Author Topic: Single best modification to stock LHT for cross-country tour?  (Read 16516 times)

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Offline RussSeaton

Re: Single best modification to stock LHT for cross-country tour?
« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2016, 02:11:02 pm »
Not so, if your bike is set up right.

The previous posts were about using the drops while climbing.  If you are comfortable using the drops while climbing and shifting bar end shifters with your hands still on the bars, then your bars are WAY too high.  You must have a 45 degree angle in your back while using the drops.  And a 90 degree back when using the hoods.  Your bars are way too high and probably your reach is too short.  In case you did not know, which I suspect you did not, when riding in the drops, with a slight bend in your elbow, your back should be flat, horizontal to the ground.  When your hands are on the hoods your back should be about 45 degrees to the ground.  Since you seem to want to ride with your back straight up in the air, I'd suggest you get a recumbent bike.  Lawn chair bike as they are called.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Single best modification to stock LHT for cross-country tour?
« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2016, 05:20:58 pm »
Not so, if your bike is set up right.

If you are comfortable using the drops while climbing and shifting bar end shifters with your hands still on the bars, then your bars are WAY too high.  You must have a 45 degree angle in your back while using the drops.  And a 90 degree back when using the hoods.  Your bars are way too high and probably your reach is too short.  In case you did not know, which I suspect you did not, when riding in the drops, with a slight bend in your elbow, your back should be flat, horizontal to the ground.  When your hands are on the hoods your back should be about 45 degrees to the ground.

ROFLMAO!  You're wrong, but keep the nonsense flowing, it's really entertaining.

Offline TokyoNose

Re: Single best modification to stock LHT for cross-country tour?
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2016, 04:53:43 pm »
The suggestions for low(er) gearing, I think, are spot-on, unless you are comfortable doing loaded climbs with the gearing that you already have. I know that I love me some low, low gears.

I'll throw out another suggestion, which for me makes loaded climbing and almost all facets of touring more comfortable: aero bars.

It is a costly modification, as your LHT probably has a 26.0mm stem/bar clamp, and aero bars are designed to be used with 31.8mm stem/bar clamps, which means that in addition to purchasing the aero bars, you will be replacing your stem and handlebars. The possible upside to this is that if you do have any issues with your current stem/bar combo they can be rectified at this time (Shorter/longer stem? Riser stem? Wider/narrower bars? Bars with a shape different from your current bars? Different/thicker/thinner bar tape?).

Zipp Speed Weaponry (ugh…), part of the SRAM group, makes aero bars and aero bar accessories that allow for a wide range of fitting solutions. The aero bar setup on my touring bike, based upon their Vuka Alumina bars, bears little resemblance to the aero bar setup that you see on a time trial or triathlon bike. The elbow pads are much further aft, they are spread apart (Zipp sells an accessory called "Wings" to facilitate this) and the whole contraption is about 2" above the height of handlebars themselves by using what Zipp calls "Risers".

This modification, in its entirety, will cost hundreds of dollars. I don't know if you are interested in something quite so spendy. It also requires time, as there are many small adjustments to be made that can affect your level of comfort, and the only way to figure this out (at least for me) was through trial and error: having the necessary wrenches easily accessible while doing training/regular non-touring rides and making these adjustments. Once dialed in, though, the comfort offered by the aero bars is for me more than worth both the monetary investment and the weight penalty that they impose. They also provide a nice place to mount a computer or GPS (or both), as well as a place to hang a hat, helmet, or any wet clothes that need to be dried while riding.

I should also mention that adding aero bars might have you repositioning your saddle very slightly. I can't say what this repositioning process might entail, but it could mean raising or lowering the saddle, changing the tilt of the saddle, or possibly sliding the saddle either forward or rearward along its rails. Should you choose not to run aero bars, messing around with your saddle positioning might not be the worst thing to do anyway.

Best of luck, and enjoy your ride!

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Single best modification to stock LHT for cross-country tour?
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2016, 10:18:44 pm »
Not so, if your bike is set up right.

If you are comfortable using the drops while climbing and shifting bar end shifters with your hands still on the bars, then your bars are WAY too high.  You must have a 45 degree angle in your back while using the drops.  And a 90 degree back when using the hoods.  Your bars are way too high and probably your reach is too short.  In case you did not know, which I suspect you did not, when riding in the drops, with a slight bend in your elbow, your back should be flat, horizontal to the ground.  When your hands are on the hoods your back should be about 45 degrees to the ground.

ROFLMAO!  You're wrong, but keep the nonsense flowing, it's really entertaining.

No.  You have a very poorly fitted bike if you are comfortable climbing using the drops.  Unfortunately, poorly fitted bikes are very common.  Drops are used for getting aero.  Minimizing wind resistance.  You have to get your back flat to do that.  You cannot climb with your back flat and your eyes staring down at the road under the front wheel.  Breathing isn't as easy with your back flat.  Yet you claim to climb with your hands in the drops.  So when in the drops, you do not have a flat back.  You ride in the drops with your back at a 45 or 60 degree angle.  That is a poorly fitting bike.  I'd recommend you get a properly fitted bike.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Single best modification to stock LHT for cross-country tour?
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2016, 11:05:34 am »
Not so, if your bike is set up right.

If you are comfortable using the drops while climbing and shifting bar end shifters with your hands still on the bars, then your bars are WAY too high.  You must have a 45 degree angle in your back while using the drops.  And a 90 degree back when using the hoods.  Your bars are way too high and probably your reach is too short.  In case you did not know, which I suspect you did not, when riding in the drops, with a slight bend in your elbow, your back should be flat, horizontal to the ground.  When your hands are on the hoods your back should be about 45 degrees to the ground.

ROFLMAO!  You're wrong, but keep the nonsense flowing, it's really entertaining.

No.  You have a very poorly fitted bike if you are comfortable climbing using the drops.  Unfortunately, poorly fitted bikes are very common.  Drops are used for getting aero.  Minimizing wind resistance.  You have to get your back flat to do that.  You cannot climb with your back flat and your eyes staring down at the road under the front wheel.  Breathing isn't as easy with your back flat.  Yet you claim to climb with your hands in the drops.  So when in the drops, you do not have a flat back.  You ride in the drops with your back at a 45 or 60 degree angle.  That is a poorly fitting bike.  I'd recommend you get a properly fitted bike.

Uh, no.  You're factually wrong about the angle my back is at in the drops.  You're also factually wrong with your assertion that "you have to get your back flat to do that."  If you remember high school geometry, the biggest difference in frontal area centered around 45 degrees, so going from 60 to 30 degrees gives you more bang for the buck than going from 45 to 15.  Sure, there's additional benefit to going lower, but the benefit is reduced as you go lower, and there's virtually no difference between 20 degrees up and horizontal.

My opinion is that you're also wrong about "correct" fitting.  Comfort and efficiency should be the guide, not some arbitrary advice that's great for time trials, but not at all appropriate for touring.  If I rode a bike fitting as you prescribe, I'd be uncomfortable, inefficient, and unable to ride all day.  Your advice is appropriate to a salesman dealing with a young racer wanna-be, the kind that wants a discount so he'll be able to get from Cat 5 to Cat 2 by the end of next season if you'll give him 50% off the latest carbon bike.  Oh, and can you throw in a power meter for free?  And arrange financing?

Or are you selling recumbents?

Offline Bike Hermit

Re: Single best modification to stock LHT for cross-country tour?
« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2016, 06:17:17 pm »
definitely the saddle
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