1.13.2011

new year|new bike


It's a new year, and frankly I ain't getting any younger, and my tailbone pain has only receded but not gone away completely. KT is tired of the pain in her ass, so I am in the market for some new wheels. I have been considering the Specialized Roulux, as it is touted as the most ergonomic bicycle on the market. I like that they specifically mention that the bike absorbs an uneven city landscape, not your butt. So I am planning on getting fit at Mike's Bikes and test-riding one very soon.

My goal is to find a bike that feels like the right bike for me. So I'm not going to make my decision based on what the design team says alone. It's important to test the waters before you totally jump in.

In the meantime, one of our loyal readers sent me this great article with a wealth of urban bike reviews.

I'm curious what our readers might have to say through the experience of riding their own bicycles in their own cities. I'm looking for comfort, ergonomics, smooth ride, and of course, style. SEND ME YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS, s'il vous plaît!


25 comments:

Jores said...

You want style? Comfort? Take BART across the bay one Saturday and visit the guys at Rivendell in Walnut Creek. You will not be sorry, even if you don't buy anything there.

Kristin Tieche said...

THAT is a GREAT idea.

Ramona W. said...

i think you should check out a retrovelo and some other granny bikes at mydutchbike. 8 speed or 3 speed would be fine for most city rides. Upright posture, sprung leather saddle, wide tires, steel frame- those are the things that lead to smoothing out the bumps of city riding. let me know if you want help shopping.

kfg said...

That Specialized isn't actually a bad looking bike (espcially in red), but with compact aluminum frame and 28 mm tires maybe it needs those rubber blocks.

A steel Rivendell expanded frame on 33 1/3 mm Jack Browns, or something even fatter, is all sorts of ergonomic, comfy goodness, at least for the diamond frames (I haven't ridden the Betty).

More rubber (well, air volume actually) in the tires before more rubber in the frame.

You could even try a cruiser. You might be surprised.

Anonymous said...

Please measure your sit-bones first, then measure your current saddle. Tailbone pain is generally from a saddle that is too narrow, so you end up weightbearing on ligaments that anchor to the coccyx instead of weightbearing on the ischial tuberosities. It may not be your bike, it could be your saddle is too narrow or too padded or too domed. Check out Team Estrogen's saddle threads for detailed information.

Kristin Tieche said...

@kfg - I don't want a cruiser. I've tried cruisers and first they're not fast enough for me and second there's something about the laid back position that doesn't sit right with me. But I am definitely going to contact the Rivendell folks and hit them sometime in February.

@anonymous - I have had my tailbone measured and got the Specialized Ariel seat which has helped tremendously but not enough. Read more here:

http://www.velovogue.com/2010/09/back-in-saddle.html

kfg said...

"I don't want a cruiser."

If ya don't want one, ya don't want one.

"they're not fast enough for me and second there's something about the laid back position that doesn't sit right"

On the other hand you haven't tried one of mine. If I ever come out to SF I wouldn't bother bringing a bike, I'd just carry a few tools and bits and buy a cruiser. The frame is just my canvas. Then I'd sell it when I left.

Now that the TSA has started random stop and searches on Amtrak it may be awhile though. I got enough of that shit from the KGB to last me a lifetime.

Kristin Tieche said...

is the KGB kind of like kfg?

Kristin Tieche said...

@Ramona, maybe let's go hang out with Soraya in February!

kfg said...

"is the KGB kind of like kfg?"

They're reasonably close to opposites. I have no particular interest in what's down your pants.

Nuttin' personal.

Anonymous said...

Grant will take care of you. He'll put you on a Riv with a Brooks B67, and you will love it. No more tailbone pain.

You could save $2,500 and just buy the Brooks B67 and put it on your mixte...

Behind Riv is a really nice restaurant where my wife and I go after visiting the shop. Plan to take most of the day there in Walnut Creek!

m e l i g r o s a said...

soraya, rivendell and a bunch of bay area testing, looking forward to your findings GF! I am lucky that frenchie fits me parfait --or so I think...
I havent bought a new bike in over a decade, but wish you the best of luck finding one, bet you will have tons of fun doing so! xxom

Florida said...

Hi KT. I got to test ride a few electric bicycles at the SD Auto Show earlier this month. I really liked the electric assist feature, which might be esp good for riding up those hills in SF. Comfort...well, I didn't ride them for that long, but they were fun to ride, and peppy.

Ramona W. said...

let:s do it! I am a bike consultant you know and for you my work is pro-bono. muaaah.

Kristin Tieche said...

Awesome - Ramona, you are more than welcome to join me in my quest!

Thanks for all your support and comments so far!

xo

Kristin Tieche said...

Awesome - Ramona, you are more than welcome to join me in my quest!

Thanks for all your support and comments so far!

xo

steve said...

New saddle and new handlebars make a world of difference.

Kristin Tieche said...

Hi Steve,

what kind of handlebars?

steve said...

I ride a comfort bicycle and changed the MTB Handlebar from a 2 inch rise to a 5 inch rise. Made a world of difference. My seat height adjusted felt great but there was that "lean" factor with the 2 inch that had me sitting just a bit forward on my crotch. The 5 inch rise balanced the "zone". Aside from seating comfort I like the wrist position that this handlebar offers.

cb said...

so exciting! right as we speak my man is picking me up a some mixte! but we still have to get wheels as it is just the frame....jores has a great idea rivendell bikes are sooooo amazing but OH MY GOD they are so pricing but worth taking a look and drooling...i love their website. they are a source of inspiration for sure!!


oh by the way i was thinking of sending you a post about me and my husband riding our tandem...if you are still cool with that where should i send it?

xo,
cb

Kristin Tieche said...

Hi cb,

please send your pics via the VV flickr page (you're already a member). You can put captions on your pics there and I will do my best to put it all together. If it's easier for you, you can also email me at velovogue[at]gmail[dot]com.

thanks!!!

nio said...

hey KT, good luck finding the perfect bike for you, all that test riding sounds awesome!

i'm not a fan of "comfort" bikes. i've never had so much pain as i had on ergonomic comfort bikes.

imo that position is great for people who don't ride much or have wrist/arm/shoulder problems. but otherwise it's better distributing some weight onto the arms and curling the back more. the spine is springier that way and not all ones weight is on the pelvis. tho it's harder at first if unused to it.

when i hit a pothole upright it's infinitely more painful than when i'm forward! a springy saddle distributes shocks over a few bounces, but it's still all transferred thru the pelvis and puts a lot of pressure on the lower back thru all the bounces.

just my $.02 from my experiences. ymmv. hope u find a solution, and have fun getting there! =D

Kristin Tieche said...

Thanks, Nio. I will definitely take that 2 cents!

Adrienne Johnson said...

If you are willing to throw down the cash that a Riv would require then you have a lot of options. Talk to James about it as he is our local walking encyclopedia of all things bicycle. He loves to find bicycles!

Kristin Tieche said...

I will come to your house for dinner sometime soon, Ade, and interrogate James.