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Discussion Starter #1
Man, this thing is killing me!

Purchased new in 2000, an Iron Horse Catskill/21 speed - 18"/26x1.9 tires. (Comfort bike) I did very little riding on it because of job/other commitments at the time. Finally decided to get it out a month ago. Since it has no suspension, I feel every little bump in the road.

Mostly riding on paved bike trails at a local park with some packed dirt, sometimes on road but not a lot.

Aired the tires down to the minimum (40 psi), helped a little but not much. I was thinking of going with a Thudbuster to soften some of the jarring.

From what I have been reading, full suspension bikes are not really recommended for road type riding, or the type of riding that I do...

Also, this bike seems extremely heavy & slow to me; I didn't weigh it yet, but I also have a Trek 830 in storage that seems to be half the weight of this Iron Horse.

Is the Iron Horse considered a heavy bike? Is it worth the time/money to invest in this bike, or should I just move on to something else?

It is in immaculate condition, I was considering a trade-in if a local dealer would be interested.

Need some suggestions here - a lot has changed since I last rode, around 10 yrs. ago...

Any all suggestions welcome! :)
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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Have you been fitted for the bike? Twenty five years ago, that's what we rode off-road. If it's uncomfortable to ride something with 1.9" tires at 40 PSI, I'm not completely convinced that it's the bike, but rather how it fits you. And yes, I would expect it to be slow with those tires and pressure.

My advice would be to have someone check your seat height and fore/aft, as well as your stem length and bar height.

Welcome to TwoSpoke!
 

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Premium Member
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As the Hackmeister said, welcome!

Regarding your bike, I think fit is an issue as well as your tire pressures. 40 psi is rather low, while it might be great for sand and certain types of mud, I think you are going to have a lot of rolling resistance on a paved path/road.

From my research on the 'web, it looks like your bike has a suspension seat post. I would try to firm up the suspension on it, I think you can set spring tension on it with a hex key to set preload.

If getting a good fit and 60 psi doesn't help you have some other options. One is a new seatpost with a better sprung system and you can couple that with a sprung saddle.

While road bikes do not have suspension per se, most hybrids have suspension forks. My hybrid (as well as my wife's) both have suspension forks, sprung saddles and suspension seat posts. It's like taking a ride in an old Caddie, you just kind of float along. That being said, I run my 700x38 tires @ 85 psi and my wife's @ 100 psi.

Get a good bike fit and go from there.

Most important: Welcome back to cycling!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much for the warm welcome guys! :)

Yep, I've been bitten by the bug again & experiencing a lot of stress relief by cycling.

Have you been fitted for the bike?
When you say "fitted...". I did purchase it at a pro bike shop & it was set up for me, yes. I can't really remember all the detail, that was so long ago now.

According to the instructions I read online, the seat height & stem is set correct for me. I think what is bother me the most is the jarring/ vibration. I didn't seem to mind it that much 10-15 yrs. ago, but now it is getting to me.

I'm 45, and I am fairly active/athletic, but at this point I am not into beating myself with a stiff bike ride like I could 20 yrs. ago. :eek:

My hybrid (as well as my wife's) both have suspension forks, sprung saddles and suspension seat posts. It's like taking a ride in an old Caddie, you just kind of float along.
Oh wow, this is what I am wanting! I believe I would enjoy that very much.

Question; Do all the Hybrids have the straight or "low" handlebars? My Comfort bike has bars that are higher & I seem to like that more, not having to bend over to reach straight bars.

Or maybe I am over-thinking that; Are you really bent over on the Hybrid with a lot of pressure on your hands?
 

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Cycling is a bit of a pain in the ass. You get used to it.

Lowering your handlebars could move some weight from your seat to your hands. Might help a little. Padded shorts and padded gloves recommended. Thudbuster sounds like a good idea to me. Do you already have a suspension seatpost?

Counterintuitively, most riders find a smaller, firmer saddle more comfortable to the big thickly padded seats that come on most comfort bikes. You might try something like a WTB Speed V saddle. Nicely padded, but not too big.

If you want to buy a new bike, Giant Accend might suit you. Full suspension with limited travel, http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/accend/9023/48879/ :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I double-checked an online set-up guide from my local bike shop, & all adjustments look good for me. I wear padded bike shorts. A suspension seatpost comes stock on this bike, but it is not adjustable. I suppose it does help out a bit.

I do have a big thickly padded seat on the bike - I can't image that some smaller/firmer one will be more comfortable...how does that work? :confused:

I don't usually wear the padded gloves, they are uncomfortable/ make my hands sweat.


I want to go with a Thudbuster, that sounds like a great idea; I am doing some research now to see if I can get other parts for this bike, such as a front suspension. I don't know if all these sizes are "common" across the board & everything interchanges easily or not.

Since Ironhorse went under in '09, or was sold? I want to make sure I'm not throwing good money at a bad thing.


BTW, I checked out the Giant in the link. That looks very nice, complete with very nice features/disc brakes/suspension/etc.

But the seat height/geometry just seems uncomfortable to me.

Look at the bike in this link;
http://tinyurl.com/dxrkar8

The horizontal tube angles down & the seat is lower than the handlebars. It would seem that this would make for a more comfortable upright riding position...am I wrong on this?
 

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If wearing gloves is uncomfortable for you, riding a bicycle will be hell. Bicycling involves considerably more discomfort than does the wearing of gloves. You need to be a little bit hardy to ride. And there will be sweating, whether or not you're wearing gloves.

Little old ladies ride bicycles. You don't need to be Superman, but you can't be a princess.

Test ride some bikes and see what you like.

I ride an old Iron Horse when I visit my sister. It's a little heavy but not a bad ride. I've never seen your bike, but my guess is the Schwinn would not be a big improvement.

If your butt hurts, a position that puts some of your weight on the handlebars might help. That means lower handlebars.

Putting more weight on the pedals and less on the saddle will help too. :thumbsup:
 

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You need to learn how to use your body as your suspension. Loosen up your grip on the handle bars and get up out of the saddle a little to ride through the rough spots. By absorbing the impacts on the road with your joints natural movement.

IMO riding a bike like a 72 caddy will do your body even more harm by increasing the up and down motion created by the impacts.

To me the joy of riding the bike is becoming more than just the motor. When you become part of the suspension you will be able to ride better and safer due to your overall increased control of the bike.

Just my .02
 

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Yes, getting off your saddle when riding over rough spots is much better advice than what I've given you. :eek: More than two cents better.
 

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Its all good advice for the OP. They need to read through it all and take what will work for them. We are all different.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Its all good advice for the OP. They need to read through it all and take what will work for them. We are all different.
I appreciate all of the posts and will re-read them and consider each one. It is nice to read different points of view, each one coming from a different perspective.

Back to the weight issue I am concerned with;

I weighed them this morning.

The (2000) Iron Horse Comfort bike is 34 lb. :eek:

The (1997) Trek "Mountain Track 830" is 30 lb.

In my thinking, the IH just feels "clunky/heavy" to me when riding. I know it's not built for acceleration/speed, so maybe I'm expecting too much from it in that regard.

I guess what I'm saying is, I want it all! :D

Comfort/acceleration/speed/smooth ride. Guess the bottom line is to spend some time at the bike shops & ride different models to see what really appeals to me.

Maybe a full suspension hybrid...I don't know...

Also...would you guys consider 34 lb. to be on the heavy side, or is this a non-issue matter? I see quite a few bikes that they don't bother listing the weight on them.
 

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I had a MTB that weighed nearly 38 pounds. Of course, it had a huge dual crown fork, two seats, bars, cranks, and stems.

Yeah, that seems a bit porky by today's standards.
 

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Two cents from a return rider. 30 years ago I had fun on a 10 speed road bike, zoom... I inherited a Comfort Hybrid last fall with all the suspension available on a 2004 model, 26" 700 road tires. It's not as nimble as I recall the old 10 speed but it's not a limo either. It weighs 30 pounds, I weigh 155 now (down 10). I raised the tire pressure 20 pounds for a faster, lighter ride. My handle bars are higher than the seat for a somewhat upright seating position. Padded shorts & fingerless gloves help a lot. The worst vibration is in the pedals (no cleats). I stand like a skier to absorb jarring bumps or rough roads but sit 95% of the time. I ride mostly on city streets & rural roads. I'm 66 yo. My average ride is 12 miles in 75 minutes +-.

It's been a dozen years since you rode. Has your physical condition changed much? Weight gain/loss or some medical condition causing issues?

Oh, Welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Industry_Hack -

Thanks for the input. I've got it stuck in my head now that this is a big old slow clunky thing, so I don't believe I will be happy until I get a newer lighter model.

Andy -

Physical condition is pretty much the same. I stay in shape and am lean overall, active. No medical condition.

As I mentioned earlier, I guess I am more sensitive to the jarring than when I was younger & am desiring a more cushy ride now. But, I still want it to be somewhat nimble.

I am leaning towards a hybrid at this point. I like the upright sitting stance of my comfort bike, but maybe that's not a big issue for me - I have no back/leg/knee problems.

I would say I mainly notice the jarring in the seat and on my hands, especially bumps/knocks telegraphed through the handlebars.
 

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I have a MTB that weighs nearly 37 pounds, a 2010 Marin Bobcat Trail hardtail which retailed for $800. Your bike is heavier than average, but it's probably similar in weight to other comfort bikes
 

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I do have a big thickly padded seat on the bike - I can't image that some smaller/firmer one will be more comfortable...how does that work?

Welcome :)
Believe it or not, a soft spongy seat allows your butt to sink into the seat during riding due to your body weight pressing down in to the seat, this allows the nether regions to be pressed in to the padding as well which results in discomfort.

A good seat and sitting position will allow your bodies weight to be supported by sitting on your sit bones, rather than cradling your "gear" ;)

As davereo mentioned, relaxing your upper body will help with jarring as will softer tyre pressures. Trouble is, then the speed is harder to maintain :(

Any bike with suspension is going to weigh more than one without. Many bikes do come fitted with a fork with a lockout feature, this can be used to firm the ride when suspension is not required.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No riding for two days now due to sore seat, lol. Probably be a couple more before I feel comfortable enough to mount the bike. Guess that squishy wide seat I am using is causing a problem. :eek:
 
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