This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New positions for the old bike

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I made the decision to raise the handlebars on my old TREK 560 road bike.  I'd been pretty spoiled by riding the Hunqapillar this past summer and thought, "wouldn't it be cool to have a lighter faster bike which felt like that."  I know what you are thinking, " another Riv owner drank Peterson's koolaid and never came back from the looking glass."  Maybe I got a little too much fairy dust up the nose, but dammit, a more comfortable bike will be ridden and enjoyed more often.  Won't it?
Well, anyway the biggest difference between the comfort levels has been the handlebar height.  I bought the stem riser from Riv, it takes a loooong 6mm allen wrench to install it, but that's just something we all need...
After installing it and inserting the old stem as low as possible the bars were already taller than the seat.
I certainly didn't want them any higher and was actually pleased at the appearance.  It looks a little goofy with that much stem showing, but the riser has a pretty nice finish and it doesn't look too much like a frankenbike.
I double checked the level and found the bars are maybe 1-1.5cm higher than the seat nose.  I could live with that.  I took a short ride, adjusted the seat back about 3 cm to give me a longer reach, added an impromptu fender (grocery bag on the rear rack) since it had been raining, and took off.
The bike was immediately more comfortable.  I found myself stretched out over the hoods most of the time.  Didn't feel any stress in my back or neck and didn't suffer that claustrophobic scrunch when down in the drops.  I had thought that wider bars would be good but have dismissed that after one ride.

I whipped right through a 20 mile morning and felt ready for more.  I was in Illinois for the weekend and couldn't really find any challenging hills, but the next challenge will be to test the Mega Range freewheel against some steep climbs.


  1. I just did similar on both of my bicycles. Getting the handlebars up above the seat just a bit also means I'm looking through my glasses instead of over them, which also results in a more comfortable head/neck position. Is a "touring" position of sorts. Am not a racer, so even if the position slowed me a bit that is ok!

  2. Obviously it's not an efficient "racer's tuck," but who am I kidding at 59?