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Bike technology

karen3301 said:
I have not ridden a bike per se for nearly 25 years. I am embarassed to admit that I cannot believe how technology has changed since then. I bought a modern style bike that does not allow one to place their feet flat on the ground, which is what I was used to doing "when I was young". I have been keeping the seat low enough to place my toes on the ground, but then I have slightly too much knee bend and some ache in my knees. I have had the modern bike a month now and cannot get used to the tippy toe feeling; I believe I cannot control the bike as well as I did back when I have both feet on the ground. I am afraid to take the bike in traffic unless I drastically lower the seat. Should I keep on trying to get "used" to the higher seated new bikes, or invest in a old "cruiser" style flat foot bike? I am serious, dont laugh!!!
Well, this really isn't a matter of bike technology changing over the years (although there could be aspects of changing fashion sense). There were plenty of bikes 25 years ago that had saddles high enough that the cyclist couldn't put their feet flat on the ground. What has changed is the perception that all cyclists should be Lance Armstrong, and only "racing bikes" are worthy of being ridden by modern cyclists.

Whether you should get a bike that allows you stand flat footed depends on how you plan to ride the bike and what you expect from it. Generally speaking, the high saddle position is good for efficiency and speed, and is prefered by people who intend to ride fast or for long distances. (These people also tend to ride with cleated road cycling shoes, which are difficult to walk in.) If you plan to ride long distances, than it might be best to learn to adapt to the higher saddle position.

If instead you use your bike for cruising around town, going to the park, to get to the corner cafe, etc., and speed and efficiency are not as important to you as comfort and convenience, then a "cruiser" style bike might be a better fit for you.

But in any case, remember that it is better to fit the bicycle to the rider, than to fit the rider to the bicycle. Which ever bike gives you the most enjoyment is the one that fits you best.
 

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that last one was a good responce.

25 years ago bikes for the most part were designed for all around use. Today, most are built for a specific market. Unfortunatly most buying a bike are steered to the wrong type of bike.

Look at kids. they tend to be the big focus for trends.

The kids all want a badass dual suspension bike despite the fact they will never take it off the pavement. (A 40lb kids bike isn't much fun to a 65lb kid trying to get it up a hill)

The 'Lance Effect' has also had its impact. Even within road bikes there are very few people that should ever use a racing geometry. Bikes designed for touring or towies are much more appropriate.

But alas, they aren't sexy and we all want sexy...

Without seeing you and the bike I'd recommend you just lower the seat to your comfort level. As you build confidence, raise it 1-2cm at a time.

What I really advise is taking the bike back to the shop and share your concerns. A good shop will help you alter the bike and your posisiton to fit your needs. A great shop might take it back and put you on a diffrent bike all together. (if your needs are way off from what they sold you)

Also, find your way into an empty parking lot and play around with the bike. Not having cars or other riders around to distract or create concern will help the learning process.

You're wearing your helmet right?
 

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Good question, actually.

Not a stupid question at all. "Being able to put your foot flat on the ground" probably was the only bike fit advice around when you started riding.

If you decide on riding a serious bike with your seat higher off the ground, get someone to teach you how to get rolling and how to come to a stop. These are the moments that beginning riders fear most - and for good reasons. Ignoring racing situations here, the slower a bike travels, the more difficult it is to control. It would help you very much if someone could point out to you the proper steps in getting on the bike, get moving, come to a stop, and get off the bike. These steps are specific, clearly defineable, and can be taught. Don't accept the silly and utterly useless "just do it" garbage.

An hour of practice with a knowledgeable and articulate teacher will have you enjoying a serious bike. Once you're comfortable with starting and stopping, the rest is easy.:)
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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I think for all of us who went from riding as kids, then really didn't ride, and then went and got a "real" bike as an adult, that was an adjustment (not to mention the tragedy of no banana seat!)

But you'll be amazed how quickly just having a tilted pelvis and a toe down (or all the way off the saddle so you can stand flat footed for longer stops) will feel natural. I PROMISE.
 

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When coming to a stop, remove one foot from a pedal in anticipation of putting it down on the pavement when you stop. As you come to a stop, raise yourself off the seat using the foot that's still on the pedal, (kinda like you're standing up on the bike). As the bike stops, put your "free foot" down. At this time, you should standing with one foot on a pedal, one foot on the pavement, straddling the top tube on your bike.

When starting, turn your crank arm to the 2 o'clock position. Push down on the pedal & raise yourself onto the seat. Place you other foot on the other pedal, and you're off. Just a suggestion...practice this in your driveway, parking lot, etc. until you have it really down pat. When you're confident, take it to the streets.
 
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