, or
> > is the "hair shirt" aspect permanent, and part of the allure?  The main
> > pain was in my, how you say, perineum from the jarring ride.  My hands
> > (between thumb and index finger) also hurt from gripping the handlebars.
> Do you wear cycling gloves?  If not, they're cheap, and can make a
> significant difference to hand comfort.  They're also good road-rash
> insurance, should you ever happen to land palm-first.  (Although I don't
> think I've ever gone down this way, so I'm not speaking from experience.)

They work really, really well. Trust me. Not so good at preventing wrist
injuries.

--

President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club