Bicycle soul mate - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum

Bicycle soul mate

Kelly Iniguez

Having a comfortable riding position is important to a bicycle tourist. We spend hours and hours riding our bicycles. If something doesn't feel right, we know it by the end of the day!

I rode a regular diamond frame bicycle for years, but could never get the right combination of seat, bicycle shorts, position, etc. I tried them all. Finally it got to the point I was going to give up riding. That would have been sad! I ended up ordering a recumbent, sight unseen, back in 1998. Bliss! Nothing hurt! I might be tired at the end of the day, but not in pain.

However, not all things are perfect. My bicycle of choice is literally eight feet long. It is inconvenient to transport or get in motel rooms. Riding down the road, I have a smooth cruising machine.

I periodically try other, shorter recumbents. Those experiments have not gone well for various reasons. An astute friend mentioned this summer that perhaps I've found my bicycle soul mate, and I should quit trying. 

I've had to mull that around. Is there such a thing as a bicycle soul mate? Opinions?

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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Kelly Iniguez

Yup.  I’m thinking Rachael.

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1 month ago
marilyn swettTo Kelly Iniguez

Interesting terminology! But I do think that some 'bents fit you better than others. I love my Sun AX bike even though it's not a high end one. It has a lower bottom bracket than others I've tried so I can easily put one foot down when I stop and stay balanced. 

Have you considered having your Stratus coupled? it's expensive, but could allow you to take it apart and pack it in a more compact case for airport travel. Our Screamer was coupled and we too advantage of that feature several times. 

Our new Seavo is not coupled and we're considering having it done just to be able to fly with it. Right now we don't need to do it but I my dream would be to fly to Europe someday and do a bike tour. 

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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauTo Kelly Iniguez

Even though she doesn't tour with me, the Feeshko (AKA my wife) is my bicycle soul mate because she gives me the freedom to connect with my other bicycle soul mates:  My bike, my tent, and the road. 

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1 month ago
John PescatoreTo Kelly Iniguez

Kelly - I don't seem that have that for bikes. I tend to be a serial monogamist - every new bike I buy is the greatest ever until about 20 years later when I buy a new one!

There are two areas where I kinda have the soul mate thing:

  • Tires - once I find a brand/model of tire that seems to reduce flatting, last longer and seem grippy on wet roads, then all I want to use is that tire. Which inevitably leaves me (is no longer made) a few years later and the tire soul mate search starts up again.
  • Bottom bracket to seat and seat to bars dimensions, cleat placement - the last new bike I bought came with a discounted fancy fitting session, with cameras and laser beams and all kind of cool stuff. I thought that over 40 years of adult cycling I'd twiddled enough to find the optimum dimension myself, but the fitter raised my seat almost an inch and moved my cleats to the back of my shoes. It could just be Dumbo's magic feather at work, but those changes made a huge difference in leg/arm/back fatigue after long rides. I rented a bike in Portland a few years ago to do the 206 mile 2 day Portaland to Seattle ride, transferred those dimensions and felt great after 120 miles the first day - my longest one day ever.

I used to think I had a soul mate relationship with a certain seat but after doing a three day tour on the seat that came with a Jamis bike I realized I probably carry enough padding and hardened flesh on my butt that (within reason) the shape of the seat really doesn't matter that much to me.

I often fall in love with certain water bottles but they always mysteriously disappear...

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1 month ago
Rachael AndersonTo Gregory Garceau

I love your reply!  You and the Feeshko are the best!

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1 month ago
Rachael AndersonTo Scott Anderson

What a coincidence I’m thinking Scott.  It’s especially nice now that I can go ahead and we can track each other with our gps’s.

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1 month ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo Kelly Iniguez

When I set off on my first solo tour to NZ in 1992, my Davidson bike built in Seattle had a totem of a Dragonfly....symbol of transformation. That certainly rang true of what my bike has done for me over the years starting with my now Dutch husband of 26 years. Rachel

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1 month ago