bike comfort…..or lack of……help!!

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  • bike comfort…..or lack of……help!!
  • ton
    Member

    got a ongoing problem. no matter what i do or how hard i try i cant get comfy on my tourer/hack bike. this seems to have started after starting to ride again after surgery.
    i am comfy as anything on my mtb. it all fits fine, so i copied the set up on my tourer. same saddle, same bars, measured everything and set it all the same. it wont work. tried flat bars and bar ends, wrists kill after 5 minutes riding. tried jones bars, just dont work on my tourer. put some flared drops on, feel okis on the hoods, but 48cm is far too small when you ride 710mm mtb bars.

    when i say uncomfy, i mean to the stage of having to get off to stretch or walk a bit every 30 minutes, proper painful uncomfy.

    getting to the stage where i am going to ditch it off and use just the mtb for everything. not ideal though.
    do you think the body gets used to riding in one position and after a while it wont settle on anything else?

    it is making riding/pootling unenjoyable, which is something i never thought i would say. 😐

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    Ton

    I don’t know what the answer is specifically but for anything other than total bumbling along I find an MTB position less than comfortable on the road.

    On an MTB you change your overall body position a lot, in and out of the saddle, shifting body weight to change direction or go up or down obstacles or surface changes. This allows joints and muscles to move rather than being locked in to that wide stance that most of us have on the MTB these days.

    On the road you are in one position for longer and different priorities may apply.

    I’ve also found following joining the gym recently that my ability to not get tired arms while riding off road is improving very quickly so maybe some upper body strength exercises would help if you’ve been off the bike with surgery.

    As an example My comfy on the road hybrid has much narrower bars than the MTB. (600mm vs. 710mm on the hardtail and about 750mm on the fs). The hybrid also has some of those palm supporting grips on. They’re really comfy and give a bit more wrist support.

    scotroutes
    Member

    ton wrote:

    do you think the body gets used to riding in one position and after a while it wont settle on anything else?

    Not in my experience. Fatbike, MTB, tourer all have very different riding positions and set-ups. On the odd occasion I grab the “fast” carbon road bike it always feels ridiculously low at the front, I ride it for a few minutes, and then I can ride it all day.

    put some flared drops on, feel okis on the hoods, but 48cm is far too small when you ride 710mm mtb bars.

    If it feels OK, then why do you think you need wider bars?

    Do you tend to ride harder on the MTB or the Tourer?

    ton
    Member

    f it feels OK, then why do you think you need wider bars?

    it feels very twitchy, it is harder climbing, it is very odd and wobbly when stood up climbing.

    Do you tend to ride harder on the MTB or the Tourer?

    probably on the mtb

    probably on the mtb

    Could, potentially explain it. Depends which bit’s ache…..but pedalling harder usually means you’re sat less like a dead weight on the saddle. Try a harder ride on the tourer.

    scotroutes
    Member

    ton wrote:

    f it feels OK, then why do you think you need wider bars?

    it feels very twitchy, it is harder climbing, it is very odd and wobbly when stood up climbing.[/quote]I’d persevere with it as I think you’ll just get used to the fact it feels a bit different. Maybe you need to practice your pedalling technique too, trying to make it a little bit smoother and not throwing your weight from side to side (obviously trying to guess what the issue is here as I haven’t seen you riding it). Have you adjusted the stem length to take account of the narrower bar?

    it feels very twitchy, it is harder climbing, it is very odd and wobbly when stood up climbing.

    Makes sense. If it’s a fairly slack angled tourer with raked out forks and a short stem; they feel awful to climb on out of the saddle with drop bars.

    ton
    Member

    i have put a shorter reach higher stem on. the reach and height feel ok.
    no neck ache when riding or after.

    i will persevere for a few week and see if i get used to it. like i said, been riding jones bars on both bikes for a few weeks, so it might just be the difference i need to get used to

    fifeandy
    Member

    I’d pick a setup and persevere for a bit. It’s quite normal to get some aches and pains (even in unusual places) after a long break, takes a while for all the muscles and tendons to get used to it again.

    As a few personal examples; if i ride focussing on MTB in early season then move to road, it takes ~500mi for my arse to stop hating my road saddle.
    I’m currently ramping hours up for this year and my forearms are screwed from riding on the hoods, but they’ll adapt in a few weeks as usual.
    And my first couple of 4+hr road rides of the year are going to give me a sore neck/shoulder but by the 4th or 5th go will be just fine.

    Olly
    Member

    Photos of the two bikes would be helpful. Side on views. You can give yourself a half decent bike fit with a bit of research online and a plumb line, especially if you can get some photos of you on the bike to compare.

    Try some Jones bars then sell them to me Tony πŸ˜‰

    I have found after much messing with positions I prefer my bikes set up the same pretty much regardless of mtb or road. Shame it took me so much money to come to this conclusion.

    And on a side note Tony my back and ribs still hurt πŸ™ but we will get a ride soon πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    Are you still on the Jones Plus?

    did you read this lot? Guy using it as his road bike.

    πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Try moving the saddle as far back as you can? If you’re sat too far forward over the BB it’ll put more weight/pressure on your wrists. Paul and Nitto both have strong long-layback posts. The Jones has a fairly slack seat angle and it works with the high front to make it a potentially very comfy bike.

    Alongside a Plus for off-road, a standard Jones might make an ideal big-guy road tourer.

    timbur
    Member

    Jameso- I think you might be reading my mind. Plus arrived for holigan duties, Diamond being rebuilt as a do it all with slick option. CX bike prob on the way out.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Try moving the saddle as far back as you can? If you’re sat too far forward over the BB it’ll put more weight/pressure on your wrists.

    There’s a video for getting your position right of saddle.

    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/knowledge/bike-kit/set-up/article/izn20131217-DIY-Road-and-Mountain-Bike-Fit-0

    Are wider tyres an option? For example, PX have two Big Apple 29×2.0 variations for sale at the mo at Β£6 each.

    Wider tyres. Wider flared drops. Done.

    ton
    Member

    Wider tyres. Wider flared drops. Done.

    you mean like I have got now…………..not comfy.

    Ah, yeah 48mm. I suppose you’ve answered your own question:

    i am comfy as anything on my mtb. it all fits fine

    One Bike To Rule Them All?

    Time for another tyre/wheel-set, one for road, one for MTB/offroad?

    Premier Icon Duc
    Subscriber

    Ton

    When you were off the bike for that length of time you’ll have lost loads of core strength built up from years of riding – it goes pretty quick. The Jones is built around supporting more weight on your feet and arse than upper body so it’ll use your core in a totally different way. perhaps the solution might be a little bit of off bike work on your core – i know that all sounds a little new age but I had to do it last year after a bit of time off the bike as I just couldn’t ride in the same positions as i did a year or so before until I’d done it.
    In another new age type suggestion have you seen a sports massage therapist or anyone like that? you may have a specifically tight muscle group that you can’t “find” through normal stuff that could just be triggered by the slight change in position on the tourer over the Jones.

    Failing that a Jones diamond frame as the tourer might be a good excuse for a new bike

    ton
    Member

    the idea of a jones tourer is pleasing…..or at least a new lighter set of wheels for the plus.

    I saw a physio a few times before xmas, she gave me a load of exercises to do for stretching, and some pilates core strength ones. to be honest I have been lazy and not be keeping up to them.
    I will start again I think.

    thanks for the idea’s………….oh and anyone want to buy a nice surly disc trucker 58cm ? πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon Duc
    Subscriber

    Ton

    If we’re upper in your neck of the woods any time soon I’ll send my Missus round to torture you (Sports Massage therapist)

    scotroutes
    Member

    I’m not trying to be cheeky big guy but this may be an issue you can’t spend your way out of. The core work/familiarity/perseverance thing could be by far the better long-term option.

    I was actually going to suggest a slightly longer stem to move some of your weight over the bars when climbing to see if that would aid stability, though it could have knock-on effects.

    ton
    Member

    Colin. I wont be spending any more money to sort this, other than what I sell the tourer for. I may sell the tourer and buy some wheels, and stick to 1 bike.

    this has been a ongoing problem now, and is pissing me off and spoiling my enjoyment of riding.

    scotroutes
    Member

    Yeah, I know and I know you’ve tried lots of options to sort it out. That’s why I’m thinking the core-strengthening bit might be good to try.

    The one-bike thing will be an easy experiment. Certainly worth a try.

    Andy
    Member

    jameso – Member
    Try moving the saddle as far back as you can?……

    Hmmm I was wondering this – shorter stem and layback post. Let me know if want to borrow any stems/posts etc as I keep a few to try different setups

    Premier Icon Duc
    Subscriber

    Incidentally moving your saddle around if you have core issues will cause more problems than it solves as it will alter the angle your pelvis is working at and therefore which core muscles are engaged and how.
    I’d get it as close to the Jones as possible and leave that as a fixed position – move everything else around it. The position over the pedals is the “big thing” in Jones geometry

    ton
    Member

    my position on the jones is pretty spot on. no sore points, no aches, just nice and comfy.

    Andy
    Member

    Yeah so as JamesO says – maybe get the fore/aft position of the saddle on your disc trucker the same and then adjust bar position (reach and height) and type of bar afterwards?

    ton
    Member

    noted Andy, and everyone.

    cheap cx/flared set up on claasifieds now. πŸ˜†

    Andy
    Member

    Erm maybe keep them until you are sure…. πŸ˜•

    Anyway drop me a mail if you want to borrow any stems/seatposts etc

    AntLockyer
    Member

    For what it’s worth I’ve never been comfortable on any bike other than my MTB. I think I really need quite a short reach that just isn’t really easily achieved on a road bike without all sorts of other issues arising.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    There’s a video for getting your position right of saddle.

    For performance that’s probably a good way to go but for comfort over longer days I’d do it differently.

    Ton, if you’re ever down south this is the guy I’d recommend seeing. I don’t generally / usually recommend bike fittings but in this guy’s case I’d happily spend money with him if I needed to. He does it in a way I think is right and would address all the issues a big rider might have and he knows far more about the detail than perhaps anyone else. No fit sticks and fit-formula waffle, just a simple method and a huge amount of experience.

    Take your bike fitting to the next level

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Incidentally moving your saddle around if you have core issues will cause more problems than it solves as it will alter the angle your pelvis is working at and therefore which core muscles are engaged and how.

    Perhaps, I’m not a physio so I’m only going on some good fitting theory and bike comfort stuff I’ve spent time on. There’s other aspects that saddle position may help with though – and if (as Andy suggested) bar position takes pelvis / upper body angle and your balance into account then there’s no reason it should cause issues. I’ve had weak core and lower back issues and moving the saddle outside of the ‘normal’ range solved a couple of my long-term discomforts, enough that I went beyond usual 2-4 hr rides and could start working on real long distance stuff and climbing more strongly. Further work on that area and fitting basics that come from saddle position has made more difference to comfort and efficiency to me than anything else, no real negatives. We might all have different reactions but there’s some sound theory behind it all. I think we can adapt pretty well too as long as we don’t change position then go and do a power hour on the hills and stress less-used muscles.

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