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  1. #1
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    so heres my dilemma...

    (6 months ago): I'm relatively new to road bikes and I bought a buddies '07 Trek 1500 SLR that might have 100 miles on it. Seriously. Its a brand new bike, but my lower back give me trouble so I changed the stem to an adjustable one to get the bars up.
    Fast forward to now:
    I also have a new Jamis DXT Sport that is more comfy but a helluva lot heavier.
    Question is, do I convert my trek to flat bars or put road tires on the Jamis?

    I have all the stuff to do either...

    Thanks!, B

  2. #2
    hfc
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    I would first recommend a road bike that fits better but why not try changing the bars on the Trek and if you don't like it, change them back. For me, tinkering is half the fun of bikes.

  3. #3
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    I think the Trek is the right size it's a 56 and I'm 6'0, so I think I'm good there right?

  4. #4
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    Maybe even a bit small....
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdley123 View Post
    I think the Trek is the right size it's a 56 and I'm 6'0, so I think I'm good there right?
    same height...both bikes are 56s.
    Ancient Astronaut theorists say, 'YES!'

  6. #6
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    I don't like adjustable stems as they just aren't stable. Get a rigid 40 degree stem (not adjustable) for the Trek. This will get you higher up:

    Bontrager Elite Stem (+/-40-degree Rise) - Brands Cycle and Fitness

    It comes in 75, 90, 105 or 120mm lengths. Get a length similar to what you have. Note that this stem has 4 bolts on the handlebar end. Don't be tempted to save money with the cheaper 2 bolt ones.

    Also, tilt your bars up slightly, so the hoods/shifters are higher. Be conservative here and experiment. If you tilt them too high, there will be too much of a bend in your wrists and you will have pain. If this happens, tilt them back down a bit.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdley123 View Post
    I think the Trek is the right size it's a 56 and I'm 6'0, so I think I'm good there right?
    Maybe a size small. Much dependent on body type, long torso with short legs will see you on a larger frame with a longer effective top tube. Short torso, smaller frame. I'm 5'10", long torso, ride a 56 ETT.

    What you like on the Jamis may not be so much the flat bars, as much the height and reach. Match those measurements from the Jamis to the Trek and ride it to see. Another aspect of flat bars is they tend to be wider, thus maybe swapping to a 44 or 46cm width drop bar on the Trek will be more comfortable.

    It certainly wouldn't hurt to take both bikes to a LBS and have them look at your positions and riding style.

  8. #8
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    Another thing to consider ....a series of things:

    First off, a proper road-bike riding position is unnatural. Wouldn’t have been so bad back when we were quadrupeds, but lately humans have taken to standing upright on our hind legs (those crazy kids .... )

    When riding a road bike, your stomach and lower back are stressed perpendicular to the spine, which is abnormal. Since it is abnormal, most people don’t have a lot of strength in that direction.

    Also, to properly rider a road bike you need to be pushing on the pedals a good bit, and most people starting out tend more to perch on the seat (which is not designed for that) and just spinning the pedals—their legs aren’t used to pushing constantly on the pedals.

    Also, since a lot of people (including salesmen) seem to set up bikes to imitate professional racers, riders tend to be leaning way down and reaching way forward, which maximizes stress on the core. Thus new riders tend to lean on their hands, which causes hand numbness and neck- and shoulder pain.

    Added up, this makes the first hundred miles on a road bike the last hundred, for a lot of people.

    It is the same thing with gym memberships, where people go three times and then are too sore to go again .... it takes some time to build the basic fitness needed to actually start getting fit.

    Fit is Really important on a drop-bar road bike. Luckily if your frame is a little small you can get a longer stem and seat post to compensate .... Most people would recommend a 58 for a six-footer, but I am six foot and fit better on a 56 ... short torso. It varies totally from person to person. If 56 is not perfect for you, you can stretch it with accessories (check EBay for frame stretchers. )

    Also consider how far you can comfortably lean. I cannot hold myself up with my core for very long, so I don’t ride all long and low like a Tour de France rider. I sit much more upright. I have a sharply up-angled stem and a lot of spacers under it. Looking like a racer doesn’t mean squat to me ... not being in pain is paramount. (Note: if the steerer was cut too short, you might be out of luck as for adding spacers ... get a longer, more steep stem (40 degrees should be enough.)

    Before you try major surgery on the Trek, look really closely at the riding position.
    Really, there is no difference (not much) between riding the tops of the bars on a drop-bar road bike, and riding a flat-bar bike (I know there is some---thousands of miles on both types. I am not aiming for extremes of precision here.) If the bar tops on the Trek are not in a similar position as the bars on the Jamis ... well, measure every dimension of Both frames so you can compare (I would measure center of the saddle (approximately where the seat post would poke through the top of the saddle) to the center of the bars, effective top tube (center of the head tube horizontally back to the seat tube(or its virtual extension) saddle setback, and bottom of the pedal at the farthest (not lowest) point to the top center of the saddle.

    Stack and reach is good to know but only if you want to mess with plum bobs and such .... great for comparing frames but not so much if you have stems and seat already mounted.

    Also ... Sure, throw road ties on the Jamis and see what you think, why not? Maybe you can have a comfort cruiser and a quick road bike too.

    Most important, I think .... figure out what you want to do with your bike. Bikes are tools which can be used for many jobs but are really best at only a few. Decide what kind of riding you like most, and that should help you decide what kind of bike you need.

    Also .... for a lot of people their first bike is joined by a couple of others in the first year or less. People buy a bike and learn what they like about cycling and then by the bike which suits that. I tend to keep old bikes, but you can always sell what you don’t ride and buy a better model of what you do ride.

    If a flat-bar road bike is what you need, there are plenty out there which offer all the best of modern componentry and lightweight frames. If a relaxed road bike would work ... check out “endurance geometry” frames and look for measurements which match yours ... a 56 or a 58, whichever fits better for that particular brand.

    Put road tires on the Jamis and see if it meets most of your needs. Maybe invest a few bucks in spacers and $20-30 for a steep stem for the Trak.

    I know for longer riders a drop bar appeals to me .... when I did a lot of riding on a flat-bar I spent a lot of time crouched way down with my hand up near my ears trying to get under the wind. Also, for longer riders, it can be good to have different places to grip the bars, to stretch the muscles some. Otherwise, flat-bar bikes are still bikes, and can do anything drop-bar bikes can do.

    If you like to ride for an hour at a time, none of that will matter much .... and maybe check out these bars (Specialized Hover Alloy Handlebar, 42cm, 31.8mm | eBay) [I am Not affiliated with seller in Any way] which include a 15 mm rise.

    I wouldn’t do major surgery on either bike untuil I did more experimenting and testing.

    However ... as hfc notes above, tinkering is a lot of fun .... if you are patient or know what you are doing (hopefully both.) If yuo can do the work yourself .... then you can undo, redo it, whatever, no sweat. But still, I’d recommend fist swapping wheels, and then more testing.

    Once you know what you Really like .... in a year or so ... buy a nicer model of that type of bike and ride it for the next couple decades.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
    Another thing to consider ....a series of things:

    First off, a proper road-bike riding position is unnatural. Wouldn’t have been so bad back when we were quadrupeds, but lately humans have taken to standing upright on our hind legs (those crazy kids .... )

    When riding a road bike, your stomach and lower back are stressed perpendicular to the spine, which is abnormal. Since it is abnormal, most people don’t have a lot of strength in that direction.

    Also, to properly rider a road bike you need to be pushing on the pedals a good bit, and most people starting out tend more to perch on the seat (which is not designed for that) and just spinning the pedals—their legs aren’t used to pushing constantly on the pedals.

    Also, since a lot of people (including salesmen) seem to set up bikes to imitate professional racers, riders tend to be leaning way down and reaching way forward, which maximizes stress on the core. Thus new riders tend to lean on their hands, which causes hand numbness and neck- and shoulder pain.

    Added up, this makes the first hundred miles on a road bike the last hundred, for a lot of people.

    It is the same thing with gym memberships, where people go three times and then are too sore to go again .... it takes some time to build the basic fitness needed to actually start getting fit.

    Fit is Really important on a drop-bar road bike. Luckily if your frame is a little small you can get a longer stem and seat post to compensate .... Most people would recommend a 58 for a six-footer, but I am six foot and fit better on a 56 ... short torso. It varies totally from person to person. If 56 is not perfect for you, you can stretch it with accessories (check EBay for frame stretchers. )

    Also consider how far you can comfortably lean. I cannot hold myself up with my core for very long, so I don’t ride all long and low like a Tour de France rider. I sit much more upright. I have a sharply up-angled stem and a lot of spacers under it. Looking like a racer doesn’t mean squat to me ... not being in pain is paramount. (Note: if the steerer was cut too short, you might be out of luck as for adding spacers ... get a longer, more steep stem (40 degrees should be enough.)

    Before you try major surgery on the Trek, look really closely at the riding position.
    Really, there is no difference (not much) between riding the tops of the bars on a drop-bar road bike, and riding a flat-bar bike (I know there is some---thousands of miles on both types. I am not aiming for extremes of precision here.) If the bar tops on the Trek are not in a similar position as the bars on the Jamis ... well, measure every dimension of Both frames so you can compare (I would measure center of the saddle (approximately where the seat post would poke through the top of the saddle) to the center of the bars, effective top tube (center of the head tube horizontally back to the seat tube(or its virtual extension) saddle setback, and bottom of the pedal at the farthest (not lowest) point to the top center of the saddle.

    Stack and reach is good to know but only if you want to mess with plum bobs and such .... great for comparing frames but not so much if you have stems and seat already mounted.

    Also ... Sure, throw road ties on the Jamis and see what you think, why not? Maybe you can have a comfort cruiser and a quick road bike too.

    Most important, I think .... figure out what you want to do with your bike. Bikes are tools which can be used for many jobs but are really best at only a few. Decide what kind of riding you like most, and that should help you decide what kind of bike you need.

    Also .... for a lot of people their first bike is joined by a couple of others in the first year or less. People buy a bike and learn what they like about cycling and then by the bike which suits that. I tend to keep old bikes, but you can always sell what you don’t ride and buy a better model of what you do ride.

    If a flat-bar road bike is what you need, there are plenty out there which offer all the best of modern componentry and lightweight frames. If a relaxed road bike would work ... check out “endurance geometry” frames and look for measurements which match yours ... a 56 or a 58, whichever fits better for that particular brand.

    Put road tires on the Jamis and see if it meets most of your needs. Maybe invest a few bucks in spacers and $20-30 for a steep stem for the Trak.

    I know for longer riders a drop bar appeals to me .... when I did a lot of riding on a flat-bar I spent a lot of time crouched way down with my hand up near my ears trying to get under the wind. Also, for longer riders, it can be good to have different places to grip the bars, to stretch the muscles some. Otherwise, flat-bar bikes are still bikes, and can do anything drop-bar bikes can do.

    If you like to ride for an hour at a time, none of that will matter much .... and maybe check out these bars (Specialized Hover Alloy Handlebar, 42cm, 31.8mm | eBay) [I am Not affiliated with seller in Any way] which include a 15 mm rise.

    I wouldn’t do major surgery on either bike untuil I did more experimenting and testing.

    However ... as hfc notes above, tinkering is a lot of fun .... if you are patient or know what you are doing (hopefully both.) If yuo can do the work yourself .... then you can undo, redo it, whatever, no sweat. But still, I’d recommend fist swapping wheels, and then more testing.

    Once you know what you Really like .... in a year or so ... buy a nicer model of that type of bike and ride it for the next couple decades.

    Some good advice here. But one thing to also note is that the wider bars on flat bar bikes could actually stretch you out more. If your arms are at a perfect perpendicular angle to your shoulders, your hands will be as close as they can be for any given distance from rider to stem. Move your hands wider and you increase the distance you need to reach. Granted that some straight bars have a sweep, drop bars don't, so this could offset this issue.

    Another thing worth mentioning. Putting road tires on a hybrid will not make it a speedy road bike. It will make it handle and ride like a hybrid with skinny tires and the handling will probably be worse. Think of it like thinking that putting race car tires on a luxury cruiser will make it drive like a sports car. It doesn't work like that. It will make it handle like a luxury cruiser with racing tires. However, if the hybrid has tires with a tread, changing them out for a smooth tire of equal width could get you a little extra speed. It won't be earth shattering - not with that suspension which is what will slow you down significantly.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



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