My new bike doesn’t sing to me. What to do? - CycleBlaze

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My new bike doesn’t sing to me. What to do?

Kelly Iniguez
Bacchetta Agio with an AD Carson seat. It is otherwise stock.

I am a recumbent rider. Since 1998 I have ridden some form of Stratus, a long recumbent. The Agio is almost 2 feet shorter, which would make it a good (or at least better) bike to box for a long awaited trip to Spain/Portugal. 

I found this used bike in Tucson, cheap. I spent more on installing my preferred seat and getting a tune up than I did on the bike. Ironic.

I've taken it on four rides, totaling about 100 miles. The bike is adjusted properly, no body parts complain. I was surprised that the seat is tall enough I can't get a flat foot down at stops. That's not user friendly, but it is somewhat common with recumbents. I've owned one other recumbent (a P-38) that I couldn't get my foot down. It's not a total deal breaker, but it is a safety consideration. 

My real issue is that the bike just doesn't resonate with me. There's no more adjustments to be made. I can't see anything changing that will suddenly make me look forward to riding it. At the moment I'm alternating bikes on the days I ride. The Agio is the next bike up. I give a mental sigh at the thought .  I'm debating admitting failure and putting the bike in the basement, or selling it.

For years we've had a fun rule that a bike is paid for once you've ridden a mile for every dollar spent on the bike. This was a fairly inexpensive experiment, but I'm nowhere near 'paying' for it. 

I'm at the point in life where I want to enjoy every minute on the bike. I've decided I'm breaking my own rule. 

That's all a long background story to the question - have you ever had a bike that fit you fine, but it wasn't an enjoyable ride? What did you do then? Keep riding? Sell?

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4 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Kelly Iniguez

The question is- why are you riding a bicycle?  For me the answer is to get a feeling of joy while travelling. If a bike does not do that for me and there is no alternate that does in my stable then I would grudgingly keep and use it, otherwise I would sell it on and wait for the "right" one to come my way.

Interestingly I have found that bikes that used to feel great, first one we rode cross Canada in 2011, my Bike Friday that we rode around Europe until 2018? when it was smooshed by a car,  no longer have a really comfortable fit. I still have them and may do some tweaking to try to feel the love again (especially the Friday) but ....I dunno.

Dodie, half of the Grampies

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4 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Kelly Iniguez

I've heard about people who try out many bikes before finding the one that is just right.  Some people pay large sums for custom-fitted bikes.  Maybe I'm not discerning enough, or maybe I have the right body dimensions, or maybe I'm just lucky, but every time I've test-driven a bike I ended up buying it and never regretted my purchase.  Then I ride them almost every day.

Only after the bike starts rusting out (Minnesota winters) and is no longer reliable do I find it not enjoyable. 

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4 months ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Kelly Iniguez

Hi Kelly

If you sell it, you would only need to have ridden it for the miles between what you paid and what you sold it for to meet your rule.

I currently have 6 bikes, two of which I haven't ridden in years.  One has lots of memories, but needs work--which I'm not willing to pay someone else to do, given that I've had the bike since 1987 and was using it as my around-town, don't-bother-stealing-me ride.  Plus it's always been too big for me and I'm getting too old to tolerate it.  I will probably fix it and sell it (it's a great touring bike).  The other is a very nice road bike I didn't get to ride much before getting pregnant and then having kids to chase.  I'll fix it up and use it as my around-town bike, perhaps.

Then there's my first mountain bike.  A rigid one, purchased new in 1988, and which never brought me joy.  It hung in the carport and got rusty and I finally gave it to a colleague just before he retired.  He fixed it up and rode it everywhere--I have to admit it fit and suited him better than it ever did me.

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4 months ago
Wayne EstesTo Kelly Iniguez

Kelly,

One comment about putting your heel down. Put your LEFT foot down because the pavement is almost always higher on the left side.

I've never owned a recumbent that allowed me to put my heel down. A toe-down stop is seldom a problem when braking firmly. But there is always a chance of slipping on slick pavement or because of a wind gust.

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3 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Wayne Estes

I am left footed. Perhaps because I'm left handed? I have definitely noticed the slope of the road playing an issue. 

Jacinto's well worn cycling shoes show that he is right footed - the tread on his right fore foot is almost completely worn off from coming down at stops. 

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3 months ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Wayne Estes

"the pavement is almost always higher on the left side"

It depends on where you are traveling.  While most countries drive on the right these days, in the fifteen countries in which we have cycle toured eight drive on the left and seven on the right.

I am "right footed" so the countries that drive on the left suit me better ... or maybe I am right footed because my home country drives on the left ?

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3 months ago
Mike AylingTo Jean-Marc Strydom

Here in Australia we drive on the left.

I have always mounted my bike from the right side (although I am right handed/footed) but almost everyone that I ride with mount from the left. One theory I found was that mounting from the left placed the bike between the rider and passing traffic thus providing a small amount of protection from passing traffic when mounting. IMO mounting from the left means that the rider is on the low side of the road camber and has to lift his/her leg higher to mount a diamond frame bike.

Mike

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3 months ago
Graham SmithTo Kelly Iniguez

“...but it wasn't an enjoyable ride? What did you do then? Keep riding? Sell?

I left my very light Titanium Leap Performer rest unused on its wall hanger for the past two years. Partly because there was something about the ride feel I wasn’t totally comfortable with, and partly because my steel Thorn Audax bike has been such a great all-rounder, I really had no need for the Ti bike now that I’ve stopped going in event rides where bike weight really did make a difference. I was on the cusp of selling it.

Then a few weeks ago, I pumped up the Leap Performer’s tyres, fitted some small bags to it and went for a long day ride. Lo and behold it felt amazing. It really is a great bike. So it’s now well and truly back in favour. I won’t be selling it.

The Ti Leap Performer kitted out for lightly loaded day rides.
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3 months ago
Edward HitchcockTo Kelly Iniguez

Hi Kelly

I think the traditional solution is to put in the garage with the rest of your fleet, to ride one day when you just want ....

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3 months ago