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A cornucopia of miscellaneus questions...(9 posts)

A cornucopia of miscellaneus questions...filly
Sep 17, 2003 8:42 PM
1. How is stem length measured? From center of steerer tube clamp to center of handlebar clamp? I need to find out the length of mine and then get a shorter one.

2. For males, does your unit get numb? Mine does--occasionally. I don't think it's the saddle (I've got the standard Flite Gel, and I like it overall), and I'm pretty sure it's a stem problem. Right now, in the drops, when I look through the handlebar to see if it covers the front hub, the hub is about 2 finger-widths behind (read: behind, meaning towards me) the bar, meaning (in theory) that I'm too stretched out. As one leans further forward, the more pressure is being put on the area between your frank and beans. I'm thinking this is what's numbing me up. Any thoughts?

3. Are there different levels within the pro teams? Apart from the actual riders' abilities, is Postal equivalent to Saturn, Jelly Belly, Alliance, etc? To a novice, this doesn't seem to be the case. It seems as though Postal is THE team, and the others are just below them, as if in a different category. In other words, why don't we ever see any of these other teams in the Tour, Giro, Vuelta, or even some of the "lesser" big races such as the early season classics? I mean, if they are all pro teams, why not?

4. If I'm a strong rider, can I still do well in a stage race if I don't own a TT bike? I know I'd probably be the only one, but in future races, I plan on just using my road bike in the TT stage. How much of a differece will it make? I figure about 3-4 minutes in a 40km TT. I just can't rationalize buying a TT bike right now. I'd rather get another road bike if I were to even buy another bike.

5. Is losing 3 pounds of body weight equivalent to spending $3000 to get a bike 3 pounds lighter? I believe this is true except for the factor of rotational weight (wheels, tubes, tires, cranks, pedals, shoes...). You always here people talking: "Just lose 2 pounds and now you've got yourself that such and such bike, plus you've saved a couple thousand bucks." Sounds too simple.

6. Are Nalini jerseys from legit? I bought two of their retro jerseys (retro meaning 2 and 3 years old, not old school wool), and they just appear "cheap." The inside almost looks like the inside of a sweatshirt. They are 100% polyester, and I'm already seeing little balls of lint/poly appear on the outside of the jersey (wash in cold, no dryer). I don't know, but they don't seem like good quality. I've never owned another Nalini jersey, so I can't compare.

7. I've yet to register? with the USCF, so when I do, I'll obviously have to start out at Cat 5. What do I need to upgrage? Finish 10 mass-start races, or come in the top 10 in 10 mass-start races? Also, do only USCF races count? What about club races and civilian/public races? If not, then I'll have to start from scratch. What if you win, say, 5 races as a cat 5 and you're obviously ready to upgrade. Do you no kidding have to still do all 10?
re: A cornucopia of miscellaneus questions...scopestuff2
Sep 18, 2003 12:27 AM
I'll take a stab at #2, "Numb Nuts" as I believe it's known (though it's not just your nuts that go numb).

I had a real problem with this. I would start getting affected in as little as a few miles.

Alot of anatomical research made it pretty clear that it was a combination of saddle and position on the bike. I got myself fit pretty well, but still had the problem (also, I like to ride in the drops sometimes even when climbing so I tend to get/stay stretched out). Then I began to work on saddle. I tried several "ergo" saddles with deep cut-outs, splits, etc. Even with DEEP ergo channels I was experiencing a problem. It was minimized a bit by the Koobi saddle, and a bit by the Serfas RX Pro. But, the problem persisted. Finally, I spent some time examining the saddles, and thinking about the physiology. I realized that I'm a small guy. 5'8" at 130 .. before I ride (128 or so after a moderate ride even with good hydration). I'm an ectomorph and just don't have all that big an ass to go between the 'sit-bones' and the saddle. That made me realize that a saddle with the deepest channel may not be the total solution. I decided that a very firm saddle with even small channels would probably be more effective. I needed something that would not compress under my weight because even a little compression would cause my nerves and vessels to come in contact with the saddle, and compress.

Long story shortened, I decided to try the San Marco ASPide Arrowhead. Looks like a little torture device. However, numbness stopped the very first time I tried it.

Saddles I tried:

1) TI Flite
2) Selle Italia (forget the model)
3) Serfas Rx Pro
4) Koobi
5) Brooks
6) San Marco ASPide Arrowhead. (<- SUCCESS)

I also find it helpful to change positions alot. I now move alot on the saddle depending upon whether I'm climbing, on flat ground, downhill, etc. I make it a point to stand a bit at least every 5-10 minutes.

So... if it gives you any inspiration ... I'm a case where i was plagued with the problem. it took alot of diligence and experiemention and detective work ... but I did manage to overcome the problem.

My new problem is that the ASPide Arrowhead is REALLY HARD. It starts to get pretty uncomfortable at about 25 miles. I just can't imagine doing a century on it. However, I've only got a few hundred miles on the saddle. May just take a bit of time to work up to.

Hope this helps you in some manner.

re: A cornucopia of miscellaneus questions...DERICK
Sep 18, 2003 1:59 AM
It appears we have almost identical body types. I also had the same problems and tried some of the same saddles. I just put a Selle Italia SLK on my bike and love it. Same basic shape as the ASPide but with a bit more padding and flexability. The split doesn't reconnect in the rear letting it move with you a little. The weight is around 200 grams. They also make the more padded Trans Am version.
This saddle took care of any numbness and perenial pressure I was suffering and offers enough padding to be comfortable. After only 60 miles of break in I was riding in comfort for the first time.
re: A cornucopia of miscellaneus questions...scopestuff2
Sep 18, 2003 7:52 AM

Thank you for the follow-up and posting the image. Looks like I'll be adding yet another saddle to my collection. The money I've spent saddles is starting to approach a large percentage of what I paid for the bike ... but at least I can ride in comfort :-)
Stop waisting your money !DERICK
Sep 18, 2003 2:20 PM
Just but them from Performancebike. You'll pay less and they will take them back if you are EVER unsatisfide for any reason. You can buy a saddle and ride it for as long as you want. If it becomes apparent that it's not working for you return it for a refund or try another one. You really can't lose with service like that.

Performance has it for $70.00. I later saw it at the LBS for $120.00.
re: A cornucopia of miscellaneus questions...Steve_0
Sep 18, 2003 3:57 AM
1. Refer to individual manufacturer to be sure (effective vs actual length)
2. no. Generally caused by fit/positioning; not saddle structure IMO.
3. no input
4. Sure. 98 percent of the race is the motor. Aero positining certainly helps, but I've seen some pretty un-aero fits on TT bikes. I'd rather be aero on a road bike than unaero/uncomfortable/poor on a TT bike. Also for about 150 bucks, you can convert your roadbike for the TT stage. Clip-on aerobars and a forwrad position seatpost (or reversed control-tech or Thompson setback). Youre right question justification of yet another bike.
5. yes. it take the same amount of effort to lug 173 pounds up a hill, regardless of the where the weight is distributed.
6. No idea.
7. no idea; most tris dont have crazy registration rules.
5 and 6...C-40
Sep 18, 2003 5:16 AM
5. Yes, body weight is the same as the loss of any other weight, except of wheels, which also improve acceleration. If you ride crits where frequent accelerations occur, then lighter wheels are a little more valuable. What really matters it the "moment if inertia" of the wheel. Two wheels may be the same weight, but the one with the lightest rim and spoke combination will accelerate faster. Nimble is the only company that I've seen advertise the moment of inertia for their wheels.

6. Yes, Nalini jerseys have a looped moisture-wicking inside surface. They can produce a few fuzzballs if not washed carefully. I've got some that I bought in 1995 and they are still in great shape. They get washed along with the rest of my shirts.
Sep 18, 2003 5:54 AM
In general, of course, the $3000 bike will have better components, and likely a better frame, of course... it isn't ONLY about weight.
Random answers53T
Sep 18, 2003 6:32 AM
1. Almost, center of steerer tube to center of handlebar
2. No experience here.
3. There are diferent levels of Pro Teams. The UCI, which governs such things, ranks teams into Divisions. Postal is Div.1. The Jellys are Division 3, I think.
4. Go ahead and TT on your road bike.
5. For steady climbing, body weight eqauls bike weight, equals the weight of water in your water bottle. Other activities, such as crits, are more complex dynamics but generally lower body weight is a cheap way to go faster.
6. Don't know.
7. The upgrade from 5 to 4 is to START 10 mass-start races, you don't have to finish. If you win the first 5, you are not obviously ready to upgrade. You still need experience to upgrade to 4, but post here if you do win the first 5. Which races count is up to your USCF regional rep, who is the person who grants your upgrades.

Do you have a team? Teams can be a great source of answers to these questions.