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Thread: Hi from Ohio!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Hi from Ohio!

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    Hi, new rider from Ohio! I live in the suburbs of Cincinnati, and do not drive (partially blind, so I've always been scared to try, especially since I can't pass the written section of the test. I do know that if I am able to get my license I would have 1 or 2 restrictions in place because of my vision (if able to drive at all)). So, I decided to try biking to get a new form of exercise/fun into my day and give me something to do. I normally walk but I live off of a hill that isn't safe to walk up, so I rarely leave my house. I may leave the house (other than walking around the block, etc) a few times a month. So, makes for a sad life as not driving isn't good for finding a job either (especially when uber drivers around here don't like picking or dropping off at stores because they don't like having a bunch of bags in the car, so a lot of them will cancel/not accept a ride if they notice the address as a store) - I know this because of all the Uber forums I am a member of and the only people that are okay with picking/dropping off at said locations are those of us that would actually need the ride to/from the place. :/

    So, hopefully, I know it won't be easy and will take awhile, I'll get to the point where I can get up/down the hills, etc and possibly look for a job again in person. I used to bike for fun when I was a child/until the age of about 14. My old bike was a 10 speed and only had gears on the right handlebar. My current bike:

    Giant Boulder SE
    ALLUX Budding Tubing (I think that's what it says)
    Shimano Super-Low 14-34T
    Unsure of the year

    It is a loaner from a family member who never rides it, but it isn't mine and I can't afford one of my own at the moment. I do know that I need to go get fit as the saddle is all the way down (my uncle even took the back reflector off as I won't be cycling at night until I get used to it again) and I still have to tip-toe to touch the ground. My height is 4'11-5'0 but one leg is (as well as that foot being smaller) slightly shorter than the other. My inseam is 24" exactly, or 22/23" if you only measure to your ankle, as I've read in some places to measure to. My uncle says he would estimate that it's still about .5" to 1" too tall for me.. so as soon as I can, I will go get properly fit (even if it's a different bike). I CAN ride the one I have (as I ride for up to 10 minutes a day, not long at all but trying to learn the gears and such, and it's not a straight path so makes it a bit more difficult to learn on curves, etc). I notice when going down a hill/curve that my left foot (the shorter leg/smaller foot) tends to slip off the pedal still, which freaks me out to begin with... My weight also fluctuates between 199-210 at any given time and I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it.

    Woah! I'm so sorry this is so long!! I just got to talking and didn't shut up. Anywho, I hope to learn as much as I can on these forums - I have joined a few others as well - as they are female focused. I'm looking forward to checking out all the areas of the forum - especially the clothing area I haven't changed anything on the bike, everything is like it was when it was purchased.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Welcome, ValerieAnn. Good for you for getting out and trying. Ask, away.

    Based on your height, you definitely would be in a small frame or even an XS. As for using inseam for a fit clue, use your bike inseam, not your pants inseam, as per Surly bikes:

    "(Make sure you are referencing your "cycling inseam" and not your pants inseam: Stand with your back against a wall, your bare feet 6" apart on a hard floor, looking straight ahead. Place a book or carpenter's square between your legs with one edge against the wall, and pull it up firmly into your crotch. Have a helper measure from the top edge of the book to the floor. (You can convert inches to centimeters by multiplying inches by 2.54.) Repeat two or three times, for consistency, and average the results to get your inseam length."

    One leg shorter than the other is also solvable. Maybe use a sole implant in the shoe and so on. As for the foot slipping, that can also be solved by taking some of your weight off the seat and shifting it down to the pedals on a downhill run or just getting a different style of pedal. All in all, though, I think it's best to just get on the bike and ride a little bit, daily, and work up to longer rides, slowly, as you have been doing.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Welcome Valerie!

    It sounds like your saddle height is actually pretty close to what is should be. Toe tips barely brushing the ground while seated is correct. Too low and you can't pedal freely and allow your leverage (skeleton) to do the work. A low saddle forces you to clench a bit and cramp your muscles in a too crouched position. You may need the bar height and saddle position (for and aft) adjusted a bit, but that is hard to figure out on your own.

    As North Woods said, you can correct the leg length issue. (A lot of people have this issue).

    One thing, my right leg tends to be shorter, but it is actually that my right hip sits higher due to a lower back issue. If I sit upright with my weight on my sitbones, more weight rests on the left hip. I can compensate by pressing into the seat with my right sitbone, and lifting up through my hips and core abdomen so that I sit up better. This straightens everything out. Since it is your left that is shorter, you could try pulling in your abs while applying a bit more pressure to the left sitbone while lifting up through your body. See if that helps.

    You will probably need the smallest size available whatever bike you try. Surly and Salsa Trader on Facebook is a nice place to find a used bike when you are ready. Just let me know, you have to be FB 'friends,' with a member so you can be added. I can see you on an XS Salsa Vaya. Or maybe a Soma Buena Vista. Both have very low standover, but have lively rides. And you can choose drop bars, straight bars, or swept back on either and make them work well. But the Giant Boulder looks like a good Hybrid to start with. In fact, an inexpensive hybrid is good for basic transportation. An expensive bike is a target for thieves.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 10-10-2017 at 12:29 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.


    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    northern Virginia
    Hi Valerie,

    I don't have anything to add to the information from NWG and Muirenn, but wanted to say hi. I'm curious, what makes that hill dangerous to walk up?

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles



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