Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

making my old Trek more comfy for 60 yr old me

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

making my old Trek more comfy for 60 yr old me

Old 05-29-22, 06:43 PM
  #26  
Galoot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 230

Bikes: 1975 Coppi Campionissimo, 1980 Raleigh Grand Sport, 1983 Trek 520, 1983 Ciocc, 1995 Trek 520

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
I don't know the exact size of the tire, it's at home and I'm visiting my brother for the weekend. They are big though--the tubes I buy are 35 to 38mm. But I inflate to 80 lbs, always. I'll \try the lower pressures and see if that helps.
Rather than buying the Redshift step and adapter I'll go to a good bike shop in San Jose and ask for the best solution to raise my bars and bring them closer to the seat.
Galoot is offline  
Old 05-29-22, 06:48 PM
  #27  
Polaris OBark
Dirt Roadie
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 1,182
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 628 Post(s)
Liked 790 Times in 476 Posts
Here is how the 30į one looks:

Polaris OBark is offline  
Old 05-29-22, 06:50 PM
  #28  
Polaris OBark
Dirt Roadie
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 1,182
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 628 Post(s)
Liked 790 Times in 476 Posts
And another manufacturer:


Polaris OBark is offline  
Old 05-29-22, 07:16 PM
  #29  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,245

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, Focus Mares AL, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 645 Post(s)
Liked 1,438 Times in 731 Posts
Three points of contact with the bike: pedals, saddle, hands. Imagine those points rotating around the center of the crank. Back, back, back until you are hanging on the bars to keep from falling off the back of the saddle. Then forward, forward, forward until all your weight is on your hands. Those are the extremes; you're making small adjustments in the middle of that wide range. Whether you can get this particular bike and your particular body adjusted to work together is unknown.
downtube42 is offline  
Old 05-29-22, 11:35 PM
  #30  
icemilkcoffee 
Senior Member
 
icemilkcoffee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,263
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 745 Post(s)
Liked 578 Times in 355 Posts
Softride quill stem:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/304503852033
icemilkcoffee is offline  
Old 05-30-22, 12:05 AM
  #31  
BCRider
Senior Member
 
BCRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Posts: 5,541

Bikes: Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 31 Posts
Originally Posted by Galoot View Post
OK, this seems entirely contradictory. A shorter stem reduces the seat-to handlebar distance, and you say that is better for my hands. Moving the *seat* forward also reduces the seat-to-handlebar distance, but you say that is bad for my hands. Explain?
The seat going forward moves your core further ahead and the support from your feet on the pedals doesn't support your weight in the same way. The seat has to hold you in the proper relation to the pedals as well as the bars. In fact I'd say that you need to set the saddle to suit how your body works best and balances best over the pedals. Then alter the stem to move the bars as needed to suit your reach.

I've no idea if it's right or not but I found that the bikes I feel the most comfortable on are those where I can lift my self just barely off the saddle and almost let go of the bars and I'm balanced quite finely over the bottom bracket where I tend to fall forward or back quite evenly. This being for a semi upright posture. I'm not sure what the equivalent "sweet spot" is for a rider in the drops on a road bike. But I suspect there is one. Whether or not it is when the rider's center of gravity is directly over the BB or not I can't say.

If it's your weight on your hands which is making them go numb I don't really see how a shock absorbing stem will help. It's not the shock but the weight that is causing the issue. Or perhaps the wrist angle is not the same. Perhaps when in the drops you're reaching more than you used to. Maybe not flexing as naturally at the hips as you used to. If you feel like you are reaching to the drops instead of having a pretty natural and non strained stance this might well be affecting the angle of your wrists and that is what is making your nerves go numb.
BCRider is offline  
Likes For BCRider:
Old 05-30-22, 01:07 PM
  #32  
ClydeClydeson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,406
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 485 Post(s)
Liked 729 Times in 428 Posts
Too many 'absolutes' in the discussion above... "If you move your (seat/bars) (fore/aft) you will put (more/less) weight on your (arse/hands)". I put 50:50 odds on the idea that half of you are right about half the time.

In my experience, there is no one 'right' set of adjustments that will work for everybody. In fact, I would go as far as to say that each individual needs to find the correct set of adjustments, not to just do what someone else said worked for them.

Also, in my experience, saddle angle has as much effect on weight borne by hands and arms as for/aft position of saddle or bars. A saddle adjusted to be significantly 'nose down' (when viewed from the side) is very likely to result in excessive pressure on the hands and arms. Most people find a saddle adjusted to be perfectly level, or even slightly nose up, will reduce pressure on hands and arms. If the saddle is uncomfortable adjusted so, then try a different shaped saddle, or experiment with fore-aft and height adjustment.
ClydeClydeson is offline  
Likes For ClydeClydeson:
Old 05-30-22, 02:14 PM
  #33  
Galoot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 230

Bikes: 1975 Coppi Campionissimo, 1980 Raleigh Grand Sport, 1983 Trek 520, 1983 Ciocc, 1995 Trek 520

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
Too many 'absolutes' in the discussion above... "If you move your (seat/bars) (fore/aft) you will put (more/less) weight on your (arse/hands)". I put 50:50 odds on the idea that half of you are right about half the time.

In my experience, there is no one 'right' set of adjustments that will work for everybody. In fact, I would go as far as to say that each individual needs to find the correct set of adjustments, not to just do what someone else said worked for them.

Also, in my experience, saddle angle has as much effect on weight borne by hands and arms as for/aft position of saddle or bars. A saddle adjusted to be significantly 'nose down' (when viewed from the side) is very likely to result in excessive pressure on the hands and arms. Most people find a saddle adjusted to be perfectly level, or even slightly nose up, will reduce pressure on hands and arms. If the saddle is uncomfortable adjusted so, then try a different shaped saddle, or experiment with fore-aft and height adjustment.
Uh oh. An old OLD bicyclist I work with said that numb crotch is best solved by lowering the front of the seat. Crap.
Galoot is offline  
Likes For Galoot:
Old 05-30-22, 02:41 PM
  #34  
ClydeClydeson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,406
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 485 Post(s)
Liked 729 Times in 428 Posts
Originally Posted by Galoot View Post
Uh oh. An old OLD bicyclist I work with said that numb crotch is best solved by lowering the front of the seat. Crap.
If a saddle is uncomfortable when level, I would suggest trying a saddle with a different shape. When I was young YOUNG I had a new bike with a Selle Italia 'Turbo', which was one of the most common on racing bikes of the era. When viewed from behind, the saddle had a vey round profile, which was great for keeping the bike centred between your hips, but also seemed designed to compress all the soft tissue in my crotch and cause numbness after relatively short rides. For me, the solution was finding a saddle with a flatter profile (as viewed from the rear) and with less/firmer padding. I won't even mention the brands of saddle I eventually found worked for me because (a) the shape of my arse means nothing when discussing what might work well with the shape of someone else's arse, and (b) the specific models that worked really well for me were discontinued 20 years ago
ClydeClydeson is offline  
Old 05-30-22, 02:53 PM
  #35  
Galoot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 230

Bikes: 1975 Coppi Campionissimo, 1980 Raleigh Grand Sport, 1983 Trek 520, 1983 Ciocc, 1995 Trek 520

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
If a saddle is uncomfortable when level, I would suggest trying a saddle with a different shape. When I was young YOUNG I had a new bike with a Selle Italia 'Turbo', which was one of the most common on racing bikes of the era. When viewed from behind, the saddle had a vey round profile, which was great for keeping the bike centred between your hips, but also seemed designed to compress all the soft tissue in my crotch and cause numbness after relatively short rides. For me, the solution was finding a saddle with a flatter profile (as viewed from the rear) and with less/firmer padding. I won't even mention the brands of saddle I eventually found worked for me because (a) the shape of my arse means nothing when discussing what might work well with the shape of someone else's arse, and (b) the specific models that worked really well for me were discontinued 20 years ago
I have tried at least a dozen different saddles and ALL of them gave ne numb crotch. Including the ridiculous Sella Anatomica. I have a fairly padded saddle now with a big hole in the middle and it seems to work OK with the nose tipped down about 10 degrees.
Galoot is offline  
Old 05-30-22, 03:03 PM
  #36  
Galoot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 230

Bikes: 1975 Coppi Campionissimo, 1980 Raleigh Grand Sport, 1983 Trek 520, 1983 Ciocc, 1995 Trek 520

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
To be clear--I have been doing long long rides regularly since the mid-70's. I've never ever done a long ride without getting numb crotch in all that time.
Galoot is offline  
Old 05-30-22, 05:23 PM
  #37  
Galoot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 230

Bikes: 1975 Coppi Campionissimo, 1980 Raleigh Grand Sport, 1983 Trek 520, 1983 Ciocc, 1995 Trek 520

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Update: went out for an 18 mile ride today (felt pretty good but definitely tired me out). The best advice I have had in this thread is to flatten my back--I learned this in college but got lazy and forgot how important it is. When I do that it is much easy for my legs and core muscles to support my upper body. NOTE: My seat is nearly all the way forward. So if I move it back, I think it will be even easier for me to flatten my back.

Had a bit of numbness in my left hand fingers and none in my right. I think the silly pool noodles help, and getting some 5mm padded gloves will help- even more. Thanks for all the help!
Galoot is offline  
Likes For Galoot:
Old 05-30-22, 08:29 PM
  #38  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 16,392

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3485 Post(s)
Liked 2,237 Times in 1,444 Posts
Originally Posted by Galoot View Post
OK, this seems entirely contradictory. A shorter stem reduces the seat-to handlebar distance, and you say that is better for my hands. Moving the *seat* forward also reduces the seat-to-handlebar distance, but you say that is bad for my hands. Explain?
See my earlier reply. or visit a fitter and have experienced hands on help. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 05-30-22, 11:25 PM
  #39  
Fredo76
The Wheezing Geezer
 
Fredo76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: EspaŮola, NM
Posts: 335

Bikes: 1976 Fredo Speciale, Jamis Citizen 1, Ellis-Briggs FAVORI, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 148 Post(s)
Liked 252 Times in 128 Posts
A Selle SMP TRK saddle cured the crotch numbness for me, and is the most comfortable seat I've ridden, both on upright and drop-bar bikes.

Bigger tires at a lower pressure help. I went from 23mm at 100/105 psi to 28 mm at 80/85 psi on my road bike.

Cinelli cork/gel bar tape helps somewhat. Exactly how you place your hands and how often you vary the placement makes a difference too, for me at least.

I actually have a ShockStop stem. I used it in a rather Franken carbon bullhorn setup which was quite comfortable. I had to use the lower-stiffness rubber inserts to feel it working, perhaps because the carbon bullhorns had a fair amount of flex by themselves.

Really, do try the Selle SMP TRK. It's like a crotch cradle.


Selle SMP TRK
Fredo76 is offline  
Old 05-31-22, 04:17 AM
  #40  
Germany_chris
Iím a little Surly
 
Germany_chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Germany
Posts: 1,933

Bikes: Two Cross Checks and a Karate Monkey

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 482 Post(s)
Liked 855 Times in 445 Posts
If you're getting numb junk and numb hands you have more issues than we can help with, once you get comfortable measure everything so you can duplicate the contact points across bikes.
Germany_chris is offline  
Old 05-31-22, 10:59 AM
  #41  
hokiefyd 
Senior Member
 
hokiefyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Northern Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 3,853

Bikes: '18 Redline Zander, '14 Surly Pugsley, '97 GT Vantara, '97 Trek MultiTrack 750, '70 Peugeot UO-18 Mixte

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1324 Post(s)
Liked 600 Times in 452 Posts
Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
It isn't contradictory, but it is counter-intuitive. Just do the experiment. Slam the saddle forward, go for a ride, slam it all the way back, go for another ride. Compare.

I will add it took me by surprise.
I have found the same, and it sure is counter-intuitive. I think it's simply a case of a forward saddle not being forward enough to really do what you think it should do. Moving the saddle rearward forces your core muscles (even those of us who have relatively little "core", like me!) to do some work. Because of the angle of your torso, they're able to. Additionally, the pedaling force of your legs downward helps suspend your torso...some.

Moving the seat forward should relieve arm pressure because more of your torso's weight is vertically suspended over your saddle. Except that it doesn't work out this way because you can't get your torso truly vertical, where you would have full support on the saddle (not with most bikes, anyway). Because you can't get it truly vertical, you end up sort of inclined forward in an awkward position where your core muscles have a poor angle to work with...so your hands end up having to do just as much work, if not more work, than if your saddle were more to the rear...because your core muscles are out and you still don't have torso weight support on your saddle.

You'd think that there'd be a linear curve there, to where X movement of the saddle forward translates into X less force on your hands, but it doesn't seem to work out this way, ergonomically.
hokiefyd is offline  
Old 05-31-22, 12:22 PM
  #42  
ofajen
Cheerfully low end
 
ofajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,520
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 485 Post(s)
Liked 753 Times in 487 Posts
Originally Posted by Galoot View Post
Had a bit of numbness in my left hand fingers and none in my right. I think the silly pool noodles help, and getting some 5mm padded gloves will help- even more. Thanks for all the help!
We are about the same age, but I have been riding regularly for a number of years, so our situations are different.

Still, I will mention that I ride an old drop bar bike some and I can make my hands numb or avoid it entirely, depending on how I place my hands on the bars in the various useful positions. When I use positions that avoid pressure over nerves, all is well. If I put the heel of the palm in pressure contact or pressure over the nerves running thru the middle of the palm, my hands will go numb.

So before you change other stuff, Iíd just make sure that my hand placement is optimal in avoiding harmful pressure points.

Otto
ofajen is online now  
Likes For ofajen:
Old 05-31-22, 12:34 PM
  #43  
Galoot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 230

Bikes: 1975 Coppi Campionissimo, 1980 Raleigh Grand Sport, 1983 Trek 520, 1983 Ciocc, 1995 Trek 520

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
We are about the same age, but I have been riding regularly for a number of years, so our situations are different.

Still, I will mention that I ride an old drop bar bike some and I can make my hands numb or avoid it entirely, depending on how I place my hands on the bars in the various useful positions. When I use positions that avoid pressure over nerves, all is well. If I put the heel of the palm in pressure contact or pressure over the nerves running thru the middle of the palm, my hands will go numb.

So before you change other stuff, Iíd just make sure that my hand placement is optimal in avoiding harmful pressure points.

Otto
This is *almost* excellent advice. What *is* a good part of my hand to have on the bar when I'm in the drops?

Kelly
Galoot is offline  
Old 05-31-22, 12:58 PM
  #44  
ofajen
Cheerfully low end
 
ofajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,520
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 485 Post(s)
Liked 753 Times in 487 Posts
Originally Posted by Galoot View Post
This is *almost* excellent advice. What *is* a good part of my hand to have on the bar when I'm in the drops?

Kelly
The two main bearing points that work for me are basically the padded parts of the thumb and the pinky located in the palm. Those parts of the palm are not directly over major nerves.

Hereís an easy example. On the bar tops, I often rest the pinky side of the palm on the bar with fingers lightly curled so that the pinky and ring fingers come back to touch the bar. That helps me angle the thumb side up just enough to keep the center of the palm off the bar.

On my bike, the drops are maybe the toughest to manage weight. Yours likely is that way too. Traditional round bend drops seem awkward when trying to put that pinky part of the palm on the drops. Iím actually pulling on the drops a fair fraction of the time Iím using them, but that probably isnít the case for you right now.

Still, experiment with what suits you as far as using those two points to bear weight on the drops. Keeping weight off the nerves running thru the palms is likely to help at least some.

Hope that helps!

Otto
ofajen is online now  
Old 07-09-22, 12:29 PM
  #45  
Galoot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 230

Bikes: 1975 Coppi Campionissimo, 1980 Raleigh Grand Sport, 1983 Trek 520, 1983 Ciocc, 1995 Trek 520

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
I found what I think will be a good long-term solution. I wrapped most of my drop bars with black foam pipe insulation, held in place with friction tape. Last week I did a 22 mile ride, and the only time I had any tingling was after I rode on the drops for a few miles. Switching around my hand positions plus the foam works very well.
Galoot is offline  
Old 07-09-22, 05:47 PM
  #46  
rydabent
Senior Member
 
rydabent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lincoln Ne
Posts: 9,466

Bikes: RANS Stratus TerraTrike Tour II

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2788 Post(s)
Liked 880 Times in 517 Posts
Originally Posted by Galoot View Post
I want to get back to bicycle touring, and the last long tour I did 8 years ago left my hands numb for several months. I had a shop install a raised angled stem, but I still get hand numbness fairly quickly. I'm losing weight and have about 30 lbs more to go, but someone suggested I try a Shockstop stem. Is it even possible to fit such a stem on my old steel bike? I think I need to get the handlebars several inches closer to the seat, also. Thanks for any advice!

Kelly
Gilroy CA
According to several suspects that haunt this forum you are wrong. According to them DF bikes are totally comfortable in all respects.
rydabent is offline  
Old 07-09-22, 06:08 PM
  #47  
SoSmellyAir
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,797

Bikes: Cannondale Synapse, Cannondale CAAD4, Trek FX 2

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 865 Post(s)
Liked 548 Times in 421 Posts
Originally Posted by Galoot View Post
OK, this seems entirely contradictory. A shorter stem reduces the seat-to handlebar distance, and you say that is better for my hands. Moving the *seat* forward also reduces the seat-to-handlebar distance, but you say that is bad for my hands. Explain?
Not so. The fore/aft position of the saddle affects your balance on the saddle, but a shorter stem does not. You tend to roll forward on a saddle that more forward and/or tilted down, thus putting more weight balance onto your arms and hands.
SoSmellyAir is offline  
Old 07-10-22, 10:46 AM
  #48  
Galoot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 230

Bikes: 1975 Coppi Campionissimo, 1980 Raleigh Grand Sport, 1983 Trek 520, 1983 Ciocc, 1995 Trek 520

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
According to several suspects that haunt this forum you are wrong. According to them DF bikes are totally comfortable in all respects.
Trolling gets you blocked, bye.
Galoot is offline  
Likes For Galoot:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.