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Thread: Z85 Fit/Sizing

  1. #1
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    Z85 Fit/Sizing

    All,

    I've spent the past 1.5 seasons on an '06 Felt F90 58cm. I bought it off Craigslist before really knowing what I was doing and it's much too large for me. After a fitting this winter, I'm now riding it with a 70mm stem and enjoying the thrill, but I'm looking closely at the z85 as my next bike.

    Based on a 20-minute measuring session at the local Specialized dealer. I was told to look at a 54 or 56cm Roubaix, erring on the side of too small. (I know, I know, TONS of variables that you can't guess at online, just bear with me.)

    Well preferring the Felt brand, I test rode a 54cm z85 model last week and loved the ride. I was FAR less stretched out and when seated, I realized how much better life in the saddle could be. When standing up to climb or sprint, however, I felt like I was WAY over the front of the bars. My question (finally) is, should I expect a correct-fitting bike to feel that small under me while I'm riding, or is that (generally) a sign of the bike being too small?

    I'm trying to find a local dealer with both a 54 and 56 in stock to test ride, but while I'm at work today, I just got to thinking and figured I'd ask y'all.

    Appreciatively,

    B-Bone.

  2. #2
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    I remember being told that, with a properly sized bike, when you are in riding position, the front axle should appear to you to be roughly in-line with the handlebars. In other words, look down and the bar should block your view of the axle, or near enough. (Of course, the bar is always actually positioned rearward of the axle - I'm talking about how it subjectively appears from your eye position.)

  3. #3
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    I think that l these rules of thumb are really outdated - handlebars hiding the front axle, "KOPS", etc. Not bad to get a feel for starting points on fit, but just not something you should adhere to unless it actually works for you. My most comfortable bike, one I ride a lot, is fast, and I never get tired or sore riding, the "front axle" rule tells me I should have a 5-10 mm longer stem and "KOPS" says that I should push my saddle 5-10 mm forward.

    And, OP, your question is just too subjective, imho. You're on the right track to just ride a 54 and a 56 and see which seems to speak to you. I always say that with the proviso that remember, stems and spacer stacks can be changed, so keep that in mind. With any two frames, including the Z, using the larger frame you need to make sure you can get the handlebars low enough for your needs, and with the smaller one, that you can get them high enough. Most other fit issues can be easily dealt with by adjusting the seat post, set back, and stem length.

    As for erring "small" or "large", again, you just have to ride the bikes, you'll feel which one is right. But, as an FWIW, in my entire life, even in my 20's, erring to the larger bike with a shorter seat post always has felt better to me. I don't know why. I just feel more connected and comfortable on the bike. I now ride a 54-54.5 cm top tube on every bike I own right now (cross/commuter, Felt Z, and a vintage Italian frame). All these bikes are labeled "54" for size with seat tube angles ranging from 73 to 75 degrees. "54's" always felt better to me than "52"s, even with longer stems and stems that are adjusted to the same saddle-bar drop. I'm 5-8 w/ 32.5" cycling inseam, fwiw, riding these bikes with 100 - 110 mm stems depending on where I put the saddle (which is determined by seat tube angle).
    Last edited by Camilo; 06-29-2013 at 11:56 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBoneCloneMN View Post
    All,

    I've spent the past 1.5 seasons on an '06 Felt F90 58cm. I bought it off Craigslist before really knowing what I was doing and it's much too large for me. After a fitting this winter, I'm now riding it with a 70mm stem and enjoying the thrill, but I'm looking closely at the z85 as my next bike.

    Based on a 20-minute measuring session at the local Specialized dealer. I was told to look at a 54 or 56cm Roubaix, erring on the side of too small. (I know, I know, TONS of variables that you can't guess at online, just bear with me.)

    Well preferring the Felt brand, I test rode a 54cm z85 model last week and loved the ride. I was FAR less stretched out and when seated, I realized how much better life in the saddle could be. When standing up to climb or sprint, however, I felt like I was WAY over the front of the bars. My question (finally) is, should I expect a correct-fitting bike to feel that small under me while I'm riding, or is that (generally) a sign of the bike being too small?

    I'm trying to find a local dealer with both a 54 and 56 in stock to test ride, but while I'm at work today, I just got to thinking and figured I'd ask y'all.

    Appreciatively,

    B-Bone.
    If you go to a good/ professional fitter they will be able to measure you in person and figure out whether you belong on the 54 or 56 which ofcourse varies by brand. If you are serious about purchasing the correct bike I would print out the geometries page for the Z85 and take it to your fitter. If your fitter is confused & uninterested in helping you with presented information then find a better fitter because that would suggest to me they are inexperienced.

    The other thing you can try doing.....is using the bicycle fit calculator, however I have no personal experience with it but I suppose you can complete it and compare which size matches you best. Fit Calculator - Competitive Cyclist

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