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Reply To: How fast do you ride?

mentor58, April 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I have tip extensions on the bars but I thinking thatI’m going to install pretzel /touring bars for my hand positions. I’m training with my current bike.. but may consider buying a used road bike in June. It’s just that with the costs of flying and chartering for the ride I can’t justify dropping another grand on a road bike!

I’m a big fan of touring bars, I’ve got one on my fixed gear bike, and before that it lived on my touring bike. (I mainly ride recumbents now). It will give you a bunch of different hand positions, let you get down out of the wind (a bit), let you shift around so you don’t get stiff and sore. Probably the biggest headache with them is that there are so many different angles you can mount it at, it sometimes takes a while to get it exactly dialed in for you. I promise you’ll like it better than just the straight MTB bar.

As long as you’ve got decent road slicks on the MTB, I don’t think that there is any real need to change out gearing on it. Standard MTB gearing will get you down the road at about 25+ MPH at 90 RPM, and believe me, that’s more than enough speed. The weight of the MTB isn’t really a factor on the flats, and going up hill you’ve got the advantage of lower gears to help ease the way. (and the fact that you indicated that you may be carrying a few extra pounds means that bike weight isn’t really going to be a factor. {smile}

I wouldn’t get a new bike a month before Ragbrai. Just enjoy what you’ve got, know that you’ll have a great ride, and when you pass a bald guy on a recumbent, say hi to Garfield.

One thing I would do, if you haven’t yet, get the local bike shop, or somebody knowledgeable about it, to really check your position on the bike, in terms of seat height, leg position, handlebar height and reach. It can make a huge difference as the miles add up, both in comfort and preventing any injuries. The other thing, if you’re not currently either toe-clips and straps )old school) or clipless pedals to lock your feet the pedals, look into them. Shimano makes a couple of nice models that you can either clip into or use as regular platform pedals. They make a big difference in your efficiency.


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