Road bike comfortable?

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Road bike comfortable?
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Posted: May 8, 2020 at 1:25 Quote
I've ridden bikes on and off my whole life, but never found a road bike comfortable. I'm not a svelte guy (6ft, heavy build and 17st) and always suffer with a sore lower back and shoulders from the forward leaning position and narrow bars.

Should my weight distribution be 50:50 hands/saddle? I'm more used to an 80:20 from a mountain bike, but need to really think about my health and fitness. I'd like to go on longer rides and more sportive events.

Any advice on making a roadie out of me?

Posted: May 9, 2020 at 12:06 Quote
macdotcom wrote:
I've ridden bikes on and off my whole life, but never found a road bike comfortable. I'm not a svelte guy (6ft, heavy build and 17st) and always suffer with a sore lower back and shoulders from the forward leaning position and narrow bars.

Should my weight distribution be 50:50 hands/saddle? I'm more used to an 80:20 from a mountain bike, but need to really think about my health and fitness. I'd like to go on longer rides and more sportive events.

Any advice on making a roadie out of me?

I'm about 17 stone as well, but I ride my road bikes a lot in relative comfort. The easy answer is to go get yourself a professional fitting at your local bike shop. Tell them your concerns and let them help you. I own and operate a bike shop, and I can assure you that this would be the best way for someone - anyone, who is not familiar with bike fitting techniques, to get into road cycling.

Also, if you want to ride far, and get into shape easily, consider a touring bike. The ride quality and geometry of a touring frame and the wheels/tires combination with let you ride farther with more comfort. This is my Surly, which is a delightful bike:


Posted: Sep 8, 2020 at 4:47 Quote
I have been riding road for 30+ years. The older I get the more I am looking at less bar to saddle drop. In my younger days a saddle to bar drop of 8 to 10 cm was ok. Now in my mid fifties I like a drop of around 3 to 4 cm.
When I am looking at a bike I need to know the saddle height from BB and the stack height. That will give me a basic guide if it is what I am looking for. A longer head tube seems to work better for me.
I had a custom Ti bike built in 2013 and tried to make it future proof. I got a longer HT and had the stem slammed with 6cm of drop. Now 7 years and a custom stem I am running 3cm of drop.Works great for me now.

Posted: Sep 9, 2020 at 5:42 Quote
Agree with above.
Stay away from the racing lineup and find a touring , gravel or endurance model. My gravel bike has 42c tires on it and although it is a couple km/h slower than my carbon race bike, it is so much more comfortable.
Get them to swap the bars to something wider 44-46cm is very comfortable for me. My racing bike is a 42 and although I can manage it, the wider bars are a huge benefit. You will need to find a good shop to help with fit. I suspect buying a comfortable road bike on buy and sell will be almost impossible if you don't know specifically what geometey works for you.

Posted: Sep 20, 2020 at 8:04 Quote
Wider bars and getting the stem length (and raising it up a bit) were the secrets for me being able to ride more than an hour. I am 6' tall with wide shoulders and going from 42cm bars to 44cm helped a lot. I think I need to go wider and am going to try 46cm. I also went from 23c to 32c tires and I am a lot more comfortable.

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