The recovery position

Desperate times call for desperate measures: rules be damned.

by Dave Atkinson   August 6, 2013  

Recovery position 2

Since I've jiggered my back I've had to make a few allowances.

I've always had a fairly big drop from the seat to the bars. That's a function of my height and the fact that my legs are a touch longer than average, even for a tall chap. But that's not a comfortable position right now. Not that any position is particularly comfortable. But that one especially.

Anyway, spacers are my friend. I was building up my Equilibrium frame before I got the back-knack. Fortunately I hadn't got round to cutting the fork steerer. So I just left it uncut, and dug around in my parts box for all the spacers I could find. And this is the result.

Okay, it's not pretty. And anyone who's a stickler for Rule 45 might be spitting coffee over their keyboard right now. But desperate times, and all that. In my defence, I have ordered some matching spacers. And found a slightly more comely stem.

The venerable Charge Spoon is keeping my poorly disc comfy. I've had to drop the saddle about 2cm as I don't have full extension in my leg yet. That and the spacer stack means I've reduced the drop from the saddle to the bars by about 6.5cm, which has made a lot of difference. It doesn't feel very aero, but at least I can ride okay.

All in all the bike doesn't look too daft. From a distance. The bar tape and saddle don't match, but you're just going to have to live with that.

22 user comments

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It's keeping you riding. That's what matters. Ride on, and here's hoping for a speedy recovery.

Low Speed Wobble's picture

posted by Low Speed Wobble [140 posts]
6th August 2013 - 15:14

39 Likes

It looks like plenty of Rule#5 to me. I hope the back-knack packs up. Get some 28mm tyres on there too.

Just think how much quicker you'll be when you get back to slamming that stem!

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [563 posts]
6th August 2013 - 15:15

40 Likes

Something reminded me of this.

thailand-long-neck-woman_12064_600x450.jpg

posted by Mat Brett [1913 posts]
6th August 2013 - 15:30

1 Like

I have been borrowing a bicycle on trip away from home. The frame size is for a teenager so my knees do all the pedaling, even with the seat is up as far as it can go. I look a fool with my knees higher than the handlebars. Additionally it has a broken plastic chain guard that rattles and clicks on the pedal on every rotation, it is so loud everyone looks at me and my shame. I hold on to the thought that I prefer cycling over alternatives and screw what anyone else might think I look like. I know I look a state so embrace it.

posted by TeamCC [146 posts]
6th August 2013 - 19:10

37 Likes

My stem is 87 degrees, pointed up, and has 30mm of spacer under it. All my friends laugh at me, too.

posted by DrJDog [159 posts]
7th August 2013 - 10:08

39 Likes

87 degrees? Isn't the convention that 0 is horizontal, 90 is vertical - so that must be an almost vertical stem? I've just never seen one.

But yes, if it lets you ride. I'm all for it.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [591 posts]
7th August 2013 - 15:18

39 Likes

The whole bike does not look bad at all tbh.

Respect and may your recovery drop Jens Voigt!

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koko56's picture

posted by koko56 [334 posts]
9th August 2013 - 18:19

44 Likes

I've only got 2 spacers under my stem - admittedly their 20mm each so it looks much the same.

Wish I had an excuse but I'm just very inflexible - will get around to trying Pilates at some point.

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
9th August 2013 - 20:59

46 Likes

Oh dear got to laugh Smile Smile .
NOT at your back, but my normal riding position on my Tricross is with the saddle and handle bars level and its taken me 1 year 6 months to get there, on my mountain bike when I started out the bars were about 3 to 4 inches higher than the saddle Surprise
Reason artificial shoulder joint with ligament and muscle loss after an accident.

Good luck with the recovery

posted by sodit [71 posts]
10th August 2013 - 14:33

45 Likes

Hay who cares as long as you can ride don't worry about it mate.What ever gets you through a ride works for me

big mick

posted by big mick [184 posts]
11th August 2013 - 22:22

42 Likes

You've still got a bigger drop than me! But if you can credit your height and long legs, I can blame my height (5ft) and extra-short legs, right? Smile

Get well soon!

charlie_elise's picture

posted by charlie_elise [14 posts]
13th August 2013 - 11:16

39 Likes

Yes.. the Velominati rule 45... those Rapha wearing cock-jockey pretty-boy rules don't apply to anyone but themselves.

Do what you need to your bicycle so you can ride it. That's what matters.

posted by Hector Ch [52 posts]
13th August 2013 - 11:27

40 Likes

Seems that everyone has one of those Bondrager 2-bolt stems in their sheds!

Twitter: @velosam

SamShaw's picture

posted by SamShaw [272 posts]
16th August 2013 - 10:25

39 Likes

Ha ha, I have, must be the most popular stem in the world! As for saddle to bars height, it matters not a jot if it means you're still riding. Chapeau!

posted by Scowel [32 posts]
19th August 2013 - 18:43

37 Likes

Tidied it up a bit. still a big stack but at least all the spacers match Smile

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 09.31.18.png
Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7444 posts]
25th August 2013 - 8:31

38 Likes

Hector Ch wrote:
Yes.. the Velominati rule 45... those Rapha wearing cock-jockey pretty-boy rules don't apply to anyone but themselves.

Is the homophobic insult necessary?

posted by Pauldmorgan [184 posts]
6th September 2013 - 12:36

43 Likes

Hi Dave,

Terrible condition. Going through exactly the same thing as you, just a little further behind yourself, so wondering how it's going? Have you had a natural improvement in your condition yet?

Doc told me the same as you I think. Now on playing the waiting game of 12 weeks.

Cheers
Steve

posted by steviebike [30 posts]
12th September 2013 - 13:06

38 Likes

Yes - get well soon. It'd be good to have a write-up of bike fit for the real world. Thanks for letting us know the lengths you've gone to to keep riding! Inspiring stuff.

And yes, I have one of those Bontrager stems in the garage, too. Swapped it out for a 130mm Ritchey Pro, which is very Pro indeed - and suits my Orangutan arms (small frame, big stem, that's just how I roll).

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [591 posts]
12th September 2013 - 13:22

38 Likes

steviebike wrote:
Hi Dave,
Terrible condition. Going through exactly the same thing as you, just a little further behind yourself, so wondering how it's going? Have you had a natural improvement in your condition yet?

i had a relapse about a week after i wrote this and spent another week in bed, after that i got booked in to have a lumbar epidural where they pump steroids into your spine to reduce the inflammation. fingers crossed, that seems to have done a lot of good. so i don't really know how much of the improvement is natural and how much down to the drugs and the big needle

i'm mostly off the painkillers now and back on the bike, managed a 30-mile round trip yesterday at no great pace, but i'm on the mend. i'm not very fit though, missed the whole summer basically Waiting

need to do a lot of flexibility and core strength work, i'm told. pilates it is then...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7444 posts]
12th September 2013 - 13:33

38 Likes

Dave - swap your desk chair for a pilates ball!

I did, and my lower back is much happier as a result.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [591 posts]
12th September 2013 - 14:04

39 Likes

I'm on one of they back chairs at the mo. now i've got used to it it's pretty good

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7444 posts]
12th September 2013 - 14:10

36 Likes

I've had the injection too! Which has helped to settle it down a little as I got to the point where I couldn't lie down or stand up without pain, so after four days without sleep I held a doctor hostage! It worked as far as booking me in for the nerve root block.

I'm on the waiting list for the operation, but it being at least or around 12 weeks (3 months already with this) there is all possibility it will heal itself. Which is what I hope for you and I. Take it steady and lets both wish for a good 2014 on the bikes. I also notice you're riding the Gram SL wheels, I designed the graphics for those hubs alnog with some other Velocite frames and products Wink

posted by steviebike [30 posts]
13th September 2013 - 15:09

44 Likes