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Old 08-12-05, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnH
My bike has a much lower seat, but still has high cranks. My best recommendation is to go ahead and put both feet down. If I even *think* that I may have to stop, I get unclipped - I can soft-pedal unclipped until I either stop or find that I won't have to stop. This way I have all the stability I need when stopped (both feet planted) and I can clip back in once underway again. Unlike on an upright bike, I nearly always use the brake while stopped. This counteracts the bike's tendency to roll out from under me on even the slightest upslope. I release the brake as I start. I generally put one foot up just as the signal is turning green - if the situation is tight I won't clip it in - if there's no traffic or I have plenty of room I'll go ahead and clip in before starting. I may clip in the other foot on the first stroke, or after I cross the intersection, all depending on circumstances.

At first I tried unclipping only with one foot, just like on the upright. I found I was much more likely to overbalance to the clipped-in side. I nearly fell several times, so I stopped that.

Hope this helps,
It does help, thanks. I just installed my SPD pedals today, so I will bear your advices in mind when I try riding with the clips tomorrow.

I made a new USS handlebar today, and it does solve most of the problems I had: my new bar is 70cm wide and I now my slightly-larger-than-normal butt gets into the bike without problem. Also, since I made it sweep quite low, it doesn't interfere with the back of my thighs anymore, which means that I can now be fully reclined in the seat with both feet firmly planted on the ground. I also gained a bit of turning radius as an added bonus. I've installed Shimano XTR brake/shifter handles in lieu of the Dura Ace bar-end shifters, which work great with the added side clearance. The setup is ugly as sin, but it's effective.

The new handlebar did help enormously. I feel a lot more confident with the bike now. The only thing I'll have to get used to now is the limited turning radius, which bit me more than once today while I was circling around in the parking lot to adjust the derailleurs. I guess I just have to acquire the reflex of not letting the bike lean too much at low speed.

I wonder if Optima's narrow stock handlebar isn't a bit too "radical" for new Condor users: for wide guys like me, they don't work well at all, but I think even for lean riders, they're not the best there is to allow the feet to touch the ground...
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