Road bike felt weird

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by BearPear, 6 Apr 2010.

  1. BearPear

    BearPear Über Member

    God's Own County
    I had a sit on hubby's road bike to see what difference there was between that and my hybrid. I realise that it was a flawed test since I am quite petite (5' 4") and he is a good 5 inches taller and as a consequence his frame-size is bigger.

    I wasn't expecting to feel completely comfortable but as I cycled about 20 feet but felt totally out of control. The handlebars felt too low and I was unbalanced. I had to glide to a halt because I thought if I used the brakes I would topple over.

    My question is this, can I get any idea of how a road bike feels by testing another person's bike or is it so far removed from what would suit me as to be a nonsense test? Mr BP said that it will feel different to my bike because of the skinny tyres and drops, but I wasn't expecting it to be so awful!
  2. Cool_Mint

    Cool_Mint New Member

    You'll never be able to get a feel for it on a bike that size, it's just way too big.

    Road bikes do feel very different to "normal" bikes, I just bought myself my first tourer and it's not easy getting used to the strange position of the brakes; I know there must be a good reason for them being in that position but I still find it awkward trying to stop the bike.
  3. Ha Ha a friend of mine who is a seriously mtb only kind of rider,had a go of my racer the other week-he wasn't impressed either.
    Think you would get the general idea even if the size is not right.
  4. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    a) you need a bike that fits you, and :biggrin: you need A LOT more than 20 feet of riding to get used to a new bike with very different setup to your current. Maybe 200 miles, I think. It's all too easy to resist the odd feeling that results when you first ride, and ignore the idea of just riding it until your sense of proprioception and balance has a chance to adjust.
  5. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    When I 1st rode a road bike, I felt very strange vs the BMX I used to ride (stating the obvious?) , especially when I cornered and the front wheel hit my foot :smile: But its something you get used to, whether you enjoy it of not is another matter.
  6. kendalcottages

    kendalcottages New Member

    I've tried road bikes on a few occasions and never really felt comfortable/balanced on them. I guess I just need to do it more to get used to it (?)...
  7. colinr

    colinr Well-Known Member

    I have exactly the same feeling when riding flat bars and chunky tyres, everything feels wrong :smile: Like others said, it's a case of getting used to something different.

    As for sizing, numbers on the internet have been wholly unhelpful for me. I'm now of the opinion that if you can reach everything comfortably and ride as far as you want without it crippling you, it's probably ok.
  8. biking_fox

    biking_fox Veteran

    Despite only ever owning road bikes, if I have to have a long break off the bike, or I've been riding a flatbar whilst mine is in the shop, coming back to the road bike does feel odd. They're all twitchy and responsive, the balance is just different.

    As above it can take a few miles/hours to get the feel for it - but they're great fun once you do.
  9. 515mm

    515mm Well-Known Member

    Road bikes do teach you to be a much smoother rider. They're far more resposive than an MTB and any rider input appears magnified. Once you've learned to relax and keep still the upper body, not fight the machine, but let it do it's own thing, you'll appreciate how efficient they are. When you go back to an MTB it'll feel like a tractor but you'll be far more efficient on it!

    I reckon a good couple of hundred miles should do it. I'm with BentMikey on that one.
  10. The first time I rode drops after a 20 year or so gap, it felt weird the first time too but the 2nd time it felt great and it just got better and better.
  11. Rebel Ian

    Rebel Ian Well-Known Member

    Even switching between my Bianchi and Specialized feels very different so MTB to road would feel worlds apart.
  12. OP

    BearPear Über Member

    God's Own County
    I think I need to find a small-sized road bike for a proper sit. My LBS has ladies road bikes, but only Trek. My hybrid is a Trek and I love it, but I would like to try a variety of road options - I understand that Specialized and Giant do a ladies fit. I need small handlebars as my little mitts can't reach the brakes, even on the hoods of the ladies Trek.

    Oh to be longer limbed!

    Thanks for your comments
  13. ChristinaJL

    ChristinaJL New Member

    I have a specialized dolce elite road bike and love it. I too have small hands and even on that with the added rubber bungs in the brakes I can't reach the brakes on the drops that effectively, which made for some very scary 20% downhill gradients. ;) So, I got the LBS to fit crosstop brakes on and this works really well for me. :biggrin:

    I switched from a hybrid to road bike over 2 years ago, and it didn't feel funny at all, so I'd go and try as many out as possible, it's good fun trying new bikes out. :sad:
  14. new-fish

    new-fish Well-Known Member

  15. jay clock

    jay clock Massive member

    Hampshire UK
    you have done the equivalent of moving from a Fiesta to a Porsche, and left the seat so far back that you cannot depress the clutch without shuffling forward.

    You do need to fit the bike, and set up the bike to be comfy before heading off. Find a good bike shop to help
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