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Kids in transition, looking for misc items

I have a decently nice road bike for my eldest which I'm trying to transition her to. The height is fine. The brakes are more of a reach. She can do it, but doesn't have the leverage for a panic stop. The stem is already short. I've already slide the seat forward on its normal post, I'm not sure if a zero setback post is a reasonable way to bridge the gap. I'm also looking for something cushier for her than the 23s since she'll be doing a fair bit of sidewalk climbing for a while, and its very hard to find any selection in 650s, esp anything on the cheap side. This would be good but it's too wide for the frame of her bike: Looking for 28s, ~maybe~ 32s but I'd want to see them and put next to the frame to be sure. As she transitions out of the tandem, the middle girl will be transitioning in. We need to get her feet more firmly on the pedals which requires bridging some height. I've definitely heard complaints that kids feet don't stay on pedal blocks very well, so I'm wondering if anything is sold that combines a good bit of rise off the pedal with retention. Suggestions appreciated.
2016-06-07 08:34:36
I have a few suggestions for fitting your eldest to the bike. First of all, it's a bad idea to use saddle fore/aft adjustment to rectify improper reach. Too-far-forward saddle might put undue pressure on the cartilage of the knee cap, and cause overuse injury. I'd always start with the saddle height and fore/aft adjustment first before moving on to other parts. If she couldn't reach the handlebar after you dial in the saddle position, you might have to bite the bullet and get another bike. You could try the zero-setback seat post if doesn't upset her knees. Here's a good book on bike fitting and common medical problems for cyclists: As for the problem with the road brake levers, you might want to check if spacers are needed to reduce their reach (see picture below). If your road brake levers don't come with spacers, you could try using stacked-up foam pads instead. Finally, I have a pair of custom pedals that might solve the problem for your younger kid. I used them to study the effect of artificially-induced leg length discrepancy. The pedal surface could be raised as high as 4 cm using a huge stack of washers. I'll see if I can find them after I get home tonight.
2016-06-07 10:55:14
We're not going to be riding a lot of miles, really, but didn't realize the lever reach could be adjusted separately. That's perfect! The super-adaptable pedals sound awesome. Will PM to synch up on that.
2016-06-07 11:38:09
To clarify: are you looking for 650B tires, or 650C? I ask because, if you want wide 650C, you're pretty much out of luck. Terry Tellus tires are available in 650Cx28mm, that's as wide as I know of for that size.
2016-06-07 11:49:12
571, so 650C. I'll look at the Terry Tellus. Silly question, but is the width true and measured at the widest point? On what rim and width what pressure? I need to be absolutely sure these fit in the frame before getting, because I assume nobody locally has them and I'd have a heck of a time re-selling them myself.
2016-06-07 18:38:11
@byogman: Unfortunately, I couldn't find the pedals - I think I threw them away when I moved back from Kentucky a couple years back. To proof I wasn't making this up, here's the picture of the pedals and the abstract of my undergraduate thesis.
2016-06-07 20:44:14
"Suggestions appreciated." Read the book Gordon mentioned; it does a nice job of explaining proper bike fit, among other things. If you want to try to build pedal blocks/surface risers like those shown above, I have some aluminum sheet, a Pexto shear and a metal brake sitting around; you are free to make use of them. That said, it seems to me that if the rear seat is fully dropped and your kid still can't properly reach the pedals, she is probably still a little too small for that frame.
2016-06-13 15:02:20