TOO LEANED OVER; NEW BIKE?
August 9, 2005
Back to questions
I hope you can give me some
advice as to what kind of bike to get.
Right now I have a mountain bike
that I do not like because of the way my posture is on it.
All my weight is on my arms and hands; after riding about
half an hour my fingers get tingly like when your hand goes
I want to get a bike that would
allow me to sit more ergonomically correct (upright) and,
I hope, be able to ride for longer periods of time. Someone
suggested I get a hybrid.
I live in the Lincoln Park neighborhood
of Chicago and all my riding is around the city.
Unlike most parents, I find bad
posture one of the easiest things to correct.
But first lets talk basics.
Except for the posture problem, do you like your bike? I
mean, do you like the color, how fast you can go on it,
how it handles, how you look on it? If you answered "yes"
to all of these, it seems wasteful to get a new bike when
you can fix the posture thing easily.
A lot has to do with the upside-down
L-shaped piece of metal that connects the handlebar to the
bike. We call this piece the handlebar stem.
On many mountain bikes, the long
part of the stem sticks way forward and sits almost parallel
to the ground. Imagine that instead your bike had a stem
about a third of the length, sticking almost straight up.
This would make you lean over a lot less. If your bike,
however, already has a stem like the latter, then you might
just need a smaller bike (I mean one with smaller front-to-back
I suggest you go to a trusted bike
shop and ask them how much itd cost to replace the
handlebar stemperhaps with an adjustable one that
lets you dial in the posture you want.
But what if you dont really
like the bike you have? Then Id advise getting a new
one. In my book Urban Bikers
Tricks & Tips Ive provided a bunch of
guidance on matching your needs to bike types, plus a list
of manufacturers with bike models specially made to fit
women. Also look at my "Ask Mr Bike" Web page:
Under BUYING BIKES click on "What type of bike to buy?"