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Thread: July riding

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,825

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    Re: roads -- they are generally in pretty good shape in the DC metro area. The local DOTs do "pothole-palooza" every spring, where they concentrate efforts on repairing potholes for a week or so, and are generally responsive if you report a pothole to them during other times of the year. But every time I go to NY I am reminded of how bad roads are there. In many cases filling the holes just makes it worse. It's appalling, given how much they pay in taxes.

    So the new Rivet saddle has not arrived yet. I went for the fitting on Saturday, where we confirmed that the seat height was okay but found from the plum line test that the saddle was too far back. So we moved it forward, which seemed to be an improvement. I mentioned the impending leather saddle arrival, and he said that changing from non-leather to leather is usually not as straightforward as measuring the position of the old saddle and matching it with the new one. So I will want to make another appointment for that.

    Then yesterday I did a 32-mile ride. It was a big multi-class club ride, lots of fun and perfect weather. The distance and terrain were just right after several weeks off the bike. Unfortunately the saddle problem was worse that it was before. I don't know if the new leather saddle will solve my problems but I really can't use the Affinity any more, at least not on this bike. Depending on how things go this week (what day the Rivet is delivered and whether I can schedule a fitting for it) I may just ride my mountain bike next weekend, in the hopes that the different geometry will give me a break from the pain and inflammation.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,825
    The new saddle is here! It's a white Rivet Independent. The leather is harder than I thought it would be. Looking at the photos online, I thought it might be similar in width and overall shape to the Affinity 144. Sure enough, when I put one on top of the other they are extremely similar. I think (hope) this is a good thing, since the Affinity was mostly okay for me until recently.

    The big question is, how long will it take to break it in? I will be back at the LBS to have it fitted on Saturday, planning to try it out on Sunday with a short test ride.

    Deb at Rivet recommends Obenauf's Leather Preservative but unfortunately was sold out of it. Conveniently, a friend is about to place a large order with Compass Cycles, and he's offered to order the Obenauf's as part of his order so I can take advantage of free shipping. But I think that's more to protect the leather, not to soften it.

    And so here I sit, filled with that mix of anticipation and hope that this new saddle will be the key to comfort and happiness. We've all been here before... wondering if the road ahead will be happy or oh, well, at least I tried...

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    If this is anything similar to the Brooks saddles, I never felt mine broke in. I hated it. But, I hope the new saddle works for you.
    I rode a very steamy short ride this morning. Severe storms were predicted, starting at noon, and although they didn't get here until later, it was already drenchingly humid at 9:45. Twelve hilly miles and i felt like it was 30, although I was not that slow. I spent the whole rest of my day off doing errands and meeting a friend for lunch.
    This is my most disliked type of weather. I'd rather be in a blizzard.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,825
    Yes I hope for the best with the new saddle but realize I might end up returning it. Time will tell.

    I just checked the weather in Hyannis as my nephew is there for a baseball game... looks like some heavy rain passing through MA tonight, and super humid. We're having a heat wave down here, expecting near 100 tomorrow, but it should break by the weekend. I will ride indoors at the gym tonight.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Don't blame you a bit. That is some very serious heat. Way out of my league.

    Did 30 plus road miles on the Pugsley, yesterday, plus some trail miles. Pugsley on the road, you ask? Actually makes a lot of sense for what we have happening in the area, this week.


    First, we have the big Hodag Countryfest country music festival. I kid you, not, this is a nationally known music festival. Picture some 300 acres literally packed with many thousands of huge RVs and campers. Unfortunately, its right next door to us, along my favorite road route, so the Pugsley gives me the ability to ride in the soft sandy road shoulder to get by this complex. Riding the soft sand on the shoulder presents no challenge to the Pugs, of course. It's happy riding the road or the shoulder. Sure beats sharing the pavement with a steady stream of these monsters. Not an option with any road bike. The sandy shoulders along this mile of road will swallow a road bike


    Second, been a lot of logging activity along this same route. Logging is the main agricultural activity in our area. Very few actual farms. Believe me, when you hear a logging truck coming up behind you on these narrow paved roads, taking the road ditch is an attractive strategy. Again, the Pugs can make the transition from pavement to dirt and sand on the shoulder practically seamless. Definitely NOT an option on a traditional road bike.


    And, of course, I can never resist going off pavement when I find a new gravel or dirt road to explore. The Pugs can't resist either. The Pugs may be slow, but my pal always gets me home.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,825
    Nice pictures, NWG. As someone who's about to put a heavy leather saddle on a carbon road bike, I support your choice of bike for road riding. Sometimes the typical set up is just not the best for our individual purposes.

    This reminds me -- last weekend I rode with someone who is an old-school steel bike rider through and through. The guy who shows up to a big club road road in khaki cargo shorts and a wool jersey. He was riding an Austro-Daimler bike. With a leather saddle of course. It's always fun to see bikes like that in the wild. And he's a very nice man and enjoyable ride companion, too.

    As for the heat, I would have ridden outside last night if I wasn't dealing with this saddle pain which takes a week to subside. Riding on very hots days is manageable in the evenings, especially once I get away from the highway and closer to the tree-lined neighorhoods near the river. But, that's not an option this week. I got to the gym late (as usual) but managed to get in a good 30-minute interval workout. Afterwards I sat outside for a while in an attempt to get some acclimation to the hot weather.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Based on my September visit to Florida, last year, going from our northern climate to that Florida climate, cold turkey, almost did me in. Oh, I rented a bike, first thing when we arrived, but it took a bit of riding every day, carrying a lot of water, and stopping in the shade or where the was breeze to rest. After one week, I was only beginning to adapt, but felt like I could do it, given enough time. Bottom line is that I have a ton of respect for that kind of humid heat and folks that have adapted to it. Will never underestimate the danger of that kind of heat, again.

    Yeah, sometimes we get wrapped up in the latest, greatest bike technology trend, forgetting that people did some amazing things on that old school stuff. Steel bikes and leather saddles have been getting it done since the very first bikes. You probably won/t set any records for time in this all carbon world, but you will get home and do it with some a degree of comfort that is sometimes missing from the carbon bike scene. I'm no retro junkie by any means. Ride carbon and aluminum, too, but still something very special about the feel of a good steel bike, whether on the road or on the trail.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 07-13-2017 at 09:25 AM.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,200
    NY…WHITE???? ...once you’ve got the saddle position right, break-in just makes a leather saddle a little more comfortable. If it’s not reasonably comfortable on the first rides it probably won’t be after the time it takes the leather to make the slight adjustments to the contours needed for your body. Thinking the nose tension bolt can help regulate tension for those rides on it at first. Good luck on it being a good saddle for you!!!


    Good grief NWG…..I would just completely bailout on a narrow road with logging trucks going by close to me, even with a bike that can navigate from pavement to dirt/sand without problems……When riding up the entrance road to the Arches National Park I learned about oversized RV mirrors and very little shoulder….we did make it without problems though and had a wonderful view at the top to meditate the jangled nerves away with. Thinking nothings wrong with material advances for different kinds of riding....steel is real though, well, for my touring bike
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Steel remains my fav after all these years. Speaking of touring, people have used a Pugsley to tour up and down and across entire continents with a Pugs. It uses old standard MTB axle and wheel spacings (unlike all the new bikes), so parts are available anywhere in the world and, of course, what passes for roads in some third world countries are not a problem for a Pugsley.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Agreed regarding steel. Back when I could still ride and I meandered on isolated country roads for 4-6 hours at a time - I dearly loved my steel Gunnar. I've also heard very good things about Pugs for areas with less than...optimum roads. Or that passes for roads. Or goat tracks...

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    Today I led a 31 mile ride with another woman. It's someone I was in outdoor leadership training with and she came on my first ride I led. Anyway, only 3 people came, but it was really nice. Was spritzing and a bit cool at first, but after we stopped at 3.5 miles, it had stopped raining. That was good, as I had no jacket. I led all but the first 3 miles. One of these women is someone who always rides behind my husband when we lead; however, she must have not been feeling it today. When we had gone about 6-7 miles, right near where I used to live in Boxborough, all of a sudden we started seeing tons of riders going the other way, and coming from a couple of different directions. It was obviously a charity type ride (I saw a sign that said BHA, but i have no idea what that was). So, we had that and a HS nordic ski team roller skiing, also the opposite way on one street. Thankfully, it was only for about 2 miles, but during all this, the other leader who was sweeping, lost one of our people! We stopped, but I made the decsion to go ahead, as she did have a cue sheet and she's from this area. As we were regrouping at the top of the biggest climb, she caught up with us and had realized her mistake quite quickly.
    This ride has some of the most beautiful and quietest roads that used to be my go-to roads for riding. It's hilly, but nice. Then we went down a steep (I mean so steep I have seen people walk up this street on group rides) downhill near my old school where I taught. At this point, I was feeling exhausted and knew I needed to eat, but we had a stop a couple of miles after that. I ate my bar and on we went. As we turned back toward our start I asked them if they would like to cut out some of the neighborhood streets on the route, that I added, just to get 33 miles. Everyone was in agreement, as we all had commitments, so we headed straight back to the start, and the ride ended up at 30.7 miles.
    I got lots of thanks, which is nice. Usually, I am sweeping for DH, so this was no stress, as we always argue about speed! Going to dinner at a friend's tonight; I hope i can stay up.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    Watched the Tour all morning, while having homemade challah French toast... it was hot by the time we got out, so planned a shorter, local ride.
    We did 20 miles, the first half shady, the second, not so much. There seemed to be a lot of cyclists out for 1 pm on a hot day. Not large groups, just lots of couples, groups of 3-4, and solo riders. Maybe they were all watching the Tour, too. I've decided that I do feel stronger since coming back from my trip, but still trying to keep the same mental attitude that got me through.
    I finally looked at my total mileage since January. Sigh... I am about 2-3 weeks behind where I usually am. Most of it is due to taking time off for various injuries, some for weather. I should be able to make it up, as we are going for our annual riding weekend in the Berkshires on Thursday, plus doing a club ride Wednesday. The key will be keeping it up after that. I want to do more hiking, and that definitely interferes. My legs need time to recover between riding and hiking.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  13. #28
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,825
    I haven't bothered to add them up, but I know my mileage is way way off this year. But I am still hopeful to get back on track.

    And in that vein...on Saturday I brought the bike and new Rivet Independence saddle to the LBS to see the fitter. He started by setting up the new saddle in the same position as the old one, then did the plum line thing which indicated it was a bit farther back than it should have been. Last week he had determined that the old saddle was slightly set back, and he moved it up a little but not as far as he could have. But he moved the Rivet up so my knee was in line with the spindle. Things felt good as I pedaled on the trainer, and he said he could see the saddle move as I pedaled, in a good way. The Rivet did feel a bit slippery and the seat area seemed smaller than what I was used to, even though it is really very similar to my old saddle.

    For my first test ride, I decided to do a ride in Virginia in an area southwest of where I live. It was with the club that I occasionally with, and I had done this particular route with the same ride leader last fall. Officially there was a choice of 52 miles or 35 miles, with the decision point at mile 18. I checked the map and noted several options to bail in the first 10 miles if the saddle felt really bad.

    As I started out, the saddle no longer seemed slippery or too small. It was quite comfortable. After a few miles I was conscious of the backs of my legs hitting the leather on the front edges of the wider part of the saddle. I could definitely tell that I was sitting farther forward than usual. At the first rest stop, about an hour into the ride, things felt good. And by the way the weather was perfect for July, warm and sunny but not humid, with very light wind from the NW. One my friends had shown up for the same ride, so I had someone to ride with. So when we reached the turn for the 35-mile route I decided to go ahead and ride the longer route. I haven't ridden more than 45 miles all year and had only done one 32-mile ride in the past month, but what the hell.

    By the end of the ride -- well, I was very tired, was feeling the heat a bit since I'm totally not acclimated, my back and shoulders were not happy. But overall the saddle test was a success. I was a bit sore on the front edges of the sit bones, which I think is okay for the way I usually sit on the road bike. The spot on the right side where I've been having problems with pain and swelling was fine (yay!). I do think the nose might need to be tilted down a little. And maybe the saddle should be shifted back a hair -- toward the end I realized the backs of my legs were hitting the plastic frame around the back edge of the saddle, so I think was sitting too far back. So there are some adjustments to play with, and most likely it will take a few months to break in the leather. But in general I was happy.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  14. #29
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Glad you found the new saddle to work, NY. Hopefully, your search for that just right saddle is over.

    Been in the steel bike mood, of late, so dusted off my old 1996 Kona Kilauea and took it for a spin. This bike won MTB bike of the year in '96 and has a superb steel frame of Tange Prestige steel. After experimenting with various types of bikes, this became my standard commuting bike in my Chicago days. It may not look like much, given all the touch up paint on the frame, but looking a bit old and worn is actually a good thing for a commuting bike in Chicago to reduce the risk of theft. A closer look, though, would reveal that I did some serious upgrades to the bike. The include a full Shimano XT crankset and a 9 speed SRAM X9/XO derailleur and shifter. All else, though, is original, except the seat.

    In the old days, the Kona was just bit slower on my 8 mile commute than the cyclocross and road bikes I had tried, but I found it to be a safer bike for commuting. It could accelerate and get out of a dangerous traffic situation much faster than a drop bar bike and sitting more upright was also an advantage for seeing traffic dangers. The wider 2" tires also handles bad roads better. On my 8 mile traffic commute, this was a good trade off for the 4 or 5 minute extra minutes the bike cost me on my commute.

    Riding my trails with the Kilauea, this week, brought back many memories. It also was quite an interesting lesson in how bike technology has changed. Still love that old geometry and the way the bike handled, but, wow, those old center pull brakes are pretty crude by comparison to today's disc brakes. Still a place for these old 26" MTBs, though. They accelerate like a rabbit, climb like a goat and turn on a dime. They don't hold their speed as well as my larger wheeled bikes and they can't handle the soft stuff as well, but still lots of fun.

    They really don't make them like this, anymore. Lots of miles left in my old pal, though.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,448
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Glad you found the new saddle to work, NY. Hopefully, your search for that just right saddle is over.

    Been in the steel bike mood, of late, so dusted off my old 1996 Kona Kilauea and took it for a spin. This bike won MTB bike of the year in '96 and has a superb steel frame of Tange Prestige steel. After experimenting with various types of bikes, this became my standard commuting bike in my Chicago days. It may not look like much, given all the touch up paint on the frame, but looking a bit old and worn is actually a good thing for a commuting bike in Chicago to reduce the risk of theft. A closer look, though, would reveal that I did some serious upgrades to the bike. The include a full Shimano XT crankset and a 9 speed SRAM X9/XO derailleur and shifter. All else, though, is original, except the seat.

    In the old days, the Kona was just bit slower on my 8 mile commute than the cyclocross and road bikes I had tried, but I found it to be a safer bike for commuting. It could accelerate and get out of a dangerous traffic situation much faster than a drop bar bike and sitting more upright was also an advantage for seeing traffic dangers. The wider 2" tires also handles bad roads better. On my 8 mile traffic commute, this was a good trade off for the 4 or 5 minute extra minutes the bike cost me on my commute.

    Riding my trails with the Kilauea, this week, brought back many memories. It also was quite an interesting lesson in how bike technology has changed. Still love that old geometry and the way the bike handled, but, wow, those old center pull brakes are pretty crude by comparison to today's disc brakes. Still a place for these old 26" MTBs, though. They accelerate like a rabbit, climb like a goat and turn on a dime. They don't hold their speed as well as my larger wheeled bikes and they can't handle the soft stuff as well, but still lots of fun.

    They really don't make them like this, anymore. Lots of miles left in my old pal, though.
    This is a sharp bike. Two inch tires on an urban machine is hard to find, really like it. But my, that saddle looks uncomfortable. Yes yes. To each her own.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

 

 

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