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Lightweight frames offering a more upright position

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Lightweight frames offering a more upright position

Old 07-28-19, 07:39 PM
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Lightweight frames offering a more upright position

I'll post this thread in another category if this isn't the right venue to try and get some answers. Two years ago, at the age of 62, I broke my neck and had my spine fused (C1-3) as the result of a nasty bike crash. According to my neurosurgeon, I'm blessed not to be dead or in a wheelchair. I have a ton of experience with road riding over the past 45 years (RAAM, USCF Cat 1, commuting, international bikepacking / touring). I didn't drive much before the accident, and for the last 3 years haven't owned a car or driven. I've had some experience with trike recumbents and two wheel recumbents over the years but in my attempt to still do some cycling, I'm finding that my modified Co-Motion touring bike with a stem riser gets me in a more comfortable upright position while maintaining some level of performance. I'll never be able to do the kinds of adventure rides I used to do but trying to make the best of a bad situation. The Co-Motion, however, wasn't designed for a stem riser and the front-end handling is a bit sketchy as a result; the setup is also very heavy (30 lbs). I'm using a Jones bar as well. I'm now looking at custom frame options but I'd also appreciate any feedback on stock frames that provide a substantially higher upright position - preferably carbon fiber or aluminum for a lighter weight. Before my crash, I rode carbon fiber bikes from Trek, Specialized S-Works, and Giant; all in the 15 lb range. I would be happy to find something sub-20 lb that meets my main requirement of a more upright position (almost like a beach cruiser - especially with the Jones bars). Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated!
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Old 07-28-19, 07:52 PM
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Almost every brand now sells bikes with higher bars and shorter reaches. The newer models also offer compliance through springs or similar at both ends of the bike. Specialized has the Roubaix, Trek the Domane. Cannondale and Bianchi have similar bikes. In addition they come with wider wheels and tires and can accommodate even wider rubber. So you can customize the fit with different stems and wheels/tires.

Im not sure these will be upright enough for you but others may know better than I.
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Old 07-28-19, 08:39 PM
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Love my Giant Defy - comes in under 20lbs
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Old 07-28-19, 09:01 PM
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Like you I had a bad accident on the bike was hit from behind and had 5 broken bones in the neck and had to have a rod with fusion surgery. Doctors at first thought I might be paralyzed. But luckily everything was really good with the surgery .and fusion healed really good.got the clearance to ride again this past Feb. I'm a little younger than u just turned 50 but the bike riding was hard at first but has come around upmto 60 miles . As for the bike I had a fitting done with the bike shop .he put 35degee stems on them .and they work pretty good .the 2 bikes I put them on are a bmc Gran Fondo and a tamac expert. Both carbon bikes not sure if it will work out for you but has for me also pretty uprite riding position
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Old 07-28-19, 11:31 PM
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Been there too. Broken C2 and damaged C1 from 2001 wreck, re-injured last year when I was hit by a car. Still in physical therapy. And I have a chiropractor visit Monday. Some days I can handle up to 50 mile rides. Other days 20 is about all I can handle without a lot of neck pain.

My most comfortable road bike is an older 1980s Centurion Ironman. I've set the handlebar a couple of inches below saddle height, tipped the bar back slightly so the drops aren't quite parallel with the ground, and shifted the brakes/hoods up about 1/2". The combination is much more comfortable, while not looking like a hobo beer bike with flipped up drops. Weighs about 25 lbs. I have 700x25 and would put on 28's if they cleared the chainstays. Keeping the tire pressure a little lower helps, around 80-90 psi rear, 70 psi front.

I can only comfortably handle my early 1990s Trek 5900 for relatively shorter rides, up to 20-30 miles. Beyond that the stretched out position and lower bar causes neck pain. But it fine for shorter rides.

If my budget permitted I'd go for an endurance or touring bike, top of the bar level with saddle height, shorter stem, around 25 lbs or less if possible, and 700x28 or even larger tires.
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Old 07-29-19, 12:04 AM
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Sub 20 lb. bike that handles well with a Jones bar?

I'd probably get a carbon XC hardtail frame. Pivot LES, perhaps. They build up to 21 lbs with suspension fork, knobby tires and such.

I'd imagine 19 lbs would be possible with a rigid carbon fork, some Snoqualmie Pass tires, etc.

Actually, Orbea Alma OMR frame is lighter, costs $800 more, though.

https://www.wrenchscience.com/mounta...Alma+OMR/2019/

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Old 07-29-19, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by SECOND SUMMER View Post
I'll post this thread in another category if this isn't the right venue to try and get some answers. Two years ago, at the age of 62, I broke my neck and had my spine fused (C1-3) as the result of a nasty bike crash. According to my neurosurgeon, I'm blessed not to be dead or in a wheelchair.
On July 24, 2013 I crashed and broke my neck and had C1 & C2 fused. Also, had other cervical fractures and smashed up my nose and lip. I am riding these 2 bikes....CAAD 12 and Guru Sidero (steel) and I'm very comfortable. Although I now ride with Italian Road Bike mirrors.
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Old 07-29-19, 11:24 AM
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I did have to give up my Ducati SS1000DS for a Ducati Monster S4. ROM issues.
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Old 07-29-19, 12:35 PM
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Salsa Cutthroat with Jonesbar and 1600g wheelset should be sub 20 with pretty high stack
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Old 07-30-19, 12:41 AM
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Thanks ... I'm getting some good options to check out. I wish I had better results with my fusion surgery like some have had here. I use a mirror since turning my head is pretty limited, and I have chronic (low grade) pain issues with any rides over 40 or 50 miles - hard to hold my head up. And I've tried all the standard remedies like a tens unit, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage units, heat/cold gels and pads, gym, etc.
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Old 07-30-19, 12:46 AM
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Thanks ... I'm getting some good options to check out. I wish I had better results with my fusion surgery like some have had here. I use a mirror since turning my head is pretty limited, and I have chronic (low grade) pain issues with any rides over 40 or 50 miles - hard to hold my head up. And I've tried all the standard remedies like a tens unit, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage units, heat/cold gels and pads, gym, etc.
Like you, I've found that my handlebars have to be level (or actually higher) than the seat to work for me; I'm using a Jones Bar which has worked out well for giving me different hand positions (including a 'cruiser' style upright position). But I'm beginning the long process of researching custom and stock frame options that might be viable.
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Old 07-30-19, 12:49 AM
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Thanks ... I'm getting some good options to check out. I wish I had better results with my fusion surgery like some have had here. I use a mirror since turning my head is pretty limited, and I have chronic (low grade) pain issues with any rides over 40 or 50 miles - hard to hold my head up. And I've tried all the standard remedies like a tens unit, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage units, heat/cold gels and pads, gym, etc.


It's going to take a lot of research and test rides to find the optimum setup for me!
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Old 07-30-19, 01:10 AM
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Ditto, mirrors. I use Take-A-Look mirrors on my helmet or glasses. A couple of friends use those Italian drop bar-end mirrors on every road bike. I'm going to try one of those on one bike and see how it goes. Took me a couple of weeks to get accustomed to the Take-A-Look mirrors but now I'm so accustomed to them I look for my mirrors when I'm walking!

And I've noticed a couple other 50-something acquaintances tiptoeing toward concessions to age and injuries -- they're bolting kludge mirrors meant for hybrids with flat or riser bars onto their road bike drop bars, "Just for this weekend." Pretty soon they'll be using bar-end or helmet/eyeglass mirrors.

Monday my chiropractor suggested I stay off my road bikes for awhile until my neck spasms ease up. Looks like I'll need to somehow modify my Trek 5900 to be more neck-friendly. Shorter stem, maybe a spacer.

It's easier to adjust my Ironman -- just raise or lower the quill stem. I'll stick with riding it for awhile. At 25 lbs it's not light, but we don't have any serious climbs here so it's good enough.
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Old 07-30-19, 01:15 AM
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Impressive with what you've been able to accomplish! I'm still working on options. I noticed your seats are higher than the handlebars but I'm finding (unlike pre-crash setups) I have to move the seat lover than the handlebars for longer comfort times.
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Old 07-30-19, 01:21 AM
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Things I would have never considered some 50 years ago when I started riding, like mirrors, are now part of my regular kit. I had to do a lot of experimenting with different models to see what worked best for me - and ended up with the Take-a-Look brand like you did. Learned real quickly that budget stuff out of China just wasn't the same quality! I'm definitely in new territory with all aspects of my new 'chapter' in cycling.
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Old 07-31-19, 12:18 AM
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One of the redeeming qualities of social media and forums like this is the ability to tap into the experiences of others for advice that have experienced similar physical problems and injuries; folks that you might not have come across any other way.

I do notice from the pictures you posted that both these bikes still have the seat still slightly higher than the handlebars - which, of course, is the 'normal' configuration for most folks. I used to be pretty picky on fit and adjustments, everything had to be setup perfectly based on many years of riding, reading, and various fit clinics. Now, everything is pretty much thrown out the window ... whatever works is my new motto. No longer is my knee position, for instance, over the cranks/pedals anywhere close to what would be considered normal. My seat is a bit lower than the Jones handlebars, the stem is very short, and I use a stem riser. I still seem to yank my neck a bit even with this higher position - can't help avoiding the occasional twisting of the neck in traffic (even with the mirror). After several hours, I find that it begins tough to hold my head up - something like they called 'Shermer Neck' from my RAAM racing days where your neck starts to give way. I describe it as feeling a bit like a bowling ball on your neck/shoulders but there is no strength to support it. I've tried all the usual ideas to try and strengthen my neck (physical therapy, the gym, etc.), as well as various heat creams, 'cold' creams, tens units, massage units, heat/cold packs, etc. before and after rides. But nothing has proven particularly great in solving the chronic, low-grade 7-24 pain. At this point, I'm just trying to minimize the discomfort while still being somewhat efficient on the bike. It would be nice to do group rides again (even if I have to sit on the back), something I haven't been able to do for years - and I really miss that social aspect of riding. But I need to build up something in the low (or sub) 20 lb range to be able to hang with any casual group.
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