Author Topic: My Arse is killing me  (Read 985 times)

byronm

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My Arse is killing me
« on: May 02, 2012, 09:30:06 am »
New to bike riding. Bought a used cheap Schwinn mountain bike until I figure out what I need/want.

Trying to get back in shape for next years ski season and perhaps get into biking a bit.

Have been taking short rides and my coccyx is really hurting.

Advice in terms of seat options or adjustments that will help?

Advice on a reasonably priced yet solid entry level bike....most of my riding I am sure will be on pavement but
may do a little off roading?

Thx in advance.....

 
 
 


jim-ratliff

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 12:12:41 pm »


Byron:

When you are on the bike, what does it feel like you are sitting on. You should be sitting on your sit bones (midwif could rattle off the medical term) just as you do when sitting on a hard chair. If you are sitting on your coccyx, then the seat is too narrow and/or you are too far forward and/or the seat itself is too soft and letting your sit bones sink down too far until your coccyx comes into contact with the seat?
I have bought all my bikes at Performance Bicycle, but don't know if you have stores in your area or not.  In my opinion, they are better value than the standard bike shops that all carry Trek or Specialized.  However, I also don't buy at the "street price",  the always present  markdowns from "list price". Everything I have bought has been a prior year model, usually marked down 50% or better, and even that price can be negotiated. 
For where you are now, I think one of their store brands would be a good option.
In my mind there are road bikes, mountain bikes (front susp or full suspension), and cross bikes.
Sounds like you don't want a road bike, but take some test rides on the others (just like demoing skis before buying).
Seats are an individual thing.  I have a Selle SMP Extra on my mountain bike, and a Specialized Ronin. Both have cutouts in the middle and concave profile to keep the pressure on the sit bones rather than on the other parts.
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LivingProof

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 05:29:31 pm »
Byron,

Setting up a mountain bike can be a little tricky as you ride in a more upright position. How did you set up your seat height? It's very possible that it's too low, causing too much of your weight to remain on the saddle, and, it will also be very hard on yournees. The seat height should be high enough to just permit some flexing in your knee when the pedal is in the max. downward position. It's also possible that the frame is too small, you can usually find the frame length on the seat tube, something like 17 or 19 inches. Find that number and also measure your inseam as that's a key for determining frame size.

There are plenty of sites on the net about how to set up a bike, and, of course, your local bike shop (LBS) can give you some advice. You never want to pedal with all your weight sitting on the seat, the legs and arms should carry some weight. Many LBS's will let you demo a saddle, usually for free ( new ones can cost as much as a new bike).

Cheap Mtn. bikes can be very heavy and due to the tire thickness, they can require a lot of wasted energy to ride. At least that's what my body tells me whenever I try to ride one. Standard saddles are generally not a lot of fun and they are the first thing changed out.

byronm

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 09:30:36 pm »
thx for the replies folks
Ok...the frame is 19" and my inseam is 32". I didn't really know anything about set up so I basically adjusted the seat so that the ball with one foot off could touch comfortably. During rides, I basically stopped several times adjusted the seat up and down at one inch intervals to try  and get the pressure off my tailbone. I was unsucessful and ended up switching bikes with my better half who has a single  speed cruiser with a "traditional" saddle type seat. Obviously those type of seats don't lend themselves to performance and are more for neighborhood riding, but it was like sitting on a pillow compared to the other bike.
LP..We do have a local bike shop in town. I will stop in there and test drive a few seats and bikes if allowed.
Jim...I also looked up Performance Bike and they do have some stores near phx. which I can check out too.
Max...thx for the link....It seems as if the fella in the "correct" position would actually need to slide off of the seat to ground his feet (or am I looking at it wrong?) At any rate, my adjustments were made based on touching ground from a seated position which seems to be wrong turn number uno.
As I am just getting into this...I reckon my budget will allow for something "somewhere" in between the off the rack wallyworld and the custom frame, liftable with two fingers versions from specialty shops. Extreme parameters at this point I know. So many choices between Mt./Road/Hybrid.
Definately illustrates the point about test drives to first determine bike type and subsequent fit.
Thx folks....I will keep you updated.
 
 
 
 

bushwacka

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 10:48:39 am »
First even my anogenital distance hurts the first couple rides of the year, there is no way around that IMO as it gets conditions

You should adjust the seat so your legs are slightly bent when they are at the downstroke. On most Mountain bike you feet will not be able to hit the ground while seated. mine certainly can not. IF I am putting a foot down I either get off to front or dismount like I was in a cyclo cross race. I know that sounds scary but just leatn to get off the saddle and you will be fine.

After that is right make sure the weight is on your hands and feet. Very little of my weight is on my butt while riding any of my bikes. the saddle stabilizes you body but you do not rest on it. This is something most people do not know but clipless pedals will take away alot of pressure from your butt because they let you pedal more effectively.

next bike shorts! After trying everything I only wear bib shorts. High end bib shorts because well it matters.

Lastly Chamois creme or cheap substitutes like vasoline and diaper rash creme. My 2 favorites are DZ Nutz and Doctor Boudeux Butt paste. I use them for any ride over 2 hours or if it raining. rain can drive alot of grit down there and causing some painful chafing but with chamois creme its a non issue.

meput

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 05:13:37 pm »
Byron,
Everyone is giving you good advise. BW's comment about he is sore at the beginning of each cycling season is very true. It usually takes about 3 weeks for my bottom to get acclimated to my bike saddle each season (sorry). Bike saddles do wear out. What used to be good does wear out and becomes bad. Old leather saddles (Brooks, Ideal, etc.) had the ability to be tightened leading to a longer life. Newer synthetic saddles have a limited life. Maximum I have had a newer saddle last is about 5 years.

For a new bike, figure out whether you want to ride on the road or off road. A cross bike is kind of like HelavaSkiers comment regarding all mountain ski equipment: "All-Mountain: A common descriptive term for boots or skis that are designed to perform equally poorly under a variety of conditions and over many different types of terrain." I have ridden with many riders on a cross bike that use it primarily on the road and are very frustrated for that purpose. I am a newbie to mtn biking, but I suspect attempting to use a cross bike for off road use would be equally frustrating.

A properly fit bike will not let you put your feet on the round while you are on the saddle. The only bikes that will allow this are recumbents and some beach cruisers.

I agree with BW regarding bike shorts and nut butter. Your kids may be embarrassed that you are in spandex, but your body will thank you. Do not re-use a pair of shorts without washing them first. Sweat and bacteria from your skin will come back to haunt you (a boil on the tender areas are no fun). Most chamois butter has some degree of antiseptic function. I like Assos chamois cream. Use it for even short rides (1 hour).

Local bike clubs are a great resource. They can help with figuring out whether you want to ride on the road or off road. Go on a beginner ride for road and mountain bike. See which you enjoy more. Club riders can help on service and buying advice. May even be able to find  you a used bike that would be appropriate size and type.

Just like skiing, enjoy the journey as you get more accomplished in the biking world.


bushwacka

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 05:39:53 pm »
the thing is this on the bike.

I do not know your budget but here goes.

You riding description - pavement with alittle bit of off road.

the problem with that is this. Nothing that rides pavement fast is good on singletrack if by off road you mean gravel road and REALLY smooth doubletrack dirt a cross bike could very well work.

With that said. Cross bikes when stock are not as fast as road, are extremely hard to ride on singletrack especially for newbies. the canti levers brakes SUCK (thanks goodness for disc brakes finally making the market shift)they are made for cross racing but also make great gravel road bikes, and commuters.

For pavement road bikes are the best but utterly helpless on anything loose or off road.

for off road MTBs are best. If you can afford one their is no reason not to get a Full suspension bike, unless you like added challenge and taking a pounding. People will argue that riding one makes you "a better riders" I would argue it make you better at riding a hardtail which is way different than how you ride a FS bike. I own a hardtail and Full suspension bike and would never recommend a hardtail  to a newbie that can afford a FS bike. Even on the smoothest of trails the FS bike is faster at least for me.

meput

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 06:06:44 pm »
Cross bikes when stock are not as fast as road, are extremely hard to ride on singletrack especially for newbies. the canti levers brakes SUCK (thanks goodness for disc brakes finally making the market shift)they are made for cross racing but also make great gravel road bikes, and commuters.

BW is referring to a cyclo-cross bike which is the original "off road" bike. Cyclocross racing is real big in Belgium and is gaining traction here in the US. It is basically a road bike with fork clearance for 32 - 35 mm tires, cantilever brakes to shed mud, drop handlebars.

A "cross" bike is a no-where bike between a road bike and a mtn bike. It has flat / shaped-flat handle bars, a front suspension fork, 28 -32 mm tires with non aggressive tread pattern, up right cruiser geometry usually with a cushion saddle. Use is for rail trails, gravel roads and commuters that may encounter pot holes under puddles when commuting in the rain.

bushwacka

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 08:02:42 pm »
luckily disc brakes are starting to become way more avaliable for CX and road bikes since rim brakes make no sense at all from any stand point.

meput

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2012, 07:58:00 am »
BW, I'll let you lug around the extra weight of a disc brake set up on your road bike. My rim brakes work just fine on my road bike even when I use my carbon wheels and they are wet (which means it is raining hard and I am pissed off about getting caught out in hard rain again  :-X). Agree about disc brakes on a cyclo-cross bikes where mud often is an issue.

bushwacka

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2012, 09:06:01 am »
this is getting off topic but I love shoving my progressive ideas a t people :P :) because in due time I am always proven right.

The thing is if you think your rim brakes enough think about like it this. There are decents that can blow up carbon rim and if you were racing someone on disc brakes the real difference in braking is in modulation not in power. The ability to threshold brake is going to give riders a huge advantage dive bombing turns in technical decents and taking tighter lines in crits.

also there will be no extra weight. The wheels can be much lighter since they no longer have to support being clamped together by brakes. Just look at Disc MTB wheelset they ARE much lighter than most road wheelset and if they did not have to stand up to MTBing they would be lighter still. Also hydro lines are lighter than cables lines and disc brake calipers are just as heavy as rim brake calipers, lastly you do not need 160mm rotors but only 140mm rotors.

gone our the days off BB7 roads and tektro piece of crap cable pull road disc brake, by next year Shimano, SRAM, and formula will all have brifters that support hydro disc brakes.


Rim brakes are dead in 5 years from all forms of cycling except for retro grouches and people who are not willing to spend money. Just look back 5 years on my post on epic ski and TGR and you will see I am always ahead of the curve.

jim-ratliff

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2012, 09:36:10 am »



I'm not always proven right like the humble Mr. BW, but I would gladly lug around whatever extra weight is necessary in order to have the hydro braking on my road bike that I have with my XT brakes.  The stopping power, modulation, and one finger light touch are amazing.  And I too have heard that the revolution in braking is coming.
Interestingly, one of the issues is redesigning the angles associated with how the axle of the front wheel (or maybe both) sits in the fork.  Disk brakes on current road bikes would tend to pull the axle out of the fork (I don't have the mechanical undertanding of why).
Even if the weight winds up being the same, some of the trade-off is rotating braking surface way out on the rim of the wheel versus disk brake surface much closer to the center of rotation, so much less rotational inertia. I'm just sad that they probably won't be retrofittable to current bikes.
The weight comparison, however doesn't stand up.  Getting a 1600 gram road bike wheelset is much cheaper than getting a 1600 gram mountain bike setup (in the range of $300 vs $700).  The mere volume of material works against the mtb here, in addition to the higher load factors.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 10:19:17 am by jim-ratliff »
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byronm

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2012, 06:40:34 pm »
Wow....great wealth of info guys.....thanks.
I guess when I really think about this purchase and purpose. I need to stay pretty close to $500-$700 for the bike and all accoutrements, i.e., after market saddle, (peddles?) several pair of bike shorts, jersey, helmet, shoes, hydration system (not sure what else I might need at this point)
Purpose; better defined- I will be riding 90% or more on road but the lack of side road bike paths in my area means I will probably need to dive off into the gravel/dirt along side a fair amount for self preservation purposes. While I may on occasion, for the experience, load up and take the bike to the mountains for some trail riding, the trails will be docile green runs I am sure.
Bush- cant muster the $1000+ for a FS bike and not sure whether just front supension would be an advantage for my initial bike and intended use. Although, if disc is the future, I see some models in my price range with that feature.
Meput- great overall post and excellent idea regarding bike clubs as a resource.
I made contact and have adjusted my schedule to get over to perfomance bike in the next day or two with the intent on trying several models;
Using Jim's previous suggestion about year old models and value, these are a couple that I thought I might try as well as an add from craigslist I thought I might explore;
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product2_10052_10551_1093302_-1#ReviewHeader
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1095570_-1___400329
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1094361_-1___400329
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/bik/2955314159.html
Thx again guys.....as always....feedback and suggestions welcome.
 
 

meput

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2012, 09:35:32 pm »
BW, we shall see what the future holds re: disc brakes for road bikes. As Jim alluded to, it will require a whole redesign for a road bike to go to a disc brake. Seat stay and front fork redesign to mount the brake calipers and handle the new torsional forces. Axle redesign, esp. the front axle. Additional spokes and lacing patterns to handle the new torsion transmitted to the rim. We shall see (besides, I like the role of being an old grouch and a cheapskate  ;D).

Max,
If I was riding very long distances I'd buy a road bike.
Bingo!

Byron, beware of the cross/comfort bike. If you find you are enjoying this biking thing, you will soon looking for a true road or a true mountain bike (or both) and abandoning the cross bike. Beware of looking for disc brakes in your price range (new bike). Inexpensive disc brakes are usually cable actuated and loose the power and modulation benefits of a hydraulic disc brake.

Maine drivers are not the most bike friendly, but I have never had to go off the road into the ditch for survival reasons. When I am driving a car, the road bikers that bug me the most are: 1) riding against traffic, or  2) unpredictable because they are not keeping a straight line (weaving), and/or 3) riding multiple across instead of a single line when there is vehicle traffic. So as long as you do not do these fauz pas', most cars/trucks will give you room and "share the road".

byronm

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2012, 11:48:18 pm »
Ok...thx...Realize my budget is pretty austere for getting started.  Going tomorrow to try a few models.
 

meput

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2012, 06:55:35 am »
Lots of luck, have fun and enjoy the learning voyage  8)

Svend

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2012, 08:29:17 am »
+1 for a cyclocross bike (and by that I mean a true cyclocross, not a comfort cross cruiser).  My brother rides a Kona model, and it is a nice piece of kit.  And not overly expensive -- you get a lot of bike for the money.  Rides like a road bike....rigid, light and fast....but with the added versatility of being able to handle gravel trails and smooth singletrack due to its more robust frame in key places (head tube, bottom bracket, etc.).  The variety of tires you can put on these is impressive -- from smooth road tires, to what are basically narrow versions of tires we wouldn't be ashamed to put on our mtn. bikes...Schwalbe Rocket Ron, Conti X-King.....decent stuff.  Or you can get semi-slicks which do double duty on and off road.

These bikes are definitely worth considering if you ride 80-90% on road, but want a bike that is a bit stronger and has gearing for the occasional foray onto a rail trail or smooth double/singletrack.  Very versatile, and perhaps a good choice when starting out, until you decide whether you prefer road or trail, and then can get a good bike to suit.

And by all means look at newer used models.  A well-maintained used bike will save you $$$.  A great source is PinkBike.com -- they have an extensive buy/sell section with hundreds of ads by members from all over North America.

Good luck.  Have fun in the hunt and enjoy the riding!
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 10:13:38 am by Svend »

jim-ratliff

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2012, 07:11:04 am »
What about something like this?

http://www.fezzari.com/hard-tail-cross-country/lone-peak


I'm still a bit amazed by Google. Max posts the link above a couple of days ago, and yesterday I started noticing ads for Fezzari showing up in the "adsense" at the top.
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Svend

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2012, 07:19:34 am »
Yeah, it's a bit unsettling in an Orwellian kind of way, isn't it?


jim-ratliff

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2012, 08:01:11 am »
Yeah, it's a bit unsettling in an Orwellian kind of way, isn't it?
Orwellian?  Yes. 
My apologies to the country of Canada for assuming a lesser level of literary exposure north of the border.  :o
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midwif

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2012, 02:09:15 pm »
To echo BW and Meput

GET GOOD BIKE SHORTS!

I was using an older pair this past weekend on a 25 mile easy ride.
And my arse was killing me as well. I have done a couple of slightly longer rides
this season without any real discomfort and couldn't understand why I was so uncomfortable.

DUH! The chamois had compression spots of wadded up padding that hard hardened to the size of quarters and the
stiffness of same, right on the sit bones.

Threw those suckers OUT!

New chamois seem like they won't do that.

L.
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jim-ratliff

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2012, 02:35:52 pm »



Was that the highlight of your bike riding weekend?
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midwif

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2012, 02:39:49 pm »
Why no dear, that was the downside of my weekend :-*
Literally.
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Svend

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2012, 04:35:20 pm »
To echo BW and Meput

GET GOOD BIKE SHORTS!


And if you're getting the razz from family or friends about parading around in spandex (like I do from my daughters  ::) ), then wear a pair of light and thin board shorts on top of the bike shorts to keep up the cool factor.  Preferably smooth material for low friction on the saddle.  No sense suffering emotional distress too....


meput

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2012, 05:32:55 pm »
Spandex really can be great when it comes to the kids. Just think of all the times that the kids have gone out in embarrassing  outfits  :o. You want to say something about the outfit, but you get the look from the spouse that tells you to keep your mouth shut  :-X. Well, spandex is our turn around, fair-play response  :P. The first time you walk into the house after a bike ride and you are sweaty, in spandex, and the kids have friends over. The kids give you the embarrassed look  :-[ that says, "Dad, how could you wear that outfit ?!?  :o. We have friends over, how could you ?"

Ahhhh, turn around can be sweet  :-*.

jim-ratliff

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2012, 07:35:59 pm »
Why no dear, that was the downside of my weekend :-*
Literally.


Now THAT's funny.  WELL DONE!!


I was expecting you to talk about riding through 8" of water overflowing the lake and covering the road/trail.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 11:47:05 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Svend

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2012, 05:44:46 pm »
Spandex really can be great when it comes to the kids. Just think of all the times that the kids have gone out in embarrassing  outfits  :o. You want to say something about the outfit, but you get the look from the spouse that tells you to keep your mouth shut  :-X. Well, spandex is our turn around, fair-play response  :P. The first time you walk into the house after a bike ride and you are sweaty, in spandex, and the kids have friends over. The kids give you the embarrassed look  :-[ that says, "Dad, how could you wear that outfit ?!?  :o. We have friends over, how could you ?"

Ahhhh, turn around can be sweet  :-*.

Jim, great minds think alike.  That is very funny, but for fear of embarrassing myself as much as my daughters, I will do this when none of their friends are around.  Just the threat of going out in public so dressed will be enough to mortify them.  But fear not, I have other ways to embarrass them in front of their peers.  Blaring opera music from the car stereo in the high school parking lot at day's end, hundreds of kids streaming by, is one of my favourites.  And if I happen to be in good voice, that is sufficient to send them walking home on their own, disavowing any knowledge of, or relation to their father.   ;D


meput

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2012, 06:16:24 pm »
Svend, for all the times that the kids torment their parents, I am glad you too have found constructive ways to torment your kids  ;D.

I must admit that my kids have all grown older and have significantly matured  ::). Now when I walk in with spandex on, if the kids and any of their friends are over, its gee Dad, we are really impressed that you just bicycled 30 miles at your age  :).

Even with the kids being more mature, they still find ways to torment their parents. Unfortunately it does get harder to torment them as they mature   ;).

byronm

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2012, 05:52:36 pm »
Hi Folks,
Just a bit of an update. Got sidetracked with out of state family issues so I have not made any significant purchase yet.
Still riding the $85.00 used schwinn sport that I bought from a local org, actually as a donation, proceeds that benefit veterans. But what fun I am having just cruising. In younger days I was an avid runner, having little to no experience with cycling I was amazed at how much ground one can really cover. I took a 3 mile ride on the outskirts of town yesterday and loved it. Not withstanding the 112* temp.
The wtb v saddle I invested in, combined with the appropriate height adjustment made a world of difference in terms of my tailbone.
Tried a 29'r at my local bike shop and liked it ok. Will try a dedicated road bike next. Seems like the 29'r might be one of those tweeners bw talks about. Performance " just ok" in seperate genres.
Meanwhile, faded paint, modest equip aside, finding how enjoyable even a 30 minute ride down the road or around the neighborhood can be, how out of shape I am and much to learn about cycling.
All in all, the chain or I haven't fallen off........consider ing that +1
 

Svend

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2012, 08:53:52 pm »
Hey Byron -- great that you're rediscovering cycling.  I'm guessing it's been a while since you've spent any time on a bike(?)  Since you were a young 'un, perhaps? It's just a great sport, no matter what wheels you're riding on.  Good on ya!

I can't imagine BW calling a 29er a tweener bike.  I suppose there are some inexpensive 29ers that aren't kitted out to be proper mountain bikes, but are branded as 29ers just to capitalize on their popularity.  But a good 29er is by no means a so-so performance ride.  They are real mountain bikes in every sense of the term, and are being raced at the amateur and world cup level. 

If you are still considering a bike for 80% road / 20% gravel trail use, by all means look at the cyclocross bikes.  They would suit your needs much better than either a 29er or a pure road bike would.  Here is an example of a good one, at a decent price point:  http://www.konaworld.com/cx.cfm?content=jake_the_snake

Keep us posted on your demos.....


byronm

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2012, 01:32:56 am »
Thanks for the link Svend...I will definately explore the cyclocross option....yup, last bike sans a motor I straddled was a schwinn stingray with a banana seat. All the rave as were the fab four as I recall.
Judging by your comments, I may have midunderstood the salesman and need to make a trip back to the shop in order to process all the info....I looked at a bunch of bikes in a manner rem. of  the toddler I had with me asking what's this?..why?....how? etc.
I may be mistaken but thought I asked if the bike was a 29r to which he responded yes and went on to explain it would be good for intermediate trails, while road worthy also. (which may be just my ticket, not quite sure yet) He then showed me a dedicated mountain bike...much wider tires, etc. All this of course as I was eyeing and chasing a zealous grandkid hoping not to be purchasing a $2200 scratch and dent bike of any sort at that moment.

Before wearing out my welcome, I bought the aftermarket seat that although not high end, has proven invaluable to my low end.. ;D

Max provided a suggestion from the fezzari site in my price range that has a cool fitting procedure thru the purchase. Not sure if a valid concern, but does buying bikes direct (in general) bring into play the "some assembly required" issue, or do they arrive in a manner that a "you don't know jack" can manage?
Obviously, I need to continue exploring but in the meantime, I'm a peddling.
 
 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 01:57:09 am by byronm »

Svend

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2012, 06:14:02 am »
Byron, buying a bike online will require some assembly.  It will be delivered in a big flat box, which means the bars will be turned sideways, pedals and saddle will be off, wheels off, etc..  But setting it up is nothing major -- install pedals and saddle; set stem; adjust brake and shift levers.....that kind of thing.  If you are mechanically challenged, you might want  to take the time to learn about all this stuff, as you will be doing a lot of adjusting and tweaking to get the fit right.  And it is definitely worth the time to get it right.

So....consider buying from your local bike shop, as they can do all this for you and redo it if it doesn't suit you.  They will also (if they are a good shop) take the time to fit the bike correctly -- saddle position, stem length, bar height, etc..

Re. 29ers -- real ones are dedicated mountain bikes.  I ride mine on the road occasionally, but only when it's with friends or family who don't have mountain bikes.  It performs OK on the road, but the geometry, fit of the bike (shorter top tube length than a road bike), wide knobby tires, heavy front fork, etc., really don't lend themselves to road riding.  It is just not efficient, and way slower.  OTOH, if you are tall, ride 80% to 90% off road, esp. on open cross country trails, then a 29er would be the ticket.  If not, then you should consider a different bike.

My brother rides a cyclocross bike (a real one, not a comfort cruiser).  He rides 80% on road, 10% gravel rail trails, and 10% easy single track off road.  He loves it.  An extremely versatile bike.  I have ridden his bike on road, and it is fast and light and agile.  You would be amazed at what some people can do with these bikes off road.  I often see guys riding these on the smooth double track trails of our local forest, and just for a lark I have ridden some of the race courses set up in the park -- FUN!  A few of these videos will give you an idea of what kind of terrain they are made for:

http://www.cxmagazine.com/video-highlights-elite-women-2012-usa-cycling-cyclocross-nationals-bill-schieken
http://www.cxmagazine.com/videos-petitesreines-hoogerheide-french-nationals
http://www.cxmagazine.com/jeremy-powers-koksijde-course-preview-video-2012-cyclocross-world-championship

Cheers, and have fun in your hunt.

bushwacka

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2012, 08:23:52 pm »
yeah 29er are capable mountain bikes. In fact I dare say more capable than the kids wheels if your tall enough to ride them.

26 inch XC bikes are dead, the demand is done for them. In a couple years all the major manufacturers will stop making them. 26inch trail bike will hang on longer but again in the larger sizes they will be dead.

the deal is a 29er hardtail can be ridden nearly anywhere, albeit quite slowly on road compared to anything else, and for alot of people on dirt road they usually are faster.

case in point, at the Hilly Billy Roubaix in Wv which is a 68 mile dirt road race the cross bike had their asses kicked by 2.0 tired MTBs. 8 of the top 10 were on a hardtail or fully rigid MTB running wider than most cross bike tires.  although I love cross bike and I think they can be right bike for alot of stuff it hard for me to see that they are faster than a 29er MTB even on pretty smooth dirt/gravel road. Larger tires roll faster off road and cross bike simply do not have the clearance for them.


Svend

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2012, 08:07:28 am »
BW -- I think Byron is looking for an 80/20 bike, as in 80% asphalt / 20% gravel rail trails and smooth doubletrack.  I still maintain that a 29er is not the right bike for this kind of mix, but a CX bike would be just right.

That said, I agree with what you say.  For riders tall enough, the 29er size is the ticket for a mtn. bike.  Very versatile and capable for both singletrack and flat gravel trails.  I don't think the 29er will ever replace the 26er though.  Smaller riders will just not ever be comfortable or properly proportioned on a 29er bike, no matter what they do with frame design.

But.....what is a really interesting development, and something I look forward too seeing growth in, is the 650B wheel size.  Now that is a size that makes sense to supplant the 26 inch wheel.  It has many of the advantages of both the 29ers and 26ers, and almost none of the drawbacks of either.  I have read some comparison tests, and it seems to work.  Nice.  I could see a smaller rider, like my wife at 5'7", for example, having a great time on a 650B hardtail XC bike.  I hope they catch on and we see more models and aftermarket components become available.


jim-ratliff

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #34 on: July 13, 2012, 08:44:21 am »
Byron:
This got me to thinking.  You should probably also check out some rigid (i.e. no front suspension either) bikes, either 29" or 26". You would probably need to swap out the standard tires for something faster rolling and lighter, but that could wind up being a good compromise bike for your stated mix of road and dirt/gravel roads and easier trails.


26 vs. 29. My biggest reasons for not getting a 29" bike was that it didn't fit in the back of my car nearly as well as the 26", and it just didn't feel as nimble. Felt a little bit like driving a pickup truck vs. a car. I will agree that there are riders who will value the easier rolling of the 29" above all else, but I'm not sure that spells the death of the 26" bike.  I also wonder how much of the 29" market demand is like the market demand for wide skis (mostly driven by the "cool" factor and advertising)?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 03:21:35 pm by jim-ratliff »
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bushwacka

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #35 on: July 13, 2012, 09:14:21 am »
Jim not fitting into your car is pretty much the worst reason ever.

Part of me does think that its the bike industries way of selling something new, but the other part of me realizes that if there was a demand for short travel/hardtail 26inch bikes more companies would keep making them.

BTW Scott bikes only 26inch wheeled mtbs next year are youth models and their DH bikes.

In stowe i am actually one of the few 29 inch riders and get alot of flack  for it, with that said the only 2 guys and one gal in stowe that are faster up and/or down than me are a Pro Cyclocross rider sometimes MTber (jamey Driscoll), Pro Road rider but also a MTber(Josh Dillen), and Pro going to Olympics MTBer(Lea Davison) and they all ride 29ers..... The girl is the fastest out of them all.

jim-ratliff

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #36 on: July 13, 2012, 09:53:03 am »
Jim not fitting into your car is pretty much the worst reason ever.

Wrong.  It was the main requirement.  And it was what I wanted to do, so that makes it a perfectly good reason (for me). ;)
I wasn't going be hauling my bike to work on a bike rack on the roof of the car and leaving it in the parking garage all day, wasn't going to have $X,000 worth of bikes on the back of the car parked overnight on the streets of Washington, DC or New York City, and wasn't going to be hauling them through the road grime if I decided to drive some distance.  I know lots of people use bike racks and roof mounts, I wasn't going to.  At 60+ years old I never even considered the idea of lifting my bike off/on a roof rack at the beginning and end of every ride, and trunk racks just look like a good way to let one bike bang around and damage the other.
With my RAV4 or Lynn's Honda Element, we could put all 4 bikes in the back (we usually only have two) and still have room for luggage. My main reason for purchasing the RAV4 was because the spare tire is on the rear door resulting in a taller load area. (The other factor was the V6 engine in a smallish vehicle performs quite nicely.)
So, it may not be high on your criteria, but was on mine.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 03:20:38 pm by jim-ratliff »
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jim-ratliff

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #37 on: July 13, 2012, 10:57:24 am »

Bush:

What discipline is Lea competing in?
Give us a heads up if she is going to be on television.
Would be fun to watch someone "that Bushwacka had trained"!! (or at least raced against)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 12:22:51 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Svend

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #38 on: July 13, 2012, 02:12:07 pm »
Part of me does think that its the bike industries way of selling something new, but the other part of me realizes that if there was a demand for short travel/hardtail 26inch bikes more companies would keep making them.

BW -- I think the demand for hardtail/short travel bikes has shrunk because of the overall performance improvements in rear suspension designs.  When we were shopping for our bikes, which was as recent as 3 years ago, there were still a lot of drawbacks to rear suspension, and these were a significant disincentive to buying one.  Loss of power, poor acceleration; poor climbing ability; vague disconnected "trail feel"; much heavier weight; more maintenance; big price differential....all of these combined, when viewed next to a good hardtail in the eyes of buyers such as us (ie. located in an area where the trails were fairly smooth and easily rideable on a hardtail by a skilled pilot), it was a no-brainer.  The lighter, faster, cheaper, better spec'd hardtail won hands down.  And if you asked my wife today if she would trade in her little 26" hardtail XC race bike for a full-suspension rig, she would laugh and say "No way, Jose!".

These days it's a different story, however.  Prices are lower for rear susp. bikes, rear triangle designs have more or less eliminated the performance drains, the bikes are lighter, and the other components are not being scrimped on.  A rider like my wife may actually consider one if she took a really good model for a test ride.  OTOH, if she got on a quick, agile, light 650B hardtail, I'll bet she'd fall in love.   :D  So, if asked to replace her bike today, she would probably say no, and that she will wait a few years until the the 650B thing matures, and then look for a top-notch fast hardtail.  Makes perfect sense to me.

As for the bike industry trying to sell a particular design just because it's "new and better", well, I'm a bit cynical about that.  There is something to that statement.  A lot of people I talk to, including shop owners, are looking at all the new stuff with a raised eyebrow, and are frankly getting sick of it and are turned off by it all.  Every year there are different standards for bottom brackets, drivetrains, wheel sizes, headsets....and on and on..... All of them claim to be better.  No one is sure why we need some of it.  I think a lot of people are savvy to this, and will pick and choose the technology that really makes sense and is a true improvement, rather than the latest fad.  This may all backfire on the bike industry....we will see.  There will always be those insecure people who simply must have the newest and best, and will probably go broke trying to live to that standard.  But for the rest of us who just want to buy a great bike every 5 or 8 years, are willing to spend a not-insubstantial amount to get one, and then forget the technology and just have fun riding it, it's all more marketing babble and something that is best ignored until it's time for a new rig. 

I suppose the latter attitude comes with age and maturity.  I know a couple of guys in their late 50's and early 60's who live on the west coast (friends of my father-in-law) who still ride multi-day long distance endurance mountain bike races across the Rocky Mountains in the interior of British Columbia (starting in Whistler, and going inland from there).  They each have five or six mtn. and road bikes in their stable, including some very expensive carbon full-suspension rigs, and have owned dozens of bikes in their lifetime.  These guys are tough, experienced, expert riders, who were riding mtn. bikes when I was still in puberty, and you were probably not even born yet.  Well, I asked them what their favourite bikes where.  The younger guy pointed to a ten year old Kona scandium hard tail (Explosif, I think, white in colour) that had taken a good beating over it's life but was still going strong.  The other guy singled out a Marin hardtail, also scandium or maybe Ti (can't recall), about 5 to 7 years old.  The values they placed above all else were not speed (as in the fastest course times) or light weight or comfort; but rather agility and handling, quickness and acceleration, toughness, reliability and simplicity.  Basically they valued a fun bike that was simple to maintain and could take a beating.  They weren't wowed by full suspension or even 29ers.  But they can make these simple bikes do amazing things, and ride trails on them that I will never have the nerve to tackle in my lifetime.  As I said before, it's more about the skill of the rider, and less about the hardware.

Oh, and I asked them about tubeless.  They just laughed and said they couldn't be bothered.  Tried it; not worth the fuss for the marginal performance gains.  But they do value good tires with rugged tread and lots of sticky grip -- Nevegal (most popular tire by far in those parts), Ardent, Fire XC Pro....that sort of thing; or Ikon for smooth trails. 


bushwacka

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #39 on: July 13, 2012, 02:36:14 pm »
Bush:

What discipline is Lea competing in?
Give us a heads up if she is going to be on television.
Would be fun to watch someone "that Bushwacka had trained"!! (or at least raced against)

we ride and race together some of the time. She routinely beats the men's pro field.....

she races XC the only MTB discipline in the olympics, she also does Short Track and Super D both of which are not in the olympics.

Svend there was some amazing good rear suspension designs 3 years ago. maestro, DW link, VPP, and the outliers of I drive, and Haros Unified rear triangle designs. The big companies tried and continue to produce some pretty poor Rear suspension designs.

maybe my trails are rougher but my FS bike is always faster than my SS bike. My ss has purpose and that is to be fun and make me stronger but not amount of skill makes up the difference of Hardtail to a FS if the FS rider is really good.

the performance returns on tubeless are not mariginal and untill you have tried it you have no leg to stand on to tell me otherwise. I do not care how good your friends are, but they are closed minded. these guys have not rode a bike with tubeless tires because if they did there is no way they would ever go back.

tubeless tires with tubeless rim what fuss? none! it easier to mount than a tubed tire



 

Svend

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #40 on: July 13, 2012, 04:36:35 pm »
Josh, we didn't see many of those kinds of bikes in the shops here until we found some smaller, hard core shops in the city that carried some of the more esoteric brands.  Most shops that we checked out (and there were many) had the usual big brands -- Specialized, Trek, GT, Cannondale, etc.  The smaller shops out in the country towns carried Kona, Rocky, DeVinci.  But bikes like Santa Cruz, Ibis, etc., were hard to find, and if available, were way too expensive.  At the time, the Canadian dollar was worth 30% less than US, so anything imported was pricey, so the shops mostly carried the big recognizable brands that they thought would sell.  Canadian-made bikes sold well, and were priced better -- Rocky, Brodie, DeVinci, Opus, Norco -- and were often better made for the same price.

Things are different now, with more choice and variety.  It's all good....

As for tubeless and the West Coast guys -- I think you misunderstood my message.  I was just passing on their opinions, not busting on yours or stating my own opinion.  I have not tried it, so I have no opinion, but just listen to other's experiences at this point.  But hey, it works for you, and you are willing to take the time to make it work.  OTOH, for those guys, it is just not the thing, and I respect that too.  And why wouldn't I? These guys do multi-day back country big mountain rides and need gear that works and that they can rely on.  If they say something, I listen and learn.  These guys are constantly experimenting with gear, BTW, and swapping stems and cranks and pedals and tires every week to try something different.  For you to say they are closed-minded is just not on.  If you read my post again, I said that they tried it, but didn't think it was worth it for whatever reason.  They didn't explain.  So there is no need for you to get defensive about your position.  To each his own.

Another thing I would add about the West Coast guys, is that they are humble, quiet and never boastful.  They do stuff, at age 60 no less, that would make most men half their age cry after only an hour.  And they do it for days at a time, and train for it every day in between.  But you would never know it unless you asked them outright, that's how modest they are.  And for that, I respect and like them even more.

« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 09:36:47 pm by Svend »

bushwacka

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #41 on: July 13, 2012, 04:45:59 pm »
modesty and not being boastful never made someone right or wrong. In fact I am not being boastful, I am not a good enough rider to ride MTBs with tubes in them. seriously I feel like a drunk gorilla when I get on someone over inflated tubed setup.

I also never respect someone making a choice and saying it not worth and to much fuss WITHOUT ever trying it. I can install a tubeless tire on tubeless rims in half the time it take to install a tube and tire on the rim.

are you sure they tried it? seriously I have not met a single person who has tried it and went back.

Svend

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #42 on: July 13, 2012, 09:41:31 pm »
Josh, apologies for the jab.  I removed the offending reference from my post.  You are right - in the last few responses to me you were not being boastful.


jim-ratliff

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Re: My Arse is killing me
« Reply #43 on: July 13, 2012, 11:31:17 pm »
Josh:
it sounds to me that Svend's friends are experienced enough to decide what works best for them. Tubeless MTB isn't new, so I can't imagine dedicated riders/racers not giving it a solid try and being aware of any fellow racers using tubeless and improving because of it.


I understand your take and how it applies to your riding and where you ride. But that doesn't make it a universal absolute, nor does it lessen their riding in any sense.  Competitive racing is a wonderful crucible for what works. If even half of their fellow riders are riding tubeless and beating them, then they would already be riding tubeless as well.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 02:43:30 pm by jim-ratliff »
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