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old racing legends and old sizing ways(4 posts)

old racing legends and old sizing wayscolker
Sep 28, 2001 3:12 PM
i was checking the bikes of the cycling gods at the madonna del ghisalo. didn't they ride bigger bikes than what we ride? tall handlebars, shorter stems. is grant petersen right when he says we should ride taller hbars?
re: old racing legends and old sizing waysjacques
Sep 29, 2001 2:08 AM
The old guys did indeed sit on their bikes differently. But the Tour de France was very different as well. Many mountain stages were ridden on gravel roads, the paved roads were not nearly as smooth as they are today, riders had to make their own repairs and carried parts and tools on their back. The Tour was less about pure speed than it is today. It was actually abit more like a "tour" as we define the word today. The bikes and the riders' positions simply reflected that. As the rules and the roads changed, so did the look of the riders.

It sort of shows you how there is very little absolute right or wrong in cycling. What it is you want to achieve shapes one's training, equipment and position.
re: old racing legends and old sizing waysDuh
Sep 30, 2001 2:57 AM
Well said jacques. While they were not old guys when they were riding their style by todays standards are old. They rode bikes that they could ride everyday and the same bike everyday. Fit for all day comfort first and formost. Today pro racers, in the big tours, on the big teams, and perhaps most. Have a different bike for every type of stage or race. Sometimes changing bikes during a stage. For the elite of todays cycling it has become a life long training cycle. Even for Jan E. The problem for us recreational cyclists and wanna be racers comes we then try and apply the fit, training, and habits of the elite. It just does not work. They train up to 20,000 miles a year and are in their 20's for the most part. We try the same bikes. To small, to stiff, to few gears. And wonder why we see and experience all the questions about fit, knee pains, bad backs yada, yada, yada. And then we take advice from someone we don't know and expect it to work. Duh
Grant's advice was dead-on for mecory
Sep 29, 2001 5:32 PM
I've been riding a long time, and from the early '70s until about three years ago I pretty much followed the standard rules about fit. I never really was comfortable, but I blamed myself for it--if I were leaner, more flexible, rode more, were younger, I'd fit the bike. I had the same experience you did, looking at those BIG old bikes, and about the same time, I read Grant's recommendations.

I set an old bike up with the bars level with the (Brooks) saddle and a few other things he recommended, and it worked so well I got everything else I own as close to that as I could. When I bought an Atlantis, his size chart recommended 2-3cm bigger than most others. I followed it, and it's BY FAR the most comfortable I've ever been on a bike. I'll never switch back.