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Best lightweight steel hybrid for neck/shoulder issues

thepiman3thepiman3 Posts: 7
edited October 2019 in Commuting general
Last time I got a new bike I decided to build my own because I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. 4 years later, I’m wondering whether what I want now exists.
I have various problems with my spine, this means I need something quite upright but also quite lightweight as lifting heavy bikes is bad for my lower back and unless I’m upright i get neck and shoulder pain.
My current setup is a genesis equilibrium made of Reynolds 725 steel with a carbon fork. I bought the frame and didn’t trim the steerer off the fork so that the handle bar is as high as possible (I think I have 4 or 5 cm of spacers between the headset and the stem). To this I fitted the shortest stem I could find, a Deda carbon fibre seatpost, brooks saddle and then put some bull bars on it, rather than the standard drop bars that come on a Genesis. I put 11 sRAM gears on it and found a single speed SRAM crankset made mostly of carbon fibre to keep weight low. Brakes are just cheap callipers. This bike is super fast, lightweight (I think c. 10kg in total) and has great acceleration. The problem is that it is still a bit too aggressive for me posture wise (even though the genesis equilibrium is many to be a “relaxed” road bike. I think I have a couple of options: I could get a different handlebar for it, maybe a mountain bike riser bar, or moustache or postie bar, or I could build or buy a new bike. Ideally I would like the handlebars to be an inch or two higher and an inch or two closer. I appreciate the more I tinker with the cockpit positioning the more I compromise the stability of the Genesis Equilibrium (which was designed to be ridden with Drop bars) but I’ve already tinkered some and it is still very stable. Another reason for buying a new bike is that I would prefer fatter tires than the 28mm I can use with mudguards in the Genesis. 35mm should be sufficient. I’d also consider disc brakes, having avoided them on the basis of weight last time.
What are people’s thoughts on swapping bars vs buying a new bike? If it were a new bike, what would you recommend in steel with a carbon fibre fork? I need 11 gears as my commute is quite hilly, and I need to be able to attach a rear pannier rack and to keep the bike no heavier than 10.5kg. I’m 6 foot 1, 92kg, and quite broad in the shoulders.

Posts

  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,483
    edited October 2019
    Genesis do a Croix de Fer with flet bars (the Sora model) and that is a more relaxed frame than the Equilibrium. So a Croix de Fer frame may be a good option to transfer the kit you have assembled, rather than getting a whole new bike. I think it may be a bit heavier than the Eq, though (my Sora model was 11kg new with pedals)

    ETA: the CdF takes 35mm without mudguards, 32mm front 35mm rear with mudguards. My current tyres are cross tyres so big tread. You may get away with wider smooth commuter tyres.
  • WheelspinnerWheelspinner Posts: 5,251
    They're few and far between here, but have a look for a (used, obvs) Trek 7.9FX as a alternative starting point? Full carbon frame hybrid, might suit your needs?
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  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Start with a new road or hybrid frameset (uncut steerer), go down a size to shorten the TT, you could even reverse an offset seatpost (common in certain parts of the world to let kids ride adult bikes). stick with one with a longer headtube so the spacers don't look too out of place.
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