Ti Bikes

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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531colin
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by 531colin »

Mick F wrote: 20 Sep 2021, 9:05am ............., I still think that moving the bars closer would be better - for me at least -......
Mick, its physics......if you want to take the weight off your hands, you need to move your centre of mass back.
It can't be better for you one way, better for me a different way, and better for Joe down the road yet another way......physics doesn't work like that.
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Mick F
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by Mick F »

Thanks Colin for your sage advice.

I'm out riding tomorrow, and I'll be contemplating my positioning.
I do know, that by sitting back and holding the tops, it's much better.
Also, holding right down on the drops is better too, so it's something to do with reach, there is no doubt.

Hoods is causing my arms to ache, especially the right one.
Hands are fine.
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by slowster »

Mick F wrote: 20 Sep 2021, 9:05am I still think that moving the bars closer would be better - for me at least - or even fitting straight bars.
My own experience was that the reduction in discomfort by switching from riding on the hoods to gripping the top of the bars was deceptive. It led me to believe that a shorter stem was the solution, but when I bought and fitted one my position still did not feel 'right'. Consequently I kept tinkering with the bars, trying to figure out what the missing element was. So I tried raising the bars, lowering them, rotating them back, rotating them forward, fitting a longer stem, fitting an even shorter stem etc.

And that is the problem with the approach I took: there are so many different permutations of combining those variables, that I ended up going round in circles trying to find the right combination.

I had subconsciously avoided considering my saddle position. I did not want to face up to the possibility that the problem was there, because at the back of my mind was the suspicion that it might be impossible to fix. The saddle was already pushed as far back as it could go and the seatpost was one with quite a bit of layback. The thought that I had spent a lot of money on a new bike and that I had made a very bad mistake, was something I did not want to acknowledge.

It was reading various posts on this forum, especially those by 531colin and reohn2, on the subject of steep seat tubes that persuaded me to confront the issue, especially when I read this thread - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=104331, which showed me that there were seatposts with more set back, and that is what I ended up buying.

I have digressed in posting my own experience above, but I thought it useful to share because it highlights some of the potential difficulties and pitfalls, and I would not want you or anyone else to experience the frustration I did, as I tried one stem after another and made change after change to the bars' height and rotation.

Assuming that your problem is one of bike fit, it would seem there are three potential solutions:

A. Shorter stem to reduce the reach

B. Saddle needs to go back further

C. Both A and B.

If you were using a threadless stem with a removable face plate, it would be easy and relatively inexpensive to try a shorter stem. However, I think you have Cinelli bars and stem with a 26.4mm clamp diameter, which was unique to Cinelli and discontinued in 1998. Although Cinelli still make quill stems, they are now 26mm clamp diameter. To try a shorter stem with your current bars you would probably need to hunt down a suitable used Cinelli 26.4mm stem on Ebay, and I would not be happy about using a ~25 year old or more second hand stem. Like you, I have stems that are ~35 years old, but again like you I have owned them from new and I know they have not been crashed or subjected to a hard life. So to try a new stem you might need to get new (26mm clamp diameter) bars as well.

Moreover, it is potentially unlikely that you would identify the right choice of stem length with your first purchase. Quill stems are so much dearer than cheap threadless stems that it is very expensive to experiment by buying different lengths.

If it were just a matter of finding the right stem length, then the risk of needing to buy more than one length to try is something you might just have to accept. However, if it is the case that actually you *do* need to move your saddle further back, you run the risk of wasting quite a bit of money doing as I did, i.e. buying one stem after another and getting increasingly frustrated in the process.

In my opinion, it is a 'no brainer' that you should try moving the saddle back before attempting to vary the stem length and adjust the bars etc. It should involve buying just one seatpost, and experimenting with moving the saddle further back by 5mm, 10mm and maybe 15mm.

I would not worry about the increased reach that results from moving the saddle back. Get the saddle position right, and only then think about stem length and reach. As I think 531colin has often stated, it's not unusual for people who have their saddles too far forward to find that they are comfortable with a longer reach once their saddle position is right. That was my experience too: once the saddle was further back, stem length became less critical, and I could fit a longer stem if I wanted to have a more aero/stretched position, because my upper body was balanced and I was not putting much weight on the bars through my hands and arms, i.e. stem length became more a matter of choice, rather than dictated by one length being much more comfortable than another.

If you do decide to try increasing the saddle set back, there are a few options providing your seatpost is 27.2mm. If it is not 27.2mm, then I think the only obvious choice is the V K saddle adjuster (https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/saddles/vk-saddle-adjuster/), but I suspect it might not be suitable anyway, because I think it might put the saddle too far back for you (as well as being heavy and ugly).

In 27.2mm there is a bit of choice, but the obvious candidate is the two bolt seatpost discussed in the thread linked above, which is sold/has been sold as the Velo Orange 'Gran Cru' seatpost, Planet X Holdsworth 'Gran Sport' seatpost, and SJS Jtek 'Long Layback' seat post. It has 30mm layback, which looks to me to be at least 10mm more than your Campagnolo seatpost, and possibly even 15mm more.

Unfortunately at the moment Planet X are not listing the seatpost, the latest batch of the Jtek version in silver comes in a sandblasted finish (previously it was polished), and Velo Orange is a small US boutique brand which doubles the price in the UK.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/seat-posts/ ... er-272-mm/
Last edited by slowster on 20 Sep 2021, 11:18pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Mick F
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by Mick F »

Thanks muchly.

Food for thought.

Two bikes to do though.
Mercian with a classic 531c frame and seatpin, and Moulton with a long seatpost. Can't remember the diameter.
Both bikes set up exactly the same, and I have the arm aches on both bikes.

Screen Shot 2021-09-20 at 19.51.32.png
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by slowster »

Mick F wrote: 20 Sep 2021, 7:55pm Two bikes to do though.
Mercian with a classic 531c frame and seatpin, and Moulton with a long seatpost. Can't remember the diameter.
Both bikes set up exactly the same, and I have the arm aches on both bikes.
1. What bars do you have on the Moulton?

Edit - and what bars do you have on the Mercian, e.g. model 64 / Giro d'Italia?

2. What is the width of the bars (measured centre to centre), and is it the same on both bikes?

3. What length is the stem on the Moulton?

4. I presume it has a 400mm seatpost. How many millimetres are inserted below the seatpost clamp? (I doubt you do have enough leeway to use a 350mm post, but I suggest you check.)

I note from the photograph below that the Moulton has a threadless stem - presumably with a removable faceplate, although I cannot tell what the clamp diameter of the bars is, i.e. 25.4mm, 26mm or 31.8mm (I assume not another pair of 26.4mm Cinelli bars).

(From viewtopic.php?f=5&t=147560&p=1633961#p1633961)
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Mick F
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by Mick F »

Good morning, and thanks for the questions.
Can't answer all of them as the bike is in the back of the car ready for driving to Exeter and it's too early in the morning for measuring etc! :D

Mercian has Cinelli 64 bars and Moulton a different make but the same shape/drop/width.

I woke this morning, with a brainwave .......................

The saddles on both bikes are Brooks Professionals and both are set level. I remember years ago being aware that I was sitting right at the back of them, but these days I'm sitting further forward. Habit or old age? Dunno. Could be both.

My brainwave is to tilt up the saddles a notch so the nose is a tittle bit higher. It could be that the (hard) leather is sagged a little bit and I'm settling into them. By lifting the noses, I will sit further back.

Going on a 40mile ride later today on Moulton from Exeter and I'll take a decent Allen key to tweak the saddle before I leave on the ride, and maybe once or twice during the ride. Trial and error. The clamp nuts are tight, so my little multitool may not be man enough, so a nice long one would be fine. It'll fit in my saddle bag easily.

I won't be home until mid/late afternoon, but I'll report back with my findings.
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by pwa »

Another thought is that if hand comfort is okay if you don't use the drops, just accept not using the drops most of the time. I only use mine when descending into a headwind where I want to be able to freewheel a bit longer. The rest of the time I have my hands higher up, mostly on the brake hoods. Except for when I change gear and reach down to the bar end levers.
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by Audax67 »

Chum of mine fitted bullhorn bars: same gear-changing hardware & cable-routing but everything easily reachable without strain.
Have we got time for another cuppa?
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Mick F
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by Mick F »

Just a quickie.
38.7miles today and 3,997ft of climbing.

I'm tired and had three pints down the pub, and nearly ready for my second can of Amber Ale from Lidl's. :D :D

I took an Allen key that fitted the saddle clamp on Moulton.
First thing I noticed, is that the clamp isn't adjustable in angle. It's been years since I fitted the Brooks Pro and it has never been moved.

Second thing I noticed, was the saddle could be moved backwards, so moved it maybe 10mm backwards.
Third thing I noticed, was my view downwards was different. I had a different view of the BB area and the seat tube.

Fourth thing?
After nearly 40miles, my arms weren't aching.

It was a very different ride. I was riding with Natural Ankling (forum member of course) and some of the climbs were steep and long and had to walk - or at least I did.

I'm tired, but my arms are fine ......... which is good.
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by slowster »

Mick F wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 6:48pm Second thing I noticed, was the saddle could be moved backwards, so moved it maybe 10mm backwards.
...
Fourth thing?
After nearly 40miles, my arms weren't aching.
That's good to hear. I was going to offer to send you my Ergotec Futura adjustable seatpost and a Planet X seatpost plus a quill to threadless stem adapter and some 26mm clamp threadless stems, in order that you could experiment (hence all those questions). However, it sounds like you've already got your answer.

If 10mm is the amount you need likewise to move the saddle back on your Mercian, I think you might be able to achieve that with a 25mm setback post, but it's probably best to get one with ~30mm setback to give yourself a bit of leeway and to allow future experimentation with pushing it further back. I suspect that you would want a silver polished seatpost (I would not want a black post or the Jtek silver sandblasted post on a bike like your Mercian). Unfortunately that means either hoping that Planet X will re-stock their Holdsworth Gran Sport seatpost and waiting for that to happen, or biting the bullet and getting the Velo Orange version, despite it being nearly twice what Planet X used to charge. (Assuming that the Mercian takes a 27.2mm post.)

https://freshtripe.co.uk/velo-orange-gr ... -seatpost/
Mick F wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 6:48pm First thing I noticed, is that the clamp isn't adjustable in angle. It's been years since I fitted the Brooks Pro and it has never been moved.
Surely it must be adjustable, since the angle of rails will vary between different saddles? I would take a closer look at the clamp - is it the type with serrations? If so, I can imagine they might be slightly seized after so many years.
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Mick F
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by Mick F »

The clamp as no serrations that I saw this morning.
I'll look tomorrow, but I reckon that's the way it is.

Bought March 2016 for £18.49 and fitted on the 15th March that year, but I haven't recorded where I bought it from on my Moulton spreadsheet ................ yes, I have one! :D

Bought online and by credit card no doubt.
I keep spreadsheets of accounts too ........................

Bought 12th March 2016 from SJS.
Logging into my account, I find this.
Cheaper now? Perhaps I included P+P with my records.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/seat-posts/ ... 932862cf18
It says "MICRO ADJUST" but it didn't look like that to me this morning.

I'll check again tomorrow.
Mick F. Cornwall
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by robgul »

I've only scanned quickly through the thread and don't know if Pedal Revolution has been mentioned as big-ish Ti bike shop with a number of brands (they took over Fat Birds at Kings Lynn a while ago) - worth a look.

I have two Ti machines - a Yukon tourer and a Ventus road . . . both bought as f & f (Yukon new, Ventus 3 months old on ebay for a steal of a price) Both are excellent, built up with Shimano kit.

Having seen the PlanetX Ti frames in the flesh, at their factory, they do look like very good value for a quality product.
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Mick F
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by Mick F »

Took the seatpost completely out and removed the clamp.
It's obvious that it is adjustable for angle but it was solid.
Took a mallet to it and gave a few whacks, and off it came.

The design isn't good as the sides of the bottom clamp plate are a very neat fit on the top of the post.
IMG_0741.jpg
IMG_0742.jpg
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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by Jdsk »

Mick F wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 8:49amThe design isn't good as the sides of the bottom clamp plate are a very neat fit on the top of the post.
Why is that a problem, please?

Those ridges look in very good condition. They wear easily, especially if they aren't engaged with each other as you tighten.

I had a problem with a single bolt system which Brucey sorted out: the acceptable torque when clamping was much higher than I had considered reasonable.
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=140859
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=137169
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=142752

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Re: Ti Bikes

Post by 531colin »

Mick F wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 6:08am .........I woke this morning, with a brainwave .......................

The saddles on both bikes are Brooks Professionals and both are set level. I remember years ago being aware that I was sitting right at the back of them, but these days I'm sitting further forward. Habit or old age? Dunno. Could be both...........
New information!

Sitting further forwards throws more weight on your hands. As you found on the small-wheeler, moving the saddle back takes weight off your hands.
What happened to me (I'm 74 now) was that reducing flexibility meant that a reach which had suited me for many years was suddenly too long, and too long a reach can drag you forwards on the saddle. The fix (for me) was shorter stem and pushing the saddle back.
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