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Smoothing out the front end of a steel cross bike(9 posts)

Smoothing out the front end of a steel cross bikeSikander
Apr 12, 2001 6:04 AM
I've got a Gunnar street dog that I ride all winter, summer nights, off road, and for general purpose grocery getting. Steel fork, aluminum bars, 32mm Ritchey speedmax tires.

I'd like to soften up the front end a bit. I get some pretty fierce hand pain when I ride it for more than an hour or two. Part of this is due to the fact that it's a fixed gear, and it's more difficult to "get light" on the bike to float over bumps. Part of it is due to the fact that I ride it at night (with lights of course - 12W Turbocat) and hit some small bumps blind.

Things I've considered - Thicker bar tape, steel handlebar, steel stem.

Things I'd like to do but can't - 42mm tires (tight chainstay clearance), soft tires (I hate pinch flats more than hand pain), carbon fork (on a cross bike?).

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


re: Smoothing out the front end of a steel cross bikemuncher
Apr 12, 2001 6:12 AM
Suspension stem?
re: Smoothing out the front end of a steel cross bikesimonb
Apr 12, 2001 6:50 AM
take your bartape off, get an old punctured inner tube,
cut it in half, then wind it round the tops of your bars
like bartape. maybe clean any talcum powder off to help
reinstalling the bar tape.

then put your original bartape back on over the top. it won't cost
you anything, why not give it a try?

re: Smoothing out the front end of a steel cross bikeBenB
Apr 12, 2001 8:23 AM
Try raising your stem. It should take some of the weight off your hands. It worked for me and my bike is probably quite a bit more harsh. I didn't go to a riser stem or anything, I still have the -20 stock one, but I just raised it a little bit.

re: Smoothing out the front end of a steel cross bikeMel Erickson
Apr 12, 2001 9:07 AM
Gel gloves. The suspension stem was a good idea and I have a softride stem I'll sell you (quill type). I've used the bike inner tube under the bar tape trick and it works, to a limited extent.
another fixed cross!BudhaSlug
Apr 12, 2001 9:17 AM
I have a surly cross check set up as a fixed gear. Although I don't have problems with hand pain, I do have a few possible suggestions. The first is to try a different width or different style handlebar. I use a 47cm cowhorn bar (profile) that feels wonderful (I have reverse pull brake levers on it since the hub is a flip/flop to a single speed) and although it has fewer hand positions than drop bars, it suits me nicely and the extra width changes the weighting on my hands. Another thing to try is adjusting your seat angle and height a slight bit. A little lower and tilted back might take some of the pressure off your hands. Also consider a shorter or higher rise stem as this will put you a bit more upright and change your weighting. You can also double layer the bar tape or use the tube idea. Using padded gloves is also a good idea (I have a pair I use on all my bikes (mtn, cross, road) because they are so comfortable).

Good Luck,
Peace and Light,
Get an ALAN cross fork. Theyre aluminum and more flexy. NMJimbob
Apr 12, 2001 1:50 PM
Suspension fork on ebaytommyb
Apr 12, 2001 7:01 PM
There's someone selling Rockshox Ruby suspension road forks on ebay for $50. (When they first came out years ago, they were hundreds of dollars.) They are 1 inch threadless, so you may need a new headset. Go to ebay, find the bicycles, and search for Ruby. It may work for you.
Maybe try a carbon bar e.g. an Easton EG90? (NM)Jacko
Apr 13, 2001 4:39 AM