Looking for information and advice please!

Rikolet

Regular
Location
Wirral
Hi, I just joined the forum few days ago and I was reading around with interest. I'm going to a point I would like to ask a question I can't find an answer, and might be have some advice from more experienced.
I always have been cycle as a second type of activities in my life but I love it. Recently even more cycling due to lockdown obviously. I had a Specialized Sirius and it was okay for distance up to 20 miles but I realized, once I did 40 and my wrists were swollen and sore for three months (tendonitis)
So I switched to Specialized Ariel, wider tires, suspension fork, and feel really great. Downside is it's a bit heavy and I use a train all the time due to geographical features (tunnel). Besides it's size M and I'm 5.4 (don't ask me why I bought this size :sad: ).
What I realized and really puzzled me, on the steep, although heavier, Ariel perform much better, I barely stop at the end, just keep pedaling, the same places with Sirius I have to stop and take a break.
I'm thinking of new bike now and first I thought another Ariel but smaller as needs to fit my height but they are not available. What alternatives you could advise please?
I'm more a commuter, to work and back (20ish) miles a day or touring on the weekend around 50-60 miles, planning on camping etc
I looked around, I got my eye on Merida Crossway but I don't know anything about it.
Any advices will be highly appreciated.
Thanks for the patient to read all that! :smile:
 

Edwardoka

Serene Doge
Hello and welcome!

If you're having tendonitis in your wrist with no previous history of wrist issues, the most likely reason is that the bike is the wrong size for you, either by being too big, which causes you to have to overreach for the bars, which puts more leverage through the wrists, or too small, causing you to have to crane your wrists to get a comfortable position.

If you've ever played guitar you know strumming by moving your wrist is a no-no - instead, you use your elbow - and the same holds for cycling.
A constantly angled wrist on a bike will get injured very quickly because of road buzz and potholes.

The ideal position should be arms out in front of you with elbows slightly bent, and wrists straight.

Although suspension and bigger tyres will hide the problem to an extent by softening the ride and lessening the impact of road buzz and potholes, it isn't a lack of suspension that will have caused the tendonitis in the first place (most bikes don't have any suspension at all, with riders using their elbows and knees as shock absorbers).

So, with all that said... have you considered a road bike? Not a fancy carbon fibre one, entry level road bikes have come a long way in the past decade or so, and the drop bars give more hand positions. I have a B'Twin Triban 5 and it is bomb-proof and versatile enough to do everything I ask of it (except have clearance for ice tyres).

If you have your heart set on a hybrid, I would suggest buying bar ends, as these will give you another hand position and allow your wrists to sit vertically.

No matter what bike you get, you must make sure you get one that fits you, as the human body cannot compensate for a wrong-sized bike for long before it gets injured.
 
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OP
Rikolet

Rikolet

Regular
Location
Wirral
Hello and welcome!

If you're having tendonitis in your wrist with no previous history of wrist issues, the most likely reason is that the bike is the wrong size for you, either by being too big, which causes you to have to overreach for the bars, which puts more leverage through the wrists, or too small, causing you to have to crane your wrists to get a comfortable position.

If you've ever played guitar you know strumming by moving your wrist is a no-no - instead, you use your elbow - and the same holds for cycling.
A constantly angled wrist on a bike will get injured very quickly because of road buzz and potholes.

The ideal position should be arms out in front of you with elbows slightly bent, and wrists straight.

Although suspension and bigger tyres will hide the problem to an extent by softening the ride and lessening the impact of road buzz and potholes, it isn't a lack of suspension that will have caused the tendonitis in the first place (most bikes don't have any suspension at all, with riders using their elbows and knees as shock absorbers).

So, with all that said... have you considered a road bike? Not a fancy carbon fibre one, entry level road bikes have come a long way in the past decade or so, and the drop bars give more hand positions. I have a B'Twin Triban 5 and it is bomb-proof and versatile enough to do everything I ask of it (except have clearance for ice tyres).

If you have your heart set on a hybrid, I would suggest buying bar ends, as these will give you another hand position and allow your wrists to sit vertically.

No matter what bike you get, you must make sure you get one that fits you, as the human body cannot compensate for a wrong-sized bike for long before it gets injured.
Thank you very much! That's very good advice, the size of the bike and wrist/elbow position. I thought the problem came from the lack of suspension but now I'm reconsidering my opinion. Will take a look at road bikes too. As more I keep reading opinions and advice from this forum, the more I am convinced it would be a good idea. Thanks again! :smile:
 

boydj

Guru
Location
Paisley
Suspension is great off-road, but for the type of cycling you are contemplating suspension will just use energy. A road bike that fits properly will give you a variety of hand positions and be more comfortable and efficient.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Perhaps the handlebars are too wide for you? If the bike feels ok otherwise, perhaps trying narrower bars might help (Or even cutting down the ones you have).
Also on flat bar bikes, I personally find an ergonomic grip indispensable for comfort as you rest your palms and aren’t gripping all the time, not sure what the Ariel has (round ones?). Specializee used to do an ergo grip for £20 or so (as do Ergon, Bontrager)
or indeed Wiggle Lifeline brand for a tenner (plus postage)
https://www.wiggle.co.uk/lifeline-deep-palm-comfort-ergo-grips
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Regarding the hand issue, you can reassess your whole riding position and change your flat bars to a butterfly/trekking style or a swept back style for more neutral wrist set. I switched to On One Mary and also cut them down by 1cm each side. I also fitted Ergon grips.

Try holding two length of broomhandle out in front of you. Try with locked elbows then with some flex. Try with bent wrists then with a straight/neutral wrist position. Imagine the force of a punch transferring through your wrist. A bent wrist will concentrate not transfer force.
Also give your body time to adjust to longer rides. Dont extend ride duration suddenly.

Regarding the difficulty riding uphill, that is a matter of gearing which can be changed.
You can either change the rear cassette of 8/9 cogs ( or sprockets) to one with a bigger big cog. If you get a bigger smallest cog it doesnt really matter.
Or
Change the chainrings at the front to smaller ones. You may be able to just replace the small ring with a smaller ring but these systems have limits on size and the difference in size between the rings.

Suggest you post a photo of your riding position with pedal at 6:00 and 3:00 from side and front.
How many teeth on big sprocket and small chainring?
 
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Dan77

Well-Known Member
Location
Worcester
If you're doing any off road such as gravel, tow paths, etc. then it might be worth considering a gravel bike. Would be fast enough on the roads but quite capable off the road on pretty much most things unless really bumpy or technical.
 
OP
Rikolet

Rikolet

Regular
Location
Wirral
Thank you very much, guys!

You all have given me great advice and lots of material to learn, think, and check. :smile:

Ergonomic handlebars look great and I definitely will add them if I stay with the hybrid because I would like to try a drop handlebar as well.

I found out the cassette is the reason why I need more power on the lighter bike (11/32) than the heavier bike even loaded (11/34)

I keep changing my position when cycling to feel which one is more comfortable and I make quite progress there.

I keep reading and learning, it's an ongoing process for everybody! :smile:

Finally, I looked and I have my eye on Specialized Diverge Elit5. It looks as this one covers most of my needs - commuting with some luggage and weekend off-road cycling.

I would be thankful and grateful if you advise on or point some details I may miss.

Thanks again to all.
 
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