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long ride advice(14 posts)

long ride advicetoonces
Jun 9, 2003 9:42 PM
I havne't had much time to do a decent ride on my pista since I got it this spring, but this past saturday, I did a 52 mile ride with a friend who was on a geared roadie. First ten miles had me sore in the hands (no gloves) and butt, but the arse pain went away until we were coming back on the out-and-back. So like, besides that, I had slightly sore knees, sore neck/shoulders, sore, ahem, groin also. All the soreness went away within like a day, but the neck/shoulder thing is still slightly there.

The ride was some smooth, but some choppy backroads type stuff. No potholes, but lots of bumpy stuff in parts. No real huge hills; mostly flat, in fact. And we stopped briefly about five or six times to refuel/rest.

I think most of the soreness I have will go away the more I ride, but are there any tips for doing long fixie rides? Wider bars? Different saddle? Lower/higher gear? Etc.

all of the above?Steve_0
Jun 10, 2003 4:11 AM
it's really hard to say without knowing you or your setup.

1. The pista has a rather forward geometry. Not ideally suited for long-hauls (generalization, of course)
2. The current 'style' is to fit people on bikes wayyy too small. Looks fast. Even 'fitting systems' tend to do this. Leads to some degree of unnecessary discomfort for all but the most flexible of people.
3. 52 miles in a pretty good haul for a first 'decent' ride. May simply have overexerted?
4. I dont think the fixie was inherently related. If you put a freewheel on you wouldve experienced the same problem.

What are your dimensions, and the bikes? Have you felt this discomfort early-season on other bikes?
One day of soreness sounds pretty likely.dzrider
Jun 10, 2003 4:36 AM
Any time I go longer than I've gone for a while I get some general aches and pains similar to those you describe. If the arse, groin and shoulders persist, they sound to me like they may call for a different saddle or the same saddle in a slightly different spot or at a slightly different angle. Nose up can ease shoulder pains. All in all it sounds to me like a pretty successful longer ride!
I notice on longer fixed rides...biknben
Jun 10, 2003 6:17 AM
When I do longer fixed rides I notice a significant increase in saddle discomfort. Because you have to keep pedaling you are not moving around on the saddle as much. I tend to stay in the same position too long which leads to soreness. With a freewheel, you can lift off the saddle and stop pedaling for a moment. Those little breaks and movements make a big difference in saddle comfort.
Opposite here.dzrider
Jun 10, 2003 6:35 AM
I'm off the saddle much more to get over the little hills that confront us endlessly here in CT. I'm able to use a saddle on my fixie that previously flunked the long ride test and it's been pain free for rides up to 3 hrs.
Same here...Dave Hickey
Jun 10, 2003 6:45 AM
On a single speed or fixed, I spend a lot more time out of the saddle.
damn, gonna start racing now? nm (Inbred)dustin73
Jun 10, 2003 9:12 AM
I'm planning alot more distance riding on my Pista...PdxMark
Jun 10, 2003 9:49 AM
possibly even a 500 mile week-long trip, if I can get trained up for it, so your post is timely for me.

I think your neck & shoulder soreness could be related to handlebar width or stem length. Both are regular fit issues with all road bikes.

I haven't measured my handlebars, but they seem pretty wide, which is a good fit for me. Wide bars, if you have them, might not be a good fit for you. Another (remote) possibility is drop from the saddle to the handlebars, but my Pista has quite a bit of rise on the stem, so it does not have much drop.

Or, the fit might be fine and you're just getting used to time in the saddle. Check the measurements on your Pista against a road bike that feels comfy for distance riding.
Have you given any thought to gearing for the trip?Dave Hickey
Jun 10, 2003 10:20 AM
I'm considering the same thing. I'm at 45 x 17 right now. It's very comfortable for rides around flat north Texas. I plan on doing a mini-credit card tour. ie: carry absolute minimum, stay in hotels, eat meals in resturants,etc... I figure on an additional 30lbs of gear. I'm just wondering if I should go with 45 x 18 or 19?
Have you given any thought to gearing for the trip?PdxMark
Jun 10, 2003 10:52 AM
I'm currently riding 48x19, which seems like pretty good gearing for me. My trip will include one 70 mile day with 7000' of climbing broken up into one chunk of 3000' and most of the rest in two other climbs. I can climb my 48x19 up a 1000' lunchtime training hill, and descend it, in relative comfort. The friends I'll be riding with will usually not be cruising at much more than 19 mph, and only then with me pulling, so the gearing works OK for that too.

Your 45x17 would be like a 48x18 for me. I think that would be just that extra bit harder for my climbs than I'd like, especially with 30# extra weight. With that 30# I'd have to train a bit with that weight on something like the longest/hardest climbs to get calibrated.

I hope you are going with front and rear brakes with that extra weight...
Quick SplineFrank Tuesday
Jun 11, 2003 3:41 AM
I'm doing RAGBRAI this year on my fixie, which is going to be hilly this year. Rather than pick out a gear ahead of time, I'm just taking them all with me. With the Miche Quick Spline system (from Harris Cyclery) and a Park Lockring spanner (discontinued, but avaliable at I can change my rear cog in about a minute, with just two tools, the spanner and a peanut butter wrench to take the wheel off. Total investment was $130, which includes 5 cogs, 14-18. On that long of a ride, feeling bad one day. With a 42 tooth ring, I get a gear range of 63,66.7,70.9,75.6,81", enough range to tackle any day, even if my legs are sore or the hills get too tough.


Quick SplinePdxMark
Jun 11, 2003 8:51 AM
That sounds very cool... I thought of bringing a couple different cogs, even just regular threaded ones. For my personality, I think it will be easier for me to train up to a medium gear (58x19) for both climbing & descents/flats than switching cogs for one sort of terrain or other.

It does entertain me though, the thought of leaving a nice multi-gear bike sitting at home and swapping cogs to "change gears," rahter than just "clicking" amongst 20 gears...
re: long ride advicetoonces
Jun 10, 2003 6:41 PM
Cool. I'm gonna give it a few more 'decent' rides and go from there. I might adjust saddle and maybe try a wider bar (the stock bars are super-narrow). I think the groin tightness was from the pulling motion on the clipless pedals; I don't use clipless pedals on any of my other bikes -- all flats.

I still won't race. Although a certain sheep is 'training' for a crit on wednesday. He's weak and has succumed to the dark side. Whata shame.

And 48x19 on 7000' of climbing is awesome. We don't get that kind of elevation here in Austin so rock on.
saddle choiceDASS
Jun 11, 2003 9:18 AM
I bought one of those Specialized styrofoam seats a while back for my roadie. I hated it. I threw it in my parts bin in disgust. I rediscovered it when I was building up the Fixie. Now I love it for fixie riding. It allows for some bouncing and adjusting. I put in 40+ miles rides regularly with no pain.