A few newbie Road questions for you…

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  • A few newbie Road questions for you…
  • Jamie
    Member

    When I’m on the hoods (that’s what they’re called?) I do feel in a very aggressive position

    I find it’s always better to take an aggressive position, when it comes to being in the hood. That way no-one will mess with you, homey.

    *gun fingers*

    Rogan Josh
    Member

    28 is probably a bit unnecessary, though it’s your call at the end of the day, 25mm continentals are a good choice. The man hole cover thing is a hazzard no matter what the tyre I’m afraid, you’l just learn to look for them. Ride round them or if climbing then sit down for more traction.

    My normal approx rule is that the bars should be obscuring the front hub when seated in a normal riding position, if the hub can be seen behind the bar try a shorter stem, if infront of the bar then a longer. This is however very approx, a bit like setting the saddle height from heel on the pedal etc. If you do you feel stretched out then yes try a shorter stem, you’re bike will be 1-1/8 providing its reasonably modern, but please don’t get a race face, bit of a roadie fashion faux pas that you may regret, I’m sure an Easton or fsa alternative will be equally priced!

    Happy riding.

    The C2C route takes in some pretty rough Tarmac apparently, hence my thinking 28mm tyres ish.

    The race face stem is a tender or thereabouts hence my enthusiasm for it, especially given I may still need to change it again! I think my MTB helmet is more of a roadie fashion faux pas 🙂

    Manhole covers – ok noted!

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    A faux pas?
    Good god, take me now.

    *Race face stem is a tenner

    mogrim
    Member

    Manhole covers – ok noted!

    They’re particularly lethal when cornering, treat them the same way you would a patch of ice – straight over, no turning.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    When I’m on the hoods (that’s what they’re called?) I do feel in a very aggressive position and stretched out. I don’t know if this is just a case of getting used to it or not. I find myself more comfortable with my hands back and inch or so from right in on the hoods. The bike is 61cm and has a 130mm stem.

    I was the same, (just over 6 foot, 58cm frame with 105mm stem) and basically its because you are used to the slightly more upright mtb position. Persevere, youll get used to it, I assume you were fitted when you bought the bike?

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    130mm is quite long for a stem, even on such a large bike as yours. Trying a 120mm wouldn’t be a radical move at least, so why not try it.

    As for tyres, 28’s are almost certainly not going to fit with any clearance. 25’s will be usefully larger though (you’d be amazed how much difference 2mm will make!), get something decent like Schwalbe Durano’s, something that’s grippy, quick and rolls pretty well (sadly that won’t mean cheap) and you’ll be much happier as Zaffiro’s really are pretty poop as they’re made of such hard rubber to be virtually useless at gripping the road!

    And yeah, avoid manhole covers! ANYTHING made of metal in fact… When wet its like hitting a patch of ice.

    Yep I was fitted at the shop and they said I could consider a slightly shorter stem but didn’t think it was far off really.

    I’m just conscious that I really need to be comfortable for the C2C ..

    Premier Icon senor j
    Subscriber

    There are loads of parameters which will affect how your new bike feels. Not least, because you’re not used to it.
    It’s taken me best part of a year to get used to being on my hoods after years of wide bars. I kept the 100mm stem but ended up moving saddle forward a touch, and dropped the seat post a nadgers knacker.
    No discomfort ,only sufferage now . 😉 🙂
    I now have the stem slammed ( to be cool 😉 ) but I took a spacer out a week or two a time to achieve maximum radness with minimum discomfort.

    Stick with it. 😀

    What are Schwalbe Lugano’s like? Wiggle have them £14.39 and I do require mucho cheapness!

    samuri
    Member

    Everyone feels stretched out on a road bike at first. I’d give it a bit of time before buying new kit.

    25mm conti’s will be great but yes, grids are slippy no matter how fat your tyres. My CX bike has a 35mm tyre on the back and it still slips easily. See also white lines, roadkill, some kinds of tarmac, horse poo. If you’re going to hit one of these hazards, try and sit as upright as you can as you go over it.

    mrmo
    Member

    Do not ride on Tar bands, white lines, or metal, and always watch out on corners for spilt diesel when it is wet. Tyres won’t make any difference.

    On the stem thing, i tend to run just behind the hoods, but it is nice to have as many positions as possible. There is an element of getting used to it, road bikes aren’t uncomfortable as such, just they demand a bit of flexibility that MTBers often lack because they ride more upright.

    Get the saddle right, then tweak the front end, raise it, lower it have a think about what feels comfortable.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    try nudging your saddle forward a bit, if it feels /really/ stretched out. Assuming there is some adjustment possible in saddle position, and that doesn’t in turn affect knees and everything else..

    Yep I’ve nudged the saddle forward a little already. I feel quite comfy just a bit back from the hoods. It’s only when I put my hands right on them that it feels a bit too far..

    ..oh and I do find it tricky climbing when on the hoods proper – it feels like I can’t get any power down and that my knees are hitting my chest/belly

    So, following on from this thread:

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/tell-me-about-roadie-ing

    I’ve been out on my first road bike a about 4 or 5 times and have been riding it to work a bit.

    However, I’d appreciate some advice as to whether the stem could be too long and how I would know?

    When I’m on the hoods (that’s what they’re called?) I do feel in a very aggressive position and stretched out. I don’t know if this is just a case of getting used to it or not. I find myself more comfortable with my hands back and inch or so from right in on the hoods. The bike is 61cm and has a 130mm stem.

    If I do replace the stem are the steerer tube diameters all standard like 1 1/8th for MTB? I’m eyeing up a 120mm race face jobbie on wiggle..

    Second question – my current tyres are 23mm Vittoria Zaffiro slicks and whilst they’re fine in the dry my commute home in the wet yesterday was very scary, spinning out over manhole covers on climbs etc.

    Anyway, as I’m doing the coast to coast ride shortly I need some replacement tyres but am not sure if something like a 28mm tyre will fit my frame. Currently there appears to be about 4mm between current tyre and chain stay.

    Can anyone recommend a cheap suitable fat road tyre?

    thanks

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    my knees are hitting my belly

    that will disappear if you keep riding….

    Add a spacer or 2 under the stem or flip it? Sod the rules….

    Does sound like a shorter stem is the way to go.

    pondo
    Member

    I got Luganos on my CAAD – my first road bike and only a couple of hundred miles so far, but they seem fine to me. Only traction issue was climbing out the saddle on damp tarmac under trees with my weight quite forward – no skids yet when stopping, and she turns on a dime bar in the dry.

    cheers_drive
    Member

    Your legs shouldn’t be hitting your belly when on the hoods, something doesn’t sound right. Normally when on the hoods your arms should have a slight bend to them – not totally straight and stretched out. Most of your weight should be on your arse.
    If you get aero on the hoods (horizontal forearms) or use the drops you may get gut leg interface.
    Hoods are generally best for climbing, especially when it gets steeper. For shallow climbs the tops are good.
    How tall are you? your bike is the same size and stem as mine and I’m 6’3″.

    Well, my legs aren’t actually hitting my belly, it just feels like they’re about to and I feel like I can’t much leverage climbing when seated.

    I’m 6’2″ btw

    Re Luganos – cheers, I might give them a try!

    clubber
    Member

    If you’re not flexible enough to use a ‘proper’ road position then there’s no point trying to do so when doing a long event – you need to work your way towards it.

    At 130mm (which is fairly long though I have a 140 on my road bike but I’m 6’5″), you’ve got some room to play though it could be that your bike is too low rather than too long at the front. It’s really very hard to say without seeing you on your bike.

    As to climbing, watch the Vuelta on TV (mountain stages over the next few days!) and you’ll notice that they (often/usually) ride on the tops when it’s steep for exactly the reasons you’re finding.

    And as an aside, here’s a proper long stem – 165mm! 🙂
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/photos/race-tech-tour-down-under-kicks-off-the-pro-equipment-season-for-2013/249495

    mrmo
    Member

    ..oh and I do find it tricky climbing when on the hoods proper – it feels like I can’t get any power down and that my knees are hitting my chest/belly

    Power v aerodynamics, a TT position can often prevent you putting out max power, but it is more aerodynamic so you go faster. Same goes for climbing. Don’t assume the most powerful position is actually the best.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    RopeyReignRider – Member

    I’d appreciate some advice as to whether the stem could be too long and how I would know?

    The bike is 61cm and has a 130mm stem.

    that’s quite a long stem, on quite a big frame.

    it’s probably about right if you’re 6’2″…?

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    The Lugano’s are ok, nothing special, they’re about par for a £15 tyre to be honest. I’m of the opinion that on a road bike, the tyres really are about the most important part, especially if you ride in any sub optimal conditions. And you don’t have to spend an absolute fortune. The Schwalbe Durano’s are about £25 an end and are a great tyre.

    If £15 is your absolute limit though, check out the Michelin Lithion 2 in 25c (will again emphasise that IMO 25’s are worth their while over 23’s), which are available for under £15 each online from a few places. Lighter, faster and grippier than the Lugano.

    My first road bike came with some cheap Kenda’s, not dissimilar to the Zaffiro’s on your bike. They were ok in the dry, but slid too readily in the wet and did not inspire any confidence at all. Also, they cut up a bit easily so weren’t especially durable despite their high weight. Upgraded the bike, and at the same time invested in some decent tyres. Not looked back since, and in probably 1500 miles of riding (including in some pretty foul conditions) have been able to have total confidence in the tyres.

    clubber
    Member

    Actually, thinking about it a 61cm frame (depending on how long the TT actually is) with 130mm stem is pretty big for a 6’2″ person I reckon – especially a newbie.

    What top tube length is it and what saddle height are you running? Got any pics?

    I’m not sure on the dimensions off hand. It’s a 2013 Felt F95 and there’s a pic on the thread I linked to on the first post of this thread. I’ve raised the saddle a little since the pic was taken. Ta

    Premier Icon verses
    Subscriber

    I didn’t massively rate the Luganos that came with my roady. They picked up lots of little splits/tears quite quickly.

    I now use Pro4s for best, and Lithions for plugging about on. Def prefer the Lithions to the Luganos.

    clubber
    Member

    According to the link below, your bike has a 605mm top tube. That’s pretty long – longer than any of my bikes so unless you are particularly long upper body/arms then it does sound a bit big for you.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/felt-f95-sora-2013/

    the drop looks reasonable enough so it’s not obviously excessively low (unless you’ve raised the saddle a lot)

    I’d suggest trying a 100/110mm stem for starters.

    rusty trowel
    Member

    25mm Vittoria Rubino Pros can be picked up for 20 quid each if you shop about. The 23s i’ve had on my winter bike have been as good as the Gatorskins on my other bike

    It sounds like a big frame and stem combo, I’m the same height as you and use a 140mm stem but with a smaller frame. What’s your saddle to centre of bar measurement? Mines about 615-610mm I think. If that helps for reference.

    Dales_rider
    Member

    Bikes too big, sack it off to winter
    Pop and get a 58, it will come with a 120 stem

    I don’t think the bike is too big necessarily. I spent the best part of an hour getting sized by the bike shop. Everything feels very comfy apart from perhaps just a little too much stretch. It doesn’t look too big underneath me by any means!

    Dales_rider
    Member

    Pictures ?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    25mm Michi pro 4 endurance RrR. Merlin and Ribble have offers. I don’t think they are much slower than the Ultremo’s they replaced but with a whole lot more protection.

    ,

    TiRed
    Member

    Whilst sat on the saddle put your hands over the hoods and lean forward for the most aggressive position you are comfortable with. The angle of your elbow should be about 90 degrees. Any more and your stem is too long. Put your hands on the flat part of the drops. Your arm should be about vertical from the shoulder with about 20 degree bend at the elbow.

    Height is entirely personal, but reach is dictated by your size.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    Get your saddle level. With the nose down that far it will be putting your weight forward and put more load on your arms and exaggerate your feeling of being pitched forward.

    raisinhat
    Member

    It’d not a bad idea to pick up some cheap stems that are 100/110/120mm to try out some different positions. Your saddle looks like it needs to be tilted back to get it level.

    Part of it will be just getting used to a more aggressive position. My road bike felt a little like torture, and now my mountain bike feels like a sit up and beg position, so it might be worth persevering and doing more stretches to improve your flexibility.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    25mm tyres make a big difference too. Don’t scrimp too much on tyres cheap road tyres ride far worse. £45 on some 25mm conti gator skins and some conti tubes transformed my £600 road bike from hated to loved.

    And the gators are regarded as agricultural by some! Stepping away from the proper budget stuff is what I am trying to get at. I am sure someone with better knowledge has already recommended something better for the money.

    TiRed
    Member

    Tyres do make a huge difference. I prefer schwalbe for wet weather performance and feel very safe on Durano S and Plus. 25mm will offer more comfort, but i ride 23 without issue. And i agree about trying different stem lengths. If you arent brand fussy, some bike shops will swap for free.

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