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