I need a little help with bike fit....(long-ish)
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  1. #1
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    I need a little help with bike fit....(long-ish)

    Well I am finally putting more time on the raod and starting to really dial in my positions before I get a new road bike and comit to more road riding. Right now I am using road riding as a training tool, but I love it more and more each day

    Well two months after getting my TREK I decied to ask a LBS about getting fit on the bke better. The new guy that was there offered to help get a quick fit on the bike. He worked on the TDF lasr year and according to him, Robbie McGwuen(?) rode his personal bike on one stage and he set him up. Now this is where the problem lies. I think he set-me up to much like a pro racer and not a newbie like I am. I am straing to fell sore in the upper shouldes and riding in the drops is very uncomfortable. He said I just needed to get used to it. Well I been riding like this for months and even did a century like this. Now after dropping my stem down 5 cm due to not wanting more than 1 1/2"of spacers on the fork.

    Well after one 50 mile ride I am having real sore traps. So I decided to go on www.wrenchscience.com to try there fit system. Here is what I got:
    • Height: 67"
    • Sternum notch: 54"
    • Inseam 32"
    • Arm Length: 23"
    • Shoulder width: 22"
    • Flexibilty 4
    Now they show that my overall reach on the bike should be 61.15cm
    Frame size a 54cm Center-to-Top and a TT lenght of 50cm

    Now my TREK is 54cm Center-to-Top and this seems fine and the Top tube is 54.6cm.
    Now I am using a 100mm stem right now and this gives me a reach of 64.6cm.

    So it lloks like I should be on a short stem, bascailly a 70mm sdtem instead of 100mm.
    Does this make sense? Sould I try the 70mm or it that too short? The bike came with a 90mm and the shope where I bought the bike at said it was too short.

    Anyone have and suggestions? Does the WS Formula make sense?

    Thanks for any opinions and suggestions
    Last edited by DIRT BOY; 04-18-2004 at 12:35 PM.
    DIRT BOY

    "Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles." - Scott Martin


  2. #2
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    I used several online fitting systems and they all gave.......

    wildly different answers. The best thing to do is go to someone who really understands fit, can watch you on the bike and meets YOUR needs so that you are comfortable and efficient. Generally though, you should have about an inch bewteen your knees and elbows when riding in the drops with your elbows slightly bent. Make sure your leg length and foot position over the pedal are correct first.

  3. #3
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    Flexibility is a personal thing

    Any fit calculator simply gets you in the ballpark. They can't tell how flexible you are, and that can have a huge effect on things like saddle to bar reach and drop. The reason the calculators give widely varying results is that they make assumptions about this. Rivendell & Co. recommend saddle and bar at the same level, or nearly so. More racing oriented calculators can recommend large drops from saddle to bar. With a big difference in height, reach to the bars is therefore significantly affected. What you need to do is get in the ballpark and then start tweaking your position toward what feels more powerful, more aero, more comfortable, etc. depending on your desires. Having an experience cyclist look at you while riding can often offer some insight as well.

  4. #4
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    your rame is small...

    I'm about your size and ride a 53 or 54cm frame measured center to top. A "54cm" Trek is actually much closer to a 52cm frame, measured center to top. It's vertically small, with a long top tube length. It's not surprising that you need a lot of steering tube spacers and a short stem with this frame.

    Since, you're obviously uncomfortable on the frame, the handlebar height should probably be raised first. Measure the height of the saddle from the floor to the top of the saddle near the nose and then measure from the floor to the top of the handle bars. Take the difference between these measurement to determine the saddle to handlebar height difference. For a newbie, 5-7cm is plenty of drop. Rather than use more spacers, consider increasing the stem angle. You may be able to flip your current stem, if it has an 80 or 84 degree angle, to produce more bar height. Flipping the stem will also reduce the horizontal reach.

    If you want more precise suggestions, you need to post yur saddle height, measured from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the saddle, along the center of the seat tube, the handlebar height, measured vertically from the floor to the top of the bars and the stem angle you're using.

    I don't put much stock in the wrench science info because the "total reach" can't take into account the saddle position, which can be adjusted up to 4cm.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys!

    Well I have my saddle about the same height as the saddle right now. The syem is a 100 x 7 flipped doward. So you think the stem length is fine? I really don't have much clearence when standiing over the TT right now.

    I think I would be nevervous with a taller frame and I don't have much seatpost showing right now. I will try to post a picture of me on the biker later today.

    Thanks!
    DIRT BOY

    "Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles." - Scott Martin


  6. #6
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    Go to new LBS. Get fitted by someone who knows what the heck they are talking about. Getting fitted was the best thing I ever did. Lots of good advice from the pevious posters. Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Finding a spot that works for you.

    Kerry's right that formulae for this stuff are really estimates based on assumptions. I use a non-scientific method for placing the bars on a bike.

    Put the bike in a stand and ride til you're warmed up.

    Put your hands behind your back and ride at a normal cadence.

    Lean forward, bending at the hips, until your cadence picks up involuntarily to help you maintain balance.

    Repeat the last step a few times til you can easily find the point at which your cadence picks up.

    Close your eyes and reach forward for the brake hoods. If the hoods aren't where your hands want them to be, put them there.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  8. #8
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    Hmmm..

    I was measured for standover at the LBS and I have 1- 1/2" of clearnce over the TT with my Sidi shoes on.

    The bar was at saddle height and is now 2-3cm below. Saddle height feels fine with no ips rocking.You can see that ther is not much seatpost showing on the bike. Would this happen if the frame is to small?
    Here are some pics that might help.

    Bike:



    Hoods:


    Drops:


    Tops:


    I am going for measurments and a fitting next week, but I would like to tweak or solve the issues that I can now. I plan on buying a new frame this summer to build up with better parts and would like to get the geometry on the frame I need (TT lenght vs Size of bike)down before I start looking.

    Thanks for the help guys!!
    DIRT BOY

    "Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles." - Scott Martin


  9. #9

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    riding position looks odd

    Compared to your pictures, most performance riders have more bend in their waist and more bend in their elbows. Have you tried bending over more? Some people don't have the strength and/or flexibility for a performance riding position. If you'd prefer a more upright position, tell you shop and maybe they can set you up with a higher handlebar and shorter reach.

  10. #10
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    I can't bend anymore due to flexibilty and the extra

    10lbs I am carrying in the gut . Itried to go lwer but the upper traps hurt, got a stiff neck and sore back !
    DIRT BOY

    "Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles." - Scott Martin


  11. #11
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    Phots can be deceptive, but it looks to me like

    your saddle is set pretty far back. This could well explain why it's low relative to the frame. You may want to move it forward and upward, especially if you have trouble spinning at a high cadence. Your upper body position looks pretty typical of recreational riders, especially one coming off an mtb.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  12. #12
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    I am using an FSA K-Force set-back seatpost

    with a San Marco Apiside Saddle. The saddle is adjusted in the middle of the rails. I am going to rry a post with less set-back and a 90mm stem on wednesday to see how it feels.
    DIRT BOY

    "Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles." - Scott Martin


  13. #13
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    NOT too small...

    From the pictures, your frame is not too small, your saddle height looks about right, with some bend in the leg and the foot horizontal. I wouldn't place the saddle any lower, though.

    You obviously have flexibility issues that you should be working on. A young fit rider should be able to handle a lot more than a 2-3cm drop to the bars. Eventually you should be able to take out some of those spacers and achieve a more horizontal back position when riding in the drops (third picture), without a lot of bend in the elbow.

    I have the same seatpost on my LOOK frame which has a 74.5 degree seat tube angle. With the large amount of setback that this post has, you may need the saddle positioned almost all the way forward. Have someone check your knee-over-pedal position and be sure the knee isn't more than 2cm behind the pedal spindle. If it is, then you may need to change seatposts.
    Last edited by C-40; 04-19-2004 at 01:09 PM.

  14. #14
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    Well I am glad about that...

    Young? Not that young at 35 yrs old!
    Flexible I am not. I have been VERY lasy when it come to streching and I am working on this.

    What about the reach? Should I go with a shorter stem? I will check the KOPS tomorrow but I think I am just about even if not a tad behind the spindle. I wil adjust to netrual position just to make sure. The seatube anlge is 74.5 aslo.I will try the original Bontrager Aluminum post again.

    I just bolted on a 90mm to try out later with a 75mm on the way to me by the end of the week.
    I am sure as a get more flexible, things will change.
    DIRT BOY

    "Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles." - Scott Martin


  15. #15

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    i think you look good on the bike, and with more riding, you'll find it's the right fit. it's not too small and not too big. i also actually think you could make your saddle a tad higher. if you can't bend over you definitely need a higher stem and a shorter stem. you're already working on the shorter stem so maybe that will work out for you. if you move your saddle forward, that will also effectively make your reach shorter. if you do both at the same time (moving saddle forward and shorter stem) the change might be too much, you won't know what's affecting what, so do one at a time. if not, the third thing to do is raise that stem; you can remove spacers as you get flexibility.

    personally, i would do things in this order: raise the stem first, then i would adjust my seating position and sit a bit more forward and see what that does, then the shorter stem, then the saddle forward (i like my saddle back).

    if after even more months all of this is unsatisfactory, maybe you should be looking at a rivendell bike?

    sd

  16. #16
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    Better Bike Fit

    Quote Originally Posted by DIRT BOY
    Well I am finally putting more time on the raod and starting to really dial in my positions before I get a new road bike and comit to more road riding. Right now I am using road riding as a training tool, but I love it more and more each day

    Well two months after getting my TREK I decied to ask a LBS about getting fit on the bke better. The new guy that was there offered to help get a quick fit on the bike. He worked on the TDF lasr year and according to him, Robbie McGwuen(?) rode his personal bike on one stage and he set him up. Now this is where the problem lies. I think he set-me up to much like a pro racer and not a newbie like I am. I am straing to fell sore in the upper shouldes and riding in the drops is very uncomfortable. He said I just needed to get used to it. Well I been riding like this for months and even did a century like this. Now after dropping my stem down 5 cm due to not wanting more than 1 1/2"of spacers on the fork.

    Well after one 50 mile ride I am having real sore traps. So I decided to go on www.wrenchscience.com to try there fit system. Here is what I got:
    • Height: 67"
    • Sternum notch: 54"
    • Inseam 32"
    • Arm Length: 23"
    • Shoulder width: 22"
    • Flexibilty 4
    Now they show that my overall reach on the bike should be 61.15cm
    Frame size a 54cm Center-to-Top and a TT lenght of 50cm

    Now my TREK is 54cm Center-to-Top and this seems fine and the Top tube is 54.6cm.
    Now I am using a 100mm stem right now and this gives me a reach of 64.6cm.

    So it lloks like I should be on a short stem, bascailly a 70mm sdtem instead of 100mm.
    Does this make sense? Sould I try the 70mm or it that too short? The bike came with a 90mm and the shope where I bought the bike at said it was too short.

    Anyone have and suggestions? Does the WS Formula make sense?

    Thanks for any opinions and suggestions
    I think you really should be considering the top tube length before you measure the center of BB to center of top tube. Try measuring the center of the seat tube then center of the steer tube for accurate lengths. I think you'll be surprised. I see way too many bikes advertised by the standover height instead of the length of the top tube. Keep in mind this is just a general rule of thumb, so all you "experts" keep your nasty notes to yourselves. You should get a bike that fits you, measure the top tube then try several bikes with that top tube length. Remember, you control a lot of the height with your seatpost. While we're discussing seatposts, get a good one with adjustability so you can try and level that sucker out.

  17. #17
    CHT
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaq-d
    i think you look good on the bike, and with more riding, you'll find it's the right fit. it's not too small and not too big. i also actually think you could make your saddle a tad higher. if you can't bend over you definitely need a higher stem and a shorter stem. you're already working on the shorter stem so maybe that will work out for you. if you move your saddle forward, that will also effectively make your reach shorter. if you do both at the same time (moving saddle forward and shorter stem) the change might be too much, you won't know what's affecting what, so do one at a time. if not, the third thing to do is raise that stem; you can remove spacers as you get flexibility.

    personally, i would do things in this order: raise the stem first, then i would adjust my seating position and sit a bit more forward and see what that does, then the shorter stem, then the saddle forward (i like my saddle back).
    sd
    You should not compensate for frame size/reach by moving the saddle forward. A shorter stem or raising the stem makes sense. So does swapping your seatpost with another with less setback. Messing with your KOP does not make any sense and will just lead to other issues as well as overall inefficiency in your pedal stroke.

    You appear to be on the right trail with adjustments to the stem and seatpost. Overall, the bike is definitely in the range for your dimensions. Now all you need to do is fine tune relative to your fitness and riding habits.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thommy
    I think you really should be considering the top tube length before you measure the center of BB to center of top tube. Try measuring the center of the seat tube then center of the steer tube for accurate lengths. I think you'll be surprised. I see way too many bikes advertised by the standover height instead of the length of the top tube. .
    C-40 is spot on w/his approach. I agree that standover is a bit overrated, but having some is a good thing. However, just looking at top tube length will get you in trouble if seat angle is not taken into consideration. My 2 bikes are different sizes but have the same effective top tube length (keeping KOPs the same) due to the dramatic difference in seat tube angle (C'dale vs. Look).

  19. #19
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    Thanks, I checked the TT lenthc and It is accurate...

    with a 54.6 TT, ss is the seat tube height 54cm C-T. Looks Like what I really need is a 54cm Seatpost C-T with a 50-52 TT...Hmmm maybe a custom bike
    Wrench Sceince shows that some Colonago modles might be perfect with 52cm TT

    I am just going adjust the saddle with a less set-backi post and set the KOPS at a netrual position then dial myself in. I don't like chaing this for the sake of reach adjustment. I will keep messing with stem until I am dialed in and get back to stretching.

    Thanks for the help!!
    DIRT BOY

    "Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles." - Scott Martin


  20. #20
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    Thanks, but I prefer to have the saddle nose slightly up....

    This feels more comfortable and allows me to use the "Sit Bones."
    The post is fine when it comes to adjustability.
    DIRT BOY

    "Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles." - Scott Martin


  21. #21

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    What about the reach? Should I go with a shorter stem?

    no... just rotate your bars down. have the lower portion of the bars paralel to ground. it will reduce your reach to he drops (that's where it seems most unnatural, ncomfortable).
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  22. #22
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    no shorter stem...

    Quote Originally Posted by DIRT BOY
    Young? Not that young at 35 yrs old!
    Flexible I am not. I have been VERY lasy when it come to streching and I am working on this.

    What about the reach? Should I go with a shorter stem? I will check the KOPS tomorrow but I think I am just about even if not a tad behind the spindle. I wil adjust to netrual position just to make sure. The seatube anlge is 74.5 aslo.I will try the original Bontrager Aluminum post again.

    I just bolted on a 90mm to try out later with a 75mm on the way to me by the end of the week.
    I am sure as a get more flexible, things will change.
    I don't think you should need any shorter than a 90 stem, but it does depend a lot on your saddle position. Since I moved to the mountains, I moved my saddle back about 2cm. to restore the reach, I used a 1cm shorter stem and shorter reach bars.

    To check for proper stem length, ride the trainer with your hands in the drops with your fingers in reach of the brake levers. With the back HORIZONTAL, there should be some small amount or clearance between your arm and knee. If the knee and arm are overlapping, then your stem is on the short side, focing you to flare your elbows for clearance. The lower your stem the less bend will be required to achieve a horizontal position.

    And yes you are YOUNG. I started riding seriously when I was 32 and now I'm almost 51. You've got a lot of good years ahead.

    The other thing I noticed is that your brake hoods are set a bit too low. This seems to be a common mistake. If you move the STI levers up the curve a bit, the reach to the brake hoods will be less and they will be higher. This permits the use of a longer stem and fewer steering tube spacers.

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