Help with bike fit...
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Help with bike fit...

    Howdy! My first post...

    I recently resumed physical activity after a 9 year absence due to injury... Things sure have changed a lot since then, mainly my weight, which ballooned to 280 pounds! Anyways, I have lost 76 pounds so far over the last 8 months... I have a mountain bike that I use for training but in the last few weeks I have noticed I ride it more and more on the road (about 95% now) since I get a much better work out that way... What actually happened is I bought a HRM and noticed that it is very difficult to get and maintain a reasonable heart rate while riding off road, while on road I can get it right where I need it to be and keep it there easily...

    I've modified my bike by putting slicks on it and I've really tweaked the riding position to make it more aerodynamic, but I know it isn't working as well as a road bike would, so I looking into trading it for a road bike...

    A friend of mine has a very clean 2000 Specialized Allez M4 Pro with full Ultegra and Rolf Vector Pro wheels that he is willing to trade for my mountain bike (2004 Cannondale Scalpel)...

    My questions:

    1) Since he lives on the other coast, how can I make sure this bike fits me? I can't find Specialized's old geometry tables for this bike... All I know is it is a 54cm frame... I am between 5'11" and 6' and I can provide any other measurements necessary, even ones from my current bike if that would help... I am tempted to go to the LBS and try out a few bikes but since I have no intention of buying anything that seems a bit weird, and I don't even know if the geometry is the same...

    2) I've heard that getting these wheels serviced is not easy, should I worry about this? The Rolf website specifically says they do not service the Vector Pro... ( )

    3) Is trading bikes worth the trouble? I am a roadie at heart (I was a roadie in the late 80s) so I am not tied to the mountain bike, but I am worried about the fact I weigh a lot (205) and my bike handling skills are still very rusty, so maybe the mountain bike is better? I had planned to save all summer and fall and maybe get a TCR or R1000 next spring... If I keep the bike I suppose I will toss on a 12x27 Ultegra cassette but still, having a full suspension bike and then locking out both ends seems a bit silly... Also I am worried I am "training" my body to have bad habits...

    I'm very keen on getting a good aerodynamic riding position... I've set my mountain bike up with an aggressive seating position to train my body back to be flexable... It was painful at first but I am now used to it... I've even lowered the forks in the triple clamps... While it works okay, the limited hand positions make it uncomfortable, even with the bar ends...

    My current training schedule is 10 miles a day, every day of the week... Each ride has 8 small (20 seconds or less) climbs that take my HR up to 90%+... I typically average ~75% of my max for the entire ride... My weight loss has been very steady averaging a little under 10 pounds a month...

    Thanks in advance for any assistance!

    Mike (Xyzzy)

    PS - If I do the trade I'm not going to use the aero bars of course!
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  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Hmm, as far as fit goes I'm not sure. I don't know what the specs are on that frame but it doesn't look like a compact frame from the pics and if that is the case then 54cm is likely too small for you. I'm 6' and ride a 58cm frame, though I could probaby go to a 59cm in some brands. Sorry, but it deffinetly looks too small.

    On another note, congrats on the weight loss. About a year ago I weighed in at 275lbs, now I'm down to about 190lbs and working towards 175lbs. It isn't easy, but it sure is worth it, isn't it?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    no way in heck you'll be able to fit in a 54cm. that's for peeps 5'6 or so, usually women who are around that height up to 5'8 or so. at your height you're looking at 56cm/57cm/58cm/59cm or so. you can pay for a fitting at a good LBS (and if you buy the bike from that LBS, they usually put the money toward that).

    the specialized your friend has looks good, i can't say it "looks" small, we just _know_ it is too small for you. on the other hand, your MTB certainly looks aero with that low handlebar, high saddle, and nice wheels. if you really want that road bike, get fitted or at least get measured and go to to get an idea of what would fit you. (at the page, click on the WS fit sizing system).


  4. #4
    Arrogant roadie.....
    Reputation: Dave_Stohler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    54cm is way too small for you. Sorry.

    Also, at 200+lbs, you'll destroy those Rolfs in a short period of time.

    Now, about that top tube on your ATB: I think a framebuilder can fix that................
    Last edited by Dave_Stohler; 05-31-2004 at 01:21 AM.
    We are the 801
    We are the central shaft

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2003


    Quote Originally Posted by Xyzzy
    A friend of mine has a very clean 2000 Specialized Allez M4 Pro with full Ultegra and Rolf Vector Pro wheels that he is willing to trade for my mountain bike (2004 Cannondale Scalpel)...
    FYI, I am 5'10 150 lbs and ride a 54cm 2003 Allez. I have a smaller statue so I can fit in either a 54 or 56 with short stem. Are you sure that will fit you? 56 is likely the way to go. Also I would rather sell the Scalpel online. You C'dale worth a lot more than a 2000 M4...

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    too small...

    Take a look at the fit info at Take an accurate inseam measurement first and go from there. The most common mistake when measuring inseam is not applying saddle-like pressure to the book in the crotch. I like to standover a bike with a horizontal top tube and block up the wheels until I get saddle-like crotch pressure when standing over it in bare feet. It's an easy and accurate method to measure inseam.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Hello all-

    I'm the guy with the M4.

    After reading the posts here saying there was no way he could fit on a 54cm frame, I started wondering how I could have possibly fit on it (I'm 6'1"). So I dug deeper on and found I should have measured along the seat tube (instead of straight up- duh). Once I measured properly, it turns out it is indeed a 56cm frame.

    Also, at 200+lbs, you'll destroy those Rolfs in a short period of time.
    This is not borne out by either reviews (they seem to be generally regarded as very durable), LBS advice (they sold them for a few years and have never had a bad report (failed hub, et al) nor have they had to true even one set), or anecdote with both me and my friend. I've weighed around 200# the entire time I've owned these things (4 years and a little over 1000 miles) and I've had it tuned 4 times in that period (each year). The wheels are as true as the day I bought them. My friend weighs about 185# and bought his wheels the same day I did mine. His experiences are identical to mine, except that he rides the piss out of his relatively (probably around 5000 miles on his).

    Certainly, there are valid concerns about being able to repair them yourself (it takes a skinny socket to get at them inside the deep wheel) and about availability of parts (although, I would give Trek the benefit of the doubt myself).

    You C'dale worth a lot more than a 2000 M4...
    You guys know much more about this than I do, but from my research, this bike is easily worth $1200+, which is pretty close to Xyzzy's asking price.

    It retailed originally (as built) for around $3000, I paid $2500, it has very little use, has been meticulously maintained (not by me, but by the LBS), and has never even been wet (well, there were some damp roads once, but that's truly it). I've followed these bikes for about a year now and I'm pretty confident in that price.

    If Xyzzy's price was way too low, you may be right that we're too far apart in 'worth', but the quick searches I've done in the last 48 hours have led me to believe that Xyzzy was asking a very fair price for his C'dale, too.

    After all this, though, and as I've told Xyzzy via email, I don't want there to be any doubt about any of this, so I don't want any of you to think I'm feeling defensive about any of the criticism. It's very useful for me (to say nothing of Xyzzy, as it's his thread) to hear what you all think about this. Thanks.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2002


    you'd never, ever get $1200 for that bike on the open market, probably more like $800-900. the cheaper rolfs are pretty bombproof though. A 190 lb teammate has many thousands of miles on the same set with no problems. Still, trading those two bikes staight up would not be a good deal.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by yeah right
    you'd never, ever get $1200 for that bike on the open market, probably more like $800-900. the cheaper rolfs are pretty bombproof though. A 190 lb teammate has many thousands of miles on the same set with no problems. Still, trading those two bikes staight up would not be a good deal.
    I'm not going to argue with you- I've done my research. The same bike goes for around $1000 on eBay with the stock Mavic wheels and about 5x the mileage (most have had Dura-Ace components, some have not). If the bike is stock and has average high mileage, then you may be in the ballpark with $800. I'm not taking a stab in the dark about my bike's worth, though.

    As I said, though, I haven't been looking at Scalpel 900s for nearly as long (of course), so you may be right that this is not a good deal for Xyzzy. I'll do some searching and see if I can argue further...

    [EDIT] Reading the classifieds here, I think Xyzzy was right in the ballpark with his asking price.
    Last edited by rodbac; 05-31-2004 at 09:20 AM.

  10. #10
    Well-read hooligan
    Reputation: EvilGilligan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Check the classifieds ...

    buy this:

    It'll fit ya, it's cool, it's campy... nuff said

  11. #11

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Two questions (sorry for a pseudo-hijack, Xyzzy):

    Isn't that Van Dessel only 54cm (c-c)? It measures 54cm where mine measures 56cm...

    Why would you recommend that one to Xyzzy (presumably over mine) when it has similar componentry (2nd tier group with almost exactly the same mileage, probably lesser pedals), a much lesser wheelset, and is in similar condition overall (both look new)?

    I don't mean to sound combative- I'm truly curious.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Xyzzy! Don't ditch the mountain bike! I think we're getting caught up in a side issue about comparative worth. I've seen your posts on about your biking, and, man, you love that bike. You lost 76 pounds on it, and now you want to get rid of it? Bad idea -- you'll always regret it. Every time you start to tell people about your biking, you'll say, "Well, I started out on a mountain bike" and you'll get this wistful look in your eye remembering the scalpel. To me, the answer is clear: you're serious enough about biking that you need a road *and* a mountain bike. Save up, get one that fits you, and be happier in the long run.

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