First road bike dilemmas

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arciere
Posts: 8
Joined: 27 Jul 2020, 7:22pm

First road bike dilemmas

Postby arciere » 27 Jul 2020, 7:35pm

Evening everyone, first post so please be nice :wink: and apologies for the long thread.

I recently purchased a used road bike (Cannondale caad8), after having bought a brand new hybrid back in May (I know...).

At the moment I've got both, BUT, I've got some questions about the road one which I hope you can help me with.

I'm 175cm tall but my inseam is around 84cm (I say "but" because looking online, it should have been less than 80), so I went for a 56cm frame instead of 54cm.

1) My riding position is much more stretched out than on the hybrid. Is there any way to tell if the frame is too big for me? Unfortunately the "if it's comfortable, it's the right one" statement doesn't apply to me because, being my first road bike, I wouldn't know what comfortable really means. I am able to stand on the bike with my feet flat on the ground with around 1" of clearance from the top tube, maybe a little bit more.

2) Brakes! Cycling on London, I got used to keeping my fingers on the brakes pretty much all the time, but I find it almost impossible with this bike, I have to stretch them out in a position that is rather uncomfortable if held for long. Funnily enough, I find it much easier to brake if my hands are on the drops.

Is it just me that needs time adapting to a road bike or could there be something else?

Jamesh
Posts: 1346
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby Jamesh » 27 Jul 2020, 9:08pm

A caad 8 is quite a racey bike tbh.

A synapse is half way towards the hybrid.

You can however fit a shorter stem or a 45° stem to bring your hands up and closer to your chest.

A good bike shop will have a selection which to try.

Or get an adjustable stem and try different positions.

Like this....

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/333290370243

Cheers James

Jdsk
Posts: 1401
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby Jdsk » 27 Jul 2020, 10:33pm

Welcome.

arciere wrote:I am able to stand on the bike with my feet flat on the ground with around 1" of clearance from the top tube, maybe a little bit more.

When you're riding how much bend is left in your leg when your foot is at the bottom of its movement?

For some people on some bikes if that is set correctly you have to get on and off the saddle to get your feet down. This comes up quite a lot when adults remember how bikes were set up for them as children.

arciere wrote:Cycling on London, I got used to keeping my fingers on the brakes pretty much all the time, but I find it almost impossible with this bike, I have to stretch them out in a position that is rather uncomfortable if held for long. Funnily enough, I find it much easier to brake if my hands are on the drops.

With drop bars in traffic many of us spend a lot of time on the hoods. At your current stage of fitting I'd recommend setting up for that.

arciere wrote:Is it just me that needs time adapting to a road bike or could there be something else?

Can't tell yet. : - )

Could you add a side-on photo of you riding it?

Can you get someone else with more experience to have a look?

And definitely ride it more as long as the current position is safe.

Jonathan

Jamesh
Posts: 1346
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby Jamesh » 27 Jul 2020, 11:33pm

Also if riding in London then some CX brake levers o the tops would be a good idea save stretching to the hoods.

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/tektro-rl720-s ... C0QAvD_BwE

Cheers James

mattsccm
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Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby mattsccm » 28 Jul 2020, 8:04am

2 ways of looking at this.
1. The correct size according to efficient cycling (which will take no account of familiarity or experience)
2. What may work for am inexperienced rider.
Why not set the bike up confortably and post a few pics of you riding it or better still a video.
Your stretched position may be just lack of familiarity and such a bike in heavy traffic may be emphasising your inexperience. Or it may be too big.

arciere
Posts: 8
Joined: 27 Jul 2020, 7:22pm

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby arciere » 28 Jul 2020, 8:57am

Thanks everyone.

Jamesh wrote:A caad 8 is quite a racey bike tbh.

You can however fit a shorter stem or a 45° stem to bring your hands up and closer to your chest.

The stem is unbelievably longer than on the hybrid. To give you an example, I had to squeeze in the tiny Garmin Edge 130 on the hybrid, while on this one I reckon I can easily put two, one on top of the other. I'm pretty sure a shorter stem is one of the first things I'll try.

Jdsk wrote:When you're riding how much bend is left in your leg when your foot is at the bottom of its movement?

A few degrees. I tried to adjust it so that my leg is not fully straight but at a very small angle. On the hybrid, to get to this point, I almost reach the line of maximum height of the saddle (this is why I thought that the hybrid was probably too small).

Jdsk wrote:With drop bars in traffic many of us spend a lot of time on the hoods. At your current stage of fitting I'd recommend setting up for that.

The problem is that in this position I find it rather clumsy to quickly reach the brakes if I need to stop suddenly. I try to keep my fingers as close as possible to the brakes, while my hands are on the hoods, but it's quite uncomfortable.

Jdsk wrote:Could you add a side-on photo of you riding it?

Can you get someone else with more experience to have a look?

I'll try with the photo! I was planning to visit a repair shop today. One of the pedals is not fitted properly (it's not fully flat, I reckon the thread is damaged) and it probably needs a new chain (for my inexperienced eye, it seems 'longer' than it should be), plus I wouldn't mind an overall inspection.

mattsccm wrote:2 ways of looking at this.
1. The correct size according to efficient cycling (which will take no account of familiarity or experience)
2. What may work for am inexperienced rider.

I'd much rather learn to get used to 1. than push for 2. to be honest.

In any case, inexperience is definitely in the list :wink:

Manc33
Posts: 1671
Joined: 25 Apr 2015, 9:37pm

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby Manc33 » 28 Jul 2020, 6:55pm

arciere wrote:1) My riding position is much more stretched out than on the hybrid.


I went through all this. According to online stuff, for my height, I should be on a 57 frame.

No chance, far too stretched out.

The size that actually fit me properly (on drop bars) ended up being something like a 51!

Even a 48 I had was alright and I wasn't having to put the saddle right back or put long stems on.

That's a massive difference when online says 57 but a 48 fits me. I remember it because a 48 was the smallest possible frame with 700c wheels. That was a fast bike. :mrgreen:

All you can do is sit on the bike in a shop and find out that way, making a note of where the saddle is clamped on the seatpost, ideally it should be in the center.

On flat bars it's a whole other deal and I need to be on a frame with far more reach, if it was a road bike with flat bars, I'd need to be on something like a 59.

arciere wrote:2) Brakes! Cycling on London, I got used to keeping my fingers on the brakes pretty much all the time, but I find it almost impossible with this bike, I have to stretch them out in a position that is rather uncomfortable if held for long. Funnily enough, I find it much easier to brake if my hands are on the drops.


Annoying isn't it. That and the shifters pinching the skin on your fingers because the up/down shifter blades are right next to each other. Try shifting to a higher gear while on drops (the times when that's when you'd be shifting to higher gears), it's just stupid, you can't bend your fingers back enough and it only works properly while on the hoods.

I ended up just going back to flat bars again - yep, on the road. In London with busy traffic that won't be a good idea because your handlebars are going to stick out up to 15cm more each side compared to drop bars.

I have tried my hardest to give drop bars "another chance" four times in the last ten years and every single time I have gone back to flat bars. I'm not going to bother a fifth time, I know I don't like it by now!

You can however, get used to it. It's just not something I want to get used to and constantly think about flat bars anytime I have gone to drops.

Having shifters and brakes at my fingertips is important to me and it sounds like you're having a similar experience.

So many people ride drop bars, they can't be wrong... or can they. I can't get on with them. It's aimed at people racing, I'm not racing, far from it!
When two cyclists get married, they should throw anodized cable crimps instead of confetti.

Jdsk
Posts: 1401
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby Jdsk » 28 Jul 2020, 7:02pm

arciere wrote:One of the pedals is not fitted properly (it's not fully flat, I reckon the thread is damaged) and it probably needs a new chain (for my inexperienced eye, it seems 'longer' than it should be), plus I wouldn't mind an overall inspection.

Not another stroke on that pedal until it's sorted.

Jonathan

PS: It's great when someone reads answers and responds. : - )

fredN4
Posts: 53
Joined: 14 Oct 2012, 8:21pm
Location: France

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby fredN4 » 29 Jul 2020, 9:16pm

I've just built a Cannondale supersix evo himod. I believe the frame angles are similar to CAADs. You need a 54 frame with an 8 mm extension but with enough strearer available for you to be relaxed on the hoods. I commuted for many years in London. It is essential to be comfortable on the hoods.

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TrevA
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Location: Nottingham

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby TrevA » 29 Jul 2020, 10:11pm

I also have a Caad 8 - I’m 6’ 2” and I ride a 54cm, which is a bit on the small side, but I was given it by my son in law. The front was a bit low but I’ve flipped the stem. I’ve also fitted a longer 13cm stem, as I found it a bit short in the top tube. Photo of mine enclosed, set up for me.

I ride on the hoods most of the time, so I can brake quickly if needed and I find this a comfortable riding position. I’ll put my hands next to the stem when climbing in the saddle.
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fredN4
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Location: France

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby fredN4 » 30 Jul 2020, 5:00am

make that an 8 cms stem :D

arciere
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Joined: 27 Jul 2020, 7:22pm

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby arciere » 30 Jul 2020, 6:39pm

Manc33 wrote:I went through all this. According to online stuff, for my height, I should be on a 57 frame.
....

So many people ride drop bars, they can't be wrong... or can they. I can't get on with them. It's aimed at people racing, I'm not racing, far from it!

That's pretty much exactly what my experience has been! The only difference is that I haven't given up yet :D

I'll give myself a couple of months, maybe less, first of all I need to feel comfortable, meaning that I want to enjoy the ride and not be scared all the time (that I might not be able to brake when I need to). In a way, that's what happened with the hybrid over the first couple of weeks or so.

arciere
Posts: 8
Joined: 27 Jul 2020, 7:22pm

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby arciere » 30 Jul 2020, 6:45pm

fredN4 wrote:I've just built a Cannondale supersix evo himod. I believe the frame angles are similar to CAADs. You need a 54 frame with an 8 mm extension but with enough strearer available for you to be relaxed on the hoods. I commuted for many years in London. It is essential to be comfortable on the hoods.

I wish I was able to follow :cry:
I'll give it a try when it comes back from the shop, I think I was worried that with a 54 I would've had the same problem that I have with the hybrid (saddle tube extended to the line). The hybrid is a 18", but it took me a while to understand that road bikes are measured in cm and not inches.

fredN4
Posts: 53
Joined: 14 Oct 2012, 8:21pm
Location: France

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby fredN4 » 30 Jul 2020, 8:17pm

seat tubes come in varying lengths, as I am sure you know by now. incidentally, I am am 84 cms inside leg at 179 cms . My frame is 56! but only because I couldnt find a 54 I could afford . I am sure you will adjust your 56 to fit taking the good adcice offered on here.

arciere
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Joined: 27 Jul 2020, 7:22pm

Re: First road bike dilemmas

Postby arciere » 1 Aug 2020, 4:28pm

So, I collected the bike from the shop, to my disappointment they only fixed the pedal. I'm not saying that I was prepared to spend hundreds, but I was expecting at least a new chain.

Anyway, I took it for a ride and I noticed that I seem to be putting too much pressure between my thumb and the index finger (that's where I touch the hoods). I have ordered a 90mm stem (I'm on a 120 now), but is there any chance that the angle of the handlebar is too much downwards?
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