Is there help to smooth out ride?
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  1. #1
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    Is there help to smooth out ride?

    I'm new to the road bike scene, so maybe there is just an adjustment period I'm going through. However, it just seems like I'm getting beat up some riding. I've only ridin 110 miles with the farthest one-time stretch being 12 miles. I ride 25% on street and 75% on concrete paved bike path. I ride an entry level Fuji Roubaix. I know coming from my mtb which has a front shock, wider tires, and less air pressure in those tires, but man I feel every little bump and crease in the pavement on my roadie-hands kinda hurt, lower back hurts-it just feels like a very rough ride.

    I'm I just going through the adjustment period or are there things I can do to the bike that would comfort the ride?

    Dan

  2. #2
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    The same thing you do on the mountain bike. Bigger (wider) tires if possible, lower pressure (still higher than the mountain bike).

  3. #3
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    yeah, tires and pressure.

    Better wheels can help too but the price per benefit isn't as attractive there.

  4. #4
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    + more comfortable Saddle, try Gel on your handlebars and thicker bar tape (possibly with Gel inserts in the tape itself like Fizik's).

    And, yes. Definitely there is an adjustment period.
    If you ride once a week, you'll be re-adjusting all the time.

    You need to put in some regular riding almost daily even if it's just 15-30 minutes.

    Keep those new "roadie" muscles loose once you get them loose.
    Last edited by 2ndGen; 03-10-2010 at 06:35 AM.

  5. #5
    Probably slower than you.
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    I've also found that concrete paths can hurt more than the road. There are a lot of seams on those paths and each one hits rythmically, eventually causing pain. Asphalt has a bit more give than concrete and a lot less of those seams. I avoid paths when possible.

  6. #6
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    Possibly a bike fit issue? How much time was devoted getting the bike sized up for you?
    But if it fits right, first thing I would do would be to get as wide a tire as your bike can handle and drop some pressure. If you have alot of seatpost exposed, a carbon post could help a bit. But it's an expensive add on that has only a small benefit. Look at getting gel pads for under the tape.

  7. #7
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    Your riding style has a lot to do with it. MTBs, fat tires and shocks let a rider get away with just slackly sitting on the bike and letting the bike absorb the bumps.

    On a road bike, you have to absorb the bumps with your body. Flex your elbows slightly. Raise up off the saddle ever so slightly when you go over a bump. This is easier to do if you are pedaling, and easier still if you have a good road bike position (different from an mtb position) and are riding hard.

    It's a different style of riding entirely. Learn to let the bike move around under you, and your arms / legs are the shock absorbers.

    Also +1 most concrete paths suck with bad seams every few feet.
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  8. #8
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    1. Bike fit
    2. Wider tires
    3. Lower tire pressure
    4. Gel handlebar tape
    5. Carbon fiber seatpost and handlebar
    6. Tubeless tires and wheelset

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the replies. I'm sure it will take a little longer to get adjusted than i thought. My to-do list this week will be to add wider tires (currently have 700 x 23) and gel tape to the handlebars. As far as paved bike paths, I think its safer than the roads in my area and I have access to a trail opening for a 20 mile paved trail system about a 1/2 mile from my front door.

  10. #10
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    It took me a while to get used to roading my road bike. I didn't feel comfortable on it at all at first. If you've ever ridden BMX or a rigid mountain bike then you have a good idea of how to get off the seat and isolate yourself from the frame using knees and elbows as shock absorbers.

    Also a good pair of gloves goes a long ways toward helping hand/wrist soreness I found, but I also found that was something that went away as I rode more.

  11. #11
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    Is it an aluminum frame? If it is, that explains a lot.

    Aside from that the advice above is good. Maybe the most effective change to achieve maximum comfort is to install the widest tires that will fit on your bike.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  12. #12
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    I have a Fuji Roubaix all Al frame with the full carbon fork and it's one of my most comfortable bikes on the crappy urban rides I do here daily. So Mr V I don't agree with you. I run 25mm tires and it's a great ride.

  13. #13
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    update

    Took some advice and purchased better, wider tires (Conti GP4000 700 x 25) and lowered air pressure to 100psi. Purchased some new bar tape w/gel inserts and leveled my saddle a smidge.
    I rode 12 miles today and noticed a difference. I won't say night and day but the new products definitely had a positive affect. Much more enjoyable ride.

  14. #14
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan711
    lowered air pressure to 100psi.
    For what it's worth, 100 psi is my max pressure for smooth roads. For crappy roads, my 700 x 25s get about 80 psi to haul my 150 lb body around in relative comfort.

  15. #15
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    Basic question: do you have padded cycling shorts?

    Also, I found that padded gloves completely eliminated any finger numbness I was having (I use Pearl Izumi fingerless gloves).

    Asad

  16. #16
    m_s
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    oh lonesome road for you
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    When you say you're used to mountain bikes, do you mean just riding them on the street, or riding them on trails? becaus eif you're used to trail riding, you would know that no matter what, you can't rely on the bike to absorb things for you. Your own body is the best suspension. Relax your arms, that's big. If you see a particularly rough section of pavement, hover above the saddle and use your legs to absorb the shock.

    Guaranteed results. good luck.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan711
    and lowered air pressure to 100psi.
    X2 - this is still too much pressure. I run my 700x23's at 90, and a bit less for chipseal roads. I weigh 190 now... The only time I run 100 or more PSI is on hill country rides where I KNOW I will have high speed down hill runs, and only then because the thought of a pinch flat at 40+mph scares me...
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti.

  18. #18
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Quote Originally Posted by wim
    For what it's worth, 100 psi is my max pressure for smooth roads. For crappy roads, my 700 x 25s get about 80 psi to haul my 150 lb body around in relative comfort.
    Yup....I'll often decrease the pressure in my 23s to around 85-90 on rough roads. I'm about the same weight.

  19. #19
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    So the consensus is to run tire pressure below 100psi. LBS's in my area said to run at 120. No wonder my ride was so rough. I will lower the new tires (Conti GP4000 700 x 25) to 90 and give it a go on my Saturday morning ride. Thanks

  20. #20
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    The way I see your problem, it's that everything is relative. A road-racing bike will always be more rattly and and stiff than a suspended mountain bike, no matter you do. It's part of the gestalt. Lower tire pressures, padded shorts, gloves, etc., definitely do their part, but your sporty Lotus Seven race car will never be a Cadillac. Aluminum is usually harsher and stiffer than steel or carbon-fiber, but it's a matter of degree. From a suspended MTB perspective, it's never a difference of night and day. A pothole will always be painful.

    In other words, don't expect miracles. As some folks above say, harden up a little. Be on the lookout for road imperfections and lift yourself slightly off the seat when you go over them so your arms and legs can absorb them. The payoff is that, as you've probably noticed, with your road bike you can go a heck of a lot faster with a heck of a lot less effort than with your mountain bike.
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