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  1. #1
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    Hope new bike suggestions

    Hi,

    Sorryf or the long post, skip to the last paragraph or two if you don't like reading
    I'm currently commuting (10-11 months of the year) on a rigid Cannondale (m-900). It is an ALU frame mountain bike with a 1 1/4 clamp style stem so getting a shorter stem with more rise or a riser bar has been a challenge. In the summer I put on the slicks and pump the tires nice and hard. For the winter I slap on the fenders and knobby or studded tires as the need arises. The bike is nice and light for my 15K commute with enough gearing to get me up some very steep hills as well as high gears to wind things up on the flats. Due to some arm numbness and minor lower back aches (I'm not as young as I used to be) I'm considering a different bike. I have looked at cyclocross and high performance hybrids but am on the fence as to which way to go.

    I'd like the bike to be as light as possible, capable of holding a pannier and fenders. The ability to run studded tires, and disc brakes as well as a short travel shock would be nice to haves, but probably not a deal breaker. The options mentioned are listed in order of priority.

    Please post up with models I should be looking at when I begin my search for the new rocket this spring.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by BikeLust; 03-17-2009 at 12:13 PM.
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  2. #2
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    It is possible that you could resolve your back ache and wrist issue via some simple adjustments. I recommend the ergon grips for wrist issues.

    I wouldn't want a shock on such a substantial commute.

    both for ergonomics and versatility (brakes/tires) I think a Surly Karate Monkey would be about ideal. Furthermore with 29er tires, you won't miss a shock for your purposes.

    You didn't state what you are currently riding, but try to avoid a cyclocross bike with an excessively agressive position, as it may be less comfortable than a touring bike (or a 29er). Although some would differ with this assessment, Cyclocross bikes are incompatible with rear paniers due to the short chain stays and "heal bang". If a bike can fit paniers it is a touring bike, IMHO....

    good luck

  3. #3
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    Added detail regarding my current bike. I may look into the different grips to see if that helps with the numbness, but I suspect it's the low and stretched out geometry of this vintage of bike that is causing the numbness. I recently switched to pannier from backpack which helps some, but not completely.

    The monkey is close, but if I put on discs I can't also run a pannier unless I do the seatpost rack thing (less than ideal I think). My LBS carries Surly so I'll still check them out anyway.
    MCM #269

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  4. #4
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    i just put the ergon grips on last night. i need to move them a bit, but they seemed pretty nice.

  5. #5
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    Yes definitely go with the ergon grips, they are the best at relieving hand pain and numbness. Also, are you sliding forward on your seat? If the nose is tilted down, you could be putting a lot of unnecessary weight on your hands and arms as well. Make sure your back is as straight as possible to help alleviate back pain.

    As far as a new bike goes, as others have stated a newer rigid 26er or 29er with disc braze-ons is probably best suited to your needs. Try running the fattest tires possible to help soak up the bumps.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  6. #6
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    so my cross check is a "touring bike" haha. It's the perfect commuter anyways.

    For the OPs needs, I would second the Karate Monkey, very versatile frame, one of my riding buddies commutes in one every day. There are racks compatible with discs, you could probably come up with a way to get pannier clearance with the disc calipers.

  7. #7
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    Topeak makes a disc specific Explorer rack. Lets me run panniers or Topeak DXP trunk bag with fold down panniers easily with my disc brakes. BTW...I run a Cannondale Caffeine Hardtail frame...Ultra Fatty headshock with lockout lever (but I never lock it out),,,100 mm 20 degree rise stem with Easton monkeylite riser bars. Gives me a commute friendly upright position. I also run 700c x 28 tires/wheels. Tried Ergon grips...weren't as comfortable and caused more numbness than my cheapo Serfas round grips which never cause numbness.

  8. #8
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citybiker
    Tried Ergon grips...weren't as comfortable and caused more numbness than my cheapo Serfas round grips which never cause numbness.
    Did you have them angled so that the heel of your palm was resting on the flat part, rather than putting your weight farther in on you palm close to the finger joints?
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    Yes definitely go with the ergon grips, they are the best at relieving hand pain and numbness. Also, are you sliding forward on your seat? If the nose is tilted down, you could be putting a lot of unnecessary weight on your hands and arms as well. Make sure your back is as straight as possible to help alleviate back pain.

    As far as a new bike goes, as others have stated a newer rigid 26er or 29er with disc braze-ons is probably best suited to your needs. Try running the fattest tires possible to help soak up the bumps.
    Saddle is level and I don't think I'm sliding forward at all. If I am it's barely noticeable. The straight back thing is partly why I'm looking for a new ride. The stem is as high up as it can go, and searching ebay for the last 4 months I haven't been able to find an alternative in a 1 1/4 quill stem. The stem I have doesn't work with the 'dime trick' so I can't even slap a carbon riser on the bike either. By the time I spent the money for a 1 1/8 conversion, new stem and fork I'd be 50% of the way to a new bike anyway so it's time to replace the bike.

    You think a 26 or 29 is better than a 700c for commuting? Given the length of my commute I was thinking 700c and 100PSI to cut down the time a little.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeLust
    You think a 26 or 29 is better than a 700c for commuting? Given the length of my commute I was thinking 700c and 100PSI to cut down the time a little.
    1 1/4" is not too common at all. You could probably find one eventually, but you might be waiting a long time.

    As far as wheel size goes, it's entirely your preference. Either will work for commuting. 29" and 700c are the same diameter and the tires are largely interchangeable. 700c road rims are usually more narrow for skinny tires and 29er rims are wider for mountain biking, though you can get wide 29er street tires for commuting as well. You can get skinny-ish tires for 26", but if you want fastest rolling, least rolling resistance then 700c is the way to go. It's going to be a bit of a rough ride though. A slightly narrow (1.5-1.6"?) 29er tire would give you the best of both worlds.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    Did you have them angled so that the heel of your palm was resting on the flat part, rather than putting your weight farther in on you palm close to the finger joints?
    Yep...had them installed correctly...tried them for 2 months making very minor adjustments every week or two. Never could get them to be comfortable. I REALLY wanted them to work, but no luck.

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